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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I'm 21 years old, just got out of the military and moved across the country from Virginia to back home in California. I'm currently living with my family while I save money and await the spring semester to start back to school.

I currently own free and clear a 2001 Dodge Dakota that I have had since I was a junior in high school, 2007. It's been my one and only cage since high school. I love this truck. I've had awesome, beautiful, inappropriately disgusting good times with ol' maybelle .Throughout her life with me the ol' girl has been used as a work truck to haul and set up bounce houses, been on both coasts, taken across the country twice, seen more ass than a toilet seat, and has endured the malevolent animosity of one crazy ex girlfriend. Minus many other crazy escapades. She has many battle scars, and I display them proudly. Yet her engine still runs strong for me. :worship:

However, as much sentimental value as this truck has to me, I am dying for something new. And lets get real, gas ain't cheap over here in California, and ol' blue, however modest she may be to me, is a gas-a-holic and does not go easy on my wallet. I have tasted the awesomely sweet sensation of getting my class M license, finishing an MSF course, and finally owning and riding a motorcycle that was my own, albeit for only a short amount of time. Not to mention the sacchariferous sensation when it only cost me $10 to fill my tank, while getting grotesquely beautiful gas mileage. I have been without a motorcycle for about 9 months now, but the itch to ride again has returned with vengeance, although it never really went away.

So here's what I am thinking. I LOVE to ride, for me riding is second to only one thing, skydiving. And I love the thought of riding my motorcycle to the dropzone to go skydive.:vroom: Riding #2 to go do #1, haha. I want to sell my truck and use the money to get an SV-650SF. Realistically, I can get around $3,000 - $4,000 if I sell it myself. I own this vehicle free and clear, and I am not wanting to make payments for a long period of time on something else. So I want to be able to completely, or almost, cover the cost of a bike. I would probably be willing to pull a small $1000 (max) loan if I found something I had to have. I figure I can get a pretty nice used SV for around $4-$5 grand, right? I've been trying to weigh the pros and cons of having an SV as a primary in my head. The good thing is, although it would be my primary, I would still have access to a cage if I really needed it. My mom has her mom-mobile I could use and my sister, who just got her license a week ago, has a 4-Runner. Also, when I move back out again, I will still remain close to my family because of school, and thus still have some access to four wheels if needed. The weather here in the valley is nice, and in the winter it definitely doesn't get as cold as winter riding in Virginia. Some of the cons I can think of are gearing up and down to go places, inclement weather, and dating...how does that work with just having a bike? haha.

So what do you guys think? Should I go for it, or do I need a reality check? Does anyone have experience with this? What are more pros and cons? Any tips, pointers and further warning would be greatly appreciated. Also, assuming I take impeccable care of my SV and don't completely total it, how many miles do these bikes last?

Cheers to you if you read that whole thing. :eek:ccasion14:
 

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Re: SV650 As A Primary Mode of Tranport - Opinions, Tips, & Other Info Appreciated

You can get a bike for way less than 5k, think 1500 less. Just keep in mind you have to pay for gear and insurance and depending on your record, might be expensive or not. I'm 21 also, paid 350 at progressive for a year for my insurance. I would suggest you have a source of income first also because some bikes may more need maintenance than others, ymmv.

I own both a car and a motorcycle and I'm telling you right now, my car has been used twice (once to teach my brother how to drive manual and the other to pick up doors from home depot). Other than that, I ride my motorcycle or ride my bike. It's definitely possible to have a motorcycle as your main mode. Cold weather riding isn't that bad, just gear up with more layers and you're fine. Dating though...you'll have to find your own way of doing that :D
 

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Re: SV650 As A Primary Mode of Tranport - Opinions, Tips, & Other Info Appreciated

My first SV was my only mode of transportation for two years. For the most part, life doesn't change from my experience.

Pro's - Cheep, fun.

Cons - how to carry stuff.

Tips - Make small runs to the store vrs big runs. When I did this I only kept food for two days. Every night I would stop at the store and pick up a few items up I needed. This was my routine. Being in walking distance to stores really helps as well.

Two piece suite and boots you can walk in. Motorcycling boots are great for motorcycling, but use those for track or riding days. For day to day riding find a shoe you can ride and walk in. Two piece allows you to leave one or both locked on the bike. Though I usually just left them on if I was shopping.

Dating, well you need to have spare gear. But usually for the first date I found that I meet someone at a location, so never was a problem. If you need a car borrow one or rent one.

you can totally live with just having a bike. Just takes a change of thinking and how you do some things.

Good Luck
 

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Re: SV650 As A Primary Mode of Tranport - Opinions, Tips, & Other Info Appreciated

Digasi hit everything spot on. My SV is my only mode of transportation but I live in a tiny college town.

Consider getting saddle bags or at the very least, a top case.
 

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Re: SV650 As A Primary Mode of Tranport - Opinions, Tips, & Other Info Appreciated

I personally dont like riding in the pouring rain so I would never just have a motorcycle but I do ride more than I drive. I also have to worry about winter and snow here. That being said, I would recommend you take the money from the truck, get a nice used SV for around $3k and use the rest to get something like an older Honda Civic hatchback to use when you need a cage. It can sit parked most of the time and will be cheap to insure but it will be nice to have when you need it.
 

