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Best LAMS bike for long commutes

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' started by Esky69, Feb 9, 2011.

  1. Hi all,

    I have just passed my L test and Im able to ride a bike up to 660cc which appears on the LAMS list.

    I really need some advice on the best bike for commuting from home to work which is just over an hour of driving! the hwy speed is 100 kmh.

    I want to get as best miles to the gallon as possible but have a bike that can comfortably maintain 100 kmh for a long period of time without killing the engine.

    Ive previosly ridden a 125cc so Im familiar with their capabilities. Im thinking maybe a 300/ 400 cc bike will be able to handle the commute and get awesome fuel economy at the same time?

    I know ideally I should be going for a larger engine as the bike will be in top gear for the whole period, but the tight ass side of me is wanting to keep fuel costs to a minimum :oops::oops:

    Im keen to grab some thoughts on this as Ive never had to commute such a long distance everyday before.

    Im not fussy what bike, I don’t particualy want racetrack performance, just someting thats comfortable to ride, can handle the speed and distance and mainly that I can afford to run.

    Can anyone recommend some models that may fit the bill?

    Many thanks :wink:

  2. GS500 or a restricted GSX650F.
  3. yep what JD said.
    I have a GS500 I commute on. My daily commute is 90% freeway and I average a bit over 4L/100kms.
  4. yup , what he said ... my GS500 ( currently 4 sale hint hint 8-[) gets over 370 kms for a 20 litre tank :)
  5. Another vote for the GS500, the version with fairings, not the naked one.
  6. XVS650 Custom or Classic. Dont think it would beat the GS500 for fuel economy, but I dont think you can get a lot more comfortable LAMS bike. Could be wrong.
  7. I like mine naked. (GS500)
    Average 4.3 lit/100km, relatively cheap to maintain as its a simple, air cooled, 2 valve/cylinder engine.

    XVS650 would be comfortable, but less power and 50kg heavier.
  8. Hey Esky,

    I am still on my first bike so I don't have any bikes to compare with ... but I have been very happy with the KLR650.

    Approx 23 litre tank, 380-400km per tank. Fuel cost is $20-25 per tank.
    In stock form cruises comfortably at 100-110, and even more so if you upsize the front sprocket by an extra tooth.
    I have street tyres on mine and a Ventura rack and it is good for both commuting and touring - relaxed upright seating position, good visibility.
    It is a mechanically simple bike, therefore easy to work on and do stuff.

    High in the saddle, it is a tall bike - some people find it too tall.
    Thumper (4 stroke single) means it has a slightly rough running note - at heart it is more ag bike than road bike :) You might prefer the looks and feel of a more street oriented bike such as the Suzi.
    Stock tyres (Dunlop Trailmax) are widely regarded by most KLR owners to be crap. I found they weren't particularly great for either street or gravel which is why I swapped them out.
    Fuel economy not quite as good as the Suzukis mentioned above.

    The Suzukis are awesome bikes and I'm not disagreeing with the previous posters. This is just another possibility which might work for you given the type of riding you'll be doing.

  9. gs500 is a pretty dam good option.

    If the styling doesn't work for you a cb400 will do the trick, among just about any other LAM bike, in this day and age they will all do it accept the 125's.

    I would say the gs500, cb400 and vtr250 are your best options, from largest to smallest.

    Nothing above 250 is going to be "killing" the engine at highway speeds by a LONG shot. They will all achieve a good fuel economy and the difference is really not that great between most of the lams, we are talking cents and dollars.
    Your gearing is only going to affect the RPM by about 1k from 4th to 5th on a vtr250, and the actual real world difference in fuel economy at 100kph is negligible mate, so don't get caught up in gearing and that, bikes don't use much fuel, period.

    Its a common myth that a 250 can't handle highway speeds etc and i'm sick to death of hearing it. I have toured around the country at highway speeds and sometimes well above (in the right areas) on my 250 with not a drama. They have enough grunt to go over any legal limit in australia by a pretty big margin and great handling to boot.

    To be honest with the technology how it is these days its a personal choice, go with your budget and what appeals to you, you can't really go wrong.

    Best of luck, but don't let people tell you what to buy, at the end of the day you can get all this information for yourself by looking at a few quick reviews on the net.

    To choose a new bike:

    Find the models that you like the look/style/type/ergonomics of
    Read reviews, compare specs.
    Sit on the bikes you have decided you are interested in at the stores, get a feel for them, are you comfortable? Is it too big/small? Features? Resale Price? Are you buying small and upgrading at the end of restrictions or buying something to keep for a few years?

    Some things to think about.
    Best of luck, and remember! Get out there and go sit on some bikes :)
    You will be surprised and the 'right' bike overwrites any review or specifications.
  10. +1 for the GS500.
    I have the GS500F (has farings) which I chose because of the long distance riding I had in mind.
    IMO, it helps quite a bit at hwy speeds.

    Had mine since Xmas 2009 and just clocked 29,000K tonight.
    Taken it To Sydney via Hume and returned along the coast...
    Took it on the Snowy ride with 800K days...
    Far riders ride of over 1100k in a day...
    Many other long day rides and it's great for commuting as well.
    Mine also does around 4 liters per 100K.
    And it's never missed a beat and still starts first time every time...

    Another thing too is it's one of the best bikes to learn self maintenance as well...
    Will be sad to see it go when I upgrade next month.

    CB400 would also be a great choice but they're a tad dearer..

    Personally, I prefer to stay away from 600 or greater as most of them (apart from some cruisers) are restricted and prefer a naturally aspirated bike rather than something designed to cut power at some point in it's range.
    But that's just my opinion.
  11. if you want slightly lower than GS500 (for shorter people) then the Kawasaki ER-5. still a 500cc, but absolutely perfect :)
  12. burgman 650 if sitting on the highway hour after hour is whats going to happen day after day
  13. sv650 or the restricted 650 "ninja" (very easy to unrestrict)
  14. No, a screw in the throttle is both illegal and impossible to remove. Keep talking like that and they won't allow it under LAMS.
  15. hahahahahaha. err, right.

    nup, sorry, rubbish. wrong on all three counts
  16. +1 to this
  17. a 23 litre tank costs only $20-25 to fill ? Or do you mean just to fill minus reserve ?!
    My cb400 is about $18-20 to fill it's 14l with 4l left in reserve. Fuel ain't cheap nowadays :-(
  18. What is your budget, how much do you want to spend?

    As for doing long commutes and being comfortable, it's really a personal choice. Someone mentioned a 650 cruiser. Personally I think all cruisers are uncomfortable. Some people find sports-tourers uncomfortable. You won't know until you've ridden one.
  19. WTF are you talking about?

    To the OP, plenty of bikes that will do the trick, from slightly left field a CX500/600 will be very comfortable & they're able to be moved along a fair clip...

    CB400, GS500, Ducati monster might fit the bill... Stay away from motard & full on sports bikes & you'll be pretty right I think.
  20. I think what Cosimo is talking about is by exposing all the loopholes in removing throttle lock, changing ecu etc on a public forum "they" won't allow it under LAMS anymore.

    They being authorities I guess.