PDA

View Full Version : City bike for beginner


Foxrod
07-06-2008, 12:38 PM
My buddy is seriously considering a bike to ride around in the city. He has very little riding experience but really wants a sport bike or good-looking standard in the $1200 to $3000 range. I told him an early 90s Kawasaki or Honda in the 500 or 600cc range would be a good place to start looking but I'm not sure about models. Could yall help me find something beginner-friendly to suggest him to get so I won't have to visit him in the hospital?

Texas T
07-06-2008, 03:29 PM
It's not the bike that's going to put him in or keep him out of the hospital; it will be his training and awareness. Has he taken the MSF class yet? If not, then I wouldn't recommend anything until he does.

Hmmm... I re-read that and it looks a little harsh but it's not intended to be so. Training first, gear second, bike third.

smoothtexasrider
07-06-2008, 03:34 PM
Kawasaki Ninja 250, pre 2008 model. 2008's may look better, but have less power, poorer fuel economy, taller seat height. And you won't find a 2008 for $3000 or less. There's lots of 2007's and earlier in that price range, and they are great bikes for the money. But they won't keep you out of accidents. No automatic switch for that. Your friend's brain will have to take over there. On that one Texas T is right.

Foxrod
07-06-2008, 11:27 PM
No no, I understand the skills and teaching necessary for a beginner. My question was more about finding a bike for him to get used to that won't want to leap out from underneath him and throw him off unexpectedly like, say, an R6.

leekellerking
07-06-2008, 11:31 PM
Kawasaki Ninja 250, pre 2008 model. 2008's may look better, but have less power, poorer fuel economy, taller seat height. And you won't find a 2008 for $3000 or less. There's lots of 2007's and earlier in that price range, and they are great bikes for the money. But they won't keep you out of accidents. No automatic switch for that. Your friend's brain will have to take over there. On that one Texas T is right.

Heck, he can probably still find a new 2007 for $2,600-2,700 retail (not out the door).

bigboy292000
07-06-2008, 11:37 PM
http://www.beginnerbikers.org/

Have him go there and read, read and read some more. I found that place to be very useful when starting!

Sleepy Weasel
07-07-2008, 01:20 PM
No no, I understand the skills and teaching necessary for a beginner. My question was more about finding a bike for him to get used to that won't want to leap out from underneath him and throw him off unexpectedly like, say, an R6.

Easy answer... a 250cc dualsport.

Light, so it's easy to save if he starts to drop it, or easy to pick it up again if it's too late.

Nimble, my Sherpa has the tightest turn radius of any bike I've owned.

And just enough power to get up to freeway speeds, but he'll have to learn to wring it's neck to get it there.

And if I take mine out on the freeway and flog it up to 80+ (indicated) MPH, I can manage to drive the gas mileage all the way down to an even 60mpg.
:mrgreen:

ed29
07-07-2008, 01:56 PM
Agree completely with the small dual sport route. The Sherpa that I had the privilege of riding would do a figure 8 pattern within a single parking space. It is even more nimble than my quarter liter XR, which is saying something.

Chirpy
07-07-2008, 01:57 PM
EX 500!

My standard answer. About the same price used as an EX250, same weight, but a little more power.

Sleepy Weasel
07-07-2008, 03:26 PM
Agree completely with the small dual sport route. The Sherpa that I had the privilege of riding would do a figure 8 pattern within a single parking space. It is even more nimble than my quarter liter XR, which is saying something.

Plus it's nice to be able to hop a curb or ride up a flight of stairs if necessary.

Mike in Clear Lake
07-07-2008, 10:10 PM
Honda CB250 Nighthawk. It's a 300lb bike. I use it in city traffic and also for long country rides.

TWTim
07-07-2008, 11:46 PM
Easy answer... a 250cc dualsport.

+1 -- The KLR250 can be had for a song and is a great bike off-road, too.

http://www.totalmotorcycle.com/photos/2005models/2005-Kawasaki-KLR250-small.jpg

Foxrod
07-08-2008, 07:05 PM
Oooh I want one! What kinda song are we talkin about here? Mary Had a Little Lamb? Or more like Stairway to Heaven?

whitesands
07-09-2008, 01:46 AM
KLR 650 and spend some time on smooth offroad trails to gain riding experience.

Foxrod
07-09-2008, 07:46 PM
I've mentioned getting a dualsport to him but he's more interested in a 'crotchrocket'. Do yall have any ideas?

Squeaky
07-09-2008, 09:04 PM
Ninja 250. The older style looks like more of a 'standard' but if he's got the cash for the 2008, it looks just like it's bigger sport brethren.

sharkey
07-09-2008, 09:51 PM
Oooh I want one! What kinda song are we talkin about here? Mary Had a Little Lamb? Or more like Stairway to Heaven?

I got mine for 1800 in good shape w/ 7K miles.
I was gonna suggest the Kawi EX500 too

ColGoodnight
07-11-2008, 08:22 PM
I've mentioned getting a dualsport to him but he's more interested in a 'crotchrocket'. Do yall have any ideas?

