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Discussion Starter #1
I am new to riding and though I like the styling and have read a lot of good reviews about Victory I have also been told it is best to start with a low CC bike. I've been looking at the vegas 8-ball. I'm just looking for suggestions on what a good beginner bike might be and if I should wait to consider a Victory until I have more experience.
 

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This has been discussed several times and there have been numerous suggestions. The only thing that was uncontested was the motorcycle safety course. Look in you local phone directory and/or call motorcycle dealerships to find one. It will cost you $200-$300 dollars but will be completely worth it. You'll most likely learn on a very small cc bike (250) and depending on your state laws you can either get a general license for any cc bike or you may be offered the opportunity to test on a larger bike that will allow you to ride something bigger than 650cc.

The course will teach you the basics of riding, how to control a motorcycle and evasive manuvers that will prove invaluable on the streets. The most important thing it will teach you is if you are actually fit to ride a motorcycle. Example, my daughter wanted a motorcycle badly; she took the course, it scared the crap out of her - it cost me $300 and possible saved her life. Motorcycles aren't like cars, if you're nervous in a car you can get over it but if you're nervous on a motorcycle you're an accident waiting to happen.

This is where the disputes normally start. If you must buy a bike I suggest buying a cheap small bike, 650cc would be best. It will get you used to riding and save you money. Dropping a $600-$700 bike will not have near as much impact as dropping a $14K bike. When you're ready for a bigger bike sell your started bike to someone else that is in your situation.
 

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I've read a few of the discussions, and will add my two cents. I recently bought an 04 Vegas 8 Ball after a 10 year break from riding.

1) Taking a course is a must. It will be the most important and valuable thing you can do. I took a course when I first started riding, and still practise what I learned every day.

2) Jumping right onto a bad ass bike? My suggestion see how you do with the course. As long as you're comfortable, go right into the Vic, if you don't you'll be pining for the "real" bike. Just respect the Power of the Bike. Don't be cocky or stupid too early. Be prepared to drop the bike at some point. Everyone has, if not they probably will.

This bike will have more power than you know what do with it if you roll it 100%. That was the biggest eye opener for me getting onto the Vic, it had a whole other level of torque and power I had to adjust to. Basically, know your limitations. I've had my bike out for a month and a half, and I still haven't given it 100%.

So what if you ride it like Grandma drives a car for the first while, being safe and riding within your limitations is best.

Good Luck cheers
 

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I suggest

I suggest buying an inexpensive, smaller bike (after you have taked the safety course).

This is for two reasons- and not for what you might think. Yes, a smaller bike is easier to ride, and if it is cheaper it might not hurt as much (both physically and psycologically) if you drop it, but it is also great because you can get yourself into a lot of trouble with a big bike. Speed is a big thing, both too fast and slow riding in parking lots and traffic.

Also, there is a chance that you make not like riding the bike you have. A friend of mine got a great deal on a Vulcan Nomad because a guy bought it for his first bike, and relised that he would rather be in a car. Because you want to ride does not always mean that you will want to ride, if you get my drift. Another friend bought a Nighttrain, and found out that he was afraid of traffic and sold it after a season, losing about 4 grand in the process.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks all. I have the class lined up already and I'm not buying anything until afterwards. I appreciate the inputs.
 

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This would vary from state to state, but in Texas, passing the safety course allowed me to get a motorcycle endorsement on my TDL with only a written exam. Which I aced.

Another vote for a smaller used bike to start. I ignored this advice because, at my age I felt I didn't have time for the whole learning curve. So, yes, I was dropping a brand new bike that weighed over 600 pounds. This was usually in grass and I never really did any damage, but it does happen to everyone at the beginning.
 

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Like Ammo said, Number 1 thing take course. Number 2 Buy a smaller bike. You dont want the bike to be so intimidating that you can't concentrate on honing your skills. My wife just finished her course and got license. She took my jackpot out in a parking lot and the size of the bike made her real nervous. So we are now shopping for a little suzuki S40, which is a 650. Start small you will grow into it. Enjoy the road!!
 

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Yliax,
Glad to hear you have scheduled a MSF class; this is the most important step. One thing that I didn't bring up is a dirt bike. If you know someone that has a dirt bike (small cc) that could teach you a little about clutching you'll save yourself a little embarassment.

The majority of people that drop a bike during the class (my daughter included) drop it because they haven't had enough time practicing clutch techniques. Keep in mind that the clutch will be slightly different on every bike -- even when they're the same make/model/year. The problem is that you'll do A LOT of low speed manuvers; the slower you're moving the more attention you have to pay to the clutch. Weaving through cones at about 1-2 MPH if you stall and you aren't ready for a stall chances are you'll tip due to low speed combined with a tight turn and an instructor telling you to keep your feet up. Once you get the basics down it's a piece of cake.

Good luck in your class; I hope that you do well and find that you enjoy riding as much as you hope to.
 

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I've read a few of the discussions, and will add my two cents. I recently bought an 04 Vegas 8 Ball after a 10 year break from riding.

1) Taking a course is a must. It will be the most important and valuable thing you can do. I took a course when I first started riding, and still practise what I learned every day.

2) Jumping right onto a bad ass bike? My suggestion see how you do with the course. As long as you're comfortable, go right into the Vic, if you don't you'll be pining for the "real" bike. Just respect the Power of the Bike. Don't be cocky or stupid too early. Be prepared to drop the bike at some point. Everyone has, if not they probably will.

