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Hello all,

You guys seem pretty experienced in riding motorcycles so I figured I'd ask for some advice. I'm brand new to motorcycles. The only experience I have on a bike is the MSF course I took to acquire my M1. That was a couple months ago. So, in the next month or two I plan on getting my first bike. I have a good down payment but plan on financing the rest. Maybe 3-4 years depending on the rate I can get. I don't want to get a 250cc because I'm afraid of getting bored of it quickly and don't want to be paying something off that I have no interest in anymore. I had my mind set on the new Honda CB500F because of all the great reviews it has gotten. But then I saw the FZ-09 and fell in love instantly. A little bit pricier but I think the quality is well worth it. My only concern is that it's an 850cc and I'm not sure if it's wise to start on such a powerful machine. Friends and family that ride have essentially told me the 500 is a good safe choice but I may get bored of it before its paid off. I would love more opinions. Thanks!
 

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You are wise to consider motorcycle size before just jumping in on the first bike. Your physical size should be a factor in considering which bike to look at also. Obviously, a 500cc machine would get you around most anywhere you want to go. It's plenty big enough to ride on the Interstates with, yet small enough to be able to handle well, with some riding time and experience. Maturity level is also a consideration. Many times a new rider will want to buy the biggest bike that they think they can handle. Fact is, most riders, experienced or not, are not capable of riding many of the modern day motorcycles to the motorcycle's limits, much less their own. I would think that if you are a mature enough person that buying an 850cc motorcycle would not cause you to "go crazy" with riding too fast or carelessly, then the new FZ would not be a bad choice at all. Let's face it, a 500cc motorcycle will take you to speeds that will exceed the legal speed limit, just like a CBR 1000RR will do. The difference is, a smaller cc bike will take longer to attain that speed than a larger cc bike and if you aren't mature enough to show some responsible and safe riding, either bike will get you in trouble pretty quickly. So, as I see it, consider your physical size and what you might need to haul yourself around based on the type of riding you want to do with the bike, be honest with yourself and consider how responsible you are going to be on a motorcycle, and thirdly, it's got to be something that you really like the looks/sound/feel of.....something that will just make you smile every single time that you throw a leg over the seat.

As a new rider, I will offer you a bit of advice about riding. Make a commitment to yourself that whenever you decide to go for a ride, whether it's commuting to work, out for a Saturday ride, or whatever the purpose of your ride, make this commitment......

I promise myself and my loved ones that I will give 100% of my attention to the task at hand (riding), 100% of the time that I AM riding. All it take is a few seconds of mental lapse......thinking about what's for dinner when you get home, I'm running late for work.......whatever the distraction is, that precious few seconds can be the difference between being focused and alert for the traffic around you, or not being aware that the oncoming car/truck/whatever is about to make a left turn directly in front of you.

Good luck with your decision on getting the right bike for you. I'm sure some other will come along and offer up some more sage advice.......we ARE a bunch of old farts on here with lots and lots of years of riding experience. I've got 42 years myself!
 
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I think the FZ 09 is definitely something a responsible level headed person could let themselves grow into. If you limit your throttle position, keep it at low RPM (hence less power on tap), and keep your lean angle mild at first, you should be in good shape. As your familiarity with the bike and the environment grows you're skills will grow with it and you can gradually open it up. I'm saying this considering you to be a responsible level headed person seeing as you took an MSF course. As long as you take the safe route (literally), take your time, and don't get caught up in any moments, I think it'll be okay.
 

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statistically, riders who started in the dirt are less likely to crash and when they do, it is less severe.

many suppose the reason is that your body develops 'muscle memory' whereby it automatically counter-steers, lets off the back brake, etc. before you brain could figure out what to do.
in other words, when you automatically learn what to do when a tire slides, you might find that you do it so quickly you really never think about it.

get a dirt bike, perhaps a used enduro so you can ride on the street, too. after a year or two, then get a street bike after riding the piss out of it offroad.
i started with a big enduro and a year later added a sportsbike.

a midlife crisis first time bike purchaser might think too long when that Hardley-Gayvidson doesn't go where he wants it. time is not on your side when you're on a motorcycle and confused:
 
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My two cents here:

First off, everyone drops their first bike at least once, it just happens. This does not mean you'll crash it, but you will drop it. Just be aware of that, if you're dead set on making a new bike your first one. It's a good reason to at least look at a used bike to learn on.

Second, IMHO, the power of a bike is less of a problem for a responsible new rider than the size and weight can be. In other words, the power isn't an on/off switch, your wrist controls how much power your bike has. But a big heavy bike would not be a good choice for a new rider (Of course, I will invalidate my own argument by confessing that my first bike was a 650 lb, 1700cc Yamaha Warrior). The FZ-09 seems like it should be a very lightweight, narrow, nimble & easy handling machine, with competent brakes. This puts you ahead of lots of other "entry level" bikes in the cruiser segment for example.

Long story short, I don't think the FZ would be a bad choice, as long as you're not afraid to drop it. It will leave you lots of room to grow into it as a rider :D The CB500F seems like a fine machine to me, but as long as you're easy on the throttle I don't see any advantage it gives you over the FZ besides a lower MSRP and insurance rates. The "B" throttle mode on the FZ should be perfect for a new rider like you :p
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the great advice guys! You've definitely helped me make up my mind. I'll be calling some dealers today...
 

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I can say nothing that hasn't already been said here. These guys know their ish. Triple is among the most learned that I could tell you to talk to, so take his words as gospel.
 

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Thank you Nick. There is sometimes a few advantages of being an old timer........with age comes wisdom and lots of experience.....some good, some, not so much. Thanks again for the kind words...........BTW, where do I send the money? :cool:
 

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Same weight as the Honda and if your not short legged the yamaha should not be a problem. My advice is to go to a empty parking lot and work up to max breaking, after a few hundred miles since brakes need to seat. You need to understand how hard motorcycles can brake before a car makes a left turn in front of you. Its not if, its when!
 

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Lots of great advice here. The best is to learn in the dirt; due to limited traction you'll learn to modulate the brakes and power before you get on the street and the price you pay for mistakes won't be as high. Just my 2 cents.
 

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Thank you Nick. There is sometimes a few advantages of being an old timer........with age comes wisdom and lots of experience.....some good, some, not so much. Thanks again for the kind words...........BTW, where do I send the money? :cool:
I'll pm you an address... ;)
 

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Sorry Nick, you waited way too long to reply. I spent all my money this past weekend at Road Atlanta for a 2 day track day weekend. Michelin Pilot Rain Tires absolutely ROCK! Can you say knee down in the rain?
 

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Sorry Nick, you waited way too long to reply. I spent all my money this past weekend at Road Atlanta for a 2 day track day weekend. Michelin Pilot Rain Tires absolutely ROCK! Can you say knee down in the rain?
GROSS! I hate the thought of this. My mind cannot get around grip in the wet.
 

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I know...I use to be the same way, then I tried them out and realized that all the times I dreaded going out in the rain, it's actually fun now. nothing quite like being leaned over, hanging off the bike, and having a knee puck dragging on the pavement, and passing everyone on the track.
 

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I'm trying to get them to sponsor me....tires, fuel, hotels, eats! I can see it now, a decal on the sides of the bike......AARP EXPRESS....When going slow is not an option!
 
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