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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone!! I am someone that is interested to learn how to ride a motorcycle and is currently looking into the vast marketplace. Thus far I have found a motorcycle that fits my budget. It is a 81 Yamaha MAXIM XJ550 and I was wondering if that is/was a good motorcycle to own? What do you guys think ? any and all advice is useful thank you very much !
 

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any and all advice is useful
If you are interested in learning how to ride a motorcycle, you should take the riders course and get your license before buying a bike. It's not uncommon for people to decide they don't like riding after completing the course. Better to spend $200 or so for the course, than $2,000 for a bike if you decide you don't like or the bike you bought is not a good fit. The riders course will give you a safe place to assess to your skill and confidence levels, which will have a bit effect on what bike you get.

Old bikes are awesome and cheap too, but more than likely, you're going to have to do your own wrenching. If you have the skill, great, but if not, it may spend more time in the garage than on the road. Parts for 40 year old bikes can be hard to find as well, which is something to keep in mind. Good Luck.
 

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2021 CanAm Spyder RT
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When I was an MSF Instructor I often had students who had not yet ever even sat on a motorcycle, but were asking me "which Harley was the best" (much of my teaching days were in Milwaukee so HD was on a lot of people's radar). I would always encourage them to slow down a bit and first complete the course before buying ANYTHING. In those days the training bikes were either Honda 125cc bikes made specifically for basic riding classes, or some other bikes with up to a 250cc engine. All were relatively light weight bikes. More than one student that decided that riding was for them also decided (wisely) that initially they should consider buying only a light weight bike that was easy to handle and hold off on the heavy Harley until they had a lot more experience. Some students used the basic course to help them decide whether riding was for them, and in some cases decided it was not. Reminded me of some students taking a day's lesson and making one parachute jump. It was enough for them to say to themselves "I've done it" but not something that they would pursue further. I'm sure that some of my students ended up being very glad that they had not gone out and bought a new expensive motorcycle before even completing the basic class. So take the class, enjoy the experience and don't feel you have to rush out and buy what will be your long term ride. That will come in good time.
 

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I think one thing that needs to be mentioned is, just because you may know how to ride a bicycle does not mean you know how to ride a motorcycle. Two different beasts entirely. I cannot stress this point enough. So in light of that statement, take a course and learn how to ride. If it is an MSF course, take the second level as well then decide about getting a bike.
 

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I think one thing that needs to be mentioned is, just because you may know how to ride a bicycle does not mean you know how to ride a motorcycle. Two different beasts entirely. I cannot stress this point enough.
I dsagree. I think knowing how to ride a bicycle is the ONLY prerequisite for learning how to ride a motorcycle. Of course it is not the same, but the essential balance, intuitive counter steering and effects of weight shifting, are all related to bicycle riding. I think it helps for a newbie to know how to drive a manual shift car, but it is not essential. But trying to teach someone to ride a motorcycle who has not mastered riding a bicycle is an exercise in futility.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
If you are interested in learning how to ride a motorcycle, you should take the riders course and get your license before buying a bike. It's not uncommon for people to decide they don't like riding after completing the course. Better to spend $200 or so for the course, than $2,000 for a bike if you decide you don't like or the bike you bought is not a good fit. The riders course will give you a safe place to assess to your skill and confidence levels, which will have a bit effect on what bike you get.

Old bikes are awesome and cheap too, but more than likely, you're going to have to do your own wrenching. If you have the skill, great, but if not, it may spend more time in the garage than on the road. Parts for 40 year old bikes can be hard to find as well, which is something to keep in mind. Good Luck.
Thank you for the advice ! You're right I can imagine myself confused as to why the bike may not run. Appreciate your time
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
When I was an MSF Instructor I often had students who had not yet ever even sat on a motorcycle, but were asking me "which Harley was the best" (much of my teaching days were in Milwaukee so HD was on a lot of people's radar). I would always encourage them to slow down a bit and first complete the course before buying ANYTHING. In those days the training bikes were either Honda 125cc bikes made specifically for basic riding classes, or some other bikes with up to a 250cc engine. All were relatively light weight bikes. More than one student that decided that riding was for them also decided (wisely) that initially they should consider buying only a light weight bike that was easy to handle and hold off on the heavy Harley until they had a lot more experience. Some students used the basic course to help them decide whether riding was for them, and in some cases decided it was not. Reminded me of some students taking a day's lesson and making one parachute jump. It was enough for them to say to themselves "I've done it" but not something that they would pursue further. I'm sure that some of my students ended up being very glad that they had not gone out and bought a new expensive motorcycle before even completing the basic class. So take the class, enjoy the experience and don't feel you have to rush out and buy what will be your long term ride. That will come in good time.
Thank you for the wisdom and advice ! You make a very valid point as to taking the class and starting in something small. Appreciate your time
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I think one thing that needs to be mentioned is, just because you may know how to ride a bicycle does not mean you know how to ride a motorcycle. Two different beasts entirely. I cannot stress this point enough. So in light of that statement, take a course and learn how to ride. If it is an MSF course, take the second level as well then decide about getting a bike.
Thank you for your advice! Taking a class is definitely a priority for me. Appreciate your time
 
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