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Economic Motorcycles

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DeTrevni View Drop Down
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    Posted: 23 May 2008 at 12:35am

Okay, inspired by Savage's post on motocycles, topped with the fact that I've been thinking about this for a long while now, I've decided to get some other's input on this subject.

I've got two vehicles. One is a 1965 Buick Skylark, with a 355 Wildcat motor (required plug). Point being, it's VERY heavy on gas and takes premium PLUS lead substitute. This is a weekend cruiser at best. Second is a 1992 Dodge Caravan. It's AWD, automatic, and has a 3.3L V-6 (it was the largest in the Caravan line). It gets 18 MPG on a good day, and is costing us WAY more in maintenence than the Blue Book value (can I say I'm driving a totaled van?).

With gas prices on the exceptional rise, plus the fact that I am now employed, I'm looking for a more economical means of transportation. Besides, I've alwasy wanted a bike.

So here's what I'm wondering: What should I look into? I probably won't be able to spend too much, maybe $3-5K, I don't want a powerful bike, and I want a good, reliable and economical bike. I have no riding experience.

I'm thinking an older crotch-rocket. They should be more affordable, and I'm sure I can find a lower powered one. Not to mention, it would give me some good riding experience, and I can upgrade to a nice Harley when I just want to cruise. But I personally like cruiser bikes, but they tend to be larger and more expensive.

Thanks for any input, and I'm certainly open to suggestions as well. To be honest, at this point, a nice moped would also be considered.

 

Evil Elvis: "Detrevni is definally like a hillbilly hippy from hell"

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote evillepaintball Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 May 2008 at 12:42am
1991 - 20xx Honda nighthawk 750.  for 2k or less you can get a very solid, reliable, mid power bike.  its got ~75 hp which gives it great pick up but still gets 45-50 mpg riding it pretty hard.  it has a comfortable standard riding position and still does great in the twisties as well as just cruising around town.


/shameless plug
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote choopie911 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 May 2008 at 12:42am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DeTrevni Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 May 2008 at 12:47am

Chewpie, that is honestly seeming more and more appealing.

Eville, I like. Seems to be just what I'm looking for! And now that I thumb through Cycle Trader, it appears the Japanese standard bikes are actually better priced than the sports bikes. I'm pleasantly surprised.



Edited by DeTrevni - 23 May 2008 at 12:51am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Benjichang Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 May 2008 at 12:50am
Originally posted by choopie911 choopie911 wrote:

I'd rock that.
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DeTrevni View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DeTrevni Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 May 2008 at 12:51am

What about this?

It's a Zuke GZ250.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote evillepaintball Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 May 2008 at 12:53am
Originally posted by DeTrevni DeTrevni wrote:

Chewpie, that is honestly seeming more and more appealing.

Eville, I like. Seems to be just what I'm looking for! And now that I thumb through Cycle Trader, it appears the Japanese standard bikes are actually better priced than the sports bikes. I'm pleasantly surprised.



no.  good god no.  I rode that at the MSF course last summer.  it really is a piece.  you're a big guy right?  that bike was underpowered for me when i was 145.  the seat slopes forward so it smashes your balls against the tank every time you hit a bump.  if you plan on doing any highway riding, you're going to want something bigger. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DeTrevni Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 May 2008 at 1:00am

Hm. Yeah, I've got some thinking (and sweet-talking) to do. My parents are still rather against me owning a bike, but since my dad used to own a Harley (which he loved), it may be easy to sway him. Mom on the other hand...

 

Edit: Oooh. This one seems more "me." 1995 Honda 600 Shadow.



Edited by DeTrevni - 23 May 2008 at 1:04am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Monk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 May 2008 at 1:18am
Either way your insurance is going to suck balls. But there is no point in spending 3-5k on a used motorcycle when you can buy a new ninja 250 for 4k.

Perfect size for a beginner.
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DeTrevni View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DeTrevni Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 May 2008 at 1:26am

Originally posted by Monk Monk wrote:

Either way your insurance is going to suck balls. But there is no point in spending 3-5k on a used motorcycle when you can buy a new ninja 250 for 4k.

Perfect size for a beginner.
Ninja 250. I'll look into it. But I do want a Harley in the long run. Will learning and growing accustomed to a crotch-rocket "lean forward" position affect the feeling of a standard positioned bike at all?

