OP
@belkwinith avatar
UTC

Veni, Vidi, Posti
Honda CTX 700 DN Automatic Motorcycle
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Veni, Vidi, Posti
@belkwinith avatar
Honda CTX 700 DN Automatic Motorcycle
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UTC quote
What you would recommend for first timer to learn on NOW.

After all your years of riding, what would you recommend and why?

@troutbum avatar
UTC

Ossessionato
2012 Kymco Like 200i (Sold), 2018 FLSL
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Location: San Jose, CA
 
Ossessionato
@troutbum avatar
2012 Kymco Like 200i (Sold), 2018 FLSL
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Location: San Jose, CA
UTC quote
I learned to ride on PTW as a kid on a mini bike. Every bike after that was an easy transition to learn to ride. Even manual shifts weren't a problem. For me the challenge was slow speed maneuvering. Once I figured out how to control throttle, clutch and brake i was good to go.

For an adult starting out I say a scooter. Something in the range of a 50 to 150 cc. It would be similar to the experience I had as a kid learning to ride on a mini bike.
⚠️ Last edited by TroutBum on UTC; edited 2 times
@rrider avatar
UTC

Ossessionato
Triumph Bonneville 2022, Triumph Street Scrambler 2018 (sold), Suzuki VanVan200 (sold), 2015 Sprint 125 (sold)
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@rrider avatar
Triumph Bonneville 2022, Triumph Street Scrambler 2018 (sold), Suzuki VanVan200 (sold), 2015 Sprint 125 (sold)
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UTC quote
Good question!

And the answer... depends

If the first timer is a young person, it's hard to beat a Honda CB125R.
A light bike that handles like a proper motorcycle - learn to master that, and you can ride everything afterwards.

For someone starting the hobby later... well, depends on physics and attitude
Something that feels good, but is easy enough not to kill the hobby immediately...light enough to learn proper handling faster.

A scoot, if that's the final goal anyway - although this will be a more difficult/longer route to learn good bike handling, as you cannot use the help of a solid riding position with a petrol tank between the legs.
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@sdscooterista avatar
UTC

Hooked
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Location: San Diego
 
Hooked
@sdscooterista avatar
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UTC quote
I did my class on a Kymco and hated it. Then my first scooter was a Buddy and I loved it. Short me could easily put both feet completely flat on the ground in thin soled flip-flops (no, never rode it in them, just when I went to look at them initially and sat on the seat), it was very light to walk it, yet felt sturdy. I had a 170 so that thing could fly and was a bit too much for me at the beginning, so a 125 might have been a better option.
@web-tech avatar
UTC

Veni, Vidi, Posti
2008 MP3 500, 2013 BV350, 2020 Vespa Sei Giorni, 2008 Vespa S150
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Location: Ashburn, Va. Home to the Internet
 
Veni, Vidi, Posti
@web-tech avatar
2008 MP3 500, 2013 BV350, 2020 Vespa Sei Giorni, 2008 Vespa S150
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UTC quote
Had 10 years of mini bikes and dirt bikes before I ever Legally road on the street.

Wayne B
@birdsnest avatar
UTC

Not So Moderator
VNB VSC VMA VSX - o9c vbc vmb
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Not So Moderator
@birdsnest avatar
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UTC quote
I learned on a P125

I learned a lot more when I took the Motorcycle Safety Course mandated by the state of Texas. In that class we rode Suzuki 250cc motos. The structured progression in skills is invaluable and shortens the learning curve. The fact that you learn clutch control and how to work a manual gear box from the jump is essential foundation for any rider. Long story short... a small displacement manual motorcycle is what someone should start on and with a qualified instructor to show them the basics.
@25bikez avatar
UTC

Molto Verboso
2022 Liberty 150S-"Meg"
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Molto Verboso
@25bikez avatar
2022 Liberty 150S-"Meg"
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UTC quote
Birdsnest wrote:
I learned on a P125

