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Topic: Beginner motorcycle
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That's Enough

3/21/2013 9:36:04 PM
Member since:
Oct 2010
Total posts:77
Beginner motorcycle

I'm thinking of getting a motorcycle for the summer to help save on fuel! I'm looking for suggestions from experienced riders. What would you suggest for a female beginner? I need something for both city and highway driving. Any other POSITIVE advice would be great too. Thanks!

The Real Mike

3/21/2013 9:44:14 PM
Member since:
Dec 2005
Total posts:846

I was thinking about the same thing last year. For me, the extra cost of insurance completely negated any savings on fuel.  
You can get an estimate on insurance from MPI here:


3/21/2013 9:52:15 PM
Member since:
Aug 2005
Total posts:279
Motorcycle course

You also would need to pass the course if you already have not.  


3/21/2013 9:59:37 PM
Member since:
Mar 2012
Total posts:60

There is 1 option is to get a scooter for the city only. Insurance prices are insane.


3/21/2013 10:09:07 PM
Member since:
Oct 2011
Total posts:163
i was looking too

I found the cheapest bike to insure was a on/off road trail bike. Looks like a dirt bike. But the insurance scared me away. I drive a truck and thought of saving money gas wise.. but when i compare my 1200$ insurance for my truck to 1600$ for a bike. It didnt make sence. make sure you check the insurance on any bike. I also considered a little ninja 250R but 400$ a month for insurance is awful. They do have something smaller like a 125cc if thats the of bike you like. I am no expert on bikes. just sharing what I know from my recent bike study lol.


3/21/2013 10:11:11 PM
Member since:
Oct 2011
Total posts:163

to update my situation I have now bought a pedal bike ;)


3/21/2013 10:14:21 PM
Member since:
Jun 2007
Total posts:9023

i agree the money you save on gas you spend in insurance but the up side is there is nothing like riding a bike  
if you haven't had our learners before the bike course rules came in you will also have to take a course ($300-$500 if i remember right)  
for size it really depends on you but i would a 500 will give you enough power to ride on the hiway but still keep insurance rates lower, its also reasonable for a beginner bike, if you go 250 you will want a bigger one right away, style depends on you and what you think you may want, sport bikes are nice but aren't as comfy and they also don't come as low to the ground, so depending on your height thats something to consider, mind you im under 5' and i can ride most, i'm also not a beginner (tarted on dirt bikes when i was 5 and couldn't touch the ground even with the seat off lol)  
good luck

Tracy L.

3/21/2013 10:17:48 PM
Member since:
Jun 2007
Total posts:133
Save money???

Probably not..... The cost of the bike, insurance and maintenance will probably out way fuel savings! But they sure are fun!

Cee Jay 55

3/21/2013 10:38:20 PM
Member since:
Apr 2009
Total posts:4100

I agree; the fuel savings would never offset the cost of insurance on most motorcycles. Look at a "smaller" one to learn on and once you are hooked, you won't give a rat's @$$ about "fuel savings".


3/21/2013 11:24:27 PM
Member since:
Nov 2007
Total posts:1851
Bike size

I wouldn't suggest anything smaller than a 750cc if you are planning any longer highway rides like to Winnipeg. The wind can really move you around on the road if you are a smaller person. A 500 is great around town and for shorter highway trips, but it can get tiring fighting a strong cross wind on a smaller bike.  


3/22/2013 4:32:22 AM
Member since:
Nov 2011
Total posts:335
a good beginner bike

is a 555cc Virago (Yamaha) (used)  
the 1100CC Virago would be a good next step.  
there's a 750cc Intruder that's good (Suzuki)  
then graduate to the 1400cc Intruder  
800cc Vulcan is terrific for a lady.  
If you start small you will go bigger pretty quickly  
Can't beat a 49cc scooter for in town only  
We have a jazz (Honda) terrific for one rider  
$4.00 to fill, lasts a month. cheap insurance.  
great to learn on. don't need a m/c licence. just great! $1,500.00

sharon kucher

3/22/2013 4:50:53 AM
Member since:
Aug 2009
Total posts:1510

Manoffallout said "There is 1 option is to get a scooter for the city only. Insurance prices are insane. "

True a 50cc scooter you only need a regular driver license or even a learners license. A 50 cc is good for around Brandon.  
There are 150cc and 250cc and even bigger Motorcycle/Scooters. These units can do highway speeds. Any unit over 50cc requires a motorcycle license or at least a learner motorcycle license.  
I own a 250cc Saga Scooter it can do over 130kms on the highway. My motorcycle/scooter insurance for last year was 520.00.  
Much much cheaper then a then a full motorcycle insurance.

vulcan rider

3/22/2013 6:24:56 AM
Member since:
Oct 2008
Total posts:32
just my 2 cents

I've been riding for approx. 40 years, and I would suggest nothing over a 500 cc  
bike. A 250 would be about right for learning on, but be prepared to move up  
in a year or so. Remember that the larger  
the engine, the heavier the bike. I have a touring bike that weighs in at 900 wet.

Truck Chick

3/22/2013 6:25:41 AM
Member since:
Jun 2006
Total posts:1859
agree that it's not any cheaper, but WAY more fun!

