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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone,

First post here, just found your site this morning.

I've done a search and I've seen a couple threads about it, but I'm wondering if you could share your thoughts on whether the M50 would be a good first bike. I'm 46, 5'7" 170 pounds and in good shape (that is, I have good strength, etc., for my size).

I've never ridden before other than a couple times when I (foolishly) borrowed a buddy's bike in college and took off riding. I'm taking the MSF course next weekend.

I was thinking of going the Ninja 250 route because it's such a popular starter bike, but I've had people also tell me that a mid-sized cruiser is also suitable as a starter. The M50 is a little heavier and more powerful than the Yamaha V-Star, but I just love the looks of the M50. I ran into a guy I know yesterday, and I didn't even know he rode, let alone owns a sweet black M50. I can't stop thinking about that bike. I'd seen it previously but had dismissed it as being too much bike at the time, but I didn't really base that on any real knowledge.

So anyway, I'd appreciate your opinion.

Thanks!
 

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I feel that a first bike should be a beater.

Speaking from my own experience here, you're probably going to drop the bike a time or two, or forget to put something under your kickstand and come out and find your bike on its side, etc. I say a beater so that you won't cry when these things happen. Pull up to a stop light and slip on some oil/sand/etc that you weren't looking for. Get practice trying to keep it from hitting the ground and such.

My first bike was an '83 Yamaha Seca 750 that I got for $900 (I think I got hosed, but I was a kid who could afford it and didn't care). The very next day the bike was on it's side because I didn't put the kickstand down all the way I guess. It was standing and I went inside and heard the crash.

I say a beater strictly for cosmetic reasons. When you fork out the big dough for a new pretty bike, it will probably sting a little more when you find it on it's side due to operator error. As far as size goes, I don't think the M50 would be a problem. I started on a 750 and didn't ever feel like it was too big or anything like that.

So, I say a beater strictly for cosmetic reasons.
 

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The 250 is too small for someone of your maturity. You will enjoy the little boost in the pants when you go for a ride. Not a drive... There is a certian mindset associated with a cruiser. The M50 is just right.

VtWoodChuck
 

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Great First Bike

The m50 is my first bike. I got almost 2 weeks ago. Put 1000 miles on it. I'm 6'1" 240 lbs. Previously I had never even been on a dirt bike. I have yet to take the MSF course as it is not offered where I live for another half a month but will do. My point being, taking that will much better prepare you to have an m50 than I was, but even so it's a perfectly reasonable bike to drive. After 2 hours or so it won't seem like "too much" bike as it Goes, but not like a sport bike or a big cc cruiser. Very reasonable to drive and extremely comfortable.
 

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I will start off by saying that this is only my opinion and it may not be the opinion of others here.
The first thing that you should do is take the BASIC Motorcycle Safety class before you even buy a bike. This will get you the feel of a small 250 CC bike. If you have problems in the class and find that this is not for you then you will have only invested $25.00 and some time.
After you have taken the class and passed it look at a USED bike in the 500 to 600 CC range. The Kawasaki Vulcan 500 and the Honda VLX 600 are great first bikes. I bought a used Honda Shadow VLX and put over 8000 miles on it my first year. I did drop it once. It is somthing the MANY people do with their first bike. I bought it for $3000 and sold it for $2600. The $400 was money will spent learning how to ride. I then bought my M50. I love my M50 and plan on keeping it for many years.
It is my opinion that the M50 is NOT a good first bike. It is balanced very well and rides great but it is heavy. The 500 or 600 cc bikes are better first bikes. After you have done your first year on a smaller bike then move up and have lots of fun. The M50's will still be here next year.
The smaller bikes get better gas milage also. My VLX got about 65 MPG. I hope that this helps. :bluethum:

Just my 2 cents

Roger L
 

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I agree with rodgerl get something you will not mind if you drop it my first bike was 1986 Honda 450cbsc bought it for 900.00 put tires and fork seals on it kept it for 2 summers sold it this past march for 1100.00 got my money out of it and I got a good feel for the road. 1st year just rode around my neighborhood then I took the safety course and then I used it to go to work about a 20 mile trip . this year bought the m50 I love it and I put about 1000 miles on it so far in about a month of riding.
 

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I had a Kawasaki Trail 90 when I was in highschool, and have ridden dirt bikes a time or to between then and now, I am 54 now. I bought my M50 last summer, amd I have to say that I have had not problems at all managing this bike. It has good power while being very nimble, and has a low center of gravity.

That said, when I took my MSF course there were a couple a people, one guy and one girl, that just did not get it, and they would have had huge problems with an M. The guy dreamed of having a Road King, and he simply could not even handle the 250 in the class. This is not to say that with some training and guidance that he could not become a good rider, but it did not come to him easily, and he would certainly not want to start with an M50.

