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post #11 of 49 (permalink) Old 11-29-2012, 11:46 AM
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^ Ditto exactly what rwantin just said.

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post #12 of 49 (permalink) Old 11-29-2012, 12:03 PM
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ABS - had it on when1 or 2 bikes out of probably 120 road bikes.....never really rated it......if you're going to crash, you probably should have been doing something differently....no substitute for training and experience.

Too heavy - Depends on how big you are

Underpowered - piffle

Naked - you're not travelling far, you can add a screen, you get a much greater feel of 'riding the bike' , unless you plan on riding a million miles or miles an hour, not really an issue, there are plenty of RTW bikers who'd agree. If you like it, buy it.


Originally Posted by DennisVR View Post

(first paragraphs as posted in welcome center)

At the age of 41 i've decided that it's time to get my motorcycle license. I've driven a 50cc bike when i was 16-19, and i feel my muscle memory is still present. So it shouldn't be too much of a problem getting the hang of it again.

I intend to drive for pleasure and commuting. One way is about 50kms(30miles) including 30kms(20miles) freeway. But only when the weather's good.

I've have set my eyes on a Bonneville. For it's looks and forgiving torque curve.

I have quite a few friends who are into motorcycles. And i've asked there opinions on the Bonneville for me as a beginner. And gotten following remarks:
- No ABS
- Too heavy for a beginner
- Underpowered
- Naked bikes are not a good idea for the freeway

I would like to get opinions from Bonneville riders, who can tell first hand if these remarks are valid or not.


Last edited by R0B; 11-29-2012 at 12:08 PM.
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post #13 of 49 (permalink) Old 11-29-2012, 12:22 PM
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My two cents...if you take things slowly, I think Bonneville's make excellent bikes for new riders. I got my license earlier this year and bought a 650 cc cruiser. I then rest rode a Bonne and it felt very natural. Love at first ride. It weighs less than my previous bike. Anyway, it is very easy to ride and you won't out grow it, like you might on a smaller bike. Prudence and patience are key with any bike I think. Try one out. Dealers will let you test ride them, unlike some other companies.

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post #14 of 49 (permalink) Old 11-29-2012, 12:38 PM
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Originally Posted by R0B View Post

Too heavy - Depends on how big you are

I'm a 5ft, petite, female and i was actually surprised at how light it was! And i've only had 125's/250's and a 350 LC before. Although maybe if i ever dropped it, it would be a different matter but as for riding it, well, you won't be disappointed!
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post #15 of 49 (permalink) Old 11-29-2012, 12:45 PM
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Dennis, your friends aren't necessarily lying to you about those things they pointed out, but my contention is the pros of Bonnevilles far outweigh those "cons".

My best friend gave me a birthday card that read "Wisdom doesn't necessarily come with age...sometimes age shows up all by itself." If you've developed some wisdom in your 41 years, you'll be fine on a Bonneville as your first bike. I'd wait a while before I commuted on it, though...
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post #16 of 49 (permalink) Old 11-29-2012, 12:58 PM
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I have a T100 Bonnie which, I admit is a little on the heavy side, but once on the move, it is predictable and easy to handle. It corners well, sounds nice (aftermarket pipes) and always attracts admirers when parked up.
It is well capable of maintaining motorway speeds for any length of time, even with a pillion passenger, but if you are in any way unsure, why not look at a Street Triple, which has ample power, and weighs a lot less than the Bonneville?.
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post #17 of 49 (permalink) Old 11-29-2012, 01:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Magwitch View Post
... why not look at a Street Triple, which has ample power, and weighs a lot less than the Bonneville?.
Um, because his chances of killing himself go up an order of magnitude with a Street Triple as a first bike...? That's why I think, not.
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post #18 of 49 (permalink) Old 11-29-2012, 01:42 PM
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I transitioned from a CBR250R to a Bonneville this spring. I initially found the Bonneville to be heavy and trickier in low-speed maneuvers. But of course, this was relative to the lighter bike that I'd been riding, so perhaps you wouldn't notice. I quickly got used to it.

I would seriously consider starting out with a used 250/500. You won't worry about dropping it, and it won't decline in value in the 6-12 months that you'll have it. As others have written, it may be safer (and more fun) to explore the outer limits of an underpowered bike. The bonus, of course, is that you'll be that much more thrilled with the Bonneville once you get it.

Your friends' comments regarding the power...the Bonneville has enough power to put a smile on your face without helping you get speeding tickets or worse. And it's easy enough to up the power with mods to the intake and exhaust, which you'll undoubtedly do (with support from a massive aftermarket and helpful forum members here).

Finally...highway...the Bonneville has quite an upright riding position, which I have found can be tiring after a while. But again—new handlebars, rearsets, screens, etc. It can all be addressed.
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post #19 of 49 (permalink) Old 11-29-2012, 02:21 PM
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All the above points are accurate of course, but in reading them you'll likely see that it finally just comes down to what bike thrills you when you look at it in the morning.
In general terms all bikes are the same; jump on and within seconds you're above 80mph, even the biggest windshield cruisers will result in wind effects, rain too, depending on speed and conditions, and none of them have brakes good enough to overcome a bad situation. Weight? I'm old and short and it feels like a well balanced feather to me. Any bike above 150lbs is going to fall over when it reaches that certain lean angle, and likely you're not gonna save any bike at that angle. The Bonnie will be heavier to pick up, but I've done it on even heavier bikes.

You should take the MSW course, get comfortable alone and in traffic. Spend some Sunday mornings in the Mall parking lot doing slow tight turns and stops; anyone can ride fast but it takes skill to do figure eights slowly.

Enjoy the search....But get a Bonnie -
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post #20 of 49 (permalink) Old 11-29-2012, 04:04 PM
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I'm going on 62, and bought a T100 after 30 years of not riding (did a good bit when younger).

I't's the best all around bike that I've ever owned, and wasn't any problem to ride, even after so many years off one.

As others have recommended; take the basic riders course; it was of great value to me (they're required here to get a motorcycle added to your DL).

The value to me was being able to do "exercises" on someone else's bike that you normally wouldn't do on yours; such as "panic" stops, exaggerated slow speed zig zags (slaloms?), slow speed tight figure eights (U-turns)' running over obstacles, and a host of other things that one wouldn't normally do in routine highway riding.


Last edited by RickMcCl; 11-29-2012 at 08:32 PM.
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