Because DWC members know their shit: Motorcycle questions - what to get for my first real bike

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Because DWC members know their shit: Motorcycle questions - what to get for my first real bike

Post by Joeprez » Wed Feb 19, 2020 1:40 pm

Call it an almost midlife crisis, but I will be 40 y/o in about three weeks, and I want a motorcycle :grin:

Some facts before I ask my questions:

1. I have never ridden "real bikes" (sport bikes or cruisers), just small motocross bikes and four tracks (auto and manuals) when I was a kid/teenager. I have owned a couple manual car and have ridden scooters recently.

2. I sometimes ride my mountain bike on the street (offensive driving, always under the assumption that cars will not see me).

3. Not interested in going fast (so no sportbike) nor cruising in a heavy Harley or similar for long distances.

So, my group of high school friends are riding standard, small and midsize adventure and supermoto bikes (there is one small motocross bike with road tires) mostly in the pavement, sometimes on dirt roads (for small distances). The biggest bike in the group is a KTM 690 Supermoto. Their recommendations for me is a 400cc to 700cc bike, not too big or heavy with a standard (comfortable) riding position. One bike I was looking at was a Harley Davidson Iron 833 but one of them said that it is a low and heavy bike compare to what they rive and I would not be able to, for example, go up to a sidewalk, dirt roads or go between cars in a stoplight (not sure if I want to do all of that anyways, but the idea is to ride with them).

A couple of them recommended the KTM 690 Supermoto or a Husqvarna Svartpilen 401 or 701 because they are agile, have a comfortable riding position and not heavy or too tall. I really like the look of the Svartpilen (kind of a modern cafe racer), planning to going to the dealer this weekend, but not sure about the size engine I should get (both fall on my budget). Another ones I've seen that appear to fit the bill are:

Honda CB500F
Honda CB650R
Yamaha MT-07
Ducati Scrambler Icon (800cc) or Sixty2 (400cc)
BMW G 310 GS

I don't need a big engine bike to impress anyone, but I want to be able to be ride it on the highway (not most of the time, but want to have the option), so per the law in PR I am not supposed to ride BMW G 310 GS on the highway nor the Ducati Scrambler Sixty2 or the Svartpilen 401. Honda CB500F is permitted, as well as all the others listed. Honestly is very improbable that a police officer will pull me over because I'm riding a Sixty2 or the Svartpilen 401, as the models with the bigger engines look very similar (as per my friends)... but what I don't know is if I will feel inadequate with the amount of power the smaller engines have while in the highway.

I want to buy new because I'm planning to finance it and I'm trying not to buy a used small bike to learn and then buy a bigger one, etc.

If after reading this you're thinking "what a NOOB", you are right... I may be more misinformed that I think I am in this matter, hence asking for the help from DWC riders regarding recommendations on what to do, what to get, if I want to ride safely and have fun.

Thanks!
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Because DWC members know their shit: Motorcycle questions - what to get for my first real bike

Post by Seppia » Wed Feb 19, 2020 1:59 pm

Been a rider since I was 14, turning 40 this year.

My two cents:

KTM super moto is a dangerous baby that will push you to ride fast.
Fantastic fun but it would reduce my life expectancy by a couple decades.

Honda CB500 is a great bike for starters. Can’t go wrong with Honda.

Ducati is shit quality, you’ll be as often visiting a mechanic as you’ll be riding your bike. Nice design and charisma but bad engineering.

Harley Davidson 883: might as well ride an anvil with two weels

If you have the budget I would get a BMW r nineT or a 1250GS.
They cost as much as a Rolex and are marvels of engineering.
High end German made BMWs (1250cc boxer engine + the other very expensive ones) are in a completely different class of bikes.
They will not push you to ride fast and will not feel too heavy due to the low center of gravity.
Overall incredible mechanical wonders.

