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Gone
5th May 2006, 10:38
My sons turning 16 this summer, and of course he wants to ride.... myself being an over protective dad, and living threw an accedent myself, im having trouble on an 883 over a buell blast, the 883 can be converted to a 1200 at the local motorcycle machine shop, the buell isnt gonna do much more than it dose stock, the wieght differance is huge, the buells a real light weight, and the 883 he says seems a bit heavy......any input from u all would be great ...ty

DustyJacket
5th May 2006, 10:48
I started on the Blast. It is a VERY forgiving bike for a beginner.
Unless he is huge, find a used one (I suggests 2002 or newer) and he can ride it for quite a while. My wife eventually took over my Blast, and still rides it.

The 70MPG on a Blast is great. Plus, the 90 MHP (+) top speed may keep those young hormones under control. When I dropped mine, it cost $20 in parts - the Blast is cheap to fix, and nearly zero maintenance.

Enroll him at an H-D dealer's Rider's Edge Beginning Riders Course - they use the Blast as the training bike. No transition going to his own.


A Sportster is much more top-heavy, and less suitable for a beginner in my opinion.

Gone
5th May 2006, 11:04
thanx........ive been riding since 1975 and alots changed over the years, you see these new riders jumping onto a bike they have no buisness riding. he is going to hd rider course , thats a given. im liking the blast to, Ive heard pre 03 thry have an oil burning problem. its just good to hear someone agree with me ....thanx

XL883L
5th May 2006, 12:17
I believe @ 16 Y.O. there is a legality problem with the 883. I could be wrong (and I am often). I know that there are certain age limits for the larger displacements. Just something to check into.

jamman
5th May 2006, 12:25
I believe @ 16 Y.O. there is a legality problem with the 883. I could be wrong (and I am often). I know that there are certain age limits for the larger displacements. Just something to check into.
Damm you can get married at 12 in Arkansas and they have a age limit on ridin a bike..:roflblack :roflblack

seriously , start him on something small, like a rebel blast , whatever and make him pass every course.

Homarr
5th May 2006, 12:35
I started on the Blast. It is a VERY forgiving bike for a beginner...A Sportster is much more top-heavy, and less suitable for a beginner in my opinion.
I've heard quite a few people call the sportster a good beginners bike. I disagree. Besides being top heavy, (and just plain heavy) it's too EXPENSIVE to drop! What new rider wants to go buy a harley and then drop that heavy, expensive piece of machinery on himself??

I don't know how much blasts cost, but yeah go find something light and inexpensive and ride the paint off it!

Moved On / My Own Choice
5th May 2006, 13:11
Screw that.

When my daughter is old enough, IF she wants to ride, she is going to have to demonstrate her preparedness by DRIVING for TWO FULL YEARS without a single ticket or accident.

Now granted, maybe you live a little more rural than we do here on the east coast. But the MSF reports that riding is something like 7 times more demanding than driving (speaking of the physical and mental coordination necessary to operate a motorcycle on public roadways).

Couple that with the fact that a new driver has SO many instincts they have not developed yet. The abilities to be vigilant watching for traffic and hazards, to predict the harder to predict movements of other vehicles on the road way from subtle indicators like speed differential or lane position.

No WAY I would let my daughter (or any future son or daughter) try to balance all that without the safety net of bumpers.

Kev

VTRII
5th May 2006, 13:43
Find a cheap used small bike in good condition. There are lots out there. If he drops it, it won't be a big deal. It seems that those who learn on a smaller bike have a faster learning curve. If you buy privately and make a good deal on a small older bike you can usually sell it for at least what you paid for it. If he drops the sportster, which as a newbie, he may do several times, it can be very costly.

Randum77
5th May 2006, 13:52
Being he's 16, and your a better judge then any of us, i would say that peer pressure and adrenaline would make the 883 / 1200 a bad decision. I would go w/ the Blast at the absolute most. The cost, reliability, and functionality of it will make him aware of how to ride, ways to ride, and if he drops it, no biggie. Also, when he finally graduates from it to a sporster, he will have TONS more repsect for the sporster.

