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Old 05-09-2013, 11:44 PM   #31
Jimmy the Heater
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For your previous question on Maxim vs TU250 for a first bike. TU would win every time.

Maxim's were last produced in the early 80's I think. Finding some parts for them is quite difficult/expensive. A good friend of mine has a bike with that same engine and it gets quite challenging to find some things to keep it running. And even when it is running it is temperamental.

You really don't want to deal with that on top of learning how to ride and getting the feel for traffic.

Get the TU...get good on it. And then if you want to tinker and have a project bike get a Maxim later. But still keep the TU
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Old 05-09-2013, 11:50 PM   #32
fallingoff
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safety first

abs

handling

enough power to get you out of trouble

most bike will do this

oh light as well

cheers
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Old 05-10-2013, 12:48 AM   #33
rjf
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CJ5K View Post

If it makes any difference, I'm thinking I want something more along the lines of a cruiser, but I could live with a standard for a while.

Also, am I right in thinking that for my first bike, I should buy something that I'm not going to get heartbroken if it gets dropped or laid down a couple times? Or should just buy the one I want (There's a really nice BMW R75 for sale in my area...) Like I said, I'm sure these kind of questions get asked a lot, so thanks for taking the time to help out new rider.

Stay safe guys,
CJ5k


If your o.k. with the weight, seat height, etc, an r75 would have a nice mild learner freindly power delivery, but enough to accelerate with modern traffic, do motorway speeds, etc.

with an an engine protection bar like the picture it should be o.k. if it "gets dropped or laid down a couple times", especially compared to a bike with a full fairing or chrome parts.

Having said that that an r75 will have downsides for a first bike, like the brakes won't have much power and no abs, also could require more mechanical knowledge or $$ to maintain compared to a newer bike, etc.
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Old 05-10-2013, 03:06 AM   #34
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I'd have to second the vote for a used 500-650c twin of some type. A Ninja 300 could make sense but I believe something like a SV650 or some flavor of Kawi's 650 twin (both used not new) is a better overall choice.

I've ridden a lot of bikes from small to massive and the 500-650 twins seem like the sweet spot for the most practical/enjoyable/managable segment for both a new and many seasoned riders. They are not so powerful to get you into trouble in a heart beat yet they have sufficient power and smoothness to be fully real world capable without any reservation. They are also the type of bikes you won't out grow rapidly.

Many may not agree but I don't believe a 250 to be suitable for longer freeway runs. I have ridden several and yes they can do freeway speeds, but for not much difference in price and a little more weight a 500-650 twin is far better IMO. I've ridden the Ninja 300 and it does stand out from the typical 250 class but you will still use a lot of revs to get the job done compared to a 650.

I believe a more standard style bike is the best to learn on. Cruisers and crotch rockets are both rather extreme in riding position but can get the job done.

It depends on your budget but you should be able to get something very reasonable and capable for $3,500 or less. If you can afford a bike with fuel injection it's generally better than carbs, same goes for a 6 speed transmission.
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Old 05-10-2013, 06:20 AM   #35
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I would recommend a naked SV650. actually, that is my recommendation almost anytime asks any bike related question.
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Old 05-10-2013, 06:56 AM   #36
NJ-Brett
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For someone learning, a bike like the TU has a lot of advantages.
Its simple, easy, and fun.
It does not have the power to get you in much trouble, but has enough to keep up with traffic.
If the motor has oil in it, you can do whatever you want to/with the bike.

It does not get blown around on the interstate, not sure why, its light (320 pounds) yet its very stable in winds and and very stable at 85 mph, even in turns.

But one thing really surprised me about the TU, its fantastic in rain.
It is almost like riding on dry roads, you just have to use the usual caution with the front brake, but the power delivery is mellow, and being ham fisted with the throttle is not something you have to worry about, and you can even get ham fisted with the brakes up to a point.
The light weight seems to really pay off on this bike, and some of the most fun I ever had on mine was in a deluge passing all traffic.

If I had a lot of interstate travel I had to do (not a good idea for a learner) I might get an old DR650, smooth, drops very well, not real heavy, cheap.
It just needs a seat change to be good on longer rides.

