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Adelaide Newbie

Discussion in 'Welcome Lounge' started by JuniperSachs, Aug 3, 2016.

  1. Hi all. :) Claire, Adelaide, bike love. :) Cutting to the chase...

    Finally got my Ls a couple of months ago but been around (and on, as pillion) bikes all my adult life. Bought myself a little 150 to learn on and expected to stick her out a year but I'm already realising her limits are significantly...well, limited. Impossibly short 1st gear that wont get me across a small intersection, 0-60 in about 2 weeks. GREAT for practicing slow speed manoeuvres, but I want a bike to go places not do circles in my yard. I'm finding myself more nervous about her responses than my abilities out there because I know she cant keep up with the flow (or with me) - and I'm not convinced she'll make it up the hills either. I feel ready to ride (not saying I'm a pro, just that I can keep her upright, on the road, and deal with traffic confidently) but feel I wont improve (or get that freedom I'm longing for) while I'm leaning hard forward just to get her to move. lol.
    SO. Here's my question:
    New job means I can consider an upgrade. Do I make the safe hop to a 250, knowing I can ride it but certain to want to upgrade again in 12-18 months - or do I get a 400 and get a few more years out of the bank loan? Or is that the dumbest idea any newb had since Ninja 600s became the choice of the Learner? ;) As I say, been pillion on sports bikes since I was 16, but really don't know what the power difference is going to feel like once its me up front. Or the weight of the thing.

    I'm a naked bike kind of girl, or cafe racer at a push, no sports bikes. (Third bike a Street Triple... pleeease)
    Suzuki's GW250 is tempting at the prices. But on the other hand Yamaha's SR400 is pretty appealing, even with the kickstart. Bear in mind I'm a not about to head for a riders club burn. Just want to be able to get to and from work during the week without holding up traffic and on a Saturday morning and head off down the peninsula or up into the hills.

    Help? Other suggestions?
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  2. Welcome to NR.
    Ok then as you have stated you like the naked type then I would strongly suggest you look at the 650 LAMS class, yes they are a fair bit heavier but you get the benefit of the extra power, ABS and the ability to carry a bit of gear and do the longer trips without stressing over whether she will do the job, I would steer clear of the 250/300 class simply because I feel you'ld be in the same boat as you are now with the 150.
    Try and ride as many as possible before buying though, in order I would suggest looking at;
    1 Triumph Street Triple 660
    2 Kawasaki ER6NL (ABS)
    3 Kawasaki Versys 650L (ABS) (if you're a bit taller, though can be lowered)
    4 BMW G650
    5 Benelli BN600
    6 Yamaha MT07 (some bad press about the rear suspension and also currently under a recall)

    Really comes down to what you can afford but if possible buy new or if you go second hand try to get as late a model as possible and preferably with a good service history, low mileage is not that critical with modern bikes but service history is!
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  3. Howdy and welcome to NR. If you are tall, then the above suggestions are great. If you are short, welcome to a world of pain. Another suggestions that didn’t make the list which is good for shorter and average height riders is the Monster 659. May be worth looking at.

    Good luck. Having started on a CB125E I feel your pain. 0 to 60 in 2 weeks is about right! Enjoy the hunt. (y)
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  4. Hi and welcome Claire, another one to consider would be Honda CB400.
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  5. Dont overlook the CB400 if you have the money, great bike.
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  6. Welcome to NR.
    If you're limited by seat height and want a lighter bike Kawasaki Z300 is also an option. Enough pickup from 1st gear and it also has a slipper clutch.
  7. Oh, look, if we're going up to grown-up size I'm already moderately in love with the Royal Enfield Continental - I just figured that such a big leap in power would put me straight into the nearest hedge the moment I got on. I'm 5'7, long legs but short arms, and utterly abysmal in the upper-body strength needed to pick up anything too heavy. :/

    And Hi all :)
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  8. Its cute (and tempting for light and slipper clutch) but I have an irrational prejudice against Kwaks. (Don't ask me why, I already said irrational) :)
  9. I guess regardless of what bikes people list, probably the best thing to do is go to a showroom where they have multiple makes available (like Peter Stevens - might get some flak for this... ) and sit and test ride a few.
    Nothing beats experiencing the bike first hand, even if it's for 10 mins, gives you an idea of the weight, how that weight feels, height and ride-ability...
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  10. Body strength has nothing to do with picking a bike up, it's actually technique, several you tube videos out there showing how it's done, I've watched a woman about your height pick up her old Z650 kwaka which is a damn sight heavier than any of those you're thinking about!
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  11. Firstly if you don't drop it you wont need to pick it up, despite what you may think, it's not compulsory.
    Secondly if you do then picking up a bike is about technique not brute strength,much can be found on this site about such matters.
  12. Yeah, I kinda plan to sidle in to one soon, but as a rookie, a blonde and a chick I just thought I'd start by risking getting laughed out of a web forum instead of a showroom ;) Peter Stevens is fine by me.
  13. I knew the moment I said it that someone would reply with that. I know. Thanks Loubre too. ;)
  14. Another here to look at the 400/500 range of bikes.

    And welcome to NR :cool:
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  15. Go ride em all, but tell me this isn't a winner....
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  16. I bloody love a CB400. Such a great bike to learn on. It's as sedate as you want it to be, great idling around town and great balance for a learner bike, and when you wind it up it goes like the clappers. Ticks every box. And it's naked and you can cafe the Christ out of it if you want to... Look no further ;-)

    And welcome aboard.
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  17. Ok, I just ran a few searches, price and whatnot, and I got a really nice shiver. But dammit, am I really going to buy a Honda? (But I want something cooler! Waaa!) Well the little jiggle in my seat and 6year-old-esque excited hand clap suggests it might just be possible. ;)

    Man, this biking malarkey is exciting. Why did it take me so long to get around to being the pilot, not the passenger? :)
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  18. I've got two Hondas. I'm far from cool, so keep that in mind. They're both cheap and they're both reliable and they're both reasonable looking bikes. So I guess that equates to "they're both boring" but surprisingly, they're actually loads of fun to ride, and even after getting off a litre v twin I'm still surprised by the pull the little cb400 has when you really wind it up. They are rock solid and I can't speak more highly of them as a learner bike, and I held onto mine even after I bought a bigger bike, because I enjoy riding it so much...
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  19. Yup, that word... reliable...Honda... Which is nuts, because reliable actually shouldn't be boring. Sitting by the side of the road - or on your couch - coz something went wrong, that's boring. I do know all this. Maybe I could anti-uncool it. Do the opposite. Know its uncool and buy it anyway, and thus be cool... if only my soul wasn't trying not to scream. ;)
    I will go try some out. Including Hondas. But this thread has helped me at least decide that I don't need to settle for a 250 just coz I'm a pussy-assed newbie. :)
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  20. Steve VtecSteve Vtec, you forgot to mention the CB400 also sounds t*ts with a pipe! :woot:
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