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post #21 of 36 (permalink) Old 11-13-2012, 12:50 PM
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Originally Posted by LoVel View Post
I haven't got one. I park it in gear sometimes and not on other occasions.
Fair enough.

I was just interested incase there was a reason I should start.

Ever thought this forum might be a lot less random if any of us actually read the contents of each others posts?

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post #22 of 36 (permalink) Old 11-13-2012, 01:15 PM
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Bonnies shouldn't be considered "beginner" bike, but rather it will accommodate a beginner just fine. It's a very easy bike to ride, shifts smooth, and has the flexibility for easy riding or hard charging. Certainly not a bike anyone would feel compelled to trade up from.

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post #23 of 36 (permalink) Old 11-13-2012, 02:13 PM
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Here's an example of what happens when you don't take the MSF class straight away
"I was riding on a 500cc Triumph. I hadn't had it more than two months. I bought it off a farmer. One of his sons had come to grief on it.
"I just tuned it up and put a new rear tyre on it. I thought the front tyre would be okay but it wasn't. It bust."
He was thrown into the road and his coma was such that doctors concluded that he had died. So they gave the order for the body to be taken away.
That was 76 years ago. He's celebrating his 106th birthday today

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post #24 of 36 (permalink) Old 11-13-2012, 02:38 PM
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Originally Posted by AMC View Post
Well actually, I plan to buy a used Bonneville or a Thruxton as my first bike. I'm not looking to go especially fast or have anything especially powerful and I think these two would be very good for a beginner rider. The 250s are nice, but I am not a rich man, and I don't want to buy a bike and then 6 months later, I am in the market for a new bike because the 250 doesn't have the necessary power to do what I want and go where I want. I would rather buy what I want once, and just take my time and practice on it. Most of the folks on here seem to think that the Bonnie is a good "first bike" choice as well.
I started on a Bonnie. Not the first bike I ever rode, but the first bike I owned -- bought it a few weeks before my MSF course this past summer.

I would agree with the sentiment that a Bonneville (or Thruxton) will accommodate a new rider, rather than a Bonneville is truly a suitable beginner bike. They're heavy for a new rider - 500 lbs all fueled up is no laughing matter. But as many others have said they have a linear, relatively forgiving throttle, a nice (if slightly heavy) pull clutch. And they go where you plant them, you don't have to wrestle them into turns -- quite the opposite, they're almost as flickable as a sport bike.

And plenty of power! More than enough for a beginner (IMO). Treat the Bonnie or Thruxton with respect -- 67 hp and 50 ft-lbs of torque are nothing to laugh at.

Were I to do it all over again, I would have:

- bought used, not new
- gotten a lighter bike to start (to me weight and inertia are a more important consideration than CCs)
- paid more attention to ergonomics - they matter
- considered a dual-sport and/or done some trail riding
- planned on selling it again after 2-3 months, as the used market is alive & well

And I probably would have sold it for what I paid for it, or near enough as to not worry about it.

You can learn on a bigger, heavier, more powerful bike, but you won't learn as well or as quickly (IMO).

On the other hand, as a friend pointed out, a motorcycle is an emotional purchase, not an intellectual purchase. You buy the one you like -- the looks, the feel. And if it doesn't appeal to you, if you don't look at it in the garage and say to yourself "how can get these responsibilities out of the way early today so I can go riding?" then you didnt get the right bike -- because it should be that fun & appealing.
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post #25 of 36 (permalink) Old 11-13-2012, 02:45 PM
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Originally Posted by 9990 View Post
Were I to do it all over again, I would have:


- considered a dual-sport and/or done some trail riding
I agree with everything you wrote there 9990, especially that part. I try to get on gravel and dirt roads when I can, and it has helped my riding immensely. I feel like I have a better sense of the balance of the bike by riding it when it's slipping a bit under me. And if the bike scoots a little sideways on pavement from a bit of sand or stray rocks, it's not an unfamiliar feeling and doesn't bring up quite the arse-clenching response.

I have a lot to learn about riding both on pavement and dirt, but learning on both at the same time helps I think.
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post #26 of 36 (permalink) Old 11-13-2012, 03:09 PM
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The thing about bikes for new riders is it depends on the rider.

Small capacity bikes without an aggressive seating position are great for any new rider, others may be equally or more suitable for one rider but not another.

Ever thought this forum might be a lot less random if any of us actually read the contents of each others posts?

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post #27 of 36 (permalink) Old 11-13-2012, 03:50 PM
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I took my MSF course after I had been riding on a permit for over a year....the one thing that struck me was that my fellow students who had never even ridden a bike before scored perfectly or very close to....those of us who had some experience scored far worse...bad habits and all that.

I nearly always park in 1st these days simply because if I'm on a gradient of any kind (normal) then at least in my own mind the bike is more secure...besides, it's easier!
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post #28 of 36 (permalink) Old 11-13-2012, 04:06 PM
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If you park in neutral, the terrorists win.

Actually, it is to hold the bike. I have seen bikes that were parked in neutral move on their own and fall and I think it is a weird teaching that the MSF promotes. I have always parked in first, I don't understand why one wouldn't.

Not looking to argue, cuz then the terrorists win too. Just stating an opinion and you know what that's like...

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post #29 of 36 (permalink) Old 11-13-2012, 04:14 PM
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A bonneville is a perfectly fine first bike, but as others have said it shouldn't be considered a starter bike. I had to take the msf course recently as I had been a few years without a bike and let my license lapse when changing states. Here in CT they require it.. Won't let you just test out. I actually found the 250s harder to ride than my bonneville. Very twitchy and not responsive. And I couldn't imagine trying to get around in heavy traffic or a highway on one of those things.

Take my opinion what it is though... i learned to ride (and to crash) on a Honda CBR 900 . ..... On second thought... Maybe you should start with a 250 ...

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post #30 of 36 (permalink) Old 11-13-2012, 05:06 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone for all of your opinions. I guess i'm just a little apprehensive about settling for anything, and not getting what I really want. I've learned that when I settle for something, I will usually get what I initially wanted anyway, usually at a greater financial cost. From what most have said on here, the Bonnie and the Thruxton while not necessarily a "beginner bike" aren't going to be overkill.

When I first considered purchasing a motorcycle, all I wanted was a sportbike. Ninja, Hayabusa, etc was all I could think of. One day I was driving home after going on a run in a local park, and I saw a guy riding a Triumph Bonneville. That was that! So, I think that in this case, finding a used Bonnie and just being wise in riding it, is going to serve me better in the long-term.

Now... anybody reasonably close to New Orleans looking to sell me a used Bonnie or Thruxton in great shape?

Last edited by AMC; 11-13-2012 at 05:33 PM.
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