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Biker? Not yet...

Like many people around the world, I've had a long-standing interest in having a motorcycle for many years.  Recently, however, I've begun to actually think of getting one, and being a biker a reality.  I'm still not in a financial place to make it reality, but, I've begun researching bikes and riding.

At least aesthetically, I've found myself drawn to [url=]cruiser-type bikes[/url] in the classic Harley vein.  With that in mind, I started my bike research with the Harley Davidson website, taking a look at the current line of models.  Luckily, I found myself attracted to their cheapest bikes Smile such as the Iron 883.  I don't think I need a tonne of power, or anything really big... but I will be riding for 2hr or more at a time, and in hilly/old mountain terrain (on road), as one of my main intentions is to use it to get to and from work each week (I work in a mountain national park on the Atlantic coast).  I could be wrong, but I figure something in the 500-1000cc range should have more than enough oomph to power me up steep windy roads (any advice is welcome, of course!).
To my eye, even a cheap Harley is still kinda expensive, and they don't seem to take much of a price hit in the used market.  On the recommendation of a friend, I checked out the Honda Shadow line, and they look to be pretty nice, and at a better price than a Harley... there are even a few for sale used locally for between $3000-7000.

Ah well, it's still gonna be a while before I can get a bike... likely not this year, so I won't have the benefit of it for going to/from work this year.  All in good time Wink

3 blog comments below

Personally speaking I wouldn't have a Harley if you gave me a 50% discount and free leathers to boot.
I've ridden several. In fact I rode a softail Heritage classic 1200 through the deserts from Los Angeles up to 29 Palms (towards Las Vegas). Looks great, handles like a washing machine and goes like a pensioner with a zimmer frame.
It all depends what you want of course. Part of the joy of having a bike, for me, is knowing that you can just go 'bye bye' to anything on the road whenever you feel like it.
You can, of course, get a Harley to go nicely by liberating more power from the motor with after-market bits, uprating the suspension unit and putting some better brakes on it, but I really object to the notion of spending over the odds for the bike (they are overpriced) and then having to basically rebuild it to get a decent ride. The other thing is the chrome parts are made from some special chrome that you normally find wrapped-around chocolate bars - with the same durability and shelf-life.

Admittedly I'm a fan of Jap touring bikes. Shadow ? Not really my thing either. I currently ride a Yamaha FJR 1300 and if I were you I would seriously look at it (there is a US model). It is the best bike I have ever owned - and I've owned a LOT of bikes.
It is fast (properly fast), reliable, mega-comfortable (you can ride all day and get off with no aches and pains) and can carry as much luggage as you would ever need, whilst still keeping up with the sports-bike boys.
Alternatively have a look at the following - all bikes which I have owned and can vouch for:
Honda VFR 750 (older) or 800 (newer) - fantastically reliable and fast enough to catch pigeons.
Yam TDM900 - much underrated and therefore can pick them up cheap - excellent all-rounder.
BMW 1200RT or 1200GT - both excellent touring bikes
BMW F 800 ST - great tourer with a slightly smaller profile and engine.
if you want something more head-turning and exotic then lookup the Ducatti ST3 tourer - babe magnet Smile

Any of those would be a great choice and I guarantee that they would not disappoint... Smile

The most important advice I'll give you is:
Enrol on an advanced riding course (the Police run some here and I did one of those many moons ago - best thing I ever did). You will learn how to ride properly. The basic test gets you riding but the advanced gets you riding properly, understanding counter-steering, tapered braking, throttle-clutch control etc etc. It is undeniably dangerous to ride a motorbike (which is an attraction for me rather than the opposite) but once you can ride one well then I bet you never want to get in a cage again Smile
Bikerman on Sun May 06, 2012 6:36 pm
Exactly the sort of reply I was hoping for: experience and suggestion Smile

I'll definitely look into those suggestions. I'd kinda assumed that bikes like the BMWs would be out of my range, but, they really seem like good proper bikes... but I'll take a look to be sure Wink Think I'll steer clear of the "babe magnets" lest my wife get angry Wink
Ankhanu on Sun May 06, 2012 7:01 pm
You should be able to pick up any of those bikes for reasonable money. My FJR cost me £3000, in perfect condition (high mileage but full service history so no problem).
Bikerman on Sun May 06, 2012 7:45 pm

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