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Which Bike? Comments and Questions on what is the best bike for YOU, for YOUR trip. Note that we believe that ANY bike will do, so please remember that it's all down to PERSONAL OPINION. Technical Questions for all brands go in their own forum.
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  #1  
Old 27 Dec 2006
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1st bike dilema

Hi all, just a bit of advice needed regarding a 1st bike please.

Was thinking of a GS1200, but with having to be restricted to 33bhp i realised that would be a bad move. So, was thinking of a 3-4 yr old GS650, just to "learn the ropes" before getting onto the bigger machine in 2 years time.

any advice, opinions welcome.

Thanks in advance
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  #2  
Old 27 Dec 2006
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If you are not prepared/able to do the direct access test, then you would be much better off with a bike that was designed with 33bhp in mind, 350 single enduro style. do two years on that (with the cheaper insurance!) get your offroad/onroad experience without worrying about damaging a valuable big bike, then sell it for not much more than you paid for it and with the experience gained you will be more equiped to decide on the big bike you fancy.
there are a stack of 250/350 thumpers in your category. a restricted 650 will be a nightmare slug on the road. they were designed to be used with 50bhp.
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  #3  
Old 28 Dec 2006
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just get a cheap one so you don't care about droping it.
after those years keep it for fun and the real nasty stuf
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  #4  
Old 28 Dec 2006
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It would certainly be possible to do some adventure touring on a small thumper, with good prep and some serious seat padding. (unless you have a long narrow posteria) I use a c90, bikes don't get any slower, and I get to see the scenery. indeed, somedays In a strong headwind I suspect the scenery is overtaking me...
small enduro's tend to be very well madel, and cheap to fuel and run.
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  #5  
Old 28 Dec 2006
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thanks for the comments fellas
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  #6  
Old 28 Dec 2006
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Smaller IS better

I say get the smallest bike you can find, even down to 125cc. Maybe you can even find one for less than the cost of the depreciation you would get, rolling a new bike out a dealers door. I have taught many people to ride, and I have 35 bikes in my collection, from 50cc to 1000cc, and they all found the 50cc bikes by far the best way to learn skills and, more importantly, gain confidence. While I have done many long trips on 50cc bikes, I know it's not for everyone and everywhere. 3 to 6 months on a small bike will save you money and probably skin in the short, meduim and long term. There is absolutley nothing like feeling you are in charge of the bike at all times. That's why of the three bikes I race (Suzuki GP100, Honda CB500, BMW F650) the GP100 is the most fun. I can throw it around, launch off concrete curbs, bang elbows, slide it all over the place and generally be a very silly bastard on it and it very seldom bites me in the arse.

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--"Ride Tall, Ride Small"--
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  #7  
Old 28 Dec 2006
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Your best bet is probably to try and get a good, used Honda CB500. They're easily restricted if it hasn't been done already. They're reliable, not too pricey and handle well. You should find it big enough to ride comfortably over longer distances, but not too heavy around town.
Anything bigger would be a waste of money, and smaller bikes like the DR350, while fun round town, won't be as good for longer trips.
You could also consider a Kawa GPZ500, or the Suzuki GS500, although it may be harder to find one in good condition.
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  #8  
Old 29 Dec 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by martin280
Hi all, just a bit of advice needed regarding a 1st bike please.any advice, opinions welcome.
Thanks in advance
if you are just learning...get a small-ish (250-350) dual sport (new term...we just called them dirt bikes) and learn your stuff in the dirt. falls don't hurt when you're laughing, and all the best training off camber, slides and such become second nature when it's in the line of fun...which translates into reflex, skill, and control when you apply that to the road...you still have to watch for cell phone idiots and deer, but gravel, wet, sand, potholes, speed bumps, jumps and such become readily tucked under your belt.

in my 54 years, I've seen countless egos swagger off on blood and guts monster bikes that are way over their ability,,, to end in unexpected deaths...and people standing around with flowers saying "at least he died doing what he loved"...BS...the truth is the fool bit off more than he could chew.

IMHO the highest level of motorcycle skill is trials...it's about balance and control more than speed.
check these out:
http://www.gasgas.com/bikes/index.shtml
the bike may not look like much, but you'll not find any pretenders riding these. you don't have to go that extreme, but that's where the real skill is.

I strongly urge you to develop skills before putting the cart before the horse.
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  #9  
Old 8 Jan 2007
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ok, good or bad move. Bought a 125 Honda Varadero.
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  #10  
Old 9 Jan 2007
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Thumbs up Well Done!

Damn fine choice in my opinion! Now ride the wheels off it.

Kind regards

Nigel in NZ

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  #11  
Old 11 Jan 2007
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Great decision

As Nigel says small can be a lot of fun, and is certainly great for learning. Don't be afraid to take long trips on the 125 either. Many years ago I went all over East Africa on a DT 125, beside a guy riding a 175. Take your time and enjoy
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  #12  
Old 16 Jan 2007
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Please share your thoughts on the bike when you've had some time riding it. I often read the advice that small is good (and I have afeeling that it's good advice), but most people just buy "big" bikes from the start. So it will be intereting to hear what you think! Happy riding!
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