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Not yet a rider... help me make my choice

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' started by UP-ON-ONE, Feb 9, 2015.

  1. Hey everyone,

    I'm from melbourne and am looking to get my bike licence. Been wanting to do it for years now but everything seems to get in the way.

    Excuse the name, im a bit green when it comes to bikes and not very creative it seems! I read alot about them and have a love for them but never really rode.

    I am planning on going for my licence soon and have been looking at the LAMS market of bikes and wow, hasn't it grown.

    I've only ridden minimally on a mates suzuki gladius which I enjoyed, and other bikes here and there.

    I'm more into the cruisers but a while ago I sat on a Yamaha V Star 650 and ot felt quite heavy.

    I am about 5'7" and about 80kg.

    I want a bike for some weekend fun and came across the KTM RC390... looks like a tight little package with those sexy supersport lines.

    What are peoples thoughts on a good bike for my height and weight. Budget around $8 -9K.

    Cheers guys
  2. Been looking into the Honda Cb400 mainly due to:

    A) Hondas are just so damn reliable and,

    8) Seem to have a lot of positive support from most

    I was wondering though, would it fit my 5'7" frame?
  3. U can't go wrong with the cb400 mate. Unreal first bike. I don't really know but I think your frame should fit it pretty good. Go sit on one and find out
  4. welcome aboard :] go and try one on for size
  5. If you're into cruisers and want to spend 8-9k but want something smaller and lighter than the Vstar classic yammy, go and test ride the Suzuki S40 cruiser. It's a 650 but I found it a lot easier to ride than the Yamaha. I loved it to bits, but for me spending that kind of coin on a LAMS bike is a bit much, and as they're new into Australia there are no 2nd hand options. I loved the single cylinder feel.

    Also I was similar to you in things getting in the way with getting my license. My advice? Its like a tattoo.....just book it in. Once it's booked in, you're obliged to go and get it done.
  6. The only way you'll ever know which bike is right for you is sitting on them and then test riding. Try sitting on as many different bikes as you can, then decide which ones you were most comfortable on and liked the best. That narrows down your field for test rides.

    Make sure you're comfortable with the weight, if it gets dropped, you do have to pick it up... I do recommend insurance too.

    CB400s are great little bikes, the seat height is a little lower, but people taller than you have found them comfortable.

    Don't be afraid to expand your field of vision a little too. There are loads of great LAMS bikes around.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  7. Thanks for the replies everyone.

    I think the general consensus is that I should go and sit on some bikes and see how they feel.

    Because of my height, I feel somewhat restricted

    Weight is absolutely an issue because I have seen people drop their bikes and struggle to lift. Last thing I want is to be stuck somewhere with a bike I cant lift on my own.

    Thing is, I never really used to like naked bikes but they grew on me. Now I love naked bikes and cruisers.

    Just had a look at the CB400 brand new, $11k on road, WOW!! Great bike but a bit rich....

    I can see this is going to be a long road, but I think what I will do is book in my L's first and that will be my "ticket to ride" (pun intended).

    Will keep you all posted and thanks for the honest replies, appreciate it!
  8. Have a look at this, gives you a good handle on seat heights and rider position. http://cycle-ergo.com/
    The CB400 is a terrific all rounder, quick and agile. I'm 6'1" and found it comfortable, a friend who is only 5'5" had no trouble getting the foot down either. Having said that, as has been said, there is no substitute for sitting on and riding one to find out.
  9. That link is awesome. Gives me a great starting point, thanks Mcsenna !!
  10. Another note, can anyone recommend good places in Melbourne to go for my L's?
  11. Don't stress too much about the weight, there is usually some nice soul around who will help you pick up your bike. On the occasions when someone has driven over my bike, some lovely bloke has always picked mine up for me.
  12. If it's your first bike, I would suggest 2nd hands a better option. You'll drop some coin on a new bike in depreciation. Even more if you drop the bike. Less to lose going 2nd hand. Also means more choice in general. Hart are pretty good for getting your L's. Good luck.
  13. Bandit 250 is a good first bike,they're relatively cheap and easy to ride.
  14. I recommend Ride-tek I went for both Ls and Ps

