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Should I?

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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have always wanted a motorcycle but I don't want it as a daily driver, more of a fun day cruiser.

My price range is anything less than 3k and the main thing I want is a bike that's fun to work on with lots of aftermarket and affordable oem parts

The front runner is the Grom for all the reasons above, my only concern is the size will be just a little too small for my liking, I'm a moderately tall guy @6'2" and I feel like the grom might feel like riding a mini bike and that would definitely remove some enjoyment for me.

Maybe I just need to go test ride one and find out

My second choice is a used motorcycle that will be definitely bigger and probably faster and I don't mind putting some work into a bike to get it running but my motorcycle engine experience is pretty sad, if I choose this route I would like something that will be easy to work on even if the bike is older.

I really want a bike that will help me learn how to work on motorcycles and is still fun to ride.

I don't even necessarily need something reliable, just something that I will have to work on but has cheap and easily available parts.

For reference I'm a novice rider, I have some experience on the road but in a 150cc scooter

My question is just this

What motorcycles have you ridden, and what motorcycle was the most fun to work on.
 

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Suzuki sticks in my mind.

If you can control your throttle hand, the SV650 is a nice bike. I had an SV650S, which is more of a cafe racer, with poor ergonomics- stay away from that one. The SV650 has been around for 22 years, is very popular and you should be able to find a good used one without too much work.

If you think you might hit the occasional gravel road or fire trail, the DR-Z400 is a nice all-around bike that's been around about as long as the SV650.

These bikes have a big following, and thus a large online community to help you out with tips, tricks and wrenching. Sort of like ROC on steroids.

If you don't want a clutch, check out the Burgman and the other big scooters, or the Honda NCX bikes.
 

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A question to answer your question......do you have some local motorcycle shops? Check out their used bikes. I'm not much of a mechanic....I'd rather ride than turn a wrench to keep it running/make it run.

Fun.....fun and comfortable......and fast. The DR (yellow one) was a steal, $2500, 1900 miles, never off pavement, pristine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
A question to answer your question......do you have some local motorcycle shops? Check out their used bikes. I'm not much of a mechanic....I'd rather ride than turn a wrench to keep it running/make it run.

Fun.....fun and comfortable......and fast. The DR (yellow one) was a steal, $2500, 1900 miles, never off pavement, pristine.
Thanks for the input and pictures

Honestly I want to work on the bike just as much as I want to ride it, my RL is my reliable and useful vehicle but I want a vehicle that I can work on/ fix/ upgrade without worrying about whether it will get me to work the next day.

I get lots of personal fulfillment from mechanical work and there is no better feeling to me than getting a vehicle to work when it didn't before.
 

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Older ninja 300 or something around there might be in your budget. Enough CC's to have fun but not enough to accidentally kill yourself for a first bike. They are also more upright vs full on sport bikes which will make it much more comfortable to ride.
 

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Similar to your situation, I toy with the idea of a motorbike as a fun zippy companion

Here is a review that rivals those on ye ole BBC


He also built a van camper that fits the Grom in it as well!


TLDW;
the guy is over 6 geet ( 6.1) I believe and around 180lbs. He likes the Grom for what it is; a small fun rider that encourages revving it out like a Miata for the city or light gravel road.
 

