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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am thinking about buying my first bike. I really like the Indian Chief Classic. However, I have been told and have read to get a less powerful bike. What are your thoughts?
KG Collins
 

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KG,
While I always say, to each his own, I and everyone I have ever ridden with have always started out on a small CC older bike. Usually for at least a year or so then move up to something larger. Also I highly encourage you to take a motorcycle safety course before you purchase a new bike and then take it again on each bike you ever own. It may be from my experience I had in The military and being forced to take the safety refresher course every few years. It always brings you back to the basics.
 

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Im thinking about buying my first bike. I really like the Indian Chief Classic. However, I have been told and have read to get a less powerful bike. What are your thoughts?
KG Collins
I have been riding for over 50 years and I have seen way too many people who buy their first bike...and lay it down. I would suggest you buy something older.... $2 - 5K and get used to riding. Take the Rider's course and learn every thing you need to know about emergencies and avoidance of accidents. Buying a brand new, large bike for your first bike is not always a good idea. Consider long and hard prior to buying something that will cost you this amount of money and then taking the chance of laying it down because you are not ready for something this size. Learn....and live.

Semper Fi,
DrZ
 

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Power can be controlled with a mature hand. However, the heavier the bike the harder it is to recover WHEN you make a mistake. I dropped my first bike, a Vulcan 750, and my second bike, a V Star 1300. Both drops were a low speed in a cul-de sac. The 750 went down fairly easy and I was able to pick it up with no problem. Couple of scratches but my pride was hurt worse than the bike. I near broke my wrist trying to keep the 1300 from going down. The scratches on both sucked, but the fact that I only paid $2k for my 750 made it feel not AS bad.

I whole heartily agree that an MSF class is a must. It will not teach you everything you need to know about how to ride on the streets, but it does give you a great start to understanding what it takes. It also give you an opportunity to learn in a controlled environment with people who have been trained on how to recognize what you're doing right and what you're doing wrong and know how to provide feedback to help you learn.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the comments. I have already taken the MSC course. I also plan of taking the intermediate course after I have my own bike. I will consider what was said. Thanks again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
DrZ Fellow Marine, I am a Master Gunnery Sergeant. Thank you. I have already taken the MSC. I also plan to take the intermediate course after I have my bike. Again, I appreciate the advise.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you. I appreciate the advise. I have already taken the MSC course. I also plan to take the intermediate course after I get my bike.
 

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DrZ Fellow Marine, I am a Master Gunnery Sergeant. Thank you. I have already taken the MSC. I also plan to take the intermediate course after I have my bike. Again, I appreciate the advise.
Semper Fi Top.
Has been many years since I was a SSgt but always a Marine.
Glad to have you here.
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Today I test rode the Indian Chief Classic. This bike far exceeds any other bike that I have ridden as in weight capacity and power. I was not nervous. In fact, I thought I handle the bike well. I like the technology. I also enjoyed the ride. Nice!! My decision is whether this will be my first bike or upgrade later.
 

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Another thought is to ride with what I call "professional riders". It sure helped me to follow and learn. Never be afraid to ask. Never forget to critique yourself after each ride and never look down. Have fun and ride safe.
 

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What ever bike you buy, whether it is heavy, light, expensive or old and cheap, you will have to get used to it and learn to ride it well. Every bike is different and handles different. I would get the bike you want and can afford. Buying a cheap used bike maybe buying somebody else's problem vs a new indian chief classic with state of the art ABS brakes and such. Whatever you buy, buy something that you Want and Love to ride! Peace out.
 

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Go to a local high school parking lot when not in use and practice drills....stopping, starting, turning left and right from a complete stop in a combined area, circles in both directions and avoidance maneuvering. Purchase a good riding technique video and practice what they show you...Years ago I did that and bought a bunch of short orange comes so I could set up my own practice course just like they did in the video. Not difficult to do but it does take some practice employing correct technique and mental preparedness...Your confidence will go up immensely and confidence is needed when riding a bike. You will also drop your bike less. I know I did
 

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Howdy KG,

My 1st bike was a 1946 Knucklehead chopper. The raked-out front end (chopper flop in spades) became less problematic after I ditched the 6-bend pull-backs and installed a set of dresser buckhorns. The high-torque, low rpm engine was easy to manage and the low center of gravity made the bike feel lighter than it was. These are traits shared by the Chief Classic, plus the Chief will handle a lot better at low speeds than that 6"-over wide glide with a half inch rake in the neck that the chopper had. The Chief's crash bars will allow you to set the bike over at an angle if you do tip over. If that's what you want then I say, go for it.
--- Randall
 

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I see what Dr Z is saying about laying the bike down, and I have found that to be true for almost everyone I have ridden with. However, Randall makes a good point as well. If you are mature and responsible, you should be fine. Watch out for sand and rain (slick spots in general) and you should be OK.

I know people who have bought a Ninja 250 as their first bike and go screaming down the highway. They are no safer than if they bought a 1000cc bike. However, the price point to harm your bike and your self is a lot lower. The only advantage, to me, in buying something smaller is the cost factor. If you are responsible, you should be OK, but watch out for your baby.

I had been away from riding since the Marines (Semper Fi) and it was almost 20 years since I had gotten out and I started riding again. I had two similar incidents where I was on a slick spot and had more power than traction. I was pulling out of a parking lot, and a guy at another driveway just to my left pulled out and gunned it, so I had to brake instead of pulling out. There was sand under my front tire and I went down; not all the way, but I was trying to muscle it up so it didn't kiss pavement. It happened faster than I would've thought, and almost caused me to slide into the intersection anyhow. Just a quick story to share dangers of two wheels.

No matter the bike that you have, it can happen. The difference is your experience and alertness that will save you.

While I agree with the price point issue of mitigating the risk, I also think you should ride what you want and just be careful. Good luck in your decision.
 
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