Which Bike to buy?
October 1, 2008 at 8:22 pm #2183
My name is Tim and I have decided to get a motorcycle. I am still in the early stages of research, but much of what I am reading (on dealer websites) lacks size based information. I’ll need to explane that. I am a big guy, 6’4″ and about 270 lbs. Not really fat, just gigantic. I want a bike to replace my Jeep Wrangler for solo voyages. I love my Jeep but 18 MPG From San Ramon to San Jose is killing me. I am going to keep my Jeep (forever) but want a bike to commute, and drive around. Back to my problem, I want a high MPG, low cost bike. Looking at the specs for some bikes I have noticed I weigh as much as they do! (Kawasaki Eliminator 125) SO I am looking for some advise. What bikes are best for a huge fellow while still getting the economy aspect of a small bike?October 1, 2008 at 8:31 pm #13129WeaponZeroParticipant
At your size I definately wouldn’t even consider something like the Eliminator 125. It’s not so much about your weight or the bike’s lack of power as it is your physical size. You will feel cramped up into a little ball on that thing. The same will probably apply to anything in the 250 range either. Best bet would be a Suzuki DL650 V-Strom, Kawasaki Versys (I would think), or a BMW F650/G650. 650cc is about the smallest bike you should be considering cause anything milder will also be physically smaller and leave you feeling cramped…October 1, 2008 at 11:39 pm #13136
Thanks Zero, Ill took a look at those.I am thinking a little more along the lines of a cruiser rather than a street bike, but those look pretty sweet. Anyone else have any other suggestions?
Please don’t feed the animal.October 2, 2008 at 1:45 am #13144WeaponZeroParticipant
Cruiser, Yamaha V-Star 650.October 2, 2008 at 3:30 am #13147MunchParticipant
As a fellow ( rehabilitating) Jeep-er I am guessing Versys would be better for you. Unless you have a mall crawler… then your back to square one, lol. The Versys from what I seen will let you transition from highway to trail if you get that sudden “Dude you have got to bang a U-ey and look at what (enter name) did this time”.
Yesterday is a memory, tomorrow is a prediction, but today…… is a Bi**hOctober 2, 2008 at 4:51 am #13154rkoehlerParticipant
I myself am 6’9″ 225ish, so i can understand your size issues with buying a bike. I’m more looking at sport bikes, but all the advice I’ve been getting is pointing me to a 600-750cc. I don’t know much about cruisers, but i can well imagine you’ll be a little more comfortable on one of those than a street sport or a true racing bike.
RobOctober 2, 2008 at 4:53 am #13155
The thought of off-road had not even crossed my mind… I think in the future I may look into the off road market, but for now the Jeep (heavily modded) will be my off road toy. I have been looking at the V-Star custom 650 cc. I am liking it a lot. Any other ideas? I am pretty sure now that I don’t want a street bike, but Ill look into it if you think it is like totally the best ever.
Please don’t feed the animal.October 2, 2008 at 10:23 am #13165MunchParticipant
Go for it. I am a cruiser type myself. I have the Vulcan 500 which for my comparatively short self. Its perfect. The V-star I have never sat on but if it gives you leg room, Awesome. Check into the available accessories to see if forward control options are available. I know Places like Scootworks.com and many other sites offer customizing options to give you more leg room.
Yesterday is a memory, tomorrow is a prediction, but today…… is a Bi**hOctober 2, 2008 at 1:43 pm #13167AndrewParticipant
The best thing you can do right now is to sit on as many bikes as possible. Just see what feels comfortable for height, leg room, foot position and weight. Your probably looking at a cruiser or a tall dual purpose or standard though.October 4, 2008 at 6:43 am #13275DaggerParticipant
I’m 6’1″ and I went with the Yamaha V-Star 650 for my first bike.. I’m loving it.. It fits my frame real well… But like Andrew said.. Get out and sit on as many bikes as you can since (especially with the cruisers) the seat heights of various models is different.. The Shadows are a bit lower and less comfortable for myself.. The V-Star feels like I’m riding more up on the bike rather than sitting back into it like other cruisers I tried..
