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{Moved from New riders} LAMS bike suggestion

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' started by fooyoh, Jul 29, 2011.

  1. Hi guys, am getting into motorcycling and about to buy a road bike. From searching the forums, researching and asking around, I've narrowed it down to a couple of bikes but would still like you guys' input on things.

    I am 6"4' and fairly skinny so that pretty much knocks out most LAMS bikes. Too small, too short, that sort of thing.

    I've also kept in mind that I am looking out for resale value, as I will probably re-sell the bike sometime in the next 12 months.

    Bikes that I've narrowed it down to:

    Honda VTR 250
    - pretty short for me but bearable
    - not sure how its resale value holds
    - obviously 1 of the best 250 LAMS out there as stated by many people

    Hyosung GT250R
    - full sized bike very comfortable for my height
    - bit of a sore subject amongst forum members but I personally know 2 mates who ride these machines and have said that if its later than 06 models they should be fine
    - cheap

    Suzuki GSF 250 Bandit
    - 1 of my best mate's first bike and swears by it for a learner's bike
    - good size too
    - not sure on resale value?

    Suzuki GS500F
    - many people here have recommended this as a great bulletproof bike
    - more expensive then the others listed here
    - more of a long term bike I suppose

    Please let me know what you guys think, or maybe could recommend other bikes that I could have a look at. Bearing in mind, being 6"4 pretty much knocks off many great bikes like CBR250RR or Ninja 250. Also, on a budget of less then 5 grand as I know dropping the bike is very probably as a learner so bikes like SV650 haven't been considered.

    Cheers guys
  2. Re: LAMS bike suggestion

    what about a trail bike like a DR650 (much less powerful than it sounds) or a DRZ250? or if you can find one, a DR250? or a super motard like a DRZ400SM? these are bikes that will be very good for you if you find that most LAMs bikes are too small.
  3. Re: LAMS bike suggestion

    Dont get a Ninja 250 they are shit.

    GS500f's are pretty much the best all round choice for someone tall, my mate who was 6,2 had one and he said it was very comfortable. the pegs are a bit crap if you want to do more sporting riding, but you can get rear sets (my mate has these fitted to his GS) and that gives you more clearance.

    Dont go for the Hyodung, not only are they pretty shonkly built, but you will get no respect from other bikers unless they do ride hyodung. Also 250 will chug with more then 80kg on it (may or may not be an issue)

    Consider the CB400, im about 6ft and i found them to be quite comfortable but maybe not as good as the GS. Expensive but extremely good quality and very fast. they were my dream lams bike but i decided to go for a cheap option for my first year of riding.
    Highly reccomend if you can streach your budget.

    Dont go for anything throttle restricted, its like driving a car with a brick under the loud pedal. you can never enjoy the full potential of your bike and its just a bad feeling to be unable to floor it. Also this means they are very heavy bikes, and quite underpowered. CB400 and GS500F are both un restricted.

    Also i cast my biased vote in for my bike, Honda CB250F Hornet,its very powerful and very light with, as some magazines claim, the best suspension/brake/ tire (180 rear, allowing you to fit excellent superbike tires) package fitted to a 250. Because they share the chassis with the 600 hornet, they are quite comfortable for people who are tall.
    They can be ridden very hard and have astounding grip, getting your knee down is no problem on these bikes and they can handle this kind of riding with ease, where as other bikes, which are set up primarily for commuting dont really have the suspension / brake capacity to perform well at these levels.

    They are also EXTREMELY reliable, and have been thrashed less then the CBR250RR's that they are based on, mine has done 49'000km (apparently, its probably been wound back) and it still feels tight as a drum and performs amazingly. Also they dont depreciate much, as they have pretty much reached their lowest point, and their rareity helps keep the depreciation to a minimum. dont pay more then 4.5k for one, and ignore the odometer, all of them have been clocked just like many second hand learner bikes.

