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Recommendations for first bike upgrade

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' started by Pasty, Aug 5, 2008.

  1. Hi All!

    Wondering if I can pick your brains for a moment. Currently I am riding a Honda Shadow TA200. Will be off my restrictions in March next year, and am already thinking of my next bike, as the Shadow is somewhat lacking in power, and is quite small for me to ride.

    I am wanting to get something that my wife will be comfortable sitting on the back of, easy to manuveure, easy on the petrol, comfortable to ride, etc. Soo maybe a sport tourer or something?

    Since I am new to bike riding, would people suggest going from a 200cc to something like a 600 or 750?

    Kinda like the Blackbirds, but would be a little too much power too soon I think...

    Any ideas??

    Thanks a lot!!
  2. Well, there's a big, big marketplace out there with lots of models that would fit. The VFR800 Honda has a very strong following around these boards and is at the sporty end of the ST spectrum. Likewise Suzuki's 650 VStrom is very popular and is much more cruisy. Try making a list of features you really want and are not negotiable and those that you would kind of like and see what fits. In my case I wanted a mid size sport tourer for the daily commute in all weathers and some touring so I wanted.
    1. Shaft or belt drive (I'm sick of chain maintenance.)
    2. Anti lock brakes.
    3. Comfortable with not too much weight on the wrists.
    4. Comprehensive and professional dealer service backup.
    5. Long service intervals.
    6. Luggage that works - preferably factory.
    7. A centrestand (look, I just want one).
    8. Sub $20K on the road.
    I bought the BMW F800ST and have been very happy with it.
  3. I would suggest that when your time to come off of restrictions approaches, you look back at your learning period and consider how your first bike handled your usage.

    Do you want to sit more upright? More sporty?
    More or less wind protection?
    More sport? More touring? Urban-friendly?
    Lazy, low-revving power or high-strung high-revving power?

    I wouldn't worry so much about absolute displacement and absolute power for 'rideability' - I think the power delivery is of greater consideration. Some bikes don't have much power but deliver it in a very aggressive and "angry" manner (For example, Suzuki RGV250, with 65-70hp delivered as a huge kick in the butt). Some bikes have an abundance of power - 125hp, 135hp, 145hp, 155hp... but are very easy to ride because they're smooth and predictable in their delivery.
  4. Check out a Suzuki Gsx650f ..and yes I own one .
    But the reason I say this bike might be good for you as its a easy sports touer to ride and coming from a cruiser 200cc to a full on sports tourer will be like learning all over again.

    I had to re-learn how to ride a road bike after spending 1.5 years on a cruiser ,its a whole new ball game.

    But the only way to tell if you can handle the bird is take one for a ride.
  5. i was in a similar position to you a few months ago. what bike to upgrade to?

    write a list down, then get on google and go for it!

    i narrowed it down to 10 bikes.

    the next step was to go see each one in the flesh, and maybe get a ride of them.

    since i'm tall (195cm!), 3/4 of the bikes on the list got binned straight up.

    this left only a few.

    google again, more reviews, speak to people who own them, get a ride of them, or get a ride as a pillion at the least.

    lastly, it came down to money. this effected what year of each bike i could afford.

    hope this helps, otherwise i'm rambling again! :LOL:
  6. I upgraded at t5he end of last year. For me and my budget the choices were
    er6-n, sv650 or fz6n. Chose the er6-n.
  7. How much do you wanna spend?
  8. Just had a quick look at these - and they look rather good! Compared to the GSX750F which looks a bit odd imo.

    The er6-f looks awesome actually!

    I am after some fairings/screens to ward off the wind. I get blown around like a ragdoll on the cruiser, which I aint too fond of.

    Centre stand would be good.

    Budget is around 9k - 11k - had a look at that BMW AlGroover, which looks great, but a bit pricey for me! :(

    Thanks for all the tips! Will do some more research.

    Thanks guys/galz ;)
  9. Hi,

    I have just upgraded from my LAMS bike. For the past year I have been riding a 1981 model Yamaha XJ650. This was an awesome bike till it just died on me two weeks before getting my black licence.

    Anyway, I checked out all of the bikes on your list, but decided in the end to push the finances just a bit past my original budget (roughly the same as yours) and opt for a new Suzuki Bandit 1250. I picked up an ex demo (with 140km on the clock) ABS version and had them add a top box. On the road with a year's rego it cost me 13 grand.

    What an decision! I have put nearly two thousand k's on it in about three weeks and just love it. I know you were concerned about the upgrade in power, but the delivery is so effortlessly smooth that unless you are determined to act like a hoon, this bike is as placid as anything on the road. That's not to say it's slow - far from it. I commute from the Central Coast to Sydney every day and on the freeway at 110km/h the bike is barely running above idle. It pulls smoothly in top gear from 80 to lost licence territory in a couple of heartbeats.

    My only slight niggle would be the windscreen. I'm 180 tall and 115kg so I would like to maybe add a higher windscreen - maybe a double bubble to give a bit more wind protection.

    So, to summarise, add the Bandit to your wishlist and take one for a test. You won't be disappointed.

    Good luck mate.