I just want to make it out of this life alive…October 6, 2008 at 10:07 pm #13421briderdtParticipant
I was looking the other day, and though the Yamaha FZ6 didn’t feel “bad” sitting on it, I was propped up on one foot putting the other on the peg and trying to get a feel for it.
Then I noticed that it had a center stand.
With the help of the floor guy (’cause I’d never put a bike on a center stand before), I got it on the stand and then hopped on. Having both feet on the pegs made ALL THE WORLD of difference in how the bike felt. It was comfortable, completely. Where I was iffy with one-footing it, actually getting ON the bike was a whole new world.
So when you’re out there sitting on bikes, make sure you’re really feeling what it’ll be like.
Just $.02 from some one’s whose eyes were recently opened.October 9, 2008 at 9:13 am #13581
The other day I went out, on advice I got here, and sat on every bike (almost every bike) on my list. From my online research here are the 5 (6) bikes I wanted to look at:
Yamaha V Star Custom 500 cc
Kawasaki Vulcan 500 LTD
Honda Spirt Shadow 750cc
Suzuki S40 (655 cc)
Suzuki S50 (819 cc)
Harley Davidson low sportster (883 cc)
The only bike I have not sat on and fiddled with is the Harley, just cause they do not have Harley’s at East Bay Motorsports. I do want to say this about Eastbay Motorsports, WOW what a selection. If you are looking for any bike (omitting Harleys) Check out http://www.eastbaymotorsports.com. The sales people were very knoledgable and helpful they held up every bike I sat on so i could have both feet on the rests.
I checked out every bike I wanted to see brand new, then looked at their used selection. I found that the Suzukis were tiny, my knees were almost touching the handlebars. This was surprising because the S50 has the second largest engine! I also found that the Vulcan 500 is also to little. I was a little iffy with the V star, It was big enough, but I really did not like the way the bike felt. It seemed like the gas tank was to big, I felt like I was trying to have sex with a fat girl (not that that is a bad thing). I even sat on some of the bigger over 1000cc bikes and they seemed way to large and cumbersome. One Bulevard felt as big as my Jeep. When I sat on the used bikes, I found the one that will be mine. The Honda Shadow felt just right, like I was Goldilocks and this bike was baby bears bed. It felt perfect. My legs were comfortable and I felt in proportion with the bike.
In addition to finding a bike that I did not feel like a giant on, the gas tank has flames that match almost exactly the same as my Jeep! I will buy a Honda Shadow I decided, I just have to get enough money soon enough, and hopefully buy the one with a custom tank, however, if it sells I will still get the same bike. Thanks to everyone who lent opinions. Ill post some pictures when I get it, and ill write some reviews of the gear I get.
Please don’t feed the animal.October 9, 2008 at 1:43 pm #13589AndrewParticipant
I thought the same thing about the V-Star tank being really big.October 9, 2008 at 4:16 pm #13606DaggerParticipant
Hey! Don’t hate on the V-Stars! lol.. Personally I like the big tank.. After sitting on bikes I was down to either the V-Star or the Shadow myself.. Both nice bikes IMO.. I know what you mean about the Suzuki’s being tiny.. I sat on a Savage 650 and felt like I was on a kids tricycle.. The final factor for me was the seat height.. The V-Star was a bit higher than the Shadow and felt more comfortable to my legs.. Glad you found what fits you.. Now get out there and earn some cash to buy one!
I just want to make it out of this life alive…October 9, 2008 at 4:25 pm #13428dcJohnParticipant
When there’s not a center stand option, I’ve usually found that sales folks are usually willing and able to steady and balance the bike so you can hop on and get both feet on the pegs. As you noted, it’s hard to really get a feel of the ergonomics of a bike when you’re not fully up on it.
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