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Huh. Neither one of these are as cheap as some of the Kawasaki Ninja's I've seen on Facebook Marketplace. But if it's safer for beginners than the Kawasaki, guess I'll have to save up a couple of extra months. Won't be able to ride til next spring the way this is turning out. By the time I get everything together, it'll be almost winter again.
Any small to medium sized motorcycle can be a safe first bike, or it can kill you on your first ride. There is nothing safer or more dangerous about a small shadow, a small rebel, a grom ( they only come in one size) , or a small ninja. It's all up to the rider to get the proper training and then carefully learn to ride well. Don't fall into the trap of thinking that a small motorcycle can't hurt you...
 

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Discussion Starter · #82 ·
Saw this bike today at work. Thought it looked great, and small enough for me to be a starter. Anyone have any idea what type it is? Though I worry I wouldn't be able to sit upright while riding it, so might not be the best option for me.

67381
 

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I believe that is a Vulcan 650. An good motorcycle.
Might be a bit much for a first bike but it's not ridiculous, a rider who has some natural ability and a bit of skill with caution could ride that as long as they are careful with the throttle until they get used to it.
I am still of the opinion a raw beginner is better off with a cheap , used, beat up 250 or something, drop it a few times, learn to ride it well, then sell it with a few more dents for the same money you paid and get something better ..that Vulcan would be a PERFECT second bike.
 

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Discussion Starter · #84 ·
Not sure if it's okay for me to bump my own three month old topic with an update, but so far in the long run, I think I decided on an Adventure Bike. I'm no where close to getting a bike because I lately had trouble saving for some reason (no problem saving for a $5000 Ford Focus, but can't save up even $2000 now?), but now that I settled on the idea of an adventure bike (reason being, I recently learned there was a lake near me, but to get to it, you have to drive through gravel road, and I'd like to be able to visit it regularly on a bike. Plus I understand they are comfortable for long rides and road trips if I ever go on vacation), I started to realize how expensive they are. On Facebook Marketplace, I can find the other sportbikes I was considering from $2000 to $5000. Cheapest Adventure Bike I can find is $10,000...
 

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The BMW G310GS can be had for about $6700. The Honda CB500X starts at about $7000. That's for brand new, you should be able to find used for much less.
 

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... I recently learned there was a lake near me, but to get to it, you have to drive through gravel road, and I'd like to be able to visit it regularly on a bike. ...
:LOL: I live on a gravel road, they are all dirt bikes at some point in the ride. The crotch rocket is way better then the sport touring bike on gravel. It's the big wide soft rubber compound radial tires that make the difference and it's the deep sand you really have to watch out for, keep your weight back!
 

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Of course you can update your thread anytime
 

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Not sure if it's okay for me to bump my own three month old topic with an update, but so far in the long run, I think I decided on an Adventure Bike. I'm no where close to getting a bike because I lately had trouble saving for some reason (no problem saving for a $5000 Ford Focus, but can't save up even $2000 now?), but now that I settled on the idea of an adventure bike (reason being, I recently learned there was a lake near me, but to get to it, you have to drive through gravel road, and I'd like to be able to visit it regularly on a bike. Plus I understand they are comfortable for long rides and road trips if I ever go on vacation), I started to realize how expensive they are. On Facebook Marketplace, I can find the other sportbikes I was considering from $2000 to $5000. Cheapest Adventure Bike I can find is $10,000...
Keep looking, a brand new 2021 Vstrom 650 ( excellent adventure bike) is 10K out the door at the dealer ( my wife bought one 3 months ago), we found lots of good used ones for 4k-6K
 

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You might consider some of the smaller dual sports or super moto models as well. Used prices are still high but cheaper than new!
 

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yes, that's either a Vstrom 650 or Vstrom 1000.
The 650 is the one you want.
Here is my wife's 2021 650 XT, they haven't changed much, the fairing shape is different but the rest is pretty much the same.

Tire Wheel Sky Vehicle Motorcycle .
 

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Opinions may differ. I say yes.
They are tough, versatile, easy to ride, and light. On the downside they are tall, not a good choice for a short legged person, a New rider needs to be flat foot on the ground, an experienced rider can deal with tippy toes.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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My main problems with riding would be:

Leaning: I don't understand if leaning is a required movement, or if it's something people do for style like wheelies. If I have to do it, how do I get back up after leaning in the first place? How do I not lean too far? How would I even practice that without my knee catching the ground and making me do some awkward and painful split?

