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A beginner's dilemma

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by cameron, Jul 23, 2006.

  1. hi guys.

    im very interested in riding/purchasing/maintaining a motorcycle.

    just wondering though, whats the process approach to meeting my goals? should i go get my L's first? do i need _any_ experience with riding a bike for my L's? (note, ive never ridden a motorcycle, let alone sat on the back of one)

    how much is the test (including the test course thing?). I live in NSW. and how hard is it? what are the chances of failing and blowing $100+?

    also, given a budget of about 3-4k, whats the best budget beginner bike to buy? (note the alliteration :D) I'd prefer a bike with fairings, and not too old.

    thanks for any help.
  2. Hi

    Officially, no. It helps to have some experience though.

    I think it's more like $60-70. The course isn't too hard, if you're a decent pushbike rider and can drive a manual car you'll probably be able to pass it, if you follow instructions well.

    Maybe a ZZR or GPX250? Quite a few threads on that subject you can look through.
  3. i have a 94 zzr, it's ok, a bit slow. handles well. i stacked it and i only broke a brake lever. sturdy bike, sturdier than i expected anyway :D
  4. Nice alliteration... People don't appreciate a good literary device enough.

    How coordinated are you normally as a person? Do you often fall down stairs? Find your moves are unusually awkward when dancing?
    If you have basic coordination, you'll pass the test no worries. I know guys who've never ridden a pushy, a car or a bike and still passed without tears.

    Have you driven a car ever? You're way ahead of where I was when I went for my L's. Most people who go for their L's have never ridden a bike ever. Everyone worries before the day, but you'll be fine.

    It's $60 for the practical part of L's, where you get training, and $30 for the written test you do at the RTA later. You're far more likely to fail the written then the prac (written is same as the car L's test).

    GPX250 is the best value learner bike. Way overpriced used though. $3-4000 would get you a 2000 model or later.
    The best learner bike, and I emphasize learner, because this is the bike that will best teach you how to best ride and handle a bike in the shortest time, for the least money- is the CB250. Much cheaper used than a GPX, and the only bike thats easier to handle than the GPX. You'll get an almost new one for $3-4000, 2002 or 2003, with minimal K's.

    Generally faired bikes suck as learner bikes. I don't get why people love faired bikes so much- and I own a faired bike. They are aesthetically sometimes kind of nice, but the cost of repairs is way too much, especially for a learner.
  5. Hi Cam and welcome to the forums !!

    Look, getting a bike is a simple three step process. During the first two steps you can pull out at any time, Step 3 is pretty much un avoidable once you have achieved steps one and two!!!

    Step 1) Go and do an L's course, do the two day course (thats what they have in vic, i asume the other states are similar). This will give you enough time to decide if this is the life for you. And it looks like it will be !!!

    Step 2) Shop for a bike, ask alot of questions, read this site (it has heaps of info) and post any questions, even if you think they may be stupid, it will help you make the right decision. Get someone to go with you to look at any bike you buy. If you don't know oneone that knows their stuff, ask here and someone will come along with you.

    Step 3) Spend every waking minute of the rest of your life either riding or wanting to ride and every sleeping moment dreaming of the perfect ride !!

    lol, one of my mates is the most uncoordinated people you could ever meet, trips over his own feet and such, but when you put him on a bike, its like you have replace his missing component and you get nothing but magic !!
  6. Hmmmm, on your budget, I think a cheap naked bike is the go, like a CB 250 as Kol mentioned. Fairings are sexy, but it costs.
    Do not forget to factor in at LEAST $ 500-800 for a jacket, helmet, gloves and maybe some duds and decent shoes.

    Regards, Andrew.
  7. I agree that budget is better for a naked. Less likely to have expensive repairs after a stationary fall or low speed drop.
    Me thinks andrew means boots.
    walking = shoes
    riding = boots
    beach = flip flops :grin:

    If your taste is for faired bikes you'd probably want the nice looking gear, so you look the steeze. You can still find good quality stuff for reasonable prices, check last season sales and online classifieds. Just remember to buy a bike that fits, if full fairings is the only bike you want then wait a little longer and save some more $$. You can probably still find a bike within your budget but may need to think about $$ for repairs, higher insurance costs, etc.

    I'm glad I went for a naked as I've layed the bike down a couple times already. just a few scratches on the clutch and brake levers. nothing to write about. Oh yes your in NSW no restrictions for 250 bikes too. So your choice is even more difficult.

    Definitely do your L's first that way you know if riding is for you, $100 for the day and you get to learn stuff, definitely not throwing money down the drain. Even if in the end you find that riding is not for you (never met any so inclined yet) you gain some knowledge of what motorcyclist face when out on the road. And hopefully you'll be a better road user for it.

    Try to find a place that lends you all the gear to do the training ( I think most of them do) so you don't have to fawk out heaps of money to have a day on a bike.

    God I'm long winded.
  8. O.K...footwear! :wink:

    Regards, Andrew.
  9. Welcome aboard Cameron. I did my learners on a CB250, very easy to ride and can be gotten for a good price as well.
  10. I personally had never even sat on a bike when I did my Ls and passed no problems.

