New rider/introduction and questions

Discussion in 'Road Warriors' started by ScubaTater, Jun 18, 2017.

  1. ScubaTater

    ScubaTater Newb getting started in 2017

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    Hello adv community!

    I have been lurking the forum here for a few months. I already took quite a bit of advice as far as gear and training. Now I am looking at bike selection.

    This will be a long winded post, I decided to post here, as 2 of the 3 bikes I am looking at are road warriors.

    For a bit of background, brand new rider, mid 30's, Midwest living and only plans to ride 1 up.

    Gear: I have a scorpion exo at950 neocon high vis, klim induction, icon overlord high viz gloves and I intend on buying klim outrider pants.

    Training: So far only the BRC, but I intend to continue training.

    Bikes: In no particular order.... with a out the door price tag. 2015 new Honda CTX 700 (4921.50) 2015 new Honda NC700 (5521.50) 2012 used Vstrom 11kmiles (5673.50) the strom has the hard cases and swmotech crash bars. The hondas are stock.

    I'm looking for solid advice on future training, gear, and most obvious choice of bike.

    Thanks for sticking through this long post and for being a cool community!

    Tater
    #1
  2. Sir Not Appearing

    Sir Not Appearing That's no ordinary rabbit

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    I'd go for one of the Hondas myself. The NC would be my pick with the longer travel suspension, but I can see the appeal of the practicality of the NTX.

    Gear is a little more personal. It really depends on your idea of safety vs comfort. Personally I ride in mesh jackets during most of the summer, but other people don't care for them due to the fact you give up protection for extra ventilation. Being able to ride and stay cool on 90+ days is worth the risk for me.

    If money is no option, then get the best gear you can afford. However, watching the closeouts at all the online stores is a great way to get great gear that has been sitting on a shelf for a year or two.

    Sent from my Motorola DynaTAC using Tapatalk
    #2
  3. SStiffler

    SStiffler Been here awhile

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    As a new rider, I would make sure you are comfortable with the physical size of the bike. Not knowing your size, you may find the Vstrom to be a bit tall and cumbersome. I think you have made some good choices with gear and you bike choices. The 2012 Vstrom seems a little pricey to me, but you have a better handle on that for your local market. Good luck and have fun.
    #3
  4. ScubaTater

    ScubaTater Newb getting started in 2017

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    So far the gear I have purchased before the bike is intended for summer wear. I forgot to add that I was given a cortech advanced sport jacket as well, for the cooler months.

    Intended riding will be local to work, an abandonded parking lot to learn and practice low speed and a monthly trip of 350 miles one way. I would love to do some dirt and gravel, but obviously not on the CTX ......:imaposer
    #4
  5. ScubaTater

    ScubaTater Newb getting started in 2017

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    6 ' and 185lbs. I have only sat on all 3, the vstrom I was flat footed. It felt more comfy than the NC700.

    The CTX felt the most comfortable, but I am concerned with adding weight for longer rides, and the smaller tank.

    Thanks for the speedy replies so far!
    #5
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  6. Subito

    Subito Been here awhile

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    My first thought was that a CB500F would be ideal, the NC700 is great but IMHO a bit tall and heavy for a new rider....
    #6
  7. Jimmy the Heater

    Jimmy the Heater Dirt Farmer

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    Hard to go wrong with any of those choices really. I would go with either the NC or the VStrom myself for a few reasons. You expressed an interest in doing some dirt and gravel. The NC and Strom can do that easily where the CTX would make that difficult. The NC and Strom are equally at home on the pavement as the CTX is, but are more versatile, both in aftermarket and terrain they can be ridden on.

    I know what riding in the midwest is like (if your definition of MW is Nebraska and OK) Being able to throw some dirt riding in there on occasion will break up the monotony of the long straight roads. Having a street only bike there would be awful in my opinion.
    #7
  8. Unstable Rider

    Unstable Rider Farto Motografist

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    Welcome aboard Scuba!

    :type
    #8
  9. Volfy

    Volfy Fava beans & a nice Chianti

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    'Busa. End of thread.




