Possible new biker - advice please!

#1
All,

I'm considering getting a bike for the commute to work, as the traffic (and petrol cost) is just getting silly. I need to cover about 19 miles, mainly on M'way, and commuting will be the main purpose of the bike (i.e. I don't want to tear around at weekends with it). Come Sep, I might be posted, which will leave me with a weekly commute of about 190 miles each way, so it needs to be comfy.

What kind of cheap bike will fulfill this? Can I get away with a 250cc on an m'way, or do I need a 500cc?

Help!

VMT

Al
 
#2
All,

I'm considering getting a bike for the commute to work, as the traffic (and petrol cost) is just getting silly. I need to cover about 19 miles, mainly on M'way, and commuting will be the main purpose of the bike (i.e. I don't want to tear around at weekends with it). Come Sep, I might be posted, which will leave me with a weekly commute of about 190 miles each way, so it needs to be comfy.

What kind of cheap bike will fulfill this? Can I get away with a 250cc on an m'way, or do I need a 500cc?

Help!

VMT

Al
Why not try & find something like a Honda NTV or Deauville, 650cc water cooled, shaft driven roadster; nice & comfy, fair performance, reliable, easy to maintain and you should manage to find a reasonably priced model out there somewhere. You'll see quite a few of the motorcycle instructors and dispatch riders using them.
They're popular amongst older riders and won't have been thrashed like a lot of the sports bikes.
 
#5
Don't go too small, a large engine purring is as good as a small one complaining. You'd get away fine with the 250 on the short run, but you'd want to go larger on the long runs, your arse will thank you too. Fuel economy wouldn't be too different either. Wear and tear on the smaller bikes is accelerated by mileage. Mid sized bikes like the ones quoted will be just fine, go above 1000cc and you'll only get similar economy to a diesel shopping car but you will zip the traffic jams so there's a good time saving by bike.
Factor in the cost of decent protective kit - avoid toy gloves and cheap boots, they'll last a year and will let the water through all year. If you're losing the car for the bike, recall how foul the weather got only weeks ago and buy for that weather, not temperate.
I'd go for a 25-30k mile deauville, the TDM or a BMW 650 with one owner - torquey-enough bikes that attract 'sensible' bikers and at that mileage on one owner it would be well cared for.
 
#6
Welcome to the club Alfred

If you were just sticking to the 19 mile commute, a smaller engined bike would be fine or even better a 400cc scooter....very comfy and economical.

With the 190 mile run, you would be wanting something along the lines of a 650cc bike, that distance would be a balls ache on a small bike and it wouldn,t do the bike much good either.

Most bikes come in 2 flavours N is unfaired and normally more upright riding position ( comfy )

S is the sportier of the type, normally half/full faired and slightly sporty riding poition.

Some types to look at....you did not mention your budget however.

Suzuki SV650....lovely little bikes, great for commuting.Decent speed,reliable,good mpg.£ 2500 to £5000 ( owned one )

Suzuki GSF650 ( Bandit ) again great bike for virtually anything you throw at it,reliable,good mpg.£2000 to £ 5500 ( owned one )

Yamaha Diversion 600 the old type was the archtypical despatach riders bike...good reccomendation. £1500 to £ 5500

Kawasaki Versys 650...This bike is a cracker, excellent riding position,great brakes,220 mile tank range,beautiful engine, good lights etc etc...£3000 to £6000 ( owned one )

Or choose an old BMW like a R100GS,R1100GS....absolute workhorse, built for massive miles and comfort..very,very cheap to insure( got one now )
 
#7
If you're going the Bandit route (fnarr), consider the GSX650F - the fully faired version. 200 mile tank range on Mways, comfy and more wind/weather protection than a naked bike. Or a Versys, which was my other choice but came up tails when I had to choose.
 
#8
I do 50 miles a day on a '04 T100 Bonneville. Reliable, cheap to buy/run and has a little more class than the Jap equivalents.
 
#9
Cheers team,

no license as yet, budget upto £2000(ish), as I'm also running a car. Thanks for the suggestions, I'll look into them!
 
#10
Honda Deauville is the kiddie, on your spec and budget.

For peanuts to buy, run and maintain, you could get a Kawasaki GT 550. Bombproof. No weather protection, but the skint couriers choice, and has been clipping taxi wing mirrors since the year dot without skipping a beat.
 
#11
All of the bikes mentioned on here are ideal for what you have in mind.

The Bandit in my opinion is ideal, you will pick a good used model for a great price. The market that you are looking at is probably the most catered for by all manufactures so the choice is excellent and anything from the big four is going to do exactly what it says on the tin.

