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Hey guys. I searched and was unable to find posts for this question..

I'm a noob looking to start riding. It would be my primary transportation, so reliability is important, and I will probably ride about 10,000 miles a year. This would include 4 hour, 220 mile trips via freeway once every other month, but mostly short commutes and weekend rides..

I'm about 6 foot 1, 180 pounds, and am more into cafe racer style bikes than anything else.

so my question is, what do you all think of the TU250x, the Rebel, Bonneville, V star 250, any other recommendations?

I'm leaning most towards the TU250 for the price factor and overall value from what I know of it. I realize the Rebel is a bit small, but again, reliability is my biggest concern.

Thanks for any feedback guys, and sorry again if this has been asked before.
 

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The Triumph Bonneville T100 would be my choice. Full size bike with a comfortable riding position and good power.
 

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The VStar 250, the TU250 and the Rebel 250 will all do great for commuting around town. They get excellent gas mileage, are easy to learn on, and are very maneuverable.

They are not designed for long-distance travelling at interstate speeds, though. They can handle short hops on the highway without much trouble, but 4-hour rides on the highway wouldn't be ideal. These motorcycles will top out at around 75 miles per hour.

The Bonneville can handle the interstate without a problem at all.

There is likely to be a large gap in price between the 250 models and the Bonneville when comparing similar-year models.
 

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I rode dirt bikes in the woods for years, but just recently picked it back up and started on road bikes. I bought a Marauder 800 at a decent price but had some issues getting a replacement title. Being impatient, I bought a gz250 starter bike to get reacquainted with riding while I waited for the lost title to come on the 800.

From my personal experience:
I bought into the hype of needing a "starter bike" so I picked up a Suzuki gz250 on the cheap and after only 400 miles, I am ready to upgrade. I'm 5'11", 190# and this little scooter isn't much for anything of distance. Like mentioned above, it tops out on flat ground around 75-80, depending if you have a head or tail wind. I live in an hilly area if PA, so it's a gutless wonder going up hill and i have to shift down to 3rd to even maintain a 40mph uphill climb. I'm also a bit tall for comfort on longer rides. My knees ached a bit after a 20mi ride with my mom on mother's day.

If I were starting all over, I'd get something a little bigger. I would look at a 400-800cc cruiser that fit me a little better and I would have skipped the 250 all together.

This is just my experience, ymmv.
 

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Chris
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i agree, you might want to get a bigger bike than a 250 if you plan on going on the interstate.
and a little 250 is going to feel cramped. if you worried about if its too much for you, go ask a buddy to go dirt bike riding so you get the hang of a dirt bike, and it will teach you a lot. but remember a dirt bike has a different kind of power than a motorcycle so don't be afraid of bigger bikes.
 

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The 250 being cramped/slow is bogus.

They make people start on 125s/250s in Europe when they start riding. Getting a smaller bike lets you learn very important skills w/o being overwhelmed by other **** (power + weight)

Admittedly the cruiser 250s are a whole different kind of slow, and you might be able to get away w/an old 500 cruiser or something (I know Kawi made one). But the worst thing to do on a bike is start w/something too big/fast.
 

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Where do you live? Come on out to PA and you can take my Suzi 250 out all day with me and see how ya like it, then take the 800 for a ride. I bet you go somewhere inbetween for a starter bike.
As mentioned, the 250 is a bit cramped for a taller rider if you have long legs, at least mine is for me. (32" inseam) And on highways, the 250 isn't very snappy in a headwind. These features may be negligible in a small town or open country roads when there's no wind, but on the 65mph interstate it's a PITA trying to get a 250 up to speed without getting run over.

This is my experience so far. ymmv.
 

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An Arse
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I have a TU-250, it's my first bike, and I love it. If you switch your sprockets it's not bad on the highway either, although you'd be better off on something like a ninja 250 for highways.
 

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Challenged Mechanic
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I have the Bonnie (T-100) and love it. It is a bit heavier but will do those road trips without breaking a sweat and is still easy to handle around town commuting. Even though it has 865cc, the bike is easily managed and has a nice smooth predictable powerband and good brakes. You could do the ton and have lots of throttle left and throw the front wheel in the air, but neither is going to happen on accident. With a few mods it can become a great tourer (seat, windscreen, rack, and bags). It is a bike a moderate beginner can handle and will not likely make them want to upgrade in a year.

A while back RoadBike Mag did a comparison of "beginner" bikes, like the TU250, along with the Bonnie and the Trumpet got high marks.

Cheers,

Mike
 

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I glad I found this post, I was originally looking at Bonneville's on CL when I discovered the TU250x. Went into the local Suzuki dealer the past weekend and sat on one. I'm 5'10" and 160 lbs with a 32" inseam (short legs for my ht). I liked the fact that my feet were flat. But as I thought about highway riding, I asked the sales guy if the motor would be revving (loud) . . . too much bothers me. Well the sales guy thought the bike would be good for my wife and was trying to convince me to go bigger. Well, since I want a newer bike with vintage styling, I decided not to be swayed from the Bonneville.

However, there is another bike I'm wondering if the op has considered. The Moto Guzzi V7 Classic. It is close in price to the Bonneville and has the V-twin and shaft drive. I stopped by a MG dealer before the Suzuki and they had a nice orange one. Something to consider, but I'm curious how you guys would compare with the Bonneville for the sake of this discussion??
 

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Pegasus trapped in a human body on a motorcycle
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The Shadow 750 is never a bad choice for a first bike in my opinion, and a lot of Shadow owners find they are very happy staying with the Shadow for a long while.
 

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However, there is another bike I'm wondering if the op has considered. The Moto Guzzi V7 Classic. It is close in price to the Bonneville and has the V-twin and shaft drive. I stopped by a MG dealer before the Suzuki and they had a nice orange one. Something to consider, but I'm curious how you guys would compare with the Bonneville for the sake of this discussion??
The Guzzi V7 Classic is also a nice bike and would be a great choice. Classic V-twin power from a tried and true power plant and it has shaft drive and the café look as well. It sounds like you have two great bikes to choose from.
 

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well that some close bikes

Have you expanded your ideas to include Honda 650/750's, Kawasaki 600/900's,
Yamaha's V Star has 250. 650, and 950's, And Suzuki has S40 and the M/C 50's

Here is a site you can see how you fit on each bike;

http://cycle-ergo.com/
 

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I've owned a lot of bike through the years, big and small, you should try Yamaha V-Star 650, Custom or Classic. These are great bikes, shaft drive, very reliable and comfortable. They have a very broad power band, peak torque at only 3k and will handle the interstate with ease. They are not light but they have a very low saddle, good balance and are very easy to handle in town as well. They are not a rocket but a very nice cruiser.
 
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