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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all, I've been reading through the posts and I'm curious about opinions on getting the 650.

I'm 6 ft 250# and I have limited riding experience... I rode an old Honda 550 super sport about 8 years ago, but only for a summer.

I'm definitely taking the MSF course.

If I can get away with just getting a new wee as first bike I'd prefer to just do that. I'm not too excited about buying an old cheap bike since I'd prefer to have one I know I can trust. I will be a conservative rider and ramp back up slowly.

Other bikes I am considering are the Honda NC700x or CB500x. NC has no abs with automatic. Worried I'll grow out of the 500.

Overall I like the wee as a tough bike that looks like it can do it all.

I've seen divided opinion... The "go for it" versus " no, it's too top heavy". So I'm especially interested in opinions on details of whether the bike is top heavy and what a beginner can do to best adapt.

Thanks! Great forum!
Rob

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Because the strom is tall, it feels top heavy. That's physics. Here's how to handle it---as you're coming to a stop focus your concentration on getting both feet on the ground as you stop. Do not spend that instant before stopping looking at traffic or deciding which way you'll turn next or the gal (or guy) in tight pants. After you have both feet down and the bike feels stable under you, then plan your next move. With experience most of us can bring the bike to a momentary stop then roll away without putting a foot down, but we didn't start that way. And most of us had our bikes take a nap when we started riding a strom and didn't concentrate on getting both feet down when stopping.

In other respects the strom is OK as a first bike. And certainly OK as a long term bike. You will want to upgrade the springs to suit your loaded riding weight, but that can wait a while. When you take the MSF course, ask if they have a dual sport you can use rather than a mini-cruiser or a standard bike.
 

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the ultimate dilemma, TO WEE OR NOT TO WEE

@ 1" shorter & 10# heavier, than you, i can say the WEE can be a great solution to your situation

good overall quality

reasonably priced

great aftermarket following

& there is this forum, which can make ownership & riding a WEE a happy experience

shiny side up

sw
 

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I got back into riding three summers ago after thirty-some years. On the recommendation of a long-riding friend, I started off with a "used" 1983 (I think) Honda Nighthawk 650 that I put maybe 700 miles on and quickly outgrew. It was just too damn small for my 6'2" 300-lb+/- bod. It especially sucked on the highway at 65mph as it seemed underpowered and I couldn't "get out of the way" of faster cages.

In retrospect, I think I could've handled the Wee from the start. I think the perceived-by-some top-heaviness is outweighed by the bike being so much more aptly-sized for a taller rider. For the record, I've dropped it twice...when stopped...and had no problem getting it upright save for a blow to my ego. ;-) Fortunately, I put crashbars and hardcases on it, immediately after purchase, and that combination "saved" me from squishing my leg and breaking off my turn signal stalks.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Thanks for the responses everyone! OK I feel reassured - next up a visit to the dealer ;-). Then MSF course soon... I'm busy waiting for Wisconsin winter to end.

Another related question: I see people have used lowering links to more firmly plant their feet, I have relatively short inseam for my height (my ape genes are strong) - it seems like lowering links should lower the center of gravity and help with planting one's feet. Has anyone any experience of lowering links and what that feels like with respect to the center of gravity?

cheers-
Rob
 

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I don't think you'll need lowering links at all. What's your inseam in jeans?
I'm 6-2 and 270 and have lots of leg room to spare. Being heavy like me, you will compress the suspension and end up quite a bit closer to the ground. I too returned to riding recently, Wee is great for that!
 

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?? Possible

Another related question: I see people have used lowering links to more firmly plant their feet, I have relatively short inseam for my height (my ape genes are strong) - it seems like lowering links should lower the center of gravity and help with planting one's feet. Has anyone any experience of lowering links and what that feels like with respect to the center of gravity? cheers-Rob
I'm a lot shorter and with about a 30" inseam -- and I have about the maximum lowering links along with the forks dropped up thru the tripleclamps. For me, that's perfect.
It sounds like you haven't yet sat on the 2012 wee. I could have 'just' lived with the earlier wee's -- but the L2 is that little bit taller.
I don't think you'll need any lowering with your extra height. But, if it's done -- you'll still have your original dogbones to revert back.
Find a Suzuki dealer and try moving the L2 around when seated. Then -- it's no longer just hypothetical.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
@munsterlander - good point on the bike lowering naturally just due to the weight, I was not really considering that. My inseam is about 30". I'm hoping to go to the dealer on Friday, I just confirmed that they have one on the showroom floor.

Thanks again everyone for sharing your experiences and thoughts.

Rob
 

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You will like the Vstrom. It fits a lot of riders well. Its looks like it is more top heavy than it really is. I recommend you keep the tank less than half full until you get used to the feel of the bike. The heavy parts are on the lower portions of the bike.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I did finally get to check one out. 20F and snow here in Wisconsin, so no riding. But my feet were pretty much flat on the ground, and it felt pretty good. It didn't feel too top heavy to me. The nc700x I also tested felt a little lighter and fit me a little better I would say, but both felt very nice and manageable.

Come on spring! But then I have a big decision! Also based on advice from this forum I have been checking into a used bike as a first bike before buying new. Not sure about that, but if I find a nice used one I might do that, and come back to deciding between 700x and glee.

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