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Old 06-09-2009, 12:27 AM   #1
english
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Default Looking for a good commuter bike for a 300 pound guy

My car is crapping out on me (transmission slipping) and I decided to investigate the cost of getting a bike to use to commute back and forth to work. I could still use the car when there's bad weather and around town for grocery shopping but I can't see dropping a few grand into fixing the tranny when it has a few other problems that also need fixin (old car)

I have no problem starting out on a 250 but I'm a big guy. Most of the 250s I looked at were about 300 pounds and I'm sure my fat ass doubling the weight is gonna make riding on the interstate tough.

So I need something that's gonna be able to handle my weight and still get up to 70mph for my half hour commute. I want something that's gonna be comfortable also since I'll be on it an hour 5 days out the week and I also plan on visiting my father in pensacola once in a while and that's a 3 hour drive.

I've been looking through craigslist and the local classifieds but not really sure what to look for. I'm an absolute beginner when it comes to bikes and want to make sure I get something that's right for me. I don't even know how to ride one (never even rode a dirt bike) so I'm already researching where I can take the Motorcycle Safety classes.

This guy I work with has a harley he commutes on so he can probably give me a few pointers but I don't like bugging him so hopefully you guys don't mind helping me out I'm 29 btw so not some punk kid looking to cause trouble
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Old 06-09-2009, 01:00 AM   #2
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Have you considered a cruiser? Something in the 600cc range, or have your thought about a sv650 or a bandit 650?
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Old 06-09-2009, 01:17 AM   #3
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like i said, absolute beginner. everything i read said to stay around 250 for a first bike but i just worry it won't be powerful enough since i'm so fat

i'll google the sv650 and bandit
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Old 06-09-2009, 01:20 AM   #4
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Yea the 250 would look like a toy to you(no offense) Someone your size could handle a 600 pretty easy, just look into the sport touring models. Oh and welcome to the forum!
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Old 06-09-2009, 01:45 AM   #5
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Well, what's your preference: sport bike or cruiser?

The style of bike you're more interested in will make it easier to offer suggestions.

I would second the SV650, also look at a Ninja 500, or Ninja 650r. But, uhm for that 3 hour drive to see your father, a sport bike wont be very comfortable at first. You may want to work up to that. Breaks about every 45 mins to stretch the legs are good too when you finally do ride that far.
I'm a sport bike guy, so I don't have a lot of suggestions for you on the cruiser style...
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Old 06-09-2009, 04:16 AM   #6
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when it comes to Cruisers you can go bigger, a 750 Shadow (Honda) a Suzuki C50 (805cc) basically any of the mid sized cruisers will be fine for starting out with, the one thing you have to watch for on these bikes though is the weight, most are around #400 lbs. (they only feel like that at low speeds though) as long as you can handle the weight of the bike, your good to go....get out to a few dealerships and sit on every bike you can....once you find something you like, then look at the paper and craigslist.
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Old 06-09-2009, 09:33 AM   #7
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Yeah it depends on your preference but there are plenty of bikes bigger than 250 that are suitable for beginners. The Ninja 500 is one of my favorites, I consider it to be one of the most versatile of the smaller bikes, and it will have enough power to move you around. The SV650, Ninja 650 and Versys are also OK for some beginners if they have some experience and/or take the MSF course. In cruisers you can look at anything under 1000cc, even 1100 is doable in my opinion. You might also want to check out dualsports like the KLR650.

Also, don't be afraid to look at old "standards". Bikes from the 80s can sometimes be found in good condition for very little money.
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Old 06-09-2009, 10:07 AM   #8
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A 250 will move you around town well enough, and for short hops on the freeway. An hour-long interstate commute is not ideal for one though.

You will probably be a lot more comfortable on a cruiser-style bike.
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Old 06-09-2009, 10:23 AM   #9
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You hinted at your weight, but not your height... that'll have more to do with your choices I think. G is right, get out there and sit on some bikes at the dealership and see what you like. There are more options than listed here too - consider the V-star (comes in 650 and 1100, custom and classic - I'm new and the 1100 is fine, nice low center of gravity, I could have probably started out on this bike) or the Vulcan (there's one </= 700cc I think).