And I was thinking about insurance. Would you think the money saved at the pump would be worth the insurance prices?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote evillepaintball Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 May 2008 at 1:37am
if you dont get a rocket, insurance really isnt bad, especially if you can put it under your dad
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DeTrevni Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 May 2008 at 1:40am

He's very economical, so if they let me get a bike, he'll probably pay insurance, as long as I pay him back for it.

Edit: I'm not the only one feeling the ouchies at the pump. Here's a thread on M. Carter Brown. I like the looks of this thing. Seems to be about $3.5K as well.



Edited by DeTrevni - 23 May 2008 at 1:49am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BearClaw Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 May 2008 at 2:26pm
Motorcycles are not all that economical too be honest.  For one you gona get around 40-60mpg but on top of that you have the cost of tires (witch wear out a lot faster than cars) and general maintence (Again more needed the most cars).  Add in the cost of all the rideing gear you will need as well and bikes are quite expensive machines.

For myself it costs me more to ride my motorcycle back and forth to work than it does to drive my econobox. That being said i enjoy riding and commute on my bike every day rain or shine and am riding every weekend.  I ONLY park the bike when the snow begins to fall.

So if you are looking at bikes solely for costs Id probly recommend against it and suggest opting for a small economical car.

But if its something you really want to try i suggest taking a MSF course and seeing if its something you will enjoy first and then chose a good learning bike.

Now as for learning bikes i STRONGLY recommend learning on a Standard bike.  They offer the most nuetral handeling and with the upright ergos offer the easiest platform to learn proper riding technique.

Some good bikes to look at

Suzuki GS500 (air cooled 500cc parallel twin 6speed)
Kawasaki Ninja 500 (Liquid cooled 500cc parallel twin 6speed)
Harley Davidson sportster 883xl (air cooled 883cc V-Twin 5speed)
Buell Blast 500 (air cooled 500cc single 5speed)
Kawasaki Ninja 250 (Liquid cooled 250cc parallel twin 6speed)

Personally i started on a Yamaha V-Star 650cc cruiser, I have since got myself a more standard motorcycle a Suzuki V-Strom 650cc.  When i got the new bike i basically had to re learn to ride as a cruiser offers the ABSOLUTE worst ergos for good riding technique and i developed many bad habits.  I now go back to riding that bke (i gave it to my mother) and i can ride that bike A LOT faster and smoother than i ever could in the two years i owned it just cause of two things experiance and better riding technique.


P.S. A Honda Magna like you just posted is a VERY BAD learning bike as it makes a surprising amount of power with a very twitchy throttle.



Edited by BearClaw - 23 May 2008 at 2:27pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote StormyKnight Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 May 2008 at 3:15pm

Buying a motorcycle for the sake of saving on gas is a bad idea.  You buy a bike for the pleasure of riding one.  A fringe benefit is fuel savings.  I agree with BearClaw that you'd be better served trying to find a Honda Civic or other small 4cyl engined vehicle for a more fuel efficient vehicle.

I have an '02 Softail Deuce and I know what I bought it for.  It was cool and I hoped it would get me laid.  The fact I can get close to 50mpg on the highway is like I said, a fringe benefit.  If you must have a motorcycle, I'd look into the metric cruisers.  Shadows, Viragos, Boulevards, Vulcans with engine sizes between 600-900cc's.  Egronomically, they're a lot easier to learn on than crotch-rocket.  They're more likely to be more comfortable on longer rides.

As it is now, you'll probably pay a little more for a used bike since they're in demand.  Keep looking and don't jump on the first bike you've taken a liking to.  Find out all you can, and by all means have your father go along with you to check out any perspective rides.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DeTrevni Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 May 2008 at 3:27pm

I know that looking into getting something for the sole reason of anything is generally a bad idea. But I've been wanting a motorcycle for a VERY long time, and am looking for any excuse to trim a few wheels from my system of transportation. It just so happens that today's economy is helping me with said excuses! Thanks for the tips, guys!



Edited by DeTrevni - 23 May 2008 at 3:28pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote choopie911 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 May 2008 at 3:33pm
Yeah this is one of the most helpful threads I've seen in a while, it's cool :)
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