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New Rider needs help selecting bike!

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' started by regravity, Apr 7, 2009.

  1. Hi Netrider people!

    I've decided recently to start riding bikes, I'm about to get my license in the next few weeks and I thought I'd ask some sage advice from the members!

    Just a quick couple of questions:

    Currently looking at either a Honda CBF250, Honda VTR250 (If I can get one) or a Kawasaki Eliminator VN250.

    Now I know the last one is a little strange considering the size and style of the previous two.

    I have been looking for a cruiser 250 for ages and a few years ago found that a local Kawasaki dealer had a Kawasaki Eliminator VN250, well 4 years have passed and it turns out that it never sold (was usually passed over because of its size as I've been told).

    My question about the Eliminator VN250 is: Do you think that for a Kawasaki Eliminator VN250 (2005 I think) it would / should be worth $8490 + ONC for it new? Or does it sound like it is too expensive? (given that the bike is now 4 years old)

    I'm also looking at bike sizes at the moment (hence the VN250) because I'm quite tall at 6 foot 3 inches, which doesn't lend well to more sports orientated bikes (eg. Ninja) for longer rides.

    Has anyone had any experience trying to find a good bike for a taller person?

    Any tips or advice would be much appreciated!
  2. I think that the price you pay will be dependant on how much money the bike owes to the dealership and how badly they want to move a 4yo bike off their lot.

    I wouldn't pay more than $8k onroad but that's just me.

    Bargain hard and don't be afraid to walk away. Infact make sure you walk away even after you agree on a deal. If you still want the bike for that price 2 days later then go in and buy it.

    Everyone says this and here I go... a 250 won't do you in 6 months time. i thought different for the first 3 months. Now I agree. You do outgrow them.

    I mean they do the job but you just end up wanting more.

    When I bought my GPX it had been a trade in with 800km on the clock... Asking price was $6995 ride away, I rode away with it at $5750(including free 1000km service and rego transfer)... this after making a deal and putting a deposit down for $6k then calling them and telling them I couldn't come up with the funds and wanting to pull out through the finance clause. They dropped another $250.

    Just to give you an idea after delivery the dealer told me the bike owed them $4400... asking price $6995. That gives you an idea as to margin. Your bike probably owes them about $5-6k(maybe more cause it's been sitting in the yard and they might just want to get rid of it) but remember they need to make a buck too.
  3. Thanks for the advice TCShadow! Much appreciated!

    After posting the questions last night I did a bit more research on the prices of a Kawasaki Eliminator VN250 and I found that even for a second hand VN250 2007 model that had done around 5000 Kms the average asking price is around $6700 to $7100.

    Granted the bike I'm looking at is new, but as you said, they are probably looking to get rid of it.

    When I was in the dealership and mentioned that I remember the Eliminator the dealers eyes lit up and was quite prepared to upsell the bike to me.

    With that on board and the info you've given I'm going in there today to see if I can strike a deal for around $6800 - $7100 given that its an older bike.

    I'm not totally set on the VN250 (although would love it!) so I've no issue walking away from the table if the price stays too high.

    Are there any other good New bikes for a learner rider to pick up?

    Looking for around $5000 to $10,000 in the 250cc range or higher (max. 500cc)
  4. Hi regravity,

    I'm no expert, but from what I understand 250 cruisers aren't the best bikes to learn on as they can teach bad habits, have poor cornering clearance and are massively underpowered at highway speeds.

    A better option if you like cruisers might be to get a naked 250 with a bit more grunt and better riding position (e.g. VTR250, Balius, Bandit/GSF250, Hornet, Zeal) and upgrade to a more powerful cruiser later when you're off restrictions.

    Having said that, if you want a cruiser 250, take one for a spin and like the ride, go for it!
  5. ^^ Cruisers teach good habits if the riding you want to do is cruising! :) (And that's the best kind of riding anyway!)

    I say that's too much. For $10,000 you can get a 400cc - 650cc new cruiser. I wouldn't spend that much - way too much for a 250. You'll be surprised how quickly you wish you had bought something bigger. If you want to stick with a 250, find a low km used one, a Virago for instance will set you back $3000 at most for a trouble-free late model... If you must stick below 500cc, there's the Honda VT400, the used Virago 535... You'll find the general advice here is this: the long-term economical choice is to go bigger, and trust me after two days you'll find you can easily handle it and would find a 250 under-powered the moment you get out of Bendigo; so if I were you I'd spend less if I was set on a 250, and if I was going to spend more, I'd go bigger.
  6. Between the fact that we now have LAMS in Vic and you live in Bendigo I would advise looking at something bigger. The VTR250 is great in the city, but on open roads I think you’d be well set to look at a CB400, GS500 or equivalent, and as Matt has pointed out there are lots of bigger cruiser options available.
  7. I'm about your height and can recommend some bikes you might find a bit more comfortable than the usual <800mm seat-height offerings in the 250 class.

    Check out Suzuki's DR-Z400 series, I posted a review a while back which you can read here.

    If you're into something a bit sportier, then the Aprilia RS125 is quite a physically large bike. I posted a review here.

