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Whats the Best bike for me? Learner.

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' started by Booki, Oct 1, 2008.

  1. Gday guys im going for my licence tomorrow then i will begin the insane search for my first bike...

    Now i know this thread has probebly been done to death but i would still like some opinions and thoughts...

    I have been riding dirt bikes since i was 16, and im nearly 19 now. So 2 and a bit years.

    Anyway ive come down to a few bikes i dont mind...

    Pretty much any of the 4cyl 250's i have a liking to, i would like to have a more sporty bike then a cruiser.
    Is there anything in particular to watch out in the 4cyl 250's?

    Ive found one, its a ZX2R 1999 model, the owner says its been sitting there for about 9 months and he tried to start it and it wouldn't.
    I am just GUESSING it probebly needs some new fuel and plugs and it should be right!
    But if there is something that i could be missing please let me know because im hoping to get it around $2500.
    It has also done 25,000 km, there is also some cosmetic damage but it doesn't bother me to much as it is my first bike. I dont want to be riding the bee's knee's but something light and fast is what i want :)

    Thanks in advance guys. (and girls)
  2. $2500 and it won't kick over!!??

    Don't do it! Okay if you must, at least get it checked over by a mechanic first, you don't want to fork your cash over then need an extra grand just to get the engine started.

    Might I also suggest as your first something naked, it can be significantly cheaper than replacing a thousand bucks worth of plastic. My learning bike was a Honda Spada, didn't give me any mechanical problems, started everytime and had a few minor scuff marks. That and 18,000 K's cost me $2,500. It's a reliable bike and is easy to learn on.

    Up to you though, but whatever decision you make, be sure to make a well thought out one as you will most probably be spending the next two years on this machine and I assume you don't want two years of problems.

    Hope I helped. :p
  3. If it doesnt kick, knock the price back. In the worst cast it will set up back another 2k. still 4.5 is around market rate.

    You can try to get CB250RR for around 4.5k as well. personally I prefer the CBR. they are a tad lighter and easier to through around.

    both good 250 sports bike and can hold its own on the tracks. Its easier to get parts and bits for the cbr250rr
  4. Yeah its probably just got fouled plugs and troublesome battery. Older carbed bikes tend to drip fuel into the engine, if you leave the fuel tap on and let the bike sit around. Happened to me on my cbr.

    However I wouldn't pay $2k for a ZXR250 when I'm not sure if its even running. Might be troublesome getting imported parts to make it run.
  5. Don't let appearances deceive, the ZZR250 is neither a sportsbike (it's a sports-tourer, more upright seat) nor a 4 cylinder. It is awesome though, buy one.
  6. If you want to minimise mechanical headaches, get an *Australian Delivered* ZZR250. It is a twin cylinder with a robust low-maintenance design, and can take a fair amount of abuse and neglect from people new to riding. It is more powerful than what you probably sat your Ls on (CB250 or CBF250 I'm guessing), while at the same time being very forgiving when you inevitably make a mistake (only way you learn, IMO).

    Plus, people who know nothing about motorbikes think its some powerful high-speed sports-bike. As Schwer said, its more of a light sports-tourer. You can ride a fair number of kays on this bike before you will get tired, due to the full fairing and upright seating position.

    On the other hand, a four cylinder engine is going to be much more peaky (you'll need more revs to get it moving), more maintenance intensive (double the number of cylinders, and very very small valves and cylinder heads), and will drink about 20-30% more fuel from what I've heard (which adds up over your ownership period).

    Which ever way you go, get a mechanic to check out the bike. Don't skimp here, can save you a whole lot of heartache later on. Expect to pay $150-200 and get a written report on the condition of the bike. Ask him to confirm to you that it is Aussie Delivered. If it isn't, then you will have no idea how old and how many kays have been put on an imported engine. On this basis, forget about the ZX2R.

    EDIT: If you live in the South-Eastern suburbs, this mechanic named Brett charges $110, a relative bargain, and he is very perceptive at picking up deficiencies and problems with your potential new steed.

    Good luck,
  7. Alright, well the ZX2R was advertised at $3200, but says minor mechanical work required. It seems legit, Though witht he CBR's there are alot of them made in 1989 and the low 90's whats with that?
    This ZX2R is 1998!

    So should i scrap the ZX2R all together and just stick with a CBR, now im confused.

    Oh yea by the way i passed my permit, and yes we did ride on CBF250's.

