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I'm about to turn 50 years old and I've decided to take my bike test. I had a scooter for 3 years then a Yamaha DT125R for 4 years but got rid as I got fed up with taking my CBT every 2 years ( been driving a car for 37 years). I'm half decided on either the MT07 or MT09, I'm swaying in favour of the 09 as I don't want to outgrow it quickly as I feel I may do with an 07 and at some point my wife will be coming out on the back and thought the 07 would be a bit small. I class myself as a sensible driver/rider but my main concern is will it be too big and powerful for a first 'proper' bike? Any advise and views would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
 

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My advise would be not to get the 09 as a first bike, but it seems that you do have some experience with smaller machines. Maybe test ride one if you can. The problem with this engine and new riders is the INSTANT power delivery. I'm sure it's overwhelmed many people at times over its lifespan.

It's not like this beast can't be tamed, but this bike has been and still is a lesson in throttle smoothness. This all being said, I absolutely love this bike, mainly for its engine.

If you're thinking of 2 up riding, and set on the triple, would the Tracer 900 be a better fit?

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As said the 09 is a handful if you are not experienced....not saying you aren't but the 07 should be good even with a pillion. Whichever way you go get a better seat....the oem main section is crap I cannot think what a pillion would have to put up with on that tiny bit behind it.
 

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The 09 is a great bike. However, there are other choices for your present criteria. The 07 is a strong candidate, but there are also many manufacturers that could better fill your needs. If you outgrow them and end up with an 09, you’ll just appreciate it all the more. If you start with the 09 and it proves to be too much, that could be a very negative experience. You’ll get plenty of personal opinions on this, but you need to put the time in researching all of the possibilities, looking at their specs, reading reviews, looking at them up close and, most importantly, riding them. You should include your wife in this journey, since the wrong choice could totally turn her off to future rides. Too bad I didn’t follow my own advice more often in the past.
 

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Don't take this the wrong way, but I find it curious that you've waited all these years to finally start riding a proper road bike, but you fear you will "quickly outgrow" something like an MT-07. What makes you feel this way? Do you have experience on anything bigger than a scooter that tells you you're ready for a 900 triple? It seems the very fact that you're posing this question here is evidence that you probably are not.

I would go along with the advice to go test ride the 07, and you will likely discover it's more than enough for you at this time. Besides, there's nothing that says you can't trade up in a couple of years if you feel the need...
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Don't take this the wrong way, but I find it curious that you've waited all these years to finally start riding a proper road bike, but you fear you will "quickly outgrow" something like an MT-07. What makes you feel this way? Do you have experience on anything bigger than a scooter that tells you you're ready for a 900 triple? It seems the very fact that you're posing this question here is evidence that you probably are not.

I would go along with the advice to go test ride the 07, and you will likely discover it's more than enough for you at this time. Besides, there's nothing that says you can't trade up in a couple of years if you feel the need...
I appreciate what you are saying, I've wanted a 'proper' bike since I got rid of my 125 but due to personal reasons i was unable to. I've sat on an 07 and although its obviously bigger than my old 125 it still felt a little on the small side for a bike I would want to keep for a few years.
Thanks for your comments.
 

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It may be worth considering a bike that feels physically larger, while still having a more friendly engine (let's say ~650cc twins). I've owned 2 different Kawasaki Versys 650s (2011 and 2015 LT) and I think that bike would satisfy being beginner-friendly, fun to ride even with many years experience, and very good for passengers (my wife liked it much more than the FZ09).

As for engines, a 650cc 2-cylinder will generally go just about as fast as an 850cc 3-cylinder, it's just not going to accelerate as quickly. If you do go for the MT09, ride in B-mode (calmer throttle map) for a while so you don't kill yourself.

Trust your gut though. If the MT07 feels too small/cramped, it likely is (for you).
 

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Even the -07 is light years from what you experienced on that DT125. Physical size tells you nothing, it's that kick in the pants you'll get when you twist the throttle. Like mentioned earlier, go test ride some bikes, several, the results will be eye opening. The overall bike experience has changed/improved amazingly in the past 20 years.

