Results 1 to 14 of 14

Thread: R1150R as a first bike?

  1. #1

    R1150R as a first bike?

    I recently bought a R1250RS having ridden my R1150R Rockster for a 13 years. A relative of mine is interested in learning how to ride and I'd like to get some opinions on the Rockster (with ABS) as a first bike. My relative is tall, easily 6' 4", so flat footing the bike is no problem, but I'm a little concerned about the weight of the bike.

    Edit: Thanks for all the replies. I wasn't 100% convinced it's a good first bike, but in my career I started on an Kawasaki EX500 and that lasted about 4 months. But the decision mooted itself since my relative sat on it and didn't like the position of the pegs. He's going to try out other things and take the MSF course. I recommended that strongly.
    Last edited by Immersion_Suit; 09-04-2019 at 02:10 PM. Reason: update

  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    Guadalajara, México
    Posts
    301
    Quote Originally Posted by Immersion_Suit View Post
    I recently bought a R1250RS having ridden my R1150R Rockster for a 13 years. A relative of mine is interested in learning how to ride and I'd like to get some opinions on the Rockster (with ABS) as a first bike. My relative is tall, easily 6' 4", so flat footing the bike is no problem, but I'm a little concerned about the weight of the bike.
    Just my opinion and worth just what you are paying for it: an 1100 or 1200 cc BMW is way too heavy and powerful a bike for a first time rider. A bike that is light enough that the rider can stop if from falling over even after it starts to is a much better choice. Also a bike with less power is better. Even experienced riders occasionally apply way more throttle than they intend to (DAMHIK), and for a beginner it is better if not a whole lot happens in a hurry when there is a sudden throttle input.
    Will
    MOA #2607 - 2015 R1200R Cordoba Blue
    Previous: 1999 R1100RT Tundra Green • 1987 R100RT Grey • 1970 R60/5 Black • 196? Honda 305 Super Hawk • 195? Sears Allstate 50 cc Moped

  3. #3
    Addicted to curves azgman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    AZ
    Posts
    1,160
    I would say it depends on the individual. The 1150R is pretty docile compared with most sport bikes. That said, I would agree that a smaller, and lighter bike would present less of a challenge to a new rider. If they go the smaller/lighter route, prepare them for the likelihood that they will want to graduate to something bigger within a year or two at the most.
    MOA #107139
    RA #28511

  4. #4
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Location
    Corralitos, CA - Santa Cruz County
    Posts
    104
    old Honda Rebel 250

    No way I would ever suggest someone start riding on my R1100RT. I had 40K miles mostly on my F650 and riding the RT is a totally different animal. 200 lbs makes a big difference especially at low speeds trying to do tight maneuvering. Also when it starts to go over it goes and people not experienced enough to just step away and let it go can get hurt pretty quickly.

    My buddy's HD Road King was heavier than my R1100 but far easier to ride due to geometry and handle bar width. Perhaps the R is more forgiving than the RT but still its heavy.

    Lastly, consider liability in case your friend gets hurt riding your bike. Make sure this person has their own MC insurance and your bike is listed on their policy as the bike that's covered. Just my 2 cents.
    Signature

  5. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    gig harborr ,wa
    Posts
    845
    Just be careful about those ABS BRAKES on that model. Some like them some do not.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Immersion_Suit View Post
    I recently bought a R1250RS having ridden my R1150R Rockster for a 13 years. A relative of mine is interested in learning how to ride and I'd like to get some opinions on the Rockster (with ABS) as a first bike. My relative is tall, easily 6' 4", so flat footing the bike is no problem, but I'm a little concerned about the weight of the bike.
    My first bike was, and still is, the R1100R. I learned to ride a little on other bikes but I really learned to ride on the r11. I also took the MSF first course to get my license and I do have plans for the next level. I enjoy the r11 and its weight isn't really a problem for me. I'm 5'8" with the seat on the lowest adjustment. I have dropped it a couple of times early on but haven't had any problems since. There is a lot of power but it isn't a crotch rocket.I also tend to ride fairly conservatively most of the time, but I do have my moments of speed. FWIW.

  7. #7
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Arvada, CO
    Posts
    689
    Quote Originally Posted by Immersion_Suit View Post
    I recently bought a R1250RS having ridden my R1150R Rockster for a 13 years. A relative of mine is interested in learning how to ride and I'd like to get some opinions on the Rockster (with ABS) as a first bike. My relative is tall, easily 6' 4", so flat footing the bike is no problem, but I'm a little concerned about the weight of the bike.
    Route your relative to a Motorcycle Safety Foundation course and see how he/she does w/ the 250cc bikes they often use. Some people are athletic, sharp, coordinated, perspicacious and some less so. But in general can't hurt to start w/ something smaller than the 1150. My wife was 65 y/o when we bought her first bike, and Honda CB500X. She's 5'8" tall, 130lbs. It was a little too much for her but she managed. In the end we sold it as she never really felt comfortable w/ it and didn't commit to riding enough to progress very well. She dropped it twice during her 6 months of ownership. She definitely found the 250cc Rebel at the MSF course easier to manage.

