- This topic has 9 replies, 6 voices, and was last updated 12 years, 7 months ago by skippersusie.
Hi. New girl needing some advice.
August 5, 2010 at 9:03 am #3083samxixamParticipant
Hi everyone. Short intro: I’m Sam. Soon to be 21 years old. I am getting ready to take a beginner riders course within the next month or two. My fiance would teach me, but with him working two jobs (Army and retail) and me working retail, the only time we spend together is early in the morning before he goes to PT and late at night when he or I gets home from our retail jobs. I am looking to purchase a cheap used beginners bike. That way when I inevitably drop it, it won’t be my fiance’s baby lol. I’ve been looking on this site and it seems everyone’s in unison on getting a 250 for a beginner bike. Which after reading some articles I can understand why. My concern is that is seems like most of the 250s are what I grew up calling “crotch rockets”. Where I’m from they have a worse name than the cruiser for being dangerous. (which i know all bikes are equally dangerous..but that stigma has kinda stuck with me) I personally like the way cruisers look better. they are also what I’m used to riding as a passenger, so I think I would be more comfortable on the cruiser.
So to my question….are there any 250 cruisers? and if so what would you suggest? also, are my thoughts crazy? to those of you who have ridden both types of bikes, what do you find to be more comfortable.August 5, 2010 at 9:09 am #27921samxixamParticipant
so i just found the motorcycle reviews section. (don’t know why i didn’t see it right away lol) so now i know there are cruiser style 250s….but i would still LOVE to have some opinions and suggestions on which one to look atAugust 5, 2010 at 1:08 pm #27922WeaponZeroParticipant
Yamaha V-Star 250, which has been in production for nearly 2 decades, is a great choice. It hasn’t always been called the V-Star 250, however. It used to be called the Virago 250. So just in case you’re browsing the used market, look under both names. Honda also has the Rebel 250 and Suzuki has the GZ250 and TU250X (which is more of a standard than a cruiser but still an excellent choice and as the only fuel injected 250 on the market I’d seriously look into it). Personally of the four I’d take the TU250X based on it having fuel injection alone, although I can understand that its vintage styling isn’t for everyone.
Back up until the mid 80s there were an abundance of 350-400ccs on the market being produced by the major Japanese manufacturers, which I think is the PERFECT size for a beginner. It’s sad that this class of bike is no longer being made.August 5, 2010 at 1:46 pm #27925
Hey Sam, glad to have you on, I’ll throw in my two bits worth before everyone else pipes in
Don’t overlook the little motorcycles; 125cc and smaller motorcycles are perfect to learn on, licensable dirt bikes, and standard style motorcycles are still the least intimidating learner bikes and great fun even to a veteran rider.
If you’re looking for cheap and used, keep an open mind for any small displacement motorcycle that becomes available, multi-cylinder rides Maximum displacement 250cc or single cylinder bikes up to 650cc ( Suzuki S40 ) would be a reasonable rule of thumb to follow. In fact; go to a dealership and sit on an S40, just to see the size and heft, of what should be considered the absolute largest bike many should be looking at. Have someone assist to steady balance the bike from the rear and actually sit on it with both feet on the pegs for several minutes. In fact do this with any motorcycle you are considering.
Nuts and bolts to look for
Electric start: Highly recommended for a beginner, I’ve seen many beginners struggle with kick starting a motorcycle and learners just don’t need the extra distraction.
Handlebars: Nice wide ‘standard’ style handlebars are the best bars to learn with. The ones on the TU250 and most small dirt bikes are a prime example; they offer a neutral riding position, good leverage to balance the motorcycle or to pick it up off the ground ) and make it easier to perform slow speed turns. Cruiser style ‘drawback’ handlebars should be avoided, because while wide enough, they tend to draw your elbows in and wrists outward and ‘performance’ style bars are too narrow for beginners.
Fuel Injection: If this motorcycle is going to be parked for extended periods of time, ‘fuel injection’ is ideal. Unfortunately most older bikes will not have this. In new bikes, the Suzuki S40 has a carburetor, but the TU250 has Fuel Injection. Definitely saddle test the Suzuki TU250 at the dealership, I concur with WeponZero that is the ideal bike for you !
Comfort: ‘Motorcycle Comfort’ is almost an oximoron, motorcycles are meant to be ridden not driven like a car and to ride a motorcycle you should be alert and constantly moving about, even if it’s only to balance. Keep this in mind when you are saddle testing any motorcycle. The laid back, feet up, lounge position that a cruiser bike mimics is not conducive to good riding, the rider position portrayed in the link offered above is ideal.
