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Welcome Lucas.

Generally: Something that fits you comfortably and doesn't cost too much. Not over 500 CCs or so.
"cheap" often is not good.

There are a lot of 250 cc bikes that make good starter rides and are fairly inexpensive used.
A lot of folks seem to find the Honda Shadows are good starter bikes, even though most of them are 750 CCs.


But this has been discussed about a million times on here already.
Please read a few of those threads first and then ask specific questions if you have any.

How are your bicycle skills ?
Have you considered taking a new riders training course ?
Highly recommended and it helps you decide what might be appropriate for YOU as a first ride.
 

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Personally, I would encourage you to take the "Basic Rider's Course" if you haven't already. They will teach you on 250cc bikes.

Then, I would recommend a used 500cc bike, so that you can keep up reasonably well with traffic. Getting used to the 600 lbs or so is a great gateway to moving up to the heavier bikes (900 lb. Touring bikes like mine, for example).

Really, it depends on the kind of riding you want to do. Obviously I wouldn't recommend a Road Glide for a dirt course; or a dirt bike for long road trips.
 

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Then, I would recommend a used 500cc bike, so that you can keep up reasonably well with traffic.
My opinion is: That a brand new rider shouldn't be ON any road where you have to worry about "keeping up" for at least the first 6 months.

Most any 250 on the market will do 65 MPH, more or less comfortably, for the few times that you might find yourself in that situation by mistake.

Good riding skills really aren't "learned" but are developed, by doing the same thing over and over again.
Often overlooked is emergency braking practice but that might be the most important skill you can have.......and you don't get it by doing it just once or twice.....AND it is much less dangerous to practice that on a smaller, lighter bike (I consider 500 lbs. a heavy bike, bit I'm a small person).

Nothing wrong with a 500 CC machine as a first ride.....IF you have the size and strength to handle it. Many new riders don't.
 

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............Most any 250 on the market will do 65 MPH, more or less comfortably...............
Yep, but I'll never FORGET the day that I was tooling along in the Center Lane on the Highway, in Cruise Control, and seeing a 250cc in my right mirror, coming up HARD in the "Granny Lane."

The guy was perhaps 300 lbs, so already he was stressing that bike. He's hunched forward, holding that throttle at full, and I wouldn't have been surprised if he kicked his leg out and tried pushing.........

Geez........enjoy the ride. Get yourself a bike that won't have to be maxed out to maintain good speed. Seek comfort.
 

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Geez........enjoy the ride. Get yourself a bike that won't have to be maxed out to maintain good speed. Seek comfort.
Yes my friend but we are talking about a TRAINING machine here.

And a general recommendation for ALL new riders......since we can't "look" through a message post to see the person asking the question.

Some new riders are perfectly content with a 250 as their "forever" ride.

YMMV. :bluethum:
 

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I can only speak from my personal experience. As I've posted before, I started with a 50ccm Vespa, which I used to commute to work during Spring, Summer and Fall. She maxed out at about 30 mph (50 kmh) which was fine at the time, since I was commuting across an urban area where the speed limit was 50 kmh anyway.

When I moved, I decided to upgrade to a 125ccm Honda Varadero. A fun bike to ride, but still seriously underpowered for the highway. I was living about 20 miles outside of the city, having to take a stretch of highway (Swiss Autobahn) to get to my office. The Varadero maxed out around 90 kmh (56 mph), which is too slow for the Autobahn, with its 120 kmh (75 mph) speed limit. I was able to keep up with the trucks (everything over 7,5 tons is restricted to 90 kmh), but barely able to pass one. This was a dangerous situation, so I decided to get a bigger bike.

After talking to friends and coworkers, I decided to get a bike that I wouldn't have to replace so soon. That was 2004 - and I still have her. I would never suggest a liter+ bike to a newbie. I had 10 years of riding experience (8 on the Vespa - 18000 km commuting and another 2 on the Honda), plus I was 39 years old when I upgraded.

I took safety courses almost every year for the first 5 years I owned her. And I have been extraordinarily lucky - in nearly 25 years of riding, I've only had one motorcycle accident (with the Vespa!) and wasn't injured. But too many people I know/knew weren't so lucky ... something that I keep in mind every time I throw my leg over the seat.
 

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Yes my friend but we are talking about a TRAINING machine here.

And a general recommendation for ALL new riders......since we can't "look" through a message post to see the person asking the question.

Some new riders are perfectly content with a 250 as their "forever" ride.