At this point, you don't know how much you don't know. Keep your mind open and be willing to ask yourself some very serious questions.

I don't want to sway you away from the 09, it's a helluva bike and very flexible. Coming back into riding, you have to be careful choosing a bike that can write checks that your skills may not be able to cash. While you don't have the reflexes you had at 20, I'm guessing you have developed your sense of self-preservation many of us were lacking at that age. (In other words, stupid hurts)

Good luck in your quest, feel free to continue asking questions. There are plenty here that have years of experiences on many other bikes and are always willing to help in any way they can.
 

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Put into perspective, a 1972 Kawasaki 750 2 stroke triple was 74 HP......exactly the same as the MT 07 and that was considered scary fast at the time,even dangerous. The wheelbase on the MT07 is 1" shorter than the MT09. You're thinking that it'll be a good idea to jump up to a 115 HP bike from a 17 hp bike because you'll outgrow the 74 HP MT07? Do you have any clue what 115 HP feels like versus 17 hp ( I checked the specs on you 125). Good Luck.
 

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In all honesty, the 750 was dangerous. Light-switch power curve, brakes that didn't and a frame that flexed badly. You could ride around the problems. The one I rode scared the hell out of me.
 

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Not really a "first bike" considering you have ridden in the past, albeit on small bikes. There is nothing wrong with the 09 for you in my opinion as you are most likely not going to be out riding like an idiot trying to impress your friends, considering your age. The 09 is a very easy bike to ride, and if not pushed, will do you just fine!
 

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The 09 is not a bike for the inexperienced. 100%.

You'd actually be better off on some inline 4 1000cc bikes.
The Japanese 600s and 650s are perfect as the next bike.

The 'problem' with the 09 for non-experienced riders it the twitchiness, which can cause the bike to lurch forward mid-bend, the light front and the suspension.
 

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I have a different opinion than most as I'm on the freeway only 20% of the time and I don't plan on purchasing another moto for several years.

My 09 was my first bike after years of haven't riding and, while I was concerned about its power, I appreciate the different drive modes. I'm usually on mode B, so it "feels" like the smaller sv650s I used to ride. It felt twitchy the first few rides, but after practicing my throttle control I felt much more confident that I wasn't going to lose it. Like you, I didn't want to get the 07 since I knew I was going to want more power eventually.

Paying for an 09 is a different viewpoint altogether. Considering my skill level and years of recent experience, one would think I should have purchased something a little less new and a little more broken in.
 

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My wife was in a very similar situation, she decided on the new MT09, it was a little too snappy and scared her so she wasn't comfortable. I installed a G2 throttle Tamer and that made the throttle control so smooth she now enjoys the bike. If your afraid you'll tire quickly with the 07 then get the 09 and install a $80 throttle Tamer. Should be just the ticket! I liked the results of the throttle Tamer so well I installed one on my FZ10.
 

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You need to sit on more bikes. Your wife needs to sit on them with you. No charge to sit on a bike if you ask them to move it out of the lineup so you have room. It sounds like she has not been much a part of your riding experience. She needs to take part in your bike selection. A lot of riders have tried to get their wife involved but have failed. Craig's list is full of them.

It is more fun to ride a slower bike fast (especially in curvy roads) than to ride a fast bike slow. You experience with bikes is very limited and you really don't know what you need to satisfy your itch. Don't be in a hurry and look at more than the 2 bikes you mentioned. Or just buy a bike, sell it, buy another one, sell it,, repeat till you find what you like. Just know you will have to change it to make it more appealing for riding 2 up.
 

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Wear your gear and buy the 09 if it is the bike you want. You have some riding experience and you will adapt to the throttle control quickly. The B riding mode and traction control will help tame it starting out. It is a very controllable bike. XSR-900 was my 2nd bike. VFR-800 was my first at age 40 but only had it 6 months before it was stolen. I only rode dirt bikes before that in my teens. I'm two years into riding the XSR-900 regularly in the sunny state of Arizona and haven't had any issues. The power is respectable and you will be fine if you don't ride like a hooligan. You will take a bath on buying the 07 and selling it off when you outgrow it (and you will) if you buy it new. My 2 cents.
 

