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First bike

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' started by Gravel rash, May 12, 2016.

  1. Hey guys, question that has probably been asked 1000 times, as a novice , what model of bike,suggestions for a first bike. I am about 6ft and 120kgs. (Not a little bloke). Bike will be used to commute on freeways as well as social rides. Liking the look more and more of the mt07?

  2. G'day Gravel rashGravel rash. The MT-07 is just the sort of bike for a taller and bigger Learner rider. Visit as many dealerships and sit on as many bikes as you can before making a final choice. One or two bikes may stand out from the others as fitting you better.
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  3. I like the CB400 as its a little larger than the standard 250 fare and it's a small unrestricted engine that screams. At 6 foot and a buck twenty you might want something physically bigger though. A few recommendations...

    Suzuki SV650. Although apparently the new one (it's called gladius) is ridiculously underpowered, and I think it looks a little girly. An older SV650 would be rad, and with new carb slides it will be way faster than a LAMS bike should. Obviously you wouldn't do this til you're adequately licensed...

    I work with a bloke who had a kwaka ER6N, but I think he was secretly on the non LAMS version which is probably why his bike went like stink. That was super comfortable from memory, I really liked the riding position. Maybe you'd like a ninja 650 too. Have to sit on one and see I guess.

    Yamaha FZ6R. I sat on one the other day out of curiosity. I don't find that style of bike super comfortable but it's one of the faster LAMS bikes and is physically bigger than a lot of the other LAMS offerings. Should be alright for a tall heavier bloke.

    A few more suzukis -

    GS500 or 500F (naked or faired) Bulletproof simple air cooled parallel twin engine, realiable, parts a dime a dozen, cheap to own, cheap to maintain, big enough to drag you up the freeway but small enough to keep out of trouble. Haven't ridden one but a mate has one as sole mode of transport and he's always on time...

    GSX650F - Another bloke at work has one of these and rates it so highly. Bit more comfortable and much more tame than its gixxer brothers and enough squirt to keep him happy on the freeway commute and on the weekend twisties.

    Aaaand I'd throw in yammy MT07 too, I quite like the look of those lately. Everyone I spoke to says it's a great bike to learn on.

    And maybe check triumphs new 660 LAMS one. That's about the best looking LAMS bike on the market at the moment, and seems big enough engine to keep you interested.

    Ducati possibly have a scrambler in LAMS mode? I dig that style but not the Italian price tag....

    Plenty to choose from. Go to all the dealers and sit on all their bikes. When you're learning it's important to be comfortable - obviously you've got some amount of customisation possible with handlebar position, lever position, gear pedal and rear brake pedal position etc, plus suspension on some of them, but it'll be bothersome if you don't like the way the bike feels and it's important to be comfortable while you're trying to learn to ride.
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  4. Howdy and welcome Gravel rashGravel rash. Fully agree with XJ6NXJ6N, one can't beat a visit to a big bike shop and trying for size all of them. This little tool might come handy Motorcycle Ergonomics as a guide. Have a look and a play, but don't rely on it completely. MT07 is amazing and very popular bike, it will keep you happy and entertained through your restrictions. Happy hunting (y)!
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  5. #5 Gravel rash, May 13, 2016
    Last edited by a moderator: May 13, 2016
    Thank you mate, that's exactly what I have been up to. Nice to know I am on the right track

    Thanks Steve, got on the ninja 650 feels nice, the feeling of a bigger bike feels more natural ( sat on 300s, felt too small). Probably going to stick to Yamaha preferably with Honda a close second due to $$$ and my little knowledge I have. Might be off the mark but not real keen on Suzuki, Ducati or triumph as yet.

    Thank you fr33dm, was keen on ninja 650, yamaha and cbr500r. Hunting it is . Cheers
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  6. Steve VtecSteve Vtec derestricting a Kawasaki 650 is as simple as removing a screw and a plug so you'll find many of the LAMs versions are kicking around with those two components missing.

    Being taller I can say that the Kawasaki is quite a short bike so was never all that comfortable for me but others mileage may vary.

    I've ridden all those bikes except the MT07 which gets cracking reviews. In reality they are all good enough nowadays that it comes down to what you like and what you want to spend.
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  7. Ah. The newer SV's are fuel injected and the restriction is in the ecu but on the older ones you can just replace the carb slides. Apparently it's a pretty easy plug adaption for the new one but I haven't seen it.

