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What should i get as a beginners bike?

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' started by Alvilos, Oct 3, 2011.

  1. hey im new to this site and new to bikes.
    i was wondering for a first bike to learn on that i could get for $2500 or less what you would recommend?
    keep in mind i have about ten ks of driving on dirt roads before i get on to tarmac and i need to be able to reliably get to town which is 55ks away.
    i know im probably crazy for thinking i might be able to get somthing good for that price range but its all i have. (also im fine with going second hand)
    thanks if you can help out

  2. Hi there Alvilos, welcome to NR.

    The question you ask is a common one, and this subject gets hashed over 100 times a day.

    If you have a look just in this section,
    "Netrider Forums > Products and Services > Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions"
    or use the "search" function, you will have masses of stuff to read, some of which should prove relevant and helpfull.
  3. thanks i will have a look
  4. welcome Alvilos to NR, have a long and good look around the site, alot to read, learn and smile about. Select your bike for what your requirements are, if you choose the bike that suits your needs [to start of with] rather then a [Rossi special] which I kind of think it wont suit dirt?
  5. ive had a bit of a look around and i really like the Kawasaki KLE500. its out of my price range but from what i have read up on it it looks perfect for my needs. i guess i can just ride my mothers Hyosung GT650R until i can afford it.
  6. At the risk of sounding like one if those people who only recommend their decision....The DR650 is heaps lighter and more common than the kle. More common means cheaper too, $2500 is low but might be possible.

    The klr650 is also a good choice.
  7. DRish bike for sure. 10K of dirt becomes 50K of grease when it rains.
    And if you are coming off a dirt road the sealed one you are on wont be much better.
    Persoanlly I wouls save and wait till you had four grand mate.
    You will open your options and ride away with something far more reliable.
  8. i like the look of the KLR650 but im reading alot of mixed reviews on it so im not to certain on it. and as for the 650 it looks like a great bike i will see what prices are like. but as i said worst comes to worse i just ride my mothers until i have saved up enough for a decent bike
  9. what bike has your mother got?
  10. Yes, but on tight tarmac twisties, in the right hands, the KLE is astonishingly quick. I remember trying to keep up with one, years ago, on ostensibly superior machinery and it just pissed off into the distance at a phenomenal rate.

    $2500 Budget is pretty tight for anything that's going to fit the definition of reliable. Old Honda XL/XR models seem to get down there, but there's reasons for that :D. XT/TT Yams can be had too, for not much more.

    Trouble is, anything dirt capable down at the bottom end of the price range is likely to have been thrashed in the bush by 14 year olds with no mechanical sympathy or ability.

    You might get a latish model DT175 in your price range. Not ideal for a 55km commute but doable if you're not too big, and it's a very competent off-roader. They were only about $4k new 5 years ago so you should be able to find a nice one for $2.5k. Bit of a classic too.
  11. DT125s and 175s are beautiful little things. Bit long in the tooth now, but. If you can find one that's been loved, grab it.
  12. DT175 was available brand new until ~5 years ago. I know 'cos a colleague at that time bought what I think was one of the last ones in Perth on the basis of it being a future classic. I'd have had one too if I'd had the cash at the time.

    You still see the occasional one for sale that's been used by an old boy as a bit of a runaround and polished every week. They don't cost that much, having been so cheap when new.

    Fit 125 gearing and become your local wheelie king :twisted:.
  13. Good call Pat.
    But now we have DT220's :) With an eleccy start :0
    You might get one for around $2500.
    Next to the CT110 they would be the most reliable bike going. Go onto any big propperty and you will see DT175's,200's and older 250's. Ifyour reallylucky you might find an old DT360. They were a beast.
    The newer 200 is nice.
    The KLE runs the sameish motor as the Kawa and Suzi KR & GS 500's. Twin, same time and place suck bang and blow. The pistons run together and not opposingly. Huge counterbalancer. That's why the KLE is more road orientated. They are comfy and very torquey, so they can easily gobble up miles.
    You would be much more relaxed at the end if a ride on a KLE than the DT.
    I am thinking the KLE will be double the buy in though.
    As for their reliability. I was @ a Kawasaki dealership for seven years. Almost one year of that as service manager.
    Never heard of a common problem with them. And cant ever remember having to do a job on one.
    KLR yes. KLE nooooooo.
  14. Yeah, but that $2500 budget limits the choices. My reading of the requirements are:-

    Reliably capable of 110km - so needs to be in decent nick

    Dirt road capable - most bikes will do dirt but, for a newbie, something dirt friendly would be easier

    Plug & Play condition for a noob - having a project as your only transport gets old quickly. I've been there.

