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New to riding... What to buy....

Discussion in 'New Users' started by Troa, Jan 21, 2012.

  1. Hello everyone!

    My name's Gary. I am new to street bikes, but not new to motorcycles or to forums. I grew up riding my CR125 and CRF250 from time to time while camping, but nothing TOO extensive. I had a fully forged 2008 WRX with 375whp that I just finished parting out and am about to sell. I'm an avid poster on a lot of various Subaru boards and enjoy going to meets and entering my car in shows. I'm using my equity to buy a cheap little Subaru wagon and a bike, both paid off becuase I am tired of having a payment. I really want to be able to save up and travel around the world. I can buy another nice car in a few years (BRZ STI?). In the meantime, I need my fun fix so the bike will be filling the void. As a subie guy I LOOOOOVE deep, throaty exhaust notes so I am set on buying a V-Twin.

    I REALLY want a Honda Shadow Phantom, but don't think dropping $7-8k on a new bike is a good idea for my first street bike. I have been looking at a few different bikes and want some opinions from some more experienced riders. I know I have a mix of sport and cruisers, but I'm kind of unsure which I want. If I buy a cruiser, I will probably just replace it with the Phantom when the time comes and if I buy a sport bike, I will probably keep both so I can have different flavors depending on my mood :). I just know I really don't want an inline 4. I have also been tossing around the idea of buying a Buell Blast and riding that until I get comfortable and then just getting the Phantom since I can get a nice Blast for like $1500.

    My budget is around $3k and I have been considering:

    - Buell XB9SX
    - Suzuki SV650
    - Honda Shadow
    - Yamaha V-Star

    Let me know what you guys think!
  2. Oh, I forgot to add, for me my most imporant features are reliability, fun factor, low end torque, ease of maintenance, and good looks. I'm pretty set on a black or blue bike.

  3. RedKat600

    RedKat600 Vintage Screwball Staff Member

    SV650. Hands down the most bang for your buck, and an excellent beginner bike.
  4. If you're used to riding dirt bikes (and driving rally type cars), you're probably going to find the maneuverability (or lack thereof) and weight of a cruiser absolutely stifling. And forget about taking a dirt road if you get the notion. With the HD/Buells being out of production, you may run into issues with parts/service (on the Blast, the XB uses a modified Sportster engine).

    I've heard nothing but good things about the SV as a bigger entry-level bike. If you've ridden dirt, a non-race 650 should be a reasonable size for your first street bike. SV's also have a pretty neutral riding position for comfort and maneuverability. Also, the V-twin badonka-donk you're craving

    Ninja 250's are also very good - Cheap, easy on fuel, great performance for the displacementr. People tend to worry about smaller bikes being too wimpy, but the Ninjette will break the speed limit anywhere they bother posting one. Also, unlike the bigger Ninjas, they're a parallel twin. Not quite the same sound as a Harley, but definitely distinctive in it's own right. Run with a pair of drilled out mufflers and you'll learn to love the sound.
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2012
  5. The SV650 will give you the sound you are looking for. I rode with a guy from school and his actually scared me a couple times because he revved it when we were gearing up in the parking garage. And its good low end torque.
  6. I've heard bad things about 250s, plus I dont want to have to wring the bike out to feel any power. I'm used to low end torque and love having the grunt down low.

    I just learned about the sv650s today. Before I was pretty set on the xb9. I'm hearing more and more bad things about them, but the posts I've read on various boards from actual owners are all pretty good.

    I've considered a few dual sport options, but I dunno if I'd ever take it off road so I dunno if it would be worth it. I am a road trip kinda guy so I want something comfortable enough to ride 300+ miles if I want to. That, plus the styling is what drew me to the Phantom. I don't need something super nimble, but I do want it to handle twisties okay and be comfortable to ride anywhere I need it to.
  7. RedKat600

    RedKat600 Vintage Screwball Staff Member

    I'll come right out and say it: 95% of the people who shit on 250's have never ridden one. Take that for what you will. Ride one before you dismiss it. My wife has one. I will admit that for commuting or free way riding they don't work so well. However, for back roads, pure enjoyment shit eating grin riding, they are absolutely the cat's ass.
    GpGreen likes this.
  8. <<-- Owns an '06 SV650S.

    Look at my profile page to see a pic of my bike if you want.

