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Discussion Starter #1
I'm 52 and finally getting the bug to buy and ride. A bike that keeps getting recommended to me is the 650. I'm 6'1" and about 250 and never ridden before in my life so I wonder if I'll even fit on the thing. I'm planning to take a msf course this summer before making a decision. Any advice or input would be greatly appreciated!
Thanks!
 

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I'm 6'2" 180, my 07 650 is my first bike, got it new, 9000 miles later probably the best purchase I ever made. Plenty of power for your weight and loaded luggage and a passenger as well. You won't regret it.
 

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I'm 6'2" 180, my 07 650 is my first bike, got it new, 9000 miles later probably the best purchase I ever made. Plenty of power for your weight and loaded luggage and a passenger as well. You won't regret it.
Awesome! Thanks so much. From what I can tell it looks like an awesome ride!
 

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I have a 650, about your size and love it. That being said, it wasn't my first bike. I started on a used suzuki savage. It was smaller, lighter, and less powerful. As a true beginner, had never ridin before, that was how I was most comfortable. Smaller and lighter meant easier to handle. Used meant cheaper and less invested in cased I dropped it or worse. That first summer with the savage seemed like an eternity, but I am glad that is how I started.

Not saying this is the right way for you, simply the right way for me and maybe something to consider.

Happy riding - and yes, the MSF is the best way to start.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I'd definitely like to find a used bike to start off with but the DL650 is so popular no one wants to sell them around here!:D
 

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Prushn,

Where in MO are you located? There are several MSF courses run out of the St. Louis area, and you learn to ride on their bikes.

The Wee was not my first bike by a long shot, but it is so far my favorite. I really don't think you'll have a problem with the Wee as a first bike, but regardless of which bike is your first, the MSF class, followed up by TONS of practice, particularly low-speed maneuvering in a parking lot, is a must.

Also, there's a dealer in the St. Louis area who may have a red 2005 for sale. PM me and I'll send you the information, if you're interested in buying used.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hey Scuba, I live in Warrensburg which is about 45 miles outside of KC. I checked today and we have MSF classes here as well as in Sedalia. The class uses 250cc bikes here and the Buell 500cc in the Sedalia. Also I learned that there is not a Vstrom within 350 miles of me, I'm thinking God is teaching me patience:rolleyes:
 

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I'm 6'3" and 280, the bike fits me fine. I've returned to riding after being away for 7 years, but having started when I was a kid.

The MSF class is best $250 you will ever spend on your new bike!

Good luck in your search.
 

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I guess you remembered when I referred to myself as a maniacal 300lb pickpocket, masked1. Just had to; a thread asking where everyone kept their wallet just struck me as weird.
 

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My 650 is my very first bike and she was a present to myself when I turned 50. I don't know that another bike would have made a better first bike but I have had a ton of fun with mine. You do need to respect her top-heaviness when stopped or at slow speeds but she fits me like an old pair of jeans.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Scarlot,
Forgive a silly question but like I said I've never even been on a motorcycle. When you and others talk about the top heaviness of the bike what does that mean. As you were saying it was felt at slow speeds and stopped. Does it feel like its just going to fall over? And what do you do tp prevent that say at slow speeds or slow corners? Again I apologize if this is a stupid question.
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The top heavy feeling lessens w/ a little parking lot practice, at least it did for me. You don't want to turn the bars fully left of fully right @ low speeds because a bike that feels comfortable @ 20 mph turning requires more actual handlebar turning instead instead of leaning like you do @ higher speeds. Go to your local library or bookstore and get "proficient motorcycling" and they describe the physics you'll be encountering so there aren't any surprises that get you of your strom scratched up. That's what I did because I was too cheap for the msf course. The course is a good idea, though. But my strom is scratch free doing it this way 9,000 miles later. The books sure don't hurt. AND START OUT COMPLETELY AWAY FROM TRAFFIC! Then graduate to nearly empty roads. Then eventually deal w/ all the moron motorists once you have complete control of your bike, so you can take a handling error on your part out of the equasion.
 

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Good point! I've scoped out an msf course thats going to happen here in august. The parking lot at the high school is going to be a great training ground. Best part is that there is a good incline in one of the parking lots so I can practice starting on an incline which the thought of in traffic makes me nervous.
 

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Actually that is a very good question. I had no idea what a top heavy bike was until I dropped mine.

In general a lower center of gravity makes an object more stable. For example, if you remember the old punch clown toys that were popular in the '60s. The bottom was filled with sand and the top was all air so it had a very low center of gravity. You could knock the clown over on it's side but because of the extremely low center of gravity it would pop back up into standing. The strom on the other hand has a higher center of gravity and once she is leaned over, takes some effort to return into the upright position. This is much more noticeable when the bike is stationary or at slow speeds. This has really, at least for me, not been a problem at riding speeds.

I dropped mine in the garage when I had the bike less than 3 weeks. I tried to mount the bike like a bicycle with the side stand up. She was on the ground before I could say "Oh F%^&!" Another time that caught me off guard was at a stoplight on sand covered asphalt. I lifted my left foot to put the bike in gear and my right foot slipped slightly and I nearly dropped the bike on the street but was able to get her back into the upright position just before reaching the point of no return.

Those two incidents have taught me to pay extra attention when pushing her around in the garage, driveway, etc and and when stopped in traffic. I don't fear the high CG I simply respect it.

I have had no problems maneuvering in parking lots or other slow speed situations but I practice this in empty parking lots near my house on a regular basis and I recommend that you do that also. It really helps.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
That makes total sense to me, thanks Scarlet! I think after I get the bike there will be long parking lot sessions starting from total stops and slow figure 8s!
 

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You can get an idea of this feeling with the bike @ a complete standstill w/ the bike turned off and you straddling it. When it's perfectly upright it's completely easy to balance. It you lean it either way even a couple of inches, the pressure will increase on your balancing leg A LOT. This dissipates with speed of course because of forward motion. But that standstill test will help you understand the high level of balance and respect you have to give a bike @ very low speeds.
 

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The guy that taught me how to ride asked me 2 things:
1. "Do you know how to drive a stick?"
2. "Can you ride a bicycle?"
With a yes to both, he put me on his BMW R90/6, and I started cruising around the parking lot at work.
The hardest things for me at first were controlling the friction zone of the clutch, and looking through a turn (not fixating on the pavement immediately in front of me).
I will warn you- The Stroms have a pretty abrupt on/off throttle response that will require a steady right wrist. They are also very top heavy. I would say that it makes them a more difficult bike to learn on, than something smaller in displacement and lighter (and with less abrupt carburation). I learned a lot more on my first bike- a Honda CB350 twin, than I could have if I had started big. My DL650 is my 5th bike in 11 years, and I find it to be satisfying for someone who is an experienced rider (even if it's not as powerful as I would like it to be). I don't think it's a great beginner's bike, and I think you would likely do better starting on something in the 500cc range, with a shorter reach to the ground. Not that it can't be done, but you will learn more quickly how to manage the dangers of the road if you aren't thinking as much about the bike. Just an opinion- it's all what you are comfortable with.
 
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