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Hello everyone, I'm new here, this is my first post and the reason I'm here is to ask for opinions before buying an iron 883 and regretting it later.

So here are my options :
1. Iron 883
2. Honda rebel
3. Suzuki gsr 600

I have done some extensive reading and everyone seems to advice against an iron as a first bike. However, i need to hear that based to my personal profile since this is by far my first choice and anything else is just a compromise.

I'm 46, 171, 80kg and quite stronger than most people that I see riding harleys. I drive car for almost 30 years, never caused an accident and i am mature enough at this age to use my brain in order to avoid accidents or dropping a bike (at least i believe so). On the other hand, i never had a bike and I'm just learning now in order to get my license. I'm learning on a gsr 600 and i find it easy for now. I plan to start driving in the neighborhood in order to get used to it gradually before hitting the roads.

I live in the city and usually i drive in crowded roads, not stuck in heavy traffic though but it's not like I will be driving in open roads without many cars. I'm also dreaming of some weekend trips in the highway.

Now, given all the details above, plus my lack of experience but maturity on the other hand, given that i don't want to drop the bike since that would kill my confidence, and that i also need some comfort and flexibility on the daily driving in those roads, is the iron a bad choice? Is it true that "you will definitely drop your first bike during the first year"? Given that I also need to handle some maneuvering during the busy hours (which is always the case) should i sacrifice my first choice and choose something else?

I understand that my question might sound stupid but since i have never rode a bike before, this is where i am

Opinions welcome guys.

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weird member
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It's not true that you will drop your first bike within the first year. Sometimes it takes two. 😝

As to your first bike... get something used. Although it would be great if you picked a Harley, pick what's comfortable.

Sportsters are not bad bikes at all, but if you go to a dealer, don't be afraid of the softails. They look bigger, they are a little heavier, but many find them easier and more comfortable, especially on longer trips. Then again, plenty take long trips on Sportsters too and they can be made to be comfortable. They just handle differently, and some like the feel of the Sportster more, others the Softails.

That said, a cruiser style motorcycle is going to be more comfortable longer distance than a sportbike, generally speaking.

Just try a few and see what is comfortable.

However, a really good thing to try, is take either the Harley Riding Academy course or the MSF basic rider course. Yes, the bikes are much smaller and lighter, but riding a motorcycle is way different than driving a car. I think the basic course is only around $200 for MSF, I dunno about the Harley course. But, it will teach you all the basic operational aspects of a motorcycle and allow you to get a feel for it a lot faster than just winging it in the back yard. Lot better to spend $200 to possibly find out riding isn't for you than to spend $2,000+ (for used) or $10,000+ (for new). Plus, it's a lot safer to learn on a closed course rather than in a neighborhood, and if you do drop it, no big deal, it's their beater bike, not yours.

After taking a basic safety course, then go sit on a few and see what's comfortable. At least with a Harley, if it doesn't seem comfortable, you can envision what would make it comfortable and modify it in a huge amount of ways (seat, handlebars, foot pegs/boards).

The 883 is not a good or bad first bike. There's no such thing as a good or bad bike for a beginner (well, maybe a full heavy bagger might be a bad choice in first bike). The best first motorcycle is one that you're comfortable with. And, if you decide to go with the Sportster and decide to go new, find out if that full trade-in upgrade program is available if you decide you want to go with a different bike.

Also, don't worry about physical strength. You only need to be strong enough to lift it off of the kick stand. There's even tiny women that ride baggers. You don't need to be physically strong to ride: the bike does all the work, even when turning. Just don't park it where you have to back it up uphill.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
It's not true that you will drop your first bike within the first year. Sometimes it takes two.

As to your first bike... get something used. Although it would be great if you picked a Harley, pick what's comfortable.

