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Dual Purpose Bike for Learner

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by FelixRulz, Dec 23, 2012.

  1. Hello Everyone,

    I just registered here and wanted some advice on what bike to get.

    I will hopefully have my learners license after a couple of weeks (course already booked). I live in NSW so will have LAMs restrictions that need to be considered. I don't think this will be a problem as I want a relatively small/light bike anyway.

    Bike Use:
    Bike will be used predominantly on the road but would also like to ride on firetrails and later perhaps something even a bit more rugged. And preferably something that will be comfortable sitting on >=90km/h for long trips. Perhaps 75 on-road / 25 off-road weighting.

    I am 163cm (about 5'4) and would like to reach the ground comfortably. My brother has a Honda CB250 Twin which I found a little high and also on the heavy side, having a little trouble getting onto the centre-stand (Not sure how heavy it is).

    A have some money saved but would like to be conservative for my first bike, something second hand (a little work is ok). I don't really want to spend more than around $2000* so am not expecting something really fancy and think it is a better idea to spend more on gear.

    *after looking around it looks like it will be difficult to find anything less than this.

    Here are some of the bikes I have seen recommended around the place. I think an old bike will be best both in terms of price and also repairing (?). The prices in brackets are from bikesales.com.au. Most look like trail bikes so I figured they would be lighter and easy to learn on. I was also looking at road bikes here (motorcycles_for_short_riders) but there isn't much indication on their suitability for off-road use.
    • Yamaha TW200 ($3.6k) , DT200 ($1.5k), WR200 ($2k), WR250 ($5.5k), XT250 ($3k)
    • Kawasaki KDX200 ($2.5k), KLX250 (3.5k), KLR250 (3k), Super Sherpa KL250H (4.5k)
    • Honda CRF230L (4k), XR250L (5k)
    • Suzuki DR-200SE
    • Pitster Pro LXT 250
    Bold: came up often
    underlined: preferred price range

    Any comments / feedback would be good to help me select a couple/few suitable bikes I can then look around for to buy. I am very new to motorcycles and have listed everything I thought was important.

  2. Sounds like you need one of these or similar motard thing. Budget is a bit of a worry though, for that money you are going to have to go for something older with high kilos that's been preloved. Good luck.

  3. All things considered, have a look for a Honda SL230.
  4. if you can find a super sherpa in good nic, grab it.
    another one to look for would be the old verseys. kle 500.
    i'm kwaka biased for this type of machine. so if you can't find a good example of either, then the klx, preferably the retard version.
  5. Wow, I am surprised at already having a couple of replies Edit: already three now. Thanks.

    sorry, but were you actually suggesting the pictured bike. EDIT: I looked up 'motard' and now I think you mean a bike from supermoto.

    Yes, I began to think the same when looking at the prices. Old is ok though, might help me lean more about mechanics.

    Cheers. Looks around what I want. Would you recommend this over the Honda bikes I listed?

    Kawasaki: Super Sherpa, KLE500, KLX250

    What do you mean by retard version? a google search didn't help me.
  6. super retard aka super motard
    17 inch street rims and tyres
  7. I'm really liking the look of the Super Sherpa...
    is 3k a good price?
  8. ask your mechanic after he's inspected it.
  9. I recommended the SL230 Honda 'cos it is one of the few relatively low dual purpose bikes, and it is not an off-road racer type machine.

    Ridden properly, it will go quite seriously bush, but you don't need to have a step ladder to get onto it.

    (Green slip insurance is pretty cheap, too!)

    The Sherpa is in similar device but, I think, a bit rarer, and I have never ridden one of them.
  10. Check out f650 gs BMW. Both road and offroad low comfortable seating, light and reliable.
  11. Mate, if you can find one of them in the OP's price bracket, I'd probably buy it.

    They are VERY nice bikes to ride, but, probably because of ther BMW badge, quite expensive.
  12. The single cylinder bike has been around for quite a while so maybe one of those.
  13. I was going to recommend a KLR650 or a DR650, but then I saw your height.
  14. Thanks for all the help.

    The f650 would definitely be suitable, but it is a little pricey... 5 to 6k.
    At the moment the SL230 Honda and Kawasaki Super Sherpa seem to be the best picks. I rang up about a Sherpa but it was already sold.

    I have also been looking at some older bikes. At the moment a Suzuki TS400:
  15. Update...

    Good News: Have my learners license now
    Bad news: Still no bike

    Had a look at a Super Sherpa in Golburn (link) (about 6.5 hours of driving), unfortunately there where a number of factors that stopped me from making a purchase:
    • The bike had been resprayed - that is frame, swing arms, foot pegs
    • The motor was 'clacky' (apparently could be either tappets or timing chain)
    • Chain tension was not correct
    • there was an oil leak on the left side of the bike
    • Didn't have a blue slip (which I have been told is a minimum requirement for buying a second hand bike)
    Let me know if any of these isn't really a bad thing. FYI: I found this article was particularly useful: "Used Motorcycle Evaluation Guide".

    On the upside I got to ride it around and the seat is great. I also went to a friends farm and had a ride on a Stockman (the farm version of the Sherpa) enabling me to compare what the bike should sound like. So even though I didn't get a bike it was a valuable experience.

    Also rang up to look at an SL230 but it had already been sold :(

    So continues the waiting game...
  16. #17 FelixRulz, Feb 17, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2013
    Thought I'd post here once more seeing as I bought my first bike a couple of days ago. I ended up spending double of what I originally intended; I got a super sherpa for 4k.
    It looks like it has been well looked after. Rode it back from newcastle so have already done about 450km on it - but still suck at cornering.

    Anyhows, thanks for all the advice, I couldn't really find sl230s for sale but they looked very similar to the super sherpa.