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Old Aug 13th 2017, 8:57 am   #1
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Smile Motorcycling questions...

Anyone here know a bit about motorbikes in the Kiwiland? I was having a play one my neighbors dirt bike this afternoon and I thought it might be quite nice to ease back into some motorcycling over the summer (but buy now while the market was still cool.) Currently I would need a LAMS approved motorcycle.

I'm 6'3 and stocky (despite my best efforts to be sleeker ), what models etc. should I be looking at? Doesn't need to be super sporty, just want to motor around some country road and take in the fresh air.

Money, $5k but maybe up to $10k if that's more reasonable. Thanks guys.
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Old Aug 14th 2017, 1:30 am   #2
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Default Re: Motorcycling questions...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charismatic View Post
Anyone here know a bit about motorbikes in the Kiwiland? I was having a play one my neighbors dirt bike this afternoon and I thought it might be quite nice to ease back into some motorcycling over the summer (but buy now while the market was still cool.) Currently I would need a LAMS approved motorcycle.

I'm 6'3 and stocky (despite my best efforts to be sleeker ), what models etc. should I be looking at? Doesn't need to be super sporty, just want to motor around some country road and take in the fresh air.

Money, $5k but maybe up to $10k if that's more reasonable. Thanks guys.
Yup. I'm a biker.
Not sure whether you've ridden before with your post as you mention easing back in to it over summer, so apologies if I sound like I'm talking to a novice.

You need to decide what type of bike you're looking for first - i.e sports bike with fairing, more sat up so like a naked sport with flatter bars, an adventure bike which is super tall or something more sat down like a cruiser. There's LAMS approved in every way shape and form and since a LAMS approved will be a leader into maybe something more grown up in the future it's a good idea to buy a similar styled bike so it's an easier transition when you do come to move on.
Since you are so tall I'd not recommend a cruiser type bike as I'd expect you'll feel like your knees are at your chin. equally, a sports bike may also be out of the question even though there are some pretty good 300's out there that have recently come on to the market and are LAMS approved - e.g KTM RC390 or Duke 390, Yamaha YZF-R3 or MT-03, Honda CBR300R, Kwak Ninja 300 etc etc. They are good bikes for the learner wanting to get in to more powerful sports bikes in the future.

Is it that you like the idea of an off road bike but maybe one of similar style but for the road ?
If it was me.......remembering back to my learner days, I went for the biggest engined bike I could ride as a learner - a Suzuki SV650S that could be limited by top speed to satisfy the LAMS regulations at the time....I never actually did limit it....but don't tell anyone
Something like a Suzuki GS500F would be ideal and it's much more like the bike you'll take your test on later if you want to go that far of course. I took my test on a 500 machine in the UK but I did one of the week long intensive courses and took the test on the 500 so I could ride anything after I'd passed, which is why I never got round to limiting the SV as by the time I'd finished my lessons/test I could ride it without the need for it to be limited.

Best bet really is to go in to a number of bike stores and ask the experts. They'll let you have a sit on the ones they have so you'll get an idea of how they'll feel on the road.
If it's your first road bike, having never ridden on the road I'd recommend you don't spend a lot of money as it's so likely you'll drop it in the garage or driveway or heaven forbid on the road. Where safety gear is being considered you buy the best you can afford. Don't buy a used lid. Get a new one that and ensure it fits as it should. Much better to spend less on the machine than on the safety gear.

You may not care but it is an expensive hobby. If, like me you have 2 cars in the family that are used virtually daily and the bike is just a nice day or weekend toy, that toy will cost minimum $1500 per year - even if it doesn't do a Km on the road ($600 for insurance, $600 for registration and the rest for servicing/maintenance/WOF).

If you do get in to it I'd also recommend you join a riding group in your area as it's good riding with others and you get to ride routes you possibly don't know. Not everyone rides like Rossi. There'll be others in the group at the same stage as you or keen to guide you along and always more than generous with riding tips and advice.....It's the best way you learn, BUT if it should go wrong at any stage at least there's others there to dive in and do whatever is needed immediately instead of you lying in a ditch for hours before help arrives
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Old Aug 15th 2017, 10:16 am   #3
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Smile Re: Motorcycling questions...

