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Discussion Starter #1
Hello, I am looking to buy my first bike next month. I don't have any motorcycle friends so I hope you guys can help me.

I live in NYC but I often go on road trips to other states (Vermont, Virginia...) I need something that can handle terrible NYC roads (potholes) with traffic and a lot of swerving along with long adventures to the mountains. I know you're thinking a new motorcycle rider shouldn't be riding in NYC traffic, and not to sound arrogant, but I have experience driving stick shift cars, yellow taxi driver , bike messenger and mopeds in NYC.

I am not looking for any sports bike and I am not crazy about speed. I want something reliable that can handle NYC concrete/traffic and dirt roads in the country side. 50% street/50% adventure and off road. I will probably move to the northwest in two years though.

Thank you for your input and time. I do have a bike or two in mind, but I would like to hear what you have to say.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I am 6 ft. I saved up quite a bit of money, so theoretically I can spend as much as $20,000, but I would like to spend as little as I have to.
 

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Dayum, I wish I had that kind of budget. I'd have my next bike in five minutes. :p Anyway, this is the best first bike advice I know of.


Whatever you buy, don't buy knew. Use your first bike to get the kinks out of your riding so that you don't smash up the bike you really like. When all is said and done, you should be able to sell it for just about what you got it for, thus saving yourself a lot of money.

As for particular bikes, I can't give much advice. My knowledge is limited, and most of what I do know is about sport bikes.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The reason I wanted to buy new/newer model is to have a higher resale value. Do you think I can sell a old bike with mileage for what I get it for?
 

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You get way more resale value (as a percentage of what you bought it for) out of an old bike. Common practice is to buy a used bike for $2K or so, ride it for a year or two, then sell it for about the same amount, provided it was in good condition to start and you took good care of it. New depreciates drastically the instant you ride it out of the lot. The older a bike is, the more stable its price is.
 

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Given your height budget and intended use. I'd get a 650cc adventure type bike. A new or used Kawasaki Versys or a Suzuki Vstrom might be good choices. If you're actually going to go off road you may need different tires and possibly some suspension work. For gravel and dirt roads you'll probably be fine leaving the bike stock. I wouldn't go under 650cc because New York drivers are crazy and you'll need something that can get up to speed quickly to avoid being run over when you're trying to merge. I wouldn't go much over 650cc since you're a new rider and it's easy for a new rider to make ham-handed mistakes that can have disastrous consequences on a high horse power motorcycle.

 

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Discussion Starter #8
what do you think about the F800GS for my use? How does it stack up against the Vstorm, KLR 650, triumph tiger and honda africa twin? I kind of really want the bmw...
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Also, I don't plan to get too serious with the off-roading since I haven't even ridden a bike on pavement before, but it would be nice to have the option open as I go on a lot of road trips. Thanks again
 

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The F800GS is a nice bike. It probably has higher spec components compared with the other bikes you mentioned. The only big disadvantage is the sparse dealer network. Parts also tend to be more expensive than Japanese bikes. My wife has a BMW and I'm hoping she doesn't want to get another one. Not because it is a bad bike, but because I don't like any of the BMW dealers near me. It would be nice to have a dozen dealers to choose from for service like I have with my Honda.

If you want the option of being able to do some real off-roading in the future, the Honda African twin is probably your best bet. The engine is bigger that I usually recommend for a new rider, but since it's a twin, it shoud have a nice predictable power curve. The KLR 650 is better off-road, but I don't know if it would have enough power to deal with NYC traffic. Plus it doesn't have fuel injection or anti-lock brakes available. ABS is a really nice feature to have especially for new riders.
 

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You get way more resale value (as a percentage of what you bought it for) out of an old bike. Common practice is to buy a used bike for $2K or so, ride it for a year or two, then sell it for about the same amount, provided it was in good condition to start and you took good care of it. New depreciates drastically the instant you ride it out of the lot. The older a bike is, the more stable its price is.
Ditto.

If you want to see depreciation examples, check out Cycletrader.
 
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