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What to choose?

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by combat wombat, Dec 26, 2015.

  1. Hello,
    Im booking in to get my learners in late Jan and will be buying a bike thereafter. I live in North Central Victoria. 41 yo, 183cm 95kg.
    I have been reading and reading and I keep changing my mind based on on stories that are similar, but not the same as mine.
    Most of the riding I intend to do is weekend trips for photography. So my stipulations are:
    Need to carry some gear, most panniers would fit what I need to carry.
    Not a fan of sport bikes.
    I have only ridden dirt bikes and farms bikes. But I am happy to do what ever courses are available.
    There are lots and lots of dirt roads here, which I use often. As well as looooong straight roads.
    Closest dealers for support are Honda, Yamaha, Kawasaki and Suzuki.

    I really like the look of a couple of cruisers (Vulcan s and V star). But not sure how they will hold up to regular dirt roads.
    I have been looking at BMW650GS as well, but nothing close for servicing.

    Ideally, Im going to get something that will last years and I wont want to rush out and upgrade as soon as I can.
    Not a huge fan of speed. Getting a bike is more about a freedom / exploration thing for me.

    Anyway, thanks for any assistance.

  2. If your doing dirt roads I would look at an adventure bike - v strom or similar, plenty of power for long stretches, designed for rough roads, cruisers dont do off road terribly well, you wont have trouble touching the ground on an adv bike, can get panniers for some. If you can't decide buy both bikes (y)
    • Agree Agree x 9
  3. Rus LerRus Ler is on the money here.
    The riding position and weight of the cruiser will also make it a little unstable on loose gravel.
    Plus you can fit a decent screen to an adv bike and make it super comfy on long trips. The vStrom is a proven workhorse and carries Japanese reliability.

    All the best
    • Agree Agree x 1
  4. #4 CraigA, Dec 26, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2015
    I would get the BMW you mentioned. It fits the brief of requirements you have outlined better than any cruiser.

    As for servicing, I'm sure there would be someone local who could take care of it. I'm sure there are other BMWs around town. Start up a conversation with the owners of those bikes to find out who they use.

    Even if there wasn't would it really be a drama to take it to Melbourne once a year for its annual service? You don't say where you live exactly but given the size of Vic, it wouldn't be more than 2 hours would it?
    • Agree Agree x 1
  5. +1 for the V strom, very solid bikes.
    Ive also heard good things about the Versys and klr650 in kawasaki stable.
    You really couldnt go wrong with any of them
    • Agree Agree x 1
  6. +1 for the V-Strom, particularly the DL650. Excellent value-for-money, wide Suzuki dealer support, many aftermarket farkles available with some dirt road credentials too.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  7. HAHA nope, ex Army and not as fit as I used to be.
    • Funny Funny x 1
  8. Thanks folks. I did look at the KLR but its just so tall and didn't do much for my confidence. I could only touch with tip toes.
    I haven't seen a BMW anywhere near me. They are just something I have always liked the look of and they get good reviews for the most part.
    The Vstrom and the CB500x may well be worth looking at though. Thanks heaps.

    On a side note, I have not met a dealer for any bike so far that will let you ride the bike. I don't ask for a test ride, they just say they don't do it. I wouldn't ask for one until I had a licence anyway. I just cant see myself forking out $10k for something I haven't tested out. Is this normal?
  9. Even the friendliest dealer in the world won't let you take one of their bikes out without a license.
    I could be wrong but some dealers may be too small to hold demo bikes in stock which is why they don't offer test rides. This is especially so for country dealers.
    Your best bet may be to schedule a day to make the trip to Melb and test ride as many bikes as you can back to back, once you have your license.

    • Agree Agree x 2
  10. Good idea, I didnt think to do that. I always try and support local businesses, but struggled with the test riding bit. No I would never expect to ride anything without a licence. A weekend trip to Melbourne may be on the cards. I will check out Bendigo first.
    • Like Like x 1
  11. If you do it that way, jump on the internet, identify what you want to ride and contact the dealers to let them know your situation and that you are travelling from Bendigo to check the bike out on x day at around x time. Let them know up front that you aren't ready to buy today, but would like to test ride with a view to purchasing if the bike is the right one for you.
    I have found that doing this differentiates you from the tyre kickers, so you don't get messed around as much while a salesman tries to work out whether you are a tyre kicker or a buyer.
    I have purchased a couple of bikes this way when living in remote QLD locations.
  12. Welcome to the forums..

    Can't help you with the bike choice but check this website for ergonomics.

    Motorcycle Ergonomics

    It gives you a fair idea of sitting positions on various bikes.

    If you're planning to come to Melbourne, might be a good idea to get the gear as well.

    All the best and keep us posted.
    • Informative Informative x 1
  13. Thank you, anywhere in particular in Melbourne to get the gear? Helmet and jacket. I assume the dealers I would call would have a reasonable variety.
  14. If you're in the city, then Peter Stevens is place to go. Otherwise check AMX and the closest one you can visit..

    What sort of budget have you set aside for your gear?
  15. Thanks heaps. I will spend up to 1000-1500 on gear.
  16. That's pretty good. Read up on the helmet, jacket, boots section etc of these forums.

    If there are any questions, just ask. ;)
  17. I would definitely check out a v strom too....have a look at the Suzuki Web site, lots of accessories are available and at the moment they are on sale for $9,999.00 on the road :)
  18. Great site LL. Thanks for that.

    • Like Like x 2