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First Post, Savage The Right Bike For Me? (Read 340 times)
Lanse
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First Post, Savage The Right Bike For Me?
08/01/12 at 11:57:00
 
Hey yall!!

I'm Lanse, Im 19 and I live in Ohio.

Heres my story, hope this doesnt turn into a super long post lol.

Back in the spring, I decided that I wanted to learn to ride. A buddy of mine had a late 90's dual-sport (KLR250) and since he was getting ready to head off to college, he offered it to me cheap. It was a great deal, he got it even cheaper, and fixed it up, so he got his money back out of it, and I knew I could sell it for more than I paid for it if the need arose.

Long story short, I LOVED it, I rode that thing everywhere, to grad parties, to work, to run errands, around-just-for-the-hell-of it, etc. It was great...

Ironically, what I liked least about motorcycling, was my motorcycle. It was a dual sport, so it was geared low to begin with, and I suspect that someone put another sprocket on it later in life. It was great in town, up until around 40mph, but after that, it was pretty well spent. It would do 50 but that was pushing it, the fastest I ever got it was 55 and it was shaking and vibrating and buzzing like it was about to enter self-destruct mode. The guy I sold it too was very nice but seemed like kind of a dare-devil, he claimed to push 60 on it during the test drive  Cool

Anyway, as much as I liked that bike, it couldnt really keep up on the back roads. Then one morning it left me on the side of the road as I was going to work, and shortly later, someone saw it and made me an offer on it. I probably could have gotten a little more for it if I'd waited, but he had cash and his offer was for more than I had in it, so I sold it on the spot.

And I'm now bike-less, and I miss having a bike...

Even tho Im a newer rider, I really want something more than a 250.  The roads where I live are flat and straight for miles, and you typically cruise around 45-65 on them, which means I want something with a little more power, thats still light and easy to ride for my newbie self. So, after a little research, I think Im gonna go looking for a savage/s40  Wink

They seem plentiful and cheap on the local craigslists, and I think they look sweet!!

So hopefully, thats what my next bike will be.

My only question, is how much difference is there between the 4 speed Savage and the 5 speed S40? I dont mind an older bike, but if Im really gonna need that extra gear, I'll pick up a newer one...

Thanks in advance. This is a way cool forum  Smiley
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Re: First Post, Savage The Right Bike For Me?
Reply #1 - 08/01/12 at 12:12:59
 
Lanse wrote on 08/01/12 at 11:57:00:
My only question, is how much difference is there between the 4 speed Savage and the 5 speed S40? I dont mind an older bike, but if Im really gonna need that extra gear, I'll pick up a newer one...

As far as shifting goes, not much difference.  It's a little nicer having another gear, but you only notice it if you're use to the other.

Mechanically, that's another story.  Along with the 5spd, they added a torque limiter to the starter.  This prevents the starter or gears from being busted with kickback at shutdown.  fortunately the gears and case are backward compatible so you can upgrade and prevent the problem.
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Re: First Post, Savage The Right Bike For Me?
Reply #2 - 08/01/12 at 12:13:48
 
There is not much of a difference in the top speed or gearing between the 4 and 5 speed models.....it is not a deal killer either way. One thing you should try to do is get a bike that has the starter clutch upgrade if you get a 4 speed model. Some of the early bikes could break the starter if the engine came up on compression when shutting down and tried to run the starter backwards.....somebody can tell you what year they fixed that issue.

The Savage would be a good "next" bike for you. It has plenty more power than you had before and it does cruise along at 60 and below pretty well.....faster than that for a long period and it feels like the gearing is a bit low and you are making things work a bit hard. It is proabably not a great bike for interstate travel at high speeds.

The Savage has a low seat height and fits smaller riders well.....you look pretty tall in the photo and might be wanting to have forward foot controls.

Where in Ohio do you live?

Hey!!!!  Where did that photo go?  It was there a minute ago!
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Re: First Post, Savage The Right Bike For Me?
Reply #3 - 08/01/12 at 14:26:02
 
How tall are you?
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Re: First Post, Savage The Right Bike For Me?
Reply #4 - 08/01/12 at 14:51:58
 
Don't limit yourself to looking at the Savage/S40. Look at the Kawasaki 250 or 500 Ninja, the 500 Vulcan, Honda's 750 Shadow, and lots of others. Most dealers seem really reluctant to allow test rides, but you can at least sit on the bikes and look them over. You can still decide for the Savage after looking around.

You might discover some niggling little thing that irks you every time you notice it, and that might decide you against any particular bike. For example, if you wear a full-face helmet, the chin bar obstructs the view of the Savage tank-mounted speedometer. Other bikes have rear-view mirrors that show nothing of the road behind, but give you a dandy view of your arm. The list goes on, and only you can decide.
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Re: First Post, Savage The Right Bike For Me?
Reply #5 - 08/01/12 at 15:57:39
 
verslagen1 wrote on 08/01/12 at 12:12:59:
Lanse wrote on 08/01/12 at 11:57:00:
My only question, is how much difference is there between the 4 speed Savage and the 5 speed S40? I dont mind an older bike, but if Im really gonna need that extra gear, I'll pick up a newer one...

