Return to Level1Techs.com

I want to buy my first Motorcycle

Hey guys!

I want your thoughts on tyhese bikes....it's in french but you'll be able to read the important informations.
I want something the best price/performance jap cruiser I can find, I stumbled upon these ones:

I don»,t want to spend over 2000$

http://www.kijiji.ca/v-moto-touring/ville-de-quebec/honda-shadow-vt750-chrome-edition-1984/1178006765?enableSearchNavigationFlag=true

http://www.kijiji.ca/v-street-cruisers-choppers/ville-de-quebec/yamaha-virago-1986/1174923841?enableSearchNavigationFlag=true

http://www.kijiji.ca/v-moto-touring/ville-de-quebec/yamaha-virago/1173263545?enableSearchNavigationFlag=true

Any of the three would be a fine choice. You'll need to see them in person and give them a thorough visual inspection and test ride before making a final choice.

1 Like

Do you have any experience with a Virago or a Shadow I should know?

I was looking at the Honda Shadow myself, though I'm a little concerned it will be too small for me. I'm 6ft. I've heard that it's a good bike. The one I really want is the Harley Davidson Sportster 883

Harleys ain't cheap! But the sound is unmatched

I own a Yamaha Roadstar, I've owned a 500cc Shadow (my first bike) my father owned a Virago. They are all good and reliable bikes so long as you maintain them properly as with any vehicle.

thank you!

1 Like

I currently own an 05 Kawasaki Vulcan 1500... but the one I owned before was an 82 Virago 920. My aunt owned a Shadow for a few years. They're both great bikes.

Depending on your size/wants I'd recommend the 1100cc Virago, but only if you can handle a bike that size, but, give each of them a test to see which is more comfortable bike for you. There's nothing worse than being a couple hundred miles from home on a bike that's uncomfortable to ride.

I think I can hadle that much but I dont know the biggest bike I have rode is a 650. I'm 5'11 215 lbs

That should be fine then. I only recommend the 1100 because you don't want an under-powered bike.

1 Like

I had a Suzuki Intruder VS 800 that is very close to style etc of these Virago and Shadows you are looking. Ride was good very light weight for first bike. I would get together with friends and ride for 8 to 10 hours a day, highway and back roads, factory seat. I do agree 1100 is little more long run heft, but you can always grow into a new bike. I unfortunately got engaged and figured it was irresponsible for me to still have a bike. I am about 5' 8" and give or take at the time 200 lbs. ~800cc is just enough for day rides , learning a bike without to much power under you to get away from you. Also people love to steal a bikes picking put on truck and riding off, do you think those poeple really want to mess with a 800 cc jap crusier when they have bigger bikes that can get more money.. I would say you find a ~800 cc bike that you feel you be comfortable on and good shape get it , enjoy it for few years then graduate up if you want.

Im a large man but I dont think it matters. Everyone and there son told be to buy a small bike to learn on. I HATED my first bike with a passion after 1 month and wish I started normal sized engines like closer to 1000cc

I see a lot of people say the shadow has more ''juice'' than the virago, at even engine size, true?

I wholeheartedly agree with this. I started on a 250 rebel, then rode my moms 650 v-star for a bit, then the 920 virago, and now I have my 1500 vulcan. Definitely start small and work your way up, especially if you can get away without spending a whole lot.

1 Like

Thanks for taking me out of context :)

First I would like to preface this by saying that, I have owned, raced and worked on several different styles of bikes; everything from Supercross, Sport bikes to small and large cruisers. With that said, most of your Jap cruiser bikes have the same basic frame dimensions, meaning they are designed for someone on the average height of 5'9" to 6'3", and them fit comfortably within the saddle.

To bring up a few points that you may want to consider before buying your first bike, keep in mind that if you buy a smaller cc sized bike and want someone to ride with you on the back, the bike is going to be down on power. Smaller cc bikes such as the 650 v-star and Honda bikes have drum rear brakes. When it comes to maintenance that is the worst design to work with, while the bigger bikes like the 1100 or 1300 will have disc brakes all the way around. A lot of the smaller cc bikes have carburetors while the bigger bikes will have fuel injection, this may not matter if your buying a new bike because almost all new bikes have fuel injection (I believe anyway).

However for myself, one of the largest factors I look for on a bike is, air cooled vs. liquid cooled. There really isn't a big point on bikes that are driven up and down the freeway and don't deal with a lot of stop and go traffic, but for bikes that do, it matters a lot. V-twin bikes that are air cooled and sit in stop and go traffic a lot, tend to get hot on the back cylinder and burn oil in that cylinder. Its not enough to notice on a single oil change but over time you will have problems with that cylinder. The liquid cooled don't have this problem with oil failing and gumming up the oil passages.

Now to throw in my two cents on the manufacture debate. I have worked on all brands of bikes - Kawasaki, Suzuki, Yamaha, Honda, Harley Davidson - they are all good bikes if they are taken care of like they need to be. My only concern is with the Harley Davidson, its hard to find NON Harley Davidson shops that will work on Harley bikes. So if you don't have a local Harley Davidson shop, then you might have to deal with loading the bike up and taking it some where far off to get it worked on. I would drop by my local shops and ask if they work on Harley bikes before buying one.

With all of that said, good luck, and if you have any questions hit me up and maybe I can help you out some.

1 Like

Look at a sachs. Its german so you know its good lol

Thank you for your advice!

I live far away from the city but it's good to know air cooled bikes tendency to burn oil....hmm I'll be sure to check that.

One thing is certain is that I won't get a Harley frist since I'm on a budget and they sell for too much in Canada.

What about Indian?

How much KM is considered too much for a 1990-2000 bike?

anywhere over 50000ks is too high, 60000 would be a rebuild