Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: Pittston, PA 18640
i won't talk about the older ducati 900's. beautiful bike, but not for you just yet. ducatis are too expensive to crash, especially with a lot of bodywork. for bike #2, a 900ss (especially before the new bodywork) would be a great choice. not yet.
as far as the gs500/sv650/monster 750, here's my preferences (assuming a 2-3 year run with the bike).
3) gs500. a great learning tool. and if you're gonna keep your first bike a year, this is the one. it'll have the best learning curve because it's the easiest bike to get on and ride. they've been around forever and parts are everywhere. they are bullet-proof and have a lot of style.
the down side is they have been around a million years and don't excite me as much as the other two. they aren't really worth it to do anything to them and there's too many fun ideas for modifying the gs. even though it made 3rd, i would still consider it a great choice.
2.5) ex500. read about the gs500, add horsepower and a newbie friendly, yet mildly annoying positive neutral finder and you have the ex500.
2) monster 750. i'm in a pro-ducati mood today. that and the 2-3 year ownership plan says "keep the duck at 2." it's the worst choice on your list in so many ways. it's cool factor puts it in the second spot. if you think you'll keep it a year, forget the duck.
1) sv650. kicks the crap out of the duck in everyway. the newbie bike that experienced riders crave. i'm going into my 11th year street riding when the weather breaks (7th or 8th on sportbikes). i currently have a gsx-r750 and i want an sv650. it's the best value on the market. there are so many things written about it, i don't need to say much more. my preference is the non-s model. it's more upright position is easier to learn on, i like the way it looks without the half fairing and you can get clip-ons for it.
one thing to remember is the less bodywork the better (it's expensive). also, none of these bikes are pure sportbikes by today's standards. they're more do-it-all bikes. any of them can be used to learn on, taken to a track day, then to work and then on a 300 mile trip to nowhere. they'll give you a great view of what you like in street riding (be it touring, cruising, corner carving, etc.).
Coward stays behind freedom.
A braveman stands in front of freedom and defends it for others.
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Last edited by FZR400Tony; 12-19-2002 at 05:38 AM.