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So I am a 32 y/o male buying my first bike soon I have found a Hella good deal on a 2003 Yamaha ZF1 (or Atleast I think it's a good deal). I am 5'11" and 285 LBS. The bike is carborated. Will this bike be too much for me to handle? Or should I look at a smaller one?
 

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Will this bike be too much for me to handle? Or should I look at a smaller one?
That will depend on your confidence and skill level, which is hard to tell over the internet, but if you're new to riding, I'd probably say it's too much. It's a pretty powerful bike. Most here would advise a smaller bike that are easier to learn on, but you can take the skills with you to your next bike.

Have you taken the BRC?
 

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I have ridden dirt bikes most of my childhood but dirt bikes and street bikes are two different animals. I'm confident in my abilities to ride but didn't know if it would be too much. I have considered a cruiser but that isn't in my price range because I'd have to have a harley
 

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And no I haven't taken the BRC due to the fact that I don't have a bike to take it. The local college only offers it in the spring
 

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Cruisers are very a good choice too, but dare I ask WHY you would HAVE to have a Harley as your first bike if you choose a cruiser?

Before this turns into some kind of bashing thread, in my opinion there is nothing at all wrong with Harleys, they are great bikes, I'd be quite happy riding one I'm sure but there are some pretty darn nice cruisers out there in various sizes made by those other folks, you might have heard of them, lets see Yamaha, Suzuki, Honda, Indian, Victory and so on. I ride a Yamaha, it's pretty, it's shiny, and it runs every day. So would a good cruiser from any of the other companies I mentioned, and they might fit your budget much better.


I have ridden dirt bikes most of my childhood but dirt bikes and street bikes are two different animals. I'm confident in my abilities to ride but didn't know if it would be too much. I have considered a cruiser but that isn't in my price range because I'd have to have a harley
 

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Don't they provide the bikes for the course in your area? My understanding is that most places do, they certainly do in Pennsylvania, I took it on a cute little 250 Suzuki that was perfect for the course.

And no I haven't taken the BRC due to the fact that I don't have a bike to take it. The local college only offers it in the spring
 

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Grandpa rode a harley dad rode a harley I will inherit a harley. For me Harleys are a symbolic of american heritage and being a combat veteran I can't see myself on a different cruiser. The other bikes are nice I have looked but if I'm gonna pay 6k for a used shadow I'd rather have a harley soft tail for 8k. But that's just me and the way I see it
 

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No they don't provide the bikes in my area. I wish they did but the course isn't expensive and they keep it cheap by not providing the bikes
 

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To me it sounds like you have looked into this and you made a conscious choice for a personal reason, that I can understand and respect. Nothing wrong with that at all!

Grandpa rode a harley dad rode a harley I will inherit a harley. For me Harleys are a symbolic of american heritage and being a combat veteran I can't see myself on a different cruiser. The other bikes are nice I have looked but if I'm gonna pay 6k for a used shadow I'd rather have a harley soft tail for 8k. But that's just me and the way I see it
 

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A 4 cylinder liter bike is not a good choice for a first street bike. Is that blunt enough? Any full sized Harley is also a bad first bike choice.
If you really want to go to HD, how about a nice Street 500 or 750? You need to recognize you are paying for the name and the status symbol when you buy an HD because many bikes that are at least the equal of an HD can be had brand new for a lot less money.
 

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I'm with Oldman47, the FZ1 is way too much for a first street bike.

Like you, I went from dirt to street. It's quite a bit different, and not as forgiving as dirt when you mess up. So, do yourself a favor and get something smaller. Once you've mastered all the skills, then go get something big.
 

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I am 5'6 and 175 lbs and ride a 2009 Harley Electra glide..my back is not good...really the only time my back feels good is riding
 

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For all it's worth, I will throw in my two cents.

I believe that whatever you choose as your first bike, you need to commit to get to know it. How it rides, how it feels… this means riding often and practicing your slow rolling manoeuvres. Anyone can howl down a straight highway doing 80 mph but it's the turns and shifting that will cause you trouble.
My first was a 1983 CB650SC, a four cylinder, inline with about 72 HP and a ton of torque. My buddy sold it to me because he thought it was too big. So did I when I mounted her the first time but in a short period of time and lots of parking lot practice, I got very comfortable riding. Just commit…

Good luck to you!
 

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Your dirt experience should help you deal with the massive power of the ZF1. Your size might make a smaller motor less of a fun ride. Enjoy whatever you buy.
 

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I would recommend a smaller bike to get the feel of the road and bike. However my BRC instructor stated that a lot of new riders do not have money to purchase a starter bike. He said whatever you get you will have to learn on it anyway.

I started on a 500. Best thing I've done. It was very forgiving and gave me the confidence I needed as a new rider. That was six years ago. I can ride anything now.
 

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I'm a little late to this one but I had to get my .02 cent in.
If you have race dirt bike type experience, the FZ1 should be OK to start on.
But if it was just fun small dirt bike riding, maybe start with a little less HP than the FZ1.

If you do get the FZ1 keep in mind, it has a very touchy throttle.
 

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That's a lot of bike to start on but only you know your skill level. I'd definitely suggest taking the safety course. If you only learn one thing from the course it very well could be the one thing that keeps you out of a bad situation later. If you're having trouble finding one at community colleges try Harley dealers in the area. They supply bikes (HD street 500).
 

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I did my first riding on a 750 twin -non sport bike (Ducati Monster) and got in enough trouble on that to think I should have started with something like a 350 or 400. The FZ is a lot of bike, and it will be tuned twitchy - ie blip the throttle and you better be hanging on and your wits about you.

Give yourself a chance to develop the right instincts on a bike- to push that bar into the inside of a curve even though your logic is telling you not to move your tire closer to the edge of the cliff.

Of course it is up to you, but if your still in early learning stages it is very easy to get in a lot of trouble and a lot of pain with a bike like that. Just sayn
 

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Discussion Starter #20
For those who are following this thread if any. I purchased the FZ1 and love it. It was rough at first but as soon as I had the clutch adjusted I'm doing just fine. When I started I was nervous about the size but after I got it on the open road all the dirt experience I have came flooding back (for example taking corners).
 
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