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New to riding. I was wondering if anybody could help me figure out what bike would be good to start with. I’m 6’, 175lbs, and 23 years old. Rode dirt bikes and ATV’s occasionally when I was a teenager but nothing much recently. Upon hours of research and consulting with the old man. I’ve boiled it down the 2018 Honda Rebel or the 2018 Kawasaki Versys 650. I’m leaning towards the Rebel because it’s more of a cruiser, not a full size cruiser at that. I get the feeling with the Rebel that the size and non-aggressive seating position will allow me more room to get a feel for riding a motorcycle, without biting of more than I can chew. I’ve read they’re easy to take care of and a great bike for a beginner. But... I’ve been told that I might get sick of the Rebel pretty fast after getting my bearings. That’s what makes me want to go towards something like the Versys. The upright seating, versatility, and bump up on engine size over the Rebel makes me feel like I’ll be able to grow into this bike and do more once I really get going. I do want to take some trips in the future, but in the pretty distant future. Is it to overzealous to get a bike like the Versys without the experience?
I’ve also considered the Honda CB500F Suzuki GSX-250R, Suzuki SV650 Kawasaki Ninja 400.
Thank you for any advice!!
 

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I went with the Suzuki V Strom 650 as my first (current) bike. I like the upright seating. It's tall enough to see over many of the vehicles on the road. Great fuel mileage. Plenty of power for the interstate, yet very forgiving to rookie errors. I think the Kawasaki you're considering would be very similar. Best of luck with whatever you choose.
 

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American Legion Rider
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WELCOME ABOARD, and...



We are friendly here. Well, some of us:grin:
 

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On The Road Again!
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Whatever you choose, go sit on it and try it out.
At 6 feet tall, some bikes may make you feel like
your knees are in your lap.
And welcome to the forum!!
 

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Check the load, or carrying, capacity on both bikes before you make a decide. You might want to go with something like a 900 Vulcan, but check its load capacity too as I don't know what it is. :)
 

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Gidday from a small Island in the Salish Sea.
Sit on all the bikes you are considering. The SV650 Suzuki is a sport bike. You might not like the riding position. The 650 Vstrom would probably be more comfortable, and an excellent bike. At 175 pounds most any bike can carry you.

UK
 

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Which Rebel are you considering? The 300 or the 500? Choosing your first bike is a very personal choice, and not an easy one. I started on a sport bike because I figured the agility would get me out of a jam better, but ended up figuring out my old butt belonged on a cruiser. I think any of the Rebels would be a good starter, a mix of comfort and fun. A single, like a 250 or 300, might be more vibratey than you like and a 500 twin might be just right. I wouldn't recommend a 500cc sport bike for a beginner, but a cruiser engine isn't tuned like a sport bike engine, so it's a more manageable kind of power. A lot of people will say don't start with more than a 250 or 300, and there are very good reasons for that advice, but you have to make your own choice.

If you're taking the MSF beginner rider course, which you really should, see if you can ride more than one style of bike during the course of the day. You may get more of a feel for what style of bike you want.
 

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I'm a new rider, too, and did lots and lots of research before buying a 2019 Kawasaki Vulcan S ABS (nice strong 649 cc engine). I liked internet videos of it being ridden, and the fact that it is dealer configurable to first buyer; you can sit on it and the dealer will change out the handlebars, seat and gear/rear brake linkages to fit it exactly to your physique. We all have different length arms and legs even if we are the same height. It turned out the default Kawi settings were perfect for me. Only adjustment I required was tuning the reach of the clutch and front brake levers; I have short fingers. A bike that is tunable, at no additional cost and is nimble and quick can't be beat. Me, still acclimating to the bike, mostly at home (I have 53 acre AR ranch with very long driveway and 35 acres of level pasture), before venturing out on road. MSF class is good but don't kid yourself you really know how to ride after completion. Best...
 

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I think you have got some very good advice. Only thing I might add is, buy an older used bike in good condition.

You don't want to ride for a few weeks, then decide motorcycles just ain't for you, then have umpteen years of payments to make on a bike you won't ride.

It's not for everyone and that's okay. You can always get a newer, bigger bike later if you want, but trying to sell a new one, that's still financed when you're upside down on it, is something everyone has to consider.

An older bike, in good condition, kept in good condition, you might ride it a year and sell it and recover most of your money. Just think about it.

I'm really not trying to discourage you, just give you the benefit of my own experiences. Good luck with whatever you choose to do. :)
 

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Welcome to the forum!

I both do and do not recommend the Rebel. They are great starter bikes and they are loads of fun, but the lower displacement ones (the 250 if older, 300 if newer) get boring once your skill surpasses the bike's ability. I'd say there's nothing wrong with starting on a bigger displacement bike so long as you're responsible with the power. Not everyone has to start on a 250. :)
 

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Hi and welcome to the forum!

Definately take the MSF course. It will give you a huge leg up starting out with road riding. Of the two bikes you are considering, the Versys might be a really good choice. Having your feet under you and an upright riding position will probably feel more familiar than sticking your feet out front in cruiser style. If you do go with the Rebel, which is also a great bike, I would consider the 500. It will keep you happy for longer.

You'll have more confidence picking a bike after a riding course, though.
 

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Go to some stealerships and sit on some. I personally prefer sportbikes. Get feel for what you like. Powerwise it is standard opinion to keep it about 500cc or so while learning. If you TRULY can control your wrist a twistin' this is the time of year to get a great great deal from a private owner.

-BK
 

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It's not just the wrist twisting. It's larger than that. It's learning how to handle a bike when things don't go as you expect. That panic or not area. The lower powered keeps things from getting totally out of control and keeps the pain level down should it go where you don't want. A crawl, before you walk, before you run thing.
 

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My advice would be to sit on the ones you're looking at and see which one feels best for you. I had this issue when I first started out. I bought a 2017 Indian Scout Sixty at 1000 CC. It was lightweight and lower to the ground which was perfect for me being 5'0 however I had an issue with the break and with the shifter because I had to really stretch to reach either or. Once I got extenders for them it felt amazing. You want to make sure that whatever you ride is comfortable for you. Just be mindful that whatever bike you decide to get might end up on the floor a few times here and there when you first start off. Thankfully this didn't happen to me but I've had some close calls. I would recommend maybe taking the course that way you know what a bike is suppose to feel like when you're comfortable and something that has just enough power for when you feel a bit more comfortable with riding you can get the feel for a little bit more speed. Whichever you decide just be careful out there but have fun with it
 
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