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Bike for Learner

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' started by Roar2Life, Dec 8, 2006.

  1. Ok. So now i've got my learners I need a bike and i'm looking for some suggestions as most of you will know more about bikes than me. Here's the details that may affect your suggestions:
    I'm restricted to a 250cc
    I'm a female
    I'm 175cm/5'9" tall and fairly solidly built at 79kg
    I have an absolute budget of $5000 but would prefer around $4000
    I really, really like faired bikes but i've been told to go for a naked bike in case I drop it (fairings cost a bit to replace)

    Naked bikes I like:
    Suzuki Bandit (except all second hand ones seem to be Grey Imports-is this bad?)
    Honda VTR250
    Honda CBF250

    Faired bikes I like:
    Kawasaki ZX-2R
    Honda CBR250RR

    Your help is much appreciated!

    Thanks guys
  2. There are official import Bandits available - they're often listed as a GSF250V. Nothing wrong with the grey import versions though since they're virtually identical (ie they use the same spare parts). In terms of performance the Bandit is on a par with the fully-faired sportsbikes like the ZX2R and CBR - but is cheaper to buy (and cheaper to fix if dropped). The VTR is also a good choice but being a twin is down slightly on power, although it's still more than capable of breaking the speed limit. The CBF, being a single cylinder, is the simplest of the lot and would probably be the cheapest to run - however it also has the least amount of power and unlike the others you listed it's made in Brazil, not Japan.

  3. Here's my opinion after one month with my VTR250. Get a bike with a windscreen because the effect of the wind is noticeable from 80km/h upwards and at the very least annoying at 100km/h. I had one fitted to my bike last week and all is cool again now.

    I personally wouldn't get a CBF250 as its a turtle and even if you're a tame rider, the lack of go will annoy you sooner or later.

    The Suzuki Bandit is supposed to have lots of go. Another imported naked that is in a similar boat is the Honda Hornet. Its basically a naked CBR250RR from what I gather. That might be worth a look too. Getting a grey import isn't bad if there's enough of them on the road because you'll be quite assured of getting parts if you need them.

    The Kawasaki GPX250 appears to me to be the best value 250cc bike going around for a price tag of $4,000. I've been told that Oggy knobs can save the fairings on a low speed off so that may reduce your concerns about fairing damage.

    I was warned by a lot of people that maybe a ZX2R or CBR250RR would not be the best option on which to start as I could easily get myself into a lot of trouble with them. I think those experienced riders are probably right about that. With the sportsbikes, you lean forward a lot more than the nakeds and sports tourers, where you have an upright position. I find the upright riding position comfortable and can ride for a while. Its supposed to be more forigiving than the sportsbikes as well.

    If we're sticking solely with your list and a $4,000 price tag, find the best Bandit or VTR you can for that money in the nakeds. A ZX2R of CBR250RR for $4k will most likely be more 'used' than the nakeds for the same money.

    Consider a GPX250 or ZZR250 as well. They are two of the most popular learner bikes for a good reason.

    As for riding gear, I don't think you'll get too much change from $1k for a helmet, jacket, boots, gloves, jeans (Draggin and Hornee seem to be the most popular) and back protector if they're all new.

    Insurance will be cheaper on a naked bike than a faired bike. My guess is that about $200-$300 will be the cost of comprehensive insurance on one of those naked bikes depending on your insurance history, years on the road and traffic infirngements (if any) of course.
  4. If that's your total budget, including gear, then don't ignore the Spada (VT250) as a possible choice. They're available in the $2.5-3k range, and although they're 17 years old or so are very very reliable. They have enough go to make them fun, great handling and a fairly upright riding position, and the V-twin makes the power tractable right across the rev range.
  5. Suzuki Across ?

  6. +1.

  7. Nah, $4-$5k isn't including gear. I've budgeted $1500 for gear seperately as on the advice of many netriders i'm planning to get a good leather jacket, pants, gloves, boots and a helmet. As for insurance I know it'll be high because i'm under 18 but at least i've got no traffic infringements :wink: .

    Thanks for the suggestions and keep 'em coming. What is the main difference between riding a naked bike and a faired bike? I know about being knocked around a bit more on a naked because of the wind but is there anything else?

