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post #1 of 11 Old 02-28-2008, 12:01 AM Thread Starter
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looking to buy a bike...

I have always wanted a bike, but have not had the financial wherewithall to buy one until recently. I have never ridden a street bike, but I rode dirt bikes all through my youth. My question is - what should I buy to learn on.

I really like the v-strom and the wee strom. I realize that the liter bike is a poor choice for a learner. I am not sure the 650 will meet my needs later though. I am 285lbs and I do plan on riding 2up with the wife in the future (after I get some skill of course). Total for the 2 of us would be like 450. I also want something that is more dirt capable (not trying to dis the stroms), so here is the final complication. I really like the DR-Z400S, which I realize is totally unsuitable for 2up. I was at the dealership and after wheeling and dealing, I can get a V-strom 1000 and a DRZ out the door for $12,400. Should I buy both and just keep the 1000 parked until I am comfortable on pavement? Would it be better to learn on the 650 that I can get for $5900? - i just hate to have to see it and then eat a big loss to get a bike that will better meet my needs.

I guess I am asking for your advice here, even though it might seem like I have my mind made up. Let's hear what you think, please. Oh an I guess I do want to buy new no matter what. I have never purchased any vehicle new, so that is kind of important to me.
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post #2 of 11 Old 02-28-2008, 10:56 AM
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I am kind of blown away by your post.

You have not ridden in years, I guess & have been financially strapped.
Now you are thinking of buying 2 brand new bikes.
I am assuming you are planning on financing.

Believe me there is nothing "special" about buying a new anything, other than spending more for it and immediately having it worth less than what you paid..

First go take the MSF course and then go buy a nice used Honda Nighthawk 750 for under $2000 and pay cash for it.
After 2 years, decide if you really want to spend $12,000+.

Thats my advise.

Last edited by Ogre_FL; 02-28-2008 at 03:58 PM.
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post #3 of 11 Old 02-28-2008, 12:11 PM
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I second, third and fourth the recommendation that you go and take the MSF. Seriously.

It's pretty common to get a small(ish) first bike and outgrow it fairly quickly. You learn what you like about it, what you don't, and realize what you want in your next bike. That is why many people buy used, average, somewhat non-intimidating motorcycles at first, only to sell them within a year or two and get something that fits their needs. By then, they have some road experience, and may not necessarily die on that brand spanking new R1.

I would recommend that you do not get a liter bike as your first bike. The DL1000 has a LOT of power, it could easily be the end of your life. If you're really set on a V-Strom, please consider the smaller 650, until you learn proper riding technique and can control a two-wheeled beast in day-to-day traffic conditions.

I'm not trying to preach or discourage you, it's your life and you know your abilities best. But, this is a friendly, almost family-like forum, so I figured I'd give you my honest opinion.

2008 DL650 a.k.a. Road Warrior, member #16 of the Flat Black Club
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post #4 of 11 Old 02-28-2008, 03:49 PM
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For what it is worth, here is my .02. I bought a new Strom and like the choice I made. I wanted a NEW bike that I knew from day 1. However, as a first street bike I would not recomend buying anything NEW. Just because you may think you know what you want, but untill you get some miles under your belt, you really won't know. If it was me, I would find a clean, used, something and learn on it. Find out what you like and don't like about it. Then you can make a much better decision on the NEW bike you want and won't be dissapointed in your decission. Plus if it is a clean used bike when you buy it, you won't loose much on depreciation and it will still look good.
I would just hate to see you drop big money on a bike (or 2) and then decide they really arn't the right style for you.
I also agree, that the MSF is needed!!

Totaled on June 9 2012 08 Victory Vision Tour Premium.
No longer riding due to injuries on June 9 2012.
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post #5 of 11 Old 02-28-2008, 04:16 PM Thread Starter
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The MSF is a definite. I never had any illusions about not taking one. I realize that I will lose my ass on depreciation the minute I ride off the lot, so to speak. I have been on 2 wheels on dirt as recently as January, just not on road. I sold my last dirtbike in 05, so it has not been that long since I rode every other day.

Here's why I am thinking the way I am thinking, for those of you that are like, "this guy is a loon." I have never been financially strapped, as was mentioned in an earlier post. I just never felt that I had ENOUGH disposable income to warrant a large purchase like a bike, but instead I made home improvements, things like that. Now I do, owing to some good choices I made two years ago. I will not be financing the bikes, no way, no how. I will lay the cash on the table.

