Starting with a Honda Magna v700c?
April 4, 2008 at 7:01 pm #1262kellycParticipant
Hey I’m taking a motorcycle safety course this summer and plan on purchasing an 87 magna 700cc bike as my first. I realize that most of you recommend 250 ninja but I’m really fond of the performance and capabilities of the magna. Plus, I don’t really want to buy another bike in 3 months after I get bored on a 250… Thus, my question is- If i have minimal riding experience (messed around on friends 225 dirt bike/200 dual sport) will I kill myself learning on a larger bike? (I plan on doing this right, taking as many courses as I can.)April 4, 2008 at 8:55 pm #5457swedeParticipant
I’m learning on an ’80s GSX750, sure it weighs a lot more than an modern lightweight starters bike, but why should it kill me?
This whole obsession about cubics isn’t the only solution or a guaranty that you won’t crash. Where I come from (Sweden) people generally start on a lot bigger bikes than 250, truth be told, there are hardly any small cubic bikes to be found in sweden.
Imho, it’s all about your intentions with the bike, a guy in his twenties wanting a sportsbike probably shouldn’t start on an 1000cc rocket with a high power to weight ratio.
I think you are gonna have to look inside yourself and ask wether you’re the type of person that can refrain from pushing the limits of your bike the first season/seasons, or not.
From what I found, the weight of that Magna is just over 500 pounds, some would probably say that’s a bit much, but I think that having a heavy bike can really have a positive impact on ones respect for the bike. Ones again I can only refer to my own limited experience, but both my own bike and the bike I drive during the mc classes weigh about the same and a bit more than that Magna, and it hasn’t been a problem yet, but it surely helps me appreciate the risks involved.
Good luck to you.
JonathanApril 5, 2008 at 9:54 pm #5469BenParticipant
I personally think Jonathan is crazy! haha! I’ve had older bikes before (1984 kawasaki GPZ 900) and they are a pain! You have to check a lot of stuff to get them up to spec, and hope that all the previous owners have been nice to it. With a bike that old you also have to pray that it has been run the whole time and not just stuck in someone garage to rot. Thats what happened with my old kawasaki (never road it by the way, just fixed it up and sold it for a profit, I bought it non-running). There was rust inside the gas tank, one of the cylinders had water or some type of liquid in there, plus it needed a new battery and new tires. I sold it before I wasted too much money on it, but in my opinion old bikes are generally not worth it.
Jonathan does have a very nice bike though, and if I saw a deal like his I might scoop it up as well. I guess it depends on if the bike is in good shape or not. In general I definitely wouldn’t recommend something that heavy or that powerful as a first bike, but people are going to do what they are going to do. I know guys that have started on Yamaha r1’s as their first bike and they are still alive, granted they are slow as hell in the twisties and not very skilled riders. The whole point of choosing a less powerful and less heavy motorcycle as your first bike is it makes it a hell of a lot easier to learn on. You want to ride your bike not be scared of it.
~Best Beginner Motorcycles AdminApril 8, 2008 at 2:52 am #5513jseah88Participant
well I learnt on a suzuki vl 800 cruiser, the bike is very forgiving and easy to ride, the only thing i would have changed is to have gotten the next years model the c50 which added EFI to the engine. My bike is a severely cranky on cold mornings, even with full choke it sometimes dies which can make riding around fun
For me I’m glad I did, it has allowed me to ride around town and also on the highway without any problems, I can easily carry a passenger and if need to, make a long distance trip on it if I so chose. (that is the next thing on my list of things to do)April 8, 2008 at 9:36 am #5519swedeParticipant
@Ben, people back in the ’80s started on those bikes and they’re not any heavier today (the bikes that is, not the people, they’ve probably gained a few pounds over the years), and the power output isn’t comparable to a modern engine of the same volume.
Driving schools up here usually have modern GSX750’s or similar ‘naked’ bikes. The reason for this, except filling req’s from the DMW, is that this is a common type of bike, and if that’s the sort of bike people are gonna get once they’ve got their licence, wouldn’t it be wise teaching them riding on one of those ‘typical’ bikes? I personally am glad to learn the basics in an controlled enviroment, on a bike that weighs about the same as mine. (Might just be that your right and I’m wrong, and that I AM crazy starting on an 500+ pound bike >_< the future will tell...) Imho, having ridden a lightweight ‘trial’ motorbike for years, one (I) have a different attitude towards a heavier bike, at least I tend to drive a lighter bike more ‘sloppy’ or more like if I was riding a bicycle, whereas I treat the heavier bike more like a ‘vehicle’. But as you point out, there’s always the risk of being frightened, since your bound to have at least a couple of ‘close calls’ with time, and sorting that situation out before anything happens might be/feel more difficult on an heavy bike. I dunno. Any way, I’m not going to argue what you say Ben, it’s too easy to overrate ones abilities when it comes to speed and control. Cautiousness is a virtue. (Not saying that I’m reckless *silly giggles*)
JonathanApril 8, 2008 at 4:56 pm #5526BenParticipant
I definitely see your points Jonathan. It definitely is better to learn on the type of bike you will be getting then some bike that is vastly different. I would definitely treat a harley or some other bike that is a lot heavier than mine a lot different than the bike I have now. I guess that is one of the disadvantages of starting on a smaller bike, sometimes they feel more like ‘toys’ than actual vehicles (and that can lead to hooliganism! hah!)
As a rule I try and discourage others from getting larger bikes, but depending on the circumstances I think starting on a bigger bike might be more ideal than starting on a 250. I think sometimes I get caught up in the notion that starting on a big bike is ‘impossible for a newbie’ when in reality it is just ‘harder’.
~Best Beginner Motorcycles Admin
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