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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,

Good to be here. Seems like I landed on the best place for a sound advice.

So I've been taken by Cruiser bikes lately and I've been determined to buy one (most likely a 400cc Honda Shadow).

Here's the deal: I'm 28, I grew up as a inline skating kid, wasn't much of a bicycle guy, a few months ago I started renting bicycles to do some cardio down the streets and my balance was ok for a beginner.

My questions would be:
  1. How much is balancing on a bicycle like balancing on a cruiser?
  2. What would recommend for a total newbie? I got my eyes fixed on a 400cc Honda Shadow (model 1996-1998).
  3. Did I say that I'm not as stable as a circus clown on the bicycle? Not even close :p I even get terrified when there's someone cycling close to me :whistle:
Much thanks and looking forward to hearing from you (Y)
 

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take the msf course in your area. they'll teach ya the basics of safety ( stopping and low speed turns being the mostly likely you'll crash w/ early on)
pick up a copy of proficient motorcycling and read it. it'll explain alot as well.
Amazon.com: Proficient Motorcycling: The Ultimate Guide to Riding Well: David L. Hough: Books
that shadow is a perfect beginner bike. if you know someone that rides have them test ride and inspect the bike before buying from a private seller.

make sure you budget for a decent full face helmet and some riding gear ( jacket pants gloves)
keep to surface streets for a while till your comfortable riding. before moving to highways and freeways.

straight line balance is easier on a motorcycle. turning is a little trickier . its all about practice. the more you ride the easier it gets.
 

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What would recommend for a total newbie? I got my eyes fixed on a 400cc Honda Shadow (model 1996-1998).
Did I say that I'm not as stable as a circus clown on the bicycle?
I recommend that you get a LOT more time in on the bicycle before you even consider a motorcycle.......unless you have a death wish or enjoy pain. The balance aspects are a lot alike......only the speed is controlled with your wrist instead of the pedals.

You should not buy ANYTHING until AFTER you take a motorcycle course.......given the apprehension that you described.

And I'm pretty sure that there was NOT a 400cc Shadow in that time frame; 500, maybe......600 for sure.
Where are you located ? It appears that the 400 Shadow was/is not available in the US.

The best starting cruiser is a Suzuki GZ 250. No joke.

How big a person are you ??
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hi Easy Rider,

Thanks a million for your advice. I won't be buying anything before at least 3-4 months. I'll be renting a bicycle as often as possible before I make any purchase.

Also, my friend is an experienced biker with a Steed, he'll be teaching me the basics.

I'm 28 years old, 198 pounds (90 kilos), 6'1" (188cm) tall

:)
 

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I'm 28 years old, 198 pounds (90 kilos), 6'1" (188cm) tall
OK, you might be a little large for any 250 starter bike.
The 400 Shadow might be ideal.

I repeat the advice though to get some more bike experience AND some FORMAL training in addition to what your friend might provide.......'cause other bikers, especially in your age range, are often NOT good sources of training !! :roll:

Only AFTER all that should you consider buying a motorcycle.

Good luck.
 

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Totally even people that have ridden for years come out of the Basic MSF course sayin" Wow, now that makes sense " or" I never knew that." I reccomend the MSF course to all new bikers, It's pretty cheap and well worth the cash!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Well, I live in Lebanon - Beirut, and we don't have any MSF courses here.

The local Harley and Aprilia dealers offer riding courses, nothing official or "by the book" though.

The Harley guy recommended starting off on a scooter with no gears, then moving to something bigger with gears.
 

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the harley guy is partially right. its easiest and safest to learn on a scooter. a small engine motorcycle isnt that much more difficult. ( i learned on a 50cc dual sport)

w/ no msf course available. it would probly be best to take one of the 2 course ( i'd probly do the aprilla course).

the skills to focus on early are stopping and low speed turns. find a parking lot thats empty. get 2 things to drive around and practice a figure 8 as slow as you can go w/o having to put your foot down. and get up to 30 and work on stopping safely in the shortest distance possible ( go easy at 1st till you figure the bike out)

you might look for the cheapest thing that runs to do these practice runs with in case you drop it or lay it down,.
 

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EZ is absolutely right: do not, under any circumstances, buy any bike before you take a class and learn to ride. But I'd I'd recommend seeing what bike both use before deciding on which course, as in North America and Europe Harley uses a 500cc single-cylinder Buell Blast for the class (a great little beginner bike with all the features of a full sized motorcycle) while Aprilla uses a 125cc scooter (which does not really prepare you for riding a motorcycle, only a gearless scooter). Not only will it go a long way toward keeping you alive, but a surprisingly large percentage of the people who take the course never actually buy a motorcycle because they realize that riding one is simply not for them. And the "for Sale" ads are filled with low-mileage bikes that people WISH they had not bought.
Take a class, get your license, rent a small bike or scooter for a day, and if you freak out with traffic, hate the push of the wind against you, are scared to death on the bike, or simply are not comfortable, then you saved a bunch of money you would have wasted on a bike you'd never ride. If you do like it, you'll have the basic skills, and you can rent/ test drive a scooter, small standard, dual sport, and cruiser, and get to try each one out for an hour to a day and see which one you really like the best. Along the way you'll get valuable practice time, and ultimately be safer and happier with whatever you decide to buy (or not buy).
Good luck and be safe!
 

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I'll play the darkside here. Everybody has given you great advice. I can't stress enough to find some sort of professional instruction. Do not...I repeat...do not rely upon your buddy for lessons regarding riding. Especially if your Schwinn experience is suspect at best. I'm attending a funeral tomorrow for a nineteen year old kid that didn't listen to adults, and rather relied upon the riding advice of other well meaning friends.
 
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