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Another due to join the ranks! Advice?

Discussion in 'Welcome Lounge' started by Rastus, Feb 23, 2012.

  1. Howdy all, i've been reading these forums for the last 2 weeks or so trying to soak up as much info and advice as possible. Seems like an awesome and supportive community here, so I figured I may as well join up and get involved! :cheeky:

    First off, you'll have to forgive my lack of knowlegde, Im totally new to the riding scene!

    So I haven't got my L's yet, studying up for my L's test in about 2 weeks. Booked it in with Armstrongs in Thomastown, here in Melbourne (oh yeah I'm from Melb :p).

    I've been into the CBD to talk to some of the salespeople at Peter Stevens and SpotOn, who were quite informative and let me get a feel for different bikes by taking a seat, was really impressed.

    The only type i havent sat on yet, and the one im probably most interested in, are Cruisers.

    I've been doing a lot of reading here and elsewhere about first bike recommendations, which cruisers are supposed to be good/reliable etc but thought I'd seek some advice on what you guys would recommend (not sure if this is the place, so forgive me if it's not).

    I'm budgeting for 2500 to 3000 for the bike. I'm 25 (not that age seems to matter ;) ), about 5' 8-9"-ish and weigh about 70kg's.

    So I've been mainly looking at 250cc LAMS bikes as from what I've read 250cc is a safe bet for learning to ride. The main use of the bike would be running around town, and I would eventually (once i build the confidence up) be riding it down main roads and on the freeways etc.

    Ive been considering the Virago 250 as it looks nice and there are a few in my price range. I was advised by one of the guys at Spoton that while these are awesome bikes, it is a rather small bike, and as such I may get bored of it. Being so small I'm not sure it would hold up on the freeway's?

    Anyway he (apologies I've forgotten his name and dont have his card handy) advised that i might be better off with a Magna? (is this the same as a V25 Custom?), as it's a bit larger-which he said wouldnt be a problem for me, and in same power and price range.

    I have also been looking at the Honda Rebel, as they are at the higher end of my budget, but look really nice :D.

    Ditto with the Intruder VL250 (i think thats right), but there really arent many of these up for sale.

    Im also looking for advice on where to get gear. I've found some online shops etc, but obviously would like to go into a store to size up etc for buying my first set of gear. A friend of mine who ride's mentioned in passing a really good place in Tullamarine but I havent as of yet got any details for this.
    Any suggestions?

    Cheers in advance for any and all advice, hope I didn't bore you all to death :rofl:
  2. look at high octane across the road from armstrongs, small range (very small) but great bikes, businees and mechanics.

    kicking myself i didnt buy the spada they had when i crossed the road](*,)
    couldnt speak any higher of them, great guys
  3. Awesome will do spenaroo, didnt even know it existed until you mentioned it!
  4. Welcome Rastus
    If you're interested in cruisers, I'd try & increase the budget a bit & go for a good used 650 V Star (Yamaha)
    Very reliable & enough power (but not over powered) to keep you satisfied while you learn.

    Don't wory about the little 250 cruisers though. Although most don't accelerate too fast, they will happily sit on 100km/h all day!!
  5. Thanks streemaster!
    Good to hear the cruisers sit well at higher speeds, not that I'll probably need those speeds for a while :p
    When you say increase the budget a bit, what price range would you suggest? I had a quick look on bikesales and the V Star's were going for about double what I'm looking at spending being around the $6-8k mark (although they do look pretty nice!).
  6. They're worth it!!!
    An ex of mine had the 250 V Star (not Virago!) & it was a good little bike, but I found the 250s a little 'buzzy' for my liking.
    Lots of people have them & don't have a problem. Maybe I was just used to the 650.
    Took the 250 on group rides & didn't have any problems keeping up, just I preferred the 650.
  7. Not at all, refreshing to see you didnt use the word noob in that whole intro. Seems you are on the right track, you know what you want even though lots of people here might advise you not to get a cruiser.

    My advice re gear is that you will want different gear for different seasons/conditions and this especially true for commuting. Textiles will do a good job and tend to be less expensive than leathers. Look out for some rain gear but try to avoid the bike shops - you'll tend to pay more there than somewhere like Aldi.

    I do like my Takamii Kevlar jeans and they are half the price of the Hornee cargoes I started out with.

    Welcome to the forummm
  8. I will get my Suzuki Intruder vl250 this coming saturday, They have a lot going for them. there shoudl be about 20 or so up for sale in melbourne/vic. but it really depends on why you are getting it. I'm getting mine for the cheap commute to and from work, since we just moved office and scooters are just not my style. naked road bikes are ok, but i prefer the attitude that comes with the cruiser look. hence the intruder, I think they are the best looking 250 cruiser around.

    I did my learners course last week at Armstrongs and they were great. loads of riding and very professional instructors. good luck!
  9. welcome to NR Rastus, as Streetmaster mentioned, go the 650, nice cruisers and you'll keep it for a while longer then the virago250!!
  10. Thanks for the advice! Probably another stupid question, but are the 650's alot heavier?

