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motorcycle recommendations?

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by jasonbraatz, Apr 18, 2003.

  1. jasonbraatz


    Oct 18, 2000
    Oakland, CA
    hey guys, this summer i'm going to buy a motorcycle, but i'm not really sure what to get. it will be my first bike and i definitely want to get something easy and not terribly fast, but i also want to get something that i'm happy with and can keep for a while. (i'll never want to get anything really silly fast, i'm not enough of a speed junkie). budget is under 2k. i'd also prefer something light - i'm a small guy (135lbs) and would rather have something easy to handle and maneuver in town and sacrifice some stability on the highway. it will be mainly a city bike.

    my favorite kinds of bikes are things like the SV650, Honda Hawk GT, CB-1, Bandit, etc... things in the naked small-sport vein. now i know these are pretty rare/expensive/fast, what i'm wondering is if there are some other, possibly older bikes that would be similar or could be made similar with minor modifications.

    i dunno, just throw some suggestions of things to keep an eye out for in my hunt.
  2. Good Luck and ride carefully.

  3. bill h

    bill h

    Aug 31, 2002
    small town MN
    Try a yamaha Secca or far a small chunk of cash the old Honda CB 750. The CB will last for a lot of miles, is kinda fast for what they are and ride like a dream.
  4. Try a Honda CR250 or CR500. Tree missiles on wheels. :D

    (Yeah, I know they're not street bikes)
  5. Tsal


    Jan 28, 2000
    Finland, EU
    Yup, I had an old Honda CB125T from '83 or so few years back, despite I had to swap couple of the wires and plugcables, it was in good shape, and it had seen some miles too. Honda also has reputation of building good, durable engines.

    If you buy a bike from private person, have it checked before you pay! That $50 or so what you pay the mechanic can save you many times that money, and a honest owner should have no problems with this.

    Take it to a good tech, have him take a look and ask for an estimation what expenses he sees forecoming in next few years. Also ask him if he thinks the price is right, he might have some insight in the matter.

    Oh, and get a 'naked' one, plastic covers, especially old ones, usually look horrible :spit:
  6. Good idea on the Seca :D I've posted the in progress pics in another thread, but here's the finished restyling of my 1982 XJ550R Seca. Kinda a Cafe Racer/Street tracker combo. I've got the used swingarm in that I'm gonna stretch 8 inches. Then, inset a "sneaky pete" 10oz nitrous bottle into the tank. Run the lines. I've got the borla/Mac 4/1 exhaust on it, chrome individual pod air filters, and K&N stage 3 jet kit. Need to lean it out some more, but it still will carry the front wheel a little off the ground through 1/2 gear between 3000-7000rpm. Got some new tapered steering head bearings coming also.


    You'll prolly do good getting something 550-750, inline four. Shaft drive would prolly be the best, as far as maintainence goes. No sprockets/chain to replace if the ones on the bike suck. Shaft drive does have some wierd handling quirks on some models...but usually really high powered ones. A 650/750 Seca is shaft drive, and they do just fine. Maybe something with cast aluminum wheels (Spokes can get flaky if you toss the bike accidentally, plus they rust). Let me do some ebay searching, and I'll post some links for some good looking ones.
  7. Actually...keep a lookout for a Honda Nighthawk, they are a great standard streetbike. I'd get one :D

  8. SoComSurfing

    SoComSurfing Mercedes Benz Superdome. S 127. R 22. S 12-13.

    Feb 15, 2002
    Mobile, Al
    I'd say a 750 may be a bit much to start out on. My 600 is my first bike, and being about your size, it scared the hell out of me at first! Of course, it was already kinda fixed up. It had full Vance & Hines exhaust, K&N Stage 3 jetkit (now Stage 5), and the engine was bored over.
    Just look through the Cycle Trader for your area, and you should be able to come up with some good bikes.
    The Bandit Tufnuts linked to looks good. A friend of mine had one that ran sooo well! It was a great bike!
    Yeah! Another chance to put my bike up! :D
  9. Also, get some riding gear! I love a nice jacket, good helmet...nice gloves. But, it's my job to ride sometimes....and somethings that aren't 100% roadworthy at times :D Plus I have to do some scary tests sometimes.

