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Buying first bike without a learners permit

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by midlife, Dec 16, 2015.

  1. Hi all. After procrastinating for a long time, I decided enough is enough and I'm aiming to get my first bike this weekend (hopefully). I now have some holiday time up my sleeve to look for a second hand bike, get my licence and to learn how to ride. My main problem is that I live about 400 km from Adelaide and now will be the only window of opportunity I have to get up there, sit on few bikes and hopefully find one I like. If I don't then I'll just have to wait a quite a bit longer. I've got a few questions though and I'd appreciate any advice you might have:
    • Have you ever bought a bike without taking it for a test ride or holding a licence?
    • Can you recommend any mechanics\people in Adelaide who inspect bikes on the weekend? (I'll happily pay for their services)
    • Am I being foolish and should I wait until I have my licence before buying my first bike?
    Any advice will be greatly appreciated and I hope you all have a safe and happy Xmas.

    • Like Like x 1
  2. Hi midlifemidlife, welcome to NR :) Congrats on deciding to start the life on two wheels, and good luck with your upcoming test!

    I'm no expert by any means, I bought my first bike in Feb this year. But I was in the same boat as you, I got it before my learner's test. My friend rode it home for me.
    For starters, have a look at cycle-ergo.com. It will somewhat hep to narrow down your list of potential contenders. Then go and sit on all your shortlisted bikes and some more. Buying a bike without test-riding it is not considered to be a good thing. But test-rides are too short to highlight all issues you might have with the bike anyway.
    I bought mine new from a dealership, so I didn't need a tech inspection. But if you are going for a second-hand one, good lookover by someone who knows what they are looking for and who you can trust, is essential.

    There is plenty of very comprehensive info about buying your first bike in the New Rider section of the forum, have a look. And hopefully someone from SA contingent with more experience can answer your questions. All the best with choosing your bike, exciting times!
  3. You don't need a license to buy a bike. Are you thinking second hand or new ?
  4. Without the ability to actually test the bike for any period of time, it'll be tough to know the exact bike that'll be right for you. However, if you follow the list of top selling/popular beginner's bikes (Ninja 300, CB400, etc), you won't go too wrong as they are tried and tested great starting bikes that have very forgiving geometries.
  5. If you are a novice I'd be inclined to attend the basic course first as that will give you more of an idea about what to look for and some idea of your capabilities.

    Once you have your learner permit you can try some out before you buy.
  6. #7 midlife, Dec 16, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 18, 2016
    Thanks for that Fr33dm. I'm an average built bloke, so I'm gambling on most bikes being OK size wise. I will check out that site though. As I'm a learner my eye is on a GS500 or a CB400 (budget permitting) to start with. I have a mate who'll hopefully be available to look over the bikes.

    I'm looking at second hand only. After reading through these forums and listening to advice, I think this is the best option. My eye is on either a GS500 or a CB400. I'd like to ride around town and to work and on the weekends go very far away and explore the highways and roads this place has to offer. The great ocean road is only 2 hrs away and id like to visit it regularly. Hence the need for a slightly larger LAMS bike.

    Thanks for the advice Fractalz. I did sit a basic course a few yrs ago, and loved the feeling of riding. It felt very natural after spending years dodging traffic on my push bike. Unfortunately things have just fallen into place for me to get a bike and I don't have my licence at the moment. My plan is to buy a solid reliable bike from a good dealership and hope for the best.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Sounds good midlifemidlife! Originally I was looking at CB400 too, it is a brilliant bike and a great performer that will keep you happy for years. Reliable too, and that's very important for me as I live in the middle of nowhere and am mechanically ignorant. But when I sat on one, I quickly discovered to my huge disappointment that it is not for me. You see, being 5'7", I have very long legs ( 34" inseam), so my hip and knee angles on that bike were too sharp and very uncomfortable. I was cramped! Think what you want to do on your bike, what sort of riding you'll be doing (commuting, fun on the weekends, touring, exploring on and off road).

    I went for CBR500RA instead. I felt right at home as soon as I threw my leg over it! It is fantastic learner bike and it is quite popular with NR members. So is GS500... Only a few months into riding and still plenty to learn, I feel I'll eventually end up with a dual purpose bike, as this country has some of the best scenery accessible off dirt tracks.

    Go and try them all, you will find your Ride, and it will find you :)
  8. Hi midlife i'm also a older new road rider. I went right through a long selection process till eventually ended up with one of the largest LAMS bikes (655cc MT07). I am glad I did, as lately I have been with a few clubs on their social rides. I do not think some of the smaller LAMS bikes would have been suitable for some of the rides, some over 500 Km in length and with a few stretches at speed. So IMO I recon you are correct in the larger sizes, if you are considering group riding in next couple of years. But first i'd recommend doing the leaner course, so you get to ride their bikes. So you would then have some initial thoughts on what you need for both a bike and the gear that goes with it.
  9. I did it, I bought it privately had it checked by mobile mechanic left a deposit went back a week later with my learners and remainder of money :).

    my advice get it checked and you will be fine.
  10. ah ok ... then you are not the complete novice :]

    I think Learner permits expire? You might find you have to repeat the course :-/ although that is probably a good idea anyway to be certain of your skills ... we all get rusty if we are off the bike for a while.
  11. That's my plan. I'm just looking at a tried and tested reliable learners bike like a GS 500 or a CB400. Being a newbie, I'm relying on a dealership to get something sorta decent.
  12. G'day midlifemidlife, if your buying from a dealer the bike should be in good nick as they don't want the hassle of a warranty claim, if you want to do longer trips make sure you are comfortable on it, having said that I bought my Boulevard pretty much from a picture and I love it, fits me perfectly, did 4 - 600 km days a few weeks back without a problem, also budget for good gear. Nothing second hand in Mt Gambier?
  13. I bought my 1st bike 2 years ago whilst drunk as a skunk via fleabay one Saturday night sight unseen.

    It was a 2 y/o CBR250R, but had only done a thousand K's, so figured I couldnt go wrong.

    Got my L's the following Wednesday, and picked it up on the Saturday with no dramas.

    Sold it 5 months later as decided I needed a more upright seating position for $300 less than I paid for it.

    If it was older or way more k's, I'd of thought twice, even inebriated.
    • Funny Funny x 2
  14. Thanks Rus Ler for the reply. There's not much near mt G that I want in my price range. I'm gambling on the hope that I'll find something in Adelaide ASAP. Not an ideal situation I know.
  15. #16 Eric, Dec 16, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2015
    G'day and welcome to NR from Adelaide. If you want someone close..........I am close. But here is another thought for you. Why not get one from Melbourne????? It is the same distance and bikes seem to be cheaper in Melbourne.

    I just went on Gumtree and there is a GS500 at Penola with 10100kms for $3,700 ono. I could meet you at Penola Saturday/Sunday If you wanted.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  16. Hello mate. i'm in Adelaide too. I'd be happy to help out too if theres something I can do to help you out. Good luck. The Penola GS500 that Eric found looks like a good deal. Be worth your while looking into that.
  17. Try a KTM390 ... great bike to ride and loads of fun ...
  18. The question is, would you buy a car without test driving it, to see if it suits you?
  19. #20 midlife, Dec 20, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 18, 2016
    G'day Eric, yeah I saw that one too. If I can't find anything in Adelaide, then I'll take a look. It seems OK, but has a few scratches from being dropped. Probably just cosmetic damage though.

    Thanks for offer gizzo. I've got a mate helping me out, so I should OK.

    Good point Mick, and I wouldn't do this kind of thing normally.