/ Considering I keep seeing motorbike threads
What I'm after is any suggestions for a first motorbike?
Around 500-600cc budget of about £2000 before insurance etc
My brother got on well with his first Honda CBR, one of the lower powered models, i've read they have a reputation for being vice free, I think it was about 600CC though the cost could have been higher than around 2K.
If you are tallish, try a Versys, short wheelbase makes them easy to handle, a 2006 one might be about for 2k. bandit or cbr are the usual choices - though a bit dull in my opinion.
BMW F650 - dont worry too much about the miles.
Depends what style of bike you want. Kawasaki ER650 is a nice compact roadie. Might stretch your budget a little though.
It depends on a few things, although I'm a little on the shorter side and just brought a suzuki sv650s for £1000 and is a brilliant little bike, I'd recommend it to anyone, very controlable with good useable power, although a good friend swears by his honda cbr600f. Both well within budget.
I've had a 1999 Sv650s since september now and it's brilliant, It's my first big bike and it has the restrictor on (I'm under 21), still has ample power though and the engine is lovely. It's very light and handles well.
There are probably more comfortable equivalents out there, the seat is low and pegs are high, (unless you go for the naked version which has higher bars) which can cause some discomfort in the legs after a while. Still, I rode to Cornwall last week on it from Birmingham and it was comfortable enough with a couple of stops.
My brother has the bandit 600 (1997). He would rate it as much as I rate my sv. Really solid engine, more comfortable and slightly taller. Similar power and quality of finish on both sv and bandit (which is perhaps not the best... have had minor problems with electrics and the exhaust systems corrode in a matter of days!).
Either would be a great choice, though each one suits different priorities; Sv more sporty riding position and better handling, bandit more comfortable, bigger and heavier with a higher revving engine.
SV650 or Bandit 600 or Yamaha Fazer 600 or Honda Hornet600.
To answer my own question, looks like not much change for someone my age, other than I have to take my test on a bigger bike - which is a pain because its obviously easier passing on your own vehicle.
Seconded, lovely bikes, very forgiving, great power range, very nimble.
Unfortunately mine came off second best, and I came off third best, in an argument with a taxi.
Nice seating position and great reliability. Also it has 98bhp from its detuned R6 engine and went like stink compared to the GS500 38bhp machine I learned on. Great first bike.
Perhaps try an older VFR750/800. You should ge a high miler for that cost but they last foreever. Problem with your first bike is that you get used to the power on a 600 really quickly and want more. Many people tell you that you will always fall off your first bike and anything bigger is suicidal. I disagree. I didn't fall off mine and you ride as quickly as your right hand let's you. If I had my time again with my knowledge now, I would have gone for something closer to what I ultimately wanted straight away.
I've since had a CBR600RR and now a Ducati 1098 but I wouldn't recommend either of those. ;)
One of two things will happen on your first bike. You'll either be happy and not want more, or you'll soon be used to it and wishing it was a bit quicker. Above suggestions of AV, bandit and cbr are all good, partly as well because they're so common you'll get a cheap one and easily find spare posts if you drop it at some point. They also sell easily. If you can add another grand on your budget you can look at getting so many more options, but unless you can do that easily sick with one of the obvious models as suggested
unfortunately sv 650's are girl's bikes and everyone will make fun of you :P
I think a mid 2005ish Hornet would be a great bike. Probably the better looking of the big four's offerings in terms of naked bikes. Will be plenty friendly enough around town and getting to grips with a 'big bike' but also fast enough if you want it to be.
I think when you boil it down, all non training (gs500, cb500) type bikes are going to feel very sluggish compared to all 600s mentioned here. Hornet, bandit, fazer, SV, CBRF, ER6 etc and compared to your 125 they will feel like rocketships. Take them all for a test ride and see which one feels best, get some quotes to see what the TCO is. The Suzukis will be a bit cheaper but the resale will be down too. The Hondas, Yams will be a bit dearer to buy and run/repair but will be more reliable and resale will be better. Kwaks will be somewhere in the middle.
Best thing is, you will love them all as they are all great fun.
> One of two things will happen on your first bike. You'll either be happy and not want more, or you'll soon be used to it and wishing it was a bit quicker.
Very true. Also depends where and how you're going to use it. I started out a long time (+10 yrs) ago on direct access, learning on a 600 (fazer maybe, can't remember). Then started riding a scooter again 6m ago - but that didn't really suit me. Now I'm on a 125 and so far it seems more than adequate for around town - after all 40mph limits and 30 in most places anyhow. However, suspect I'll want to upgrade again in another year or maybe less!
I'd also recommend a Suzuki SV650S which is probably going to be cheap(ish) to insure, but I'd also look at Insurance as a potentially big running cost, so it might be best to look at getting another year's NCB in the bank, first (so to speak)...
I'm still exceedingly pissed off about getting my SV650S nicked a couple of months ago. It had been SORNed for a few years when I got ill, and then I've had 3 operations, and am on my way to recovery, and some s*t steals my bike. Lots of naughty words were said.
What do you want to use it for? Fun? Commuting? Track Days? Touring? All of the above?
It really depends .. for instance for my previous bike I was looking for something that I could take on track days and have fun but didnt care about commuting or any other practicality.
Bought an R6 - awesome bike but would be a pain in the butt to do my current commute (100 miles round trip, twice a week) becuase I'd be filling up with petrol ever other day. Also expensive to run.
For my current bike I had different requirements: it had to do the 100 mile commute with climbing kit. So I got a Fazer 600 and bunged on some second hand hard lugagge - 250 miles tank range, 60mpg, carries all my climbing kit easily and cheaper to run than a full on sports bike. Sure it would be comparitvely rubbish on the track but that wasn't a priority this time around. Total cost £2050 (+ £80 for insurance)
So .. what do you what the bike to do?
.. oh and the Fazer (an 03 model with a large fuel tank) was in near perfect nick with just 11,000 miles on the clock. Probably my best motorcycle buy ever :-)
There are so many good, clean 600cc bikes .. just make sure you take off your rose tinted glasses and be patient :-)
One thing to watch out for as a new rider is the size of these things after a 125. If you aren't so big (like me) they can be a handful at low speeds until you get used to them. Out of all the bikes mentioned, the Bandit has generally been the heaviest.
I never had an SV650, but I've become a Ducati convert, and I'll say that even though the SV is a bit low on power, the sound and the way that V-twins deliver their power is very nice indeed.
Agree with others that a 500cc or less will leave you wanting. I quickly found the limits of my CB500 but the Fazer was always a better bike than I am a rider!
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