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Hello, I am 41 and looking at getting my first bike after taking the MSF course this spring. I really like the Vee's and am seriously looking at them. I went to our local dealer and sat on a Wee. There is a used 1000 for sale for $4900 and I am wondering if it is too much for a beginner. I know it is about 50 lbs heavier than the Wee. I am NOT a teenager and am looking at the bike for casual riding and touring at some point. Is this 1000 too much to start? finding used Vee's is not easy in this area from what I have been able to check on the web. Your thoughts are appreciated.
 

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Hello, I am 41 and looking at getting my first bike after taking the MSF course this spring. I really like the Vee's and am seriously looking at them. I went to our local dealer and sat on a Wee. There is a used 1000 for sale for $4900 and I am wondering if it is too much for a beginner. I know it is about 50 lbs heavier than the Wee. I am NOT a teenager and am looking at the bike for casual riding and touring at some point. Is this 1000 too much to start? finding used Vee's is not easy in this area from what I have been able to check on the web. Your thoughts are appreciated.
Short version - Really Poor Choice. The size/weight/COG of the thing is a major issue, power is double or more what you'd want for optimal skill training, and the Throttle response off idle is abrupt and unforgiving. Starting on a Vee-strom will hold you back, and you will be that wobbly guy everybody stays away from for far, far longer than if you started smaller and upgraded after a year or two.

The Vee is a doable second bike or a great third bike, but wildly unsuitable for a beginner machine. Check out beginnerbikers.org for some good advice around bike choices.

The Wee, correspondingly, is a so-so first bike but a fantastic second bike.

My advice would be to start with a 50 or less, 500 lbs or less beater for a year or so (assuming you ride pretty frequently.) You'll learn a lot about riding, develop your skills much more rapidly than you would on a bike that punishes every newbie twitch or hamhand, and will get a lot more enjoyment out of a strom when you move up to one. (also, small beaters can generally be sold for the same as you bought them even after a year's riding, which means you're not burning any money other than gas.)
 

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The tall height of the Stroms and being top heavy, is more of an issue than engine size.
 

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If you do a search, and you probably won’t find it, but there was a guy in your same shoes who asked the same questions and got the same answers. He was a tall guy and wanted the taller Vee. He ignored all advise, bought the Vee and enjoyed the HELL out of it during the two or three years he owned it.

Though I wouldn’t advise it for everyone, but many people start out on bigger more powerful bikes than the Vee and do just fine. I’m one of them…and I’m 5’7”. But since I’m an exceptionally gifted individual, I’m a bad example to live up to.

In the case of the Vee however, it’s more of a height thingy, especially for the height challenged individual, than a weight or power issue.
 

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A Ninja 500 would be a decent bike that you could grow with for a year or two. The handle well and have enough grunt to keep you happy.
 

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My first bike was a wee, only because im a rather big guy. It was rather hard controling all that weight at low speeds for a long time, and lead to slow learning. I did drop it once, but lightly with very little dmg. I tried a friends DL1000, and found it a LOT more difficult to ride. #1, that 50 pounds is VERY NOTICEABLE! #2, the power curv is VERY unfriendly to new users. Its a BEAST to controle at low speeds if you dont have experience. I promply dropped my friends 1K on a U-turn and paid for some plastics.

After riding the two as a new rider, I would say the 1K is VERY unfriendly. The Wee is not the most friendly bike, but its a LOT better then the 1K for new users due to its friendly power curv and lighter weight.

After going big for my 1st bike, I look back and wished I had gotten something small and cheep first, to build up confidence in my riding BEFORE I got the Strom. I say get a 250CC Night Hawk or something like that for a year and ride the HE11 out of it!!! Youll learn a LOT faster, and NOT be so scared of scratching it up. There are two types of riders. Those that have been down, and those who will go down some day. Trust me, your better off going down on something like the Night Hawk then a 1K!!!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I appreciate all the comments. I am 6'1" and about 220 lbs. so I don't think the height would be an issue. I like the upright seating position of the Wee that I sat on. Do the smaller Ninjas have a real stretched out position or are they fairly humane. I am 41 and have the back to prove it after a wasted youth in contstuction refusing help lifting things. I don't mind starting with a smaller bike, but I am not terribly drawn to the cruiser style.
 

