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Old 12-03-2009, 10:57 AM   #1
rkl56119
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Beginner here

Hi everyone,

I'm looking to take the MSF course in late December. I have never rode a motorcycle in my life and would like to start on something manageable. I'm 5'4" and 125lbs.

Currently I'm looking at getting either a Honda Rebel, Suzuki GZ250 or a Kawasaki Eliminator. What would you suggest?

Where would be the best place for me to try on helmets?
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Old 12-03-2009, 01:04 PM   #2
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personally, i'd suggest something larger than a 250, at least if you're on a cruiser. maybe a vstar 650 or something similar.

even most of the 750-900 cc cruisers on the market don't put down 50 hp to the wheel. my experience on the gz250 was that i would be scared to death to try and ride it in traffic b/c the thing was so slow, so i can't even imagine the 125cc eliminator.
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Old 12-03-2009, 01:10 PM   #3
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welcome.

after 3 weeks of riding the 250 youll know that its painfully slow. the only perks after are that it is lightweight, has enough power to drive around but not enough to hurt a noob and theyre crazy cheap to learn on. if you were getting a sportbike the ninja250 would be cool because its more capable for fun.

i had a rebel for 2 weeks and upgraded to a 800.

depends on what part of town you're on to get a helmet, cyclegear has alot of helmets. if youre taking the msf class, wait until you finish because they give you coupons for gear.
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Old 12-03-2009, 01:47 PM   #4
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Thanks on the gear info.

I'm planning to take my MSF course with Awesome Cycle.

I prefer to stay on a cruiser. I'm too old to ride a race bike. Plus, my legs are short and I think a cruiser allows my feet to actually touch the ground.

I see a lot of Honda Rebels on Craigslist. I was going to practice with that till I feel comfortable enough to get a bigger one. My plan is mainly to just ride on the local streets, not on highways.
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Old 12-03-2009, 02:11 PM   #5
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start off on one of the bikes you listed. Then Honda shadow 750 would be a good choice for gravity impaired riders.
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Old 12-03-2009, 02:25 PM   #6
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i would highly recommend the GZ250 over the kawi 125
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Old 12-03-2009, 02:27 PM   #7
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When you take your MSF class, talk to your Instructor about it. If you're truly planning on staying on side streets and nothing else, I'd go with a Yamaha Star 250 if it was me. From your list, I'd go with the GZ.

If you're interested in the Star 250, let me know. I may know someone that can hook you up.

Enjoy your class.
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Old 12-03-2009, 02:39 PM   #8
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cycel gear has alot of helmets to try on
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Old 12-03-2009, 03:04 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Challen View Post
When you take your MSF class, talk to your Instructor about it. If you're truly planning on staying on side streets and nothing else, I'd go with a Yamaha Star 250 if it was me. From your list, I'd go with the GZ.

If you're interested in the Star 250, let me know. I may know someone that can hook you up.

Enjoy your class.
Thanks !! Hope to see you in class. I just haven't decided to either take it on Dec 19, 20 or Dec 28, 29.
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Old 12-03-2009, 03:48 PM   #10
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i would star out on some thing a bit bigger just for the fact that you will probably grow tired of the little 250s in the matter of months. my 70 year old graand father had never ridin a bike and in the matter of two weeks took the msf class and bought a 250 and in the matter of a few months upgraded to an 800. i would look at a honda shadow 600 it would be easy to learn onand big enought to last you a couple of years. but if you are set on starting with a 250 buy it used
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Old 12-03-2009, 06:27 PM   #11
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holy ...a new thread in here..woo hoo keep em comin
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Old 12-03-2009, 07:15 PM   #12
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Welcome to the forum. Lots to see and do. Make the meets, join the rides and contribute when you can. 250's a smart bike to start on btw!
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Old 12-04-2009, 08:31 AM   #13
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Don't feel pressured into getting a big bike, or a high-tech bike. I learned on a Benelli 50cc for street and a Hodaka 100cc for dirt. Back then a 150cc was considered an adequate commuter type bike for city traffic, and still is considered as such in most parts of the world outside of the US. As long as you are not intending to travel on Interstates, a 250cc is fine. I ride a Nighthawk 250cc which has the same engine as the Rebel. I have taken that bike all over Texas and Mexico. It cruises well at 67-75 mph loaded with me and luggage. It's all you would really need if you travel on the US Highway system as opposed to the Interstate system, and for non-freeway commuting it is fine. However, since traffic is at a crawl here in Houston during rush hour, the bike can handle the freeway traffic at those times as well though I do not recommend riding on freeways with any bike.

Given your size, weight, and experience I think the GZ250 or the Rebel 250 is fine. The Rebel 250 is a dual cylinder, so it will give you a smoother ride than the single cylinder 250cc found on other bikes. The Rebel 250 is also a low-tech bike, which means maintenance and repair is simple and inexpensive. It's also a good bike to learn basic maintenance. And BTW, you never really have to upgrade. This mentality that a 250cc is a beginner bike for which at some point you have to go bigger is just plain wrong.

As for helmets, I'd recommend any DOT/Snell approved full-face helmet. After you take the MSF course at Awesome, do some reading from Hough and practice in a parking lot near your home before venturing out into traffic. Ride within your subdivision first. I would also get a lime-yellow safety vest. I swear these things are like car, bus, and truck repellent. See pic below from Three Sisters ride:

559249655 PTatq Th

Last edited by Pedro Navaja; 12-04-2009 at 08:34 AM.
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Old 12-04-2009, 05:42 PM   #14
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Pedro, thank you for your support.
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Old 12-04-2009, 06:25 PM   #15
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wait til you take the class then you will know a 250 is right for you or not, because it is what they used to teach you with.
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Old 12-04-2009, 08:39 PM   #16
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Just curious, how old are ya RK?
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Old 12-04-2009, 09:32 PM   #17
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u need to look in to awesome cycles (awesomecycles.com) and for a bike check out a shadow 600 i own 1 and i love it im also 140 lbs.......
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Old 12-05-2009, 12:00 AM   #18
rkl56119
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I am planning to take my class with Awesome Cycles. They seem to have a really good reputation here. It's a bit out of my way to go there but with from what I've read so far it seems to be worth it.

Last edited by rkl56119; 12-05-2009 at 12:03 AM.
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Old 12-05-2009, 12:09 AM   #19
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The bike displacements you mentioned seem fine... welcome to site, regardless to what you get. Happy riding. :-)
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Old 12-05-2009, 12:29 AM   #20
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IMO get a cheap dirt bike (125cc) and buzz around on some trails and illegaly on suburban streets to get the feel. Once thats done you will have a confidence that allows you to make an informed call. Others have suggested taking the MSF and then figuring out what to get sizewise and I would agree.
The Honda dealer on West Rd @ 290 has the bigest selection of helmets. Try them on and then see if you can get a better deal online. You want a snug fit (almost too tight) when trying on a lid, they will get looser after wear.
Honestly you can get in as much trouble on a 250 as you can on a 650 so IMO a Suxuki SV650 would be the choice, my 16 yr old daughter moved up to that from a Yamie TTR125 no problem.
Good luck.
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