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First Bike Suggestions: New or Used?

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by RHVEtte, Apr 29, 2012.

  1. RHVEtte

    RHVEtte

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    So, I'm taking the ABATE motorcycle training class soon and plan to get my endorsement soon after that. I know you don't need a bike to take the class, but I also know that once I get said MC endorsement, I'll be chomping at the bit to put it to use.

    In that vein, I've been searching the internet, seeing what the going rate is on bikes. I've been able to find things like this Suzuki http://indianapolis.craigslist.org/mcy/2951969715.html that, as near as I can tell, are fairly priced. But I'm a little wary of making my first bike purchase a used bike. After all, isn't that saying about used vehicles go that you're just "buying someone else's problems?" If it were a car, I wouldn't be worried, since I know how to inspect a car, and can work on them to a good extent. But bikes are pretty foreign to me.

    So, what's the verdict? Should I stick with a CPO or new bike from a dealer for the first one, or am I blowing it out of proportion?
     
  2. HollowHead

    HollowHead Firm member

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    Unless you can't sleep without thinking about one particular bike, I'd buy used for the first one. BTW, the A.B.A.T.E. course is one of the best IMHO. I helped set the one up here fifteen or so years ago. HH
     

  3. RHVEtte

    RHVEtte

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    So repairs and such on a bike aren't too different from cars? I'm leaning towards a sportbike in the 500-700 cc range since the consensus seems to be that's enough power to get you where you want to go without being run off the road while not being so much that you reduce yourself to a skidmark the first time out. I'm just concerned that, being a used bike, there's bound to be something in need of repair before I can even really take it out. Is there a checklist of things to check specific to bikes?
     
  4. G27_Jose

    G27_Jose

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    Definitely used and a 600cc sport bike is plenty for a first bike. My first two were used and never did much other than change oil and tires. Both were Yamaha R6's. Sorry can't help much with a check list of things to look for.
     
  5. HollowHead

    HollowHead Firm member

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    My local indie bike shop does a full vetting of any brand for about $50. If you know little about bikes, that's money well spent. FWIW, most sportbikes require engine removal for water pumps, transmission work, timing chains, etc. Valve adjustment, clutch repair and carb work can be done in frame. Brakes and chains are as simple as working on a bicycle. HH
     
  6. Sharkey

    Sharkey

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    Definitely used. I'm a big believer in riding whatever you want and using throttle control. That said, a 600cc race bike is really not a good first bike. Try a 650cc used and if you like riding and have skill, you can always sell it to someone and get a race bike.

    Also, plastics are super expensive and when you drop it it can add up. Try a 650cc naked bike. Suzuki makes a nice one that is plenty fun and has nice torque.
     
  7. Annhl8rX

    Annhl8rX

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    You're looking at the right kind of bike. I don't like to buy new at all, and I certainly wouldn't for a first bike. That particular GS may not be the best, though. Go for it of you like it, but I think there are better deals out there.

    The GS is a starter bike and that's all. For around that same price you can probably find a used SV650 that will be equally good for a beginner and will keep you entertains much longer. Also look at the Katana 600, Kawasaki Versys (slightly more expensive), Honda 599, and Yamaha FZ6. All of them are good starter bikes that are also good for experienced riders.
     
  8. whitetiger7653

    whitetiger7653 NRA Life Member

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  9. sappy13

    sappy13

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    Most defenantly buy used. You will regret buying a new bike first. If you get a crotch rocket, dont get anything bigger than a 600cc. Preferably a older 600cc if you go that size. Newer ones are fast as hell and might be too big unless you are a big guy. I started on a gs500 and rode a katana 600 sometimes. It was plenty to start and the resale on bikes is good if you buy used. I actually sold my gs500 for 400 more than i paid.
     
  10. RHVEtte

    RHVEtte

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    Thanks for the recommendations. I'll keep them in mind. I'm not actively looking at the moment (I'd like to get the license first) but I'm sort of keeping an eye out for ideas and deals. Unfortunately, Indiana is an expensive state for cars. Everyone tries to sell theirs for $1-2k over blue book. My sister's last two cars, for example, came from Chicago and Milwaukee. Even factoring in gas and time, it was way cheaper.

