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BMW Motorcycles (aka Beemers) and the Competition
Have an interest in BMW motorcycles or just motorcycles in general? Discuss the line of BMW motorcycles and how they may compare to the rest of the competition in this forum!

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  #1  
Old 11-04-2009, 10:53 AM
lizhnik lizhnik is offline
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What bike would you start out on?

So, I took the MSF course, got my license and now looking to pick up a bike. I know it's kinda off-season, but I'm thinking that maybe that would allow me to get a better deal. (or should I just wait until next spring?)

The tough part is picking out the bike. The budget is flexible but I'd like to stay under 4-5K and being a new rider I probably shouldn't go out and get a brand new bike for my first ride anyway.

I like the seating position and ergo's on the Triumph Street Triple or Ducati Monster, but keep thinking that's way too much bike to start out on. On the other hand a Triumph Bonneville (which just speaks to me when i get on) seems like a tamer bike, but has an even bigger engine. Would this be a motorcycle that you'd recommend for a beginner?
I could pick up a brand new Bonneville (the pros for me are better styling, contoured seat, and fuel-injection) for about 8.5K vs the other end of the spectrum - something like a 2003 for about 4-5K.

What would you guys suggest? Are there any other standard bikes with soul and a normal size engine (regardless of displacement but one that's not pushing out 100bhp) that I'm overlooking. It seems like there's a serious gap between the 250cc beginner bikes and 650cc rockets.

Thanks in advance!

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  #2  
Old 11-04-2009, 11:47 AM
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Are you considering sportbikes at all? Cuase those are really the only ones I have experience with, other than driving one cruiser occasionally, an 05 Victory V92c.
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  #3  
Old 11-04-2009, 12:30 PM
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Personally, for a first bike I'd get something older and cheaper! You ARE going to drop it, and typically the larger engined bikes weigh more... so they go down harder and are tougher to lift up again.

Some mid-range bikes I've tried that I loved;

Suzuki SV-650 (S version is more sporty, but regular version is nice and upright)
Suzuki V-Strom (taller than the SV-650 but upright again)
Honda Nighthawk 750 (rode one of these for years, but they're old now!)
Yamaha FZ-6 (awesome first bike)
Honda 599 (spiritual successor to the Nighthawk)

Those are the basic ones I can think of off the top of my head that meet your requirements. They're all pretty easy to ride, and aren't "all out" sport bikes.
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  #4  
Old 11-04-2009, 01:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thumper_330 View Post
Personally, for a first bike I'd get something older and cheaper! You ARE going to drop it, and typically the larger engined bikes weigh more... so they go down harder and are tougher to lift up again.

Some mid-range bikes I've tried that I loved;

Suzuki SV-650 (S version is more sporty, but regular version is nice and upright)
Suzuki V-Strom (taller than the SV-650 but upright again)
Honda Nighthawk 750 (rode one of these for years, but they're old now!)
Yamaha FZ-6 (awesome first bike)
Honda 599 (spiritual successor to the Nighthawk)

Those are the basic ones I can think of off the top of my head that meet your requirements. They're all pretty easy to ride, and aren't "all out" sport bikes.
They say that anyone that rides long enough drops the bike, which I agree with. I started on a 91 CBR 600 F2, and it was perfect. Not too fast, light, easy to manuever, and being old, a few scratches fit right in with the paint scheme
From there I moved to an 01 Honda F4i 600, and loved that too. From there I went to an 06 Honda 600rr. All this happened within 2 years, and I've never dropped the bike, and I've logged over 20k miles between the 3. It's all about respecting the bike, and watching your @ss 24/7 while riding. Uneven roads, stupid/crazy drivers, and animals are things you gotta be on the lookout for at all times.

