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250cc Inline four or 660cc LAM's Thumper?

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' started by kols_kebabs, Dec 11, 2005.

  1. I've been looking for my next bike for a few weeks now, without much luck, but as they say when it rains it pours, suddenly two of interest have come up.

    I was mainly interested in getting a 250cc inline four. I want something both as cheap as possible and as reliable as possible.

    Zeal's came up as the most interesting as they're all pretty late models, look fantastic (much better than bandits) and are just about the cheapest 250-4.

    All I'd found so far were mostly around $5000, too expensive. However I've found one on Bikepoint, a 98 model for $4400 with minor cosmetic damage.


    I know there are cheaper Zeal's out there, but there's none on the sale market right now (check bikesales) and it seems like a pretty good deal.

    Anyway, I was browsing through this dealers other bikes for sale, and I found one that grabbed me even more than the Zeal.


    1999 Yamaha SZR660- 660cc single sports bike, Low 24,000km's, $5'600.

    My last bike was an XBR500, another big single sports. I won't go into the headache that bike caused me. Many things I was frustrated with.

    However the major redeeming point of it was the engine. Great torque, fun to rev, lots of noise etc..

    So anyway I am trying to decide between these two bikes. I'm interested in opinions on which is best

    as I see it it stands something like this:

    Power:Zeal- around 40hp? couldn't find specifications on google later than 93' model

    19.2 ft. lbs of torque

    top speed- 140km'h (so is all I could find, it's not really this low is it?)

    overall power seems terrible on paper. However this conflicts with reviews I've read, what's up?

    SZR660- 48 bhp

    40.5 lbs of torque :twisted: unbelievable! Almost more lbs of torque than horses

    top speed- 186.6km'h, CBR250 beater, nice. Does a 13.3 second 1/4 mile too apparently, whats the above average 250 capable of?

    SZR seems to be no contest with the Zeal on paper at least

    Zeal wins hands down, outstanding.

    SZR has a quirky rear end, but the front ends okay, would look better naked I think. Wouldn't bother me long term at all though, still a nice looker.

    Parts, service costs: This is possibly the most important part of the decision and one I could really use some advice on. Both have advantages and disadvantages

    Zeal: Good: Easy parts availability

    Bad: Costs much more to service, potential for extremely high costs if something goes wrong

    Good: Cheap single servicing, reliability, cheap parts if necessary

    Bad: I've heard parts availability is a problem, could be a hassle.

    Long term reliability is a major factor in my purchase. I'm not sure which is worse, the potential for a fortune in cash if something goes wrong on the Zeal, or the potential to not be able to get the part if something goes wrong on the SZR660.

    Price: Of course the Zeal's better in this regard, I should be able to talk down to around $4000 right?

    It's hard to know the value of the SZR. Not many on the sale market. Seem's okay though.

    Ofcourse, I'm about $2000 short for the SZR :shock:. Hope to pay $5000 at the most, high $4000 if possible, is this reasonable? I've never dealt with a dealership before, any tips?

    Would it be reasonable if I really like the bike to negotiate a price, just pay a deposit, and then pay the bike off over say two months? Will dealers agree to this? I'm not talking about getting a loan and riding away, just having them 'hold onto' the bike until I can fully afford it.

    Overall: If I had the Cash it seems the SZR is great. However if I had cash I'd be riding a ducati monster 620.

    Cash matters.

    Zeal on the other hand is cheaper, but having already had 3 bikes since I got my L's (still 6 months left on NSW P's) I don't want something I'm going to regret, want something thats going to last untill I'm unrestricted.
  2. disclaimer;
    I've not ridden either,
    It's not my money,
    I won't have to ride the thing.

    Horsepower is what you read off a dyno printout.
    Torque is what you feel between your legs.
    Go the thumper!
  3. between those two, i'd DEFINATELY pick the thumper, but chuck and inline 4 400 into the mix and theres a clear winner in that :wink:

    have a look at a bandit 400 or xjr 400, top bikes, plenty of punch, feel similar to 250s :D
  4. Both those links you posted are to the SZR... I'll post a proper answer to your query later. ;-)
  5. Hey dj, Moss' first name is spelt Stirling, and it is a classic quote!
  6. http://newcastlemc.bikepoint.ninems...keID=1207353&TabID=202633&Alias=newcastlemcau

    That's the link to the zeal :p
    Yeah I'd definetely like an inline four 400, but I also definetly can't afford any of those. Even CB400's around mid 90's go for over $5000

    Besides, I don't think those one's you mentioned are Learner Legal in NSW. The really good ones aren't.
  7. Oh yeah, one other thing.

    I was wondering how much you can trust dealers.

    Normally if I was going to buy a bike privately I'd get a mechanically inspection by a dealer.

    However it seems kind of silly to take a bike from one dealership to get it checked out at another dealership.

    It also seems kind of an insult to take the bike to another dealer to get it checked, suggesting I don't think much of the dealer.

    They would obviously know any problems with it, being mechanics, can I trust them to tell me?
  8. Indeed it is - an unfortunate typo. :oops: Thanks!
  9. hmmm... looks like the bandit isn't on the list, the XJR400 is tho :D i scored my GFs one for $2k and spent about $1k getting it all reg ready and riding sweet. the right bike can be had at the right price if you look around a bit :wink:

    have a look at http://users.tpg.com.au/99coco/Picture 010.jpg
  10. About as far as you can throw them... uphill... with one arm... overhand... on the surface of a planet where gravity is three times Earth-normal...

