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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My son will be graduating and turn 18 all within a month from now. I've agreed to get him his endorsement, through Safe Ride, and help or even pay in full for his first bike. We are at complete odds here, I've read up on good starter bikes from every resource google supplied (here included).

The boy is a good kid...but a complete idiot...he's a kid. I'm trying to maintain some control here by providing financial coverage, but he is set on a sports bike. He says he wants a nice one he can keep for years to come. Says a lot, but all I hear are TAPS.

I have it agreed to wait on getting a bike until after his endorsement. I'm hoping that when he takes the class, it will open his eyes to what all is involved in riding. It's just not getting on the bike and appearing to have fun.

I'm a Suzuki fanatic...have a 08 SV and 98 Bandit....I'm also looking at the 12 VStrom (looks like the SV and Bandit mated), but haven't test rode one yet. My son wants my SV and I've already shot that down. Not only no, but hell to the no.

This kid has never road before, except maybe 20 hours on a dirt bike...no comparison. I don't want to keep him from riding or enjoying the ride, but want to find that right bike to learn and grow with.

Like I've said, I've read up. I know what I'd like to put him on...but open to hear suggestions from others. Any input is appreciated.
 

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Would he settle for a Ninja 250R or CBR250?

To be devils advocate, at least the SV isnt a 600RR or R6. It could always be worse.

Edit: Either way, the SV is definitely a bad idea at 18.
 

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The boy is a good kid...but a complete idiot...he's a kid.

Any input is appreciated.
Get him a cheap bike that he can learn to ride, learn to take care of, and learn to repair. Based on your statement above, a small cc for the eager at hand. You deserve it.
 

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What's wrong with the SV? It's my first bike, and I can't drive a manual car. Never even ridden a dirt bike before.

That said, I wouldn't mind a 250 at ALL. Especially if you're paying for it. I'd also throw in the GS500F.
 

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I'm a Suzuki fanatic...have a 08 SV and 98 Bandit....I'm also looking at the 12 VStrom (looks like the SV and Bandit mated), but haven't test rode one yet. My son wants my SV and I've already shot that down. Not only no, but hell to the no.

This kid has never road before, except maybe 20 hours on a dirt bike...no comparison. I don't want to keep him from riding or enjoying the ride, but want to find that right bike to learn and grow with.
My first bike was a mistake, a 750 katana. Mostly because I didn't know what I was doing. Looking back I should probably be dead, but I think the SV650 is a very plausible beginners bike. I'm not saying a 500 with smoother throttle wouldn't be better, but I disagree with you when you rule out the SV completely, despite understanding your reasoning.
 

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Ninja 250- cheap to buy, cheap to maintain, and you can sell it for almost what you bought it for in a year or two when he's grown up a bit and has some experience.
 

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Would he settle for a Ninja 250R or CBR250?

To be devils advocate, at least the SV isnt a 600RR or R6. It could always be worse.

Edit: Either way, the SV is definitely a bad idea at 18.
I think this is a great idea. The ninja and cbr have the looks of the bigger sports bikes. Sounds like a compromise to me.
 

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Bring him to the gas station and ask him to pay and fill up your car or truck with the alrgest gas tank. Then tell him how many mpg it gets. Then let him know that a ninja250 get's about 80 mpg.

My kids friend was the same thing these past couple weeks. He wanted a GSXR750. I said your going to crash it and then your going to be all p*ssed because it's scratched up............and yes IT WILL HAPPEN!! Told him about dueal sports would be great because you can go in the dirt too. Which he looked at then he saw the newer ninja 250's and is looking at those. Now he wants a jeep. KIDS!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
More history....repeating he's 18. Lol. He's beatin up the car I gave him by not keeping on routine maintenance for the past 6 months (I was his reminder til then) and just doing stupid crap.

249cc I would be alright with. Outta the question for him, he wants at least 498cc...not that he really know what that means...but I do.

I do like the light weight of the SV...but not my cc's for his starter bike. He's stuck on thinking he's going to keep this first bike for decades. I see it now...he's gonna tip it several times by just not thinking...no kick stand down or even backing out of garage (he did that with just moving my Vulcan 500). First bikes tend to get beat up in the learning process, IMO.

Did I mention he's only 18? Lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I'm in so much agreement with the Ninja or CBR 250's. Now to sell it to him. If I help buy it, I have some control in what's bought. At least I have that much going for me. Lol
 

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I was 18 when I got my SV too. 19 now. Although, I am not as much of an adrenaline junkie as other 18 year olds are. I rarely ever go past 5k RPM on the street and barely speed in the country side. I also paid for my bike so I treated it much much much better.

If you want him to take care of it, make him pay for it or a good chunk of it. I baby ALL of my motorcycle gear because I paid for it. My parents pay for my gas and insurance.
 

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If he's an idiot, no bike is a good one. Are you exaggerating, or is he a good driver? If he is living in your home, and you are buying the bike, you get the final choice. If he is not grateful, why are you even considering paying for it?

