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Discussion Starter #1
Hey gang,

I'm looking into my first bike and still trying to narrow down options since, in my other thread, it was pointed out that I'd probably be WAY too big for a Rebel 250 (I'm ~6'3"/190). So I figured I'd post some pictures as inspiration now that I can do that with my new high post count, and you guys can tell me something similar that might fit the aesthetic and my size.









Hopefully this gives you guys a sense of the aesthetics I like... Maybe now that you've seen that, you can suggest a bike that matches that style, that would be appropriate for a beginning rider who's 6'3" or thereabouts. If you can't, well, I hope you enjoyed the pictures at least. :)
 

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Commute Racer
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What are the costs on 1 and 4? 2 and 3 I would eliminate on a comfort standpoint alone. You shouldn't be getting sore and tired while you're trying to learn.

Also, I would also stop shopping for your ideal bike as a first. Just get something comfy and maneuverable to build skills on, then buy your nice bike as a second one.

Another option: Get a Triumph Bonneville and then modify it to look like those bikes above slowly as you own it.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Sorry, should've made that clearer - none of these are options. They're just bikes I really like. I was hoping people could recommend affordable, learning-friendly approximations of them for a tall first-time rider. Hahaha
 

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My opinion is to get something that can do everything you expect to be doing. You'll be ready to pick up the pace in short order. That doesn't automatically mean a liter+ sport touring bike. If you expect to be on city streets on up to interstate, which is a fairly common expectation, get a bike big enough for it. Sure, people have driven across the US on 250s, but they didn't do it like driving to the corner store.

Decide that and then what you want to spend. Put that into Cycletrader. Use cycle-ergo for an idea of how you'll fit on your choices.

I say a 600-900cc cruiser. That seems to be your taste, and you can find lots of gently used Honda Shadows, Suzuki C50s, Kawasaki Vulcans and even HD 883s for $4,000 to $6,000. I don't give a rat how other countries require people to start on small bikes. A reasonable adult is not going to die because they have 45-60 horse power bike.

That said, if you want <600cc for whatever reason, go for it. Nothing wrong with that. Not at all.
 

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Driftless Rider
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I agree with some of the above suggestions about looking used Triumphs. Looks to be the style you are into. Can't go wrong with a Bonnie or Thruxton. Maybe a Speedmaster or America if you want the cruiser type bend.

I'm about exactly the same size as you, and I can comfortably ride both the Bonnie and Thruxton. (haven't had a chance to ride the Speedmaster or America yet)

Would they be my choice to put a lot of touring miles one? Probably not, but for day trips and zipping around the town; you should be good to go.
 

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Which way around

If you were going to learn to play the violin, would you start with something from Paganini?
If you were going to go snow skiing, would you start with a black diamond run?
If you were going to go surfing, would you start on the North Shore of Oahu?

What is it about motorcycles, that make young men think normal logic does not apply? Learn to ride on something sensible. What you think you want will likely change. What came first: The graduated licensing program, or young men crashing at an alarming rate? Contrary to what has been said: car crashes and serious injuries are going down. Motorcycle crashes and serious injuries are going up.

Even if you are a capable rider with many years of experience and you go to the track; Do you think they will automatically let you race with the experts?
I will answer that for you. Not bloody likely, because you would be dead slow and all over the place.
Even expert licensed road racers have to go through training to race at the IOM.

Do you see a trend here? I will answer again. It is about learning first. Pie in the sky dreams come later, much later. If you spend the time learning, you will have many laters, and many bikes. Get an XL250 and go ride in the dirt in the meantime, and wear leather pants, a helmet and decent gloves. If you break easy, some upper body protection.
You can probably get an XL250 for next to nothing.

I worked with a guy who has a 1000 4 cylinder Yamaha. He said lets go riding, I just have to clean the carbs on the Yami first.
I have purchased four bikes and sold one since that day, all running. His is still not back together.

Unkle Crusty*
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Jo, Crusty, Bines -

Thanks for the pointers, guys. Much appreciated. Super sorry for the delay, by the way... Been super busy with class and missed the notification that people had responded to the thread. Will probably take the BRC in March and go from there. Fun dreaming about bikes in the meantime!

Thanks much.

-Blakeney
 

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Since you are that tall like me (6'4" 225lb.) if you have any inclination to go off-road an enduro is always a good starter. Depending on make they can be pretty cheap and not too intimidating power wise but still get up to highway speeds pretty easily. they don't make very good bikes for long distance riding but then first bikes don't usually stay long before you move on and up.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Probably a good call! I'm keeping an eye out for any kind of deal right now. I'm not flush, so I'm trying to swap one of my guns towards a beginner bike. Either way, a solid enduro would be fun so I can take it to Mexico if the desire arises.
 

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Enduro

Probably a good call! I'm keeping an eye out for any kind of deal right now. I'm not flush, so I'm trying to swap one of my guns towards a beginner bike. Either way, a solid enduro would be fun so I can take it to Mexico if the desire arises.
There are lots of good Enduro type bikes available, in 250, 450, and 650 sizes.
I would gladly have a Suzuki 650, or the Honda XR650. A 450 might be a good size to start with. Start riding in the dirt. Loosen the front brake lever and the clutch lever on the bars. Just a bit so they twist, rather than break when you drop the bike. Bolt on a good skid plate. If you have sage brush, attach a chain from the end of the back brake lever and shifter, to the frame. This is to prevent the brush from ripping them off the bike. Point the throttle cable to the sky to prevent it from fouling the front brake lever. Trials Universal tars work fine. You do not need knobbies. Back tyre should have rim locks, or whatever they use these days.
Plastic levers also work well.

Unkle Crusty*
 

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I'd research them all, ad nausium first.

It's fairly clear that you don't intend to do any serious road miles with your choice of bike.

Some interesting choices there......

-soupy
 

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................Groceries..........
"Groceries?" You'd better start thinking "Saddle Bags" if you want to haul any "groceries" on THOSE bikes! (Unless of course you are only talking about a candy bar or pack of smokes that you can stuff into your jacket pocket!

-Soupy
 

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" I'm a little skeptical of "ride it three times a week" and "820 miles on it,""

-Speedometer broke years ago?

I'd suggest going around to a few dealers first and actually sitting on a few different bikes first. That small framed Honda might get awfully cramped awfully fast. Then, once you have a better idea of what will fit you, you can narrow down your search for a good used bike.

And who knows? You might feel fine on a Rebel. They're brave little bikes and can do more then a lot of people give them credit for. And a set of throw-over bags and a few bungees and you can carry home Thanksgiving dinner.
 
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