Motorcycle Forum banner
1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
38 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So a few things first I’m not a stranger to riding as I’ve been on dirt bikes for a couple years now. What I’ve run into is I’m wanting to start riding on the street which puts me rather strange position. I live in a rural area. It takes me a 15 minute drive to see buildings. I already know I want a cruiser simply because I like how they look and with what I already own I see no need to buy a dual sport. So my questions are do you think my experience on dirt bikes is going to play well into transitioning over to riding with traffic and what would you recommend that’s on the used market for someone in my situation
 

·
American Legion Rider
Joined
·
25,876 Posts
Do you have the ability to take a basic riding course? That's your best bet. No reason learning bad habits if you can start off with good habits. Some of your skills will help but there are big differences between dirt and street. You know how to start and stop a bike but that's almost where it ends. You can do it of course as others have and ultimately you should be a better street rider. Cornering and braking being the biggest differences. Use both brakes with heavier on the front but don't do that in dirt. On street it's a must. Counter-steering is key on street. Learn that or you'll have trouble with hot corners.Reading about it is simple. Execution not so much. Takes hours of practice. Anyone can ride in a straight line. Good luck is the best I can do for you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
38 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I was actually planning on signing up for a course though they don’t start till March. Thanks for the heads up on the differences
 

·
Zip
Joined
·
2,512 Posts
Have you actually sat on a cruiser? As a dirt bike rider you are accustomed to having the pegs directly below you; on a cruiser the pegs are going to be quite a bit forward. It takes some getting used to; at least it did for me. After years of riding street bikes with "standard" riding position I spent a short time on a small Suzuki cruiser style bike (at a riding class where the school provided the bikes). It was very hard for me to operate that bike smoothly. I suppose if I had spent more time on it I would have gotten used to it, and probably been able to switch back and forth between the different styles of bikes. After all, many people own different styles of bikes and ride them all with no problem.

All that to just say, expect it to take some time for you to get really comfortable on a cruiser.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
38 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yeah I’ve sat on a couple actually the second bike I ever sat one was an 01 Sportster 1200 custom that my uncle had. And I’ve sat on a couple Honda Shadows at various dealerships to see how I liked them. The only standard I’ve ever sat on was a 1979 Suzuki gs1000L that I had acquired as payment for working on a truck. Turned around and sold it because I knew it needed a lot of work and wasn’t exactly the ideal street bike for me. The reason I’m looking into that style bike is because once I get comfortable I plan on doing some longer rides.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
775 Posts
I think the Yamaha V-Star 650 is a good entry point to the world of cruiser bikes. Yamaha DragStar 650 - Wikipedia Relatively light weight, relatively simple, with adequate power for freeway riding. There's lots of them available, relatively inexpensively.
Another excellent bike that's very reasonably priced 2nd hand is the Yamaha Virago 535, which is more or less the 650s predecessor.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,649 Posts
Don't know about the 535 but the 650 Yamaha sounds like a good choice. Not saying anything against the 535, it may be a great bike, I just don't know anything about it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30 Posts
I am a relatively new rider, my situation is similar to the OP. My main experience was always with dirt bikes, so I decided to start riding on the streets. The only commonality between dirt biking and street bike is pull the choke and shift gears, it stops right there. Just like hogcowboy indicated above braking, cornering and turning are completely different to what I was always used to. Took the basic riding course, after successfully passing the course got my M1 and decided to get my first street bike. I opted to buy a used bike, what I call a beater, because all of the mistakes I am going to make I'd rather make them on a used bike rather than a brand new one. As for my first bike I bought a 2001 Yamaha VStar 650 in excellent condition, can't even tell it's a 2001. The bike rides nice and in line with what I want to move up to when I outgrow this bike. Low center of gravity, nimble on curvy roads. I spent numerous hours practicing in a parking lot weaving in and out of cones, making u turns at slow speeds of no more than 8MPH, and this is what has given me the confidence on the road. To be honest with y'all when I first got the bike I was intimidated by the weight ( wet weight 595lbs), although the weight does not mean a lot. I saw a girl - slim probably 125 lbs., riding a Harley Road King - 850lbs weaving in and out of cones as if it was a bicycle
It is all about control..
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top