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Some more newbie questions (sorry if they're repeats)

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' at netrider.net.au started by kinch, Jul 15, 2008.

  1. I'm sure these are common questions, but doing a search for these terms results in hundreds of results, and checking through all of them didn't offer the answers I was looking for.

    My current bike is a 225 Yamaha. It was my first purchase, I rushed into it, and now that I have my open license and are riding a lot more, I've noticed quite alot of... minor dislikes with it, including (but not limited to) small fuel tank, no power, loss of speed on gentle hills, uncomfortable for long rides, etc. Anyway. I'm looking to get a faster bike, but speed isn't my main issue here. I'm not going to buy a 1200cc monster just for the hell of it.

    I'm thinking of a 600-750, for a nice balance of speed, acceleration, power, comfort, and fuel efficiency. Obviously there are many, many options (I'm looking for 2nd hand bikes, not brand new, although I won't rule anything out at this stage) but how do I know which one is 'right' for me? I've looked at dozens of bikes and the specs all read nice (the ones I understand anyway - I'm pretty much a newbie with bikes), and they look nice... how do I know if I prefer to lean over or sit upright? I'm about 6 foot high, I'd use my bike for mostly driving around the place (to/from work, city etc) but occasionally longer trips (my sisters, 300km away) and some rarer interstates (my other sister, 1000km away) so I'm looking for something that would fit. I'm guessing that most bikes will 'fit' this requirement as long as I'm not stupid, but can anyone offer some advice for starting? How important are test rides? How do I judge whether something would be comfortable for the long haul? Should I account for luggage?

    Sigh, sorry for the long post, I hate making bad purchase decisions, so I tend to overthink stuff, and I think I've done that here...

    Oh, in case anyone wants to offer location specific advice, I live in Brisbane.

    Thanks in advance.

    P.S. I've read most of the "guide to buying bikes" I can find on the net, including here at netrider, and I just feel even more confused and overwhelmed... If I get a 2nd hand bike, I have to consider servicing, replacement parts, cost of same, and all that other stuff right? I wouldn't know how to know if a bike has been in an accident, or what "looks" right or wrong... Sigh, anyone wanna just sell me a bike before my brain explodes thinking about all this crap haha :)

  2. Don't know the answer to most of these, but you can pay to get a bike inspected by a mechanic to prevent your brain from exploding ;).

    Or you can buy this Triumph Rocket III from me, it's a bargain at 10k

  3. If your buying second hand look for something that has the service history (log books) and find out how much the major services will cost so you don't get and rude surprises later on, low k's on the clock. Get an experience rider to go with so they can ride the bike or a mechanic if you know one (it would be worth paying one to check it out).
  4. Not sure what you want or need? Go out and test ride as many bikes as you can get your hands on. You will know when you have found the one :)
  5. There are a number of different very good bikes that would fit all of your requirements, so to some extent it's true that it's about what you fall in love with. But I think we can probably offer better and more detailed info than just that!

    Some idea as to the budget you have in mind would be handy. Something for about 8 grand or so would be nice, low km, recent and likely to keep you going trouble-free for a longer term. There are still bikes around cheaper than that which would fulfil your requirements, so let us know what you're thinking. If you have 15 or so, of cours, you could get a Triumph Street Triple!

    In terms of bikes for a taller guy who mostly commutes but does some trips, the Suzuki DL650 'V-Strom' (*not* 'Storm') has potential. It's tall and has a tall screen, tours well, is a v-twin so it has low-down grunt for around town and has a fairly upright seating position which is also good for commuting.

    For a slightly more sporting approach there are the naked and bikini-faired SV650s.

    Getting outside of Suzukis there are the Kawasaki Z750 and the Honda Hornet 600 and 900, all good bikes. If you wanted something with a full fairing a Honda CBR600F is hard to go past in terms of your requirements.

    Hope this is helpful at least as a place to start. Maybe check Bikesales for examples and prices and what each looks like, and come back with a bit clearer idea of what you like... but there's also no substitute for riding a few.
  6. as mentioned above, you probably need to narrow the type of bike down to either a naked, bikini-faired or fully-faired bike (based on what you like the look of, availability, price etc.) and then start looking within that specific 'genre' of bikes..

    then the fun part - go and test ride as many as you can and i'm sure one of them will make you go, 'i've gotta have this'
  7. Thank you to everyone for the informative and helpful replies. I should have posted a budget (one day I'll get my first post right). Money isn't tight, so I could spend $15k on a bike... but I'm currently looking for something in the $4k-$8k range. I've done a search on the bikesales website and found many bikes - too many bikes? - that I'm very interested in.

    As I said in my original post, I'm still a newbie and wouldn't know a 'good' quality bike (ie. well-maintained) from a bad one - and I don't really have anyone who can help me (guess I'm hiring a mechanic huh?). I saw a couple of ZXR750s while browsing that I thought "hmmm... that has alot of potential" - I can't remember the years, but I think they were early 1990's (maybe 94?) and were ~$4-5k. But... what's the difference between a ZXR750 and a Z750?

