MSF class and question on first bike

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rvgal
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MSF class and question on first bike

#1 Unread post by rvgal » Mon May 26, 2008 6:55 pm

My DH and I will be taking the MSF course this week and we have started looking for our bikes. We will be using the bikes mostly on the west coast, some mountain trips and wondered what you would recommend. I am 5'6" and on the full figured side.
Have been reading the forum for sometime now and looking forward to getting out there on a bike soon.
Thanks
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#2 Unread post by blues2cruise » Tue May 27, 2008 9:13 pm

A Yamaha 650 V-Star would be a good first bike for you. It can handle the west coast and the mountians just fine.

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#3 Unread post by rvgal » Wed May 28, 2008 5:45 pm

Well the class is over with and not too soon. The heat was really tuff. Found the class very helpful. Since I had never riden before alot going on the first day but got better. Glad its over and now on to bigger and better things.
:D
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#4 Unread post by TylerR » Fri May 30, 2008 11:28 am

rvgal wrote:Well the class is over with and not too soon. The heat was really tuff. Found the class very helpful. Since I had never riden before alot going on the first day but got better. Glad its over and now on to bigger and better things.
:D
So have you focused in on any specific bike or style (i.e. cruiser v. sport) yet? There are lots of choices out there and at 5'6" you should have a good range of bikes that will fit you.

Oh and congrats on completing the class!! :)
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#5 Unread post by rvgal » Fri May 30, 2008 11:52 pm

Cruiser will be the style. Spent a good part of the day sitting on a 2007 Vstar 650 classic. It felt really good. Also looked at the Honda Shadow Aero which DH likes but I found it did not fit as well for me. Still looking but I think it will be the Vstar for me unless something else pops up.
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#6 Unread post by whisper15 » Sat May 31, 2008 10:07 am

rvgal wrote:Cruiser will be the style. Spent a good part of the day sitting on a 2007 Vstar 650 classic. It felt really good. Also looked at the Honda Shadow Aero which DH likes but I found it did not fit as well for me. Still looking but I think it will be the Vstar for me unless something else pops up.

:hithere: Just had to jump in here and let you know I rode a suzuki savage for 8 years and loved it, but when I saw the 650 V-star I fell in Love with it when I sat on it and could not wait to ride it. I like the Cruiser style and the way it handels. I think if it fits for you it will be great for you. :clapping:
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1st bike...kinda

#7 Unread post by mj5898 » Thu Jun 05, 2008 7:37 am

Good morning ladies!!!

I too am considering a V Star 650 Custom. I have found a great deal on an '06 with only 75 miles on it. The seller is having it serviced today so that it will be road ready right away.

Anyway, I am wondering if it might be too much bike for me. I started out in 2004 on a 150 cc scooter. The next spring, I upgraded to a new '05 Suzuki Burgman 400 cc scoot. I put around 6K miles on it before selling it last weekend. I also bought an older used 250cc Honda Rebel to learn shifting, etc. but the bike seemed really anemic. So, after taking the MSF last spring, I purchased a 250 Kawasaki Ninja. I have been loving that bike, but for longer rides, would prefer a more relaxed cruiser-type seating position.

My concern with the V Star is that it is more than 100# heavier and 400ccs larger than my Ninja. I am only 5' 1" and really only have toes down in boots on the Ninja, but since it is so light, it is not too much problem. I sat on a brand new 650 last weekend at the dealership and it felt really good, but you never really know until you ride it.

So, just wondering if any of you have thoughts or suggestions on whether a 650 will be too much bike in terms of power or weight for a shorty like me.

TIA!!!


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#8 Unread post by Thumper » Thu Jun 05, 2008 12:16 pm

mj, if you could handle the Burgman with no problems, the 650 should be fine. Practice lots of slow-speed drill in a parking lot to get a feel for the weight and the friction zone on that particular clutch, but it should be fine. I've seen lots of tiny women riding huge bikes...it's obviously doable.

And once you're moving at any speed, the weight matters less.