I had a look at a few and the adventure touring bikes seem to be closest to what I wanted to do (i.e. riding around back roads...and the odd gravel track.) Particularly liked the Kawasaki KLR 650 as it was particularly comfortable to sit on as it had an upright riding position and seemed well screwed together. Also having been making the bike for so long no doubt there are a few knocking about used.

What's considered "low mileage" in the bike world?
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Old Aug 15th 2017, 7:47 pm   #4
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Default Re: Motorcycling questions...

Ok yes I'd agree an adventure type bike would be good for you due to your height and what you intend to do with it. They do tend to be on the taller side or that's what I've found whenever I've sat on one. Probably wouldn't work for me as my legs are too short.
Have a look at Tourer and Dual Purpose bikes on TradeMe. Just like cars, bikes last a long time here and it wouldn't worry me buying a bike with up to 50 000KM's so long as it's been regularly serviced of course. Probably wouldn't go any higher than that as I'd probably keep it a while and I'd want to be able to sell it on later and keep some value in it. Ideally you want to find one a year old that's maybe got up to 20 000KM's but you'll benefit from all the servicing being done and most likely the owner has spent a few grand on accessories which they'll never get back on a used sale.
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Old Aug 15th 2017, 11:11 pm   #5
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Default Re: Motorcycling questions...

Thank you, your advice has been very helpful.

Hopefully, because you can park a bike for free in the city, some small part of the cost should be offset if I can just use it to ride to work on a few sunny days.
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Old Aug 16th 2017, 1:47 am   #6
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Default Re: Motorcycling questions...

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Originally Posted by Charismatic View Post
Thank you, your advice has been very helpful.

Hopefully, because you can park a bike for free in the city, some small part of the cost should be offset if I can just use it to ride to work on a few sunny days.

Yeah seems a good idea on paper but I wouldn't park my bike in the CBD. The parking areas tend to get really chocka with people shoehorning their bike in next to yours with no sh1t's given to your pride and joy plus the weather is so unpredictable many a time I've seen strings of bikes lying on the deck with damage just because one blew over in the wind. If you must do it then make sure it has a really good sturdy centre stand and hope and pray it's still upright after each work day.
I used mine to commute in to Welly CBD often but we had a private underground carpark so it wasn't an issue.
You will also notice the weather more and it'll make a difference. Not often you get two journeys the same in Welly. Often did I go to work on a beautiful summers day with a gentle breeze only to be blown all over the shop going home later in the day....sometimes verging on seriously dangerous.
I did get a bit bored biking in Welly as the only place to go is over the hill in to the Wairarapa. Great back roads over to Martinborough and around Carterton/Gladstone and out to Lake Ferry etc but it quickly gets a bit monotonous when you've done it virtually every time you go for a ride....better than driving a car though
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Old Aug 16th 2017, 3:40 pm   #7
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Default Re: Motorcycling questions...

Have a look at the Kawasaki Versys 650 ... you can get it in LAMS and de-restrict it later.



Or maybe the Suzuki V Strom.

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Old Aug 16th 2017, 5:00 pm   #8
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Default Re: Motorcycling questions...

A friend (UK) has the Suzuki DL 650 V-Strom twin.

He is a "born again biker" but never converted his provisional licence to a full one in his youth.

This bike has a restriction kit available, so he rode it restricted until he passed his test.

He is well pleased with it.
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Old Aug 22nd 2017, 10:37 am   #9
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Default Re: Motorcycling questions...

ktm 390's are very small, at 6'3 you'll look ridiculous
klr650's are ok but lots of sticky out plastic bits to break when you fall off (if you go off road you will fall off)
Vstroms are VERY heavy and Versy's, also heavy and are useless off road (even on gravel). they are built to look
like adventure bikes but are very poor on anything but tarmac.
vstrom and versys are around 220kg (dry) want to try picking one up

DR650's are great, a little basic but brilliant on gravel tracks and trails
bmw f650 gs you really only want the later Dakar version or sertao. some f650's are actually 800cc (dont ask)
and the 700cc versions are also V good go for spoke wheels if you intend to go off road
yamaha xt660 are another good option and the 660z tenere is a belter
Royal Enfield Himalayan ok and a bike for those of us who like different, it may have new bike issues

dont fret about power to much, I'm 6', 90kgs and ride a dr350 which makes around 30bhp which is ample

this would be my choice, you can get em for around 8k if you look around and wait
Yamaha XT660 Z TENERE LAMS 9.75% Finance S... 2008 | Trade Me

Of course these are my opinions and i'm sure others will disagree

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Old Aug 31st 2017, 7:16 am   #10
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Smile Re: Motorcycling questions...

