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Old 11-11-2014, 10:54 PM   #1
Jarhead
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Am looking for your opinion

Happy November . Here is my situation: 55 year old male, great health (I'm thankful), athletic, 6'1" , 190 lbs, and would like to learn to ride. Took the MSF class about 4 years ago, BARELY passed, and now I'm thinking I might like to get a starter bike and practice around the neighborhood (envision getting up early on weekends before the natives rise), and see if I am for real. The question I would like you to address is : what starter bike(s) would you recommend? I am not a speed guy, more a cruiser type. Do not want a new bike, and thinking smaller (within reason) is better, but I have never done this before, so I would really welcome your input.
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Old 11-11-2014, 10:58 PM   #2
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Honda grom or ninja 250 would be perfect for learning . They are both very affordable and also they are real smooth on the throttle. Best of luck to you and welcome to this mayhem we call home
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Old 11-11-2014, 11:04 PM   #3
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For cruisers I'd look into a used honda rebel to get a feel for it, then you could move up when you're ready and sell the rebel for nearly what you paid for it.

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Old 11-11-2014, 11:13 PM   #4
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Welcome. A Honda rebel would be a good starter, but at your height might be to cramped for you. If so honda also makes the shadow (750 cc i believe which on a v twin is still very easy to control) which would also be a good start. Harleys 883s or Yamaha makes a sub 1000cc vstar which would both also be good options. Even a kawi Vulcan 900 wouldn't be a bad choice.
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Old 11-11-2014, 11:25 PM   #5
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Do you have an opinion on the Yamaha Virago ? Relative to the Rebel, the word is that it may be a bit better for someone my size ----
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Old 11-12-2014, 12:06 AM   #6
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Shadow would be my choice but the other are good suggestions as well
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Old 11-12-2014, 12:13 AM   #7
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Old 11-12-2014, 08:23 AM   #8
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Quote:
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Do you have an opinion on the Yamaha Virago ? Relative to the Rebel, the word is that it may be a bit better for someone my size ----
I would spend an afternoon going to some dealers and sitting on them, you won't know until you are mounted, some "look" comfortable but aren't, and vice versa. Keep us updated and be sure to look at gear while you are out there.
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Old 11-12-2014, 08:57 AM   #9
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Welcome!

Since you said cruiser...

Check out older (and newer) VStar 650's. Nice size, good styling (IMO), plenty of power, and can be had cheap.

Here are a few I found on CL with a quick search.

http://houston.craigslist.org/mcy/4726323665.html

http://houston.craigslist.org/mcy/4693932837.html
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Old 11-12-2014, 09:03 AM   #10
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I would go with one of the 250 cruiser. Redel, Virago, V-Star, Suzuki 250. Good thing is if you decide riding is not for you, you should be able to re-sell the bike and recoup most of your investment.

Keep in mind, that MSF certificate is no longer valid for obtaining your M license - pretty sure it is only good for 2 years.
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Old 11-12-2014, 09:05 AM   #11
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Do like 7Cain said go to a couple of bike shops and sit on some. Stubbs off of Telephone road always has quite a few used bikes, stop by there and sit on some. The rebel would be a good start but your height may be a issue. Since you barely passed and it was a few years ago got with a smaller cc bike.

Buddy of mine bought a new bike (Honda cruiser, not sure of model) and was all excited. Went out riding it and discovered that he is scared as when he was around other cars going down the road. He felt too small and decided that bikes are not for him. He drag races a 1800hp tube chassis truck. Think he is going to sell it on a superbowl football pot or something.
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Old 11-12-2014, 09:24 AM   #12
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Quote:
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It's not often that I agree with TMAX, but I agree 100% on this one! Oh , I think I just threw up in my mouth a little by agreeing with him! All jokes aside. . .Your statement that you barely passed MSF leads me to believe that you need a lot of practice with the basics, and the street is a very unforgiving place to learn those lessons. Get yourself an inexpensive used dual sport and take it to the dirt for a while. When you feel comfortable in the dirt, you can slowly begin to venture out into the world of crazy drivers, women applying makeup, drunks, construction debris on the roadways, cats/dogs/pigs, , etc. A good dual sport will retain most of it's value when you get ready to resell, and it will hold up better to your spills and thrills.
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Old 11-12-2014, 10:09 AM   #13
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Dual sport is a great idea. Another thought: since it's been years since you took (and barely passed) the MSF course, you might want to do a refresher first. Most of the places that do the classes in Houston offer some kind of remedial work that you can do on your bike once you have it insured. Welcome back to riding!
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Old 11-12-2014, 10:38 AM   #14
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all great ideas...

but how about going and re-taking the course? Consider it a $200 insurance policy against dropping your first bike and it's a great way to practice.
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Old 11-12-2014, 11:25 AM   #15
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Need your opinion

Thank you for outstanding feedback --- that is exactly what I was hoping for. The plan is to 1) go back to MSF school and see how we do. 2) Go sit on some bikes that you suggested and see what feels right. 3)Assuming I get one, then ride around the neighborhood early Sat and Sunday mornings before anyone is on the road and learn how to switch gears and brake and throttle until I can do it in my sleep. If anyone has anything else to add, I will soak it up. Appreciate this again ---
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Old 11-12-2014, 11:38 AM   #16
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Well, since you mention needing to develop the muscle memory of the simple operations of a motorcycle, may I suggest starting out on dirt? A small dirt bike with standard controls and some hours in the dirt will do wonders.
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Old 11-12-2014, 12:53 PM   #17
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a rebel is way to slow, reclined, and well just cumbersome
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Old 11-12-2014, 03:28 PM   #18
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I agree with most of these for you. But I don't think a sport bike would suit you well in this time. Maybe a naked bike thats more Kimble in the corners. Only down I have to cruisers is they are a little more slow to react to make corrections. Just my thoughts I would get at lest a 500cc bike or even 650 and skip the 250.
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Old 11-12-2014, 04:16 PM   #19
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Old 11-13-2014, 11:37 AM   #20
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+ 1 for dual sport
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