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Bike Suggestion

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' started by Grungefreek, Nov 19, 2010.

  1. Hi All,
    I am in the process of purchasing myself a second hand bike but the problem is I have never had anything to do with road bikes (never even ridden one)

    I have had my bike licence for over 10 years and during that time have only ridden smaller enduro style bikes (DR,XR,KDX 250's etc) on the road.

    I have a new job which will require a daily commute of 80km each way (so 160km round trip) so need a bike more capable of highway speeds (Rough country highways with potholes you can lose a wheel in)

    As I said I have never had any experience with road bikes so do not even know which models to start looking at.

    heres what i am looking for in a bike:

    - under 725cc as Green slips go up after this bracket
    - good fuel economy
    - sports bike style (i,e full fairing- probably not correct definition)
    - comfortable on long trips (daily commute plus maybe longer 5Hr Plus rides)
    - cheap to service and reliable with potential for DIY servicing
    - Able to take a pillion comfortably so my GF can come along for trips
    - Dont need anything overly powerful, just needs to be able to sit at 110 comfortably
    - Doesnt need to be LAMS
    - No Kawasaki's - Had a few of them over the years and personally dont like them compared to Honda/Suzuki.

    The only suggestion I have had is an SV650 which from reading are well regarded. A guy I know has a hyo650 for sale which I could consider but from reading up on them I think I will give it a miss due the apparent reliability issues.

    So can anyone offer any model suggestions for me to begin researching into?

  2. Leaning towards the dual purpose I recommend Suzuki's DL650 (V-Strom) Plenty of road get up and go and can handle unpaved roads just as well.

    EDIT 1: Don’t discount an older BMW for high mileage reliability

    EDIT 2: At 800km per week a bike will keep you poor. Think about a gas or diesel powered small car.
  3. Hi,
    i had thought of dual purpose, but was at one point more leaning towards an enduro style (Say DR650). I was unsure how these types of bikes would go on the longer trips.

    At least I know bikes like DR's (and i assume DL) are reliable, good on fuel and I can fix them when they break. But I have never had a sports bike style so thought I may give them a go.

    I already have a car and even our fuel efficient one (little CRV) only does about 8L/100. A biek should be well below that (around 5L/100km Im hoping). plus bikes are fun :)
  4. You have lots to learn about the true cost or motorcycle ownership grasshopper........ lol
  5. It's hard to say for someone.
    You do 80km each way. So on a road trail (xr dr xt) you will have to fill up on the way down and again on the way back, unless you fit a larger aftermarket tank. Painful. You will get about 100k on the highway out of an 8lt tank with a 650.
    You will chew out knobbies like no tomorrow. They don't stop that well on the tar. Doubling on one sucks. And lastly the first time it rains you will hate it. If you go a high strung euro you will be doing oil changes every night as well.
    The bigger more road orientated trailies suck in the dirt as you want to go dirty but they are just too big and heavy to really play.
    The SV are a great bike. Very basic, not really adjustable and you will want to trade it in, IN less then a years time.
    Have you thought of the greatest all rounder ever made. VFR800
    What's you budget ?? 06 VFR's will get a trade price of 8 thou. Retail the punters are asking 9 to 10 thou. In fourty years of riding I have never ridden one till the other week. Always thought of them as a grandpa bike. A quazi evil sports bike. lol Mate they are a great bike and well worthy of their reputation. It will do everything well. It has no bad habbits and it's a bike you could keep for a few years and always enjoy. Seriously I don't need another bike but I am on the lookout for someone who has to get off their 06 and is desperate. I got 8 grand here now ready. Thats all the bike shop is going to give you so you may as well let me rip you off.
  6. Thanks for the responses.

