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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 3 Dec 2005
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Wanting bike for Slow Way South

Hi there,

I'm new to the forum but have been reading for a while. I've got my license 18 months ago but haven't touched a bike since then. I'm planning to get a bike in Scotland and ride all the way to Spain. I have a few questions that maybe someone has got the answer to:

Which bike should/could I get considering the following restrictions:
- got restricted license
- inexperience rider
- based in Scotland
- skint (£500 max for bike, hopefully under £200)
- haven't got a clue about maintenance (plan to do a course)
- don't intend to go off-road, but would prefer to avoid highways.
- no need for speed
- not fussy about design or age
- short rider (165)

I know they look like many restrictions... It would also help to find the bike near me, so if there is any scottish reader with and old small bike sleeping in their garage...

thank you very much
slowrider
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  #2  
Old 3 Dec 2005
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If it's 18 months since you passed your test you'd be best to wait another 6 months and then your licence restriction ends. I'm not too sure about your height, that sounds like 5'5" in Scottish money You're probably best looking at a honda400 type machine, but at the price you're quoting you'll struggle to find one.
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  #3  
Old 3 Dec 2005
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A Suzuki GS500 twin ('89 up) might fit in that budget. Cheap and easy to maintain, parts can easily be found (the GS was built over 15 years almost unchanged), one-up decent little tourer.
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  #4  
Old 3 Dec 2005
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I think the first thing to do is to activate and enlarge your circle of biking friends. There are three Horizons Communities in Scotland. Perhaps you could meet some of these people and join one of the communities yourself. These people have the same interests as you...

Second, check out local bike clubs.

Try as many bikes as you can. Find the one you are most comfortable with. Any bike will do such trips.
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  #5  
Old 3 Dec 2005
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try not to under-estimate the need for speed. I did 40 mph all the way down to Spain (from Edinburgh) and had a nightmare. Trucks pushing me into the verge, etc. At 40 mph (slower?) you're a hazard, and people let you know. Anyhow, on the quieter roads it was still good fun.

email me if you want a hand. looks like you might be on the hunt for a mighty Enfield...
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  #6  
Old 4 Dec 2005
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Who or where are the 3 Horizons communities in Scotland?

Quote:
Originally posted by beddhist:
I think the first thing to do is to activate and enlarge your circle of biking friends. There are three Horizons Communities in Scotland. Perhaps you could meet some of these people and join one of the communities yourself. These people have the same interests as you...

Second, check out local bike clubs.

Try as many bikes as you can. Find the one you are most comfortable with. Any bike will do such trips.
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  #7  
Old 5 Dec 2005
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I would think your bike should have at least 12 gears, perhaps 18, skinny tires - perhaps 700C.
That's about it, I would think - your other requirements would easily be found on a whole host of fine models.
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  #8  
Old 5 Dec 2005
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Just joined the Edinburgh community. Will try to get in touch with people after Christmas.

I appreciate all your suggestions. Yes, I am 5'5''. I know my budget is quite limited... I did consider cycling down, but ruled it out in the end

Well, since I'm at it, do you guys know if I can get insured for 2-3 months only? I may have to get the bike insured in Spain if I'm going to use it there after the trip (that's the plan). Maybe I should post this question elsewhere.

thanks

[This message has been edited by slowrider (edited 05 December 2005).]
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  #9  
Old 5 Dec 2005
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Go for it, find a motorcycle no matter what it is. Go for the trip even if it is totaly irrational. You might only make it 100km out of town and have the decrepit lump of iron blow up.....but you will have an adventure. Long ago we flew into london and found the only bikes available (we thought) so on a 175 honda twin we toured around and then rode to southern spain and back. Another time I was sitting around midway up the alaska highway looking thru the hole in my engine at the transmission gears, but ended up meeting new friends and patching the old honda 750 up and making it home. I wouldn't do some of those things again but they were interesting to do once.
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  #10  
Old 5 Dec 2005
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have to say if you are really not bothered about speed, and want cheapness (to buy, run, reliability, to repair and insure) then try an old, but looked after C90 or CG125

both are proper honda indestrucable. the older ones are better as they are built better. parts are almost free, and both go futher than 100 miles on a gallon...

slow as shit though ;-) but should manage 55mph in neutral conditions....

(whats the hurry, you're on holiday!)

[This message has been edited by scdan3 (edited 05 December 2005).]
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  #11  
Old 6 Dec 2005
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Quote:
Originally posted by vstrom:

Who or where are the 3 Horizons communities in Scotland?
If you look at the menu on the left, near the bottom is a link "Community". Click and read...
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  #12  
Old 6 Dec 2005
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Are you looking for Road bike or dual.

For first time Road bike then you can't go wrong with a Yamaha XJ600s Diversion. Very cheap insurance, very competent tourer, quite a few restricted bike out there...I started on one. Many have Gvi luggage already fitted.

check out: http://groups.msn.com/YamahaDiversions/_whatsnew.msnw

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  #13  
Old 6 Dec 2005
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I must admit I too, had and loved, a Divvy 600 I did many 400 mile days two up, We were a little stiff after the 400 miles though, but I had never any complaints about the bike.



[This message has been edited by vstrom (edited 06 December 2005).]
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  #14  
Old 7 Dec 2005
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There are limits though. Thinking along similar lines to Scdan3, I once used a Honda C50 to go to the Elephant rally in Germany. Just about ok on the flat, uphill into the wind it dropped down to around 10mph. With hundreds of miles to go I eventually dumped it, removed the tax disc for refund purposes and went pillion with someone else.
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  #15  
Old 10 Dec 2005
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Hey guys, thanks for the advice. So far I'm thinking that the CG-125 may fit my needs, skills and budget (if I find one old enough in Scotland, give me a shout if you know of any), sounds like a reliable machine and easy to maintain. Don't want to wait until I have unrestricted licence nor do I want to restrict a bike.

Trying to get into a motorcycle maintenance course next, I have no clue about it and I think it's a must to be safe.

will keep you posted.

[This message has been edited by slowrider (edited 10 December 2005).]
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