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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

I am 41 y old male, never rode b4, but am looking to start now. So...I went to H-D dealership here today, in Orange County, Ca., looking for a entry-level bike.

I'm 5'10", 185 lbs.

Took the MSF course but am yet to take DMV written at this point (still studying).

So I went to the dealership just to check out the inventory. Sales steered me towards DYNA / Sportster brand model. To me, the bikes were awesome looking, but kinda intimidating (based on their size).

Highly recommended was sportster 1200T model.

Was steered away from the 2 street models...said I'd outgrow it in a mth or 2.

For what its worth, I am looking for casual / rec. riding. Nothing serious--mainly weekend stuff.

Also...picked up gloves / helmet / boots. The leather jackets w/armor are so expensive so I passed on it for now.

Please advise on the model/make for a beginner....thanks!
 

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Kicking Rocks...
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oh boy... here we go again!:DeadHorse::bluduh
 

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Welcome from Pa. I will give you my two cents on what I have done. I bought my HD Sportster about 3 plus years ago. It is a 2005 883 Custom with larger gas tank. I ride back and forth to work and weekends my wife and go out riding for about 2 hours. Right now the Sportsters fits my need but I can see a bigger bike coming in the next year to two years. Sportster is quick and has more than enough power to do what I want to do. Looking back, it was a very good first bike for me and when I trade it in on something newer and bigger I am going to ask for some time alone with it before it is no longer mine. It was and is a very good first bike for me.

Pastor Jeff

P.S. It is all about personal preference on this. Which one fits you the best and which one will you be satisfied with. Mine called out to me when I first saw it.
 

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Welcome from Ga. Sit on a few different bikes and decide which on feels the best. Don't pick one based on looks alone. Remember it has to feel good to you. I've learned that trusting my "gut instinct" usually doesn't steer me wrong. Congratulations!! Hope you find the ride you want!!
 

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Welcome!
How was your experience with the riders course? Since you have only ridden there, and seem to be quite a novice, I'd say, before you buy any bike, take another course. Maybe the MSF advanced course, or some Harley dealers offer courses. Get a good feel for different bikes, before you buy. Maybe you can rent some bikes? Sounds like, any of the three, Street, Dyna, Sportster, could be a candidate for you. Maybe look for some used rides before jumping into a new ride. Both the Dyna and the Street will be easier rides to learn on than a Sportster. They both have lower center of gravities. You might even want to investigate renting other brands than Harley, just to get some riding time before you buy. For most people, their first bike is just that a first, to be replaced after learning the ins and outs. Good riding!
 

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Keep on Ridin’
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Welcome from Baton Rouge!

Have you never ridden a motorcycle of any kind before, ever? If that's the case, some would advise buying an inexpensive import bike to gain some experience on for a few months. A totally new rider can have his hands full trying to get used to operating the machine and learning to handle traffic at the same time. There is a likelihood of dropping the bike at slow maneuvering speeds also. (We've all done it, whether we admit it or not). When you are comfortable with some experience under your belt, you'll be better able to make your choice of a new Harley without have to buy a "stepping stone" bike. My first bike for pavement is my Road King. But I rode dirt bikes for years and had some street experience when I was young. The Road King would have been a challenge if I had never ridden before, but it is absolutely the right bike for me now.

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Keep on Ridin’
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oh boy... here we go again!:DeadHorse::bluduh
This is why they come to the forum--for advice.
(And the "search" function isn't always the easiest thing to master here.)

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Kicking Rocks...
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Welcome to the forum and also to your new world of riding on two wheels. A little experience will go a very long way and you will quickly get over the "intimidation factor" you have right now. The Sportster and also the Dyna bikes may serve you well at first--maybe forever. My personal recommendation would be one of the Dynas as they do sit lower. The extra weight/size of a Dyna versus a Sportster is something you will get over probably during your first ride or two.

You will find that even the biggest Harleys are, with a little experience, very stable and easy to handle even at parking lot speeds.

