Tell me about motorbikes

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Tell me about motorbikes

Post by Damien Thorn @ Thu Jul 26, 2018 9:22 am

When I start my new job in a few weeks, it will be much closer to home than before. Just twelve miles, but still almost entirely DC.

Here's my thinking: that stretch of DC is often a right shit, afflicted by heavy joining traffic and losing a lane shortly afterwards that forces everything to merge horribly.

So maybe I need a motorbike, to be able to cover that short-ish distance and avoid being caught up if the traffic snarls?

I've been tempted to bin off my tired and broken old Civic anyway, but perhaps a bike might be a better replacement than another, smaller car? I've still got the Shogun (which, apart from when it broke, never goes wrong) and my wife's car, so I don't need another car.

But I don't know anything about bikes and I've never been on one. Do I want a "small" bike, or would that be awful? Do I want a big bike, or would that terrify me? Do I want a scooter, or is that shit?

It's a bike/about going to be economical anyway? What fuel consumption might I expect? Are bikes more or less expensive to insure than cars?

I am pretty old and have had a driving licence for over thirty years. Does that make any difference?

What could I ride on just a CBT, or would I have to do a Direct Access?

I don't know any things.
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Re: Tell me about motorbikes

Post by Dirk @ Thu Jul 26, 2018 9:32 am

Can't help with the bike, but whats the new job Datho? Much of a change? - hopefully less stressful
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Re: Tell me about motorbikes

Post by S1K @ Thu Jul 26, 2018 9:33 am

You'll be able to ride a motorbike up to 125cc on a CBT.
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Re: Tell me about motorbikes

Post by Aesgarth @ Thu Jul 26, 2018 9:47 am

But I don't know anything about bikes and I've never been on one. Do I want a "small" bike, or would that be awful? Do I want a big bike, or would that terrify me? Do I want a scooter, or is that shit?
scooters are kind of shit, for DC use you'd want a big one, and then you may as well have a proper bike. Don't go big bike as that will terrify you, I'd suggest something around the 600cc region.
It's a bike/about going to be economical anyway? What fuel consumption might I expect? Are bikes more or less expensive to insure than cars?
I find my bike significantly cheaper to insure than a car. I get around 50-60mpg on my (600cc) bike but i'd expect a modern bike to be a fair bit better
I am pretty old and have had a driving licence for over thirty years. Does that make any difference?
Not really, no.
What could I ride on just a CBT, or would I have to do a Direct Access?
You can ride up to 125cc on CBT. It lasts 2 years, by which time you need to pass your test or do the CBT again. I'd go direct access (and did, when i decided i wanted a bike) as it will give you far more bike options. Also, a 125 has the potential to be terrifying on a DC


No doubt someone will be along in a minute to say don't bother with the medium bike, and just go big straight away because you'll want to upgrade immediately anyway.

Edited to remove the incorrect bit i put in about bigger bikes on a CBT with a restrictor. you can't do that. If you don't fancy direct access, you could do the CBT and use a 125 for a bit, then do the normal test and get a bigger bike (with a 33bhp power limit for 2 years) then upgrade. I'd do direct access.
Last edited by Aesgarth on Thu Jul 26, 2018 9:51 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Tell me about motorbikes

Post by Turntable @ Thu Jul 26, 2018 10:00 am

Aesgarth wrote:
No doubt someone will be along in a minute to say don't bother with the medium bike, and just go big straight away because you'll want to upgrade immediately anyway.
.


10 years ago I would definitely have said that.
Now I have changed my mind and say the opposite. Bikes are ridiculously and insanely quick and the older you get the less interest you have in that and the more it feels outright stupid trying to use the full speed of a sportsbike or similar
Occasionaly when I used to go for a ride on my Fireblade I would open it up just to get some use out of it. Instead of enjoying it like I used to , it just terrifies me now. It probably redlined in first at about 80 mph and no sooner have you changed gear then you are over 100. Everything up ahead is suddenly very very dangerous and you've only been accelerating for about 3 seconds or so and you're a quarter way through 2nd gear. Just pointless.
I am fairly sure if I had a 400cc bike I would never want more power.
Agree with everything else too. Damo, bite the bullet and do a direct access course, buy something like between 250 and 600 cc which will be economical, quick and cheap to insure and off you go.
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Re: Tell me about motorbikes

Post by thekungfury @ Thu Jul 26, 2018 10:06 am

From what you describe a bike would be ideal. Smaller bikes would (I assume?) also be easier to filter through traffic too.

