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Why ride a 250?

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' started by nikku, May 22, 2006.

  1. First of all, hi everyone! - I'm a newbie and I just posted in the New Rider's forum too, but thought this was a more general question.

    Why ride a 250? Some people have to because of their licence - do other people choose to?

    For instance, I'm about to buy a 250 with the intent of learning on it. And, by "learning", I don't just mean "passing my test" - I mean "learning to become a skilled rider, if necessary even after I have my licence".
    I figure a small bike will be best to learn on, even though with Q-RIDE and my age I believe I can learn on a larger bike.

    But what about after I've learnt to ride well? Is there any reason to keep a 250 beyond that?
    I sort of imagine I would enjoy a smaller bike. For example, I prefer smaller cars because I feel more "in touch" with the drive, closer (metaphorically, not just literally! :p) to the road.
    Am I likely to enjoy a smaller bike for the same reasons?

    What about other reasons? Fuel economy? Responsive handling? Insurance?
    I hear so many people saying "just wait until you have your open licence, you'll never want to ride a 250 again!". Is that really true?

    Personally, I'm trying to decide how much to invest in my first bike, but this is somewhat rhetorical since I'm just about to get a Yamaha Zeal. I'll be mostly doing short commutes; weekly 50km highway trips to the beach;, and the occasional 300km trip.

    I'm mostly curious about people's thoughts in general though! :)

  2. Your insurance will be cheaper on a smaller capacity bike.
    The Zeal I am sure will give you plenty of grins mate, I loved my bike to learn on and still do. I'm looking to sell mine so I can get one large enough to put my missus on the back, but I really reckon the Zeal will do the job for you.

    They handle fairly well and take off/go fast enough to keep you right on your toes, very zippy little machine in my view, and I found it super easy to do my rider training and licence tests because it is so nimble. Also they're a good looking machine and will turn heads, and that will make you proud and happy all at the same time :)

    As far as never wanting to ride a 250 again, it all depends on your confidence and experience, I hadn't ridden any road-bikes when I got my bike and I've had my zeal for 3 years now, and it still goes strong, and I enjoy riding it every time.

    My Zeal has seen me go on some 600km rides highway and through the mountains on the south-coast of NSW (near batemans bay etc) and handles it fine (my bum on the other hand :LOL:), but I used to use it for a 30km highway commute to and from work and it did it perfectly. So it should suit you and your riding just right.

    But if you're comfortable riding it, do it, you'll love it :)
  3. It comes down to what you really want from the bike. I know 2 guys who have just gone back to a 250 cause they are living in the city and just wanted a good commuting bike. 250's are generally lighter, better on fuel and as you say, cheaper to insure, not to mention cheaper to buy in the first place.

    But if you want an "all round" bike that will do the commute but also give you a bit of fun on teh weekends, then you will quickly get sick of a 250.

    I guess its pretty much the same as with a car. Sure most of the time a 1 litre Dihatsu Sirion would do the job, but pretty soon you'd get sick of it and want to go for a blast in a Commodore or a nice BM.

    All depends on what you want from your bike. And for what its worth i actually agree with the 250 learner restriction that some states have.
  4. I chose a 250. By riding a scooter for 1 year in NSW first I went straight to a full licence after that. So I could have bought anything. I went for the Honda because

    1 I liked the look of it
    2 It is comfortable to sit on
    3 It is a V-twin
    4 Has good re-sale value
    5 Easy to learn on but not dead like a CB250

    Going to upgrade early next year to maybe a monster 800, a kawa ER6f or a suzuki SV650s.
  5. Owning a 250 does have it's adavantages. Most of my riding is around town in 60kph or less zones and with a 250 it's still possible to have some fun without going over the speed limit. Fuel economy's not really that much better than larger bikes (not with a 4-cyylinder 250) but you can have fun on the twistier sections of road chasing down larger bikes. On the highway I do often find myself wishing for more power, especially when trying to overtake, but that doesn't mean long trips aren't possible. If you're happy with a 250 then stick with it - it may not be as quick as larger bikes but that just means there's less risk of losing your licence. You don't have to go fast to have fun.
  6. Cheers for the replies!

    ricomac, yeah, I can imagine (has to be imagine, because I have no experience :D ;) ) that the Honda VTR250 is the sort of bike I would be perfectly happy with for years if all I was doing was city riding. I probably would have bought one if there were any around here. I settled on the Zeal, which should slightly edge out the VTR250 on my occasional highway trip. (I don't intend to speed, but being able to overtake a bit easier will be nice)

    Anyway, I didn't mean to get bogged down by specific bikes.

    jd, I have to admit I was a bit surprised about you saying the fuel economy won't be much better than a larger bike. Anyone have some rough comparisons to go by?
    What engine sizes in bikes would, roughly, correspond with engine sizes in cars, as far as fuel economy goes? Fuel economy is one big reason I'm looking at moving into bikes for the long term, and there's not much point in getting a bike to commute that guzzles more than my little 3-door hatchback :)

    What about handling? I'm pretty skinny, ~65kg. Does a person's body size ever make smaller bikes more suitable? I read about women often preferring smaller bikes, but is that a physiological reason or a confidence reason?
  7. Personally i think you'll be dissappointed if you are after big fuel savings. Bikes really do not end up being cheaper to run than most small cars. Most of teh more efficient bikes will get say 4-5 litres per 100km which is about the same as most new small cars.
  8. Hmm, I am a bit disappointed to hear that. I'd just assumed that, since you're having to move only a fraction of the weight of even a small car, that it'd have to be more fuel efficient.

