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Eye height vs centre of gravity for LAMS bike

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' at netrider.net.au started by Viker, Mar 17, 2012.

  1. Hi everyone,

    Another newbie here, scrounging for wisdom.

    I've just got my Ls and I'm researching my Ls bike.

    I'm 190cm & 90kg, so I need a bit of room on a bike.

    I'm looking for something that won't break the bank (or my heart) if I drop it, yet still a decent machine. $3-5K seems to be a sweet spot.

    [edited to add] I'll be commuting (largely at 100km/h), riding around Melbourne's inner north (over tram tracks, speed humps & cobblestones) and getting into the hills and curves once I get up my confidence and skill.

    Before my Ls course, I had my eye on a Transalp or KLR650. Mostly for the upright seating and the high eye position.

    Getting my Ls I rode a CBF250, which I liked for its low centre of gravity and disliked for the chugginess of its single cylinder.

    So now I'm trying to compare the Suzuki GS500 (E or F) and Kawasaki ER5 with their lower centre of gravity to the Honda Transalp and Kawasaki KLE500 and KLR650 with their high eye position.

    How chuggy is a KLR650 in real life, in traffic, off the line at the lights, on the freeway… rough or just rough around the edges?

    How much easier is it to wrestle a GS500 or ER5 back into shape than the taller bikes? How much easier is it to learn confidence on a UJM than on a dual-sport?

    I realise these questions are about as subjective as they come, but as a brand-new L-plater I presume its tricky to get a lot of test rides, so I'd really appreciate any experience you can share.

    Thanks :)
  2. Your size and weight. Fat bastard lol
    Stay away from a 250. It's not that it wont do it. It's that you will have to work it for it to cope and then you will be speeding everywhere. $$$ and no lic.
    I know it sounds all wrong but it is easier to coast on a 650 than a 250. The right amount of Torque makes work easy.... because torque is the work.
    So now we have the 500 and 650.
    My personal opinion is the dirt orientated bike. They are easy and take a shoite load of punishment. They are made to be dropped. Cheaper.
    You are high and upright so you can see further ahead. Safety.
    The neg is they are no way as enjoyable to ride on the road as the road bike. Or corner as well or usually brake as well. It's a road trail and a compromise. simple as that.

    The GS will take a pounding. Fit some oggies and you might save some damage.
    They are comfy. I would have done at least 200km a day on one and never had to stand on the pegs or got numb bum. They run on the smell of an oily rag and are almost taxi like in reliability.

    And as I say to every one. Go get your license. Use their bikes and then test ride both or more and find that conection. Bike are not transport. They are a way of life
  3. the gs is comfortable and forgiving in shitty Melbourne weather, thanks to it's soggy suspension. but it is probably the most boring motorbike ever made and just a bigger version of the cbf2fiddy you disliked.

    so i'm going to fast forward your thinking about 6 months.
    the answer is super retard.
    you have the benefits Bretto listed with wheels and tyres to suit the road.
    and yes, 'chuggy' in a larger capacity single is awesome in heavy traffic because of the low end torque.
    sitting high in the saddle is a huge advantage with visibility, but also when you do smash into cars, you tend to get thrown over them, rather than through them.

    you should check out the new husqvarnas for the same price as the drz400, but much more bike.
  4. Klr650 is a good bike, they are heaps better than the others in the real world.

    Oh and a dr650 is a good choice as well :) cheap, heaps lighter just as powerful as the er. Best choice for learners out there i think.

    And that just isnt because i am selling one.
  5. Thanks for your advice guys :)

    Bretto, I'm definitely in the 500-660 market, not the 250 market don't worry about that!

    MT1, the thing I disliked about the 2fiddy was the sound & feel of the single. A bigger version with another cylinder or two seems like a good thing for learning on.

    Vertical C, what is it about the KLR that makes it better in the real world?

    I'm not seeing the dirtier bikes selling cheaper than the roadie ones.

    Today, I got to sit on a GS500, which felt very manageable. Big enough to be a real bike, but easy to shove around.