As far as shifting goes, not much difference. It's a little nicer having another gear, but you only notice it if you're use to the other.

Mechanically, that's another story. Along with the 5spd, they added a torque limiter to the starter. This prevents the starter or gears from being busted with kickback at shutdown. fortunately the gears and case are backward compatible so you can upgrade and prevent the problem.


Good to know, thanks. Okay, so thats the starter and the verslavy to add to whatever I get. Guess I might be getting an older bike  Wink

Dave wrote on 08/01/12 at 12:13:48:
There is not much of a difference in the top speed or gearing between the 4 and 5 speed models.....it is not a deal killer either way. One thing you should try to do is get a bike that has the starter clutch upgrade if you get a 4 speed model. Some of the early bikes could break the starter if the engine came up on compression when shutting down and tried to run the starter backwards.....somebody can tell you what year they fixed that issue.

The Savage would be a good "next" bike for you. It has plenty more power than you had before and it does cruise along at 60 and below pretty well.....faster than that for a long period and it feels like the gearing is a bit low and you are making things work a bit hard. It is proabably not a great bike for interstate travel at high speeds.

The Savage has a low seat height and fits smaller riders well.....you look pretty tall in the photo and might be wanting to have forward foot controls.

Where in Ohio do you live?

Hey!!!! Where did that photo go? It was there a minute ago!


For now, Im not interested tooooo much in interstate travel, sounds fun and all, but I rarely go outside a 30 mile radius from the farm here, and when I do, its usually to buy steel or welding supplies, so I'd have to take the truck, anyway. Sounds like this might be the bike for me!!

Im around 6 foot 4 or 5, a little taller than a lot of people. Im worried about that, and I did feel a "little" cramped on the 250, but I always sit up close to the controls when I drive a cage, and so hopefully I'll be alright. Forward controls? That sounds expensive. I'm pretty cheap, yet another reason I want an LS650  Cool

lol thanks for the reply, guess I shouldn't be scared to get a 4 speed. Im in Brookville, OH, which is about half way between Dayton and Richmond, IN. Who knows what happened to my pitcher'? Ill try to repost it, that was wierd..

justin_o_guy2 wrote on 08/01/12 at 14:26:02:
How tall are you?


I'm around 6 foot 4 or 5, not exactly sure which lol. Any "taller" savage riders here?


Charon - FSO wrote on 08/01/12 at 14:51:58:
Don't limit yourself to looking at the Savage/S40. Look at the Kawasaki 250 or 500 Ninja, the 500 Vulcan, Honda's 750 Shadow, and lots of others. Most dealers seem really reluctant to allow test rides, but you can at least sit on the bikes and look them over. You can still decide for the Savage after looking around.

You might discover some niggling little thing that irks you every time you notice it, and that might decide you against any particular bike. For example, if you wear a full-face helmet, the chin bar obstructs the view of the Savage tank-mounted speedometer. Other bikes have rear-view mirrors that show nothing of the road behind, but give you a dandy view of your arm. The list goes on, and only you can decide.


Thanks for the input, guess I'll have to do some looking around. I currently wear a dirtbike helmet, as that fit the look with my dual sport, so Ill probably be going helmet shopping again lol. Idk honestly, I really like this helmet, guess it just depends on the color/look of the bike I get lol. But anyway....

I'll do some looking. I really wouldn't mind a VLX or a Vulcan 500, as I'd really like a cruiser or a standard (nighthawk).

Do you think a 750 is a little big for a second bike? The power doesn't really scare me, I dont ride like a maniac, and it would be nice to have extra power/ride at lower RPMs, but the weight does scare me a little. I bet they're really hard to keep up at lower speeds, standing at intersections, etc...

What do you all think? Im open to the idea, those older hondas are badazzz  Wink
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Re: First Post, Savage The Right Bike For Me?
Reply #6 - 08/01/12 at 16:01:06
 
Heres a picture of me and my old bike, just wanted to share.

I tried posting this earlier, and as dave noted, it kinda went poof...

Oh well, hope it stays around this time  Cool

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Re: First Post, Savage The Right Bike For Me?
Reply #7 - 08/01/12 at 17:47:19
 
Hey Lanse check out this post, even if you aren't going to buy an LS650 it will give you helpfull insight since you are new to bikes-
http://suzukisavage.com/cgi-bin/YaBB.pl?num=1295653542

Wink
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Re: First Post, Savage The Right Bike For Me?
Reply #8 - 08/01/12 at 18:36:32
 
After seeing that picture, you might also think about a KLR650. Those have been around for a long time, and a lot of people like them. The KLR650 will handily outperform the Savage, too. And it has about a 6 gallon fuel tank, as opposed to the less-than-3-gallon tank of the Savage.
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Re: First Post, Savage The Right Bike For Me?
Reply #9 - 08/02/12 at 02:06:38
 
Hello Lance, this is Maurizio from waaay back in Rome, Italy.