    P.S. GPX250R was another one of my favs I just couldn't find the name when I made the topic!
  8. Riding position makes a big difference - although that's not always dependant on whether the bike is faired or not. With the Bandit for example early models had a sporty (ie hunched over) riding position. Later models had wider, flatter bars which make the riding position more comfortable for most (but not all) people and give better control at low speed - but are a disadvantage at high speed. The GPX may be fully faired but the riding position on that is a lot more upright than something like a CBR. Really you need to try at least sitting on a few 250s to see what feels right for you in terms of riding position and size - you can always fit a screen to a naked bike to reduce wind buffeting (side fairings are really just there for looks and aerodynamics).
    Edit: Oh and with the ad you posted the link to I'd be a little wary of that one. First thing I noticed is that they've replaced the low clip-on bars with flat bars - and by the size/shape/position of the dent in the front of the fuel tank I think I know why. At some point that bike has been crashed (way more damage than just a low speed drop) - you'd want to check it VERY carefully for any unrepaired, or poorly repaired damage (it may have just been "prettied up" to sell off quick).
  9. I was in your position about 6 month ago got L's no bike budget about $5k for bike and $1k for gear. Well I overspent on gear, and did ok for the bike. It's a grey import and I've had little drama finding the bits that I need. Finding the bits that I want are a different story... but that 's probably a good thing. No point spending so much on a 250. I do notice strong headwinds and freeway riding kinda sucks without a screen. But I lean forward a little further or try and avoid the freeway. There are much more fun roads than the freeway.

    a couple other non faired 250 bikes Kawasaki Balius (ZR250), Yamaha Zeal (FZX250) and Honda Hornet. (CB250F) all detuned versions of their fairing brothers, ZX2R, FZR,CBR respectively. Riding position - for commuting, nakeds are great. careful of the wider handle bars making splitting a little more mirror unfriendly. Riding position - for twisties and freeway stints faired bikes feel better (I would presume) I seem to lean forward a lot, crouch in the "race position" and move my feet back further.

    also be wary of compliance date vs build date.
    2001 (build date) bike for less than $3.5k very rare find. doesn't mean much until you try to sell your bike for an upgrade.

    also insurance is a huge cost at your age. please whatever you do don't take the chance of not have any. 3rd party is better than none.

    umm that's all i got.
  10. Thanks for the warnings guys. I thought that bike could be a bit too good to be true. I'll start looking at motorbike shops probably soon after x-mas depending on money or whether santa actually brings me a motorbike as I asked. I'm not going to be very happy if he doesn't :evil: !Anyway, i've had to delay starting my private training sessions because i've got an infection in my arm so it's a bit too painful to attempt to ride right now. Oh well, not long and I should be starting.
  11. my 2 cents (learnt the hard way - i bought a ZX2R) - don't blow $5K on a bike you are most likely going to want to be rid of (with a few added scrapes and dents) as soon as you are off your restrictions.
  12. Ok, im.on.it, you've changed my mind. I LOVE =P~ the looks of the 1999 Yamaha Zeals. They are one sexy looking bike :wink:
  13. I was in love with the Zeal for ages until I sat on a hornet...
    It's also possible to get a zeal with a bikini fairing which looks sweet but expensive to replace... remove it for the first couple months of riding.

    What are your bargaining skills like?
    Yummy Yammy

    Have someone check the frame as it has been repainted... but looks like a very clean bike.
  14. im.on.it-great minds think alike because that's the bike I was looking at. Had a look at the Honda Hornet-don't mind the looks but prefer the Zeal. Though I know it's not all about looks-just 99% is :cool:
  15. The Zeal is a better choice than a Hornet for the simple fact that it was sold here officially - so it should be easier to find parts and people capable of working on it. Pretty sure that all Zeals came with the bikini fairing standard.
  16. i'd go with the hornet but i'm a little biased. bought mine from a mate at the start of november and couldn't be happier, seems to have plenty of go and will lift the front wheel if you're into that kind of thing. parts haven't been too much of an issue and there are a couple of places in vic that deal in import parts.

    edit: sorry just saw you're up north, but i'm sure theres places up there to get parts too
  17. "better" choice? Sensible choice for sourcing parts maybe. Easier choice since there aren't that many hornets to be found. Then try finding one under $5k. R2L will probably be a grey as the bike.

    The hornet is more like a love affair, a mistress that makes you spend money making her look pretty. I guess that should be true of any bike worthy of your hard earned.

    SCR3WD: got any pics?
  18. Na.... don't listen to im.on.it ... he always wanted a sports bike so he can do lots of twisties in his spare time... :LOL:

    im.on.it in his Hornet
  19. I am still on my L's and i went with the GPX250, i'd suggest them over imports as the insurance will be around $1000 less for GPX250 compared to cbr250, bandit, etc.
    I'm still very happy with the gpx as I have gone on many rides with bigger bike and been able to keep up with them due to its very quick, stable handling. You'll easily get a second hand gpx for $4000 dollars thats still in good condition.