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Old 01-20-2006, 04:35 PM   #1
Greyhound OP
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First Bike???

Well, I've been bumming around here for a while, learning about motorcycles, and I am really getting the itch to ride.
I have never ridden before (except for a little yerfdog), and the only experience I can claim is years of bicycle (road and mtb) riding and racing, which I know doesn't count for much.
I am 6'3" and 150-160lbs, depending on what scale you trust, so I think that will play significantly into my choice. (Yeah, I'm a beanpoll, get your jokes in)
So what do I get? Are 650's too big? (Looking at the Weestrom)
What about the Suzuki DR200Se, seems like a good little machine, given I wouldn't want to spend much time on the freeway to begin with.

Thanks for any input and help,
-Greyhound
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Old 01-20-2006, 04:55 PM   #2
SIKLR250
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greyhound
Well, I've been bumming around here for a while, learning about motorcycles, and I am really getting the itch to ride.
I have never ridden before (except for a little yerfdog), and the only experience I can claim is years of bicycle (road and mtb) riding and racing, which I know doesn't count for much.
I am 6'3" and 150-160lbs, depending on what scale you trust, so I think that will play significantly into my choice. (Yeah, I'm a beanpoll, get your jokes in)
So what do I get? Are 650's too big? (Looking at the Weestrom)
What about the Suzuki DR200Se, seems like a good little machine, given I wouldn't want to spend much time on the freeway to begin with.

Thanks for any input and help,
-Greyhound
I recommend the following article:

http://www.chuckhawks.com/good_first_motorcycles.htm

My first 'real' motorcycle (as opposed to mopeds/scooters) is a 2000 KLR250. I've put just about 5000 miles on the thing during the past 10 months and I love it. I ride it everywhere (I'm 6'1"/210 lbs) - in city traffic, on local highways, etc. and it does just fine (I'm not a speed demon - even in a car), gets very good fuel economy (70+ mpg) and is a breeze to maintain. It may be the perfect motorcycle. The only time that it sits is if it's <20*F or if there is a good bit of salt on the roads. I probably wouldn't take it for extended rides on the interstate, but riding a motorcycle on that type of road seems completely pointless to me. I am planning several week-long riding/camping trips for the coming summer. If it was stolen, I would replace it with the same bike.

Dave
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Old 01-20-2006, 05:56 PM   #3
TomN
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My goodness beanpole is right!
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Old 01-20-2006, 06:34 PM   #4
viverrid
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greyhound
So what do I get? Are 650's too big? (Looking at the Weestrom) What about the Suzuki DR200Se, seems like a good little machine,
The first thing is, WHAT DO YOU WANT TO DO WITH IT. Motorcycles are very specialized for different purposes. The search for a do-it-all bike is like trying to find the holy grail. There are only varying slants of compromise for one purpose or another.

On the ROADS a 650 is not a big bike and a Wee-Strom is not too huge. But ya can't ride it in the woods. A DR-200SE is a compromise dualsport bike that isn't strong in the woods OR on the road but is cheap light and easy to ride with a low seat, good for short women. (With your height I think you'd find your knees in your chin.)

Something like a DRZ-400S is taller and woods-able and can also do some pavement but isn't a freeway cruiser. The common 650 singles are progressively less woods friendly for the beginner but are fine dirt road bikes that would be better on the highway than the 400.

The diff between a V-Strom (long distance highway bike that can do dirt roads) and a DR-200SE (short distance low powered small playbike) is night and day. Not even comparable.

So whaddya wanna do with your motorcycle...
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Old 01-20-2006, 08:03 PM   #5
Greyhound OP
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Yup, the difference between a weestrom and a 200 is big I realize, I was just trying to highlite the range I was considering.
First off, most riding would be around town/ backroads (I live in the mountains)
I probably wouldn't get offroad for a while, untill I was more comfortable with motorcycling in general.
Eventually, I would like to be able to travel some, maybe camp with the bike (why I'm on this board)
The 200 looked more managable to someone who hasn't ridden a motorcycle, and the 650 strom looked huge, although I realize its not.
Hope I answered your questions.

Thanks again,
Greyhound
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Old 01-20-2006, 10:45 PM   #6
robsteros41
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Hi, first post but have been reading and lurking quite a long while..

regarding your query about the dr200, I have one and it is absolutely a blast. Goes back to what vivverid said.. what your intended use is... (although at well over six feet I have to agree that you might be somewhat cramped on the dr200. It is not an aggressive dirt bike, but it will go about anywhere, and tops out for me at a little over 70.. it would of course be up to you to decide if that is enough juice for your application. I'm 5'7" so it fits me pretty well. One plus is that compared to a dl it weighs near nothing. I like a bike that doesn't triple my weight (or more) but that's just me... light, for me, means responsive......
just my opinion, humbly offered......
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Old 01-20-2006, 10:52 PM   #7
ShawnDoc
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If you haven't ridden before, I recommend against the V-Strom. It is heavy with a high center of gravity and got a lot of plastic to replace, and in my opinion a little too much oomph (just enough to get you in trouble).

My suggestion is to get something used that is fairly light weight. If you plan mostly city streets get something like a Nighthawk. If offroad, one of the 200-400cc dual sports. Plan to drop it, that's part of the process and why you should stick away from new bikes or bikes with a lot of stuff that can be damaged.