YMMV. :bluethum:
To be sure.........starting with a 250cc is fine...........my only thought would be that, most of the folks I know who ride, if they started with a 250cc, moved up to at LEAST a 500cc within a season or two. It IS valid to work your way up. Depends on the person, and like you said, we can't really see the "who" thru a Forum window.
 

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..my only thought would be that, most of the folks I know who ride, if they started with a 250cc, moved up to at LEAST a 500cc within a season or two.
Yes.....and so.......???

It seems that you are drawing a conclusion from that, which you think is logical, that then most new riders should just skip the 250 and go right for a 500 and up.
I think that is absolutely wrong, in general.

That 250 trade up often costs very little overall and sometimes they can be sold for MORE that they cost.

I guess I'm a bit biased maybe. I started out on a Honda S-90 and then after about 30 years of progressively "upgrading" went back to a 250 for a couple of years. Did a 1200 mile road trip on it even.......once. It was a fun little bike. If I had the garage space, I would definitely have (at least) two machines. A road cruiser and a puddle jumper. :bluethum:
 

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Yes.....and so.......???

It seems that you are drawing a conclusion from that, which you think is logical, that then most new riders should just skip the 250 and go right for a 500 and up.
I think that is absolutely wrong, in general.

That 250 trade up often costs very little overall and sometimes they can be sold for MORE that they cost.

I guess I'm a bit biased maybe. I started out on a Honda S-90 and then after about 30 years of progressively "upgrading" went back to a 250 for a couple of years. Did a 1200 mile road trip on it even.......once. It was a fun little bike. If I had the garage space, I would definitely have (at least) two machines. A road cruiser and a puddle jumper. :bluethum:
To each his own............
 

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I completed the MSF basic safety course in Hampton, VA a couple of weekends ago; spent the "skills" portion on a Honda Rebel, which I think is a 250cc. It was a good bike for the purpose and would make a good starter bike, if you physically fit it.

Around 10 days prior to taking that class (highly recommend!!) I bought a 2011 Suzuki Boulevard S40. The Rebel prepared me for the S40 beautifully. If the S40 physically fits you, I can recommend it as a starter bike—it's being a great starter bike for me. At 652cc in a single cylinder, it weighs in at about 380#; light and easy to maneuver with torque to get me moving. I'm 60 y.o., @ 160# and comfortable on this bike. My 2¢ worth.
 

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Wait....what.....are you telling me that if you had the space you wouldn't consider having more than one bike ??? :mrgreen:
Sure, if I had the room. But this Thread is not about that. With regard to that however, I have a friend who is like a brother to me, who has offered me a Goldwing for no money, from the mid to late 80's. It supposedly only needs a paint job and perhaps a general overhaul, because it's been sitting in his barn for 10 years or more. Would I like to bring it home and make it a project bike? Sure! On the other hand, there is Insurance, Registration, cost to refurb......but that's another topic.

In THIS case, "Lucas" is asking what bike we would recommend as a "cheap" starter bike. I guess, if nothing else, that takes the bigger baggers out of the equation, unless he can (like me) get one for free, and wants to take the time to refurb it.

Seems to me, like most "newbies," he just wants to get one and ride.........can't say as I blame him. I remember that feeling. Why invest in something you CAN'T ride, because you have to fix it; especially if "Lucas" has a limited budget.

Sure! Go ahead and buy a 250cc bike.........there are some older 60's models that would be neat to own, fun to ride, and probably get a lot of "looks" of admiration or curiosity at bike rallies. I LIKE the older classics. Heck, I'd love to own any number of different or unique bikes. Just ain't what this is about.

I'm willing to put money down, saying that "Lucas" (if he buys a 250cc let's say) will sell that bike OR buy a bigger one to add to his stable, (say a 500cc) within two years of his purchase of the 250cc. That's all I'm saying. A "250" is fun, for around town..........but it's not a long range bike really. I'm sure it might hold up, but the rider usually craps out before the bike does. Let's face it, comfort is EVERYTHING, when doing 100 miles or more!

No offense to the folks, such as yourself "Easy," when offering those opinions. They are, after all, just "opinions," and Forums like these are places where "opinions" are part of the fabric of the conversation. It's not just about "facts."
 

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I'm willing to put money down, saying that "Lucas" (if he buys a 250cc let's say) will sell that bike OR buy a bigger one to add to his stable, (say a 500cc) within two years of his purchase of the 250cc. That's all I'm saying.
And I am not disagreeing with that part at all.
But you keep repeating it like it is a BAD thing......and it is NOT.

