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Discussion Starter #1
I am taking my MSF class next month so I have started seriously thinking about what kind of bike I want. A friend has a 01 Rebel with 3500 miles on it for $2000. I think it is a good deal.. beautiful bike, no scratches, no dents. She "upgraded" last summer to a Shadow Aero 750. I think the Rebel would be a great starter bike since it is a 250. OPINIONS PLEASE? Good deal or not?
 

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Jo Ann, according to Kelly Blue Book, $2000 is the 'full retail, in mint condition from a dealer' price for that bike.

I think you can find a better price if you're patient and keep your eyes open.

Regards. -Jay
 

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You might get it cheaper but consider that you may be selling it soon and its good condition now will help re-sale. I started riding by buying a 250 Virago after my MSF course. Rode it for a season then sold it and sized up to a 750. It seemed a great way to learn to ride. If the condition of the 250 remains good you will probably sell it for fairly close to what you bought it for and then will have had a low cost learning opportunity. I'd bet you won't regret it. Enjoy.
 

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My wife bought a used 250 rebel 2004 in 2005 with 100 miles and sold it in six months for almost the same price- $2100 with about 1500miles on the clock - perfect condition. Actually ebizlee from this forum purchased it! Didn't know at the time he was a member- small world.

It's a great starter bike for building confidence but if you pick up riding fast you will be selling it sooner than later......great little bike though.

Many will say to get the 600 or 750, and many can handle that bike just fine, but the lightness of the 250 is a big plus for learning.


BTW there is a real good forum for the rebel on yahoo groups, very active very helpful.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Well thanks for all the advice. My husband is still adament about me getting a 750 to start because he feels the center of gravity will be better for learning. Any other opinions on that? He normally goes on longer rides and feels the 750 to start would be better for me in that aspect too. He thinks the 250 is just way too small... but hearing from other women I think I would be better off building my confidence on something small. Maybe I should wait until AFTER I take the MSF course to decide.. they have the 250 that you practice on there. Decisions decisions!!!! :)
 

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sweetlilchit said:
Well thanks for all the advice. My husband is still adament about me getting a 750 to start because he feels the center of gravity will be better for learning. Any other opinions on that? He normally goes on longer rides and feels the 750 to start would be better for me in that aspect too. He thinks the 250 is just way too small... but hearing from other women I think I would be better off building my confidence on something small. Maybe I should wait until AFTER I take the MSF course to decide.. they have the 250 that you practice on there. Decisions decisions!!!! :)
After taking the MSF, my girlfriend started out on a Rebel 250, then got a 750 ACE (2003) after less than a year. She got out of the Rebel about what she paid for it. Having ridden both bikes, I agree with your husband. I think the ACE is much better balanced and easier to handle than the Rebel, and the improvement in my girlfriend's skills was immediate. She cornered much more crisply, for one thing. My girlfriend, though, says she was intimidated by the size and weight of the 750 when she straddled one at the store, so she went with the Rebel and says she would do the same again. I think she coulda gone straight to the 750, but she knows better than I.

Not sure this is much help. I'd take the MSF, then decide. Forget doing any long rides on the Rebel--that just isn't going to happen. But you're not going to lose much, if any, money going the Rebel route, presuming you shop carefully and get a deal on a used one. The deal you describe sounds good. We sold my girlfriend's on ebay in less than 12 hours at the Buy It Now price of $2,100. It was a 2004 or 05 (I can't recall for sure) with about 3,000 miles on it.
 

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I'm with Strider.

Take and pass the MSF. Then decide on a bike. I wouldn't purchase a 250...its too small. Yes, it'll do 70mph, but not happily.

For my first bike, I bought an 80's Kawasaki 305. I bought it for less than $200. Realize, you'll likely drop your first bike at least once. I dropped mine(and fell down) at least once or twice. You need not spend $2000 to fell dumb when you drop your first bike...and you will drop it.

My second bike was a Vulcan 750....a most excellent bike for a beginer...also one that will jade you for all other bikes based upon its long list of standard equipment.

Don't discount a 500 to 650 cc bike....they're great starters, not too heavy, and you're not likely to outgrow it in two months.

