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From scooter to motorcycle?

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by Cormac_2008_flyingpig, May 17, 2009.

  1. Hi,

    I'm a new mature aged rider (37) from Sydney. I have an unrestricted rider's licence but have only ridden automatic scooters during my 12 months of being on two wheels. (Did my pre-learners on a manual bike but my MOST test on auto scooter & due to NSW mature rider's conditions I have ended up with unrestricted R licence, crazy as it sounds.)

    I am currently riding a 400cc maxi-scooter but am interested in switching to manual motorcycles. My scooter has a top speed of 160 kmh & is very comfortable to ride, but I am still feeling drawn towards the "dark side" -- motorbikes!

    My question is, since I am not legally restricted to the LAMs list BUT I am basically new to clutch & manual gear changing on a bike, would you advise me still to get a LAMs bike as my first manual motorcycle? Would I be unwise to get something just a bit more powerful than LAM's list bikes, such as a Kawasaki ER 6 or a Suzuki SV650?

    Thanks for any suggestions. And please, don't shoot me down for riding a scooter to begin with...

  2. I went from a scooter to an er6 without any problems but I had ridden a 250 briefly in the past. did a training day on their 600 hornet to smooth the transition. you have to change gears less on the bigger bike so it makes it easier. the gladius also looks good.
  3. I went from a scooter to motorbike as well. Although I have actually kept the scoot as I find it far more practical for my weekday use.

    I was also in the same position of having an unrestricted licence and was told by many to go for the SV650s saying that I would quickly outgrow a LAMS bike. In truth though (and I did actually buy the SV) it was a too bigger a step for me. I had had 14 months previously on the scooter and had done approx 10000k's on both city riding and weekend trips to the blue mountains and down south etc but found the SV650s awkward and essentially really wasn't a good fit for me for a number of reasons.

    I ended up getting a GS500 and have enjoyed it thoroughly since september and although am keen to look at getting something else now don't at all regret the decision.

    i think my main problem though was not with the gears but the seating position. The SV650s was too far forward for me and so my 2 cents would be to say whatever you are stepping up in terms of cc's is probably not as important as the seating position. If you're not comfortable sitting on it standing still look for something a little more upright it makes the whole experience so much more enjoyable and confidence inspiring.
  4. Get the bike you want and can handle...then take the time to learn to ride all over again. You'll have some serious habits you'll need to break almost immediately, that scooter riding has ruined you with...but LAMS or not...that makes no difference, IMHO.

  5. that why a course is a good idea!
  6. Ring a motorcycle riding instructor. Tell them the situation and take a hour or two riding lessons on a unrestricted class M/C. Maybe start on the LAMS bike for the first lesson to get your head around the brakes/gears set up that different to your scoot then the second lesson try the big M/C.

    That way you will have some experience on a M/C supervised and then you'll have a better idea if the "draw to the dark side" is worth listening to or not.

    I'd hazard a guess your on a Yammie maj 400 which is a full sized scoot upright seating position with full fairing which is pretty much across the board with any big scoot such as the xciting, maj 500, burgies or even down to the 250's like the firenze.
    You'll have to ask yourself if you want that style again or if you want a sports tourer, naked, cruiser or DP. Unlike scoots the seating position/fairings/set up of bikes is hugely varied compared to scoots.

    I have always said that during your early M/C days, you have to find what you are M/C wise. Trying each one is the path here. Having a lesson or two means you will try one of them, likely to be a naked, learn a bit about gear changes/braking a M/C, then with a bit of confidence under your belt, test ride the rest that appeal to you.

    Good luck!
  7. I think the most important thing is to see if you can get used to changing gears. there are some people who cannot get around that. so a scooter is all they can handle
  8. From scooter to motorcycle

    Thanks very much to each of you for replying. You've given me really some useful advice & suggestions.

    It was especially interesting to hear from those who, like me, started off on a scooter. Your honesty & help in guiding a newcomer like me is much appreciated.

    I will give each of your opinions some serious thought before making a move!

