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Another Newbie After First Bike Advice....

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by Gypsy, Jan 23, 2006.

  1. I'm not going to bore everyone with the usual 'first time, love the site' post. That goes without saying.

    I am, however, going to ramble a bit about myself and current situation as I'm very excited about this new experience. I'm a 30 something male who for years and years has been wanting to get into riding but for one reason or another (kids, mortgage, family, etc) have been putting it off. Anyway, I've decided that life's too short and I don't want to die wondering. So off I went to the RTA and booked in for a learner's course. That is in a couple of weeks, so I will wait patiently and hopefully post my thoughts when the time comes.

    For now, I'm doing as much research and reading, and learning as much as possible, which only adds to the excitement.

    My question, or request for advice, is this. What bike should I get first up? Now I'm not a small bloke. I'm 6'1" and about 110kg. I'm not into the sports bikes etc, would prefer a cruiser or tourer type bike. Should I stick to a 250, or would a larger LAMS bike be best suited. Since I'm over 30 and have been driving fro a while, I can get any bike I like after 3-6 months (no 'P' plates) but I don't want to get something that's too big for me to handle. But I don't want something that's going to look like a PeeWee under me nor struggle to carry me neither.

    So the question is, is a 500, 600, or even 650 too big to start out on? Do you think that a first timer will be overwhelmed on such a bike and get himself into trouble because he can't handle it? Or is such a bike quite good to start out on for a large bloke like me? I am leaning towards a larger LAMS bike as that way I can have it through my 'learning stages and beyond without the need to upgrade anytime soon, but I'm not sure that I'd be able to handle such a bike at this early stage.

    Any help or advice is very much appreciated.

    Also, what do people think of the following bikes? The Kawasaki Balius, Honda Shadow, Hyusong Aquila....

    Thanks all.....
  2. Hiya Gypsy & Welcome.

    I've been through similar a year ago, and due to no "LAMS" in Tas (coming soon they reckon) I had to buy a 250. If I could, I wouldv'e gone the 500-650 LAMS approved bike. From hindsight, while 250's are fun anbd very good commuters, I've found it a lot easier to ride a bike with more torque. My bike was an Across, and it's one of teh better 250's for tall people, but it's ruled out as its more a sportsbike than anything else.

    Remeber they are LAMS approved due to their moderate power, they wont allow a crotch rocket to be LAMS approved (hence no 250cc 2 strokes) Or as in the case of the Hyosung, its got restrictors to limit the power, once off restrictions, replace restrictors and you've got a decent bike

    My vote is go the LAMS approved 500-650, which one? well depends on your style and tastes. Go searching with lams list in hand, once licensed road test and buy the one that YOU like, you're the bloke who has to ride it.

    As for 6'1" on the old scale, I don't recommend the Balius, a shortarsed friend has one and it fits her perfectly, I'm only 5'9" and I feel cramped when riding it. Dunno about the shadow, I know a couple of people with the Aquilia and never heard a bad word said about them, but I haven't ridden one.

    Don't hyosung have a 650 version out now? if it's based on the 650 GT engine there is probably a LAMS version.

  3. www.hyosungmotors.com.au

    Get a LAMS bike, man, why buy a 250 for 3 months?

    The LAMS Hyosungs are in two categories, a naked 650 and a faired 650, and a cruiser 650.

    Quite a few people now have various versions of, do a search here for Hyosung Aquila or Comet and prepare to be deluged!

    Oh, and welcome to the friendly forum.....
  4. welcome, and definately forget about 250s.

    even for a small person i'd say that, but for someone your size, it'd just be painful. grab a nice big LAMS approved 600-650 and with any luck, you wont even feel like upgrading (you're not buying a cruiser to break land speed records are you :wink: )

    they're not scary bikes, and the extra grunt down low makes them easier to ride IMO. if you're a bit worried about possible stacks, buy something older to start with. the XJ650 is LAMS approved i believe, that'd be a great first bike if my dads old 750 was anything like it.

    older, heavier bikes promote more thought in your input and are more stable in windy conditions. the power isn't that much over a newer 250 but they have much more of it down low where you will use it while learning. definately DEFINATELY get a LAMS bike :wink:
  5. If the laws are similar to that in Vic, in that if you're over 30 you can ride ANY bike once you're on your Ps. I'd say don't even bother with 250s or any LAMs bike. Just go and get a cruiser that you like. I'm partial to the Kawasaki Mean Streak 1600. A cruiser won't be a handful power or handling wise, they're more of a worry when you're trying to manoever them slowly. I know plenty of guys who bought HD's as their first bike as they were in the same situation. Middle aged, given a ticket to buy anything and only really wanted Harleys.
  6. Hi gypsy.
    I was in the same postion as you a few months ago, im still very very much a newbie ,but i will "try" to help out with ,my little newbie advice.

