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Discussion Starter #1
Looking for a first bike. Not new to riding as I used to dirt bike. I'm looking for a medium sized bike to commute on, mostly city, highway as last resort. Something easy to maintain and work on. I love the vintage/classic look but am learning I might have to sacrifice looks.

So I first was all about the Suzuki TU250X because of its modern technology, low price point and classic look. But since it's a 49 state bike and I live in CA,I've kind of moved on. I'm also starting to look for bikes more in the 300 to 500cc range.

This led me to classic CB350's. I know commuting on such old bikes is not unheard of, but I was curious if there are bikes out there that I'm just not finding. Something that is reliable, easy to maintain, can take highways for if needed. Classic looks is a plus!

My price range is $3000 or so. I know slims down my options too.
 

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Bike

An in between bike is an XS400 Yamaha. I have a 1983. Has a DOHC motor and makes a lot more power than the old CB350. So it can handle freeway speeds better. The rear end is a mono shock. Old bikes nearly always need wheel bearings, swing arm bearings and steering head bearings.
There is a good site for the XS400.
You might be able to get a 400 Yami for less than the CB350.
I have about $800.00 invested in mine, including a spare engine.
Bikes that weigh around 350 to 375 pounds are fun to ride.

Unkle Crusty
 

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Welcome from Seattle :)

I am helping a friend get on the road right now, and he is looking at a 1981 Suzuki GS450. It is pretty clean and hassome small bags on it, and the seller is only asking $875. Probably worth more, might need more work than advertised. A cool option though.

I am just wondering, how much have you ridden on the street? The reason l ask is because you said you are a dirt rider, which is where l was at as well. I can tell you this; they aretwo different beasts. If you buy a 500 street bike thinking it will have the same power as a 500 dirt bike, you are mistaken.The power is very different, and there is a much wider array of street bikes, types of engines, etc. For example, if you have been riding an XR350 and then jumped on a CB350 you would likely be baffled at how much less powerthe CB350 has. I'm not saying you should jump on something huge at all, just suggesting that you do your homework.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the responses. The XS400 looks like something I could be interested in. There's not nearly as many for sale on Craigslist compared to CB's but I'll keep an eye out.

Hawakaholic, I've have pretty much never really road street. Just some flat gravel with short pavement sections. As far as homework, I've done research surrounding reviews and opinions for each of the bikes I've been looking at. Ex. Tu250x pushing 70/80mph vs CB350 pushing 90/100mph,depending on engine condition, tuning etc. of course.

One other thing to consider is my build. I'm only 5'8" 135lbs. So I'm trying to keep weight and I size relatively low, hoping for a bike I could still whip around easily enough. That's why I'm leaning towards something aground 400cc's.
 

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My first was an 805cc Suzuki C50. I've no regrets about getting a bike that size right off.

Check out Cycle Trader for an idea of what's around you in the $3,000 range. You can sort by any criteria you want. Probably some Honda Shadows and C50s. Maybe some Kawasaki Vulcans. Some Stars. Honda used to make a 600cc VTX.

I agree with not getting a tuned up Hyabusa or decked out Road King as a first bike. Those would be big, heavy, powerful and expensive to learn on. However, there is nothing wrong with getting a mid size cruiser. They have low seat height and center of gravity. They won't run away on you as fast as liter bikes. Kind of soft of the handling due to wheel base and rake; you won't feel like it's trying to dive bomb the curves. Lots of bikes and parts for them to choose from.

Something else to consider is front tire width. I rode an HD 883 down the same highway as my C50. The skinnier front wheel on the 883 tracked in the grooves much more than the wider C50 tire. Tracking in grooves used to make me nervous. I don't think a narrow tire would have helped that for my first few months on the highway.

Cross wind is another issue. Light bikes get blown around more. It feels like the wind is blowing the bike from under you where the tires contact the road. It is weird. Mid size bikes will handle that better than lighter bikes.

This is all from the recollections of my first few months. A lot of the nervousness goes away when you get some miles on you. An experienced rider can take a Schwinn with a Chevy 350 strapped to it down a cut up highway in a 35 mph crosswind like, "Aint nothin but a thing".
 

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Don't rule out the Kawasaki Vulcans. The 900 is a pretty nice bike and really isn't too big to start on. Good luck in your search!
 

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Try looking at the 500 to 650 cc range. If you mostly ride surface streets with rare highway rides one of them may well suit you. Think about it and definitely sit on a few at your local multi-brand dealer.
 

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Take a ride of one of the 350's and see what you think.
I think you will want more power shortly after you have a few hours of riding under your belt. Like Oldman47 said look at the 500 to 650 cc's.
Not that you couldn't ride a 350 a long distance, you would be more comfortable on something a little bit larger. Good luck with your purchase.
 

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What you think about Harley Davidson Sportster Super Low. May be Price range is “between” ($5000 to $8000). Harley Davidson Sportster Super Low XL883L has all the motorcycle features you want for easy handling.
 
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