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My `16 650xt was my starter bike right out of the dealer lot 3 years ago. I have a 30" inseam and still can't flat foot the bike to this day, 37,000 miles later. I still enjoy riding it, it doesn't get away from me and it has enough power to be fun even with the lady on the back. They are well supported for accessories and are affordable from companies like adventuretech. I believe that ABS on the bike is a great feature that has helped me a few times when people pulled out on me.
I took a MSR class prior to getting a bike. My only regret is not getting a bike years ago.
Good luck with whatever you get.
 

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Smart to take the course. Just remember to never get overconfident on a bike and not ride it fast as entertainment when bored. When I was young I started on a 125cc motocross bike (on the street) nearly bought it at the first intersection I came across, panicked and rode across a lawn to avoid the stop sign. Next bike a few years later was an RD 400 2 stroke. Serious fun, but I started to think I was becoming a fast expert. That is a big danger. I'd suggest researching and investing in safety wear as much as you can scrounge and save for. Since you have taken the course, I think the 650 is a reasonable choice, mostly because the engine is really docile and predictable if you want to ride it that way. The riding position is also very good for being aware of your surroundings. Get a loud horn and add lights and visibility to whatever you buy. Assume every car is trying to kill you. Stay safe.
 

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The insurance for the vstrom I was looking at would be around 300 a year, it's 2012, don't know if that makes any difference on insurance though.
The newer the bike, the higher the rate; probably moreso at your age. The same goes for displacement- the bigger the higher. One possible way to save on insurance would be to drop collision & liability coverage over the winter months.
The DL650 is a good entry point bike. If you tire of it after a season or two, it wouldn't be difficult to sell or trade for a more powerful ride.
 

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Okay, I'll play devil's advocate here. Is there really any sound reason to recommend this motorcycle as a first bike for an 18 year old who lives in an urban area? (DFW)

Much of the rest of the world follows a graduated license for motorcyclists. There are a lot of good reasons for this and, honestly, not a lot of bad reasons. The US does not follow that ideology and anyone who gets a MC endorsement is free to buy whatever displacement bike they choose, consequence be damned!

As dad used to say, "do the math" - 67hp, 475lb wet weight. This equates to 7lbs per hp which is similar to say, a Porsche Carerra, and in real-world riding means it is faster from 0-60mph (sub 4 second) than pretty much any car that you will ever see next to you at a stoplight. Sounds reasonable!

Now, add skidplate, crashbars, sidecases with mounts, and a top case and suddenly there is much less power at the rear wheel but it is still a lot more than a typical car. 9lbs per hp is still better than a Lotus Elise or a Tesla Model S. Plenty fast off the line.

I love my 650 but it is tall, top-heavy and lays flat on its side when napping! Not the best combination for a new rider. Not saying an 18 year old can not possess the discipline to keep from twisting the wrist but there are lots of other bikes that may be better for gaining experience without tempting fate.

The Honda CB500x, for one. There are lots of them out there and many taller riders claim the bike is comfortable stock. While 20hp less than the Wee, there's still plenty of power for real world riding. Highway speeds, good manners and a solid accessories and support community.

You'll be a much better rider if you learn to carry speed through corners instead of simply cracking the throttle when the road straightens. Smaller, lighter bikes will teach you volumes about riding without you having to think about the physics. Mileage is the best way to become a better rider and you are more likely to use a small, light motorcycle all around the city.

Sound reasoning says: get a good used smaller displacement bike to learn on, then sell it when it's time to move up in displacement. You know, ride every back road you can and spend time in parking lots learning how to do slow-speed maneuvers and u-turns. Highway speeds on more rural roads to start, blend riding to include traffic and follow SMIDSY principle of preventing motion blindness of other drivers who are trying their best to kill you!

Good luck whatever your decision.
 

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No

If you are an actual beginner, with no previous experience riding, then no, it is not a good beginner's bike. Too tall, too heavy, too much power.

Take the class, learn on their bikes. If you pick up the skills (and the safe attitude) in a class, then I'd start with something in the 350-400 class. Lots of cheap used bikes in that price range, almost fully depreciated. Buy one, ride it for 6 months to a year, get some real-world experience. You'll probably drop it a couple of times, if you are normal. At the end of the year, if you are still enjoying riding, start looking for a 650. Sell the old beater for about what you paid for it. Actually gives you mroe time to make a choice on your second bike, usually a good thing.

Even a 350-400 cc bike is vastly quicker than most normal cars. Better to get a handle on that before you move up. Seeing a lot of single-vehicle bike accidents around here, evidently by relatively new riders on fast bikes.
 

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If you are an actual beginner, with no previous experience riding, then no, it is not a good beginner's bike. Too tall, too heavy, too much power.

