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New or old for my first bike

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by AndyD, Aug 27, 2013.

  1. Hi Guys
    I’ll be doing my learner permit with HART in Melbourne soon, I’ve ridden before but it’s been about 15 years since I last rode a motorbike as a kid. The reason I decided to get my license was primarily for commuting, as I was planning to move outside the city. That’s changed now, which means I’ll have a little more time (~6 months) to get myself confident with riding before I have to do it every day on the freeway in all weathers.

    This isn’t another “What LAMs bike should I get” thread, but I am looking for some opinions on which way to go with my first bike now that I think my options are a little more open.

    As I’m effectively new to biking I figure it might well get dropped at some point, so I’m wondering which option I should take from those below

    1.Get an old bike to ride around at the weekends and for short city commutes and build my confidence. Then, if I do drop it at some point, the repair costs won’t be too bad. Once my confidence is up after a few months, and when I need a reliable distance commuter, I buy a newer bike.

    2.Get a newer more reliable bike from the start and get Oggy Knobs and frame sliders fitted. I’m bracing myself for differing views here as this seems to polarise opinion. I’d only expect these to provide low speed protection, but I have seen post here that say even at low speeds Oggy Knobs can crack the frame

    3.Get a new bike, take a spoon full of cement and harden the #@$% up. If I drop it, claim it on the insurance.

    I’d appreciate it if anyone has opinions or experience they want to share.
  2. My vote is 2 unless you really need something uncommon.

    I've just gone through the same experience. I road almost 20 years ago and have just returned. My wife wanted to ride as well which restricted the budget.

    I looked for known reliable learner bikes second hand with low kilometers. As it turned out I was able to find a 2010 (2011 model) CB400 with 4700km and a 2007 VTR 250 with 2370km. Either one of these would be a great starter bike and neither would be expensive to repair if dropped.

    Oh and both are capable of leaving a huge smile at legal speeds.
  3. Well an older bike won't necessarily be unreliable or a piece of shit. Could get a Ninja 250 for 3-4K or a Gs500 for the same amount both great bikes from what i've heard and cheap on parts
  4. Welcome to netrider.

    There is really no right or wrong answers here but this is my opinion.

    You are very likely to want an upgrade after you have completed your LAM's

    There are plenty of low klm LAMS bikes on the market. Get one for your first bike.

    After 12 months , upgrade, either new or secondhand.

    It is not inevitable that you will drop your first bike, so people do..some dont.
    • Agree Agree x 2

  5. You've answered your own question Andy - chances are you're right.

    Get a decent secondhand one on the cheap. There's plenty that have given it a go and decided it's not for them and want to ditch the bike. Plenty of bargains to be had. Already dropped the big dough on the bike - consider it your welcome back bonus. Buy the right way.

    If you don't drop it good for a trade, if you do, nothing lost. Oh, and go naked ;)

    .... and welcome.
  6. There's a GS500 for sales right now for $3.4k. It's a naked so you don't have to worry about spending too much money fixing it after a drop and It should be better at freeway speed compare to the 250 LAM bikes.
  7. You are lacking in confidence, and setting yourself up for failure. Your attitude is so negative.
    Why do you want to ride a motorcycle Andy? (You don't have to tell me that, just yourself)
  8. #8 b12mick, Aug 28, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2013
    As Otto Cycle said, very negative. Almost a self fulfilling prophecy.

    If it was me, knowing what I know now and given the LAMS rules, I would buy a 2nd hand 650 Road/Trail bike (maybe a new one if I had the money). Something like a DR650 or KLR650.

    When I started riding there was no LAMS, you were restricted to a 250 and not the fun 2 stroke ones either. Because I was over 30 and had a full drivers licence I only needed to hold my L's for 3 months then straight on to my full licence, I bought a piece of shit GN250 and traded it for a 650 the day after I passed my test.
  9. Get a used one. Couple of years old, run in, at least 5,000 on the clock but no more than 12,000 on it.

    Why? Couple of reasons, but mostly because then it's not so precious and also because all the crap's been worked out and, hopefully, sorted out.

    As far as dropping it goes, plan not to. It's actually not that difficult to keep your bike vertical when you're learning. Don't get a bike because you plan to drop it, get a bike that you plan NOT to drop, and work on keeping it that way.

    I dropped mine once in 10,000km, and it was spectacular. The bike was written off so it doesn't really matter, just don't do that and you're all good.
  10. When I started riding there was no LAMS, you were restricted to a 250 and not the fun 2 stroke ones either.
    Back in the UK we were allowed the 250 two strokes as learner bikes at one stage. You could smell the PJ1 in the air! Then the buggers cut the learner capacity to 125cc and the 250 market literally bottomed out overnight.

