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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Howdy from Cambridge MA

New rider here, looking at getting an SV650. I've always loved cars and bikes, and was told by many to look at the SV650. I'm 6'3", 180 lbs (more on this later). Currently looking at either an 02 SV650S from a dealer (10K miles, $3500), or an 03 private S (13k, $3250). Unlike the dealer one, the private listing has a scorpion exhaust, ATRE, HID headlights, non-clip on bars, and a GSX-R rear shock. I test rode the private one and it felt great, so will likely go with that.

Is there anything else I should consider as a beginner bike? This is being used for pleasure only, on backroads, no rain, no highways, no traffic, just early mornings on weekends. The Ninja 250s of the world feel way too small, and I think I would get bored of a DR-Z400s quickly/find it uncomfortable for longer rides.

Also, can anyone recommend good gear for taller, thinner guys? I have broad shoulders and am about a 16 neck, 36 sleeve in shirts, 33-34 in pants. No one seems to make anything with long enough sleeves that isn't huge in the body. Mostly looking for a jacket; I think I'll mostly be riding in jeans to start with.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yeah. I find the second gen SV650S so comfortable to sit on though; I've tried a Suzuki DR but I can't find any to buy now.

Do you think the SV650 is a bad (or not great) starter bike because of its power/throttle response (I also hear the rear brake locks up more easily than other bikes) or because of things like weight and maneuverability? I'm may look at a Yamaha XS400, but that is heavier than the SV.........I love the Nighthawk 450 but can't find any.
 

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I'm 5-10 200lbs and find my wife's ninja 250r rather fun and exciting to ride, even though it feels small. Rev it up to 9K+ and it sounds like it is gonna rip a black hole in the air....lol! But of course, I have it fine tuned, not left unattended.

I would personally look around for some more SVs, there are better deals to be had, not saying the 03 is bad, but you could probably do better.

As far as beginner bikes go, if you have never rode before, I would suggest a 250 and the MSF courses, both BRC and the ERC.

Sent from my right shoe phone.
 

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For gear, a good bet is to try European brands from italy for example or Germany.

Im no expert but I have tried on various brands at the shop and am about your size.

I'm 6'3 and about 190. I went with rev it ignition jacket which is perfect on sleeves, but the Dainese stuff fits well also. The American brands i tried have short sleeves and big bellies, although alpine stars might make something similar to the euro fit but if you try Dainese you won't want to go with alpine stars IMO
 

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Already did my MSF on a DR200. Good bike (height wise) for me, but I am only using the bike for pleasure on the weekends and I think it makes no sense for that. What would you think of putting a power commander on an SV650 to restrict the horsepower below 40 or so?

http://www.ebay.com/itm/06-07-08-09...Parts_Accessories&hash=item4167180163&vxp=mtr
HP is only one reason some people would not recommend an SV for your first bike. Also, it seems kind of silly to buy a stronger bike and cut out almost half the HP (and I'm not familiar enough with a PC to verify whether that's possible with those.) Then, you're just rolling with extra weight for no reason too. If you like heavy and slow you should look into a H-D ;)

Feel free to buy an SV, but know you are probably going to drop it at some point as a new rider. If you have a bunch of money to throw into replacing whatever gets smashed when that happens, go for it! Otherwise, you're better off buying one of the bikes from the thread mentioned earlier. The vast majority of those bikes have GREAT resale value... So 6 months, 1 year, however long later you decide you're ready for a bigger bike, you'll probably get all your money back even if you have laid the bike down.

Edit PS - Remember, your first bike is just that- YOUR FIRST BIKE! It need not be your favorite, ride it until the day you die bike.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Good to hear other Cambridge-eans (?) are on here.

I'm looking at the UK ECU to restrict the power on this as I learn. I found the GS500 too small for my tastes (physical size, not power), same with the Ninja 500. There are some CB450s kicking around central MA, but they would require significant maintenance time put in - something I don't have a ton of these days.

I appreciate the advice, bearblasting . I think you hit on the best point there about dropping it or damaging it. The one I'm looking at is rather pristine; I almost wish it had some nicks/dents in it so if (knock on wood) a drop ever did happen, I'd care less about it. But it's all I can find now, and I loved it when I rode it. I'll keep you guys posted with what happens over the coming days/weeks/months, and thanks again for the advice. And again, I'm all ears if you guys have other advice.
 

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I'm 6'2" 180 and started out on a GS500 and your right it's way too small. My knees went about 3 inches pasted the groves in the tank. I looked like a fool riding such a small bike, but I rode it for a few years. I would stay away from an 03 just because they're parts that only fit that year and you might get confused buying parts.

as far as gear I have 2 different jackets that are XL. short in the sleeves only if I straighten & stretch my arms out. my arms are bent when I ride so it's OK.



PCIII are pretty much a waste of money.
 