Harleys are all charisma and style, but pound for pound they are pieces of horseshit compared to BMWs

Look at this

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Re: Because DWC members know their shit: Motorcycle questions - what to get for my first real bike

Post by Joeprez » Wed Feb 19, 2020 2:13 pm

Thanks Andrea! Love the look of the R nineT, depending on the local price I could make happen the Pure or the Scrambler model (actually need to check the difference between them, the one you posted is $5k more expensive than the "Pure"). I was a little concern about the engine size (probably without reason), that's why I did not include it in my original post. Will check them out, thanks!

I don't actually like the KTM super moto, but that is the one that a close friend has so of course he's recommending it. I have another friend with an Honda 500 that I can try.
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Re: Because DWC members know their shit: Motorcycle questions - what to get for my first real bike

Post by Marjak » Wed Feb 19, 2020 2:27 pm

How about a KTM Duke? I have a 390 which is perfect for city riding. Great sitting position but maybe a little light for highway use (bikes, any bikes big or small, are not allowed on highways in Indonesia ...). However the 790 version will be suitable for both highways and city.
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Re: Because DWC members know their shit: Motorcycle questions - what to get for my first real bike

Post by Ryeguy » Wed Feb 19, 2020 2:49 pm

Another option to look at is Triumph. Their Scrambler is pretty cool as are their cafe racer. Just a question of seating position. I think the Scrambler is likely a better “starter” bike, but still cool enough to keep you interested years from now.

Generally speaking, Honda’s and Suzuki’s are pretty much bulletproof. EU bikes have a bit more style, but maintenance will be more expensive.

I would suggest you learn to wrench on you own bike yourself. You’ll not only save money, but be more self sufficient when on the road. The beauty of bikes is pretty much everything engine-wise is right there in the open.

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Re: Because DWC members know their shit: Motorcycle questions - what to get for my first real bike

Post by CGSshorty » Wed Feb 19, 2020 3:32 pm

Steven just bought a Husqvarna 401.
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Re: Because DWC members know their shit: Motorcycle questions - what to get for my first real bike

Post by CGSshorty » Wed Feb 19, 2020 3:34 pm

"It's such a fine line between stupid, and clever."
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Re: Because DWC members know their shit: Motorcycle questions - what to get for my first real bike

Post by Joeprez » Wed Feb 19, 2020 4:04 pm

CGSshorty wrote:Steven just bought a Husqvarna 401.
Yep, we will be talking soon. He's very happy with it.


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Re: Because DWC members know their shit: Motorcycle questions - what to get for my first real bike

Post by Joeprez » Wed Feb 19, 2020 4:06 pm

Ryeguy wrote:Another option to look at is Triumph. Their Scrambler is pretty cool as are their cafe racer. Just a question of seating position. I think the Scrambler is likely a better “starter” bike, but still cool enough to keep you interested years from now.

Generally speaking, Honda’s and Suzuki’s are pretty much bulletproof. EU bikes have a bit more style, but maintenance will be more expensive.

I would suggest you learn to wrench on you own bike yourself. You’ll not only save money, but be more self sufficient when on the road. The beauty of bikes is pretty much everything engine-wise is right there in the open.
Will check the Triumphs, thanks. And definitely want to learn to wrench on the bike. I used to do almost all maintenance to the Miata I had for light track duty / autocross.


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Re: Because DWC members know their shit: Motorcycle questions - what to get for my first real bike

Post by Henryj » Wed Feb 19, 2020 4:08 pm

Ryeguy wrote:
Wed Feb 19, 2020 2:49 pm
Another option to look at is Triumph. Their Scrambler is pretty cool as are their cafe racer. Just a question of seating position. I think the Scrambler is likely a better “starter” bike, but still cool enough to keep you interested years from now.

Generally speaking, Honda’s and Suzuki’s are pretty much bulletproof. EU bikes have a bit more style, but maintenance will be more expensive.

