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Noobs on the rampage!

Discussion in 'Welcome Lounge' started by Davodian, Oct 13, 2014.

  1. Hi everyone,

    a little bubble popped up and asked me to introduce myself so i'm here!

    My name is David, from Canterbury Sydney.
    Going for my Pre-learners this weekend (18th-19th Sept) and hopefully the DKT soon after.

    At the moment i'm tossing over getting a 250cc or biting the bullet and getting a CB400 which i will probably keep after my P's.

    I'm 30 so maybe a late bloomer? no real experience on the bike outside of being a passenger on my recent Vietnam trip. I think it was a 125cc scooter. Heaps fun which is why I decided to learn learn. Always wanted to learn how to ride but life happens.

    Anyway maybe someone can help me out.
    Should i get a 250cc to start with? or get something more powerful like the CB400 just to "future proof" myself.. sigh.

    Also anyone here who was a complete newbie (never ridden a bike before) but bought and rode their motorcycle home right after their Prelearners and DKT? The thought of it scares the crap out of me!

  2. Hi Dave,

    It's hard to recommend a bike that suits you when you've never ridden before. I was 12 when I got my fisrt minibike and 13 when I got my first full sized motorbike. SO I already had the basics down pretty well before I got my road licence (aged 26). Back then I had to start on somehting no bigger than a 250 and felt it was too under powered. Then some 20 years later I bought a 250 dual sport to do some off road as well as road riding. Riding that home from the dealers back then was quite scary. Then I got used to riding on the road very quickly. A 400 for someone who has never ridden before may be too heavy and stifle you development.

    There may be riders closer than I (I'm near Liverpool) but I'd be happy to help you get your bike home. If you are buying from a dealer, maybe ask them to deliver it for you. Let me know how you go.
  3. Hi Senetor,

    Yeah in the back on my mind I know you're probably right, re: a 400 not being the best bike for a complete newbie.

    I guess I just like the look and read many good things about them but then again you have to crawl before you can walk. Also for a newbie I probably don't want to spend more thank 4-5k.

    It's just that the idea of upgrading within a year is bothersome though if i enjoy riding a bike as much as i hope then i guess upgrading will be a natural and necessary progression.

    My dad lives up near your way (kinda) in Miller/Cartwright :)
    Thanks for the offer, you're very kind!
  4. Let me know if you need some help.
  5. Cheer buddy. Will do!
  6. Davodian, don't be afraid of the CB400, it is easier to ride than a 250. I had one for a day as a loaner and put about 200kms on it. I pottered around Sydney and it felt like the torque shift point was around 5000 rpm (from memory) and then the machine was asking me to kick up gear. You'll know it when you feel it.

    I was up to 6th from a standing start in about 300 metres and all was right with the world as I tootled through the suburbs. The biggest issue with smaller capacity bike is having to operate in the narrow power band and this is especially the case with 250s. The CB400 allows you to be a fair bit either side of that band in the lower gears and it still pulls without having to kick down a cog.

    Then things get hairy. As I said, this is a suburban putterer up to 5 or 6,000 rpm. After a while when I hit some clear road, I thought I'd see what happens when you creep towards that 11,000,000 rpm redline. Holly shite, this thing rockets at around 8,000rpm! Suburban commuter becomes fanging banshee.

    BUT you are never forced to go there if you don't want to, and that's why i's the safer ride.Under $6,000 puts you on a low kms 2008 model.

    btw, I've also ridden my daughter's boyfriend's CB250R quite a bit and it's a farting, snarling, screaming pig with an ear-splitting Yoshi exhaust that demands to be thrashed. Defintely, go the 400 if you can afford it. You'll never wonder, "why didn't I buy the 250?"
  7. Welcome Davodian.

    And I second what DarrylD said - the CB400 is a great choice for a starter bike, you certainly wouldn't be the first to make it, and for good reason. Easy to learn to ride, heaps of fun when you do, reliable, practical and as you say, more than good enough to keep past your restrictions.