‘Grats on the new job too!
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Re: Tell me about motorbikes

Post by Turntable @ Thu Jul 26, 2018 10:11 am

I missed that bit!
Congratulations. Is it a job that makes you happy?
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Re: Tell me about motorbikes

Post by Disastrous @ Thu Jul 26, 2018 10:16 am

Datho, this is a bit of a predictable suggestion but my Chinese bike would be absolutely superb for your needs.

It’s quick enough to be faster than traffic around town and tops out at about 65/70 so is essentially like a cooler looking grown up scooter. It also looks good so I find i don’t give a fcuk about wearing all the gear and just charge about in a denim jacket on it. It’s holding together pretty well too and there’s something reassuringly old school about the 80’s single cylinder engine. The front suspension is fcuking shit, it must be said, but as I say, it looks cool and you can get them for less than two grand.

A more sensible answer would be any Jap 600 that will go forever and be more than fast enough for your needs.

Triumph Street Triple for a bit of panache??
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Re: Tell me about motorbikes

Post by GingerNinja @ Thu Jul 26, 2018 10:44 am

If it is literally going to be just for your comments, a 400cc ish maxiscoot might be worth a look. Loads of storage under the seat for your gear, super-efficient, excellent weather protection and fast enough to take on a motorway.
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Re: Tell me about motorbikes

Post by Paul H @ Thu Jul 26, 2018 12:56 pm

Get a car: you'll absolutely hate the bike after one winter. Obviously get a bike if you want one and use it for fun, but you will hate commuting on it in the cold and dark and wet.
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Re: Tell me about motorbikes

Post by Strawman @ Thu Jul 26, 2018 1:00 pm

Paul H wrote:Get a car: you'll absolutely hate the bike after one winter. Obviously get a bike if you want one and use it for fun, but you will hate commuting on it in the cold and dark and wet.


He can use his Shogun for that, since 12 miles away means it won't use much fuel.
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Re: Tell me about motorbikes

Post by Baby Huey @ Thu Jul 26, 2018 1:19 pm

Dunno what the traffic is like but I bought an old Vespa for getting around London years ago. Getting held up by bigger bikes in heavy traffic and others with no real intention of making any kind of progress did get rather dull. Now I'd get a pushbike.
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Re: Tell me about motorbikes

Post by minimoog @ Thu Jul 26, 2018 2:13 pm

Datho this could be your commute

Original video page: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ULJIDkZfqSE
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Re: Tell me about motorbikes

Post by ttwiggy @ Thu Jul 26, 2018 2:28 pm

That video is terrifying. If any of those cars made a sudden lane change at the wrong moment it's instant death.
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Re: Tell me about motorbikes

Post by thekungfury @ Thu Jul 26, 2018 2:28 pm

Jesus that turned my stomach when they go through the tunnel. Matey filming just in a short sleeved t-shirt.
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Re: Tell me about motorbikes

Post by Tokyo Sexwale @ Thu Jul 26, 2018 4:43 pm

Paul H wrote:Get a car: you'll absolutely hate the bike after one winter. Obviously get a bike if you want one and use it for fun, but you will hate commuting on it in the cold and dark and wet.

Not at all. Decent kit is needed that’s all.
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Re: Tell me about motorbikes

Post by Pigeon @ Thu Jul 26, 2018 5:29 pm

It won't affect the road conditions. Peering through the raindrops on the outside of your visor with headlights shining on them, in the dark, trying to see through clouds of spray to spot cars changing lane ahead, is going to be a cnut, especially when the whole journey is like that. In the winter it's going to be a run that emphasises all the things that are shit about bikes and makes you wish you were in a car even if it does take longer.

On the other hand, in the summer you'll be going a different way anyway because you'll be enjoying it too much to just trog down a dual carriageway and other routes will be more fun.

Something in the 400-600cc range would be fine; get something light but not racery because sitting like a racer will be crap on a commute. Do the proper test because a 125 will be shite. I can't remember what Dis's Chinese bike is but if it hits its limit at 65-70mph it will suck when the DC is not jammed. Insurance should be significantly cheaper than for a car and being oldish helps.
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Re: Tell me about motorbikes

Post by Damien Thorn @ Thu Jul 26, 2018 6:34 pm

Thanks for loads of feedback, all.

First; the new job looks as though it will be fun and interesting and will not (hopefully!) subject me to the extremes of aggro I've had over the last couple of years. It's much closer to home, not full-time (ie 'hefty' part time, in a pattern of my choosing), working with someone I already know, in a different area of the sort of manufacturing engineering I'm familiar with. Exciting times are ahead!

