Considering a motorcycle...

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orangevale

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I live about 8 miles from my office, do a lot of around-town driving, and am sick of filling the tank in my truck. I've never had a motorcycle but I think I have my wife on board with me buying my first bike.

So, I'm hoping some of you more experienced guys might be able to give some advice as to where I should start and what I should be looking for.

I am not looking for a crotch rocket... As far as looks go I really like the looks of the Indian Scout and most Harleys. Is it unseasonable to budget $8000?

I feel like an idiot with this stuff. Guns, guitars, mountain bikes, knives, that's what I know; bikes are completely foreign to me!
I have no personal experience with motorcycles.

I worked with a guy who commuted (including some highway miles) on a BMW scooter. Based on your stated intended use and experience level, you might take a look. I do not remember if he had a 400cc or 650cc model.

2021 BMW C 400 X [Specs, Features, Photos] | wBW (webbikeworld.com)

2021 BMW C 650 GT [Specs, Features, Photos] | wBW (webbikeworld.com)
 

joegrizzy

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I have no personal experience with motorcycles.

I worked with a guy who commuted (including some highway miles) on a BMW scooter. Based on your stated intended use and experience level, you might take a look. I do not remember if he had a 400cc or 650cc model.

2021 BMW C 400 X [Specs, Features, Photos] | wBW (webbikeworld.com)

2021 BMW C 650 GT [Specs, Features, Photos] | wBW (webbikeworld.com)
the scooters are an iffy area for my personal opinion. there's lot of advantages for a new rider:

-easy to ride, most have cvt so you just twist the throttle and go
-cheaper parts and maintenance (sometimes, depends because vespas are actually fairly pricey)
-don't need a bike license on scooters
-easier to get onto, probably a more comfortable position than being tucked on a crotch rocket (most people tuck to look cool, or because it's windy af and they don't have a screen)

BUT, imo they have a lot of cons that get overlooked:

-easy to ride, like baby simple, most have cvt so you don't ever shift. doesn't teach you skills that will translate to other bigger bikes and imo isn't as fun. (some people it is)
-tiny, TINY wheels that more likely to experience a loss of control from hitting any kind of obstruction (limb, pothole, curb, uneven lane, gravel, random crease in pavement, odd unexpected pitch change in road, etc etc)
-less noise, harder to spot from traffic
-while being light and nimble, they still have those tiny short wheels. it's like riding a kids bike, you can't lean much or it's sliding. i've seen plenty of people slide one down in places like midtown and the paseo. too many people riding them drunk because they think they can.
-most people don't bother with safety gear because they think "it's just a scooter" but in fact they have worse rates than small motorcycles (bob barry jr and jim ross's wife comes to mind. people who likely wouldn't have gotten on a "crotch rocket" because it was "scary" but a cute little scooter they thought was just fine. didn't realize the scooter is more dangerous and YOU NEED GEAR)

i had a former coworker commute 30+ miles every day on a honda big ruckus. he took it on the highway no problems. i assume it's still running because they are very reliable. but he geared up, didn't treat it like "not a motorcycle".

for price, longevity, cool factor, i'd go Honda Grom over scooter any day.
i see Groms *everywhere*.
 

kingfish

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Biggest problem with a scooter is visibility to distracted drivers. Very hard to see. I like big bright colored bikes with lots of lights. The one thing I like about a big cruiser is if some moron pulls out in front of me, I want to do the most damage possible when I plow into their door. If I have to die, I want them to as well.
 

cjjtulsa

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Bigger problem with a scooter to me is power; you don't need a Hayabusa, but there's many times I've had to really roll into it to get the hell out of the way, and away from the stupids. A scooter isn't going to do that, though surface streets you're less likely to need to. Freeways, I do it pretty often. The Sportster at times has been a little thin in that department (and it's a 1200). The Dyna with the 110 doesn't have many problems. I've got a 1275 kit and cams waiting for the Sportster if I'd ever get off my butt and get it done. I don't like to go fast, but I like to have enough power to get out of a jam.
 

joegrizzy

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Bigger problem with a scooter to me is power; you don't need a Hayabusa, but there's many times I've had to really roll into it to get the hell out of the way, and away from the stupids. A scooter isn't going to do that, though surface streets you're less likely to need to. Freeways, I do it pretty often. The Sportster at times has been a little thin in that department (and it's a 1200). The Dyna with the 110 doesn't have many problems. I've got a 1275 kit and cams waiting for the Sportster if I'd ever get off my butt and get it done. I don't like to go fast, but I like to have enough power to get out of a jam.
and lower torque cruisers can get you there faster. even a lower cc sport bike if you are geared down has to rev up a bit to get going. pretty sure muh 250r redlines at 13k?
 

retrieverman

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I’d love to have a motorcycle to run around on, but as I watch people’s faces in oncoming traffic, I would bet at least 75% of them are looking down as they go by. That being said, there ain’t no way I would get on a bike today.
 

joegrizzy

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I’d love to have a motorcycle to run around on, but as I watch people’s faces in oncoming traffic, I would bet at least 75% of them are looking down as they go by. That being said, there ain’t no way I would get on a bike today.
you just have to be able to keep space and learn potential "this guy is going to kill me" spots. just like driving any other small car or huge truck/van with limited visibility. there are cons and "dangerous" aspects to just about anything; obviously your personal safety is a bit more at risk on a bike.
 

montesa

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I’d love to have a motorcycle to run around on, but as I watch people’s faces in oncoming traffic, I would bet at least 75% of them are looking down as they go by. That being said, there ain’t no way I would get on a bike today.
Same for me. I used to ride. Had a bunch of little Honda’s, a dual sport and a 650 Suzuki. Even walking my dog is getting dangerous as people will drive by and not look at the road at all while they’re on their phone. Slowly run halfway off the road sometimes.
 

GIJROB

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I live about 8 miles from my office, do a lot of around-town driving, and am sick of filling the tank in my truck. I've never had a motorcycle but I think I have my wife on board with me buying my first bike.

So, I'm hoping some of you more experienced guys might be able to give some advice as to where I should start and what I should be looking for.

I am not looking for a crotch rocket... As far as looks go I really like the looks of the Indian Scout and most Harleys. Is it unseasonable to budget $8000?

I feel like an idiot with this stuff. Guns, guitars, mountain bikes, knives, that's what I know; bikes are completely foreign to me!
Have you ever rode a motorcycle/ dirt bike
 

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