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Dragonsm

Looking for advice on a starting point

16 posts in this topic

A quick question for those more "experienced" cyclists out there.

My wife grew up around bikes, and I have had my license 15+ years. My first and only "starter" bike was an old CL450 that I bought to "fix up" and learn a bit about bikes. (of which a few years back was bought by a guy out on the east coast...man, I miss that ol' girl) Anyway, we have always toyed with the idea of getting a bike to do evening or day rides around the country side and to ride with a few of our friends. (one couple has a 750 magna and the other has a Suzuki C50T) My buddy with the Suzuki has offered to let me take it for a spin to get a feel for it (however, since they purchased it new last summer, I didn't want to be the one to put the first scratch in it)

Both have told me a 750-800-900 CC bike would be a decent size to start with for my wife and I. Tonight she brought it up again that maybe we could begin looking at newer "used" bikes potentially for this summer. With both of us working full time and with a little one, "touring" as of this moment wouldn't be an option, but a day trip from Monticello to Hutchinson or just cruising the back roads of Wright County would be a great time. Also it would give me an option to get more experience/riding time before moving up.

Keeping price in check is another reason right now. I don't want to make the jump off the deep end on a Harley (We fell in love with the Street Bob in the dyna family...Someday!) Granted, we could probably afford to jump into a much larger bike, however I tend to be conservative (accountant by trait especially with this economy)

Another benefit, it would give me another option during the riding season to commute to work in Maple Grove. (besides driving my F-150)

Would the sizes listed above be a decent place to start or am I just kidding myself and I continue to put this thought on hold for another year. Last year I had the opportunity to ride a sportster 883 for the day and felt it would have enough power for us to start, but sitting straight up on that bike all day was uncomfortable for myself...(my wife road on the back of an electra glide that day, which after riding on one of those, anything will be "chopped liver") I did get the chance to sit on an 1100 v-star last year in a showroom and really liked the feel....if we came across the right deal on one of those, I'd be in business.

Thoughts/advice from experience riders for someone looking to get started again before I go out and begin randomly "kicking the tires".

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YOU WILL GET ALOT OF DIFERENT OPINIONS ON THIS SUBJECT. IT REALLY DEPENDS ON HOW MUCH COMFORT YOU REQUIRE AND HOW LONG YOU WILL BE RIDING.MY LAST BIKE WAS A 2004 1100 V-STAR SILVERADO.LOVED THE BIKE.JUST RIGHT FOR THE WIFE AND ME TO RIDE ON SHORT TRIPS BUT I WANTED SOMETHING WITH MORE POWER TO GO ON LONG ROAD TRIPS AND MINI VACATIONS. TRADED IT FOR A 2006 ROAD STAR SILVERADO.I THINK THAT THIS IS A FANTASTIC BIKE.LOTS OF POWER AND THE MOST COMFORTABLE BIKE I HAVE EVER RIDDEN. JUST MY OPINION!

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Most of us started via a 750.. it has everything needed and all the power required to go for a nice afternoon ride or commute to work. They are lighter weight and easier to handle.

my $.02 ..

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I bought my first bike last year it is a Honda shadow 800 88 year it has plenty of power for myself and my wife for a nice ride for a day but if we are going to go for a longer ride I would love to move up to a bigger touring bike like a gold wing or harley other than that I love my bike for Sunday drives or ridding to work

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I rode for years and when the kids came we quit until they grew up. Didn't want to risk it. Now that they're grown we're back in the saddle. I would start with something in the 700-900 range. If it's too small it can be hard to handle riding 2 up.

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I own a 86 Honda V45 Magna which is about 750cc and it has plenty of power for two people for those evening rides or short day rides. The center of gravity sits fairly low so the handleability is great.

For those longer rides my 88 1500cc Goldwing is the Cadilac of motorcycles for ride and bells and whistles... Of course i would not recommend starting out with this big of a bike until you get used to riding again.

I would recommend looking into the are of a Shadow or Magna for ease of handling. Try not to buy a bike that has too high of center of gravity. My first bike was a 76 550cc Honda Supersport which had that high center of gravity. When I would end up on the gravel road that I live on the bike would just slide away from underneath me. Very hard to handle on loose roads or when there were high winds...