    I don't really want a naked bike...i can handle extra maintence on a 250 4 cyl, im sure its nothing to extreme, just dropping the oil a lil earlier and valve clearence's probebly need to be checked a bit more.

    so um, what now!?
  8. For the budget you are looking at, around the $2500 mark, you are better looking for a ZZR. Spending less then $2000 on a ZXR or CBR and you will either get a great bargain or a basket case that will take another $2000 to get running properly.

    CBR and ZXR's are all over 8 years old and will start to be developing problems no matter how well they've been looked after. That's no to say there aren't good ones out there, just that you have to be very careful because there are a lot of people out there who put new paint on a bike and try and flog it off to newbs for as much $$$ as they can.

    I think your better looking at a GPX or ZZR if your budget is tight. They are both good bikes, and in some aspects, better then the I4 learner bikes.

    But, its been said before, take any second hand bike your looking at to a mechanic to get a un-biased professional opinion on the condition of the bike.
  9. Hmmm well after 23,000 km on a ZX2R what can go wrong, assuming it has had average maintence...would there be any major things i would need to do?
    Or just more of a through check over, like checking the valves and tunin up the carb?

    I heard these sorta bikes were good till about 40,000 then your looking at major work?
  10. Whats wrong with considering a VTR250, they seem very popular, and a good little naked. You never know you might drop it, maybe even a few times and you wont have to worry about fairings and stuff like the old CBR's. Parts are becoming scarse on those things and costly.

    My 2 cents!
  11. 250's are slow. Why the hell would you pay upwards of 4k on one when your not going to keep it more than a year, almost guaranteed you will drop it and for only a few thousand more can get a real bike.

    Heres what i put putted around on for my 250 days, its a 98 across, and the trunk space were the fuel tank usually is kicks ass.

    Buy the bike that best suits you and is in the best condition.
  12. yep the across is definitely one of the most practical 250's you can get. dont expect to fit a helmet in the "helmet" storage space though.....modern designs seem to be too big to fit in there. the upshot is you have a lockable hard case to keep gear in.

    youll get sick of the power though. no torque and you need to keep it above 8k rpm at least to go anywhere. you need to wear earplugs if you ride it for more than 30 mins at 80kph. it may be light but its not powerful and so acceleration drops off considerably after 90kph.

    i think a cheap 250 is the way to go however. it gives you time to get used to riding and decide after a year if you really wish to keep riding. one of those 500cc or 650cc LAMS bikes look like a good choice, but you need to fork out the extra cash and then its hard to justify upgrading once youre off restrictions...
  13. Hmmm im also looking at a ZZR-250 1996 model, it has done 25,000 km. The owner wants $2800ono....
    I don't think its worth that. Maybe $1800 to be honest. It has been dropped and there is a scratch on the front fender.

    Anything in particular i should watch out on this bike?

    I am thinking i might buy it for if i get it under $2,000 though i doubt the owner will sell it...He also says it needs a new battery.

    whats the worst that can go wrong on a bike with about 25,000km, engine and suspension wise?

    I know stuff like tyres and brakes will eventually have to be replaced while i own the bike so that is not much of a drama...its more the expensive engine work and suspension work im worried about on a used bike.
  14. dude. a ZZR would not be my choice of a bike, but $2800 is a good price if the bike it has rego and the owner will sell with RWC. They usually go for $5k from dealers.

    Of course I dont know wat condition the engine is in. so I cannot vouch for it. If the bike runs properly, has some rego and RWC, make him an offer of $2500
  15. You wanna check it has a service record, with the oil and filter replaced every 6000km, and at least one full service recently where valves would have been adjusted. Since its 1996 vintage, check over all stainless steel parts for rust that's gone beyond superficial. Check the cleanliness of the front forks and that their seals are intact - this should be an indicator to their condition.

    As far as the drop is concerned, if it occurred at speed, best to walk away; if it occurred at walking pace, check that the steering bars are straight. They should form an imaginary triangle, with the tip of the triangle exactly in the middle of the bike. Needless to say bent levers should have been replaced. Don't worry too much about markings to the fairings, some touch up paint can take care of this, just make sure they are not cracked, you may have to get on your knees and run you hand along the bottom of the fairing.