    Good thing I'm also in it for the fun, then ;)
  9. I got a 250 as that's the largest bike you're allowed to ride in Vic while being restricted... however I'll be trading up as soon as my restrictions are over :)
  10. I own a Honda VTR250 and love riding it!

    The first time i took it for a ride, i thought shit this is fast, then i looked down at my speedometer to realise i was only doing 40 km/h.

    I've been riding for about 6 months now and have gotten to the stage where i feel i cant push that bike any faster!

    My point is, you get used to the speed of a 250 very quickly, and when that happens you'll naturally want to upgrade to a more powerful bike.

    Im still very happy with my VTR250, but if i still wasnt on my P's and had the cash, i'd go upgrade to a Ducati 749.

    P.S. Maybe small cars are just as fuel efficient as motorbikes, but we ride bikes for power and fun, something a small car will never give you!

    the fastest i've had my 250 at was about 130km/h, and i probably could have gone a little more ;)
  11. Not around town and the city they won't. If the cars are doing highway miles then sure they will get 5-7l/100km but around town that is more likely like 7-10/100km
  12. Yeah fuel economy can be bad, on the highway my car usually gets about the same as the bike (around 6L/100ks) - although around town there's a noticable difference (bike stays at 6L/100, car goes up to 10-11). Of course I'm fairly sure my sprocket ratio has been changed by one of the previous owners - which certainyl doesn't help highway economy (makes it fun off the lights though).
  13. yep me too! Not just because my bike is a 250 but because they just don't make bikes in the 250cc class that will suit my long term riding ambitions.

    Commuting, touring and scratching in that order are my priorities, also 250cc bikes are just too bloody small for big bloke like me. So as soon as restrictions are off it's a BMW F800ST for me.

    Oh and 250's are gutless, although most of my riding is in and out of city traffic I often get the chance to ride on the freeways with no traffic if I work back late.
  14. Because $16 of Sydney priced Optimax gets me 350+ km. :grin:

    I reckon its close to 370km, but I don't want to risk it !
  15. Not entirely true.... In the bigger bores maybe but my 17 litre Hyo on freeway riding pulls close to 450km per tank.... My Audi A4 1.8ltr turbo Q, gets about 620km to a 65 litre tank.

    In my opinion... they are decent savings matey.

    My mates old K5 gixxer 1000 will get 350-370 on highway riding @ 120 to a tank.... it's like anything...depends on how & what conditions you ride in. ;-)
  16. anyone else that rides/has ridden bigger bikes wanna pop in their 2c? :LOL: :LOL:

    yeah, 250s are okay. they're fun enuff, great to learn on and the fun that you have will most likely not see you losing your licence...


    they're built cheap
    they handle poorly (ok, not all of them do, but the vast majority have piss poor brakes/suspension)
    they're CRAP value for money
    they leave you wanting more out of your bike
    almost all 2nd handies have been thrashed
    most of them are 20 year old designs, at best 10 years old (with exception to the hyosungs)

    if you have an option, go for a responsible sort of larger bore bike (SV650, GS500, ER6 etc). they'll keep you happy for much longer and are generally actually worth what you pay.

    comparos for a few of my bikes:
    95 bandit 250V - 220km
    96 GPX250 - 350+km
    95 XJR400 - 240km
    96 YZF600R - 230km
    85 GSXR750 - 190km
    99 ZX7R - 220km
    (average per tank, including reserve, not riding flat out but not being a granny either)
  17. Okay, so I have a brand new 650 and a 20 y/o 250. The 650 is our 'touring bike', and the little 250 is the 'run up to the shops for TP and milk' bike*. It's nice to have a little runabout just to blat around on, don't have to worry about scratching it up or whether someone's going to pinch it (you shuld see this thing, it's a heap of crap).

    *Note: theoretically at the moment. The damn thing still doesn't want to start...
  18. I'm pretty sure when i wrote my earlier post i wasnt comparing a bike with a turbo'd car like yous mate.

    My girls Honda Jazz thing gets about 5l per 100km in the country and 6-8 in the city. Most new small cars like that have pretty similar fuel economy. Most (not all) bikes are not going to be much better than that.

    All i was suggesting is that if fuel economy is a mojor factor in getting a bike then you might be dissappointed. I still reckon thats true.
  19. Hmmm. My R1 gets me 5l/100kms if commuting, and around 5.5l/100kms on average overall, around 6l/100km when gallivanting through the hills, and no worse than 7l/100kms if going nuts at the track.

    My old ZZR250 (first bike) used to average around 4.5l/100kms, getting to as good as 3.5l/100kms if highway droning at the speed limit, and as bad as 5.5l/100kms if fanging it.
  20. The R1's fuel-injected though isn't it? That'd make a big improvement to fuel consumption I'd imagine. Actually the consumption of my bike is probably closer to 5L/100km, and doesn't really seem to change - highway consumption probably not being helped by the lack of fairings (and the fact that my Ventura bag lives permanently on the back of the bike).