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No way on a Grom, to small, underpowered, and to low--people won't notice you. I've had numerous cruisers, from 1200 to 1600cc bikes, all underpowered and heavy as heck. I'm not a speed demon, never had a ticket for anything (never caught), but their are times you have to be able to get out of the way. My favorite type of bikes, are adventure bikes, the tall ,ugly, do it all bikes. I've had two V-Stroms, a 650 (SV650 motor) and a 1,000. Things to look for, ABS brakes, lifesavers themselves, a six speed gearbox, and other than that it's up to you. You may check for a 650 Kawasaki adventure bike, quite a few around. Being you height, a street/trail bike would be more comfortable, lighter weight, less maintence, less insurance cost, and get better mileage, Honda makes a Africa Twin, but it's not cheap.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
No way on a Grom, to small, underpowered, and to low--people won't notice you. I've had numerous cruisers, from 1200 to 1600cc bikes, all underpowered and heavy as heck. I'm not a speed demon, never had a ticket for anything (never caught), but their are times you have to be able to get out of the way. My favorite type of bikes, are adventure bikes, the tall ,ugly, do it all bikes. I've had two V-Stroms, a 650 (SV650 motor) and a 1,000. Things to look for, ABS brakes, lifesavers themselves, a six speed gearbox, and other than that it's up to you. You may check for a 650 Kawasaki adventure bike, quite a few around. Being you height, a street/trail bike would be more comfortable, lighter weight, less maintence, less insurance cost, and get better mileage, Honda makes a Africa Twin, but it's not cheap.

Just from browsing used bikes in my price range I'm seeing a lot cruisers that are too big for me and a good amount of 250-350cc sport bikes that have damage from laying down or crashing, I was wondering if they might work but I think you are dead on for my style, I'm a little intimadated by a bike with more than 400ccs especially a taller one but dual sport is probably exactly what I want and need
 

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My first bike was a new 1980 Honda CX500. Mom wouldn't let me get a bike, but after starting a full time job, and making decent money, I bought one. My first question to the dealer, how to you operate a motorcycle? I had never rode one. (I did know how to operate a manual tranny) He showed me the clutch, brake and so on, I started it up, went on a 4 lane highway home, with a helmet. My dad came home (X-Harley guy) and said let me have the keys, and he took it for a ride around the block. Came back, handed me the key, and said "nice bike son". I was relieved to say the least. You CAN go smaller in motor size, but make sure you have 6 speeds, otherwise it will vibrate the heck out of you on the highway.
 

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All but two of my motorcycles came home in boxes. They were all great fun to put together and looked even better. Reliable....not so much. I'm a sucker for British basket cases.
The other two were a Laverda in 1975 and a Sportster in 2005. I rode the Laverda for 25 years with no problems and gave it away when I decided to stop riding. Five years later I bought the Sporty to get back on two wheels. Still haven't done anything but change oil and tires on that one.

What I'm trying to say is if you want to learn how to fix motorcycles buy a used one. If you want to ride buy a new one.
 

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I had a blast on my 2019 Grom and preferred riding it over my 2019 PCX150 scooter and 2014 VFR800F sport tourer...until I was rear-ended by a distracted driver a couple of years ago while riding home from work. I sold all my two-wheelers and bought a new Miata.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I had a blast on my 2019 Grom and preferred riding it over my 2019 PCX150 scooter and 2014 VFR800F sport tourer...until I was rear-ended by a distracted driver a couple of years ago while riding home from work. I sold all my two-wheelers and bought a new Miata.
I have definitely been thinking about this story when considering a Grom, I know it can and does happen on any bike but I feel like a smaller bike might be more likely to suffer this fate

I will say I do miss ultra high mpg of my little 150 scooter, only had 3/4 of a gallon tank and it would last me as long as a full tank in my car, only real reason I don't have it anymore is it was my daily driver to work for like a whole year and I cracked the cheap engine block one day on my way to work, had to borrow a vehicle from my Father in law for a while so I was bitter about it for a long time.

I got that in a crate and had to assemble part of it myself, I remember the engine was a clone GY6 and was actually pretty impressive besides the poor quality in the end, but it was only like 800$ and I definitely got my money's worth out of it.

I would pretty much be happy with anything that could go faster than that and can do off road, but it would be hard to buy something slower if I'm being frank

I may look into kit bikes and see if that is a thing I and if would be able to do it.
 

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I have definitely been thinking about this story when considering a Grom, I know it can and does happen on any bike but I feel like a smaller bike might be more likely to suffer this fate

I will say I do miss ultra high mpg of my little 150 scooter, only had 3/4 of a gallon tank and it would last me as long as a full tank in my car, only real reason I don't have it anymore is it was my daily driver to work for like a whole year and I cracked the cheap engine block one day on my way to work, had to borrow a vehicle from my Father in law for a while so I was bitter about it for a long time.