Take the class, learn on their bikes. If you pick up the skills (and the safe attitude) in a class, then I'd start with something in the 350-400 class. Lots of cheap used bikes in that price range, almost fully depreciated. Buy one, ride it for 6 months to a year, get some real-world experience. You'll probably drop it a couple of times, if you are normal. At the end of the year, if you are still enjoying riding, start looking for a 650. Sell the old beater for about what you paid for it. Actually gives you mroe time to make a choice on your second bike, usually a good thing.

Even a 350-400 cc bike is vastly quicker than most normal cars. Better to get a handle on that before you move up. Seeing a lot of single-vehicle bike accidents around here, evidently by relatively new riders on fast bikes.
I agree with JimDing...other bikes that comes to mind are the Kawasaki Ninja 300 or Ninja 400, but at 6'3" tall, the OP might fit the Honda dimensions better and the power of the 400 is not that much less than the Honda.

For what it's worth, a few years ago I bought my wife a 1993 CB250 Nighthawk with 7k miles on it. Paid 3k for a bike in perfect shape that starts on the touch of the button, gets 75mpg, and is worth what I paid for it at any time. It's a ton of fun to ride around town and will hop onto a short section of freeway without too much fuss.

A couple of thousand miles of shifting, braking, and mingling with traffic on the local roads makes her a much better candidate for that CB500x now that she is eyeballing a move to a bit more displacement for longer rides!
 

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It's your inseam that's more important than your overall height. The V-Strom is a full sized bike. There are heavier bikes, but the Strom is not low, light or compact. The MT-07 get great reviews, but it's probably faster than the Strom. If you respect it's power and take a very cautious approach, you could do it. It does help though to experience the dynamics of riding on a smaller machine for a season.
 

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One thing I figure is that bikes like the Kawasaki 400 and Yamaha 300 are in many ways faster than the 650. They are set up as sport bikes, known to handle and probably spend more time at redline than a Vstrom. The innner Hooligan that was me at 18 might have got in more trouble on one. I think the Honda 500 is a good choice as others have mentioned. Personally the only street bike I'd encourage my 18 year old to ride would be a dirt bike. (speaking as a parent of an 18 year old)
 

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They are too small for a 6' 3" person.....so is a CB500x too small. The 650 Vstrom might be okay but I'd start with an older KLR650 and do a combination of pavement and off pavement riding. You will learn far more about the bike by riding on uncertain surfaces and dumping a KLR is less costly than a Strom and hellish easier to pickup.



https://dallas.craigslist.org/dal/mcy/d/scurry-2008-klr-650/6933311426.html

More capable off pavement and bullet proof. Go bash around the back roads and dual tracks - you'll be a much better rider in the long run and have a hoot learning.

That machine has the correct farkles too with bark busters and a tall windscreen for you.
 

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I got a '15 XT as my first bike a little over a month ago, not sure if I would recommend it. I wanted a bike that I would not grow out of and would be good for long trips.

I am also 48 with at least some of the attendant wisdom that comes with the years, and a cyclist who has the ingrained habit of riding as if I am invisible.

I am 6'1 mostly legs and weigh 180lbs
 

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Discussion Starter #32
Okay, I'll play devil's advocate here. Is there really any sound reason to recommend this motorcycle as a first bike for an 18 year old who lives in an urban area? (DFW)

Much of the rest of the world follows a graduated license for motorcyclists. There are a lot of good reasons for this and, honestly, not a lot of bad reasons. The US does not follow that ideology and anyone who gets a MC endorsement is free to buy whatever displacement bike they choose, consequence be damned!

As dad used to say, "do the math" - 67hp, 475lb wet weight. This equates to 7lbs per hp which is similar to say, a Porsche Carerra, and in real-world riding means it is faster from 0-60mph (sub 4 second) than pretty much any car that you will ever see next to you at a stoplight. Sounds reasonable!

Now, add skidplate, crashbars, sidecases with mounts, and a top case and suddenly there is much less power at the rear wheel but it is still a lot more than a typical car. 9lbs per hp is still better than a Lotus Elise or a Tesla Model S. Plenty fast off the line.

I love my 650 but it is tall, top-heavy and lays flat on its side when napping! Not the best combination for a new rider. Not saying an 18 year old can not possess the discipline to keep from twisting the wrist but there are lots of other bikes that may be better for gaining experience without tempting fate.

The Honda CB500x, for one. There are lots of them out there and many taller riders claim the bike is comfortable stock. While 20hp less than the Wee, there's still plenty of power for real world riding. Highway speeds, good manners and a solid accessories and support community.

You'll be a much better rider if you learn to carry speed through corners instead of simply cracking the throttle when the road straightens. Smaller, lighter bikes will teach you volumes about riding without you having to think about the physics. Mileage is the best way to become a better rider and you are more likely to use a small, light motorcycle all around the city.

