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Discussion Starter #1
My father has expressed an interest in learning to ride. So, yesterday we went down to a local dealer and looked around. He tried quite a few of the smaller displacement bikes (400-650cc), but nearly all of the frames were too small for his comfort. He would probably fit well on a 1000+cc cruiser, but I think that's just a little too much (hp, weight, money) for a first bike.

His preference would be a standard or cruiser style, including dual purpose bikes. In fact, the best fit was on a BMW dual purpose; an F650 I think.

Can anyone give me some suggesions?
 

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the "fun" guy
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I'm 6'4" tall at 230 lbs and I ride a 650 Yamaha and a 1500 Vulcan classic and if it were me trying to persuade him in getting a bike I would steer him toward the 1500. Look around for a used one if he's worried about price. The low center of gravity and balance of the Vulcans in my opinion is not intimidating. My 1981 Yamah has a higher center of gravity and I could see him having to get use to that moreso than the 1500.

Now...that being said....if he is worried about being able to ride....any bike....then maybe he should go with a smaller bike like the 800 as suggested. My concern with him is:

1. How is his ability to balance....even on a bicycle?

2. Has he ever ridden motorcycles before?

3. Has he looked into taking the MSF course?

4. Is he aware of the cost of riding gear for protection?

Also...there is a DVD named Ride Like a Pro that may be helpful for him to help him gain confidence in handling a larger bike....or any bike for that matter.

http://www.ridelikeapro.com/
 

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I agree with Bluestringer. I'm 6'3" and 190 and the Vulcan 800 fits me fine, and I think small enough for a beginner. I have the Classic.
 

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I have to agree with the other guys. A cruiser in the 800 cc displacement would probably be the best fit. You didn't mention if he has any riding experience. I would recommend a riding class first.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the suggestions. Keep 'em coming. Yes, my father rides a bicycle every now and then and he has average balance. He rode motorcycles just a little bit about 30 years ago.

Of course, an MSF course would be the first order of business, just as it was for me. But it would be nice if, like I did, he could take the MSF course one weekend and go buy a motorcycle the next. :grin:
 

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RIP Deron Harden :-(
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i would say to go for a smaller displacement cruiser as well. even a mid eighties 750 or 800 just to get used to riding. he is really going to just have to look around and sit on a lot of bikes to see what he will be comfortable on. maybe take a cruise over to Ebay to see what certain models look like and maybe get a feel for a couple models that might fit him ok. either way, you have some riding time under your belt and it sounds like you will steer him in the right direction, that is great.
 

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I hadn't ridden for over 15 years when I bought my 2003 Vulcan 800A. I am 6'1" 225lbs and the 800 has good power, easy to handle, and I think overall a nice bike. The only problem he might have is that he is taller than I am. I have been considering forward controls, and he would probably need them also. I would reccomend an 800 for a new rider...anything smaller may be too small for his size. Good Luck!
 
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