But highly advise taking the MSF before buying; otherwise, you might end up like I did buying the wrong bike first. After you get endorsement, actually test-ride at the dealership and see what feels right.... you will know. Then if they won't deal with you, find one at a price you are happy with somewhere else.

Good luck. :]
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Old 06-09-2009, 11:03 PM   #10
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well my height is only 5'8" i'm a lard ass and not ashamed to admit it. i live in new orleans home of the greatest food in the country so let the good times roll

thanks for the suggestions. i'm not really wanting a sport bike. i always see the old guys with their harleys cruising by and get jealous wanting that to be me in the future so it seems a cruiser is probably better

there are a few honda shadows on craigslist but they're all 1100 which i thought was way too much to start with. i'll look into the ones you guys suggested.

the nearest training course is a 15 hour long one in baton rouge on july 24-26. can't find anything closer or sooner... they also have an advanced 5 hour class but it looks like you need your own bike and gear for both classes? maybe someone can tell me if i'm looking at the right thing: dubbya dubbya dubbya.doe.state.la.us/lde/scs/1938.html

(couldn't post the link because i'm still new i guess... anti spam measures or something)
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Old 06-09-2009, 11:20 PM   #11
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There's a $75 "motorcycle reservation fee" on that basic class, so I'm thinking they're offering to rent you their bike if you don't already have one... at that rate, call tomorrow and ask!!! What a deal! (I paid $215 for my class, and I still think it was a bargain). And don't worry about the size of the bike they have available for learning... it doesn't matter!!! They don't usually go faster than 30 mph on the course anyway (it still felt like flying to me at the time, anyway). Get the basics and the important stuff in your head, and see what you really think of it.

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Old 06-09-2009, 11:28 PM   #12
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I'm a year into my first bike. A Suzuki C50 805cc. My prior experience was the MSF course on a 250cc. It's not too big for a first time bike.
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Old 06-10-2009, 04:52 PM   #13
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I am in your same boat. I am 6'1 340 +/- lbs. I like the looks of a sport bike so I was looking at all the bikes already recommended. the Suzuki SV650, Kawasaki Ninja 650R or the ER-6N, and the new Yamaha FZ6R.

All have standard bars not clip ons so you are more upright in the seat, not laying over the tank. They are all toned down motors, with enough power to accelerate my fat azz. Good for beginners and experienced riders alike.
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Old 06-13-2009, 08:46 PM   #14
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I'm roughly 6', 300#'s and I am more than comfortable with my Suzuki Boulevard S40. It is 650cc cruiser. I'm not even through the break in period yet but 60mph is very comfortable and no problem for this bike.
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Old 07-06-2009, 04:57 PM   #15
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I too was in your shoes when I was looking for a bike. I originally wanted a Suzuki M109, but decided on the M50 instead. It was in my price range and easily moves on the highway. I'm 300 lbs. & 6'1'' and have no trouble handling it.
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Old 07-06-2009, 07:30 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roflol View Post
You hinted at your weight, but not your height... that'll have more to do with your choices I think. G is right, get out there and sit on some bikes at the dealership and see what you like. There are more options than listed here too - consider the V-star (comes in 650 and 1100, custom and classic - I'm new and the 1100 is fine, nice low center of gravity, I could have probably started out on this bike) or the Vulcan (there's one </= 700cc I think).
I am considering buying one of the new 950 vstars (used by next year) or a Shadow Aero. 1100 is not too much for a big guy, begginner, with plenty of private property to practice on?
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Old 07-06-2009, 09:55 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PingTheServer View Post
I am considering buying one of the new 950 vstars (used by next year) or a Shadow Aero. 1100 is not too much for a big guy, begginner, with plenty of private property to practice on?
Your size has little to do with how quickly or easily you will be able to learn to maneuver a bike. Heavier bikes are going to be harder to learn to maneuver than light ones regardless of rider size. There's a lot more finesse and a lot less muscle involved than you are probably thinking.

The average 10 year old girl probably has all the strength required to maneuver the biggest production bikes out there. They may have problems pushing it out of the garage though.
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