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Noob from Queensland!

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by demuire, Oct 1, 2005.

  1. Hi everyone, just signed up and thought I'd say hi and introduce myself.

    Live in Ipswich, work in Brisbane. I've recently been hit (for no real apparent reason) by the "bike bug", and have now gotten my L's and signed in for a QRide course with Stay Upright mid next month.

    Previous riding experience? Just about 0. I've riden a pushbike a little, and been pillion rider a few times when I was a lot younger and remember being scared sh*tless. Attempted to ride a postie a few years ago too, got about 15 meters down the hill and sort of fell off :)

    Anyway, have been looking at some bikes (only the cruisers seem to do anything for me, I love the look and the sound), and reading things on the net and looking at gear. Was at Yamaha the other day and was quite seriously considering buying a new Virago 250 (the salespeople were VERY persuasive!), but decided that maybe I should actually learn to ride a bike, and test ride a few bikes, before actually buying one :) At the moment, am only really looking at the Virago and the Hyosung Aprila, which from another thread here seems to be quite highly regarded.

    Looking in the trading post etc it appears that bikes (esp cruisers) don't seem to devalue much at all, is there any point in buying a 2nd hand one? From looking at Virago's, it appears that even a 1990's one (close to 15 years old) tends to go for about $3-4K, and a 2000 one with about 20K k's seems to go for about $5K. The Yamaha dealers were willing to sell me a brand new Virago for $6000 inc ORC and $500 of accesories!

    Also, gear. From reading on the net most people seem to recon that leather is the go, but from talking to people at bike shops they seem to recommend non-leathers as they are generally waterproof, more breatheable, and apparently work as well as leather as far as protection goes? Have looked at Draggin Jeans too, but from reading threads here it looks like they're really only "adequate" and not really "good" protection?

    How important are boots? Most people I see don't seem to wear them, are they very different to normal shoes? Can you walk around in them comfortably?

    Too many questions, I know too little!
  2. Also, what are chaps like for protection? I've never seen anyone wearing them before... I guess one attraction to them is that you can wear them over "normal-go-out" pants...
  3. $500 isn't much for protective gear, but its a good start.

    I knew someone in Brisbane who was also sold a virago at a good price from a dealer (no idea how much though) and told him it was the bike for him, which is a bit strange cos everything i hear about them is a chicks bike... (i dont know if ure a guy or girl though).

    Better idea to test a few bikes and see whats best for you. I wanted a cbr, mainly because I knew its seat height was lower then others , but they are always more expensive. Even though I still have a week to go until I go to my L's course, I bought a gpx.. same seat height, half the price, and runs perfectly. I sat on a heap of other bikes and found that they were too big for me, so I guess it was easy to cross them off the list also.
  4. The fact that used 250s hold their prices is due to the fact that there is high demand and relatively few being sold new (there's also a lot being written off or simply wearing out). Buying new is a good idea if you plan on keeping the bike for a while (ie don't really need/want a larger bike) although you will have to go through the "running-in" procedure. Nothing wrong with good quality synthetic (eg Cordura) riding gear, should offer more than enough protection especially if it has amour inserts and back protector built in. Draggin jeans should also be sufficient for 60kph city riding.

    ..or not, for that arse-out look :LOL: . Seriously though chaps offer good protection against abarasion (where the leather is) but since they lack armour there's no protection against impact.
  5. I'd feel like a cowboy riding the wrong thing in chaps :p
  6. If you come off, your ass is what will hit the ground sliding, and chaps (apart from looking queer as a handful of daisy's) have great gaping holes right where you want protection... Seems like a ridiculous idea to me... Goodl uck huntin' -J.
  7. One good reason for not buying a brand new bike straight off is the "OOOOPPPss" factor. Most newbies manage to drop their bike. Seem to recall a thread about this on here recently.

    If you get something that's been "pre-dropped", if you add a few more dings & scratches it doesn't matter much.

  8. I ride in Draggins all the time, and have just ridden from southern victoria to Cairns in them. They are comfortable, and while admittedly I haven't had a high speed off in them, they've coped with everything so far.