    Firstly ,have you got a GOLD licence OR eligible to hold one ?? ,
    if so your over 30 ,then you can get your L's on monday and do your P's test tuesday and get your full licence, and on wednesday buy a 1400cc super dooper {not smart, but legal}.
    You don't have to wait 3/6 months.

    I read some where about a guy buying a 650cc bike and was over 30 but NO gold licence ,and was stuck with a bike he wasn't allowed to ride.

    Im over 30 gold licence and still went with the LAMS ....GS500F as my learner bike and ,i can get abit more time out of it befor upgrading ,with your size and age ,go a bigger LAMS bike.
    Im 5.8 at most and 80kg ,i sat on a zzr250, cb250RR ,to ME they didn't last 2 seconds on my learner bike list their freaken small ,for me.
    Go to the bike shops and SIT on them you decide, go there now before your test ,this is the time for looking. {just ask the sale person to show you the corect way to mount a bike befor you get on one ,there more to it then you think}.
    You can look at all the pictures you like on the Internet ,but nothing "looks" like they do or how big they are in real life..

    I was and still am not 100% sure the sport/tour ,or sport bike is for me ,im still going to hire a cruiser for a few days when i get my full licence{not in a hurry to get my open}and see if i like it ,befor picking my first Big bike.
    As you are doing, i did ALOT of reaserch .
    I read a fair few times that a sport/tour bike was alot better to learn on , even if you want a cruiser later.
    So i got a sport/tourer ,if will teach me better "so im told".ANY one else heard this true/false????????????

    Either way im happy with my 500 ,it's not a small bike and looks big {most important of a newbie}.haha.and i do abit of feeway riding and sits on 120kph all day long. So im told from other GS riders i have only done 100kph .
    Im sooooooooo happy i didn't go to my full licence and get some thing bigger ,i really would of screard the crap out of my self ,but thats me, it's up to you.
    The FINAL bigger Lam's bike list and there was many lists ,but the final list for ME was.

    suzuki GS500 and gs500F.sports tourer
    Hyosung GT650 sports tourer.
    Hyosung 650 cruiser.
    Kawi ER-5N.
    Honda VTR 250... abit bigger taller then other 250s

    {{{{{For other newbies that want a sports bike ,that are lurking and reading ,i would also look at the hyosung GT650R.... I wanted one but the wait was so long for one, when i was buying.}}}}}

    Good luck with looking ,and i hope i helped "alittle".
    Cheers Sled.

    Remember im a newbie and really know crap .
    Its just my .1c.
  7. Hey guys....wow....thanks for all the fast replies. Netrider really is the friendly forum. Please keep all the advice/help coming. Even if it's not relevant to my direct questions, I know there are alot of people like myself who arer just lurking and have hundreds of questions of their own, but are a little timid to jump on and ask.

    As for me, I am not exactly cashed up. i have a few grand saved up and don't really have a green light for too much more. I was thinking more along the line of do i spend what I have now on a 250 and upsize later, or do I scrape a few more dollars together and get a larger LAMS bike that I will keep for longer. I would be tending to lean towards the larger bike and larger initial cost. my way of thinking is that i wouldn't be looking to upgrade for a while so the initial investment would make more sense.

    As for being over 30 and on a goldie, yes. I definitely qualify for that, but being new to riding, I would rather take it slow and learn properly. I don't intend geting more full unrestricted within a week, even if I can. But that still leaves me the dilemna of going for a larger bike and being able to handle it. I am leaning towards the larger bikes now, especially with the replies all advising me that way. i am confident in my maturity to be able to handle a larger bike, but don't want my lack of experience in riding to get me into trouble. I think the extra power would be offset by the extra weight the bike would have to carry. And I agree with others saying that the bikes wouldn't be LAMS listed if they were too difficult for learner's to handle. I just really appreciate the extra support from all those that have gone before me to encourage me with their own stories and experiences. I'm sure that once I get a bike all will be fine and I'll look back and think what was I worried about. But I just need the assurance of someone going into an otherwise totally new experience....

