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Newbie Questions..

3457 Views 12 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  oldbanjo
So I posted this on another local forum

So I want to surprise my wife this year with a motorcycle for her birthday present. No sport bikes, this will be a cruiser. It will primarily be for her, but I may get to ride it from time to time.

I would like to start researching now, so I can start watching for things that pop up, and so I know what type of bike I need to be in the market for.

We are both virgin riders, I have maybe 5 hours on an old honda 300 or something of that size, but other than that, it will be a new thing for both of us.

I plan on us both taking a riding course together after her birthday, a class before would be a dead giveaway.

So here are my wants at the moment:

Something that is the right size for both of us; we are both 6ft fall and a little on the heavier side, but not sloppy fat or anything like that.

A decent sized motor, so if it was to seat two we wouldn't bog it down, so something capable of holding 500lb total rider weight, if that is even possible.

Something reliable, I don't know anything about working on bikes, and I don't want to become a bike mechanic because of this venture. It will be a weekend cruiser and nothing more than that. We won't be taking road trips on it or anything like that.

Something we can both handle, like I said we are big people, so we don't need to be concerned with a "wimpy girl" not being able to handle a heavy bike.

So shoot me some recommendations of things to look at, and maybe some sites that I can start doing research on.

Price range wise I would like to stay around $10000 or so, but I am planning on saving all of part time job money for the summer to use towards this, so I plan on having $3000 cash for a down payment.

Thanks guys!

A good friend recommended a Suzuki M109, or a Boulevard C90, which I looked into, and they seem nice.

Then on another local forum I see this..

Moved to my dream house and now I have a bunch of gravel roads surrounding me... Up for sale is my 2004 Yamaha V-star 650cc silverado package motorcyle.

Bike has just over 7k miles, never been laid down.

Things added in the last year:

vance and hines exhaust ($350)
6 inch foward control extensions ($250)
tires have less than 500 miles on them

Yamaha's Silverado package includes:

Windshield (removable)
Studded leather drivers seat and sissy bar (removable)
Studded hard leather saddle bags (removable)
drivers floor boards
two tone paint

Bike runs like a dream and gets 35-55 mpg depending on how you are with your throttle control Bike has been garaged its whole life.

Ive rode two up with my wife many times and it does just fine out on the interestate as its a big bike (700 + lbs)

Asking $4500 firm

So he tells me this bike is air cooled, and carb'd vs the water cooled FI bikes he had recommended.

I am just looking to research if this would also fit the bill for my wants as a starter bike.

Anythings I would need to be on the lookout for? Other recommendations?
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my opinions....

that Yamaha 650 bike is gonna be too small for the both of you. if ya'll take that thing on the highway together it's gonna be struggling. the Suzuki M109 is too much bike for a beginner bike. it's really powerful and not as necessary since you just want to go on short weekend rides. for your size and riding tastes i wouldn't suggest anything bigger than the C90 you mentioned. i would use that size as the maximum you want to go with, as far as engine goes since it's over 1400cc.

for your price range and for a bike that size, the Honda VTX1300 is a little cheaper as just as much reliable if not more so. very similar is the Yamaha V Star 1300. besides the 650 you mentioned, all these bikes are fuel injected which is gonna be lower maintenance for you in the long run. if you don't want to have to perform any maintenance, and you're considering a used bike, i wouldn't suggest anything over 5K miles on it or more than 2-3 years old.

a great place to get some ideas is to search your local craigslist or cycletrader.com. i think either a Suzuki, Honda, or Yamaha is gonna give you the most reliable bike for the size and price you want.
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you can get a very nice 1100 in your price range.....check out the local dealerships as well, it's riding season...I'll be they have a ton of deals and some nice trade ins to be had for a steal!
starter yes

Yes for a starter bike it will do fine. But put a engine guard on it so you will have a place to put your feet.:D The 650 is capable of more than most think. And besides you will not know this bike is small, intill you ride a bigger bike :eek:
Ditto on what farmalldanzil says, the 650 is a great bike and again you'll need a footrest on either the 650 or the 1100. Scootworks has a nice freeway bar for the 650 and at a great price!
I'll try to upload a pic of my bike, freeway bars, Hypercharger & Maxair jet kit, removed AIS and Roadburner Streetlite pipes... I have no problems keeping up with the bigger bikes at all
I agree with the other guys, for now I think you will be very happy with a 650 for what you want to do for now, Dan said it well. If you really get into it, you WILL want a bigger, more powerful, more comfy ride. But enjoy it for now, learn how to ride safe and have fun!
1st of all, WOW, that is the exact year and color of my 650! I thought someone took a pic of my bike and posted it!

The 650 is a very cabable bike! My wife and I run 2 up all the time. We logged more than 5000 miles last summer and together with gear we are close to the 500 lbs you are talking about.

That being said, if you have a 10K budget, get the 1100. The bikes are pretty much the same as far as physical size, and you will be hard pressed to find a more dependable bike that a Star bike! The biggest reason to consider the 1100 is fuel mileage. I average 55 mpg riding by myself, but that falls to 40 to 45 when riding 2 up. My buddy rides an 1100 and he runs around 50 mpg 2 up.

Be careful what you say about no road trips! My wife said the same thing when we got ours, and we already have 3 trips planned for this summer that will total at least 1000 miles each! The open road is a very addicting drug!

Ride safe!
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I'm over 300 pounds and my 650 did fine. I also know a lot of guys on another V star 650 board that ride 2 up all the time. Don't listen to the yahoos that tell you it's too small.
I agree with all the positive comments about the V * 650. I've had my classic for a year now and have put 4,000 miles on her. IMO it is a GREAT Bike ....in comfort, performance and style, that's why I decided to spend the money on accessorie, she's a keeper.
bigger bike=more power. if you're putting 500lbs on the bike and want to take it on the highway, a bigger bike is going to perform a lot better than a smaller bike. just because a smaller bike such as the 650 can go and carry the load, doesn't mean it will suit you as well as others probably will. if you have the budget, you'll be happier with something bigger and more powerful.

someone mentioned checking out local dealerships which is a great idea. go sit on a few and see what you think. that will probably give you the best indication of what you want.

what's with everyone defending one model of one bike manufacturer? this isn't a pissing contest. offer up some different ideas or options for the man.
Bevo1981 is correct, I have a 650 classic and know that it would carry two people for a small amount of riding double, but if you intend to ride double a lot, you will need a bigger bike.
Dude, I am 6ft. 200 lbs and a 650 is way too small for me. When I ride my wifes 650, it is like riding a scooter. If you get a 650, get a used one because you will be wanting to trade up within a few months. I ride a 950 v-star and it will do everything I need and then some. I looked at a m109, sweet bike. Price a rear tire for one of those.:eek: I like air cooled, less parts and fluids to replace. The wife of a friend of mine has a 750 shadow, a rock kicked up and broke her fan and overheated it. bummer.
I'm 6'2", 200# and I agree that the 650 is small for me, but for what I want it's perfect. You and your wife need to get some riding experience before you buy another bike. Jumping on a 500 + Lb motorcycle with two people learning to ride is very dangerous. Also a gravel road will eat you up. Learn on smooth pavement. Braking on gravel with one person can be hectic. I run my three dogs on a dirt road, every day, with a motor scooter or my V star. Sometimes it's interesting on the heavy bike. Don't kill someone or waste your money, get more experience first.
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