So A good excuse to sit on the throne for a few hours with an auto trader. I also having said that my biking days are over am reconsidering that decision due to the price of fuel and most of my journeys are just transporting myself a bike is looking to be not just logical but necessary.
 
#12
Al
If your anywhere near cheltenham/worcester, drop me a PM as I can sort out training and bikes and kit for you at "reduced" rates especially for serving types :)
 
#13
I inherited a little Honda Varadero 125 V twin. I used to do a 25 mile comute with it no problems , a tenners worth of squirt used to see me right all week. Ok its only a little 125 so you gonna struggle to make 70 but it still shifts along which aint bad for a little 125 thats almost the same footprint size as my GS500. TBH I wish I kept the thing now and used it as a runabout.

LT
 
#14
One not mentioned but worth a look is the GS500. Nice little bike that goes at a fair lick and is upright and comfy. Even has a fully faired version. Agree with the Bandit and SV as have owned/own both and think they are ideal for "beginnings. Welcome to biking
 
#16
The Deauville has a good write up in the latest Rider mag, shaft drive so low maintenance.

I ride an XJR 1300, naked bikes are ok for short commutes but can get abit uncomfortable on long m/way commutes (though also keeps your speed down).

Most bikes mentioned above are good bikes and would fit your needs:

Suzuki Bandit 600, with a fairing, you can pick one up for £1000+, easy to ride, quick enough when needs, but naked ones tend to have been thrashed by new riders, so check them over, loads out there, so some good deals to be had. Easy to ride, spares are plentiful and lots have been looked after by owners, especially the half faired ones.

Suzuki SV650, very good rep, more sporty looking than the Bandit.

Yamaha FZS 600 Fazer, pre FZ6 model, £1200 ish upwards, better handling than the Bandit, very good tank range (i got 180+ from a tank riding at m/way speeds-ish , sat at 80mph), ideal first 'big' bike, also they tend to have been well looked after. Easy to ride in traffic and around town, very forgiving bike if you are in the wrong gear etc

Some sports tourer bikes are also good:

Honda CBR 600F, or the Yamaha YZF 600 Thundercat (excellent bike my mate did over 54k in 2 years on one no probs), also not as popular as the CBR but just as capable, fairly cheap and a lot of them are owned by girls for some reason, not sure why as they are top bikes.

If your not concerned about image an older Yamaha Diversion would also be worth looking at. Good commuting bikes, easy to ride and look after, i know the 900 is shaft drive i think the 600 may be as well.

Best of luck with the license and getting a bike. As someone else posted, try them on for size, even if you don't test ride one, as a new rider being sat comfortably with at least one foot able to touch the ground with more than just your tip toes, handle bars a comfortable reach, levers easy to reach, can all be discovered just sitting on a bike in a shop. Most of the above bikes wil handle rougly the same anyway
 
#17
As for kit, factor in at least £350.

Helmet is top priority. You can get a good quality one from £90, look on Ghostbikes website, Carberg VR2 is a good one. Don't get a lid off e bay, try them on first for sizing.

Set of textile kit with armour protection, removable lining, are good for all year around (spk to your MT, they may have army Codura kit which is sat around doing nought and is actually very good kit). Won't offer same protection as leathers but good enough.

I wear Loha or Matterhorn goretex army boots, good for most of the year, good thick leather though not as much protection as proper boots, but if on a budget good enough till you can buy better.

Other top tip, try kit on in the shops for size and comfort, then look on flea bay for same kit, you can get lots of fairly new kit for next to nought. I got a leather jkt for £20 hadly worn, leather trousers for a tenner, armoured gloves for £25.

If you are near Swindon George Whites has some good bargains in kit.

Good luck
 
#19
I run a triumph Tiger, not the fastest or best handling bike I've ever had but I love the whole 'package' and commute to work on it regularly (appx 13miles each way) it's good on fuel- around 48mpg but less if it's a 'spirited ride'. The only drawback is that it's a tall bike, I'm a short arse and struggle sometimes but now I know how to manouvre it, it's fine. Good luck with the test, and get decent kit. I tried a breath deflector in my helmet last year after 30yrs of riding and it was a revelation!!- no more misted up visor :) don't know why i didn't do it earlier, but you live and learn eh?
 

cent05zr70

On ROPS
On ROPs
#20
I do 50 miles a day on a '04 T100 Bonneville. Reliable, cheap to buy/run and has a little more class than the Jap equivalents.
You don't mention the chrome!
 

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