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General Purpose Commuter

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' started by Matt7168, Jul 5, 2014.

  1. Hi All

    I live in Sydney. Been riding all my life on farms, but finally stepped up to on-road riding. Currently LAMS restricted but not for much longer.

    Keen to get a bike for everyday use, that will tick all the following boxes. Would love some recomendations of what bikes may suit to consider:

    1. Mostly general commute to and from work. Only 10km each way in heavy Sydney traffic at max 80kph zones
    2. Monthly longer day trip ie Sydney - Newcastle, Hunter Valley, Southern Highlands etc
    3. Small enough to easily park and manouvre around carparks (leave at airport alot)
    4. Keep in mind I am quite inexperienced road riding so something safe, reliable and easy to handle.
    5. Comfortable for 2 people on the longer trips
    6. I am 46yo, 6'2" and 85kg.
    7. New or second hand. Budget up to $15K. Prefer new
    8. As a guide to my personal preference, I saw a Moto Guzzi V7 parked the other day and thought that it looked pretty cool. No idea if they are any good though.
    9. Ideally able to carry a top box for storage
    10. Will not replace a car, more just for convenience and fun.

    Thanks for any advice and suggestions

  2. For that budget I'd be getting two bikes. An old vfr (or similar) and a drz400sm. "Comfortable for two people" and "leave at the airport" are mutually exclusive. Check out the bikes at the airport next time you're there. Its free parking FWIW.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Honda CB400?
  4. Bandit 600, VFR800, VFR800X, SV650, Guzzi Breva 750, Ninja 1000 (the one with the upright seating position, not the zx10), BMW G800R (I think that's what it's called - the adventure tourer), FZR600, GSX750F, CBR650, TRX850, etc etc etc...

    There are plenty of options take a look at whatever you can find. Sit on whatever you're allowed to sit on. When you're off restrictions, go for some test rides (but be careful: a bike you're not used to is a potentially dangerous bike). See what you like the look of. See what you're comfortable on. See what feels good to ride. :)
  5. Awesome. Thanks. Lots to look at there. Apprecaite you guys making the effort to reply
    • Like Like x 1
  6. If its mostly for a 10km commute and you have 15k to spend then 2 bikes sounds good - get maybe a second hand bike (scooter ?) for the short commute with a smaller engine size so its cheap to run/rego/insure, wont get too hot (although that can be v. useful in the morning at the moment), will filter easily and you can leave at the airport and not worry about it.

    Get a bigger bike for the 2 up and weekend rides perhaps.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Postie for commuting, perhaps?
  8. The problem with 2 bikes is:

    2 regos
    2 greenslips
    2 insurances
    2 devaluations

    And if that is on top of a car . . . . .

    at your size and with the occasional longer trip you don't want to be on anything too small. This of course needs to be balanced against the commuting.

    Actually I think the V7 could be an ideal choice. It's not going to be pacy 2-up, but it should have no problem doing all the other duties.

    Guzzi have a mixed reputation, but I think Apprila have got them more on track. Do some research about the Australian distributor. A few years ago they had a bad reputation but they may be on top of it now.
  9. Bandit 1250s - a new one fits in your budget
  10. I really like the bandit, but I have ridden 950cc plus in Sydney traffic, for quite a number of years, and I must say I wouldn't advise others to do it.

    I really gets pedestrian riding a bike around on 1/4 throttle all the time.

    The SV650 (as Danny notes) is another option. For that you could buy one and really trick the suspension.

    Bonneville? I don't like the fat engine myself, but many do.
    • Like Like x 1
  11. A big single dirt bike/duke thing.
  12. I can't speak for the 1250s, but the old 1152cc engine (carbies) is fine around town/heavy traffic - just stick it in second and leave it there.
  13. Yeah I used to run a gsxr1100 in traffic, both in standard and streetfighter. It's basically the same architecture. It's just, for myself, whose needs are similar to above, it wouldn't be near the top of my list.
  14. Had he not mentioned weekend trips away I would have recommended a DR650 or older KLR650.
  15. As someone with a VFR750 and a TE610 (AKA "That bike that's like a DRZ400, only better"), I can second the advantages of this.
    • Like Like x 1
  16. I wonder if the idea of a "transferable green slip" would ever get any traction. You can only ride one bike at a time right so if its in the same CTP insurance band then what would be the problem (aside from Government revenue) with allowing a road user to temporarily transfer their CTP to another bike ?
    • Like Like x 1
  17. Hi All

    Update for anyone interested.

    Narrowed it down to the following in no particular order

    Moto Guzzi V7 stone
    Triumph Bonneville
    BMW F800R
    Kawasaki W800
    Honda CB 400
    Honda NC700

    Am starting to check them all out in "real life". Then test ride top 3 picks.

    Thanks for all the suggestions

    I already have a Sym HD200 scooter that I run around on. I was going to trade it but based on the above advice, I may just keep it for convenience.

  18. some different bikes there. Happy test riding.
  19. I'd take the CB400 out straight away. The low seat to peg distance is a little tiresome (I'm 6 ft). It's ok for 8km but depends how long you are on the bike.

    Other than that it's a great bike and a good commuter.