I garuntee I'll lay the bike down, but hopefully it isnt' too serious, and I cannot stress the importance of proper gear. I NEVER leave on the bike w/o my leather jacket, helmet, gloves, and riding boots. You may feel like a goon at first, and your friends may laugh, but you won't be the one sitting in the hospital with road rash covering 70% of your body.
Plus, wearing all that gear makes me feel like a moto gp rider :rolf:
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  #5  
Old 11-04-2009, 02:04 PM
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ECSTuning ECSTuning is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thumper_330 View Post
Personally, for a first bike I'd get something older and cheaper! You ARE going to drop it, and typically the larger engined bikes weigh more... so they go down harder and are tougher to lift up again.

Some mid-range bikes I've tried that I loved;

Suzuki SV-650 (S version is more sporty, but regular version is nice and upright)
Suzuki V-Strom (taller than the SV-650 but upright again)
Honda Nighthawk 750 (rode one of these for years, but they're old now!)
Yamaha FZ-6 (awesome first bike)
Honda 599 (spiritual successor to the Nighthawk)

Those are the basic ones I can think of off the top of my head that meet your requirements. They're all pretty easy to ride, and aren't "all out" sport bikes.

That was and is my first street bike! Best bike I have ridden and will keep it for years to come! Best thing about it is as your ability grows you will not have out grown this bike!

I have a 07 Sv650S bought it Spring of 08 has roughly 2000k on it, so I dont ride it as much as I'd like. But to give you an idea of cost, if I were to sell it today I'd only want $5200 Idk if that's too high, seems fair.

But you can NOT go wrong with an SV!

Just my .02cents!

Feel free to PM with any questions!


Here's a pic of mine in case you didn't know what they looked like...




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  #6  
Old 11-04-2009, 02:52 PM
lizhnik lizhnik is offline
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Thanks a lot for all the input, guys! Funny that those specific bikes are being mentioned - here's a little article I stumbled upon comparing all three.

http://www.motorcyclistonline.com/ro...son/index.html

I kind of like the looks of the Suzuki and even more the Honda. Reminds me of the Ducati GT from some angles. I guess I'll have to head down to the dealership and climb on em'.

But going back to the original idea - you don't think that these bikes that will do 0-60 in under 4 seconds are too much for a beginner? And weight-wise, they're still in the low 400 range. I'm assuming that's not considered heavy...?
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  #7  
Old 11-04-2009, 03:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lizhnik View Post
Thanks a lot for all the input, guys! Funny that those specific bikes are being mentioned - here's a little article I stumbled upon comparing all three.

http://www.motorcyclistonline.com/ro...son/index.html

I kind of like the looks of the Suzuki and even more the Honda. Reminds me of the Ducati GT from some angles. I guess I'll have to head down to the dealership and climb on em'.

But going back to the original idea - you don't think that these bikes that will do 0-60 in under 4 seconds are too much for a beginner? And weight-wise, they're still in the low 400 range. I'm assuming that's not considered heavy...?
Just because it CAN do 0-60 in under 4 seconds doesn't mean you have to, and it requires a lot of skill to pull that off anyway. my 600rr weighs around 380 wet (filled with fluids), and its very easy to handle. I'm 6'1 165lbs, and it's no problem at all. Once you get into other bikes around 1000cc, you'll see bikes weighing around 450-500lbs.
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  #8  
Old 11-04-2009, 05:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lizhnik View Post
But going back to the original idea - you don't think that these bikes that will do 0-60 in under 4 seconds are too much for a beginner? And weight-wise, they're still in the low 400 range. I'm assuming that's not considered heavy...?
That was a great comparo article... thanks... tagged that one for later deep perusal for my girlfriend (she's looking at buying a bike, too... her first).

Anyway, simply put you don't HAVE to ride it like a maniac. All of these bikes share one common trait; that they're really docile in low speed handling and are light enough to be tossable. Just because they CAN accelerate that fast, doesn't mean you need to use every degree of turn in the throttle. Not any more than you need to floor the gas pedal at every light (and if you do, please don't complain about your gas mileage )

I ride a 155hp monster. Sure she's heavy at 680lbs or so, but even with my carcass on top of it in full gear we probably tip the scales at about 850lbs. That's 5lbs per hp... for comparison an M3 has 8lbs per hp so in theory is only 60% as powerful as my bike, relatively speaking. However, around town and at low speeds it's one of the most docile bikes I've ever ridden.

