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Author Topic: Is the RE appropriate for first-time rider/owner?  (Read 1362 times)

jbdrury

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Is the RE appropriate for first-time rider/owner?
« on: April 16, 2008, 06:31:53 PM »
I am not necessarily a first-time rider; in fact, an old Bullet was the first motorcycle I rode on while traveling in India a few years back. Perhaps that's why I can't get the RE out of my head!  I've since driven motorcycles and motorbikes throughout Asia. HOWEVER, I will be completing my basic rider course,  purchasing and riding a motorcycle in the US for the first time this summer. And it just so happens a 2002 RE with less than 100 miles is on the market near my home!

My question is a familiar one; and is in regards to the RE's reliability. I plan for this bike to act primarily as a commuter between work and home (avg. 10 miles each way on city roads, 4 days a week). I would LIKE to be able to take it on longer trips (170 miles), but this is not a necessity. Will the RE be appropriate for me, or should I be looking at a less work-intensive beginner's bike?

I am no stranger to auto mechanics (I just recently finished driving a two-stroke Trabant across Asia - if anyone here knows what a Trabant is, they'll understand  ;)) however I also need this bike as a dependable commuter and it will be the first motorcycle I'll have ever worked on. Also, with the low mileage will the break-in period be a challenge for me? Thanks for any help, JOhn

DireWolf

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Re: Is the RE appropriate for first-time rider/owner?
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2008, 06:35:44 PM »
As long as you have no interstate travel from home to work, I'd say yes.  If I can figure out what maintenance I need to do, anybody can.  The run-in period requires some seemingly slow travel speed, but you can figure that one out, I'm sure.

Dependability vs. servicability.  Does require attention, but I can do it myself.

Your call.

Bankerdanny

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Re: Is the RE appropriate for first-time rider/owner?
« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2008, 06:41:38 PM »
I have a 2002 myself and it makes an excellent commuter: frugal and easy to handle in city traffic.

I invested in a rack for the back that I use for my messenger bag or small packages.

It is also OK for longer trips so long as you don't mind keeping the speeds in the 60 mph range where it seems happiest. I did find that the upright riding position, which works great around town, gets tiresome quickly at highway speeds.

If you will be riding at night I would recommend that you upgrade to the 7" halogen. The bolt on kit is only $100 and the improvement in the quality of the light is, well, night and day.
Endeavor To Persevere

jbdrury

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Re: Is the RE appropriate for first-time rider/owner?
« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2008, 06:50:59 PM »
Thanks for the quick responses! One other thing, is there somewhere on this forum where there might be a list of states that the RE doesn't pass emissions standards (I read CA is one of them). I live in MD and commute to DC

deejay

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Re: Is the RE appropriate for first-time rider/owner?
« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2008, 07:55:50 PM »
Thanks for the quick responses! One other thing, is there somewhere on this forum where there might be a list of states that the RE doesn't pass emissions standards (I read CA is one of them). I live in MD and commute to DC

CA is the only one i'm aware of.

geoffbaker

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Re: Is the RE appropriate for first-time rider/owner?
« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2008, 10:48:19 PM »
I would have to say that if rock solid, dependable commuting is what you want, under ten miles, then a modern scooter would be both dependable and good mpg. Or the smallest cc jap bike you can buy. These are highly reliable, solid machines.

When I took my MSF course, the teacher talked about the ultimate reliable bike: no spokes to adjust, electronic ignition (never needs adjustment) disc brakes for city traffic, electric start for ease of use. My bike has none of these. I love it, but if I had to ride five days a week, no matter what... I'd probably get myself a Honda Rebel or some such.

The RE is a tinkerer's dream, but if you are looking for low maintenance, perhaps you should look elsewhere.

A Trabant, hey? Now there's a nightmare.

cyrusb

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Re: Is the RE appropriate for first-time rider/owner?
« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2008, 10:54:44 PM »
Honestly, if you have to ask, don't get it.