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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys, I'm new here. I took my Motorcycle riding class last fall and I am looking for my first bike. I LOVE the Vstrom650. Looked at one today and just loved every thing about it. I have been doing research on a bike for months now. But, there is something only experienced people know. Is the V-Strom650 a good first bike?

I am 30 and not looking for an early exit, if you know what I mean. I want a bike I can ride for many years and still be happy with it, while at the same time not starting out with too much bike.

Any advice would help...


Thanks

Ryan
 

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I think so

I bought a strom 650 a few weeks ago, and it wasn't my first bike, but it was my first street bike. I had only ridden dirt and off road bike up to about 250 pounds until I bought it. I am 6' tall with a 31" inseam. I think the bike is fine in size. It turns really easily and is very comfortable in terms of riding position. It is definitely top heavy, but it was pretty easy to get used to. Right after I got it I spent quite a bit of time in empty parking lots working on low speed maneuvers and locked turns to get comfortable with it. That helped me a lot. I would say just go buy it, put some crashbars and handguards on it, and get out and ride it. You will most likely tip it over, but that happens, and that is what the crashbars are for anyways! Good luck!

-Erik
 

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Discussion Starter #3
First bike and good price?

Thanks for the feedback.

I've been looking around here and there is a lot of information here. The dealer quoted me today an out the door price of 7350.00. Thats in the StL area. The "invoice" for a 650 non ABS looks to be about 5800. He was talking about freight fees and the costs of putting it all together, but that all seems like a little BS to me. Any suggestions on a fair market value that I should start the "number game" with and what I should not accept as a good deal?


Thanks again...

Ryan
 

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Top heavy tall bike....you WILL drop it. But it can be a good first bike if you really take the time to get aquainted with it.;)
 

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Ok,

First... for those saying "You will drop your bike" .... BS!!!! My god, either I'm the luckiest SOB here or something is wrong with that philosophy. I bought my first bike. 4 Bikes later and I haven't dropped 1!!!! Not a single one!!!!! Whew.... (ok one tipped over in my garage because I forgot to put down the kickstand... that doesn't count though :D )

The Vstrom 650 isn't just a good starter bike, its a good keeper bike. You'll ride it, you'll love it, and you'll keep it. You wont need anything else unless you just get bored quickly.

And as for advice... start off slow ..... really take it easy learning the clutch/throttle. Wont get into engine break-in... that's up to you to decide... .But don't take it to empty parking lots right away. Get some miles on the bike first to at least get initial break-in started. Long low-speed parking lot sessions are not a good way to break-in an engine. And its bad on the clutch.

After you have a few miles on the bike (100+) you can do the parking lot stuff. I do it once a month to keep sharp. Just make the sessions SHORT (15mins or less). After 15 mins of U-turns and cone-weaves you need to let the bike cool down a bit (either take a break for a while or hit the road for a while). This is mostly for clutch and break reasons....

And the best advice I can give.... buy and study the 'Ride Like a Pro' dvd. If it wasn't immoral or illegal I'd send you my copy. Your riding WILL improve as it reinforces everything you learned in the MSF course PLUS adds new techniques.

edit -
Forgot... I paid 6800.00 OTD in CA. From what I hear, Washington prices are higher because of taxes.
 

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Ok,

First... for those saying "You will drop your bike" .... BS!!!! My god, either I'm the luckiest SOB here or something is wrong with that philosophy. I bought my first bike. 4 Bikes later and I haven't dropped 1!!!! Not a single one!!!!! Whew.... (ok one tipped over in my garage because I forgot to put down the kickstand... that doesn't count though :D )
The Official Scorer says yes that counts. Full tipover. But no points for a real accident. You didn't meet the Must Be Moving Rule. :mrgreen:

That's what people do with first bikes. Usually. Tipovers, knocking your bike over in the garage while you are working on it, dropping it pulling into a parking spot, or stopping where you can't get your foot solidly down, or the dreadded s-l-o-w motion tipover.

I dropped my first bike in a gravel parking lot. Zero damage. Newbies will drop their first ride if they ride a lot and keep the bike a while. Usually.

I vote the Wee a good starter bike if the person is big enough to get both feet comfortably on the ground and they have some feel for a motorcycle. (That feel thing is my big disclaimer...)

Good luck Ryan, beat those tipover odds, and many happy miles.

Tell us how much experience you have on bikes of any kind. Dirtbikes? Anything? Are you going to take a training class?
 

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The Official Scorer says yes that counts. Full tipover. But no points for a real accident. You didn't meet the Must Be Moving Rule. :mrgreen:

That's what people do with first bikes. Usually. Tipovers, knocking your bike over in the garage while you are working on it, dropping it pulling into a parking spot, or stopping where you can't get your foot solidly down, or the dreadded s-l-o-w motion tipover.

