Topic: Any Bikers Out There? Looking for Motorcycle Advice.

I started riding last year on a Honda CB250 Nighthawk, and I am thinking of upgrading late this season or for the beginning of next season.  I really like my Nighthawk, but I am hitting the limits of the 250 engine, it has plenty of power for around town and the back roads, but I need to use full throttle to hit 65 to 70mph.  I got it as a bike to learn on and for that purpose it is wonderful. 

I am looking to upgrade to something a little bit larger, but not too massive.  I still have a lot of work to do on my clutch and throttle control, before I am ready for a big bike.

I am looking for a bike that will have a bit more power, ideally in the 350-500cc range.  I really like the styling of naked/standard bikes so I would like to stay with that, so no cruisers or crotch rockets.  I do like the adventure bike styling so I could go for one of those, but I have no real plans to ride off road. (Yet)

So far I am interested in the following bikes.

KTM Duke 390
Triumph Street Twin

I am leaning towards the KTM because it is a bit more sporty, less expensive, and I am alright with the drawbacks ie extra maintenance and uncomfortable seat.  I have also started to look at the SV650, but I think it is too much bike for me right now. 

Does anyone have any recommendations for bikes to look into? Thanks

Moot Point Racing - 1991 Volvo 240 - #496

Re: Any Bikers Out There? Looking for Motorcycle Advice.

Xargs/Anton has a ton of experience working on a variety of bikes.  I think he's not back from his honeymoon yet but that's who I'd hit up for any bike advice.

1990 RX7 "Mazdarita"  1964 Sunbeam Imp (IOE 2013 Sears Pointless) 2002 Jaguar x-type
Gone bye-bye
1994 Jaguar XJ12 (Winner C-Class 2013 Sears Pointless)  1980 Rover SD1 (I Got Screwed 2014 Return of Lemonites)

Re: Any Bikers Out There? Looking for Motorcycle Advice.

cheseroo wrote:

Xargs/Anton has a ton of experience working on a variety of bikes.  I think he's not back from his honeymoon yet but that's who I'd hit up for any bike advice.

Sweet thanks

Moot Point Racing - 1991 Volvo 240 - #496

Re: Any Bikers Out There? Looking for Motorcycle Advice.

There are also all the new Honda 500 variants... CBX500, CB500R and one other I can't remember.

If you would rather go a little used, EX500/ZX500's from Kawasaki are excellent.

There is my long time favorite, KLR650 (do not let the 650 fool you).

The VStrom 650 ABS is likely what I would buy with my money if I wanted to go new or the Versys 650 ABS.

Except the CB500R all my picks have one thing in common, they are agile for the less than skill rider while having a ton of utility.

If you do not mind a bit of wrenching, bike older than 10 years are stupid cheap and slow their depreciation considerably.  You will have a considerable maint/repair bill initially in most cases but it goes away immediately.  The BMW singles of that era have always intrigued me as well as the first of the Triumph twins (of the modern era).  There was the Bandit line in that time period from Suzuki that was a screaming deal and many of the 600's are now in the $1500 range (plan on $250 for two new tires, $100 for sprockets and chain, maybe a valve adjustment).

Re: Any Bikers Out There? Looking for Motorcycle Advice.

Something like this would be fun. Its light but has more than enough power to cruise the highway. The riding position is not aggressive.

http://hudsonvalley.craigslist.org/mcy/5641887937.html

Re: Any Bikers Out There? Looking for Motorcycle Advice.

TrackGeeks_Chris wrote:

Something like this would be fun. Its light but has more than enough power to cruise the highway. The riding position is not aggressive.

http://hudsonvalley.craigslist.org/mcy/5641887937.html

Those UJM's are what I cut my teeth on and repairing/flipping them paid for beer money in college.  A lot of the functional parts were getting hard to come by even in the early 2000's.  That example, not really very light or tossable as it shares a ton of bits with with its bigger brother the Spectre 750 and 1100.

