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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I´m planning on taking up motorcycle riding, and need a recommendation for a first bike to get. I´ll be getting my license at the start of the next season, so I have some time to look around and decide what to get over the winter.

The problem is that I´m kinda huge at 6´4 and 260-280 lbs, so the nice little beginner bikes are probably going to be too physically small for me due to my frame, and I probably need adjustable front suspensions because of the weight, right?

Whereas the bikes with the large frames and good suspensions usually have scary horsepower not really appropriate for a newbie.

The bike will primarily be used for commuting and just getting around town day to day, and I also plan on taking it to the track for some fun, so I want something that´s sporty enough for that as well. So probably a sporty naked bike, right?

What I´m looking at now is maybe the Yamaha MT-09 SP, 2021 edition, as it´s bigger and has adjustable forks compared to the MT-07, but also has a power mode than turns down the power to basically match the MT-07 (so bigger bike comfort with smaller bike power, which sounds good). I´ve also been recommended the Honda CB650R, and this recommendation came from a guy nearly my height, but I´ve seen also seen mention somewhere that this one might get a bit cramped for a big guy.

Checked out the stats on Ducati Monster 950, and it´s got similar numbers to the MT09, and it has an urban riding mode that turns down the power to 75 HP, would that be an appropriate thing to be looking at as well given my needs and my size?

What else should I be looking at?
 

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As a first time rider I wouldn't put a lot of stock in the adjustable power settings. I had them on my GSXR 600 and honestly only used it to dumb it down if I was in the rain or on gravel. The rest of the time I just ran in A mode.

Any of those bikes are gonna move even a big dude like yourself along just fine. I would suggest something like the Suzuki SV650 as an entry to the sport bike path. They are not an inline 4 so you don't have to deal with the stupid amount of power a full sport bike can put out but the platform is sporty enough it is a popular track weapon as well. They are also less expensive and with good maintenance should hold their value for a couple years till you want a full super sport.

Failing that if you are dead set on the super sport type power look for a naked bike as you mentioned. They are typically a sport bike with minimal farings and a more upright riding position that may fit your length better. For me the Suzuki GXS-S750A would be a good choice.

 

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The vast majority of motorcycles were designed to carry 2 passengers, so you really don't need to worry about squishing a smaller displacement motorcycle, just buy one that has a full sized frame and decent sized wheels, remove the passenger pegs and it will be just fine.

The bike you select should Not have 2 great huge front brakes on it, or you are likely looking at a motorcycle that is either too powerful or too heavy for a first time rider.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Ok, I´ll have a look at the suzukis.
I´m not at all worried about whether these bikes will have the power to move my bulk, rather the opposite i´m worried they will move it too quick for a beginner.

But the question is if the frame of the bike is big enough to be comfortable to ride, and if the suspension is hard enough and adjustable so that I won´t be bottoming it out if I do take it to the track.
 

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Track!
Wait a minute, you planning on going racing? That's a whole different story.

Expensive race bikes have fully adjustable suspensions, that's one of the things that makes them more expensive then regular street bikes. If spring rates are wrong you change the springs and adjust the pre-loads, it's the springs that carry the weight. High end suspension systems additionally include adjustment for compression and rebound dampening independently.
 

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LOL as a new rider, you are gonna be a long time from doing the track thing. ;) I however recommend the Suzuki V-Strom 650, it is very popular for the bigger fellas and don't let it being a 650 fool ya.......it's the SV650 engine. The V-Strom 1050 will be too much bike for you IMHO, you wouldn't outgrow that 650 anytime soon anyways.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
LOL as a new rider, you are gonna be a long time from doing the track thing. ;) I however recommend the Suzuki V-Strom 650, it is very popular for the bigger fellas and don't let it being a 650 fool ya.......it's the SV650 engine. The V-Strom 1050 will be too much bike for you IMHO, you wouldn't outgrow that 650 anytime soon anyways.
Why far away from the track? I'm not talking about signing up for competitive racing, I'm talking about going to an open track day and just playing around to get to know the bike, how it handles at higher speeds and practicing/improving my riding technique etc. I want to get good at riding as quickly as possible, and I'd rather learn by testing my limits and improving my skills on a track where there arent lightposts to slam or 18wheelers to slide under.

Also, what separates the v-strom from the sv? Is it just the fairing or is the frame different or something? Because if they are otherwise similar I do like the looks of the sv better.
 

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Yeah, a buddy of mine has that one (well it's successor, he has a 2019 R6) and he says he's almost too tall to ride it comfortably, and he's shorter than me by a bit.
The R6 is a much different motorcycle with a similar engine, not a successor at all. In fact, the R6 predates the FZ6. The riding position is very uncomfortable. Kills your back and elbows. Its a racing bike, you're stuck in a tuck.