So the newby wants to rocket his crotch, eh? $1350 (http://www.vbike.us/index.php?page=showpro&spid=25&bs=&pz=&scid=13) brand new. Will not leap out from under him. Some assembly required. :)

Tom

Jack Giesecke
07-11-2008, 08:30 PM
YZF600 Yamaha

Honda F2

Older ZX6

These would have better street ergos than newer sport bikes, too. The F2 and YZF are couches even compared to my SV. :lol2:

OH! <edit> left out the 600 bandit. Simple, no radiator or water pump, good ergos, good used pricing. It at least LOOKS fast. :rofl:

Maverick
07-11-2008, 08:52 PM
I've mentioned getting a dualsport to him but he's more interested in a 'crotchrocket'. Do yall have any ideas?

Yea, R1, 2000 TLR, maybe a Gix1k. How about maybe even a BUSA :rofl:

Just let me know where he's riding so I can avoid that area.

My first question would be "do you want to ride or look cool?"

Then show him the cost of plastics for a "crotch rocket".

Outlander
07-11-2008, 09:13 PM
I have a friend in the very same situation. Just not looking for a Crotch rocket but more standards. I told them about the Ninja 500, CB600, SV650, FZ6, all with a lot of respect, msf trainig etc.

He is getting a 2004 FZ6 for $3500.

Gilk51
07-11-2008, 10:10 PM
Then show him the cost of plastics for a "crotch rocket".

No - show him the price of INSURANCE for a "crotch rocket" at his age... :giveup:

Jack Giesecke
07-12-2008, 04:13 AM
No - show him the price of INSURANCE for a "crotch rocket" at his age... :giveup:

I'm thinkin' Bandit insurance isn't that bad, not R1 bad, put it that way. He could have the looks and if he busts some plastic, there's lots of it on ebay for bandits.:lol2: Gotta learn his lesson somehow.

Hemibee
07-12-2008, 04:51 AM
+1 -- The KLR250 can be had for a song and is a semi-good bike off-road, too.

http://www.totalmotorcycle.com/photos/2005models/2005-Kawasaki-KLR250-small.jpg

There fixed it for you.

owtcast
07-30-2008, 10:57 AM
I just bought one of these for around town and am loving it. It doesn't get much more user friendly than this. And, it's like the coolest "Ruckus" there is.
http://home.gt.rr.com/owtcastsgarage/Copy%20of%207-21-08%20006.jpg

NUTT
07-30-2008, 11:07 AM
Suzuki DR 400SM... maybe a Yamaha WR250X. Perfect city bikes if you ask me.

http://www.suzukicycles.com/images/ProductImages/colorVariations/500/DRZ400SMK9_white_ffffff.jpg

http://www.yamaha-motor.com/assets/content/images/600/08WR250X_6l_a8d79253.jpg

NUTT
07-30-2008, 11:08 AM
That reminds me... need to trade the KLR for one of those!

connick
07-30-2008, 11:26 AM
'92 Yamaha Seca II, $2200...

http://houston.craigslist.org/mcy/774958424.html

Sportbike looks, decent (not overwhelming) power, cheap, easy to care for...

Plus it's something 'different'...

tomf16
07-30-2008, 11:53 AM
City bike ~$3000 new besides Ninja 250... Honda Rebel

It's light, does highway speed, gets good mpgs, can be found cheap used, and he can be a hooligan on it without getting into too much trouble.

NUTT
07-31-2008, 11:23 AM
Heck... truth be told I'd probably take $3K cash for my KLR with dirt & supermoto wheels.

It is a good city bike now, would be a great one with firmer suspension & a 320mm front rotor kit.

The key is the 17" motard wheels & good tires, upright seating, wide bars & lots of suspension travel.

Squidward
07-31-2008, 11:33 AM
I just bought one of these for around town and am loving it. It doesn't get much more user friendly than this. And, it's like the coolest "Ruckus" there is.
http://home.gt.rr.com/owtcastsgarage/Copy%20of%207-21-08%20006.jpg
As much as I hate to say anything positive about a TW200, I have to agree that it would be a great around town bike for a beginner.....especially being as you can snag one on the cheap.

Jason the Canuck
07-31-2008, 11:45 AM
There is an 03 Ninja on Motohouston right now for $1800. Tell him to ride it for a year and then sell it next year. I'd be willing to bet he'd get most of his money back out of it.

gixxerjasen
07-31-2008, 02:08 PM
Yup, I'm having a blast on my DRZSM. However for someone like him I like to reccomend an SV650. Easy useable power for a beginner, but not something that he'll get bored with too fast. Unlike most beginner bikes, since the SV is raced it has a HUGE aftermarket for it. It sucks to get into bikes and then find that there's nothing out there to customize your bike with. Then when his skills get up and he decides to start doing track days...he's got the perfect ride for all that. Plus, he get's his crotch rocket.