    Thanks again to all those that have replied, and I'm sure I speak for alot of other lurkers, please keep the advice coming.....

    Cheers All......
  8. the only problem with the LAMS thing, is that its all done on power to weight. meaning they dont factor in suspension or brakes AT ALL :? i havn't had a good look over it nor have i ridden any REALLY old bikes that are pigs to ride, but apparently, they do exist. oldest bikes i've ridden were early 80s jap bikes and they are easy as pie to ride.

    on a budget? have a good look at a couple of the older mainstream jap bikes. early 80s bikes can be cheap, reliable, easy to work on and easy to ride.



    and dont go to shops for anything but the helmet, check out the netrider partners instead. save you a fortune it will :grin:
  9. You're obviously in NSW somewhere, if it's Sydney or environs I'm sure there'd be a lot of Netriders who'd be happy to give you a short pillion ride so you can see how bikes have progressed in the last 25 years (lots!!).
  10. a newbies view

    Hey Gypsy, as a person who has just gone through this process I can only say that I chose the Hyosung GT250 [bloody vic laws] as it was one of the few 250 bikes that fitted my 6'2" and ahem 95ks plus frame. So having said that maybe the GT650 LAM would be worth looking at?

    Like you sports type bikes were a bit lary for me and crusiers too laid back so a big naked bike was the go.

    Anyway that's my 2c
  11. Get a LAM 650 bike for sure. I'm a big bastard, had never ridden a motorbike before, and my old Z 650 doesn't scare me, has never done anything remotely scary (well, there was that one time coming out of a roundabout, and I gave it a lot of throttle and it fet like it picked up the front! ).
    As said above, they are torquey down low and forgiving due to their extra weight.
    Do a Gogle search for 650, see what comes up re the older bikes, see what you can afford, then get the RTA LAMS list printed off their site and see what's what. You'll also find out which bikes have the most second hand or new parts available for them, and that's a big consideration if you ask me.
    The 250 I rode at the pre leaner course needed a fair whack of clutch slip to move off at any sort of respectable speed, and I'd rather not have to do that to a bike I owned.
    And yeah, a 650 should be plenty big enough in the future if it's going to be used for transport. I really can't see getting rid of mine any time soon. A mate's dad had a 550 Honda for 12 years (fairing, panniers etc) and he rode it nearly daily. Never felt the need for more bike.

    Regards, Andrew.
    That was my way of thinking and still is, the first bike needs to last ,none of this buy, sell ,buy,sell.
    With the home loan ect ,all the droping of money with selling or trading and dealer mark ups ect it will add up.,{don't buy from a dealer if you can help it}.

    Mate i know where your coming from ,i was thinking the bigger Lams bike was ,way to big for me.
    On my 500, if i stuff up the throttle and clutch ,the front wheel would NOT ,get 1cm off the ground and do a wheelie.

    Your not the only one that is shitting about riding, i was.
    Once you do the first L's test ,thats the scariest first 5 minutes ,but it's not your bike ,so your not to worryed about droping it ,and then the L's day is SOOOOOOOOOOOOO much fun ,you come home grinning from ear to ear.
    Its heaps of fun and half your inital ,"can i ride at all" fear is gone and you can't wait to get back there the next day.

    You wrote """Im confident in my maturity""" ,if this is true ,really your way way ahead of half the others.
    I was confident that i new my limits and im not in any hurry to even take the L plate off ,i will spend my time at the 80 limit and LEARN to ride.
    I have only done 900 km ,but this is a run down of my time in the saddle.

    Got bike delivered ,to my house {big thing if your worryed about riding on the main roads first day.}

    The first week about 100km of riding around the block and local streets ,10km one day 20km the next ect ..and learning the blinkers and remembering to turn them off, just getting a feel for the bike, top speed 50 -60kph.{man! i was flying}.

    Next 200 km's ,riding over to a mates places ,down the shops ect ,threw lights and roundabouts on semi back street ,"i know well", and getting up around 60km most of the time.

    Next 200km i ,went out on the M4 and M5 freeway and played with the big boys {trucks} stay relaxed and ppphhhttt ,piece of cake.
    although i was sh1tting at the time , :p .

