New Guy with Questions - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 11 Old Jun 10th, 2008, 10:29 pm Thread Starter
 
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New Guy with Questions

Hi guys I'm new here and to riding. I've never ridden before but I'm looking to get into it. I am already signed up for a MSF course coming up.

Right now I'm looking at the 650 series of BMW's. But I don't know which I want. I originally liked the F650CS a couple years ago. But they discontinued it and I started liking the 650GS but know it's gone. Now they have the moto, challenge, and country. But I don't know which suits my needs.

The bike will mainly be used for commuting to work and sometimes school. So 30 miles 1 way at most. Secondly, it will be used for fun. Which includes just cruising, maybe off-roading (if the bike is suitable for it), and short trips to the beach and such.

Also I am a shorter guy about 5'6, so seat height and the ability to lower that is important to me. Lastly, I was also looking at the Ninja 500 but I know it can't go off road at all and trail riding does interest me.

Thanks in advance for the help.
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post #2 of 11 Old Jun 10th, 2008, 10:47 pm
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Re: New Guy with Questions

You may want to consider a good used 650GS. Take a look at the ads on www.bmwmoa.org or on E-Bay. Lot's of good bikes with low mileage.

If you are interested in off roading (also called dual-sport), then the GS is the way to go.

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post #3 of 11 Old Jun 11th, 2008, 7:57 am Thread Starter
 
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Re: New Guy with Questions

I was thinking about that. But since I know nothing about bikes I don't know how to tell if a used bike is a good deal or not and if it's in good condition.
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post #4 of 11 Old Jun 11th, 2008, 9:16 am
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Re: New Guy with Questions

Consider the F800's Two models available now the Touring and the Sport... soon will have the GS also and it will come two versions.

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post #5 of 11 Old Jun 11th, 2008, 10:32 am
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Re: New Guy with Questions

Before (and after) your MSF course, you should read "Proficient Motorcycling: The Ultimate Guide to Riding Well" by David L. Hough. It should be required reading for all new motorcyclists. The 2nd edition was just released, but the first edition is good for what you need. I found it at my local public library. After reading it, I bought my own copy to keep on my shelf.
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post #6 of 11 Old Jun 11th, 2008, 11:27 am
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Re: New Guy with Questions

You might check out a Suzuki 650 V Strom. It puts the single cyl 650 BMW to shame. Dollar for dollar just about the best buy out there.
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post #7 of 11 Old Jun 11th, 2008, 1:23 pm
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Re: New Guy with Questions

At 5' 6" tall, you need to sit on every different bike and find one that fits well, especially for your first bike. My F650ST was a very tall bike, and not good for your first bike because you would not have been able to "flat foot" it. You need a bike on which you can stand up and have both feet flat on the ground.

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post #8 of 11 Old Jun 11th, 2008, 8:54 pm Thread Starter
 
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Re: New Guy with Questions

Ok a few more questions.
1. Regarding the 800GS option. I have been reading a lot online and from what I read. I thought that most people recommended a smaller displacement engine for a beginner. Also, I heard people say the 650 model was a bit easier to control than the 800. Lastly, what would the insurance difference be? (I should mention I am a younger guy only 25) Am I right or is there not that big of a difference?

2. Am I limiting myself to much by mainly looking at BMW's? I really like the brand name and I was looking online and it seemed the BMW community had more camaraderie and had more meets and such than the other brands.
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post #9 of 11 Old Jun 11th, 2008, 11:25 pm
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Re: New Guy with Questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by whitetiger7654
Ok a few more questions.
1. Regarding the 800GS option. I have been reading a lot online and from what I read. I thought that most people recommended a smaller displacement engine for a beginner. Also, I heard people say the 650 model was a bit easier to control than the 800. Lastly, what would the insurance difference be? (I should mention I am a younger guy only 25) Am I right or is there not that big of a difference?

2. Am I limiting myself to much by mainly looking at BMW's? I really like the brand name and I was looking online and it seemed the BMW community had more camaraderie and had more meets and such than the other brands.
The 800 wouldn't concern me as a new rider, it's not that much bigger and BMW's as a whole are fairly friendy when it comes to handling and power bands. A good used 650 might be a good way to start though. There are good deals to be had on low mileage bikes and the 650 is big enough for some serious riding. As to which brand that is a matter of personal choice. Pick one you like that has the features you feel you need for the type of riding you think you will be doing. If you're not sure that's another reason to buy used, with a smaller investment up front it's easier to try something different if your first choice doesn't work out.
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post #10 of 11 Old Jun 12th, 2008, 12:14 pm
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Re: New Guy with Questions

You should also check out the Kawasaki Versys. It is a 650cc and offers an optional lower seating height. You would have the capability of some off-road riding although it really shines on pavement. Several acessories are available (panniers, windscreen, etc). I rode one a few months ago and was very impressed.
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post #11 of 11 Old Jun 12th, 2008, 3:26 pm
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Re: New Guy with Questions

Might I suggest an older, cheaper bike to start on. A friend bought an old mid-70's Honda 750 for $2000, rode it for a summer, sold it for the same $2000 and bought a bike that he really liked for off season prices.

Your first bike is unlikely to be your "keeper for life" bike. Somewhere down the road you will find one you love. Go to a BMW dealer and you can likely test ride a few bikes, if not that day, at least on their anniversary day sales. You can sometimes get test rides at bike shows, etc. Hit every dealer and sit on every bike. And if you ride in, even on an old beater, they might let you do some test rides.

Take your time, enjoy the journey. Start cheap and save your money for the future.

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