    My only gripe about them when they first appeared was price, but even that was tempered by how good the package was. Now that used bike prices have gone down I'd definitely pick one over a 250.
  8. I'm sort of a newbie on a CB400. I rode dirt bikes until the age of 16, but then nothing until I got my Ls at 34.

    I love my bike and feel extremely comfortable on it. I considered getting something smaller and cheaper, but if I did I'd probably be regretting it now.

    If you're not confident with test rides after you get your Ls maybe just try sitting on a few bikes to see what feels right. For me it was instantly the CB400. I'm also female and 5'4, and I find it managable to manoeuvre etc.
  9. Aw man! you guys are awesome at giving constructive advice and suggestions!

    A mate of mine is smaller build than me however slightly taller said when sitting on the VTR250 he felt it was like a toy which made me think of the CB400 as a solid bike based on Google reviews, Netrider threads and also the idea of future proofing myself as I'm happy to ride around Sydney without going on the open road...for now. Though from what i've read most people tend to eventually go for longer adventure rides.

    I was looking at the Kawasaki Er6NL but read it wasn't as "learner friendly" as the cb400. I've been researching solidly for about 3 weeks now. Day and Night!

    Thanks all
  10. whoops correction on the original post by me. Going for the pre-learners on 18th-19th October (not September) with the Mrs. :)
  11. Not a lot wrong with the ER6NL, it's got more bottom end torque so that might be a bit intimidating at first but it's nothing you won't get used to pretty quickly.

    Bigger problem imho is how the throttle was restricted to make it LAMS compliant. You can really feel it when you try to open it up, it feels like it's being held back (which it is) which is a worry if you want to keep it past your plates. CB400 was LAMS compliant out of the factory, so it feels like a complete bike if you know what I mean.
  12. Yep definitely know what you mean.
    Looking on bikesales and gumtree, I've found both bikes in a close'ish price bracket. Newer ER6NL comes with ABS which is a nice benefit but I guess i should learn on a solid traditional LAMS bike without too much bells and whistles before I just on anything else.
  13. welcome aboard mate :] drop by a bike shop and take a seat on a few to give you an idea
  14. Welcome! Yep I agree with Jeffco.... go sit on a few different models see which one feels best for you.
    Cheers it!
  15. Welcome to NR...
  16. Welcome to the madhouse! Best problem to have in my mind - which bike to buy!
  17. Well thanks to everyone for your kind words and warm welcome but alas on Saturday I didn't pass the first day! ha!

    I did the pre-learners at Clyde Stay Upright and had Tony. He was a very patient and nice instructor. Everything was fine, no gripes about the venue, staff etc.

    Now to the juicy bit!
    Well i can't say i struggled that much, I didn't stall the bike at all, I did drop it once when my pusher didn't have enough 'oomph' to push me so when I went to put my feet up obviously there wasn't enough momentum and it toppled over though in saying that It was my fault for not ensuring i was balanced before i put my feet up so I don't want to blame

    I was able to ride the bike in 1st gear just with friction point fine, I rode the bike at least 5 times around that lap during the cornering stages with what Tony termed fast idle but for the life of me I couldn't grasp the idea of 'turning with your head'. Sure i made the turns but more than once I didn't have control of the bike and kept grabbing the handlebars which then affected the throttle...sigh.

    Anyway i'm not too disappointed. I paid $80 to confirm being on the road on two wheels isn't my thing. More power to those who do ride :) much respect.

    I know i can do it given enough practice in more open space but i'm not fussed, it was always meant to be a weekend kinda hobby so I don't feel hard done by. I walked off the track, pulled my helmet off and the first words to my wife was "I can do without this stress" haha but yeah, short lived episode in my life.

    thanks guys!
  18. Sorry to hear that, mate. I'm not going to try to change your mind, but I will say that most if not all of us felt those kinds of wobbles when we first gave this thing a go. It's not an easy thing to learn, and I know what you mean about 'steering with the head' - over a decade on I still have to remind myself sometimes.

    If and when you ever decide to give it another go, you know where you can come for some support and advice :)
  19. Yep, everyone has been very encouraging so thank you for that.
    All the best to everyone. Safe riding!