I got that in a crate and had to assemble part of it myself, I remember the engine was a clone GY6 and was actually pretty impressive besides the poor quality in the end, but it was only like 800$ and I definitely got my money's worth out of it.

I would pretty much be happy with anything that could go faster than that and can do off road, but it would be hard to buy something slower if I'm being frank

I may look into kit bikes and see if that is a thing I and if would be able to do it.
Bike size nor loud exhausts make you safer from other drivers.

SV650 or Ninja 300 as has already been suggested. Buying something slower? No reason to start on a middleweight sport bike or anything faster than these smallish, comfy bikes. An SV or ninja is more than enough power. I used to race motorcycles. Always got a kick out of the old men on their old, busted up Ninjas hand it to the Panigale riders on track days.

$3k is a pretty small budget. You should be budgeting an additional $1k (more IMO) or so for gear…
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Bike size nor loud exhausts make you safer from other drivers.

SV650 or Ninja 300 as has already been suggested. Buying something slower? No reason to start on a middleweight sport bike or anything faster than these smallish, comfy bikes. An SV or ninja is more than enough power. I used to race motorcycles. Always got a kick out of the old men on their old, busted up Ninjas hand it to the Panigale riders on track days.

$3k is a pretty small budget. You should be budgeting an additional $1k (more IMO) or so for gear…

I know 3K is small but I actually have riding gear already and I am willing to buy a fixer upper bike, also getting a cheap bike is part of the process that I enjoy.

The slower joke was in reference to my 150cc scooter, it would be hard to find a bike slower than that and I wouldn't want it anyway

Top speed I'm happy with 100 and as I won't be taking it on the highway ever I shouldn't need that much but I'm not limited by that either, it's just not a high priority for me
 
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Just gonna throw this out there, even though it may not be the best choice...

I've always wanted a Yamaha TW200. I don't know why. It just looks like a fun little bike to bomb around on, in the perfect small size, but not too little. It may be the only new bike for sale in the U.S. that still has a kickstart. It's been around since the 80s, I think.

The TW200 still had a kickstarter not too long ago, and you could probably retrofit a new bike with a kickstarter. Why a kickstarter? For me, it's nostalgia. All the real bikes had kickstarters. ;) 😁 :devilish:

And the TW200 still gets close to 80mpg even with those fat tires!
 

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My $0.02... Take it for what it's worth.

Start on a straight sitter standard/naked bike or a dual sport. You will have an easy time wrenching on the more exposed mechanicals and not hate yourself when (notice I didn't say "if") you drop it.
Show preference for sub 600cc for starters and avoid mini bikes (Grom, Z125). The ergos on a mini bike as a starter may start you on some bad habits, like putting feet down in tight turns and being so cramped that going lock/lock with the bars is damn near impossible for an adult.
There is a reason MSF starter courses have V-Star 250, CB300F, XT250, Rebel 250 and alike. Enough power and size to get you educated. Bonus is finding one used, using it for your first season or two, then selling it for almost all the cash you have into it for something bigger when you're ready.
All that said, it sounds you're experienced enough to skip this step, but that's up to you and your comfort level.

I started in the mid-80s on a 1979 CM125T. No MSF course, but the local grade school had a bicycle rodeo course painted on the parking lot. When I could do figure 8s on the pegs in the lines meant for grade schoolers on 20" bikes, I knew I was getting decent. Moved to a 454LTD cheap cruiser for late high school and college, then to sport/sport-tour bikes once working and able to handle and afford them. The '79 needed some love several times when I had it, and I learned mechanical skills while learning to ride.

Once you're settled riding (looks like you have gear, so ATGATT) then I'd get into 600cc+ standards (or others) and wrench away.

Short story from the survey = go used, small to mid sized.
 
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