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.

{moved from cruisers} First bike - 250? 400? 650?

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' started by bulby, Jun 21, 2011.

  1. Hi all,

    I've just got my L permit last Sunday, so now it's time to really seriously decide which bike to buy. I'm posting this in the Cruisers sub-forum because I'm definitely getting a cruiser. Just not sure which one.

    Standing 5'6" short and weighing just under 60kg, my first thought was to go with a 250. Either a Honda VT250C (VL25), Kawasaki VN250, or Suzuki VL250 LC.

    But then the instructor recommended everyone to get biggest we can get. And this seems to be the general consensus over here too when it comes to cruisers.

    I love the looks of Yamaha's XVS650. So this will be my preference if I were to get a bigger LAMS approved cruiser. It's rather expensive though. What if I drop it? :eek:

    What do you reckon? Should I stick with my original plan and get a 250? Or just get the 650 V-Star?

  2. Re: First bike - 250? 400? 650?

    You should get whatever you feel most comfortable riding. At 5'6" you might have to think about how far forward the pegs are.

    Also, dont forget that this is probably the bike you'll be doing your P test on, do you think you could do the cone swerve on a cruiser?
  3. Re: First bike - 250? 400? 650?

    Instructors are rarely brite people :) lol Just ask me.
    He has a good point, as if you get a 250, in a years time or less you will want a 650.
    But in doing so you will be giving yourself a steeper learning curve.
    @ your height and weight a 250 would be fine. Depending on where you live and ride.
    If you do a lot of highway 100kph stuff a 650 would be a better choice. If your in suburbia then the 250 would be enough. For a year.
    A 650 will be more expensive to buy in. And more expensive to maintain and keep on the road. Rego, insurance so forth.
    And the trouble with your position is you just have L's, so no one is going to let you test ride one.
    Confidence is a big thing when learning to ride. Even when you know how to ride. And you would get above a 250 much quicker than the 650.
    In the end it's only you that can decide.
  4. Re: First bike - 250? 400? 650?

    I don't know you, so these comments are going to be pretty generic...
    You are likely to drop your bike as you learn to ride it. Stationary, or barely moving at all in a carpark are the most likely for noobs.
    This will cause damage to the bike, mostly cosmetic stuff, but expensive to fix.
    Personally I'd recommend getting something cheap and second hand, something that isn't going to depreciate a lot and preferrably, something that already has some scars. That way you minimise your losses when you sell it on.
    Then, start saving your scheckels for the real deal in a few months or years time.

    So 250 or 650, brand matters not a jot,
    you are looking for something that wont make you cry when you give it a drop.
  5. Re: First bike - 250? 400? 650?


    I won't attempt to tell you which one to get, mainly because I am bias towards the 650 (cause I own one).

    I think you will find that the 250 won't have much power left in it when you're doing 100 and want to overtake something. The 650 has plenty.

    The pegs/floorboards on the xvs650 should not be an issue at 5' 6" - Neither should planting both your feet flat on the ground - I'm only 5"8" and don't have any issues.

    The weight of a 250 is around the 150kgs, and the 650 is about 240kgs, so that may be a consideration also.

    Then you have the choice between a second hand bike or a new one. Second hand might be the way to go in my mind because you are unsure what you want and are also concerned about dropping it.

    With the 250 you may think that you made the wrong choice once your confidence improves a bit.

    Perhaps go to a dealer and sit on any bike you are considering and get a feel for how each one fits you.
  6. Re: First bike - 250? 400? 650?

    +1 all teh way.
    I've dropped my bike twice now, and you could barely tell due to the scars it already had.
  7. Re: First bike - 250? 400? 650?

    This confirms it then. I'll get a cheapy first bike I don't have to worry about dropping and get the ones I want when it comes time to upgrade. Thanks, guys.
  8. Re: First bike - 250? 400? 650?

    Good man.

    I had an off on my 2009 Intruder, 3 months old.

    As motorcyclists, we all know the risks when we strap on the helmet and fire up the ignition. If you're content with getting a brand new spankin bike knowing you might thrash it one day, then go right ahead i say.
  9. Re: First bike - 250? 400? 650?

    buy the biggest piece of shit u can find, learn on it, drop it, whatever, then buy a real bike once your on your fulls
  10. Re: First bike - 250? 400? 650?

    Have you considered a VT 400 (Honda)? Power to weight is pretty similar to Xv650 (I think)- low seat, easy ride; perhaps try one first. There seem to be good number of 2nd hand available. Good luck however you go.
  11. Re: First bike - 250? 400? 650?

    Bulby I went through the same dilema a few months ago (I too am 5'6" though a little heavier!). After looking around I was blown away with the xvs 650 but was a little concerned about my limited leg reach with the bigger bike and the fact that I hadnt riden a bike for almost 20 years before getting my RE licence.

    After making a snap purchase I am more than happy to say that the xvs 650 dosent feel large at all (I plan to upgrade to a 1300 when I move onto my unrestricted licence) and if ridden as it designed to be dosent feel like a big bike with its handling, but as soon as you are on the freeway there is plenty of power to quietly sit on 110 with plenty in reserve for overtaking.

    It is expensive but they retain their value in the second hand market. As for dropping the thing I can report that it is pretty hard to really put it on its side. I bought my wife one as well and she has come to a dead stop and should have dropped it but the floor boards keep the bike off its side.

    The bike is extremely forgiving to learn how to ride on if you want a cruiser. They arent the cheapest option but in my opinion they do represent best value for money, especially buying new with an absolutely stunning resale value.
  12. Re: First bike - 250? 400? 650?

    +1 on Roddo67 comm,
    VT400 is another that you can consider, not as big as 650 and have a bit more power than 250. The new model is also fuel inject engine rather and cabbie in XVS650.
    let us know what you decide at the end.

    Good luck shopping
  13. Re: First bike - 250? 400? 650?

    Thanks, guys.

    I need to go to city tomorrow. So I'm gunna drop by the shops there and sit on as many bikes as I can before they kick me out :p

    I should be able to make up my mind then.
  14. Re: First bike - 250? 400? 650?

    So I went to sat on quite a number of bikes today. And I'm not sure why or what, but something just doesn't feel right sitting on the cruisers =/

    Sorry, guys. I think cruisers are just not for me :(
  15. Re: First bike - 250? 400? 650?

    get a virago 250
  16. Re: First bike - 250? 400? 650?

    Don't be sorry, cruisers aren't for everyone. Start looking at the rest of the bikes on the market. You'll find something that feels just perfect, and it might be the one you least expected.
  17. Re: First bike - 250? 400? 650?

    hey .. I ride an aprilia RS 125 2008, its fun to ride & good to learn , little monster beyond 5000rpm. look into it, its a perfect & very quick bike.

    good luck hunting..
  18. Re: First bike - 250? 400? 650?

    I started on a yamaha 250 virago. Im 6'2" and 100kgs. In WA 250 is the limit on L's. I enjoyed it, except for highways. I had 30km of 110 highway with road trains on it from home to work, and if the wind was blowing the wrong way, I could only do 90. Being passed by a road train is not fun.

    I moved up to an 1100, so a 650 would have been a waste of time for me.
  19. Honda CB400?

    I got one. Little beast. Go check it out
  20. +1 on Somatic. Cb400 with abs if you can. great bike with lots of potential. Faster than you would think, easy to handle; all round fun ride.
    good luck