What's a good first bike for 19yo college student? - Chicagoland Sportbikes
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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-25-2011, 09:01 AM Thread Starter
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What's a good first bike for 19yo college student?

Hi All -

I don't have a bide (although I want to learn sometime soon), so this is about my son.

He is 19 and going to U of Iowa. He wants a bike/moped - something to get him around school and home on the weekends.

Any suggestions? He is not mechanically inclined, so something with low maintenance. And, of coarse, being mom, I'd like something I would feel he is safe riding from Iowa to Chicago.

Thanks!
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-25-2011, 09:04 AM
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a scooter

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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-25-2011, 09:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suzzypink View Post
Hi All -

I don't have a bide (although I want to learn sometime soon), so this is about my son.

He is 19 and going to U of Iowa. He wants a bike/moped - something to get him around school and home on the weekends.

Any suggestions? He is not mechanically inclined, so something with low maintenance. And, of coarse, being mom, I'd like something I would feel he is safe riding from Iowa to Chicago.

Thanks!
Getting him home on the weekends means you need something that will go highway speeds. So scooters are out.

Kawasaki Ninja 500 or Suzuki SV650. Cheap, can be found used in good condition (or new without being too expensive). Great learner bikes.
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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-25-2011, 09:25 AM
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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-25-2011, 09:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TripleZ View Post
Getting him home on the weekends means you need something that will go highway speeds. So scooters are out.

Kawasaki Ninja 500 or Suzuki SV650. Cheap, can be found used in good condition (or new without being too expensive). Great learner bikes.
This,

but riding from IA to NIL, I bet in bad weather and after riding the same route multiple times it gets old...

#19
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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-25-2011, 09:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Germany View Post
This,

but riding from IA to NIL, I bet in bad weather and after riding the same route multiple times it gets old...
driving the same route gets old too...


for campus use: scooter, especially the zuma
for longer ex500 or sv650

-Jason
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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-25-2011, 10:06 AM
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let me get this out of the way.......

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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-25-2011, 10:12 AM
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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-25-2011, 10:42 AM
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This SV650 https://www.chicagolandsportbikes.com...d.php?t=116050

Plenty of people from here know and have seen this bike. Very solid, well maintained.
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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-25-2011, 10:52 AM
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The SV is a good choice, there are others in that engine size range that would work well to commute from school. But, just choosing a bike is only one small part of the task. Making sure your son has the skills to ride a motorcycle should come first. An MSF course or similar accredited learn to ride course should come first and then making sure that he is equipped with properly fitting riding gear needs to be a factor. Gear for both safety and the elements needs to be looked at if commuting between 2 states is the main use of the bike. Helmet, gloves for different conditions, jacket and/or riding suit, boots and rain gear will be essential minimum gear along with some kind of luggage or rack to carry stuff back & forth. Point being, there is alot that needs consideration besides just picking a bike.
Best of luck.

"Dirt is for racing on...Asphalt is for getting there" OR "Flat trackers go in deeper and come out harder... OR (With apologies to General MaCarthur) "Old motorcycle racers never die, they just slip off the groove and fade into the dust!

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post #11 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-25-2011, 12:10 PM
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Getting around campus and getting home, between Iowa and northern il to me is apples and oranges.

Get your son a zuma to get around while at school. Get him a good cheap car to get home.

BUT if you insist on a bike for both, I agree with the sv650 folks

visor down
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post #12 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-25-2011, 12:56 PM
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post #13 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-25-2011, 01:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dennywags View Post
let me get this out of the way.......

turbo 'busa.
+1 Solid bike right there.
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post #14 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-25-2011, 01:35 PM
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Zuma scooter. and a jeep for commuting etc back home.




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post #15 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-25-2011, 04:16 PM
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Finding yourself with rain in the forecast for the next 3 days and one day to get back to iowa would suck. I wouldn't rely on the motorcycle for going between home and school. This coming from a 19 year old college student who spent most of the year without a car and frequently traveled between central WI and chicago. It's a lot of fun in nice weather. Sucked when i had to get back home and spend 3+ hours in the rain.
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post #16 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-25-2011, 04:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heartlesspinto View Post
Finding yourself with rain in the forecast for the next 3 days and one day to get back to iowa would suck. I wouldn't rely on the motorcycle for going between home and school. This coming from a 19 year old college student who spent most of the year without a car and frequently traveled between central WI and chicago. It's a lot of fun in nice weather. Sucked when i had to get back home and spend 3+ hours in the rain.
Riding in the rain puts hair on your chest. Don't be such a wimp. I've logged thousands of miles in the rain on motorcycles over the last 35 years.