1st off, the Savage/LS40/Boulevard has "only" 32hp, but has so much low-down torque it will literally grunt its way through, no need to rev the engine, just twist the throttle and it will go!

2nd, the difference between the 4-speed and 5-speed is next to nil, what they did was little more than take the 4-speed box and offer an intermediate gear between tghe old 3rd and 4th gear, and presto! you have a 5speed !

Whan you should be considering is another detail, size.
The seat sits at a very relaxed 65cm, which in your speak are 25" off the ground.
So at traffic lights your feet will be planted square on the tarmac and your knees comfortably bent at 60, which is like the best position I've ever had Cool

The front pegs are more forward than in a dual-sports but not waaay forward, so once you've got the hang of it you'll actually enjoy the position and seldom feel cramped, if ever at all.

Unfortunately, the gas tank only holds 2 gals, which amounts to a 100mi. range (cruising at 50-60 will get you a bit farther than that)

In theory, the Savage is geared fto do the ton (100mph) but you'll seldom want to do any more than 65-70mph on her, the position calls for cruising at enjoyable speeds and the engine, a big single, actually performs best between 3000 and 4500rpm, which means 40-70mph.

I have done the Verslavy mod on mine and fitted a rev counter (tachometer) one of those 2" chinese jobbies that range out to 8000 rpm.
Don't get fooled into those 12/16000 tachos, you will only rev up to 5000 before the piston will cry out "What d'you think yer doin'?"

As for the rest, the Savage is reliable, fun, lightweight and will easily get you 50mpg Cool
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Re: First Post, Savage The Right Bike For Me?
Reply #10 - 08/02/12 at 03:30:22
 
Hi Lance ... glad to have you aboard! At 6'-3" or so, you are gonna find the Savage/S40 a wee bit cramped unless you fit aftermarket forward controls ... for the most part, the LS650's frame is not that much bigger than the 250cc Cruisers that're out there. If it's a Cruiser you want, a larger framed one might fit you better ... a Vulcan 500 (or 900) say, or a 750 Shadow maybe? I am a short-arse and at 5'-4", the Savage/S40 fits me perfectly but I figure if I were your height, a Kawi Versys (650cc parallel-twin) would be a perfect fitting Roadster-type Bike that could and would be able to handle almost any type of Riding you could throw at it! Honda's new NC700S would be another I'd look at if I were tall in the saddle like you!
Good luck in your search!
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Re: First Post, Savage The Right Bike For Me?
Reply #11 - 08/02/12 at 16:02:00
 
I won't try to talk you out of a Savage if you really want one. But at your size it is going to be, shall we say, rather underwhelming... At least you're light, at 6'2" 230# I find mine a bit uncomfortable, and mine isn't at all stock anymore. Floorboards, real seat, 15" rise handlebar and it is still too small to be truly comfortable. Can go all day on it if I feel the need but would be better served with a full sized chassis for actual comfort. Something in the VN1500-VN2000 size. But, my first bike having been a 1200cc... I'm biased toward full grown motorcycles.

If you can find a clean used one to play with, go for it. Fun little (key word little) bike. I'd pick up a couple more if I had the money right now, I have a barhopper Savage and an ancient Honda Scrambler, wouldn't mind a Savage based Scrambler and a Savage based rigid framed springer chop joining the toy collection.
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Re: First Post, Savage The Right Bike For Me?
Reply #12 - 08/02/12 at 17:04:41
 
Lanse wrote on 08/01/12 at 15:57:39:
....Do you think a 750 is a little big for a second bike? The power doesn't really scare me, I dont ride like a maniac, and it would be nice to have extra power/ride at lower RPMs, but the weight does scare me a little. I bet they're really hard to keep up at lower speeds, standing at intersections, etc...

What do you all think? Im open to the idea, those older hondas are badazzz Wink


nahhh...my second bike was a brand new 2003 Honda 750 Shadow Spirit..still have it 9 years later. (rode it to work today!)
..I went from a GZ250 to the 750 Spirit.
I bet you'd find a 750 shadow easier to control at low speeds then your KLR250. Much lower center of balance, etc.
I've owned five bikes so far...the Spirit is the one I kept.
However, I really like my old Savage. Fun to tinker with, corners great, just a cool old school type feel.
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Re: First Post, Savage The Right Bike For Me?
Reply #13 - 08/04/12 at 02:32:42
 
Honda also has a model of their 750 Shadow in "Standard" set-up (mid controls, higher seat, less rake, conventional ergonomics), the VT750 RS ... which is in my opinion the very best of the 750 Shadow line-up ... and the one a taller Rider might find more comfortable ... the 750 Shadows are not much more powerful than the Savage ... why not go test sit one?
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Re: First Post, Savage The Right Bike For Me?
Reply #14 - 08/04/12 at 03:07:58
 
The Shadow weighs 150lbs more than the Savage. That's a pretty big difference especially coming from a 300lb dirt-bike.
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