I would suggest you learn to wrench on you own bike yourself. You’ll not only save money, but be more self sufficient when on the road. The beauty of bikes is pretty much everything engine-wise is right there in the open.
You beat me to it. I love the Triumph. I’d go Scrambler or a bog standard Bonneville.
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Re: Because DWC members know their shit: Motorcycle questions - what to get for my first real bike

Post by CarloDWC » Wed Feb 19, 2020 4:32 pm

Based on what you say Joe, I would definitely suggest one of these two. You can't go wrong with either, plenty of power and speed for most needs, but they are light and easy to handle. :thumbsup:

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Re: Because DWC members know their shit: Motorcycle questions - what to get for my first real bike

Post by Joeprez » Wed Feb 19, 2020 4:32 pm

Marjak wrote:How about a KTM Duke? I have a 390 which is perfect for city riding. Great sitting position but maybe a little light for highway use (bikes, any bikes big or small, are not allowed on highways in Indonesia ...). However the 790 version will be suitable for both highways and city.
Read good things about them and the Svartpilen is basically the same bike but redressed, so will also try it. What has been your experience? Pros and Cons?


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Re: Because DWC members know their shit: Motorcycle questions - what to get for my first real bike

Post by jeckyll » Wed Feb 19, 2020 4:33 pm

Don't start with the bike.

Sign up for rider training where you can use different bikes as part of your training. If that exist in your area.

My wife did that, really helped.

Then much depends on your physical characteristics.

Out of the bike types you listed, I'd look at a dr400sm. Good starter bike, your up so you can see, cheap, easy to ride,good to learn on.

Personally, I buy used and would always do that for a first bike, chances are that you'll learn and then want to switch.

Finally, ride for 1 year or 6,000 miles, whatever comes Last before thinking of upgrading.

Just my $0.02
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Re: Because DWC members know their shit: Motorcycle questions - what to get for my first real bike

Post by zepp21 » Wed Feb 19, 2020 4:40 pm

If you’re going to ride any dirt areas, I’d buy used. It’s not a chance of “if” you get in an accident or drop the bike but more of “when”. Kinda like riding with clip in pedals. You’ll forget something, get caught “juggling” a decision or just not pay full attention and “poof” there you go.


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Re: Because DWC members know their shit: Motorcycle questions - what to get for my first real bike

Post by BBK357 » Wed Feb 19, 2020 4:58 pm

My brother got this triumph and he loves it. Said he will never think of a Harley after riding it.

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Re: Because DWC members know their shit: Motorcycle questions - what to get for my first real bike

Post by Marjak » Wed Feb 19, 2020 5:04 pm

Joeprez wrote:
Wed Feb 19, 2020 4:32 pm
Marjak wrote:How about a KTM Duke? I have a 390 which is perfect for city riding. Great sitting position but maybe a little light for highway use (bikes, any bikes big or small, are not allowed on highways in Indonesia ...). However the 790 version will be suitable for both highways and city.
Read good things about them and the Svartpilen is basically the same bike but redressed, so will also try it. What has been your experience? Pros and Cons?


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Well, I am 5.9 and can comfortably get both feet flat on the ground when sitting on it. The bike is about 150kg which I consider light. Very agile due to short wheel-base and cornering is light and easy. As my direct neighbor at the office is a KTM dealer and I know the guys well enough to get cheap service when needed.
I do find the the bike rather quiet with it's stock exhaust system. I like it, in this crazy traffic in Jakarta, when people hear me coming up from behind so I have installed a Termignoni slip on muffler for added sound (and cool factor...). The KTM boys next door suggested an upgrade of the master brake cylinder (front) as the standard one is a little weak with regards to the power of the bike. So I installed the Brembo rcs15 (for single disc brakes) and as it has ABS I 100% brake with front brake only so the upgrade was worth the $400 investment for me. As it's a single cylinder engine, it does tend to get hot fairly quickly though although the cooling system does a great job preventing overheating.
Also, and not unimportant.. not many KTM's in Jakarta, so they are not on the list of thiefs looking to steal bikes for parts reselling ...
Hope this helps...
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Re: Because DWC members know their shit: Motorcycle questions - what to get for my first real bike

Post by Joeprez » Wed Feb 19, 2020 5:52 pm

Great info, thanks! Also 5'9" and 165 pounds... Should fit me good too.


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Re: Because DWC members know their shit: Motorcycle questions - what to get for my first real bike

Post by Joeprez » Wed Feb 19, 2020 5:56 pm

BBK357 wrote:My brother got this triumph and he loves it. Said he will never think of a Harley after riding it.