    I looked into the Suzuki DL650 (well... on the net, haven't ridden one or anything). It looks damn nice, and the stats seem to be nice (but again, I wouldn't know what all those numbers and words mean anyway :LOL:) As for the fairing, I've seen full-, bikini-, and no fairing, and they all seem fine to me (ie. I have no particular preference for one or the other). Some bikes I look at and just say "I don't like the look of it" and others I do, but fairing doesn't seem to play much of a role in that decision - colour does though :)

    There are a couple of things that bug me with my current bike: the mirrors are quite close to the centre of the bike, such that my body and arms fill up the "inner" half of each mirror; it's uncomfortable on long rides; the seat is one giant long seat, and to get to the helmet lock, it's a pain to have to take the whole giant thing off and put it on the ground, and then reattach it after the lock is on. Am I being pedantic? Should these (particularly the seat/helmet lock) influence a purchase decision?

    Thanks again, and apologies for making a big deal (with a long boring post) out of this :)
  8. No worries, it's always fun to talk bikes! (And lets me procrastinate from the work I should really be doing!)

    I'd definitely recommend getting a mechanics' check, including a compression test, on any second-hand bike you're planning to buy. It's only about 100 bucks or so, but it's peace of mind and can save you heaps of time and hassle.

    The ZXR is sportier than the Z - fully faired versus naked. Some people like them a lot, others call them 'hoovers' due to the odd air intake pipes from the back of the fairing. They're quick bikes but probably not that comfortable for a lot of riding, and getting a bit long in the tooth now. If seat comfort is an issue, a sportsbike is probably not the direction to be heading! Although it's true that they more often tend to have two-piece seats...

    I personally always take my helmet with me rather than lock it to the bike, but AFAIK most helmet locks don't require removing the seat to use them, so that's probably not a huge issue.

    There are few bikes around where the mirrors are not most effective for checking the fit of your jacket on your arms! Some are better and some are worse, but you really need to go to an aftermarket solution if it bugs you... or just get used to shifting in your seat a bit when using the mirrors.
  9. The ZX7R is definitely a great bike and does a lot of things right. They're obviously getting on a bit in age now (10+years) but well maintainted ones can still be found and $6500-7k would get you a top bike in original condition, maybe with a slip on can. I really think they have a lot of character too - in fact most bikes of that era (mid-late 90s) do and I personally tend to find most bikes after around 2002-03 a little less inspired. But hey, that's just my opinion.

    If you're not terribly mechanically-minded then there's obviously companies who will inspect the bike for you for $100-150 I'd assume..$ well spent if it saves you expensive repair bills or would allow you some bargaining power with the seller if things needed fixing.

    Don't limit yourself to just a 7R but they are a good bike and still feel pretty damn quick.
  10. The ZX7R replaced the ZXR750 and is newer - definitely a good bike.
  11. You take your helmet with you huh... I tend to ride to the train station and then catch a train to the city (parking in the city is too expensive to use it) and lugging a helmet around while wearing my big, thick, heavy, hot jacket would probably be too much of a hassle (and don't forget my backpack with all the crap in it). I've gotta look into some kind of solution for all that stuff :-/

    Gotta find a new jacket too... guess I'll be spending the next 24 hours going through all the threads that a search for "jacket" returns :p

    I'm heavily considering the ZX7R... I've found a couple here in Brisbane, now just need to go check them out...

    Thanks for the help people!
  12. You could also try Pro Honda (Rocklea)
    I went there last Saturday, i hopped off my bike just to have a browse at the bikes they have lined up. Within 2 minutes, a Salesperson came over to ask if I needed help. I told him i was on my REs and that I just having a look because I had some time to burn. He told me thats ok and if I had any questions , feel free to ask him.
  13. Oh... quick question... how would the ZX7R be in terms of fuel efficiency? I don't want a gas-guzzler, the cost of fuel is now something I have to consider in my budget... would a ZX-6R 600cc use less fuel ?
  14. Maybe marginally, but there wouldn't be a huge amount of difference in it. A bike is not going to be that thirsty anyway, and the other factor that makes a large difference is how you ride it. Ridden gently a ZX7 will use less fuel than a ZX6 ridden hard...
  15. (not sure when (or if) fuel injection appeared in that lineage, but that's a factor that can make a lot of difference - you'll have to hit google on that issue)
  16. A quick google search indicates that fuel injection didn't appear in these models of kawasaki until 2002-2004... How much difference are we talking? I'm a pretty gentle rider, I usually try to ride in such a way to keep revs as low as possible, but will a fuel injected engine 'pay for itself' over the long run ?
  17. Hmm, I doubt it would make enough difference to make it worthwhile buying a newer one solely for that reason. Given that you'd also have a newer bike, though...

    Quick squiz on Bikesales for 6s in that era and close to your budget shows quite a few, so gopher it, IMO.
  18. uhhh - you're in Brisbane right? - so FREE is too expensive? :? Cant you park under bridges (like Turbot St by Central Station) with everyone else?

    once you've found a suitable bit of bridge space (either Turbot st for that end of the city or somehwre along North Quay if its closer) - then lugging helmet and jacket the short distance to work shouldnt be that much of a hassle. Plenty of other people seem to manage!
  19. I'm intrigued... I always assumed that parking in the city would require one of those expensive carparks (what are they, like $15 for the first half hour?), or a parking meter about 2 km away from where I need to be...

    Turbot st you say... this requires investigation :) Thanks for the tip!
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