2 Cents paid. Good luck man.

Scooter_Trash
5th May 2006, 14:25
I'm going to have to agree with Kev (getting to be a disturbing trend ;) ). I'm not sure I would let one of my kids get a bike until they had some real driving experience.

The MSF course is a given.

Then again, maybe a Blast or a Rebel and they would have to ride with me for awhile. This way I can see how they are riding and progressing. That way I can toss some (hopefully) good advice in their direction. It would be nice if they learned something from me and not an expert friend that has been riding for a whole year.

gymrat523
5th May 2006, 14:39
I'm going to have to agree with Kev (getting to be a disturbing trend ;) ). I'm not sure I would let one of my kids get a bike until they had some real driving experience.

The MSF course is a given.

Then again, maybe a Blast or a Rebel and they would have to ride with me for awhile. This way I can see how they are riding and progressing. That way I can toss some (hopefully) good advice in their direction. It would be nice if they learned something from me and not an expert friend that has been riding for a whole year.
Sorry, but I also agree, kids should not learn rules of the road and how to look for the unexpected on a bike, I have five kids and it will never happen, last summer 5 minutes from here a father was following his 16 year old home on a brand new bike, saw his son die when someone pulled out in front of him. Let him get some road experience 1st.

Moved On / My Own Choice
5th May 2006, 14:40
I'm going to have to agree with Kev (getting to be a disturbing trend ;) ).

:doh :laugh

I'm just misunderstood.

I'm not fat, I'm big-boned (cartman)

:shhhh

Moved On / My Own Choice
5th May 2006, 14:42
Look, so I don't come across as a know-it-all-crumudgeon.

To answer the original question, IF you absolutely think a bike is the way to go and the choice is Blast or Sporty, I'd suggest the Blast because you want to minimize other issues (weight, balance etc) and let him concentrate on really learning to ride.

Actually, at that point I'd suggest a dual-sport, start riding off-road only and THEN work his way toward the street once his physical riding skills are developed to the point of second nature.

AND hopefully during that time he'll get some road experience behind the wheel, so that his road survival/traffic skills will be developing to the point of starting to become secodn nature.

Kev

drd1135
5th May 2006, 19:57
If you are willing to look at used metrics like the rebel, also consider the Suzuki Savage. I started with that bike and my wife has one now. It looks like a cruiser and is a big (650) single that makes about 31 hp. They are cheap used and run forever.

1LD1200
5th May 2006, 22:22
Awaken96, I'm almost 17 now, had my sporty since i was 15, and I've dropped it a few times, and the only thing that happens is the front turn signal lens shattered, the housing bent, the clutch lever got nicked, and the mirror came lose. This is being dropped on the left side, my bike's never been down on the right side. I think thats fairly cheap if it goes down. I would say I ride pretty well for being almost 17, and my Dad, and my other family that I ride with have told me I ride very well too. I've had a lot of riding experience since I was 10 years old though, starting with a minibike, then a 3 wheeler, then a dirtbike, then my current hog. My bike has been down 4 times in 2 years, and if I was heavier and stronger (I'm only 130 pounds soaking wet and bench about 130 pounds), my bike wouldnt go down as often.

IMO if your son ways more than 130 and is as strong or stronger than me and has previous riding experience, on dirt or otherwise, get him the sporty. If not, the blast will get the job done.

