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V-Strom 650 (4 beginner bike) VS Universe>Also questions!

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by lonesoldier84, Mar 19, 2008.

  1. V-Strom 650

  2. GSX650

    0 vote(s)
  3. Ninja 650R

    0 vote(s)
  4. CBR125

    0 vote(s)
  5. Honda Interceptor

    0 vote(s)
  6. Yamaha FZ6

    0 vote(s)
  7. Dual-Purpose 400cc SuperMoto dirtbike

    0 vote(s)
  1. :) ok, to simplify:

    I am thinking of getting a V-Strom650. It will be my first bike ever. I am 6 foot 4 and weigh 225 lbs.

    The others I am considering and the reasons I am considering not getting them:

    In order of my desire for them:

    1) Honda Interceptor (VFR-800): Too powerful, too heavy, too much bike for my newbie skills

    2) Yamaha FZ6: A touch on the zippy side. Sports capabilities will end-up putting me under a semi-truck. Power is such that it will be too much bike for me still. I say too much bike because I want a bike I can really push a little bit (no not racing) to develop solid basic motorcycling skills to prepare me for a supersport machine for next year. With the FZ-6 I think I may still be afraid of the bike a bit.

    3) Suzuki GSX650: See (2) and add $$$. $$$ is not insurmountable but drops it to number (3) even tho I love the bike it fits perfectly is amazingly comfortable, and I think I would love this to the point of engaging in sexual intercourse with the motorcycle.

    4) Kawasaki 650R: See (2)

    5) Honda CBR125: I really really liked it when I saw it. Sport machine thats good to start on. But im 6'4" and I look like a "gorilla humping a football" to steal another's analogy. Also, I think it may just have too little power. It would still be a tremendous jump into a Honda Interceptor next year and the 125 might not really prepare me for it. Also, EVERYONE in the country is telling me I will outgrow it within 2 weeks.

    6) Dual-Purpose 400cc SuperMoto Dirt bike: This is actually number 1 on the list behind the V-Strom, but in terms of desirability I would prefer any of the other machines before this one. Although trail-riding would be fun, the primary reason I am thinking about this as the main alternative to the V-Strom is the fact that learning to ride on the off-road side of things may very well make me a better motorcyclist than any other option. But I really wish to do a lot of in-city riding and I think this would just not cut it for that.

    any help is truly appreciated.

    Cheers mates~
  2. Hello.

    I don't know what a Honda Interceptor is and I can't be bothered googling, we dont have them under that name here.

    Unless you'll ONLY be using the bike in the city, cross the cbr125 off the list right now.

    FZ6S, haven't ridden it myself yet but I hear the biggest complaint is that you have to wind it up a bit to get to decent power. It has decent power but a sportsbike? As much as the gsx650 imo.. high bars for upright seating position, smooth power, etc

    Add the sv650 to your list, go out and test ride them all, then decide.

    edit: out of those I'd go for the strom.. its butt ugly to me but everyone loves them... and got to have the fuel range :grin:
  3. sv650 doesnt fit me well it is the most uncomfortable bike for my leg-configuration in that category of bike

    interceptor is this one:

    Honda VFR-800

  4. i dont get what u mean by this:

    Do u mean it is rather weak in the power department?
  5. Have you tried it? :p

    If you have tried them all then why ask us? And if you haven't ridden them all, why ask us ? :p Go test ride

    VFR800 is a sweet bike.

    As for what will fit you best, I can't stress enough the importance of riding them first to see what fits!
  6. Only know the Strom and a DRZ400

    Strom's great for anything - excdept maybe lane splitting - bit wide, but you get good range, nice torquey engine but at your height need to check out screens as stock it will be a terrible ride over say 90kmh

    DRZ is probably too small for you and forget about it if you intend to do any sort of touring. Great dirt bike, and also city commuter with motard or street tyres so se how you go.
  7. they dont let u test drive most of those bikes, maybe a handful. I dont live in a huge city so we dont have 900 dealerships to choose from. each dealership has 6 bikes they choose for test driving and not all of those made the list).

    And I have been living at various dealerships trying to make up my mind and I have narrowed it to those ones i mentioned (excluding the cbr125) in terms of comfort, and what I think I stand to gain from them in terms of riding skill.

    Thats is my main goal. I want to be the best motorcyclist I can possibly be (i.e. master the BASICS of braking, urban-situation-handling, etc etc.) within one riding season on one of those bikes (~5 months).

    I live on the road in my car and I will spend even more time on the road on the bike so I expect many kilometres in those 5 months.

    So in order of which I think is best for me to gain those skills:

    1) V-Strom (as it can do minor trail riding with knobby-tires):
    2) dual-purpose
    3) the 650cc sport/touring style category

    in your experience am I incorrect in my many assumptions? (I have made those assumptions after 3-4 months of research).
  8. drz 400 was quite alright for size of bike physically

    i wont be doing touring but i will be hoping to spend at least 3 hours a day riding about the city.
  9. No. Simply in terms of power delivery and seating position.

    From that list the best bikes for learning would be (in this order); cbr125, 400cc dirt, 650r, then others.

