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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys,

I'm doing the rounds on research and a Rebel seems like a solid choice. But I'm torn between the 250 or the 450. I'll be taking the BRC before I pick either (so here's hoping they have both so I can test 'em out), but I wanted to get some opinions.

I'm 6'2 1/2" or thereabouts, and float at around 190 lbs. I'd like to ride two-up, but that's probably a ways off as I can't imagine putting somebody else's life on the line while I learn to ride. I'm in Los Angeles (around West Hollywood), so it's primarily for city riding, but the freeway will probably beckon eventually when I have to go to Santa Monica or something.

This is the bike I've been looking at (though the asking price of $2,000 seems like a bit more than the average and probably more than I'm willing to pay for this bike):

"This is a nice vintage low mileage bike that runs great and is very reliable. Ideal bike for beginning to intermediate riders. It starts right up, runs strong through all the gears and idles smoothly. The electric starter, headlights, horn, turn signals, taillights, brakes and clutch work properly. The tires have good tread and it is ready to ride!

The following work has been performed:
New battery
New spark plugs
Carburetors cleaned and adjusted properly
Gas tank cleaned and coated
New fuel petcock and filter
New air filter
Oil and filter changed
New mirrors

The Rebel 450 is a very desirable starter bike because it is light and easy to handle yet has twice the power of the smaller 250. It's in great condition but has some paint flaws. On the highway or just around town, this bike rides well and is very reliable. These old Honda's hold their value and will run forever with very little maintenance.

Clean title in hand. Cheap and easy to transfer title to your name with no back fees!

$2,000 or best offer

Delivery available, if you come buy the bike first"
Any pointers you guys have would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

Blakeney
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Also, it's got 14K miles on the odometer.

If anybody has some alternate suggestions as well, by all means, please post them. I'm all ears. I'm not super into sport-bikes, mostly like Standards or dual-sports that lean closer to standard styling. Thanks again!
 

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From what I have heard, although they are fun bikes, parts are pretty hard to come by for them, as they didn't make that many of them. The 250s are everywhere.
 

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You might take a look at a Kawi Vulcan 500. I have found it to be a good starter bike that is forgiving of small mistakes, but also has pretty good power (around 46 hp).
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Checked out the Kawasaki... Not really my thing aesthetically, but seem solid based on a preliminary search. Thanks for the pointers!
 

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Greatest Member Ever
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Blakeney... I taught Mrs. OneEyedJack to ride on a 450 Rebel, and she took right to it. Then she rode a 250 and loved it even more... But she is quite petite at 5'2'' and 108#. I'm only 5'7" and 140# and the 250 feels too confining for me.

At your height and weight, you might want to be open to a larger bike. Perhaps a Suzuki LS650 Savage. It's a very forgiving bike and is quite easy to handle and learn on.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Nice, thanks Jack. You mean larger engine wise or dimension-wise? The LS650 looks cool, but I'm wary of giving myself too much displacement. REALLY don't wanna get myself in trouble thinking I can gun it just a little more. A sluggish bike might not be the worst thing in the world, just so long as it's quick enough to get out of harm's way if the need arises.
 

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You need not worry about having too much power on a Savage...it is a single cylinder and very forgiving...it is a great starter bike...taller riders generally go that direction if they want a cruiser.
 

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I love my Savage. I loved it so much I had to go out and buy the 2014 Boulevard S40, which is basically the Savage with a name change. Don't worry about the displacement whatsoever. This bike makes a perfect beginner bike with enough kick in it to make it a forever bike. My Savage gets alot of looks and so does the S40. The only thing that annoys me is some people think it's a Harley.
 

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At 6'2", you are probably going to find the Rebel or S40/Savage cramped. You can ride them, but your knees may be bumping your elbows often.

A standard/dual sport with a 30+ inch seat height might be more comfortable, or a longer cruiser motorcycle with forward controls.

Definitely sit on the bike before you make up your mind and make sure it's going to be comfortable to ride.
 

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I bought my wife a 250 Rebel to learn on, it was fine for hauling my 200 pounds around solo as long as I wasn't looking to ride like I was on a sport bike. She is 5'9" and her knees were up to the top of the tank. She went to a 650 Yamaha after a month and it fit her much better, plus it was easier for her to control.

I would love to have a 450 Rebel around here, but I wouldn't want to have another bike around that may need a lot of work with hard to find parts again, I already have one of those and it's waiting on parts now.
 

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The 250 Nighthawk has the same engine as the Rebel, but it has a taller seating position. I'm not sure the last year they were made but there should be some good used ones out there.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks for the suggestions, guys. I guess I'm pretty unclear on how displacement factors into bike choice. Why is an LS650 good, but a Kawasaki Ninja 650 bad? For a first time rider, I mean, not to demonize an entire make/model/etc.

@Dodsfall - the Nighthawk seems promising. They're pretty square-looking, but I did find this one that made my jaw drop:


Yeah, sorry, just had to throw some Motorcycle Porn in for the morning. :p
 

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Why is an LS650 good, but a Kawasaki Ninja 650 bad? For a first time rider, I mean, not to demonize an entire make/model/etc.
It's the difference between ~ 30 horsepower and ~120 horsepower. There are also other considerations such as very sensitive brakes on the race replica which will not forgive a rider incorrectly using them.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Holy hell. I've got some learning to do... Still not entirely clear on how torque and horsepower can be so different on a bike with the same displacement, and the DMV article on it didn't really answer anything. The difference in brakes makes sense, though.
 

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It depends on how the engine is built. F1 engines last year were 1.6 litters (1600 cc) and produced over 900 HP.

Honda's 1.6 on the other hand produces just over a hundred
 

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Holy hell. I've got some learning to do... Still not entirely clear on how torque and horsepower can be so different on a bike with the same displacement, and the DMV article on it didn't really answer anything. The difference in brakes makes sense, though.
Don't feel bad. I think it makes no logical sense too. But if you twist the throttle you sure can feel the difference.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Thanks guys! I'll see how the BRC goes. Still trying to sell my Ford Focus FX5 (in the LA area if anybody's interested) so I can buy a bike.
 
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