I've got a Honda Magna v30 (500 cc) that's comfortable both in town & on the highway. The insurance is way cheaper than a sport bike, so you might want to consider a cruiser over a sport, but that will depend on what you are comfortable with. The good thing about the mandatory safety course is that they have both styles to learn on, so do that before you buy. Good luck & have fun!


3/22/2013 7:26:52 AM
Member since:
May 2008
Total posts:520
I bought

My first street back in September. The insurance works out to be 200 more a year than my truck so the fuel savings will make up the difference. I can ride my Harley to Dauphin for $10. My truck would likely be $40. And I can ride my bike to work for around the same price all week where my truck is usually 50-60 a week in town for fuel.  
And it's cheaper to insure than my buddies Suzuki so don't believe every thing you hear about Harley's being expensive. Also they have a higher resale than many others if it turns out you don't like the motorcycle lifestyle. The only problem you will encounter is the 6 month waiting list for the MPI accredited motorcycle training course. Unless you can go to Winnipeg for a few evenings to take it.

BigDaddy 2

3/22/2013 8:52:22 AM
Member since:
May 2010
Total posts:800
You will not

notice enough savings in fuel to offset your insurance rates BUT don't let that stop you!! You will never feel the change in temps when you drive thru the shade, never smell fresh bails sitting on the side of the road or the smell of a lake while sitting in your car! We all love to bitch and whine about insurance rates (and yes we get raped) but to often we forget to tell people that when we are on the bikes we don't even think about it!  
As for bikes, my first was a Wide Glide (brand new off the floor). You have to weigh out the pros & cons of buying new or used. I can only speak for Harley's but I would assume it's the same with other bikes. The cost of buying a used 5-10 y/o harley was only about $5000.00 cheaper than a brand new one. Used usually do not have any warranty and you are getting someone elses reject. I payed $5000(roughly) more for a brand new bike, with warrant, roadside (first year) and my bike has never been in the shop for repairs (other than noise upgrades to piss people off and oil change). A buddy of mine bought a small used bike, and a year later had to upgraded to a bigger bike.  
Long and short of it you need to figure out your wants and needs. I went Harley cause I always wanted 1. Cost to purchase is higher, but so is resale. I rode a Buell (little crotch rocket style)in my Motorcycle training course and was so cramped up by the middle of the class I was happy to be back on my Wide Glide all stretched out relaxed. I have lots of power, but don't care to go fast or get into corners where I'm dragging my knee. I like the deep rumble of a harley opposed to a bumble bee (some may say it's small penis syndrome, but there's pills to fix that). These are all things (except the small penis thing) that you have to think about. My wife is short and very skinny 5'6" I would buy her a HD Sportster for her first bike and move her up from there. if she wanted a sports bike I would just divorce her!  
Sorry for the long post, but get yourself registered into the beginners course thru Mb Safety Council asap. Good course and you can try a couple different style bikes. Every bike has it's pros & cons and everyone has a good and bad story of bikes they like and don't like. Good luck in your adventure and don't let MPI ruin your fun!


3/22/2013 9:13:49 AM
Member since:
Apr 2011
Total posts:165

Alot of people state "fuel savings" as an original means of getting into it. Even with the most efficient scooters you'd be doing superb just to break even considering how much MPI screws bikers. However, its something different altogether. It becomes less a mode of transportation and more a lifestyle. You'd be hard pressed to get me into a cage (vehicle) during riding season.


3/22/2013 9:44:21 AM
Member since:
Jan 2011
Total posts:368

Without knowing what style of bike you're interested in, Honda and Kawasaki have both been going after beginner riders interested in "sporty" bikes with the Honda CBR125/250, and Kawi with the Ninja 250R (recently upsized to a 300)  
A brand new CBR 125 can be purchased for $2,229 (think they discontinued them, so they are leftovers) while the 2 larger bikes are less than 5 grand brand new.  
Cruisers (even the small ones) are considerably larger/heavier and get nowhere near the fuel mileage of these tiny bikes, but there are still many options available.


3/22/2013 10:27:57 AM
Member since:
Mar 2008
Total posts:1985

Here's my advice. No matter what style of bike you want, start with a cheap one., something that you won't be as concerned if it falls over, and it likely will. I'm not trying to scare you off that you'll crash, but when you stop and forget to put the kickstand out, or don't get your feet down quick enough at a stop sign. Dad and I both did it the same day one time, and we've got likely 40 years combined riding experience!!!  
If you want a sport bike, start on a 125 or 250cc. I know 600cc sounds like a small bike (and in the cruiser world it is) but a 600 isn't a small sport bike.  
If you want a cruiser, go no bigger than a 500 to start. A 250 Rebel would be a good choice, but they've held their value pretty well so you could pay more for one. There's always an old early 80's XS450 or something similar popping up in the classifieds for around $750-1000, and that's where I'd start. On fact that's what we got my gf for this summer.


3/22/2013 11:05:03 AM
Member since:
Dec 2009
Total posts:580
Gotta agree with Trevor...

