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While I purchased the Street 750 I rode the 500 first and took both on the freeway. No problems at all with either of them as both have more than ample power for freeway riding.


BTW I've ridden Harlys for years and I would NOT recommend a large Harley for a first motorcycle for numerous reasons.
I know this is the Street forum, but we are a Harley family right? so I hope no one minds my post about this here. I appreciate StoneFree's opinion (from another thread but thought I should start a new one) and would appreciate hearing from others. My first night of the Rider's Edge class was last night and while I am still waiting to make up my mind after the two days of riding the 500 (I am not going smaller than the 750) I am so torn about what bike I should start with. I consider myself a brand new rider as my last time on a bike was over 30 years ago (I'm not a spring chicken). I see most of my riding in the near future to be going back and forth to work with some totally pleasurable weekend riding, but not many cross country or even next state trips (don't ever want to say never about anything). I like a lot of the specs on 750, the 883 and of the Super Low so far. The 1200 Custom is nice too and Harley is having a great special on financing on the 2014 version of this bike. Have I given enough info for people to give me some thoughts? Thanks.
 

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I rode a bunch of bikes before I bought my Street. I really had my mind set on a Triumph Thruxton but didn't like the cafe type riding position. The Bonneville was awesome with its smoothness and powerful acceleration and the Yamaha Star Bolt (900) had way to much vibration, but was a beautiful machine. Harleys never entered my mind because I hate em due to the loud pipes. They scream "LOOK AT ME" and are annoying as h3ll. I used to ride a Sportster back in the early 70"s that was a piece of crap and I swore off Harleys.
Then I discovered the Street.
I rode the 500 and was totally disappointed in the power, just didn't have it for me. The 750 was still in the box and wasn't ready for any test ride yet. I went back a day later and rode it. I was impressed with the acceleration and the smoothness of the ride and Most of all it wasn't a LOUD-ASS Harley ! I bought it on the spot.
I could have bought any machine I wanted but the 750 just seemed to fit.
 

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I see most of my riding in the near future to be going back and forth to work with some totally pleasurable weekend riding, but not many cross country or even next state trips (don't ever want to say never about anything).
Before anything else please understand that we can't make up your mind for you and it's ultimately up to you as to what motorcycle you will select. I can tell you that I've owned lots of motorcycles and I've loved every single one of them but that none of them did everything equally well.

I can, of course, share some of my personal opinions on what type of motorcycles work best for different situations, or more specifically, what I'd look for based upon what you expect to use a motorcycle for. Generally speaking for a "commuter" type motorcycle you want a mid-size or smaller motorcycle depending upon your commute.

When I was in college I traveled about 15 miles each way all on surface streets where the speed limit never exceeded 45 mph and I had a Yamaha 70 with a maximum speed of about 45 mph and it worked just fine for that. I also used it for limited country riding and even made a trip of about 60 miles each way one time but it was very limited and couldn't go on a freeway. That's probably much smaller than you would want but it is an example of "matching" the motorcycle to your needs. It was all I needed.

Later on I had a Honda 175 that could do 60 mph and I could take it on the freeways but it was very small for that purpose so eventually I upgraded to a 600cc Suzuki and it was excellent for most riding purposes. It was light and nimble enough for local commuting and was also excellent for canyon riding. It would do freeways very well but was not a touring motorcycle (although I believe you can tour on literally any motorcycle including a 50cc if you really want to - people actually tour on bicycles so any motorcycle can be used).

When I rode the Street 500 and Street 750 they reminded me of my Suzuki 600. Obviously they're much more modern motorcycles but the "feel" was about the same.

Since my Suzuki in the 1970's I've owned larger motorcycles but eventually I settled on my current 2007 50th Anniversary Sportster as the perfect ride for me as a primary motorcycle.

My wife doesn't ride due to a disability that makes riding for distances painful so I don't need a motorcycle for 2-up riding. I do a lot of distance touring on winding backroads and highway demanding a compromise in size and agility that the Sportster provides. It's not really an "around town" type of motorcycle so that's a downside but it works for it. It's primary purpose is 1-up touring and everything else was secondary to that use.

There's no fundamental difference between the 883cc and my 1200cc Sportster from a "functional use" standpoint. A little difference in power but both have more than adequate power. The same is true for the Street 500 and Street 750. There is no difference from a "functional use" standpoint but there is a difference in power but both have more than adequate for the purpose intended.

If my primary purpose wasn't 1-up touring but instead local commuting and weekend rides then I'd probably own a Street or a similar mid-size motorcycle. I wouldn't want the size and weight of the Sportster for local commuting and weekend rides.

