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{Moved from General} ~500cc recommended LAMS bikes?

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' at netrider.net.au started by markus.readus, Jan 14, 2014.

  1. #1 markus.readus, Jan 14, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2014
    Hi All,

    I'm new here, but have enjoyed reading the forums and advice therein. I'm based in Sydney, I got my L's recently, and am looking for a bike - I have a few in mind, but would like to know if there's any I should be looking for, or avoiding? Thanks in advance for your advice.

    I'm looking to spend no more than $5000, second hand - preferably a private sale as I dont like the markup you get at a dealership. My wife just got a CB250 - I'd like a bigger engine than this, though obviously have to stick to LAMS bikes. I was thinking 500cc or restricted 650. I like naked, sports or sports touring styles. I'll be using it to get around the city a bit, but really want to start exploring the country and mountains outside the city where I'll be riding for a half day or so (maybe not in one go). I want something that I wont get sick of quickly, that is lots of fun to ride within the speed limit, and will be on roads (no offroad, for now). I'm 5'10", 75Kg. I'd like to get a luggage rack on the thing so I can take it away for weekends.

    The obvious contenders I've found so far are:
    • Kawasaki ER5. Mostly old bikes now, I like the size. Drum brakes at back put me off a bit.
    • Suzuki GS500. Am told these are decent value for money second hand, but boring. Also heard that the design hasnt changed in ~20 years or so.
    • Hyosung GT650. Seem good value, but lots of chatter online about how unreliable they are. That said, I can get a 2010 (ish), and most of the forums I've found discussing their reliability issues are from around 2007. Have things improved?
    • Honda CB400. Probably too expensive, but if this comes out at a clear winner I can see about raising my budget. Heard the engine is amazing, heard its not the best handling of bunch.
    • Kawasaki Ninja 650/ER6. Also probably a bit too expensive, but the same goes for the CB400 - I can look into a bigger budget if its a completely hands down winner.
    Are there any obvious items missing from this list? I've heard great things about the sv650, but can't find any anywhere near budget. I'd like to emphasise I'm looking for something that's great fun at moderate speeds, I dont want to break the speeding laws (did that when I was younger, got the fines and points to go along with it).

    Thanks in advance for your help guys!
  2. you seem to be good at your research, to bad you havent done it for the forums rules
  3.  Top
  4. cue justus in 5...4....3...2.....1
  5. I'm thinking to replace my cbr 250r by something with a little more grunt for pillioning (and commuting).
    SV 650 (non lams) is on top of my list so far.
    I rode my mate's sv 650 lams and it is a really nice bike, even lams. Good value for money. But they will probably be a bit over $5k.
  6. Pop into the welcome lounge and say hello first before posting and asking questions.

    Not a biggie but worth doing.

    Cheers Jeremy
  7. site etiquette suggests you introduce yourself in the welcome lounge, tell the locals a bit about yourself and then do some reading of the site where you will find the same question has been asked by1000 newbies before you. That's about all.
  8. I have found and introduced myself in the Welcome Lounge - sorry about that. As for the other posts similar to this one... I had a scan, couldn't find anything current - I will look again.
  9. I would suggest you look at bikes that come from Japan, then test ride a few and buy the one you like the best.
  10. Old but you could try the CBR250RR, ZX2R, or RVF400. I love my little 250, much more than my full power sv650, and I'm sure the 400 would be just as good if not even better.

    note the the 250's listed have twice the power of the cb250
  11. I back the GS500. Simple, reliable, has enough to get you in and out of trouble, good way to learn the craft both on and off the road before upgrading post restrictions.
  12. I have an ER5 and have done for 2 years. Perfectly adequate bike and does everything it needs to. I even put a few litre bike friends to shame on it through the corners. Drum brakes needn't be an issue and you can pick one of these up super cheaply as they aren't as in demand as a comparable GS500
  13. I have the one in the avitar. Great bike for starting out. :)
  14. Not sure where you heard that the CB400 was not the best at handling. I used to have have one, it handled beautifully. Flicked really easily into corners, very good for the MOST, great suspension for someone of your size ( identical stats to me). I sold mine for $5000. It was a 2008 model, non ABS, 37 000km on the clock. Ran like it was still brand new. Try to find something similar is my advice. I cannot imagine you would do better.
  15. Thanks for the advice guys. I've been doing some digging, and found a red 2013, 5,354Km CBR500R for $6500. Seems strangely cheap for its age and mileage, but no damage reported. I was wondering if anyone had experience with this bike, and how it compares to the CB400?

    Right or wrong, I'm talking myself into getting something a bit nicer than my original $5k budget would have bought - this is supposed to be a 30th birthday present, getting something that isn't too old is appealing (though i'm not certain how sensible - that said, my wild days are mostly behind me now).

    Also found a 2009 18,000km SVF650 Gladius going for $6100. Any experience on that? Unfortunately I can't post links to bikepoint as I've not created enough forum posts yet!

    Is that the 20k revving monster? I think I've come across that online, sounds insane. Great for the track, but is it also OK around town?

    I'd actually not come across the ZX2R or RVF400 - thanks for the tip, I will have a look.

    It was a comment on a youtube video of a guy who got it as a courtesy bike when his 250 (or 300?) Ninja went into the shop. He thought the ninja had much better stability. Yours sounds like a steal, its a shame I didn't come across it!
  16. I'd be looking past an opinion from an inexperienced rider given a shop hack that's probably got the wrong tyre pressures and whatever suspension settings someone dialed in years ago. Check the web for reviews and see if there are common views between them. I don't think you'll find too many slagging off the CB400 for its handling: competent without being spectacular.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  17. CB400 is sensitive to tyre pressure but otherwise handles far better than I should expect (I am a bit bigger than you).

    The differences between the CB400 and CBR500R are pretty dramatic. The CB400 is made in Japan as a full size bike, makes about 53hp from a smooth inline four. Dual disc front brakes mean brilliant stopping power and the suspension is adjustable for preload.

    The CBR500R is built as a much cheaper bike, in Thailand, makes about 48hp from a parallel twin. Single front disc and limited adjustment.

    I've ridden both and the CB400 is a far better bike but there is nothing wrong with the CBR500R. It is more like the GS500 with sharper handling.
  18. Thanks very much for the reply Kalkadar, that's exactly the sort of insight that I was looking for! I'm glad the CB400 is no slouch, I love the classic looks. I was not expecting a 400cc to generate more power than the 500cc.
  19. yeah its the 20k monster, might just be me but I like fanging it around town.
    The ZX2R is Kawasaki's model, basically the same but nicer looking suspension, not having ridden it i cant say if its better or not.

    The rvf400 is the cream of learner sports bikes apparently, V4 400cc with a single sided swing arm that looks sooo sexy. makes the same power as the cb400 and a little more torque I think.
  20. I found the RVF400 interesting - hold their values well too, $6k for a 20 year old bike?! I'd be a bit cautious spending that much on an old racing bike, honda reliability or not, wouldn't it have taken a bit of a battering over the years? I will try to find one to test ride though...