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Thread: First motorbike recommendations

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    Senior Member Rack's Avatar
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    First motorbike recommendations

    Hey everyone,
    I've had my motorbike license for a few years now, but only had a motorbike for a couple of months when I was 20. now I'm in my mid-20's, and feeling a bit less insane, I'm seriously thinking of buying a bike to commute with (London, ~8miles each way).

    I've been looking at a Suzuki SV650s, had them recommended by a friend. Others recommended a bandit, nothing special I know but good reliable starter bike.

    I was wondering what other peoples experience is, if there are any comments or recommendations for a first bike. I'm looking to spend about £1500 on the bike, and £500 on kit to start off with.

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    not a biker but was always told buy a cheap bike so your not botherd about any damage to it till your more confident

    nothing worse than buying a bike that cost you alot of money then having to spend as much on paint job and panels

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    Having not ridden for ~ 6 years, is it sensible to begin with such a powerful bike?

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    schmunk's got a point

    it depends what else you want to use it for aswell, if its JUST for commuting then you could go for something like an old (read:ancient) cb250, solid as a rock, never break down and mine cost me £600. but thats the overly sensible/boring option

    if you're looking for the 600cc range the fazer is an awesome bike, reliable and fun
    Pirates = Win.

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    Senior Member Rack's Avatar
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    I don't want to be upgrading in 3 months when I get bored, so an 600cc seemed about right for me, and these aren't sports bikes or anything.

    I just know if I buy a cheap bike that 'just does it', I won't get around to upgrading for 1-2 years.

    I would also like to do trips on it with the gf down to the coast, etc.

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    Paranoid??? Who Me???
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    first things first...

    600's are the perfect first 'big' bike.. fast enough to scare you, but also tame enough to teach you how to ride... if its been a while since you've been on a bike, it might be worth contacting a local bike school to see if they can do a refresher course..

    forget about the cb250 and equivalent.. cr@p.
    forget about the cb500 and eqivalent.. you'll look like every other dispatch rider!

    the SV650 is a cracking bike.. nice little v-twin, good alrounder.. not as powerful in the horsepower stakes as the fazer/bandit/hornet, but as its a twin it makes up for it with torque. To be honest though, sv's/bandits/fazers/hornets in the £1500 range are going to be little bit basket cases.. Thrashed smashed and crashed....

    If it was me, i'd be looking at a mid-90's Honda CBR600, thats got full history, MOT and a nice set of rubber... That way you'll have a 90-100bhp bike, thats as capable on the twisties as it is comfey on your commute. Great handling bike, good with a pillion, and dosnt look stupid with a rack and tailpack for your work gear...

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    Senior Member Rack's Avatar
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    Thanks for the advice Kailum, I'll have a look at what I can get for the money on the CBR600. Of course I'd always want to see service history.

    *uh, just looking about, there don't seem to be many CBR's for less than 3k, but I haven't seen many from the 90's either, mostly 2000's.
    Last edited by Rack; 17-07-2006 at 08:36 AM.

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    yeah, i'v been looking about for a while aswell and with a budget of about 1000-1500 and the best option seems to be the cb500 for me, cant get much else for the money thats reliable as far as i could see, but there is probably others. i'd love to have some more options with my cash aswell


    and the cb250 isnt bad if its just for commuting
    Pirates = Win.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rack
    Thanks for the advice Kailum, I'll have a look at what I can get for the money on the CBR600. Of course I'd always want to see service history.

    *uh, just looking about, there don't seem to be many CBR's for less than 3k, but I haven't seen many from the 90's either, mostly 2000's.
    Problem is with this price range, your not going to find the bikes in the dealers.. or if you do its more than likely a tarted up overpriced 'bargain'. Your going to have to buy private, and this can bring its own problems if your not that knowledgable around bikes... If you do buy private, at the very least get an HPI check done, get a mate dragged along to check them out... failing that, have a read around the net for buying used bikes, some pretty comprehensive checklists.. and if the seller isnt happy about you going through a checklist, then walk away..

    have a look on biketrader.co.uk, just done a quick search around the 60 miles from NW3 (only london postcode I know) and there are a couple of 94's for 1400 & 1500.


    Quote Originally Posted by ekundo
    yeah, i'v been looking about for a while aswell and with a budget of about 1000-1500 and the best option seems to be the cb500 for me, cant get much else for the money thats reliable as far as i could see, but there is probably others. i'd love to have some more options with my cash aswell

    and the cb250 isnt bad if its just for commuting
    sorry ekundo.. gonna have to totally disagree with you here...the CB500 isn't a bad bike, its just that there are a hell of a lot better bikes for the same money.. Now if your looking at the CB500 for insurance reasons, then fair enough.. Its a learner bike, its a dispatch riders dream (70mpg and tyres that last for ever!), it is reliable, but that because its an air cooled paralel twin that is so unstressed its like a rasta in a ganja farm!

    The CB250 is a really bad bike.. 20bhp with a top speed of 85. You may as well get a CG125 and save some more on the insurance.. you'll only lose 13mph of your top speed and 8bhp!