    One thing I was concerned about with Motorcycles was the weight, but when i sat on a couple the other week i was really surprised at how light the 250's I sat on were.

    I'd assume with the larger capacity the bike would be a little bit bigger, so how would that extra weight play into learning to ride?

    I've read that 250CC is a better start capacity, and that you will be an overall better rider by starting on a 250. Having no idea personally how true/untrue this is i thought i'd throw it out to the more experienced riders and see what opinion they have on this?

    As to buying a 650 straight up, I guess if the bike is going to last me a while longer post-L's, then it would be worth the extra investment. When you refer to the V Star 650 do you mean the classic or the custom? Is there a difference? :-s

    [MENTION=37146]mechanism[/MENTION]; the VL 250 was one that i was definiately considering as they seem to look really nice. Also a few within my price range.
    Was leaning more towards one of the Intruders or a Honda Rebel - also a nice looking bike - at least in the pictures! Either way, once I get L's and a bike we can go for a cruise! ;)

    [MENTION=31654]Brmmm[/MENTION]; Aldi?? They sell rain gear? Is it motorcycl specific or just wet weather gear? Does it make a difference?(Im assuming sinc eyou have protective gear underneath that wet weather is just to keep you dry, not for extra protection?)
    You also said to avoid bike shops for gear - obviously the RRP would be higher at brick and mortar, but would it be better to sized up etc and buy the lot from one retailer and then search elsewhere for other seasonal gear? Just asking this as i obviously have no idea what sizes are for gear and how they differ to normal clothing let alone per brand.

    Anyone have specific store/online shop (forum sponser?) recommendations?

    Haha another load of questions!

    Thanks for the warm welcome all, great community you've got going here!

    *edit- Another option I have been considering that is just athe higher range of my current budget is the Honda VT250C. I haven't seen them mentioned much on the forums, is there a specific reason for this? ie. known issues or something? I personally think they look pretty nice, for example this one (Wasnt sure about rule son posting links to outside sources - I read the forum rules and didnt see anything specifically saying not to, are we allowed to do this?)
  11. 650's are a little heavier but weight disappears when you start moving
  12. haha yeah for sure mate would be good. when do you go for you L's?

    I was looking at the Honda VT250C when i first started looking, forgot about that. i was actually going to get it until i noticed the low seat position of the intruder. made it look meaner ;D
  13. Thanks Goddie, guess the only way to really find out is test ride one when i get my L's!

    mechanism, I go for my L's the start of next week. Once i get my L's I'll have to knuckle down and do some serious bike shopping. Honestly, im not sure which is scarier to me at the moment, the test or the buying my first bike haha!
  14. i hear that! hehehe!

    the test will be fine. 11/12 passed my session and there were some seriously bad riders there. i'm not really surprised about some of the accidents after some of the riders that were at my course.

    you will be fine, just pay attention.
  15. The 650s are a bit heavier, but as goddie said, there isn't a problem once you're moving (>5km/h)

    As they are both LAMS bikes, there won't be a difference.


  16. So there is no such thing as an obese person, they are just slow movers?
  17. Love the way you think lol
    • Like Like x 1
  18. Hahaha!!! That was gold.

    [MENTION=30627]streetmaster[/MENTION]; thanks for clearing up the differences for me! As I said, totally new to bikes, this kind of input is invaluable!

    Also thanks for the advice on the wet gear, theres an Aussie disposals and 3 Aldi's nearby so I'll just have to keep my head on a swivel for deals.

    [MENTION=37146]mechanism[/MENTION]; thanks for the confidence boost mate! Honestly it's just the actual riding of the bike that has me nervous lol. I'm sure I'll do fine on the test, like you said just have to pay attention ;)
  19. Kawasaki Eliminators are awesome little things. I had one, regret selling it. Yep, that good. They're hard to get because of this same fact. Pick of the bunch IMHO.

    Rebels are fairly small, i'm 6"1 and looked a little silly on them but otherwise good reliable bikes. Plus, they make awesome bobbers.

    I don't personally love Virago's, but not for any good reason! I don't love the look, but again besides that they are good reliable bikes.

    Lighter cruisers are also a God-send in built up areas.

    All up, they're all good units. Don't forget Suzuki Intruders either.

    I'm a believer in getting a smaller 2nd hand learner bike to start with, and work up from there. After 12 months of riding you'll have a much better appreciation of what you actually want anyway.
  20. Cheers for the advice AussieRobin. I'm actually torn between the Honda V25 custom and the Eliminator or Rebel depending on how big they are (they look nice in the pictures but I'll have to see them to know). The V25 just looks bigger but still within my price range (which unfortunately the XVS650 isnt :( )

    All 3 are at Gassit motorcycles in Fairfield, so I'm going to swing by there and have a look, maybe tomorrow or friday when I get the time.

    On that note has anyone dealt with Gassit M/C Dealership before? Search of the forums revealed one person that had warranty issues not too far back, but anyone know if this is this an isolated case?