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What classifcation is this bike/good 250cc knockoff

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' started by zidgy, Oct 17, 2008.

  1. Hello netrider, i believe this is my first (and hopefully not last) post/thread on your forums. Im 20, and in the process of getting my motorcycle license in WA. And of course, im limited to laws regarding engine capacity, and therefore must make a logical decision towards my first bike, before going for something significantly larger in a years time.

    Obviously theirs a large amount of threads already about learner bikes. However, i cant seem to find really any that answer this question...

    What classification does the Norton/Triumph bonneville bikes qualify as?

    Stuff like Norton 850 commando/Triumph bonneville T140 (id post image links but this is my first time).

    I assume its standard motorcycles. But that seems to be either a rarely used term, or a collective term for alot of different style of bikes (namely streetfighter/naked bikes as well). I really like the look of these bikes, however the prices and the sheer are of them is somewhat of a deterrent. And even if they are super reliable, i cant imagine me being able to buy one within several months time.

    Now, Obviously alot of knockoffs exist throughout the world and because theirs no specific copyright for the general shape of the vehicle, japanese motocycle companies do pinch some of the looks if the bike. Namely stuff like the honda rebel (and apart from the seat the CB250) The Virago250 does look somewhat similar (although is really just a cruiser suffering from anorexia), and primarily the Suzuki GN250 (I cant seem to find anything newer than 1981 or so).

    Obviously, stuff like the VTR250 is definitely a consideration, but for some reason they dont have the same striking image, primarily because i dont feel like marlon brando (in the wild ones, not the fat depressing older man image you may be conjuring up) in a sports bike or naked bike.

    Im just wondering apart from the 4 bikes ive mentioned, are their any modern makers that still do bikes that share this sort of style? Or is it a dying breed. Oh and what do they qualify in terms of categorisation.

  2. Admittedly it means something entirely different, but if you want to look up bikes like that you might want to give "cafe racer" a go. The words cafe racer mean modifying that sort of bike, but if you're doing a search on the trading post or something that might be useful.

    They're not really a dying breed. You can, after all, still buy Triumphs that look like Triumphs from Triumph from a factory in England. So the dream lives on. And there are a bunch of bikes that share that look - I don't know that much about it, but Yamaha still makes the SR400 which has that style, and even packs a kick-starter for authenticity. If you're looking for a bike that looks like that, there's a bunch of things to choose from apart from genuine old Triumphs/Nortons. Look at Yamaha SRs, SRXs, Honda GBs etc.

    In terms of 250s that have that sort of look, you can try to find an SRV250... they look pretty damn good if you ask me, wish I had them :(. There's not that many of them unfortunately, but if you can find one they have the same engine as the Virago so you don't have to beg for parts. There are also a bunch of bikes that look good but are a bit cruisery, like the GN250 that you mentioned, also the XS250 and the SR250 (though I've never sat on either, this is just from research I did when I was looking). There are GN250s newer than 1981, you've just got to wait for them I guess. Also look at the CD250U maybe? They're old and slow but have that old-school look.

    I'm not sure if WA has LAMS or not - in NSW you can ride SR400s/500s on L's too.
  3. Back in the day when selling was more about actually making things for sale than marketing them, bikes were simply bikes. There weren't a thousand and one marketing categories - a bike had an engine, tank, two wheels - and that was it.
    That's what Triumph is - simply a bike.
    However today we do have a thousand and one marketing niches. Triumph then is a naked, possibly either a cafe racer already (especially in Truxton variant), or a perfect starting point for making one. It is also a 'nostalgia' bike.

    Yes, there are others. It's not a dying breed, because cashing in on older styles is always popular. Selling adults the stuff of their dreams back from when they were young is usually pretty good business.

    There is also new Moto Guzzi V7, and Ducati GT1000, Kawasaki W650, Yamaha SR400 and you could maybe include Honda CB400 here as well, though it it's more in 70's-80s style. Then there is the almost-the-real-deal, Indian made Royal Enfield.
    But nope, not much in the 250cc segment so if you're limited to 250s you might just have to wait out your year or so before getting your dream machine.
  4. Welcome to the forums!

