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Hey all. Joining the Vic forum to hopefully get some advice and guidance for a dilemma I have. I've wanted a bike since my teens but life and finances have always put it on the back burner. I just turned 41 and am following through this summer to get my sled. As a kid, I rode as a passenger but have never driven a bike. To get over that hump, I'm going to enroll in the local abate training course and afterwards, buy my bike. Therein lies problem.

At my age and not being a small man, I've no desire to spend a summer putting around on a Yamaha 250 or even a 650 Suzuki. I really want a Vic. I've no intention of hotdogging or doing anything crazy or unsafe. I've got all my leathers, armor, gloves and helmet. Craigslist and Cycletrader has older Vegas and Hammers for about 5000 which is where I wanna be.

I know the whole thing about new riders drop their sleds and whatnot and I'm certainly not buying my dream bike out he gates, so is there really a downside to buying an older Vegas or Hammer on the cheap and riding something I can enjoy and be proud of at the same time?
 

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Brock, I admire the objectivity and seriousness with which you are approaching getting into motorcycling. I can not speak intelligently about older Vics as I jumped in getting on a 2010 Cross Roads, but I have been riding since 1952, so I can contribute this: When looking at a used bike (or car, for that matter) condition says paragraphs, so you want to pass on beaters. If you have a friend who knows bike mechanicals, bring him along to check out things like clutch adjustment, loose steering heads and swing arms, etc. A huge plus is if the owner has all the service records. A smart owner will allow a test ride if he is holding on to your cash, so figure on that. I've learned that many riders ignore tire pressures, so I carry a gauge and check the tires prior to a test ride. Low tires make for poor handling and wear out faster. 40# front and rear isn't far from wrong. If you fear dropping the bike you bought, add crash bars - great protection. Good luck and keep us posted.
 

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I would start with the Vegas probably. The Hammer can be a bit of a chore getting to turn that large rear tire into corners. That being said, since you haven't ridden allot, you might not notice if you start with the Hammer. I'd go with whichever one seems to be the best deal. They have the same motor. I'm not too fluent on the steel frame bikes, but if one had dual disk front breaks V's single disk, I would choose the dual disk. ABS would be a great feature for a new rider as well. I don't think the older bikes come with it. My 2 cents. Welcome !!
 

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First, welcome to the forum. All of us share the enormous enthusiasm for riding as you. Take your buddies and get a good bike. But dude you don't NEED to do any "hotdogging" or anything "crazy or unsafe" to get into trouble fast. It ain't like driving a min-van you have to me"ON" all the time. Please take a riding course the minute you get a bike. Many on here have learned what you need to know the hard way but (no insult intended) at your age you ain't got that kinda time. A riding course will provide you some rudimentary skills and knowledge that is priceless. No, I'm not an instructor or a safety guy etc. Just an old guy that has survived. Again, welcome to the forum and keep the shiny side up. ;-)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Absolutely plan to take the course before I buy or attempt to ride. I want to get the fundamentals down and such before I drop several thousand on something just to wreck it out of ignorance. Not looking to hurt me or the bike. And I take no offense about the age. I still fell like I'm 20 but I'm not stupid enough to act like it. I figure the bike is just like my firearms. They aren't toys and the minute I let my attention drift is the moment something bad can happen.
 

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Welcome to the forum , and welcome to Victory.
Rest assured if Victorys were around when I started out and I could afford one I would've made the quantum leap to one too.
Ridden with respect for a bike easily capable of the old 'ton' 100mph.
I started out my serious street riding on the only available, affordable, bike with any 'class'.......the tried and true Japanese Triumph, that legend of evil handling and grunt...the XS650 Yamaha!:devil
Illegally of course as 250cc Provisional restrictions were in force, but I like many others , simply disregarded this rule and rode a then 'big' bike.
Had ridden Yamahas first 125 MX dirt bike off road prior which boost skill levels and confidence when on the edge or over it:angel
Over the last 40+ years a succession of XS650s (XS650 Special, XS1, XS1b, XS2, XS650b, a few bobbed and with overlength forks, and my last one which I sold to finance my Vegas , was a 1973 TX650 trophy winning ratbike.
Its last 'trophy' being a defect notice!:frown
Moved me on to the best bike ever...the Victory Vegas!:grin
Enjoy the Trip mate.
(and watch out for Fkwits in cars!)
 