Secondly, motorbikes. Sounds like a middly-sized proper bike would be ideal, with Direct Access to get me on it. I think I remember from somewhere a long time ago, rerading something about how bike manufacturers aren't equivalent to the same brand's cars. xxxx, BMW bike = Volvo car, Honda bike = Porsche car - or something like that. Narrow me down some specifics on this stuff please. Let's say I've got a budget of two grand (no idea, is that enough?) and I want something that won't break and doesn't look wretched; what should I be looking at?
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Re: Tell me about motorbikes

Post by S1K @ Thu Jul 26, 2018 7:39 pm

Honda have a good name for reliability.

A CBF500 could fit the bill as a first bike. It's got a bit of a fairing to keep some of the rain off.

Image

or there's a 600cc version.

Image

The Suzuki SV650/SV650S is a very popular first bike because it's a v-twin and has a bit more of a torquier power delivery which makes it easier to ride.

Image

These three are all on Autotrader at under £2500.
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Re: Tell me about motorbikes

Post by Aesgarth @ Thu Jul 26, 2018 8:23 pm

You definitely want something with a bit of a fairing or windscreen, DC travel will become quite tedious without one. I know this because my bike has neither.
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Re: Tell me about motorbikes

Post by Tokyo Sexwale @ Thu Jul 26, 2018 8:25 pm

GN always comes up with the best suggestions on things like this IME.
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Re: Tell me about motorbikes

Post by Pigeon @ Thu Jul 26, 2018 8:55 pm

Agree with S1K, you can't really go wrong with a Honda, and the range is fcuking vast - that wiki link is as good a way as any of getting your head to stop spinning when all the different model numbers are making it go round and round.
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Re: Tell me about motorbikes

Post by Baby Huey @ Thu Jul 26, 2018 9:28 pm

CBT every 2? years is also a PIA.
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Re: Tell me about motorbikes

Post by GingerNinja @ Fri Jul 27, 2018 8:58 am

Tokyo Sexwale wrote:GN always comes up with the best suggestions on things like this IME.


Thanks!

I’ll have a ponder and scan on autotrader,,,,,
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Re: Tell me about motorbikes

Post by GingerNinja @ Fri Jul 27, 2018 9:55 am

Right, if you're going for a budget (and I'd suggest pushing it to £3K ) then you'll want to avoid anything Italian. For your first motorbike, you really want something reliable so you can just get on with your commute and enjoying the experience without reliability issues. Of course, you can pick up an older Yamaha R1 that'll do 180mph for that sort of money, but I'm trying to be sensible. Apologies.

Much like for cars, Honda have the best build quality and are the most reliable generally - so the older cbf500 mentioned earlier would be a great shout albeit I'm not a fan of the looks and they're a bit dull to ride. Or, if you're feeling financy, you can get a brand new cb500f with 0% over 2 years - they're £5.5K. Mate did this for his first proper bike, after stepping up from a 300cc scooter, and he's loving it. Also, they'll do about 80mpg!

Image

Plenty of other colour options too.

I'd also say the Suzuki SV650 that was previously suggested is a good buy - they come naked or half-faired. Again, friend had a naked version as his first bike and it served him very well for a number of years. Plus, it's a v-twin and sounds great with a nice can on it. This half-faired one is 2014 and £3K which I think is a bargain.

Image

Kawasaki do the ER-6F - this one is 2013, 11.5K miles and £3K. 650cc parallel twin.

Image

They also do another bike built on the same chassis called the Versys, which is a bit more upright in the riding style and, errrrrr, challenging in the looks.

Image

You could go Teutonic, with something from BMW. This F800S is pretty good - 2008, 14K miles, £3K

Image

Right, that'll do - if it was my choice and just wanted to spend £3K without finance, I'd take that SV650S.
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Re: Tell me about motorbikes

Post by Tokyo Sexwale @ Fri Jul 27, 2018 10:06 am

A mate had that last bike, the BMW. I rode it once and it was great and I know he liked it a lot - reliable, comfy, quality and he also tracked it once!
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Re: Tell me about motorbikes

Post by minimoog @ Fri Jul 27, 2018 10:17 am

GingerNinja wrote:Image


The top box looks kinda weird on this one.
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Re: Tell me about motorbikes

Post by Damien Thorn @ Fri Jul 27, 2018 11:29 am

Thanks for all that GN, top intel.
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Re: Tell me about motorbikes

Post by thekungfury @ Fri Jul 27, 2018 11:58 am

minimoog wrote:The top box looks kinda weird on this one.

:biglaugh:
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Re: Tell me about motorbikes

Post by Tokyo Sexwale @ Fri Jul 27, 2018 12:56 pm

Tokyo Sexwale wrote:A mate had that last bike, the BMW. I rode it once and it was great and I know he liked it a lot - reliable, comfy, quality and he also tracked it once!

Forgot to add the point of the reply - the bike is belt drive so no chain maintenance (chaintenance? No) needed.
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