So i have this buddy of mine…
August 22, 2008 at 1:50 pm #1950
and after seeing me ride around on my 2 wheels of heaven, he’s decided that he wants to get into the culture too. Problem is, he’s totally green, 6’1, and like 325 pounds. He’s into the cruisers more than the street bikes, but i dont think a rebel or something like that would be big enough for him…do you think a newbie that size could handle maybe a honda shadow 600 or maybe a v star? or should he just suck it up and try his best on a 250 until he gets more experienced? i wanna help him, but i dont want to give him the wrong advice. Any help would be greatly appreciatedAugust 22, 2008 at 2:18 pm #10956
If you search on this site I wrote a post where I used math to show just how much weight affects motorcycles. What I showed was that for a cruiser, about a 250 pound rider is where a 250cc cruiser starts being slow enough that I wouldn’t be happy on it in traffic. So, for a 300 pound rider, I would go up that next step to a 500/600/650.
My suggestion would be a Vulcan 500 (wide tank, feels like a much bigger bike), or a Shadow VLX (600) is he wants something slightly more narrow.
The S40 / Savage 650 is a pretty small bike, it is closer in feel to a 250 than the rest of the 600ish cruisers. So going with one of the bigger ones may be more comfortable. But I’m 6’0″ and can sit on an S40 without issue. A few people on this forum started on the S40s and loved them. The lower weight seems to make it a good starter bike even if it is a 650cc engine.
I have no experience with the V-star, so I won’t offer anything there.
The big thing is, try on as many bikes as possible to find what is comfy, and keep the CCs to a minimum. A salesman will tell him he’ll want a 750cc or 900cc bike because of his weight, and I think that is bollox. And of the 500/600/650s wil have enough power to move him around faster than traffic (andif he’s looking for more than that, he’s looking at the wrong style of bike to begin with).
Elwood wrote a really good bit on starting out on a sportster 883, and I suggest you have your friend read it:
“The two seconds between ‘Oh S**!’ and the crash isn’t a lot of practice time.”August 22, 2008 at 2:35 pm #10959
but if he has not much experience in biking and that 250 seems vague, +1 for the vulcan…hey matt what bike you own?
Solomolo RiderAugust 22, 2008 at 2:48 pm #10960
thanks matt…theres a few shadows on our craigslist, so i might check them out and see what he thinks of them, and then i’ll just take him down to the kawi dealer and have him check the vulcans. as far as i know, hes just wanting a bike for commuting and/or crusing around….so a 500 or 600 should be all he needs….i was just unsure if he could get away with a 250 but i dont think he couldAugust 22, 2008 at 3:00 pm #10962WeaponZeroParticipant
I’ve said it before in other posts and that is that I believe the Kawasaki Vulcan 500 to be the best entry level cruiser on the market. Considering your friend’s size it should be right up his alley. Despite the smaller engine it is actually more powerful than the Honda Shadow VLX 600 and is nearly on par with the V-Star 650. Of course the fact that it’s engine was originally designed for a sportbike (the Ninja 500R) is mainly responsible for that.
The V-Star 650 is another good choice worth considering but I would stay away from the Honda VLX 600 as many riders have described its lack of power output as “scary.” Its engine only puts out 35 horsepower, which is less than that of a Buell Blast and only 10 more than that of a Kawasaki Ninja 250R, but it weighs considerably more and isn’t geared properly to be able to take advantage of what power it does have. My dad, who rides primarily smaller bikes such as his Kawasaki KZ400, took one out for a test ride because he was considering buying it and said that it was just scary because despite being a 600 it didn’t have the power to be able to accelerate its way out of emergencies or turn left at an intersection with no left turn signal in between cars.
If you’re in the market for a used bike, Yamaha used to make an entry-level cruiser called the Virago 535 that was replaced in 2001 by the V-Star 650. It was an air-cooled V-twin with shaft drive, so there was practically no maintenance needed at all.August 22, 2008 at 6:11 pm #10978
Man thank you guys so much….im not really up on all the cruisers and you guys have been a big help….I’ll tell him what u siad about the vulcan and be on the lookout for the virago 535 u were talking about. ANd i didnt know that about the shadows, the last thing this dude will need is to be jammed up between 2 cars with no way to get outta there….thanks a bunchAugust 22, 2008 at 8:14 pm #10984
The shadow is faster than a 250.
It only has 38hp ( http://www.bikez.com/motorcycles/honda_vt_600_c_shadow_vlx_2002.php ) but it has 35 foot pounds of torque. Because of the very tall gearing (only four gears) it accelerates in a very “lazy” fashion, but it is still fast enough to out accelerate traffic. I am speaking from personal experience here.
If you’re ever in a situation where you are in physical danger because the bike isn’t accelerating fast enough then:
a) use your brakes
If neither of those are options, then I’m sorry but you’ve screwed up pretty bad and made a long line of mistakes to get there. No matter how fast the bike, in a reaction situation it will accelerate slower than it can decelerate or swerve.
Aka, don’t try to get in front of the guy who’s about to merge onto you, hit the brakes and drop back a car length, it is faster – or better yet get into another lane. If you are boxed in on three sides and the only option is to accelerate you’ve made several serious errors already.