I learned a lot more when I took the Motorcycle Safety Course mandated by the state of Texas. In that class we rode Suzuki 250cc motos. The structured progression in skills is invaluable and shortens the learning curve. The fact that you learn clutch control and how to work a manual gear box from the jump is essential foundation for any rider. Long story short... a small displacement manual motorcycle is what someone should start on and with a qualified instructor to show them the basics.
I'd have to agree. And then, something in the 250cc class, maybe a dual purpose like a Honda XL 250 or Suzuki DR250, will provide a lot of fun riding, can do highway speeds, and give you the option of exploring side roads and trails, all while being ultra reliable and returning 50MPG or more.
@max6200 avatar
UTC

Banned
2006 GTS 250
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Banned
@max6200 avatar
2006 GTS 250
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Location: KS USA
UTC quote
A Vespa.

Because it is a Vespa biaches!
@harbinger avatar
UTC

Veni, Vidi, Posti
2023 Arancia Impulsivo Vespa GTS300 HPE , 2022 BMW R1250GSA 40th Anniversary, 2019 Ural Gear Up
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Veni, Vidi, Posti
@harbinger avatar
2023 Arancia Impulsivo Vespa GTS300 HPE , 2022 BMW R1250GSA 40th Anniversary, 2019 Ural Gear Up
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Location: Toronto
UTC quote
1979 P200e

Had it for a few weeks on a learners permit and friends helped a bit.

I'd say for now a good learner bike would be anything under 400 CC's really. Depends on the rider and what they want. A 300 CC Vespa however is fine to start except for riders with a short stature.




*EDIT* Think I got this messed up with another thread where training was asked about. So I've deleted all my stuff regarding training as it is not relevant here.
⚠️ Last edited by Harbinger on UTC; edited 1 time
@madison_sully avatar
UTC

Veni, Vidi, Posti
MP3 500, GTS 250 (both 2008 MY), 2013 Piaggio BV 350, 2014 Can Am Spyder RT
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Location: Madison, Wisconsin
 
Veni, Vidi, Posti
@madison_sully avatar
MP3 500, GTS 250 (both 2008 MY), 2013 Piaggio BV 350, 2014 Can Am Spyder RT
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UTC quote
About 35 years on bicycles did it for me.

Seriously, getting on a scooter I was like "wow, this sure isn't as much work".

@larrymk avatar
UTC

Molto Verboso
Vespa Super 300
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Molto Verboso
@larrymk avatar
Vespa Super 300
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UTC quote
so I never had a PTW till in my late 50's I decided I wanted a PTW and took the state administered motorcycle safety course, we had 150 and 300cc motorcycles for the course. then i started looking to get a bike. my wife came across an article about Vespas ands she sent it to me and i researched it and was hooked. i went to a couple of dealers and tried several different size Vespas and went with w 300 super. So that is what i really learned on and it has been about 8 years and I have not looked back. Hope this helps

If I was younger I would likely consider a motorcycle but at my age I LOVE MY VESPA

larry
@max6200 avatar
UTC

Banned
2006 GTS 250
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Location: KS USA
 
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@max6200 avatar
2006 GTS 250
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UTC quote
Elegance. I feel so elegant on my Vespa.
@harbinger avatar
UTC

Veni, Vidi, Posti
2023 Arancia Impulsivo Vespa GTS300 HPE , 2022 BMW R1250GSA 40th Anniversary, 2019 Ural Gear Up
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Location: Toronto
 
Veni, Vidi, Posti
@harbinger avatar
2023 Arancia Impulsivo Vespa GTS300 HPE , 2022 BMW R1250GSA 40th Anniversary, 2019 Ural Gear Up
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Location: Toronto
UTC quote
Madison Sully wrote:
About 35 years on bicycles did it for me.

Seriously, getting on a scooter I was like "wow, this sure isn't as much work".

Yup, I hear you there and that is how I felt. However now older and (maybe?) wiser I'm not so sure that is the best way to throw a kid out on a Ducati Monster.

Face it most of the kids don't want a scoot, yes even a Vespa as great as they are. I know.. they just don't get "cool" anymore.