I could still use a Street for touring if I wanted to, just like I could use a Honda 50 if I wanted to (but it would take me forever to get anywhere but that's not necessarily a bad thing on a motorcycle) but it would be perhaps different. I'm a bit weird though because I travel very light on me Sportster so storage wouldn't be an issue. I've done 200 miles in a day on the Street without any discomfort but I don't think I'd attempt 750 miles which I've done on my Sportster (but don't typically do).

In the end though any motorcycle is better than no motorcycle and, as you note, it's all about what you use it for. I always argue with myself about "what am I going to use it for" and then I don't buy a motorcycle that's bigger than I really need. Perhaps the first question I ask is myself "Why do I need this motorcycle as opposed to a smaller motorcycle?"
 

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Very good post , Stone.
And sometimes we just buy sh*t cause we want it. :D
Ain't that the truth.

Recently I've been trying to get my brother's 21 yo grandson (my grand-nephew?) to get his M/C endorsement and I'll buy him is first motorcycle. It it was 1976 I'd buy him this one.



1976 Harley-Davidson SS-250 (I owned this but recently sold it to a museum)

Since it's not 1976 I'm planning on buying him this one.



It's the 229cc (250cc) Heist from Cleveland Cyclewerks, sells for about $3,300, is a single-seater (to keep him from taking passengers until he learns how to ride) and has a max speed of about 70mph (plenty fast enough).
http://www.clevelandcyclewerks.com/new-page

I want him to learn how to ride because someday the Street 750 based Stone Free II chopper is going to be his.
 

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Love that 250 Harley ! I remember those back in the old days, along with the Honda Elsinores' and the Pentons'. My my what times I had with my Yamaha Enduro.
Those Cyclewerks bikes are cool looking machines. Never ever heard of them.
 

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Love that 250 Harley ! I remember those back in the old days, along with the Honda Elsinores' and the Pentons'. My my what times I had with my Yamaha Enduro.
Those Cyclewerks bikes are cool looking machines. Never ever heard of them.
The H-D SS-250 was a POS when I got it and it under went over a 3-year restoration before the photo was taken. It was literally restored to museum quality which ended up limiting how much I rode it. It was too perfect to ride for fear of typical road wear that could damage the paint, etc., so I ended up selling it to a guy that plans on putting it in a museum where it really belongs. It was a gas to ride though and I loved taking it down the the local Harley dealer and "wing-dinging" them with it's 2-cycle engine.

The Heist is a really cool small displacement old school bobber style motorcycle.

Johnny Pag also has the Malibu 320i that's also an excellent small displacement (about 320cc as I recall) old school bobber. The Malibu is a bit more expensive than the Heist and has an MSRP of $4,995.

Johnnypag Motor Company - Malibu 320i



This is not meant to discourage "new" riders from purchasing a Street 500 or 750 of course but they need to understand that the Street 500 and 750 both fall into a larger class of "first" motorcycle that the Heist, Malibu, or much older H-D SS-250. A person would be expected to eventually grow out of the smaller displacement motorcycles while that isn't really the case when it comes to the Street Harley's that are very good even from an experienced riders perspective.
 

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My 2 cents. I'm 52 and a "new rider" after a 30 years break. I was also thinking - what should I get as my "first" bike? Can I handle 1200 cc? I took a basic rider's course at HD dealership on Street 500, got my MC license, still not finding an answer to my question, doing a lot of research on the Internet. Then, I found a great advise and followed it and have not regretted it since. The advice is: "Do yourself and you family a favor. Start with a 250 cc, say Honda Rebel. Practice. Build confidence. When you feel confident - go higher". That's exactly what I did, got a Rebel, rode it for 3 months, traded it in for Street 750. Yes, I lost $800 on this trade. But it was worth it every penny.
 

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My 2 cents. I'm 52 and a "new rider" after a 30 years break. I was also thinking - what should I get as my "first" bike? Can I handle 1200 cc? I took a basic rider's course at HD dealership on Street 500, got my MC license, still not finding an answer to my question, doing a lot of research on the Internet. Then, I found a great advise and followed it and have not regretted it since. The advice is: "Do yourself and you family a favor. Start with a 250 cc, say Honda Rebel. Practice. Build confidence. When you feel confident - go higher". That's exactly what I did, got a Rebel, rode it for 3 months, traded it in for Street 750. Yes, I lost $800 on this trade. But it was worth it every penny.
Can't argue with this advice per se and while I've been riding for over 45 years straight I started out small and worked up to larger motorcycles. At the same time I've known many riders that started out in the 500-750 ranges and learned to ride very well. It all depends on the person.

