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Choosing my first big boy's bike

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' started by shadowchild93, Sep 6, 2016.

  1. RF900R

    0 vote(s)
  2. VTR1000

  3. Different model of bike that i will recommend

  1. Hi all,

    Looking to upgrade my trusty GPX250 to a big boys bike this weekend. I will be heading 400KM into Perth to take a look at a couple of bikes. I'm looking at less than $3000. (I have my RE licence, and my R open class learners, so im looking for a sports tourer-style of bike to learn on and use, hopefully for a few years after getting my R open class.)

    First off, i have my eye on a 95 Suzuki RF900R. This seems the most appealing to me so far from my searches. Seems to tick all the boxes, seems to be mostly reliable other than a potential 2nd gear issue. Seems to have a good amount of power that should keep me happy.

    Secondly, there is a 97 Honda VTR1000 that i like the look of. I know this is a V-Twin. I don't appear to have a preference in V-Twin vs Inline 4. My GPX250 is currently a V-Twin but, i dont think i get the V-Twin characteristics as the motor is so small and very low powered. I have only ridden this and a CBR900RR for 2 minutes. The CBR felt rather insane and sounded great, but i was not a fan of the riding position.

    Both bikes in particular are around the 30,000 - 35,000km range. There are a couple of other bikes that have my eye but, either their KM's are well higher (80,000km+) or i dont like the look / reviews of them as much.

    I'd appreciate any experiences that you may have with either of these bikes or any recommendations that you have when looking at a 20 year old bike.

  2. What's the main purpose of the bike? If it's a sport tourer your after I'd highly recommend a 5th generation vfr800 (98-00). Bullet proof, comfortable and it's probably the best sounding bike on the road today.
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  3. I'm sure that for three grand you could do better than a 21-year-old whale like the big Suzuki

    + wot ^ said.....
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  4. If anyone wants to hop on gumtree in WA for me, feel free to have a crack :D Most things in WA here seem to be rather expensive when compared to eastern states things. I've found that with many of the cars i've owned... It's like we pay a WA-owned vehicle tax!

    Good question, i should have included this... I am looking for a sports bike without needing to lay down and ride. I believe sports tourer is the best word to use? Main purposes are to and from work (15 minute ride) and the weekend ride on a nice sunny day. Mostly on my own, very very occasionally i will want to sit the misses on the back. I'd like something with a bit of power. Something that is comfortable for a sports bike. (The CBR900RR i rode for a couple of minutes was a little too much of a laying down position for me).

    There is a 2002 VFR800 with VTEC for $3000 in WA but, it has 93,000km from memory. This to me seems like a bit for a bike motor? Seems to statistically make a fair bit less power than the RF900R but, i have no idea what the bike sizes, seating positions etc. are like.
  5. Whilst the RF900 wasn't a bad bike in it's day I'd take a VFR800 over one in a heartbeat.

    As for distance the earlier VFR800 has one of the most over engineered motors that Honda have ever made, it will outlast most bike motors several times over.

    A 2nd long lived motor would be an early model Yamaha Diversion (XJ900S), the advantage over the VFR is shaft drive (chains suck) but they're less sporty.

    The 3rd option that you'll find in that price range would be the Kawasaki GTR1000, another shaft drive tourer the bike has an very under stressed 1000cc motor that's got a reputation for reliability and longevity.

    It's true there isn't much available in WA at the moment but that's more a matter of patience than you can't buy them at all. A smaller market means less for sale.
  6. How are the 2002 VTEC VFR800's? I had a quick read and it looks like their maintenance can be a bit more with the VTEC as far as the cam chains go and can be expensive if the cam chains fail (which apparently lots did). The only VFR800 in my price range is the 2002 VTEC model, with 93,000kms. I am definitely still going to check out the RF900R with 30,000kms as it seems to fit my purpose and is the limited edition Manta Ray one.

    If 93,000kms on the VFR800 isnt too many km's, then i may look at that as well.

    Just in case someone wants to help me out, here is the VFR - 2002 Honda VFR800 | Motorcycles | Gumtree Australia Rockingham Area - Baldivis | 1123061074
    Here is the RF900R - Suzuki RF900r | Motorcycles | Gumtree Australia Canning Area - Parkwood | 1123064657
    And for $hi7s and giggles, here is the VTR i was also wanting to see - Honda VTR 1000 Firestorm | Motorcycles | Gumtree Australia Kwinana Area - Kwinana Town Centre | 1120091547
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  7. Thanks for the link, i think i missed this one as i've been putting a lower value amount in for my searches. I've been looking between $2000 and $3500, but i only have $3000 to play with at the most. Is the 2002 model with 93,000kms worth looking at or are the KM's too high?
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  8. Thanks for that link! Starting to get a little out of the price range but, it is a 2006 vs mid 90's bikes.. Hmmm
  9. Its not too high if its been looked after, very solid bikes but the older ones are more robust because of the geared cams. Go ride it and negotiate, youll be surprised how far some people will go down especially with a wad of cash waved in their face. The VFR750 is also a cracker, worth looking into aswell.
  10. Does anyone know anything about the VTR1000? Worth looking at while out and about looking at bikes? From what i can see, being a litre bike and a V-Twin, it should sound pretty good. I've worked out that it probably isnt the best on fuel. Have read that a big V-Twin might have more "Character" than an inline 4.
  11. Yep all over it, guzzler but full of charatacter. Steve VtecSteve Vtec might be able to give a better insight considering he owns one
  12. you could do a lot worse than the above recommendations. obviously price is an issue but the cheaper the bike the (likely) higher kays and more cost to keep on the road due to maintenance and repairs. best of luck in your search.
  13. Full of character in a good and fun way or full of character in a "My dog absolutely destroys my yard and keeps me and my neighbours up but i have to love it as it's mine" type of character? haha!

