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My daughter's boy friend, (17yr old) wants to start riding, we had a discussion last night about bikes that he is interested in.
His choice so far is a 1975 Yamaha RD 350. Why i am not sue, it may have been a bike that his dad had ridden.
This is a 2 cylinder 2 stroke antique in my opinion. Not a bike to start out with unless you want work on it instead of ride it.

I have been raking my brain for suggestion for something else to start with. So far I have found a 1995 Suzuki GS500, $1500 dollars
a Honda Magna 700 which looks a little rough same price, not much else yet. I think he has about 2K to spend.

So what are some other bikes to consider? I am thinking 500 cc range in line 4 engine , air cooled, 10-15 years old for the cost, and comfortable.

Also keep in mind that its my one and only daughter that will be sitting on the back
 

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You're on the right track Scooter, but your daughter's boyfriend has the cart ahead of the horse a bit. An RD350 is NOT a newbie bike, never mind the upkeep they require. First things first, get him into an MSF basic rider course and find out if he likes/has the aptitude for it before dropping coin on a bike that he may find he won't ride. If he wants a sporty beginner ride, try a used 250 ninja or a 500 ninja instead of a pipey two stroker smoker. There's the Honda rebel if he's thinking cruiser-ish. If he lived in the UK there'd be scads of good viable small to mid cc range bikes to choose from but over here we don't see hardly any of them.
 

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I got my son a Suzuki GZ250 for a starter bike, which is a lot like the Honda Rebel. Also Budoka’s comments about the MSF basic rider course is spot on.
 

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The RD for a first go wouldn't be a first choice for me. a 500cc standard of some sort.

Any sport bike like a ninja, even at 500cc are mini rockets and I wouldnt recommend it at all. but this is also dependant on use and personal taste. some folks just only want a rocket and nothing else will do, so any other suggestion, well ya know kids.

almost any in line 4 cylinder at 500 cc is going to be plenty enough for power, and for the education with enough weight so that as they get better at it, can move up to something more useful in a global sense. they are bullet proof, usually inexpensive on parts and plenty to find (shoot you can still find parts for late 70's in lines)
The GS you stated is a classic along those lines. another is the honda night hawk, sole owner of probably the most of one model ever sold in the world I believe.

at 17 most kids are going to want a speedster, I would just say if you can talk him into a standard bike, it offers more uses for the $$. bags for gear, small travel, things like that. just makes it more useful. also cheaper on insurance. just ask anyone how much a ninja,,shoot just whisper the word ninja to a an insurance agent...cha ching!!! been there, done that.

an idea, go through craigs list, and just look at stuff. get a feel, then maybe come back with more questions.

good luck. remember, most accidents on a bike happen, after the first 6 months, thats when you start getting comfy and let down the guard. a stat I remembered.
 

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You sound like a very cool dad for even letting a 17 year old anywhere near your daughter let alone go for rides on a motorcycle that you helped pick out. I would suggest for your daughters comfort and for a first time rider a 750 Yamaha Virago around 1988 they are cheap to buy ,in his price range and they don't look to bad either, stay away from the early virago's as they has the starter Bendix issue. Keep in mind any bike that he chooses pay close attention to the GVRW. You don't want a rookie riding your daughter around on a overloaded bike. Just because a bike has two seats doesn't mean two people can ride. This depends on their combined weight and what they are carrying. If it was up to me I would train my daughter to ride her own bike. And when the boyfriend gets some time under his belt and proves himself then I would allow it. Just my opinion good luck with the search.
 

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I'm partial to that Yamaha RD350 as my first bike was a 1974 RD350; however, they were 2 cycle bikes and while they had oil injection, you still had to fill the oil reservoir now and then. And IIRC, weren't they kickstart only?

Whne I got back into riding 7 or 8 years ago after nearly a 30yr hiatus, I started out with a 4-cyl 80's Suzuki 650 which quickly progressed to a much later model of the Honda Aero 750 which led to a VTX1800C which led to a VTX1300S and then a Harley UC (which I still have) and somewhat more recently, a 1989 GW trike.

I took my DMV riding test on the X1800C - not an act I want to repeat! :)

Whatever he gets it should be cheap, but reliable as not to cost too much to get roadworthy. Many folks who start off thinking they want to ride move on to other things pretty quickly, leaving their bike to languish.

Greg
 

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This is with the assumption that his parents are on board with the program and have accepted you as coach without liabilities.

I've always felt the place to learn is off road. Get him a small cheap dirt bike....dirt only, not a dual purpose so he's less likely to cheat when you're not looking. If he falls, make that each time he falls, there'll be fewer parts to be replaced. After he gets that experience with panic stops, slippery surfaces, front brake endos, and such, you can tell him to open it up if he wants. This is where you're really gonna know if you truly want to let your daughter ride with him. Within a few months he should be ready for pavement and dealing with traffic and your daughter's mother.

Then I would start looking for a street bike for two-up and maybe keep the dirt bike for my own playtime.