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Re: SV650 As A Primary Mode of Tranport - Opinions, Tips, & Other Info Appreciated

I commute nearly every day on my SV. With a backpack and tankbag, I can carry a reasonable amount of stuff. 50 mpg and the ability to split lanes in heavy traffic and park anywhere are two practical pluses, in addition to it just being more fun. :)

I do have a car for rainy days, though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Re: SV650 As A Primary Mode of Tranport - Opinions, Tips, & Other Info Appreciated

Thanks for the replies so far guys. That would be awesome if I could find a sweet SV for 3k, then I could have money left over for gear. As for insurance, my record is spotless *knock on wood* But when I was in DC with my ninjette, I paid $160 a month for full coverage! :eek: DC was horrible, I'm hoping it was that much just because of the area, and almost no insurance company even offered motorcycle insurance for the DC area. Cold weather riding was pretty harsh on the beast coast, I'm hoping that being back in Cali, things wont get nearly as frigid. But I rode in some down right scary weather when I was in Virginia.

What is considered high mileage for a SV?

I want this. I need this. I'm going to do this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Re: SV650 As A Primary Mode of Tranport - Opinions, Tips, & Other Info Appreciated

Haha I speak on the behalf of most californians (where he's from also) :D
The perks of living in Cali are becoming less and less, but the weather is a nice one to always have had. :eek:ccasion14:
 

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Re: SV650 As A Primary Mode of Tranport - Opinions, Tips, & Other Info Appreciated

clearly you're in the south...
I ride all winter long under freezing temps in Utah. Just add even more layers and you'll be fine ;D
 

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Re: SV650 As A Primary Mode of Tranport - Opinions, Tips, & Other Info Appreciated

Thanks for the replies so far guys. That would be awesome if I could find a sweet SV for 3k, then I could have money left over for gear. As for insurance, my record is spotless *knock on wood* But when I was in DC with my ninjette, I paid $160 a month for full coverage! :eek: DC was horrible, I'm hoping it was that much just because of the area, and almost no insurance company even offered motorcycle insurance for the DC area. Cold weather riding was pretty harsh on the beast coast, I'm hoping that being back in Cali, things wont get nearly as frigid. But I rode in some down right scary weather when I was in Virginia.

What is considered high mileage for a SV?

I want this. I need this. I'm going to do this.
shop out of state. Cali is a bit on the expensive side for bike prices.
if it's so expensive for you, why go with full coverage? on a 3k bike it doesn't make much sense to carry theft and so on... you're paying for a replacement sv every other year at those rates...
i carry full, but that's because it's a difference of $80 A YEAR for me.
 

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Re: SV650 As A Primary Mode of Tranport - Opinions, Tips, & Other Info Appreciated

Thanks for the replies so far guys. That would be awesome if I could find a sweet SV for 3k, then I could have money left over for gear. As for insurance, my record is spotless *knock on wood* But when I was in DC with my ninjette, I paid $160 a month for full coverage! :eek: DC was horrible, I'm hoping it was that much just because of the area, and almost no insurance company even offered motorcycle insurance for the DC area. Cold weather riding was pretty harsh on the beast coast, I'm hoping that being back in Cali, things wont get nearly as frigid. But I rode in some down right scary weather when I was in Virginia.

What is considered high mileage for a SV?

I want this. I need this. I'm going to do this.
There are reports of SV's in the 100,000 range. But I would say 30,000 would be going towards the high mileage. But you shouldn't have any problems finding something with far less miles on it for a great price, so I wouldn't worry.
 

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Re: SV650 As A Primary Mode of Tranport - Opinions, Tips, & Other Info Appreciated

right. your "cold weather" is known as "september" around here ;D
I personally dont like riding in the pouring rain so I would never just have a motorcycle but I do ride more than I drive. I also have to worry about winter and snow here. That being said, I would recommend you take the money from the truck, get a nice used SV for around $3k and use the rest to get something like an older Honda Civic hatchback to use when you need a cage. It can sit parked most of the time and will be cheap to insure but it will be nice to have when you need it.
Cold and/or rain isn't that bad. Just get the right gear and layer up.
 

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Re: SV650 As A Primary Mode of Tranport - Opinions, Tips, & Other Info Appreciated

I rode mine 365, for 6 years here.
I went 77k on it,and ran like new,still getting 50 mpg.
Tires,chains and oil,all it ever needed. :)
 

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Re: SV650 As A Primary Mode of Tranport - Opinions, Tips, & Other Info Appreciated

right. your "cold weather" is known as "september" around here ;D
My 2 coldest rides ever were in California.

1. 2 hours of rain and 40 degrees up the coast from Camp Pendleton (just north of San Diego) to my house in Woodland Hills (Western suburb of LA in San Fernando Valley)

2. Coming back from a track day at Laguna, I got snowed on going over The Grapevine (I-5 over the mountains that separate the Santa Clarita and San Joaquin Valleys).

Not to mention that Squaw Valley and Mammoth Mountain are also in CA - 2 premiere ski resorts, Squaw hosted the Olympics years ago. CA is not all beaches, sunshine, and 80. ;D
 

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Re: SV650 As A Primary Mode of Tranport - Opinions, Tips, & Other Info Appreciated

For many months I used my SV as my primary transportation. I have Cortech saddle bags and a top bag, but IIRC, at the time I just bungeed a nylon gym bag to the back seat. I am a lawyer and took cases to trial on my SV 9when I didn't need a load of 24 x 36 blow ups). I did my (own) grocery shopping and had no problems.

I live in Ohio where we have weather, so you should be just fine in Cali.
 

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Re: SV650 As A Primary Mode of Tranport - Opinions, Tips, & Other Info Appreciated

When I was shopping around for my local SV I found most of milage ranges were between 2k and 10k. The one I settled on had just north of 3K and it's a k7. I thought was pretty sweet - few enough miles to wonder if the oil was ever changed by the PO. I haven't looked lately but I'd be willing to bet you can still find low mile steeds out there for a good price.
 
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