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Returning to the flock

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by adinfinitum, Nov 13, 2006.

  1. Hi all,

    Just new to this forum and would like to edge my way in with a general and no doubt fairly common question to the group.

    A little background – I rode bikes for several years up until about 14 years ago when licences were still paper and R was separate from D licences, I let my rider’s lapse and have to start again from L’s :oops: . I’m in NSW so LAMS applies.

    My position now is that my now soon-to-be 2nd wife is keen to get her first bike :cool: and this has motivated me with a new enthusiasm. I live near Katoomba in the Blue Mountains and work in Penrith – this means that even my commuting involves highway travel for 50kms and 1000m climb. My definite preference is NOT to go back to sports bikes and have fallen in love with a few mid-sized cruisers – Suzuki VL800 and Kawasaki Vulcan 900 are the two top for comfort and size (haven’t test ridden yet though).

    As I have to start from scratch I am in a dilemma as to where to start with my first re-entry bike. As with most here, funds are an issue. My quandary then is should I/would you;
    a) buy a 10 year old Virago or similar for a few months to regain skills and confidence before moving from L’s to blacks (over 30 so no P’s) and then upgrade. I’m concerned about the Virago climbing up the mountain every day with my 90kg.
    b) Buy a 1-2 year old Hyosung 650 or Honda VT650 immediately and be happy with this for a few years until/if finances allow a decent upgrade to a 1600 cruiser
    c) Not buy any bike, and use my fiancés (intended) ER5 to get to my full licence and then get the bike of choice.

    I apologise for the length of this but after reading many posts, your input will be most appreciated.
  2. Welcome to the forums and back to riding!

    LAMs is a great system and if they had it in Vic I would have probably got the Hyosung 650 [unrestricted would be illegal ;-)]
  3. Check ou the suzuki XVS650, it is LAMS legal and quite a nice bike from memory. I believe it performs OK for a 650 cruiser as well.
  4. I'd probably go with the ER5, as it would make a good commuter which handles and brakes well and good economy, then get the bike of your choice, which by then, may have changed.
  5. One thing I never see anyone preach here is "start as you mean to go on"....

    As in, look at where you want to be...

    Perhaps you want to ride a harley... if so, pick a cruiser as your learner bike

    Perhaps you want to own a Ducati Monster.... pick a naked sports bike...

    The latest Litre race replica... get a sports learners bike...

    So.... That is my advice... It sounds like you want to ride a big honker of a v-twin cruizer...

    - Intruder
    - GN (old now)
    - dont seem to make a lams legal cruiser anymore
    - CB (old now)
    - Aquila (available in 250 and 650 lams)
    - Eliminator
    - Virago
    - XVS (dont know if you can get lams legal ones)

    There will be other models, but this should give you a good idea of the bikes available...

    As far as buying a lams legal (or 250) cruiser....... Sure ... why not? They lose a fair bit of value over the first years, but if you have the money there is nothing like a completely trouble free bike to ride...
  6. Seeing you are over 30, you only have to pass your P's and you can get whatever bike you want

    See Here

    I know Gypsy did this but haven't seen him posting here for a while

    Minimum timeframe from L's to P's is three months, but if you've ridden before and you don't want to buy a LAMS bike, hire the CB250 and pass and then go shopping for the bigger bike
  7. Thanks for your responses, varied as they are it's always good to get a wide range of opinions.

    Hi StereoHead - you've kinda hit the nail on the head here. Perhaps this is the question I should've asked.

    What is the general concensus of this approach? I've gotten myself into trouble before with sports bikes and also now my knees are pretty much grinding bone-bone. My triumphant return to two wheels therefore has to cater for my premature osteo-ageing. Also, even simply commuting, I'm travelling 1.5 or more hours a day and I'm really taken by the laid back riding style of cruisers.

    This (Yamaha) was initially my first choice - I love the big 1700 warrior. I wan't very comfortable on this though compared with the Aquila.

    Thanks all, your opinions are all very welcome and food for thought.
  8. Correct me if I'm wrong, but so long as you can arrange the courses and pass the tests, there is no waiting period. You could conceivably get your L's on Monday and your blacks on Tuesday
  9. I use a naked for commuting and love it, I ride about 2-3 hours a day in all kinds of traffic from freeway 110kmh runs to gridlocked CBD streets and I would not get a cruiser as I think it would be too low down and wide to navigate.

    But if it was 80% hwy cruising then yep would be a great choice, but hey what do I know?
  10. In the same boat as you adinfinitum, except I'm not a former rider.

    Everything I have read on the RTA website states that there is no minimum wait period after receiving Ls to getting Unrestricted if you are over 30. :)
  11. Fark! What strange bedfellows, that's like comparing Shakira with Amanda Vanstone.... :shock:
  12. OOPS! I Meant comparing the XVS650 to the Aquila :oops: -

    there was a 3 month waiting list on the warrior - none for little-ole-me to sit on and dream. =P~
  13. Don't know what I was smoking, but you are right.

    Let us know how you get on.

    If you've ridden before go straight to the bigger bike - will save having to sell a smaller one :cool:
  14. Yep, do the paper work, satisfy the bureaucrats and get what you want; you certainly don't want to be chugging up Lapstone on a restricted ANYTHING :LOL:

    Oh, and welcome to the forum; when someone else comes on with the same question, we'll be able to direct them to this thrtead. See, connecting riders!!
  15. I'd avoid a naked if possible, I've ridden in the winter temps that Laura provides and I reckon some wind protection would be a welcome addition on those cold foggy mornings!
  16. I think if I'm still dilligently commuting @ 5am in the middle of winter, then I can call myself a real two wheeler. Unfortunately I think the cage will come out of the cobwebs for those really icy mornings :driver:

    This is my concern also. I read a lengthy tome somewhere on this forum about the POS as a first bike philosophy - but a POS is likely to be claimed by Lapstone Hill, as so many broken down heaps on the side of the highway here testify.

    Thanks all for the welcome, and I hope to be a regular here.

  17. mmmmmmmmm Amanda :bannanabutt:
  18. Hi adinfinitum and welcome.

    I would do your L's then ride the ER5 for a few weeks and then do the P's.
    If you havn't got the ER5 ... I would hire a CB250 for a weekend and ride around then buy a bigger bike.
    If you have ridden before ,even alittle this should be enough to pass the P's test.
    If your after a cruiser ,don't buy a 250 ,the 800cc cruisers are soooo freaken easy to ride in a straight line and in sweepers ,you can ride up the mountain easyer then on a 250 ,less gear changes.
    All you do is pick a gear and point the handle bars.
    I rode up the mountains the other day ,didn't even really notice it was a hill.
    The biger cruisers are alot harder to do a tight U turn ,but you don't ever really do one ,only if you really really have to.
    The yamaha 650 LAMS ,is the same weight and size as a 750-800cc honda and suzuki ect ,just abit slower.
  19. Cant the LAMS restrictions be removed after you graduate to a full license?