Though I love them, I would not suggest many of the UJM's to newer riders anymore.  There are just too many better bikes in a similar price range.  The rebirth of the "adventure" and Standard bikes in the late 1990's/2000' gave us a new crop of comfortable do-anything rides.  IT is summer so hard to find examples but the Bandit I mentioned...even the half-fairing models are in the under $2K range:

https://chicago.craigslist.org/nch/mcy/5643669055.html

Some SV650's are slipping into that range (moron put on a drop bar):

https://chicago.craigslist.org/nch/mcy/5643669055.html
https://chicago.craigslist.org/nch/mcy/5645368051.html

And tons of EX/ZX500's are there:

https://chicago.craigslist.org/chc/mcy/5643957695.html

I forgot about the Seca II:

https://chicago.craigslist.org/wcl/mcy/5626413940.html

It is hard to find non-enduro 400-500cc bikes in the cheap category because 600+ bikes were plentiful and cheap...unless you go back to 1986 and earlier.

7 (edited by fleming95 2016-06-22 05:27 PM)

Re: Any Bikers Out There? Looking for Motorcycle Advice.

mully006 wrote:

I started riding last year on a Honda CB250 Nighthawk...

<snip>

Does anyone have any recommendations for bikes to look into? Thanks

FINALLY! A question I might have an educated opinion on, but wait. . .

cheseroo wrote:

Xargs/Anton has a ton of experience working on a variety of bikes.  I think he's not back from his honeymoon yet but that's who I'd hit up for any bike advice.

. . . and, as usual, I'm outclassed again right off the starting line . . . but by Anton, so that's OK. sad

But I'll still give some advice that you'll already know, but no one's said yet:

After good and linear brakes, good steering head bearings, and tires that are round and not triangular or square, pay closer attention to the ergonomics that you'd think at first.
My first (and only) bke was an '86 VF500F, and by pure accident the footpeg-to-seat geometry was just neutral for me, and the bars, too.
As you might know from Lemons, if the steering wheel or pedals aren't where you want them to be, it ain't gonna be any better when you need to do something NOW.

Between all of the very sensible choices above, I'd choose the bike that fits best.  (Or the largest two-stroke that you can find.)
(But if you're running Lemons I'm sure you can figure out how to cut and weld to make it all work.)
(Oh, and another 'fit' and ergo idea -- tankbag>>backpack., especially if the tankbag==backpack.  Keeps the weight lower and you freer to move.)

8 (edited by shouldnthave 2016-06-22 06:12 PM)

Re: Any Bikers Out There? Looking for Motorcycle Advice.

The KTM 390 is actually not much faster than the 250 you have now because it's a single. The Triumph is a good bike, but after you have ridden a 250 long enough to get your legs, I highly recommend a 600. It will have more than enough power, you have hundreds of options, will travel at any highway speed, and have enough oomph to get you out of trouble. The best part is you won't have to buy a new bike in a year when you feel you are ready to 'upgrade' again.

Don't be scurd of a bigger bike, you don't have to use all the go. If you feel like you are still a little uncomfortable about a larger bike, I also highly recommend advanced training. Take a look at https://ridelikeachampion.com/motorcycl … nrollment/ One of the absolut best schools. Everything they teach is directly applicable to the street and it's more fun than you have ever had on a motorcycle.

Bikes I think you should consider in this order.

Yamaha FZ-07
KTM 690
Triumph Street Triple
Triumph Thruxton R
Suzuki SV650 2014+

Whatever you go with, just make sure it's in top running order. Don't buy from young kids, don't buy a bike smothered in modifications, and don't buy a bike that has a shitty looking chain, or tires. That directly correlates with bike matinences. If the dude didn't take care of the chain, he didn't change the oil.

Good luck!!!

