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Old 03-20-2006, 03:39   #1
emt1581
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GS750 good choice for beginners?

Last year I started a thread asking about beginner bikes. I was going to start off with a 250CC Ninja but eventually came to find that, for the money, the GS750 used couldn't be beat.

I'm guessing that when I do buy one it will be at least 4 or 5 years old (though I'm not sure what such a bike should cost). Are they still good bikes or is there a new favorite for beginners on the market?

Thanks!

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Old 03-20-2006, 09:06   #2
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Any moderately powered bike; and preferrably light in weight, is a good starter bike.
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Old 03-20-2006, 11:27   #3
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I also advise to get a standard type motorcycle. The ergonomics of the "sport" bikes and "cruiser" bikes can complicate learning.

Low HP is a bad choice IMO. It's easier to learn to ride on a motorcycle that puts out more torque and is less sensitive to gear selection. A nice 750cc standard will be able to go 35-mph in 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, or 5th gear, which makes learning easy. Also, they have enough power to get you out of trouble easier. The ability to accelerate out of danger with roll-on power is a good feature. Unlike a Ninja 250 which will require rapid downshifts and a couple seconds to spool up, if you need to get out of trouble. IMO, it can actually require more skill to ride a smaller bike.


Good older standards (I'm partial to these) include Kawasaki KZ750s and Honda Nighthawk 700s & 750s. These machines handle very predictably and offer a very stable, confidence inspiring feeling.

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Bikes like the one above are reliable, plentiful, easy to ride, have a soft seat, will do a sub 13-sec quarter mile, and keep up with the average rider on the average sportbike once you learn how to ride.

Note that the handlebars are straight out in-front, unlike the ape-hangers on cruisers and the itty-bitty low clip-ons the racers have.

Also, note that the footpegs are under your butt, instead of tucked behind you (like a sport bike), or up-high in-front (like a cruiser).

All that should cost ~$1500.
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Old 03-20-2006, 12:26   #4
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I started on a Rebel 250, and put about 5k miles on it before moving up to a Nighthawk 750.

I'm sure glad I didn't start on the Nighthawk, it's big, heavy, and powerful enough to get a beginner in big trouble IMO. Though I absolutely love it as my 2nd bike. YMMV
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Old 03-20-2006, 14:14   #5
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My first bike was a Kawasaki EX500 (currently known as Ninja 500). The darn thing had barely changed in twenty years. Still fun to ride and learn on.
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Old 03-20-2006, 14:23   #6
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I don't think 750 class bike is a good beginner bike. They are big, heavy, and have a stout torque curve.

I would recommend a smaller lighter bike for any beginner. Even big guys.
Bikes I would reccommend outside of the Ninja 250 are:
EX/Ninja 500 Lightweight twin cylinder bike
Older naked Suzuki GS500s
Almost any dualsport in the 250cc-400cc range

By all means remember, this is your first bike not your last.

Buy a beginner bike used ride it for a year and then sell it for almost the same price you bought it for. There are always people looking for a good used beginner bike.
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Old 03-20-2006, 17:36   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by fnfalman
My first bike was a Kawasaki EX500 (currently known as Ninja 500). The darn thing had barely changed in twenty years. Still fun to ride and learn on.
Ditto that. Mine too.
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Old 03-20-2006, 17:54   #8
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One other piece of fortune cookie advice.

It's much more fun to ride a slow bike fast than it is to ride a fast bike slow.
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Old 03-20-2006, 18:10   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by Motor-T
One other piece of fortune cookie advice.

It's much more fun to ride a slow bike fast than it is to ride a fast bike slow.
That's a piece of wisdom that most people forgot. I have more fun flocking my Beemer at 80% of its capability than riding barely 50% (if that) of the Aprilia's ability. You can only go so fast in the canyons if you are to remain prudent.

On the track is another story.
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Old 03-21-2006, 10:04   #10
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My first bike (and the one I currently ride) is a 1975 Honda mt250. Its a old 2 stroke enduro, and it is a piece of cake to ride. In my opinion, something small like this is ideal to learn on. I went down to the park and practiced shifting and braking, and cornering, accelerating. A park like that is the perfect place to practice, or a parking lot would be good too I suppose. Ive barely had a chance to ride it since I bought the bike at the end of last season. I plan to put a lot of miles on it this season.
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Old 03-21-2006, 11:34   #11
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My actual first streetbike was that ZRX1200R. I'm thinking of trying a ~600cc v-twin now (like an old Honda Hawk). The ZRX was very smooth if you wanted to ride it that way. I've always considered the stable, more powerful bikes to be the easiest to ride (assuming you're not a small guy).

