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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone,
I am a middle-aged man who has been considering getting a motorbike for more then two decades. I believe that time has finally arrived... but I have a gazillion questions, and so I am turning to experts for answers!

First off, my long-term goal is to ride a Honda Gold Wing 1500. Every time I see one, on the street or on the interwebs, my heart jumps. Haven't felt the same towards any other brand/make. With that being said, I'm very well aware I'm aiming very high for a beginner, so first I am looking to buy a more newbie-friendly bike. After looking left and right, I found the Suzuki Intruder VL250 to be most fitting for a beginner. They are relatively cheap where I live (cca 1500 USD nets you a very well maintained one), light enough and not too powerful. But I might be mistaken. I am 6'1" tall and weigh 168 pounds (182 cm / 77 kg). I will primarily ride the bike with my wife as passenger, she's 110 pounds and 5'1" tall. I am not interested in high speed riding, but comfort and self-paced riding around for fun and enjoying the unparalleled freedom only motorcycles give. Would the VL250 be good enough for a total beginner? I plan on riding it locally first, in the city and around it, luckily I live at the edge of the city and it's easy to get to the highway for short rides.

So I guess the first question is: Suzuki Intruder VL250 - would that be a good first bike ever? All subsequent questions derive from this one, so I'll just stop here for now :)
 

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Sure, it'll be fine. One word of caution: no passengers until you are very experienced.

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Duly noted!
Our house is on the side of a road which is less than a mile long with a dead end, I was thinking to experiment riding the bike with her as passenger at 30 mph back and forth on this road, hardly any cars except neighbours', would that be a safe bet?
 

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The VL250 is good first bike, but as others said don't carry a passenger until you have a lot of miles under your belt. You'll get there, but be patient. Take the basic skills course, get your license, ride a lot, and before you know it you'll be ready for a passenger and for the Goldwing that you really want. The best thing is that you can probably sell that 250 for the same thing you paid for it a year later.

BTW, where are you from? I'm in NE Pennsylvania.
 
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First take the basic skills course, then get used to riding yourself alone on the bike, slowly, up and down that road with a couple of slow U turns along the way, under complete control, never putting your feet down or even thinking about it. Then your ready to move onto a busier road, alone.
The passenger will come later

Duly noted!
Our house is on the side of a road which is less than a mile long with a dead end, I was thinking to experiment riding the bike with her as passenger at 30 mph back and forth on this road, hardly any cars except neighbours', would that be a safe bet?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
BTW, where are you from? I'm in NE Pennsylvania.
Different continent :)
(Romania, Eastern Europe)

Thank you for your answers. Here come other questions...

Equipment. I know zilch about equipment, but one thing's for sure, I don't want to skimp on it. I was thinking of a budget of between 500 and 800 USD for a while start package, safety first like always. Recommendations? I'm primarily interested in brands/types rather than from which store to buy, because we probably live in very different parts of the world :)
 

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Hi everyone,
I am a middle-aged man....
Does that mean you are half way through your expected lifespan?

First off, my long-term goal is to ride a Honda Gold Wing 1500.
Be aware that the 1500 is a very heavy bike. The 1800 is a bit lighter.

I found the Suzuki Intruder VL250 to be most fitting for a beginner.
Japanese bikes are generally fit-for-purpose. I'm sure it will be just fine as
long as you find it comfortable.

As Romania is in the EU, I would expect your driver licensing regulations are
similar to ours (Ireland). As the 250 is a category A2 bike, it can not be
used for the category A mandatory training or for the practical test.

You may be better off buying a category A compliant 600 or 650 as your
first bike. Bandit 600/650, Kawasaki ER6...........

I will primarily ride the bike with my wife as passenger....
You want a full licence and plenty of riding experience before you carry
a pillion. It is a big responsibility.

Would the VL250 be good enough for a total beginner?
It would be fine apart from being in a different licence category to
the bigger bikes.

Discuss the matter with your riding instructor. They will have a good understanding
of the regulations in your country.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Does that mean you are half way through your expected lifespan?
Indeed. Let's say my age starts with a 4 :)

Be aware that the 1500 is a very heavy bike. The 1800 is a bit lighter.
And a lot more expensive too. For first bike I could go as high as 2000 USD, and for the Gold Wing I don't think I could go over 6K dollars, maybe 7K if it's a really good deal. I guess the 1800 does not fit in that ballpark at all.

As Romania is in the EU, I would expect your driver licensing regulations are
similar to ours (Ireland). As the 250 is a category A2 bike, it can not be
used for the category A mandatory training or for the practical test.