All the dual sport bikes drop cheaper then any street bike.
Plus, you could likely find some dirt to learn/drop the bike in...
Dirt riding skills really pay off on the street.
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Old 05-10-2013, 07:50 AM   #37
Maggot12
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I was on a 4hr ride last week with a couple on a 250 Ninja. The bike is extremely light for a beginner to handle. We were mostly on back roads with a quick jaunt on the highway to get to the secondary roads. Bike preformed well and we talked later about it. He's about 165 and she's about 130. It was pretty impressive actually.

The thing about a bike like this for a beginner is that if bought used, you could sell it a season or two later for not much less.

I started on a Virago 535 and thats a light, low seat height bike, and I sold it for more than I paid after 1 yr. It was a good beginner bike as well..

Good luck..
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Old 05-10-2013, 08:06 AM   #38
NJ-Brett
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The 250 ninja's are amazing, but might be more of a chore to ride for a new rider. Very peaky powerband, lots of shifting needed to keep it in the power band, city riding is not easy with all that shifting and clutch work, but I suppose if you master that, aany other bike is going to feel easy to ride.
The new 300 is supposed to be the bomb though.

Used and cheap is always a good idea!
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Old 05-10-2013, 08:16 AM   #39
Meter Man
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CJ5K View Post
Thanks for the input guys! Right now, I'm leaning away from the cruiser, and thinking of a standard. I've emailed a few guys with Yamaha Maxim 650s, but the Suzuki TU250 sounds really enticing.

It sounds like the TU250 is pretty highway capable, for what its worth, I live on the other side of the water from Seattle, and there's a good chance I'll have to ride it on I5 to get it home, or to go anywhere.

I hear ya'll on the safety gear. When I was 18 I was riding a bicycle and got hit by a car, have titanium in my leg, and know what its like to leave a little skin and blood on the pavement.


What do ya'll think, TU250, or Yamaha Maxim 650? Any thing about either I should know?

If at all possible, budgetwise, get the newest used bike you can afford. Anything from the early 1980s is going to have a high possibility of electrical or other problems even if it was well maintained. Parts wear out, wiring degrades and so on.
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Old 05-10-2013, 08:22 AM   #40
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Originally Posted by Meter Man View Post
If at all possible, budgetwise, get the newest used bike you can afford. Anything from the early 1980s is going to have a high possibility of electrical or other problems even if it was well maintained. Parts wear out, wiring degrades and so on.
Yeah, while older bikes may be fun to own for various reasons, I wouldn't want one as my only bike, or recommend one for a first bike. I'd probably stick to something from the lateer '90s and up. Newer bikes tend to be more reliable, have better brakes and are easier to get parts for when and if you need them. You don't want something that'll be a headache and take time in the garage rather than out riding. There may be exceptions, and really nicely maintained examples of older bikes, but in general I'd stick with something from the last decade or so.

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Old 05-10-2013, 08:28 AM   #41
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As has been stated, you can't go purely by cc's. A 750 cruiser would be fine for a beginner while a 750 sport bike would not. For that matter an 883 cc cruiser (40 hp) would be fine while a 600 cc sport bike (100 hp) would not. If you get something too small, you'll outgrow it in a month or two. I got my 750 Nighthawk three years ago (return rider) and it's been fine. It does everything I need it to do and there's no need to move up to a bigger bike.

Which bike you get also depends a lot on your budget, your size (try to get something you can flat foot), and the type of riding you want to do.
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Old 05-10-2013, 08:32 AM   #42
JerryH
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fallingoff View Post
safety first

abs

handling

enough power to get you out of trouble

most bike will do this

oh light as well

cheers
I do have to disagree with the ABS. As a new rider, you should learn how to brake properly on your own, rather than let a computer do it for you. Also a lot of people seem to have the idea that ABS is foolproof, and it isn't.

Many new riders are not learning all kinds of things that a rider should know (how many riders out there probably cannot kick start a bike) not only concerning riding, but maintaining their bike as well. I suspect that is why manufacturers quit putting centerstands on newer bikes with tube type tires (though I don't know why tube type tires are still around anyway) The save a few dollars, and figure many younger riders couldn't fix a flat tire anyway. If you do get a bike with tube type tires and no centerstand, even if you know how, you will not be able to fix a flat out on the side of the road. So aside from all the gear, you will also need a cell phone and a GOOD road service plan.
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Old 05-10-2013, 08:35 AM   #43
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Originally Posted by rjf View Post

That is a beautiful BMW. I have no use for modern BMWs, but I would sure ride that. Where did BMW go wrong?
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Old 05-10-2013, 10:08 AM   #44
Randy
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I do have to disagree with the ABS. As a new rider, you should learn how to brake properly on your own, rather than let a computer do it for you. Also a lot of people seem to have the idea that ABS is foolproof, and it isn't.