    I was lucky enough to meet a GS500 owner who confirmed what I'd already read about it being an easy bike to learn on, with predictable manners and enough go for the highway, etc. (Thanks Dave)

    I also test-sat a KLR650, which I'm sure would soon feel manageable. I asked about vibrations and chugginess so the guy in the shop started it for me and wound it up to highway revs, confirming that I don't much like singles.

    Hopefully tomorrow I'll get to check out an ER5.

    Why do motorcycle dealers close on Sundays? :roll:
  6. In earlier versions the GS500 and the ER5 are the same bike. Well 90% of them are the same bike. Kawa and snuzi had a little intellectual property exchange for a while there. Joint ventured a GP bike.
    So if you are buying second hand there is a third version of that motor. It's like a love child of the ER and the KLR
    May I introduce the KLE500.
    The twin of the ER/GS in the frame of the KLR. But with soft mount pegs and bars = less vibe.
    They are soft. They are easy, high safe and have the same taxi like reliability. A set of bar protectors (bark busters) and you can only damage little plastic panels.
    You could hook one up as a great tourer quite simply and cheaply.

    The only negative of going this way is that to ride a bike like this is a different style to riding a dedicated road bike.
    It's not much, but there is a difference.
    The plus is the confidence you will gain quickly with a bike like this.
    The ease and cost of repair. For mine a great learner bike.
    But only something you would keep for a year before you wanted a real bike
  7. Super tard. DRZ400SM. Nothing further to add :D

    Pretty sure a Husky SMS630 or 610 will be substantially more than a DRZ...
  8. Pity about not liking singles 'cos the DR650 does everything, costs nothing and is hugely forgiving to ride.
  9. This is an elaborate setup for a Monty Python gag, right?

    People keep suggesting singles until I crack and yell, "I don't like singles!" in my best bad cockney accent, then someone mutters, "Bloody vikings." Right?

    OK, I'll play :)

  10. Everyone says so, I've read it all over NR and on other sites, but the people selling second hand DRs don't seem to agree.
  11. Yep, I reckon the KLE is a contender.

    I realise now that it impossible to know which bike I'll like best in three months, or nine - but as I'll be upgrading in 15 months it doesn't matter very much as long as the thing is good enough.

    So I've got a shortlist of contenders and I reckon I'll just buy the cheapest, best, most convenient contender available.

    The contenders are:
    GS500 E/F
  12. the KLE is a tractor. look how ancient the front forks are.
    brakes and suspension are lacking on the road. like any dual sport. not particularly good on or off road.
    try nobby tyres in the wet. huge fun.
    are you only going to ride on the road ?
    if not, a dedicated road bike is better.

    or super retard, because it's an off road bike that now has road tyres on smaller rims, plus some brakes.
  13. Are you (OP) going through a riding school? Do they have a training range? Would they allow you to ride (briefly, in controlled conditions) as many of their bikes as possible? The more bikes you can try out, the better equipped you will be to make the decision yourself. Our opinions are just that - ours. The opinion that matters is yours.

    I don't like singles either.
  14. Very good question.

    I do see dirt-roading in my future, but not immediately.

    Priority one is to get learned and licensed.

    So (thinking out loud here) I guess I do a dirt-riding course after I pass my license, then think about getting a dirt-capable bike at the end of my restrictions. (Hello Triumph Tiger.)

    Therefore I start with a road bike.

    thanks :)
  15. I did my Ls training at HART, so I guess they might let me ride a bunch of different LAMS Hondas :)

    Good idea though, I'll try one of the other riding schools.

    Thanks :)
  16. Yeah, but having coughed up the capital cost, subsequent running costs are zilch.

    But you don't like singles so it's moot anyway.
  17. Hey there,

    You're welcome...

    I think most of the honda mobs are now using the VTR-250's? I know HART were rolling them out to replace the CB-250s and whatnot. They are a nice bike (my other half has one), but a little on the small side (physically).

    They have some 600 hornets at some of them for the intermediate and advanced courses too, but that doesnt really help you - Top tip though, you can take the HART intermediate course while still under restrictions (just not L's), so you can have a day of riding a non-LAMS 600 while still on LAMS. Makes for a fun day out.

    Do you have your own gear still?


  18. Technically, yes.

    But it's all past its use-by date, except for three gloves.
  19. Sooner or later....you'll relent :D