General Question

futurelaker88's avatar

Which of these bikes (motorcycles) is the BEST choice?

Asked by futurelaker88 (1594 points ) July 29th, 2010

I’m looking to upgrade and get a new bike. I have about $3000 to spend and have been looking on craigslist. The following links are the 4 bikes i’ve narrowed down to. I was wondering which one you guys think looks the most reliable/nicest/well-kept, and overall the best deal.

http://newjersey.craigslist.org/mcy/1800071453.html
($3,000 POSSIBLY $2,900 after talks)

http://newjersey.craigslist.org/mcy/1817255349.html
($3,000 with only 8700 miles!)

http://newjersey.craigslist.org/mcy/1841728236.html
($3,000 but its a cruiser. im 22, dont know if that fits me, but its nice and the color i want! and in GREAT condition!)

http://newjersey.craigslist.org/mcy/1865859898.html
(now this is the bike i have, but the REDESIGNED body which is MUCH nicer, better color, and redone engine. $3,000 as well!)

Which one is my best bet? any ideas/suggestions. I’m a new rider (1 year of experience on a 250) i dont want to kill myself, but i want to drive comfortably and safely on a nice looking, reliable bike. Thanks very much!

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18 Answers

mrrich724's avatar

Yamaha (the first link) by far. You don’t want the katana or the 250. Those are both Elbert tame beginner bikes and you will definitely grow out of them before a year of riding.

futurelaker88's avatar

@mrrich724 Thanks a lot! im looking at that one most seriously, what about the Vulcan? you dont think cruiser is good? Im hesitant on that too. The yamaha is nice, but im also scared of it being TOO powerful. do you think ill be able to handle the jump from the 250 to the 600 in one shot? i hear those bikes can shoot out right between your legs if you hit a pot hole and slip the throttle a bit! lol, i want to go faster, but without killing myself with a TINY margin of error. Thanks again!

whitenoise's avatar

Go for the Yamaha!
I drive yamaha, myself and the bikes are reliable and have good handling and motor characteristics.

The 250 bike is a starter bike. You already have it… pass.
The 500 cruiser is a pass as well… too light for a real cruiser and you don’t seem to like it anyway.

Between the Suzuki and the Yamaha, I would go for the Yamaha.
I just don’t like the Suzuki too much. I don’t like the exhaust and I feel the way it handles, it is more like a starter’s bike as well.

futurelaker88's avatar

@whitenoise ok, so ruling out the others and going with the yamaha leaves me in the situation where his carbs need to be cleaned because it sat a year and wont stay on without the choke (same thing happened when i bought my ninja last summer, and i had to pay $300 to have it fixed). He took $300 off the price when i told him that. Is this a sign of something bad? or since the miles are so low, does it seem like this is still a great deal and a quick and easy fix?

whitenoise's avatar

I f it is just the carburetors, than it shouldn’t be bad. I would hesitate because of it, maybe buy it under the provision of allowing to return it if a service of the carburetor doesn’t do the trick. That will limit your risk to 300 US$.

jerv's avatar

I rather like the Yamaha myself. Not quite as high-strung as the GSX-R600 you were looking at before, but still a rather nice step up from your 250 without being overwhelming and not quite as tame as the other two which wouldn’t really be much of an improvement over what you already have.

It is rare that you get any sort of used vehicle that is totally free of issues. Take it from a guy who has owned a lot of cars that were 12–25 years old :D Dirty carbs are relatively minor, so if that is what the issue is then don’t let it scare you.

Russell_D_SpacePoet's avatar

I would look for something a little bigger. 600 are ok, but you will get bored with it. Had a couple of friends went from 250 bikes to 600s. They both traded after four months. One to a 750 gixer and the other to an R1.

Russell_D_SpacePoet's avatar

Oh yeah, someone probably learned on the yamaha and the suzuki. That can be a bad thing.

jerv's avatar

@Russell_D_SpacePoet Bigger isn’t always better. Maybe if you are looking at street racing or being a jackass begging to get smeared, but for someone who is just looking for a comfortable bike that is fast enough to not suck but not fast enough to make your IQ drop, a 600 should be fine. Of course, my opinion would be a bit different if the OP had more than 1 year experience.
Given that you mention the GSX-R750 and the R1, I think I have a pretty good idea of where you are coming from, and I don’t think that a racing bike that has more HP than most cars is what the OP really wants, and definitely not what he needs even if that is what you and your buds are into.
I’d ask my buddy Jackson how he feels about a relatively new rider having a bike like that but he’s a statistic now; he bit off more than he could chew and then he just bit it.

