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 Scooter for a Beginner

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JeffR_
Dale N.
dspevack
jmaslak
lalee
Old raddog
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Old raddog
Scooter Rider
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PostSubject: Scooter for a Beginner   Scooter for a Beginner I_icon_minitimeMon Apr 21, 2014 7:44 pm

Shocked I been through the Riders course, completed lic. and ready to get started. Any words of wisdom on what a good starter scooter would be. I am 60 yrs old. I am eager, want comfort, to to cruise not a speed demon. All comments will be appreciated. I know there is a lot of experience on this site, as well as wisdom. Hope you will share some.
Ty
God Bless
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lalee
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PostSubject: Re: Scooter for a Beginner   Scooter for a Beginner I_icon_minitimeMon Apr 21, 2014 8:14 pm

Anything less than 250cc is a waste of money as you will be back on the market looking for a powerful enough scooter in a relatively short period of time.

The 400cc scooters are good. The Burgman 400 is light and fast, but the values have to be adjusted every 4000 miles and if you are not mechanically inclined, then plan on spending $$$ to get it done. That is why I rid myself of a Burgman 400.

I would recommend you buy a Silverwing and just take it easy on the throttle for awhile. It is a keeper of a machine and will last a long time with proper maintenance.

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jmaslak
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PostSubject: Re: Scooter for a Beginner   Scooter for a Beginner I_icon_minitimeMon Apr 21, 2014 8:16 pm

Consider your abilities carefully and accurately. The Silverwing is a heavy beast that is fairly high performance, and it can be unforgiving with mistakes - it can kill. Make sure you are comfortable with any bike's weight. I personally am glad I started with lighter bikes. Also make sure you can actually easily get your feet down on the ground.

If you aren't looking for speed, you might also want to look at some of the scooters in the 300cc and 400cc ranges as potentially better starter bikes (assuming you are looking to be able to do highway speed - if you don't plan on going on highways you can probably look much smaller). I've liked the looks and paper specs of the Honda Forza, but I've never ridden one (and others here have and probably can tell you more good/bad). I had a Helix which I found a bit lacking at highway speed at altitude.

Also, standard advice to a new rider is to buy used - for a bunch of reasons (there's a good chance you will want a different bike once you start riding, but probably don't have the experience to know exactly what you'll want when you first start - you'll be able to sell a used bike for close to what you paid for it, so it won't be an expensive mistake). Stick to bikes that are low mileage, stored indoors (garaged), and don't have any major damage - you will have a lot more fun with a ride-able bike than with a "project" bike. I'd add that I would recommend for a new rider to buy full gear (helmet, motorcycle pants, jacket, motorcycle gloves, motorcycle boots), probably at a local shop where you can try stuff on. Gear can be surprisingly costly, but way less than it costs to have the ER pick gravel out of your leg.

Finally, budget for maintenance. You will be replacing a rear tire every 5,000 to 10,000 miles on these bikes - at probably north of $100/tire by the time you pay a dealer. If you don't do your own maintenance, you'll be surprised at the cost of things like oil changes (hundreds of dollars is not necessarily surprising).

I'd recommend having the dealer or previous owner transport the bike to your house after you buy it. That way you can get comfortable on it at your pace, without a crowd to watch you.

Good job on taking the class - by getting licensed and having formal training, you're well ahead of most riders. You'll have a blast.

And feel free to discount any of the above advice if you know it isn't valid for your situation. But I think it's good general new rider advice.
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lalee
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Number of posts : 289
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PostSubject: Re: Scooter for a Beginner   Scooter for a Beginner I_icon_minitimeMon Apr 21, 2014 8:23 pm

jmaslak wrote:
Consider your abilities carefully and accurately.  The Silverwing is a heavy beast that is fairly high performance, and it can be unforgiving with mistakes - it can kill.  Make sure you are comfortable with any bike's weight.  I personally am glad I started with lighter bikes.  Also make sure you can actually easily get your feet down on the ground.

