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New starter - late bloomer

Discussion in 'Welcome Lounge' started by Brett, Jan 11, 2015.

  1. Hi all - After procrastinating for a while I have finally decided to follow a dream and do something for myself for once and finally get my licence and first bike.
    I would like some advice on a decision as to whether take a freebie or whether I am taking on something that is possibly more trouble than it is worth.
    A friends housemate has a bike sitting in their garage that he doesn't use and has apparently had trouble getting rid of - and has offered it to me for nothing. He said it is a CBR250RR but after trying to get more info and asking a service mechanic there is some doubt if it is a double R - and it appears it is a grey import. He sent me a photo of the old rego sticker and the VIN number which made the mechanic say straight away that it was a grey import.
    Anyway - all the details I have are as follows - clock says 59,000 kms - but could also be 159,000 I guess. It says on the sticker 1988 model. Last rego date was Aug 2008. I doubt if it has been started or used much between then and now which could mean there is a crap-load of maintenance needed to get it going and roadworthy. I have been told the fork seals need replacing and the battery is stuffed. If it has been sitting for so long the tyres may be hardened and brittle - the fuel system would probably need an overhaul - and who knows what else.
    Now I am a bit poor and trying to survive on a disability pension so cant really justify spending a lot on something like a bike that I dont really need - so at first I thought this might be a good cheap starter bike. but now I am guessing that it could set me back nearly 2,000 to get it on the road - and then not knowing what may go wrong down the track.
    I am looking for opinions as to whether I am just getting into something that will give me headaches and whether I am better off spending about 4,000 and get something that I can just ride and enjoy instead of always getting work done on something. I may eventually start working on my bike myself as I used to work on my own cars 25 years ago when they were simpler and did fine just working off a manual - but don't really want the headaches while I am learning.
    Thoughts anyone?

    • Like Like x 1
  2. Hi and welcome to the forum,
    I'm no expert but I've owned a single R in the past and a mate has had a double R
    In my experience, they are great little bikes and surprisingly popular considering its age.
    One of the first few 250 sport bikes to come out from the big 4 japanese companies in the 80s-90s (Honda, Kawasaki, Yamaha and Suzuki)

    Pretty sure your looking at a single R if it's dated 1988 as they stopped production of those in 89 and only built double R's from there on out.
    One trick I've used to tell in the past is the swing arm, if you can take a photo I can probably tell you which one you've got.

    I reckon it's going to cost at least $1k to get it on the road (VIIU, Blueslip and Rego) and then the regular stuff to get it working properly, maybe another $1? I'm no expert though.
    If you do get all that done though, you'll have yourself a decent little pocket rocket.
    In all honesty - if you don''t want it, I'll happily take it! =D cash his way depending on how much as it will definitely take a fair bit of work to get it in decent condition but I'm looking for a side project to keep me busy.

    One thing to note is Insurance on these things range around $800-$1200 that I've seen, but most in decent nick are going for between $2.5-$3.5 and that's compared to the new CBR250s which are going for around $3-$5k so you can see how popular they are.
  3. P.S. theres plenty of other learner legal bikes that are going for $4k or less that you can get which are road worthy and are still decent bikes

    I just realized you're in Victoria.. I have to sadly retract my offer to take the bike

    Heres a link of what you could get for a budget of $4k in VIC though - LINKY

    This illustrates how much these 250's are going for - LINKY
    right off the bat you can see a 2011 CBR250 going for $2700 and a 1989 model going for $3795
  4. Welcome to the forum. If you are new to riding, get a recent model. Less hassle. You've got a functioning bike that you can keep riding ( which is what you should be doing ) instead of something that's going to spend a lot of time getting fixed, spare parts etc. the bigger hassle is if you can't get the right parts then it will lie there as an unfinished project(see a few of those around on eBay and bike sales). Cheers
    • Agree Agree x 1
  5. Hi InvalidUser - I think the fact that it has a single disc on the front wheel is an indication that it was a grey import and also not a double R..
    I dont seem to be able to upload any pics - might be because I am new here or something? Can anyone advise me on this and also why I cant seem to see where to like any posts or comments?
  6. Yes drjay555 - new to riding except for hiring a bike every time I go to Bali and riding all over the place - I seemed to pick it up pretty quick over there and keep up with the locals - although there are less cars there. Definitely not thinking it will be a breeze here in Melbourne traffic. It is also difficult to find a bike bigger than a scooter there but I managed last time - definite improvement.