    Have bikes got worse in terms of fuel economy over the years? My 91 KDX200 which I had geared very low for trail riding (and I mean low as KDX didnt have much power) would still get nearly 100k out of a tank before needing to switch to reserve (from memory would be ~9L). Gearing it up for road extended that out a lot, even at 100km/hr where it had to rev fairly high being a little 2 stroke. Our Dr250's we got 3 times the fuel economy and they pulled 100 pretty easy. I'm sure I could nearly get 100km out of my KX250 if I geared it up and went easy on it (road style riding).

    http://www.totalmotorcycle.com/MotorcycleFuelEconomyGuide/Suzuki.htm lists the 00 SV650 fuel economy as 6L/100km on average with the DR650 being 5L/100. I would expect that if I geared it higher that could be extended out a fair bit.

    Budget for a bike is max 5K, but realistically I would be looking less than that. I have noticed road bikes seem to hold value fairly well for some reason compared to dirt bikes.

    As for the knobbly issue, If I went a big enduro I would just run 2 sets of rims. One with road tyres, one with knobblies. Rims are pretty quick to change over. But I have a KX250 for playing in the dirt.

    As for trading up with an Sv650 after a year, I do not think this would occur. Road bike would be really just for commuting and really road riding is pretty boring (just like driving a car). for real bike "fun" I would rely on my dirt bike.

    Cheers and any more model suggestions are welcome.
  7. I ride a DR650 70kms each way every day. No problems to report here. Tyres (stock Trailwings) do about 13,000 rear and 22,000 front and are as cheap as anything you'll find with a brand name (paid $125 fitted and balanced for my last rear). Chain and sprockets are still near new at 30,000. Riding gently gives me 3.9l/100km, riding hard gives 5l/100km. Tank range will just do me 2 days if I take it easy. You'd have to fill up daily. It'll cruise comfortably "at the speed limit in the Northern Territory officer". Pillion seat is small so your GF would also have to be. Or maybe I've just got a fat arse :D.

    In my experience, the DR650 will do most of what you want and be fairly economical about it.

    I'd also second 2WA's advice re an older BMW such as an R1100. Comfy, quick, brilliant handling with the telelever front end and remarkably economical if you do your own servicing and source parts off the net.
  8. I can understand how you are trying the best value for your money. Check out online sales sites like bikesales.com.au, see what you like then read online reviews. 2wheelsagain's suggestion of something like a VStrom makes sense. A colleague of mine traded in a Rocket III for a BMW GS 800 as it suits what he wants to do more. He doesn't have the money to keep both. An adventurer style bike with road or intermediate tyres might be what you are after.
    My Shadow will be up for sale soon as I am waiting on delivery of a Thunderbird. I love the Shadow and would like to keep it but I can't justify the expense! No doubt you will have to compromise but, whatever you choose, choose a bike you love!
  9. Hi all, thanks for the suggestions. I will look into the GSF as well.

    While it seems like the enduro/dual sports may seem to be my best option, I still wouldn't mind trying out a few "road" bikes as well. I thought they may offer a bit more of comfy ride plus offer a bit better protection against wash from B doubles and Semis of which there are plenty.

    I have been reading plenty of bike reviews, but each sports bike look pretty similar to me to some degree at least. Good to know which models may more suit my needs. the GS500 seems to get good reviews albeit a little bit older technology which doesn't worry me too much.
  10. I road a road trail bike 80kms to work for a year, has its ups and downs. In the end i couldnt be bothered filling up the small tank so often.

    I think with all yout criteria i'd be looking at a much different bike. Vfr800 mentioned earlier is great. Anything from the sports tourer category is going to do the kms easy and be better for two up. If you really want to stick to that cc limit youre restricting your choices somewhat. Something like a bandit is awesome value for money. Otherwise an fz6, sv650, er650/ninja650, etc would be the go. Ive ridden all the above and wouldnt go past the bandit...
  11. Nothing wrong with gs500 if you like how they ride too
  12. I've had a gs500f (from new) for nearly a year and clocked over 23000k so far.
    No problems, done quite a few rides of up to 1000k in a day and had no problems.
    On highway riding, get around 4liters per 100k which I'll probably miss when I upgrade March next year to a Vstrom (most likely the 650 rather than the 1000).
    Easy to maintain too, apart from the first two services, done my own service since and I've changed oil every 3-4000K, filter is cheap, brake pads are cheap, replaced only rear tyre at 12,000k and have just replaced both now at 23000.