Good luck, Scoot. You've accepted a tough assignment. Been there myself. Ohhh, the tings we do for our kids. Take care, R
 

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I have a question if he is not real tall In my opinion the honda rebel is a good starter bike around here you can pick up something like a 2006 or 2007 for about 2,000.00 starting out riding it is good to be able to put both feet flat on the ground with knees bent a little.
I have been riding street for about 30 years and last year took a motorcycle safety course to get a discount on my bike insurance.
In the course I rode a 250cc rebel and it pulled my 275# butt around real good.
And one last thought I would ask them not to ride two up for awhile because I think and maybe someone will agree your passenger can throw you of by just readjusting themself in the seat and unless you can react to it without thinking it will not be good.
just my .02
Jerry
 

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it depends on the individual as to what a beginner bike should be. i know guys your daughters bf age that have started out on 250's and others that started out on 750's. personally i wouldn't get him a 250 maybe the suzuki gs500f or the ninja 500 or something like a nighthawk 550 or 650 so he isn't bent over to reach the bars
 

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Ok here's my 2 cents (or maybe more). I started on an old Yamaha AT3 125 endro, two years in the dirt and a couple more on the road, no interstates for that bike as I was lucky to do 55-60 mph, moved up to a '78 GS550, then when funds can about my 83 Venture and on to the Goldwing.

Started my son on a salvaged 250 Ninja, then he went to a 600 Bandit. The Ninja for being a 250 was a nice ride, well mannered at low to mid range rpms and would really pull out at the high rpms. Hell that bike might have taken my GL1500 in a 1/4 mile. My wife and I would bop around town on it, it was that much fun.

On checking the GVWR on a bike, my rider educator checked into this on a Goldwing. His findings sre that a GL would take on just another 412 lbs of load. I don't know about some of you, but some of us overload this rating just by climbing aboard, without luggage, trunk bags and trailers.

I'll agree with all the other postings, under 500cc, rider ed course. Knowing this young man and how responsible he is or lack thereof would be a determining factor. Young adults don't seem to be as responsible as when some of us were growing up. They seem to push things to limits and beyond. Look at the X-games, who out there would have been jumping skateboards, rollerblades, snowboards (like we had those 30yrs ago) and dirt bikes, 30 ft or more in the air? A 500cc sport bike will do a 1/4 mile faster than a 60's muscle car off the showroom floor with the 1,000cc plus bikes pulling a 1/4 mile in 10 seconds.
How much trust can a father of a young lady put into another young man's hands?
 

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Another thing if you want to sway the young man's vision, inform your daughter that ladies butts look twice as big on a sport bike! Why do you think my wife likes having that big trunk to lean on besides more storage to buy things?
 

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I would add that the motorcycle should not be so slow to become a traffic hazard. my nephew bought some Junker little bike, it will not do highway speeds for long so he has to drive all the slower back roads which puts him at more of a risk of someone pulling out in front of him. I guess the thing to stress to your daughter and her boyfriend is to dress for the crash all the time.
 

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I would freak if my daughter's boyfriend wanted to drive HER around on a motorcycle.:eek: Oh hell no, unless he takes the Motorcycle Safety Course and we ride together first.

Not to be contrary here, but I DO NOT recommend riding a small bike; it will teach bad habits that won't work on a Wing. (Non-"horse-able") Wish I still had my 1980 Suzuki GS850GL to offer you/him. Decently powered cruiser, very comfortable, but not so over-powered as to get him/HER in trouble.

And NOBODY would drive my little girl anywhere on a bike unless they rode at least 100 miles alongside me, in town, secondary highways, and interstate. Oh yeah, plus a blood and pee test, plus the scene from "Meet the Parents" with the lie detector!:eek::D
 

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A couple things I can think of.

1st most important MSF course for sure & is a must.
2nd after that a bike he's comfortable with
3rd you ride with him as much as you can to observe
4th tell him & her to relax on the 2 up stuff for a good bit until everyone (including you) are comfortable. When you & him are out riding you take her so that she gets used to riding frequently (if she doesn't already).
5th As far as bikes go I would say 250-500 cc range should work

As always this is just one Ole Fossil's opinion.
 

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A couple things I can think of.

1st most important MSF course for sure & is a must.
2nd after that a bike he's comfortable with
3rd you ride with him as much as you can to observe
4th tell him & her to relax on the 2 up stuff for a good bit until everyone (including you) are comfortable. When you & him are out riding you take her so that she gets used to riding frequently (if she doesn't already).
5th As far as bikes go I would say 250-500 cc range should work

As always this is just one Ole Fossil's opinion.
^^^listen to him, he's an ole fossil, there is a reason he made it to an ole fossil :D
 

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A couple things I can think of.

1st most important MSF course for sure & is a must.
2nd after that a bike he's comfortable with
3rd you ride with him as much as you can to observe
4th tell him & her to relax on the 2 up stuff for a good bit until everyone (including you) are comfortable. When you & him are out riding you take her so that she gets used to riding frequently (if she doesn't already).
5th As far as bikes go I would say 250-500 cc range should work

As always this is just one Ole Fossil's opinion.
+1 or 2 i guess on all this.....However, my first bike was a Suzuki Boulevard 805. Small enough to work with and big enough to stay with.
 
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