Sounds like the consensus here is throw them on a bike and let them learn like we did. Funny thing is I'm really not so sure I disagree with that statement and I've taken a lot of advanced rider training courses.
@kz1000st avatar
UTC

Molto Verboso
Dongfang 170cc, CF Moto Fashion 250
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Location: Hyde Park, New York
 
Molto Verboso
@kz1000st avatar
Dongfang 170cc, CF Moto Fashion 250
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Location: Hyde Park, New York
UTC quote
A Grom style bike. Followed by a used 250 Rebel. Then up to something bigger. I started out on a Sears Allstate 50cc moped with hand shift. They don't make anything like it anymore but a Grom is close.
UTC

Molto Verboso
2023 Genuine Buddy 125
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Posts: 1152
Location: Norfolk, VA
 
Molto Verboso
2023 Genuine Buddy 125
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UTC quote
If its for a young person, Honda Ruckus. I've recommended them instead of mini-bikes because you KNOW the kid is going to sneak out and go joy riding on the streets, and the Ruckus has lights, and because the parent(s) can ride it for quick store runs and such. If its a first motorcycle, used EX250 Ninja.
@waspmike avatar
UTC

Ossessionato
LXV 150 3v ie. Midnight Blue (Sold) Now Honda Zoomer X
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Location: Kingdom of Lanna
 
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@waspmike avatar
LXV 150 3v ie. Midnight Blue (Sold) Now Honda Zoomer X
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UTC quote
In a large garden Honda Monkey Bike
Round a field 500 BSA Single
On the road Lambretta
UTC

Addicted
Buddy 125, Scarabeo 150, Scarabeo 500ie, Triumphs, Vespa Sprint 150
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Posts: 732
Location: Charleston,SC-Knoxville, TN- Sanibel, Florida
 
Addicted
Buddy 125, Scarabeo 150, Scarabeo 500ie, Triumphs, Vespa Sprint 150
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Posts: 732
Location: Charleston,SC-Knoxville, TN- Sanibel, Florida
UTC quote
For a first time rider.....Honda Metropolitan 50cc.

fried okra
@david_from_australia avatar
UTC

Hooked
Vespa GTS 300 Super
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Posts: 191
Location: Adelaide, Australia
 
Hooked
@david_from_australia avatar
Vespa GTS 300 Super
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Posts: 191
Location: Adelaide, Australia
UTC quote
I learnt to ride in January 1968 on a 1963 Vespa VNB 125

Fab little scooter, my first purchase after leaving school and working long hours in a milk bottling factory for 2 months.

By the end of 1968 I sold it and bought a near new Vespa 180SS... the rest is history, Vespas for the next 50 years! Never been happier!
UTC

Molto Verboso
LXS 150
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Posts: 1205
Location: The OTHER South Bay, CA
 
Molto Verboso
LXS 150
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UTC quote
Bicycle, then a moped.

These days, I'd recommend a 50cc or 150cc large-wheel (Liberty, People) scooter, depending on the rider's weight.
@rrider avatar
UTC

Ossessionato
Triumph Bonneville 2022, Triumph Street Scrambler 2018 (sold), Suzuki VanVan200 (sold), 2015 Sprint 125 (sold)
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@rrider avatar
Triumph Bonneville 2022, Triumph Street Scrambler 2018 (sold), Suzuki VanVan200 (sold), 2015 Sprint 125 (sold)
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UTC quote
... nobody from this side of the pond proposed yet a BMW F850GS or on that side of the bond a HD 883 Sportster - those are what 'tru bikers' apparently recommend as beginners bikes. At least the BMW here.

A friend of mine did that. She had never ridden even a moped, plenty of bicycling though. An athlete, middle-aged. Done mountain climbing etc. so really physically in an excellent condition. She wished to keep her motorcycling initiative as a surprise from her friends, so asked from her colleagues' advice instead. Plenty of 1200cc GS riders there...

She got an unanimous recommendation to go and talk to the local BMW dealer. Who told her that the F850GS would be a perfect learners bike. So that's what she bought. Long story short - took riding courses, rode one summer... and sold the bike. Never felt 'at home' with that big, heavy monster - from a beginners viewpoint.