Sportsters are not bad bikes at all, but if you go to a dealer, don't be afraid of the softails. They look bigger, they are a little heavier, but many find them easier and more comfortable, especially on longer trips. Then again, plenty take long trips on Sportsters too and they can be made to be comfortable. They just handle differently, and some like the feel of the Sportster more, others the Softails.

That said, a cruiser style motorcycle is going to be more comfortable longer distance than a sportbike, generally speaking.

Just try a few and see what is comfortable.

However, a really good thing to try, is take either the Harley Riding Academy course or the MSF basic rider course. Yes, the bikes are much smaller and lighter, but riding a motorcycle is way different than driving a car. I think the basic course is only around $200 for MSF, I dunno about the Harley course. But, it will teach you all the basic operational aspects of a motorcycle and allow you to get a feel for it a lot faster than just winging it in the back yard. Lot better to spend $200 to possibly find out riding isn't for you than to spend $2,000+ (for used) or $10,000+ (for new). Plus, it's a lot safer to learn on a closed course rather than in a neighborhood, and if you do drop it, no big deal, it's their beater bike, not yours.

After taking a basic safety course, then go sit on a few and see what's comfortable. At least with a Harley, if it doesn't seem comfortable, you can envision what would make it comfortable and modify it in a huge amount of ways (seat, handlebars, foot pegs/boards).

The 883 is not a good or bad first bike. There's no such thing as a good or bad bike for a beginner (well, maybe a full heavy bagger might be a bad choice in first bike). The best first motorcycle is one that you're comfortable with. And, if you decide to go with the Sportster and decide to go new, find out if that full trade-in upgrade program is available if you decide you want to go with a different bike.

Also, don't worry about physical strength. You only need to be strong enough to lift it off of the kick stand. There's even tiny women that ride baggers. You don't need to be physically strong to ride: the bike does all the work, even when turning. Just don't park it where you have to back it up uphill.
That was very helpful. Thank you very much

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Plus 1 on the Harley-Davidson or MSF courses . . . I think the Harley-Davidson Riding Academy course in my area (Minnesota) is around $300. The advantage is that you don't have to provide your own bike and if you drop a bike during training, it's a bike specifically outfitted for training with accessories added to protect the bike and rider. The knowledge learned can save your life because there are sooooooo many situations you are going to find yourself in. After 30 + years of riding, I still consider myself a "work in progress" and am never satisfied that I am a master at riding. There is always something new I can learn. Around here Harley uses the Street 750. My wife used to own a Street 750. Nice bike for a new rider, liquid cooled (good for in and around town riding) and easy to work on. A year later she upgraded to a Forty-Eight. I am 6'2", 215 lbs. and the Street 750 was too small for me along with the 250 Honda Rebel she had before her first Harley-Davidson. The Iron 883 has a higher center of gravity. I like the looks of the Iron 883 and if money were no object, I'd have one in my garage as part of a collection.

You can always test ride and see what you think . . . Harley Demo Days allow you to try out a couple different bikes.

Good Luck!
 

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My wife’s 1st bike is a 2018 Heritage Classic. It is bigger and heavier than a sporty but center of gravity is lower and she handles it well (only 5’7” and maybe 150lbs). It is easy small enough in traffic but still big enough for her to ride across country on.


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Gypsy on Parade
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Get what you want. If you want the 883, you will always regret getting something different "for now". Too often, "for now" becomes much longer than you think. As others have said, test ride several different bikes, then purchase what you are comfortable with, and that your heart tells you is the one for you.

Good luck.
 

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Get a used 883 that has already depreciated , it may have a scratch here or there , but as a first bike you'll probably drop it and add a few more in the first year. Once you feel confident in your riding skills , take the time to pick out what model you want and can afford ......after test riding them all.
 

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I've had 2 Iron 883s so far, great bike and sportster parts are cheap and accessible compared to the bigger models. That being said you will probably be a lot more comfortable long term on a softail as mentioned above, try sitting on different bikes and maybe get your endorsement first so they will let you test ride at your local dealership.
 
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