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post #17 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-25-2011, 06:37 PM
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^^^ Yeah!...Good rain gear is a must but properly equipped a ride in the rain builds character!

"Dirt is for racing on...Asphalt is for getting there" OR "Flat trackers go in deeper and come out harder... OR (With apologies to General MaCarthur) "Old motorcycle racers never die, they just slip off the groove and fade into the dust!

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post #18 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-25-2011, 07:35 PM
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are u jrobbin's mom?

if so just get him a non motorized push blade lawn mower to ride.

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I agree completely with Steve (nouseforaname)
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post #19 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-26-2011, 12:10 AM
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I actually goto the University of Iowa, shoot me a PM and I can talk to you or your son about a first bike. I know the roads around Iowa pretty well too and if you'd like I'm sure my mom would talk to you about the whole process on her side ... my family really wasn't too motorcycle-enthused so you might enjoy the conversation.


And before you ask Steve ... no you cannot have my mom's number.
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post #20 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-26-2011, 01:09 PM
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Riding in the rain puts hair on your chest. Don't be such a wimp. I've logged thousands of miles in the rain on motorcycles over the last 35 years.
I probably rode 400+ miles in the rain this year....and ended up on my fucking ass.
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post #21 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-26-2011, 01:54 PM
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post #22 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-26-2011, 02:09 PM
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^^^ That happens to people who ride motorcycles...and not just in the rain, either. It's why I'm recommending an MSF course and good basic riding gear...I'm not trying to put you down or make light in any way, but if a 19 year old kid's mom wants good advice on what a good bike for a commuter and basic transportation around campus would be for her son they need to know the whole picture...It doesn't matter how you use your bike (or scooter for that matter) you ARE going to have to ride in the rain sometime. Your chances of staying upright and safe are much better if you have training and gear (both safety and rain gear because it's alot easier to concentrate on the riding if you're staying reasonably warm & dry) and learn to adjust your riding to conditions...But, just as anytime you ride a motorcycle or scooter no matter the conditions...there are only 2 kinds of people that ride motorcycles...those (like you and I) that have fallen off and those that haven't fallen off...YET!
It's important that those who are new to this riding thing know these aspects going in, don't you think?

"Dirt is for racing on...Asphalt is for getting there" OR "Flat trackers go in deeper and come out harder... OR (With apologies to General MaCarthur) "Old motorcycle racers never die, they just slip off the groove and fade into the dust!

If you want to anger a conservative, tell him a lie. To anger a liberal all one must do is tell the truth!
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post #23 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-26-2011, 03:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OldTimeBiker View Post
^^^ That happens to people who ride motorcycles...and not just in the rain, either. It's why I'm recommending an MSF course and good basic riding gear...I'm not trying to put you down or make light in any way, but if a 19 year old kid's mom wants good advice on what a good bike for a commuter and basic transportation around campus would be for her son they need to know the whole picture...It doesn't matter how you use your bike (or scooter for that matter) you ARE going to have to ride in the rain sometime. Your chances of staying upright and safe are much better if you have training and gear (both safety and rain gear because it's alot easier to concentrate on the riding if you're staying reasonably warm & dry) and learn to adjust your riding to conditions...But, just as anytime you ride a motorcycle or scooter no matter the conditions...there are only 2 kinds of people that ride motorcycles...those (like you and I) that have fallen off and those that haven't fallen off...YET!
It's important that those who are new to this riding thing know these aspects going in, don't you think?
He called me a wimp...i just wanted to point out that i've spent my fair share of time in the rain for a first year rider and have seen the consequences up close and personal.

Good post though lol

Yes you'll have to ride in the rain, but i wouldn't buy a motorcycle for reliable transportation between here and iowa. It complements a cheap car well for those nice days and traffic is a breeze on a bike, but i wouldn't buy one knowing that you have no other choice but to ride it when the weather goes bad. For local riding, it's fine. But i've spent numerous 4 hour rides in rain the whole freaking way. It sucks.

Last edited by Heartlesspinto; 11-26-2011 at 03:14 PM.
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