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Old 02-18-2008, 10:44 AM   #1
Matt Acheson
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Default Greetings from a Rookie who needs your help!

Hello everyone, my name's Matt, i'm 29 from London, England. I've been riding scooters for a few years now, but have recently been bitten by the bug to move on to something a little more serious. My girlfriend has offered to pay for a five day Direct Access course so that i can get my full license. I'll be doing that next month. I can't wait. The freedom of riding really appeals to me, i just hope i don't get scraped off the road by a putty knife at some stage!

I've already started looking at bikes, but i'm a bit confused, because nothing seems to completely suit my requirements. I'm going to buy 2nd hand, in case i break it! Basically i want something that isn't so massive and cumbersome that i can't use it in London traffic easily. It's got to be able to perform well, but at the same time be comfortable enough to do some long-distance travelling as well. I have a dream to ride down to the south of France with my girlfriend on the back! Or just weekend trips to the seaside. I heard that really i need quite a powerful bike to tour with a pillion passenger comfortably - but i'm quite nervous about getting a very powerful bike too soon.

I quite like the look of cruisers, but are they any good at long-distance, are they a hassle to maintain, and do they handle like crap?!

The bikes i've been looking at so far are:

Ducati Monster 600/620
Suzuki gs500e
Suzuki Bandit 650
Honda CBF500 ABS
Triumph Thunderbird
Honda vt750c shadow

I'd very much appreciate all your expert advice to a fledgling biker. Thanks for your time, Matt.
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Old 02-18-2008, 12:13 PM   #2
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All those look like good choices to me - I'd say it's just a matter of personal taste/deal you can make in which you choose. The cruiser WILL have a bit less ground-clearance, and as such most will relegate that to the "handles like crap" class. But, if the cruiser is what pushes your buttons - goforit.

So far as the "touring" aspect: I've a friend that told me about his touring adventures all across the American Southwest with his wife on a "big" Yamaha 175 back in the '70s.(of course, he's 5'5", 140lb and his wife is barely 5' and weighs less than that)

It's all what you make it.

Take your time in choosing, sit on your "prospects" with your passenger, and take note of how much room you've left for baggage.

All your choices would easily allow myself a full-weeks solo-touring with virtually all my camping gear. Less-so with a pillion. Your situation may differ, of course.
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Old 02-18-2008, 12:29 PM   #3
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You've made some reasonable choices there, I'd go with the Thunderbird..(Queen and Country you know..)or the CBF 500 Honda, though I I believe you mean 599 or Hornet or 650 Bandit. All good choices and most likely fairly cheap as there's loads of them around.

Good luck
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Old 02-18-2008, 12:48 PM   #4
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You have made good choices and any of them should suit your long term goals. As for a criuser- Triumph Speedmaster or America, Moto Guzzi Breva 750 or the new V7 would be my first choices since parts distribution should not be a problem for you. Suzuki makes a bike that they sell in the U.S. under the Boulevard M50 name. Really, this all depends on many factors: age, location and driving record may be issues. If you are looking at new bikes then I'd shop based on who'd give you the best comprehensive insurance deal- I read about several manufacturers buying your first year of comp coverage as part of the sales process. Yamaha just finished such a deal, I believe. If you are only complying with your standard liability laws (insurance wise), you will probably be fine with any bike you have chosen. If you need collision coverage, from the info I've read I would pick Carole Nash as the first company I'd call. They seem to have the best overall customer satisfaction.

BTW- Welcome to the forum and remember that most of these crusty old guys here have a sense of humor that you brits may find offensive- It's all in good fun.
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Old 02-18-2008, 12:50 PM   #5
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Yes they do seem to have their kid gloves on don't they.
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Old 02-18-2008, 03:48 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sfcdjevans View Post
Yes they do seem to have their kid gloves on don't they.
Well, he DID do a bit of research into what he wants to ride, and those ARE good choices, and he HAS a bit of two-wheeled experience.

As opposed to the usual guy that comes in and goes WAH! WAH! I WANNA MOTEYCYCEE - SOMEBODY TELL ME WHAT TO GET THAT'S GOT MORE THAN 200HP 'CUZ I NEVER RODE ONE BEFORE BUT I KNOW WHAT I'M DOIN' AND YOU CAN'T TELL ME THAT I CAN'T HANDLE IT FO' SHIZZLE, YO!!!
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Old 02-18-2008, 04:02 PM   #7
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Touche'...{added to meet the minimum charaters for a post}
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Why their heads on a pike of course. If I thought it would do any good.
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Old 02-18-2008, 05:12 PM   #8
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Y. . . or the CBF 500 Honda, though I I believe you mean 599 or Hornet. . . .
No, in England and Europe you can buy a 500 cc Honda CBF. It's quite a bit milder than the Hornet.
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Old 02-18-2008, 06:15 PM   #9
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No, in England and Europe you can buy a 500 cc Honda CBF. It's quite a bit milder than the Hornet.

My mistake, I'll have to head to Borders and stock up on TWO and BIKE, get myself back up to speed...
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Old 02-19-2008, 01:55 AM   #10
Matt Acheson
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Default 600cc a must?

Many thanks, gentlemen, for you advice. Sorry for being so green around the gills... Do you reckon that i'm going to need over 600cc for comfortable touring with a pillion? I don't know if build has anything to do with it. I'm 6'1'' and weigh about 180 pounds. My lady is pretty small... Also, am i really going to regret having no fairings if i go for a naked bike?
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