    There are lots of better bikes around for the £1000-£1500.. stick your postcode into biketrader.co.uk and see what bikes you can get for that money! You'll be suprised!
    Just within 40 miles of me

    • SUZUKI RF600 R, L reg. £1000
    • KAWASAKI GPZ900R, E reg. A4 1095
    • HONDA CBX 750F, B reg. 6 months tax/MOT, new tyres, new chain & sprockets, serviced, black/silver/red, 4-into-1 laser exhaust, very good condition and very reliable £1150
    • 1989 SUZUKI GSXR400 Slingshot, 20 miles, excellent condition, loads of service history, 12 months tax & Mot, £ 1,195
    • 2001 SUZUKI GSX 750F, Y reg. black, 8 mopnths MOT & 1 tax, recent front pads, ex runner & condition £ 1,250
    • 1997 SUZUKI Bandit 600, R reg. long MOT and tax, recently serviced, good condition, £ 1,250
    • 1997 SUZUKI GSF BANDIT GSF600 W, 32,000 miles, Black.R reg bandit street fighter. excellent condition with rear hugger, data tool 3 alarm/imobiliser and other extras fitted. always starts first time, very low running costs, £ 1,300
    • 1995 HONDA CBR CBR600 F-N 600 F, 22,000 miles, White.N reg,new back tyre,new clutch,8 mths tax and mot,bullitt proof engine,runs £ 1,450
    • 1995 SUZUKI RF 900 F2, tax, MOT, alarm, Datatag, Dynojet, Scott oiler, paddock stand, spare screen exhaust, lots of bills MOTs,. £ 1,500
    • 1997 KAWASAKI ZX ZX600-F3 -6r Ninja, 17,000 miles, Blue Kawasaki, MOT & TAXED TILL NOV 06. Full service in Febuary. Very reliable, excellent runner, but needs tidying £ 1,500


    I'd take any of those over a CB500!
    Out of all of those the '95 CBR600 FN would be my choice. A hell of a lot of bike for not much cash. 100bhp, 0-60 in around 4 seconds, on to a top speed of over 140. enough power to lift the front wheel in 1st and 2nd.. and able to beat 99% of cars away from the lights without even trying!
    Last edited by kaillum; 17-07-2006 at 12:46 PM.

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    hmm, guess i wasnt looking hard enough then. insurance is a major issue and i do need ti to be pretty reliable, i'll grab myself some quotes andsee what i can afford, cheers
    Pirates = Win.

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    I got an old CB500. Reliable, plenty quick enough unless you're an out-and-out racer, light and flickable, narrow enough to cut through traffic. But yeah - SV650 would be good too.

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    Re: First motorbike recommendations

    hi, im 18 and want to get my first bike but im not sure about how high a CC bike i can get? can anyone help?

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    Re: First motorbike recommendations

    http://www.cub90.co.uk/cbtlicencelearne.html
    The licence

    Before you can even think about riding you must have the correct licence. If you already have a full car licence, you are automatically entitled to ride a learner bike (up to 125cc and 14.6bhp) with 'L' plates and no pillion passengers. If you don't drive already you need to apply for a provisional motorcycle or moped licence. There are a number of different licence categories you can go for, depending on your age and what licence you have already.

    Moped licence
    A moped is defined as a vehicle that must not exceed 30mph, weigh more than 250kg or have an engine over 50cc. The definition for machines registered before 1 September 1977, also includes its propulsion by pedals. You can ride a moped at 16 years old on a provisional motorcycle licence with moped entitlement. You must complete CBT (compulsory basic training), the theory test and the practical moped test to get a full moped licence.

    Once qualified, you may ride a moped without 'L' plates and carry a pillion passenger. You must not, however, ride on motorways. If you have a full car licence gained after 1 February 2001 you must complete CBT before riding a moped. If your licence was gained before 1 February 2001 you are entitled to ride a moped without taking CBT. Again, once qualified you can ride a moped without 'L' plates and with a pillion, but not on motorways.

    The A and A1 licence
    At 17 you can apply for either an 'A' or 'A1' licence. To gain a full A1 light motorcycle licence you must complete CBT, the theory test and a practical test on a vehicle between 75cc and 125cc. A full 'A1' licence permits you to ride any motorcycle up to 125cc and a power output of up to 11kW (14.6 bhp) without 'L' plates, you may carry a pillion passenger and travel on motorways. For the category 'A' licence you must complete CBT and pass the theory test followed by the practical test on a motorcycle of over 120cc but not larger than 125cc and capable of at least 100kph. A full standard category 'A' licence permits you to ride motorcycles with a power output of up to 25kW (33bhp), and a power-to-weight ratio not exceeding 0.16kW/kg, without 'L' plates, carry a pillion passenger and use motorways. The 33bhp ceiling applies for two years (not counting any periods of disqualification). After that you may ride a motorcycle of any capacity and power.

    Direct access
    At 21 or over you have the option to take a test on a larger machine. On passing the test you will be qualified to ride any size of motorcycle without restrictions. This option is called direct access. You must complete CBT, the theory test and a practical test on a motorcycle of at least 35kw (46.6bhp) to qualify for this licence. You are exempt from taking the theory test if you already hold a motorcycle or moped licence. When you are training for direct access you are not permitted to ride on the road unless accompanied by a qualified instructor
    [
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    Re: First motorbike recommendations

    The licence

    Before you can even think about riding you must have the correct licence. If you already have a full car licence, you are automatically entitled to ride a learner bike (up to 125cc and 14.6bhp) with 'L' plates and no pillion passengers. If you don't drive already you need to apply for a provisional motorcycle or moped licence. There are a number of different licence categories you can go for, depending on your age and what licence you have already.
    Thats out of date.

    If you have a full car licence now you still have to do your cbt before you can get on a bike

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    Re: First motorbike recommendations

    The GPZ500 is well worth a look. I've had 2 of them in between bigger bikes and they're just so much fun to ride. They're ideal for commuting but fast enough and with good enough handling to keep up with much bigger bikes.
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