    Anyway I not that into derestricting learner bikes, they're that way for a reason. Doesn't make much sense that there's full power 400 that have more go than some restricted 600/650's. But whatever. Learn on a LAMS bike and then squeeze more power out of your full power one. Better.
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  8. Gravel rash - I tried a few LAMS bikes and had a similar issue with weight and height (5.11 and 100kg) and it seems the MT07 was a good fit for me and after ringing around you can remap the ECU or something along those lines. I've done 850ks already and don't reel the need to take a restricter off (YET;))

    You pay a little more for the MT07 but I think its worth it if you are going to be on it for a few years!
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  9. Nothing smaller than a 400cc will fit the bill, unless you want to be changing bikes in 6 months.
    Happy hunting...
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  10. Hi Gravel rashGravel rash. The Yamaha MT07 is apparently a great bike. The other one you might consider is the Honda CB650F. I have the non-LAMS version, but the quality & smoothness of the 4 cylinder engine would apply to both versions. Triumph's new LAMS bike (Street Triple, I think?) looks great in the flesh/metal, although I haven't owned a non-Japanese bike. The advice from the other members is absolutely right. Try as many bikes as you can, because they all have a distinctive character ( & dimensions) and enjoy the hunt. Take care & have fun! :)
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  11. gday Gravel rashGravel rash welcome to riding and NR!

    there is a ready secondhand market for the 07's and they appear to be excellent machines given their popularity and I can't say I've heard anything negative other than they may need suspension upgrades so keep that in mind when you are working out prices due you you being a big lad.
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  12. Thanks to everyone for their input. Getting excited about the whole thing. Your advice is going to be helpful when looking/hunting. Just another quick one.... Should I expect to get all new gear at extremely low prices or only $10 or $20 off? Obviously the bigger ticket items may get bigger discount. Just don't want to get ripped off. Thinking I should allow $1200-$1500 all up? Am I close?
  13. Your around the mark at $1500 for mid-higher end gear (helmet, jacket, pants (TKD jeans have a look) boots and gloves) I was expecting to pay 2k but got away with $1500 with a good discount.
    But more experienced riders would know a little more about buying gear and prices.
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  14. Hi Gravel rashGravel rash. Everything to do with bikes can be complicated (read expensive) and the range of prices between items can be massive. The best advice, as with bikes themselves, is to try on as much gear as possible to ensure you are happy with a product (size, fit, comfort, durability, price, colour). Price is not always an indication of quality, although it tends to be a useful guide. I tend to buy gear & accessories via a combination of in-store (preference) and on-line, and try to support Australian-made and/or companies, where possible. Not sure where you live, however I have found a couple of local (Brisbane) accessory barns that stock major, quality brands at significantly discounted prices. These stores are linked to motorcycle dealer groups, but operate separately. The other tip is that end-of-line/season items tend to be heavily discounted (especially helmets & jackets), so if you are not concerned about having the latest designs, you can save heaps. Just a heads-up :), helmets are to bikers what lures are to fishermen - we are attracted to the colours & can never have enough. Best of luck with your search.
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  15. Welcome to the forum mate - as you can see plenty of help on here
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  16. Gear is a tricky one. I would suggest that if you're only just starting out, there's so much to see and try on and fit into and you're not really going to know what you like and what's good until you've seen a lot and tried on a lot. Like with a jacket for example, you need the sleeves to come right down to your wrist when you're sitting on the bike with your arms bent in riding position, but you also need the shoulders to sit tight and at the correct width, and then the waist needs to be low enough to protect your lower back, and the back protector needs to be wide enough to cover both your shoulder blades, and the arms needs to be tight enough at the elbows to ensure the armour doesn't move in an off - there's so many things that need to be right and it's just not very likely that a shelf item will fit you properly. For this reason I'd suggest not dumping all your hard earned on real expensive gear as a total beginner, because it probably won't fit the way it should and you'll probably find you won't like it in a year anyway.

    Obviously take this information with a grain of salt, I just know that I wish I saved my money for good gear that fits properly and didn't spent so much of it when I started on stuff that wasn't really safe because of incorrect fit and stuff. It's so easy (it was for me at least).to get caught up in the buying process when you're getting a new bike, and the discounts won't be that great anyway.