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Agree on the smaller Victory. Or maybe a Vision with it's weebles- wobble-but-they-don't-fall-down- tip over protection, lol.. (kidding)

If Victory- I have to agree with the Vegas or maybe a Judge recommendation. If you do not plan on making an eventual commitment to a bike with a 250 or other similarly wide rear tire- then probably not a ton of benefit to acclimating on that.

I saw your comment about having all the clothing already. good.

Despite having an engine the size of many compact cars- Victorys have amazing stability and handling. Yes- they pull hard- but they are very controllable.

Mine handles so easily and confidently- I got on my friend's softtail deuce once- and I felt like I never rode before at first. Terrible balance and weight distribution, brakes were AWFUL, the front tire just didn't feel like it could bite..

Master the technical art of the counter steer. This is the foundation of your skillset. It's way too much to get into on a forum, but suffice to say that if your in a turn and "leaning" but you can feel yourself traveling sideways- then you are not doing it right. :wink
 

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the minute I let my attention drift is the moment something bad can happen.
If you're lucky you'll never lose sight of that FACT. Pure adrenalin will suffice in the beginning but after you become more relaxed, like around your third season, you'll have to try harder to keep that attention in the forefront - because you'll be having so much FUN! For what it's worth my first bike was the largest midweight 800cc cruiser I could find (Suzuki C50 which emulated a Harley Softtail Classic in frame and appearance). That 800cc behemoth was terrifying at the time, heavy, unwieldy and fast, I still remember the first time I went a whole 60 mph on the highway - a wickedly insane speed for two wheels!!!! But it prepared me for larger bikes to come as quickly as I could afford them.

Anyway, I believe it's not the size that matters, what you start on becomes your baseline reference (it's actually small bikes that scare me) so jump right up to the 106 if you can. But for the riders training course all they had to ride was those tiny 250 jobbies which were torture for a tall guy - after that I was qualified to ride anything! Anyway I wish you luck in your bike quest and training. The road is an awesome place.
 

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Get the bike you want and practice lots and lots and lots in a big parking lot until you are bored to tears, at which point you will have the confidence to safely take it out on the road.

I do agree that buying used is key. You will likely drop the bike at a red light cuz your foot slipped on an oil slick, or because you forgot to put the kickstand down when getting off, or some other situation. Stuff happens to new riders so it's better to damage something older and cheap. Also, crash bars are very cheap insurance against all the newbie ooopsies.

I will say that the Hammer might not be the best for a newb only because the wide rear tire takes some special care to ride. If your choices are Vegas or Hammer, I would say get the Vegas, as it will be the more nimble bike that will be easier to ride and definitely easier to manage in a shady situation where a quick change of direction is required. The Hammer takes some extra muscle and experience to manage, especially in an emergency situation.

Hope this helps. Good luck. :wink
 

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Riding boots with a thick and grippy sole will help in situations described above.
 

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Hey I wanted to mention something else about the new rider's safety course.
If you are a true new rider as I was when I took it, it might actually help to have a little riding time under you belt beforehand - at least some basic parking lot maneuvers - because when riding a motorcycle for the first time some of the physics don't make sense. Specifically the notion of countersteering, that pushing on the left hand grip (essentially turning the bars to the right) initiates a left hand turn. That didn't make any sense to my overly-analytical brain and I'd freeze up and literally could NOT accomplish it, coming in dead last in my class and damn near failing the course altogether. That's because it is not something you can think your way around. You've got to 'feel' it instinctively which takes more practice than they can allow you in a tight class structure. It was not till after the weekend when riding on my own at speeds greater than 30 mph that the simple physics of countersteering became crystal clear. Anyway that class was super hard for me. So if you have similar limited experience on 2 wheels a good exercise would be getting up some speed on a straightaway and test the theory by loosening your grip on the bars to almost nothing then gently press on one grip or the other to observe which direction the bike leans. I think if I had done that one exercise a few times I would have sailed through with flying colors and made the process much more enjoyable. GOOD LUCK!
 

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I too am a newbie to street bikes. I've been riding dirt bikes for 30 years had my street endorsement for 18, but only owned dual sports. That being said I'm looking to buy a used vegas. I'm debating between an 07 8 ball 5 speed 100ci with 12k miles asking $7700 or an 2013 8 ball 6 speed 106ci with 19k miles asking $7500. both have after market pipes and seats. what's a better deal? my objective is a bike I can ride and not have to spend time replacing worn parts. i.e. fork rebuild, belt, pulleys, ect.
 
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