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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, all! Looking to take to the road on a bike starting this spring. No riding experience other than a small amount of dirtbike experience around the countryside as a teen. I have never owned a motorcycle. For a few years I have wanted to get a bike but just never in a place to make it happen until now. I'm sure I'll get my chops busted for this but Sons of Anarchy is what opened my eyes to the free spirit associated with motorcycles. Now let me follow with these few things:

1. I get that it's a TV show and not real life. I have no interest in real OMC's, and nothing but absolute respect for real world motorcyclists who have been doing this long before any television show. I am 26 and have no immediate family or friends who ride. That show just happened to be what opened my eyes to the motorcycle world which is much larger than just Harleys etc.

2. I know that my first bike can't be a tricked out club style heavy Dyna. Idk if I'd even like the feel or function of a bike like that, but I must admit that I think they look badass. (I get it, I'm a nerd). I'm not interested in sportbikes.

3. I am in medical school and have a legitimate interest in living for a long time. I'd never do anything other than ride conscientiously and do my utmost to be as safe as possible.

Now then, I am in the process of finding a BRC to take this spring. I have perused some on craigslist, and have found what look to be solid deals on starter bikes. My question is this - would an Iron 883 be too heavy/powerful/much for a first time rider to start with? I am 5'10, 200, in decent physical shape. I hope to take the bike up to IA with me this summer for a summer internship I'm doing and that may involve some interstate riding, otherwise I just tool around the midsize Kansas town where I am in school. Not really looking to ride across the country or anything.

I have read many posts on here and you guys seem like great people. Thanks in advance for any advice you may have!
 

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How much experience on a bike do you have? Ever ridden a dirt bike? Scooter? Minibike?

I would start by taking the BRC. It will teach you so much in such a short period of time, it is the best money a new rider can spend. You will find out if riding is for you, and will learn great lessons that will last a lifetime.

As far as your first bike, l say you should definitely start with a used bike, whatever it is, and not too new. Something that is beyond the first few years of depreciation, but not so old as to be in need of new everything, either. An 883 isn't a horribly big or powerful bike, a lot of people start on them.

Beware of the bike ad that says, "Just needs a new battery, tires, and carbs cleaned." This can easily run as much as a grand depending on the bike.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the reply hawk! I've messed around on some dirtbikes, and taken a minibike or two for a spin. I figure a guy could pretty well just go with his gut buying those used deals private treaty. Thanks for the heads up about all the extras that might be latent cost waiting to happen.
 

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Welcome to the Forum. You are right, SOA was a dramatized TV show. I did watch the show and enjoyed it. There may or may not be clubs out there similar to what was portrayed on TV.

Now that we have established that, :D, and not to sound like a bot, :D, take the BRC. Go sit on lots of bikes of all kinds and sizes, new and used. You will find one or two that just feel right. We might tell you the Iron 883 would be perfect and you really get your heart set on it only to find out it is really not comfy for you.

I always tell folks to have fun with their search and don't buy the 1st bike you sit on. You really need to think about what you want to do with your bike. I also recommend newbies buy used. If you read a lot of what we've told other newbies, almost everyone drops their 1st bike. Some folks have ridden several years and dropped it.

Insurance is another issue. Once you find a bike or two that you like, check with you Ins. company to see what the cost will be. Usually the BRC will get you a discount but not always.

Good Luck to you. I guess the best thing I can suggest is that you check out CaptCrash's video, it's the best explanation we can give you:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC9qZpXVqpbjGINQP_kStToQ
 

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Discussion Starter #5
one question I did have is this:

are there any tips to get dealers/owners, etc, anyone who you may be purchasing from to not take advantage of a newbie? any specific language, or "poker face" type things that will keep me from getting suckered? Obviously people will know I'm a new owner but I don't want to come across totally barefoot and get robbed.
 

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My theory is to talk to the salespeople at dealerships. Explain you are new and trying to determine what bike you like and feel comfy on. Tell them you are going to take the BRC 'before' you buy. If they are a good salesperson they will want to explain everything they can to you and help you as much as they can in hopes you will come back and see them. If not they will try to high pressure you or will suddenly just act like they don't have time for you.

As for buying from an individual you kind of have to go with your gut. But if you have talked to folks at dealerships you will get some ideas of what to ask. Also, there is a great thread here about buying a bike.
 

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One tip would be to buy an older model year of the bike you want. I bought my 2012 TU250x in 2014 at a nice discount from MSRP and the dealer waived all fees, though that may be more difficult with a Harley. As far as I know, there's no difference between the 2012 and 2104 TU250x, other than the color.

Another option would be to go used and then when you're ready to move up, you won't take as big a hit on depreciation. A nice light bike can be very advantageous while you're getting your feet wet, but some do have the confidence for a larger bike. I wasn't one of them. Good Luck.
 

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Welcome to the funny farm(at times) from Texas. I can't bust your chops on Sons. I've never seen it.:D
 

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I know that my first bike can't be a tricked out club style heavy Dyna.
True, but you can eventually trick out a 500 Vulcan, 600/750 Shadow, 650 V-Star, or 800 Intruder. ;)

Despite the Motor Company sales droid claims, the Sportster really isn't an ideal beginner bike. They like to push it as such because by default it's their smallest bike, but smallest does not translate directly to beginner friendly. For example, back in 2010 Honda's smallest bike was the CBR600. Apply that same logic and see what happens. :biggrin: While there are far worse bikes to start than a Sportster, at the same time there are far better ones as well. Harley's Street 500 & 750 being two of them, if you're hung up on domestic.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for the advice everyone. I have checked out lots of sites and youtube videos of all of the bikes you have mentioned! Much appreciative of the friendly response as well!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
also does anyone have an opinion of victory motorcycles? My neighbors a few doors down have one and it looks like a very sharp bike.
 

