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Discussion Starter #1
... Here's the deal:

Rode in my late teens, had a HONDA CB350, rode for 2 years on that thing EVERYWHERE. Loved it. Went in the service, went on with life, married, kid, etc. Now I want to get back into the game. Been looking around at Yamaha 650s, Harley 883s, anything that might be a good fit. But it's been a long time, brothers and sisters... I'm not sure where to go from here. Any ideas for me?

Specs: Older guy (50 ish), 6" 170 not super athletic. Ride by myself -NO passengers. Just town cruises.

I just miss it.
 

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Gone.
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Buy a relatively cheap bike that's not going to make you feel bad when you drop it.

Take the local motorcycle safety course.

Learn how not to drop or crash your cheap starter bike.

Sell your starter bike to someone else just getting into riding and buy a bike you want to keep forever. (You might have to go through several bikes before you find that one.)
 

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Welcome to the Forum Mike. I agree with everything Eye said. I'll add that you should go sit on a lot of bikes. You'll find some that feel great to you. You also need to decide just what style you want, cruiser, standard, sport,etc. Good Luck and have fun in your search!

Also, Thank You for your service.
 

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Welcome Mike! I hope motorcycling becomes second nature for you again :)

My guess is you will pick it up easily enough and have a great time doing so. I would suggest taking the BRC because so many things have changed. I just got back on a bike again after a 20 year break and found the BRC to be super informative. It really is money well spent.

As far as what kind of bike you get, a lot of guys start on either little 250's, or if they have some experience but it has been a while, maybe something bigger but still fairly tame, like a Suzuki Savage 650 (cruiser type) or a Suzuki SV650 or Kawasaki Ninja 650 (sport/v twin). It all depends on what direction you would like to go. Another fast-growing group is what are called adventure bikes, such as the Suzki V-Strom or the Kawasaki Versys. They are basically standard bikes with a little bit more aggressive suspension and tires, for the guy who also wants to ride up to the hills and take some logging roads to high lookouts and whatnot. It really all depends on what you see yourself doing...find your vision and follow it!!!!
 

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Welcome to the forum. Eye and MONI are telling it straight. Start out by taking the Basic Riding Course. It is conducted using small bikes that you don't own, they are owned by the group that provides the training.
Once you have that BRC behind you, you can usually walk into the local license agency and get a motorcycle endorsement on your driving license. Now you are ready to visit you local multi-brand bike dealer and sit on everything in the showroom. Ignore all model and brand suggestions from us, the salesmen or your friends. We are not the ones who will be riding your bike. Some very few will feel right to you and those are the ones you should test ride.
Your spec of solo town cruises means you need not worry much about passenger comfort or amenities like fairings and bags for doing distance riding. It will mean an easier time finding a good fit. Once you know what you want, try looking everywhere for it including places like a cycle trader web site or Craig's list, Kijiji if you are in Canada. You want a smallish bike that has been well cared for and is maybe 3 years old. It will have already lost most of the age related depreciation so it will sell based on its condition. If you keep it well cared for you can sell it for what you have in it when you are ready to move on.
 

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I'm not sure where to go from here. Any ideas for me?
You just have to get back on two wheels and you will find your own direction but it may take a little time for it to become apparent.

I rode from age 15 through to my mid-20s, then not again until my mid 30s, then off again until 65.

I hadn't intended to get back into motorcycling but a little 1962 Honda 50 showed up cheap - that was my first ride so I picked it up and that brought back the urge to ride again and within a couple of months I was looking for something bigger. I picked up a Honda Shadow very shortly after but the Shadow never felt quite right. The last bike in my 30s had been a Harley FLH that I LOVED so I ended up looking at (and sitting on) Harleys again. When I sat on an FXD, I KNEW that was the bike for me so, within a period of three months, I went through 3 bikes to get back where I wanted to be.

The first two were not "wasted". I am going to restore the Honda 50 (and sell it) and the Honda 750 is already sold to a friend but I wouldn't have known where I wanted to be if it hadn't been for that progression.

I know my skills got awfully rusty in nearly 30 years away from riding but they are coming back quickly - it is mainly a matter of hours in the saddle and getting comfortable with the bike again. I am sure you will find the same.

Welcome back!
 

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had a "gap" in my riding years as well. I remember now, the reasons I rode, AND the reasons I STOPPED riding.

Good luck out there!!

-Soupy
 

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Well with lots of good tips here, you will surely get back to road happy and safety. Start with a basic riding course for all best things to start.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Hey many thanks to everyone who posted - what a friendly board this is. Never thought to do the riding course thing, but that is a good idea. Pretty glad I sought advice from you all first. Winter is here in the north, but I'll keep you posted. Wishing it were warmer weather now that I've got the itch....
 

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Buy a relatively cheap bike that's not going to make you feel bad when you drop it.

Take the local motorcycle safety course.

Learn how not to drop or crash your cheap starter bike.

Sell your starter bike to someone else just getting into riding and buy a bike you want to keep forever. (You might have to go through several bikes before you find that one.)
+1
Excellent Advice!:biggrin:
Thanks for your service!!:thumbsup:
Ed
 

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Italian

Over the winter months I ride an 83 XS400 Yamaha. Cost me less than $1000-.
However I did have to do some work on it. If I fall off on some ice or snow, I can pick it up. It is fast enough for the freeway. Just blasted down 20 miles of it yesterday. It is similar to the CB350, just has some newer gear and a bit more power. But light and easy to ride. Lots of these sort of bikes around.

Unkle Crusty*
 

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Welcome aboard. Same advise as Eye and Moni.

I rode for 20+ years and then quit for almost 30. Retired, took the course, bought a Vstar650 and traded it for a larger bike when I was ready
 
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