  8. #8
    Registered User Subman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Maine
    Posts
    98
    I got back to riding at 50 or so after having ridden a bit previously (but had never owned my own bike) and my first bike owned was an R1200R. For me, it was a perfect choice. FWIW I am 6', 200 or so. Was comfortable on it from day one.

    Having said that, when my son (also 6' but a lot less than 200 lbs!) started riding a couple of years ago in his 20's he got a G310R and loves it - has 5,000 miles on it. For him, it has been the perfect first bike, and he has no plans to "upgrade" any time soon. Maybe too small for someone 6' 4", though.
    Dave K.
    1971 R75/5

  9. #9
    Registered User easy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Texas Hill Country
    Posts
    1,133
    You could be putting yourself in a no win situation. You would not only be putting yourself in the position of helping to teach someone to ride a motorcycle that cannot really be considered a beginner's bike, but also be teaching a relative.

    If your relative wants to learn to ride, recommend a MSF course. If your relative still wants to ride after passing the course, discus selling the bike.

  10. #10
    Registered User wbrownell9's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    New Castle, DE
    Posts
    402
    Maybe he'll be fine with it, maybe not. If he scares himself on it, his riding career may be short. We've all heard of the person whose first bike is their dream bike, who then fails to negotiate a curve, or can't stop in time, or realizes that he just doesn't like what he thought he wanted so badly at all. And if the bike is rideable afterward, it goes into the garage never to move again.

    You could hang on to it for him, while he putts around on a Rebel, builds his confidence, and - most importantly - figures out what kind of bike matches the kind of riding he actually, rather than theoretically, likes. Then turn him loose on a bigger bike - which may not be the Rockster!
    2016 R1200 GSA

  11. #11
    Well you had a Rockster for 13 years...how do you feel about it? Clearly not 100% as you asked here.

    Data point only:. I have a Rockster I bought last summer after 2 years off. My prior (only bike ever) was a 1980 R65. The test ride on the Rockster was *shocking*. After 10 on and off years on a slow bike that thing was like a Rocket!!!

    I retook an MSF class and they gave me some freebie coupons for a shop near me. Free inspection. Since I was using the free newbie coupon they were like "you just got your endorsement and bought that big bike?"


    I'm 6' tall and had to get the "tall seat". My right ankle cramps up a bit on longer rides.

    Hard to get a starter BMW with a boxer motor unless you go real old. All i ever wanted was a boxer.

  12. #12
    Thanks for all the replies. I wasn't 100% convinced it's a good first bike, but in my career I started on an Kawasaki EX500 and that lasted about 4 months. But the decision mooted itself since my relative sat on it and didn't like the position of the pegs. He's going to try out other things and take the MSF course. I recommended that strongly.

  13. #13
    Nick Kennedy
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Telluride Colorado
    Posts
    308
    This is a interesting discussion.
    My take is this.
    if the guy goes through a MSF course OK and is willing to purchase and read several motorcycle technique books and he is a savvy gearhead to begin with it could work out.
    How strong is he? Is he self aware? Is he smart?
    Everything I've gotten good at I've self educated myself, though reading and practice: Flying Airplanes and Gliders, Skiing, diving, sports car driving, river running, climbing, etc etc.
    If the guy wants to GET INTO IT and immerse himself for a couple of years and learn, OK. If not, Might not be a good idea.
    Its just a heavy bike. I don't think its too powerful, just big. Need some lessons on moving it around and starting and stopping it. Everyone drops one once in a while is my experience, I've done it.
    There's a lot of bikes out there today that have a helluva lot more power, you just got to have a little self control with the right wrist, not hard at all.
    And hey, its classy!

  14. #14
    Registered User BarryinIN's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Indiana USA
    Posts
    97
    I’d rather steer someone to a motorcycle about half the size, but sometimes you can’t get that done.

    If he wants, or is set on, a larger motorcycle, I don’t think he could do much better than an R1100/1150/1200. For the displacement, they aren’t as powerful or snappy as some, and have that low center of gravity. They’re also plentiful and old enough to make used parts easy to find for possible broken mirrors, control levers, etc.

    Here’s an idea-
    Make him a deal. Talk him into something smaller, but agree to hold your R1150 for him. If, after 9 to 12 months, he still has the motorcycle bug and wants something bigger, then sell it to him.
    Or spice it up by agreeing you will sell it to him for a set lower price if he does that.
    92 K75S
    98 R1100RS

Similar Threads

  1. R1150R : Any women riders on this bike?
    By UFObuster in forum Oilheads
    Replies: 18
    Last Post: 05-23-2013, 02:13 PM
  2. 2012 GTL - Bike to Bike Comm, Retaining Bluetooth ?
    By ericmsimon in forum Straight 6 K1600 GT/GTL/B
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 11-25-2012, 04:37 PM
  3. Typical Bike to Bike Radio Frequencies?
    By RobStar in forum Gear
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 10-04-2011, 07:52 PM
  4. Replies: 11
    Last Post: 12-15-2007, 11:41 PM
  5. R1150R or R1150R Rockster 80th Anniversary?
    By kromedome in forum Oilheads
    Replies: 20
    Last Post: 02-26-2005, 03:57 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •