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Howdy everyone!

First time poster here in need of some advice. I've been looking into purchasing a motorcycle for awhile, never having actually owned one before. Triumphs have definitely caught my attention while I've been looking. I was wondering if a Triumph would be a good first bike, and if so, which model?

Thanks in advance to anyone who feels like lending a helping hand to a (hopefully) future Triumph owner!
 

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IMHO a Bonnie or a Scrambler would be the ideal way to start. If, however, you're proficient at riding - even though you've never actually owned a bike - a used Speed Four or TT600 would be a good acquisition. It depends a lot on how you plan to do use your bike and what type of riding you want to do. If you're into retro, few bikes look as cool as the Thruxton or the America. If you've never ridden but want to ride the ragged edge between life and death - the Daytona 675, Speed Triple, or Rocket III could probably scare you enough ti give up motorcycling forever. :D

In other words, start small and work up. (In my teen age years, 350cc was a relatively large bike. So if you buy a Bonnie or a Scrambler, you'll learn on something huge for decades past.) All things in perspective, you want to feel safe and learn and have fun all at the same time.
 

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First and foremost, I’ll act like you’ve never even ever thrown a leg over a bike and give you my normal spiel: Take a beginner rider’s course (MSF if you are in the states). And while you are awaiting the training class buy and read David Hough’s Proficient Motorcycling books. Best money you will spend on your bike. Read the book, learn the basics, mechanics, theory, and then put them to practice in the test. And then, after you’ve spent a weekend tooling around on a Nighthawk 250 you will know if riding is meant for you. If not, no big deal, you’ve wasted about $150 and probably had some fun and definitely learned a lot. If it is still for you though, the next step is to get some good riding gear: Helmet, jacket, gloves, pants, boots : leather is better. If you are worried about cost go to newenough.com and kit up for under $500, you don’t need to make a fashion statement so don’t go dropping a grand on a Dainese jacket (if you are already thinking about looking cool on a bike just stop reading here as you probably really don’t want to ride for the ride and won’t take anyone’s advice to heart). Remember, even the priciest gear is cheaper than an ambulance ride.

Now, to answer your question:

Freerider1117 said:
I was wondering if a Triumph would be a good first bike, and if so, which model?
The Bonnie with a standard seating position, low CoG, and linear power is probably one of the best bikes you can start off on. However, they are pricey to buy (even used) and pricey to fix, two things you don’t want in a first bike, which is why I said it was a good bike to start on but it really isn’t a starter bike. The Thruxton even less so with its more aggressive riding posture.

I would suggest buying something used and inexpensive (Kawasaki EX500, KLR, Suzuki SV650). Something that you can learn to ride comfortably on, something that you won’t want to leap off a cliff if you drop it and marr pretty chrome and crumple pricey plastics (might make the KLR look better in fact), and something that you can sell for what you put into it a year or two down the road.

To put it into Triumph terms:

The EX500 is the beginner Bonnie

The SV650 is the beginner Speed Triple/Street Triple

The KLR is the beginner Tiger

:D

If you have your heart set on a cruiser, the only real advice I can give you (aside from used and inexpensive) is to get one with the lowest wet weight possible (don’t worry too much about engine sizes, these things aren’t cut from the same cloth as fire breathing sport bikes. DO worry about that tonnage your novice skills will be wheeling about though).

Catenaccio said:
If, however, you're proficient at riding - even though you've never actually owned a bike - a used Speed Four or TT600 would be a good acquisition.
I wouldn’t guess that a fellow who has never owned a bike before would be proficient enough to handle a supersport (unless they grew up road racing). I’m really amazed how many people on this site will suggest a S4/TT600 as a first bike simply because it was the ‘baby’ Trumpet. May as well suggest a Daytona 955, at least its triple powerband is a bit more linear than an twitchy first gen FI I4 :D
 

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I'll add that a lot of riders have a minor spill when first learning to ride. That's a good reason to start with a cheap used bike; buying your dream bike to learn on can lead to heartbreak when you first learn something the hard way. And the process of learning can change what you thought your dream bike is. So start cheap and light.

This is a topic that comes up pretty regularly. If you use the forum search, you'll find a lot of discussions about this. You might want to read those, but you should always feel free to hit us with more questions! We love any opportunity to pontificate. :D
 

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my suggestion would be to look for something with a relatively long wheelbase. Think small cruiser. you'll find the braking and handling more forgiving, if not as sharp.

The Honda Shadow 750 (or the like) is a good choice and they are cheap used. (and used is the way to go on your 1st bike) But at about 500 lbs they are a bit heavy, something to consider if you are small in stature.

If you are look at the Honda VLX and its kin.

Good luck.
 
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