    Don't have any mechanically savy mates? Those work a lot better...

    Bit of a misconception, that. Salesblokes who know more about how bikes work beyond where to put fuel in are rare as steak tartar. What's more, dealerships are, as a rule of thumb, shitful places for a mechanic to work, meaning the bloke in the blue overall out the back will either be moderately clueless himself, or feeling so underappreciated that he'll start showing that as cynicism towards the shop's customers.

    Btw, to answer your original query, get a Zeal over an SZR660 and I will ride up to Sydney, track you down and strap you arse-first to a big single with the balancer removed, which I will then start and leave running.

    The Zeal's a decent-enough little bike, but next to the SZR, it's a garden power-tool. The SZR has a proper frame, proper forks, proper brakes... it's a proper bike.

    Remember that thread where I chided your bigotry towards modern bikes? Remember me saying the SZR660 is the one big single I'd love to have in the garage? If the thing can win over such a committed proponent of exhaust flapper valves, dual-bank fuel-injection systems and variable-vaccum-cast alloy frames, there has to be something special about it, no?
  11. Cant argue with that can you :wink:

    really, i dont see why you'd get a 250 on the LAMS deal unless fuel consumption was a REAL issue or they were actually cheaper. but seeing as there is sweet FA difference in price and economy, f$%k 250s!! :LOL:
  12. Bugger me with a fishfork - I'm reduced to agreeing with IK. You can't beat a thumper, and a thumper with some modern technology has to be a bonus.

    Go the SZR. I have a big single (albeit with very old technology) and I love it. I reckon you'll have a heap of fun.
  13. Thanks IK! That saves me a more detailed response too. ;-)
  14. Thanks alot. I guess I'll have to try and get the SZR.

    Yeah I have got mechanical mates, and I know the basics on an inspection myself. Main thing I think is to get a test ride and absolutely HAMMER it :p -try and redline it in second,take some knee-down fast corners etc...

    . That was the mistake I made with the XBR, I didn't ride it hard on test- I thought I was being gentle by not revving above 4000rpm, didn't realise cause the carbs were stuffed 4000rpm was the limit.

    No one's answered my question here though:
    I guess I just need to go ask the dealer this question in person. Waiting to get a new bike is killing me. My parents went to India for 10 days, back next week and made me promise "Don't buy a bike till we get back".

    I'll post whether I buy it next week, when I finally can get a lift to Newcastle.
  15. See, that's the reason for this whole thread.

    I thought the whole point of LAM's was that the bikes on the LAM's list were no faster than the best 250cc 4-strokes.

    It seems on paper that the SZR would have much faster acceleration (huge torque advantage) and even top speed (CBR's do around 180kmh max I think- surprising for a thumper to be so fast). I'd also love to know what a CBR's quarter mile speed is. I've dragged one on my old CB250 :LOL: (yes I know) and it was no faster off the line in first, barely faster in second- they're too top end heavy like all 4 cylinder 250's

    If the larger bikes in the LAM's scheme are better, then why are CBR's etc. so popular in NSW/ACT?
    Yeah, thats so true for the CBR's etc. $5500 for a ten year old 250! Even $7500 going for immaculate models

    If you have that much cash, why not buy the Hyosung GT650- much better bike long term.
  16. Depends how much you trust the dealer. If you agree to buy the bike and sign the paperwork on the understanding that you'll collect the bike and provide full payment later on then legally they can't then sell the bike to someone else - it's yours. On the other hand be very careful to make sure that in two months time the bike is still exactly the same as what you agreed to buy (take photos if necessary) just in case it's a dodgy dealer that tries to swap over a few parts (battery for example) with another bike since it's already sold. Also look at getting it insured for that period or at least find out if the dealer has insurance that'll cover it if the bike's knocked over, stolen whatever during that time.
  17. Yeah I was thinking something along those lines.

    Main thing I think would be to make sure that the contract has a clause that I can get all my money back, no penalty, if I for some reason change my mind.
  18. A GS500, ER-5, SZR660 will all be faster around legal speeds then a zzr250, CBR250, Zeal etc.

    As for the comment asking why CBR250's are so popular?? Well that one is simple, they are 'considered' and have been for some time, to be the fastest and best 250 a learner could get. They also have a fairly high pose and wank factor. Now i'm not saying this applies to all who ride them, because yes they are a great little bike, i'm just highlighted some of the facts as to why the are still so popular. Most of the LAMS bikes are just big thumpers and old singles, and twins that don't really appeal to the majority of the boy racer learners that are about.

    Personally i like them and i am seriously considering upgrading my bike some time early next year to a LAMS approved bike.
  19. As an ex SZR660 owner I don't think there is really a choice to make. I found the SZR a little on the small side (I'm 5'8 1/2"), but in every other respect it is a gem. I punted mine around Wanneroo with times very similar to my RGV. The SZR does have great torque yes, but the main factor in its favour is that it was designed as a homologation model for 'Sound of Singles' racing, which is why I bought mine. It's handling is simply in a different class the average 250, you would have to go to an RGV,NSR, or Aprilia to even come close.