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Discussion Starter #1
I started this earlier and i think i am nuts to start a VK2 as my first bike, It was cheap-Ohlins shocks, fairing all the chrome in the world new battery etc. $4500. Too bad i will die and kill my wife on it. I found a 2009 Kawasaki Vulcan 500 LTD, at a reasonable price and would like to know if this is a good bike to start on before I fire up the VK2. I am 60 but 6' and 250lbs and a retired Marine. Still in reasonable shape. I have looked for bikes in the 900-1000cc class and i can't afford them. I make unwise decisions at times, But I want to ride and not kill my wife.
 

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Let me just say that my first bike was the 1500 about a year ago. I'm 49. The first thing I would do is take a Motorcycle safety course. After that just take it slow. Drive on side roads until you feel comfortable shifting and braking, etc. I didn't ride 2 up until I had about 1000 miles under my belt. Have fun.
 

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If you're careful I think you can start on any bike. I've known folks who had electra glides and goldwings as their first bikes. Take the MSF course, spend time in a parking lot, and go easy on that throttle you should be ok. If you're not comfortable, then yeah a VN500 is a great starter bike.

The biggest concern with the V2K, if you're tame with the throttle, would be dropping it at a stop or in a low speed maneuver because of it's weight. Taking the MSF course will give you the skills to prevent that.

Finally, you mentioned your wife. Riding with a passenger is a whole new ballgame. I wouldn't carry a passenger until I was proficient with the bike and had some miles on it, and was very comfortable with it.
 

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Probably plenty here that would trade you even up for their 800 or 900.
Maybe even give you some cash, too!
 

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Take the msf then see if you can take the advanced rider coarse.... Most of the advanced classes are taken on your bike, so this should give you more comfort... Riding in parking lots and back streets and instead of spending money on another bike maybe hire one of the instructors to teach you a few days.... You will be amazed how well you will be able to ride, most of the instructors really know what they are doing... Mrs. Bulldozer took the coarse and rides her own bike, the last thing i wanted to do was be responsible for getting her injured.. Talk about getting cut off, yikes....
 

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As everyone else has said, the best course (pun intended) of action would be to sign up for the safety course and practice. What you're going to find in a bigger bike is more weight and more power. if you choose not to use the power and practice enough to be able to handle the weight, you should be fine. It's the new riders that fall in love with the acceleration and high speeds that tend to have the problems.

Just the fact that we're having this discussion tells me you have the proper level of concern and caution. Do get some good 1 up experience before you put
your wife on the back. Also, invest in and install some engine guards, and learn the proper procedure for picking up a dropped bike. If you're practicing like you should be, you very well may have it go over when you're stopping or taking a tight turn at very low speed. And...don't tell your wife if that happens ;)


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Discussion Starter #7
Alot of good advice

I am going to finish ALL the safety courses offered and see how it goes, I got over speed demon long ago. I live out of a smaller town in Western WA and we have plenty of beautiful back roads around here-I live off on one. You are all right, taking my significant other out and hurting her-hard to deal with that. I'll ride alone for quite a while, she only weighs 105 and is 5'0' tall but the higher center of gravity and her being able to hit me as we ride are important.
 

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I am going to finish ALL the safety courses offered and see how it goes, I got over speed demon long ago. I live out of a smaller town in Western WA and we have plenty of beautiful back roads around here-I live off on one. You are all right, taking my significant other out and hurting her-hard to deal with that. I'll ride alone for quite a while, she only weighs 105 and is 5'0' tall but the higher center of gravity and her being able to hit me as we ride are important.
My wife is about the same size and it changes the ride for me. Not much, but enough. Smart decision to wait to do 2-up.
 
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