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Workhorse time!

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' at netrider.net.au started by Kwaka_Chris, Nov 29, 2009.

  1. Hey folks, recently I quit my job to get my life back and deal with some other stuff, but in the mean time and hopefully for a while I've looked at doing some courier work. I used to be a postie and its what I love doing the most, so hopefully it will last a while for me.

    My issue? I need a workhorse soon, expected to cover close to 2000km a week, mixed riding and alot of gutter hops and tarmac attacking. Basically the Hyo will clap out pretty quick and it will be sidelined within a few months and left to be modified.

    So that being said I need a workhorse, value for money and good reliable KM is key here. So far I've gone through stages, here are the bikes I'm considering at the moment.

    1. Kawasaki Versys, VERY comfortable, love the looks and feel of it. ticks all the boxes for me except for the pure ruggedness of it, that I have yet to be proven to me. $13500 ride away, roughly.

    2. Suzi' V-strom 650, amazing workhorse, decently comfortable, good motor, BIG tank. I've seen a few Vstroms reaching close to 200 000km with just basic servicing and typical repairs. Boring bike, but proven platform. $11 000 ride away roughly.

    3. Yamaha Tenere 660, finally checked it out and it looks amazing, pretty nice specs to back it up. The only issue I have with this, is that its a big thumper, not sure how it will survive 6 digit work. apparently they are long lived bullet proof motors, possibly considered. $15 000 ride away from what i've been told.

    4. Kawi KLR650. Cheap, rugged workhorse. Good motor, but last of my list. poor quality of the workmanship, not too happy with the motors performance and don't trust the craftmanship on this one anymore. $9990 out the door.

    5. Honda bandit 600. The price is right, the power is good, it can take bar risers. not much left to be said, will have issues gutter hopping and surviving though.

    Others that were considered and now gone off the list;
    -Beemer F650GS - Brilliant bike, amazing is all that can be said, but too expensive.
    -CB400 - Nice bike, 400cc and the complicated valve train make it a dangerzone / expensive workhorse.
    - DRZ400SM. See above.

    Any other considerations I should make? and whats your opinions on some of the choices that I have to make :( ?
  2. CT110... Done
  3. You forgot the obvious choice, loved by couriers both here and in Europe: Suzuki GS500. Unbeatable combination of low running costs, easy repairs, availability and reliability.

    I would have a look at 250cc as well, for example Kawasaki GPX250 would do the job around Sydney, no worries.

    If you're trying to make a living out of this, it's not about the performance - it's all about low running costs.

    PS. For what it's worth, I've seen a few couriers on a Versys.
  4. Well a courier-type guy in England has a VFR-750 that has done 800,000 MILES doing that sort of work, but that's probably a bit beyond what you are going to do, or your budget.

    I'd vote for the Suzi 500 too; nice simple twin cylinder engine, and you could ride it for fun on the weekend into the bargain..... (2,000kms per week, :shock: assuming you wanted to, that is :LOL:)
  5. drz650se. eot.

    cheap to buy. read cheaper than anything on your list. light. can get a 30l fuel tank for ~$500 that will see you to 7-800km a tank (when time is money filling up 2 times a week is allot better than 5-6). cheap on tyres, cheap on chains. tonnes of aftermarket parts as they have been basically unchanged for 20 years.

    engine should get 100k if used in that manor. simple as buggery to maintain. ie valve adjustments take 5mins and need a screwdriver.
  6. Hard to argue with a dr650 for this purpose, especially if you tard it :D....as long as you are ok with the slightly agricultural way they ride.
  7. Another vote for the DR650. Torque would be brilliant for the city, as would the riding position letting you be up high with good visibility. Fuel economy is supposed to be quite good, and the 'Safari' 30L tank option would make it a brilliant steed.

    Cheers - boingk
  8. Unfortunately guys im sticking away from 250's, i know they can last the distance, but I'm preferring a mid size bike.

    So far the V-strom is winning still. the DR650 sounds interesting though, a 30 litre tank would definately be handy! How much are these usually on the road? the Vstrom is fairly affordable, and is liquid cooled, fuel injected and has a better seat. but if its cheap, the DR650Se could be good too.
  9. theyve been known to be out that door for close to 7k. add a huge tank, a sheepskin seat cover and some of those courier hand muffs and you are good to go for 2,000km a week or a round the world trip.

    theres a reason adv riders use them as the bike of choice (GS beamers aside)
  10. hmmm... might have to go pester my local dealers again and see if theres any floor stock that wont shift, im not a fan of carburettors, but im a fan of the price and reliability. My hyosung vapourises like a 1970's chevy in hot weather, thats the only reason I'm afraid of carbs still, that and maintainance.
  11. carbies are a piece of piss. with a DR you will have the carbies off in 5mins. its basically tank off and then whip em off. thats how it was with my dr800.

    realisticly if you buy new, dont modify and dont live on mt everest you probably wont need to touch the carbies for many years. even with a huge workload. even if you do replacing worn needles or valves is certainly allot cheaper and easier than replacing broken FI parts.

    It may sound like im biased, but I really look forward to owning another DR one day. Mine was a flogged 1987 POS and even though it had some problems from probably over 100,000kms in its life it was so much fun and a piece of piss to work on.

    carbies have allot of benefits for the at-home shoe string mechanic as they are simple, easy to modify if the bike isnt running right and parts are cheap.
  12. I've had a dr650se for all of a month now and I'm loving it. Definitely test ride first though as the 'agricultural' ride can take some getting used to! I got mine to commute and to adventure-tour on and so far so good. The most fun I've had so far is on the 4x4 tracks... awesome!

    Stock tank is a bit small and the seat isn't great but there are easy-fixes for both and the other advantages make up for it.

    Go forth and test!
  13. TTR250! awesome at gutter hoping, pretty good sprinting and stopping, reliable. will do 120 if necessary(bit windy)
  14. V-strom is too big and too wide. DR650 seems like a good idea, or a GS500 for something road-ier.
  15. DR-650 A+++++ I've gone over a few gutters at speed too, nice torque and despite what people say capable of keeping up with a lot of road bikes, fun bike easy to live with no worries throwing it around and now they have electric start lol, mind you mine is a 1990 model but there's not a hell of lot of difference except mine looks better, when it's back in one piece bloody roos ;)