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Advice on First Bike

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by agelow, Jan 11, 2011.

  1. Hi guys,

    I've decided my first motorbike and would love your advice. I've done my own research but I thought I'd ask the experts.

    Use for Bike
    -Would be using bike to commute locally in eastern suburbs to Monash University. Would not be doing much touring.. max ride will be about 1.5 hours.
    -Would love a bike with heaps of carrying space. (Could I always get a rack?)

    Bike preferences
    -Want a bike thats is around the 2k-3k mark, comfortable to ride.
    -Cheap to run, fuel efficient and cheap and service.
    -Dont care about looks. Just an A to B bike. Would prefer less fancy things, so if i drop it or crash, I won't be shattered. Just like my mobile phone. Bike will NOT be used for attracting female attention.

    I am about 170cm and 65kg. So not sure if I can handle the larger bikes.
    Never ridden a bike before. Only a scooter.

    Any recommendations ?

    So far I've noted down these bikes that others have said are ok.


    I will ask about gear in another thread! But clueless about that too.

    Thanks heaps guys. Look forward to your advice.

  2. The GPX250 is a very forgiving and cheap to run first bike. It got plenty of zip too.
    Being fully faired will make you sad if you drop it though, however hopefully it's forgiving nature would prevent it.
    They're cheap to insure too, I was paying $350 when I started riding and $260 when I sold mine. That was for full comp insurance in Sydney.
  3. Sounds like a job for SuzukiAcrossMan :D.
  4. the GPX250 is what I have so I'm biased. It'll be in your price range, just, for a decent one, although you might get a bargain. Mine also has a rack which is good for storing and carrying stuff.

    With going to uni I'd suggest getting a rack anyway. There's a few big ventura bags that are great for storing loads of gear in, and helmets.

    In terms of look and seating, the across (GSX-250) is very similar to the GPX but it also has the helmet compartment which the GPX doesn't. not sure how big it is but if you need heaps of space a rack would be better anyway. for uni, the across helmet compartment would be ideal as your helmet isn't visible where it can get... interfered with.

    I think you might struggle to get a GS500 within your budget, based on what they go for in SA anyway. The GS500 will also cost you more to rego and insure I reckon.

    The seating position on the GS500, GPX and Across I found all to be similar. The CBR for me was too much forward lean (I have a dodgy disc in my back). I did notice that the rear suspension was very soft and squishy on a few Acrosses that I sat on, but they were older.

    Other bikes that are worth looking at (in my opinion): if you're not a brand snob, you could consider the 250 Hyosung. The CB250 has also been around for ages. Honda Spada is another option. VTR250 is the honda naked and they're great but price may defeat you on those.

    Or just for commuting and storing stuff I know a lot of people swear by the good old postie bike. A few guys here at work have them, most with a milk crate or similar occy strapped to the back for extra storage.

    would highly recommend getting out and having a good sit on some of those to see how they feel.

    I would be looking at something that's ideally got under 50,000km on it... only because these are all learner approved and there's no real way to be sure it's been looked after properly.

    hope some of this helps :)
  5. ZZR250 very similar to the GPX250
  6. [​IMG]

    Suzuki GSX250F X913 Across
    we have found your new bike, well second hand they dont make them anymore.

  7. yep.. forgot about those too. I didn't like the riding position on the ZZR250 though.. it was (or felt) very similar to the CBR250R, whereas the GPX and across were more upright and I found them more comfortable.

    I guess that's why we need to sit on so many and ride so many... everyone has different opinions on each bike :)
  8. Thanks so much for your comments guys.

    I am interested in the Suzuki Across , due to its compartment space.

    Is there any other bikes around my preferences which have lots of storage?

    Also I've had a lot at few of the bikes. Many of the bikes are about 20 years old. How much would that matter in terms of age?


  9. The only other bikes with storage are the bmw f650cs and the honda ntv650 or gilera dna or scooters.

    So for looks price small size and Lams still think the across is the one for you. Look for a low milage late model say from 1996 on and make sure its not a sumoto late model but is realy from 1991. Some have problems starting and surging and flat spots but this is a simple fix, plastic slide holders wear out but are cheap to replace and to DYI. Otherwise great little bike. I had one once sold it for around 2k years back, so thats prob still what they go for. I miss that storage and if it was a 600+ probably would still have it now.

    bmw f650cs [​IMG]

    gillera DNA 180 [​IMG]
  10. Thanks Tax

    Yeah it seems the Suzuki Across is perfect for me. Will insurance be high like CBR?

    Also Iv listed bike point, ebay, gumtree, trading post as places to look. Anywhere else?


  11. Sorry to throw a spanner in the works but what about a very basic honda cb250 the same bike which forms the backbone for all the riding schools. Just put a rack or topbox on it and away you go cheap as chips, very simple, plentiful and no shiny plastic fairings to break.

    Good luck
  12. CB250 are basic bikes but the Suzuki Across is hell convenient and very very easy to learn on.

    I started out on one and loved it, has enough power to overtake the trucks on freeways, but not too much to overwhelm a learner rider.

    I remember fitting almost a whole case worth of beer into the compartment once, it was awesome
  13. Don't buy a bike with inherent storage space. Thats what racks are for. Buy something that is comfortable and suits your price range, then go find some aftermarket storage systems.

    ps. the across is a nice bike
    pps. cb250s are pretty good too.
  14. For your money I would say zzr250 too with some saddle bags or top box .also look at bikesales.com.au .and search this site for more .have fun
  15. If you're at uni, I'm guessing that money is going to be an issue for a while.
    Get something with the minimum of moving parts. Something you can service yourself.
    The Yamaha XT250 has been around for many years. It has the proverbial stone axe reliability without the sophistication.
    Most minor crash damage parts (levers, handlebar etc.) can be replaced with accessory shop non-OEM parts if need be. More money saved here.
    Most XTs don't have much if any off road history as it's TT cousin was better for that purpose.
    You should be able to get a good 5 of 6 year old example for that sort of money.
  16. Thanks guys for your comments.

    Anyone know how much roughly I should be paying? I'm assuming its 2.5 - 3k.

    AlGroover, I would get that bike, but personally I'm not very handy at all, so I woudlnt be able to replace any parts myself.

    My question for testing bikes.

    Am I allowed to go into a bike shop and just sit on bikes?

    If I get my learners, am i allowed to test ride?

    I'm worried that since my only riding experience woudl be at the Learners, I would dmg the bike that im testing.
  17. 2.5-3k should be sufficient to get a decent CB/GSX/GPX/ZRR if you shop around.

    It's fine to sit on bikes in a bike shop if you're genuinely interested in buying, it's usually the quickest way to get the attention of the shop staff if they've been ignoring you (and you haven't had the chance to ask if you can sit on the bike).

    If you have a licence to ride you should be allowed to test ride, but the question is what are you actually expecting to find by doing so? If you have no experience then you're unlikely to notice all but the most obvious mechanical problems, and first time out on the open roads any 250 is going to feel insanely fast with exceptional brakes and handling (since you'll probably only be using a small percentage of what the bike is capable of). You're best off paying for a professional inspection or finding someone who knows bikes well to check and test ride it for you. There may be NR members in your area willing to help if you ask nice or buy them a beer.
  18. just look for a gsx250 across private sale in around your city ie if your in melbourne then any melbourne suburb ask the seller if they can ride it to your house for you as youare a learner with no road experience, hint : if the bike gets to your house without blowing up its a good sign that it works. The main inspection you need to do is sit and see if your feet hit the ground, and if the thing starts first go, and that the choke works, look for smokey exhaust, check for leaking oil on both forks, and like i said if it gets to your place brakes must work and gears must change etc