    Good luck with whatever you decided on.
  13. Also a vote for the GS500. Reasonable power on tap if you feel like having a blat and also a good allround package for ergonomics, fuel economy etc.

    I run an XR600R and it gets reasonable fuel economy, even if I'm thrashing it. Its fitted with a 22 litre Acerbis tank so fuel range is over 400km, and I've put a rear rack on it so you can carry a few things besides what you can fit in a pack. Lacks electric start but its a first-kick starter once you get the know-how, so its not an issue.

    Brilliant around town and good on the open road too... not to mention the shenanigans you can get up to when you take it offroad. Surprisingly little wind blast, too - I only have it on my helmet at freeway speeds, and I'm 6'2". I imagine the large aftermarket tank also helps quite a bit in this regard. Easy to maintain, but you do need to do it frequently - the owners manual specifies 1000 mile oil changes and valve clearance checks. Good thing it only holds 1.9L of oil and has easy valves then, haha.

    Either way, road or trail, there are some good bikes out there. Hope you enjoy whatever you go for.

    Cheers - boingk
  14. Thanks for the responses. I might try and find a GS500 to go for a ride on, seems to be a fair few for sale. Don't know if I will be able to tell if I like a bike straight up as the riding style will be very different to what I am used to.

    Unfortunately I am trying to keep costs down and over 725 the greenslip goes up substantially, so despite the VFR800 being a great bike, its going to cost too much to run it unfortunately.

    Boingk - I see you had a DRZ400, how do you feel this would work in my situation? I have read posts where people have geared them pretty high and they still perform pretty well. Probably more dirt orientated over the 650 but I guess thats not a bad thing.
  15. I'd reccommend the DRZ-400 to you for sure. Rock solid bike with a big fun factor, easily puts a grin on your face. Fuel economy was good at around 5L/100km and I think it'd easily pull gearing that would see you comfortable at freeway speeds - the one I had was geared for a max of 140km/h and seemed to be happy cruising at 90 to 100km/h. I found the seating position quite comfortable, but then again I do happen to like dirt-bike style seating. My near-identical brother found the seat uncomfortable, so you may want to test one out for yourself.

    Another thing I'd say is to get the 'E' offroad version, as it comes with a better carburettor (flat slide) and apparently has more responsiveness and another hp or two over the 'S' supermotard version. Couldn't tell you from first hand experience what they're like back to back, but flatslides really are good bits of gear.

    Only area I'd ping the 400 on is that its not built for taking passengers or luggage, and you'd need an after market rack to take anything on the back with you. The 650 can take a passenger and already has a bit or a luggage area from stock, and would probably be a bit more comfortable cruising at freeway speeds because of it having more torque. All down to what you want out of it, really.

    Cheers - boingk
  16. Erm...no it doesn't, unless they've started offering a rack as standard in the last two years, although you might be able to bungee a bag onto the back mudguard. Plenty of aftermarket options though. I got a large, BBQ grill type thing off Ebay from the US for (IIRC) ~$120, which also protects the indicators and took about 5 mins to bolt on.
  17. Whoops, my bad. The one in the local dealership has one on it, but I guess its probably from the aftermarket catalouge.

    Cheers - boingk
  18. it's a lot bigger, but prob the best for what you're doing

    honda cbf 1000
  19. Hmm decisions decisions. Thanks for the info on the DRZ. If only work wasnt so far away the DRZ would be the bike I would get. Could then sell the KX then and just run one bike.

    Ill just have to ride a few bikes and maybe Ill take a shining to a road bike, proably wont know untill I get out and ride one I guess.