    It costs less then all of the bikes you listed, and it pretty much destroys them =] if you interested it has 40HP and does 0-100 in 5.5-6 seconds.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Re: LAMS bike suggestion

    The Hyosung will be the only 250 you'll be comfortable on, I don't understand why people still look at 250's with the LAMS laws...

    650 Hyosungs are a good choice, if you've on a budget, have a look around for some older bikes, GT550, CX500, older CB400's etc.

    Get a copy of the LAMS list & google all the bikes on there until you find one you like, then do some research on it. Lather, rinse, repeat.

    Most importantly: take your time. Rushing in & getting the first bike you're offered can be a very bad idea.

    Good luck.
  5. Re: LAMS bike suggestion

    Kawasaki KLR650.
    No, it's not a faired sports bike but it will fit you and get you around for the next 52 weeks. You never know, you might also have some fun on it.
  6. Re: LAMS bike suggestion

    I'll give you one guess what I would recommend :)

    But for a bloke who is 6'4" you might find the KLR a more comfortable bike. It's fairly tall, holds its value, goes anywhere. Kernel''s suggestion is also good.

    Keep us in the loop and let us know what you choose. We like to see pictures!


    PS: +1 to AlGroover ... just saw his post after I pressed save on my own.
  7. Re: LAMS bike suggestion

    Why are the Ninja's shit? In general or for someone who is over 6ft? I have a Ninja and think it is a great bike to learn on. I don't want a lot of power that will scare the shit out of me while learning. Plus I think the learning curve on it is not as steep as say on a 600 LAMs bike. Anyway each to their own...

    To the OP, I would say the GS500f. I was tempted to get one but since I had never been on a bike before went for something smaller, but then again I am not 6'4 :)
  8. Re: LAMS bike suggestion

    They are just terrible value, at the end of the day its a 20 year old design that has never been updated besides fancy fairings and interesting looking brake discs (with no name calipers)

    Sure it is a motorcycle, and it will surely impress non riders. but its still mutton being sold as lamb and there are much better bikes out there for the money.
  9. Re: LAMS bike suggestion

    Thanks for the replies guys.

    I was looking at Hornet 250s because my mates do recommend them highly, but they seemed rather expensive couple of weeks back when I looked. However, they are still under consideration just because of their size, reputation and power.

    I'm really skinny and under 80 kgs so I don't think 250s will struggle to me. About getting non-250 LAMS bikes, the issue would be price. As I said, I did look at SV650s and CB400s but they were a little too high for my liking for just 12 months.

    I've gone to PS stores and sat on the Hyos, GS500F, SV650S, Ninja 250, VTR 250. Got a mate to hold the bike upright and tried riding positions too. also, not too big a fan of the dual sport/dirt bike types.

    Judging by the replies you guys have given, I think I'll be further narrowing the list down to the Hornet 250 and the CB400 and GS500F if I can find a well priced one.

    Does anyone have anything to say about the Suzuki Bandit 250s?
  10. Re: LAMS bike suggestion

    Where are you located?

    Might know of someone trying to get rid of a GS500 soon.
  11. Re: LAMS bike suggestion

    I heard good things about the Bandit 250 (gsf250V) when i was doing my research for buying my bike. Pretty much as fast as the hornet, and they did make it to australia as an official import (look for a motor with a red top cover, that indicates its AUDM).
    I never ended up taking a test ride on them, so i cant report how they ride, but they are a match for the hornet in performance wise at least. I would say definatly take one for a spin if you can, i didnt because i found a good deal on a hornet and that was that.
    Being skinny is a good thing, im 65kg and the hornet flies with me on it, you shouldnt have any problems, being under 80 is pretty much bang on the money for getting good power out of a 250.
  12. Re: LAMS bike suggestion

    Big +1

    Then move onto to the shitty riding position and non-adjustable forks.

    Its just not a very good bike any more. Bullet proof learner, but seriously deficient in many ways.

    The VTR, GS500 and CB400 are interesting choices. They are all overpriced, the GS500, whilst powerful for a LAMs bike, is seriously underpowered as a 500. The CB400 is much the same, i'd describe it as a hippopotamus.