Shaggy
07-31-2008, 03:39 PM
'92 Yamaha Seca II, $2200...

http://houston.craigslist.org/mcy/774958424.html

Sportbike looks, decent (not overwhelming) power, cheap, easy to care for...

Plus it's something 'different'...

I had that exact bike but a 91. It was a GREAT bike and I would recommend it to anyone, new or experience that wants a good get around bike that you can have a little fun with too.

DaveC
07-31-2008, 03:45 PM
Yea, R1, 2000 TLR, maybe a Gix1k. How about maybe even a BUSA :rofl:

Just let me know where he's riding so I can avoid that area.

My first question would be "do you want to ride or look cool?"

Then show him the cost of plastics for a "crotch rocket".

Don't forget to mention that they suffer from a high theft rate due to the "stunta". The engine cases are very suseptable to tip over damage, engine oil loss damage! This is at 0mph!

Jack Giesecke
08-01-2008, 08:23 AM
As much as I hate to say anything positive about a TW200, I have to agree that it would be a great around town bike for a beginner.....especially being as you can snag one on the cheap.

What's not to like about the TW? I mean, it's not a freeway commuter, but it has its virtues. I'd love to have one. Though the tires are expensive, they'd sure be great in mud. However, my POJ Chinese 200 handles it fine for a lot less money. Still, the TW would be a NICE bike for me. I like that 250 tard, though, will run highway speeds, at least if there's not much headwind. :lol2:

Squidward
08-01-2008, 08:55 AM
What's not to like about the TW? I mean, it's not a freeway commuter, but it has its virtues. I'd love to have one. Though the tires are expensive, they'd sure be great in mud. However, my POJ Chinese 200 handles it fine for a lot less money. Still, the TW would be a NICE bike for me. I like that 250 tard, though, will run highway speeds, at least if there's not much headwind. :lol2:

From my own experience it won't handle the type of off-road riding that I like to do. However, it is overall a very good motorcycle....I'm just not its target consumer.

labandit
08-03-2008, 10:26 PM
Suzuki DR 400SM... maybe a Yamaha WR250X. Perfect city bikes if you ask me.

http://www.suzukicycles.com/images/ProductImages/colorVariations/500/DRZ400SMK9_white_ffffff.jpg

http://www.yamaha-motor.com/assets/content/images/600/08WR250X_6l_a8d79253.jpg



i thought that was a cool bike until i saw the $6,299 MSRP. 7k (after tax, blah, blah), seems like alot to pay over for that.

Sleepy Weasel
08-05-2008, 04:43 PM
Doh! Here's an option:

http://www.twtex.com/forums/showthread.php?t=30827

je2000
08-07-2008, 10:04 PM
Easy answer... a 250cc dualsport.

Light, so it's easy to save if he starts to drop it, or easy to pick it up again if it's too late.

Nimble, my Sherpa has the tightest turn radius of any bike I've owned.

And just enough power to get up to freeway speeds, but he'll have to learn to wring it's neck to get it there.

And if I take mine out on the freeway and flog it up to 80+ (indicated) MPH, I can manage to drive the gas mileage all the way down to an even 60mpg.
:mrgreen:

I am a brand new rider and I'm loving my small dual sport! You learn to work with the wind on the highway, but it sure is fun everywhere else!

Shaggy
08-07-2008, 10:09 PM
Doh! Here's an option:

http://www.twtex.com/forums/showthread.php?t=30827

LOL I thought that was going to end up at the scooter threadh :lol2:

gixxerjasen
08-25-2008, 01:00 PM
i thought that was a cool bike until i saw the $6,299 MSRP. 7k (after tax, blah, blah), seems like alot to pay over for that.The secret is to NOT buy new. Many folks out there buy them, then quickly decide that it isn't for them and sell them with a huge depreciation. I got mine in showroom condition with only about 600 miles on mine for well under MSRP.

pb641
08-31-2008, 09:57 AM
I've mentioned getting a dualsport to him but he's more interested in a 'crotchrocket'. Do yall have any ideas?

Look, I'm not tryin' to be an a#$ here, but if he is that hard headed, he's an idiot. Funny thing is that if he actually gave a dual sport a chance, he would figure out how cool they are. My second bike is a KTM 250 EXC, and I wish it was a KLR or DXR. (that's with 40 years riding experience).

He insists on a crotchrocket? Take out a policy on him, it will be money well spent. Hate to be so blunt, but you need to get this guy to start thinking about walking before running. I could go on and on about this, but I think the point is made.

sharkey
08-31-2008, 05:23 PM
I don't think wanting a crotch rocket type bike is a sin. People want different things. The guy is either mature or not and can kill himself on anything if he trys hard enuff. I think I just read that most cycle fatalities are coming in the 40+ riding cruisers so go figure...


Buy used cuz he'll drop it. Ninja 500 or 650 come to mind. Older YZF600 or if he really has class, a used Duc monster 620 or 695.