9 (edited by fleming95 2016-06-22 08:02 PM)

Re: Any Bikers Out There? Looking for Motorcycle Advice.

shouldnthave wrote:

Don't be scurd of a bigger bike, you don't have to use all the go.

Very true - so, since this is Lemons, let's stop with the 'sensible' ideas, you get yourself one of these, and don't look back:

Buell S-1:

http://images.craigslist.org/00505_98QPyNxZrMq_600x450.jpg

What's not to like?  Naked style, Sportster engine probably makes the bike reliable as a stone, it's a Harley, after all, so easy maintenance, right?

Re: Any Bikers Out There? Looking for Motorcycle Advice.

OnkelUdo wrote:

There are also all the new Honda 500 variants... CBX500, CB500R and one other I can't remember.

A friend/coworker/fellow Lemons racer has a 2013 CB500R he's looking to sell in southern NH. He was looking for $3,500.

If interested, let me know.

11 (edited by Mike98036 2016-06-22 08:33 PM)

Re: Any Bikers Out There? Looking for Motorcycle Advice.

OnkelUdo wrote:

The VStrom 650 ABS is likely what I would buy with my money...

I so want one of those, but in the 1000 Adventure flavor.  Just can't justify it at the moment, unless I get rid of something else to free up the capital.  I have a KTM 525 EXC dual sport that I've been thinking about throwing some touring gear at, but I don't think the frame can support the extra weight.  That, and I want all the CC's...

Perennial Losers
Mazda 787b aka '75 914 - Org Choice @ The Ridge, 2015; IGS @ TH, 2018
BMW M1 Procar aka '80 RX-7 (retired) - Zero awards sad

Re: Any Bikers Out There? Looking for Motorcycle Advice.

My advice isn't worth a lot, but everything said above about FIT is what springs immediately to mind; I just sold my BMW K75 because I just could NOT feel comfy with the high CG and seat height. I'm 5'11" with short legs. If I were taller, I'd probably have enjoyed the flying brick more. instead, I tried to enjoy it for about 3 years, always feeling like it was going to fall over. I moved on to a Moto Guzzi 1100 California which is considerably bigger in CCs but really not much more powerful and no heavier.

Where I'm going with this ramble is that I find beginners to be obsessed with engine size of bikes, when the HP/weight ratio is the actual matter to consider, and how the bike fits the rider is even more important.

As for your choices, I also can't justify spending more than about $2000 for a bike which I'll ride a few thousand miles a year. I also can't see buying a car that goes more than $4000ish, so YMMV.

#111 Tradewinds Tribesmen VW Passat Inde ‘20... shhh, the Benz is napping!
#888-Hong Kong Cavaliers Benz S500: formerly known as OMG Racing #140...
Judges Choice and Regional Award winner! Chuckwalla '12, Buttonwillow '13, BFE GP '15, Miller '14 & '15, Sonoma '13,'14,'15,'17, '18. Inde '16,'17,'18,’19. Other foolishness: Finisher of Hell on Wheels (Jaguar) IOE (Humber)

Re: Any Bikers Out There? Looking for Motorcycle Advice.

fleming95 wrote:
shouldnthave wrote:

Don't be scurd of a bigger bike, you don't have to use all the go.

Very true - so, since this is Lemons, let's stop with the 'sensible' ideas, you get yourself one of these, and don't look back:

Buell S-1:

http://images.craigslist.org/00505_98QPyNxZrMq_600x450.jpg

What's not to like?  Naked style, Sportster engine probably makes the bike reliable as a stone, it's a Harley, after all, so easy maintenance, right?