By contrast, my wife had a Ninja 500. It was good for her to play on, but to me it felt squirrley, underpowered, and dangerous.
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Old 03-21-2006, 12:44   #12
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Let me chime in..

I started (first bike) on a Honda CM400T, and it was a good starter bike..

Then progressed to a Suzuki GS850, (which was a "GREAT" bike..)

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Later, while in the Navy, I bought a brand new Yamaha Radian (great bike, small gas tank 90 mile range max)

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As I matured, I bought a Honda V65 Sabre (Awesome machine, only fun to ride in a straight line, as it was topheavy and unwieldy)

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I do believe that a GS750 is a little too big to "start" on if you're just starting to ride..
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Old 03-22-2006, 17:59   #13
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I started on a 82 Kawasaki 440ltd in 2001 it was a great first bike, to me it seemed powerful enough for me when I started, and it was light which was a good thing. I rode it for 6 months and upgraded to a 84 Honda Interceptor and kept it for three years and bought the greatest bike ever built ( in my opinion ) a Kawasaki ZZR1200.

On the subject of beginer bikes I think a lighter bike is good to start with because they are easier to hold up when you are just begining that is a big plus, and also if you apply the brakes at a slow speed, ( like in a parking lot ) and have the front wheel turned than all the weight of the bike tends to go in the direction the wheel is turned and if you not expecting the bike could fall with you. When I had my 440 it wasn't a big deal if some one pulled out in front of you in a parking lot and had to stop quickly and did not think about my wheel being turned, but on my interceptor it got your attention real quick. I have and it did not take me long to learn to straighten the wheel before appling the brakes but I did not a heavy bike on me either. Just my 2 cents worth.
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Old 03-25-2006, 18:40   #14
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Help! New to this place and like it. Been a shooter for 35 years but bought 2 Yamaha's last year. Dual sport 225 & 200, now the wife doesn't like it. I really like them both but need to move up. I live in Colorado so want to hit my mountains(not figuratively of course). Thinking about 650 to 750, Yamaha or Honda. Any suggestions welcomed and thanks in advance. Trips would be 2 to 3 days probably with a little gear.
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Old 03-25-2006, 22:17   #15
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You should keep one and trade the other one in for a Suzuki V-strom. The V-strom is Japan's version of the more famous European adventure bikes like the KTM 950 Adventure and the BMW R1200GS. There used to be the Honda Transalp but it's not available in the US any more. The V-strom or the smaller 650 version of it (aka Wee-strom) are pretty decent bikes provided that you don't try to take it offroading too much. Some gravel, some light sand, that kind of stuff is fine but anything heavier than that, you'll have t o shell out for the KTM or the Beemer. Or a full-on dirt bike.
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Old 03-26-2006, 06:28   #16
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Thanks, my Yamaha dealer carries Suzuki, I will take a closer look. I will keep the 225 I think, it is a super bike, only problem is when it sits for more than a few days it is bugger to start. Have to pull the plug, clean it then choke the heck out of it. It is a new bike and I had dealer check jets etc. but they say it is ok. The 200 starts like a champ anytime anywhere. Any ideas?
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Old 03-26-2006, 07:21   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by ftlupton
Help! New to this place and like it. Been a shooter for 35 years but bought 2 Yamaha's last year. Dual sport 225 & 200, now the wife doesn't like it. I really like them both but need to move up. I live in Colorado so want to hit my mountains(not figuratively of course). Thinking about 650 to 750, Yamaha or Honda. Any suggestions welcomed and thanks in advance. Trips would be 2 to 3 days probably with a little gear.
ftlupton
If you are only going to ride one up, how about the Kawasaki KLR 650, its a proven design, single cylinder dual sport bike. Dual sport bikes handle great in the twisties, and can manage some light off road use.
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Old 03-26-2006, 10:09   #18
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Quote:
Originally posted by norton
If you are only going to ride one up, how about the Kawasaki KLR 650, its a proven design, single cylinder dual sport bike. Dual sport bikes handle great in the twisties, and can manage some light off road use.
I can't believe I didn't mention the KLR myself, after spouting off about my past bikes.

I recently parted with my KLR, but only because my boat was taking more of my funds (you know, a whole in the water you pour money into)..

Anyway, my KLR carried me as far as Canada (from West Texas) and as far as Mazatlan on the Sea of Cortez in Mexico..

The KLR is a great and reliable design, with a reliable liquid cooled 650 cc single, that'll outrun Harley's at the stoplight, and top out at about 100 mph (which is plenty fast)..

Did I mention that the KLR holds the record for the fastest run of the "Tail of the Dragon" road in North Carolina (the most extreme twisty pavement in the US)..

Because of the ground clearance, and the wide handlebar leverage, it corners faster than anything else on two wheels..

Here's some pics from Mexico..

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