You can always upgrade to a big bike later when you have learned the basics. The smaller bikes hold their value very well. In a year or so when you upgrade you should be able to get nearly the same amount selling your bike as you paid when you bought it (provided you buy used).
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Old 01-20-2006, 11:44 PM   #8
G-Force Junkie
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First bike, get something used, cheap, and light. Your going to drop it and beat it up. Ride it, learn it, then sell it after several thousand miles and buy something nicer. Howbout soumething like an XL250 or DR350 for dirt orianted bikes, or a Ninja 250, EX500, GS500 or a Bandit 400 for street duty.
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Old 01-21-2006, 06:24 AM   #9
Mountain Goat
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Here Is What Ya Need

Get a Suzuki Vstrom 650 and a Suzuki DRZ400. That way everything is covered from long distance adventure touring to singletrack trail riding.

Carl
1996 DR350se
2003 DR650
1981 XL125
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Old 01-21-2006, 07:53 AM   #10
viverrid
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greyhound
Yup, the difference between a weestrom and a 200 is big I realize, I was just trying to highlite the range I was considering.
First off, most riding would be around town/ backroads (I live in the mountains)
I probably wouldn't get offroad for a while, untill I was more comfortable with motorcycling in general.
Eventually, I would like to be able to travel some, maybe camp with the bike (why I'm on this board)
Maybe you should get neither.

That little DR200SE, too small for your height and you're not going to go camping on it. (If your camping was in a motorhome you could strap it to the back bumper.)

If you are not confident, the DL-650 might not be the bike for you, it will not help your learning if you are not comfortable.

Maybe get a used small street bike like a Rebel or is it the Nighthawk. You could ride that a few thousand miles to learn on, and then turn around and sell it to the next noob for not much less than you paid for it.

If you're going to be mostly road and back road riding, and maybe taking some trips camping (so need to carry baggage) the DL-650 is just the ticket. But if it seems too huge to you coming from mountain bikes, then by all means get something you are more comfortable on and that can be your trade-in on the DL-650.

We used to have a DR-200SE (wife's bike). It's fine to play around on, but if you are not going to be riding trails, there is no need for you to go that route (IMHO), just get a small street bike not a small dualsport. (But if you really like the little DR, go ahead, just know that you'll be trading for something else next season - you would with the Rebel or Nighthawk anyway.)

BTW, I think it's easier for a dirt rider to transfer to street, than to go the other way. Techniques ARE indeed different and its NOT just that street is 'easier' (at the higher performance levels) . But an experienced dirt rider is not likely to drop the street bike at the first turn whereas the experienced street rider may indeed dump at the first rock ledge or whatever....
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Old 01-21-2006, 08:25 AM   #11
anton_frt
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My honest opinion get an Honda CB500 from 1997 its the best beginners bike you will ever find a little like the Suzuki GS500 but more reliable.

Check the website:
http://www.motoring.co.za/index.php?...911&fSetId=381
or
http://www.ukbike.com/reviews/bikes/cb500.html
or
http://www.cb500.com/

I hope this can help you,

Anton
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Translated to portuguese:
Já repararam que nas curvas os carros inclinam-se para o lado errado?
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Old 01-21-2006, 08:37 AM   #12
Mountain Goat
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One More Thang About Bike Size

Where I live the road traffic is about 70 to 80 MPH. If you plan on riding on public roads you will get run over on a little bike. I really like my DR650 since it has the power and speed to go with the crazy lunatics on the roads and still works well on back roads and some easy off road stuff.

My DR350 will easily run at 70 but it is running about 6,900 RPM so it really is much more dirt oriented than the DR650 and not really suited to running 70+ MPH all day on the roads.

Thats why I like having two bikes. The DR350 with knobby tires and set up for mostly dirt, and a DR650 set up for adventure touring and short to moderate distance touring.

There are lots of fine bikes to choose from. There really isn't one "right" choice.

Carl
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Old 01-21-2006, 09:55 AM   #13
CuzinMike
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Greyhound, I think a DRZ400S sounds like a good choice for you. You're tall enough that the seat height won't be a problem, plus the ability to ride off-road when you're ready is a big plus, as tinkering around in the dirt will make you a MUCH better street rider. I used to own a DRZ, and in stock form, its gentle enough that it won't get you in trouble on the road, yet plenty powerful enough to keep with traffic, even on short interstate jaunts. You should give it a look if you haven't.
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Old 01-21-2006, 05:38 PM   #14
Greyhound OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CuzinMike
Greyhound, I think a DRZ400S sounds like a good choice for you. You're tall enough that the seat height won't be a problem, plus the ability to ride off-road when you're ready is a big plus, as tinkering around in the dirt will make you a MUCH better street rider. I used to own a DRZ, and in stock form, its gentle enough that it won't get you in trouble on the road, yet plenty powerful enough to keep with traffic, even on short interstate jaunts. You should give it a look if you haven't.
Yup, that seemed like the middle ground between the DL650 and the DR200, something I need to consider.
How about using a bungee net for traveling, will that work on the 400?
Thanks for everybody's help

-Greyhound
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Old 01-21-2006, 07:22 PM   #15
Gasdoctor
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greyhound
Well, I've been bumming around here for a while, learning about motorcycles, and I am really getting the itch to ride.
I have never ridden before (except for a little yerfdog), and the only experience I can claim is years of bicycle (road and mtb) riding and racing, which I know doesn't count for much.
I am 6'3" and 150-160lbs, depending on what scale you trust, so I think that will play significantly into my choice. (Yeah, I'm a beanpoll, get your jokes in)
So what do I get? Are 650's too big? (Looking at the Weestrom)
What about the Suzuki DR200Se, seems like a good little machine, given I wouldn't want to spend much time on the freeway to begin with.

Thanks for any input and help,
-Greyhound
Go for the DRZ 400.. Great bike.. Your MTB skills will carry over to the Motorcycle world more than you would think
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