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Featured Seeking advice on a move to road bikes

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by str33tf1ght3r, Jan 15, 2015.

  1. Hi everyone - I am new here, initially with the idea to asking for advice and then depending on that advice you provide you may see me on here a bit more often.

    A bit about me first - I am a 41 yr old male who lives in Canberra with my partner and 3 kids (14, 3, 3). I am a keen dirt bike rider and a novice scuba diver. I am 183 cm and about 100 kg.

    The reason for my post is because I am considering selling the dirt bike and moving to road bikes. I have ridden dirt bikes since my early 20s and would consider myself as a slightly above average rider. These days with a young family i am finding myself with less time to take a day out to go riding as well as having less fitness to enjoy a day out riding.

    I have always had some reservations about road bikes which has kept me away from them primarily because of the risks of other vehicles on the road. The last time I rode a road bike was back in 2006 and it was a VFR750 which I did enjoy. My other concern is that despite having ridden for many years, taking to a road bike will be like starting all over again.

    I would appreciate your thoughts on a move to road, as well as bikes which may be suitable for me. I will have about a 10k budget.

    Thanks in advance :)

    • Like Like x 1
  2. Hi uasal and welcome,

    We generally like New members to put an introduction thread up in the Welcome Lounge, its one of the site customs. When you get a chance that would be nice.

    Many of the training organisations have a return to riding type course, that maybe worthwhile. I assume you still have a full bike license and don't legally have to go through the P Plate etc stuff. You need to give us an idea on what you intend to do on the bike, Commute, Tour Weekends, Day rides etc? Then people can give you an idea on bikes that may suit you.

    Re a bike that fits your frame you just have to go and sit on them although the site cycle-ergo.com will help get an idea.
  3. Thanks for the tip cjvfr :) I have posted in the Welcome Lounge

    I am looking for a bike for commuting and day rides. You are right in assuming that I have a full motorcycle licence.
  4. Hi Uasal,

    I have only recently got my motorbike learners, I'm 42 y.o and like you have had dirt bike experience in the past, but never ridden a road bike before.
    Once I got my learners I purchased a CB250, ex training bike for $1500.. I figured that it will give me a taste of road riding, and if I didn't enjoy it, I haven't spent big $$ on a bike.
    I'm enjoying it immensely, ride most days weather permitting. Once I get off my learners I'll look at upgrading my bike...

    Read through the cornering for noobs tips in the forum, found this most helpful.

    Good luck, and give it a go!
  5. Same advice I give to any (new) rider - go sit on some bikes in showrooms and find what initally feels comfy. Then go test ride a whole lot of them. At 41 you may not necessarily want to ride super sports (GSXR) position all the time (I sure don't want to), something likes sports touring is a little more upright, then naked, then cruisers, etc. You can get a good idea of what's what simply by going to BikeSales and filtering by category (road/naked for e.g.) and see if anything takes your fancy.

    But get a short list together, get some feedback here and elsewhere, and test ride until you have a winner.

    If you really fall in love with road riding you can always do what many members here are fond of - multiple bikes! I'm told the magic number for bikes in garage should be n+1 lol...
  6. Your worrying too much. With the experience u have on the dirt u will be fine on the road. 10k will get u an awesome bike
  7. Welcome aboard.

    Noone will dispute that road riding comes with additional risks, but to a great (although not absolute) extent you are able to control or at least influence those risks. This comes with training, practice and experience. You probably have a pretty decent amount of bike control thanks to your dirt experience, so you'll be going in with a significant head start.
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Thanks guys - already you have provided me with some good information.

    I wasn't aware of the different categories and the impact that they have on ride position. This is really good to know.

    My partner did say why dont you keep the dirt and get the road as well....but i dismissed it saying I really don't have the space to keep them. (That said you have me thinking more about it)

    Thanks for the confidence boost re my skills and the translation to road. I think an intro course would set me in good stead to ride safely on the road.
  9. Yup riding positions vary considerably. Nearest thing to off-road bikes would be Adventure category I guess, and Super Motard, naked etc. Super sports you're generally leaning forward with foot pegs back, and cruisers you're upright with pegs slightly (or very in the case of HD and some others) forward. So the seat of the pants test is uber - important....
  10. Do you have your full license as this will dictate what you can buy?

    If no and you are restricted to a LAMS bike, go for a larger capacity bike as a 250 won't perform at your height and weight (you and I are similar in size).

    Second what sort of riding, just to and from work or weekend rides with mates? What do your mates ride, no use buying a cruiser if everyone you will ride with rides sports bikes.

    The advice about going and sitting on a few bikes is very sound. You will be able to knock a few out immediately and come up with a more manageable list
  11. Get another VFR lol...

    Seriously at your age with your dirt bike experience riding on the road should be a piece of cake, and huge fun..
  12. The years I spent on dirt bikes made me a more competent and complete rider, I'm sure it'll work out the same for you.
  13. I have a full licence which I have held for 20 years so I am not restricted on the bike I can buy.