As has been said, look at them, admire them, sit on them, ask questions of other riders every chance you get, compare different bikes on the HD website, etc., etc. Sooner of later you will find the one calling your name.
 

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Salesman make a lot less money on the Street model. So they steer people toward the bikes they make more money on.

If they have a Street 750 I would suggest you test drive it.

I own one, I bought it because my son started out this year. He has about 3700 miles since July on it. I figure in another year he will start to look for a larger machine. But I will bet the Street will not be traded in. For one thing it is cheap enough to keep around and it really does ride well.

For his second bike I will encourage a softtail bike or may stick him on my Fatboy Lo as I have my eyes on a limited lo.
 

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Keep on Ridin’
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Thanks for the link, Link!

:)


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Had a few different bikes over the past 46+ years. Jumping straight into a Harley can be intimidating at first.

My wife has also ridden for quit a few years. She started out on a Yamaha and Honda then took a break for a few years. Tried to get her to ride my Dyna and she did not like the weight at all. We shopped around a little and she fell in love with a Sporter 1200. It was a little lighter and easier to handle than the Dyna was for her even though it's a little taller. Now that she's got more riding under her belt she also likes my new Softail on the highway but not as much as the Sportster around town. Heck, I even like riding the Sportster in town. It's quick and handles well in tight turns and spaces. After riding all three the Softail has my heart for a good all round ride.

I suggest you test ride a Dyna, Sportster, and Softail to see the difference. As stated above, used is a good way to go for your first Harley. Paying full shot for something you might want to change in a year or two will cost you, and being a new rider you will not really know what will suit you best. Used Harleys hold their value pretty well and most likely you will not loose much or anything on a used trade for a new one after a year or two.
 

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do yourself a favor and buy something used and light weight to learn on. many new riders have found that sportsters are a handful and become discouraged.
 

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Welcome to the forum! You'll read a lot of good advice here. Buy the bike you want! If you feel talked into buying a bike, it's probably not for you. You should feel "one" with the bike, like a good marriage. I personally wouldn't buy a bike I thought I would trade (divorce) later. I'd look at other HD dealers and used as well as new bikes. You'll know it when you ride her! Again, welcome and happy hunting!
 

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There's so called "entry level" Harleys, but I don't think Harleys are "entry level" motorcycles. Unless $10K + is entry level money for you.
Buy used and see if you really like riding. Drop a bike a few times without incurring Hundreds of Dollar repairs. There's thousands of low mileage Harleys parked in garages because owning a Harley wasn't what was expected.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks for all of your inputs! Wasn't aware of the many threads re. beginners -- thanks for pointing that out!

Also...the rider course I took was fast--lasted just 2 days. I learned the basics on a Honda CBR 300. Riding was pretty routine, as we had a great instructor. Plus, the bike was quite easy to maneuver. There were a few other motorcycles there as well. All imports I believe.

Having said that, I do think I will take the Harley course as well since it lasts 5 days. Or maybe the Advanced course offered by MSF.

Really appreciate all of your advice--I've a lot to consider now...

Thanks again :)
 

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Welcome from Dover DE.

I am a new rider, i took a class this past summer, went to harley and fell in love.
I bought a 2014 sportster 48 as my first bike and have never regretted it. i can relate to the intimidation considering I had never ridden a motorcycle until the class, and the class was done on little 250cc yamaha stars. That said, I adapted extremely quick to my 1200cc 48, and got comfy quick. I made a rookie mistake or two at first while getting used to way the bike handled but nothing scary. I am sure the old heads would smite me for saying this, but I started riding in June, I ride everyday it doesn't rain, and I feel like I've been riding for years.

My advice is to test ride some bikes at HD. I didn't personally do this, i knew what I wanted when I went in. Maybe for finding the right fit it would've been better to try other bikes...but I love my 48 and have no regrets.

This is a very expensive "hobby" (i cringe saying that, to me its not a hobby). From the bike, all the gear, and then of course the custom fever that will hit you right away. I've put over $3k of aftermarket action into mine already. Check out some threads for ideas of what your bike could look like down the road.

Best of luck brother, ride safe!
 
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