    Honestly, the GT650R is about the best thing out there in terms of a pure LAMS sportsbike, thats also affordable.

    Consider how long you'll be on restrictions for. Try to have only one bike for that time. If you snag a GT650R for your budget, it should last you. The VTR probably won't. A GS500 or CB400 would also last you, good luck picking up a decent age one for your price though.

    Keep us posted on how you go, and last of all, POST PICS when you buy one!
  13. #13 ResmeN, Jul 30, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 13, 2015
    Re: LAMS bike suggestion

    The cb400 naturally without restrictions is the fastest lams bike, being right on the p/w limit. Honda CB400. Could sit on 110km/h for 10 hours straight and bike will be just as smooth.
    GS500 193KG, GS500F 199KG Wet
    CB400 194KG, CB400 ABS 198KG Wet
    [URL="]Honda CB 400 Super Four Acceleration 0-180km
    4.5 Secs[/URL]
    Perhaps due to being a hippopotamus the CB400 is Japan & Singapore's biggest selling bike. Since being re released it has been the biggest selling naked bike in Australia tussling with the Street Triple for honours & getting the better of it most of the times. Maybe they sell a lot in these 3 countries due to their LAMS which they have in place. Or maybe the owners like riding bikes which look like hippopotamuses.
    I searched long and hard in to the lams market and the CB400 won it for me as a bike that could carry a 6ft, 90kg rider throughout 2 years of lams restrictions and beyond. There are bigger cc lams bikes which are restricted. Why would I want to ride a restricted bike where I can only turn the throttle 1/2 way around when I can buy an unrestricted bike with less cc's that is even more powerful than the lams with more cc's.
    Which bike is the CB400 a hippopotamus in comparison to? Perhaps I should have gotten that bike instead of this.
    Differentiating based on looks is a different story as different bikes appeal to different people.
  14. Re: LAMS bike suggestion

    Glad you love your bike!

    (As an aside, your bike looks like teh secks... really like what you've done with it)

    CB400 Super Fourd

    Thats the cheapest one (@ $6000) on bike sales... And its 17 years old.

    Now, mentioned above was the fact that the ninja is a 20 year old design... Atleast spending $6000 on it will get you a new or near new bike! Spending $6000 on a CB400 gets you an ANCIENT bike. And 17 years is ancient in the bike world.

    As I said, overpriced.

    Its a hippo compared to any bike you want to compare it to. The zx6r is ~200kgs wet. The ninja is ~150kgs wet. For the sake of the convo: the GT250R is ~180kgs wet (read: quite heavy). The GT650R is ~215kgs (read: really heavy for a restricted bike).

    I doubt its weight would be too much of a problem at speed. However, the point stands, shes a heavy underpowered bike compared to everything else on the market. It might be close to the LAMS limit, but there are a couple of dirt bikes that are over that limit. And at the end of the day, not everyone can afford a CB400...

    Bang for buck, the hyosungs are the best thing out. They are also EFI.

    Another thing to consider is servicing costs. The Hyosungs you can work on yourself. They are seriously cheap. A honda? Better start saving :D

    You can't go wrong with a CB400 or GS500 or any of the jap LAMS bike. But a Hyosung certainly brings something to the table that you can't ignore. Especially if you are on a budget.
  15. Re: LAMS bike suggestion

    Thanks ninja :)
    I modded it and modded it and in the end even surprised myself & was well worth the time and effort.
    The cb400 you linked to is an import, personally wouldn't touch it even if it was 1/2 that price. All Sumoto cb400's advertised on bs & tp are also old import non vtec/abs/efi cb400's from 1990-2005 and in most cases the 90's which get complianced in the 00's and get sold by dealers as 05-11 bikes. John Citizen purchases the bike thinking he got a 2008 model bike where infact it's a 1998 model but complianced in 2008. At least the seller in the link you provided is being honest of it's year of manufacture.

