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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys, new member here. Howdy!

I've decided to enter the wonderful world of bikes, signed up for my beginner MSF course next weekend. I'm getting stoked. I called a few insurance companies to get some ballpark quotes for myself and found Geico to be the lowest at 1400/year. Progressive was 3000+ and state farm wouldn't insure me unless I had another policy with them (vehicle or otherwise). (I told him I'd be on a 500cc bike fyi)


ANYWAYS...

I've read the page on good first motorcycles: http://www.chuckhawks.com/good_first_motorcycles.htm

Comes in handy and scares me off of getting anything stronger than a 500cc. The bikes the guy there advised for in the 500cc range are: Buell Blast, Kawasaki Vulcan 500, Suzuki GS500E and the Yamaha Virago 535. What do you guys think of these bikes?

I've never ridden before and my stats are:
20 yrs old
5'9
162lbs
I'm very calm on the road and don't get overcome by testosterone to drive crazy (in cars) on the road...I think I can handle a bike. After next weekends 3 days MSF course I'll know whether I can or not.

Anyways, I want to start looking for used bikes in the 250-500cc range fairly soon. ( http://www.cycletrader.com/index.html ) or by going to dealerships...do dealerships sell used bikes like car dealerships?

I'm looking to spend under $5000 for the bike alone. What's going to be a good bike to drive in LA and LA traffic (good handling) and hopefully some casual day trips around LA area.

What're some advice on equipment also? is there any online resource that has good reviews of equipment? Any brand names that stick out more than others? how much ballpark does an entry level rider generally spend on a full setup ?(sans bike and insurance)
 

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Suavedg said:
...I'm very calm on the road and don't get overcome by testosterone to drive crazy (in cars) on the road...I think I can handle a bike...
Oh, if I only had a dollar for every time I've heard a newbie say that.

It cracks me up every time!! :laughing:




BTW, welcome to SBW!! :D
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Re: Re: Choosing a bike and of course more noob questions

cookeetree said:
Oh, if I only had a dollar for every time I've heard a newbie say that.

It cracks me up every time!! :laughing:
hehe touche salesman...

anyways, any help?
 

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Sorry, mate, you're better off talking to US members about your bike choices and where to get your gear.
 

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All of the 500cc bikes you mentioned will sell in the low $2000 range, but not brand new. I mean get an early 2000 model. There is no reason to spend $5000 on a spotless bike when your chances of dropping it are very high. If you haven't noticed bikes usually don't depreciate past $2000 unless it's in terrible shape.

I suggest you get an early (2002) GS500. They are categorized as a standard instead of a sportbike, but still look sporty. They keep you sitting upright, which is more comfortable for long commutes or being stuck in LA traffic.

Get a helmet, jacket, and gloves immediately. These are the parts of your body that hit the ground first. I use to believe you couldn't get this gear for under $500 new, but there are closeouts everywhere.

Use the 'search' tool to check old thread on gear. Check out the gear section.
Try www.newenough.com and www.motorcyclecloseouts.com
 

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while others may suggest 600s and claim 500s are boring, I'll pitch in suzuki sv650 along with the 500s. it's not fast as 600s (different motor) but enough to remind you everytime you twist the throttle why motorcycling is good.
 

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Suave:
Welcome to SBW. I must say you are one very informed noob :)
On to answear questions.
I'll go along with z-fanatic to recommend the sv650 as a possible first bike. They are gentle and easy to ride despite their displacement. Abit higher seat hight than you would find on the smaller ninja's but being 5'9" you should be just fine.
You should be able to pick up a bike for less than $3k, if you go used. I would highly recommend that, becouse first bike get dropped a great deal (not necesserily wreck, just fall) All the other bikes you've mentioned are good as well.
I tend to budget $1k for gear. Its abit over the top but not by much. $400 helmet, $70 gloves $200 jacket and $200 for boots give or take. A great place for gear is www.newenough.com they have the best customer service of any place I ever had to deal with, and they are pretty damn cheap.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I've heard though time and time again for a beginner rider going with a 600cc bike is pretty much a guarantee for a nice crash.

is the sv650 just an underpowered 600cc? and since it's a 600 will it bump up the insurance considerably?
 