    650r is pretty good. Check out one of their big forums: http://www.ninja650.com/phpbb/index.php

    They're mostly newbies there (not that most of them would admit it) and they seem to very much like it.
  10. so ur saying the 400cc dual-purpose would be a better platform to learn basic skills and prepare me for an interceptor than the V-Strom650? and it wont be a bad bike for spending 3-4 hours a day riding in the city on it?
  11. If you're going to be riding 3-4 hours in the city go something like 650r.

    Frankly the fz6, 650r, gsx650f, vstrom are all fine choices.

    FZ; i4 like the gsx, meaning you need more revvs to get to the power = not as good in the city

    vstrom and 650r = vtwin, power from few revvs, useful in the city.

    Yes a 400cc dirty would be OK in the city for that amount of time, but the engine wont last as long as the other ones.. also wont be as comfy with your height.
  12. how about the suzuki GS500F? i just found a used one in an ad for a superb price for a 2005.

    seems it would be even more tame than some of the others listed but still be enough to keep me supremely interested.

    ive sat on a few but found it less comfortable than some of the others, namely the FZ6. but if any of you can REALLY recommend the GS500 as way better than the FZ6 as a starter I may seriously consider placing the GS500 at the top of the list for that sport-styled 500-650cc streetbike

  13. Yes, IMO GS500 is a better learner bike than fz6s..

    Buying used instead of new is a much better idea since you'll likely crash/drop at least once whilst learning. It hurts less when its cheaper!
  14. You won't find a more confidence inspiring bike than the DRZ400, and they're damn near indestructible.
  15. +1 for the DRZ

    Riding a supermoto is the most fun you'll have at low(ish) speeds, especially in the city. The high seat will be an added plus in traffic, and you won't get uncomfortable from crouching like on a sportbike - just stand up. They are also light and nimble for riding in traffic, and if you drop it, the plastic bends, doesn't break like a fairing. Just don't expect to do long distances comfortably. You won't be able to reach insane speeds either, which is good for your life, and your license (not to say you can't be killed at lower speeds). Low maintenance of the DRZ is good for newbies too who aren't into changing the oil every 500kms.

    Go for the DRZ, you won't regret it. Actually, go with what your heart says. Either way, you're gonna have fun with any bike. Your top 2 choices (DL650 and the "400cc dual purpose..." which I presume is the DRZ) are very good. After seeing a few DL/V-stroms, I think I know what I'm saving up for :LOL:

    BTW, have you seen ThumperTalk and SuperMotoJunkie forums? There are some sweet looking DRZs on those forums.

    Plus, if you learn to ride in the dirt, you'll be a better rider than if you just learn on the road. Plus in the dirt, there are no stupid Bommadore drivers to sit up your arse :mad:


    Have fun with whatever bike you choose, and be careful out there :wink:
  16. If you haven't ridden before I'd say go for the road/trail 400, ER-6f/Ninga650R or FZ6. Of the lot, the FZ6 will be the easiest to handle for a new rider. The Ninga 650 or a 400 single will provide a lot of punch when you hit the throttle and can wheelie unexpectedly before you're ready for it. The FZ6 has a more subtle power deliverly and is far less likely to take you by surprise. It does produce bigger hp numbers but it delivers them softy rather than all in one hit. That said, I managed to wheelie my girlfriend's FZ6 easily but it had to be a deliberate action. :)

    However, the Ninja 650 has smaller physical dimentions making it ideal for lane splitting and is a hoot to ride. In the end I voted for that but mostly because that's what I ride. Without the bias, I'd suggest a new rider get the FZ6 because it's easier to ride and more forgiving of mistakes.

    Of course if you want my honest oppinion, each bike you listed is a shitful choise for a learner. What you should look at is the ER-5, GS500, VTR250, Bandit 250, Hornet 250, Balius 250. Being as tall as you are you might also like to look at the road trail 250 range. :)
  17. hmm, so the GSX650 nobody's mentioning?

    is it that much worse than the FZ6 for newbies?

    and i have been looking rather seriously into getting a dual purpose, but a part of me just really wants something like the GSX650 or GS500. But if they are considerably worse for learning or will not give me as good road skills as the off-roader will I will start on the dual purpose. Does driving off road make u a much better on-road rider?
  18. Seany, the single he is talking about is a drz400sm, with a vac operated carb and about 35 horsepower. Unexpected wheelies are not on the agenda unless you're clutching it up with a foot on the passenger peg.

    But as much of a poo-cart as the DRZ is, it's shitloads more fun than a GS500.

    Riding off road is great. You've gotta learn about tire adhesion at some point, and off road is the perfect start. Learning how to feel the tires let go on bitumen with a faired bike must be a nerve wracking process. Doing so after getting used to it on the loose stuff is slightly more relaxing.
  19. The V-Strom 650 or "wee-strom" is an excellent bike, truly a capable all-rounder. It is very high off the ground, and even at 6'4 you might find yourself prone to stationary drops. It's easy to pick up though!

    The other standout on your list is the ninja 650R. If that's the parallel-twin that's sold here as the ER-6N or ER-6F, then those are wonderful bikes as well, very nimble and very friendly.

    I'd go one of those two. Both have more than enough power and sportiness to put you under a truck, so let your wrist be your safety catch and get some f*cking big crash bars or oggy knobs.