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Go for the Wee. I've been riding for 35 years and have gone full circle. I started with small bikes and worked my way up to a number of large bore bikes. I found that having all that power got me in trouble and trouble is very expensive nowadays. I purchased a Wee and love it. Put on a taller seat and maybe bar risers, take it out and learn to ride. The Wee has all you need for a long time.
 

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Lots of good advice so far. I can't weigh in on the wee, but from my perspective the seat height, weight and power are the main factors. If you are 6'-1" with a 33" inseam then maybe the wee is a good fit. These are tall bikes and that can be a problem at slow speeds. You'll find the engine guards are real popular on this site:)
I'm 5'-10" with a 30" inseam. Seriously thinking of lowering my vee for more control at awkward stops.
Good luck to you!
 

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Any of the motorcycles on the list of beginner cycles (posted above) would be a great place to start.

My first bike was a Suzuki Bandit 400, which I purchased used for $1000. I intended to ride it for one season and move on to something bigger, better etc. The little Suzuki was so much fun to ride, and I ended up putting on over 15,000 miles before selling it. As a bonus, the Bandit 400 developed a cult following, so I sold it for more than I paid for it.

I guess my point is that buying a used beginner style bike is a good idea. I spent a lot of time in parking lots (still do) practicing panic stops, swerves, locking up wheels, and low speed maneuvers. It was reassuring to know that a mistake wouldn't cost me hundreds in new parts and plastics.
 

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My vee is my first motorcycle. I was actually in the market for a wee, but this one was a good deal from a guy I knew to be someone who takes good care of his bikes, so I bought it.

Just go real easy on the throttle until you get used to it. First time I cracked it open I almost bit a hole through the seat. I'm used to it now.

The power, not chewing through the seat. :mrgreen:
 

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The Vee is a terrible choice as a first bike and personally the wee isn't much better.

I've got 15 years of riding under my belt, 175k miles, covered the entire US, and have owned 3 Vstroms. '04 wee, '04 Vee, & now an '07 wee.

I'm also a fairly large guy at 6'4" and 220lbs. The Vee definitely makes its extra weight known and frankly, I hated the bike in town. The wee is so much easier to ride and I love tho motor.

If we can't talk you out of a Vstrom at all, please consider the wee. Its all the bike you'll need and I'm very happy with one and all the power it has and thats why I went back to one having owned a 1000 for a year. The only thing that sucks on the wee is the seat as they made it too cut out for shorter people to touch, but thats easy to change as the 1000 seat is a direct fit.

I would still advise you to start on something smaller to get your feet wet, and then get a wee strom. You will be a much better rider and a much shorter time if you start on something small and learn the basics. Then buy the vstorm (wee) of your dreams! BTW, look at my sig. I keep all kinds of small bikes around as they just are so much more fun.

It's more enjoyable to ride a small bike fast then a fast bike slow! :D
 

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The Vee is a terrible choice as a first bike and personally the wee isn't much better.
The Vee is the first bike I've ever owned. But then, I don't consider myself a beginner. I had years of experience as a kid playing Excite Bike. Yeah, I'm pretty much a motorcross pro. I'll tear it up on the Vee.
 

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I'm 6'4 with a 32" inseam and I lowered my Vee about an inch.....it's TALL and top heavy. The power is manageable, I wouldn't be afraid of the engine if I were you, just be disciplined. It's the low speed control that is the toughest.

The Bandit (don't they make a 600?) would be a great choice for an upright starter.
 

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I can't believe how over-sensitive some of you are on the beginner bike issue. I have seen many many guys start off with their fantasy bikes, some have a failure with their wrong choice, but the huge majority do fine with bikes that aren't ideal. Lots of guys buy a loaded Harley full dresser, or a loaded Goldwing for their first bike. The ones that worry me are the guys who pick a Hayabusa for their first bike. Definitely not recommended!

But is it much different from a guy buying a V65 Magna as his first bike 20 years ago? Not really. I had a ZZR1200 that would run 160+mph, but it was a pussycat to drive if you didn't give it full throttle. My sister drove it many times during her first year of motorcycling. No problems.

Bottom line--it depends a lot on the first-time rider. I've seen first-timers that drove well right away, and did well on their dream bike, even if it wasn't ideal for a beginner.

One of my friends bought a used Vee for his first bike and in no time he rode like a seasoned rider, and has had exactly zero downside. He's a thoughtful guy who exercises caution, but loves his choice.
 

