Viva Las Vegas
November 13, 2009 at 5:09 am #3566jcurticeParticipant
I’ve been lurking here for a couple of months now, and now that I’ve passed the MSF (Rider’s Edge), I thought I’d introduce myself.
My interest in motorcycle riding started about 3 months ago when my friend picked up a shiny new Nightrod. I had never even thought about riding until then. He mentioned that he took a MSF course at the local community college, and my wife and I thought it would be fun to learn. My friend became friendly with much of the Harley staff and arranged for a “private” Rider’s Edge class for a bunch of friends, co-workers and spouses. We waited 3 months so the weather would be much, much nicer than the molten summer heat.
The class finally arrived last weekend. It was an interesting mix of a motorcycle course and an introduction to the Harley “lifestyle”. The first night, the classroom time was interrupted with a full tour of the Harley dealership. The dealership here is HUGE. I now know all 5 Harley product lines and how to tell the difference between a Soft Tail and a Sportster. The second night, after learning about proper protective gear, they sent us out with a worksheet to try on gear and sit on bikes and write down what we liked for future reference.
The actual riding was a Blast (pardon the pun). Everyone passed except the wife of the friend who started it all. It was hard to celebrate when she failed. Worst of all, she already has a bike waiting at home, a Sportster 1200. I know, too much bike for a beginner, but this isn’t about her. It’s about me and my wife. Now that we’re ready to ride (once we get the proper endorsement on our licenses), we need to find a good bike. I already have my heart set on a Ducati Monster 696, so what we’re looking for is a good starter bike for my wife that we can keep for awhile, and that I can practice on for a few months until I’m comfortable enough with my skills to buy the Ducati. My wife is petite (5’3″ 115lbs) and would like something not too heavy. Neither of us care for the Ninja and would prefer a standard/cruiser style. We don’t plan on doing much highway riding, but we would like to ride up to the nearby mountains, so it needs to be able to go uphill at 55 with power to spare. I was thinking the Suzuki S40 might be worth checking out. Any other suggestions? We’re going to hit the local Suzuki/Honda/Kawasaki dealer this weekend.
Thanks!November 13, 2009 at 4:49 pm #23306TaraParticipant
First of all, welcome! I’m kind of new myself, but I’ll say it anyway.
It’s great to hear that more people are getting into the sport
Congrats on passing the test! It must have been quite an experience at the Harley dealership. They always have beautiful bikes.
If you need a standard with power and styling, you can look at the SV650 or the Ninja 650R. The Ninja also comes in a naked version, the ER-6n in case you want it to look more like your Ducati. But then again, a Ducati is a Ducati, know what I mean
As for cruisers, you could also try a Vulcan 500. It looks like the s40, but with a nice look in my opinion. I don’t care much for Hondas, though. Except for the supersports, but that’s definitely not what you want.
Pic of the Vulcan 500:
Good luck!November 13, 2009 at 7:58 pm #23310EddiepowerfmParticipant
I live in Dallas Texas and after taking the MSF course I bought a 2007 Vulcan 500. I am 5’5″ and 170lbs. The Vulcan is light and great to ride, even with my highway commute. It is a parallel twin with 4 valves per cylinder so it has plenty of smooth power. I have not ridden an S40 but it is only a one cylinder. I do like that it has a belt instead of a chain. It is also lighter than the Vulcan. But the Vulcan is a great choice.November 13, 2009 at 8:11 pm #23311eonParticipant
I’m curious what constitutes “proper protective gear” in a Harley store. Not trying to be funny but I know what 90% of cruiser riders wear and it’s not enough for my tastes. There are also large Harley dealerships here and I’m wondering if I’ve been missing out in a good place to shop for gear? Might actually have to go inside one of them next time
Oh, and welcome to the board.November 14, 2009 at 5:00 am #23314jcurticeParticipant
My wife actually butt tested the Vulcan 500 about a month or so ago and liked it. I guess the next step would be to test drive it and see if the extra 100 lbs. over the S40 or similar bike would bother her. I’ve read that the Vulcan 500 won’t available in a 2010 model, so hopefully the 2009 is still out there. I did see some very lightly used ones (under 100 miles) on the dealer’s website.
The Harley dealerships here in Vegas have some nice leather and textile jackets. However, the armor in them, if any, seems pretty useless. I don’t see why you couldn’t replace their FXRG armor with something more substantial. They also have Harley branded helmets, pants and boots. I don’t plan on buying any Harley gear since I hope to eventually be on a Ducati, but my wife got a really nice leather jacket on closeout for about $100. During the tour, our instructor said that this particular dealership did $1.3 million in apparel sales every month.November 14, 2009 at 8:39 pm #23319owlieParticipant
Welcome to the group.
I bought an S40 a few months ago. The first few weeks were a challenge, but not impossible. The bike is substantially lighter than the Vulcan 500 since it is a single cylinder to the Vulcan’s V-twin. Also, height wise, I’m comparable to your wife, so I don’t think she’ll have any complaints about flat-footing it.
One thight to be aware of on the S40s is that they back fire. It doesn’t bother me, but it really annoys some people.
Best of luck!
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