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Can't decide which way to go to return to biking....

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' started by texinick67, Feb 17, 2007.

  1. Hi,

    I've just come across the site, and wondered whether I may be able to ask for a bit of advice. I'm just looking at returning to the world of biking after a 11year break, and am a little confused at which way to go.

    Let me start with my intended use... Mainly this will involve commuting, which is a massive couple of kilometers, but I'm sure that it probably does the car more damage running it for that distance, and it has to be a little better for the environment... aside from that.. it's a good excuse to get a bike again! There will be a little bit of running around at weekends, a trip down to the coast for hell of it, that sort of thing. Due to kids (youngest 4), I don't see myself getting off on any touring type riding for some time to come.

    My budget is (sadly) very low... $4500 tops. I don't want to take out any loans, or go for finance. So that's the amount of cash I have available now.

    When it comes to style of bike, I'm not keen on the sporty, lie over the top of the tank, type bike. I prefer the 'sit up and take it easy' type ride. Dual purpose/trail bikes are a little too tall for me, I like the comfort of having the ground within easy reach :^) My previous bikes were a Z250 and then a couple of XV750's. I test rode a Virago 750, Yammy Diversion 900 and a Triumph T/Bird this week, and if I had the cash, the T/Bird would have my name on it... one day... one day!!

    The dilemma I have is whether to go for a newer, but smaller bike, or an older, larger one. I can either pick up an older bike along the lines of the Z750, GR650, XS650, XV750 (again) that sort of thing, or I can go for a newer GS500, ER-5 type bike. We're basically talking larger bikes from the late 80's early 90's, or 500's from the early-ish 2000's.

    Insurance seems to be cheaper for bikes that are 10 years old or less, so there's one point to the newer 500's, and I'm assuming that maintenance and servicing would be a bit cheaper too?? Maybe the newer bike would also get me a better trade in price if I found myself with a bit of cash further down the track, or when the kids are a little older, and I can start doing some longer distance trips on the bike with the wife!

    Could anyone please offer some advice as to which would be the more sensible option? I've been chewing this around in my head all week, and looking at a gazillion bikes.. but seem to be just going round in circles!!

    Sorry for the loooooooooong post!! I won't make a habit of it!!

    All the best

  2. Others here have returned to riding after a long spell and can offer advice on that specifically.
    I don't see anything at all wrong with your bidget, given that you are happy to look at older bikes, there are plenty of excellent older models with the sit up, commuter style of riding position. Buying from a dealer you will be in trouble in this budget, but private sales, heaps of options.
    Don't discount the larger Z's from the 80's either, ridiculously strong, reliable bikes, cheap to buy and cheap on parts.
    I wouldn't worry about trade in prices, seems most bikes lose heaps of value if you try to trade in, private sale is the way to get rid of them.
    Oh and by the way, my first bike cost me $700 and second bike $2600. Neither has let me down. If you go into buying an older bike with the knowledge you WILL have to spend a few dollars on it, I can assure it will work out cheaper than buying something more expensive initially. You also get the peace of mind of knowing what the bike has had done to it.

    Regards, Andrew.
  3. Personally I'd be going the newer bike, gonna last longer if it has to, and gonna be worth more if you want to trade up. Also design technology is better with each new model generally so you will be getting a better bike.

    Welcome to NR :grin:
  4. I'd also be going for one of the 500's. No reason it's just what I'd be looking at.
  5. All grey imports though and the "Super Four" versions have VTEC (so service may be an issue). If you're going to go that way though you should also seriously consider the Suzuki Bandit 400 - basically identical to the 250 that was sold here officially but with a larger cylinder bore (so parts are easy to find). As for older bikes maybe consider something like an early GSX750F, you should be able to find one with less than 50,000kms for that budget and if looked after should run well past the 100,000 mark.
  6. Thanks for the replies.

    I've been watching all the classified sites, and keeping an eye on ebay etc, but just getting very confused! :^)

    Would I be crazy to consider what appears to be a well maintained and looked after 1995 Triumph Sprint 900 that has 128k kms? It sounds like it's been well looked after, but the high mileage worries me a little. Our local Triumph dealer warned that heads may need doing which could cost in the area of $2000.

    Thanks again
  7. VFR800 - There is no substitute :grin:

  8. Not for $4.5k...

    You can pick up early VFR750's from ebay for as low as $4k, could be worth looking at if they're local to you.

    I'd personally stay away from the triumph, with your budget you can afford bikes that will give you no trouble for years.
  9. Sorry cammo!
    forgot myself, but hunting around you can find good vfr750's and the motors go forever if they've been looked after....

    would imagine you could pick up a gsx750f for @ $4-5k and they're as tough as nails.
  10. There is a GSX750F on ebay at the moment, a 1997 model with 76,000km's, with a price of $3,600 (or near offer). Assuming that there are no leaks/smoke etc, would that be a reasonable price for the k's & year?

    Thanks again for the help!
  11. GSX 750 F is considered "old technology" by a lot of people (air cooled, been around for years) but they're bulletproof as I'm sure the netriders who have them can attest!!
    Although heavy by sports bike standards (@ 215kg dry), they have a low centre of gravity and a comfy seating position and are quite agile. Definitely worth a look......

    just my .02c
  12. Yeah that price seems quite reasonable - I looked at an '89 model GSX750F recently with 68,000kms which the owner was asking 4 grand for. Main thing would be to check if the cam chain tensioner was done at 60,000 like it's supposed to be - AFAIK that's about the only specific thing to check with those bikes.
  13. "old technology"? I can handle that... I'm in the "old technology" category myself... and not getting any younger!!

    Considering my last bike was an early to mid-80's XV750... a 1997 GSX750F would be very modern indeed!! :^) The XV was of a similar weight, so that isn't much of a drama, and I'm not really after a "sports bike" as such... too many temptations, and not enough balls! :^)
  14. Good luck!
    I've got an 06 VFR. Went for a ride to Daylesford with a friend who has a late model cbr 600 F4i. He has made a few jibes about the viffer being a "cruiser" and an "old man's bike".
    Let him take my bike for a spin and he's come away with a different POV!!!
  15. Dont look past the GS500, it has been around for a number of years and is damn reliable. You can even look at the fairing version GS550F....really comfy bike, good position, pretty upright and enough room for a pillion (4 yrs young, just teach em how to hold on :wink: )
    You should be able to pick one up for your price range, they are also easy to maintain yourself.
    Good luck with it :grin:
  16. Even though they're ten years old and weigh more than the current batch, a GSX750 still goes well enough for just about anybody. They offer plenty for the price and you can have some serious fun, whereas the twin cruiser will still get you there and generally be that bit more relaxing.

    From your user name I'm assuming 1967? So this year eligible for Ulysses membership and many good cruisers always for sale in and around the Club.

    All the best for the search
  17. ZZ-R600 might be in the price range, and fit the needs too.
  18. I think that must be a 'sign' :^)

    I happened to be just reading a mag (just before reading your reply) that mentioned the Ulysees Club, and their bike giveaway for members attending the AGM in Coffs Harbour this year... I live about an hour from Coffs! The bike's mine I tell you! (Provided the AGM is after the first week of June! :^)
  19. CB400 - I'll second that!

    I have a CB400 1994 Super Four and its a great bike. Easy to ride, handles and stops well, not too fast not too slow. As far as parts go it shares many parts from other Hondas so everyday maintenance should not be a problem and they are very reliable. You get good range from a tank 250k + and the insurance is dirt cheap. I pay $14 a month full comprehensive. Certainly worth a look.