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First bike, safe LAMS?

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' started by jonoz, Feb 24, 2012.

  1. Hey all,

    Looking at getting a bike soon, hopefully within a month or 2 months max.

    Used to live on a few acres so have grown up with bikes but never on the road and haven ridden in about 8 years.

    So Im 6'/105kgs so would like a larger bike that I dont look giant on and on the LAMS list for Queensland.

    So far I was pretty decided on a Suzuki DR-Z400SM but after talking with friends they have shared their war stories and it seems the general recommendation since it'll be my first time on the road is get something with ABS, which I agree with.

    Taking this into account I think the bikes that Im looking at are now the following;

    Kawasaki ER-6nL or Versys 650L, dont particularly like the styling of the ninja although it seems all 3 bikes have the same engine although the Versys as a slightly different compression ratio?

    So my understanding would be that being 6' would sort of rule out the ER-6nL due to the low seat and it would be a little small?

    Are they are other LAMS ABS bikes to look at? under $10k if possible.
  2. CB400 if you havent already considered it :)
  3. Dosent catch my eye and from the specs on honda.com.au it has a seat height of 755mm which is even lower than the ER-6nL.

    Not that Im writing it off as Ill probably go check one out but from that it seems like it may be quite small?
  4. 6' is not that tall sit on them before ruling them out.
  5. I'm 6'2 and 130 odd kilos and have a Ninja 650L arriving next week. I have sat on the naked version (ER-6NL) and it is a good size bike. The seat is narrow but the tank and bike size is ok. But agree...go sit on it and see what you think before making a snap decision.

    Cheers Spocky
  6. Not ruling them out, I just know that on a CBR250R I look like a giant.

    Spocky what was the decision on the Ninja 650L? would really appreciate the input as personally the ER-6nL is my personal favorite.
  7. My aim is to go into sports bikes (doing this at a late stage I'm nearly 42) so I thought that I would start with a sports style bike. Looked at a few options and prefer faired vs nakeds and the 2011 model got good wraps and the 2012 model is supposedly better.

    Ninja looks great (to me and getting it in black not kermit green) and is big enough for me (vs a 250).

    Otherwise no real reason as I haven't ridden before and as it is a brand new model neither has anyone else ;-)

    Reasonable price too...

    Cheers Spocky
  8. Mate I'm the same size as you, cant say the CB400 feels small at all.

    I know what you're talking about though, I got on one 250 a while back and felt like a huntsman spider shagging a peanut
  9. Same size here too, I bought a cb400 a week back - the power is great and the positioning is good. I did find I was putting too much weight on my hands because of the different ride positioning, just practice I guess
  10. Hyo GT650R? They're pretty big and have good power.
  11. I'd definitely be steering well away from the 250's given your size. My g/friend's son (6'2", 95kg) has an '09 Ninja 250 and is happy with it although I can't for the life of me say why. I (6'1" 75kg) rode it to the servo a couple of times and it felt small/cramped and dismally underpowered.

    Any particular reason to want ABS or just that your friend has recommended going down that path?
  12. Yeah just a couple of war stories that wouldve been, not easily, but potentially avoidable have they had ABS.

    ABS is also a selling point to the missus.

    So it seems really just take the ER-6nL, Versys and CB400 ABS all for a test run and get what feels best.

    Are there any others that would fit the bill? Im keen to get a Yoshimura exhaust just because Im keen to be heard because as a car driver for the last 8 years nothing is worse than not hearing a bike coming.

    P.S. really appreciate all the good advice so far.
  13. Just be careful that the new cans don't alter the power to weight ratio as it would make the bike non LAMS. Versys does not look pleasant to me and the reviews have not been as complimentary as for the Ninjas. Depends I suppose the style of bike that they want to ride. ABS has been stated as not being as good as for a car (ie doesn't shorten stopping time as much) but is good for learners that screw up and lock their front and losing steering.

    Can't verify that but it makes sense to me.

    Cheers Spocky

    PS. Picking up 650L end of the week :)
  14. Ok Im struggling with something now. According to what I can find the limit as to how much power you could add to a LAMS bike before it would become non-LAMS.

    From the QLD LAMS site it states the following;

    • power-to-weight ratio must not exceed 150 kW/t
    • engine capacity must not exceed 660 mL.

    I cant find anything on the QLD website regarding how the 150 kW/t is obtained but from the TAS website they published a PDF that states the following;

    The power output (kilowatts) is divided by the tare weight of the motorcycle + 90kg (for rider and fuel). The result is then multiplied by 1000 (to convert to kW per tonne), i.e.

    Engine power (kW) / Tare weight (ie mass of motorcycle in kg) + 90kg (80kg rider weight + 10kg for fuel) x 1000
    So the ER-6nL is 206kg (including a full tank of fuel and all fluids at correct levels) so I would only add 80kg as opposed to 90kg and is restricted down to 25kW.

    So 25/285 gives a 88 kW/t (rounded up).

    Based on that and the bike being 286kg with rider it can go up to 42.9kW before becoming non-LAMS.

    Sound right? it is late at night so I could be waaaaaaaaay off.

  15. Hey Jonoz - I am have been riding for nearly a year now, im 6 foot 1, 90 kilos and i started with a Honda CB400, had it for about 5 months, put around 5000kms on it.. Overall, nice good quality bike, really fun in the higher revs.. 9k+ but very lacking down low, which was good for the first few weeks of learning, but then seemed a little lacking. I also felt way to big for the bike after a couple of months, and felt like the bike leaned me forward just far enough to make my wrists uncomfortable after about 2-3 hours.

    After i got some offers for my bike i decided i'd go and test out a Versys as i liked how they were upright etc etc.. Long story short it was awesome, i bought a new one (well ex demo with 40kms on it) for 10.5 and i have a yoshimura pipe on it (sounds awesome).

    Comparison of Versys compared to the CB400: much bigger bike, the bike is physically a lot bigger, this is comfy and great while riding, as you are up quite high, and have a lot more room than the CB400, as well as a little protection due to the small windscreen. You are also a lot more upright, so no pressure on the wrists at all, can ride comfortably all day (with an airhawk). The engine was a lot more fun to me than the CB400 as it has a lot of torque down low and will pull a lot more than the CB400 did down low.

    The CB400 probably could go faster due to not being restricted, as it just kept pulling at higher speeds / RPM, where you notice the restriction.. But the take off and accellaration was much funner and faster on the versys... If you then choose to de-restrict it, which is really easy.. then the Versys just flies ahead of the Cb400.

    I, like you heard that the er-6nl was cramped for a 6ft rider, which is why i went the versys, but if you are keen on getting into the supersports bikes, id have a look at the ninja 650rl. Overall the versys is great for a bigger rider whos after comfort but can still hit the twisties with some serious pace and stability.

    Let me know if you want to know anything else.
  16. Hey Jonoz,

    I got a 2012 ER-6NL last Monday as my first bike and so far would have to say I am very happy with the choice. I am not as tall as you only 5'9" but it feels tall to me could just be a first bike thing of course and that fact that this is only day 6 of riding it to work.

    There is a great tread on them in the bike review section on here and also one about the CB400 that has lots of info on that bike. I tossed up between the 2 but in the end the ER's looks and cheaper price lead me down that way.

    Best of luck.

    Cheers Jeremy