I would have an other story of my ex boss, who started his learning with a Honda VTX 1800...in short, he did ride a lot touring across US and Europe for many years (lived at the both sides of the pond and moved the bike from US to EU with him) and in the end, after years of riding and thousands of miles, confessed he never really felt comfortable with that big bike
@attila avatar
UTC

Veni, Vidi, Posti
In garage: Yamaha Tricity 155 Urban 2019 - MV Agusta 125 RS 1956
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Location: Latina (Italy)
 
Veni, Vidi, Posti
@attila avatar
In garage: Yamaha Tricity 155 Urban 2019 - MV Agusta 125 RS 1956
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UTC quote
It was the year 1973, my uncle on his farm in the countryside had a completely broken vehicle which, however, was still walking and used it to go to open and close the irrigation water at the canal lock; today it would be worth a lot of money and it is very rare, but then it was just a scrap that barely walked.
It was a Vespa 125 like that of the Roman Holiday (Vacanze romane) movie.
I learned with that but I liked motorbikes and over the years I forgot scooters, what can you do ... as a boy I was attracted to motorbikes because many had it near my house but few or none scooters.
So at 16 I bought (in the scrap warehouse) an old MV Agusta 125 Sport from 1956 and adjusted it to the best; in the morning I went to school and in the afternoon I was a barman; during the summer holidays i went to work as a metal carpenter saving and i bought a MV Agusta 350 Sport, then a Yamaha XT 500, a Yamaha XJ 550 and ... the list is long ...
I still own the MV 125.

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@troutbum avatar
UTC

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2012 Kymco Like 200i (Sold), 2018 FLSL
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@troutbum avatar
2012 Kymco Like 200i (Sold), 2018 FLSL
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UTC quote
Attila wrote:
It was the year 1973, my uncle on his farm in the countryside had a completely broken vehicle which, however, was still walking and used it to go to open and close the irrigation water at the canal lock; today it would be worth a lot of money and it is very rare, but then it was just a scrap that barely walked.
It was a Vespa 125 like that of the Roman Holiday (Vacanze romane) movie.
I learned with that but I liked motorbikes and over the years I forgot scooters, what can you do ... as a boy I was attracted to motorbikes because many had it near my house but few or none scooters.
So at 16 I bought (in the scrap warehouse) an old MV Agusta 125 Sport from 1956 and adjusted it to the best; in the morning I went to school and in the afternoon I was a barman; during the summer holidays i went to work as a metal carpenter saving and i bought a MV Agusta 350 Sport, then a Yamaha XT 500, a Yamaha XJ 550 and ... the list is long ...
I still own the MV 125.

External inline image provided by member with no explanatory text

External inline image provided by member with no explanatory text
As to the OP question, what would you recommend to the first time rider and why?
@mopedlar avatar
UTC

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2001 GTS Super (white), 2021 GTS Super (yellow), 1976 Bianchi Snark moped, 1980 General 5 Star moped
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Posts: 740
Location: Powhatan, Virginia
 
Addicted
@mopedlar avatar
2001 GTS Super (white), 2021 GTS Super (yellow), 1976 Bianchi Snark moped, 1980 General 5 Star moped
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Posts: 740
Location: Powhatan, Virginia
UTC quote
Moped in the late '70's and then a brand new 1985 Honda Elite 150 in '85. Been hooked on scooters ever since.
@attila avatar
UTC

Veni, Vidi, Posti
In garage: Yamaha Tricity 155 Urban 2019 - MV Agusta 125 RS 1956
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Location: Latina (Italy)
 
Veni, Vidi, Posti
@attila avatar
In garage: Yamaha Tricity 155 Urban 2019 - MV Agusta 125 RS 1956
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Posts: 8291
Location: Latina (Italy)
UTC quote
TroutBum wrote:
As to the OP question, what would you recommend to the first time rider and why?
Oh..sorry, I get threadbare sometimes ...
As a motorcycle I recommend a medium displacement, therefore definitely a Yamaha MT 03; as a scooter (but don't crucify me) a Yamaha X Max 300. The Vespa as a second scooter or a Medley 150 S as high wheels.
@amateriat avatar
UTC

Ossessionato
2015 GTS 300 Super (Melody: 2015-2021, RIP), 2022 GTS SuperTech (Thelonica; bit the dust 02-22-23)
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@amateriat avatar
2015 GTS 300 Super (Melody: 2015-2021, RIP), 2022 GTS SuperTech (Thelonica; bit the dust 02-22-23)
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UTC quote
Madison Sully wrote:
About 35 years on bicycles did it for me.