Sound reasoning says: get a good used smaller displacement bike to learn on, then sell it when it's time to move up in displacement. You know, ride every back road you can and spend time in parking lots learning how to do slow-speed maneuvers and u-turns. Highway speeds on more rural roads to start, blend riding to include traffic and follow SMIDSY principle of preventing motion blindness of other drivers who are trying their best to kill you!

Good luck whatever your decision.
Yeah, I have thought about getting smaller, I just don't want to get bored of riding and end up never going back to it.
I just looked at the cb500x and am going on tuesday to check on out. It's a little outside my price range of 4000, but it'll still be pretty cool to check it out and see what it's about since I've only ever looked at the mt-07 and v-strom.
Thank you for this advice, it's really making me think about if I really need all that power on an unfriendly road to bikes.
 

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Discussion Starter #33
It's your inseam that's more important than your overall height. The V-Strom is a full sized bike. There are heavier bikes, but the Strom is not low, light or compact. The MT-07 get great reviews, but it's probably faster than the Strom. If you respect it's power and take a very cautious approach, you could do it. It does help though to experience the dynamics of riding on a smaller machine for a season.
My inseam is 36in. The mt-07 felt fine to me. Haven't actually sat on a v-strom yet so I don't know how well that will fit me. I don't know if it was the weight or the power of my dad's harley, but I didn't feel that confident riding it around the parking lot. The course bikes were plenty light for me so that wasn't that big of a deal, and the mt-07 that I sat on seemed nice and light to me, don't know if it was fueled up or not though.
 

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Discussion Starter #34
If you are an actual beginner, with no previous experience riding, then no, it is not a good beginner's bike. Too tall, too heavy, too much power.

Take the class, learn on their bikes. If you pick up the skills (and the safe attitude) in a class, then I'd start with something in the 350-400 class. Lots of cheap used bikes in that price range, almost fully depreciated. Buy one, ride it for 6 months to a year, get some real-world experience. You'll probably drop it a couple of times, if you are normal. At the end of the year, if you are still enjoying riding, start looking for a 650. Sell the old beater for about what you paid for it. Actually gives you mroe time to make a choice on your second bike, usually a good thing.

Even a 350-400 cc bike is vastly quicker than most normal cars. Better to get a handle on that before you move up. Seeing a lot of single-vehicle bike accidents around here, evidently by relatively new riders on fast bikes.
Yeah, I just don't want to get too bored of a small bike, I'm going to check out a cb500x on Tuesday when the bike shops open again. People on here think that one is a good starter so I'll go take a look at it.
When I do get a bike, I plan on taking to a parking lot and getting really familiar with it's weight and power. Hopefully I don't make a dumb decision haha.
 

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Discussion Starter #35
They are too small for a 6' 3" person.....so is a CB500x too small. The 650 Vstrom might be okay but I'd start with an older KLR650 and do a combination of pavement and off pavement riding. You will learn far more about the bike by riding on uncertain surfaces and dumping a KLR is less costly than a Strom and hellish easier to pickup.



https://dallas.craigslist.org/dal/mcy/d/scurry-2008-klr-650/6933311426.html

More capable off pavement and bullet proof. Go bash around the back roads and dual tracks - you'll be a much better rider in the long run and have a hoot learning.

That machine has the correct farkles too with bark busters and a tall windscreen for you.
Looks like a nice bike, heard a lot about how unbreakable the klr's are. Thanks for checking out craigslist for me. eventually when I hit ten posts I'll post the strom I've been looking at.
 

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That looks very nice.


We bought a 2010 Wee with 10k miles for $3100 recently. No luggage but a few farkles
 

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Yeah, I have thought about getting smaller, I just don't want to get bored of riding and end up never going back to it.
I just looked at the cb500x and am going on tuesday to check on out. It's a little outside my price range of 4000, but it'll still be pretty cool to check it out and see what it's about since I've only ever looked at the mt-07 and v-strom.
Thank you for this advice, it's really making me think about if I really need all that power on an unfriendly road to bikes.
They have been out since 2013 but got some improvements in the last couple of years (19" front wheel) and prices range from $2500 to north of $6,000.

Here's one at DFW Honda https://www.dfwhonda.com/--xInventoryDetail?id=6837083

You sound like you are thoughtful about how you will ride and are considering more than one option. I'm certain you will find the right bike.

Best of luck in your search.
 

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As far as boring goes DL's are relatively boring free.

They aren't an intrinsically exciting bike (and that thrill fades reasonably quickly) but they provide a lot more options than the pure road bikes. Have some knobbly or sem-knobbly tires put on and go exploring for example. DL's are quite capable touring bikes as well.
 

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I think you'll find that its a good beginner bike that you will grow into; unless you are really riding a lot it will serve for almost anything well.
 
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