    ETA: Also, about how old can I go before it starts to be more trouble than it's worth? Around here, any car more than 7 years old is probably a royal PITA, but since bikes aren't really driven in the winter, I'm not sure how that'll affect aging.
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2012
  11. Sechott

    Sechott

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    That would be a good first bike. 500cc plenty of power and should be cheap to insure. I recommend for a first bike is a dual sport 400cc you can learn off road, usually get them used pretty cheap, can take abuse of dropping without much damage and when you feel you're ready for a bigger bike, they make great second bikes. The only downside is lack of power and not good for interstate.
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2012
  12. RHVEtte

    RHVEtte

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    I'll keep that in mind. I actually found out the other day that my new "work 12 hours a day and forget to eat" diet is working. I've lost 20 lbs and didn't even realize it. Time to start working out and bulking up again. On that note, are there any particular models suited for a taller person? I'm 6'3" with arms like an orangutan.
     
  13. bigmac85

    bigmac85

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    One thing to look for is the condition of the chain and rear sprocket. (excessive slack, has it ever been greased?)That can be a sign of how the previous owner kept up on maintenance.

    Also i like to look at the tires, easy way to negotiate a lower price if they're worn.

    EDIT: unless you are good with carbureators, do yourself a favor and buy a fuel injected model.

    If you can find a 2002ish honda 600 F4i they make excellent first bikes. Im 6' 1'' and it was very comfy for a sportbike. JMHO
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2012
  14. HollowHead

    HollowHead Firm member

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    Depends. If you're not in a hurry and look around, you could find a cherry UJM (Universal Japanese Motorcycle) like a CB, KZ or GS, etc. for well under $2K in great shape. The biggest problems with old UJMs is dry rot: intake manifolds, tires, brake lines, seals & gaskets. If you don't mind drips, get an old bike, learn and scrap it (or sell it to some bobber kid) HH
     
  15. Sharkey

    Sharkey

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    If you were thinking of buying new, I'm guessing you have 4-5K to spend which would buy you a nice used modern cycle with low miles. If you are tall, try a test ride on a FZ6. It has FI, centerstand, a neutral ride position, and seems meant more for tall folks since I rode my buddies for 3 months. A 2006+ used cycle in vg condition should fit easily in the 4-5K range.
     
  16. 10mm Sonny

    10mm Sonny

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  17. airmotive

    airmotive Tin Kicker

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    At 6'3", you might want to be mindful of the bike's size...especially ifyou're leaning towards sportier frames.

    While I'm the world's biggest fan of the SV650 and 1000, at 6'2", I really couldn't take more than an hour on one. I ended up with a Bandit 600. (which, BTW, I paid $2000 for, rode for 25,000 miles and then sold for $2000).

    Try spreading your criteria a bit...V-Stroms use the same engine as the SV series, but are amazingly comfy for long hauls. The other manufacturers make similar models to the V-Strom, but I'm just mostly familiar with the Suzis.

    Avoid anything wrapped in plastic for your first bike...because it WILL hit the ground. Even if you're the next Valentino Rossi, your first bike will hit the ground. You may not be riding it when it falls....but it will fall. Plastic is expensive.
     
  18. Glockdude1

    Glockdude1 Federal Member CLM

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    Every motorcycle I have owned, were all bought used. It is surprising how many people buy new bikes, and dont keep them very long.

    :cool:
     
  19. Sechott

    Sechott

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    To people who can afford it biking is a hobby, once they feel they get proficient at riding their new one they will trade for something newer, esp with sport bikes.

    Good luck to the OP hope you enjoy riding as much as I do.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2012
  20. Bren

    Bren NRA Life Member

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    I have bought 100% used cars and motorcycles since the early 80's - never had a problem with one.

    As for the ABATE class, I haven't heard of them offering one, but you may want to double check which class to take. In many states, taking a motorcycle class allows you to get your license without going for a DOT road test. But it has to be the right class, which is the MSF class most places. That may not be true on your state, or the ABATE class may be MSF, but be sure to check.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2012