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Old 08-24-2008, 09:21 AM   #1
Cailet
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Default My first big bike?

Hi! This is my first post here so please be gentle. I'm just looking for advice on getting my first larger bike, having ridden a 125 for most of this year (though not at the moment, it's waiting for a new footpeg after an emergency stop in the rain went unpleasantly wrong).

Next January when I turn 21 I'm going to take my full Motorcycle test (UK so I can ride anything once I pass). I also intend to take and Advanced Riding course as early as I can after that - if I intend to ride a bike, I intend to ride it the best I possibly can. Having looked around for bikes to ride once I do pass I've come to several conclusions.

1) I don't like sportsbikes. I'm not a fan of the style and I'm not a fast kind of rider. I like to relax and cruise at least as much as I like to go howling around the bends (insofar as you can 'howl' on a 125cc bike )
2) I'm not a fan of cruisers either. I kinda like being able to lean forward and put my knee out in a corner and cruisers don't do that for me.
3) I do love Euro nakeds. Triumph, Cagiva, Aprilia and Ducati, I just look at some of their naked bikes and go "DO WANT!".
4) I can't even nearly afford a new bike. £2000 is going to be my limit, maybe stretching to £2500 for a really good bike but that's *including* insurance which is going to really limit me as a young rider (though I'm better off now I have an office job than last year working in a workshop!)

So with all this in mind I've got it down to a very short list of bikes I would go for.

Triumph Street Triple - I do like the style but it's probably too expensive for me and the insurance will be harsh (Group 14) also having seen the review on this site it seems too agressive for me.
Ducati Monster 620/750 - Older models come in at rather nice prices and they do look awesome. Insurance is still quite expensive and I'm 6'1 so I have the feeling it'd look like a clown-bike under me (A serious problem with my current bike, a Kaisar F5 - basically a CBR125 knockoff). Also I do hear some unpleasant stories about the electrics on Italian bikes and cars.
Cagiva Raptor 650 - As with the Duke.
Suzuki SV650/S - The choice of my head rather than my heart but I've never heard a bad word said about them that wasn't said by people who really wanted a GSXR instead. Plus parts, spares and repairs would be cheaper along with insurance and you can't move online without finding a dozen of them in my price-range.
Kawasaki ER-6N - Same reasoning as the SV but I like the quirky styling on it for some reason.

So with all that in mind, what would you suggest me to get? I'd be using it for my daily commute as well as longer trips (still sub-100 miles mostly) to see family and friends and just generally rolling along the A-roads for the fun of it.
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Old 08-24-2008, 09:28 AM   #2
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I know you're going to hate me for suggesting this, but you can't beat any of the Kawasaki standard four cylinder bikes that go back to the stone age. Reliable, reasonably powerfull and with decent handling, you can't beat an old 'Saki for a new rider who's stepping up to a bigger machine. Try the Z750, you won't be sorry.
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Old 08-24-2008, 09:34 AM   #3
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I won't hate you much

I know very little about bikes except the general practical engineering knowledge you pick up over the course of everyday life so honestly my ideas are largely aesthetic and sonic (V-Twins sound brilliant, so sue me). My motorbiking friends are all either younger than me or obsessed with old bikes/massive supersports and don't know much about things I want to know.

And that Kwak does look pretty sweet, even if I'm not a fan of 4-pots.

Last edited by Cailet : 08-24-2008 at 09:38 AM.
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Old 08-24-2008, 09:56 AM   #4
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The Suzi and the Kawi will be Stone Reliable, and a fun ride and do everything you'd ever want MORE than adequately.

The Duc 620 has that "Cachet" that only an Italian bike can give you, reliability has been rumoured to be acceptable on the Monster, but be prepared to pay through the nose any time you break anything on it - you might also have to search long and hard to find one in your pricerange that hasn't been beaten-upon.

The Cagiva I know nothing about.

The Speed Triple is a Hoon bike - reasonable reliability, reasonable to fix, but you'll find yourself doing things on it you'd NEVER do on any other bike. I also never really got used to the "feel" of the controls on those I've ridden - just something about them didn't sync-up with me. Their owners absolutely adored them, though.
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Old 08-24-2008, 05:00 PM   #5
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"I know you're going to hate me for suggesting this,..."

We hated you long before THAT suggestion! Honda Nighthawk anyone??
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Old 08-24-2008, 05:20 PM   #6
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Wee Strom? Got your twin sound, comfy riding position for someone of taller stature and should fly under the insurance radar. Then you can get the hard cases if you so desire.
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Old 08-25-2008, 05:56 AM   #7
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Sv650! The motor is reliable and the bike is affordable.But the best part is in the corners.
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Old 08-25-2008, 07:06 AM   #8
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With all the silly things you're going to hear may I suggest the following: Mid 90s Suzuki GS500 or Ninja 500, Honda makes a CB400 or VFR400 that they sell there that's not bad, The 90's Ducati 618/620, otherwise I'd go KTM Duke II or so. Something like an urban assault vehicle would do you good as long as your commute isn't 80miles a day.
As for the Triumph- go for the Thruxton. You'll be happier keeping thae money in your pocket.
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Old 08-25-2008, 09:45 AM   #9
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Thanks for all the suggestions so far

Having looked around at newer bikes there's a lot of good offers going at the moment, 0% finance and so on That I could actually afford more than comfortably if I pushed back my plans for moving out a little.

For example the Kawasaki ER6N at the moment is £~4500 with a 0% deal, put down £2000 to begin with then another £100/week and I'll be paid off in 6 months There's similar deals available on brand new Suzuki's (albeit not ones I'm interested in ).

The problem is of course insurance costs on a new bike and that it will cost me about double what I intended to spend (albeit spread over a longer period).

Anyway, whatever I do I think I will do some test riding first, looks aren't everything after all
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Old 08-25-2008, 10:39 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cailet View Post
Hi! This is my first post here so please be gentle.
MAN UP, you f'ing pussie! You said BIG BIKE, didn't ya? Well there's only two BIG BIKES that ain't Harley, and you ain't gettin no stinkin Harley. Leaves you with the B-King or the VMax II. Big, burly mothafucas that have more power than you have balls...but don't let that stop ya! Said you ain't got no money: RE-READ THE FIRST SENTENCE! Stop payin rent, start sellin crack, wh0re out your old lady: GET THE MONEY and GET THE BIKE! And don't post here again until you do.

Now FU<K OFF!
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