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Hello there :) great site :)

Discussion in 'Welcome Lounge' started by Bones, Sep 1, 2006.

  1. Just read Rosie's hello post, and I thought I'd do the same ;-)

    I love your site too, I've been pouring over it for a couple of weeks now- and I've learned so much from here it's incredible. Has really helped me to learn alot of important things, ranging from gear, bike selection, riding habits and even shops and your experiences with each (some of which I've verified myself) ;-).

    I'm going to an introductory course this weekend, 2 days in Hoppers Crossing, VIC at Stay Upright, going for my Learner's Permit.
    I'm 31 years old, havent ridden since I was a teenager.

    Interestingly enough like Rosie, I also like the Virago- know how you feel on that one.. although I'm going to look at alot of other bikes before I end up buying.. it's still early days for me..
    I sat on a CBR250R, Honda VTR250 and the Virago in a store recently- all very different feels..

    Here are my observations- (please keep in mind, I'm a novice here, these are just my initial impressions from sitting on the bikes without actually riding them on the road).
    I liked all 3, but in different ways with different thoughts...

    The Yamaha XV250 Virago felt very comfortable from a seating position. I'm only 5'8", short somewhat tubby guy- my feet were quite comfortably on the floor while seated.. I liked the instrumentation position- was right in front of me- I wasnt lowering my eyes to the tank to look at the speedometer which was nice.
    My posture felt good, my hands were resting nicely on the handles with my back straight, I can imagine a backsupport would only help it even more.

    The Honda VTR250 was a little high for me, I could reach the ground, but just. Perhaps if it was adjusted it would be better.
    I liked the fact it leant me forward a little, like a mid point between a cruiser and a sports bike which would be really awesome. Was quite comfortable from that perspective- but ultimately me being a short arse kinda aimed me away from this one.

    The CBR250R (grey bike) looked really nice. I sat on it and it was a good height for me. The seat padding seemed fairly minimalistic but I could see myself having fun on it- I liked the fairing from a wind control point of view- and I can imagine when travelling fast it would probably help alot- compared to a naked bike like the other two.
    The instrumentation was the clearest of the lot, right in front of me with a tachometer, however what I noticed with the low set handlebar and grips was that I was really leaning forward.. it gave me the feeling that I was really leaning into the ground- I can imagine as a learner rider on corners on this thing I'd be feeling everything- any imperfections in the road, I'd be right downthere with it. Jumping a bit on the bike gave me a very immediate response- quite hard- further adding more to the 'you're right down there in it' feeling..
    I felt like, from a posture point of view, it was putting greater emphasis on arms holding my weight on the handlebars... more so than either of the others, I was really bending over and essentially hugging the tank.
    The guy that was showing me the bike basically said most riders learn to use their stomach muscles to hold them upright instead of using their arm muscles.

    Basically I'm buying a bike to commute from the Werribee area, to the city (over the bridge), so I'll be riding freeways most of the time and I'd also like to ride alot on the weekends and have fun riding- go out with clubs etc and get out there :)

    I cant wait until the weekend, so looking forward to the course and getting out there..
    On Monday, I start shopping for a bike.. probably going to aim to get my gear at the netrider shop night on Sept 6th... the discount seems like it will really help offset the initial setup costs..

    Pleased to meet you all, look forward to hanging out here :)
  2. Welcome to you too! Enjoy your stay and happy posting/riding.
  3. Welcome to the forums!!

    if you like the the feel of the VTR250 except for height have a loot at the SPADA (if you don't mind an older bike) i found the same thing, the VTR was just a bit taller than a few other. The SPADA was only ever sold here for a year or 2 (1989/90) but there are a lot of grey import ones.

    you could also try the GPX250, about the same height but with fairing etc.

    Good luck with the L's, just relax and follow instructions and you'll be fine!.
  4. For commuting the freeway the Virago might not be the best option - depending on how big you are it might struggle a little to keep up with traffic. I agree with Drew that something like the GPX or even an Across might be worth having a look at - both are fairly easy to find 2nd hand, the GPX is still available new.
  5. Many thanks all and JD :)

    Yeop, I've been looking at the Across- looks like it could be a good contender will definitely look into it.
    edit: just realised you had the Katana (S) not the across ;-) had asked a bunch of questions about the Across not realising you rode a different bike :)

    Many thanks for the feedback- I think what I'll do with both once I get my L's is take a few of them for a test ride on the freeway and see how they handle frontal and side wind- see how I react to it.
    I've read alot of comments from posters here on naked bikes dealing with wind, getting tired etc. so there's alot for me to test out.
  6. Hi Bones,

    I sat on a Suzuki Intruder yesterday - holy cow. Way too big for me.

    Got to go with what feels right. The Virago does just that. :)

    I'm doing a intro course this Saturday (tomorrow). Then get a bike and practice, practice, practice until I'm confident enough to do the learner's course.

