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New rider, new member, old questions!

Discussion in 'Welcome Lounge' started by Stagger_Lee, Dec 29, 2014.

  1. Hi folks,

    Just got my L's and like many others I'm looking for some help finalising my first bike choice.

    Apologies in advance for the novel-length post - trying to cover all bases in one go.

    I'm 46 years old,106 kilos, 6"1, with no previous riding experience (but my 1st ride was like coming home - loved it). Will be riding to work daily - short suburban commute (Parramatta area), 4 or 5 decent getaway rides each year (500 + klm round trips), and as many "just because" rides as I can - the wife will likely determine the frequency of these :)

    Need to keep what I buy now for 4 or 5 years. Culled the list to these 5:

    2015 Triumph Street Triple 660
    2015 Yamaha MT 07
    2015 Kawasaki Vulcan S
    2015 Kawasaki ER-6nl ABS
    2015 Kawasaki Ninja 650

    Rode the MT - decent, comfortable, and quite forgiving bike, but seemed to be working quite hard on the short freeway blast we did - but that might be totally normal for a new bike with 600 klm on the clock. Sat on the ER-6nl ABS and Street Triple 660 (test rides booked for early Jan). Like the look and feel of both, but the 660 just felt "right". Test rides will confirm.

    Cruisers don't usually catch my eye but pics of the Vulcan (in black or green) left me open-mouthed, and if it's available before I've bought a bike I will give it a shot.

    The 660 seems to best meet my needs, and while I can afford it, I wouldn't be upset to spend a bit less.

    Lastly, I'm happy having an alarm fitted to reduce insurance - on top of quality chain, disc lock & unbranded cover (considering kill switch too) - but I've heard very few positives on alarms. Words of wisdom appreciated.

    Thanks in advance for any advice/experience/comments.

  2. Keep testing riding those bikes - buy the one you like the most.

    As for alarms, disc locks etc - it's purely a personal thing. For me I have insurance and I'm not passionately attached to my bike (had it 12 years though) so I don't particularly care if someone steals it.
  3. Mick is right: buy what jingles your bells, who cares what other people say or think?
    And, welcome!
  4. Thanks for the reply mate - I'm looking forward to more test rides & will be posting my "expert" thoughts on them as I go. This will be the first time I've bought any type of vehicle new, so other than the insurance premium drop, my theft paranoia is on high alert, even though my logic argues that it's a LAMS bike with reduced risk. Having said that, almost every post/review I read here and elsewhere is slowly talking me out of the alarm idea. Right now I'd probably only get one if Triumph offered theirs for free.
  5. Thanks for the welcome Hornet!

    TBH, once I've made my choice, other people's opinions of that choice won't bother me in the slightest. I'm a total noob with bikes though, and for the first time in my life I'm trying to put ego and impulse aside (and brother that is a big, BIG ask) and make the most informed decision possible by taking other people's experiences into account.

    I could debate aftermarket carburetor options for a 5.8 litre Cleveland V8 for days, but when it comes to bikes I admit that I know two thirds of five eigths of sweet FA (I refuse to call reading a few articles or brochures "knowledge").

    I'll be shocked if I get through this without some "don't buy brand X" or "bike Z is rubbish" stuff - every forum I've known involves a lot of opinions. At the end of the day, I'm just hoping to be a bit more clued-up when I buy.

    BTW: Appreciate your bluntness Hornet - it's like reading my own thoughts before I add the political correctness filters :)

  6. Hi
    I too just got my bike license 20/12/14 and bought a new Honda cb500x ,found it well balanced and so easy to ride plenty of power and torque very good on fuel ,at the moment it's getting 4.1l/100 and a comfortable riding position .
    My qride instructor is looking to buy one as a learners bike after riding mine .
    Cheers Craig
  7. Sorry forgot to say I am 48 years young
  8. Seems like quite a sensible short list considering your size!

    Second sensible thing was to book test rides. Maybe age does bring wisdom?....

    Someone on netrider has a signature that reads 'everyone has a game plan until you get hit in the face' (an old Mike Tyson saying). I lost my heart within the first 50m of riding my KTM. All other sensible thoughts somehow faded.

    Go and test ride them all - buy the one that stirs your soul.
  9. welcome Stagger_LeeStagger_Lee. Nice selection of bikes. Sports bikes are more agile than cruisers, so consider your riding area (commuting is one, riding in the hills is another), but being taller than me, you might like the cruiser feet forward style. My bike chose me, I wasn't going to buy it, but it felt right. So ride them all if you can. The Honda may be worthwhile looking at too. As to alarms, insure it and buy a disc lock, or chain, or even a strong padlock to clasp around the disc, as long as you remember it. Enjoy your new pastime, buy the boss some flowers every now and again to obtain a free pass to ride recreationally!
  10. Thanks Craig - good info mate! Seems I overlooked the CB500 - will definitely check them out. I hadn't considered fuel economy either & will add that to the equation.
    Can I ask how far/how often you're riding the CB?
  11. Welcome mate, and +1 on what the others are saying, buy what rocks your world and feels good, puts a smile on your dial. Except if it's uncomfortable too, in which case take more time to ride 'em all again. Seems you've done homework on this as well so a good start.