Thats my $.02......Best of luck....Bazz
 

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sweetlilchit said:
Well thanks for all the advice. My husband is still adament about me getting a 750 to start because he feels the center of gravity will be better for learning. Any other opinions on that? He normally goes on longer rides and feels the 750 to start would be better for me in that aspect too. He thinks the 250 is just way too small... but hearing from other women I think I would be better off building my confidence on something small. Maybe I should wait until AFTER I take the MSF course to decide.. they have the 250 that you practice on there. Decisions decisions!!!! :)
You are not going on too many long rides with a 250 (although my wife rode to the East Coast Rally with hers - about a 700-800 mile 3-day weekend). That clinched the need for a bigger bike. Also the successful completion of a pretty intense ride for a newbie, reinforced the fact that she was ready for a bigger bike.

However, if you go with too big of a bike as your first, and are intimidated with all you have to learn, and the weight of the bike - it could end your enthusiam for riding - and you will get no comments on this forum from people who started with too big a bike and didn't like riding because of it.....they moved on to some other hobby/forum. :roll:

I think waiting until the MSF course is complete before deciding is a good idea!!

Also if you tend to be a stop and flop newbie, it's much easier to wrestle a smaller bike in to submission. :wink:
 

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I didn't catch how tall you are, if it was mentioned.

That may make a difference on what feels better, the Rebel or a VLX 600.

However, there is something good to say about buying a bike from a friend, you have a better idea about the maintenance and usage history, and a friend is gonna give you a fair shake on the price.

A possible downside is if some major mechanical issue comes up costing lots of $$$, it can cause tension in your friendship.
Not because they screwed you on purpose, but you're upset about the repair bills and they feel bad that you are feeling bad.

Furthermore, if you crash the bike there can be strong feelings of guilt on their part that they somehow had something to do with the accident and possible resultant injuries.
Even if it's clear that it had nothing to do with a mechanical issue causing a wreck, they may have that feeling that "if only I hadn't sold them my bike......"
Sure, that is not a rational response by the seller, it is an emotional response, and as humans, we're prone to them.

So, personally I don't like mixing business with friendship, but like I mentioned previously, there can be some very good reasons to do so in some cases.

As far as anyone, husband or family or friends, being "adamant" on what type/style/size bike is for you; they mean well, but it is your life that is literally in your hands and ONLY YOU are responsible for your choice.

Sure, you might buy a 250 and really get the hang of it and want to upgrade.
If so, you can probably sell the 250 for close to what you paid.

But, if you get too big of a bike at first, you may become overwhelmed and end up hating motorcycling.
Or worse, you may lose control of a big bike and crash.

Let me draw a small analogy.
In the gun shop in which I sometimes work, we often have dads come in looking for juniors first shotgun.
We usually recommend a youth sized 20 gauge, but sometimes the dad decides to go with a full sized 12 ga so the kid can "grow into it" and they won't have to upgrade.
I can't tell you how many times the same guys come back a month later with the 12 gauge, wanting to sell it back because the kid hates shooting it.
Too much power in the wrong sized platform for the user.
The dads are usually really disappointed too, they had such grand plans that their kid would love hunting/shooting as they do and that it's an activity they can enjoy together and are crushed when junior says he doesn't want to do it anymore (and might not even tell dad it's because the gun hurts, afraid to appear wimpy in dad's eyes).
It's a real shame.

So, in summary, listen to all the opinions you read and hear, but make your own choice.
Motorcycling is wonderful, but only if the bike and rider are a proper match.

Good luck and welcome to a wonderful new side of life!
:D
-Kris
 

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I think if you go into this deal with your eyes wide open you will be fine. You need to realize that the Rebel is a great starter bike, it has great balance and is easy to ride but it's small and you WILL out grow it quickly ( probably 6 months or so ).

The nice thing about Rebel's is if you do buy one thats in great condition they will sell fast later on and will hold their value very well. They are a bike in great demand.

Personally, I think the price is a tad high for that year bike. Try and knock the price down by a couple hundred. I sold my wifes Rebel last year ( it was an 03 in mint condition with 800 miles ) for $ 2,300.