Steering: This counter steering thing confuses me and worries me almost as much as leaning. I heard in different 'how to ride a motorcycle' videos this works in several different ways so I don't know which way it ACTUALLY works. Some seem to say for example to go left, you turn right. Others say to go left, you press the left handle down towards the road which seems fine to me. Some say to go left, you press the right handlebar forward, which isn't as good to me as the last one, but still better to me than the first one. It's that first part that worries me since instinct would always make me turn left to go left, especially in a bind.

Clutch/Shifting: I just never understood clutches. I could never learn to drive a stick shift for that reason. As for shifting gears, I watched enough videos to know how to do it, just don't know when or why to do it, and if I have to redo it when I get to a stop sign or a turn or something. None of these videos clarify that since they were all in empty parking lots. Even now I don't know anyone with a stick shift to try to reteach me. I used to know someone with a Kawasaki who was willing to teach me to ride, but unfortunately by the time I got a job so I could afford something like that, he moved 13 hours away from me, so now I know no one nearby with a bike.

Braking: I've learned this in some videos, but didn't memorize it. I know which brake goes to which tire, but which do I use when pulling up to a stop sign, or just to slow down a little. Front wheel brake seems scarier to me, like it might flip me over, but I seem to recall it was the one the videos told me.

When I first read this I had to wonder if the forum was being trolled.

It sounds like you have quite a hill to surmount in order to be able to safely ride a motorcycle.

You don't want to be THIS guy:


watch this. The part in slo motion. Pay attention.

Also to double check, is an Adventure Bike a good starter bike?
The bike being talked about a lot in this thread, the VStrom 650, is still a LOT of bike. Tall and rather heavy - I sat on one in a dealership recently, it was parked next to a Yamaha Tracer 900 - and they were virtually identical in size and seating position.

How tall and heavy are you OP?

Any physical limitations?

I would think it would be too much for a first bike based on what you have told us.



May go against the "you can ride anything you want to" recommendations that you will get from many - but I think it would be smart for you financially and perhaps a life-saving choice to buy the smallest, easiest to handle motorcycle that you can to learn on.

Peruse the local ads on Craigslist and OfferUp, etc, and look for a 125 to 250cc used bike. The older and cheaper the better, as you are likely to drop the bike a time or three while learning (based on your own description of not even having good bicycle riding skills), and will be less likely to hurt yourself, or seriously damage the motorcycle.

Ride it around your neighborhood during low or no traffic hours. Once comfortable with basic skills of getting the motorcycle to start, go where you want, and stop, work on those skills - ALOT. Go to rural areas with zero to no traffic and continue to work on your skills. Go to a parking lot after hours and use cones to practice basic skills - there are tons of youtube videos you can follow for this.

Definitely take the MSF course.

Once you are comfortable and have basic skills down, CONTINUE to ride that little bike for a few thousand more miles, while you THEN take your time to search for a nice full sized motorcycle that can be your "dream bike". Thinking something like a Versys or VStrom 650 at this point would be a great choice - but not right out of the gate.

If you do your homework on bike values and buy your USED starter 125-250cc bike at a good price, you can flip it and get most of your money back. (hence why I do NOT recommend buying new, as you will take a huge depreciation hit)

Good luck.
 

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AAAAHHHHH!!!!! 😱 😱 😱 Where do live so we can get you into a class???

You're in information overload!! If you serious about learning to ride, it's worth the effort to come to class with trained instructors whom you can trust. We start everyone out from scratch. You ride our beginner-friendly bikes. In the classroom, we talk about safety strategies for the street, risk management, bike types, gear, and more! In Missouri, it's not necessary to have a motorcycle permit; our written test, as well as the skills test, suffices for the DMV. If you're looking at taking class in a neighboring state, I know we have reciprocity with Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Kansas; I don't know about Iowa or Illinois, but the DMV can tell you.

Feel free to send me a private message if you'd like to discuss details there.(y)
THIS ^^^^ All of this.

Information overload can be damaging and trying to learn from people online (though often well meaning) can lead you astray. You need to be sure that you are getting proper and informed information from reliable sources. Bazininja is spot on that it is well worth the effort and cost to go to a proper riding class FIRST and learn from scratch there so that you aren't getting any misinformation. I'm a coach with the California Superbike School and have been for over 16 years now. I'm also happy to answer any specific riding questions with you via the thread or private message. I want only the best for riders, especially new ones, and sometimes asking too many questions or trying to glean too much information from the internet can cause more confusion. One thing at a time. Stay safe!
 

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Discussion Starter · #96 ·
So a bit of an update, my boss/friend got his permit Monday, bought a bike Tuesday, and showed it off at work. He got a Kawasaki Z400, and had me sit on it. Swinging my leg over the back of it hurt, felt like I was doing a split. It was the first motorcycle I ever sat on. Is that something my body has to get used to, and are they all like that? The bright side, I was able to sit up on it just fine without having to lean forward.

