GlockTalk.com
Home Forums Classifieds Blogs Today's Posts Search Social Groups



  
SIGN-UP
Notices

Glock Talk
Welcome To The Glock Talk Forums.
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 02-10-2005, 08:02   #1
Sgt Steve
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: south western PA
Posts: 98
OK, which bike do I buy/want?

Ok, lemme' lay it out. I'm 59; haven't ridden a bike in 30 years; never owned one; US Army vet brother has a Wide Glide; brother-in-law has a full dresser. I did get my "M" (motorcycle) permit for Pennsylvania. Classes coming in April at the community college and I'll take em. Checked on insurance. No lid law in PA but I"ll use one! Wife will probably ride with me...eventually. I'm 6' even and about 190 lbs. Will ride locally, short runs for the most part.

Right now my plans are to buy used. Looks like a smaller Harley or a full sized Kaw, Honda, or Yamaha. I can afford something around 6,000 to $8,000 layout. It will be a cruiser, a cruiser, a cruiser, no ball breaker or crotch rocket or mud tracker (althougth nothing wrong with those bikes). Right now I am favoring:
Kawasaki Vulcan 750 or Vulcan 800 (no 800 classic)
Honda Shadow Spirit
Yamaha V Star Custom
Harley ? bout' all I can afford is a Sportster 1200!

Need your advice and guidance in any part of this, any! I think I want to get something BEFORE the class starts so I have some hands on.
;Z
__________________
Sgt Steve
Sgt Steve is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2005, 10:45   #2
fnfalman
Chicks Dig It
 
fnfalman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: California & New Mexico, US
Posts: 54,758


Can't really go wrong with those choices of motorcycles. They're all solid cruisers.

I'd suggest getting one AFTER the class. Those bikes are widely available, so you don't have to worry about passing up a good'un. The class will dispel a lot of myths for you and will help you decide which motorcycle will be best for you.
__________________
Can you dig it?
fnfalman is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2005, 12:41   #3
Bandalero
Senior Member
 
Bandalero's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 407
Your choice will depend on if you are looking at this as a first bike or as a bike to hang on for a while and also if you want to buy new or used...

I love the looks of the Vulcan and all new Yamahas, especially the Royal Star Tour Deluxe:

http://www.yamaha-motor.ca/products/index.php?group=M

Suzuki also has the new Boulevard series (replacing the Volusias) which are pretty spiffy looking.

Your wife will appreciate one of the bigger touring models, but they can be a handful weight and handling wise if you aren't used to them. I spent many hours on the back of a Wide Glide and it weren't a piece of cake ;g I much prefer the HD electra glide. I can only imagine the Sportster wouldn't be any more comfortable 2-up
Bandalero is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2005, 13:37   #4
gixxer
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: pennsylvania
Posts: 41
My father is 56yrs old and recently started riding again. He choose the Honda Shadow (Classic 750cc). Very nice bike. Low center of gravity, decent power, very reliable. Honda (in my opinion) has best fit and finish of the jap manufacturers ( all my bikes are suzuki ). From what you listed the Shadow would be my pick.
gixxer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2005, 19:00   #5
H.I.M
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 35
I definitely would leave the Sportster alone.....At your age...lol..and mine, it will do it's level best to kill you. I would opt for a late 80's Harley Dresser or Electra Glide Sport. The EGS is the predecessor to what is now the Road King. You can pick up a fairly low mile bike in the $8 to $9 grand range. This bike has the EVO motor and is as dependable as they come. Happy hunting and ride safe.
Dan
H.I.M is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-2005, 15:20   #6
Sgt Steve
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: south western PA
Posts: 98
Thanks for the input. I'll have to check the posts over the weekend. Brother and I had planned to check around and see what was in the area.
I've received the same verbal input on the Sporster and the Honda Shadow, and the old "first bike or bike to hang on to for a while" comments. Like fnfl says I've thought about waiting until after the class too but then I"m looking at 2 or 3 more months. Dunno'. I guess that's the reason a person asks.
Then too I know if I get something that's "uncomfortable" for Evey then she probably won't to ever ride again. These are good situations though,,,keeps a guy going to work, thinking. Kinda' like firearms!
__________________
Sgt Steve
Sgt Steve is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-2005, 17:28   #7
Wetrudgeon
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Beyond the beyond
Posts: 884
Sgt. Steve:
We have much in common with you.

We rode as a kid, but it had been almost 30 years since we did any steady riding. Until January.

We had similar considerations as yours. At 50 years of age, we knew that we would be happy only with the comfort of a cruiser. We shopped much and finally settled on a 750cc (45 c.i.) Honda Shadow. The bike works well, has adequate power, is nimble and easy to handle, and (so far) has been very trouble free.