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I'd suggest you look for an '04+ naked SV. You don't break much if/when you drop them (ask me how I know) and FI makes them easier to deal with (IMO)
 

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I'd suggest you look for an '04+ naked SV. You don't break much if/when you drop them (ask me how I know) and FI makes them easier to deal with (IMO)
I got a 04 as my first bike, so I recommend it as well. Get the bike, put some frame sliders on it and you are set :)

As far as gear, I'm in the same boat as you. 6'2, 195lbs... I just order a few sizes from most websites. Try them and return what doesn't fit. Just take a look at the return policy brfore you do that.

Also recommend, www.motorcyclegear.com
 

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Greater Boston Motorsports in Arlington, Riverside Motorsports in Somerville, MotoMarket in Acton, and Seacoast Sport Cycles in Derry, NH should all have decent gear selections you can try on.

I find it definitely helps to get one of those cloth tape measures if you're going to order online.
 

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Howdy dionphaneuf,

Based on what you've said I think the SV650 is an excellent choice. Some may say 70 hp is too much for a beginner, but it really depends on (a) how you define "beginner" and (b) the shape of the powerband. If this was your first time ever riding a motorcycle or if this was a 70 hp two-stroke, then it'd probably be a bad idea. But you've gotten the basics down enough to pass the MSF. And a twin cylinder engine delivers power in a very linear, predictable way. When I bought my first bike three years ago, I passed on the SV650 in part because I thought it was too powerful for a beginner. In hindsight, I wish I had bought one back then and skipped the other bikes I bought and sold before I felt experienced enough to ride whatever I wanted. Buying and selling motorcycles (esp. new ones) gets expensive.

But the SV650 is a beginner-friendly bike with huge potential. I have experienced it firsthand---although in the wrong direction. I bought a tuned-up SV650(N) a month and a half ago, along with a trunk full of original parts. As delivered it was an absolute blast to ride everywhere but the freeway. Not for lack of power, though, for lack of wind protection. Unfortunately the freeway is a necessary part of my commute, and I don't have enough room in my garage for two bikes and two cars. So I have gradually been reinstalling the stock parts and selling the aftermarket parts. And with each stock part I've installed the bike has sucked more and more. That is to say, in stock form the SV650 does not like to go fast. The stock suspension is plush but wallows when ridden with aggression. The stock muffler weighs down the rear and without a fuel controller throttle response is muted and the bike just feels slow. For me it is no fun to ride any more. (OK, maybe a little.) For a rider like you, though, it's just what the doctor ordered. And once you've gained the experience to appreciate the upgrades, you'll have the benefit of one of the most upgrade-friendly motorcycles ever.

In reality none of the above matters as much as what you've already said about the SV650S feeling comfortable to sit on and ride. In my opinion ergonomics are paramount. Riding a motorcycle well means using your entire body to properly control the machine. So if you're uncomfortable the whole book goes out the window. Speaking of books, I highly recommend Proficient Motorcycling and A Twist of the Wrist II. I know you said you plan to avoid traffic and bad weather, but riding safely on public roads requires practicing certain habits---some of which are initially counter-intuitive. Use these resources to learn it right the first time.

Regarding gear, you should definitely try before you buy. Each brand is cut differently, so ordering online can be a crapshoot if you don't know what fits. This is especially true of boots and helmets. And if you're looking for some cheap riding pants that are marginally better than jeans, check out Carhartt double front dungarees. In the summer I wear them over TPro Forcefield "limb tube" knee armor.

Good luck,
Steve
 

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Regarding gear, you might want to just get a Size 48 (Euro Sizing) Dainese jacket, with riding gauntlets to cover the gaps. You're around my size, and that's what I wear (15.5, 33/34)
 

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Get a naked SV650, put some sliders on it and take it easy. It IS more power than any beginner needs, quite comfortable seating position and great handling. For the first month or two when riding just shift into 2nd before you gun it (or don't gun it) and you don't need to use the back break, just down shift and front break.

Get decent gear and WEAR IT. Cheap gear worn every ride is way more valuable than the best gear hanging up. You probably will go down but if you are protected it won't be a big deal. I haven't been down yet but soon after buying mine I was turning across 2 lanes of traffic to go to the post office and down shifted. The motor has so much torque that it breaks the back wheel and my back end slid out while I was leaning pretty good at 20mph. It wouldn't have hurt me to low side but the thought of getting run over by the oncoming traffic made my heart skip a beat. Thankfully I had written enough dirt bikes growing up and slid around on gravel that my instincts took over and I stayed up. It is little things like that that in the learning curve that could get you on any bike but a bike with torque and power can make them to be more exaggerated.

Just my 2 cents.
 

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SV650 is a good bike... I got mine last year, '07 half-faired SV for 3800$ with only 2500 miles. Bike maintenance is not cheap, so I would just get a newer bike with less miles, and better price... Its a good beginner's bike and I would not want any less power anyways... That simply would not be safe. I am 6'2 and the bike is a tad too small but I have clip-ons, all in all its not too bad, I got used to it once I started riding regularly...
 
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