Next up, I don't see him yesterday since he was off. Today, he comes up to me and tells me 'Don't get a 400. I was on my way to Hayti (nearby town) and the wind from a passing car nearly knocked my bike over'. So... yeah, I don't know what I want anymore. Are all beginner bikes that easy to knock over? Is it just sport bikes that are like that? I kept hearing sport bikes aren't good for going long distances because they have to fight the wind a lot on highways and such, so is that what he meant? I should also mention his bike didn't come with a windshield, but he made it sound like that wouldn't have mattered in this case.

EDIT: Forgot to mention, I was able to flatfoot his bike.
 

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So a bit of an update, my boss/friend got his permit Monday, bought a bike Tuesday, and showed it off at work. He got a Kawasaki Z400, and had me sit on it. Swinging my leg over the back of it hurt, felt like I was doing a split. It was the first motorcycle I ever sat on. Is that something my body has to get used to, and are they all like that? The bright side, I was able to sit up on it just fine without having to lean forward.

Next up, I don't see him yesterday since he was off. Today, he comes up to me and tells me 'Don't get a 400. I was on my way to Hayti (nearby town) and the wind from a passing car nearly knocked my bike over'. So... yeah, I don't know what I want anymore. Are all beginner bikes that easy to knock over? Is it just sport bikes that are like that? I kept hearing sport bikes aren't good for going long distances because they have to fight the wind a lot on highways and such, so is that what he meant? I should also mention his bike didn't come with a windshield, but he made it sound like that wouldn't have mattered in this case.

EDIT: Forgot to mention, I was able to flatfoot his bike.
Are we talking about hurricane force winds here?
You are not getting a very good introduction to motorcycles so far. They come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, but most motorcycles typically require some level of athleticism to ride them well.

Flatfoot is great when you are stopped, but I'll give you a hint: motorcycles balance on their tires really well. The foot pegs are the most important motorcycle controls, and you can't put your foot down safely when the ground is moving.
 

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So a bit of an update, my boss/friend got his permit Monday, bought a bike Tuesday, and showed it off at work. He got a Kawasaki Z400, and had me sit on it. Swinging my leg over the back of it hurt, felt like I was doing a split. It was the first motorcycle I ever sat on. Is that something my body has to get used to, and are they all like that? The bright side, I was able to sit up on it just fine without having to lean forward.

Next up, I don't see him yesterday since he was off. Today, he comes up to me and tells me 'Don't get a 400. I was on my way to Hayti (nearby town) and the wind from a passing car nearly knocked my bike over'. So... yeah, I don't know what I want anymore. Are all beginner bikes that easy to knock over? Is it just sport bikes that are like that? I kept hearing sport bikes aren't good for going long distances because they have to fight the wind a lot on highways and such, so is that what he meant? I should also mention his bike didn't come with a windshield, but he made it sound like that wouldn't have mattered in this case.

EDIT: Forgot to mention, I was able to flatfoot his bike.

sitting flat footed is always recomended... any bike can get blown all over the place, but its more likely to happen to lighter bikes, and ones that have excessive top weight. Such as ones with wind screens, or a rear trunk etc.. also the taller the bike is the more likely wind gusts will have more area to push agnst.


 

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So a bit of an update, my boss/friend got his permit Monday, bought a bike Tuesday, and showed it off at work. He got a Kawasaki Z400, and had me sit on it. Swinging my leg over the back of it hurt, felt like I was doing a split. It was the first motorcycle I ever sat on. Is that something my body has to get used to, and are they all like that? The bright side, I was able to sit up on it just fine without having to lean forward.

Next up, I don't see him yesterday since he was off. Today, he comes up to me and tells me 'Don't get a 400. I was on my way to Hayti (nearby town) and the wind from a passing car nearly knocked my bike over'. So... yeah, I don't know what I want anymore. Are all beginner bikes that easy to knock over? Is it just sport bikes that are like that? I kept hearing sport bikes aren't good for going long distances because they have to fight the wind a lot on highways and such, so is that what he meant? I should also mention his bike didn't come with a windshield, but he made it sound like that wouldn't have mattered in this case.

EDIT: Forgot to mention, I was able to flatfoot his bike.
Have you attended a motorcycle class yet?? :unsure:
 

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Discussion Starter · #100 ·
Have you attended a motorcycle class yet?? :unsure:
No. Can't yet. I did realize I don't have to go 5 hours away to take one. My problem there was I thought I HAD to go to one in my state in order to get a license or permit. But I realize now I can get a permit and license without a class, then go about 50 miles away to a nearby out of state one and take THAT class.
 
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