    Also in the 'larger' bike arena are the Hyosung 250 and 650's. People may say bad things about the reliability, but I've got the impression that those kinks have been ironed out. Only thing I'd ping them on is that the GT-R versions really do have quite a sporty riding position. I'd go the naked ones or the tourer at any rate.

    You may also like something like a Suzuki GS500. I can't comment on them as I havent even sat on one, but have heard nothing but good - especially when it comes to reliablity.

    All of those are in your price range new, with the RS125 the mot expensive to my knowledge. Its also the most fussy when it comes to maintenance, being a two-stroke. I've got a big soft-spot for the DR-Z, and I recon it'd come down to a pick between that and the GS if I was buying. Remember to look for newish ones on the secondhand market, now is the time to pick up decent bargains. Recession plus cooling wheather = buyers market.

    Cheers - boingk
  8. Thanks for all your replies people! The response has been fantastic!

    Great community here on Netrider thats for sure.

    I think for the price range I'm looking at, I'm going to go for a Honda CBF250 - I really cant fault the bike, I've seen plenty of reviews on them and although they are at the lower end of the scale, I've been recommended one as a good starter bike (especially for the morning commute).

    I wanted to get your opinions on the Honda CBF250 before I jumped.

    Anyone think its a good starter bike?
  9. I've never riden a CBF250 but I have heard it refered to as "Can't Be fcuked 250" because it is gutless.

    From what I hear about the place you are much better off picking up a late model VTR250 for the same price as a new CBF250.

    If you are set on a slow 250 I have an awesome little SRX250 (single cylinder POWER!!!) available cheap ;)
  10. I was going to do the same and get a CBF250 after using one for a "try riding" course and getting my L's as they felt comfortable to learn on. After a lot of research (mainly on Netrider, thank you everyone) I ended up going for a VTR250. Got an experienced mate to test ride for me and picked it up last Saturday. First time I rode the bike I found that it is even easier to ride than the CBF. I have managed to go for short rides every night since Saturday and am really surprised at how comfortable and stable the bike feels.
    Before doing my learners I had never ridden a bike.
    Spend the same or only a little bit more and go for a VTR instead. You won't regret it.

  11. +1 for avoiding the CBF250. They are a single and not very willing in the get up and go department.

    Go the vtr or a gs500 at the lower end of the scale. 6 months in you will really be glad you didn't go with the single.

    Only my opinion of course.

  12. You were talking about 8 and a half grand for the Kwaka...
    If you have that to spend a second hand 400-500 should be an option.
  13. Thanks for all the good advice everyone, I think I'm falling into the super-noob category trying to select a bike.

    Looks like I still need to do a heap of research.

    I'd still love to get a late model (2007-2008) VTR250, I've tried to find one around my area but haven't had any luck.

    That said, I hadn't considered the Suzuki GS500, but now I look at it and its specs I think it might be a decent bike to start on as slik50, boingk and FALCON-LORD mentioned.

    The GS500 is also well within my price range, and being a 487cc gives me some room to move, as a lot of people here have mentioned I'd get over a 250 fairly quickly, this way it would be a bike I can stick with for a long while.

    Anyone have a GS500 that can give me some indication of what they are like for a first rider?
  14. I am not a believer in the “you’ll get over a 250 in no time†argument, but living out a country area you will be doing more open road time, and a bigger bike will be a lot more comfortable for that. (And not be as stressed by it)
  15. I bought a new GS500 Oct 2008 as my first bike and it really is a great first bike. So glad i didn't buy a revvy 250 like some people were pushing me to do. It's got plenty of torque, you don't have to flog it, cruises easily at 100 kph (only doing 5000 rpm in 6th), economical (I average 4.5L/100, sometimes in the low 4's), very easy to work on yourself, reliable, great commuter. Couldn't ask for more in a learner bike.
  16. also consider the hornet 250, they use the hornet6 frame, just with a 250 motor in it ( i also believe it's a version of the cbr250 engine) though could be wrong
  17. Thanks for your feedback DrewBytes!

    I've found that I can get a new 2009 GS500 for $8190 (dealer delivery and ONC included) which as far as I know a pretty standard price for the bike.

    I'll be looking at keeping my first bike for at least a year once I buy it, so I think that the GS500 will do me well.

    Thanks for all the help and feedback from everyone while I'm trying to sort it all out!

    Glad to have found a community of awesome people who know their stuff, and I hope to see some of you out on the open road someday!
  18. That's a great price actually! RRP is $8290 + ORC making it over $9k onroad normally.
  19. No reason why you couldn't keep the GS for a very long time - a completely adequate bike for an experienced rider.
  20. Hope you don't mind jumping onto your thread instead of creating my own (seeing as the GS500 has been mentioned).

    Just recently got my learners, and I've been looking at bikes at dealerships to get a handle on what's out there. I found a dealer with a GS500 what looks like a good price - 2004 GS500E for $4.5K. The guy at the dealers was straightforward and told me that it was bought from an insurance company, and they made the necessary mechanical repairs (without being asked this directly). I found a few cosmetic scrapes on it before talking to him so that didn't surprise me.

    In short, is this something I should just stay the hell away from?

    From what I can tell, it's a good price, nice looking bike but I have my doubts. Just interested in what other people think.