I dropped my first bike in a gravel parking lot. Zero damage. Newbies will drop their first ride if they ride a lot and keep the bike a while. Usually.

I vote the Wee a good starter bike if the person is big enough to get both feet comfortably on the ground and they have some feel for a motorcycle. (That feel thing is my big disclaimer...)

Good luck Ryan, beat those tipover odds, and many happy miles.

Tell us how much experience you have on bikes of any kind. Dirtbikes? Anything? Are you going to take a training class?
Agreed...count it. Not moving tip overs were what I was referring to when I said you will drop it.
 

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The 'ole first bike question.....

When I was 8, I owned a Suzuki RM80. When I was 14 I owned a Honda XL185. .........

Then when I was 38 I owned a Honda VTX1800S.....a year later I traded in the VTX for the Wee.....

24 years between my 185 and my 1800.....so, the 1800 is legitimately my first bike in my later years....it is a massive HOG.

So, I completely think the DL650 is an awesome first bike!!!!
 

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I agree with Corkus -- you'll have a much better time with the strom as a first bike if you have long enough (and strong enough) legs. I started on a scooter, thinking I just wanted a city commuter, but quickly caught the riding bug. So I bought something cheap and simple (1997 Yamaha Seca II) for my first "real" bike, because I wanted something I wouldn't be too upset about dropping as I learned. It had a pretty low seat, was easy to work on, and not enough power to get into trouble, but enough to get out of it. I sold it for the same amount I paid for it.

And I never dropped it. I've dropped my strom twice (go figure), though thankfully the frame sliders prevented any damage to the fairing.
 

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Yes. I personally bought the wrong first (re-entry) bike, a Triumph Bonneville, which I bought for nostalgia value. Carbs, iffy brakes, awful headlight, seat like a board, etc. I like it well enough now, but I REALLY love the Wee. I may sell the Bonnie someday, but I'll probably die with the Wee (hopefully we will not be together at the time).

Mike
 

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Agreed...count it. Not moving tip overs were what I was referring to when I said you will drop it.
:p Gotta be more specific :) We'll count it, but it was my 3rd bike (and my heaviest - Vulcan Nomad... damn heavy machine).
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Well it sounds like it may be a good one for me then. I am 5-11 about 155 lbs. I sat on it yesterday and I was almost 100% flat footed, but I'm okay with that. It only weighs 400lbs, with no gas. I think 6 gals of gas weighs about 60 lbs. So I am not really scared of the weight. I was just a little concerned about its handling and overall behavior.

What I notice right away was how long it was. Like some of the others on this forum, I am also looking at the FZ6. It seems better sized at first, but I don't really want a "street" bike. I like the capabilities of the V-Strom and the riding position.

I have taken the MSF intro class. I have ridden bikes off and on for a few years, but nothing ever owned, just riding a friends bike when a can. So my experience would best be described as not much and no highway, just in neighborhoods and parking lots.

I am prepared to take it slow, I know motorcycling isn't to be taken lightly.

Is there anyone by chance in the StL area thats knows what is a reasonable price. Because, I want it so bad I may just sign and get screwed!

Also I've been looking at the modular helmets, any thoughts on those?

Thanks again guys, hopefully I'll be riding with you all sooner rather than later.


Ryan
 

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Ryan,

Check in the 650 forum, might get quicker responses. I know this was discussed already on that forum but can't find the thread. Basically I recall figures in the range of 7300 OTD for Washington...reason given was taxes. People east of the Rockies seem to be paying a good deal less (6200ish in Ohio and Texas). However, if you like it...
 

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Well it sounds like it may be a good one for me then. I am 5-11 about 155 lbs. I sat on it yesterday and I was almost 100% flat footed, but I'm okay with that. It only weighs 400lbs, with no gas. I think 6 gals of gas weighs about 60 lbs. So I am not really scared of the weight. I was just a little concerned about its handling and overall behavior.

What I notice right away was how long it was. Like some of the others on this forum, I am also looking at the FZ6. It seems better sized at first, but I don't really want a "street" bike. I like the capabilities of the V-Strom and the riding position.

I have taken the MSF intro class. I have ridden bikes off and on for a few years, but nothing ever owned, just riding a friends bike when a can. So my experience would best be described as not much and no highway, just in neighborhoods and parking lots.

I am prepared to take it slow, I know motorcycling isn't to be taken lightly.

Is there anyone by chance in the StL area thats knows what is a reasonable price. Because, I want it so bad I may just sign and get screwed!

