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Hello all,

I am currently a graduate student at one of the Iowa Universities (won't say which one as to not upset those in support of the inferior option :smile:) studying geology. I do not yet have a motorcycle, but have been planing on joining the motorcycle community so that I can ride with a couple of my close friends. Some of my other hobbies include fishing, cycling, rock climbing, and of course camping.

Over the past half year I've been saving money in order to go through all the proper steps to become a safe rider. I will be starting off by taking the MSF course this weekend. I do not foresee any problems as I have become well versed in what it takes to ride a motorcycle, it just comes down to actually doing it :D. I have a lot of experience on a road bike, which I think should give me a really good leg up as I am used maintaining balance, counter-steering, leaning through fast curves, trail braking, and most importantly (although unfortunately) being invisible to all other traffic. After taking the MSF course, I plan on practicing in empty parking lots with my friends bike to really get my muscle memory down when it comes to clutch and throttle control. I will then slowly move to traffic free neighborhoods, to eventually the highway and city riding.

With all of that out of the way, I have made a budget with a plan to buy my first motorcycle in February. This is so I can make a larger down payment and dealers should be lowering their prices on the previous year's models. I have had my eye on and really fell in love with the 2018 Yamaha MT 07. I've done a lot of research and have come to the conclusion it would be an excellent first bike: one that I can easily start on (as long as I have self control) as well as grow into.

The problem is, I just ran into the opportunity to buy a friend of a friends 2014 Yamaha FZ 09 and I can't decide what I should do. The fz09 would be around $5000 - $5500 but comes with all the accessories he's put on (exhaust, frame sliders, axle sliders, saddle bags, etc.) and I then don't have to deal with delivery fees since it is in the same city as me. The MT07 I was planning on getting in February should drop in price a bit and I was predicting it would cost $6000-$6200 list price. So after sales tax, adding protective mods (frame sliders, etc), and the potential of having to ship it, it would cost somewhere around 7300.

If I were to buy the fz09 I would be able to buy it outright, but with the mt07 I was planning on putting $4000 - $5000 down and financing the rest (to avoid gap insurance). I haven't yet looked into the difference between insuring an older fz09 vs a newer, but less powerful mt07. Obviously spending less money on the fz09 would be nice because then I can put a little bit more money towards better protective gear (I'm not going to cheap out, regardless)

I personally think I will have a lot of self-control at the throttle for the fz09, but I wanted to get some experienced opinions on which would be the better way to go.

I appreciate your thoughts.

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