HoyaXc
6th May 2006, 06:34
I'm 17 and I'm on an 883. It's my first bike and I participated in the Rider's Edge course. The course was great and I wouldn't even consider putting anyone on a bike without the course first. My parents made me drive for about eight months until I turned 17, then I got an 883. I would have dropped the bike once but my dad happened to be next to me when it tipped and caught the bike, hopefully I wont again.

opiewontaylor
6th May 2006, 07:19
Admittedly, I'm a hypocrite. I wouldn't want any of my kids to ride a motorcycle. Their too damn dangerous. Well, their not, but cars are when they run into motorcycles. In 36 years of riding, I think I might have taken my kids on a ride around the block...once. If one of my kids insisted on riding, I'd get 'em a dirt (only) bike. They might break an arm if they fell, but at least they wouldn't get run over by a Buick. Having said that, I don't think a Sportster is a bad beginners bike. I'm not sure that less horsepower (or even weight) is safer. Sportsters are pretty forgiving, stable, and easy to ride. I learned on a Honda "sport 65". It was an ill handling, underpowered piece of crap. Far more dangerous at 60 mph than my current 1200 Sportster. Any bike can get you killed. Sportsters are top heavy? Maybe compared to other Harleys Ever ride a British or Japanese parallel twin or an xr dual sport? My Sporty is one of the least top heavy bikes I've ridden. Only my old BMW had a lower center of gravity.

Cameron
6th May 2006, 07:52
According to my experience of riding bikes I have found that an HD Sportster would not be my first bike to get, and ride it. Because the center of gravity is much higher than Japanese bikes. I can balance a japanese bike with my legs and literally move side to side with my legs without losing the balance because of the lower center of gravity and also I find it is easier and less pronound to drop it making a slower tighter turns (U-turns).
I highly suggest that a smaller and lighter bike for learning and getting used to the dangers on the road (the other drivers SUV's) and graduate into the HD Sportster.
Good Luck and Safe Learning, Don't take riding too lightly it is a serious business out there. See Hand Shoes!
Cameron

smoking man
6th May 2006, 08:51
i too found a cheap used bike for my wife to learn on (twinstar 200t) and i am sure once she gets use to it i will be looking for 883L. and being that she is a only 5' tall i will have to modify what ever i get to make it more comfitable for her.and she will be taking the local msf course.and they offer a experience riding course on the same day so i figure we can kill two birds at the same time and save some money on ins.
:smoke

Moved On / My Own Choice
8th May 2006, 15:44
According to my experience of riding bikes I have found that an HD Sportster would not be my first bike to get, and ride it. Because the center of gravity is much higher than Japanese bikes. I can balance a japanese bike with my legs and literally move side to side with my legs without losing the balance because of the lower center of gravity and also I find it is easier and less pronound to drop it making a slower tighter turns (U-turns).


I hear this sort of generalization from time to time and I don't like it because it is way too narrow a view.

It assumes every Jap bike has the same center of gravity.

And it assumes every rider is the same size.

Heck, it assumes every sportster has the SAME center of gravity which, if you compare a 1200R to a 1200L you will see is not the case.

Bikes with a taller center of gravity that I've owned include ALL of my BMWs (Airheads and Oilheads), my current Moto Guzzi and a Suzuki Gs550E.

Plus I can think of literally dozens of bikes I've ridden which had a taller center of gravity, from Buells to Bonnevilles.

But then again I don't particularly go for the low slung bikes, like Japanese cruisers!


I highly suggest that a smaller and lighter bike for learning and getting used to the dangers on the road (the other drivers SUV's) and graduate into the HD Sportster.


This is good advice, on the other hand, my SIL is 6' 2" and her 883 fit her damn near perfectly. I couldn't imagine her starting on a "smaller and lighter" bike.

sandy57
8th May 2006, 18:07
I have two sons under age 21. I will not let them get their motorcycle license. My insurance would kill me!!!! My agent told me to wait until they turn 21...

Gone
8th May 2006, 18:15
Awaken96, I'm almost 17 now, had my sporty since i was 15, and I've dropped it a few times, and the only thing that happens is the front turn signal lens shattered, the housing bent, the clutch lever got nicked, and the mirror came lose. This is being dropped on the left side, my bike's never been down on the right side. I think thats fairly cheap if it goes down. I would say I ride pretty well for being almost 17, and my Dad, and my other family that I ride with have told me I ride very well too. I've had a lot of riding experience since I was 10 years old though, starting with a minibike, then a 3 wheeler, then a dirtbike, then my current hog. My bike has been down 4 times in 2 years, and if I was heavier and stronger (I'm only 130 pounds soaking wet and bench about 130 pounds), my bike wouldnt go down as often.