It is a bit of a blow to a young man's ego to have a slower/smaller bike than his mom. If you are going to be able to get past that, you may need to couch it in terms of what is best for him and his skill development, and not primarily in terms of your fears. (Does that word sound familiar?)

I would suggest reading and discussing David L Hough's Proficient Motorcycling together with him before buying the bike. Express your love, faith and confidence that he will become a proficient rider. Get him a bike that helps him accomplish that, rather that one that "shows to the world" that he already is one.

Come to terms as to finances and to his responsiblities, both before and after purchase. Try listening and letting him come up with what he believes are fair terms. Who pays for the original cost and insurance. Licensing? Maintenance & scheduled repairs? Crash repairs and insurance deductibles? First set of gear? Replacements? Who is going to do the work on the bike? If he is ready for a bike (ie "Not an idiot"), this could be a wonderful opportunity of growth for you son and for your relationship with him. An early step into the world of adulthood. You can do too much or too little. Be wise.

EDIT: 18 year olds are not all idiots. I have a good friend whose son started street riding at 16, and made a few dumb beginner mistakes. By 18, he was a good, safe, and competent rider. Still had things to learn of course, but I had no worries about handing him the keys to anything in my garage, including bikes w/ over 150hp and 150+ top speeds. But that was AFTER he learned on slower, smaller bikes, and AFTER we had spent a LOT of hours and miles riding together.

I saw your comment about the car. Not a good sign, IMHO.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I was 18 when I got my SV too. 19 now. Although, I am not as much of an adrenaline junkie as other 18 year olds are. I rarely ever go past 5k RPM on the street and barely speed in the country side. I also paid for my bike so I treated it much much much better.

If you want him to take care of it, make him pay for it or a good chunk of it. I baby ALL of my motorcycle gear because I paid for it. My parents pay for my gas and insurance.
Thanks!
 

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Do what my old man did and get him a cool vintage bike. I had a Ducati 1 cylinder that rocked about 60. 0-60 in about 15 seconds. Looked real cool though.
 

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If you want him to take care of it, make him pay for it or a good chunk of it. I baby ALL of my motorcycle gear because I paid for it. My parents pay for my gas and insurance.
This right here is good advice, teach your kid responsibility as well!

I'm also a fan of the Ninja/CBR idea. I'd lean towards Ninja as they are more popular and parts are easily replaceable.
 

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More history....repeating he's 18. Lol. He's beatin up the car I gave him by not keeping on routine maintenance for the past 6 months (I was his reminder til then) and just doing stupid crap.

249cc I would be alright with. Outta the question for him, he wants at least 498cc...not that he really know what that means...but I do.

I do like the light weight of the SV...but not my cc's for his starter bike. He's stuck on thinking he's going to keep this first bike for decades. I see it now...he's gonna tip it several times by just not thinking...no kick stand down or even backing out of garage (he did that with just moving my Vulcan 500). First bikes tend to get beat up in the learning process, IMO.

Did I mention he's only 18? Lol
If he isn't maintaining the car you gave him, it sounds like he's not responsible enough to own a bike. You seem very willing to get him a bike, which is awesome, but you also seem to be lamenting on the fact that he can be a dink sometimes.

I'd say, put your foot down. You know bikes, tell him how its going to be. Yes he's 18 so he can "do what he wants" but it also sounds like he's pretty dependent on you yet, so there is a significant amount of leverage there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
It is a bit of a blow to a young man's ego to have a slower/smaller bike than his mom. If you are going to be able to get past that, you may need to couch it in terms of what is best for him and his skill development, and not primarily in terms of your fears. (Does that word sound familiar?)


If he is ready for a bike (ie "Not an idiot"), this could be a wonderful opportunity of growth for you son and for your relationship with him. An early step into the world of adulthood. You can do too much or too little. Be wise.
Ha ha ha....funny guy. :p

I've been riding, and experienced enough to know I don't need a 1200 every day to ride and that a 650 is plenty to do what I need it to. My sons ego is just gonna have to mend.

I will have him do the insurance, gear, fuel and cost of maintenance. I will be the one showing him how and when to do the maintenance...what I don't know, I seek answers to.

Thanks! ;)
 

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I'd strongly consider a Ninja 250, Ninja 500, or CBR250. Being in central Florida I doubt you have many twisty roads, so I'm not sure how much handling matters. If you were somewhere with fun roads I'd think of a supermoto, but they suck on the freeway.

IMO even a 650 twin is quite a bit to start on. Mine's got stock S gearing and will pull up the front in 1st no problem, which isn't something that a beginner should really have.

Depending on how mechanically inclined you are, you could reduce the power of a 1st gen SV a reasonable amount by swapping to exhaust cams all around - it would tame it down a fair amount, and cost of parts would be ~$50. With that and stock exhaust, power would be significantly down from a 2nd gen. Later, once he's learned to ride better, you could swap the stock cams back in - or 2nd gen intake on intake, 1st gen intake on exhaust - for more power.
 
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