    I dont think fuel will be too much of an issue for me as long as i can get 200km minimum city driving. Will be good to hear from someone in regards to the VT1000 as it appears to be my second choice to the RF900R. I like the look and the reviews and the general gist of the VFR800's but, i have a price point and i am kind of in a rush for this weekend, so theres just not an example that is priced right that i'm happy with. I'd assume what ever i get, i will make work for a year or so and will then eventually do some research, get a newer bike and get what i want and be patient in waiting for what i want, but for now - I'm just wanting a sports tourer style bike to learn on, get used to the bigger bike feel etc. and get for as cheap as i can due to an upcoming wedding and all bills that we have to all live with. First year of living in our first built (and owned) home. Rates were a bit of a let down!
  14. I'd be heading for that vtr1000
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  15. In that case good luck with whatever you choose, I dont have enough detailed knowledge of either bike but if it was me Id go the VTR1000. You might struggle to get 200km city riding from it though.
  16. I've got an 05 firestorm. It's got a 19L fuel tank - the 97 one you're looking at will only have a 16L reservoir. If I ride mine really hard, I'll get a flashing light after 120kms. Keep in mind this is the funnest 120kms you'll have done. Its like any bike though - if you're easy on the throttle you'll get heaps more mileage. My best is 248 (and I was SWEATING by this stage...) but generally I get 160-180 if I behave, that's with a mix of commuting and weekending.

    The bike itself is solid as a rock. A little heavy and slow to turn, but stable and grounded unless you're REALLY fanging it. On that note, if you're speeding into and out of corners like you're on a supersport you might get a little wobble in the front forks and the rear can be a little unstable, but that's mostly because it has primitive forks and shocks compared to modern sportsbikes. A lot of *cheap* mods to help these situations though (not all of us can afford ohlins shocks and gold usd forks...) - message me if you get one and I'll link you up with the best of them.

    Comfort wise, I haven't sat on a pre 2002 model and they raised the clip ons from 02 onwards for comfort so your prospective VTR may be a bit more crouched in riding position than mine. I'm not sure what the actual difference is, but I can ride my firestorm all day without much trouble - it's way more comfortable than a supersport.

    Few problems - the stock regulator/rectifier seems to be a bugbear, most people change it out straight up to save the hassle of it going while on a ride. Same goes with the automatic cam chain tensioners - they've been known to crap out, cam chain jumps a tooth and then your engine is lunched. I don't know exactly how common this is - nobody buys a bike and rides the piss out of it for five years and then says "the cam chain tensioners did a great job" - I feel like you only hear about the bad ones. Anyway, most firestorm owners I know have put in manual cam chain tensioners (best price I've found is $100 each and you'll need two...)

    It's one of the best sounding bikes I've heard. Even with stock pipes it still makes me smile. Group rides are difficult as my riding buddies are on MV Augustas, Aprilia tuonos and bloody triumph daytonas (heavenly...) but I still love this beige old v twin with all my heart. It's a beautiful, simple, massively carbureted bike with little electronics, it's easy to work on, its an old school looking sports tourer with two FAT exhaust pipes, and it's a farken wheelie machine. Twist and go.

    Highly recommended.
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  17. Include the cost of an airfare to the east into your budget.

    Save on the cost of the bike, and get an awesome ride home.

    Win - win.:)
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  18. By the look of it, you are buying purely on purchase price of the bike, so just buy the RF900, you don't have much to compare it to so will adapt to it and love it, or, you have a bike to ride, be prepared to wait, ride it a bit longer, save some more money, test ride heaps, figure out what you like, figure out what suits, then wait for one to come up that fits the bill.

    I have been in exactly your position, although a long, long time ago. Wanted a Brand New 1991 KR-1S as my first bike. Got talked into a 1987 GPX250 (essentially what you have). I traded it for my first big boy bike, a 1971 CB750K2 with an 836cc Arias kit and 4 into 1. I loved it and it taught me to ride a crap bike fast (it was a crap bike though even though I still wish I had it to race)

    I got smarter in my choices later. Buy a non Vtec VFR800. Best all round bike ever made, period. Km mean nothing if maintained. Just don't buy the one I want to.

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