Point is, some of the good choices I made have meant that I have driven real pieces of you know what for a long time and lived on Ramen noodles just to make some of the really great things happen for me and my wife. I didn't have to, but I sacrificed to make my investents as large as possible. I just want something new, that I can scratch and dent myself. That and if the strom 1000 is dead after this model year, I want one, new for myself! I do have self control and could manage to leave it parked in the garage for a year while I got comfortable on the slab. Would the DR-Z 400 be a reasonable enough learning bike in that case?
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post #6 of 11 Old 02-28-2008, 06:33 PM
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It's standard advice to say start on a small bike, then move up after you're comfortable. That's certainly the best advice across the board for the masses.

However there are quite a number of people that can take an MSF class and start on a bike with a 1000cc motor. They have to be happy with making slower progress learning to ride, maybe much slower progress. And they have to be content to ride the bike for a good long while well under the bike's capability. If a rider is physically comfortable with a heavier bike and ok with all the caveats and is convinced they want to go with a big bike at first, that can work out too. I'm sure there are many riders here that did just that and things worked out fine.

You are not a small guy. If your frame is big enough to flat foot a Vee, and you're ok with riding a bigger bike more conservatively and carefully it is not automatically bad to start on a 1000cc bike. This is assuming you have a decent aptitude for riding and are not unsuited to riding motorcycles at all. Lots of first timers find they are unsuited to riding but you've ridden dirt bikes and so odds are more in your favor.

I've never owned a small displacement bike. One 850, a few 1000's, and then bigger bikes. Now I'm considering a Wee.

Cory
07 DL650A
Pleasanton CA

Last edited by Corkus; 02-28-2008 at 06:36 PM.
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post #7 of 11 Old 02-28-2008, 10:23 PM Thread Starter
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I am very comfortable on 2 wheels and I love the feeling. Dirtbikes always were my thing and I am not real sure why I never got a bike for the street back then. I am only 6' tall, but I am long legged and can flat foot it no sweat, actually with a little bend in the leg. I really don't want to ride a 1000 until I feel confident in my skills. After all, I want to ride for a long time, and enjoy my bike, not end up a greasy spot.

I think I am going to pull the trigger and buy them both. I have not told them that I will be dealing in cash yet, so I might get a better deal yet, not that 12k and change is bad. I will ride the drz as long as it takes to get where I need to to feel safe.

I know the DL1000 will move the 2up load with bags better and that is sort of important.
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post #8 of 11 Old 02-28-2008, 10:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meatball View Post
...I am going to pull the trigger and buy them both.
A man with a plan. Good for you. You don't often hear of a rider buying two motorcycles at once. Way to break a riding drought.

I take F-O-R-E-V-E-R to make up my mind.

Good luck.

Cory
07 DL650A
Pleasanton CA
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post #9 of 11 Old 02-28-2008, 11:35 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Corkus View Post
A man with a plan. Good for you. You don't often hear of a rider buying two motorcycles at once. Way to break a riding drought.

I take F-O-R-E-V-E-R to make up my mind.

Good luck.
Me too! I have been looking forever. Now that I know what I want for certain, getting what I want will be (should be) easy enough. It took some looking to find a 1000 and a black DR-z at the same dealer.
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post #10 of 11 Old 03-03-2008, 04:04 PM
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If you've got a lot of saddle time on dirt bikes, I'd say you've got most of the technical skills mastered. Braking is a little different (lots of traction, probably not good to lock the rear) and cornering (sliding the rear on corners can lead to trouble). Depending on what you've been riding on the dirt, a street bike may not offer a whole bunch more acceleration, at least to 60 (my last dirt bike was a YZ490, which could spin a fresh rear nobbie in top gear). Didn't catch your age (if you mentioned it). But I'm well past the half-century mark. And I've adopted the attitude of, if you're going to have fun, now is the time. I bought a used Vee (DL-1000) last summer, spending more money on that bike than all previous bikes combined. And I've not regretted that decision. So if you want a new one, get one. Get the big one if you think you'll want one eventually. They don't bite, throttle response is lively but not dangerous. Not a lot heavier than the little one, and they feel remarkable dirt-bike like, with the wide bars and upright seating posture. Other than wind and weather protection (good, but not up to touring bike standards, if that's what you want) I can't imagine being dissatisfied with a Vee, so the odds are better than even that you may never want to sell it. You can always make more money, but you can't make more time.
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