    I bought this bike in 2007. It is the the first motorcycle I owned. It was PLENTY of power when I first started riding, but at the same time, after taking the MSF course, I felt capable of riding it with much respect.

    Fast forward to 2012. I still have it, I still ride it. It now has about 11,000 miles, most put on by me. It is bullet proof mechanically. Replaced fork seals once. Still on stock brake pads, clutch, etc. Nothing but your basic maintenance and oil changes every 3K.

    Now, I still enjoy riding this bike. I could go for a more powerful bike, but much like the fun factor of a 250, and I can now flog the shit out of this SV on sport rides and love it.

    There is little concern of opening the throttle too fast out of a corner and breaking the rear tire out. I feel like I can really ride this bike, and really have fun doing so. You can just hammer it in the twisities and I promise you will be giggling like a little girl.

    Its also capable of doing 400-500 miles in a day. I have on mine, and I'm 6'3. It would be more comfortable if you more around the 6' mark too.

    It doesn't eat tires and chains/sprockets like the liter bikes do. So its very budget friendly.

    One of the best bang for your bucks/smiles per mile bikes IMO. I'd love to have a second one. Set one up for long distance sport touring, the other more aggressive for spirited rides. Although the same SV could do both fairly well.

    Also, parts are cheap, easy to find, easy to work on, not too expensive to crash!
  9. agree. reliable, too. can put an aftermarket exhaust on it to get your sound.

    comes in two styles.
    SV650S has sport bike seating position and fairing.

    Less common is SV650 (naked) with no fairing and much more upright seating position.

    either is a winner.
  10. Bluuu

    Bluuu Señor verde

    SV and some quality gear.
  11. I would be using the bike for lots of freeway riding (commuting and road trips and such) so I just don't think a 250 is ideal for me.

    I'm liking the sv650 more and more after reading about them and doing more research. I like the look of a few modified ones I've seen (no so much stock), but I come from a heavy modifying background so I definitely wouldn't mind personalizing the bike a bit.

    How are they in terms of vibrations? I'm glad to hear they ride well enough for long trips.

    I'm 5'10" and I would prefer a bike where I can get both feet on the ground. I'm gonna have to go sit on one and see how I like the riding position.

    How does it do with wind at speed? I've read the XB9s ride much nicer with a larger than factory windshield, is it the same case with the sv650?

    I've heard Suzukis are hit or miss in terms of reliability since they don't have the quality control that Honda or Yamaha do, but they're definitely better than some of the European brands or Harleys. That's just hear-say though, if I'm wrong, please correct me.
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2012
  12. How can I tell the difference when shopping?

    These are the ones that've caught my eye so far -

    The 2nd one's a bit overpriced (hes asking retail and selling privately) but I really like the look of the front.
  13. You could also buy a Ninja 650

    Basically the same exact thing as the sv.

    good riding position. low end torque, easy to ride. etc

    you can get an 06-08 model for around 3.5k maybe a lil more maybe a lil less.

    and you can get an 09 model for about 4k. (in my opinion these look better)
    <-------cuz i have one

    they also come in black and candy plasma blue i believe.

    so yea if your looking into an suzuki SV 650 i would urge you to take a look at the ninja 650 also
  14. is it a v-twin?

    nothing high pitched and whiny for me
  15. i would go with that 08 sv. looks very clean. and has low miles.

    the way i think of it. is what could have possibly gone wrong in under 4k miles.
    its probly still in good shape.

    go check it out.
  16. yes it is a v twin. the stock exhaust on the sv is better than the one on the ninja in my opinion. i hate to say it cuz i own a ninja but its probly true.

    you can buy a slip on for a couple hundred bucks and u will have the perfect beefy twin sound u want.

    but if you dont wanna upgrade i would say the sv has the edge in exhaust sound.
  17. I put 15k miles on an SV650, and I can tell you that a vstrom (basically a "dual sport" sv) would be 100 times better for road trips.

    but of your list, I'd go with the SV650.
  18. the ninja is *not* a v twin :tard: it's a parallel twin with almost identical power characteristics, but it is *not* a twin.
  19. i just read it's a parallel twin. i have no idea what those sound like. lol

    whatever bike i buy will be getting an exhaust anyways so what the stock one sounds like doesnt really matter to me.
  20. the ninja 650 is functionally the same bike as the sv650. great bike.
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