This thread is about a First Bike!
June 6, 2009 at 1:52 am #2962HandymanParticipant
I’ve looked through a few pages, and this seems to be the place for these sorts of threads. I’ll also use this as my introduction thread.
My name is Jeff, I’m 23, and I live in New Orleans. I lost my beloved wagon in Katrina and have been without motorized transport ever since. Fortunately, New Orleans is a bicycle friendly town and I can get most everywhere I need to go in my daily life without too much trouble.
But being without a vehicle is starting to get a wee bit old. I’m making enough money again where I can save up to replace my long dead Taurus. I’m heavily leaning towards a motorcycle because it will cost less to purchase, cost less to operate, and will be easier for me to fix than a car. And a moped is not much of a step up because it won’t go fast enough to go on the interstate (which is necessary to get out of town).
This prospective motorcycle would be used as a commuter (in town, no highway needed) with occasional longer trips (for fun, or more importantly, evacuations). New Orleans’ roads are notoriously bad and it needs to be able to withstand some rough riding. I’m not extremely concerned about looks, but would prefer a cruiser style over a sporty style.
I’m looking for used, because while I make enough to be able to save, it isn’t much. If I could find something in the ballpark of a thousand dollars, I would be thrilled.
After combing through this site and others, I was thinking of a Honda Rebel.
Thoughts?June 6, 2009 at 2:23 am #19408zeppelinfromledParticipant
Others here can probably tell you more than me, but when you talk about withstanding some rough roads, my mind goes to a dual sport motorcycle. It’s not a cruiser, nor is it a sports bike, but it might serve your needs better than the other options.June 6, 2009 at 3:19 am #19410Always the RunnerParticipant
If you’re mechanically inclined, some older dual sports resemble more of the classic cruiser look. Kind of like a Triumph Bonneville look, if you will. If you’re at all interested, try searching the word “enduro” rather than dual sport in Craigslist.June 6, 2009 at 4:13 am #19411spiccnspamParticipant
I learned on the virago XV 535, its great for commuting and getting on the interstate. It will cover all of the bases and it looks SWEET.June 6, 2009 at 6:38 am #19412SantaCruzRiderParticipant
You paint a bit of an apocolyptal picture, but base on your scenario, I’d look for a Suzuki 400 or Kawi 650. These dual sports can be set up to run close to sport bikes on road, but still have enough off-road ability to hop curbs, run dirt roads, and eat up pot holes like nobodies biz.
Unfortunately, they have more of a sporty or dirt style. Cruiser style is at the opposite end of the “all terrain” spectrum. There’s an old saying about taking a motorcyle offroad — you can take any bike off road once, you just may not be able to ride it back.June 6, 2009 at 12:50 pm #19339briderdtParticipant
So I’ll just add:
What they ^^^ said.June 7, 2009 at 1:17 am #19420HandymanParticipant
To clarify on the “rough roads” bit, many streets are sort of like what we called washboard roads out in the country. Just choppy as hell and not a smooth path in sight. And even fairly major thoroughfares are not immune from sudden and large dips, potholes, etc.
Mind you, not every road is like this, and I know the city well enough to plan smooth routes, but it will be inevitable that I hit upon lumpy and unpredictable pavement.
And Elwood, my preferred trick is to leave at like 2 in the morning after evacuations are announced. No mucking about with traffic, and I sure as hell am not sticking around for doomsday scenarios.
Thanks for all the help everyone!
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