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Thinking of getting a bike

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by STC, Mar 1, 2008.

  1. I'm new and I thought I would share my thoughts.

    I recently got a scooter to ride to work in Bris City. The real reason was my carparking had been increased to $550 per month and was only on the way up. I actually have an open bike licence from 20 years ago.

    I have enjoyed it so much I am now considering a bike for more acceleration. Even when it is raining I still prefer to put a rain jacket on and ride rather than catch a bus. My commute is only 5 kms in 50km traffic but it would be nice to once a month ride to the coast. I also like the potential fuel economy.

    I have been following NR for a while and after learning heaps have also been to some bike shops. I was originally going to look at a Honda VTR250 naked but today I sat on a Suzuki 250 cruiser. The cruiser felt comfortable as it has a low centre of gravity and easy to get both my 2 feet firmly on the ground. I have not yet had a test ride as I intend to buy secondhand with a budget of $5,000 max. I havn't seen any secondhand cruisers around.

    I was not worried about the width of the cruiser handle bars for commuting as I don't get overly aggressive with lane splitting and enjoy the freedom (and cheap parking) of the bike rather than the speed in getting there. I was a bit concerned with the seating/foot position and a resulting loss in handling and how this might effect me basically having no experience.

    I had a sit on a Suzuki GS500 as it seems to have such good reviews but it felt quite big and a stretch to the handle bars even though I'm 5'10" I just didn't feel comfortable taking this on as a first bike for commuting.

    I also had a look at a CBR125 but the skinny tyres really put me off.

    Before I buy I am going to take a defensive riding skills course. I am also going to buy some decent protective gear even for my scooter as a result of what I have read on NR forums.

    Any input would be welcome. Tell me if I'm going wrong anywhere.

    Thanks for all the info so far. :?:
  2. Don't discount the VTR until you take one for a spin. Sounds perfect for what you want. Good luck with the search and welcome to NR.

    Also have you thought about doing a refresher course?
  3. Welcome :)

    If commuting is your game, stay away from the cruisers. Scooters are the BEST thing for carving up inner city traffic imo as they can squeeze between anything. Cruisers don't really lanesplit well. Vtr250 would be nice for what you're thinking of.
  4. If you want better acceleration, get a bigger scooter. For acceleration from a green light to the other side of an intersection it'd be quicker than any learner bike, and even a few sportsbikes - that's what CVT transmissions are good for.
    A CBR125 would struggle against a Morris Minor driven by a 98 year old pensioner as far as acceleration goes. 250 cruisers are better but still no comparison against many cars on the road, which is potentially dangerous if you're trying to lane split.
    A GS500 would be a good commuter, but whether it'd be better than a large scooter would be difficult to say - there's certainly pros and cons for both.
  5. so you've ridden a CBR125 eh JD? Zilly goes pretty darn well on hers, a lil faster than the Morris i think :wink:

    STC: mate, dont drop the VTR till you take one for a ride! they an awesome machine (i own one :p). the handling is amazing! they are skinny enough to allow for some pretty tight lanesplitting if your keener in the future. the fuel economy is great too, i get 300km from $15 (10-11L), and thats when i hit reserve, so another 30km left there maybe.

    ive ridden almost 800km days on the bike and im not sore, so you'll have no issue with the 5km trip to work! im 5'10" too, so unless your nickname is stumpy :p you should be able to get both feet flat on the ground no worries.

    if your after $5k ride away, then a VTR with a couple of years and 20k km on it would fit in there no worries. if your really only riding to work and back, and jsut the odd play on the weekend, you wont add many km's to it at all, so it should hold its value pretty well.

    plus theyre naked. i like naked stuff :cool:

    enjoy the Hunt mate, but i think you know the only bike i can recommend you :)
  6. vtr's are excellent commuters, i wouldn't recommend one if you are really tall cause they are a little squishy

    they aren't much wider than your shoulders so that should give you an idea of what you can lane split through

    VTR's aren't too heavy either which helps, and you get up to around 300kms a tank

    personally i want to upgrade to something more comfy but thats cause my commute is around 100kms per day and the little bike gets a bit tiring

    if i lived closer to work, i'd keep the VTR forever :D

    gs500 rego is more expensive in NSW
  7. I've ridden a similar bike in Asia in heavy traffic - even compared to an ultra-cheap 660cc, non-turbo hatchback it was slow. And that was with a 175cc bike, which in itself was noticeably quicker than the 125cc step-thrus (which is all a CBR is underneath).

    Edit: Incidentally the power/weight of a CBR125 fully loaded is only about 50kw/tonne. The power/weight of a stock-standard 1970 Morris Minor is 44kw/tonne - and the Morris has twice the torque/weight. I reckon a straight line race between the two would prove interesting.
  8. +1 JD

    Mate get a bigger scooter. There are some 500cc-600cc weapons outs there that will fly. And are great for a weekend away even with a pillion.
    Also they are far less prone to theft and attention of the law.
  9. I'd get a mid sized motorcycle - something around 500-600 cc with a top box will be great for city commuting and will get you out and about.
    I lived in and rode a scooter in Italy for quite a while, and to me they're grat in a busy and tight place like an Italian city but I also know Brisbane very well, and I'd go the bike.
  10. I hear so many good things about the VTR250......everyone cant be wrong!!! (Shopping for one myself).

    Commuting would be great as it is light and the v-twin will give you plenty of torque to get off the line. The other good thing is that you can take it for a cruise on the weekends and you won't outride it immediately.

    Looks great, sounds great, great life span, great resale value and great on the wallet.

    Cheers and good luck mate :wink:
  11. I think a Harley Ultra Classic is the bike for you :LOL:

    Seriously, welcome back to motorcycling.
  12. (on VTR250s...)
    Hoo boy, yes. Being able to slow-ride through the same gap that a friend on his maxi-scooter has to fold in mirrors and duckwalk through is gold. :LOL:

    On the subject of maxi-scooters... As already mentioned, they're an option too. The Burgmann650 goes pretty darn quick (a bit faster to accelerate than my VTR in a straight line, even with a pillion on the Burger's sofa-like pillion seat), and can fit a small Vietnamese family (or two helmets) in the under-seat storage.

    Only real downside of the Burgmann 650 is that it's around 230kg dry; not exactly lightweight!