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Discussion Starter #1
Alright Ladies and Gentleman,

I've got a buddy coming into the cycling world.
He's 37yrs old, approx 5'8" and 180lbs.
He's taking the MSF next month.


Now, he's arlready looking into what his FIRST BIKE will be.
He's open to getting a used bike, but leaning more towards new.
Let's put aside the new vs old as a first bike argument for a moment, I want some feed back on two bikes:

He was looking at the Harley 883, but started to wander over to the metrics recently. The Suzuki S40 and the Yamaha VStar Custom 650 have caught his eye. He's going to eventually use the bike for an occasional commute to work and regular weekend rides in the country. He's also wanting to stay away from larger/pricier bikes for now.

I thought I'd turn the choice over to the wise and opinionated group here:

Assuming both bikes are comfortable for him and assuming he decides to buy NEW. Which of the 2 bikes would you recommend and why?
 

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The Suzuki is physically very small, and people tend to outgrow it quickly. They can be found at a bargain for this reason, though if he gets one he will probably be ready for something bigger in a year.

The Yamaha is a good first bike, though it is harder to find one at a steal because people tend to hang onto them a little longer.

The Honda Shadow VLX is a great first bike also, though it is smaller at 600ccs. That is usually my first choice for a new rider, with the Yamaha second and the Suzuki third. The 883 is pretty far down my list of good first bikes, though the 1200 Sportster is not a bad choice if he absolutely HAS to have a Harley.
 

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I would go with the V-Star.

The 650cc power plant is more than enough for a new rider handle. It can keep up with traffic on the highway and its easy comfortable ride. On top of that there are just tons of custom parts for the Star bikes.
 

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You might also consider the Kawasaki Vulcan 500 LTD. A local dealer has this and a Honda Shadow VLX sitting next to each other on the showroom floor. The Kawasaki looks better, imho. The Honda has a gap between the seat and the gas tank that seems kind of hokey to me. Also, the seat on the Kaw looks cushier.

I too am looking at bikes in this size range, for my wife. She has riden bikes before, but it has been almost 20 years, so she wants to stay away from the 800cc and above bikes. We'll probably wait until next spring unless a really good deal comes along.
 

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I have a buddy who got the V-Star and loves it. No problems keeping up with me and Kehau on the highway and it's a good looking bike to boot. Good ergos and fuel range. The S40 has that little tank on it. IMHO the V-Star is better bang for the buck than the S40, not that there's anything wrong with the Suzuki.
 

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the S40 will definitely be more forgiving due it's lack of weight. That will really help him improve once he starts riding - and help build confidence too. Have him sit on the bikes side by side if possible and see which fits him better. Maybe an S50 might work if he likes the S40 but is worried about outgrowing it quickly.
 

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Although I haven't ridden the S40 or Vstar 650, I like the looks of the Vstar and my wife is considering that bike as one of her choice to upgrade from the GZ 250.
I know the M50 wasn't one of his choices, but I think that might be a good option if he's looking to get a used one. I feel this is an excellent first bike and it's powerful enough so he won't outgrow it within a year or two. +1 on the S50 option if he likes that look better.
 

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Actually there is quite a price spread between those 3 bikes. I was looking at the Vstar when i bought my S50. Since he is a new rider the S40 would probably be the most forgiving (and lowest cost). The VLX would be next (also pretty low weight) But only has 4 gears which might be a drawback for some. Then the Vstar which in my opinion is the most bike overall ( and a bit pricey). I think I'd probably go with the S40 just due to the fact it's a thumper. Always had a soft spot for those.
 

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Get a used M50. Something a year or two old that looks like new and is just as easy to ride and much more powerful than the Vtar 650, plus has fuel injection and other goodies the Vstar lacks. It will come out cheaper too. Just a thought. I regret buying my M50 new. A bike that's a year or two old just makes more sense.
 

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A riding buddy has a V-Star 650, that bike has plenty of power to keep up. He'll probably keep it a while. Personally, I think the S40 looks puny!!!

I'd go for the 650VStar.
 

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Puny?!?!?
 

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I ride the V-Star 1100 Silverado and have no major issues with Yamaha. One of my riding buddies had a V-Star 650 Classic and rode 2 up with his wife all the time. No issues for him. E-Bay or Cycle trader will probably have a couple of deals. The V-Star is a bigger bike and this guy will need it for his weight. Our club had a big guy riding a sportster looked like one of those bears riding a minibike at the circus. Bike size needs to be a consideration as if he isn't comfortable, he will not ride.
 

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My wife has the Vstar 650. It's a nice bike but he will grow out of that bike very quickly. I think if I were him I'd look at the M50. Light enough for a beginer yet powerful enough to make him happy down the road. The S40 is too small for him. He'd be up grading very soon after getting it.
 

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I agree. I have an M50, it was my first bike and I've had it a year. I love it but already crave a bit more power. I would have really kicked myself had I bought an S-40 or V star 650 or anything equivalent. I'm a big guy so I suspect that has something to do with it, but still. As for the 250cc that beginners are supposed to ride...I wouldn't recommended that as a first bike to anyone unless they got it free.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks for the input.

My C50 was my first bike too, so I see where you guys are coming from regarding the M50.

I'm still forwarding all thoughts to him.
He's not much into computers so he's not on any forums.
He appreciates the info.
His car just gave out on him though, so that put the bike buy on hold.
He's got a family and can't use a motorcycle as primary transport.
 
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