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Very nice! Was just checking the site and the Triumph Street Twin and Street scrambler look nice. There is a Bonneville T100 all black that looks nice too.


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Re: Because DWC members know their shit: Motorcycle questions - what to get for my first real bike

Post by BBK357 » Wed Feb 19, 2020 6:26 pm

Joeprez wrote:
BBK357 wrote:My brother got this triumph and he loves it. Said he will never think of a Harley after riding it.

ImageImage
Very nice! Was just checking the site and the Triumph Street Twin and Street scrambler look nice. There is a Bonneville T100 all black that looks nice too.


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Thanks- he loves it.
I think his is a bonneville? He’s added a few customs parts so I’m not sure.


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Re: Because DWC members know their shit: Motorcycle questions - what to get for my first real bike

Post by JDC222 » Wed Feb 19, 2020 7:02 pm

That's cool Joe! I have been riding since I was 5 (almost 51 now), competed in Trials and Moto-X for many years. I've had every style of bike, from crotch rocket to enduro. I've ridden Harley's at work for the past 11 years and I'd never own one of my own (actually I had a 48 for a short time).

If your buddies are riding on/off road, you'll probably want that option.

The Suzuki DR400 might be a good option;

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KTM makes a 390cc Adventure bike;

Image

Honda makes the CB500X;

Image

Here's a bunch more;
https://www.cycleworld.com/10-great-sma ... torcycles/

One thing...dont cheap out on a helmet, spend the money for a quality lid, modulars are great!!

:thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
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Re: Because DWC members know their shit: Motorcycle questions - what to get for my first real bike

Post by Erratic101 » Wed Feb 19, 2020 7:15 pm

Others added great info. I grew up riding dirt and have ridden street for the past 20yrs. I’ve had sport bikes, sport touring, and currently a BMW 1200 GSA, which I love.

First, rider training is even more important than what bike to get.

Second, gear lots of it, head to toe. As Dave said don’t go cheap. My head is worth a $400+helmet. And I love my skin. So I wear a full suit or 2 piece suit with motorcycle specific boots and motorcycle specific gloves.

Third, what kind of riding do you really want to do? This will dictate the bike you should get.

I’ve tried riding tight technical off road terrain on the 1200 and it’s tough. I don’t have those skills to whip that heavy beast around. I’ve seen others do it and maybe I’ll get there, but she’s a beast. That’s said, she tears up hwy miles without issue and I rode 22hrs straight. She performs really good on light off road trails. I’ve done some rocky ones a cliff side that was a little sketch, but she handled it well. With all the electronics and setting on that bike she makes me ride better than I really do. Ie traction control, dynamic suspension etc..

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Re: Because DWC members know their shit: Motorcycle questions - what to get for my first real bike

Post by streetracer101 » Wed Feb 19, 2020 8:52 pm

I had a DRZ400sm. It cruised well at 70mph and loved to wheelie. I lowsided it once and thanks to the dirt bike plastics it suffered little to no damage. You can probably find one for less 5k.

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Re: Because DWC members know their shit: Motorcycle questions - what to get for my first real bike

Post by Joeprez » Thu Feb 20, 2020 5:09 am

jeckyll wrote:
Wed Feb 19, 2020 4:33 pm
Don't start with the bike.

Sign up for rider training where you can use different bikes as part of your training. If that exist in your area.

My wife did that, really helped.

Then much depends on your physical characteristics.

Out of the bike types you listed, I'd look at a dr400sm. Good starter bike, your up so you can see, cheap, easy to ride,good to learn on.

Personally, I buy used and would always do that for a first bike, chances are that you'll learn and then want to switch.

Finally, ride for 1 year or 6,000 miles, whatever comes Last before thinking of upgrading.

