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It would probably be easier if you were to get a smaller bike that costs less to learn on. That way if you drop it it doesn't hurt your feelings as much and it's easier to learn to handle a smaller bike to start with. But you CAN learn on a Sportster. It just might take a little more effort, is all. My wife started on an Ironhead Sportster as her first bike.
 

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Gone
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They are a bit heavy. The power delivery and braking systems are just fine to learn with for most people.

I'd recommend a training course and some practice at low speed maneuvers before heading out into the streets.
 

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The 43rd Poser
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440 Posts
Sportsters are not (contrary to popular belief) beginners bikes...



I am a proponent of learning to ride what you intend to ride.... just be ready to pick it up if you drop it.
 

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American Legion Rider
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No they aren't. They are top heavy. I'd suggest a Heritage or something like that if you got to have a larger bike. But a smaller bike to learn on and drop without getting hurt is the way to go. Remember, it's should be your first bike, not your last.
 

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I love my Boulevard S40. It's fun as hell, doesn't have all the gismos and gadgets to distract me. It's very nimble, so you can have fun in the twisties. It can handle highway speeds, it's going to roar a bit more than some of the bigger bikes, but it doesn't hurt anything.

One of the most common rookie mistakes is proper hand position on the throttle. You can very easily grab too much throttle by having your hand in the wrong position. You want a bike like mine, that is very forgiving like that. I'm not going to all of a sudden do 0 to 60 doing a wheelie like some of the other bikes.

Look at your arm holding the throttle. Your hand should be inline with your arm. Only when you twist your throttle should it not be inline.
 

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Visionary
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No sportster experience but plenty on the Vstar. The Vstar 650 should work well if a cruiser is your choice to learn on as long as you don't mind learning on a slightly heavy bike. The controls, amount of power, etc are very manageable. I'd be a little concerned if your 5' 2" and weigh 120 pounds but if your an average sized guy you will be fine, the bikes are plentiful and cheap too.
my other thoughts - Yamaha V Star 650cc. is this model better than 883 for beginner?
 

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I started on a brand new 1200 Sportster in 2006 (as seen in my avatar pic). I did fine, and haven't dropped a bike even all these years later. I find it an extremely easy bike to ride. Your mileage may vary.
 

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I've owned an '06 Sportster 1200 Custom and more recently an '09 Vstar 650 Classic. Both were great bikes, but the Vstar was more comfortable for me and despite the smaller displacement, I liked it better than my HD. The Vstar should be a great bike to learn on and the low seat height was nice.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Boulevard is a one cylinder bike. I don't like the feel of a 1 cylinder engine. I like V Star. It is comfortable for me, but my heart is with HD. The looks, the sound and the spirit.

also, does anybody have Yamaha Bolt experience?
 

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Boulevard is a one cylinder bike. I don't like the feel of a 1 cylinder engine. I like V Star. It is comfortable for me, but my heart is with HD. The looks, the sound and the spirit.

also, does anybody have Yamaha Bolt experience?
For about the same price you can buy the real thing and not a Japanese copy.
 

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If you learn on a Jap bike, like I did, you won't like the handling of the Sportster, it is different, not better or worse.

Like another poster on here, started on Jap bikes and switched to Sportster, first day out on his Sportster he wrecked not making a curve.

When I first got a Sportster I had a hard time making it curve, I'm back to Jap bikes because I'm much more comfortable on them.

If you want a Sportster then get a Sportster, actually learn how to ride it(goes for any bike) before you start seeing how fast you can go thru curves.
 

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I guess I never noticed a difference between my Sporty and my other bikes that was big enough to turn me off or illicit I'll handling. The Sporty handles differently than my Japanese bikes and my Ultra Glide. But then my Japanese bikes handle differently from each other as well. Hell the difference between an XL Custom and an XL Roadster is quite difference.
 

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I've never noticed enough of a difference between the way bikes handle to turn me off either. You just have to get used to any one particular ride and how it handles, as well as what it's intended to do. As AnyBike said, learn to ride it.:)

(The sole exception is with some of the "custom" choppers that were all the rage a few years ago. Some of them are positively dangerous in the way they handle and ride.)
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I read so many negative comments about Sportster lately, so now I am reluctant to get one. But I am certainly a cruiser oriented guy. This is solid. So, does any of you ever tried Yamaha Bolt? Also, I willdefinetly get a Harley, but probably not next year as initially intended
 
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