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LOL!! Opinion of Victories -- They are good American made bikes. We love ours!! There are several threads about the Victories.

There are quite a few of us Victory owners on the Forum. We have a Vision. Haven't had a single issue with it. I really wanted a Kingpin but they quit making it. They came out with the Magnum this year and I can't wait to go put my bottom on one.
 

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I have owned somewhere in the neighborhood of 8-10 bikes, and have never bought one at a dealership. They cost a lot more than they are worth there. The only time l would ever is if l decided to buy new.

If you think about it, how much does a dealership know about a used bike they have for sale? Maybe it is from a customer who had it serviced there regularly, but maybe not. They can't know how it was taken care of, and when you go see it, it is not in the environment it has been in for the last however long. When you go look at a bike at someone's house, you can get a good feel for how it has been treated. Is their house in good condition? Is their yard a mess, their lawn mowed? Is there a garage? Is there a spot for it in the garage? What does the guy's car and truck look like? Are there a whole bunch of project cars and bikes all over the place? All these things can answer questions that the dealer cannot. The dealer is going to tell you what they want you to hear, that bike has been super dependable, the previous owner has bought three bikes here and has them all serviced here, there has never been anything other than routine maintenance done to it, blah blah blah. And, on top of it all, that Vulcan will cost you $4499 at the dealer when there are half a dozen of them on Craigslist for $3000-$4000. Throw in tax, license and stroking fees and you're looking at over $5000 for a $3500 bike.
 

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If you go to a dealership, explain that you are just starting and they push you to an 800 lbs cruiser or a supersport as your first bike then politely say thank you and leave because they are only interested in making the biggest sale. Unlike Hawk I have purchased most of my bikes at the same dealership and have always felt I got a good deal. I have also seen them refuse to sell a bike to someone who would be likely to crash on the way home with it.
That being said....take your time and find the right bike for YOU! Many views are just personal taste and can be taken with a grain of salt (or maybe a bottle) I think what most of us agree on though is that it's your first bike not your last. Start on something that won't terrify you on your first ride or punish you for making a mistake. You will make mistakes! Start smaller, learn to really ride the thing and you will be riding for years to come. Let your ego get ahead of you and you'll likely end of being the one who spent lots of money and never rode it. Good luck!
 

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That is good to hear Murphy...maybe the dealer that l have seen the most of isn't a good one. I would always go look at bikes there with my dad when l was a kid, and it was the premier dealer in the area, but after the owner passed it to his kids the place changed. The other dealer l went to a few times was pretty much the same way...acting like they were extra special.
 

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I thought only Harley dealers tried to get you on the most expensive bike. Others are like that too? The only dealer we have close is a Suzuki dealer and he is too honest for his own good. If he sees something wrong with one of his used bikes he tells you about it before you even notice or ask about it. Rare. I even saw him refuse to sell a bike to a kid not too long ago because he didn't want his parents blaming him for selling the kid a bike too powerful for him. I've been trying to get him to buy a Indian franchise but he's as poor as the rest of us.
 

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I thought only Harley dealers tried to get you on the most expensive bike.
Sales people at any dealer will try to steer you to the most expensive bike. More expensive models carry higher commissions, it's simple math. Just realize those particular sales people don't have a beginner's best interests in mind, the wise sales person will sell a newbie an appropriate bike and then likely sell him/her a move-up bike later. At the end of the month, units moved has a more significant impact than commissions earned.
 

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I thought only Harley dealers tried to get you on the most expensive bike. Others are like that too? The only dealer we have close is a Suzuki dealer and he is too honest for his own good. If he sees something wrong with one of his used bikes he tells you about it before you even notice or ask about it. Rare. I even saw him refuse to sell a bike to a kid not too long ago because he didn't want his parents blaming him for selling the kid a bike too powerful for him. I've been trying to get him to buy a Indian franchise but he's as poor as the rest of us.
Yeah, l think you do have a good one there Cowboy. The dealer l am referring to, l always had some loyalty to because my Dad bought a bike from the owner way back in the day when he was selling Kawasakis out of storage sheds. He was a good man, he took good care of his customers. Like all good businessmen, he got older and retired, and handed his business to his two kids. I went to high school with the daughter, she is nice enough. She eventually sold her side to her brother, who has done all he could to turn every one of his dad's loyal customers away. The last time l went there was several years ago. I needed a new tire for my quad. I had gotten a gift card for the place so l went there. They wouldn't tell me how much it cost to mount the new tire. Said l had to buy it in parts first, then take it over to serv ice. So l used the card to buy the tire, then went to the service counter and waited 45 minutes for them to tell me they wanted $45 to mount it. No wonder they wouldn't tell me up front. I said, "Thanks, but no thanks, my family have been loyal customers since 1972, and you have just gotten our last dollar." I went to a tire shop and they mounted and balanced it for $10, and turned around and rebalanced the other three for another $10.
 
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