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Discussion Starter #1
I hate to say it, but I feel like a bit of a sell out. Following the advise of many, I decided to purchase a used bike for my first ride instead of going with the new Triumph of my dreams. I paid $3500 cash for a Yamaha V Star 650 Custom. It's no Triumph, but it'll get the job done 'til I can develop my skills and confidence. Having never ridden before except for the MSF course over a month ago, I think it was the right choice for now. My first ride was met with excitement as well as anxiety. It was an interesting ride home. I took the roads less traveled and kept it at 60 or below. I was nervous for the first 5 or 6 miles before I began to relax. Then it happened...I saw a single headlight approaching in the distance. I thought to myself, "Is that another motocyclist? "If so, is he going to do it?" No sooner than those thoughts went through my mind, I saw the two fingers go down, giving me "the sign!" The tense grimmace on my face was now parted with a smile as I returned the gesture. I felt liberated...initiated...as though I had been officially sworn in! He probably had no clue that this was my very first ride on the open highway as he passed what he may have thought to be another seasoned fellow rider. What an invigorating feeling! I can't wait to get out on the road again, but I especially can't wait for the day when I purchase a beautiful new America!!
 

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Hey, the Yamaha is a great bike, I think you made a good choice. Ride it for a season or two while you save up some cash and look around for the bike you really want. Stay plugged in to Triumphrat.net, it will keep the dream alive
 

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That's great. There are lots of firsts, just yesterday I scraped a peg for the first time. After I figured out I didn't do something bad I was pretty pumped.

Congrats on the ride and the initiation.
 

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Just enjoy the ride and get your skills up. All bikes have their particular specialities and any bike, even and old crap one can still bring a smile to your face when you're out on the road. And I'm not sayign yours is old or crap. Any bike, even a little scooter, is more fun than a car.

Just be safe and enjoy.
 

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Back when I had my Harley Road King, I test rode the V-Star. I was impressed! It felt just like my hog. The Yamaha guy asked me if it was the 650 or the 1100. I didn't know. Turns out it was the 650. The only difference was the 1100 has bigger pistons and a chrome badge on the side panel instead of a sticker. You made a great choice!
 

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My first bike was a Yamaha RD350 (1974)....great bike to learn on and easy to pick up :D. You didn't sell out...you were wise to buy a used bike because if you drop it a few times while learning it will be less financially painful. Smart move. Now ride the wheels off of it and learn how to counter steer. I recommend you get a "Ride Like a Pro" DVD which will give you some great low speed techniques. Then find a remote parking lot and practice, practice, practice. :)

Congratulations & Ride safe.
 

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Remember when

if you were thinking of getting a Honda 90 or 150, folks would say, "wouldn't it be wiser to start out on a mo-ped?" Then of course you'd reply with, "Hey, why don't you start out on THIS right here eh?! I got something you can start out on..right here!"
650 is Plenty to start with. Enjoy.
 

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First bike

You made a good choise, ride it and have fun. There is always time to get the bike of your dreams after you learn to ride and feel like you need a new one.

My first bike was a Yamaha RD60, it was a small street bike with all the lights and signals. I had wanted a dirt bike but my dad got a good deal on it. I road the trails and out in the pasture on street tires, learned a lot about keeping a bike up with no traction. I knew better than to crash it, my dad would have had a fit.

My first street bike was a Yamaha 550 Vision, had it from 1984-93, it was a very good bike and I loved it. I sold it thinking I was getting too old to ride around acting like a kid, was I ever wrong.

I also had a Yamaha RZ350 that was just plain fun and quick. It was light and had a lot of power, I sold it before I sold my Vision.

I've wanted another bike and when I bought my Bonneville I felt right at home, it handles and feels just like the Vision. The two are very much alike in weight, handling, power and feel. The Vision was a sport touring bike built to compete with the BMW sport touring bikes of the early 80's.

This Bonneville has everything I wanted in a motorcycle, I don't think I would appreciate it as much if I had not had the other bikes to compare it to. I love it because it fits me and the way I ride.
 

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Didja ever think it may have been his first ride as well?:)
Congratulations on the job, the move and the bike.
You'll find a lot of nice people on here.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Feelin' better about my choice

Hey!!
Thanx everyone for the feedback and support! I really am excited about getting the wind in my face tomorrow! I still want a Triumph, though. I have a beautiful photo of the America as the desktop background on my laptop. Everytime I log out, I admire it for a moment and remind myself that the dream is still alive. I don't have anything against the Yammy, but in my opinion, the Triumphs are just much, much more beautifully crafted. There's just no comparison. But until the day comes, I'll just have to straddle the ol' V Star and use my imagination. And ya know what? I have no problem with that...not one bit! It actually gives me something to look forward to. I will be here on the forum as much as I can be and keeping up with you guys! Thanx again, everyone!
 

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I'm glad my first bike WASN'T my bonnie. I had a Honda VT600... very similar to your. It was a GREAT first bike. Do exactly as you said, learn on this bike, and when you outgrow it, and can afford the bike of your dreams, then get the Triumph.

Stay safe, and keep riding!
 

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I had a Yamaha 650 Custom as my first bike. Overall it was a nice bike, but the one thing that did drive me a little nuts, was the setup of the clutch. The Friction zone is way out toward the end of the lever travel, or at least it used to be. The one I had was an '07.

They may have addressed this issue in later years. I am not sure, but if you find that they are still set up that way and don't care for it, Seritec makes a nice little mod that does the trick very nicely in addressing it.
http://webslingercycles.com/Clutch.htm
 

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V-Stars

If you master basic steering on your V-Star, you may regard yourself as a very accomplished rider. I am glad you are happy, but things get a lot better as you trade up. Don't get caught up on comparing detail of craftsmanship; Triumphs handle!

Whatever your tastes, full points for getting licensed and out there.
 

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As a lot of people said, hit the carparks and do crazy **** like slow races, then reward yourself with a nice long ride down a twisty road.

Respect!
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I had a Yamaha 650 Custom as my first bike. Overall it was a nice bike, but the one thing that did drive me a little nuts, was the setup of the clutch. The Friction zone is way out toward the end of the lever travel, or at least it used to be. The one I had was an '07.

They may have addressed this issue in later years. I am not sure, but if you find that they are still set up that way and don't care for it, Seritec makes a nice little mod that does the trick very nicely in addressing it.
http://webslingercycles.com/Clutch.htm
And you see, I thought it was my lack of experience. I have an '05 and I found the same to be true. I just figured, ok, it's a used bike and I haven't enough experience to know better anyway, but yeah, when I take off, it feels like it takes longer than it should to engage. Just one of those things I'll have to get used to, I suppose...no biggie. That's what I love about having access to the volumes of knowledge from the great folks here! Thanx so much!
 
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