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My new commuter...

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' started by Booth, Jul 31, 2007.

  1. Well ive been tip toeing around the idea of getting a commuter for a while now. Having a hot italian sitting around next to me at work in my office, is bound to make some of the female staff jealous.

    So, with the servicing of the italian being a very taxing process, ive decided to turn her into a weekend warrior. I love the bike, and she has performed fantastically in the role of commuter, but its a bit of a worry having the bike all day at work. Too many ignorant people dont realise there walking withing 5 metres of my bike, is invading its personal space.

    So its time to get something to commute. The finalists are...

    Honda cbr 125r
    Kawasaki klx 250r
    Yamaha wr250

    Thats not the final list, but there the ones that jump at me.

    Honda cbr 125r

    As my review stated, i do love this little bike, i think its very entertaining, fuel effecient and fun.

    Pro's -

    Cheap (4k on road)
    Fuel effecient
    Traffic friendly
    Service friendly


    No way on the highway(only a weekend thing anyway i spose)
    Lack of power
    Being laughed at(i spose i can deal)
    Being dropped by scooters

    Now that bike seems to suit one purpose, and one purpose alone, the kwaka and the yamaha are trail bikes, and they look very comfy seating position wise. They will also double for a bit of a buzz around the bush. How do these bikes handle the commuter role, technically speaking, tight turning circle, comfy position, and 2nd ability(trail work) make it a good choice. I suppose it comes down to the fuel? Will they do 120 for highway work?

    So are there any thoughts or suggestions for this? Trail bikes as commuters?
  2. The WR and KLX are different bikes. WR will be much livelier. 120 is no probs, but it's not what they're designed for.

    A mate of mine has a WR250 for sale, nicely prep'ed for the road.
    Around town you couldnt do much better.

    Bigger dirt orientated machinery is also great for exactly what you're talking about (turning circle, maneuverability, they're skinny and the handlebars go over top of most rear-vision mirrors when some nitwit cuts you off) with the added bonus of being comfortable at 140+. KTM LC4, Husky 610 etc.

    CBR125 I havent ridden, and I wouldnt bother over a WR250.

    The only problem might be that you commute on it AND use it as your weekend toy. The Italian might get jealous. ;)

    PS Knobby tires on the road are more than a bit scary (or fun whichever way you look at it). Use dual sport tires at the very least, 17" super sticky sport rubber is the go.
  3. all good choices and like your thinking of dirt as well

    downsides are the tank size of the dirtbikes

    tyres will always be a comprimise

    my suggestion for commuter


    use it for a year or 2 and replace it with another , buy right and you prob wont lose money on em

    they are all good on fuel and maintenance along with long fuel range
  4. I get 70km's out of a race ready 525cc dirtbike with a 6L tank, 2L in reserve. Even that isnt a prob for around town or runs in the twisties. 13L and larger tanks are available.
  5. when was commuting , that wouldnt have gotten me to work and back again

    fueling all the time sucks big time , get a week out of a tank and thats good, also lets you fuel on the cheap day
  6. a bloke i did my p's with had a ktm supermotard 640. It was a sexy bike, i liked it.

    I think ive pretty much written the purcashing of a cbr 125r off, simply based on the fact, it dosnt have the added abilities of the other bikes. Like the larger dirt bikes, and even the wr250 can hit the highway. Im still not sure on there fuel economy though. Still its very comfy, and it strikes me as an interesting option....i want to write it off, but its cheapness and comfort lure me back.

    The ktm supermotard is in the same price range as the wr250, roughly speaking. With a change of tires will the supermotard be a decent bush beast?

    Honestly speaking the dirt bike is making alot of sence for what i want to do. I spose fuel economy would be nice in one too. I like to ride to sydney on weekends to see my gf, from newcastle thats 150km/s now the dirt bike is an option(i feel naked without my bike on weekends)

    Definately keen for more suggestions though.

    So the revised list, in ranking

  7. You can't have your cake and eat it too.

    Low maintenance, big tank, good at high speed = heavy = a real handful in the dirt.

    A 640 is a bit of a happy medium for this between a full blown 200kg adv bike and a 115kg offroader.

    A decent tire I've found is the Avon Dinstanzia's which will happily scrape pegs on a go-kart track and go anywhere off road except for muddy conditions. You can buy two sets of wheels, and it takes about 45 mins to swap over, but for the money conscious you'd just stick with the 17's both on and off road. Unless you're riding with real dirt guru's you'll keep up.

    Go find a test ride on a 640 and see what you think.

    Edit: And you'd be mad not to get a ride on a DRZ400SM or a converted DRZ400E. They're cheap as chips, unbreakable, and with a few mods actually go ok. Not as quick as the 640 but still more than capable.
  8. Fuelling wouldnt have been your biggest problem, the fact that you woud have been spending your weekends doing a major service including valves would have sucked - if you were doing those type of k's every day.
  9. With respect to the Motard choices...

    I too know the bloke who owns / is selling the WR in Devo's post. This bike would have to be one of the best maintained bikes in the country. Dont be put off by the fact its a 250, the bloke who rides it blows EVERY other motard rider away - and probably sports bikes too - :grin: but lets not start that discussion. :p

    The price is a great one too.

    Dont worry too much about refuelling, as Devo's, mine only gets 80-100ks per tank - its well worth the 5 minutes at the pump compared to the hours on the road/track.

    What you need to consider is how many k's your going to do and if your wallet or mechanical aptitude can handle the costs of a race (short stroke) engine - ie the WR's or KTM 52?'s.
    If your only on the road and want to get the most out of your engine, you will need to do a full service with valve checks every 1000-1500 k's. If you get someone to do it for you it will cost $220-$250 (including parts). If your gonna go dirt, the servicing will be even more frequent.

    If this is not your cup of tea, then look at the long strokes KTM640 up.
    Alternatively, Check out the Aprillia SXV, another bloke we know of has a cheap one for sale. (Look into the servicing of these - I dont know much about them).

    Good luck!