I went the Buell route myself.  I guess it expresses my non-conformist side.  It's also a beast.  It would be substantial jump up in weight from a 250 anything.  Has a top heavy feel to it in comparison with other sport bikes I've ridden.  It's not really that fast and I wouldnt feel comfortable dragging a knee on it but it tells people "Hey! He's not the typical Harley wanker"

1990 RX7 "Mazdarita"  1964 Sunbeam Imp (IOE 2013 Sears Pointless) 2002 Jaguar x-type
Gone bye-bye
1994 Jaguar XJ12 (Winner C-Class 2013 Sears Pointless)  1980 Rover SD1 (I Got Screwed 2014 Return of Lemonites)

14 (edited by shouldnthave 2016-06-22 11:46 PM)

Re: Any Bikers Out There? Looking for Motorcycle Advice.

cheseroo wrote:

but it tells people "Hey! He's not the typical Harley wanker"

Not A-typical anyway... I wouldn't sell one of those refrigerators on wheels to my least favorite wanker, not even for laughs. You could attach four cinder blocks to an R6 via chains, and it would still beat a Buell around the track.

Re: Any Bikers Out There? Looking for Motorcycle Advice.

Type44 wrote:

As for your choices, I also can't justify spending more than about $2000 for a bike which I'll ride a few thousand miles a year. I also can't see buying a car that goes more than $4000ish, so YMMV.

I spent years with nothing but motorcycles (including a year in Prescott) and my most expensive bike ever was I think $1200. 

That said, my time is more valuable now and I already spend to much of it on Lemons.  Also, the difference between a $2000 and $3000 price cap can be HUGE depending on time of year, location, etc.

Re: Any Bikers Out There? Looking for Motorcycle Advice.

But I'll still give some advice that you'll already know, but no one's said yet:

After good and linear brakes, good steering head bearings, and tires that are round and not triangular or square, pay closer attention to the ergonomics that you'd think at first.

Between all of the very sensible choices above, I'd choose the bike that fits best.
(Oh, and another 'fit' and ergo idea -- tankbag>>backpack., especially if the tankbag==backpack.  Keeps the weight lower and you freer to move.)

Ya the fitment is a good point and it is something I am concerended about on the 390 Duke.  There is a shop two hours away that has some so if I am serious I will head down to try and get a test ride or at least sit on one.

Moot Point Racing - 1991 Volvo 240 - #496

Re: Any Bikers Out There? Looking for Motorcycle Advice.

shouldnthave wrote:

The KTM 390 is actually not much faster than the 250 you have now because it's a single. The Triumph is a good bike, but after you have ridden a 250 long enough to get your legs, I highly recommend a 600. It will have more than enough power, you have hundreds of options, will travel at any highway speed, and have enough oomph to get you out of trouble. The best part is you won't have to buy a new bike in a year when you feel you are ready to 'upgrade' again.

Don't be scurd of a bigger bike, you don't have to use all the go. If you feel like you are still a little uncomfortable about a larger bike, I also highly recommend advanced training. Take a look at https://ridelikeachampion.com/motorcycl … nrollment/ One of the absolut best schools. Everything they teach is directly applicable to the street and it's more fun than you have ever had on a motorcycle.

Bikes I think you should consider in this order.

Yamaha FZ-07
KTM 690
Triumph Street Triple
Triumph Thruxton R
Suzuki SV650 2014+

Whatever you go with, just make sure it's in top running order. Don't buy from young kids, don't buy a bike smothered in modifications, and don't buy a bike that has a shitty looking chain, or tires. That directly correlates with bike matinences. If the dude didn't take care of the chain, he didn't change the oil.

Good luck!!!

I'm not sure if I agree with you on the speed of the CB250 vs the 390 Duke.  It weighs the same and it has more than double the horsepower. I know that's not everything, but the reviews and videos say that it is more than capable to cruse at 80 and my CB250 barely hits 70 at WOT.  I will definitely look into that class.  I was planning on taking the advanced class offered by Training Wheels in MA.   

As for your suggestions, I will add the FZ-07 and the SV650 to the list.  I think the 690, the Thruxton R and the Street Triple are too much bike for now.  And a little to performance/sport bike oriented for my taste. 

