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Good touring bike for a beginner

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' at netrider.net.au started by MYOMNOMS, Apr 2, 2011.

  1. G'day gents,

    I got my motorcycle Learners permit the other day and I'm now looking more seriously at what bike to get. So any bike I get has to be LAMS approved in Victoria.

    I'd really like a dual sport or a touring bike (something that can take gravel roads comfortably). It would also need to be able to go on highways daily. performance isn't an issue as long as it can get to highways speeds easily enough.

    I'm liking the look of the KLR 650 or the Hyosung GT650S at the moment, But I'm sure most of you are much more knowledgeable than me.

    Any help is greatly appreciated.

    ,Thanks a bunch
  2. Whatever that BMW 6xx is that QRide people use?
  3. one of those honda transalps.
    i think pre 2009 is lams approved.
  4. DR650. Does everything, costs nothing.

    Seriously, worth a look if you're thinking about the KLR.

    Might be worth looking at the various flavours of GS500 too. Shame the V-Strom doesn't come in a LAMS option as it would be near perfect.
  5. I've heard the older Hyosungs have some reliability issues - if you're thinking about going off the beaten track and/or relying on it for getting to work/study, I'd recommend sticking with the jap bikes, though if you've got the budget to look at a BMW I wouldn't rule that out.

    Most of all tho I'd say go sit on some. Some will be uncomfortable for you - bars too far forward, pegs too high etc. Put together a short list based on budget, style etc, then go sit on some and see which feels comfortable.
  6. gravel roads are the devil. no bike makes it easy
  7. An older F650GS BMW could be the go. KLR 650's are excellent - what budget do you have?
  8. I've had a bit of a look at the DR650, It's sure as hell nothing pretty, but it seems like it's well built.

    I've had a good look at the GS500 (with fairings), But I just don't like it, I don't know why but I really don't like it :(

    I'm looking at the low-mid price range, definitely nothing over 8-9k on roads.

    Sorry if I'm being a pain guys, I'm just really unsure, this will be my first real bike (I've mucked around on my dad's old Yamaha AG200L for years).

    ,Thanks again
  9. After being forced to ride my GS500 on a gravel road, I won't be in a hurry to do it again and it didn't handle it too well lol
  10. Thanks mate, Good to know, that's one less to look at :p
  11. You want something comfy. Bars ends above the tank would be a good start.
    300km range. At least an 18lt tank, preferably 20lt.
    A good strong motor with a broad torque range. Ie a 650 V twin. There is much less vibes with a twin over the same cc single.
    Dirties area good learner bike. But will never be as sure footed or as comfy on a long ride as a proper road bike.
    I'm thinking a naked Vtwin in the 650 lams range would be your go.
  12. Thanks heaps, that's really helpful to know.

    Are there any bikes you'd recommend? Personally I like the Kawasaki KLR650, which is a 650 single, are the singles really very bad or is it only a small difference?
  13. Thumpers are always vibey but not unbearable, if you are doing a lot of dirt the DR's are bulletproof and you can sit on them all day. They are not that flash on the blacktop though. Grunt down low is very useful on the dirt so look for low down torque, comfortable seat, 1/2 and 1/2 tyres available, no fairings, and lots of suspension travel if you intend to do a lot of dirt work. Test ride as many as you can, see what you like.
  14. You might want to look at the Kawasaki KLE500. Adventure tourer type bike with twin cylinder motor.
  15. Mine will, if forced to do so, cruise at a speed illegal anywhere in Australia and corner at speeds and lean angles well beyond what any newbie will be requiring. Yes, even on OEM Bridgestones (in the dry :D)

    I will admit, though, that the seat's a bit crap for 100+km stretches and the tank is a bit small. 200 km is about it if you've got the taps open.

    After 30,000 hard kilometers with minimal maintenance, it's still as-new mechanically and has had no problems that aren't due to lack of cosmetic cleaning on low budget Japanese ally.
  16. If you are really keen you can tour on anything. But, if doing dirt roads is your thing and you want some comfort than I don't think you can go past the BMWF650, Transalp or Suzuki Freewind (if you can find one).
  17. Which is a DR650 with a little more civilisation for, IIRC, quite a bit more cash.
  18. That's the one. There weren't many sold in Oz and only had a short model run here.
  19. The KLE500 might be a good choice for you. A great choice if you are doing 70% tar and just gravel roads.
    It has less vibes then the KLR/DR/XL650 so touring will be a joy. It's not as punchy in the mid range but it will cruise all day every day at any speed limit and then some.
    It's tall so seeing over traffic is good and the little screen does a good job. You can always fit a bigger screen and tank if needed. From memory I took one for about a 220K run one day on a tank. The seat was good, maybe a little on the soft side. But my ass was fine after the ride.
    Pretty sure we were letting them go for $8700 OTR back in 07 when I was at Kawa, so they will be fairly cheap now. Enough for you to keep some change to personalize it.
  20. If you want a recommendation for the KLR650 a friend of mine Alan Zimmer just did an Iron Butt ride on his. Melbourne - Broken Hill and back in 20 hours.

    Some info here He was on the KLR and Gavin (Helenahandbasket) was on his Rocket III.

    It's the second 1600km in 24 hours he's done on a KLR - we did one some years ago.

    He's also not long back from a round Australia ride on it.

    And what's more he did it all with one arm (not even a prosthetic) - he lost his right arm some time back to an idiot learner in a Hilux and kitted up the KLR so he could ride it using only his left arm.

    He's down at Southbank from time to time on Friday nights so if you see him say hello. He's pretty easy to spot. :)