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I can't believe how over-sensitive some of you are on the beginner bike issue. I have seen many many guys start off with their fantasy bikes, some have a failure with their wrong choice, but the huge majority do fine with bikes that aren't ideal. Lots of guys buy a loaded Harley full dresser, or a loaded Goldwing for their first bike. The ones that worry me are the guys who pick a Hayabusa for their first bike. Definitely not recommended!

But is it much different from a guy buying a V65 Magna as his first bike 20 years ago? Not really. I had a ZZR1200 that would run 160+mph, but it was a pussycat to drive if you didn't give it full throttle. My sister drove it many times during her first year of motorcycling. No problems.

Bottom line--it depends a lot on the first-time rider. I've seen first-timers that drove well right away, and did well on their dream bike, even if it wasn't ideal for a beginner.

One of my friends bought a used Vee for his first bike and in no time he rode like a seasoned rider, and has had exactly zero downside. He's a thoughtful guy who exercises caution, but loves his choice.
I can tell you this. I started riding bikes in my early teen years, now I am 46. I rode a lot of dirt bikes. This is the best teacher in my opinion. You learn to really handle a bike in all types of situations and know how to correct it. I would bet that 90% of people who buy a big bike for there first bike never get the knowledge of true motorcycle control that a person who starts on a smaller, lighter bike gets.
Do what makes you happy, but I for one am really glad that I learned on small bikes first.
 

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There is a used 1000 for sale for $4900 and I am wondering if it is too much for a beginner. QUOTE]

Couple of things...
You're 41 so you're not "old." Are you reasonably fit and healthy with normal upper body strength, balance and co-ordination?
If so (and the reason I ask) you'll be able to haul a Vee around your garage!!!

My other question is about the bike you mention. What year is it? Three years or less would be nice. Mileage? Condition? Service history? Do you have a recommended mechanic who can check it out for you?

You don't mention your marital status. Married? Wife OK with your buying a bike? A happy wife is a happy life!

All OK so far? Does this bike really really get to you? Yes? Then buy it! It will be the best move you ever made and you won't regret it for a moment, ever!

Me? I'm 65. I rode dirt bikes as a young bloke. I borrowed bikes from friends during our child-raising years when it was suggested I be "sensible" and stick to driving cars (something I've regretted ever since but you can't wind back the clock), and now I'm retired I've been back riding regularly for three years, all of which time I've owned a K6 1000 Strom. I used to pinch my son's KTM Super Duke when he had it, so I know what all the other guys are saying about light responsive bikes (man, was that thing responsive), but you know, I'm never happier than when I'm on my trusty old Vee.

No longer faced with the employment grind, I get to ride a lot during the week and yesterday I did a nice 350 klms ride by myself over some of my favourite nearby roads. Absolute joy! I've done a few things to the Vee over the years, Wilbers, gold valves, Renthals, Akrapovics, some cosmetic stuff, etc, and you know I really doubt that I'd swap it for any other bike on the market right now.
I've ridden a Speed Triple and an 800 Monster in the last two months. I can use a nephew's GS1200A and 650 XChallenge regularly, and I do, and I recently swapped with a mate and rode his Triumph Sprint, then had to fight to get mine back because it was "so comfortable to ride and handled so nicely." I think he liked the mid range grunt too.

They're all great bikes, but NO WAY would I trade my Vee for any of them.
Mate, if the Vee you're keen on checks out, just grab it!
You'll be well advised to do some rider training, preferably on your own bike, but also do some courses using the riding school's smaller and nimbler bikes just to appreciate the difference, and yes, include some dirt training (their bikes naturally) in your program.

You're not some young twit out to take on the world on a crotch-rocket. The fact that you asked for advice here indicates you possibly have some misgivings about jumping straight onto a litre twin. The Vees are a bit heavy but they're well balanced, they're fantastic tourers-you'll be pulling 4000 when your 650 mounted mates are using six- that mid-range grunt can be addictive :) but you're in charge of the throttle, aren't you?

At my age I hope to be riding my Strom for a few more years yet. Only two things will change my plans-- if the body cries enough, or if Suzuki ever bring out an ABS Vee. Then and only then, I'll trade up.
But for as long as I'm riding, there'll always be a 1000 Strom in my life.
 

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If the Vee came with ABS, a lot of first time Wee owners would have gone a different route.
 
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