    I picked up an immaculate white RD 250 LC with 350 head & barrels and front end that had been sitting in a garage for 12 months for 250 quid!!!

    Boy, what i'd give to have that bike back now :(
  11. Andy, roll up to sat morn prac session and talk to some people there, what are you going to use the bike for? Commuting? Dirt? What tickles your fancy? Naked? Sport? Cruiser? Are you wanting to sit on a smaller bike or do you want to be able to upgrade sooner to a bigger bike?
    So, work out what you're wanting a bike for, then select the bike that YOU like, and if you're not wanting to upgrade to a bigger bike, nothing wrong with that cause it's YOU thats riding YOUR bike...
    This is about YOU Andy. good luck in your search on the bike. but do get to sat morn prac session!!
  12. Those distance figures are arbitrary - 5K - 12K means nothing in real terms across a myriad of bikes which have been maintained and ridden in very different ways.
    • Agree Agree x 1

  13. Yep, they are a bit, although there is some logic behind the numbers, particularly the lower one. 5K means the bike should hopefully have got over any initial teething problems (if there were any) and had its first proper service from new if the owner has been doing the right thing. It should also be enough to knock a decent amount off the "new" price, since LAMS bikes tend to hold their value reasonably well.

    12K.. yeah alright, that's fairly arbitrary and could just as easily be 15, 20 or higher so long as it's been well cared for and maintained. The more KM, the greater the chance of parts that might start to wear out sooner rather than later I guess. That said, there's a Hyosung with 11,000 on the clock that sits outside my building every day and all the shiny bits are rusted to shit, so odometer readings aren't everything.
  14. I have been riding for a few years now, and I can say that all my 'old' bikes would be a lot better maintained than more modern second hand bikes. So New or Old, doesn't really enter it, but rather price.

    You did not mention your height / weight, but these will influence what bike to get also.

    However, what I recommend to my freinds thinking about getting a licence, go second hand and go for an upright riding position.
    As has been mentioned, KLR650 or DR650 are a good choice!
    -Upright riding position which will give you good allround view, as you sit just above a standard car; therefore you can see further ahead when in traffic. (Plus; I find it easier to do a head check with the upright position)
    -650cc will allow for a bit of growing space, but still be 'forgiving' with regards to throttle and braking.
    -Being an dual-purpose bike, they are fitted with wider bars, which will allow for better control when manoeuvering.
    -Can give you the opportunity to explore back /dirt roads.
    -Easy to modify for a bit more power/capability when you are off your restrictions.
    -if (when) you drop it, you won't shed so many tears.
    • Like Like x 1
  15. second hand every time unless your cashed up for it not to matter. A secondhand bike is likely to sell for nearly the same price a year later than the price you bought it for provided you dont make the bike any worse during your ownership. Lams does not really depreciate all that much, besides brand new bikes.

    Kilometers are not relevant provided its been used often and maintained properly, however make sure you dont buy anything that is on the cusp of a major service or valve check, so have a giz at the service intervals for any bike you want to buy or at least factor that into the price.
  16. My bike is a '99 VTR250 that I got cheap but will sell and upgrade as soon as I finish my LAMS in six months. I have done about 18000km and no issues at all other than standard servicing. I think it is better to get the cheapest LAMS bike that is reliable and save your money for your upgrade when you are off LAMS. Or if it works out riding is not for you at least you haven't put a lot of money down and can sell it with a lot less loss than a new bike.
  17. I think it matters less about the age or K's of the bike, but what you want (style)and can afford

    I knew I wanted a cruiser bike to start with and to upgrade to and didn't have a huge budget but I managed to find a great little 250 cruiser a 1997 model with 12,000 ks that I had professionally checked.

    That would be my advice what ever you get have professionally checked and then get it, enjoy it get experience with it get confident then upgrade it
  18. As a learner, or a non rider for that matter, how do you know what style of bike you will enjoy riding/be comfortable on? Really, I'd like to know.

    If you are buying second hand the MOST IMPORTANT thing is the CONDITION and SERVICE HISTORY.

  19. Siiting on it apparently works, or for the more adventurous a test ride or two as for the second that would be part of the professional check verification of said records
  20. Find a fun second hand bike. The old jap inline four 250's are mostly still going strong, or an RS125 two stroke... awesome fun if a little pricey.

    What ever you get make sure you check it was well maintained >.>