    Riding will be some commuting and then day rides. I only have two mates who ride and one has a Harley and the other a KTM duke. I would hope to use a site like this to find a few more mate to ride with.
  14. Thanks for the vote of confidence sneo .... this is what I am looking for as I dont want to feel like I am starting again
  15. Are there any Brands of bike I should stay away from? I was reading that hyosang is a brand to steer away from.
  16. The more recent Hyosungs are of acceptable quality, but I wouldn't buy one. The challenge you have with your two friends is their bikes are very different to each other. $10K will get you a good recent model anything within reason. Suggest you don't go below a 600cc. There are some decent touring roads around the ACT, so maybe something along the lines of a sports tourer. I could say the same as Hornet in you should grab another VFR, but you've already ruled it out. I've had a number of bikes and if you want a large tourer that does everything very well you have troubles going past a Suzuki Bandit. Now 1250cc, FI, water cooled 6 speed, torque to burn, plenty of get up and go when required, brakes pretty well, handles pretty well.
  17. Any established brand is good. But honestly, go look, touch, listen and smell (ok maybe not the latter, and certainly no tasting) and see what floats your boat. I think you'll see what I mean. A few something's will appeal and then ride them.
  18. Welcome... road riding is fantastic... now my experience is I never thought I would have the 2 bikes I have... coming from a cruiser before them, where you just lay back and cruise along I now have a sports tourer where you have a riding position of legs back and leaning forward... today I took it out on the free way and lay on the tank and just peeked over the wind screen... it was fun... a sports tourer has many advantages... you have the nippy power that many cruisers don't have... if the bike has a fairing and has plenty of power and is on the heavy side it will cut through the air better than a cruiser, meaning you don't become a wind bag.

    Then again I have a 1200 cc Harley Custom Sportster with drag bars so there is no laying back... you sort of hang on at free way speed with arms stretched forward and legs forward... it's more of a 'heck I can't believe I am riding this bike but gee I can do it'... it's not the bike to take on a long trip like the sports tourer but it looks fantastic, sounds fantastic and when I get off the thing I really know I have been for a ride... my ears ring for a day after and my eye balls get a physical by trying to stay in their sockets it vibrates so much.

    Road bikes are an experience... yes, you can go for comfort if you have to ride them everyday or you are a person who wants to travel a long way frequently , but if you don't, you can then go for a bike that will stretch you and thrill you.

    My previous bikes had a very layed back position ride because they were my only form of transport for everyday life, going to work and such.

    These days I ride for the absolute joy of it and hence I have two bikes that take me out of my comfort zone and gee I get to experience rides I never thought possible ten years ago because I thought I was getting 'too old'... recently, my girl and I were looking at a Hayabusa... we both laughed and I said to her... 'I reckon I could ride that bike'... well maybe I will, but I couldn't sell the others so I have to find some extra space.

    You are young... you will find the bike just right for you and then you will want more... it's an addiction.
    • Like Like x 1
  19. uasaluasal Hi and welcome to NR.

    I did exactly what you are doing. I was around 41 at the time also, am 6' tall and around 90kg.
    I have been riding since I was 10yrs old, I have occasionally crossed over to tar riding (usually due to mates getting into it), but I always gravitate back to the gravel.
    When you say dirt riding, I am presuming you mean trail type riding???

    Dirt riding will provide you with good skills for road riding; however, it is different!
    I consider myself an experienced and capable dirt rider, having ridden dirt for the majority of my riding life, however, I have found tar riding a new experience that I've had to practice over the years.
    Main differences I have found are: riding position, bike weight, cornering, braking, concentration level (ie. 400km on the dirt, I am mentally drained... on the tar, it is a breeze)

    I initially went to a 'Adventure type bike' (DR650) which provided me with the ability to ride greater distances on both tar & gravel, at my size I found it a perfect bike with an upright position, great bike through the twisties.

    5 years ago I bought a Yamaha XJR1300, I found it to be a good bike for through the hills or to do a long distance ride, the grunt is exceptional, however, I do get bored riding tar! I often spot so many dirt roads branching off and wish I had the capability to blast down them!

    Now, I have a variety of bikes, but the main three I ride are the DR650, XJR1300 & a KTM250sx, If I was limited to just one bike, it would be the DR; however, there are a few other Adventure type bikes that would be great for blasting down the tar, but still give you the dirt fix!
    Bikes such as the V-strom, Triumph tiger 800 XC, Beemer GS range, Tenere 660, KTM 990/1190.

    I have found that having such a long dirt riding history, yes - riding tar is a new exciting experience, but, at some stage you will get the bug to go explore this big country of ours (ie... all the back roads around the ACT/Snowy region), without having to trailer a dirtbike.
    If I spend to long off the dirt, that first ride back on the gravel always has me thinking 'fcuk I love this' :D

    Cheers Dobbo
    (Wagga way!!)
    • Like Like x 1
  20. T
    Too true Dobbo. I get my off road kicks on a pedal powered mtb these days!