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My First Motorcycle! (need advice)

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by TheFantod, Mar 9, 2013.

  1. TheFantod

    TheFantod #5 of the Pentaverate. Took Col. Sanders' spot.

    Aug 7, 2009
    Eastern N.C.
    Okay, I've wanted a motorcycle my entire life. I realized I'm not getting any younger,so it's time to commit.

    I'm taking the 3 day beginner/safety course next weekend at the local community college.

    What I'm asking for here is good advice for my first ride.

    I do NOT want a sport bike. I sat on the Honda CBR and Kawasaki Ninja. I really didn't like the way I felt sitting on them. I definitely want a cruiser, with a more relaxed, upright, and comfortable ride.

    I need to mention here that I'm 6'2" and weigh about 190, so I need something a little bigger than usual for a starter bike.

    I had mentioned the Suzuki TU250X to the salesman, and he wasn't a big fan. He said I'd most likely being learning on one at the rider's course, and that I'd probably want something with more power & nicer features.

    Then he showed me a Honda Shadow RS, and it was like love at first sight. Then I sat on it, and things got better. It fit me so much better than the Ninja & CBR. It was exactly the feel I was hoping for.

    Of course, it's $2,000 more than two previously mentioned, but if it's the "one" I think it's worth it.

    Oh, I'm just going to be using this to commute to work, and maybe take short day trips 2 hours away. No racing, no long distance touring, no tricking it out, and no joining the H.A.'s.

    So what says the TB Motorcycle community here? Is the Honda Shadow RS a good choice for a beginning rider, who is 6'2" and 190? Is there anything else comparable a little cheaper? (The Honda Rebel was WAY too small.)

    All opinions welcomed!
  2. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    If you don't mind looking used, a used Harley Dyna or Softail might be up your alley if you like the styling of the Shadow.

    Or the V-Star 950 by Star Motorcycles (Yamaha) or Kawasaki Vulcan 900. Both are a few bucks more than the Shadow RS and have a bit more engine too.

    Give those a look... nice base level cruisers without the beginners engine. I went from learning on a 125 to riding a Harley Sportster 883 Custom without any issues and occasionally I wish my bike had a little bit more to give.

    Whatever you choose though, good for you for taking the safety course. I have many friends who have started riding and I've talked them all into the safety course except one, who decided it was for the best a year into riding.

    Regardless, keep the shiny side up and enjoy!
  3. I had no idea what a Honda Shadow RS was so I looked it up. Kinda looks like a sportster, which can get small for taller riders really quickly. A 750 is a decent size for your first one. The key is being comfortable while you ride. If you're riding to work will you need to take stuff with you? Will you need saddle bags or will you use a backpack?
  4. colcifer

    colcifer Esteemed Nitpicker Supporting Member

    Feb 10, 2010
    A Galaxy Far, Far Away
    Don't forget to register as a donor, if you haven't registered already.
  5. skychief


    Apr 27, 2011
    South Bay
    Clearly, you should be considering something over 750cc due to your stature. A Honda 250cc Rebel just aint gonna cut it.

    As typlons suggested, you might consider the 883cc (or even the 1200cc) Sportster line for a starter bike. They're relatively light (550 lbs.) and maneuverable without the "crotch-rocket" riding position, which is generally undesirable for utilitarian riding.

    Of course, theres many suitable bikes for your needs; Im just kinda partial to Harleys. :D

    Keep the shiney side up!!
  6. 5 Wire

    5 Wire

    Feb 1, 2013
    Get a big enduro. 550/650 class. Great gas mileage, you should be able to sit it easily, light/easily maneuverable and if you want to say, ride the tracks or bomb up a hill - done.
  7. Primakurtz

    Primakurtz Registered Nihilist Supporting Member

    Nov 23, 2011
    Denver, Colorado
    I commuted on an old Yamaha XS1100 for years. I'm 6'5", so size was really important to me. I suggest getting something older, cheaper, and simple to repair. The enduro idea is good, too.
  8. bluesbassbkf


    Jan 2, 2013
    Look at them all and find what's comfortable ,, maybe get your license first so after you can take test rides on them and really get a feel , then you will know what your looking for,, loud pipes save lives,, enjoy !!
  9. Have fun, keep your eyes peeled and NEVER buy a helmet because it's on clearance. Buy one because it is safe. Dot AND Snell approved. Saved my life when I was 20, 3 years ago.
  10. Safety, safety, safety. Drive with eyes in the back of your head and on both sides. Always assume drivers don't see you, and when they do that they will do something stupid.