This bike will have more power than you know what do with it if you roll it 100%. That was the biggest eye opener for me getting onto the Vic, it had a whole other level of torque and power I had to adjust to. Basically, know your limitations. I've had my bike out for a month and a half, and I still haven't given it 100%.

So what if you ride it like Grandma drives a car for the first while, being safe and riding within your limitations is best.

Good Luck cheers
I got my Jackpot last year and have not ridden a bike in 22 years and it seemed gutless to me. I guess I was still use to riding a crotch rocket that I rode 22 years ago. The motorcycle safety course is a must for new riders as I’ve seen many young riders wipe out and get badly injured even 20 plus years ago this was happing.

Get a bike you can handle before jumping into a big bike , I started out on a 100cc 10 hp. motorcycle when I was 14 years old, and every bike after that got bigger and more powerful ( 250cc 16 years old, 425cc 18 years old, 750cc 21 years old, 1100cc 22 years old) until I bought the highest production hp bike in the world at the time. I was 25 years old by then and had it 4 years before I wrecked it.
 

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2 years ago I was exactly where you were. I had not ridden a bike in 35 years and never a large cruiser. My goal was to eventually get a big cruiser. I'm now riding a 2011 Cross Country and could not be happier.

To get where I am though I had to start small. I didn't want to go too small because I knew once the initial learning was over, I still wanted a bike I could enjoy until I was ready for the "big boy". I decided on a VSTAR 950. This was the perfect choice for me. Small enough that I could easily handle it, yet large enough to not get bored to quickly.

The day I bought my 950 I was scared to death but excited all the same. When I got the keys I immediately drove it out the lot, across the street to an empty parking lot and drove around for a good hour getting used to the braking, cornering, stopping, starting, etc.
 

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I am new to riding and though I like the styling and have read a lot of good reviews about Victory I have also been told it is best to start with a low CC bike. I've been looking at the vegas 8-ball. I'm just looking for suggestions on what a good beginner bike might be and if I should wait to consider a Victory until I have more experience.
+1000 on the MSF. I did it and agree, it is a MUST!!! Also, you will get the experience in the class of how well you can handle a bike (in general) and that will help you decide how comfortable you may be on the big bike from the start.

I never really rode ANY bikes when I was younger other than a mini bike for about couple of days one summer when I visited my grandparents farm. My friends in high school had bikes but my family never did (I was a competitive water skiier, swimmer, 1meter & 3meter board diver, tennis player, etc) but no dirt bikes.

I decided to buy a bike as my mid-life crisis (48 now) and knew I only had ONE CHANCE to get the bike I wanted (either a Road Glide or a Cross Country). I bought and am riding the BIG XC Ness and could not be happier. I put over 500 miles on it in the first two weeks. I attended Bike Week in Myrtle Beach and went bar hoping. Absolutely NO ISSUES with this bike in traffic, on twistys nor anyway else. Freaking LOVE IT!!!

By what you want and enjoy it. If your comfortable, don't let others tell you that you HAVE to buy a small bike first. You do not.
 

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Definitely the MSF.

My Jackpot is my first bike that I learned on.

Sometimes I think people say get a small starter bike because they did it and dropped it and think most new riders will too.

I've seen more experienced riders drop their bikes than newbies.

Get what you want and what you feel comfortable with.

If I listened to the majority of people that said get a starter bike I would have lost money because I would buy a starter then have to resale it loosing money.
 

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I had been riding for about 15 years then for some strange reason quit....Got back in the saddle after a 25 year break..decided to take the MSF course...learned stuff I never had a clue about...definitely take the course if you can. One other point I like to make to "new" riders....ride like everyone out there is out to kill you...that attitude has saved my bacon more than once....Good luck, have fun and keep the rubber side down....Welcome to the "family"
 

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I had been riding for about 15 years then for some strange reason quit....Got back in the saddle after a 25 year break..decided to take the MSF course...learned stuff I never had a clue about...definitely take the course if you can. One other point I like to make to "new" riders....ride like everyone out there is out to kill you...that attitude has saved my bacon more than once....Good luck, have fun and keep the rubber side down....Welcome to the "family"
:I agree::I agree: Thats how I've always driven and when I started riding it definitely saved me on a few occasions!!
 

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I havn't take the course, but i lived on a Yamaha 360 enduro for 3 years when I got out the Marines at 20. 52 years old now and wife left me in 08, replaced her with a KLX250S, rode that for 9 months then got a 650 Versys (Kaw), rode that a year and 9 months and got my hammer. I was glad to be able to transistion from light and manuverable to quick in the corners to now laid back and enjoying the ride. Even after all this I am still considering taking a course just to improve my skills.
What ever you do, be safe, enjoy the two wheel experience and Welcome aboard!!
 

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Disagree; the only way you can lose on a starter bike is to pay too much for it or total it. If you buy a bike for $600 to $700 that runs and drives you can sell it fo the same amount if it still runs and drives.

The key is to not be picky. Buy a dirty bike, ride it until you are confident, clean it up and sell it. I've seen several buell blasts go for $1000 - $1200 that could have gotten another $500 if they were clean. These are great starter bikes that sell well when clean and sell slow dirty. For some reason people are scared of dirty bikes; dirt doesn't mean crap. Note that in some cases you may have to put a new battery of a lens on. These are cheap and you'll get your money back on them.
 
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