Looking for first bike...

Discussion in 'Old's Cool' started by means5104, Apr 14, 2019.

  1. means5104

    means5104 n00b

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    I am interested in purchasing my first bike. I really love the styling of a scrambler, but not sure what would work for me the most. No one in my family rides, so I dont have anyone I can turn to for advice.

    I plan on using the bike for a commuter to and from work, which is only a 6 mile ride each way. I like to camp on weekends that I dont work, so some offroad capabilities would be great. Mostly dirt road and trails to camp. I use a tarp, hammock, and blanket for the most part when camping.

    Occasionally I would use the bike on the interstate, 75-90 miles at most to visit friends and family. However back roads and highways could be used instead of the interstate system.

    I do not have the motorcycle endorsement on my license yet, but plan on taking a safety and riding course as quickly as possible. I would like to keep it less than $4k for used or $7k for new just in case I do not like riding as much as I think I would. So what are your suggestions that would meet my needs?
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  2. ddavidv

    ddavidv Dark web dangerous

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    First off you posted in the wrong area. This is the section for old bikes and that isn't what it sounds like you are looking for. I wouldn't recommend an 'old' bike for a first timer anyway. Maybe ask a moderator to move it.

    For your needs a 250-500cc bike would be a good start. Single cylinder for simplicity and low cost.
    Here is a comparison of 250cc dual sport bikes: https://www.cyclenews.com/2018/03/article/2018-250cc-dual-sport-shootout/
    If you want something a bit more road oriented but can still do dirt roads the small ADV bikes may be more to your liking. Here are three: https://www.motorcyclenews.com/promos/2017/july/small-adventure-bikes-for-sale/
    Missing from that list is the Royal Enfield Himalayan which is a worthy contender but dealers are not plentiful.

    Brand matters little as all bikes today are pretty good. More important is finding the one you feel most comfortable sitting on. Ergonomics matter a lot as unlike a car you can't move the seat or steering controls (much) on a bike.
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  3. means5104

    means5104 n00b

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    I posted here because I like the classic styling of the older bikes and meant to put that in the post, but realized I forgot it. I have looked at the Janus bikes, and like them but do not know much about them. It's more of an old school look that I like. I still may have this posted in the wrong place.
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  4. OdyBandit

    OdyBandit Long timer

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    Good for you on taking a Msf course first. You’ll learn a lot and make some new friends. For a first bike I’d recommend a Japanese 250 dual purpose air cooled for simplicity. A Kawasaki Super Sherpa, Yamaha Xt Suzuki Dr or Honda Xl or Crfl. These can be found for under 3k and don’t lose too much value if you take care of them. Not a good choice for interstate use though. Check out the thumpers section for info on these. Also get some good riding gear and always use it. Good luck!
    #4
  5. Johann

    Johann Long timer

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    The Janus bikes are very odd, they are built to look like something from the 1920s, but use a Chinese engine (Lifan). There is nothing wrong with Chinese engines, a lot of them are exact copies of Japanese designs from the 1970s and 1980s. The 229cc engine used in the Janus is a Chinese copy of a 70s Honda design originally used on the CG125. The CG125 was a great little workhorse bike, it only made about 10hp, but it was cheap and reliable. The 229cc version makes 14hp, that is very underpowered for a single cylinder engine of that size. At $7k new it is very expensive for what you get. I understand they are assembling the bikes by hand and they are a low volume producer but seriously unless you have money to burn there are much better value bikes out there IMHO.
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  6. Johann

    Johann Long timer

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    For a first bike I would strongly recommend getting something secondhand, plenty of low mileage bikes out there for half the price you would pay in a showroom. Sticking with small bikes is better for learning, for reliability it is hard to beat the Japanese. What you really need is somebody who knows bikes to come with you to look at bikes you want to buy. You can look online for checklists of things to check mechanically but if you don´t have experience it is difficult to know what you are looking at. In general the more standard looking and quiet the better. Avoid like the plague any add that uses words like bobber, brat or café in the title.
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  7. corsair4360

    corsair4360 Long timer

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    Find a friend who is a motorcyclist or one of the inmates here who is relatively close to help you look at used bikes. In northern Utah we have several stores that specialize in used motorcycles....
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  8. WagonWillie

    WagonWillie Been here awhile

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    You don't mention how big you are; some of the small, 250cc to 500cc, bikes are pretty tall and that can be a bit of a problem for a new rider if you're vertically challenged. Also the bikes with either a CVT or a DCT drive can ease the learning curve somewhat. Honda NC700 X DCT perhaps? No real off road chops, but great little commuter with lots of built in storage, great MPG, 31" seat height, ABS and easy to ride. Used prices start around $4,500.
    #8
  9. means5104

    means5104 n00b

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    I'm 6 foot tall, and my weight fluctuates between 200 and 220 lbs depending on how strictly I follow my diet and if I run a couple of days a week like I want to. So height is generally not a problem.
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  10. OdyBandit

