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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Folks,

I'm new to the forums. My friend just purchased a Street 750 and I'm obsessed with getting a motorcycle, specifically a Harley-Davidson of my own. The problem is that I'm not sure what I want.

I'm completely new to riding and the motorcycle world. I don't even know what to call it without looking stupid, a bike, a motorcycle, something else? All I do know is that I want to ride. I'm even registered for the Ohio's version of the beginner rider / motorcycle safety course.

I know I'm not ready for a road king, ultra, or a V-Rod. Boy do I love the look of a V-Rod, but I know it's too much bike for me right now.

I'm 6'1'' and 210 lbs. I've sat on the 750, but I'm wondering if it's too small a bike for me (my knees sit slightly above the tank). The salesperson said that it is a great first bike, but I may outgrow it in a year or even after a season of riding. I'm wondering if I should spring for a Sportster instead (Iron 883, Forty-Eight, etc.). I sat on a 1200 Custom and found the ergonomics to be better for my size. I also have a bad lower back, so no prolonged hunching over or sport bikes for me. I wonder if this means no V-Rod Night Special either?

What should I do for my first Harley, learn on the smaller, easier to handle 750, or just go ahead and get a Sportster?

Cheers,
kp
 

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Welcome from Kentucky. And welcome soon to the world of riding on 2 wheels.

I suggest you visit one or more dealers and sit on a number of bikes. Obviously you have already sat on a 750 and a Sporty. Fine bikes. But don't discount the Dyna and Softail models as well--any of them can be a good first bike.
 

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There's really no such thing as a "starter" bike, imo. The slowest of them is fast enough to get you killed. As long as you are physically able to manage the machine at very low speed, you're good. You do want one that you are comfortable on.

You just need to spend as much time as you can sitting on them and judging what's comfortable for you. The only advice I can offer is:

Don't buy anything until you have completed the course. Even that brief experience is likely to change your perception

You might consider renting a few different models so that you can spend some time with them in your setting and at your pace. It's very hard to get a sense of how the bike will behave with just a short test ride.

Buy used. No matter what you think you like, it can easily change once you have a few thousand miles under your belt. If you buy a H-D used at the right price, you can probably ride it a year and sell it for nearly what you paid. Plus, you very well may drop it a few times as you learn. Dropping a $8K bike sucks, but not as much as dropping a $20K bike.

Plus, there are a LOT of people who think they really want to ride a MC. I get it. The notion of it is pretty sexy, but once they get it out on the road and someone (or themselves) scare the crap out of them, they lose interest fast. I hope that's not you, but it happens. If you buy used, you're out less money.

Good luck!
 

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There's really no such thing as a "starter" bike, imo. The slowest of them is fast enough to get you killed. As long as you are physically able to manage the machine at very low speed, you're good. You do want one that you are comfortable on.

You just need to spend as much time as you can sitting on them and judging what's comfortable for you. The only advice I can offer is:

Don't buy anything until you have completed the course. Even that brief experience is likely to change your perception

You might consider renting a few different models so that you can spend some time with them in your setting and at your pace. It's very hard to get a sense of how the bike will behave with just a short test ride.

Buy used. No matter what you think you like, it can easily change once you have a few thousand miles under your belt. If you buy a H-D used at the right price, you can probably ride it a year and sell it for nearly what you paid. Plus, you very well may drop it a few times as you learn. Dropping a $8K bike sucks, but not as much as dropping a $20K bike.

Plus, there are a LOT of people who think they really want to ride a MC. I get it. The notion of it is pretty sexy, but once they get it out on the road and someone (or themselves) scare the crap out of them, they lose interest fast. I hope that's not you, but it happens. If you buy used, you're out less money.

Good luck!
The above: Could not have said it better myself. Especially getting a good used bike to start with to learn how to ride.

You will need to learn coordinating the clutch, throttle, brakes, handling, and riding a bike instead of driving a car. And as said
above it is better to drop a used bike than a shiny, new, $20K bike.

