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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently completed my MSF safety class and now have my license. My experience on motorcycles consists of a) a bunch of times spent on dirt bikes (mostly 250s) off-road and b) a couple rides on my roommate's Ninja 600 around the neighborhood. These were all a number of years ago. Looking to the future, I eventually see myself on something like a Yamaha XSR700 and/or a Triumph Trident 660 or MT-07 (...also currently drooling over the Indian FTR but that's years down the road).

As a novice, I know my first choice should be a smaller bike but there aren't a ton of options that appear to fit the style of riding I'm looking for... my goal is to ride for pleasure on long, curvy (and hopefully empty) rural roads but to also be able to commute, likely at or close to highway speeds about once a week. I thought the Kawasaki Z400 would be perfect but the available inventory is sparse. I'm worried the 300s (MT-03, BMW G310R) might not be able to get me up to speed once I'm comfortable going on a highway. So I started to notice that the supermoto models like the Suzuki DR-Z400 might strike a nice balance. Is that style of bike something I should consider at all? Or are those supermoto bikes just tuned so differently that I'd be building my skills on something so foreign from what I hope to eventually ride that I'd be wasting my time? I'm also considering renting a few different bikes via Riders-Share.com to try some out before making a purchase.

Full disclosure, I know the topic of first bike choice is super contentious so I'm just gathering opinions here... so have at it!
 

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Full disclosure, I know the topic of first bike choice is super contentious so I'm just gathering opinions here... so have at it!
No, the subject is not really "contentious" at all.

You should forget about what you think your eventual choice of a perfect ride for you might be........and get a used smaller bike to practice and get about a years experience with. Even a cruiser style maybe. GASP.

Unless you are a large, strong person something in the 600 range should be tops for a first ride.
Maybe a Shadow 750 because they are somewhat under-powered.

During that year you can decide what you really want and start saving for that.
At the end of the year, you can sell or trade your used "starter" bike for about what you paid for it........unless you beat it to death.
 

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I'll second starting small. There's a saying that goes something like, it's more fun to ride a small bike fast than it is to ride a big bike slow. Or something like that. Just start small and work your way up. You have a lot yet to learn.
 

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I agree with the small to start with. Many here in Au start on a Honda CBR 500 twin...slightly sporty look and easy to ride with enough power for highway riding. Also you will get virtually your money back when its time to sell as others want them for the same reason.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Thanks, All. What about this part of the question?
So I started to notice that the supermoto models like the Suzuki DR-Z400 might strike a nice balance. Is that style of bike something I should consider at all? Or are those supermoto bikes just tuned so differently that I'd be building my skills on something so foreign from what I hope to eventually ride that I'd be wasting my time?
 

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Thanks, All. What about this part of the question?
Personally my guess is that would NOT be a good choice for a street bike and especially not a first one.
But I have no experience with riding any kind of a racing bike on the street so my opinion might not be worth much.
 

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A supermoto bike is just a dirt bike with street tires, basically. If you can handle the elevated seat height a lower powered model could be a decent beginner ride. The DR-Z400SM seems a little pricey for a 1st bike, though. But it could be the type of ride you keep awhile.
 
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