    In Australia you could get non abs locally delivered new CB400's for $8500-9500 & abs for $9500-10500 ride away. Expensive yes, worth it for some not for others which is quiet normal.

    You say it's an underpowered bike but the CB400 is the most powerful lams bike which is right on the 35kw p/w allowed LAMS limit. You must notice this is despite it's weight it is right on the allowed lams limit. If it shed any weight it would go over the limit hence why it needs to maintain it's current diet. To tell the truth I think the figures are fudged and it's even more powerful especially if ridden by a rider weighing between 50-80kg.

    Depending on which state you're in the only lams dirtbike which is more powerful than the CB400 is the SXV550 that is LAMS listed in SA/QLD/NSW but not in VIC. The SXV550 is a pure dirt race bike which has a small tank and can't be compared to an inline4, vtec, abs, efi, 18litre tank equipped naked sports road bike as it's not a bike you'd want to commute on or go on long rides due to it's frequent servicing and cost of the bike itself.

    With a couple sprocket changes the cb400 would easily do 300km/h with still more puff.
    CB400 minor service $140-180 major service $160-220. I'm pretty sure that is what Hyosungs and most other lams bikes cost to service nowadays too.
    I wanted a reliable medium term bike, currently done 40000kms of worry free motoring on mine in 1,5 years.
    • Like Like x 1
  16. Re: LAMS bike suggestion

    I am new to riding and I went for the GS500F for a few reasons such as a comfortable riding position and a lot of friends said I would kick myself in 6 months time if I got a 250cc bike.
    I shopped around and got a 2009 model the was new but heavily discounted. It is a great bike, hasn't skipped a beat and I have no complaints.
  17. Re: LAMS bike suggestion

    how about Aprilia RS 125, great learners bike with a good resale value..

  18. Re: LAMS bike suggestion

    I've had my 2007 VTR250 for just over two years now. Got my L's, then a few weeks later bought it from a Yamaha dealer in the city - about $7k when it had 2400kms on it.

    Awesome little bike, get about 250kms on $15 of 98RON petrol, it's light, nimble, punchy. Still get a massive grin every time I ride it, although boredom kicked in a few months back after I came off my restrictions, so I put barend mirrors and a Megacycle exhaust on it, and I reckon i'll easily keep it for at least another year or two now.

    When I was looking around for mine, they all seemed to hold their prices well for the first three years or so, however the playing field may have changed what with the release of the new model in 2009.
  19. ninja 250s are a decent learner bike. Remember, its only to learn on and preferably not end up in hospital. It isn't your dream bike, it's your *first* bike.

    Some cruisers might give you more leg room. I had a Kawasaki Eliminator VN250 and it was fantastic (i'm 6"1'). Very forgiving too. Anything with a more upright sitting position like a road/trail or naked could be an option too.

    If you get a 'staple' learner bike, you can likely sell it in 12 months for damn near the same price you paid for it, that's the way it goes. If after 12 months you sell a $3,000 bike for $2,800 you basically rented a bike for 12 months for 200 bucks. Bargain. Plus if heaven forbid something happens, you didn't loose a $6k investment.
  20. I'm 6 foot, I took the BMW G650 GS for a spin, and I found it rode great, handled like a road bike through the corners, handled bumps better then any other bike ive ridden.
    I was originally going to get the Yamaha Tenere or a KLR650 however after seeing them, the KLR felt cheap and the tenere didnt have anywhere near the features I would of expected for the money (or what the super tenere has)
    Basically the dealer i went to didnt have one of the jap's to test ride, but the BMW did. I rode the BMW and found it was awesome.
    There is a lot of vibration from the engine, more then my old KLX 650 but it was only in a certain rev range.
    If you dont mind the cheaper feel of a bike, id say go the KLR, cheap and fun. However if you want something thats alot more predictable, handles great and has ABS and heated grips n stuff, go the BMW.
    I put my deposit/money on the BMW, the only con was the vibration. but i found it just like any other single cylinder I rode.
    Best LAM's approved adventure bike. predictable and very forgiving powerband and braking ;)