Beginner buying a motorcycle?

Over the last few years I've mused off and on about getting a motorcycle as a slightly more economical way to go to and from work and maybe cruise around for errands on the days off. I figured I could do with a bike on the smaller end like 120cc or so, both because I'd be a beginner and because I have limited space to keep a bike, but I was talking about it with some boomer biker coworkers the other day and one of them was telling me anything less that 500cc or so wouldn't be worth it as it would have to work too hard to keep up with other vehicles if I found myself needing to ride on a highway. They also said small bikes aren't meaningfully lighter than bigger bikes so if you dropped one and had to pick one up it would be the same thing. Is that true or some kind of cope for cruiser bike riding boomers?

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  1. 3 weeks ago

    Cruisers are like 700-800lbs on average and use MASSIVE aircooled engines that are anywhere from 1200-2000cc, if not bigger. They are correct that a 125 would be unsafe at highway/freeway speeds. Get a used Yamaha/Kawasaki/Honda/Suzuki 250-300 (or one of the Honda 500 twins, they're pretty tame too).
    All that being said, "saving money" is a trap. They're only worth it for saving time (lanesplitting) while commuting or for fun. You will spend MUCH more money on safety gear, tools, modifications, tires, etc.

    • 3 weeks ago

      Are tires that expensive for bikes? What tools do you need for bikes that you wouldn't need for cars?

      • 3 weeks ago

        If you already have the tools, almost nothing special. If you don't have tools, you'll need to buy them, because shop labor rates absolutely destroy your wallet. Tires themselves aren't SUPER expensive but expect to go through a rear tire anywhere from every 5000-15,000 miles depending on what/how you ride. Cruiser tires last longer, like 12-20,000 on average, but have less grip.

      • 3 weeks ago


        >Are tires that expensive for bikes?
        yes and no. the prices aren't that much higher, its just that they don't last nearly as long.

        you can still easily come out ahead financially tho.
        a used scooter (or small bike) can easily be had for 2-4k in pretty good condition
        gear is another 1k or so more and tires should cost you like 300-500. and that's for a full years worth of riding.
        assuming you go with a small engine you'll also get much better fuel economy than even a prius.
        and finally, bikes are much easier to work on than cars. changing your own oil and air filter is very easy on most bikes, requiring very minimal tools. changing tires is harder, tho still doable without any specialized equipment.

    • 3 weeks ago

      I wish Honda would do a real adventure version of the 500X, with factory skidplates, wire wheels, etc. I think it'd be a pretty big hit with beginners who want to do the ADV thing and just people who want a lighter option than a 750 but not a single that'll shake your teeth out at 75mph.

  2. 3 weeks ago

    >a slightly more economical way to go to and from work and maybe cruise around for errands on the days off
    buy a scooter, or a maxi scooter

    >I figured I could do with a bike on the smaller end like 120cc or so
    125cc-150cc is fine if you only intend to use it inside the city in city streets.
    if you also want to be able to do highways, go up to 300-350cc

    >They also said small bikes aren't meaningfully lighter than bigger bikes so if you dropped one and had to pick one up it would be the same thing
    they are lighter. also, picking up a bike is not just about the weight, but also how high the center of mass is. with scooters, the engine is always as low as possible, either on the swing arm or below the seat, so they're much easier to pick up than proper bikes.

    • 3 weeks ago

      yeh just after he gets his balls chopped off.

      • 3 weeks ago

        vespabros get lots of pussy anon. way more than ADVdads

        • 3 weeks ago

          This is so true, same with classic looking Hondas
          Not Groms or any of the mini bikes nobody cares about those one way or the other plus they make terrible beginner bikes because you can't do anything to scare you and you'll have it pinned all the time
          They're good second bikes especially for stunting practice

  3. 3 weeks ago

    I own a 150cc due to license classes in my country. The power difference is pretty big and I would advise you to get something a little bigger if you intend on going on the highway regularly. My bike tops out at about 105 kmh but vibrations start becoming uncomfortable above 90 kmh. It is very fuel economical though, so if you're just puttering about town it's not that bad.

  4. 3 weeks ago

    Get a grom I fly to work in mine and always take random ways back because its fun

  5. 3 weeks ago

    Just got my license.
    I got a cheap 3,000 USD 150cc bike.
    It works flawlessly inside city, but it can't go faster than 55mph (90kmh) so definitely no highway.
    But on another note I probably wouldn't be here if my first bike is something like a 500cc as I would probably had crash into a tree and died when I was still learning.
    Biking sucks because anything can go wrong will go wrong. It's rarely about skill issue but rather about road conditions, weather etc so even a seasoned biker with 20 years of biking experience will still crash occasionally. That's just how biking works.
    Use this info as you wish. Think of what you're going to do. There's no shame to buy a small cc if you don't need the top speed, and if you're still learning I would still recommend you start small then trade-in a big one once you slipped a few times, lost some skins and finally understand the true meaning and risk of riding a motorcycle.

  6. 3 weeks ago

    125cc bikes will top out around 45-60 mph. But, you will be at the red line all day long in order to reach that top speed. Not good for the engine and you will have to change oil constantly. Avoid 125s if you plan on driving on highways.

    250/300cc bikes will top out about 80 mph. Again, you'll be revving the piss out of the motor to get to and stay at 80mph. If you plan on going that fast I would say 300cc is the minimum.

    400cc+ will give you the power to be comfortable on highways and will give you the ability to pass if needed.

    I would avoid single cylinder bikes for highway. They usually have plenty of power low in the power band, but get gutless at the top, so no power for passing. Also, they will/might vibrate the piss out of you and numb your hands and feet after 20-30 minutes.

    Good luck.

    • 3 weeks ago

      This. Also if you want a comfortable commuter look at some different bikes you find appealing, then go to and see if someone your height and leg length would be comfortable on it. When you buy your bike come on over to the /dbt/ general and talk shit with us.

  7. 3 weeks ago

    I have a 150cc soft chopper that tops out at 100km/h, one of my buddies had a 125cc cg copy that did like 120km/h with just a larger engine sprocket. Bikes can be fun but they're often a pain in the ass too. Securing them isn't easy so I don't use mine for commuting because frick paying parking.

  8. 3 weeks ago

    I'd go 300-500cc range. Always desirable so hold value and you get a better experience.

  9. 3 weeks ago

    I'm looking at a 300 dual sport for my first bike, probably a Honda CRF300L Rally. Pretty marginal for highway driving but I'm working on moving to a smaller city where I won't have to do much of that, and the nice thing about a dual sport in that range is that it's still something you can get use out of after you move up to a bigger bike, which for me will probably be a T7, Transalp, or something similar.

  10. 3 weeks ago

    I started on a sportster. It's heavy but also lower to the ground so probably comes out a wash. I'm tall but would be intimidated on some super high adventure bike even today.
    Just start on something you don't mind dropping and make sure you can flat foot it since you'll surely stop off kilter some time and have to catch it.
    >ninja 650
    >fz-07 or fz-09
    >new r6 are all fine bikes to start on
    >any twin cylinder
    Even a 600 inline 4 would probably be fine just don't speed

  11. 3 weeks ago

    Nothing short of teleportation can get you from a to b faster than a supermoto.
    KTM are quite nice. I like CCM but they are local to me.

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