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.

My List of Favoured Bikes

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by Cobra, Nov 5, 2010.

  1. Okay,

    I live in Queensland and we are restricted to the bikes we can ride whilst on our Restricted licence. Learner Approved Motorcycles. I think it is probably one of the better ideas the department of motor transport has come up with.

    Here are my favourites from the LAMs list:
    Ducati Monster 400
    Honda CB400
    Honda NT650v Deauville
    Honda Shadow
    Honda VT400C
    Honda XL650v Transalp
    Suzuki GS500
    Suzuki GS400E
    Suzuki GSX50F
    Suzuki SFV650U Gladius
    Suzuki SV650SU
    Yamaha XV535
    Yamaha XVS650A

    But I am probably going to start with the Honda CB400 or Ducati Monster 400. But I am wondering if anyone has any of these bikes and what their opinion is on them.

  2. I have a CB400, have been riding it for a year and still loving it like the first day.
  3. I've never heard a bad word said about the Honda CB400, though I've never been on one myself.

    Have you sat on anything? There's a few different riding styles represented in that list there. Your intended use will probably help people to give you better feedback too.
  4. I had a GSX550 back in the UK. It was an utterly brilliant bike, for what it was. Easily the pick of the air-cooled 550s and able to put up a good showing against early watercooled 600s, but they're seriously old now. Finding a good one would be hard.

    A mate had a Yam XV535. Apparently it dissolved in the rain.
  5. the Ducati Monster 400 is a very old bike (i think they reached EOM in 2002) and a grey import to boot, if something goes wrong you will be shelling out big $$$.
  6. My feeling is that the CB400 is designed from the outset to deliver all of it intended capabilities, rather than being a restricted version of a bigger and heavier bike. While no lightweight, nor the cheapest around, it is well-balanced, smooth, powerful enough, comfortable and very well made. After three years on its bigger brother, the CB1300, I can vouch for Honda reliability.

    I don't know of anyone who has bought a CB400 that hasn't loved it. And let me put in a plug for roadster-style bikes. They're heaps more fun than peg-scraping cruisers...
  7. no love for the kwakas? that gives me a sad.

    I wouldn't necessarily rule out the 250cc bikes. Anything LAMS is restricted to a certain power to weight ratio, so yes, you'll get a bigger engine with more killer wasps but the bikes are heavier.

    as a rule the larger capacity bikes will also be more expensive. certainly they are here in SA.

    I know there's a LAMS version of the new yamaha 600s in SA, but not sure if it applies in qld. they're pricey though so it depends on your budget and what you're looking for.

    best advise is to go trawl the bike shops and sit on some, see how they feel in terms of riding position and weight and comfort. There's a heap of difference between the GS500, Gladius and the XVS650!

    The CB400 was on my "if I had the cash" list. Along with the Kawasaki Er6-nL and Yamaha XJ6SL.
  8. Another thumbs up here for the CB400.

    I started out on the new Ninja 250 for my RE licence. This purchase was made whilst we still had 250cc restrictions in Queensland. I am quite tall, and while the Ninja 250 was a lot of fun, it was also a little small for me.

    Shortly after the new restrictions came into play, I went to have a sit on the CB400. Then I had to have a test ride. It was great!

    The CB400 had its first birthday last week and I, like ResmeN, am still filled with joy every time I open the throttle. I am still running a stock exhaust, and I do like that the bike is quiet around the home/streets, but it still sports some impressive noise above 8000RPM.

    Also, now that I am on open licence, the CB400 has plenty of guts to go two-up with a pillion. I tried that with the Ninja 250 once (...illegally...). It worked, but it wasn't a great experience. :)
  9. another vote for the CB400 here. Only had it for 5 months but can't see myself getting anything else after restrictions. Except maybe that Kwaka W800 when it comes out.
  10. I've ridden a couple of CB400's and they are brilliant bikes - everything you would want out of a learner bike. I ride a RVF400 as I love the way they handle, look and go. I have a thing for Hondas......................:)
  11. =D> THANK YOU!!!! Everyone thank you for the advice. My brother and I are currently learning on the CB250 and we both find it quite comfortable. So you are reinforcing our opinion of the bike. THANK YOU!!!! =D>

    Seriously your replies and opinions have made our decision easier to make. So my next step is to find a second hand bike in my area. Joy. 8-[ Fun, fun, fun.

  12. It all depends on how much money you have to spend. The 400 honda is a good thing. The new 600 Fazer in LAMS spec is a very good thing, but it's not cheap.