Seriously, getting on a scooter I was like "wow, this sure isn't as much work".

This was actually my experience as well, as a cyclist in NYC for 40+ years.

Funny thing is, I was tearing around on various and sundry MCs off-road some years before going back to pedal-power (I was on bicycles from age 9 to 14, resuming at age 22). The sum total of all this was seriously useful to me getting my GTS in late 2015, and my MC license some seven months later.

(For the record, those off-road MCs included, but were not necessarily limited to: Honda CT70, Honda SL70, Premier 125, Yamaha DT125/250.)
@old_as_dirt avatar
UTC

Veni, Vidi, Posti
2007 GTS
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Posts: 22441
Location: Harriman, Tennessee, Tn
 
Veni, Vidi, Posti
@old_as_dirt avatar
2007 GTS
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Posts: 22441
Location: Harriman, Tennessee, Tn
UTC quote
Re: What did you learn to ride on - versus
Belkwinith wrote:
What you would recommend for first timer to learn on NOW.

After all your years of riding, what would you recommend and why?

everybody is different and while some folks can grasp the clutch and shifting , throttle and brake controls really quickly others can hardly operate a hand brake lever.

the best thing is to sign up for a MSF class and let them teach a person to ride. After completing the class then a person has enough knowledge and basic skills to know how to safely operate a PTW.
@znomit avatar
UTC

Veni, Vidi, Posti
LX190 Friday afternoon special, Primavera, S50, some pushbikes
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Posts: 10153
Location: Hermit Kingdom
 
Veni, Vidi, Posti
@znomit avatar
LX190 Friday afternoon special, Primavera, S50, some pushbikes
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Location: Hermit Kingdom
UTC quote
A few farm bikes but mostly a hodna CBX250 that one of my brothers fell off riding out of the showroom and never rode again. It was considered fair game by the rest of us after a few years languishing in the shed. Soon after I found a cheap Hodna C50 and the rest is history.

Probably the best learners bike I've had was a Suzuki GN125 that I picked up when I wanted to give the Guzzis a rest from commuter duties. 4 stroke, low seat hight, comfortable and plenty fast enough for urban riding.
@maxx28 avatar
UTC

Addicted
GTS 300 Super
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Location: Los Angeles, CA
 
Addicted
@maxx28 avatar
GTS 300 Super
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Posts: 672
Location: Los Angeles, CA
UTC quote
I would highly recommend getting a dirt bike as your first bike. I learned to ride on a used Yamaha TTR-230, it was cheap to buy and no reliability issues to worry about, and was just as easy to sell and step up.

Learning to ride on dirt will teach you a lot more stuff, specially when it comes to turning, braking and handling the bike. You will actually appreciate being on two wheels more while riding on dirt.
@syd avatar
UTC

Ossessionato
GTS300 Super (Heinz) GTS250 Super (Bulger)
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Location: Tempe, AZ
 
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@syd avatar
GTS300 Super (Heinz) GTS250 Super (Bulger)
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Location: Tempe, AZ
UTC quote
My brother walked into a dealership and asked what was the fastest looking slow bike they had for his son. He rode it first just to make sure. It was the small Suzuki Boulevard, I think.
@capscoot avatar
UTC

Member
2022 GTS HPE "Shadowfax""
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Posts: 39
Location: Chickasha, OK
 
Member
@capscoot avatar
2022 GTS HPE "Shadowfax""
Joined: UTC
Posts: 39
Location: Chickasha, OK
UTC quote
I learned to ride on a 72cc Yamaha Champ. 3-speed, Semi-autotomatic transmission using a centrifugal clutch. You would shift with your foot but there was no clutch to fuss with. Made stepping up to a Suzuki GN250 really easy.

