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Great post Geet!
 

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quote:Originally posted by Geeto67

Real advice? OK.....

1) stop talking about culture, scene, etc.....That is just a bunch of shit people who have magazines, tv shows, clothing lines use to exploit you into buying a lifestyle that has nothing to do with bikes. Seriously. I understand your enthusiasm but knock it off it makes you sound lame. So does using the word "Cafe" and phrases like "sweet cafe". ick.

2) most of the beginner stuff has already been covered so I'll just hit a few points: The older the bike is the more you are going to have to work on it and the more challenging the projects when it stops running. If you are not up to the task then stick to something from the 90's or newer. Also The more plastic a bike has the more expensive it is to repair after you drop it, and you will drop it. I am not saying you will crash, but pushing it around (like into a parking space), or parking it with the kickstand directly on hot asphalt in the summer (bike sinks in and falls over), or even forgetting to put your feet down at a stop light. It happens.

3) The best riders come from dirt. why? because on dirt you have to be "rider active" instead of "rider passive". Too many newbies get on their beginner bikes and get locked into position, thinking the bike will just carry them like a sack of potatoes. Your weight it a tool in learning how to ride and nothing forces yout o move around on a bike more than trying to go fast off road. To this end I have to agree a dual sport might be the best beginner bike for you - hardly any plastics, you can get all sorts of crash bars, and ride on road and off road. KLR, XL600 honda, DR350 or DR500, these are what you should look for. That isn't to say you can't learn to be rider active on a street bike, but the opportunities to throw your weight around are less, and it is much easier to get in over your head and get hurt.

4) your needs for the bike determine how you mod things. yes "cafe racers" came from the 60's but it didn't die there - in fact it didn't really fall out of fashion until the early 1990s when the first true sport bikes finally became affordable on the used market. The "movement" came from us modifying our bikes because we wanted to go fast and all we could afford were crappy 70's jap bikes. That isn't the case anymore as 60's and 70's japanese bikes are no longer cheap-ish (some are). IT wasn't a looks driven scenario, we wanted roadracers for the street and so we built them, now you can go in and buy a zx10 and get exactly that. most of us still dick with old bikes because now it is what we are comfortable with, and we have had decades of our lives wrapped up in that riding experience, but a lot of us own new bikes too, touring rigs, etc.....point it even tho they are fun a bike is still a tool and you need to have the right tool for the job.
i agree, starting young riding on dirt was the best thing i've ever done.
 

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I didn't really have any dirt experience. I know I would have benefitted. I did get my "active" training on my bicycle, and more importantly my dad's snowmobiles. We had two Ski-Doo Olympiques, a 70 335, and a 71 399. I was on the 335. That machine was extremely tippy, and as a wimpy preteen, I was actively throwing what weight I had around on that thing just to keep it on the trail. A full on balls out cornering posture, was almost most identical to the kind of hang off you'd do on an old GS750. On tight twisty one lane trails, it was an almost constant shifting from one side to the other. On good days you could fly down a trail with some manner of grace. On bad days, you might glance off a tree trunk, or bury yourself off the trail. Not the same as dirt riding, but there was a very similar sense of managing the "looseness". When I started riding in 76, the hang off style of riding was rapidly gaining popularity in racing circles, so I was psyched to try it, as it was a blast on the sled.
There was a bit of adjusting to do to get it down. Those two wheels just love to wiggle around if you hang off at the wrong time, don't they. This still comes back to Geet's active vs passive attitudes in riding. The things sure as hell ain't cars.
 

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Discussion Starter #27
Thanks for the info geeto. I live in a rural area with plenty of trails to ride on, so I'm on the hunt for a good used dual sport.
 

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Hey look @this; http://waterloo.craigslist.org/mcy/2514762168.html

perfect

Yes I get that Iowa's too far for you to drive. It's an EXAMPLE of what you should be looking for. Like sasquatches(sasqui) if there's one in my area chances are there's one in yours. Actually I think you would be much more likely to have a breeding population. They use power lines for highways so as to not get lost in the dark.
 

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@ GeeTo yet another killer post First a nice "Sure I'll help you..." post. cracked me up.. fricking great then the follow up with the truth and SOLID advice to keep this new rider safe and welcome.
 

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the short story on dual sports:

drz400 = the most dirt bike, lightest of the "big bikes", not as happy as adventureand long distance steed as some of the other ones but on narrow trail will beat the others listed
XR650l = One step towards the adventure bike. Descendant from XR600 that ruled Baja and even Dakar back in the day. Largely similar as xr600 but l has e-start (and is street legal from factory). Great all arounder - can really do a lot but really not super in any of it.
Dr650 = similar to XR650L but a small step more of a freight train. Like XR its air cooled.
KLR Kawasaki = poor mans BMW GS adventure substitute. Has traveled around the world under many riders, more of an adventure bike than dirt bike. Too big bike for real off road.

I would also consider the smaller ones the dr350, etc. Lighter bikes and often cheap. I have honda XR650L and its Tall and not light. Pick it up a few times and you will feel it - especially air knocked out of you. I took it to a hare and hound but the suspension is nothing compared to real dirt bikes. But you do not see KTM EXCs or honda CRFXs with 50k miles on them.
 

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When I first came here I was shopping for an open face helmet and just purchased a vintage '71 Moto Guzzi. I wish now I had the advice you are getting as my Guzzi is sweet and comfy but it has been at the shop more than on the road. Should have picked up a Ninja twin first.

Oh well - at least it is forcing me to practice riding on a light Yamaha TW dirt bike an in-law is letting me borrow. Oh and I got a full face helmet.

Michael M.

PS: that Guzzi is gonna be awesome some day. I ride it around carefully as if it was a big moped. Anyway.
 

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another bit of advice, buy something that you can out ride. I've got a little 185 that i love to ride, i can easily reach the limits of the bike out on the public street and most of the time i can do it while being legal. Its alot of fun to whip around corners though because its so small.
 

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Hi. Also new to the forum. I'm a relatively new rider. Back in college I messed around on an unregistered Ninja 250 until it got impounded. Now 15 years later, I have been a daily rider (except in the snow) for the last year. I've not regretted having my first bike be a Nighthawk 250. Honestly, the engine is bulletproof. It's a fun ride and has enough power for urban riding. It's also a good size for me (5'6" and 160). I do like the look of the cafe racers but I know I need to ride a bit longer.

I was wondering if someone could clarify the review of the Buell Blast that says it's the bike that falls apart as you ride. I ask because I was thinking of having that be my next "step up" bike. It's cheap. I've read some good reviews and it seems it would be better on the highway/expressway than my Nighthawk. My commutes are generally in the city. I rarely go more than a few miles from home but I do ride almost daily.
 

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Hi. Also new to the forum. I'm a relatively new rider. Back in college I messed around on an unregistered Ninja 250 until it got impounded. Now 15 years later, I have been a daily rider (except in the snow) for the last year. I've not regretted having my first bike be a Nighthawk 250. Honestly, the engine is bulletproof. It's a fun ride and has enough power for urban riding. It's also a good size for me (5'6" and 160). I do like the look of the cafe racers but I know I need to ride a bit longer.

I was wondering if someone could clarify the review of the Buell Blast that says it's the bike that falls apart as you ride. I ask because I was thinking of having that be my next "step up" bike. It's cheap. I've read some good reviews and it seems it would be better on the highway/expressway than my Nighthawk. My commutes are generally in the city. I rarely go more than a few miles from home but I do ride almost daily.
 
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