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I dont know about insurance question, they differ too much from region to region and company to company.
As for the 650 motor its a twin tuned for maximum ridability. A 600 supersport motor (R6, 636, cbr600RR, etc) are tuned for peak HP. Thus they have almost non existant low end, followed by minor midrange and then at 10k rpm they explode into 100hp machines. Controlling a motor like that requires constrant shifting to keep in the powerband (Everytime I ride a 600 I wish it had an 8speed).
SV650 on the other hand is tuned for predictable power, linearity, at the expance of top end power. Thus it only makes around 70hp, but it purrs in a nice, easy, predictable fassion. The broad powerband makes the 6 speed transmition useless, as it could easily get away with having 4 gears.
It also has eased off rake angles and longer trail for more in linear stability at the expance of flickability (not that you cant flick a 650, just that its less likely to freak out on you).

I test rode one last week for a friend (also picking out a first bike) and it was just the perfect thing to learn on. It was tottaly gentle and comfortable and light, but still had enough power not to make me feel castrated.
 

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The SV650s is a bit of a lean forward riding position due to clip-ons & so much will depend upon how low the clip-ons are along with length of one's arms. Also rear-sets, often called foot pegs or foot rests are moved back & raised a bit. Bike has a 1/2 fairing & gearing is raised a bit.

The SV650 is with a full one-piece handlebar bolted on top of the steering head yoke. This offers a more regular riding postion, ease of handeling & more power to a riders strength of arms to support the bike, rear sets are again into regular riding position being a bit father forward & lower compared to the 650s. No fairing up front & bike is geared a fraction lower plus lengeth of frame is close to 1" longer.

The SV-650 was first introduced into the States with preference to it being a bike for "fun riding" along with regular riding position & easier to put a foot to the pavement due to the regular riding position.

Many have bought the SV-650s to actually put out more money to raise the handlebars to some with complete one piece handlebar for comfort of handeling ESPECIALLY when it comes to riding in town
 

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welcome and FYI on CA bike laws

Welcome to the site and welcome to sportbike riding. As a newbie to Los Angeles I had to research CA motorcycle laws and regulations. (The DMV does a poor job of describing without a TON of "research") So here's a link that might help (and her take on it is pretty funny!)

Let me know when you get a bike and want to go for a ride! (I'm in 90066 between Venice & Culver City).

http://www.ducatigirl.com/california/dmv_a_main.html

http://www.ducatigirl.com/california/dmv_b_roulette.html

Hope this helps! (If you didn't already know) :)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
thanks for the help guys,

princess I'm just a few miles away in 90045 across the street from Culver City and right beside the 405 (between La Tijera an howard Hughes parkway exits).

Would love to find some people like yourself to go for casual rides around, thanks for the invite and links.

Right now I'm unsure if whether the sv650 is for me or not. I think I'll try and find a dealer which the gs500 and ninja500r so I can check them out in person and sit on them. Though I won't totally rule out the sv650
 

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Smitty:
While your post was true about the earlier 650's newer ('03-on) only have the fairing and clip on/handlebar differences. Rear sets and gearing is exactly the same, as well as wheelbase.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
www.cycletrader.com

is there any online resource for finding used bikes?

All I can find for Ninja500 and GS500F are pretty much brand new for 5000 area...while I don't mind spending this much, I'm more worried about dropping a new bike instead of a used one.

What would you guys do?

and is the sv650s really a good bike for a beginner?
 

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The best online resource I know off is ebay, but its typically overpriced and filled with scams, so be carefull. Best option in my book is to pick up a copy of the thrifty nickel (or whatever you guys call it over there)

As for the SV650 being a suitable start bike, I think, and many here will agree, that most will be ok on it. But if you dont feel comfortable with something that size, by all means, go ahead and wait.
 

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Vash said:
Smitty:
While your post was true about the earlier 650's newer ('03-on) only have the fairing and clip on/handlebar differences. Rear sets and gearing is exactly the same, as well as wheelbase.
Don't forget the Fuel injection, more power and smoother.
Yes, I wasn't aware that they kept the gearing the same for 03+, the older nakeds had one gearing lowered for torque but recorded less speed up top compared to S version, also the swingarm was longer on the naked.
 
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