For a learner bike now I would have to agree with sdscooterista, The Genuine Buddy's handle like a Schwinn Stingray compared to a conventional motorcycle. If it must be a motorcycle then something like the Sym Wolf 150.
@johnymoore avatar
UTC

Molto Verboso
Vespa PX 177 Settantesimo, Vespa GTS Super 300 HPE, Triumph Bobber Gold Line
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Posts: 1269
Location: London
 
Molto Verboso
@johnymoore avatar
Vespa PX 177 Settantesimo, Vespa GTS Super 300 HPE, Triumph Bobber Gold Line
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Posts: 1269
Location: London
UTC quote
I spent a lot of time on BMXs so was pretty confident moving on to an automatic scooter as I had a good understanding of how and when to apply pressure to which break. That came in handy on the sort of roads I had to ride on at the time. I pretty much just jumped on a bike and started riding pillion. Never did any formal training until much later as it was a legal requirement.
@gasmk1 avatar
UTC

Addicted
Vespa lxv 125 vie dell moda Chianti
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Posts: 855
Location: Cheshire
 
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@gasmk1 avatar
Vespa lxv 125 vie dell moda Chianti
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Posts: 855
Location: Cheshire
UTC quote
lambretta TV 200 GT registered as a 125 aged 21 ish kept it for about 15 years before selling then nothing till 2012 the vespa lxv 125 i have now
@david_masse avatar
UTC

Ossessionato
2016 Vespa GTS 300 i.e. ABS sold, 2010 Vespa GTS 300 ie Super (sold) & 2003 Honda Shadow VT750 ACE (sold) & 2006 Vespa LX150 (sold)
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Posts: 3196
Location: Toronto (formerly Montreal)
 
Ossessionato
@david_masse avatar
2016 Vespa GTS 300 i.e. ABS sold, 2010 Vespa GTS 300 ie Super (sold) & 2003 Honda Shadow VT750 ACE (sold) & 2006 Vespa LX150 (sold)
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Posts: 3196
Location: Toronto (formerly Montreal)
UTC quote
First the why: riding is a deeply satisfying pleasure. First the physical pleasure, then the inclination to explore on two wheels that eludes me in a car.

Now the how: Lots and lots of bicycle miles, followed by three years on a tiny moped (Velo Solex) from the late 60's to mid 70's, then starting in 2010 on Vespas: rented an LX50 for a weekend to test a commuting route; bought an LX150 and commuted on that till 2013; in 2013 bought a GTS so I could add long distance touring with friends on motorcycles; now riding a 2016 GTS that I bought so I could have the added security of ABS and traction control.

When shopping for the first Vespa, I found the prospect of even the 150cc a little daunting, and the 250cc GTS downright intimidating. In retrospect, the 250cc GTS would have been just fine as a starter bike. The difference is just the weight, and more room to play at the higher end of the speedometer.

As far as critical skills go, definitely take a riding course and learn about the importance of counter-steering.

As far as practicality goes: nothing is more efficient than a Vespa for urban commuting, and the LX150 slightly outperforms the GTS because it's slimmer and makes it even easier to slip through traffic jams.
@bob_copeland avatar
UTC

Ossessionato
2013 Vespa 300 Super, 2022 Kymco AK 550
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Posts: 3569
Location: Minneapolis USA
 
Ossessionato
@bob_copeland avatar
2013 Vespa 300 Super, 2022 Kymco AK 550
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Posts: 3569
Location: Minneapolis USA
UTC quote
Learn to Ride
Like RRider, I learned to ride on a Honda CB125. Just like Sully said, years
on a bicycle made the transition easy. But OH! what fun when you cranked that throttle. Hooked for life.

Bob Copeland
Lake Wobegon MInnesota
1971 Honda CB125  "In Red of course"
1971 Honda CB125 "In Red of course"
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