Just my $0.02
I know you ride a lot, appreciate the feedback. Unfortunately there are no rider trainings here that will provide the bike, so I have to see if a friend will lend me one or just get one and go. I'm 5'9" and 165 pounds, FYI. I don't have, nor do I have friends with the knowledge to buy a used bike. Also I live in an apartment so I dont have space to wrench with it. I get your point on getting a used bike, but for me it will be easier to get something new and just learn how to ride it. I understand that I'll scratch it and probably fall, but I'm prepare for that. As such, I'm looking for something that I can learn on but not need to sell it in 6 months. I've keep my Accord for 15 years, so if I like it, I won't get the bug to upgrade.
zepp21 wrote:
Wed Feb 19, 2020 4:40 pm
If you’re going to ride any dirt areas, I’d buy used. It’s not a chance of “if” you get in an accident or drop the bike but more of “when”. Kinda like riding with clip in pedals. You’ll forget something, get caught “juggling” a decision or just not pay full attention and “poof” there you go.


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Actually checked back with my friends and they rarely go to dirt areas. They all have road tires on their bikes (even the one that have motocross or aventure bikes), they are referring more on having a light bike with more clearance than a Harley.
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Re: Because DWC members know their shit: Motorcycle questions - what to get for my first real bike

Post by Joeprez » Thu Feb 20, 2020 5:13 am

JDC222 wrote:
Wed Feb 19, 2020 7:02 pm
That's cool Joe! I have been riding since I was 5 (almost 51 now), competed in Trials and Moto-X for many years. I've had every style of bike, from crotch rocket to enduro. I've ridden Harley's at work for the past 11 years and I'd never own one of my own (actually I had a 48 for a short time).

If your buddies are riding on/off road, you'll probably want that option.

The Suzuki DR400 might be a good option;

Image

KTM makes a 390cc Adventure bike;

Image

Honda makes the CB500X;

Image

Here's a bunch more;
https://www.cycleworld.com/10-great-sma ... torcycles/

One thing...dont cheap out on a helmet, spend the money for a quality lid, modulars are great!!

:thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
Thanks Dave! I like the KTM and Honda that you posted, will check them out. Local friends also told me the same, that I have to get the best helmet, boots and gloves I can afford, and a jacket if possible (which will be tricky because I want to get a jacket with armor/protection, but something breathable due to the weather here... not sure a leather jacket would here).
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Re: Because DWC members know their shit: Motorcycle questions - what to get for my first real bike

Post by Joeprez » Thu Feb 20, 2020 5:22 am

Erratic101 wrote:
Wed Feb 19, 2020 7:15 pm
Others added great info. I grew up riding dirt and have ridden street for the past 20yrs. I’ve had sport bikes, sport touring, and currently a BMW 1200 GSA, which I love.

First, rider training is even more important than what bike to get.

Second, gear lots of it, head to toe. As Dave said don’t go cheap. My head is worth a $400+helmet. And I love my skin. So I wear a full suit or 2 piece suit with motorcycle specific boots and motorcycle specific gloves.

Third, what kind of riding do you really want to do? This will dictate the bike you should get.

I’ve tried riding tight technical off road terrain on the 1200 and it’s tough. I don’t have those skills to whip that heavy beast around. I’ve seen others do it and maybe I’ll get there, but she’s a beast. That’s said, she tears up hwy miles without issue and I rode 22hrs straight. She performs really good on light off road trails. I’ve done some rocky ones a cliff side that was a little sketch, but she handled it well. With all the electronics and setting on that bike she makes me ride better than I really do. Ie traction control, dynamic suspension etc..

Image
Thanks Justyn, I also know you ride a lot. Not planning on going ship with safety gear, believe me. Best helmet, gloves and boots I can afford, just need to check for warm weather jacket with protection and pants / jeans. So around $1,500 to 2,000 for safety gear?

Kind of riding will be mostly road... actually only road at first for me until I feel comfortable. Very little dirt riding after talking again with the local group yesterday. Also I can cross Puerto RIco in about 2.5 hours in a car (its 100 miles x 35 miles). The group usually ride on paved local roads in the mountains or coast, nothing super technical. Minimal highway riding but want something that can do it in case I need to return home fast or if I decide to go to work on the bike once in a while. I wont commute on this, just a weekend toy. Would love to stay under $10,000 for the bike.

Also would like to get ABS on the bike, thoughts?

Thanks!
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