i’m a new rider. took the MSF course on a 250cc suzuki. i had started looking for a v-star 650 custom to be my first bike, but failed to find a used one in my area. instead i happened upon a v-star 1100 custom in great condition for a great price. at first, i rejected the idea, but ended up changing my mind and getting it. i’ve been riding it for a week. so far it hasn’t killed me or scared me, or made me believe that i went too big for my first bike. when it’s in motion, it feels very much like the 650 but with more power. i doubt i would be more comfortable on a smaller/lighter bike. i can handle this bike at parking lot speeds and parking lots are where heavier bikes really show their weight (by the way, i’m only 5′ 5″, 150lb, i have no prior riding experience and i was not any better or worse than my classmates at MSF). i feel that perhaps it may take me longer to get up the courage to get on the highway or into heavy traffic on this bike, but the real question is – is it really a good idea to get on a highway or into heavy traffic sooner rather than later, no matter what kind of bike one rides? i find that i have a lot of respect for this bike and it’s this respect that keeps me riding within my abilities. at this point, i know that my abilities are lacking. they would still be lacking if my bike was lighter. rushing into more dangerous riding would be no less foolish on a 650 or even a 250.
i feel i should also add that my first car was not what anyone would call a beginner’s car. it was an 89 buick regal – 3.1 liter v6 rear wheel drive. definitely not a very forgiving car to drive even in perfect weather, let alone the frequent rain and snow of north jersey. all i can say is, i could not wish for a better first car. it taught me everything i needed to know.
of course, this is all just a matter of opinion. if i end up hurting myself and learning a lesson, i’ll make sure to come back here and post my epiphany.