    At 500km of riding time ,i was confident in my little newbie skills ,i was confident i could change gears up ,down "at speed" ,if i had to to go up hills and what gear i needed to use my engine bracking for down hills ect.
    And i could stop quick enough if i had to ,as i practices ALOT in the back streets in the first 500km .
    So i jump on the bike and went down the coast i road from parramatta to all most Bulli {south coast}and back ,on the new coast road, threw the national park.
    Man.. it was great fun i come home sooooo much more confident in my little newbie riding skills.
    The main point is ,if YOUR ,not in a great hurry to jump on the bike and go hell for leather ,and practice and you know your not a rev head .
    You will do or do better then me.{and thats really not hard}and now i ride in and out of the city, here the everywhere and it's easy ,just leave room from the car infront ,if you feel your in a bad postion on the road ,drop back ,over take ,mate it's easy to get out there and ""have a go"".
    Just take your time like me .sure im never gona be a racer ,but i can get by, for now and im not shitting my self.
    You know when someone says ,mate if i can do it anyone can , well thats now what my mates say.
    If Sled can do it anyone can.
    Sorry if i borded you, just letting you know where iam at after just 900km of riding .
    Cheers and Beers.... Sled. :p
  13. Also doesn't take into consideration torque to weight, which might be important if you're looking at some of the 600+cc singles. Power to weight may be the same as a 250 but bikes like the SZR660 have around 3 times the torque so there's a much greater chance of a newbie being caught out by compression lock or an unintentional wheelie.
  14. Some great reading guys, especially sleddog. Being from around Sydney myself, and having lived in the Gong for a number of years, I know exactly the roads and locations you're talking about. It makes it easier for me to picture myself there.

    Matti.West, and all the others, appreciate the input. I am convinced now to get a LAMS bike and leave the 250's for the smaller riders. I will be going thru my short list of bikes later today and making it shorter. I will post the list when I'm done for everybody's/anybody's feedback.

    ...Again, thanks for all the support. Looking forward to riding with some of you one day....

    Cheers All.....
  15. OK, here is a list...of sorts....in no particular order. Any feedback/advice/experiences people would like to share is appreciated.....

    Hyusong Aquila GV650
    Yamaha Virago XVS535/650
    Honda Shadow VT650
    Kawasaki E5
    Kawasaki Z650

    I am leaning towards the Hyusong, but fear the price may be out of my reach for now. Will keep an eye out in the classifieds etc, but they're too new for people to want to get rid of for now. I think the Virago is probably more the one that I may end up with as they have been around for a while longer, but finding a decent second hand one is the trick there. Any tips for what to look for when inspecting pre-loved bikes?

    Cheers All.....
  16. Hey Gypsy, are you IN the 'Gong at the moment?

    If you are, hop over the JetSports at Fairymeadow and ask to talk to Ron Sumskis. He's an old road-racer and genuine nice guy, see what he's got available.

    But, yes, the Hyosungs are still newish in the market for there to be too many of them in the second-hand arena yet...
  17. Unfortunately, no, I don't live in the 'Gong anymore. Love the place but work and family have seen me move to the big smoke. I know Fairymeadow quite well (in fact, I know the whole area quite well, I used to drive cabs to pay my rent while at Uni), and may visit in the near future. Whereabouts are Jetsports located.......
  18. straight across the road from Honest Norm's, just north of the lights at the dem school.

    Or you could go and see Paul Aitken at Liverpool if you are out that way, he's just on the eastern side of the bridge over the river on Milperra road
  19. ANd seeing as though he is after a cruiser type bike, if you like the old stuff then Ron at Jetsport now also imports Royal Enfield into his store now. There are also side cars now available as "optional extras". There are more in store then on his website but here is the link never-the-less.


    Just click on Royal enfield which is the second link from the top on the left!!
  20. If you're talking cruiser style bikes, got he Hyosung. I'm picking mine up on Saturday, $12,100 on road with accessories.

    I did a bit of research into the "mid-sized cruisers" out there and found that the Hyosung (once off restrictions has about 15-20hp more than any other bike. Even with the carbie restrictors in place it's still only about 3-4 hp less than the XVS.

    The trick about the Hyo cruiser is that they've used the EXACT SAME engine as the GT650, so it's really a sports engine dumped into a cruiser.

    Get the Hyosung, you now you want to...