When looking for a beginner's bike you want 4 things:  
Cheap, Light-weight, Reliable, and Easy to Operate.  
Based on those I would say that Honda's CBR125 would be the best choice.  
It is cheap, brand new is only $2300! You can find a nice used one for about 1500 bucks.  
It is probably the lightest weight motorcycle around at only 280 lbs. (as Trevor said, you may tip your first bike over, can you stop an 800lbs cruiser from falling?)  
Is a Honda, so pretty much the most reliable engines known to man, and the newer ones are fuel injected. That thing you want is a piece of junk that sometimes starts or maybe will leave you stranded in the middle of the road.  
Read up on this bike in terms of operation. From what I understand its pretty much impossible to stall. Ever driven a standard car? You know how it will buck and lurch if you don't get the clutch just right? Now imagine that on a bike.  
The best piece of advise I can offer is enjoy yourself. Find a nice big parking lot and learn to use the clutch and get comfortable shifting. Take a training course if required. BUY A QUALITY LEATHER JACKET. These things don't have a seat belt and if you take a spill your leather is the only thing between the pavement and your skin. NEVER WEAR SHORTS.  
Lastly, have fun. Riding a motorcycle will give you a rush and put a smile on your face. Welcome to the open road!


3/22/2013 5:54:26 PM
Member since:
Mar 2008
Total posts:13
pick what's comfy

Pick something that fits you and the style you want. Don't be talked into specific brands by others. And as for size, respect whatever your on cause a 125cc bike will hurt you just as much as a 1500cc bike.  

Cee Jay 55

3/22/2013 7:40:45 PM
Member since:
Apr 2009
Total posts:4100
Just love it

Look at us all doing our best to talk people into joining us in riding. Bikers: It's a great community!!


3/22/2013 9:31:17 PM
Member since:
May 2008
Total posts:520

Because sleds and hotrods just aren't enough for expensive hobbies. Lol


3/23/2013 3:33:49 AM
Member since:
May 2010
Total posts:10

There are two types of Motorcycle Riders-riders that have gotten into an accident and riders that are going to get in an accident!


3/23/2013 6:11:12 AM
Member since:
Jul 2006
Total posts:1707

My vote is for the Kawasaki Vulcan Classic. The LT model comes with luggage bags and a windshield. Trust me you want a windshield. It's nice and light and low so easy to hold up and low centre of gravity. Small enough to handle in the city and big enough to be good on the highway. I'd try sitting on one at Transcanada Motorsports behind Ye's Buffet.


3/23/2013 10:23:31 AM
Member since:
Jul 2012
Total posts:932
Bikes are awesome!

I was 5'9" at 14 and I started out with a Honda 125 trail bike. I caught my front tire crossing the pile of gravel the grader leaves on the side of the road and tipped it. I didn't damage anything (plastic fenders..very relieved!)  
When I turned 16 and got my bike licence, I drove a 550 Kawasaki street bike to school. With both of those, I felt comfortable with the weight, handling etc. Personally, I found the smooth tires of the street bike to handle WAY better in gravel than the knobby tires of my trail bike.  
I just looked into buying an 883 Harley. Beautiful bike! Two reasons I didn't buy it; I felt it would be too heavy for me, and with all the discussion on here of how expensive it is to licence bikes, I felt I couldn't justify the cost of licencing one. Which is unfortunate.  
Also, please know that if you are using it to go to work, there are many mornings that quite cold, so if you have far to ride, please consider that. Even early mornings in June and September can be really


3/23/2013 10:31:39 AM
Member since:
Oct 2012
Total posts:132

I got my first bike last fall (Kawasaki Ninja ZXR900. Unfortunately, I didn't get to ride it much because it got too cold.  
It's a bit big for me, but I am still able to touch the ground with both feet. I loveeeee it and can't wait till this summer!  


3/23/2013 10:42:34 AM
Member since:
Aug 2009
Total posts:8
Beginner motorcycle.

Been reading the posts and all good info for you. My choice, (and my first ride) would be a 750. Low center of gravity, light enough to handle for in town riding, but has the speed for highway use. Insurance, unless they changed, it will be based on the year, style and size of the bike. Savings, none really, especially if you already have a vehicle insured. Cheaper on fuel...yes. The important part is you'll experience a fun way to get from A to B and meet great fellow riders along the way. You'll also be doing your part for the environment with less exhaust emissions. (if your into the green thing) I currently ride a 1500 Honda Valkyrie. Last bit of advice to you....once you start riding, watch everyone on four wheels and ride as if they are out to run you over.

That's Enough

3/23/2013 1:39:57 PM
Member since:
Oct 2010
Total posts:77

Thanks to everyone for all your help! I've just registered for the training course, now I have to go study to pass my learners! I'm going to take my training, then see what's out there for bikes. Sounds like I may not be saving money in the end due to insurance, but it's still something I've always wanted to try, and thanks to all the great advice, I'm finally going to go for it!

Truck Chick

3/23/2013 1:48:10 PM
Member since:
Jun 2006
Total posts:1859

Good luck! The course is actually pretty fun :-)  
Like I said before - hold off buying your bike until you've done the course, and use the opportunity to test yourself on both a sportier and a cruise bike to see which you prefer :-)

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