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Old 07-05-2010, 11:41 AM
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First of all I would like to state that I will probably be laughed off of the forum since I don't actually ride a motorcyle, and because of what I actually ride. I am currently the proud owner of 1 50cc Yamaha Jog scooter (hey it was cheap and easy to learn to ride and handle). That being said I have moved to a different area and my options for practical use with the thing are extremely limited (ie going to the bank and the post office) and I have to go back roads in order to go to my local Yamaha dealer for service. My state required me to get the motorcycle endorsement for it, so I don't have any concerns about that for upgrading. As such I am looking to get a small engine motorcycle (ie 200-250cc), so I have the option of riding to work as well and getting more use out of the thing. That being said I definitely live in a seasonal environment (comfortable to ride about 5 months out of the year) and as such I don't want to invest $2-$3K in a seasonal vehicle. The two vehicles that seem to keep popping up in my price range in good shape are:

1. '95-'00 Honda Nighthawk. There seem to be plenty of these around in my area in the $1000-$1200 range. With a cruising speed of about 60MPH and a top speed of about 75-80MPH it would be more than enough for what I need. What I need to know is are there any inherent maintenance concerns for this model (I found some for the old 700-750cc versions sold in the '80s but nothing for the newer 250cc). I know that parts can be pricey depending on what is needed but no more so than most motorcycles/scooters. Is there anything that is hard to work on on these bikes?

2. '80-'82 Honda Twinstar CM200T. Predecessor to the Honda Rebel. Been able to find a few of these in good shape for $650-$700 with no leaks, all lights work, etc. The top end is somewhere between 60-65MPH which would be fine although I would definitely be sitting closer to the top end of this thing more often (not sure if that makes a difference). Honestly I don't know that I will need more than 55-60MPH for what I want. It is also supposed to be easy on the throttle, which would be nice as I don't want to kill myself while I am unfamiliar with the machine. Parts overall for these seem to be really cheap to buy, but once again I was wondering if anyone knew of any issues with this particular model or of any hassle with replacing certain things.


The concerns that I have with any motorcycle are the following:

1. I am vertically challenged, so a low seat height is critical (ideally somewhere between 27-28 inches). I know that both bikes will probably be just a little high for me. The nighthawk is 29.4 inches and the Twinstar is somewhere between 28-29 inches. I don't want a bike that requires me to stand on my tip-toes at stop lights. I don't care what anyone says it's just not a smart way to go and I have tried it before on a scooter with a 31-32 inch seat and it was almost comical to watch me try to ride the thing.

2. I learned to ride on a 50cc with a Twist and go CVT tranny, so I want something that is going to be easy to learn to shift on. I have driven a manual car for years (not that that makes any difference) and as a kid I had a couple of experiences of shifting a 350cc dirt bike that my brother in law had. As I recall it is down for the first gear and then up for all of the additional ones and then you press down twice to put it in neutral. To my knowledge that is the standard gearing configuration, so I would prefer to have a bike that doesn't have goofy gearing.

3. Ideally I realize that the perfect bike for me is probably the Honda Rebel, but unfortunately they don't come close to my price range unless they are beat up.

Any ideas?
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Old 07-29-2010, 11:19 AM
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Well I ended up going with a '95 Nighthawk 250. Had less than 4K miles and no leaks. Everything works great. I like the nighthawk as it is a bit lighter than the other 250s and being a smaller individual I just find it much easier to move around when I am trying to park the thing. The seat is just a hair too high for me but I definitely am not standing on tip toes on the thing. It did have a dent in the gas tank but it's purely cosmetic and at $900, I am not going to complain. Anyways here is a pic of the bike:

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