Crash Bars: If you purchase a new or pristine bike to start, invest in a set right off. They look awful so once you are past the beginner stage and they have saved your baby from serious scars, recycle them.
Full face Helmet and gloves: Do Not go cheap on your helmet, even if you buy a cheap motorcycle. Any gloves are good as long as you always wear them, including when you are a passenger !!!
…hope this helps some, and best of luck with your motorcycle experiences.August 5, 2010 at 1:48 pm #27926CBBaronParticipant
Lots of good choices in most styles of entry level bikes.
Honda Rebel, GZ250, Vstar-250
TU250X, Nighthawk 250
DR200se, XT225/XT250, TW200
I think many of the members here tend to be more interested in sportbikes so that is where many of the conversations go. Plus the Ninja 250R is a great value and more capable of highway speeds than most other entry level machines.
I think the TU250X is an ideal beginner bike for someone not interested in sport bike styling. It is a standard, which means a very netural riding position. It is nimble and the fuel injection means no playing with the choke or carb issues. However the riding position of the Ninja 250R is not much different despite the looks. The ninja really is more of a faired standard than a sport bike.
I don’t care for cruiser styling or handling but they do have the lowest seat heights if that is a problem. The Rebel and GZ250 both feel to me like I am sitting on the ground. But then again I am 6’2″
CraigAugust 6, 2010 at 5:16 pm #27954JackTradeParticipant
How many road-going bikes still have a kick-starter?August 6, 2010 at 6:10 pm #27958
…we still even have a few 2 strokes up here.August 6, 2010 at 6:47 pm #27960JackTradeParticipant
I was reading the literature on the Honda CRF230, and it prominently mentions that it’s got an electric starter, in a fashion that seemed to hint it was an actual “feature”, something not entirely common in similar models from competitors.
So made me wonder if there are modern dirt-only bikes that have kickstarters, or is this kind of advertising the equivalent of a car company telling you that their 2010 model comes standard with fuel injection (i.e. there’s nothing else worth bragging about)?August 7, 2010 at 2:06 am #27963
The 230 would be representative of the ‘F’ series not ‘R’ series motorcycles. Adding the weight of a battery and starter motor to any real dirt bike imposes a significant disadvantage and contributes little, so you will never see anything except kick start on a competition dirt bike. Even amateur racer types spend bags of money for titanium fasteners, just to shave ounces off their bikes.
CRF230F has a carb, air cooling and minimal strength frame and suspension components, the ‘F’ model line and engines are intended for recreational use as ‘trail’ bikes not for competition, it’s only styled like a motocross and the frame and suspension would flex like crazy or break if actually ridden as a motocrosser. Which begs the question, where would one ride it ?
Nice toy though, would be a reasonable learner bike if you have very long legs.
BTW. The 230 is more than 80 lbs. heavier than my 250 Trials bike and mine cranks easy enough to start by hand.August 14, 2010 at 6:04 am #28069skippersusieParticipant
Hi Sam… I’m a newbie crusier too!! Good for you taking the course. I grew up around bikes and was amazed at how UNSAFE my uncles were riding. Glad I took their advice, it was $$ well spent.
Like you, I like the cruisers too. I’m 5’3″ and for me they just fit me better and I like sitting upright : )… besides, I like the way they look.
When I took the MSC, I used one of their GZ250’s. I had a blast and started rethinking my purchase of a Virago 700 based on my limited 2 day experience and the recommendations I read here. But after riding for the last few weks, I’m glad I went with the bigger bike. I started out riding quick white knuckled trips on the back roads and have gradually made my way into traffic and onto the hills. I am having a blast, but taking it nice and slow. I only ride in my own comfort zone. But, I know the power is there when I need it. I live in a really hilly area.
One of the regulars here gave me some solid advice. He told me not to push it, take it easy and just get out and ride and get to know the bike… and that’s what I’ve done. I’m definitely new to this and the folks here are awesome and have a lot of solid advice based on alot more experience then I’ll ever have.
Not saying you should go out and by an 1100, but do check out the wet weight of the bike and the seat height. Mine weighs almost 600 lbs. and I thought it would be unmanagable, but it really doesn’t feel like it is too heavy. And yes, I have dumped it once… backing up into a parking space. was able to get it up on my own though.
Whatever you decide, i hope you stick around… it’s nice to have another “chick” aboard!!!!
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.