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Which bike is better for a beginner?

Posted: Thu Aug 04, 2016 8:21 am
by gedamu
I just recently completed an MSF Course a few weeks ago and now plan to buy a bike with my dad so we can both practice how to ride. After a few weeks of looking on craigslist and visiting people's houses looking at bikes, we decided two of them really caught our eyes. A 2000 Buell Blast 500 and the Suzuki Intruder 800. I was hoping I could get information on how these bikes run based on your experiences. I know the experiences will depend on how well the bike was kept, and the Buell I saw and test drove had only 3.4k miles, but sounded a little sketchy. When you turned the engine on, it made a popping noise, which the owner said was common since it was a single cylinder. Can someone tell me if that is accurate or not?

The Suzuki we saw looked to be in good condition, started up good, engine sounded good, and the guy selling it was a mechanic at a bike shop. That sounds a lot better because he said he rode it and it worked well, and I am sure if I had problems I could go to him for help fixing the bike. The price however is pretty low (only $1500) when the value of it seems to be between ($2000-$3000). The only problem is I do not know if this bike is too powerful for a beginning bike. Also, availability of parts is a big concern. Can any Buell or Suzuki owners tell me how easy/hard it is to find parts?

Re: Which bike is better for a beginner?

Posted: Thu Aug 04, 2016 8:48 am
by Gummiente
As the Suzuki is being sold at a bike shop by a mechanic, that would be the better choice, IMO. The Intruder 800 is a solid design and from what I know it had very few reliability issues, if any. Parts on any Japanese bike 10yrs or more old is going to be a bit of a concern, but not a dealbreaker. It was a popular model, so aftermarket accessories are still available for it as well as routine maintenance parts. Cruiser style v-twin bikes tend to have more torque than speed and are designed to be easy to ride. I don't think you'd have any problems getting comfortable with it as a first bike, all it takes is careful riding until you're used to it and then defensive riding all the time after that.

The Buell Blast was a good beginner bike, but most people would outgrow it before the end of their first season and look for something bigger. It did have reliability issues, mostly due to the vibration from the single cylinder motor, but it did make for an excellent and economical commuter bike. If you're planning to do highway rides and touring in the future, this would not be the best choice for those tasks.

Re: Which bike is better for a beginner?

Posted: Thu Aug 04, 2016 8:27 pm
by gedamu
@Gummiente The lady selling the Buell let me test ride and I saw exactly what you mean by the vibrations. Thank you for your input. It helped me out a lot, being a new rider and all.

Re: Which bike is better for a beginner?

Posted: Fri Aug 05, 2016 3:31 am
by Gummiente
No problem. Let us know which bike you end up buying and post a pic when you do. We like pics. :)