Choosing the Bike II: Other options

The New:

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2016 RX3 Cyclone

Another option for consideration in the beginner bike hunt: the CSC RX3. A recent new-comer to the US Market, built by Zongshen Heavy Industries and imported by CSC, the RX3 is a bike that is taking small-displacement motorcycling by storm. With a plethora of accessories available from the dealer, this definitely is a bike that catches my interest. . .

ENGINE: 250cc
WHEELBASE: 55.1″.
SEAT HEIGHT: 31.3″
MSRP: $3,895.00 + Assembly and other fees

The Used:

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Kawasaki Ninja 250

Regularly found in the used market for around $2,000 or less, the Ninja 250 is an excellent and solid choice.

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Buell Blast

A compact, yet sturdy option for a new rider, regularly found for around $2,000 on the used market. While having a shaky history of reliability and support, the Blast offers unique cred with cheap prices.

 

Other Musings

While I continue hunting for solid employment, I continue to build my checklist for my future motorcycle ownership:

  1. Get a solid job. Work every hour you can. Save every penny.
  2. Any bike you want to own, be sure to do your research. Find a forum, a dealer, or another owner of that bike that you can trust so you can learn everything you can about the pros and cons of ownership.
  3. Take a friend with you to help you determine if you’re getting a good deal. Never go alone to look at any bike, both for your safety and to prevent impulse-buying.
  4. Strip out unnecessary clutter in your life. Sell what you can and save your earnings; every little bit helps.
  5. Create a relationship with local shops, a good professional relationship can save you both time and money later on when things go wrong with your bike.
  6. Buy good gear. Cheap gear may seem ok at the beginning, but when you inevitably go down, it won’t be there to keep you as safe as the slightly more expensive gear might.
  7. Any bike you buy needs to be gone over thoroughly, even if its new. Double-check every nut, bolt, and plug to ensure you’re riding the safest bike possible.
  8. Hospital bills are expensive, don’t skimp on insurance.
  9. R.Y.O.R. (Ride Your Own Ride) Don’t allow other people to tell you how you should be riding. Ride your bike in a manner that you think is safe. Its your life. As Todd Cox, from the Wheelnerds podcast, exclaimed emphatically: “Ride your own goddamned ride!”
  10. Practice riding.
  11. Practice even more. There’s no shame in remaining in parking lots and neighborhoods until you feel more confident. Drivers can be very careless, so the more experience you have with your bike, the less likely you are to become road-kill.
  12. The best defense on a bike is not a good offence. That kind of thinking can get you killed. While distancing yourself from other drivers is a laudable goal, reckless and aggressive riding can get you killed faster than driving like a granny. Excessive speed and hole-shotting cars are a great way to hasten the arrival of the Grim Reaper.

More to be added as I think of them. . .

Ride safe, everybody!

Choosing The Bike

Suzuki Update

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Well folks, bad news first. After all the hard work I’ve done on the bike, I found it was for nothing. While not stolen, the title was never properly transferred by a previous owner, so I’m left with a bike that would take months to secure a title, if I ever get one.

So, I decided to make the problem go away. Since I’ve done all the hard work, I’ve supplied other GS500e owners with parts to ensure other GS500e motorcycles can remain on the road. I hope they can use the parts to greater effect than I did.


Choosing The Bike

Since I find myself in need of another bike, I have begun compiling a list of bikes that should work as a beginner learning bike. I prefer the classic “Standard” layout, where seat height and comfort go hand-in-hand. I may look into small-displacement sport-bikes, but for now, here’s what I have so far:

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Cleveland Cyclewerks Misfit (Gen1)

The Misfit by Cleveland Cyclewerks is a “250cc” Motorcycle designed and assembled in America, running a Honda-derived 229cc 4-stroke engine with a 48.42″ wheelbase and a seat height of 31.1″. Brain-child of Scott Colisimo of Cleveland, Ohio, this bike is a look at what American small-manufacturers can produce if given the opportunity. While many question the quality of the bike, owing to its Asian production, the bike commands an almost cult-like following. The brand has been slowly growing in America, so we’ll see how strong its staying power is.

MSRP: $3,195

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SYM Wolf Classic 150

A newcomer to the U.S. market, the SYM is a modern production variant of the venerable Honda CB125. SYM built the bike for Honda throughout its time selling the bike in the U.S., so they likely know what they’re doing. After Honda terminated the CB125 contract following the bike’s removal from the U.S. market, SYM continued to produce the bike for other worldwide markets, namely in Asia. Over time, they updated the bike’s safety features, and upgraded the engine to Honda’s “250” engine. The actual displacement hits very close to the generalized CC mark at 149.4 cc, and the bike is surprisingly well sized with a wheelbase of 49.21″, and a seat height of 30″. Boasting a 24 month limited warranty, the Wolf may just help to break through the dubiousness of the American consumer regarding Taiwanese motorcycles. The popularity of this bike seems to be slowly growing in the American market, so this is a very attractive option.

MSRP: $2,999

2015-TU250X

2015 Suzuki TU250x

A mainstay in the U.S. “Beginner Rider” market, the TU250x is a strong showing from one of the “Big Six”. Lauded for its reliability, beginner rider friendly handling, and strong dealer and aftermarket support, this bike is a strong candidate on the list of potential bikes for my first bike. Weighing in with an engine displacement of 249cc’s, a wheelbase of 54.1″, and a seat height of 30″, the TU250x is a strong contender in the beginner rider scene.

MSRP: $4,399

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2015 Honda CMX250C Rebel

Another candidate offered by one of the “Big Six”, the Honda Rebel is a ubiquitous sight at MSF ranges and new rider meet-ups. Backed by over a half-century of history, Honda has dominated the small-displacement beginner rider for years with solid bikes and strong customer support. With a strong aftermarket supply, this bike has an option to really become something unique and special. Getting one of these used can be difficult, as owners rarely let them go, and if they do, they’re not cheap. Sitting pretty with an engine displacement of 234cc, a seat height of 26.6″, and a wheelbase of 57″, this bike proves year after year why it commands the respect it does.

MSRP: $4,190

 

More bikes to be added as needed. . .