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I'll say depends on what model you buy. If you buy a newer model fz09 and keep the traction control on 2 and riding mode on B you should be good. B mode keeps the bike really mellow I've only used it twice in heavy rain. But if you wanna keep it safe just go with the fz07. My Ducati before my xsr900 had the same HP as the fz07 and I rarely felt that i needed more power. I only got the xsr because I was traveling a lot, but I still did a 5-600 mile trip in my Ducati. Hope this helps.
 

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The 07 can be an eye opener, if your not paying attention. The 09 will make you pay attention, or you'll end up on your butt. I've had both, now just the 09 for sport riding. However, if you plan to have your wife on the back, well, you better forget that. That back seat pillion ain't made for any comfort, especially, if she's the same age as you. "Mature" backsides don't go well with those tiny hard seats. Sure, a short ride, she'll put up with, but no all day ride.
 

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Excellent posts and advice all around. As you can see, everyone’s experience differs as will yours. I personally like the route of a mid-sized bike like the Versa. A friend just got into riding and absolutely loves it (his wife still rides a scooter!) The best advice IMHO, is to know yourself based on past experience. I am 63 years old and my 20-something son talked me into getting bikes together a year ago last Christmas. We took the MSF course together and the next day bought 2 FZ-07’s (after much research). The bikes were perfect at the time. If you are like some riders I’ve met who just enjoy getting out and riding, that may be enough. We challenged ourselves, though, and quickly progressed from neighborhood streets, to country roads, and then challenging mountain curves. I didn’t like that our ‘17 FZ-07’s had no ABS (available only on the red bikes-go figure) or slipper clutch and my 6’-4” son dwarfed the 07. So we moved up to 09’s after just 4 months. We now take them to track days, weekends in the mountains, and occasional longer group rides. But we do not ride slow and we like to challenge ourselves (within reasonable limits). This may not be you. I would buy a used mid-range bike (600-650 range), ride for a few months and see how the bike fits your style of riding. Personally, I may add an adventure bike to my garage once I take a weeklong trip to try them out. I just think the combo of road and off-road would take me places that the 09 cannot. But the 09 thrills me every time I ride it and THAT is the feeling you want with your bike. Enjoy the ride!
 

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If you weren't planning on your wife riding on the back, the 09 could be just the ticket (to get a ticket).
But riding on the back of an 09 (an FZ at least) is WAY uncomfortable.
Not sure about other bikes nowadays, but back in my day, bikes were much more passenger friendly. I rode with passengers on the back of my Kawi 500 Triple, Honda 750, Suzuki GS 1000 and Honda V65 Sabre all day long and they were quite comfortable. I sat as a passenger on the back of my 09 for a short trip and figured maybe for a little kid it might be OK, but not for an adult.
I'd check other models and weigh heavily toward what is comfortable for your wife. Some of these bikes have the passenger sitting so high they can see over the driver's head. Seems weird to me, but maybe it's OK.
I have noticed though, that to feel safe on the freeway nowadays, you need something that can QUICKLY get out of it's own (and other's) way.
So a huge part of your choice should include where you intend to ride. If you're going to do freeways, you need something with some poop. And the 09 has some. But so do lots of other bikes.
And, whatever you get, I suggest good blind spot mirrors, crash bars , really good gear (I wear a dirt bike striker jacket, shin and knee guards, Kevlar pants, 6D helmet) and steel braided front brake lines (rears don't really matter) Maybe even aftermarket front pads. And if you buy used, flush the brake lines.
I like this style blind spot mirrors, They're on a swivel. They might be a bit large, but I like large. They're also kinda expensive:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0170J3DZ2/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_U_Zv8TCb4A9AKYW
These ones are really cheap, but they're littlier: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07NY1222X/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_U_gu8TCbFRJFD6Q
I still turn my head to change lanes, but really only as a signal to other drivers. Like driving a truck, you can drive with blind spot mirrors. And in really scary traffic, I don't want to be looking over my shoulder when the guy in front of me decides to stand on his brake pedal.
Good luck with whatever you end up doing!
 
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