Welcome to Netrider ... Connecting Riders!

Interested in talking motorbikes with a terrific community of riders?
Signup (it's quick and free) to join the discussions and access the full suite of tools and information that Netrider has to offer.

I need a bit of help in choosing a bike

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by Darius, May 21, 2008.

  1. G'day everybody,

    I'm a 19 year old student and I've decided I want to get into riding instead of sticking with a car (The Ford Territory I'm driving right now is burning a hole in my wallet with its fuel consumption). So, I'm looking into getting a first bike - but I'm not sure what to get. The 08 Kawasaki Ninja 250R looks nice, but I've read a fair bit of negativity about the power and size of the bike (I'm 182cm and work out a bit - so I'm a bit heavier than the average guy of my height).

    My budget for a bike is around $7-8k and I'd expect to be keeping the same bike for a few years atleast. I've read that many people who buy the 250R get bored with it after a year or so. Don't get me wrong, I'm no speed demon, I'd just prefer to find something that I can 'grow' into over time, as my skill develops (instead of buying a larger capacity bike when I get bored and feel the urge to push the limits a little further). Not that I know what I'm talking about - I'm just going off what I've read.

    So, I'd greatly appreciate some suggestions on which bike to lean towards - new or used. Like I said earlier, I love the look of the Ninja 250R, but I've read mixed thoughts about the power and smaller size of the bike. I love the idea of getting a brand new bike, but if the little Ninja is too small for me, I might need to go into the used market or raise my budget. I have next to no knowledge of the motorcycle market, so I have no idea which bikes are good buys, new or used.

    Many thanks.
  2. For 7-8000 you should be able to get a very decent secondhand lams approved bike. I'd suggest the GS500 if you do a lot of commuting. Not as sporty looking as the ninja but more power, comfort and good reliability.

    Oh, and welcome to NR BTW.
  3. 7-8k should buy a brand new GS500, which will definitely be a better long term option than a Ninja.
  4. You can also get the KLE500 for under $8k on the road at the moment as they are being run out. They come with a 2 year unlimited kms warranty too.
  5. well you have had heard some bullshit stories mate, the 08 ninja 250r is just that, an 08 bike with no previous models (hell most purchasers of the bike are still waiting for them to arrive), any learner bike (don't care what others think about this comment) you will be bored of in a short time, i had the gs500 thinking it would last me longer, 6 months in i was wanting to upgrade
  6. I always thought an SZR660 would be cool (LAMS)
    But they're hard to come by, unfortunately.
    I like singles :wink:
    and twins :wink: :wink:

    But the GS500 is also a good choice.
  7. Except of course for the GPX/ZZR the engine came from.
  8. A few things - don't buy new unless you can ride really well, as you'll more than likely drop it at least once.

    Guessing pretty much everyone gets bored with their first bike.

    As a bigger guy, maybe look for an upright riding style, maybe the big 650 singles either in dual sport or motard :cool:
  9. If you have the money, maybe a Honda RVF400, i have heard good things about them. Not sure if its all true or not though.......
  10. As a bike - yes. As a learner bike - not so much.
    You'd be better off paying the extra for a new CB400, much more practical, and better than taking the risk of paying huge sums of cash for an old grey import.
  11. I second the HONDA CB400. Just a little bit over your budget, but looks a good learner-approved bike it if you're into nakeds, methinks. Check out the LAMS bike list on transportSA (http://www.transport.sa.gov.au/licences_certification/motorbike/index.asp) if you haven't already.
    I'm on a VTR250, which is being phased out in favour of the CB400 and after trying out various 250 alternatives, I'm liking the Honda quality.

    You didn't mention if you've done the RiderSafe course, so if you've got your L's, start looking for second hand bikes to test ride. Don't buy based on other people's recommendations - might not suit you. e.g. if you're a sporty type or have some experience, you'll know the moment you jump on any 250 that you'll definitely be able to handle more power. If you wail like a girl in a rollercoaster, I'd even consider a CBR125. Also, try as many different bikes as possible. The bike you tried yesterday that felt bloody fantastic might be pitiful compared to the one you're trying tomorrow.