    I came minutes from losing my left leg, and have a six-inch steel plate in that leg that compels me to share this...and it cost me six months in a cast. One stupid driver tried to pass me while I was turning left on a bike.
  11. Jeff Bonny

    Jeff Bonny Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2000
    Vancouver, BC
    Since you don't ride you don't really know what's ultimately going to be the best bike for you. Buy what appeals to you now and take it from there. That Honda Shadow RS will be reliable (it's a Honda), comfortable and won't lack power. You won't grow out of it as soon as you get some skill. A couple of downsides are at 500lbs it's a very heavy machine to be learning on and buying new you take a MAJOR hit if you decide it's not the one and sell it next year. Your attitude towards those sport bikes that don't feel comfortable now might change once you gain some riding skill. Certainly you may want to split the difference and look at sport tourers.

    Oh, and go buy A Twist of the Wrist by Kieth Code. It's an essential riding manual for ALL riders.
  12. jeffbonny has "spoken" wise words. Take note of them.

    The Shadow RS will do everything you want. Certainly for now, and maybe for a long time to come.

    There are some very good (and comfortable) sporty/standard alternatives which should have similar riding positions to the Shadow RS, such as the Ducati Monsters, Triumph Street Triple, BMW F800, and Kawasaki Z750/800. If you can, try to get a test ride on as many bikes which interest you as possible, and see which one you prefer most.

    Motorcycles are (in the main) emotional purchases, and if you don't get what you want (within budget, of course), it's unlikely you will ever be truly happy with it (in that "I love my bike", while gazing-at-it-dreamily kind of way).

    When it comes to traffic, look as far ahead as is practical, and watch everything because you can bet that other road users won't be looking for you. Your safety is your responsibility, not theirs.
  13. Shadows can usually be had for cheap used and hold their used value very well. So you can buy one, ride it for a few years and sell it without much of a loss.

  14. I'd just like to echo 2 recommendations that have already been made:
    1. Get something that isn't too heavy for your first bike, no bigger than 500 - 650 cc's. Something like a Kawasaki Versys is a good all-rounder.
    2. Buy used. A year from now if you want something different and/or bigger, you'll save a lot of money.

    Have fun and be safe!
  15. lowsideonacurve


    Feb 24, 2011
    Another vote for these wise words. ^^^

    The Honda Shadow RS is a bit heavy for a first bike, but for a beginner it will be much easier to stop and handle than an 800lb cruiser with forward foot controls and like jeffbonny said, it "won't lack power". @ about 42 hp it is nearly as powerful as a 46 hp 883 Sportster.
  16. TheFantod

    TheFantod #5 of the Pentaverate. Took Col. Sanders' spot.

    Aug 7, 2009
    Eastern N.C.
    Thanks, everyone, for your input. I take the rider's course next weekend, then get my license the following week. THEN I shall test ride a few of the bikes.

    I'll let everyone know how it goes. Thanks again.
  17. TheFantod

    TheFantod #5 of the Pentaverate. Took Col. Sanders' spot.

    Aug 7, 2009
    Eastern N.C.

    Can't take the course till April 5.

    This weekend's course is booked, I have a gig next weekend, and Easter is the following weekend.

    So nothing to do but GAS for a bike until then! :crying:
  18. Indiana Mike

    Indiana Mike

    Nov 18, 2005
    Check with your insurance company before you commit to buy a bike .
    I bought a Kawasaki cruiser and my insurance was about $30 a month . A similar displaced sportbike was $130 a month .

    Buy a good helment ,gloves, boots etc..

    Don't flip anyone off while riding ,,,if they are in a car or truck they will win.

    Watch out for "text and drivers" behind you.

    If tailgated pull over ,change lanes or go slower. Going faster results in being tailgated at a faster speed which inhibits your reaction time.

    keep your health insurance current .

    Good luck.
  19. giacomini


    Dec 14, 2008
    Florianopolis - Brazil
    Endorsing: Copetti Guitars
    Doesn't matter which bike you'll get, safety comes first.

    One acronym: ATGATT (all the gear all the time).

    I fell off my motorcycle (Ninja 250R) about a month ago wearing just a helmet. My hand, elbow and knee are still healing from the bruises/abrasions.

    Wear a jacket, boots and gloves all the time, please. I got lucky, could have lost a finger or broke my arm... I learned the hard way.
  20. ... and pants. Please, for te love of humanity, wear pants.


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