Before you buy a Motorcycle... - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-04-2012, 02:51 PM Thread Starter
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Lightbulb Before you buy a Motorcycle...

... buy a Scooter.

Read up on riding tips. "Watch for loose gravel" "Road is slick in the middle" Watch videos of training courses and riding tips.

Buy a helmet and gloves and then buy a cheap, highway-legal scooter - 150 cc is plenty big. Ride it a Lot. Ride in traffic. Ride in curves. Lean, countersteer, go on a 50+ mile round trip on it. Watch videos of training courses and riding tips and use them.

When you are ready, shop around. Take a day and go to as many motorcycle sales places as you can. Sit on them, balance them, ask questions. Have someone take photos of you sitting on the motorcycle, one leg up in riding position, from different angles.

Then, take a MSF Riding course. Ask your riding coach about the top three motorcycles in your list. Ask about what cc's you need to start out with. Ask both during and after the course.

When you are ready to buy, find a deal and pounce on it.

... at least that is what I did.
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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-04-2012, 06:22 PM
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I don't have any regrets starting out with my Vulcan 500. A person with a small build could probably start with a 250 bike (Suzuki TU250 is a great starter, as are many others). I will keep my 500 much longer than I would have a 250, though. Who knows, if I'd started with a scooter, might have moved directly up to something bigger.

I wholeheartedly recommend the MSF course for all new riders or anyone considering it but not sure.

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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-05-2012, 07:27 AM
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The MSF course should be mandatory for riders, it is in the military, but i went the other way with my first motorcycle purchase. instead of working my way up to bigger bikes, i bought a 05 2000. once you get over the low speed balance and turns, a bike is a bike. riding a big bike keeps me from becoming complacent and makes you respect the machine. either way you go, there is no replacement for time in the saddle

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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-05-2012, 07:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 101stFister View Post
The MSF course should be mandatory for riders, it is in the military, but i went the other way with my first motorcycle purchase. instead of working my way up to bigger bikes, i bought a 05 2000. once you get over the low speed balance and turns, a bike is a bike. riding a big bike keeps me from becoming complacent and makes you respect the machine. either way you go, there is no replacement for time in the saddle
That is the truth. I try to to tell people what to do when they are learning because everyone learns differently. I started on a 650 Honda Nighthawk and the wife started on a Kaw eliminator 125. Two totally different bikes She said she was glad she started on it because she was a little intimidated by it. Now she can hop on the V2K and take it up the road and back. I did not take the MSF Course, but I wish I did and I still may when I can come up with the extra $450 for my wife and I to take it. (not cheap here). I guess what I am saying is bike preference is up to the rider but before you hit the road a person needs to get some instruction before getting out there and getting hurt. If I took a MSF Course It probably would have saved me a few clutch and brake levers.

1985 Honda Nighthawk 650 (First Bike)
2004 Vulcan 1500 Classic (First Big Bike)
2007 Vulcan 1600 Meanstreak (Love Affair)
1999 Yamaha 1100 V-Star Custom (Right Price at the Time)
2008 V2K Classic (Favorite Vulcan)
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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-05-2012, 08:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 101stFister View Post
The MSF course should be mandatory for riders, it is in the military, but i went the other way with my first motorcycle purchase. instead of working my way up to bigger bikes, i bought a 05 2000. once you get over the low speed balance and turns, a bike is a bike. riding a big bike keeps me from becoming complacent and makes you respect the machine. either way you go, there is no replacement for time in the saddle
It's mandatory in Florida now, I do believe.
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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-05-2012, 08:28 AM
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OH yeah and too small can be scary too. There are too many blind intersections here. When my wife had that 125 I avoided several places because I felt like I could not get out and going fast enough if something was to be coming around the corner. I am not I needed to pull and pull a power wheelie but "spirited". That 125 did not have it. It did how ever pull my (at the time) 300lb hindend up some of these mtns at 45 and 50 mph. Can't complain about that but at the top it's tongue was dragging the ground .

1985 Honda Nighthawk 650 (First Bike)
2004 Vulcan 1500 Classic (First Big Bike)
2007 Vulcan 1600 Meanstreak (Love Affair)
1999 Yamaha 1100 V-Star Custom (Right Price at the Time)
2008 V2K Classic (Favorite Vulcan)
2014 HD Ultra Limited (Bells and Whistles)
Who would have thought I would grow up to become "Spatially Educated" and play Connect-the-Dots for a living.
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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-05-2012, 10:40 AM
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I disagree about getting a scooter, agree about getting a small bike. I bought a Rebel 250, took the class on an Eliminator 125. Not having to think about keeping a heavier bike upright probably saved me money. The class is an absolute must. I had thought about skipping it and am very glad I did not.

Once I got the basics down, I like riding my Vulcan a lot more.

2010 Vulcan 900 Classic LT, 2007 SeaRay 185, nine children, one wife.
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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-05-2012, 12:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AZPoseur View Post
I disagree about getting a scooter, agree about getting a small bike. I bought a Rebel 250, took the class on an Eliminator 125. Not having to think about keeping a heavier bike upright probably saved me money. The class is an absolute must. I had thought about skipping it and am very glad I did not.

Once I got the basics down, I like riding my Vulcan a lot more.
Agreed. But I would skip 250 step. I bought shadow 750 as my first bike. Vulcan is second.

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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-05-2012, 12:52 PM
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I'm at the point where I wish I had bought something much larger. I can't afford something bigger right now and no one generally wants to trade for a smaller bike. Personally I wish I had gone 1200 or larger.

I would say take the MSF course before you even buy a bike so that you know whether or not you really want to ride. Then buy a bike for long term in case, like myself, you can't afford to upgrade later.


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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-05-2012, 01:10 PM
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To me the Rebel 250 made a lot of sense because I knew if I wanted to move up I would not get hurt bad on getting rid of the little bike. There are always bikes in that size range available out there from under $ 1,000 on up, mostly under $ 2,000. I actually did not intend to move up when I bought the Rebel since I thought I would pretty much be riding locally, like commuting. Then my daughter decided she wanted to ride and I decided I needed something more suitable for cruising.

2010 Vulcan 900 Classic LT, 2007 SeaRay 185, nine children, one wife.
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