You say that you used to take your friends bike out and ride. Could you tell us what type and size of bike that was, and how much you rode it?
 

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Ill also agree the M50 is a great first bike, not to much power but enough that you wont get bored with it down the road. The M50 is my first bike, got it brand new in 2006 when I was 19 with only an enduro in the back yard for experience. Two years/10Kmiles later and I have had no problems with it and still not bored with the power. Hopefully it stays that way for a very long time

Definantly take the safety course though
 

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:welcomes: to M-J!

Good on ya' for taking the MSF. I got started out on the GZ250 and the M50 is my first bike.The M50 will make a good first bike but is recommended that you start out with something used and smaller as others have advised. :bluethum:
 

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Great Frist Bike!

I purchased my M50 last Septenber after getting my license. Its a great bike. I Was considering an M109 but was talked out of it by a good friend and one dealer. The M50 handles well, is not too much power or weight for a first ike. If I had to do it over again I'd buy the same bike.
 

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I am 6'1 200 pounds and I have never even been on a bike until I bought my M50. I took the MSF course, bought the M50, and now its my 3rd riding season. I think its a great starter bike, not too big but nor really small either. I have never dropped it, but have had a few close calls where it came a bit too close for my comfort.

In short I love it. Sometimes I want something with a bit more power, but for now I more than happy with what I have.

Take your time, and I think you will be fine.
 

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Get the M50, I understand the knowledge behind getting a beater but you will get tired of its dull performance in a month. Save your money and get the M50 once you get it head out to the old parking lot and learn, be safe!:bluethum:
oh and :welcomes:
 

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I woke up one day and decided I wanted a motorcycle. I had never ridden anything with two wheels and power except moped before.

I did some research on the internet and decided the M50 was my bike. I also looked up how to shift a motorcycle (like I said--never ridden a motorcycle before, so my main concern was how to shift). The next day I skipped out of work early and bought my black 2008 M50. I stalled it twice in the dealer's lot before I actually got moving. There's a residential neighborhood behind the dealer, so I spent about 30 mins riding around in there. Then I rode home. Two weeks and 600 miles later, I took the MSF course. The entire time, I didn't even have a motorcycle endorsement on license!

But I did drop the bike once about a week after buying it. My driveway has quite a slope to it and I learned the hard way that the M's kickstand WILL fold if used on a mild slope with the nose of the bike pointing downhill. The result was a broken clutch lever ($48) and minor scratches on the front and rear turn signals.

So the moral of the story is that someone with zero motorcycling experience can buy a brand new M50 and successfully teach himself to ride with minimal negative consequenses.
 

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I purchased my M50 last Septenber after getting my license. Its a great bike. I Was considering an M109 but was talked out of it by a good friend and one dealer. The M50 handles well, is not too much power or weight for a first ike. If I had to do it over again I'd buy the same bike.
:welcomes: to M-J Vince!

Great advice from a good friend and a responsible dealer. :bluethum:
 

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The M50 is my first bike. Took the MSF course first and got my license, and still managed to dump it on my first ride due to entering a corner with too much speed. Damage wasn't too great, on me or the bike, but that was pure luck. I was pretty dang cautious after that, though, and took me a while to become truly comfortable (not having a constant death grip on the bars) on the bike. If I had it all to do over again, I think I would've bought a Ninja 250 and spent a 2-6 months with it polishing my skills and learning to deal with traffic. After that short amount of time, you could sell it for what you paid for it, step up to the M50, and have a much more enjoyable first experience. Anyway, that's my 2c worth.
 

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I think that is a good point. Whether or not an M50 is right for any given person for their first bike is going to depend much more on said person than it does on the bike. So to answer your original question you might ask yourself a few just to see where you stand.

Do I tend to drive aggressively and enjoy speed against my better judgment?

Have I put the time in and learned about the dynamics of motorcycle riding?

Am I a naturally athletic coordinated person, or do new sports/activities come to me more slowly?

If you think you can be cautious, studious, and patient while learning to ride your first bike and you feel that you are a quick study at developing new coordination intensive abilities than you should be fine. If you are impulsive and worry that you may get sucked into the fun that is throttling hard through corners full speed before you are truly ready than you might want to buy something that will directly limit your ability to screw around.

Another good question is "do I like sport bikes or cruisers?"

Because if you dream about taking perfect corners in your Hayabusa or GSXR when you sleep at night you might not like a cruisers more lethargic handling style and reduced aerodynamics. If you sigh with envy every time you see a big cruiser aimlessly making its way to nowhere in particular with a very relaxed rider on top taking stock of his life and enjoying scenic view then you probably don't want a ninja.

These are the thought that were going through my head as I made my decision, and by no means meant to look like the result of any extensive experience mind you as I've only had a bike for 2 weeks longer than you at this point.