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FZ6 is a sport tourer. You sit upright on it.

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Its a good starter bike for a heavy person. Plenty of power but not much torque. This means accidental throttle inputs are less likely to reap consequences. They're also very cheap so you won't break the bank when you crash it.

Also, keep in mind its usually very easy to make significant changes in ride height to almost any motorcycle, practically for free, so don't get too fixated on seat height. You can add an inch to most Japanese bikes with a set of dog bones for $20.
 

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2018 Kawasaki NINJA 650 ABS KRT
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The 2018 NINJA 650 is a twin with an upright seating position and slightly rearward pegs. Might be a viable option for you. Be sure to take a basic rider course!!!(y)
 

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Welcome from the country of Texas. (USA) .. :)

But the question is if the frame of the bike is big enough to be comfortable to ride, and if the suspension is hard enough and adjustable so that I won´t be bottoming it out if I do take it to the track.
Even the lesser expensive bikes usually always have adjustable spring preload for the rear shock. A lot will have spring preload up front too but that's not where most of your weight is carried so that is not much of a concern. All other adjustments are for fine tuning of the handling. Not a concern starting out as a new rider.
You just need a bike large enough to accommodate your weight.

Why far away from the track? I'm not talking about signing up for competitive racing, I'm talking about going to an open track day and just playing around to get to know the bike, how it handles at higher speeds and practicing/improving my riding technique etc. I want to get good at riding as quickly as possible, and I'd rather learn by testing my limits and improving my skills on a track where there arent lightposts to slam or 18wheelers to slide under.
Track dayz are for learning how to ride at least fairly FAST on a bike you have already mastered at the slower to moderate speeds.
You need to get to know your bike real well BEFORE going to the the race track.
It's the crawl / walk / run thing. Look at the race track as the run part... It comes last.

As for bike recommendations just be sure to get one that doesn't wad up your legs too tight.
I've seen a few good suggestions above. I'm sure more are on the way. I'm no good at that.

Good luck in your search,
S F
 

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WELCOME ABOARD the site, and...

I'm sure you've already checked but if you haven't there are several threads in the following forum that might help.
 

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A lot will have spring preload up front too but that's not where most of your weight is carried so that is not much of a concern. All other adjustments are for fine tuning of the handling. Not a concern starting out as a new rider.
I have to say this is so wrong its actually dangerous advice

The rear shock carries all your weight, and all the weight of the bike - only under hard acceleration. Under braking - all weight is transfered off of the rear shock onto the fork. Having a really soft fork during moderate to heavy braking results in the fork fully compressing, leaving you with literally no suspension travel over bumps. This is going to cause the tire to lose traction over these bumps under braking as the tire skips across them and instantly locks up, washes out, and you go down. Plus, you get pitched forward at a 45 degree angle like a horse trying to throw a rider with a soft fork.

I cant think if anything more dangerous. New riders need their bike to brake correctly, above all else. A junk rear shock is hardly noticeable when you ride, but a poorly set up fork will bite you fast and hard and in the worst way.
 

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I didn’t see anything where SemiFast said anything about making the fork suspension soft. Maybe I missed it but it sure isn’t there in that quote.
 

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Small point , but it's the Springs that carry all the weight, the shock is just a shock absorber that also just happens to provide somewhere convenient to hold the spring to carry the weight.


If you are all worried about the front end diving during hard braking, buy a BMW with a tele-lever front suspension and you won't get the nose dive.
 

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Telelever FTW. The only problem for our new rider is that the only BMWs that have telelever are the big boxer R bikes and the big inline-four K bikes. They are very stable and nimble at speed, but heavy and cumbersome in the parking lot. Not sure that's a good first bike.
 

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Are your springs progressive wound or linear rated?
Huge difference in how they work and a huge difference on how effective the spring preload setting works.
... if you are getting way too much spring compression on the front end during braking, you have the wrong springs in the front forks. If the bike was designed to provide a nice comfortable ride and not made for the race track it will be riding on progressive wound springs. If the bike was designed for the race track, you will likely be riding on liner rated springs. On a linear spring the first inch of travel has the same compressive characteristics as the second inch of travel. That means the preload adjuster is going to do a heck of a lot more then if it was pre-loading a progressive rated spring.
 

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Telelever FTW. The only problem for our new rider is that the only BMWs that have telelever are the big boxer R bikes and the big inline-four K bikes. They are very stable and nimble at speed, but heavy and cumbersome in the parking lot. Not sure that's a good first bike.
It's a terrible first bike, but they certainly were built for giants.
 
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