    I would steer away from new and shiny and expensive to begin with, because they lose a lot of value very quickly, and there's a pretty good chance that in the hands of a beginner, they'll fall over from time to time. It's no different to walking. At the start, you fall down a lot. As you get older, it happens less, but it never really stops happening. Now that doesn't stop anyone from walking, and some of us quite like our walks, but every time you get up from your chair, you never know.
  13. I've got an XVS650A (and a 250 Ninja). It's a different kettle of fish to the other bikes.

    It's the pick of the LAMS cruisers.

    The XVS650A is quite an impressive bike. Doesn't look LAMS. Low center of gravity makes it reasonably easy to handle despite it's weight. Super comfy. I could ride it all day with no discomfort. It's very popular with the general public.

    Plenty enough grunt to get away at the lights. Ground clearance isn't fantastic.

    Some after market pipes for a better sounds and you're set.

    I love riding my cruiser.
  14. CB400 if you want to have some fun, GS500 if you want to be sensible, XLV650 if you want to be sensible and travel the occasional dirt road, XVS650 if you want a cruiser.
  15. I've said it before and I'll say it again. THANK YOU!!!!

    I have been in contact with my uncle in Western Australia as he knows more about motorcycles than I ever hope to. He's been riding bikes since he was about 8. He's nearly 50 now! He's offered to chip in $1000 towards my bike or my protective gear.

    I might have to downsize a little to start. Maybe the Honda CB250 or CBF250? There's a few available online and at my local dealership too. And for less than $5000. I don't want to spend too much on a bike to start. My gear is going to cost me a pretty penny, but I'd rather spend the money on the right gear than end up with severe injuries should I slide. :eek:hno: [-o<

    So I am reviewing my shortlist again, eliminating bikes that are out of my range or comfort zone. That doesn't make much sense written down does it? But I know what I mean in my head. So I'll post a modified list here in a few hours or so.

  16. I hate mine. With a Passion. I find it to be the most uncomfortable bike ever. I find the knees up and forward puts an almighty amount of pressure right on my tail bone. Experimenting, tucking my feet up under me (where they would be on a tourer there abouts.) levels me out on the seat and redistributes the pressure from my tail bone down through my legs. Its a fantastically comfortable bike, as long as I don't need to go further than 100 km's, then it's just agonising, even stopping every 40 km's.

    Ground clearance isn't only not great, it's woeful, and manages to suck the fun out of even the most fun of roads. I don't think this is a problem with the vstar, I think it just applies to cruisers in general. I really regret buying one, there's a million better lams bikes out there for me. If only I knew then what I know now, I could have saved myself the despair of riding a bike I don't enjoy for another year or so, I would trade it in for the new fz6r in a heart beat if I could afford it.

    As it is I've just canceled on a mate on a feb ride to the super bikes, the sole reason being I can't justify being in agony for thousands of kilometres as being a good use of my annual leave.

    Hate it, hate looking at it, hate riding it, hate thinking about it, most of all, hate being too poor to do anything about it. </rant>
  17. If you're looking at 250cc Honda's I would recomend you have a good long hard look at a VTR250.
  18. I'll take it off you mate, no worries, I love them.8-[
  19. The one thing that surprises me about all the comments here is the absence of the simple rules of choosing a bike.
    1) Sit on it
    2) Ride it
    Any other considerations are worthless before you've satisfied these two because what you like based on a picture may well be what you hate when you plant your backside on it.
    As you're after a LAMS bike things are a little easier choice wise, go to a dealership, sit on EVERYTHING LAMS approved and short list based on what felt right. From there test ride all those on the list and cull the list based on how they felt. From there you will have a better list to ask others opinions of without suffering an information overload.
  20. Okay,

    I said I would adjust my list and I have. I find these rather good and I will take the advice given here into consideration. I will sit on it and take it for a test ride as well when I am ready to buy a bike.

    So here is my modified list;
    Honda CB250
    Honda VTR250
    Honda CB400
    Suzuki GS500
    Suzuki SV650S
    Yamaha Virago 250
    Yamaha V-Star 650
    Kawasaki GPX250R

    Someone here said they were upset I hadn't included a Kawa in my previous list so I googled a few and liked the one I added. The problem I have now is narrowing it down to one. Eventually I want to get a brand new cruiser once I have a couple of years under my belt. I haven't decided which cruiser I want yet though. I thought I had, but now I am not so sure.

    Any ideas?