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Cheapest Commuter 250cc +

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' started by V8cressida, Nov 13, 2007.

  1. I did a search on this topic and found no definitive answer. So.....

    I am thinking of ditching my third car to buy a 2nd bike to use as a commuter (125km per day).

    I was thinking that 250cc would be the miniumum requirement as there are a few hills and 110 kph limits along the way.

    Looking for suggestions for.

    1. Cheap to buy (second hand)
    2. Goes on the smell of an oily rag
    3. Bullet proof/cope with high k's
    4. Cheapest to maintain and repair

    Don't mind getting my hands dirty. Will be happy to keep well maintained.. Not looking for a neglected piece of junk.

    any ideas/experience?

  2. CBR250RR is good on fuel,

    But don't buy one for traveling - mine is just very uncomfortable. for any trip long then an hour.... oh the seat may as well be made of steel plate, because thats how cushioned it feels
  3. Any 250cc bike will come at a good cost and maintenance need if you want a reliable one.
    Try looking at a few 125-250cc scooter for commuting. They have more storage space and are more comfortable once you hit the stop start traffic near population zones.

    Cheapest commuter bike I have seen is prob. the scorpion (around $4500).
    You can grab a good scoot for around a grand less prob with more comfort and reliability.

    Go test ride a few!
  4. I'd go a gs500e, because of the bang for the buck, ease of servicing, and proven longevity of the engine.
  5. With 125km a day, a cheap commuter makes sense, you are talking around 30000km a year,

    I have looked into the option of getting a commuter bike before, but the km I do each year cant justify it,

    I think the main runnning costs to consider are;

    registration: this is usually cheaper for smaller capacity bikes
    Tyres: 30000km a year? you would want at least 15000 km per set, I could get 14000km out of a set when commuting on a ZX6R, so 20000km may be possible on the right bike?

    Servicing: You stated you will do this yourself, depending on your mechanical ability, I will assume that the simpler the bike is, the more you can do yourself

    So the options I considered;

    CB250: low running costs, low rego costs, simple 2 cylinder design, but may struggle on the hills

    XJ900: shaft drive, air cooled but relatively heavy and the capacity will increase the rego costs

    Or something in between like a Kawasaki Zephyr 550?
  6. Suzuki GS 500?
  7. +50.

    The cb250 really is a great commuter, they dont break, they handle fine, comfy, don't use fuel, air cooled, great bike and cheap second hand. The thing is, they aren't cool at all, but you are just using it as a commuter, so you don't need to pick up with it :D
  8. GPX/ZZR is another relatively simple and easy to maintain 250. More protection too, if you're hitting highways, and more go than the CB. Still tractable though as it's a twin not a four. 4.5L/100km was my typical experience riding it - regardless of how it was ridden.

    Problem is most 250s have a premium attached for the learner market. GS500 might be a good way to get around that. Trailie might make a good commuter too.
  9. I would say the CBR250RR is not good on fuel compared to other 250cc bikes out there like the GPX250, CB250, VTR250, Scorpio, CBF250 etc. Sure its good on fuel compared to 1000cc bikes but for a 250cc its not so good.
  10. If your looking for cheap - I picked up my SRX250 for 2k with a rwc and 1 year of rego (just had full rebuild).

    It's awesome on fuel but only has a top speed of about 125
  11. Heavy on fuel ? Apart from not running it into the ground, I could just take the Gixxer ?

    Would the bang for the buck be evaporated over time due to added fuel consumption. ? Compared to a 250 ?

  12. Certainly not. They're more fuel efficient than some 250s!! seriously, 4-5L/100kms.
  13. :shock: Never new that, thanks for the heads up. Although now LAMS has spread down here they are not as cheep as they may have been :roll:

  14. This is about the only time I won't stand up for the 4cyl screamers. I am a bit surprised how much fuel they can use. I thought there was something wrong with my CBR250R, 200kms per 10L tank... so yeah, 5L/100, not that good for a 250... then my fzr which was a lot quicker, used more fuel.

    then again, i did enjoy the screaming noise they make and did pretty much ring its neck the whole time, so i guess they could get under 5L/100, but as above, that isn't good for small bikes. My sister used to get HEAPS better fuel economy on the GPX. She claimed 400kms per tank... don't know how true that is... but I borrowed it for a while and did more than 200kms without topping it up.

