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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi guys,

I posted a thread before here about buying a scooter, but many folks here suggested me to take the training course and get a bigger bike to commute in the city. During the course, I really found riding exciting and am willing to commit more into motorcycle.

I have some questions considering buying a beginner motorcycle now. I am now interning in LA for 3 months and am most likely leaving after the 3 month period. I want a beginner's bike, with a flexible budget from 1500 to 3500.

I think a rebel 250 or v star 250 will be too small and might be too slow after a month, although I found them pretty easy to ride during the course. I am now trying to find some used V star 650, Shadow or Suzuki s40. The suzuki is a lot lighter and has also a 650 engine, which I found more appealing for me. But I have never rode one or seen one, do any of you guys here have one? Want to share some thoughts?

Another thing is that since I am only in LA for 3 months and one of the reasons why I am buying a motorcycle, besides excitement, is that it's cheaper than a car. One of the Lyft driver I met told me I should buy a bike under 10 years and def under 100k miles. I wonder which one is more important? Like there are some cheap bike from the 90s under 8k, and there are some 06, 07 bikes but over 40k. I want to know what's the best motorcycle to buy and sell, while reserving the most value. Does Honda have a bigger market and more easier to sell? Btw, I still consider getting a rebel if it's really cheap. I am new here and cannot post links but you can copy and paste. Thanks a lot!

Here are some ads I found on Craigslists. There is a 2014 suzuki s40 that's almost new. I am mostly interested in this.

losangeles.craigslist.org/wst/mcy/5424810267.html


There is 06 a honda shadow too, pretty new bike. But I am a little concerned about shadow or v-star650, since they look kinda big and I have only rode rebel before.

losangeles.craigslist.org/sfv/mcy/5439104020.html

There is another 1987 Suzuki and it's really cheap, but I don't know how much is it gonna cost for maintenance. Again, I never owned a bike myself so I have no idea.

losangeles.craigslist.org/sgv/mcy/5441476536.html

And this 03 shadow is much cheaper than other shadows here. But it's been up for a week and the person is still reposting it. It's kinda sketchy area, which makes me question why is it so cheap. Also, I wonder is a 03 bike too old?

losangeles.craigslist.org/lac/mcy/5442007651.html

Again, I genuinely appreciate your opinions here. At first, I was only going to buy a scooter to commute but many friendly folks here encouraged me to take the course and buy a real bike. I found motorcycling really exciting and have been reading articles ever since. Please share your opinions with me! Thanks a lot!!

Ye
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Also the bike is mostly for city commute, but I am very excited to ride to Malibu and up to the mountains whenever I have the time. I will try my best to avoid highway since it's a little scary for me now :)
 

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In general, it's better to find a newer model with a higher price than trying to save money on an older one. A lot of the times, it will end up costing more for a cheaper motorcycle in the long run due to repair costs. This is especially true if you aren't in a position to do repairs yourself.
 

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I am going to suggest something to help you decide. Go to your nearest multi-brand dealer and sit on one of each of the bikes you are considering. My bet is that one of them will feel better to you than the other ones. That is the one I would focus on.
 

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I think a rebel 250 or v star 250 will be too small and might be too slow after a month
Up to about 70MPH, I find my TU250x to be all I need. It's not particularly fast, but still very easy to ride and a lot of fun. Once you hit 70MPH, it doesn't have much power to pass, but it'll hum along. You've got to drop a gear to maintain speed on a hill, which makes it a bit buzzy, but most of my trips are short, so I guess you'll have to decide on that one.

Bikes that are older and sat for a while can be more problematic, even though the miles are lower. On bikes that sit things get gunked up, parts go brittle, tires develop bad spots, etc. If it was well maintained that's one thing, but I don't think most people do maintenance on a bike that's sitting cause it costs money and time.

I think the S40 is a better starter bike because it's lighter. A lot will depend on your skill and confidence level. I'd agree, fit is very important on a bike and it's something that can only be done in person.
 

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I ride a 2008 Vstar 650, it's a bit on the heavy side but makes a good starter bike, you'll get used to the weight pretty quickly, but because it's a mid sized bike you won't outgrow it too quickly. It's not overpowered by any means but it's got plenty of power for the city. I know you said you were avoiding the highway but it can handle that too, I ride mine on the interstate all the time. I put 11,000 miles on mine last year, and I still love it, though I have been looking at bigger bikes recently too, upgrade time is coming.
Vstar 650s are usually plentiful on the used market, if prices in your area are similar a good one from say 05-10 will run between $2000-$3500 with under 10,000 miles, and they last forever so even one with 20,000 isn't a problem, and might save you some money.
Find one and sit on it as well as your other choices and see which fits best, they all are good choices.

Hi guys,

I think a rebel 250 or v star 250 will be too small and might be too slow after a month, although I found them pretty easy to ride during the course. I am now trying to find some used V star 650, Shadow or Suzuki s40. The suzuki is a lot lighter and has also a 650 engine, which I found more appealing for me. But I have never rode one or seen one, do any of you guys here have one? Want to share some thoughts?
 

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Vstar 650s are usually plentiful on the used market, if prices in your area are similar a good one from say 05-10 will run between $2000-$3500 with under 10,000 miles, and they last forever so even one with 20,000 isn't a problem, and might save you some money.
This!^^^^ The vStar 650's are probably one the best buy's out there on average. There were three for sale in my area this past Fall for just under $3K and all with less than 8000 miles and you're not going to constantly be spending time and money on repairs.
 

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Plus they are simple to work on, no FI, no radiator, and a shaft drive that requires nothing but a little grease every time you change the rear tire.

There is a specific forum for them that has two extremely well versed people that know everything there is to know about them and they are always willing to help. The forum front page has several pages of well written and video how to's too.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Hi I just narrowed my choice down to a 2006 Vulcan 500 and a 2012 Suzuki S40. Thanks so much guys. I am meeting up the person tomorrow.
 

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If you're getting a bike for 3 months then getting rid of it, then get the cheapest thats running, you can live with anything for 3 months.

If you're getting something to keep for a while..........I would not get the Kaw 500, they are no longer made, the 650 Suzuki will probably be made for a very long time. Kawasaki makes a 900 Custom that they will probably be making for a very long time.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I ended up buying the Kawasaki Vulcan 500 LTD, 2006, for 2500 dollar. I think it was very worth it because the seller rarely rode it and it only has 320 miles on it. The seller is very chill and friendly-- he and his son both rode Harley, which is another reason why I trust them. I rode the bike today for the first time. The freeway in LA seems a little intimidating, especially at night, but I feel okay after a while.

I want to thank everyone here for helping me!
And btw, I am in LA around culver city. If there is any club or motorcycle organization hit me up! I met lots of motorcyclists and everyone so far is so chill!
Ye
 
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