And yes, I have had the front wheel off the ground on more than one occasion... just because I can doesn't mean I make a habit of it
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  #9  
Old 11-05-2009, 08:18 AM
R6Venom R6Venom is offline
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yah start with some thing cheap and small. A 600CC bike is great to learn on, they are light and easy to handle. I like the sport bikes so get 03-04 yamaha R6 or Honda CBR, should be around $4K. It kills me when people start with a 1000CC + bike, mine as well come with a body bag (sorry its the truth)
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  #10  
Old 11-09-2009, 11:22 AM
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Get a used Ninja 250 08+ for around 3k....... I got a mint used one and couldn't be happier. 600cc supersport? those output 130 hps, not good for a newbie.
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  #11  
Old 11-09-2009, 10:36 PM
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I'm buying my first bike this winter as well, so I've been looking into this a lot. I agree with 0428. Even though I am not a huge fan of sport bikes, the weight and power of the ninjas seem to make them the preferred starter bike. I am getting the 500 and not the 250 because of my size (6'2" 220) and because I want to do highway riding.

The reports seem to be that if you take care of these bikes you can keep them for a while... They also seem to hold a lot of their value, you'll see this as you look at prices of used ones from up to even 10 years ago.
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  #12  
Old 11-10-2009, 04:17 AM
6spdg37s 6spdg37s is offline
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I have a sportsbike 05 kawi ninja zx-6r. this was my first bike, I love it. probably gonna get a 1000cc sometime in the future.
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  #13  
Old 11-10-2009, 07:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 0428 View Post
Get a used Ninja 250 08+ for around 3k....... I got a mint used one and couldn't be happier. 600cc supersport? those output 130 hps, not good for a newbie.
The highest output 600 now is actually about 100bhp, and 55-60 ft lbs of torque, torque is the enemy of a new rider, as that's what's going to launch them off the line. 50-60lbs is very reasonable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by detorn View Post
I'm buying my first bike this winter as well, so I've been looking into this a lot. I agree with 0428. Even though I am not a huge fan of sport bikes, the weight and power of the ninjas seem to make them the preferred starter bike. I am getting the 500 and not the 250 because of my size (6'2" 220) and because I want to do highway riding.
Anyone over 115lbs will quickly become bored and outperform a ninja 250. It's downright dangerous to bring one on the highway too.
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  #14  
Old 11-11-2009, 08:07 PM
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i got a ninja 06' 500, great starter bike, plenty get up and go, i get 240 miles to a tank, they are carbs. running no fuel injection, 6 speed, no reverse though, and runs down the highway easily 80 mph, also you can get 0-60 under 4 secs. with it, and you can get them on the cheap. a 250 would be on the low end of power and you would be upset.
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  #15  
Old 11-21-2009, 01:44 PM
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Look for either a Suzuki Sv 650 or a Ducati 620 Monster. Both are middle wieght V twins. Down on power compared to 600's fours, but enough to safely get on the highways. Both have nice power delievery and good mid-ranges.
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  #16  
Old 11-25-2009, 07:38 AM
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I just started on a new Harley-Davidson Nightster. First ever motorcycle. I haven't done a lot of miles so far but I am learning in the middle of Geneva traffic

The bike is fine, I haven't dropped it yet and I hope to be amongst the 1 % or so who never do.

Even though the bike has only 60 or so Hp it is plenty fast for me.

I can recommend the bike as a good bike.

The Honda Hornet I rented from the motorcycle school was also very easy to ride but a lot more powerful.
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  #17  
Old 11-27-2009, 10:38 PM
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I recently bought a 2002 SV650 for $3,000 - 4,000 miles on it, great shape. It's a fantastic bike. Fast, but quite manageable for a beginner.
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  #18  
Old 11-28-2009, 07:10 AM
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Being a BMW forum I have to recommed something like this:

1975 BMW R90/6

There's no school like the Old School.

