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Please Help Me Choose A Bike (and No, I'm No Lazy, I've Done A Bit Of Research)

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' started by fauziozi, Nov 12, 2012.

  1. So guys, please help me out here.

    I've been looming for a new bike for 2 weeks now, I've done the research.. I've been to bike shops.
    I'm 163cm, and the bike will be used mainly for work commute and I hope it would be fun to ride as well.

    Budget is $4,500 for the bike only. I've already read post about cost of gears and I've spared some for it.

    Thing is, I'm confused on what I should get. I thought CBR250 would be the one, but I can't feel comfortable as I couldn't flat-foot it. The folk at the bikeshop agreed when I said I should get this bike lowered if I was gonna buy it.

    Tried CB125E, and it's wonderful!. It is perfectly comfortable and my heel wasn't too far off the ground (almost flat-foot it when the bike's upright), and the feel of the handle bar felt right (y) as well. I thought "this is the bike I want" until I learnt it can only go for max. 80km/h. My work commute involves highway and freeway for 20-30mins. Though, I just checked googlemap and it seems I can avoid the freeway, I'm wary in going at maximum speed on the highway all the time.

    I sat on VTR250 2007, and I was on my toes. Strangely though, another member in netrider claimed she's 156cm and managed to flatfoot a vtr250 2007. And no, I do not have short legs. I wonder why?

    Checked cycle-ergo.com, and was excited to know that vtr250 2009-2012 is lower than its 2007 (seat height 30.2" vs 30.7"). The seat height of CB125E is 30.1", so I thought my bike has been decided. So I decided to just wait for a private seller to offera bargain for my budget, then I go get it.

    Then today, I sat on a Hyongsu Comet (without permission :wacky:, its my mate's neighbour's bike) which cycle-ergo.com says it's seat height is 30.3". And I was on my toes!! How is this possible? it's only 0.2" difference than CB125E that I was perfectly comfortable with.

    I wonder if it's the built of the bike? is it wider? has the Hyongsu owner increase the height?

    And now I wonder if VTR250 2009-2012 is the right one for me.

    Is there an answer to this? Any other bike recommendation?

    Thanks heaps guys.
  2. Its likely to be width of seat as you guessed that is causing the difference.
  3. What about a cruiser like Virgao250 or Honda Rebel (do they still make them?) they will be lower.
  4. As you've found seat height figures don't mean a great deal since the width, and even angle of the seat play a big part as well. Few other points though:
    a) Don't buy a 125. If you're going to be using it a lot you'll be sick of it in a couple of months and their lack of acceleration jusr makes them dangerous on Australian roads (they're great fun to ride in SE Asia, but that's where they should stay).
    b) Don't buy a Hyosung
    c) Don't buy a 250 cruiser. They're overpriced for what they are, and also suffer from a lack of power as well as an inability to go around corners. If you must buy one though, the Virago is the best option (it at least has some semblance of cornering clearance)
    d) Don't lower a bike. It might be possible to do, but it'll completely ruin the handling.
    e) Try as many bikes as you can before deciding on something. The CBR250 might feel too big but have a look at the Ninja and even the GS500 (it might be a bigger bike but it does have a fairly low seat). A late model (ie '07) GPX might also be worth a look, since they have a seat that is both low and quite narrow.
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  5. Just thinking that the CB250F seems low. Though I wasn't impressed by the quality of the one that I rode so I might not recommend it.

    Maybe the old CB250?
  6. Following on from the bike height thread. In the first post you note that 'you have put money aside for gear'. Does this mean we can infer you dont currently have gear and sat on the bikes (VTR, CBR, etc) in flat shoes? The thing is, bike boots aren't flat and they will give you a little extra height allowing you to be more flat footed on taller bikes. Im sure this varies a little from boot to boot but in my experience, even runners (not thet Ive ever ridden in them) provide the same reach.
    So... if theres any truth in my assumptions go put a pair of boots on and try the VTR again.
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  7. Why do you need to flat foot it? Just look at dirt bikes, they're all really high off the ground, not many people can flat foot them me included and I'm 5'11. If you're stopping at a light just lean it over and take the weight with one leg.
  8. fauziozi Ride a heap of different bikes. Buy the one you like the most. Just because one person like a particular bike doesn't mean you will.

