First bike

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Wolfman
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My Motorcycle: 1979 Kawasaki xs1100

First bike

#1 Unread post by Wolfman » Mon Dec 28, 2015 8:59 pm

Okay so I'm 16 and I'm looking to get my first bike. I've found two bikes within my price range that I really like. The first is a custom 1979 Kawasaki xs1100 and the other is a 1980 Harley Shovelhead. I'm really having a tough time on which one to get. I'Is little more interested in the xs1100 because it has more power and parts seem to be cheaper, any help on deciding? :frusty:

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JackoftheGreen
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Re: First bike

#2 Unread post by JackoftheGreen » Mon Dec 28, 2015 10:05 pm

First, welcome to TMW! You've come to the right place, our community of helpful enthusiasts will certainly be able to help you in making your decision.

For my part, I gotta tell you neither of those sound like good options for a first bike. They're both fairly heavy bikes with liter+ motors, and at their age you're likely to spend a lot more time wrenching than riding. You need a dependable and predictable bike to learn on, especially since at your age you're still learning basic vehicular control. Add to that an overpowered and undermanuverable cruiser of dubious mechanical integrity and I fear for your safety.

You'd be a lot better off getting a ten or fifteen year old enduro to learn on, say a DR200 or a KLX250. Much easier to control and anticipate, cheaper to maintain and no big thing if you drop one.

Really, overall I think you ought to concentrate on traffic laws and being a good motorist before you get on a bike out there, but if you're gonna do it at least leave yourself some room to make mistakes. Crawl before you walk.

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jstark47
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Re: First bike

#3 Unread post by jstark47 » Mon Dec 28, 2015 10:51 pm

First, if it's a XS1100, it's a Yamaha, not a Kawasaki. Although it is 35 years old, XS1100's were a superbike of their day. Like Jack said, think 4-cylinder litre bike power, combined with the crappy suspension and brakes of 35 years ago. Plus it weighs over 600 pounds wet (i.e. fueled, ready to run). Definitely NOT appropriate for a first bike.

Concerning the Harley, if it's a 1980 shovelhead, then it's a FLH, i.e. an Electra Glide. (FX's didn't get the shovel head motor until 1981). That's a big, heavy bike, again lacking modern suspension or brakes. But at least it won't kill you with excessive power. Be aware that 1980 is near the end of the time that AMF owned Harley, and the AMF years are the low point in Harley quality.

So I agree with Jack. The best choice is neither. Get something smaller, more modern, more reliable. It's your first bike, not your last. Then take a motorcycle riding course (even if you think you already know how to ride, take the course anyway.)
2003 Triumph Trophy 1200
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Wolfman
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Re: First bike

#4 Unread post by Wolfman » Tue Dec 29, 2015 7:05 am

Idk why Kawasaki keeps staying in my mind. Sorry for the typeoes. Thanks for the opinions guys.

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