    Sy-Max helmet, Joe rocket retro jacket, speedmaster gloves. Don't mind the guy wearing them. He's a so-so bass player :D[​IMG]
  10. SoComSurfing

    SoComSurfing Mercedes Benz Superdome. S 127. R 22. S 12-13.

    Feb 15, 2002
    Mobile, Al
    Oh man! I'd love to have one of those helmets! It's such a pain not being able to talk sometimes with the full-face on. Nice jacket, too...I've got the similar one in Kevlar...too hot for leather down here.
  11. I'm thinking of getting a kevlar jacket for summer. It'd go decent w/ the yellow on the bike.
  12. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
    You should try and get a series on the Discovery network like West Coast Choppers and American Choppers.

    edit: unless those shows are considered lame by real bikers. ?
  13. PolkaHero

    PolkaHero Supporting Member

    Jan 5, 2002
    I second Tufnuts recommendation on the Nighthawk. Maybe a 550 instead of the 750 for a beginner, though. Those are so cool! That's what I wanted to get originally, but being in the used market, I ended up with a XV1000 Virago instead.
  14. jasonbraatz


    Oct 18, 2000
    Oakland, CA
    tufnuts, i knew you were going to be 'the man' on this one :) when it comes time to 'do the deal' i know who i'm going to PM for a final thought first. out of your suggestions i think i like the hurricane, seca, and cb-1 the best. all nice and close too - too bad i won't have the bling till june :(

    yeah i was going to ask how the smaller nighthawks are. i'm imposing a limit of 600cc on myself, and would probably like to keep it around 4-500 if possible, so i don't kill myself.

    and i'll be getting a full face helmet, jacket, and gloves for SURE.
  15. jasonbraatz


    Oct 18, 2000
    Oakland, CA
    also, how are Suzuki GS500's? (the late ones)


    50hp, 370 lbs, looks like they go between 1-2k, supposedly cheap to insure........
  16. Nope, Jesse's about as current as biker mentality can get. But, it is getting a little over hyped (You can buy WCC stuff at Hot Topic? ***?).

    I've got both Motorcycle Mania 1 & 2 (WCC stuff) taped. And all the current episodes of American Chopper taped. OCC makes some neato stuff, that's for sure. Also the Biker Build-off episode (Bourget is way cooler, sorry all), and waiting the Pereowitz/Lane competition next.

    Jesse really is a metal artist. Very creative dude, and all the guys that I know that have met him, say what you see on TV is him. So, cool for him.
  17. [​IMG]

    Golly, I really look pudgy! But, I'm glad the helmet fits that tight. Plus, I still have the zip-out liner in the jacket.

    Okay, I feel better now.

    Jeez I'm not comfy taking pics!
  18. You got a good thing goin man. I know a kid (That meaning he's 19, I'm not that old!) That has a GS550e. I think Cycle World just gave the New GS550e (GS500e is the one before...looks the same) the overall winner for new bikes under $5k. That'd be a way neato bike. Cast spar aluminum frame, Oil cooled (water cooling is good, but ugly for a naked bike). It's still enough power to be very fun.

    Matter of fact...1995 GS500e

    $1k, prolly end at $1,400 or so. I'd like to have one also (Ugh, I think I'm picking up another bike soon...so that's 3). I personally love 500-600cc displacements. Enough to haul my 195lb self with great fun. They are usually around 50-70hp. Enough to beat about 90% of the cars on the street, but I'm not like that. A semi-light bike is easier to deal with day-to-day. Goes where you want it to, works as a basic form of transportation. Seriously good idea. Can't believe I forgot about em!

    And on the insurance thing, I have 1 point against my licence. My insurance for my seca (Standard streetbike, no plastic) is $87 a year for liability. And it gets twice the milage of my Mark VIII. So...5 times cheaper to insure...twice the milage. What do you think I take to work and the gym?
  19. Don't worry about displacement......the throttle works both ways. You can get something bigger, and gradually work your way into the throttle as your skills grow. If you have any self-preservation desires, you'll be absolutely fine. You just have to go out, learn how to use your body and the bike to do what you want. If you check out something that's 750+cc's and you like it....don't worry about the power factor.