    Lack of armour was an issue, but now they supply hip and knee armour for Draggins. The knee armour velcro's inside to the kevlar, and the hip armour needs a pocket sewn in for it - tho I personally would look into velcro'ing them as well. I use the knee armour but since I already had the jeans I didn't get the hip armour, as I think you would need to get a size larger to accommodate them - which you can certainly do if you are buying new. I wasn't sure how comfy the knee armour would be, thinking it might be too tight, but once settled into the right place on the knee I've found them to be fine - and that is with riding all day, for multiple days.

    And remember, chaps won't protect your bum! :p If you look at Draggins, note where the kevlar is... bum, knees and outside seams.
  9. Wow, so many replies! :)

    p_stampy: I never thought of the Virago to be a girls bike, but reading on here it seems that most people here do. I'm a guy, but I'm reasonably small built and not very tall either - 170cm. I've only ever actually *sat* on a Virago, and found it to be a comfortable height. I think Stay Upright have Honda CB250's as trainer bikes, I suppose I'll see what that's like soon :)

    A bit hard for me to try out different bikes at the moment as I don't know how to ride a bike.

    $500 isn't much, but it IS a start. From talking to people at the shops it sounds like I should budget about $1000 or a little more to start. I have a helmet I can use for now (full face HJC, I do a fair bit of club level racing in my car and a bit of national and international level racing in a racing team), but ultimately I'd like to get another helmet sometime, as my HJC has wires sticking out of it for the intercom system.

    jd: Hmm, I guess one thing is that I don't know how long I'll keep my first bike for, or if I'd be craving for a bigger bike before long. Since I'm relatively small built and I only weigh in at about 55kg, I'm guessing a 250 would probably keep me happy for awhile... In which case I'd probably be happy to keep the first bike I get for awhile. That plus the fact that I'm not looking for speed or outright power, I just want something to cruise around on. But my dad tells me that "the safety of a bike is in it's power" because it lets you get away from danger. So maybe a bigger bike would be good... I don't think I know enough about bikes to really make an educated guess on this.

    commanda: Hmm, yes I did kinda think about that too. I guess I'm sort of hoping I don't drop my bike *cross fingers* but hmm, yeah.

    re clothes etc: I suppose where I'm sort of coming from is that I'll mostly be using my bike to commute (as opposed to "going for a weekend ride"), and the idea of going to the movies or to work or something wearing leather pants or my one pair of draggins jeans that I'll probably own to start isn't as appealing as I'd like it to be. And armour... Great for riding I'm sure, not so nice to be walking around all day in...

    Looking at some of the leather pants online, it appears that some of them are made to be worn over other pants? Like, they have buttons and zips and stuff down the sides? Or is that for something else?

    What does everyone else do? Do you wear your Draggins everywhere you go? I suppose I could just carry a big bag and a change of clothes everywhere I go :) I would assume that keeping stuff like that in saddlebags isn't really very secure...
  10. which yamaha dealer did you talk to??

    they do sell a lot of new virago's, and sorry to tell the doubters, the men are buying them as a first bike :) Cheap, reliable and easy to ride. I was a bit surprised to hear a salesman trying to tell a guy to buy his missus one, especially as he's just bought a new r6! Personally I wouldn't buy one, but that's only cos i don't like the cruiser style.

    the golden rule with gear is, if you come off and slide, leather saves you. If you come off and hit something armour saves you. Textile jackets have armour (some CE approved)
  11. Looking at bikes and more bikes and more bikes, I think I can sort of see why the Virago may be regarded as a bit of a "ladies bike", because it's kinda small and doesn't really have the "macho" stance like a sports bike, but doesn't really have to "fully laid back" look of for instance the V-Star?

    I think the sort of bikes that appeal most to me at the moment are the sort of in-between cruisers and sports bikes. Bikes like the Virago (am I weird?), the Kawasaki VN250 Eliminator, the Hyosung GV650, the Yamaha Warrior... Although I'm slowly warming up to both ends of the spectrum too - the laid back cruiser like the Hyosung GV250, and the "bare naked" sports bike like umm... yeah, like one of those :)
  12. Tanya: Yamaha Mooroka. And if you know the store, I was speaking to James. Great guy to deal with, except for some reason he kept telling me that the Virago is water cooled...

