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Downsizing From A 500 To A 300-250 Advice?

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' started by Alasdair86, Oct 24, 2012.

  1. Good evening everybody.

    Let's begin by saying I had a crash (which was my fault) and unfortunately the assessor decided to write of my poor GS500F. I thought it was just a smashed side fairing and there was no frame damage however there was apparently other damage and the quote was heading past $4000.

    Now my bike was insured for $4750. Please bear in mind that I can throw a couple of grand extra if need be hence the shortlist below. I am wishing for advice from owners of these bikes, people who have had similar situations and so on.

    Ideally, the bike wouldn't have been written off and I could go about my merry way once the injuries are sorted (fractured right wrist and elbow, though not very bad at all).

    What do I buy? I weigh 100kg. 90% of the time I just commute down St Kilda rd so on that front don't need a big engine. However, I do like to use the freeway every now and then and do like the odd ride on twisty country roads.

    The rational side of me says spend as little as possible as I am off restrictions in June. Bikes I am attracted too in this cheap mindset are things like the old CB250s. Otherwise, try and find another GS500F cheaply(I got my other one for $5250 ride away, though though it had a small scratch I didn't notice until later and 27,000 kms on the clock) though variety is the spice of life.

    The want side of me says chuck a couple extra grand and get a Ninja 300 Special Edition in green with ABS - I love the ZX-10R style looks, and I figure it will be popular as a trade in with the ABS and general shiney-newness. Especially with the crash knobs I will put on it.

    The curious side of me is thinking a single. I really dig the TU250X though worry about my just being a great windsock when I hit the eastern. I'm also worried about weather - I ride in all conditions and only got wet on the GS500F at crawling speeds - only maybe 3 times and I never wore wet weather gear. Does riding a naked mean your legs get soaked?

    This leads me to the CBR250R (with abs for resale; not personally fussed) as I think it looks ok in the HRC colours.

    Girlfriend suggests I get a postie, though she lives near chapel st and probably wants me to turn into a hipster.

    Chuck $6500 in your hypothetical pocket, tell me what you'd get. No Motards (don't like the look though I know they're fun), Scooters (do like the look but like shifting gears myself and can't imagine heading up to Kinglake on one, also girlfriend may get the wrong idea about me) and no suggesting pocketing the cash and waiting until I can buy a real bike - everyday I see one pass, I get a panging 'missing out' feeling.
  2. Buying a brand newie is going to cost you the most depreciation on change-over, so if you're only keeping it for 7-8 months I'd go for something old enough you can sell it for what you paid.

    I don't get much change out of 100 kg myself, and would be inclined to avoid a 250, just to not have to row the gears so much, although lots of 250s would get the job done if you did.

    A bit rarer, but I had a GSF400 that went pretty well until I traded up. Other than that another GS, or an old ER5 or something similar would be a good call. An older CBR250 would also be OK. The CBs are good reliable bikes but pretty dull.
  3. 250 Bandit is pretty nice, and well within the budget.
  4. Did a quick search on Bikesales for the 250-600 (wish they divided them differently 'cos this one means you end up with a million irrelevant twifties) category in the $3-5k bracket ('cos I'd also advise hanging onto your extra couple of grand for your 'proper bike' next year) and found these other models that might be worth a look:

    GSXF250 Across

    But honestly, if it was me picking a learner bike in that price bracket the GS500 is hard to go past, even if it's a bit familiar...
  5. I will let you know how I go on the tu250 in the near future, i'm 6"0 and only slightly lighter. I'm only taking really (like walkabe distances) short trips for work, but hopefully i'll take it out on the weekend after i feel a bit more comfortable (just getting back to riding).
  6. hornet 250!

    in your price range, has enough power for 100kg rider. big and comfy, no vibrations unlike your gs.

    EDIT: this is the best bike for you
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Wouldn't go near a 250 at 100 kg. Maybe the 300, but I would be looking closely at the 500's. I can't remember if there's a ninja 500 out here but that would seem like an option if you wanted something different. 250 would just be an exercise in futility.
  8. CB400?

    I've seen plenty of GS500s at affordable prices. That's if naked bikes tickle your fancy.
  9. You sounded like you were content with another GS so I'd stick with a second hand version of that. at 100kgs (like me) anything less is pointless.

    Lots of learners flog off their GS's so they should be cheap to come by as long as you don't go through a stealership. Save your dough for your real bike as the others have suggested.
  10. There was a GPZ500 sold here in limited numbers, but they're quite rare. The naked ER-5 that derived from it is somewhat more common though and not a bad alternative to a GS500.

    Seriously though I can't see why a 250 would be out of the question. Something like a GPX250 is going to be cheap and easy to buy, and only going to struggle if you're too stupid to be able to plan ahead and ensure you're in the right gear before trying to go up a hill or overtake (in fact starting with a 250, or even something smaller, in many ways is better for learning how to ride properly than starting on something with copious amounts of torque). I would however stay away from low-powered 250 singles or twins (some cruisers and CB250s) if you're planning on doing a lot of highway kms though. They're really only designed for 80kph and although capable of 100, tend to struggle when it comes to overtaking.
  11. There's a good case for the Ninja 300 here. I'd check it out.
  12. Well, yeah, except that they're new with all the costs and depreciation that entails.
  13. Buy whatever you want. However, keep in mind that the 250's will require you to rev the tit's off them to get the same forward momentum that you got on the 500.

    If it was me, I'd get another GS500.
  14. A very new and sought-after LAMs model should keep decent resale compared to the normal depreciation. More the point though, is that the 300 has the potential to be a keeper for longer than just the time on restrictions, but that's a matter for the particular rider.
  15. How many extra months do you figure someone would keep a 300cc over a 250cc to justify the $3-4k extra they'd have to pay for it? (compared with a late model used GPX or early Ninja 250).
  16. If they have the cash, the extra they pay up front is less important than how much they get back when they sell.

    The point was that if they try one and feel that they'd be happy to keep it for the longer term, it's a new bike that's reported to have improved fuel economy as well as all the wearing parts also starting from day one.

    If they're pretty sure they want to step up further after restrictions which end soonish, then a decent 2nd-hand bike makes a lot more sense.

    The New 300 is a somewhat different prospect due to the extra go, among other improvements, which for some will make an ideal, fun and economical ride.

    All of which goes back to the suggestion that since the OP mentions this bike, it would be at least worth checking out and deciding if where it sits at one end of the scale, they feel it's a worthy option, including for reasons which a spreadsheet doesn't show, like fun factor, joy of ownership, new bike warranty peace of mind and so on.
  17. Yep, all fair points, agreed.

    I guess, though, at 100 kg, it's more probable that he's going to update to something beefier than stick with the 300 long term...

    ICBW - definitely worth a look.
  18. Just buy another GS - I've ridden both a 4 cylinder 250 and a twin 500 and the twin will be a lot better for your weight
  19. If you liked the GS500F then get another and dont stack it.
  20. Dr650 second hand. Or a cheap 250. A 250cc is fine if ypu know how to ride.

    Getting the same bike......boring.