    Good luck this weekend!

  7. Hi, welcome to the forums :)

    I commute on my Virago from Craigieburn to Laverton (35Km's each way)
    on the ring rd in peak hour and have no problems :)
  8. Hi
    I am also a new rider and have been having a similar dilemma, except I wasn't as sensible as you, and did not try out all sorts of bikes first, before I bought one. I just went with a cruiser because they look great and my husband is (supposed) to be buying one! I got the Hysoung Aquila and it is a lovely bike (well worth a look if you are looking at the Virago, although I cannot guarantee how this bike will do in the long term). I have also read that the Virago is a bit lacking in power (especially uphill with a bigger rider, but on the other hand, it gets great reviews and many people love their viragos to bits. The Hyosung definitely has no problem with power - takes both my husband and I quite easily and gets to over 100/110 kph no problem.

    But then I had a little try on a GPX250 and loved it so much I went and bought one on Wednesday. Have not had a chance yet to have a ride of it (looking forward to tomorrow :grin: ). It has a great height for me (about 5'5" or 5'6").

    Anyway, good luck with your bike hunting and have fun!!!
  9. Welcome, Bones, enjoy the site and lots of luck with the exciting move into motorcycling :grin:
  10. Hi Bones,

    Welcome to the forums - you found a great place for advice and to ask questions.

    I have been riding a VTR250 for the last two years (upgrading to a CBR1100XX next week!!!!) and I can attest to it being a great bike on the freeways and around the city - in fact pretty much everywhere. If the height is a problem you can see about getting it lowered a little (the suspension is adjustable) but at the end of the day YOU need to decide the best bike for yourself.

    Sit on as many bikes as you can and when you find the one/s that feel right ask more questions about them until you narrow it down to the one you like.

    All the best with the riding.......
  11. Welcome bones!

    I weigh 100kg and have a VT600 and commute 40km 2 or 3 times a week on the freeway. While the bike can go at 110km all the way, once I get above 90km/h I am looking for another gear. It's not bad, but enough to annoy me. I imagine a 250 cruiser would struggle a little.

    I'd suggest the highest cc you can get/ afford it if you're heavy like me, or get a used 250 to take you to your full license, then get a new bike. The advantage of getting a used bike, is that you're not as worried about droppign it as you would be on a spanking brand new bike.
  12. Bones, welcome, enjoy & stay safe
  13. Heyas, half way through my L's course, finish the rest tommorrow.
    I've completed the vicroad's written exam (got 30/32)

    Just need the practical test finished tommorrow :)

    Cant wait to finish it :)
  14. Good luck with the test - just remember to relax and have fun and you should breeze through it.
  15. hehe thanks :)

    I got it :)

    Now that all important step, buying gear and a bike..

    Ill see you folks at the Bikemart event on Wednesday night, look forward to meeting you :)

  16. Hey Bones ... Isn't it the best "Oh What A Feeling" sensation!! Congrats mate and enjoy it all for what it is to you...
  17. lol it's an unbelievable feeling.. just total "WOW!" I'm done for like 90 days :)

    hehe definitely was a world changing experience - and very exciting too :)
  18. Hi Bones (from another newbie)

    I am doing the 2 day course at Stay Upright in Hoppers over the weekend of Sep 30 / Oct 1. How did you enjoy the course ? Any hints or tips for me ? I live out your way, so come October we may be able to catch up for a ride.


  19. Heya Bones. Having met ya, I think a cruiser style will be right up your alley. Don't worry about what JD said, a virago will punt you along in traffic happily. Don't be scared to give it a wrist full... they love it...

    Mind you I can definitely recommend the GPX250. I had one as my learner bike and thoroughly enjoyed it.

    Good luck. :)
  20. heyas man,

    here's my feedback-
    They say to you to wear long sleeved apparel, what they're basically saying is they're providing the helmet and gloves.
    The rest is up to you.
    If it's raining they've got wets, but for comfort, come geared for riding.
    if you have a riding gear that you've already bought, you'll be at an advantage.

    If you've never ridden before, take the 2 day course.
    If you're experienced, take the 1 day.

    I think they prepare you pretty well for the test, however I think even my instructor was annoyed with the minimalistic nature of the vicroads learner's permit testing.
    They teach you skills that arent in the test, such as u-turns, revving on gear down, counter-steering (even though to be perfectly frank, I wasnt comfortable enough on this one, I always ended up steering than yoinking).

    Overall, it's all low speed. As soon as you get a bike, go into some quiet places eg. empty wide carparks during daylight hours and practice, practice, practice.

    Emergency stops that they teach you are all at 25kph max, they wont be enough.

    They also teach you a few exercises that are on the P's license course on the last day.

    Overall, I think they were good- although I'm not sure if I'm doing my P's with them yet. Havent decided.