Many new riders are not learning all kinds of things that a rider should know (how many riders out there probably cannot kick start a bike) not only concerning riding, but maintaining their bike as well. I suspect that is why manufacturers quit putting centerstands on newer bikes with tube type tires (though I don't know why tube type tires are still around anyway) The save a few dollars, and figure many younger riders couldn't fix a flat tire anyway. If you do get a bike with tube type tires and no centerstand, even if you know how, you will not be able to fix a flat out on the side of the road. So aside from all the gear, you will also need a cell phone and a GOOD road service plan.
While I would agree, in part, with your take on ABS, I certainly wouldn't tell anyone NOT to get it. I agree that learning to modulate your brakes is a very important skill, and it is a bad idea to "rely" on an ABS system to get you out of trouble because you lack certain skills. And, you're right, ABS isn't foolproof.

But, there are so many variables to road surfaces that can and do change traction availability, and while we SHOULD always be aware of those things, the harsh reality is that when called upon to make a sudden panic stop we may find ourselves out of our usual element. Things such as a patch of sand, gravel, antifreeze, diesel, water, or some other slippery substance can and do appear out of no where and at bad times. Very few riders practice full braking effort on such substances and can be expected, in the real world, to deal with them during a true emergency stop. IMO, this is the reason ABS is worth having, and I believe that in the right circumstances it can make the difference between stopping safely or locking the front wheel and going down. We're all capable of misjudging and making mistakes, so why not have an edge that could maybe save our bacon when and if we do?

Out of the bikes I've owned, and the 7 currently in my garage, I have ONE with ABS. My R1150GS. I could have saved a good bit of money with the non-ABS version when I bought it, but because I knew this machine was destined to be my two-up bike and my all weather machine, I wanted that extra measure of safety since it was available. I ride this bike like any other and I've never needed or used the ABS. In fact, I've only activated it a few times just checking it out. But, man! Is it ever impressive! I like knowing that in a true panic stop, when all my mental faculties are focused on the danger at hand, I don't have to rely on my ability to concentrate on the nuances of fine brake control to minimize my stopping distance without locking the front. It's nice to know that I can just do a full four finger squeeze, when my mind is occupied elsewhere and the front won't lock if I hit a patch of shit in the road, or it's raining, or... I've been riding a long time on and off road, and I feel that I'm pretty adept with my brakes, but I seriously doubt that even under the best of conditions I could out brake the ABS system if I were to turn it off. Throw in a few unknown variables and that doubt level goes up exponentially.

Take my thoughts for what they're worth. My opinions are worth exactly what you paid for them. But, I don't see any reason NOT to get ABS if it's offered on a bike I otherwise want. On the other hand, it's not a prerequisite for a bike either. I won't exclude a bike that I like just because ABS isn't offered either.

With all that said, my new stepdaughter wants a new Ninja 300. For her, if her mom relents and lets her have one, I'd opt for the little extra safety cushion that I believe ABS could provide. A new rider needs every edge they can get. Hell, we all do! It IS a dangerous activity after all...


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Old 05-10-2013, 12:06 PM   #45
Tom-Nor
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If you can, get ABS no questions. I remember when ABS came in to the car world, lots of peoples wher extremly negativ to it, ohh it will fail ohh its not as good as normal braking bla bla. Same thing when traction control came.
How often have any of you hear that someone crash becouse of ABS and/or traction control failure??
How often have you heard that ABS and/or traction control have saved some one from crashing??

For most riders ABS will give you shorter breaking lenght in a "panic" situation. Thats becouse to get the most optimal breaking on non ABS thers alot to do, you have to sitt streight,eys up and forward,knees squize the tank,arms loos,use the front break softly first so the front dampers are compressed and then you can realy squiz the front breaks but not so hard the you lock the front weel and then when your under ca35mph you can add the back breaks.
Thats alot of things to do right in just a few secunds and in a real panic situation, many experienced riders will not get that right.
Get ABS and dont buy a bike with out it again ;)

In Europe it is soon not posible to get a new bike without ABS and USA will come to that point to in a few years.

And ABS dosent complicate tier change.
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