Ended up going for the KLR as it's tallness made it a good size and simpleness means even I, born with two left feed for hands, should be able to maintain/fix some of the things. Also it was quite a bit cheaper than other options (Just under $5k for a well kept post-facelift 2007 model with less than 30k on the clock.)

Now it occurs to me that we humans have only so many opportunities to die or seriously harm ourselves each day. Not to put too finer point on the finite nature of human existence but I rather fear death so this might be an ideal time to stock up on safety (emergency stops, sudden avoidance turns etc.) before I arrive at the pearly gates courtesy of my shiny green death trap.

Is there like an IAM course or similar for motorcyclists? I'm no Valentino Rossi and it's a big old lump of metal that can travel at a fair clip.

As is standard weather has been miserable since I purchased the bike so I've only completed a few hundred km.
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Old Sep 1st 2017, 9:49 am   #11
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Default Re: Motorcycling questions...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charismatic View Post
Ended up going for the KLR as it's tallness made it a good size and simpleness means even I, born with two left feed for hands, should be able to maintain/fix some of the things. Also it was quite a bit cheaper than other options (Just under $5k for a well kept post-facelift 2007 model with less than 30k on the clock.)

Now it occurs to me that we humans have only so many opportunities to die or seriously harm ourselves each day. Not to put too finer point on the finite nature of human existence but I rather fear death so this might be an ideal time to stock up on safety (emergency stops, sudden avoidance turns etc.) before I arrive at the pearly gates courtesy of my shiny green death trap.

Is there like an IAM course or similar for motorcyclists? I'm no Valentino Rossi and it's a big old lump of metal that can travel at a fair clip.

As is standard weather has been miserable since I purchased the bike so I've only completed a few hundred km.

Yup.
There's a few.
Roadsafe, Two Bald Bikers and Prorider all offer skills training.


Roadsafe | Motorcycle and Scooter Rider Training and Licensing
Two Bald Bikers Motorcycle Training
Home | Pro Rider Motorcycle Training & Coaching takes your riding to another level


Other than these I'd recommend joining a local motorcycle group like Ulysses who offer regular ride outs with an experienced leader and tail end Charlie and they'll be more than happy to offer advice on road positioning and all the other jazz you wish to know.
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Old Sep 2nd 2017, 7:45 am   #12
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Default Re: Motorcycling questions...

Dont know where you are in the country but these might come in handy

www.adventureridingnz.co.nz +on Facebook

Northern Gravel Adventure Riders Nz - New Zealand Adventure Rides 2013 Season (ignore the 2013 bit)

WellingtonAdventureRiders (Facebook page only)

RemoteMoto - RemoteMoto (off road trails, some real easy )


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Old Sep 2nd 2017, 12:33 pm   #13
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Smile Re: Motorcycling questions...

Thank you, as MetService where far too pessimistic about the weather so I manged to get a little ride up the coast. Observations so far:
- Other crossover riders will give you a little wave.
- Sports bike riders and cruisers tip their lid.
- Harley drivers think they are "too cool" for us .
I've always been a friendly waiver, let me into a lane or exit a junction you'll get a waive. No different on a bike .

I've put a few bits on order so far:
- Heated grips because I'm soft and like warm, cosy hands. The previous owner wired up a cigarette lighter but did so directly to the battery and in a very amateur way (see photographs below) so I've got a 4 pin 12v 30a fused relay from Maos mighty pound land to sort that and heated grips out properly.
- Wind deflector as the current one finishes at my shoulders.
- Pegs as the current ones have rubber on top and get very slippery when wet or dirty.
- Bar/brush hand guards as staying vertical can be surprisingly challenging for me at times . I did look for sliders but apparently you have to buy a whole exterior crash bar frame that bolts over the fairing.

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Old Oct 4th 2017, 6:53 am   #14
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Smile Re: Motorcycling questions...

Going really, really well . Insurance was just over $420 p.a. as well so I was happy with that. Costs about $30 for a weeks worth of petroleum distillates. In only like...the best part of a decade I'll be able to say it's saving me money .
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