I think switching bikes every couple of years is half the fun when you are a new rider trying to find your "perfect ride".

P.S. If you are going to get upset every time a thread goes "off topic", you won't be very happy on any online forum I've ever seen.
It is just part of the territory.
 

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I have a wish list of bikes that I would love to own/ride, but the government (my wife) will only let me own one at a time.

1) My GSX 1400 - sitting in my carport at the moment.
2) Triumph Tiger Sport 1050 - Originally, the Sprint ST was *2, but they stopped building them...
3) Harley Fat Bob - I love the look, but I've heard that 2017 will be the last model year :-(
4) BMW R1200GS - Everyone who owns one says that it is the best bike they own.

A small, light street bike is missing from my list, but I haven't yet decided which one - something for a quick day tour in the twisties, with enough power and torque, but light and maneuverable.
 

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....................P.S. If you are going to get upset every time a thread goes "off topic", you won't be very happy on any online forum I've ever seen. It is just part of the territory.
I'm not "upset" at all. Just expressing my point of view. If someone has the money to switch bikes "every couple of years," more power to em. I live in a world where money is to be carefully protected. Therefore, I see things from that perspective. When I "buy" something, the intent is to keep it as long as I can. So because of that, I think more broadly than some might. I'm looking "long term."
 

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There is no one correct answer.

A 250cc is useless for many people, even if they're beginners. I started on an 800cc and within 6 months I knew I needed to upgrade. Also, trading/selling a bike every couple years is a real PITA for some of us. I'm with Soupy, I want to buy something that will serve my needs for a long time. I spent 1.5 yrs researching and saving up for my current bike, and 10 months after I bought it, I still feel like I made the best choice, for me. I won't pretend to know what is the right choice for anyone else.

A small, light bike is less intimidating to learn on and if you don't need it to for hwy riding or long trips, it may be good enough.

Instead of telling people what size bike to buy, it might be more productive to advise them of each style of bike's strengths and weaknesses and get them to consider more seriously what kind of riding they plan to do. Education is more empowering than just telling people what to buy.
 

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In order to keep the peace with the now ex wife, I agreed to get us a pair of Burgman 400's. It was a fun ride for sure, no matter what anyone's opinion is of scooters. I decided to get a bike without discussing it with her. I test rode the S40 which was too small for what I wanted. My cousin who is well educated on cycles, told me not to get the S40 because in 3 weeks, I'll want a bigger bike. I bought the M50 and rode that for 2 years before getting the M109R. I personally think the S40 would be a good starter because you can buy them used cheap and sell for about the same. You can ride the highways once you have experience, although I feel that interstates might be a little intimidating for it. I agree though that selling a bike is a big pain. People obviously want to test ride them and that can result in a dumped bike. I had a hell of a time getting rid of the scooters that my ex used to step her way up to the Burgman 400. After the divorce, I helped her get a Burgman 650. So, while some people start small and stay there, many move up to bigger bikes.
 

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..........................................I decided to get a bike without discussing it with her. ...................
I made that mistake one too many times! The FIRST time, was when I wanted to learn to play golf, and bought myself a cheap set of Northwestern's at Walmart. I wrapped them up and put them under the Christmas Tree "To Soupy, from Santa." (Everyone wondered "who" bought me the clubs......lol).

The second time was when I bought the Fatboy. THAT didn't go over very well!!
 

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I made that mistake one too many times! The FIRST time, was when I wanted to learn to play golf, and bought myself a cheap set of Northwestern's at Walmart. I wrapped them up and put them under the Christmas Tree "To Soupy, from Santa." (Everyone wondered "who" bought me the clubs......lol).

The second time was when I bought the Fatboy. THAT didn't go over very well!!
Well, I bought the M50 because scooterists take a lot of crap in our community. I never wanted one in the 1st place, but the ex was disabled on one ankle and couldn't learn a real cycle. She wanted us to look the same all the time, matching shirts. etc. She told me that if I ever bought a motorcycle, she would divorce me. She lied. So after a couple years I bought the M109R and kicked her out. I'm not into having someone tell me how to live. She held back until we got married a then let loose. I told Becky that I was going to buy her a bike with a tow-pac. She said "Yeah right". The next day when I came home with it, she asked why. I told her that when I say I'm going to do something, I do it. Becky is more understanding though, than my ex. It took me years to be able to buy into motorcycles and I won't have someone telling me I can't. It's best to tell them up front what your intentions are and avoid ugly situations.
 
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