Also I've been looking at the modular helmets, any thoughts on those?

Thanks again guys, hopefully I'll be riding with you all sooner rather than later.


Ryan
Ryan, my compliments on your comments. Your words are level headed and well thought out. I especially like when you say "save me from the sharks, I might sign with them"! :mrgreen: Those are my sentiments too, I hate dealing with salespeople and dealerships. I do almost anything to avoid that, buying pre-owned, doing my own work, mail ordering parts, whatever I can. Good luck with everything.
 

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Also I've been looking at the modular helmets, any thoughts on those?
I've got the Nolan N102 which I'm pretty happy with. The only reason I went with a modular is that I wear glasses, and having to always take them off every time the helmet goes on/comes off was not only a pain, but was a risk to my (way-too-expensive) specs - dropping, bending, forgetting 'em, etc.

The modular is a great solution for the glasses.

Compared to my Scorpion non-modular, the Nolan is MUCH bigger, more prone to wind noise and buffeting, has crappy ventilation, and is a hassle for the comms system - I had to rig a little boom for the mic, and I have to be careful about not pinching cables or positioning the mic into my chin each time I close the lid.

The Nolan also happens to accommodate my ears better than the Scorpion, so it wins out for the convenience (wrt the glasses) and comfort.
 

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The Official Scorer says yes that counts. Full tipover. But no points for a real accident. You didn't meet the Must Be Moving Rule. :mrgreen:

That's what people do with first bikes. Usually. Tipovers, knocking your bike over in the garage while you are working on it, dropping it pulling into a parking spot, or stopping where you can't get your foot solidly down, or the dreadded s-l-o-w motion tipover.
Crap, are you saying that all should have ended with the first bike?

"Tipovers, knocking your bike over in the garage while you are working on it"

Did that on bike #19 and #21. Bike 21 is the one that got me in trouble since it was the wife's. Who knew her kickstand had to go so far forward? Talk about slow motion. Within my first hour of ownership bike #23 (CRF450X) hit the ground and I was rolling around in the mud (now that's livin'). Yeah, bikes do hit the ground from time to time.
 

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I've got the Nolan N102 which I'm pretty happy with. The only reason I went with a modular is that I wear glasses, and having to always take them off every time the helmet goes on/comes off was not only a pain, but was a risk to my (way-too-expensive) specs - dropping, bending, forgetting 'em, etc.

The modular is a great solution for the glasses.

Compared to my Scorpion non-modular, the Nolan is MUCH bigger, more prone to wind noise and buffeting, has crappy ventilation, and is a hassle for the comms system - I had to rig a little boom for the mic, and I have to be careful about not pinching cables or positioning the mic into my chin each time I close the lid.

The Nolan also happens to accommodate my ears better than the Scorpion, so it wins out for the convenience (wrt the glasses) and comfort.
Unless you need the modular for glasses, or some other specific reason, I would go with a regular full face. They are quieter and probably safer. In the event of a crash the full face provides more protection. If you have good reasons for wearing the modular than thats fine, its still a good helmet, but if you don't have a specific need for the modular, the full face comes off easily when its time for a coffee break:)
 

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Yes. I personally bought the wrong first (re-entry) bike, a Triumph Bonneville, which I bought for nostalgia value. Carbs, iffy brakes, awful headlight, seat like a board, etc. I like it well enough now, but I REALLY love the Wee. I may sell the Bonnie someday, but I'll probably die with the Wee (hopefully we will not be together at the time).

Mike
You know, for years I thought about a British twin every spring but always passed as I didn't "have time to ride much." It was a grand bike in the 60s but I couldn't imagine a 70 mile round trip commute through Los Angeles on one today.

I came back to a cruiser (Honda 750 Shadow Spirit) and while the bike is just fine, I want something lighter and sportier . . . hence the V-Strom forum.
 

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Yea!

Hey guys, I'm new here. I took my Motorcycle riding class last fall and I am looking for my first bike. I LOVE the Vstrom650. Looked at one today and just loved every thing about it. I have been doing research on a bike for months now. But, there is something only experienced people know. Is the V-Strom650 a good first bike?

I am 30 and not looking for an early exit, if you know what I mean. I want a bike I can ride for many years and still be happy with it, while at the same time not starting out with too much bike.

Any advice would help...


Thanks

Ryan
Go for it! Tell John at MidWestMotorSports I sent ya and he's to give you a smokin' good deal on one.
 

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V-Strom First Bike

I bought a DL650 2.5 yrs ago as my VERY first bike. I took the MSF course and I felt the V-Strom was very newbie friendly. You'll be fine just take easy. Enjoy!
 
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