If you aren't looking for speed, you might also want to look at some of the scooters in the 300cc and 400cc ranges as potentially better starter bikes (assuming you are looking to be able to do highway speed - if you don't plan on going on highways you can probably look much smaller).  I've liked the looks and paper specs of the Honda Forza, but I've never ridden one (and others here have and probably can tell you more good/bad).   I had a Helix which I found a bit lacking at highway speed at altitude.

Also, standard advice to a new rider is to buy used - for a bunch of reasons (there's a good chance you will want a different bike once you start riding, but probably don't have the experience to know exactly what you'll want when you first start - you'll be able to sell a used bike for close to what you paid for it, so it won't be an expensive mistake).  Stick to bikes that are low mileage, stored indoors (garaged), and don't have any major damage - you will have a lot more fun with a ride-able bike than with a "project" bike.  I'd add that I would recommend for a new rider to buy full gear (helmet, motorcycle pants, jacket, motorcycle gloves, motorcycle boots), probably at a local shop where you can try stuff on.  Gear can be surprisingly costly, but way less than it costs to have the ER pick gravel out of your leg.

Finally, budget for maintenance.  You will be replacing a rear tire every 5,000 to 10,000 miles on these bikes - at probably north of $100/tire by the time you pay a dealer.  If you don't do your own maintenance, you'll be surprised at the cost of things like oil changes (hundreds of dollars is not necessarily surprising).

I'd recommend having the dealer or previous owner transport the bike to your house after you buy it.  That way you can get comfortable on it at your pace, without a crowd to watch you.

Good job on taking the class - by getting licensed and having formal training, you're well ahead of most riders.  You'll have a blast.

And feel free to discount any of the above advice if you know it isn't valid for your situation.  But I think it's good general new rider advice.

All good points.
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dspevack
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Number of posts : 2008
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PostSubject: Re: Scooter for a Beginner   Scooter for a Beginner I_icon_minitimeMon Apr 21, 2014 10:41 pm

1. What are your riding needs?
-----To the store and back? Will you be carrying packages?
-----How far will you go?
-----Highway or local?
-----Are you riding with friends that you need to keep up with?
2. What weight scooter can you handle?
-----If the scooter falls over, can you pick it up?
-----What was the weight of the bikes you trained on? Can you handle heavier?
3. Finances? Can you afford to buy now and upgrade in a year?
-----Can you afford a scooter without a warranty (I.E. pay your own repair costs)?
-----If buying new, how local is your local dealer, in case you need warranty repairs?
Silverwing is a great scooter to end up with, but you've got to decide if its where you want to start.

Dan
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Dale N.
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Dale N.


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PostSubject: Re: Scooter for a Beginner   Scooter for a Beginner I_icon_minitimeMon Apr 21, 2014 11:59 pm

For what it's worth:

I will be 68 in July and this is my first Silverwing and it's a 2008. I've ridden various cycles in my life from 125 cc to 850 cc. This is the first Wing I've had and although I've only put maybe 250 miles on it so far I like it. It has the power to get up and go and is comfortable to ride.

I must confess, I was an idiot the other day in my garage. I was sitting on the Wing and put the side stand up. Why I'll never know. Anyway, I got off from it and down it went on it's side. After I got done cussing myself out I picked it up and looked it over for scratches and any damage. I could only find one scratch about 1 1/2" long on the left front. Whether that was there before and I hadn't noticed it is another question. But I really really did feel stupid.  Crying or Very sad  So far I've remembered to put the side stand down BEFORE getting off. Hopefully I'll remember in the future.

Anyway, if you aren't looking for something to pop wheelies with or drag race with everybody that comes along the Wing might be alright for you. It's got enough get up and go to get up and go. I've found myself doing 80-85 on the highway before I realized I was going that fast. It handles good around town and on the road.

I don't have lots of experience with the Wing seeing as I'm new to it but these are my 2 cents on this matter.

