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Discussion Starter #1
Which bike do you think would be the better first bike, Keep in mind i am 6'4-6'5 and weigh 240. Ive got looking at the vulcans and you can get a nice used one for 2000 on craigslist with 5000 miles. what do you all think?
 

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I can't speak to the 650 but a Vulcan 500 was my first bike :D It was AWESOME. I put over 24,000 miles on her it the 4 years I owned her and never had any problems that I didn't directly cause through my own stupidity or bullheadedness (riding during a snow storm in Colorado caused a fork seal to blow amongst other things). It also kept it's value pretty well when I was forced to sell. I don't quite top 5'1" and I weigh significantly less than you but I rode that thing fully loaded with everything I owned in the saddlebags, strapped to the rear seat and on the luggage rack and had no issues on freeways or twisties (Dragon Tail anyone :D). I also loaned it to a family friend one day and he took both his sister and mother out and the Vulcan handled beautifully.

That being said, my 1100 is fabulous and I bet the 650 would be a great first bike also. You can't go too badly wrong with either bike as long as it's mechanically sound and been looked after...
 

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Hi Shawn. I own an 07' 650 classic with minor mods and get a consistent 52-55 mpg. It handles well and does what i want it to do, yet it's not a high speed highway/interstate cruiser. You have to determine what you want out of your bike. I can do 2up riding ok, yet if your passenger is a decent sized person, and taking into consideration your size, it might be a bit of a strain on your motor if you're running 70mph or more. This is just my thoughts only. Others may say differently, yet I can only go by my experience. I'm 5'-11"tall and weigh 215. If I have a passenger over 150lbs, my bike starts straining around 65-70. I've never ridden a Vulcan so I honestly can't give an opinion on them. I hope this helps in some small way, and good luck on whatever you decide. Just make sure you send us some pics if you get a "yammy". Ride safe!

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Shawn you are too big both both bikes. You will be uncomfortable and look like grape ape humping a mouse. I'm 6'5" and 270 and my dad had a vstar 650 that i ride occasionally. If you want a cheap beginner bike what about a shadow 750?
 

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The Vulcan 500 is a great bike, but I also agree it is small for you.
 

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I am 5'9" and about 220 lbs and I ride a 09 Vstar 650 Silverado. It handled great for me in the Texas hill country. It will not have the power of the 950s and 1100s, but it cruises fine for me on the highway. 4th gear has plenty of pep in the city. I really like my bike right now and I am not having that craving desire to upgrade to a bigger one (maybe some years later :))
 

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I bought my 650 because I'm 10" shorter than you are. I think you need a taller bike (not necessarily larger). If I were your height, I think I would look for a standard bike rather than a cruiser but in the same engine size range (650-750). I would buy an older but reliable older bike since you will drop it a few times (usually stopped or almost stopped). Once you learn to ride, you can upgrade to a better bike and you will know more of what kind of bike you want. It doesn't hurt as much to scratch a previously scratched than it is to put the first scratch on a spotless bike.
 

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Take it from the owner of a 650 who's ridden everything from 450cc (1st bike) to 1500cc - two, four, and 6-cylinder bikes. With your size and weight, the *least* you should be looking at is ~900cc engine or larger. I would recommend you test-ride multiple 1100-1200cc bikes if you want to keep the cost down, but you might be able to get away with an 800.

If you don't have quite all the money yet, start saving like mad until spring or so. Trust me, you'll be happier with more oomph in the engine. The only reason I bought the 650 was it looked great and I was able to pay cash for it (and I REAAAALLY wanted to get back on two wheels; plus I found a great dealer.) It's a little buzzy ~70-75mph on the highway. I'm currently saving up for either a Royal Star or an 1800 Wing, whichever I can afford first :D
 

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The 650 has low power but it will still move you ok at hwy speeds. It's not the power that's the issue it's the frame size. The 650 will hit 100 give or take if you wind it out...I've done it a couple of times to get my dad's bike cleaned out from putting around town. The bike should fit your body type so you can learn good form and technique.
 

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i bought my wife a 11 650 about 2 years ago she is tall at 5'11" and was uncomfortable on the bike so i put a scootmad 4" extension and that did help but we also ride with a lot of groups that do alot of touring and the 650 had trouble getting up to speed and struggled on long hwy trips, after replacing the air cleaner with a kuryakan high 5 and jetting the carbs it did better but was still lacking, we just traded it in on a 12 950t . i agree the 650 might be small for you.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
So I'm guessing start out with a shadow 750 then? I was thinking a smaller bike because of the cheaper prices. How many miles ans how much should I look for on my first bike? If it is a shadow what should it run me?
 

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You can get a shadow 750 used all day long for $3k. Just make sure it's been well maintained. Under 30 k miles is not critical but will likely mean that clutch it good. Those things run forever. Just like the yamahas. I had a shadow 750 for a while that I bought from a friend that needed the cash.
 

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The Shadow has a lower seat height than the v star 650 so I'm not sure why you'd want that. Your weight isn't really an issue on the Yamaha but maybe the extra 100 cc of the Honda may be what you're after. I'm 6'3" 220 and the 650 classic is good enough. It could be bigger but bikes aren't built for tall people. Getting the floorboards moved out can help but even then a tall guy on a bike looks goofy. My bike is comfortable enough if I stop every 50 miles and take a break. Really though my bike is just for fun cruising on the weekends and messing around. If I were looking at taking trips I'd get a bike with a larger motor mainly because of the highway.
 

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The 650 is a fine bike for what it is. I am 6 foot on a good day and weigh 220. I have no problem getting up to speed, passing and keeping up and cruising all day on trips with friends that have similar as well as much larger bikes. But, I grew up with small bikes and learned long ago how to twist the throttle and shift the gears. Get it into it's power band and it will do just fine.

For you, I would say that it is too small because of your height. You need something with a larger frame and taller seat. If you go and sit on a 650 for a few minutes it may seem to fit fine, but spend longer than 10 minutes on it, you will find it quite cramped.
 

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Sorry to say man but anyone over 6'2" is going to need extensions for the controls to be comfortable on either one. They are both good bikes for beginners or for guys who like to tinker. I would suggest looking at a 950 over both. You will get bored quickly and have buyers remorse and end up getting something else.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Im getting a bike to just go riding in the summer and weekends when im out of school and have time off. So im not gonna be taking any huge trips i just want a good bike that isnt to expensive. My price i would like to pay is 2000 for a used bike thats why i got looking into a vulcan 500. I am quite tall but most of it is upper body, im 6'4.5 and wear a 34 inch inseam. So im hoping this week to go set on a star 650 and the shadow 750 and then look at used from there. I probably wont ride a passenger much and where im at there isnt any big highways for atleast a hour drive. So it will be a commuter bike.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
the Vstar 650 overall length is 92 inches and the vulcan 500 ltd is 91.3 so there shouldnt be to much of size difference in the 2 bikes am i right?
 
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