IMO if your son ways more than 130 and is as strong or stronger than me and has previous riding experience, on dirt or otherwise, get him the sporty. If not, the blast will get the job done.
You give me hope for the younger generation thanks for posting.:)

seagullplayer
8th May 2006, 18:23
One word; moped.

As stated, you might want to check what your insurance will be before you buy anything. At his age, it may cost you more than the bike will.
My youngest turns 16 in August, I would rather he had his first wreck in a car.

BWP 5p
8th May 2006, 22:48
Start him on the small bike like Kev and the others said!

Jhard206
8th May 2006, 23:56
As an "overprotective dad" I can't believe you are going to let him ride at 16. I agree with kev and the others when I say mandatory driving experience first. For that matter I also suggest you make him buy a bike if he wants to ride so much. That way when/if he is mature enough to ride he should be able to afford to ride as well. That would also make price a factor and make him start with something he can handle. If he can afford a blast at 16 then by all means go for it. But if he has to wait a couple years to afford a sporty then I say mature, wait, and save for that bike.

BWP 5p
9th May 2006, 01:45
Just and FYI.....I started my son in a 4 cyl; 5 speed S10 P/U....Big Wagon Wheels and Tires....loud muffler.....and this is what I told him: Blow it up....you walk; crash it.....you walk........no seatbelts for you or buddies.....you walk. Why the S10? could only carry 3 people MAX.....not enough power to turn the tires, loud enough I could here him coming from a couple blocks away:roflblack No Sneaking Home Late:roflblack

He drove it for 3 years and nary a problem!
Me....I started driving at 10.....and if I wasn't mechanical (Dad owned a large Garage).......I would have had more problems then I did. I flat tore up some iron.......always Mechanical stuff! A way different era in the 50's and 60's though!

STEVOMERCKX
9th May 2006, 02:35
cant you do a trade up program with the buell blast? you buy a new blast and in a year or so your can trade him up into an 883 which you could eventually turn to a 1200 OR you can trade up to a BT and pass down your sporty to your son.

this is my opinion on "beginner bikes". you can kill yourself on every motorcycle. as long as your son is a responsible person and isnt one to learn wheelies and go showing off he could start on a GSXR1000 and be fine. on the other hand if your son is a speed junkie and likes doing wheelies and showing off. i recommend a rebel 250cc or dont even buy him a bike if he is going to be irrisponsible. hell my dad made me wait till i was 20 before i could get my sporty.


-Steve

95xlcustom
9th May 2006, 12:49
people say the sportys a good begginers bike i disagre. it on of the harder hd to ride

t.c. Johnson
9th May 2006, 13:00
I'm so glad I have a girl.

VTRII
14th May 2006, 03:15
I'm so glad I have a girl.
Yeah, until she jumps on the back of some guys Sporty.:roflblack

Roadster_Rider
14th May 2006, 03:19
Ive had my 06 XL1200R for going on 5 months now, 3k miles, havent dropped it yet(knock on wood) I did start riding dirtbikes when i was 13, jumped right on the biggest thing i could buy at the time a 93 YZ250 bored to 300, 55 HP on a 220LB bike for a 13 year old made me learn fast lol. But i think he would be fine on a sporty, besides how many 16 year olds do you see ridin harleys, so far i'm the only one i know of...

Edit-
I read the entire topic and now i know there are more 16 year olds than myself riding harleys, man were a minority lmao

Hexxor_Siaxxon
14th May 2006, 03:30
I was riding through town today and saw a guy on a bagger followed by a kid on a Sporty. The kid looked barely tall enough to reach the ground. No helmet law here so the dad was lidless but junior had a full face. I gave them a thumbs up and dad waves, Jr gives me a nod. I thought to myself "now theres a lucky kid". Dad not only cared enough to teach him and ride with him, but he got a Sporty too.
Hex