    One reason I passed over the GS500 was because I personally chose not to have much power for a first bike until I improve my handling, and also because it looks t3h sexx0rz for a 250. I got mine second hand for a good deal, so I'm not worried about depreciation and I'm a very careful, checklist engineer kind of person and a sedate but defensive car driver so I'm not (too) worried about dropping or putting dents in it. You might have different priorities.

    Near your price range, fully-faired and also suiting your size, is the Hyosung GT650R, I think, which comes in a power-restricted setup for learners that can be set back to full power once you have your full license. That's not the only factor to consider, though. Search through the forums and you'll find plenty of discussion about choosing learner bikes.

    Also, do a search on www.tradingpost.com.au, www.bikesales.com.au, www.bikepoint.com.au, etc. just to see what types of bikes are floating around out there and what they're worth. If you go out and try a few used bikes you might be pleasantly surprised at how they feel. Compare their prices to new bikes and figure out what the new bike warranty and no-fuss guarantee of good condition is worth to you. There's also advice online about used vs. new bikes and how to check out and pick a used bike. Plenty of homework, dude, especially if you're cash-strapped. Hope you're not in a rush!

    P.S. As green (and light - 65kg) as I am, I still think the 250R is slightly confusing at only 30HP. CBR250RRs are the most powerful 250 available, with 36HP and even that's pretty tame. Again, all 250's are learner bikes for a reason, hence the appeal of the CB400 or GS500.
  12. engine is only based on that of the zzr/gpx which weren't identical anyway, the 250r actually has a higher output then the latter two bikes, seat height has alsos changed, as well as most of the other ergonomics, those that have recieved their bikes can not rave highly enough about them

    but at the same time being blessed with lams in nsw was a god send i'm not really a fan of any of the 250's
  13. Any LAMS bike you buy you will get bored with the power. Thats why they are LAMS bikes.

    HOWEVER.... that does not mean you will get bored of the bike. So you may not be able to keep up with the bigger bikes in the straights, but if you use your LAMS bike to learn how to ride properly you will be able to keep up with your fair share of bikes in the twisties.

    Don't forget to factor in $1000+ for riding gear. Obviously the more you pay the better gear you will get, but $1000 should be enough to get started.
  14. i love my gs.
    i got it 2nd hand, low kms and good price (from the sth coast, sydney dealers r rip off merchants). big guys complain about the squishy front forks. but easily upgraded for c.$200(??) done 5000kms on it and i havent had any regrets. awesome on fuel - gets 450km out of a tank. gives me a silly grin every time.

    happy bike hunting
  15. [quote="bikieIT"P.S. As green (and light - 65kg) as I am, I still think the 250R is slightly confusing at only 30HP. CBR250RRs are the most powerful 250 available, with 36HP and even that's pretty tame. Again, all 250's are learner bikes for a reason, hence the appeal of the CB400 or GS500.[/quote]

    my 91 bandit has a reputed 45hp at stock, of course its a few years old and making nothing like that these days, but there are some powerful 250's out there! of course they are powerful only at +15000pm :grin:
  16. Thanks everyone for your responses! (particularly bikieIT, your lengthy response is greatly appreciated). Looks like I'll need to go and have a look at a CB400 and perhaps a GS500 (athough I wasn't really planning on going over 400). Again, thanks very much guys :)
  17. Yeah, definitely. But I've noticed that many of us got bored of our learner bike after a few months... and around the 10-12 month mark we'd start to realise that we'd be bored of the power of any bike and that what really matters is whether it's fun to corner on, whether it does the other things it's supposed to do... and then the bike becomes fun all over again.

    Even the 125hp of my month-old Tiger is starting to feel 'tame' and less "h o l y c r a p" than it used to.... Power alone ain't a long-term source of fun. How it feels to ride is. (Fortunately I didn't buy the Tiger for power thrills. ;)
  18. my 91 bandit has a reputed 45hp at stock, of course its a few years old and making nothing like that these days, but there are some powerful 250's out there! of course they are powerful only at +15000pm :grin:-(/quote] well the cbr250rr has more like 56hp, and by reports it is actually outside the lams limits by some pissy amount which is why it is still on the list, what i belive has been posted were the bikes kw
  19. On the subject of being bored with your bikes, does anyone get bored of their litre/bigger bikes after a while as well?


  20. Oops, yes, 56hp for the CBR. Typo :p