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OK first hi yall!! Now i have taken the MSF and have been butt testing many bikes as possible. I am 5'8" and 140lbs. I like the 950 but its a stretch to reach the clutch. it feels much better on the 1100, and of course the 650 feels more like a 250. Now from you owners, as i am a relatively inexperienced rider what would yall recommend for me as a daily rider and interstate riding with guys from my shop who ride sports bikes and HD1100's?? I will be making a trip from New Mexico to Ohio at least once a year and weekly weekend rides around 300mi on interstate! Any saga advice??
 

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My only advise is buy what you think you will be most comfortable on. To each their own. I really am happy with my 1100. The only complaint i have is it would be nice to be able to stretch out a little more on the long rides.
 

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I never owned a bike over a 750 until I started doing two up touring. Personally I would stay as small as you find comfortable. The smaller and lighter the more enjoyable I find it around town and on shorter rides. I actually bought myself a second bike (an 883 sportster) for solo riding because as much as I like my Venture, it is heavy.
 

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Personally I'd recommend the 650 (or smaller) as you are totally inexperienced. Why don't you get some time under your belt before you think about riding with your friends on the interstates. That or up your life insurance.


:)
 

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If you like the 1100 and feel comfortable, go for it. Everyone has their personal preferences and biases towards specific models.

I'd spend alot of time riding to build up your hours so you can become a better rider first before you do a cross-country road trip.

Even doing a 300 mile roadtrip right off the bat with no experience on the road , you're gonna be nervous and paranoid wreck by the time to get to your destination.

Yeah, it will be an experience you'll never forget, but it sure won't be easy.

Get some time under your belt first
 

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OK first hi yall!! Now i have taken the MSF and have been butt testing many bikes as possible. I am 5'8" and 140lbs. I like the 950 but its a stretch to reach the clutch. it feels much better on the 1100, and of course the 650 feels more like a 250. Now from you owners, as i am a relatively inexperienced rider what would yall recommend for me as a daily rider and interstate riding with guys from my shop who ride sports bikes and HD1100's?? I will be making a trip from New Mexico to Ohio at least once a year and weekly weekend rides around 300mi on interstate! Any saga advice??
Well just Ol Sugar Bear talkin here, but true havin fun ridin ain't found on the interstates! Get off on some good side roads. Sugar Bear does agree with some other posts that smaller is better, more fun;) You ain't got to impress nobody, please yourself, get what you want, have fun with what YOU like and feel good with. The 650 is one fine ride, will serve you well, I think. Just get what you want and feel good with, and foremost, have fun and enjoy it:D Ride safe.
 

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If you do buy the 1100, try readjusting the clutch and brake lever angles to your height and you might try adjusting the bars forward or back (pivoting them) I am 5'8 and 165 and the 1100 fits me great!
 

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Personally I'd recommend the 650 (or smaller) as you are totally inexperienced. :)
i totally disagree. i see no reason not to look at the 950 or 1100 just because this is going to be your first bike. neither are considered to be big bikes anymore. my first bike ever was the 950 and i felt comfortable on it after just a few days of riding. if you've sat on the 1100 and it feels more comfortable to you than the 950, i would go with that. both the 1100 and 950 are great for touring so i think comfort and your personal taste should come first in your decision.

the only reason i think you would even consider the 650 is because of your smaller size and it would be easier to handle than the bigger bikes. but if you think it's underpowered for your taste, then don't consider it at all. you don't want to get a bike that you're not gonna love right from the start.
 

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I struggled with the same question a few monthes ago.
650 & 1100 are basically the same size bike (I think the 1100 is a little under 100 lbs heavier).
I had centered my search on 1100's (but was also tempted by a brandy new 950 that the local dealer had at a pretty nice price :) but the classics were what I really wanted.)
Ended up finding a real sweat deal on a 650 in great condition for short change, so I grabbed it. I figured that it would be a decent first bike.
Now after riding it for a little while, I'll probably never get rid of it. Does all I need it to do for what I enjoy most - Backroad 50mph Cruising (but seems to cruise highway speeds just as good).
Very comfy and easy to handle (and I'm 6'-1", 210).
If anything, down the road I'll have a bike like a Strat for big rides, but will keep this one for the fun!
 

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The very first bike I ever rode was a 1977 BMW R100/7 (1000cc) touring bike. I had to adjust to the weight at low speeds, but feel like I am a better rider for it. Size of the bike for me today is not an issue, but it took years of getting comfortable with a big bike before I got to this point.

The most important thing you can do right now is don't outride your abilities. You are riding with guys from the office and guys with sport bikes. Being "one of the guys" and being infested with the same "Big Dog Disease" that most of us are, you are going to be very tempted to get something that can keep up with a sportbike, and unless you are a riding prodigy, will likely get in over your head real quickly worrying about keeping up with the pack. Ride your own ride, not their's. Buy what you are comfortable on, and ride when and where you are comfortable. There are many beautiful places in this country, and none of them are seen lying on your back while your pride and joy is sliding down the road.

This happened to me a few years back, and keep in mind I have been riding on and off for most of my life, and very seriously for the last 8 years. I got the sport touring bug back in 2006 and bought one of those 175HP 1200cc road rockets wrapped in plastic and slapped some saddle bags on it so I could tour (which is what I really love to do). I am a self taught rider (strike one) and I have no track or racing experience (strike two) and I went riding with a friend and his buddies who believe they are road racers (strike three). I was talked into going that day even though I didn't feel like riding as I was getting over being ill. That afternoon cost me a broken wrist, broken ribs, all my riding gear and $13K worth of damage to a very fine motorcycle because I was not equipped to ride at their level. I am a very proficient rider of large bikes, have ridden them for a long time and have 100,000+ miles of touring under my wing, and I was still helpless to the pressure of riding within and trying to lead the pack.

I rebuilt that bike and sold it after 5 more years of touring on it. When it was time for a new ride I went back to the cruiser to focus on touring. It's what I love to do, its why I got into motorcycling, and when it comes down to it that is really all it's about. :D
 

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My first bike was an '84 XLH 1000 Sportster. A little too tall for my 5'7" but it was fun. Sounded mean with drag pipes. Went shopping for a VStar a couple years later. Took the 650 for a ride and it felt a little weak. Rode the 1100 and felt right at home. Bought my 1100 Silverado new in '06 and haven't looked back. The best two upgrades I did were the Vance & Hines slip ons and the driving lights. Especially with 2 up riding the 1100 shines over the 650. Be sensible when learning and you will grown into the 1100. I'm still a big fan of the air cooled VTwin, so I'm going to hold onto the 1100 for a while.
 
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