    J/K. For your first bike, buy cheap so you can sell cheap. You might think you have an idea of what you might like, but most likely you have no real clue what you'll eventually gravitate toward. Last think you want to do is be stuck with an expensive brand new bike already 1/2 depreciated and paying a note on it. Better off shelling out cash on a cheap starter bike. Make, model, displacement, type, etc., makes little difference when you are just getting a hang of it. Don't over analyze it. Just about anything from a Ninja250 to a SV650 would teach you the basics of 2-wheel handling.

    Save your $$$ for your 2nd, or 3rd bike.
    #9
  10. vsvn

    vsvn Been here awhile

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    I found the advice given in this post to be spot on. As written pretty much everywhere on the internet, you're very likely to drop your first bike, especially if you go off the pavement. I dropped my first bike within 2 weeks of owning it on a dirt road. Dropping something that just came out of the showroom will also have you losing quite some money. It also feels awful.

    I haven't been riding for very long (2 years) but in this time I've seen my taste and preferences in bikes evolve and change. I think any of the bikes you mentioned are solid choices. From the ones you listed the vstrom is my favourite, but that's down to personal taste.

    Happy bike hunting and keep us posted!
    #10
  11. SUVslayer

    SUVslayer Long timer

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    If it were me, I'd think about a used-but-loved 650 thumper. Plenty of go on the street / highway, comfy ergos, drops without worry, and you can explore dirt roads and trails - which, depending on where in the mid west you are, I imagine you have in excess.
    #11
  12. motorhead748

    motorhead748 Been here awhile

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    somebody has to do it....KLR. Milk crate optional
    #12
  13. SUVslayer

    SUVslayer Long timer

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    errr.... I was thinking more on lines of an XR650L...
    #13
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  14. Skidmarkart

    Skidmarkart Dirty Middle Age Man

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    You clearly need a 2005 Ninja 1000. Get one with a pipe, and power commander, so you don't have to spend money on it later. You'll be bored with anything else in 2 weeks. Road attacks are good tires, and will help you get used to the handling. It's the perfect mid-west 1rider bike.

    Okay, seriously, the bikes you mention are fancy first bikes. In no order... Ninja 500, SV650, CB500 (in any form), Bandit 600, Ninja 300, Gladius (don't laugh, it's a fine bike and cheap), FZ6, FZ6R, DR650, XR650L, sigh... KLR, CBR650F (if you must get something fancy). You'll drop it, scare the shit out of yourself, get bored then step up to bigger and better things. Don't be in a rush, it kills people.
    #14
  15. ScubaTater

    ScubaTater Newb getting started in 2017

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    All awesome advice, and I'm taking most of it onboard ;)

    I love how during my research and shopping I had yet to look into the cb500. +1 to that idea. I may focus on a wide search area for a used one of those. Using the search forum I've decided a cb500x is the best of the three.

    As far as shopping, I realize the value of buying cheaper and used at the moment, would you focus on a non farkle'd bike putting every penny into it? Or find something decked out?

    I'm going to go ahead and say it, which will give me bad voodoo.... but I don't think I will end up off my first bike for awhile. Ha!

    I like the bombproof idea of a klr, but I am concerned about it getting 2 states away to visit family. While it can do that, how comfortable will a klr and I both be doing 70-75 for 4 hours?

    Again excellent advice here thanks!
    #15
  16. ScubaTater

    ScubaTater Newb getting started in 2017

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    Not sure if the ninja 1000 will get me through the dirt and gravel quick enough..... found a 2007 ninja zx-14 on cycletrader. Will that get me through trails quickly?:jack
    #16
  17. Skidmarkart

    Skidmarkart Dirty Middle Age Man

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    The 500x is a great bike, I am 6'4' and surprised at how well it fit me. It's really a big-ass bike for a 500. It really, really does everything well, and I personally find it cool looking (especially the digital-camo version). There's a reason rally-raid builds a off-road kit for that bike. It does everything. Get one, put some Shinko on-road/off-road tires on it, and go. By the time you get bored, you'll be enough of an expert to talk shit on ADVrider.