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#9 Unread post by blues2cruise » Thu Jun 05, 2008 2:26 pm

The bike only feels heavy for the first few weeks until you get used to it and find the balance and leverage zone.

I may be tall...but I am certainly not the strongest person around.

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#10 Unread post by TylerR » Thu Jun 05, 2008 10:06 pm

rvgal wrote:Spent a good part of the day sitting on a 2007 Vstar 650 classic. It felt really good.
Sometimes ya just gotta go with what feels right... and you're the only one who truly knows what that is. :)
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#11 Unread post by MZ33 » Fri Jun 06, 2008 11:48 am

It sounds to me that the 650 would be fine. The only caution I would have for you is about the lean. I had to lean my scooter (125 cc Riva) to flat foot at a stop. This gave me a bit of a bad habit to unlearn with the Vstar. Full stop has to be upright and square, because once the bike starts to lean, all of a sudden she weighs 500+ pounds, and she will go where she wants. I dropped my bike 5 times in a week before I took the MSF as a refresher. My instructor (a 5'4" woman who rides an Electraglide, for Pete's sake!) caught my error pretty quickly. On a 250cc bike, I could still get away with it--I didn't drop the bike--but as soon as she told me what I was doing, the light went on.

Surely, you couldn't flatfoot the Burgman, could you? If you can handle that, I'm sure you'll be fine on the 650. If you are worried, have an engine guard installed, so that if you do drop it, you won't hurt it much.
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My new V star 650

#12 Unread post by mj5898 » Fri Jun 06, 2008 11:27 pm

Well, we went to check out the bike today - 150 miles away. It was everything I had hoped - beautiful paint job and sounded great. After paying, I had Hilarye ride her the first 90 or so miles home. She is accustomed to her 750 Shadow Spirit, so it was like second nature to her. I, of course, used to the very light Ninja, was more than a little intimiated.

I did ride her about 40 miles of the trip back and did okay. Still very nervous at stops - worried about getting into first and my feet down before a drop. My first purchase will be the Cobra crash bars LOL.

Anyway, I did notice a fair amount of heat on my right leg if down at a stop from the pipes and some on the left from the engine. With the Ninja, I sit above the engine, so I guess that makes a difference. Anyone else with this bike notice the same thing?

Actually, even at 5' 1 and 3/4" inches, I was able to flat foot the 400 Burgman as a result of the taper of the seat at the front. I had no problem getting my feet down with the new bike - just more an issue of the added weight.

Tomorrow, we are going to spend some time with me getting familiar with the friction zone in the driveway. Once the crash bars are on, I will be practicing low speed exercises from the MSF. I know the more I practice, the more comfortable I will become.

Thanks for all the awesome advice and support!

Ride Safe!
MJ

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#13 Unread post by MZ33 » Sat Jun 07, 2008 9:22 pm

:spot: :spot: :happybikeday: :spot: :spot:

Congrats!! And yes, I do notice heat on the right calf--actually felt nice in cooler weather and I suspect it will feel decidedly not nice in August. But I only notice it when stopped, and I haven't noticed it on the left. There should be an extra chrome piece right where your leg rests near the exhaust, a heat guard to protect you from burns.

Happy cruisin'! 8)
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#14 Unread post by blues2cruise » Sun Jun 08, 2008 11:52 pm

:happybikeday:

I'm sure you will love it....wait until you are stuck in bumper to bumper traffic for an hour....you will really feel the heat....
but once you get going you won't feel anything.

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#15 Unread post by Schmink » Tue Jun 24, 2008 12:47 pm

MJ, congrats on the new bike! I just bought the V-Star 1100 and am really loving this bike. My previous bike was an '81 Honda 650 Custom. It was a bit on the tall side for me (I'm 5'4"), but was good for a first bike and I was able to pick it up very cheap. I like how low the seat is on the Yamaha and I am definitely more confident when I come to a stop.

One of the first things I noticed was how hot the right side of the bike was from the exhaust. What I tend to do is come to a full stop with both feet down and once I am situated, I put my left foot up on the peg. It raises my leg enough so that the heat is not directly blasting me. Seems to help.

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