As a highly experience rider I'd also say that some motorcycles are still just too large for me to be comfortable on in some of my riding situations. I rented an Electra Glide in Reno once and it's a very large and heavy H-D motorcycle. I took it for a spin around Lake Tahoo and there was a 15 mph steep downhill corner that was a bear to make on that large of a motorcycle. For the open highway the Electra Glide is an exceptionally good motorcycle but for the tight twisties that I like to ride it's just too **** big IMHO.
 

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Before anything else please understand that we can't make up your mind for you and it's ultimately up to you as to ......

........any motorcycle is better than no motorcycle and, as you note, it's all about what you use it for. I always argue with myself about "what am I going to use it for" and then I don't buy a motorcycle that's bigger than I really need. Perhaps the first question I ask is myself "Why do I need this motorcycle as opposed to a smaller motorcycle?"
Great analysis StoneFree. A must read for all aspiring riders, irrespective of the bike they buy.
 

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I never rode a motorcycle until I completed the Rider’s Edge class. I read advice in this and several other threads as I considered first, if I wanted to own a motorcycle, and if yes, which one would be best for an inexperienced senior citizen. I concluded after visiting several dealerships that the folks at my local HD dealership were asking me the right questions and had my interests in mind in their recommendations. As I wrote in another thread, they let me test ride a 750 and 883 until I determined I was most comfortable on the Street. I continued to debate in my mind whether to buy a 500 or a 750. I didn’t want a motorcycle that was beyond my capabilities but I wanted a bike that allowed me to stretch my riding horizon as my skills improved. My son-in-law, a Harley rider for 30+ years, gave me the best advice saying, “It really isn’t the difference in cc’s between these two bikes, it’s how far you twist the throttle.” I bought a 750 and set hard limits for speed, types of roads and traffic. As I gained experience and improved my skills I expanded those limits until the bike was stored. I am looking forward to riding this spring. I am going to do two things. First, I am going to take additional rider safety and skills classes and second, I’m asking experienced riders in HOG for help and advice.
 

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I have found that riding my motorcycle every chance I get adds to my experience and comfort level. I use my bike for commuting as well as recreational riding when ever its not raining. I too started riding again at the age of 52 after about a 30 year absence riding motorcycles. After 3 years of riding my Suzuki Savage 650 and 18K miles later, I upgraded to a brand new Street 750 after test driving the 500. I still have my Suzuki and it along with my Street and my 04 Escape fit nicely in the single car garage at my apartment complex. Oh I took a safety riders course on a 250 here in Wisconsin before getting the motorcycle endorsement on my driver's license.
 

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I've been on motorcycles of all sizes on the street and believe that it's that combination that makes me a better overall rider personally. What I don't have real experience with is dirt riding and I miss that because I think it would have also contributed to my overall riding skill. I'm a bit old to be taking up dirt riding but it is something I wish I would have become involved in when I was younger.
 

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I've been on motorcycles of all sizes on the street and believe that it's that combination that makes me a better overall rider personally. What I don't have real experience with is dirt riding and I miss that because I think it would have also contributed to my overall riding skill. I'm a bit old to be taking up dirt riding but it is something I wish I would have become involved in when I was younger.
I agree with you, having ridden many different sizes and styles of bikes myself. I do have dirt experience, and in my opinion, it is the most valuable. Dirt gives as opposed to tarmac. Learning to handle slipping and sliding around in dirt and mud instills an alertness, balance, and automatic reaction to those conditions. I got all the motorcycle dumping out of my system in the dirt as opposed to on the road. You make a mistake, and you live to pick up the dirt bike and go at it again. You also have a much better understanding of how much you can (or can't) lean and brake when you find yourself unexpectedly on some sand in the road. I would recommend that anyone that has the opportunity to ride in the dirt, do it.

Funny you mention age and dirt riding... I rode a dirt bike last summer for the first time in many years. I used muscles I forgot I had. It was invigorating, mind you, but it will remind you just how much you are out of shape in a hurry.
 

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Funny you mention age and dirt riding... I rode a dirt bike last summer for the first time in many years. I used muscles I forgot I had. It was invigorating, mind you, but it will remind you just how much you are out of shape in a hurry.
These old bones of mine are just too old for riding in the dirt with the exception of some gentle trail riding. LOL
 
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