    Thanks again. :)
  9. From scooter to motorcycle

    I'm on holiday at the moment & my wife's been away this last week & our kids have been at school. I took the chance to visit some motorcycle dealerships. I have sat on & discussed in great detail the following bikes:

    Suzuki SV650 N & SV650 S, Suzuki Gladius, GSX650F

    Kawasaki ER 6 F

    Yamaha XJ6 & FZ6

    Triumph Bonneville (just for nostalgia's sake -- lovely to look at but the price is an absolute rip off!) & Street Triple.

    I would most likely buy a Japanese bike because I think they offer better value for money, especially in this mid-range motorcycle category.

    I love my Aprilia Scarabeo 500, but I would like to be able to accelerate from 100 - 160 km/h even more quickly, and would like to be able to go over 200 km/h (just on my own private property, of course). Naughty, I know, but there it is ! I don't think I would consider anything of larger engine capacity than these & I'm leaning more towards twins than 4 cylinders.

    It's been a year since I test rode some motorbikes & I had forgotten just how differently their weight is distributed compared with scooters. Just sitting on these various demos in the showrooms, I realised I would have to get used to the weight being forward & upward, rather than behind & beneath me. Some of these bikes are actually lighter than the 189kg Scarabeo (the SV650 is 20kg less!) but they felt heavier because of their structure.

    I can only afford a new bike if I sell or trade in my Scarabeo --- which would be hard to do since I have grown to love so many of its characteristics. It's fun looking around, at any rate. It's also nice not to hurry into anything & to continue to enjoy my riding as I think through the options & whether going to a bigger bike (& all that that seating position & manual gear-shifting & loss of storage space & loss of fuel economy & loss of retro scooter styling entails) would be worthwhile. Hmm, will I or won't I? And won't I or will I?
  10. From scooter to motorcycle

    OK, I've just seen a bike in a magazine called a Ducati Monster 696. Looks worth adding to my list. Weight & seat height seem favourably low. I'll try to find a dealer and sit on one tomorrow.
  11. 696 is a beautiful and great bike from all accounts. I didn't take it out of the showroom though. As mentioned previously; riding position is a real important thing for me and the 696 just didn't fit right.

    If it fits you, go for it. Gotta love those italian machines, I recently traded my GS500 for Moto Guzzi. I don't think I will be ever able to ride a bike not made in Italy again.
  12. From scooter to motorcycle

    Hi Robbie,

    Thanks for your comments. I haven't yet had a chance to sit on a 696. I like the look of it, although the seat seems sharply angled, a bit like a ramp, and maybe that wouldn't be so comfortable. There is, also, the steep price attached to any Ducati.

    What do you particularly like about your Moto Guzzi compared with your Suzuki? Is it mainly an upgade in power, or are there other features that make it so appealing for you?
  13. Re: From scooter to motorcycle

    No I think the Guzzi I got - Breva 750 - actually has around the same hp as the GS but it does pull a lot harder from low revs which is somthing I really love. Along of course with the look, sound, feel and riding position. (and also the fact that it was shaft drive was appealing)

    Many would argue they are not worth the money but for me as an all round package it is fantastic value. The GS was great but really lacking a bit of character. There is another thread I wrote about my choice between the Aprilia Mana (auto) and the Breva that may have a bit more info if your interested.

    Although the Ducati price is high compared to a similar cc japanese bike I would be riding one now if it was a bit more comfortable (call me a whinger). Have a look at heaps of bikes - if you do like the Italian ones maybe checkout the Aprilia Shiver 750 and even the Mana it has some great storage that I miss by not having a scooter. Many people will be quick to shoot down the Mana but really it is great, at least have a test ride. I think the importers have an 07 model they are selling for $12500.
  14. Late to this discussion, but I've just purchased a Triumph Bonneville t100 8 days ago, after 9 months on my licence riding an Aprilia Scarabeo 200.....tokk a few rides to get used to, but after 250 km I LOVE IT! Rides as easy as a smaller bike, feels light, but GRUNT! Kept the Aprilia for practical rides (shops, work , beach) and the Bonnie for special occasions. I say go for it!