Be choosy about your ride and you will be very pleased with your decision...

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One other thing is an air cooled v-twin bike compared to a liquid cooled inline four. A small liquid cooled has tons of power in a little package. You need much more displacement to equal the same power. I would not go any smaller than 1100 v-twin. For his first bike my brother in law bought a 1300 v-star and loves it. I enjoy riding it also. If you get to small of a bike you would be wishing it was bigger, if it does have lots of power, you can throttle back. But on the other hand, the smaller bike will get better mileage. I have a 1700 air cooled and on a very good day I get a little better than 40mpg. Riding hard, it drops to about 30 mpg.

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If your looking for a 800-900 cruiser style, first decide if you want the windshield and saddle bags. Then check out what Suzuki, Kawasaki and Honda have to offer. I also own a C50T and its a great bike, but the Honda and Kawasaki bikes are also nice. The best bet is to probably go somewhere and sit on a few.

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A V Star 11 or 1300 would be good. It depends on if your wife can handle it or not. By that I mean can her feet reach the floor flat footed and can she pick it up off the kickstand ok. My wife has short legs so she sarted on an old used 650. We looked at 1100 V Star and she liked it but once she saw that new V Star 950 Tourer she was sold on it. I know that they make bikes other than Star / Yamaha but that is the one that I have 1st hand knowledge of. Whatever you get just N JOY IT!

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My wife has been wishing for a Suzuki Boulevard for the last 4 - 5 years... Well, last year I bought her a '95 Yamaha Virago 1100. The bike fits her very well having a little lower center of gravity making it a very easy bike to handle. With the 1100cc engine there is more than enough power for her to pass me with a big smile on her face... smile

One thing you will find out is that there are alot of choices out there for you. You just have to pick a style that you like and narrow down your choices to something that fits your price and style...

Good luck in your search!!

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My wife has been wishing for a Suzuki Boulevard for the last 4 - 5 years... Well, last year I bought her a '95 Yamaha Virago 1100. The bike fits her very well having a little lower center of gravity making it a very easy bike to handle. With the 1100cc engine there is more than enough power for her to pass me with a big smile on her face... smile

One thing you will find out is that there are alot of choices out there for you. You just have to pick a style that you like and narrow down your choices to something that fits your price and style...

Good luck in your search!!

You have a very lucky wife!

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Dragon, Thats the bike I would recommend. the Virago 1100 would be perfect for reasons stated. lighter wieght and lower center of gravity (which I prefer and I have been riding over 20 years) perfect for a guy just getting his legs again smile and if you dump it in a parking lot or such it wont be like a dresser as far as damage done and cost to fix. has enough scoot and would be more comfortable than a lot of the other smaller rides for two-up. but I would be carefull about giving anybody else a ride until youve put some miles under your belt and are confident. Always remember though ride like you are invisible.

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Either bike would work great for your intended uses. The magna is really a muscle cruiser and is very fast for it's engine displacement. It will run toe to toe with a VTX 1800 in the quarter mile and is faster than most stock V-Twins out there. The only draw back is that to put out that kind of power it does run higher rpms and will have less low end torque than a twin. It will cruise nicely but also provide some serious fun if you get a wild hair while riding solo. The C50 is also a great bike and has some advantages over the magna, ie: shaft drive and EFI (some might debate whether EFI is a plus). I don't think you could go wrong with either bike but the magna has a lot more power on tap and can be picked up a little cheaper than the C50. For your purposes (shorter trips)a big twin is not necessary.

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If you pick up a V45 or bigger you will have shaft drive. Definitely there is plenty of power... and you can save a few dollars if you go with either a Magna or a Virago. If you go with a Virago I would recommend the 1100cc size. My wife had an older 700cc. It had alot of power but every year we had carburator problems that we just could not get cleared up. The newer 1100 is a big improvement for some reason...

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I agree with boilerguy about the Honda Shadow line up... They are definitely worth looking at. They have the same feel, low center of gravity, and the power that you need...

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