Scooter for a Beginner Silver17
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JeffR_
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JeffR_


Number of posts : 1103
Age : 63
Location : Bay Area, Ca
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Registration date : 2010-05-12

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PostSubject: Re: Scooter for a Beginner   Scooter for a Beginner I_icon_minitimeTue Apr 22, 2014 1:05 am

Old ragdog,

There are a lot of good points here. If you are able to take it easy on the throttle than you could handle the SWing. But just as long as you are strong enough to hold it up or put it on its centerstand. Even though the SWing is a scooter it is 550 lbs with a full tank of gas. And it is powerful enough to really get away from you. If you are leary of the SWing being heavy and powerful you many think about a Majesty 400cc and the Burgman 400cc. I had the Majesty and it will take you anywhere you want to go in comfort and then see if you can handle the weight of the Swing.

If you are big or strong enough to handle the SWing I would just go ahead and get one and just take it easy for awhile until you get used to it. Take it to big parking lots and do figure 8's and things. Someone mentioned the Forza and it is 300cc but is able to go just short of 90mph so that would be a great bike to start on as well except it is a new bike and costs about $6,000. Lalee said that a 250cc is kind of useless for highway riding and I agree 100%. I had a Reflex for only 2 months because it just can't handle the interstate safely IMO. Once you are at speed there is really nothing left to get out of trouble. Keep us informed what you get and good luck.
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GHM-PM
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GHM-PM


Number of posts : 2319
Age : 70
Location : Bullhead City, AZ
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PostSubject: Re: Scooter for a Beginner   Scooter for a Beginner I_icon_minitimeTue Apr 22, 2014 4:29 am

JeffR is right a lot depends on your physical condition. I traded a KLR650 in on the SWing. The KLR is 440 lbs appx. and going to the SWing at 550 appx had me a bit worried. BUT the center of gravity on the Silver Wing is very low and actually it is much easier to handle than the Kawasaki KLR. For me anyhow. I bought mine and drove 100 miles the first day and never looked back, this is a great scoot and much easier to ride than most people realize. The weight keeps it from being a scary rocket ship (like a sport bike) and the auto shift is awesome. I now have a Gold Wing (almost 900 lbs) and the SWing is svelte by comparison... LOL Good luck.
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DickO
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DickO


Number of posts : 996
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PostSubject: Re: Scooter for a Beginner   Scooter for a Beginner I_icon_minitimeTue Apr 22, 2014 9:47 am

Hey Ty,,, First, let me add my "welcome to the SWing site" statement. And you've already seen all the valued, valid points that everyone's made. Personally, I was 64 years of age when I decided to start riding two-wheeled vehicles for the first time ever. Had spotted a couple Silver Wings parked at a local country music concert (actually out in the country) and decided that's what I wanted.

Researched for a year or more, checked all the SWing sites, and then got my license, just as you did. I figured since I was healthy and physically fit, that I'd be able to handle such a machine without worrying about gears; just as you've read about from the others here. Anyway, I took my time, rode the backroads and local school parking areas a lot, joined the American Legion Riders to start some group riding, and then never looked back. Certainly not an "expert" by any means, but do feel supremely confident and comfortable after gaining the riding experience of these last five years. Just follow the 'sensible' advice others have given, and you'll do well with the Silver Wing.

Good Luck and welcome again.
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MikeO
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PostSubject: Re: Scooter for a Beginner   Scooter for a Beginner I_icon_minitimeTue Apr 22, 2014 10:00 am

Dale, I reckon having a 'beginner's ' view is very valuable to new Swingers as some of us have probably forgotten what it was like at first. Smile 
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Greysilver
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Greysilver


Number of posts : 491
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Location : Arizona
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PostSubject: Re: Scooter for a Beginner   Scooter for a Beginner I_icon_minitimeTue Apr 22, 2014 7:43 pm

If you start with a Silverwing and use  your head I can not see a problem. The Swing is well balanced and has a low center of gravity. You will appreciate the weight in crosswinds. You must be careful with the throttle. While it isn't breakneck it is consistent from 10 to 80 and the weight and stability are deceptive even lulling.  It is easy to think you are going 50 and your are going 65. Pay attention to your surroundings and your speed always.

I have 680 miles on my "new" 2011 and am really enjoying it. I think the cost of getting into a small scooter then moving up is prohibitive. Some guys buy and sell handily, others do not. Get a nice one with low miles at first and stick with it. Personally I wanted ABS and would recommend it to anyone.
This is my 7th Honda and all do as advertised.
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