    OdyBandit Long timer

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    Also if getting a used bike try to find one as close to stock as possible.
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  11. VX Rider

    VX Rider Long timer

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    at 6', go find a vx800, I think there are a couple for sale in your area
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  12. b4thenite

    b4thenite Been here awhile

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    It's your first bike. Just get it and ride it. If you like something else, change it. It"s like GFs. Eventually you'll find out what you really like and marry it...or not.
    Important thing is start to ride it, not talking about it.
    Good luck and let us know.
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  13. MATTY

    MATTY BORDER RAIDER

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    I would go simple basic there are umpteen bikes out there will be good first bikes , but most are trail bikes or customs or sports bikes. So lean towards their designed use.
    You are no lightweight at 200lbs but its your first bike you want something light well made reliable and able to give you all the things bike have or had to offer, You mention classic looks, looks come with classic features but you need a modern enough bike to be reliable yet not too expensive new or used.
    A general bike reliable economical a true motorcycle in looks and features lightweight easy to ride and learn on. I strongly believe your best option is a yamaha SR400 its classic looks easy to ride light reliable its kick start and will do all you need for a first bike.And if or when you want to buy another bike in the future the SR 400 will always have a reason to be kept, handty sized nimble run about minimalist tourer or if you fancy doing a custom an awesome base for many types of custom . Cafe racer street tracker brat style bobber or scrambler the SR 400 is a good base for custom bike. .
    This is my recommendation.
    upload_2019-4-15_21-14-7.jpeg
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  14. WagonWillie

    WagonWillie Been here awhile

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    You're plenty big and strong enough to not be restricted by most bike designs. Other advice on here like a good, unmodified Japanese bike is good general advice in my experience as well.
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  15. Mista Vern

    Mista Vern Knows all - tells some.

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    If it's your first bike, don't sweat things too much - it's a good bet that you'll want something different once you learn your riding style.

    As mentioned above, wear the best gear you can afford. I will add, buy some Icon or similar knee guards; I wouldn't have knees now if I didn't have knee guards on last the I fell off.

    Good luck and ride defensively!
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  16. Johann

    Johann Long timer

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    If you just need a bike to get onto campsites and do the odd gravel road then don´t fixate on the offroad part, any bike can handle that. There is a tradeoff between offroad ability and what makes a bike good to ride on pavement, a pure roadbike will be a better choice if the majority of your riding is going to be on the road. Most 250 to 400cc dual sports will hold 65-70mph OK but will feel a bit strung out compared to an equivalent roadbike doing the same speed. You can change the gearing easily by putting different sprockets on the front and/or back but changes that make a bike more relaxed on the road tend to make them slightly worse offroad. It is normally very easy to swap out a front sprocket so you can have a dual sport bike set up for road use or change to more offroad oriented gearing if you want to.
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  17. DiggerD

    DiggerD DougFir from SuperDuke Days

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    Honda XR100....ride the crap out of it for a summer before venturing out on the street.

    You should be able to sell it for very close to what you bought it for at the end of summer.

    At the end of summer sign up for a flat track class...

    You need all the skills you can gain to keep alive on the street.
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  18. WagonWillie

    WagonWillie Been here awhile

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    Remember: even when those folks in cars and trucks look straight at you and you "make eye contact" they do NOT see you! Ride as if you are invisible, but oh so mortal. They will talk about this in your training course and take it to heart. I ride with All The Gear All The Time: ATGATT. Airbag jacket, good full face helmet, motorcycle gloves, motorcycle boots, armour everywhere I can place it and, most importantly, a very defensive riding style. Not because I'm a beginner (I've been riding for over 50 years), but because I hate pain and hospitals! The most dangerous time of your riding career is probably the first couple of years after the initial 6 months; you'll think "I've got this figured out!" and start riding a bit over your head. You don't. I don't. Too many variables, too many idiot drivers so it's always changing. Stay aware and stay alive.

    Get a beginner bike as discussed and move up to an intermediate bike later. Save that fire breathing monster for at least the third year of riding or even later.
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  19. jethrocephus

    jethrocephus Retired Flying Monkey Salesman Supporter

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  20. means5104

    means5104 n00b

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    This is very similar to what I am looking for in a first bike. But I am thinking I may get a 250 dirt bike to ride around my property and around the farm to learn to ride for now. Get more comfortable riding and being used to being on two wheels. Thank you all for your help and words of advice.
    #20
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