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Looking for bike suggestions 250-600cc mostly commuting

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' started by johna, Oct 12, 2009.

  1. I am looking to buy a used bike to handle my 90km daily commute and would like to get some suggestions on what to buy.

    I have a full license but haven't ridden a bike in the last 5+ years, with the exception of the Beta 150cc scooter we own (which is mostly ridden by my girlfriend or broken down awaiting some impossible to find part), and have never ridden anything larger than 250cc.

    My priorities are comfort and fuel range (preferably a minimum of 250km before reserve) but I also want something that looks nice and is fun to ride. Performance is not a big issue but as my commute involves some 100km/h speed limit areas it really needs to cope reasonably well with the 100-140km/h zone. Don't mind between faired and naked but if a fairing makes a significant difference in the rain or at highway speeds then I guess that would be a plus. Running costs are also to be considered as, doing 450km a week, I don't want to be servicing and replacing tyres every month. A centre stand would be nice too as I like to do my own servicing.

    I prefer liquid cooling as part of my journey could have me stuck in heavy traffic.

    I would prefer a lighter and smaller bike as I'm on the lighter side myself, and to slip through traffic.

    Budget is up to around $5000.

    Some of the bikes that I have been interested in are:
    * Kawasaki ZZR600 - but concerned that it might be bigger and heavier than I would like
    * Honda CBR600F4 - 170kg sounds good to me
    * Honda CB250F "Hornet" - but what is the real world fuel range and how often will I have to change that expensive back tyre?

    Any comments on the above bikes and suggestions for others much appreciated.
  2. I suggest you scour around for some twins as well. You have plusses in some instances with easier/cheaper maintenance, narrowness, possibly tyre life, and fuel economy. As you note, some of the more practical mid capacity fours are on the heavy side, though they usually carry it well.

    There should be more decent singles in your range, but the bigger 600-650-engined are mostly dual purpose, which you might find a bit tall in the seat. The Yamaha SZR660 would serve you well if it isn't too cramped for you.

    The SV650 is also an obvious candidate that would be ideal, and they come in naked and half-faired.
  3. Yeah, you'd get a nice naked SV650 for that money and they'd be a fantastic commuter.
  4. You can't go wrong with CBR600F if you can find one in your price bracket. I think they were some of the best real-world bikes out there... and they still are, because they just don't make them like that anymore.

    According to what I read they were supposed to have centre stand - mine doesn't. I'm sure it could be added if you really want one.

    They are light, but that 170kg figure is one of these 'ideal' dry figures manufacturers loved to quote until recently. I reckon the true, ready to ride weight would be somewhere between 200 - 210 kilos.
  5. +1
    I'd also take a look at the 600 Hornet.
  6. And, while you're at it, maybe the 900 Hornet. There are more of them about, and they're potentially a similar price. Same cost of rego in Qld at least, probably not that dissimilar in cost to run...
  7. As usual, my own answer is a Suzuki DR650. Cheap to buy and run, light, narrow, grunty, not too uncomfortable and an all round fun bike. Only fails are fuel range (200 km, but fixable with an aftermarket tank if it really bothers you) and air cooling (mine shows no signs of distress in traffic in 40+ heat as long as you just let it idle rather than constantly whumping it).

    I do a 90 km a day round trip on mine with no probs. Being Japanese, it's basically sacrificial. Bought new, I'll run it 'til it dies then look for something similar.

    I s'pose, if you really need the fuel range and the water cooling, there's always the Kwak KLR650 but it carries more weight and bulk and I'm not entirely convinced of durability. Kawa spares have a reputation for eyewatering expensiveness too.
  8. look for something with clipons if you like splitting, as much as i like the wide bars they really are a biatch to split with.....sv650s remove the fairing and you have a sweet city commuter
  9. Thanks for the suggestions - I bought a 1999 SV650S last night. Did the daily commute on it today and like it a lot but need to get used to the size difference over my previous 250cc and scooter.
  10. :shock:

    You didn''t get the 1999 model surely ???
    Everyone knows that model self destructs after 10 years.

    Congrats mate !!!!!