    I can recommend Ride-tek MTA, went there for my Ls and Ps. They have good instructors and reasonable prices. I also heard a lot of good stuff about HART training but I had no first-hand experience with those guys and as far as I know they are a bit pricy.
    And as Gooza mentioned above, consider buying a used bike. New bikes loose a significant amount of their value as soon as they leave the shop and chanses are, you will be selling your 1st bike in a year or so. Used bike will hold it's value much better so you can expect getting most of your money back after you'll sell it. And of course, dropping new bike is way more unpleasant.
  15. I've got a DR400 and this bike is the definition of fun, wheelies are so easy to pull off, it's easy to throw around and if I ever see a rough bumpy track off to the side of the road I'm able to explore it at will. I guess it depends, DR400 isn't a fast bike and doesn't like long distance trips sitting on 100km/h, but through towns, bush and back roads it's plenty capable enough. It's a reliable enough bike, I've owned mine for a couple of months now and have put over 6000kms onto it, yet to have a single problem.

    I'm fairly short and this bike's fairly tall, but it's light enough I can just lean it over to get on and off. Also quite easy to pick up, I've dropped mine and had it end up down a fairly deep gutter on the side of the road, I was able to drag it back up by myself with only minimal effort.

    Of course, the fact you live in the city might mean this bike won't be suitable for you.. but still, if you like the idea of something that seems to be generally aimed at fun, it's worth checking out. Can pick them up $9,000 brand new.. I got mine for $4,500 with only 2000kms on the clock, in pretty mint condition.. so it isn't a bank buster either.
  16. Buy second hand it is better to learn on something that has not lost value riding out of the shop, and it will have it's scratch somewhere, so when dropped, it will be OK
    • Agree Agree x 1
  17. Hi there,
    I'm a couple of weeks away from getting off my P's finally, so I've had time to think about what I'd do if I had to go through LAMS again. I bought a new KTM Duke 200, and it was f'ing brilliant - very light, very responsive, it was easy to learn on, easy to pass the MOST on, and still fun enough that I didn't feel like I was missing out. Now, though, I simply want more power. (19 KW only gets you so far, so fast :)

    I think the question people should ask is, are you going to have to do green P's as well? I.E. will you have to ride your LAMS bike for 3 years? If so, that's a long time, so spend up and get the nicest new bike you can afford. If not, (and you said you'd been thinking of bikes for years so maybe like me you're over 25) then get something small, light, second hand, with a reliable brand, and save the cash because in 15 months you'll be drooling over the possibilities.

    Maybe I've been lucky, but in 15 months of learning and P's, I've not hit anything or dropped the bike. I think if you've ridden bicycles, and have driven cars for long enough to have street smarts, you'll have the base skills you need to survive in the wild already. People learning to ride bikes without a few years learning how to predict traffic are at elevated risk imho.

    Regarding training, which is really practice and prep for your P's test, I found a local carpark that was empty after hours, and bought 6 cones at Bunnings. Then I did an hour a time, as often as I could, practice practice practice, round and round. It was fun and I am certain it was a huge help at test time and those skills stay with you. You can probably download a copy of what the test entails from the govt. body website (don't know which, it's the Roads and Marine Authority here in NSW).
    • Like Like x 1
  18. Hey Paskis,

    Thanks for the detailed feedback mate. I really appreciated that !!

    You just made a very valid point and something I didnt really think about before, and I want some input from everyone here....

    - I just read on the Vic Roads website that they going to be introducing (ffrom 1st Oct 14) a 2 stage licence. 2nd stage (P's) will go from 1 year to 3 years which changes the ball game completely.

    Initially I thought about a cheap learner bike to belt around the traps, but it seems I will be on my P's a while longer than I thought which means maybe invest in a better LAMS bike for the 39 month run

    What are peoples thoughts on this?

    This has really turned my plans on its head!

    Never easy is it?
  19. Go for something that's going to be reliable and that you're not going to grow out of within a couple of months. The smaller bikes, like the 125cc and 250cc bikes are great to begin with. A week, a couple of weeks, a month, etc, you're over it and you want to trade up.

    A lot of bike manufacturers have done a lot of work with LAMS bikes up to 650cc.

    The other added bonus of getting something with more power is that if you get into trouble, you have a bit more power to draw on and get out of it.
  20. Don't think of it as a chore, it should be exciting and fun.. even if you're limited to LAMS. Shop around and have a look at larger capacity bikes if you're worried about getting bored or out growing a smaller bike.
    • Agree Agree x 1