Vulcan 500 makes 33 foot pounds of torque ( http://www.bikez.com/motorcycles/kawasaki_en_500_vulcan_2000.php ) which is less, but the engine can spin higher to produce more hp, and more importantly, it has a 6 speed transmission to let you stay in the powerband better.
The S40 makes 33 foot pounds of torque, put htrough a 5 speed transmission ( http://www.bikez.com/motorcycles/suzuki_ls_650_p_savage_2003.php ).
I own a 2003 Kawi ZZR-250 (basically a Ninja 250 with a slightly more powerful engine, 36hp at crank, and much improved suspension). My previous bike was a Honda Interceptor VF500F.
My parents own (and thus I get to play on regularly) a 1983 Suzuki 450GS and a 2002 Honda Shadow VLX. Mom had a 1983 Honda CB250 Custom (old Rebel).
“The two seconds between ‘Oh S**!’ and the crash isn’t a lot of practice time.”August 22, 2008 at 9:42 pm #10992
yeah 60′ twins are like this… vulcan coz it has inline twin and poor s40, mono, so the only piston has to do all the work and cannot increase speed(i think) like the rest… i saw a sv650s and a dainese cbr600rr at a stop line.. they both accelerated and the sv started out fast and put in 2nd gear but the cbr kind of catch up then put into second… but finally and logically i guess the cbr kinda ‘won’ (though i was not there ‘coz by the time they were in 3rd gear they were out of sight but the sound rumbles and bumbles and..ah cut d crap..) the sv was stock but the cbr had devil, by the sound of it and i have seen it months earlier… but i dunno why i don’t like cruisers.. if someone gifted me one, i’d sell it and buy a hooligan bike… .. matt, don’t mind but you seem a bit stiff and cold… do ye ever joke? ;p
oh… the zzr… kewl… 36 or 35hp ;p anyways well how was it the change in torque and overall aspects from a 500 v-twin to an inline twin? but i bet the honda was way better, especially in handling, ey?
Solomolo RiderAugust 23, 2008 at 11:07 am #11024
Yup, as a general rule the fewer the cylinders, the less HP, but more torque. So more of a feeling of acceleration, and better start.
I do joke about a fair bit. I come across as stiff because I have a fairly formal writing style. I also don’t joke too much on forums because inevitably someone misreads what I’m trying to say and gets all pissy. So easier just to keep the my mouth shut. In person I’m a loud mouthed jack ass with a sarcastic sense of humour
(oh, “only” 33hp for the bike according to here: http://www.bikez.com/motorcycles/kawasaki_zz-r_250_2002.php )
The change from a 60hp 500cc V4 to a 250cc I2 was big, but mostly in feel and attitude than the way I rode it. I was still too new to stretch the VF500’s legs. I would shift after just starting to taste the powerband. The big thing was that bike wanted to go faster. With every shift I knew the bike wanted to hold longer (I was shifting at 8000, red line is 12000). Every corner felt like I was taking it too slow (even when I was speeding). The bike *loved* having its neck wrung, and wringing its neck on public roads isn’t a good way to keep your license
Handling wise… The honda braked WAY harder. Turn in was pretty much the same, but like I said, it wanted to take corners at twice the limit
Yea, I know the ZZR is a way better bike to learn on, but I miss the Interceptor. That was a proper hooligan bike
“The two seconds between ‘Oh S**!’ and the crash isn’t a lot of practice time.”August 23, 2008 at 3:45 pm #11028rtParticipant
A big guy like that needs more than a 500cc or 600cc.
A 750 or 800 would work. Not balls out fast but highway capable.
I know a guy 6’7″ over 400 lbs. who rode a Volusia 805 for years and it worked quite well.
He’s gone onto a bigger bike now, but that 805 did the trick.
Tell your’ buddy to look for a nice used bike to start with.August 24, 2008 at 5:13 pm #11081
wh..what??? the honda was v4?impossible..i bet it’s v-twin… you’d have more boost and powa with a v4… yeah good you let out some and ;p and well… i know how it feels to be separated from one’s first bike, just like a breakup, lol but if after this you get anoza galfwen(zzr250), that’s something else…dang m soo lonely and have to wait years to get za z750 but anyways i’ll be swapping country, so i’ll get something there…
Solomolo RiderAugust 25, 2008 at 1:52 am #11107
500cc V4 pouring out twin bazooka exhausts. Might just be the most beautiful sounding motorcycle ever made. It can purr like a small v-twin and scream like an I4. And the whole time is is just yelling “faster faster harder harder”… It is not a bike for polite company
I hope my girlfriend doesn’t read this post…
“The two seconds between ‘Oh S**!’ and the crash isn’t a lot of practice time.”August 27, 2008 at 7:04 pm #11268
whole time is is just yelling “faster faster harder harder”…”I hope my girlfriend doesn’t read this post…” hehehehehe hahahahahah hihihihihi…yeah…dang you nida have good crank under ye belt to ride her…she was wild and vigorous ey? za bike… all the best and..happy riding XDDDDD
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