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New Bike Advice needed

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' started by rubin, Feb 6, 2015.

  1. hi everyone,

    as mentioned in my welcome post, i've just come back to aus after a few years away - and a few years on a mid 90's harley - and need (want) to get back on the bike again.

    Unfortunately, I have to go through the LAMS stuff to do so legally.

    I'm weighing up the 2 ends of the spectrum at the moment - sport/supersport style, or cruiser style.

    If i go the Sport style, i'm thinking something as light as possible, and as close the LAMS (WA if that helps, don't know the other states regs) limit as possible, i'm thinking Ninja 600 or maybe GSX650 (or similar).

    The other option, the cruiser, is a style i'm used, only with about half the grunt i'm used too. I like the generally larger size of cruisers, and the relaxed position, but thinking a light weight sport bike might be fun for a while.

    Use will be primarily commuting, although i wont call a 10/15 minute ride on anything strenuous, but will be my daily form of transport, so would include freeways, and possible long weekend trips 2/3hr plus rides.

    So far, trying before buying has been a tough ask. even though i have a few years experience on vastly more powerful machines, because i'm technically LAMS restricted (and only just recently passed the test for it) most places and people aren't allowing it.

    look forward to your opinions with interest.
  2. Do you have a budget?

    Are you looking at buying new or used?

    I can understand private sellers not letting you test ride. It seems surprising a dealer wouldn't let you ride the bike if your going to lay down the coin. Seems strange to me.
  3. I'm surprised they are not letting you test. I didn't have any issues in Perth testing bikes. Maybe they don't think you are serious?

    As for the type of bike, I would suggest any LAMS will be a disappointment after the power of a much bigger bike. Therefore I would think a change of style would be more interesting. If you are not riding for too long, a Ninja could be a lot of fun through traffic. Do you need luggage for your commute? It may change some of your requirements.

    You could even go for a DR650 or similar, dirt bike, to really give yourself a change of style.
  4. Maybe. I hate the pressure sales tactics, so i do generally go really casual and probably come across as a tyre kicker.

    Won't need luggage for the commute, and at worst a small backpack will be enough if i do need some one day. A friend has even suggested the 250/300, but i think i'd go insane going that low.
  5. Cruiser + commute = pain.

    I see big and baby cruisers daily during the commute and they get hemmed-in badly by the smallest cager inconvenience.
  6. Test ride the GSX650F... it's heavy but nice to ride.
  7. If you've got the $$ the LAMS street triple would be sweet.
    Or if your budget is a little less MT07?
    That's if you're keen on naked bikes. Those 2 are about as good as it gets on LAMS in terms of power to weight, both great for commuting. MT07 is really only just LAMS legal somehow.
  8. Having come off what is a 'proper' Harley, and the noise being part of the feel (and appeal) of the bike, I don't think I could got the 500 street. On reading some of the reports etc, it doesn't sound like an overly fun bike to be riding.

    Personally I'm not a fan of the look of naked bikes. they just don't look right to me.

    I had a ride of a LAMS gsx650, and I can certainly feel the weight, I also found that it 'felt' like it was running out of a breath a bit towards the higher rpm range if that makes sense. I've gotta get on the new ninjas I think, a guy at work was telling me about the 300 he bought recently, and loves it for a daily rider (guys been riding for 20+yrs now). Will have to try the 300 as well to I think.
  9. what was the power to weight ratio of the "proper" Harley?
    • Winner Winner x 1
  10. being a harley - pretty average. i can't recall exactly but I would guesstimate around 4:1 (around 1400cc, 50 - 60hp engine, around 300kg's).

    If you haven't ridden one before, the best way i can describe it is like a diesel ute - torque for days in the lower RPM, but run out of steam a bit as they wind up.
  11. well, 60hp and 300kg is only 114kw/tonne
    running out of steam as it winds up sounds like any restricted LAMS bike :)

    the LAMS limit is 150kw/tonne, which is 30% more than a normal Harley
    A Vrod Muscle is around 230kw/tonne, so at least it's above the learner limit :)

    luckily, StayUpright has made a LAMS list with kw/tonne on it, but must have been before th0 660cc limit came in, as there are a whooole bunch of Harleys on there :D (about 150 models of Harley below the 150kw/tonne)

    https://www.stayupright.com.au/sites/default/files/Approved list for Learner and Novice Motorcycles.pdf
  12. BMWF650 is about 130+kw/tonne
    Ducati monster dark 600 is 149
    Yamaha FZR250 is 143
    or Yamaha XT660 is 144

    so.. apart from cruisers, there are heaps of bikes from 250-660cc, in the LAMS list, that have significantly higher power to weight than a Harley :D

    compared to a decent litre bike, with power to weight around 500kw/tonne....
  13. yeah, i know there is plenty more with a better power to weight, faster etc, but you don't ride any of the big soft cruisers for balls to the wall speed/power.

    anyway - i think i've settled on a sports bike for the interim. have a bit of fun and get the feel back. I've decided to go second hand too as i don't see a need to drop some decent $$$ on a new machine i'll keep for 12 - 18 months. Save the coin for what i want to get at the end of it.

    Thanks for the suggestions though people.