Speaking from my two weeks and 1000 miles of experience though, I am happy with the power developed by the m50 but only barely. If it had any less throttle available I would be kicking myself hard right now and it's only been 2 weeks.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I think that is a good point. Whether or not an M50 is right for any given person for their first bike is going to depend much more on said person than it does on the bike. So to answer your original question you might ask yourself a few just to see where you stand.

Do I tend to drive aggressively and enjoy speed against my better judgment?

Have I put the time in and learned about the dynamics of motorcycle riding?

Am I a naturally athletic coordinated person, or do new sports/activities come to me more slowly?

If you think you can be cautious, studious, and patient while learning to ride your first bike and you feel that you are a quick study at developing new coordination intensive abilities than you should be fine. If you are impulsive and worry that you may get sucked into the fun that is throttling hard through corners full speed before you are truly ready than you might want to buy something that will directly limit your ability to screw around.

Another good question is "do I like sport bikes or cruisers?"

Because if you dream about taking perfect corners in your Hayabusa or GSXR when you sleep at night you might not like a cruisers more lethargic handling style and reduced aerodynamics. If you sigh with envy every time you see a big cruiser aimlessly making its way to nowhere in particular with a very relaxed rider on top taking stock of his life and enjoying scenic view then you probably don't want a ninja.

These are the thought that were going through my head as I made my decision, and by no means meant to look like the result of any extensive experience mind you as I've only had a bike for 2 weeks longer than you at this point.

Speaking from my two weeks and 1000 miles of experience though, I am happy with the power developed by the m50 but only barely. If it had any less throttle available I would be kicking myself hard right now and it's only been 2 weeks.
Man, there are some great responses to this thread and they cover quite a bit of territory, from the guy who woke up one day, bought one, tooled around behind the dealership and rode for two weeks without a permit :shock::mrgreen: to the other end of the spectrum where the Ninja 250 was suggested. It'll all go into the hopper for consideration.

As for this post above, I've thought about some of these questions along the way.

1. I don't tend to speed or even crave it. I want a bike that I can take relaxed cruises on, around the back rural roads where I live (upstate NY).

2. As for learning the dynamics of motorcycling...well, you can only learn so much from reading, which is all I've been able to do. MSF course is coming this weekend.

3. Natural athletic ability: I consider myself pretty athletic, and I've logged a LOT of miles on mountain and road bicycles. I'm not attempting to make any direct comparison between a bicycle and a motorcycle, but I do think there are some elements that cross over (the general concept of being on two wheels, countersteering, attentiveness, looking ahead for situations and evaluating potential 'outs', being aware of what cars might do, etc).

4. I prefer cruisers, period. I'm not completely opposed to the Ninja 250 idea because I think it would still be a suitable bike for learning the basics. But my next bike after that would be a cruiser. I have no desire to carve canyons, do in excess of 100mph (or even 65 :cool:) or any of that stuff.

It sounds like I'm not completely nuts for considering the M50 as a first bike, since there are a lot of success stories about people doing the same thing.
 

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I'm no expert, but I have spent a lot of time riding and reading and learning over the past five months I've owned the bike. In that time, I've probably read through 10+ threads like this asking about suitable first bikes. The Ninja 250 seems to be the one that most of the guys whose opinions I've come to respect usually recommend. It's not a sport bike vs. cruiser thing, but just an excellent inexpensive bike on which to learn the basics.

Keep in mind that you're posting your question in an M50 forum, so of course you're going to find a bunch of guys who bought the M50 as a first bike and think that's the way to go. You're also not going to find the "unsuccess" stories here, because we're all enthusiastic about our bikes. But you will find them if you take a quick look at the motorcycle classifieds. Notice how many of them are nice bikes only 2 or 3 years old with barely any miles. Those are the guys who bought their "dream bike" right off the bat and scared the s--- out of themselves and didn't enjoy riding anymore, so now they're selling.

You also should consider that you might have a preference right now, but don't be so quick to say it's cruisers, period. I felt the same way before I'd ever ridden. Now, though, I'm not so sure. I love my M50 and still haven't scratched the surface of its abilities, but I'm already starting to wonder how other bikes might ride. Not street bikes, since I don't think my middle-aged back could deal with that. But there are a lot of sweet bikes with upright riding positions that might be more fun than a cruiser. Not necessarily blazingly fast, but just fun to ride. In particular, I'm thinking of the V-Strom 650 and the Kawasaki Versys.
 

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I bought the M50 as my first bike, and I will say I'm glad I did. HOWEVER, I did drop the bike once, when I stupidly tried to Uturn on an incline and didn't account for the angle. Just a newbie mistake, only cost me about $100 in cosmetic stuff, but still. I think once I got a couple thousand miles under my belt, I'm not as worried about incidents like that. The advice to buy a beater isn't bad at all, you can always sell for very close to what you paid, then move on.
 
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