Good Luck!
 

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Lost in Space
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Welcome form NE Ohio. What part of the state are you in?

Check out the used Dynas the Super Glide is a great easy to handle bike. Would suggest a used bike as said before it is less painful dropping a used bike. Good luck in your search. Find a bike you feel comfortable sitting on and enjoy.
 

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+1 for going used, even at a dealership you can find Sportster in great shape with low miles for around $5000. Like was stated previously, if you feel that this is too small for you after a year or so, you could still get close to your purchase price back out of it. I have never purchased a bike new, if you are patient and really shop around, you typically can pick up a bike with really low miles and a ton of extra goodies on it, because someone needs to sell fast.
 

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street bob or wide glide used is the way to go I bought my iron brand new dropped it 2 weeks later. first bike I ever rode I have already out grown it at 900 miles
 

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I bought my first bike new. It was a honda shadow 750cc. In two years I traded it in for a used roadking and a year after that I bought a used ultra classic. You will quickly outgrow your first bike. What you end up doing is justifying why you want a new bike then after riding awhile you figure out that you want is something that feels good riding. Once you get your license rent a few and put a couple hundred miles on and then make a decision.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Welcome form NE Ohio. What part of the state are you in?

Check out the used Dynas the Super Glide is a great easy to handle bike. Would suggest a used bike as said before it is less painful dropping a used bike. Good luck in your search. Find a bike you feel comfortable sitting on and enjoy.
Thanks for the feedback, peanut. I'm from Cleveland (east side).
 

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Dirty Member
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NCHogg has a nice 2008 Dyna for sale on this forum. If the price was right, it might be worth a road trip.
 

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VA Fender Bender
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5,551 Posts
There's really no such thing as a "starter" bike, imo. The slowest of them is fast enough to get you killed. As long as you are physically able to manage the machine at very low speed, you're good. You do want one that you are comfortable on.

You just need to spend as much time as you can sitting on them and judging what's comfortable for you. The only advice I can offer is:

Don't buy anything until you have completed the course. Even that brief experience is likely to change your perception

You might consider renting a few different models so that you can spend some time with them in your setting and at your pace. It's very hard to get a sense of how the bike will behave with just a short test ride.

Buy used. No matter what you think you like, it can easily change once you have a few thousand miles under your belt. If you buy a H-D used at the right price, you can probably ride it a year and sell it for nearly what you paid. Plus, you very well may drop it a few times as you learn. Dropping a $8K bike sucks, but not as much as dropping a $20K bike.

Plus, there are a LOT of people who think they really want to ride a MC. I get it. The notion of it is pretty sexy, but once they get it out on the road and someone (or themselves) scare the crap out of them, they lose interest fast. I hope that's not you, but it happens. If you buy used, you're out less money.

Good luck!
truth, nothing but the truth...
 

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Indian Larry
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Welcome from north Texas!
Others have offered good advise. Just make sure you take the coarse and practice all you can. The more miles you log, the better you'll know what YOU want
Good hunting!
 

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lots of good advice here as said before rider course will teach you a lot
rent a few bikes if you can check out dynas and the soft tails go to some bike nights local
look and ask (don't touch lol) most will love to tell you about there bike what mods they did and why after purchase expect to spend some money on seat bars or pipes to make bike your own
not to mention riding gear jacket chaps or pants helmet gloves and such
 

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If you're 6'1", 210 lbs and health there isn't a bike out there that is too much bike for you if you take your time in making a decision.. Take the course, take some time to think about the type of riding you'll be doing most (short hops, touring, solo or two up, etc.), take as many demo rides as you can and you'll figure it out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Wow, I am floored by the responses here. This is all great advice. Thank you to everyone who posted and offered feedback.

I'm going to do what many of you suggested, complete the basic riding course first (this weekend), test ride a few bikes, ask lots of questions, and try to figure out what I want for myself and what kind of riding I want to do.

I'll let everyone know how it goes.
 
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