    Just don't think you will walk away from the test knowing everything there is to jump straight out on the road let alone being comfortable out in the traffic.

    I spent about 2 weeks after the test riding around the back street before even thinking about hittin the main roads. I'm glad I did.

    I also had my bike for around 3 weeks before I did my Ls and it was real hard not to go and try it out. Don't know how many days I would go out to the shed and just start her up and stand there and smile.

    The only thing that kept me off it was being shit scared of it.

    As soon as I got the licence done at the RTA I spent every spare minute out on it doing laps of the back streets. Im sure they thought I was a nutter but I didn't give a rats arse as I take my safety very seriously.

    Also doing back streets also gives you time to practice your emergeny braking and what not.

    As for bike choice I think the advice above is all you need.
  11. The very second you have a lapse in concentration, or lose respect for your bike (not counting for the unexpected) it will bite you.

    Having said that, show who is boss & get on it. You will never overcome the fear if you just leave it sitting in the garage.

    Buy the best gear you can afford @ the time. Good on you for having a go. Enjoy :)
  12. welcome :)

    i suggest getting a cheap naked/cruiser for your first bike. much easier to handle and the best bikes to learn on. then when you are ready step up to a faired bike. (even if still on L's or under restrictions).
    CB250s, viragos, and older kawasaki eliminators are good learning bikes. very very easy to corner, and just give you more confidence as they are quite comfortable and relaxed seating position.

    make sure you factor in money for gear and insurance as well.

    i would recomend wearing boots highly also. when i had my accident one of my shoes came off and totaled my foot. now i wear them everytime i get on the bike.

    hope you enjoy riding as much as we all do, and dont stress too much about the bike test, just go in calm, realxed, and be friendly to your instructor and he/she will look after you :)
  13. Invest in some protective gear... minimum a Helmet and gloves for the test... you don't want to be wearing old swety things on your head... it can make the test... bit destracting when the smell is off!!

    Than invest in bike boots, jacket and pants if you pass the test and find you do want to continue riding motorbikes.

    At last purchese a motorbike with the left over money... buy some thing simple and prefebly cheep... make soure it is safe and realable.

    Have fun
  14. wow, you guys have been extremely helpful. thanks a lot.

    some more questions though, are there any additional costs to the $70 for the riding test? will i need to hire protective gear and a bike on the day? or is $70 a flat rate?

    and for the CB250, whats the best way to go about looking for these? Should i visit local second hand dealerships or should i buy privately? (via trading post and the like)

    and not to be a nuisance, but whats considered low K's on a motorbike? When does the value start to depreciate rapidly?

    thanks again fellas.

  15. im unsure on the costs if there are any hidden extras. vic roads are sneaky that way. and most if nto all places have helmets and gloves, but i suggest buying your own helmet and gloves before hand, as i read in a previous post "you dont wont the smell of someone elses sweaty head putting you off" :p

    not sure on the kays either, my first bike had 156,000 on it, and rode perfectly, second had 2000 on it when i got it (both 89 models) and my third had 13km's (brand newy). for buying a bike i suggest checking out dealerships and trading post/online private sellers. never know what you might find. might also find a bike other than a CB250 that tickles your fancy.
  16. Hello

    I am still riding my first bike (2 years now) and love it still. Is funny as I was talikng to me Dad today saying I am a little attached to it now.Anyways it took me 3 months roughly before I bouhgt it as I test drove so many and finally found this one in my price range.
    Then as I progressed to the rougher weather got myself a Motodry Jacket with a thermal lining approx $200 and some wet weather pants from Work Clobber as I cant afford proper pants yet but they still keep me dry.

    The bike cost me about $4000 and its a 1999 model and was a few years old but still in good nic and only had 16000 on the clock.I got it from a dealer who did me well and even delivered it to my door on the back of his ute as the shop was so far away, and I am the only one who can drive here.

    My opinion is get what ever you can afford with out putting your safety at risk and ride it till something else comes along so you get road experience.

    My bike... http://i115.photobucket.com/albums/n311/Scorpious31/SuzukiGZ2501.jpg
  17. This is the price of the course. If you need to hire their bike that will cost you extra, around 100 bucks I think. Helmet and gloves are included in the price and you have to provide the rest of the gear yourself. This doesn't mean you have to turn up in full leathers though - just jeans, some kind of jacket and some kind of boot. While proper riding gear is very important on the street, it doesn't really matter so much when all you'll do is ride in circles in the carpark at barely above walking speeds - which is what the L course is.
    Also, before you get your L's you'll have to sit a road rules test at RTA. This is regardless of whether you're holding car licence or not, unfortunately!

    well, you'll get better deals privately but with some dealers you might get a better bike, maybe warranty... it all depends on your mechanical knowledge (ability to check before you buy), honesty of the seller, plain old luck... the same rules as with buying second-hand cars apply.

    With CB250s I think you can expect around 20,000km on a bike in your price range. Maybe a bit more. A bit less is good :)

    Currently in the Trading Post:
    - cb250 1998 model, 20,000kms - $3,990 ... from a dealer
    - cb250 2000 model, 13,000kms - $3,800 ... private
    - cb250 1999 model, 11,500kms - $4,250 ... private