My brother wants to buy a motorcycle

He is moving to San Diego and wants a motorcycle that meets California emission standards. It has to be $2-3k, be a regular bike (aka a standard bike, not a street bike or a dirt bike) that you can put saddlebags or some kind of storage attachments onto for carrying groceries. It should also be very reliable.

Are there bikes that fit this description?

I’m out of the loop a little here, and my bike knowledge is all UK, but a Honda CB500, Suzi Bandit 600 or (maybe) BMW F650 would do? Used in each case. The Beemer is nominally a trail bike, but it’s a very good town bike. Depends on yer brother’s level of bike experience, too, I guess.

As a long-time biker (read: all my life), we’re gonna need some more info, Wes. Does he have any experience? Has he taken, or does he plan to take, the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) course? If not, he needs to.

Definitely. I can’t stress this enough. Take the course.

A wealth of possibilities exist for the newbie rider, but it’s far too easy to get seduced into something that’s over a new rider’s head. Newbie? Smaller and used is the way to go. He can always trade up later. Small-displacement, used starter bikes are fairly easy to come by, but I’ll make a couple of suggestions that should be in his price range…all used…

Cruiser-style? Suzuki Savage 650; Honda Nighthawk 250, 450 (more of a standard, really, and a fine choice); Yamaha Virago 500

Naked-bike look? Suzuki GS500

Total boy-racer look with potential for growth? Kawasaki Ninja 500

DEFINITELY AVOID THE TEMPTATION to buy one of the recent (read: last 4 years) iterations of 600cc sportbikes. They’re violent little guys that will get him road-rashed in a big hurry.

1986 Yamaha FJ1200
2003 Suzuki Volusia
…and lot of other bikes before that…

My sister lives north of San Diego and just bought a Suzuki motorcycle (a “cruiser” style, not a “crotch rocket”)

I believe that all manufacturers make them to be “California emmissions standards” compliant, just like cars. I think she only paid about $3500 (or less) for it.

She did take the MSF course to be able to qualify for the motorcycle license. And did a lot of research before deciding which one to buy.

I believe alot of bikes are bought and sold over craigslist.

Especially out here in california.