    Security - I have a good disc lock with (in my view) the necessary bright orange reminder cord that goes over the throttle (so you don't forget the damn thing and ruin your disc/fork/wheel pulling off with it still locked on)...

    Enjoy the search and the bike when you pull the trigger on one.
  12. Thanks mate. I'm working real hard to be sensible here (my wife is still in shock), but so far as I can tell, the only natural gifts age has brought me is greying hair, a slower metabolism, and the inability to stop my mouth from speaking before my brain has a chance to step in :)
    Your advice to ride them all and buy the one that stirs my soul sounds spot on - regardless of how hard I've enforced sensible & logical thinking so far, it probably doesn't stand a chance if I get on the road and my heart says it's right!
  13. I can understand the theft paranoia then. As I said it's a personal choice, as is what you makes you fizz over a bike. For example I can only ride a bike with forward controls for about 30 minutes before I'm in pain.
  14. Thanks for the reply & welcome petesul. Is prophecy at work here? I've just had a mate tell me to stop over-thinking it and just get my arse on more bikes, because the bike will choose me.
    You've raised an issue I still can't gauge properly - compromise. My daily commute will be short & mostly before and after peak traffic times, 90% secondary roads. The getaways however will vary greatly & include stretches of freeways & twistys. I still love nailing a good corner in a tin-top (at legal speeds these days), so I presume I will eventually feel the same on 2 wheels. Without a LOT more riding under my belt though it's hard to say.
    I've found sitting on the nakeds really comfortable - likely due to my six-pack becoming more of a keg - but not ruling a cruiser out.
    I'm going cold on the alarm idea, but disc lock (with reminder strap) & chain are definites.
    I already gave the wife my car, and I believe I will soon happily be on first name basis with the local florist and jeweler as part of what I'm calling a "mutually beneficial rewards program".
  15. Damn - sorry to hear mate. I hadn't considered this, & I don't think 30 minute + test rides are on the cards to judge it. Sorry if this is getting too personal, but is the pain mild enough to ignore and still enjoy riding or is it a ride-stopper? Is it related to any prior injury or is it purely from the seating and/or leg/foot positions?
    In my head I may still be a 20 year old with a high pain threshold, but reality regularly proves me wrong on that point. I can't begin to imagine how disappointed I'd be to discover I was limited to short commutes because of pain.
    Are there any warning signs I could look out for if I test ride a cruiser?
    Thanks for the heads-up mate.
  16. Thanks chillibutton! Special thanks for the remark about a disc lock reminder - now I just need to find an app that will remind to attach the reminder :)
    Absolutely desperate to get on more bikes and see what's what - 1st time EVER that the Christmas holiday period has seemed too long!
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  17. I'd say ditch the cruiser and alarm ideas. A good naked or sports cruiser will be good for commuting and great for a blat in the hills. Pick the one you like from your list, you can then upgrade when you get a full licence (after more flowers and jewellery). As to gear, I purchased budget gear but have now gone on to better gear, so it is better to pay a bit more for your gear up front, if you can afford it.
  18. The pain is such that I can't concentrate on riding and if I push through it I'm as good as crippled for a day. For example, years ago my wife's boss asked me to ride a Softtail standard from his Wagga store, where she worked, to his Albury store because a customer wanted to test ride it the next day. This trip normally takes me no more than 1hr 15 minutes. This day it took me 2.5 hours. I had to stop every 30 minutes get off, stretch, hobble around a bit then go again. The only way I could ride it without a huge amount of pain was with my feet hooked over the pillion pegs. I couldn't walk properly for day.

    Why, I have stress fractures in my pelvis (sport related) and that whole leg forward with no support under them kills me.
  19. I would assume that most of the bikes you mentioned on your first post would be quite comfy and agile enough to enable easy commuting as well as have a good fang on the back roads. (With the possible exception of the cruiser)

    The sensible choice would probably come down to the stripple or MT07. The Stripple has won many a road review comparison, both more or less the same weight, with the MT07 slightly cheaper?(about 10k onroads vs 12 for the Stripple?). The two are also relatively 'new' models when compared to the others.

    But if I read your first post again I think you already know you are going to buy the Triumph.

    If it wasn't for your size I would have suggested the KTM Duke 390 - but then I might be a bit biassed!
  20. Thanks to everyone who replied here and who's posts I've read in other threads. I went for a test ride on the Triumph Street Triple 660 and it took about 90 seconds to know I was buying it - or more honestly, that the bike chose me.
    After the ride I was still trying to apply logic to the situation, so I went through my list: riding position & comfort, position of pegs/levers/controls, balance, brakes, and many others - all perfect. It's true that I'm extremely inexperienced, but I couldn't fault it.

    I have to wait a few days for the accessories to be fitted but I should be welcoming the new addition to the family by the end of the week.
    Plan to post a few thoughts and experiences along the way - if I get off the bike long enough.
    Hope to see some of you out there.
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