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Newbie needing some general help+ which motorcycle?

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by jdimitri, Apr 16, 2008.

  1. Hey folks..

    I'm turning 18 in 2 weeks or so and i'm looking for a nice 250cc bike for my learner's license

    It's my first time riding motorcycles but i've been in 125cc scooters for about 2 weeks in bali (we rode around fairly fast after a while, reaching around 95km/h). But i obviously have no idea on what to do in case of gears

    Going by ride-tek courses, all i need is the Learner Permit Course right? I don't have my car Ls, should that be a problem?

    Oh, and i've been checking out motorcycles and the ones that seems ideal are the Honda Hornet, VTR250, CB250 and CBF250 (looks nice.. but seems a little plastick-y?) in that order

    I don't mind paying the extra cash if it's worth it, which one would you get if you were me? I'm about 178cm tall and 80kgs

    I'm eyeing the hornet in the classifieds but i prefer black bikes, although the blue is growing on me little by little

    I would probably also need one of those ventura racks so i can strap my small acoustic guitar amp to the back for gigs (problem getting them with hornets?)

    Any help would be much appreciated!
  2. Hi, I am a nub too, however I should be picking my hornet up this Friday afternoon (waiting on a fork rebuild as I wasn't happy with the seal condition), I'd be happy to check to see how a rear rack would fit on the H250 if you would like --- unless someone else out there has already fitted one --- you should be able to without too much hassle though, as I can remember seeing one advertised in the tradingpost with one already attached.
  3. Just fitted one on the back of my 600, which I assume would be pretty similar to the 250. Was a bit of a pain in the arse 'coz it was the first time, but I'd be able to do it real quick now.

    If you guys need any help give us a holler.
  4. +1 CB250F
    Great bike choice Stabby ! :p
    Hey yian.. did ya get to check out any ultra-low bars for the hornet yet?
  5. Not yet. Been flat out all week. If you're working this weekend, I might pop by then.
  6. You are aware that companies other than Honda make bikes right?

    Otherwise depends what you want to do with it. The CB is slow but cheap to run and reliable - the CBF250 is similar but made in Brazil which is why it seems "cheap".
    The VTR has much better performance, but can seem a little small for some riders.
    The Hornet has even more performance than the VTR, but needs to be revved hard to get it which some people have trouble with. It is also more expensive, higher maintenance (especially since most will be older than a VTR), and is only available as a grey import which can cause issues with service/parts/insurance. Rack shouldn't be a problem though since the 250 shares a frame with the 600 that was sold here.
    Of the ones you've listed I'd go with the Hornet - though personally I reckon the Suzuki GSF250V or Bandit 250 is better for the simple reason that they were sold here officially, and they're usually considerably cheaper (even though they're every bit as fast and reliable as a Hornet).
  7. I'm about your height and I find a VTR250 to be fine size-wise.

    I'm new to riding too, so I don't have much to compare it against, but I have no real complaints at all with the VTR250. Only minor niggle is that if you're planning to fit a ventura rack it gets in the way of removing the seat/rear cowl. So every time I want to remove the seat to use the helmet lock loop I need to remove the ventura rack.
  8. The VTR250 is an awesome little bike, I turn into a giggling idiot every time I ride one. The Hornet is fine, but the engine on the VTR makes it a winner in my books.
  9. I may be biased, but the VTR250 is a great bike. Perfect for learning on.

    The only problem I have had with my VTR250 was it decided to fall over on Kinglake-St andrews Road.... :LOL: Honestly, it had nothing to do with the rider. :wink: :wink: :wink: :roll: :grin:
  10. HORNET!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  11. Thanks for the help folks..

    The bandit looks interesting and it's a bit cheaper, i'll keep that in mind
    Booked the learner's test and now i'm going to scout for bikes and all the gear
  12. Either the VTR or the Hornet would be a great bike to start off on. Also consider the Kawasaki ZZR250. There great little bike to start off on. There are heaps of them around and you can pick up good one for under $4000.

    I think you'd get bored of a CB250 or CB250f if you were planning on anything other than commuting.

