Author Topic: Good First Bikes!  (Read 576 times)

Offline Outlaws Justice

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Good First Bikes!
« on: August 27, 2013, 01:24:54 pm »
First Bike Recommendations

Street Bikes
Honda CM250 Rebel (Good for Shorter Riders) any year
Honda CM450 Rebel (Good for Shorter Riders) any year
Honda CB450 Nighthawk (Good for Taller Riders) any year
Honda VF500 Magna any year
Honda VT500 Shadow any year
Honda VT500 Ascot any year
Honda VF500F Interceptor (Sport Bike style) any year
Yamaha XV250 Virago (Good for Shorter Riders) any year
Yamaha XV535 Virago (Good for Shorter Riders) any year
Suzuki GS500E 1990 and newer
Suzuki GS500F any year (Sport Bike Style)
Suzuki GS450L, 1983 and newer
Kawasaki EX500 Ninja and year (Sport Bike Style)
Kawasaki EX250 Ninja, 1988 and newer (Sport Bike Style)(Shorter riders can handle this)
Kawasaki LTD500 1990 and newer
Kawasaki EL250 Eliminator any year (Good for shorter riders)

Dual Sport Bikes (on-road / off-road)
Suzuki DR200
Suzuki DR250
Yamaha XT225
Yamaha XT250
Honda CRF230F
Honda XR250L (Does not have electric Start)
Kawasaki KLX250

This list is based on bikes that hold a decent retail value and are a good used bike value. Current recommendations do not include any of the Chinese motorcycles as most of them are copies of some bikes on the list and do not have the reliability of the name brands. Parts can also be hard to obtain and much more expensive as well. Pay special attention to the title to make sure you are buying the real thing and not a Chinese copy. There are also many other bikes not listed that make good first bikes, and any bike should be looked at on a case by case basis to ensure that you are getting a bike that is right for you. Make sure the bike fits you without modifications. If a bike is not the correct height, style etc. you will not be comfortable, so make an informed decision and get help if needed to make sure that the choice you make will be one you will not regret. Some bikes on this list were only produced for limited years such as the CM450 Rebel with a three year production, or the VT500 Ascot with a two year production. This does not affect the quality or parts availability of these popular bikes. And parts for most of the bikes listed are still readily available.
Most bikes on this list can be purchased relatively inexpensively and will hold a good value for later resale sometimes allowing your first bike to be a very inexpensive riding proposition. Insurance on one of these bikes will normally be $150 per year or less depending on your age, driving record etc. How much might I have to spend to get a bike that is listed? Well that will depend on year, condition and which model. Bikes listed above could range from a low of $800 to $2000 (Newer Models might be much more) but you can usually expect to find a good bike in decent mechanical shape for about $1500 or less and sell it for a similar amount when it is time to upgrade.

As with any used bike be certain to take into consideration the following:
1.   Condition of wear items, Chain Sprockets etc.
2.   Age and Condition of Tires. (Age is as important as condition)
3.   Brakes, cables and controls.
4.   How long has the bike been out of service (In Storage)? Can lead to needed work such as Carb. rebuilds etc.
5.   Regular maintenance? Oil changes? Fork oil? Brake Fluids? etc.
6.   Rust in the gas tank?
7.   Has the bike been dropped or crashed?
The parts and repairs that might be needed for a used unit can add up very fast so be sure to take the time and expense to have the bike looked over by a trained technician BEFORE you make a purchase.

David M. Beyer
National Rider Training
Licensed Riding Instructor
(315) 771-2747
« Last Edit: August 27, 2013, 01:35:36 pm by Outlaws Justice »