That is great advice on buying used. Thanks

Moot Point Racing - 1991 Volvo 240 - #496

Re: Any Bikers Out There? Looking for Motorcycle Advice.

fleming95 wrote:
shouldnthave wrote:

Don't be scurd of a bigger bike, you don't have to use all the go.

Very true - so, since this is Lemons, let's stop with the 'sensible' ideas, you get yourself one of these, and don't look back:

Buell S-1:

http://images.craigslist.org/00505_98QPyNxZrMq_600x450.jpg

What's not to like?  Naked style, Sportster engine probably makes the bike reliable as a stone, it's a Harley, after all, so easy maintenance, right?


Only problem is I will have to sacrifice my first born in order to afford it.

I like ridiculous ideas for Lemons when I'm wearing nomex and strapped onto a roll cage, but for bike lets stick to the sensible options.

Moot Point Racing - 1991 Volvo 240 - #496

Re: Any Bikers Out There? Looking for Motorcycle Advice.

Type44 wrote:

My advice isn't worth a lot, but everything said above about FIT is what springs immediately to mind; I just sold my BMW K75 because I just could NOT feel comfy with the high CG and seat height. I'm 5'11" with short legs. If I were taller, I'd probably have enjoyed the flying brick more. instead, I tried to enjoy it for about 3 years, always feeling like it was going to fall over. I moved on to a Moto Guzzi 1100 California which is considerably bigger in CCs but really not much more powerful and no heavier.

Where I'm going with this ramble is that I find beginners to be obsessed with engine size of bikes, when the HP/weight ratio is the actual matter to consider, and how the bike fits the rider is even more important.

As for your choices, I also can't justify spending more than about $2000 for a bike which I'll ride a few thousand miles a year. I also can't see buying a car that goes more than $4000ish, so YMMV.

I agree with you on the fit.  That is one of my concerns with the KTM 390.  I guess it can be hit or miss.

The HP/weight figure is partially why I'm interested in the KTM.  If has double the HP for the same weight. It should allow me to have a larger margin for error in terms of potential drops, but still have some of the power of a bigger bike.  I also really like the look of the KTM.

Moot Point Racing - 1991 Volvo 240 - #496

Re: Any Bikers Out There? Looking for Motorcycle Advice.

OnkelUdo wrote:
Type44 wrote:

As for your choices, I also can't justify spending more than about $2000 for a bike which I'll ride a few thousand miles a year. I also can't see buying a car that goes more than $4000ish, so YMMV.

I spent years with nothing but motorcycles (including a year in Prescott) and my most expensive bike ever was I think $1200. 

That said, my time is more valuable now and I already spend to much of it on Lemons.  Also, the difference between a $2000 and $3000 price cap can be HUGE depending on time of year, location, etc.

Ya I'm not supper worried about price right now.  I am more interested in getting a bike that I want verses one that is inexpensive.  I would not mind buying used and if I could get a used 390 Duke or Street Twin then I would have probably already bought it, but I can't.  (You can find some used 390's but they are essentially the same price as the new ones)

Moot Point Racing - 1991 Volvo 240 - #496

Re: Any Bikers Out There? Looking for Motorcycle Advice.

fiasco wrote:
OnkelUdo wrote:

There are also all the new Honda 500 variants... CBX500, CB500R and one other I can't remember.

A friend/coworker/fellow Lemons racer has a 2013 CB500R he's looking to sell in southern NH. He was looking for $3,500.

If interested, let me know.

If it was the CB500F then I would snatch it up, but I am not a fan of fairings.  I'll pass for now. Thanks though

Moot Point Racing - 1991 Volvo 240 - #496

Re: Any Bikers Out There? Looking for Motorcycle Advice.

Here is my list as of now.

KTM 390 Duke
Triumph Street Twin
Honda CB500F
Suzuki SV650
Yamaha FZ-07

On the fence/bikes I like, but I'm probably not going to get. 