    So the textiles don't slide as well as leather? What about the cordura and kevlar lined ones? Do any of the leather jackets come with armour? The guys at the shops seem to recon that the textile ones work just as well against abrasion as leathers, in fact every shop I've spoken to have been very very highly recommending the textiles over the leathers.
  13. Mate I weigh 130kg am 180 cm tall and ride a 250 virago. It's a 1999 model with nearly 30k on the clock, but it handles riding 2 up (my girl weighs about 55kgs). I love it, it was a great bike to start on and they are cheep as chips to maintain and buy. By the way if you haven't booked in your course yet, have a look at Ride Smart. They are great and the offer a price guarantee, which is a good thing.
  14. scottomcgotto: Thanks for the reply :) I did look at Ride Smart, they're a tad more expensive at $550, but the price guarantee is a nice thing to have. I suppose one thing that swayed me to Stay Upright (although it has nothing to do with it at all) is that they train at Mt Cotton, and I teach advanced driving part time at Mt Cotton :)

    Does anyone know what the Hyosung GV250's are like as far as power and maintenance etc? They appear to be more powerful (having a more "advanced" engine), but they're also heavier. And I'd imagine like a Hyundai resale value wouldn't be crash hot? Do they, like most Hyundai's, also start to fall apart after the first few years? It's a lot more bike for the same sort of money though.

    Also, something I've been thinking about:

    Registering a bike for solo seater appears to be a fair bit cheaper, and it doesn't seem to cost much to convert a bike to a solo seat. Is it worth doing, since for the first year I won't be able to carry a pillion anyway? And then convert it back to a dual seater once I can actually carry someone?

    What about things like saddlebags and carrying other things, is the pillion seat required for this? All the luggage racks and stuff I've seen seem to hang off the sissy bar, which is sort of part of the pillion seat? Then again, I suppose I shouldn't really be carrying anything big on the back of a bike for my first year either...
  15. Go the Broncos.......oh they did go....

    Go the Cowboys.......oh they stuffed up too:(

    Good to see the Tigers win a flag though :)
  16. Not to derail the thread, but I was thinking watching the game that players from only 5 years ago would have been exhausted by half time with the pace of the game these days. I've never seen a Grand Final played at such a furious rate.
    And will there be some sore heads in Campbelltown tonight? One of the Wests players said after the game "The party's going to go on for months!!"
  17. demuire:

    most leather and textile jackets have armour in them :) Just feel to see how strong it is.. some textiles i wouldn't wear to the shops they're so weak, but others i would trust implicitly, just be careful with what you choose. Textile jackets have had a bad rap in the past, but nowdays they're pretty good.

    single seat rego is $205 for the year, you will need to remove the seats, the pillion pegs and get a mod plate attached to the bike. Depending on where you get it done, some attach the plate to the frame of the bike :( but if you turn the bike back into a 2 seater, they don't remove that plate, they add a new one - yes silly) It won't affect the sissy bar, it has seperate brackets.

    I don't know morooka people, i work at another dealer i was curious :)
  18. tanya: About the jacket, I suppose I don't really know what to look for and how to tell between a "strong" and a "weak" jacket. They kinda look the same to me :) The "summer" ones appear to be very much lighter (naturally), I would assume they aren't as strong as the winter ones...

    And yes, I know about mod plates, I have 4 on my car... :p I think the mod plate was about $75 or something like that? I suppose the savings would be kinda negated if I converted it back to a dual seater a year later, as I don't think dual seat rego is more than $150 more than single seat rego? Not for one year anyway...
  19. demuire, I wear my draggin's everywhere... uni, work, the pub, shopping... I picked up leather pants recently for weekend rides, but other than that, my ass is covered by draggin's.
  20. saeraph: Interesting, I suppose I could just use all my other pants for like... when I drive my car :p Although I can't wear jeans to work... Ah well, find some leather "overpants" or buy some leather pants 3 sizes too big :p