    Not too hard to get parts for - again, if it's your only transport, chasing parts is a pain.

    Reasonably relaxed on that long commute - I do a similar length of trip daily so I'm familiar with the demands it places on rider and bike.

    It's hard to get all those for $2.5k so you're going to need to prioritise.

    If it's your only transport, you need something that, above all else, is reliable and easy to keep that way. A simple bike that's not too old and was/is reasonably common is the best bet here.

    Next would (for me) be the dirt friendly aspect, which implies a trailie of some description if you don't want to make life too hard for yourself.

    Comfort and cruisability rank fairly low. Sure, they're nice to have but, given budget constraints, I'd sacrifice them in favour of condition and parts availability. An uncomfortable bike will still get you there. A knackered one won't.

    As for style, I'm afraid, with a $2.5k budget you can't afford it. At that end of the market you're pretty much constrained by what is available at a price you can afford that will do the job you need it to do.

    Small bikes like the DT aren't worth much so you can get a good (reliable) latish model (you can still get parts) within your budget. Running costs will be lower too. Tyres, chains and sprockets will be cheap. As a bonus the DT will cope well with the dirt stretch. On the downside it's small and buzzy and so will be a bit tiring on the rest of your round trip.

    Bigger, more desirable machinery is worth more, so the age will go up (possibly harder to get parts) and the condition will go down (more likely to give you problems). Even with a cheap purchase price you'll still have the running costs of a larger bike. Tyre and chain costs tend to become exponentially more expensive as horsepower increases. On the upside, the non-dirt portion of your commute will be a bit more relaxed and enjoyable.

    Another bike to consider would be a cosmetically tatty but mechanically cared for (if such a thing exists) Suzuki GS500. They've been around for over 20 years so older examples exist within your price range whilst having good spares back up both new and secondhand. They're simple bikes so it's not hard to keep them running reliably. No dirt ability to speak of but light enough to manage limited dirt roads without killing you. Would be a decent bet for the non-dirt commute. Probably better than any of the trailie options available to you.

    You can get some nice old air cooled Jap fours in your budget but they're getting long in the tooth so they wouldn't be my first pick for an everyday bike for a newb due to long and uncertain histories coupled with potential spares supply issues. I'd expect most to be a handful on unsealed surfaces too. Absolutely stonking amounts of bike for the money though :D.
  15. Bretto speaks the truth. Save up a bit longer, it will be worth it. You definitely need a road-trail. Find something comfortable, capable and properly maintained.

    I agree, KLE500 is a beautiful bike - kinda like KLR650's younger, spunkier sister. Also consider Honda Transalp and Yamaha Teniere.

  16. hey thanks for all the input. if it helps i would like to make it my main vehicle but i doubt i could. i currently still have a car and if i was to sell that i might be able to push my budget out to $3500. but i think i have come to the conclusion that i will just have to use my mothers bike (Hyosung gt650r) until i can afford a bike i really want and enjoy. which might mean im stuck without a decent bike well into next year.
    thanks for the help. and in honesty i think i have my heart set on the KLE500, i think it looks great and everything i have read makes it sound like a great little bike
  17. Then wait for one to come to you.
    They always come up for sale. And someones always desperate.
    Nothing rings truer than the saying "one mans loss is another mans gain" than in motorcycles.
    Everyone loses bucketloads.
    Those who persistantly sit on the side lines. Watching, waiting and emailing.
    And play their marbles when the time is right..... gain.