    You can spend as much or as little as you like -

    Kevlar jeans will be easy to fit, you've bought jeans before. Make sure the Kevlar sits over your knees when you're crouched in riding position. And make sure there's a big patch of it over your arse. It's not super fashionable to wear them up high with a belt tight around your waist, but it's way less fashionable to lose the skin above your rear end. Buy some leather pants when you know what you like the look of and what kind of riding you like to do, when you know what it should fit like, and when you've got some money to make a good investment in some good gear that will last a good amount of time.

    It's not hard to buy a pair of boots that fit properly, get some comfortable ones with a stiff sole. I wear Jonny reb style boots a lot (I'm sporting a pair of 8 inch ones at the moment, I don't like the really high ones, I think they're actually Harley Davidson brand but they were pretty cheap, and have a welted rubber sole so can be resoled as required) because I find race boots a bit hectic for commuting. Obviously this is not as safe because there's not much ankle and shin protection going on, but they're comfortable for me and they're made of leather and theres no laces to get caught in the chain, and they look fcuking mean. I'm into that.

    Gloves can be tricky - make sure you hold a handlebar when you try the glove on (most shops will have one for you to try) because that's the position your hand will be in pretty much the whole time you're wearing them. I've been stung before buying gloves and a week into wearing them something starts to really bother me, like the pinky finger on the glove is a few mm too long, or the back of the glove isn't stitched in a way that has enough give when you close your fist so there's a lot of pressure on your knuckles that you only start noticing after a long ride, or they were made in Pakistan and the left and right are a tiny bit different (OCD is a curse...) so my advice is just to get some comfortable gloves that are easy to wear and then as with everything else, save your money for a nice pair that you know fits properly, and is exactly what you need.

    Helmet is another one - my first helmet was a kabuto aeroblade III. Super light weight and very comfortable, but I don't like the visor. Actually I hate the visor. I still wear it all the time because I don't like commuting in my shoei (commuter helmet cops a flogging and is worn rain hail and shine so degrades quite quickly, and I'm not breaking any land speed records or dragging knees on my way to and from work so don't feel too bad about not wearing a super expensive lid.)

    Anyway. What a rant. In all honesty though I wish someone told me something like this when I started, I would have saved a fortune.

    One more thing to note, is that brands like dainese and alpine stars, well known Italian companies, make next to NOTHING of their stock in Italy any more, and with factories in Romania, Vietnam and even Pakistan equate to this branded gear being what most people would describe as cheap shït. I wore through the palm of a pair of dainese gloves in about six months. I had a pair of alpine stars gloves for even less time and the stitching and the hands was coming undone, the Velcro was clapped out, the "leather" palm actually split, and I was terrified that I previously thought this would protect my hand if it ever hit the road. I had some dainese boots (can't remember the model, dwp v twin maybe) they were actually really cool, they looked like the boots Arnold Schwarzenegger steals from from the bikie at the start of terminator II, quite comfortable and looked okay off the bike too, but the inner lining ripped out of the boot just with normal wear over a one year period. This is not good enough for me, you'd expect that such a well known brand would have reasonably quality products and the more I've tried the more I find this unfortunately isn't the case...

    So my advice here is to buy a pair of comfortable gloves with adequate protection and when you know a bit more about what you need from a glove and what a glove is supposed to provide you with, then look for that and buy it.

    I'll stop talking now..
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  17. Well said Steve VtecSteve Vtec! As I am new to this forum I avoided brands in my response, however I love Bell helmets, Dririder boots/jackets/gloves, & Draggin jeans. Hope I have not overstepped the mark :cool:
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  18. Fcuk the brands. If they're going to outsource construction of "protective" equipment and expect me to still pay Italian prices for it, they deserve to be shamed. I will never buy them again, so while they've saved money making them cheaper, they've lost a customer for life, and I'll do my best to make sure everyone else knows why. We owe these brands nothing, we pay through the teeth and advertise for them for free! That's a bloody good deal for them, the least they could do is to make me something that will last.

    I guess they made their money off me already though... I just want new riders to know that (most of the time) the A* logo and price tag to match it absolutely does NOT mean you are buying a quality product. Same goes with dainese. Please make an informed decision and spend your money wisely
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  19. I love this forum stuff, invaluable advice from guys that have "been there". Thanks guys!!
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  20. Did you decide on anything? I'm in exactly the same position as you.