We bought ours used (an '02 model) and paid a little over $4K for it. We think that there are some excellent values to be had in the used market, especially among the metrics.

Thus far, we are very well pleased with our Shadow. We think you can not go wrong with a used metric. The Harley's are better investments, perhaps, but we hear that you must spend more time tinkering with them.

You can shop for hours on cycletrader.com. We certainly did.

Good luck with your selection, and ride safely.

We trudge on (figuratively).
Wetrudgeon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-2005, 17:43   #8
hd67xlch
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: florida
Posts: 482
Nothing wrong with Sportsters

There isnt anything wrong with riding/buying a sporty,Ive been riding the same 1967 xlch since 1976, when my old man gave it to me for a high school graduation present. And yes I still ride it several times a week, and have for 30 years now. Id ride it daily, but have 2 (1976,1984) other Sportsters that need riding also.

Good luck with your choice.
__________________
"politics is like the stock market: Its bad business for those who cant afford to lose"
hd67xlch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-2005, 18:01   #9
OMEGA5
Senior Member
 
OMEGA5's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Tennessee
Posts: 1,715
I'm 56 and ride a '04 Kawasaki Vulcan 1600 Classic. Love the bike.
Here's pic of it.
__________________
VietNam Vet 68-69.
Retired LEO After 41 years
NRA Endowment Life Member
OMEGA5 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-2005, 19:15   #10
Texas T
CLM Number 23
TX expatriate
 
Texas T's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: W7YBY
Posts: 12,095


Quote:
Originally posted by OMEGA5
I'm 56 and ride a '04 Kawasaki Vulcan 1600 Classic. Love the bike.
Here's pic of it.
If your cruiser wasn't so slow you could get out of the way of all those bullets.
__________________
"A gun is a tool, Marion. No better and no worse than any other tool - an axe, a shovel, or anything.
A gun is as good or as bad as the man using it. Remember that." Alan Ladd as Shane (1953)

NRA Life Benefactor Member, AMA Champion Member, AOPA Member, ARRL Member, GOA Life Member
Texas T is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2005, 08:55   #11
OMEGA5
Senior Member
 
OMEGA5's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Tennessee
Posts: 1,715
Texas T.
It's a good thing it's Kevlar lined too. As for slow, at 750 lb it takes me about 6 seconds to go from 0 to 80 and it'll cruise there rock steady all day long. Plenty fast enough for me. Here's to other side of it.
__________________
VietNam Vet 68-69.
Retired LEO After 41 years
NRA Endowment Life Member
OMEGA5 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2005, 11:31   #12
RottnJP
Lifetime Membership
Senior Member
 
RottnJP's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: CT
Posts: 1,997
My $0.02:

1) Wait 'til after the class, so you are better able to safely take a spin on the bikes you're looking at. I first learned in PA at a MSF class, and the classes do a great job of getting you started right on the basics. I know, 2 mos. is a long time to wait for your new ride, but it passes quick if you're reading up on the choices! :-) Look at it this way- You've waited 30 years, so what's a couple of mos. to increase your odds of getting the right bike for you on the first shot!

2) An Jap bike will give you better value for your dollar, no question, but the Harley's have a certain "feel" to them, and you are buying into a broad community and culture. Personally, I went for a Kawi, but I highly recommend getting a feel for a few different bikes so you know for yourself what you like best. You can also have your PAX sit on back stationary to get a feel for the pegs. (I advise not taking her out until you've got some time under your belt- give it a year or two.)

3) You have the right idea about the helmet- A helmet has done well by me a couple of times- Potential life-ending incidents weren't, so don't let the "wind in your hair crowd" convince you otherwise. I'll skip the wind in my (few remaining) hairs if it means I keep my grey matter safely under my hairs where it belongs.

Good luck, have fun, and keep the rubber side down!!!

-JP
__________________
Outpost Member #69.14159
RottnJP is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-2005, 11:26   #13
fnfalman
Chicks Dig It
 
fnfalman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: California & New Mexico, US
Posts: 54,758


As you notice, Sarge, a lot of guys recommended that you go bike purchasing AFTER the MSF course and your getting a license. There's nothing wrong with going shopping beforehand though.;f Hell, that's the best part!

But I gotta tell ya, I was sorely tempted to buy a moto before I got my training and had I done that, I would have settled for a bike that I wasn't going to be happy with two months down the road.
__________________
Can you dig it?
fnfalman is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-2005, 12:08   #14
Sgt Steve
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: south western PA
Posts: 98
Yooo Adrian!!!!! This has been great! Good input.
Brother and I spent about 6 hours Saturday, couple of different Harley places, Kawazaki, etc. Can't figure out why they don't have a new Harley for less than $10,000...other than a Sporty! Well, I can figure it out, I just don't like it!