    Bikes that are riden hard will inevitably require a top-end rebuild (i.e. mechanic pulls apart cylinder head, replaces as necessary, cleans, polishes, puts back together again). This is expensive because it is timely. The need to do this will occur much sooner on an I4 than a P2, because a 250cc I4 has such small moving parts moving at incredibly high rpm with very low tolerances. Hence why I recommend a P2.
  16. Look at it this way. The ZZR250 would have been $9200 to 9500 when brand new, assuming no discounts. It will last up to 50-60,000km without an engine rebuild if cared for. So a bike that is less than half used for a little over a quarter of the price - prima facie good value. Make adjustments according to how worn the tyres are (have a look a new tyres for a comparison basis), the new battery ($80-100), how much rego is left, and how well the bike has been maintained. Also, if the chain has never been replaced, it could be needing one soon ... check for how well lubed it is. If you do buy the bike, change the oil and filter ($20+$10) as soon as you get it home, to be on the safe side.
  17. Well that ZZR250 has NO RWC and NO Rego. So i think i can bargain him down from $2800....seeing as the ZX2R i was looking at for $3200 has rego.
  18. Be *very* careful here. If the bike has not been registered for a certain period of time, it has to be fully re-registered (rather than renewed) at VicRoads, which can cost $600-750 instead of the usual $400. :shock: You need to check when the bike's rego expired, and then check with VicRoads to see if you can simply renew the rego for the usual $400.

    If the bike has no RWC, VicRoads will require you to get one before they register the bike. For the RWC, you have to pay a mechanic of your choice $60-80 to inspect the bike and ensure everything complies with road safety regs. If anything doesn't, you have to fix it at your own expense. This is why I always get the owner to get a RWC and pay for anything that needs to be done. This of course is a bargaining point ...

    Things that often prove problematic are tyre tread depth, brake pad depth, and non-standard modifications like the previous owner integrating the rear blinkers into the rear fairing (ok for the front on the ZZR, not legal on the back, they must be on stalks). Make sure all globes work too!

    As far as tyres are concerned, legally, you need something like 2mm tread on the front tyre, and 1mm tread on the rear (I think). Practically, you need 1mm on the front and 0.5mm on the rear before you need to replace (don't leave it any longer than that). If you don't have enough tread, replacing tyres costs about $180 for the rear and $150 for the front for Bridgestone BT45s (what I use).

    All this may seem like a pain in the arse, but you learn a helluva lot about motorcycles very quickly doing it this way, and if you can diagnose your own problems, you can save money in the long-run. :wink:
  19. I think you meant to say 150-260,000kms if well cared for.

    Seriously, WTF is up with people who think that bike engines fall apart after 50,000kms?

    My personal advice is to go for a VTR250. Yes, it's naked. Yes, you like faired sportsbikes because that's how you see yourself. No, it's not a bad thing to see yourself in a sportsbike riding role.

    The thing is this. Most of the little faired 250's are still fairly basic bikes with some plastic thrown at them. I owned a ZZ-R250 as my learner bike because I always saw myself in a sports-bike riding role, and in hindsight I regret it because I pushed it hard, harder than it was designed to deal with, and ended up putting it down the road a few times doing thousands of dollars of damage to the plastics that I couldn't really afford to repair at the time.

    A nice semi-sporty naked (eg. Spada, VTR250) would've been a much better choice. Suspension wise, and get up and go wise, they're not really different. The only real difference is at >150kph where a faired bike will pull to 170kph or so while a naked bike won't do it due to wind drag. The big difference comes if you drop the thing, which if you're of a sporting bent you're almost certain to do given the sorts of bikes you're after. A VTR250 will just get a few metal scratches, and maybe a broken lever or two, possibly a broken footpeg, but that'll be it. Drop a faired bike and it's a very expensive thing to fix, and any damage stands out like dogs balls on the huge expanses of plastic.

    You're not likely to go any faster on a faired 250 than an unfaired one. Development of riding skill is where it's all at for the first 36 months of riding bikes and the bike won't be the thing that's holding you back. You'll need a bike that's tolerant of you abusing it. Yes, you'll WANT a faired sporty 250cc bike. No, you'll really NEED a naked sporty 250cc bike.

    Just my 2c.
  20. I got my helmet in the storage space, and with my gloves stuffed in the helmet. The dude i bought it off did the same, and the dude who i sold it to does the same....

    As for power delivery, peak torque is around 10k, so about 6-10 k is were you want the motor to be to go anywhere.

    I agree about the cheap bike thing though.