    Believe it or not, some new riders aren't very confident and being able to 'flat foot' it helps with confidence.

    If it was someone with a year or two of experience then I'd agree with you.
  9. Here you go.
    • Like Like x 1
  10. I had one of those (mine was a Malvern Star) in 1976.
  11. Are you confident enough to test ride bikes or were you planning on buying one and hoping you'd made the right call?
    The only real way to get the best result is to ride them all and compare notes... If you're going to test ride, at least get yourself a helmet and gloves.

    Have you considered a cb400? It's a great learners package in my opinion.
  12. #12 fauziozi, Nov 13, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2012
    To be honest, I have yet to flatfoot a motorbike that I sat on, so I don't know whether I need it. I guess this is just a conclusion I made after reading lots of post in netrider about some new riders want to be able to flatfoot their bike. I did not flatfoot the CB125E, but it was very close, and it felt god damn comfortable (I don't know if it's because of the near flat-foot, or just the feel of the bike itself).

    As my number 1 priority is comfort because I'll be riding it every weekday, I thought it just made sense to conclude I need to get a bike that I don't need to be on my toes everytime it stands upright.

    Anyone is free to prove me wrong though, in fact I'll be happy to know I'm wrong.. it just means I have a lot more choices for a bike now.

  13. Well, so far I've even doubt if I can even get a bike that would be comfortable enough so I wouldn't regret in 2 months time. I plan to at least get an affirmation that there's a bike I can be happy with, then go for an L test. Then, go test-ride the bike. Otherwise, I thought it's not even worth for me going for an L test and get the gears if at the end I decide I won't get a bike because I can't find one that fits to my liking.

    I guess I'm being too conservative here. But I have all the time in the world to do as much research as I need before I decide to spend money for gears and L test.

    I've looked at bikesales, CB400 seems to be way out of my budget :(. Thanks for the input.
  14. fauziozi, how do you plan on working out if a bike is comfortable or not if you can't ride it.

    Do your test, get your L's, then look at bikes.
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  15. Just sit on it. of course it wouldn't give me 100% accurate answer, but it would give me a great clue on how I would feel on traffic lights, traffic jam, or when I'm cornering with an extremely slow speed that I need to use my foot to help it move? CMIIW here :)
  16. As a newbie, sitting on it won't give you anywhere near to a 100% accurate answer.

    How it feels at stand still means precisely jack.

    As for the rest of your sentence, you will understand how wrong you are when you've done the learners course.
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  17. I agree with mick, you really want to go get your Ls and then look at bikes. The experience of actually riding a bike will teach you why some of the assumptions that you're making now don't need to be a serious as they seem.
    Also, there is the option of having bike seats re-shaped. That can involve having them shaved for lower height, sculpted more on the sides for a little less effective width, both of which will affect how much foot you can get on the ground.
    Don't go a 125cc - they really are seriously under-powered. A 250 is a good size to learn on. You'll find that they have plenty of power at first, can keep up on the freeway, and yet aren't intimidating. Get your Ls and then keep looking - you WILL find bikes that will suit.:)
    Riding bikes is too good to give up on before you start, just because you are worried about something that really won't be a problem. Lots of people your height happily and comfortably ride bikes.(y)
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  18. Second that. After I did my Qride, I could not wait to get on a bike. Got my Qride endorsement Sunday, Monday to get licence endorsed, Tuesday my VTR250! I was scared shitless but just can't wait to get on a bike. Earlier you are on it, earlier you start learning.
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  19. have you considered an old zzr 250. cracking bike. you'll get your foot down on it :)
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