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Discussion in 'Parallel Universe' started by spurcap, Feb 7, 2020.
Technically weren't some of the old F650s also thumpers to confuse things more? (2000-2007).
This is a good point.
I started on a 250—rode that for a year or two before buying an 865 Bonneville. It is an amazing feeling to go from a low-powered bike to a decently powered bike for the first time. And you will have built your skills on a lighter machine, better positioning yourself to go to heavier/more powerful bike.
The Suzuki TU250X is a wonderful starter bike. Air-cooled, fuel-injected 250. You can buy one used for reasonable coin, and sell it easily when you're done. >90 mpg. I mixed it up in the past couple of years—sold a Tiger 800, rode the TU for a season, then went back up to a T 120 and will be picking up my new 750GS in the spring. I'm 6'2", 190 lbs, 34-inch inseam, have ridden for 12 years—and I loved that little TU. It bizarrely seems to fit everyone.
And it's got some personality. It generated more comments at stoplights than any other bike I've ridden.
Totally switching things up here but I was looking at lots of options and interested in thoughts on a 2017 honda cb300f. Don't really have any love for the bike, but seems to be a good pick for being able to do some highway riding and comparing one year with the next prices seems to hold value well. Found one locally asking 2800 with 1k miles on it. Think I could probably buy, do next to no maintaince and sell at start of next season (spring 2021) for almost what I bought it for.
Yes, precisely the kind of bike that would be great to start out with.
The second post here explains it well.
Good information in the link provided. The big blunder from BMW was to name the new 790cc model F650 to distinguish it from the thumper. Made absolutely no sense. So the easy solution was to discontinue the thumper. The later model designation of the F700 is equally stupid. Even F750 and F850 make no sense. But, don’t tell BMW leadership that.
Other than their designations, they’re all excellent motorcycles.
Probably owned by someone who lost interest or is moving up....but I suspect the lost interest theory is stronger, given the mileage. The 300 Honda weighs 350#, the F7 460# and is more dirt worthy (although not much) than the 300. In fact it will do everything better...or equal to the 300. The 300 is minimal for any highway work where the speeds are higher and going slower than the other traffic adds another element of risk.
That said, I do get the point of trying out the rest before getting the bike you think is best. Remember, it's 90% rider, and uh....something less, the bike.
Total agreement. I stopped riding for over 20 years then at 60 years old and retired I decided to take up riding again and took an MSF class to refresh my memory and motor skills (not to mention getting dealer and insurance discounts that go along with a MSF certification). After looking at various bikes I was sold on the Honda NC700x. It was very smooth and handled 75 mph highway cruising speeds without a hiccup but it lacked any pizzazz. It was actually boring - it was that smooth. I then rented a BMW F700GS during a trip to Las Vegas for the day and that was it. I chose my bike. What a very nice machine. Not intimidating for a newbie whatsoever. No surprises throughout the powerband and when you need it, downshift and it's there. I used it for short commutes and took multi-day tours through the southwest and it was very enjoyable. Riding forest roads (two track) was never an issue and my F700 loved it. The bike handles well in both low and high speed and balances quite well. The nice thing about the BMW is that has plenty of extra features like heated hand grips. The only things I needed to add was a taller windshield, crash bars, skid plate and bar risers. I consider adding an aftermarket saddle a necessity however with the BMW Comfort saddle is quite nice.
I caution you not to go any smaller because your skills and confidence will increase very quickly and the more you ride a small bike the more you'll only be disappointed. The 700cc bike will take you where you want to go without stressing the engine and the bike will be heavy enough to handle moderate crosswinds when touring.
I owned my 700GS for two years and moved up to a R1200GS and although I love my current bike, I miss my 700GS because it was a joy to ride.
Regarding your thoughts on a G650GS vs. F650GS or F700GS, check out the YT Video. All you need to know.
Just my Dos pesos.
Interesting. I also had a Honda NC700X. Seriously the only bike I’ve owned that I ended up hating. Boring is putting it mildly. 500+ lbs with 50 hp was not at all entertaining.The worst part was the rev limiter. Any time I held the throttle open a bit too long in any gear, it responded like someone shut the fuel completely off. It would literally lurch my body forward. What a stupid idea. It’s not like I was trying to redline it, just experience an extra little bump in acceleration.
I’ve owned 150 hp sportbikes that easily lifted the front wheel in 4th and exceeded 140 mph, but I never miss that and am totally happy with my F700. This spring I’m dropping to a 16t front sprocket. My real time gas mileage actually goes up at 60 mph when I drop from 6th into 5th telling me raising the rpms at that speed warrants the ratio change. The bonus will be more zip through the gears, which should make it even better. The biggest plus of the F700 is how it smooths out crappy roads, including paved ones. Potholes and irregular freeway slabs are no longer an issue.
I'm 5 9" with a 33" in-seam and I'm 51 yrs old, 155 lbs. I ride a 2013 F700GS with a rekluse clutch year round for commuting. I've been riding since I was 14 and have had bigger bikes. The 700 has enough power for most things. I won't use it to slab it across the country though.