Don't get a rice rocket, pfft - dime a dozen.

TONS of used Ducati Monsters out there.
I like the bike a lot, but if you get one you really need to know how to adjust the Desmo valves - that at a dealer is very exp.
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  #19  
Old 11-28-2009, 08:48 AM
335i Driver 335i Driver is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lild View Post
i got a ninja 06' 500, great starter bike, plenty get up and go, i get 240 miles to a tank, they are carbs. running no fuel injection, 6 speed, no reverse though, and runs down the highway easily 80 mph, also you can get 0-60 under 4 secs. with it, and you can get them on the cheap. a 250 would be on the low end of power and you would be upset.
The Kaw ninja 500 and suzuki GS 500 are about he best beginner bikes you can buy. both have more upright riding positions than the 600+ supersports. Both have plenty of power and both can be had for little $$ so do big deal if you drop it.

Buy one of those used, ride it for a couple of years and then move up.
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  #20  
Old 11-28-2009, 05:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Ryan... View Post
Just because it CAN do 0-60 in under 4 seconds doesn't mean you have to, and it requires a lot of skill to pull that off anyway. my 600rr weighs around 380 wet (filled with fluids), and its very easy to handle. I'm 6'1 165lbs, and it's no problem at all.
+1

Just because they're fast doesn't mean you have to test those limits.

My GSX R600 weighs about 400 wet and it's still faster and handles better than Ryan's rr.

I'm 5'10, 210lbs, brown hair, brown eyes and very broad shoulders. (in case the curvy crew was wondering )
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  #21  
Old 11-28-2009, 05:44 PM
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+1

Just because they're fast doesn't mean you have to test those limits.

My GSX R600 weighs about 400 wet and it's still faster and handles better than Ryan's rr.
Surely you aren't tryin to start something here are you????

OP: All gixxer riders are squids, remember that simple fact and you're all set!



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Old 11-28-2009, 05:48 PM
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Surely you aren't tryin to start something here are you????
Not at all, even with a head start you'd be challenged to keep up HondaBoy...
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  #23  
Old 11-28-2009, 06:58 PM
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sno_duc sno_duc is offline
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TONS of used Ducati Monsters out there.
I like the bike a lot, but if you get one you really need to know how to adjust the Desmo valves - that at a dealer is very exp.
2 valves aren't bad at all, last time I did the wifes 620- 4 hrs. Haven't done the 916 yet, it'll be due this summer. I've heard the easiest way to do a 4 valve is to drop the engine out of the frame.

Another Ducati advantage if you start out on a 620, and get bored a 900 or 1000 ds will slip in with out to much difficulty ( same engine mounts, have to open up the holes 1mm for the 'big' engines ). Changing to superbike forks and rear suspension is another common mod.
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  #24  
Old 11-29-2009, 08:43 PM
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Not at all, even with a head start you'd be challenged to keep up HondaBoy...
Its on like Donkey Kong!!!!

BTW: next season I might be trading in the 600rr for a used 06 1000rr with 3100 miles from a local dealer. They can't get rid of 1000s in their shop, everyone is going for the efficient 500-600s. Good news for me
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Old 12-07-2009, 01:58 PM
lizhnik lizhnik is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mullman View Post
Being a BMW forum I have to recommed something like this:

1975 BMW R90/6

There's no school like the Old School.

Don't get a rice rocket, pfft - dime a dozen.

TONS of used Ducati Monsters out there.
I like the bike a lot, but if you get one you really need to know how to adjust the Desmo valves - that at a dealer is very exp.

That's what I'm talking about!!! Can't beat old school. That's why I was looking at those bonnevilles (modern bike that looks like it's 30 years old). Classic won't ever look old. You look at a 5 year old ninja, and you know it's a 5 year old ninja... (actually rode one the other day and loved it...)

Love the look of the monster even better (or the triumph street triple is nice too), but it's power scares me a bit. It looks like most of you are saying it's ok, though. So, will add em to the list.

Thanks for the input everybody!!!
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