First Bike Question

Discussion in 'General OFF TOPIC' started by Ishmael, Mar 14, 2011.

  1. Ishmael

    Ishmael Active Member

    Here's a question I've been wanting to post for some time. What would you recommend as a first bike? I mean, even if you intend to get a Harley, if you're a first-time rider, that's a handful to jump on and begin to learn riding skills. I had about 3 years riding experience some 40 years ago so I didn't get my Fatboy with no idea what I was getting into...still it's been a definite learning curve for me. Now my 29 year old son who has no prior experience on a bike has decided to ride also. After taking the MSF course I realized I need much practice myself, both on my Fatboy and also some seat time on a small bike to practice the maneuvers from the course. I set out to find a small bike but lo and behold I came across a bike I couldn't turn down, a 1982 Honda CX500, 9000 miles, always garaged and serviced regularly by only 2 prior owners. It looks fabulous but just doesn't fit the bill for a small bike to practice with. First of all it's too tall, secondly it has "buckhorn" handlebars which are kinda like mini-apes and seem strange after riding the little 250 Suzuki in the MSF course. I'm still in the hunt for a practice bike but wanted to run this by the collective intelligence of HDT. I'm now doubly enthused because I want my kid to have a good experience and be safe on whatever bike he wants in the future. So what little bike would you get? Am I thinking in the right direction or totally off base. What would you all recommend? I value your opinions and thank you in advance for input.
    PS Yes, I am going to have him take the course, meanwhile he's riding the Honda and we practice maneuvers in vacant lots, but I certainly don't think it's a good idea for me to instruct too much.
  2. dbmg

    dbmg Experienced Member

    Other than the bars I believe you have a good starter bike with the Honda. I would not spend any more money trying to find a different starter bike. It will get him acclimated to riding. If if he has a few drops or oops its no big deal. Then when time comes after safety course and he is confident then looking at Dyna models maybe the way to go. Sportster are great also but the 96" motor is nice.
    What a great way to spend time with your son. Congrats.

    BOBFLHTC Active Member

    The Honda Rebel's and smaller CC Honda Shadows might be a good option. Crash bars would be a good idea too. I have a 29 year old son too and wouldn't want anything to happen to him either - Bob

    BUBBIE Well-Known Member

    Both above Post are Spot-ON.

    The thing I remember (long ago) about getting training. I grew up on a doodle-bug, lawnmower engine covered with a seat and shoes for brakes.. Once in awhile I would hit a Big bump, while all in mid-air, the seat would fly away and I would come down on the SPARK PLUG.... Now there was My first serious needed IDEA for a repair Job... I Bolted Down Seat.. Never even had to think twice about that one....

    I strongly believe that MOST training programs use a small bike to make ALL feel comfortable with "A Standard sized in Class BIKE"... Most Look and Feel like a REAL Motorcycle and all get taught on them. Some classes allow you your bike to finish up on.. Now that is a good way...

    After THE training at the course, and upon completion of the riders course, you Move on to YOUR bike and LEARN ON IT.

    Where is that LITTLE Practice bike when you are out in the real world riding??
    You Can't Get On IT to maneuver around a problem that POPS UP Right NOW?.

    This is the KEY to Safe Riding.... LEARNING all the pit falls and maneuvers on
    the Bike YOU Ride every day... A LITTLE bike to is Great to learn on, It is good to LEARN Off it ALSO... Your everyday bike is the FINAL one to Learn the riding method you have practiced on the little one..Not Just the Little One to practice then NOT Learn the same maneuvers on you BIG BIKE...

    I brag here, I can do MOST anything on my sportster and do it ALSO on my Bagger.. That is the Safer Way in MY BOOK.....

  5. ZachB

    ZachB Member

    My first bike was a 96 883 about 10 years ago I was 20. So maybe I was a little more careless because of my age. That was also my first time on a motorcycle ever. The guy who I thought was going to teach me ask if I could ride a bicycle and drive stick. My answer was yes and off we went tooling around on some back roads. So far so good. My experiance has been you either can or you can't. It may go along with being mechanically inclined not sure. There is definitely nothing wrong with taking some safety courses. I think anyone could benifit from those including myself.

    My next bike was a Road King and with a little time I was dragging the floor boards cornering.

    BOWHIKER Junior Member

    Lol the things we did when we were kids , i can just picture the seat flying off and you landing on the spark plug . When i was a kid we mounted a 5 hp briggs on the back of a bicycle above the rear tire , it was belt drive with no clutch . We had to push it to get it started and if you weren't quick and jump on the seat right away the front end would come up and wheelie down the road . Lol
  7. oldhippie

    oldhippie Senior Member

    That Honda is a good start. For me, a starter bike should be cheap so a pile of cash isn't tied up on a bike when you're unsure if the riding bug will catch on. Motorcycling isn't for everyone and if you're going to damage a bike it should be cheap so you don't fret over the scratches and dings that will happen.

    If he takes to riding wholeheartedly (which most do) then he'll have some experience under his belt to make a decision on what suits him.

    My starter bike was a beat up '79 Suzy 425 that I bought off a friend of mine for $800.
  8. Jack Klarich

    Jack Klarich Expert Member

    Good for you and your son to ride together, If I was training my son I would opt for some thing like what you have until he felt comfortable, I would rather he wreck a lesser bike than a Harley JMO
  9. maine-e-axe

    maine-e-axe Junior Member

    My wife took the MSF and didn't like the small bikes the course offered. I put her on a 06 Street Bob and she said it was much easier to ride than the little bikes at the course, she's been riding that Bob ever since and done well. It's like learning to throw a ball right handed then throwing left, it just doesn't feel right. IMO learn to ride on what your gonna ride, then you don't have to learn twice.JMHO
  10. 84FXRS

    84FXRS Member

    I have to agree with main e axe, there are plenty of choices that will fit him well, and wont outgrow in a month. Find a bike with a low seat heigth an he wont have any problem.