Another new rider...

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jasonf
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Another new rider...

#1 Unread post by jasonf »

Hey there folks. New guy here.

After humming and hawing for too long this summer/fall and missing the season, I've decided I'm going to get my bike license next spring/summer. I plan on taking a rider safety course and I've got lots of people I can ride with here so that's not a huge issue.

My (potential) problem is finding a bike that will be okay for a beginner, but also be big enough for me. I'm about 6'4 and about 275lbs (hopefully a bit less by next summer). I live in a relatively small community (about 13,000) in Southeast Alberta that is at least an hour from any major urban center, so most of my rides will be longer highway rides rather than urban/commuting. I DON'T want a sport bike (ie - Ninja/CBR/GSX/etc) and I DON'T want a Harley, but am not completely closed to the idea of a cruiser. In a perfect world, I am torn in a few different directions and would love eventually work up to something like a Yamaha Vmax or Ducati Diavel, but really like the new Indian Scout.

As of right now, the bike I'm leaning towards most right now (if I get something newish) is a Triumph Bonneville T100 Black. If I get something used, I'm maybe looking at something like a Buell Ulysses, but have something like 20 different bikes/styles on my Kijiji 'watch' list.

At the end of the day, I won't be getting anything until I get my license, but am starting the research/saving process. Any thoughts or ideas from bigger riders for new bigger riders?

Thanks!

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totalmotorcycle
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Re: Another new rider...

#2 Unread post by totalmotorcycle »

A big welcome there Jason to our most friendly community!

Congrats on looking to get into riding! It will change your life and offer up opportunities to see and experience things in a whole new way. :revv:

Sounds like you might be near the town of Vulcan or Picture Butte. (I've been all over SE Alberta myself) or maybe even further out like Drumheller? No matter, SE area is my fav. :D

Wow, you have the same problem as I do (I'm 6'4" tall as well, just about 100lbs lighter though)... it's your height that will limit the bikes more than your weight. From the sounds of it you are attracted to the Standard/Naked/Retro muscle bike. I've avoid the Ulysses as if you ever run out of gas, you'll have to have it towed to a dealer to be fixed.

I'd recommend a used bike (even if just a few years old) as a 1st bike, and as small of an engine as it feasible (in your case, 500-750cc). But there are a lot of bikes in that range. The Bonneville is a nice bike. Also if you like Triumph's, there is the America as well (which is a killer good deal). Also I ride a Moto Guzzi V7 which fits me. Then there is a V-Strom 650. And Honda has a line of 500 and 650cc bikes that are not bad. I have a friend who is 320lbs and rides a Suzuki GS500F. But a GS500E would work the same too.

If you can get to Calgary, I recommend the TooCoolMotorcycleSchool for your training.

Mike
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blues2cruise
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Re: Another new rider...

#3 Unread post by blues2cruise »

Welcome to our community.

A dual sport might fit you. They tend to be taller bikes. Try looking at the Kawasaki Versys or Suzuki V-Strom.
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Re: Another new rider...

#4 Unread post by BRUMBEAR »

Well I am a Buell guy so the Uly is always on my LIST!!! But you may want to look at a Verseys or vstrom as well these machines are very rider friendly have enough power and handle quite well and could easily fit your bill. BTW if you do go Buell you may want to look at the 08 and better as the TPS resets do not require ECM SPY which should be performed with routine maint.
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Re: Another new rider...

#5 Unread post by Hanson »

Hi Jason,

First, welcome to the Total Motorcycle Forum, most welcome!

I think you are smart for keeping your options open at this time and not fixating on just one motorcycle. I also think it is a good idea to go sit on a lot of bikes. Buying a motorcycle is a lot like buying hiking boots; fit is important. This is why there are so many aftermarket parts available for almost any motorcycle that address the issue of fit.

When I was looking I found http://cycle-ergo.com to be a great resource for understanding how I was likely to fit on different motorcycles, and http://www.totalmotorcycle.com was a great resource for looking at fuel economy.

Safe Travels,
Richard
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jasonf
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Re: Another new rider...

#6 Unread post by jasonf »

Thanks guys!

It was probably pretty early to start posting about what kind of bike I should get, particularly if I can't go ride them to see what they feel like. That said, I will probably stop by some shops over the winter months and just sit on a few bikes to see what (initially) feels good.

I live in Brooks so most of my rides will either be really short commutes or longer (multiple hour) highway rides. Eventually I would like to do some longer rides (weekend/week long road trips, etc), so something with a decent riding position is a must. At 6'4", I think that's my biggest challenge right now.

I know looks aren't everything, especially for a first bike, but it's still something. Duel sport/adventure bikes don't really grab me (with a few exceptions), but it sounds like they would probably fit well. MOST cruisers don't appeal to me, but some do (I think a fatter front tire helps, but it's still really hit and miss). Sport bikes are out because of my size and intended use as are cafe racers (even though they are definitely my favourite style of bike).

Like I said in my initial post, the bike grabbing most of my attention right now is the Triumph Bonnie. Seems to check off lots of the right boxes, but until I can sit/ride one I really don't know.

I'm kicking myself for not getting my license this summer and then looking for a bike over the winter, but whatever. Next summer is a long ways away and I'm sure there will be a lot of flip-flopping between now and then, but the hunt is half the fun isn't it!!

Thanks!

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Re: Another new rider...

#7 Unread post by BRUMBEAR »

Bonnies are a fun machine but a bit 2x4ish in the seat see if you can check one out with a gel seat they are WWWAAAAAYYYYY more tolerable
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Re: Another new rider...

#8 Unread post by JackoftheGreen »

Jason,

First, welcome to TMW! You've come to the right place, and we look forward to hearing about your progress as you begin your ridership classes and get some rubber under you. Check out our members blogs section to see how other people's adventures went, and consider starting on of your own. (-:

As to the bikes. For a beginners ride, you definitely can't go wrong with a tried and tested workhorse like a Kawasaki Versys or Suzuki V-Strom. Pick up something rugged and reliable, but also something you're not afraid to drop (much!). It may not be pretty, but that's the whole point. And these beginner bikes are usually fairly easy to resell when you're done with them.

As to a permanent bike for once you've got your wings, you say you like the cafe racer look but don't consider them an option because of your size. Have you considered this beauty:

http://www.totalmotorcycle.com/motorcyc ... 008VSE.htm

She's got a wheelbase two inches longer than the Bonne T100, frame is two inches longer too. Also she's only about an inch shorter at the bars, but her saddle is 1.5 inches higher. Also a much bigger gas tank and oodles more displacement.

Of course, she's also half again the sticker price. But you didn't list a price point, so I thought you should see the Griso.

And Mike sure would love another MG rider bopping around the boards. It's rare air up there.

Anyway, that's my two cents. Welcome to TMW!

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