    Also, the KLR can do ANYTHING. Do not doubt its powers.

    (I am a DR650 guy though, it has slightly more magic powers IMHO).
    #17
  18. boingk

    boingk Been here awhile

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    Apologies in advance for the novel. First up, great to see you've bought your protective gear first. Excellent move, welcome aboard!

    I love that you're ready to take the plunge and get your first bike... but the ones you mention are likely to make your first riding memories memorable for all the wrong reasons. You *WILL* drop your bike at some point, and you will learn what happened and why you did it - forgetting a kick stand, slow-speed errors, misjudging a corner or even forgetting to put your foot down at a traffic light; they are all common even with experienced riders. Not 1 week ago I dropped my YZF750 road bike and broke the gear lever and left side footpeg because I forgot to take off the disc-brake lock, and took off with it still on. I've been riding in one form or another for over 20 years. These things happen.

    A big single-cylinder dirt or adventure bike is suitable and if you drop it its unlikely to sustain major damage, and will be fairly easy to right again thanks to their design. They're also ergonomically good for the larger gents like us - I'm 6'3". Anything from the Honda XR range, the Suzuki DR range, the Yamaha WR range, or the Kawasaki KLR range would be great. A 400cc+ bike will have good manners both on and off road, and will cruise at 65mph or more easily with a max speed of 85mph+ depending on model. They will also be easy to sell on, especially if you buy them reasonably cheaply and in decent condition... by which I mean running well without any faults, roadworthy (as your locations legislation sees fit) and no major damage.

    For a road-oriented bike I would look at something smaller. You don't really want more than about 40hp when you are learning because your errors become greatly magnified. This equates to no more than about a 500cc road bike, and no supersports above about 350cc or so. You should look at things like the Ninja 250 or 300, Yamaha R3, as well as the Honda CBR500 which would be at the absolute maximum IMO for a beginner. All of those bikes will have no issues maintaining a cruise speed of 70mph or more and have maximum speeds over 100mph.

    For something you can use for both you are looking into more complex territory but the biggest issue I see would be the 350 mile trip once a month. Purely based on this I would look at a road oriented bike. You can still ride gravel/dirt roads if they are in good condition, but don't expect to go completely off road or follow goat trails up mountains. The Honda 500X and the Kawasaki 650 twin cylinder bikes are my pick for a bit of both in the middleweight category, but again are probably quite an upper limit in my opinion for a learner rider.

    Remember, you *will* drop your bike and you more than likely *will* at some point run off the road to some degree. The cost to repair the bike and injury to yourself are, to a large degree, dictated by how big the bike is. Larger engines mean more expensive bikes, and higher speeds become a lot more attainable a LOT more quickly.

    There is no shame in riding a rat and you will often get a lot more positive attention from doing so! There will always be bigger and shinier bikes out there, don't buy for what might be right tomorrow... buy for what will suit you and your skillset right now.

    Cheers - boingk
    #18
  19. MaverickAus

    MaverickAus Long timer

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    650 Versys, you won't find a better all rounder. Get a second hand one with crash bars, BarkBusters and luggage. Job done :y0!
    #19
  20. ddavidv

    ddavidv So money, but doesn't know it.

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    I was wondering why no one suggested the Versys. Certainly worth considering.
    The CB500X is certainly worthy of consideration.
    If you read my sig you'll note I've had a couple of bikes before settling for what I currently have. The KLR was a great machine but the vibration and having to 'push' it on the highway turned me off to it eventually. The Strom was like a Cadillac in comparison but I never was comfortable on it in the dirt. It just felt way too top heavy, which is something coming from a KLR rider. It was also dull.
    Like the NC700X I tried. :twitch
    I loved the torque from the low-rev engine but the rest of the bike just didn't work for me. Very disappointed in it after a short test ride.
    You may also want to look at a BMW F650 with the single cylinder Rotax engine. Those are not expensive to maintain unlike the balance of the BMW line.

    Of your choices I would gravitate toward the CB500X. Unless something rules it out (ergos don't fit, etc) a used one can be bought very inexpensively and dropping it won't cause much terror.
    #20