    So I'd say ZZR for economy... or on that note, the new ZXR type thing, hotness with economy... just sounds like a poop
  15. Mate I've got up to 9L/100 kms, but that was full throttle for the duration, trying to keep up with the rest of the nuts on the oxley run ;)

    250s will do 4L easily with some right wrist restraint. If you really nancy it, you can get just under that. Getting a zzr instead of a gpx for commuting would be stupid when the point of a commuter bike is to be cheap. No point paying the extra cost just for a commuter when its the same as a gpx enginewise.
  16. I'm not sure of the fuel consumption of a XJ900, but I dont think it would be much different from the other bikes suggested.

    I wouldnt be worrying too much about fuel consuption, a bike that uses 4lt/100km instead of 5lt/100km will mean you would save about $8 a week on your commute. This will add up over the year but it is not the major cost to be concerned about.

    The cost of consumables like, tyres, chain, sprockets and brake pads is where you save money by using a commuter bike instead of your GSXR1000.

    30000km a year would be 4 sets of tyres on a GSXR1000? at $500 a set you are up for $2000 in tyres alone. Compare that to two $300 sets on a low powered commuter, and you have already saved $1400 a year. The other consumables should also last longer and be cheaper to replace giving you even more savings.

    Also think of what the km will do to the resale of the GSXR, after 2 years of commuting your odometer will be 60000km higher, high km sports bikes are not in big demand!

    Those $2000 Sachs bikes start to make sense as a commuter. You get a warranty, a new bike and you can just ride it into the ground..
  17. Well yeah, the are similar. I was just thinking:

    a) if you need a zzr or gpx, go with the least shit looking.
    b) if you are doing long trips, more fairings means less wind beating you around the chops.

    but if its about price, there are some bargain gpx's.
  18. CB250

    1. Cheap to buy (second hand)

    2 or 3 years ago I bought a 2001 cb250, 16'000km's, mint mechanical, bit rough cosmetically cost me $3300. There are nought cheaper bikes than that.

    2. Goes on the smell of an oily rag

    Consistently around 3L/100km. Always close to 400km from it's 16L tank before hitting reserve.

    3. Bullet proof/cope with high k's

    I have no great love for Honda, but I'm a big believer than noone can build small engines as well as honda. Capable of lasting over 100'000km with regular oil changes.

    4. Cheapest to maintain and repair

    It's a 2 valve per cylinder, air cooled twin. Basic stuff. Worst comes to worst, they crash well.

    There are lots of options though. Don't worry about a particular model, just keep your eye out for anything in nice condition for the right price. Don't rule out dirtbikes! most fun to be had with a small engine, even on the road.
  19. Forget fuel costs, they are not teh big killer. Buy something simple, has lots of parts readily available, both new and second hand, uses relatively small tyres etc. The midsize Kawasaki Z's really can't be beat for this sort of thing, bullteproof everything, simple, parts EVERYWHERE, cheap to repair, used engines plentiful etc.
    It will probably end up being a naked bike if cost is an issue, throw a $199 universal screen at it and enjoy!

    Regards, Andrew.
  20. I have searched extensively on bikesales and have started a list.

    All the following bikes you can find examples of with the following criteria.

    1. Under $4000
    2. Less than 50000km
    3. Newer than 1992 (93 onwards)

    Honda - CB 250
    Yamaha - SR250, XV250S, FZX Zeal
    Suzuki - GS500E (just, with price)
    Kawasaki - EL250 eliminator, ZR250 Balius

    Now I have made some obvious omissions - Headed in the non faired versions. So that takes out CB250aaars, FZR250's, The manbag's, ZZR's and Gpx's etc.

    I have owned a ZZR250. was great, never let me down. But feel I would like to try something else and besides, on rides 1 1/2hrs or more it killed my shoulders and destroyed my tail bone!. I have done longer rides on my 1000, and yes while still in pain,(wrists and hips) it subsided as soon as you got off. While the tail bone prob made sitting on anything a chore after a long ride on the ZZR.

    So now in the whittling down stage are there any of the above that are definite no no's ?.