You may be better off buying a category A compliant 600 or 650 as your
first bike. Bandit 600/650, Kawasaki ER6...........
The A Category includes the A1/A2. I will get full A and will be covered for all motorbikes, legally speaking.

You want a full licence and plenty of riding experience before you carry
a pillion. It is a big responsibility.
Indeed it is, that's why I am in no rush, better safe than sorry.

Discuss the matter with your riding instructor. They will have a good understanding
of the regulations in your country.
I have, the documentation is prepared, the classes will start as soon as possible after the wedding (I said "wife" above because the wedding is in less than a month, and we already consider ourselves married). Probably beginning of March. Afterwards I will start looking for the best beginner bike.
 

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Welcome to the forum, as stated Europe has different license requirements than the USA. I also believe you may have to have an instructor to get your license. I would start with your licensing agency and find out exactly what is required.

Good luck, both with your riding adventure and your upcoming wedding.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thank you all for your warm welcome words!
@Porky I love the Indian, but it's waaaay out of my league (financially). I had been looking at them for a number of years but finally settled on the Gold Wing. But that's probably not going to happen for a few years, first I need to learn a LOT more using a newbie-friendly bike.

So, what kind of equipment should I be looking at?
 

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Thank you all for your warm welcome words!
@Porky I love the Indian, but it's waaaay out of my league (financially). I had been looking at them for a number of years but finally settled on the Gold Wing. But that's probably not going to happen for a few years, first I need to learn a LOT more using a newbie-friendly bike.

So, what kind of equipment should I be looking at?
Do you have a good motorcycle shop that stock's a lot of gear? That would be the best way to shop when you're brand new. Motorcycle gear needs to fit properly to protect you correctly, and often new riders buy gear that doesnt.

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
You mean a brick-and-mortar shop? Yes, there are a few. They have some stock but nowhere near as much as online stores do, for obvious reasons.
 

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You mean a brick-and-mortar shop? Yes, there are a few. They have some stock but nowhere near as much as online stores do, for obvious reasons.
Yes, brick and mortar. It might be worth a trip somewhere if your local places don't have much. I'd start there

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I started on a scooter (automatic, twist&go, 125cc) as an easy commuter and it taught me a lot about safety and riding in busy city streets.

Two years later, I trained on a Honda CB500 and got my unrestricted license. But still, my next bike was a single-cylinder Yamaha trailie.

Two further years later, I took a Police-run advanced training course.

It wasn't till about 5 years that I got my first sports bike and carried a pillion. And had my first accident (nothing serious, no pillion).

You will never regret buying a motorbike. It has turned even a simple commute to something fun, made me many friends, and made me a better car driver. Be patient. All in good time.

Happy riding :)
 

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I started on a scooter (automatic, twist&go, 125cc) as an easy commuter and it taught me a lot about safety and riding in busy city streets.

Two years later, I trained on a Honda CB500 and got my unrestricted license. But still, my next bike was a single-cylinder Yamaha trailie.

Two further years later, I took a Police-run advanced training course.

It wasn't till about 5 years that I got my first sports bike and carried a pillion. And had my first accident (nothing serious, no pillion).

You will never regret buying a motorbike. It has turned even a simple commute to something fun, made me many friends, and made me a better car driver. Be patient. All in good time.

Happy riding :)
Your line about being a better car driver is exactly what I have to always told people. It was amazing to me how much better my driving was, and how much more aware I was, once I took the motorcycle class and learned to ride. I really think everybody should have to take that class regardless of whether they're going to ride or not.



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Sat on a new CB500X at the Honda Powersports dealer in Pittsburg, Kansas a few hours ago and found it quite comfortable and nice looking!

Sam
 

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Remember, the 1500 is heavier than the 1800. Although the 1500 are nice bikes and understand why you like them, I think in the long term you may be dissatisfied with the power. However, you may like them enough to deal with that. But keep those two things in mind. :)

As for 1st bike obviously I wouldn't recommend either one of them. My 1st bike was a Virago 250. I do not have a 1st bike recommendation for you. All I will say though is that within a month I outgrew the Virago 250.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I will get a smaller bike first, obviously. And as far as 1800 vs 1500 goes, I like the 1800 design less than the 1500 design. Seems like the Gold Wing transforms from a tourer into a sports-tourer, at least as far as looks go. The late 90s design, I love. The newer design, not so much, although the amount of tech going into it is amazing.
 

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I do get what you are saying. I always liked the 1500 design myself. :) You, like myself, like the GW. And the design is what you want and I will not fight you on it. The 1500 is a great bike. I wish you well on the choice you have made, Please pick a smaller bike to start with. ;)
 
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