First Motorcycle

Every spring I get the urge, and after 47 years I think I might act on it. Yesterday I decided to swing into a little cycle dealer here in town. He had a 1996 Suzuki “Savage” LS650P that had just been brought in to sell. It only has 2,500 miles on it, and is in very good condition. It has been garage kept since new. According to the dealer it is basically the exact same bike as the current Suzuki Boulevard S40 (in fact it looks exactly like the red/white one on that site. The guy selling it wants $2,500 and I thought I might offer $2,000. but then I thought I should ask you guys since I’ve seen similar threads and you have given good advise. So dopers… what do you think about the bike and potential price?

Oh yeah, I’ve never ridden other than dirt bikes when I was young so this would be a starter bike for me.

Review 1:

Review 2

Personally, it’s not my style. But it seems to be a good ‘beginner bike’ within its limits.

My son’s first bike:


You might consider the MSF RiderCourse. In my area its $400, and you get your license if you pass the test at the end of the course + in your area it may count as a defensive driving class with the insurance benefits. It will also enable you to make a more informed purchasing decision about the size & type of the motorcycle you feel comfortable riding. It could also save you some cash if you decide that you don’t enjoy riding as much as you thought that you would.

It sounds like a good beginner bike, but it will probably be something that your trying to sell in a year or two, when you may decide you want something with a little more power.

Also factor in the cost of new tires, drive belt and installation into the final purchase price since it sounds like that bike as sat in a garage for the last decade.

I second this–but don’t let the price put you off. My friend just took it for $150 in Seattle, so it depends on where you live.

Excellent first, or 15th bike. Suzuki don’t make a bad machine. I used to be in the moto biz and sold many a Savages. Never had a negative review. Owned many Suzukis, and can only recommend them.

Get a good helmet and leather jacket, and have a ball!

It’s been my experience that nost newbies that start with a 650 tend to buy a bigger bike the next year. You have to factor in your size and if you will have a passenger. That being said it’s a great starter bike and seems like a good deal, so if you decide to trade up you will probably get your money back.

Yes, and that’s a good thing.

Sounds like a pretty good buy. My friend bought and sold a 1990’s 500 Kawasaki Vulcan last year. She really dug the bike, having started out on dirt bikes, it was a great way for her to transition. She jumped through major hoops to get it licensed and get her motorcycle stamp. She ended up selling because the gas tank was leaky, something not readily apparent she bought it.

I just bought a really old dirt bike to learn on - I’m frequently tinkering with it.

I’d just go into your purchase knowing that there’s probably going to be a lot of time and expense over and above the purchase of the bike.

Good luck, it sounds like you’re going to have a fun summer.

I am also looking at buying my first motorcycle, at age 46. I took the MSF course a couple of weeks ago and have been considering a 250 as my first bike (either a standard or cruiser, not a sport bike). Should I be looking at a 650 instead of a 250? I suppose the easy answer is to get whatever I feel comfortable on, but I’m worried that I’ll “outgrow” a 250 fairly quickly.

Why is it that there seems to be few, if any, bikes between a 250 and 650?

Also, are motorcycle dealers any easier to deal with than car dealers, or do I have the same headaches to look forward to?

I started riding 3 threes ago and grabbed myself a 250 as my starter bike (after taking the MSF). Personally, I’m glad I did. Sure, I outgrew it in three months, but having so little weight to handle saved me quite a few times. I’ve since upgraded to a 900, and I’m confident I would have dropped it had I not practiced on the 250 first (I know, because I nearly dropped it on the first day! Man that would have sucked).

I might suggest you buy a cheap 250 to start off on, which you should then be able to resell for close to the same price when you do finally outgrow it.

Its ok if you out grow a 250 pretty quickly, you’re supposed to. Probably better to buy used, youll save some dough and be able to turn it back around for close to the same price. Someone can correct me if im way off but I once heard that a 250 sport bike is for about the same riding ability as a 500-600 cruiser (I cant say from personal experience, ive only ever ridden cruisers). Also do yourself a favor and sit on alot of bikes before you decide. As for motorcycle salesmen, they seem to be about as easy to deal with as car salesmen, with the exception that they are usually more knowledgable about their product.

Well, I did manage to answer my own question about bikes between 250 and 650. While out looking at bikes today I came across the Kawasaki Vulcan 500 LTD, which immediately shot to the top of my prospective new motorcycle list.

I’ve got the Vulcan 900–if the 500’s anything similar, it’s a great bike :slight_smile:

Definitely a great first bike.

Don’t worry about getting a bike you will outgrow. Until you have ridden enough, you probably won’t know exactly what kind of riding you will want to do. Some people like to take short rides through the country, others like to take week long trips. You may want to take someone with you; you might want to ride alone.

Good for you for picking something good to get started with.