Triumph Tiger
Suzuki VStrom 650 XT
Triumph Bonneville
Triumph Scrambler
Ducati Scrambler
Ducati Monster 696
Many more

Bikes that are out

Anything with an "R"
Street Triple(I think even the non Speed version is too much bike)
Cruser's

I am still leaning heavily to the 390 Duke.  I might just get it because I like it.  (If I fit well that is).  The CB500F is a new option, I will need to read reviews of that bike.  It could be a very good middle ground between the 390 and the bigger 650's.  The Triumph is in there because I love the classic styling, and everyone says that it is amazing.  It is a bit more than I would like to spend at this point though.  Thanks for the input and keep it coming.

Moot Point Racing - 1991 Volvo 240 - #496

Re: Any Bikers Out There? Looking for Motorcycle Advice.

mully006 wrote:

On the fence/bikes I like, but I'm probably not going to get. 

Triumph Tiger
Suzuki VStrom 650 XT
Triumph Bonneville
Triumph Scrambler
Ducati Scrambler
Ducati Monster 696
Many more

It is a bit more than I would like to spend at this point though.  Thanks for the input and keep it coming.

Unless things have changed, the Ducati's will be expensive to maintain.  In short, each valve has to be adjusted twice (push/pull instead of just push).  Beautiful and fun bikes but I could never get past that personally.

Certain years and models of the Tiger have a great appeal to me too, but like with the KTM and Ducati, dealers are few and far between.  Outside of Harley, the shortest distance between dealers is Honda if that is a factor.

Sounds like overall you want new or less than a couple years old.  Just be aware, a new bike depreciates faster than a 5 year old BMW 7-series.  The specialty companies less so than the big 4 Japanese firms but you still will take a substantial hit.  Those low mileage bikes that people "outgrow" and end up low mileage trade-ins are great values.

Re: Any Bikers Out There? Looking for Motorcycle Advice.

fleming95 wrote:

...since this is Lemons, let's stop with the 'sensible' ideas....

In that case, I'll point out that I'm pretty happy with my 1981 American Microcar Tri-Ped.

USA! USA! (except for the engine, which is a Minarelli V1).


https://c2.staticflickr.com/9/8650/15974049153_8a66ff5ca5.jpg

1982 MG Metro 1300: IOE 2015 Pacific Northworst GP, Longest Distance 2010 Cd'L Box Wine Country Classic
1980 KV Mini 1: Worst of Show and Fright Pig Supremo 2009 Concours d'Lemons
1978 H Special: Second-Round Elimination 2010 Lemons Pinewood Derby at Sears Pointless
1967 SAAB 96: IOE 2012 Pacific Northworst GP

Re: Any Bikers Out There? Looking for Motorcycle Advice.

OnkelUdo wrote:

Unless things have changed, the Ducati's will be expensive to maintain.  In short, each valve has to be adjusted twice (push/pull instead of just push).  Beautiful and fun bikes but I could never get past that personally.

Certain years and models of the Tiger have a great appeal to me too, but like with the KTM and Ducati, dealers are few and far between.  Outside of Harley, the shortest distance between dealers is Honda if that is a factor.

Sounds like overall you want new or less than a couple years old.  Just be aware, a new bike depreciates faster than a 5 year old BMW 7-series.  The specialty companies less so than the big 4 Japanese firms but you still will take a substantial hit.  Those low mileage bikes that people "outgrow" and end up low mileage trade-ins are great values.

Ya those bikes on the second list are just ones I like.  I'll explore them eventually, but just not yet.  I have been looking at the depreciation,  I got a price on a 14' CB500F with 6k miles - $4599 vs $6k new.  I can also get a new 2015 for 5799 with a $500 rebate from Honda because they changed the styling. 

The few used KTM's I have found have not depreciated really at all in one year.  Like $100 to $400 off the base price. I think it is because a lot of people want them, and they are sold out almost everywhere.

Moot Point Racing - 1991 Volvo 240 - #496