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Should I?

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I agree with what Vlad said re: working on the exposed mechanicals. It will be more of a pain to pull plastics off of even a small sportbike than an SV650 for work/maintenance. Unless you're interested in riding on the track, where race plastics can be removed quickly. If that's the case, I have a 2015 ZX10 for sale...
 

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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.
My brother had a 454 back in the very early 80s. I remember it was a big deal for him to ride that thing to college nearly four hours away, and then ride it home on weekends. Fond memories!
 

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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
I hear ya on the scooter. I started on a Gixxer 600. Not my smartest move.

Good on you for getting a fixer upper. Time for a cafe style bike!

Good you have gear as well. I will stay off my soapbox on that one hehe. It's really not that expensive and once you get used to it, not that big of a deal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
I hear ya on the scooter. I started on a Gixxer 600. Not my smartest move.

Good on you for getting a fixer upper. Time for a cafe style bike!

Good you have gear as well. I will stay off my soapbox on that one hehe. It's really not that expensive and once you get used to it, not that big of a deal.

I totally get the gear thing though, I have seen plenty of bad examples and the results of such.

Thanks for all the tips though, it did make me reconsider if I should keep using my helmet, it's pretty old and I don't remember hitting it on anything but it's probably better to be safe there
 

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I totally get the gear thing though, I have seen plenty of bad examples and the results of such.

Thanks for all the tips though, it did make me reconsider if I should keep using my helmet, it's pretty old and I don't remember hitting it on anything but it's probably better to be safe there
General rule used to be 5 years. Not sure if that's changed now. But helmets are super inexpensive. Unless you get the fanciest Arai out there. It's been proven that a $100 helmet performs just as well (better in some instances) than a $600 helmet. Getting the right fit is tricky. I always spent too much on them because I liked the fun graphics hehe. Good luck and let us know what you end up with. Winter isn't really too far away (depending on where you live) and lots of good deals to be had.
 

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Have you considered buying a Vespa? I love scooters around town. Love not having a clutch in traffic. Lots of mods you can do and plenty of on-line forum support, you tube videos, etc. And being in Arizona - you aren't straddling a hot engine like you do with a conventional motorcycle. Look for a GTS if you really feel the need for speed! Search far and wide on Cycle Trader and use the Ridgeline to go get just the right one!


 

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You may find some deals later in the year as pointed out above. I wore a good helmet, and still do on my ATV, but price isn't a way to judge a helmet. I had several HJC and a couple of Simpsons that all fit my big head. For clothes, I had a flo. orange construction insulated jacket I picked up at a flea market (new), and with my flo. orange helmet, I looked like a orange Michelin man. I also had heated bibs, I rode year round, not in snow, but down to 20 deg. was do able. I remember back in the 80's, a 500cc bike was big, Honda had the Silverwing which many rode two up on. A 1,000 cc bike was huge back then and many did not even exist. If you stay around 600cc or smaller I think you'll be O.K.
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
Have you considered buying a Vespa? I love scooters around town. Love not having a clutch in traffic. Lots of mods you can do and plenty of on-line forum support, you tube videos, etc. And being in Arizona - you aren't straddling a hot engine like you do with a conventional motorcycle. Look for a GTS if you really feel the need for speed! Search far and wide on Cycle Trader and use the Ridgeline to go get just the right one!



Not really interested in another scooter, and vespas are already at the higher end of my budget, I don't think it would be a great fit for me.


You may find some deals later in the year as pointed out above. I wore a good helmet, and still do on my ATV, but price isn't a way to judge a helmet. I had several HJC and a couple of Simpsons that all fit my big head. For clothes, I had a flo. orange construction insulated jacket I picked up at a flea market (new), and with my flo. orange helmet, I looked like a orange Michelin man. I also had heated bibs, I rode year round, not in snow, but down to 20 deg. was do able. I remember back in the 80's, a 500cc bike was big, Honda had the Silverwing which many rode two up on. A 1,000 cc bike was huge back then and many did not even exist. If you stay around 600cc or smaller I think you'll be O.K.
Climate plays a huge part in motorcycle prices in Arizona, right now is probably one of my best times to buy, its just too hot to ride right now and its never too cold to ride, we get down to 20F at the very lowest in winter but usually its around 40F most mornings, and a leather jacket is usually enough for that. I dont have the money atm to spend but i will be making my decision soon, yall have been a huge help and im looking forward to getting a bike now and working on it just as much as im looking forward to riding it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
I think I just found exactly what I was looking for on OfferUp, this guy is selling a low mileage but beaten up dr650, and he listed it as a lot of 3 bikes for 1,100, seeing how much he wants for the 650 and if he is willing to wait I will give him more than he asks, this got me kind of excited

415392
 

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That looks like it could be fun for both wrenching and riding. As long as there aren't major running issues that will eat your billfold and you could get it for a few hundred bucks. My preference would be getting one in much better condition and use 2/3 of your budget instead of 1/3 or less. Bet you could find someone liberating an early 2000s model in great shape for $2000-$2500. Your cash and time, so do what's right for you. I bet you'll have the difference into parts quickly.
Some quick observations...
Choke cable wrapped on bars and going to nowhere?
No bar end weights and replacement grips covering accommodations. Not sure if all years had them, but if they're missing, vibes will have you tingling quickly.
Nest of wires peeking out at tank/seat gap. Is that a wire nut?
Mad Max fan or roughed up? What's with killing the factory yellow, blue or white?
All light stalks and reflectors missing. Won't be street legal without indicators.
Chain guard gone. Grab rails gone. Side plate shifted forward. Maybe not important if not going 2 up.
Tank seat gap is HUGE. What's moved and why?
Brake fluid looks clear, that's good. Hope it's not so low I'm just not seeing it! I'd expect carmel for the condition of the rest of it.

