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Bikes under $4000

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' started by OU818, Jul 19, 2009.

  1. Hi guys,

    I currently, as some of you who went on the Vanilla Ride to Woodend will know, ride a Madass 125. I bought this bike for a bit of fun and just to get me to work and back with some occaisional recreation riding in between.
    After much modding (big bore kit, sprocket changes, oil cooler, racing CDI, megacycle exhaust etc...) I feel that I have truly got as much as I can physically get out of its modest Chinese 120cc engine.

    Thus enters my dilemma. When riding this bike at speeds over 90km/ph I lose all ability to accelerate with any performance. Basically I can push it up to 110kmph however it takes about the same amount of time to get there as it took to get to 90 from zero in the first place. So whilst riding this incredibly light and nimble piece of German design has been a whole swag of fun, it also leaves me open to not being able to get myself out of harms way if needs be.

    To cut an already long story short I am wanting to upgrade to something with a bit more kick. This upgrade will only need to last me a year or so until the house saving is done and I can upgrade to a much bigger (read: expensive) bike.
    I have been looking around at some rather random bikes, namely a 1991 Honda CB250 Jade Inline 4 and a 1987 Kawasaki GT550 (fully rebuilt and immaculate) however I would like to know if you guys could drop me some suggestions for a bike under or around $4000 that would be able to be used for recreation and now and again commuting that would have some room to move at and above 100km/ph.

    So yeah, please suggest away :grin:

    Edit: I should probably point out that I am mainly interested in naked, road and vintage bikes. Also I am 5'10" and 75kg so not overly tall but not particularly heavy either :grin:
  2. Anything 250cc and above in a sportsbike (presuming it hasn't been flogged to death and you're not big as a house) should do fine above 100.
    I like the ZZRs, GPXs simply because they are tough enough for newbies to learn on and a great starting point to learn to fix your own bike.
  3. If the GT550 is the one I've heard being advertised, make sure you find out who did the rebuild on the engine.

    Anyway, I think there are better bikes around for that amount of money. Yesterday I got offered a '98 600 Hornet for 4k with 40,000k's on the clock. Still mulling that one over...
  4. Look in the Bikes For Sale forum, click on and stare at Lil's KLR650, PM her as quick as you can, and go buy it before somebody else does! Problem sorted!

    (The work she described needing doing is childss play - and if you're not confident then maybe a friend of her's can coach you along in doing it)...
  5. It is on the BikeSales site so it very well may be the one you have heard of.
  6. Here are a few post-1995, sub-$4000, naked, relatively low km, options from Bikesales in VIC, all good models (but you would have to check out the individual bike):

    Hornet 600 (few more ks but it'll do them if it's well looked after)

    Bandit 250

    And another


    There are also a couple of Zeal 250s and a Balius
  7. Just keep looking. One of the best bets is an R65 BMW if you can find one. They are often about $3-$4K athough I suspect that the pricing has bottomed out and is on the rise.

    Extremely easy to work on and pretty good to get parts for and a lot of support available.

    My R65LS cost (a few years back) $3300 and has cost me very little to date. I replaced the side stand and one exhaust and the RH rocker cover after an unfortunate incident on an Icicle ride.

    (The exhausts are after market Overland Exhausts - made in Warrnambool) It's done some very long distance rides and a lot of commuting - at the moment it's going off the road to rebuild the carbies and have minor other work done - after 4 years and 50,000 kms.

    The 550 Katana cost $950 (I put chains and sprockets on for a RWC and the carbies needed a good clean). All up - including rego and RWC and servicing it cost <$2K. So far in the 12 months I've had it it's done 15,000 kilometres.
  8. Thanks for the suggestions guys.

    @ TonyE
    I did notice an R65 for under $4k last night and was wondering what they were like. You have successfully moved it to the top of my list now.

    @ Bravus

    Here I was thinking there were no good bikes under the 4 mark. Cheers! :grin:

    I especially like the first 250 bandit. The paintwork reminds me of the 2006 Thruxton.
  9. I like R65's really I do...

    but I bought one for $4000 that was clean and tidy and had it checked over by a BMW mechanic.

    5000kms later the gearbox blew up and fixing that cost almost $2500 in parts and labor.

    That made it a rather expensive $4000 2nd bike...
  10. That can happen to any bike. A couple of months back I had to pillion someone back from Eildon to Brunswick on the Katana after his 12 moths old Guzzi Breva decided to self destruct its engine. :LOL:
  11. Yep I know... but it's somewhat more likely to happen with an older higher kms bike than a younger one.

    If I was relying on a $4000 bike as an only bike I think I'd go for reliable before character.
  12. The key with older bikes is to learn to fix them, I guess...
  13. This is my exact budget also.

    Planning a month long trip to tasmania, but having trouble finding a decent naked bike between here and Sydney with >250cc, and <20 years old.

    There's a 550 zephyr locally, but I'm riding with an 08' zx6r and an RSV1000, I'm not sure 50hp will do.
  14. Pfft, that's plenty!
  15. I think i'd spend a lot of time riding on my lonesome :)

    Still, out of the dozen or so bikes I've owned, it would be the second most powerful.
  16. Mind you, the Bandit 250 has about 45 and is a smaller and newer bike. For the OP, who is not a big heavy bloke, I reckon that's a better choice than something bigger.
  17. 45 horses? Surely you're kidding?
  18. They are listed at 38hp (28.3kW) so maybe with a few mods etc...
  19. They are very small horses.....in a 400 frame :)