    But yes - I am a little resistant to getting a project rather than a functional bike. I spoke to a very helpful lady - Kat at sixty degrees motorcycles - and she said that now there are lots of options for finding parts for them nowadays - but that she has also seen people get something like this and always coming back because something else has reared its ugly head because it was old and sitting around for too long.

    Any suggestion on whether I should get something bigger than a 250? A bike shop suggested I needed something bigger since I am 5 foot 11 and just over 100kg - but they might have also been trying to sell me a more expensive bike as well (P.S.)
    I want something that I can physically maneuver and maybe a little bit nervous about getting something too big - so gut feeling is that I might be more confident if it isnt too big.
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  7. At 100kg I would heed the saleslady's advice. Look at 400+ cc IMHO. Plenty of info on recent threads along these exact lines.

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  8. I agree with lots if not all of the above; my thought is that if you are cash-limited, buy something that is already going and registered; project bikes can be a money-pit, and you can't ride them till they're finished. Don't forget you also need to budget for protective gear as well.
    And, welcome :)
    • Agree Agree x 1
  9. Welcome aboard.
    At your size and weight (I'm similar weight), look at something like a Suzuki GS500. Lots of them about, fairly simple to work on and they go alright on the open road. They only stopped making them a couple of years ago (after about 25 years) and there were still some "new" in dealerships late last year. You should find an older but decent used one on your price range. You may even find one that has had the springs changed to better suit your weight.

    • Agree Agree x 1
  10. 1995 Honda CB400 with 29,000 km, 6 months rego and RWC @ $3,000
    - Opinions please? Too old?

    Looking at the pic of the Rego sticker the VIN number might indicate it is a grey import as well - but not sure.
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  11. Don't know heaps about the CB400 but I've heard it is highly rated and VERY popular amongst riders
    I think it's actually a very popular model, at $3k it sounds like a bargain but as a 1995 model it's properly ticked over once (129xxx)
    BUT you never know.... you might be lucky....
  12. A quick look on bikesales shows most models starting from $3.5+ BUT they earliest models was 2009 so that price might not be heaps great afterall
  13. The cheapest one that I could see that was less than 10 years old in Victoria was $3,750 but that had bent forks and not registered. Not a lot in my price range at the moment in Melbourne.
    I am hoping a mechanic that was recommended is back at work this week so that I can pick his brain.
    Anyway - the only rush was to decide on the friend's housemates bike as they are moving house and want it gone - but I think I will stay away from that potential headache. I need to book in to get my Learners next and then start looking for a bike when I can actually ride it.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  14. Plenty of choices out there for LAMS bikes, from 125s - 660s
    Is there a particular type of bike you're interested in ?
    Oh, and as mentioned earlier don't forget to look at GEAR!
    A good portion of your budget will go towards that - it can cost quite a bit even for basic stuff!
    Good luck on your test and have fun mate! Nothing like going out on your first ride... oh... the fear.... at 40kms
  15. Would depend on what sort of riding you'll be doing. GS500 is pretty bullet proof but I would suggest if you are thinking of this as a long term investment, and you would like to do some touring a 650 like the VStrom is cheap, hardy, can carry heaps. Or a Suzuki SV650S. Might mean a slightly bigger initial investment but would be more than adequate to be a stayer without thinking of changing bikes every couple of years.
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  16. Hi Brett, i am a newbie myself and decided to follow my dream 6 weeks ago earning my L. I live in Vermont so nearby to you. Happy to share my limited experience.
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  17. Welcome Brett

    Yes, lots of functions on the site don't open up until you have posted a bit and have been around for a bit longer. Keep posting and these functions will open up to you gradually. Sending Private Conversation messages is another one you won't have access to yet. Longer term members will be able to initiate a conversation with you and you can reply but you can't initiate yet.

    Yes, start the process of learning the Victorian rider handbook [PDF 7.49 Mb] and book a course and license at one of the training providers. Many of them will provide a bike for you to do your training and Learners test on. HART has a venue in Kilsyth which would be close to you.

    Good Luck, riding is a great thing to do, for me it has always been a way to clear the mind, leave your troubles behind and just do something for yourself. When the weather is fine, the smell of eucalyptus is in your nostrils and the twisty mountain roads lie before you there is very few things finer in life.
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