General Question

prince's avatar

What first motorcycle should I get?

Asked by prince (322points) June 9th, 2009

I just passed my MSF course (yes!) and I’m now looking for a bike.

I’m not sure if one exists like this, but I’ll throw it out there:

Basically, I’m looking for a nimble bike that isn’t styled like a crotch rocket. I’m a beginner, I learned on a Buell Blast, which I really enjoyed actually—it just looks a little sporty for me. Aesthetically, I’m really drawn to the ‘60s-style cafe racer Triumphs, like the Thruxton or Bonneville.

Things I’m looking for:
* Fuel economy
* Power—I really don’t need a bunch. At all. I’m rarely going to be taking it on the highways. I am, however, sizable and athletic (6’1, 195lbs). The 493cc Blast had plenty of power for me.
* Handling—Like i said, I’d like something a little flickable.
* Price—As a first bike, I don’t mind getting used or older bikes—provided they’re reliable.

Also, any advice about buying your first bike is welcomed too!

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18 Answers

MrGV's avatar

Yamaha or Honda

prince's avatar

@MrGeneVan Yes, I’m well aware that Yamaha and Honda make bikes. Perhaps you’d like to include, say, a model with your answer?

MrGV's avatar

For honda I would suggest CBZ or Hunk and Yamaha either FZ 16 or FZ S

DarkScribe's avatar

That is almost like asking for advice about a wife. It is matter of taste, You have to like it, be capable when riding it, be sure of maintaining it. One thing is certain, you don’t buy anything until you have taken it – several times – for a long ride on all surfaces. Most bike shops will loan a bike to a prospective customer if they leave a credit card or substantial deposit. I have taken a bike for a weekend before purchasing it.

robmandu's avatar

My first was a Honda Nighthawk 550. It had a 4 cylinder engine and shaft drive. It was great, reliable, not too big, and fast enough.

syz's avatar

My MSF instructor recommended getting a used Honda Shadow. Used so it doesn’t break your heart when you lay it down the first time, and a Shadow ‘cause it’s reliable but it still looks cool. (I’m still in the market.)

prince's avatar

@syz Oh, that shadow looks kinda perfect.

susanc's avatar

You’re not considering a Harley?

Good man!

prince's avatar

Is a 250cc Rebel going to be too weak for me?

sandystrachan's avatar

Honda or just save time and get a coffin .

robmandu's avatar

I think 250cc are only good for training class. You’ll quickly outgrow it. Especially if you’re you plan to ride any significant distance or on highways.

Unless you’re going for a classic.

rooeytoo's avatar

I had a Suzuki 250, I forget the model, but I loved it and rode it everywhere. But I am just a little squirt, barely 100 lbs. I think it or a Honda Rebel would be too small for a big guy, unless they’ve changed a lot over the years, I used to be able to flat foot them.

Cardinal's avatar

I have a Triumph Speedmaster and it handles well, classic old school design and plenty of power.

sakura's avatar

I have a BMW 650F (my first bike) I am female and it is quite big but because the petrol tank is under your arse rather than at teh front of the bike it makes the handling much easier. My husbands first bike was a VFR400 which is small and nimble (he’s only short) So it may be a little cramped for you being 6“1!
I agree with @DarkScribe try the bike out first sit on it go for a cruise, you need to be comfortable with its handling and the ride…Have fun choosing and REMEMBER – Don’t forget your safety gear it may be a little uncomfortable but its there to do a job!!

Degutan's avatar

If you’re looking at fuel economy, look at a scooter, like a stella or Kymco. My Bajaj is 150cc and regularly gets 100mpg.

prince's avatar

I ended up getting an ‘85 Nighthawk 450 for $900!

robmandu's avatar


robmandu's avatar

This guy is riding his Honda Nighthawk across the country as we speak.

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