[[Template core/global/plugins/realFaviconGenerator does not exist. This theme may be out of date. Run the support tool in the AdminCP to restore the default theme.]] Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  

New (Tall) Rider

Recommended Posts

Hi all,

I am taking motorcycle training soon and will be getting my M1. I am 6'4 and ~180lbs and that pretty much leaves me with few options as far as motorcycles go (well, the types I'm interested in anyway). I always liked the idea of owning a dual sport one day, so that's good news. Here is my situation:

I am looking to spend at very most 2 grand on a used dual sport with as low miles as possible. Reliability is key, so naturally I have been leaning towards Hondas (not that other bikes are unreliable). I really like the xr650l's, and have seen a few nice ones in my price range already. I am open to suggestions too. But I have some questions naturally.

1) I intend on doing 99% street driving, including occasional 1.5hr long trips. Will this be a problem for an air cooled bike? I already know some people will say it won't be comfortable riding a dual sport for that long, but as long as the bike fits me and won't overheat I can deal with it.

2) I also understand that a 650cc bike might be a little much for a new rider, opinions? Problem here is....I really have no idea what other bikes with smaller engines I would even fit on (and whatever alternative bike must be able to go on the freeway for extended periods for commuting purposes)

I have a pretty good background with cars and mechanics in general, heck I even was able to drive stick the first time I tried without stalling the car or anything. I do understand bikes are very different (and require different/more regular maintenance) and much more dangerous. I am also a very safe driver, it helps when your daily driver is a car with lots of sentimental value (1969 mustang 351w) so I won't be an idiot with my bike trying to do wheelies or burnouts in front of my friends. Does this put me 'in the clear' with a 650cc bike? Sorry for the long post, but consider it my hello to the forum!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll take a shot here.......xr650 is an excellent choice in the dual-sport category. You will not find any bike that is more reliable provided you keep up with the maintenance. I don't think the 650 is too much bike for a beginner. It's not a high revving horsepower machine like the 600 street bikes. I think you'll be fine......just take it easy till you get a good feel for it. As far as the air cooling it's not a concern, just don't expect to do 80 down the interstate all day or you may have some overheating problems. The 650 has a nice seat so you should be comfortable on most any trip. You say you've got some wrenching skills so I wouldn't worry about keeping up with the bike maintenance. Just get the service manual and you'll be fine.

The only thing I see in your post that makes me wonder is the fact that you say you'll be on the street 99% of the time. If I was on the road that much I'd be considering a street bike. The XR does fine on the street but a street bike does a whole lot better on the street.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks xr bill that gives me some reassurance. Regarding your comment on getting a street bike. The problem is, I need a street bike I could fit on. Not easy to find for under 2 grand. I keep reading mixed reports of which bikes are/are not good for tall riders as well. I need my first bike to be something I can grow into as my skills improve. Do any other people have input?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks xr bill that gives me some reassurance. Regarding your comment on getting a street bike. The problem is, I need a street bike I could fit on. Not easy to find for under 2 grand. I keep reading mixed reports of which bikes are/are not good for tall riders as well. I need my first bike to be something I can grow into as my skills improve. Do any other people have input?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with the XR. I just a 650L as well. Im 6'5 but only 155 pounds lol. Ive been riding in the woods for years and bought it for the street. The torque of the motor is a little hairy at first but anything smaller and I feel once you get used to the road, will be quite boring after a while. I found mine, a 97 for 1700, everything working basically ready to go on the road. with 7800 miles. It was a great deal i found on craigslist. But if you find one for under 2, get ready to race to be the first one to pick it up lol, unless its older. XR Bill is right, there are better options for the road, because it is light for a road bike. I do fit very comfortably on it though, and ive riden over an hour with no comfort problems. After about 2 it gets a little hard on my back id say but just starting, nothing horrible

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi all,

I am taking motorcycle training soon and will be getting my M1. I am 6'4 and ~180lbs and that pretty much leaves me with few options as far as motorcycles go (well, the types I'm interested in anyway). ...

I've been riding 30+ years, I'm 6'3", and my height has never been an issue. My first streetbike, '78 CB400 Hawk, was certainly not a large bike, and I put 25,000 miles on it.

Off-road, I've tended toward larger bikes, but I've ridden several 250s (2 & 4 stroke), and other than the suspension being too soft for my weight, they fit just fine. If I had one of my own, I'd probably add a taller seat and taller handlebars.

The only time air-cooling is a concern is sitting in traffic on a 110 degree day. But that's problematic even with liquid cooling.

I've done stretches of 2+ hours on the freeway on two different XL600 and my current XR400. (The 600 is FAR more comfortable.) At highway speeds, the dual-sport's "upright" seating position and wide handlebars means you are fighting the wind more than a typical streetbike. That can lead to tired arms from gripping the bars harder than usual. Also, single cylinder engines generate quite a bit of vibration -- and long stretches at a steady RPM can amplify that feeling. Just changing your speed a few MPH once in a while can help shift the vibration level and make things more comfortable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@pantaz: the problem is I don't want to waste my money, my time, or other people's time checking out bikes that don't fit me---> and i have no idea of really knowing what bikes i will fit on. I am not against the idea of a streetbike, but my inquiries so far have really gotten me no where. It sounds like an xr650l would work for my purposes though, and I like dual sports, so I only want one more now!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wouldn't rule out the other big-bore dual sports such as the KLR or DR650's and if you're really going to be using it for street 99% of the time the KLR would probably be a better choice. I have a feelling, though, that once you get that puppy in the dirt whether it be fire roads or trails, that 99% street figure will go way down as that is the funnest part of owning a dual sport. Having that ability to go anywhere. :ride:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Joe I am not against klr's or dr's, but I haven't even seen one of either in my price range. Once I hit the dirt I'm sure I will love it too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Reply with:

Sign in to follow this  

×