Doug (dpike) is right. Buy a 250. Maybe at most a 400. The F700 is not that heavy but feels top heavy. I've dropped it - even as an experienced rider. Get a smaller bike - get comfortable on it - and if you want to try a 700 you're welcome to try mine - it's easy to touch up paint the crash bars. I'm in Bergen County - not too far for you.
Without touching on the bike decision, I want to point out something.
You are not a noob. The riding experience of dirt bikes as a kid is priceless.
Traction, clutch work, balance, engine rpm, all will come back. I would bet a dozen donuts that you have manual trans car experience also.
My riding buddy /wife often downplays her experience level and I end up going through highlights of how much she has done.
This is a motorcycle thread and all comments only relate to MOTORCYCLE RIDING. Do not go there, lol.
All but one of my cars has a manual transmission to answer your question. Yes, I feel that when I go to the MSF I will be able to ride around the parking lot on the small bikes with flying colors based on my bike experience. But, also dont think that just because I could ride a 200 lb bike that I can jump into a bike on the road. Well aware there is a big difference riding a bike that is double the weight at potentially double the speed around a bunch of people that are driving while texting, eating, drinking, watching movies and who knows what else.
This thread has been extremely helpful and appreciate all the feedback. I am getting somewhat the feedback I was expecting - some say I will be fine on the bike I want and some say I should get a small bike first. Will need to keep thinking I guess.
Get the bike you want that fits you. Struggling to touch down when stationary is the issue that brings most down and ruins confidence. If the 700 fits... good to go.
With your dirt-bike experience, you'll probably be fine on the F700. But first see how well you do in the MSF class and go from there.. If you are not comfortable, start with a smaller bike. If the skills come back right away and you feel confident during the course, maybe go for the BMW. My wife, who is barely 5ft, rides a lowered F700 which was her first bike in almost 40 years; having ridden a small 2-stroke dirt bike in the past. After she took the BRC, we spent a few days with the F700 doing parking lot maneuvers before venturing out on the roads. Six months later we were riding over-nighters and then cross-country not long after. She probably should have gone with something smaller, but I'm afraid she would have gotten bored with it real quick!
There’s a TLDR at the end.
I find the F700GS to be very mild mannered out of the box, very easy to control the throttle, but capable of inducing enough fun when you rip on it, it’s nimble so it’s easy to get around with it easy and helps the enjoyment.
Consider the 460lbs, not riding it on the road, as that’s easy to maneuver then, but do consider the 460lbs when surprise stopping when not fully upright.
Ok so you avoided the absent minded shopper in the Best Buy parking lot, and you didn’t hit the light pole or the parked cars next to it, but you braked to a full stop when not perfectly upright, now that weight instead of being above your wheels and the bike “basically weighing nothing” is off to one side and you hobble to gain your footing as the bike pushes against the inside of your leg and the bike gets heavier and you hold on to the bike and try to keep it up and likely feel that in one wrist for a while, consider that scenario on a smaller, lighter bike VS on a 460lbs bike. The 700GS will feel heavier much quicker.
Throttle control and steering on fun roads and enjoying the ride, the F700GS is great, it handles easy and you won’t struggle with it there.
If my Best Buy shopper scenario doesn’t bother you (and yes the stopping after being upright is covered in MSF, still different before it’s internalized)(and you may freak yourself out without help from phone faced pedestrians, so it’s more likely than the scenario may suggest), then from a “newb after 20 years off” point of view, I can recommend the F700GS, it’s a great bike.
Not sure I’d personally want to learn on it as I got my license after a mandatory time on the driving school 250 Virago and had a ~300lbs 34HP XT500 for 5 years after that and while I started with little confidence after 20 years off discovered there is a lot of muscle memory from that time and just enough familiarity to make it feel like I never stopped, so I don’t have any idea how this bike is from scratch, but I do recall it was nice being on lighter bikes back when I was a fit 20 yrold and learned to deal with “oh shit” situations.
TL;DR: Yes, it’s a great beginner bike if you consider the hefty weight of 460lbs
One thing that I think is significant but hasn't been mentioned, is that most (all?) F700s come with ABS. And some models have ride modes (my wife's has 'road' and 'rain'). My opinion (and feel free to discuss!) is that ABS in particular, along with better brakes and better suspension/handling give the bike an edge over something that may be lighter and easier to pick up, but not necessarily 'safer' on the the road because it lacks ABS and has sub-par handling and braking. Thoughts..?
I think if I end up getting an F700, I will have to avoid Best buy parking lots, specifically, or this post will come back to haunt me! Thanks for your thoughts.
ABS definitely is a plus. My first ABS motorcycle was a sportbike. When I upgraded the pads to ceramic, I took it out for hard braking at 60 mph to bed them in. As soon as they bedded, the ABS was clicking on each hard stop. I did the fronts alone first and then the rear alone. Lastly I maxed out both brakes together from 60 mph. I was immediately impressed at how straight and controlled the bike was with each stop. One of my regular riding routines is to practice hard emergency stops. My ABS bikes always stay straight and true. If I ever have to stop in a real emergency, I know exactly what to expect. There are experienced riders who believe they can modulate their non-ABS brakes and stop faster with more control. It would be far more likely to go down without ABS than with it. Regardless of what we have, practicing estops is essential.
Agree with ABS on the bike. Here's a photo showing the difference.