Anyway, not that I can't do it financially if I had to but - not comfortably - I'll have to go used. Harley or whatever.

I was impressed by a Kawazaki 800 Classic (like the 800 better)that had maybe 4,000 miles on it; nice sissy bar setup and seat. Vance exhausts, very good shape, attempting to get the dealer under $5,000.

Wet mentioned the Honda Shadow (750)and I liked it but it "felt" like there wasn't much room on the pass seat. Wet, you say you guys do fine with it? Reasonable price and a used one in the area for about $4,200. Is it big enough for two?

As for the Sporty...there's not a darn thing "wrong" with it...but I tried one Saturday and the problem there again is room. Not much on the back for Evey. If it were just me that's exactly what I'd get at this point, a Sporty. But it "ain't" just me so I want to make that allowance.

I'm searching and destroying for an older Harley somewhere in the 8,000 range it that's possible. I do appreciate the input about "waiting" but...I started this train of thought about 2 years back...and if I don't do it now...well, it won't get done. My thoughts are I'll find the smaller bikes easier to manuever right now and will want something bigger. Good, if I lose money on a $5,000 bike that's different than losing it on a $15,000 Softail...if I just don't like it.

I know, from the safety angle, the age thing, and a few other items that we won't be into any long trips, probably under 100 miles even locally. Hey, one more angle I kind of ignored; what's the general opine on a Triumph? I looked at the Bonnevilles and that's a pretty nice bike with a good seat for the partner. Even new it's not out of whack.

Hey, above all, THANKS!
__________________
Sgt Steve
Sgt Steve is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-2005, 13:26   #15
fnfalman
Chicks Dig It
 
fnfalman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: California & New Mexico, US
Posts: 54,758


The modern days Triumphs are much better than the olden days Triumphs as far as reliability is a concern. It's still not par with the Japanese, but it's quite good.
__________________
Can you dig it?
fnfalman is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-2005, 13:41   #16
Sgt Steve
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: south western PA
Posts: 98
fnfalman, and others,

Hmmmm, thought or heard...that the T's and Asian bikes were about on par but I can understand if they are not. I don't want to start a war here but that's one of the reasons we have an Outback and a Forester. No doubt there are all kinds of good vehicles but the Subarus were something we really liked. Brother...Toyotas...sister...Honda and Subaru.

What's your opine of buying a used Harley versus a used Kaw or Honda?
Seems that I hear you have a hard time selling a used Kaw, Honda, etc.

On another subject...the FNFAL...is that just a nickname for names sake or are you associated with FN? Reason I ask is that they have one of our (Extrudehone) machines.;f
__________________
Sgt Steve
Sgt Steve is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-2005, 14:47   #17
gixxer
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: pennsylvania
Posts: 41
Something else to look at may be Moto Guzzi. A little quirky, but you will not park next to the "same" bike at the local hangouts. They have there own "pedigree" if you will. With shaft drive and fuel injection they require a little less maintenance also. A great bike to just cruise around on.
gixxer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-2005, 15:03   #18
fnfalman
Chicks Dig It
 
fnfalman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: California & New Mexico, US
Posts: 54,758


Triumph seems to be doing OK with the US market since its return. They make some bikes that are quite desirable, especially with their naked bikes.

As far as FN goes, I'm not associated with them at all. I just happen to like their tried-n-trued FAL rifles.
__________________
Can you dig it?
fnfalman is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-15-2005, 17:56   #19
cghammo
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Ohio
Posts: 26
Sgt Steve,
I bought my first bike last summer, I'm 52. I looked at them all, including Harley's, just can't justify the price for them. Ended up with a Honda VTX 1300, it has plenty of power and is very manuverable. Compared to the Shadow Sabre, it just felt right, and it was only $900.00 more when I made my deal.
http://powersports.honda.com/motorcy...1300CB4&bhcp=1
My suggestion is to get the biggest bike that you can handle safely. If you don't you will be getting another new one soon.
cghammo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2005, 04:23   #20
Wetrudgeon
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Beyond the beyond
Posts: 884
Sgt. Steve:
In response to your question, we feel that our Honda Shadow Spirit (750) has more than adequate power one up. We have ridden it two up only for small jaunts at low speed. Our spouse did not complain about the small passenger seat, but sat upon it only for a short time. The little bike seemed to pull very well, but both us and our spouse may be considered to be somewhat less than average size, our combined weight being somewhat less than 300.

We have taken rides with friends mounted on much larger steeds and have not felt at any disadvantage power wise. Our little Shadow is also averaging around 55 mpg. We like this a lot.