I have a 1995 VFR750. one owner I'm willing to sell for $3000. Battery and you'd be safely on the road in minutes. A small amount of body TLC and you'd be OEM sexy too. Again - your money and time.....
 

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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
That looks like it could be fun for both wrenching and riding. As long as there aren't major running issues that will eat your billfold and you could get it for a few hundred bucks. My preference would be getting one in much better condition and use 2/3 of your budget instead of 1/3 or less. Bet you could find someone liberating an early 2000s model in great shape for $2000-$2500. Your cash and time, so do what's right for you. I bet you'll have the difference into parts quickly.
Some quick observations...
Choke cable wrapped on bars and going to nowhere?
No bar end weights and replacement grips covering accommodations. Not sure if all years had them, but if they're missing, vibes will have you tingling quickly.
Nest of wires peeking out at tank/seat gap. Is that a wire nut?
Mad Max fan or roughed up? What's with killing the factory yellow, blue or white?
All light stalks and reflectors missing. Won't be street legal without indicators.
Chain guard gone. Grab rails gone. Side plate shifted forward. Maybe not important if not going 2 up.
Tank seat gap is HUGE. What's moved and why?
Brake fluid looks clear, that's good. Hope it's not so low I'm just not seeing it! I'd expect carmel for the condition of the rest of it.

I have a 1995 VFR750. one owner I'm willing to sell for $3000. Battery and you'd be safely on the road in minutes. A small amount of body TLC and you'd be OEM sexy too. Again - your money and time.....
He asked 500$ for it which I can basically afford at any time and it would be pretty easy for me to buy a couple parts a month until I get everything I need even if I end up spending over my budget I can spend more if it's spread out over time

I really appreciate the breakdown of potential issues on sight, it gives me a lot to think about
 

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At 6'2" you're way to big for a Grom. The Kawasaki KLR 650 have been made forever and have outsold both the Honda XR 650 and the Suzuki DR 650 combined. It has a huge aftermarket and OEM parts are cheap too. Very comfortable for a tall guy. The only weakness is the "doo hickey" Eagle Mike makes the replacement part. Buying used asked if the doo hickey has been fixed. If the seller doesn't know what you're talking about, walk away.
 

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I owned a KLR650 and DR650SE back to back. IMO, the DR was more "flickable" with much better brakes, than the KLR. The DR is lighter than the KLR. Also, iirc, the KLR had bucket/shim valve adjustment vs the much simpler nut/screw valve adjustment the DR had. More maintenance with the water cooled KLR vs the air cooled DR. The DR had an oil cooler bigger than the Ridgeline's tranny cooler.:eek: I read numerous posts in thumper forums saying the only way to overheat the DR was to wrap the motor in a blanket.👌 Again, just my $0.02 having both.
 

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The points that HRL makes about the DR are valid. But the KLR is a better road bike and has a huge gas tank. Replacing the DR's gas tank is as common as fixing the KLR doo hickey. The later model KLR has a very comfortable seat. That's something no one says about the Suzuki. Since your interested in working on the bike, do a Google search and see what has more available parts.

If your main focus is riding dirt then the Honda is better still.

In any case at the very least do a test ride for comfort and fit.
 

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I will agree the KLR is a little more road worthy with a little more comfortable seat. However, there are dozens and dozens of bikes far more road worthy than the KLR and DR.….just like there are dozens and dozens of bikes far more off-road worthy than the KLR and DR.
 

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I'll chime in.

Since you mentioned a Grom (125cc) you're talking lightweight. I agree with others that you're too tall for it (but it will be fun as heck). Perhaps a Yamaha XT250 or XT225? Earlier models are carbureted and super easy to work on, plus there are tons of aftermarket parts and accessories. For something a little taller in height, might I suggest a Honda CRF250L or Yamaha WR250R. All are dual sport bikes and reliable.
 

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Based on your height and what your desire to learn, look at Suzuki DR650 or Kawasaki KLR650. There are tons of information and forums for help. The aftermarket is loaded with accys as they are two very popular bikes. Being a single cylinder, you will find it easier to work on while learning. Both are very solid bikes that can cover a lot of ground in riding, from street to dirt. You should be able to handle loading/unloading on your own if you wish to take with you. The DR and first gen KLRs would be light enough (wet) for a hitch mount carrier. My family has owned a shop since 1974. Grew up around bikes. Those two models are my favorite swiss army knife bikes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #40 ·
Based on your height and what your desire to learn, look at Suzuki DR650 or Kawasaki KLR650. There are tons of information and forums for help. The aftermarket is loaded with accys as they are two very popular bikes. Being a single cylinder, you will find it easier to work on while learning. Both are very solid bikes that can cover a lot of ground in riding, from street to dirt. You should be able to handle loading/unloading on your own if you wish to take with you. The DR and first gen KLRs would be light enough (wet) for a hitch mount carrier. My family has owned a shop since 1974. Grew up around bikes. Those two models are my favorite swiss army knife bikes.
That's exactly what I'm looking at, I can probably get a smaller bike for cheaper but I want this to be MY bike and with how much work I plan to do this bike will mean a lot, I think bigger is better in this case.

Thank you so much for your input it's very valuable
 
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