    Good luck with the test tomorrow!
  13. Or a Spada. like a VTR but six speed and closer ratios, with an indestructible and way overengineered frame and less of a faux monster vibe. They can be had for $2-3k unless you want one showroom shiny.

    And remember to budget between $1-3k for gear. Don't leave it until later - you'll need it most at the beginning.
  14. wow... i am exact same height as you and 12kg heavier....178cm and 92 kg and i love my cbr250rr, i do agree i might need to get stiffer suspension but..... such a cool bike ^_^
  15. 1-3k???

    I'm buying gloves, jacket and pants (jeans) from a US online store because it's half the price and it's going to end up around $400

    I'll have to look for a helmet here though, because of the lovely sticker that costs hundreds of dollars

    Can someone help me pick a good value helmet that looks alright? I'm not the biggest fan of decals so plain or simple design on it would be best

    KBC VR2 looks alright and the matte black one with star graphic caught my eye

    I still think that $370 is a hell lot to spend on a helmet though..

    Regarding boots, how important are they?
    My problem with them is that they're expensive and i don't know what to do with them when i get off the bike (unlike the pants and jacket, which i can wear around/put away somewhere)
  16. With a helmet fit is the most important thing so what's good for one person may be totally unsuitable for you - in other words you'll have to try them on for yourself.

    As for boots they are important and there's quite a few companies making ones that look no different to normal boots/runners and can be worn all day - yet do offer better protection (lot cheaper too, often around the $100 price range).
    Obviously they're not as good as the more expensive/fancier boots but they are an improvement over normal shoes which offer nothing in the way of protection for your ankles (often the first thing to start sliding across the ground). They also have reinforcing on the toes for the shift lever - normal shoes will wear through pretty quick in this area if you wear them for riding.
  17. I spent $1200 on my gear, not including summer stuff, which I'll buy later.

    Just be sure of your sizing. I recently found out by trying on some gear and it was way too small. Now that I've worked out what US size I am, I will look into ordering leathers from OS when it gets warmer.

    What price can you put on your life? I bought a Nolan N102 for $418, plain colours and a great fit (for me). Sure, it'll be expensive to replace, but if I have an accident and I"m still around to buy a new helmet, it's money well spent.

    Do you value your toes or the ability to walk? Don't skimp on protective gear, if you come off or get knocked off, it will help to reduce injury. You can get street shoe looking boots, http://www.bikebiz.com.au/enter.html?lmd=39534.728657 is one example. You do sacrifice shin protect though.
  18. There's some controversy about expensive vs cheap helmets: http://www.motorcyclistonline.com/gearbox/motorcycle_helmet_review/index.html

    I haven't crashed any so I don't have 1st hand experience, but I'll wager a properly fitting helmet for $3-400 from a reputable manufacturer will do fine. Don't try to get one much cheaper - I just don't think it's worth it.

    I've spent at least $3k - probably more - on gear since I bought my bike for $2300 - you'll notice as the seasons change you're buying an extra pair of gloves here, a mesh jacket there ... your gear will outlast your LAMS bike, so it's money worth spending IMO.

    I bought a plain white Shoei TZ-R to replace the horrible looking graphic covered $300 Nolan I've dropped about 10 times. I'm very happy with it, both its looks and function, but it was about $530 at MCAs.

    You got the right idea buying everything else online.

    I have a pair of these: http://www.rossiboots.com.au/catalogue/catalogue_details.asp?prodID=151 from Deus. Not the most protective, but cool (Celsius-wise) enough to wear all day most of the year round. You gotta work out your own best compromise between safety and convenience, esp. for footwear and leg protection which are harder to change than a jacket.
  19. Thanks for the help folks..

    I ordered a small Shark RSI dual because the store didn't have any in stock, and i have to buy the rest of the gear ASAP

    I think i've decided on a bandit (found one in good condition/cheap with rego)

    Problem is that it's 200kms away from me.. So i'll have to catch the v/ine train there and ride back

    So my first ride is going to be about 4 hours long, i hope i can get him to meet me halfway

    Otherwise, well i don't know
  20. See if you can get a riding mate to help you out, either by riding you bike back for you or riding with you.

    After my first day at Stay Upright yesterday, I now know how much concentration is needed to ride, a shite load! Bloody hell, it was fun :grin: