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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am 5'11 and about 210lbs. I am looking for opinions on a good starter bike. I want something slow and forgiving. A major problem is that I don't really fit on any of the smaller 250cc offerings. What I want is an easy to ride, light, slow bike that I fit on.

Which one of these bikes is the most forgiving, easy to ride, made for beginner type bikes?

I am not really looking for a sports bike.
 

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Hey bird,

I'm about 5' 9" and 185 lbs and when I started on a Kawi 750 I felt intimidated by it's power.

After riding it about a year I went to a VStar 1100, and now the 750 seems small and light.

For your size I can't see you going below a 750/800 for a starter bike

cheers,

Jav
 

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I just sided with a 2006 V Star 650 Classic over an S40. I loved the size of the S40 for a first bike, as I've never ridden before, but stepdad talked them down far enough on the V Star for me to afford it easily, and I had to agree with him that I'll get more out of the V Star. I'm sure it'll be a little more difficult for me to learn on it, but it'll fit my needs and use in the long run. I'm 5'10" 180 pounds btw.
 

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While the V-Star 1100 fits me a little better (5' 10", 220 lbs), I found the V-Star 650 to be quite a comfortable fit. I sat on an S40 once and immediately didn't like it. It just didn't feel like something I'd want to sit on for more than 10 minutes. I can sit on the V-Star for an hour and still feel like I want to keep riding.
 

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I don't know which V-Star you're looking at but my guess is that almost any twin would be more powerful and definitley heavier than the S40 single...I have one of these bikes (an '04-when it was called the savage) and I have to say it is a very forgiving bike and not overly powerful yet ample enough to take on the highway if you choose. Sit on a few bikes and see how they feel to you. Good luck and happy riding!
 

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Hey bird,
I'm about 5' 9" and 185 lbs and when I started on a Kawi 750 I felt intimidated by it's power.
For your size I can't see you going below a 750/800 for a starter bike
x2. I also started on a Vulcan 750 and am 5'11" 210. To be honest, I already traded up to a V Star 1300 after only 6 months but that was because the Vulcan was a little small for 2 up riding IMO. I was looking at the S40 as a starter bike but found a good deal on a used 750. For your size, I wouldn't go below a 600cc/40ci engine.
I also went with a used bike so I wouldn't feel AS bad if/when I dropped it, which by the way I did but only scratched the front brake grip :D.
I was a little intimidated by the 750 and again with the 1300 but a few hours, first in the parking lot and then on slow residential streets (perferably without any kids around) and you will have a good feel of her in no time.
Final piece of advice, TAKE THE MSF BRC COURSE!!! Two things that you shouldn't do with family or friends, go into business, and learn to ride a bike :cool:
 

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Hi, started on the Suzuki Savage (s40) and upgraded to the Yamaha 950 a year later after trying the Yamaha 650. The Suzuki Savage is lighter, blew the tire and me and a buddy picked it up to put it in the back of a truck, The Yamaha 650 has more speed on take off. I am 5'10" and 240 lbs so the Suzuki topped at 82 mph, not safe on highways around here but for back roads and the local mountain it was a great bike. I never got the Yamaha 650 to top speed and I think both would be a little cramped unless you get forward controls and/or cruise bars (got a set for a Suzuki in the garage). I really cannot tell the weight difference in the 950 when riding but I haven't tried to pick it up and I also haven't topped the speedometer out yet as 90-95 is about as fast as I want to go and that very rarely. I hope this helps.
 

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I considered the S40 when I started riding a couple of years ago --- it seemed to feel light and fit well when I sat on it. I listened to a few people who thought a V-twin would be a better choice for me and I decided on a 750 Honda Shadow instead --- I'm glad I did because I think I would otherwise have wanted to trade up sooner. As it turns out, I rode the Shadown for 2 years and now trading it in for a new V-Star 950 Touring that should be here any day.
 

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Bird its good to know you limits. Go slow and find the right bike. As Goat said take take the MSF course if you have not done it. I did last year and set my out looking for an 800 or less. Problem was none of them fit me. I'm 6-3 260lbs. After a long search I went with Vstar 1100. Fit was good but ease of riding is very good as it is a very forgiving bike. As you start riding know your limits. Don't take to the highway at 90; be smart.

Ride Free Live United
 

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For your size a S40 is not gona be a comfy mount. I substantially larger than yourself and the 650cc V-Star was a great starter bike and i still enjoy riding it today the odd time i take it out. But i just could not manage to ride properly on the savage my mum had. It was just too small, My knees would hit the bars when i turned to the lock and the seat felt like a touture device for anything more than a 10 minute jaunt.

My mother had a 1997 Suzuki Savage 650 (same as the S40 just the older name) as her first bike and it was a ideal starter bike for her as she is 5' and much lighter than myself. The bike was powerfull enuff to do all the things she wanted INCLUDING lots of week long tours in Canada and the US. She even did a Iron Butt Saddle Sore ride on it (1000MILES in 24hrs). That being said the bike did have a few issues and left her stranded a few times in the 60,000kms and 10 years she owned it.

Its only when i decided to get a faster bike and gave her my v-star though that she decided to get rid of the suzuki.

She loved that little zuk BUT even she much prefers the Yamaha as its a better all round bike is more comfy has more room and more power for the highway. The Suzuki is a much more torquey engine though and is easier to learn clutch control on.
 

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it's been 2 years since Bird posted his question so i don't think he needs any more advice now. but for anyone out there still trying to decide on a first bike, my suggestion is that if you aren't 100% sure about which way to go, buy used. you may want to get something small and less intimidating since you're just starting out and that's fine. but once you get comfortable with that smaller bike, and it won't take long, you'll be wanting to upgrade and you don't want to have to turn around and sell or trade a bike you bought brand new.
 

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I just started riding last may. i am 5-10 250 lb. i took msf safety rider course, got M added to my license. i bought a 2000 vstar 1100 custom. i have put over 2000 miles on it and it has adequate power, but not too much, it runs ok on hwy and other roads, no problems. i practice in parking lots , slow turns, swerves, high speed stops, i reread my notes from msf class for reminder. i just went of rmy first ride today since weather is warm, road curvy roads up in the mountains, road about 60 miles, felt good. i got a used bike because it was less expensive , fullfills my needs, i doubt if i put a lot of money in it cause i couldnt recover during resell, so i do small upgrades that done cost alot and make bike functional for me; lindby hwy bars, iso grips, bags/supports, seat beads/sheepskin to help comfort some, luggage on luggage rack to help carry clothes for overnight trips, wrist rocker , light viser, some addn chrome, other than the guard, most everything else cost 30-60 dollars each and i am totally satisfied with the bike, it is reliable, and not out a lot of money. enjoy whatever bike you get, ride safely
 

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As Bevo says, this thread is gettin sorta old, but as info, I think it depends on what new means, like never ridden anything before? If that's the case, it is so much more easy to learn the basics on the lightest thing you can and not have to fight the extra weight while tryin to get it. A lot of the guys around here borrow a small bike or dirt bike to pass their cert test from the st police.
 

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I am 5'11 and about 210lbs. I am looking for opinions on a good starter bike. I want something slow and forgiving. A major problem is that I don't really fit on any of the smaller 250cc offerings. What I want is an easy to ride, light, slow bike that I fit on.

Which one of these bikes is the most forgiving, easy to ride, made for beginner type bikes?

I am not really looking for a sports bike.
V-Star 650: PERFECT
 
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