    Yes, just to confirm to other posters, no LAMS in W.A. and no word on when either. (afaik)

    So you pretty much have to pot around on a 250cc for your first year.

    Nothing stopping you from buying your next bike and starting customising it ready for your R license. Not much point buying a bike like a scorpio of CBF and turning that into a Cafe, not when you could put the money towards the real thing and a year isnt that long. Get some on road experience in ya!

    Oh, while your surfing, check out these;


    Just don't drool on your keyboard too much. :p
  5. i figured id get something cheap and simple for a first bike.

    Rather than a thrashed CBR250/GPX250 etc. or NSR150 or something. I do like sportsbikes, an ill probably go for a 600 when i go onto My R's.

    The reason i chose these (apart from wanting to be awesome) is the fact that most people my age (and im using a total sum of my msn friends here) dont like the look of those bikes at all. And are usually taken by older (hopefully more sensible) riders. So its an aesthetics reason and a logical/practical reason.

    I've got a year to save for a better bike once i get my first, and hopefully these bikes will retain their value to some degree.

    Theirs actually a triumph dealer about 10kms from my house, so ill check out the stuff they have in a couple of months time. But from what i can tell the new Triumph bonneville is a completely redesigned motorcycle, designed to compete with modern bikes (atleast in reliability).

    However i cant seem to find out whether the indian royal enfields are made with todays manufacturing standards, or still make the bike out of mild steel and 1949 technology.

    Oh well, ive got a year to get $15K for the t100.

    In the mean time, ill search around a bit. Otherwise ill probably settle with a spada or something thats reccomended by pretty much everyone.
  6. If its something you're only going to ride for a year or less, then you're going to have to look for resale value. That means used. VTR Hondas are popular but not that numerous and you'd be lucky to find one at a good price in Perth. The Japanese big four have always made good 250 traillies. Some of these models have more road bias than others and tend not to get bought buy serious offroaders.
  7. Just a heads up about another line of thinking, what I'm looking at doing.

    Buy a good reliable brand new 250cc bike which is a near ideal commuter.
    get your "r" licence and buy your dream bike, weather that be a one thou sports, a cruiser, cafe, harley, etc.
    Then you ride the boring little 250cc which is economical, cheap, plaster it with top boxes/ventura rack/etc for carrying stuff for your day to day commuting. 250's handle the peak hour stuff really well being light and nimble for lane splitting and still dust most cars from the front of the lights. That way your dream bike stays at home to come out to play on weekends and night rides.

    Even if you sell when you get your "R", CBF/scorpio commands good money second hand because they are good commuters and sort after by riding schools.

    But that's up to your bank balance obviously. To me, the same price as a typical corolla/mazda 3 four pot car worth 20 grand is the same as a 5 grand CBF/scorpio and $15 grand nice bike.
  8. With engines that blow up at 10,000km, I don't think they're today's or 1949's standards! And when it's an Electra, you can't get an oversized piston!
  9. They blow up? Source?

    The only owner I've met was riding an early 90's model (and they've improved much since then) had 40'000km's up and loved it, said it was easy as to own. I noticed though it had a lot of surface rust, something I assume is less of a problem on the newer ones?

    I had hoped the electras would be a handy alternative to a bland western bike, am I wrong?
  10. Royal Enfield owners and their blown-up bikes!


    They're a fabulous bike to ride, I love them. A pity they blow up...

    (I prefer the Bullet to the Electra, and as of 2008 I don't like either, re the new engine)
  11. Cheers for the reply guys, getting a bit more insight into what i want.

    I assumed of course that the 'cafe racer' or whatever these are called are small boring 250's, that happen to be reliable and cost half a cent a century to run.

    Since the engine hasnt had the hell wringed out of it (so not like a 65hp stroker, or a 45hp i4), id imagine its got some reliability instead. Im not too focused on performance riding atm. Sooner or later ill go for a far more top end focused bike, and leave my 250 (or if i have the money, a t100) for the daily commuter. Or use my car.

    If the CB250/RN250 isnt among one of the best learner bikes in regards to general maintainance, cost and reliability, what is?