We think that "cghammo" raises a valid point regarding purchasing the largest bike you can safely handle. On the other hand, we think if one purchases something on the used market and then "trades up," the extra financial outlay for changing bikes will be relatively small. Most beginners are unlikely to purchase their first, last, and only dream bike on their first go anyway.

Our $.02, and jolly well worth it.

We trudge on (and on).
Wetrudgeon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-19-2005, 01:33   #21
quinch
Turgid Member
 
quinch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Omnipresent
Posts: 1,641
I'd recommend a $1000 or under classified special for some refresher miles. You can sell those bikes for what you paid a few months later unless you toss it down the road. If you do, better that bike than a new one!
It's all up to you though. If you feel comfortable on a bigger, newer bike, go for it. Just don't buy /ride a bike you're not comfortable on. If you feel nervous or on edge on it at all, take a pass. I've bowed out on a couple bikes I wasn't ready for at first. That policy has kept me out of harms way, I switched to 2 wheeled primary transportation about 10 years ago, and have not had one accident.
I still need the truck when the dog comes with me, though! ;f

The VTXs are a great cruisers, all my Hondas have been bulletproof. The Boulevards are a pretty good deal too.
quinch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-19-2005, 01:59   #22
MonsterMaxx
Member
 
MonsterMaxx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 104
go ahead and buy whatever it is that makes you want to get back into bikes again.

Then put it in the garage and get a cheep metric bike to get your feel again, or learn it for the first time.

The thing to look for most is light weigth. If you can get under 400lbs that's great, 350s even better.
A big heavy harley is a heavy bike. It's heavier to manauver and it's a whole lot heavier when your fighting it.

<= rides a V-Rod and I know all about big heavy bikes.

Get something that's inexpensive to repair too.
MonsterMaxx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-19-2005, 06:45   #23
norton
Senior Member
 
norton's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Land of Lincoln, the growing years
Posts: 6,597
Quote:
Originally posted by MonsterMaxx
go ahead and buy whatever it is that makes you want to get back into bikes again.

Then put it in the garage and get a cheep metric bike to get your feel again, or learn it for the first time.

The thing to look for most is light weigth. If you can get under 400lbs that's great, 350s even better.
A big heavy harley is a heavy bike. It's heavier to manauver and it's a whole lot heavier when your fighting it.

<= rides a V-Rod and I know all about big heavy bikes.

Get something that's inexpensive to repair too.
There are no motorcycles made that are inexpensive to repair
norton is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-19-2005, 09:04   #24
MonsterMaxx
Member
 
MonsterMaxx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 104
Quote:
Originally posted by norton
There are no motorcycles made that are inexpensive to repair
Relative to a Harley?
Oh, yea, there are bikes which are much less expensive to repair.
MonsterMaxx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2005, 12:21   #25
Sgt Steve
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: south western PA
Posts: 98
Hey, afternoon!
Thanks for all the input. Now the serious stuff starts...I guess!

Brother and I went to the shop Friday and I gave the guy the "I bought it money" on a Kaw Vulcan 800, metallic ruby red, 2004, 2,700 miles on the bike, local guy (one owner) bought it and had it serviced where I bought it, checked the pegs/grips/whatever for drops and it's fine. A couple of accessories: chrome sprocket cover, rack on back, cruise control (don't know if I'll like that). Dealer threw in the sissy bar. Without getting personal it was under 4,800 and I thought that was decent.

Wifey and I went Saturday to check it out and she loves it! So she asks the guy to start it up and then she says "...we hafta' do something with this bike", and the guy says "whadya' mean?" and she tells him it sounds like our John Deere mower! "Put some pipes on it". So we ordered the Vance and Hines Straight Shots along with the metering kit.

I know a little better now about "feeling comfortable" and I do on this bike. I feel like I'll be able to handle it, balance, etc. Another biggie; if I decide I really don't like it then no BIG loss but unless I"m totally wacko I'll want to move up and I get the feeling that wifey will want it!

Now we hafta' talk to the brother-in-law when we cruise out to Ohio (south of Columbus) this spring...HOG guy. He knows bikes, in, out, and around. Built several...as in having the tubing bent and welded so he's pretty knowledgeable.

Now where do we go with this? jackets, gloves, helmets (for 2 years in PA), bags (nah!), spats.
__________________
Sgt Steve
Sgt Steve is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump




All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:31.



Homepage
FAQ
Forums
Calendar
Advertise
Gallery
GT Wiki
GT Blogs
Social Groups
Classifieds


Users Currently Online: 1,232
391 Members
841 Guests

Most users ever online: 2,244
Nov 11, 2013 at 11:42