Welcome to Netrider ... Connecting Riders!

Interested in talking motorbikes with a terrific community of riders?
Signup (it's quick and free) to join the discussions and access the full suite of tools and information that Netrider has to offer.

Returning to two wheels

Discussion in 'Welcome Lounge' started by Mich100, Jul 14, 2012.

  1. I haven't ridden a bike since my uni days in the early seventies - it was a '64 BSA650 Thunderbolt - ex police pursuit bike - went well and I just wish I put it into mothballs until I was ready to appreciate it. As I recall i sold it for $160.00!

    Want to get onto a W800 in due course but thought it wise to buy something cheap to "re-learn" on. Does not need to be particularly fast but it has to cart my 100kg frame around the blue mountains and central tablelands.

    Budget circa $3K - Any suggestions?
  2. Honda VT250 Spada. More power than the newer VTR250 and it does the job fine with my 100+kg frame.
    I'm not sure how it would go in a proper mountain setting but it does fine out here. (A few hills but no real mountains.)

    Edit: Are you limited to a LAMS bike or not? If not I'm sure there will be more suggestions from the more experienced here.
  3. Welcome to Netrider and welcome back to two wheels!

    For a bigger bloke like yourself I'd be getting onto something with a bit more torque especially for the hills. I'm about 90kg myself, I've had a GS500F to start out and did so for the bigger motor more than anything. Outright performance they don't have much on a 250cc given they're all in that lams category, but up hills I could comfortably cruise up while my mates on 250's are ringing the neck of theirs to get up the top.

    The ER6N I have now is even better again, and is slightly more comfortable for longer rides I find (I'm 6"2'). If you're restricted to lams I'd be looking in the 400-650cc region for comfort and practicality. Otherwise any of the middle-weight bikes should do the trick.

    Edit: Pretty sure these aren't LAMS, but if you don't have those restrictions to worry about, an SV650S would work nicely as an all round commuter/sport bike.
    Good example: http://www.bikesales.com.au/private...0 1429 1626 1428 80 4294967268 683 4294966899
  4. Welcome to NR :)
  5. welcome (back) :)

    even if you don't have to buy LAMS, I'd still suggest something like the GS 500 Suzi
  6. Thanks for the advice, guys.
    No I'm not restricted to LAMS - I've held onto my R licence since 1966 - but I'm mightily rusty - so I need to start out on a forgiving (and droppable) bike to get my confidence and competence back. I assume I'll bang it around a bit - so don't want to tie up too much money in "my re-starter". Will $3K do it?
  7. .

    welcome to the forum. I'm 58 and got back in to riding after >25yrs. Ditto on the Suzuki GS500F. Kind enough around town, but can go if you twist the throttle. Did the annual Snowy ride on that bike and it was good. Good riding position for commuting and distance riding as well. Should be some out there in your price range.
  8. mich, welcome to netrider,

    One of the bikes that people overlook because they've now an older model but in my opinion, one of the easiest, most comfy, most forgiving bikes on the road....they are basic but have got enough grunt to satisfy without scarin' the bejesus out of you and that is the humble Kawasaki ER5

    I don't know where you're at, but here is a link to some presently on bikepoint/bikesales:

    These bikes are great, easy to ride, easy to learn and relearn on and enough power to comfortably do many highway miles on.
    When I got off my L's (I went straight on my black lic coz my age & drivers exp/licence level) I did a tour that took me from Sydney to Inverell via the putty road and thunderbolts way, then to glen innes, grafton and back to sydney. This bike gave me great confidence. Great fuel economy too, 300 kms on 13.5 litres and with a 17 litre tank, you should be safe for about 350.

    Yes they are getting a little long in the tooth now in model age (I think last production was 2005) but theres still low km ER5's still available and the motors are bloody near bullet proof.
    The Suzuki GS500 is pretty much the equivelent bike to the Kwaka, one of the only differences is that the Kwaka still has a rear drum brake but don't let that fool ya coz it's pretty usable and will lock easy if not careful.



  9. Thanks Dave,
    Given I plan to get a W800 once I have my confidence back the ER5 looks very interesting. What is the riding position? I have a grumbly lower back and I doubt it would take kindly to extended periods of being bent forward. I was hoping to find a bike with similar riding position to the W800.
    Have you any advice about the Hyosung 650 Aquila? I like the look of those and as most of the riding I plan to do will be on open roads - I live in Portland NSW - work in Bathurst - shop in Lithgow - it seems to make sense in my (uninformed) mind...
  10. Do give the bike a tryout before you buy. If you do have low back problems then a slight lean forward is often better than the cruiser position with legs extended forwards. The former allows the lumbar spine its natural forward curvature (or lordosis as its known), the latter forces the lumbar spine backwards. Both my son and I have the same issue and he bought an Aquila . I just took it for a ride around the block and by the time I got back I could feel the pain starting up. The other problem in the cruiser like sitting position for people with low back problems is that each time you hit a bump it goes straight up your tailbone, unlike on road bikes where you have your knees bent and that acts like a natural spring, raising you off the seat when you hit a bump. Cheers
    Oh, by the way, my son ending up selling the Aquila and getting an SV650 road bike instead.
  11. Thanks again, Dave.
    Makes sense to me - i did have some reservations about the cruiser seating position and you have confirmed them for me. (I know all about lordosis from Robin Mckenzie's book on treating your own back - no doubt you do to)
    Will the ER5 have the slight lean forward seating that I was used to on the BSA Thunderbolt? I know the W800 does.
    Next step is to actually get myself into a few dealers and get hands on. I know our local blokes here in Bathurst - they are both clients of mine - but their range tends to be very limited. Do you know of any reputable dealers in Sydney's North West - I used live in Pennant Hills and work in Silverwater so I that is the area I am most familiar with.

    Attached Files:

  12. +1 to GS500 or ER5

    Both large enough for comfort with a fairly neutral riding position, slightly leaned forward for me (190cm, 90kg).

    I own an er5. It's being a perfect learner bike, it stops and goes and turns very predictably and it's got enough power to overtake on the highway without wringing its neck.

    By all reports the gs500 or gs500f is just as capable and friendly. Unfaired is cheaper, and cheaper if you drop it.

    To have a look at the ergonomics, go here: http://cycle-ergo.com/

    Best of luck and welcome back!
  13. Welcome back to two wheels mate, enjoy!

  14. Thanks again, Dave.
    Cycle-ergo is a great site - and yes the ER5 looks damn good - not quite as upright as the w800 - but close enough for me.
    Next step is to test ride - but as I have made this purchase a reward for when I achieve my goal weight (Been on a weight loss program for 3 months now) and I am only half way there, I have to curb my enthusiasm and get on with that task. I also have to build a shed to house my new steed when I get it....
  15. Whoops, sorry Viker - I called you Dave - but thanks again
  16. No worries Dave :)
  17. Hello Everybody,
    I think I have fallen for a new Royal Enfield B5 - I love its looks and it sounds absolutely magic to my ears. Given my very first legal road bike was a BSA Goldstar I have a soft spot for a 500 single. Mind you the Bullet is substantially down on power output - 29 HP Vs about 42 - but then I'm 35 years older so I doubt it will worry me. My new bike will be my reward for getting down to my target weight - I've lost 15 kg and have 14 to go - so looks like December should see it in my shed.
    Any advice on gear? I'm not really keen on a full face helmet - when I was riding all those years ago helmets were not compulsory so I rarely wore one - any comments on the "jet" style - covers the ears but not the face?