Russell_D_SpacePoet's avatar

@jerv Well, I’ve never had my bike drop my iq. He did have a Ninja 250. That is an entry level sport bike. The yamaha 600 is damn well fast enough to get killed on. I’ve ridden them. So a few more horsepower is really a moot point. I mentioned bikes others had gone to after their 600s.Also, just because you ride a big sport bike, doesn’t mean you have to ride like an idiot. I’m glad you seem to know what is best for the asker of this question. As far as your friend, a damn shame when anyone gets killed on a bike. The trick is to use common sense and not to ride beyond your abilities.

jerv's avatar

@Russell_D_SpacePoet That is why I feel that going from a 250 to a full-on racing bike with no in-between is a bad idea. I would rather waste a little money on an in-between bike that I outgrow rather quickly as my skills progress than make a big leap and screw myself over.

Common sense isn’t common. Jackson never learned on a 250 and didn’t bother to start with something piddly like a 600; he went big and fast on his first bike. I know a few people who ride a hot bike like an R1 but they have all been riding for a while and it is at least their third bike; they went up progressively.

Russell_D_SpacePoet's avatar

@jerv Just curious, what do you ride? I ride a Suzuki GSF 1200 bandit.

jerv's avatar

Nothing right now, but I am more of a British iron type of guy with a soft spot for old Triumphs. They aren’t the sportiest, but they are comfortable and I think they have style.

Russell_D_SpacePoet's avatar

@jerv Almost bought a Speed Triple.

mrrich724's avatar

@futurelaker88 if you hit a pothole, you want the throttle to get a little gas, that’s what pulls you out of the pothole. you actually learn it in the safe rider course.

don’t be worried about it dude. it may be freaky at first, but i definitely don’t think the bike will be too much to handle. in fact, i speak from experience. my first bike was a honda shadow. i owned it for less than a year b/c i was like “i’m ready for some speed. a cruiser is nice, but i think you wanna learn on a sports bike, you can corner faster and harder, or not . . . it’s all up to you, but i personally think there is more potential to learn how to become a great rider on a sports bike just because of the physics it can handle.

just start out slow before you start doing anything like taking it out on the hightway, or major roads. and i definitely recommend going to take a MSF safe rider course, it’s two or three days and by the time you are done you won’t have any doubts ;)

jerv's avatar

@mrrich724 I believe that most of the bikes he is considering are sports bikes, though I question the degree of skill it takes to do things where the bike’s limits exceed those of the rider. I guess it’s all in how you define “skill”. Still, a sports bike will let you do more since the limiting factor if generally the nut behind the bars.

@Russell_D_SpacePoet Old-school; ‘69 TR6.

mrrich724's avatar

@jerv, the bikes limit vs. that of the rider don’t really matter, b/c the rider doesn’t ahve to take it to the limit until he’s ready.

however, when the rider feels comfortable, that extra power and potential will be there. so he doesn’t have to “upgrade” to a faster bike. i wish i knew this when i bought my first bike, so that’s what i was trying to add.

jerv's avatar

@mrrich724 I tend to be a bit more cautious than some unless/until I am intimately familiar with my ride. See, I now live where the drivers are quite stupid, and I am freaked out enough on the road without having to worry about a vehicle (whether bike or car) that will freak me out any more than I already am. That means that anything very different from what I am used to would be a problem for me, and may be an issue for the OP as well.

I think it would help if there was a direct correlation between experience and skill level. Some people are natural riders, and some are idiots even after riding for over a decade. I think the OP is already used to something that is fairly agile, so I don’t think handling will be an issue; I am more concerned with inadvertent lifting of the front wheel and/or spinning of the rear (and the resulting loss of lateral grip inherent in a spinning tire).
It all depends on how disciplined he is with the throttle hand, and that is something I don’t know since I’ve never seen him ride and therefore would rather err on the side of caution. Again, I would probably think differently if he had more than 1 year of experience and/or had more time on something bigger than a 250.

As for my comment about skill vs machine limits, all I meant by that is that a trained monkey can get performance out of a decent rig, but it takes more finesse to pull the same stuff with an ill-tempered pig. I’ve spent enough time driving in low traction conditions (the type of stuff no sane person would attempt on two wheels… sometimes not even at all) to know that all too well. Yes, it’s nice to have a rig that can do whatever you want it to do no matter how extreme, but my point is that it isn’t exactly my definition of “skill” unless you have to juggle what you want the rig to do versus what it is actually capable of (and occasionally exceed those limits and live). In other words, it’s semantics.

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