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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys, I am in the market for my first motorcycle. I'm a big fan of cruisers and British-looking bikes. I've been looking at a 2007 Royal Enfield Deluxe that's near my house. It has around 9700 miles and seems to be in decent shape. It is going for $1900. My main concern is that the older models don't have disc brakes or the new engines. My other options include a 2002 Indian Scout for $4600. Mileage = 35000. It is bit more expensive, but I've heard a lot of good things about Indian quality. The problem is that I would be getting the bike shipped to me, so I wouldn't have the chance to ride it beforehand. The seller has sent me a video showing the engine running, so I know that it isn't busted, but I still have concerns. Any advice would be much appreciated!
 

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That generation Indian was built by a now defunct company. They are what are known as the Gilroy Indians. It is not the same Indian company owned and operated by Polaris Industries that we know today. Keep that in mind. Parts and service will be hard to find. The engine is an S&S, so parts there are good to go, but the rest of the bike, you'll be on your own.

The Enfield, make sure you have a dealer within reasonable distance. The older models are well tuned to their British ancestry. They need a lot of fiddling to keep them running well.

Is there a reason you are looking at fairly rare or unpopular bikes as your first motorcycle? I'm not telling you what to do, by any means, but sticking with a more mainstream brand for now will allow you to concentrate on learning to ride and the fun it can be. You can always step into the more rare models later on if they still lure you.
 

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I'm just a big fan of classic-looking bikes. I'm located near Chicago, so there is a Royal Enfield dealership in the city. But I am concerned about the drum brakes and whether or not they have enough stopping power.
 

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Both are terrible choices for a first bike and both will give you trouble. Stay away:frown:

Search Craigslist in yours and surrounding areas and you'll find lots of bikes of all kinds.

Myself and some others here have LOTS of motorcycle experience (myself 54 years riding and 80 motorcycles) and I for one would be VERY reluctant to buy a bike without checking it out and riding it. Caveat emptor :biggrin:

Sam:71baldboy:
 

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Thanks! Do you have any suggestions for a bike that's got classic looks but doesn't come with the same problems? It is my first bike, so I don't want to spend a ton of cash.
 

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Look for an older 883 Sportster. Solid, reliable, cheap, and you don't get more classic. And you'll never have a shortage of parts or qualified mechanics should the need arise.
 

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I'd say I have a pretty decent skill set when it comes to riding. My dad sometimes lent me his bike to go out for a spin. But this would be the first one that I own.
 

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Thanks! Do you have any suggestions for a bike that's got classic looks but doesn't come with the same problems? It is my first bike, so I don't want to spend a ton of cash.
You can get a used Triumph Bonneville under $5000.

http://ocala.craigslist.org/mcd/5752066639.html

If you go for either the Royal Enfield or the Scout, you want to get the new generation for sure. For the Royal Enfield, they got a serious make-over starting with the 2009 models; new engine, fuel injection, the works. I looked hard at them before I bought my new bike, and I liked the Triumphs very much, but none of them fit me well. I ended up choosing a bike that did what I need it to do over one that had the look I wanted.



No regrets, but I really like the old school look, too.

If you want to start small and super cheap, I'll throw out a Suzuki TU250. You can find late models with low mileage for just $2000 or so. I had one, and it's a great little bike:



They are cheap, easy to ride, and dependable. It's got the old school look for sure. You can always move on up after a while to something bigger, but it is a great beginner's bike, as long as you stay off the interstate.

Good luck and ride safe.
 

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There should be a huge assortment of used bikes in your area.

You really can't go wrong with a used Japanese bike like a Honda Shadow or Yamaha Royal Star.

Keep your eye out and a 10 year old bike with low kilometers is guaranteed to come up and be fairly priced especially now that the riding season is getting close to the end.

I agree with the others suggesting a Royal Enfield or Gilroy is not likely to be a good choice.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I've been doing some searching and have found a 2005 Triumph Speedmaster and a 2005 Triumph America in a neighboring state. Do any of you have experience with these bikes?
 

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I've been doing some searching and have found a 2005 Triumph Speedmaster and a 2005 Triumph America in a neighboring state. Do any of you have experience with these bikes?
Many Triumphs share the same engine, and it is rated pretty well. I recall reading some good reviews about the America, but I did not want a cruiser style bike. It is a good looker, though.

You are giving the impression that bikes are hard to find. I never found this to be true. I would zone in on a few models you like *that fit you and the style of riding you expect to do*. Then, watch patiently, and you will find some deals soon enough. It's not really a deal if you force yourself into something that is not a good fit for you.

Don't forget winter is not that far away. Depending where you live, the deals of the year could be just around the corner. Either way, it's always a buyer's market if you have cash and know values. The longer it takes you, the better your knowledge will be, and the better the chance you'll score a good deal (on a bike that's right for you).
 

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Visit your local multi-brand dealer and tell the salesman you are looking for a "standard" style bike. Even a Triumph Trophy would be easier to find service for.
Lots of the V-twin and vertical twin bikes in almost all brands in the lower price ranges have that classic stripped down "standard" look to them.
 
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