If you do buy it, be prepared to trade up soon. You will out grow it quickly and want a bigger bike. :)

Good Luck with your course,


Chris
 

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advise on buying a Rebel as starter bike

I was in the same position last year as you are now. I took the MSF course last spring and was looking to buy my first "starter" bike. After riding a 250 for the class, I was convinced that size was too small for me to ride around in comfort for any length of time. I'm 5'7", so shorter women may find them more comfortable to ride for long periods than I did. I found a low mileage, very clean, 99 VT600 that I absolutely love! I sat on several different 750's in the showroom and felt those were too unweildy for me to start with. If you do start with a 250, you will probably be ready to trade up for the next season, especially if you plan on long-distance riding.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Just for the record.. I am 5' 4" and approx 145 lbs. I still think the 750 is too intimidating or me... I will look around AFTER I take the MSF class... not in any big hurry!
 

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if you have sat on a 750 and feel like its intimidating than for sure dont buy it.

you are pretty small...... you dont want somthing you are afraid of.

droy
 

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I would go with the smaller Rebel 250. When I was about 12 years old I went out and bought a new shotgun. I was scared of the big 12 guage shotguns but the little 410 guage kicked a lot less and I started out with that gun. I feel you will outgrow the Rebel very quickly however the "baby steps" are very important in the future of your riding. I believe the price is acceptable since the blue book is a guideline only and if its in excellant condition it is worth a little extra money and peace of mind. That bike will still bring decent money when you trade it in or sell it outright. The way the price of gas is going you wouldnt have a problem with resale. Getting back to the original question...yes buy the bike before its gone! Happy Motoring!
 

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sweetlilchit......1st thing you do is "smack" the husband up along side the head (hand only....no hammer)!!!!!! :shock: YOU are the one "learnin' to ride" here........not him!!!!! :roll:

Try to get on a Rebel 250 or similiar size bike at local shop if possible. It'll give you the "comfort/feel" that you might be looking for. But at the same time, while in the shop, throw a leg over other slightly larger models. Maybe a VLX 600 or other 400-600 cc'd sized bikes like Suzuki, Kawie, Yammy. Your probably near "Action Honda" in York.

My wife started on a CB250 (a lot "taller" than the Rebel) and quickly went to the CB400. But she rode that for about 2 more summers than went to a VT700 Shadow than the VT800 and FINALLY is at the VT1100 Shadow at present. :D But this was done over 10 years and many miles and MUCH patience on MY part. :oops: :roll: :wink: Your "hubby" MUST be in a hurry for you to take those "long trips"........go slap him along side the head.....just because I said so!!!!!! :wink: :lol:

Your learning curve will be slow and your confidence will take a beating at times. BUT "plug" along at your own speed and learning curve. And just when you think everything you do is wrong.......well, it just seems to click, come together or whatever.....you finally figgered it out. But it takes time...road time.

Bullzeyet
 

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good deal ??? need advice

On Labor Day of this past year, we bought a 2003 Rebel from a friend who takes meticulous care of his bikes, trucks, etc. I used it to reenter the riding world after being a nonrider for close to 30 years. It was small, I was kinda cramped on it, sometimes I was embarrassed to be seen riding it but I used this little bike to learn the correct skills that I had not learned 30 some years ago. It was easy to handle. But the best endorsement for the Rebel is yet to come. My wife wanted to learn how to ride (drive) a motorcycle for herself. She is a tall girl, athletic, has great balance but had never ever driven a straight drive car . Naturally, the notion of coordinating throttle, clutch , shifter, and brakes were a little intimidating. She practiced in a large grass field, then we moved to a parking lot to practice, practice and more practice. Within 60 days of buying the bike, she had used the skills she learned on it to pass the MSF BRC course . We recently traded it in on a new 750 Aero for her and received a generous allowance for it. My advice is buy what you are comfortable with now for your first bike. You can trade up when you are confident of your newly acquired skills. If you buy too big of a bike now, you may be discouraged and intimidated and give up riding. Your most important goal should be mastering new skills on your new bike and enjoying the riding experience. Be sure to take the BRC course that the MSF offers. Good luck with your decision.
 
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