T Nation

Bike choice?

I am fairly new to the world of bikes, got my license merely a year ago. In December I have bought an ugly but lots of fun dual purpose monster Yamaha Trailway but plan to buy something new soon. I have some experience driving Yamaha Diversion 900 (I like it, a bit too expensive though), Suzuki GS500 from the GS twins world, a friend of mine has GSXR 750 (he sold it today!)…I need a bike that will be good for commuting, city traffic and lane splitting, short distance trips, that has decent perfs and stats and can be used ocasionally for sports and fun driving. It also has to be able to accomodate a luggage case because I carry around my food and notebook. After searching the Web and asking around I have pretty much narrowed my choices to Kawasaki Ninja 500S aka ex. GPZ 500S/EX 500, twin-cylinder, 60 hp, but they say it is a great bike of proven quality that can measure up with much more expensive bikes like Bandit 600, and the other choice is Yamaha FZS 600 Fazer, 4 cyl 95 hp based on Yamaha Thundercat, basically a sports naked bike. The first one is around 5500 US$ where I live and the second one is around 7500 US$. I also considered Yamaha XJS 600 Diversion but found out that it is somewhat underpowered and not-fun-to-drive bike so it is out of the scope now. Any ideas from more experienced bikers? Another question - why are the sports-enduro bikes like Aprilia Pegaso, Cagiva Canyon, some BMWs, Varadero, Freewind, KLE not popular in the States? Tnx…

I can’t really give you any info on the bikes you mentioned. I have been looking at the Honda CBR f4 heard good things. As for the sports enduros, it is probably because the roads here are well maintained. If people want to go off road, they by a dirt bike.

I am looking into buying yamaha too. Only I want a cruiser, v-star 1100 custom. Yamaha had a great deal, $50.0 per month plus $750 worth of accesories till january 2003. Unfortunately the offer ends in may.

Ko, I think good roads don’t explain that. You see, throughout the Western Europe, roads are well maintained too, but people drive sports enduros a lot. They are the best commuters to, comfortable and you can carry things in the boxes behind the passenger. This must be some kind of “regional” thing, just like automatic gear changing vs. manual. However, I want something that adds more spice to the whole thing and that is why I want to go en crotch rocket route. :wink: CBR 600 F4 is a nice gadget, however, you might want to look into CBR 900RR Fireblade. A friend of mine sold his CBR1100XX BlackBird a few weeks ago and bought lemon yellow Fireblade. The baby is simply incredible! Unfortunately, it is around 13500 US$ here and I cannot afford it, I am aiming at bikes around 5500 US$ and I might be able to stretch it up to 7500 US$ tops, but I will have to turn tricks on the corner for that. :wink: Unfortunately, I have to pay in cash, there is no payment plan, so… :frowning:

Unfortunately I am a begnner, so the 600 would be just fine for me. I am looking for stability and handling, not tons of power, yet. I see a Ducati in my future.

Well, I am a beginner too… and CBR 600 is not a beginner’s bike. :wink: As for Ducatis, there are lots around where I live. I don’t know what Ducati you’re talking about; most likely Monster 600 (620 now) or 900. They are somewhat costly and have a downside; they are a lot of noise and style but no performance at all. Monster 600 has only 50 hp… it is a small bike, not suitable for carrying a passenger (I almost never do), things (I always do) and handling is worse than average; so is the quality. However, you can’t deny its sound, especially with Akrapovic exhaust system. Suprisingly, I like the cheapest Ducati Monster 600 Dark the most, it is simply superb in its raw excellence. I know that guys from the States like overseas products, and I know that Ducatis are placed highly on the “desireable” list, but they are not the real deal - most naked bikes in the twin cyl category are better including ER-5, GS-500 and Ninja 500S - however their styling and appeal cannot be compared to Monster. There is another problem with it; you won’t have it because you are smaller, but I look and feel riding it like I have two wheels sticking out of my ass and no bike at all to be seen… it is long just like my 50 ccm 2-stroke scooter! My mind is on that Fazer or Ninja 50 % of my awake time, I guess I will have to start selling my body to buy any of them them pretty soon. :wink:

Get out of my rice burner thread with your cruiser ideas! :wink:

OK, that’s it. After spending almost the whole day on my friend’s GS500 between 100 and 110 mph ,the decision has been made. I have to buy the damned bike, I feel inadequate when I am riding this dual purpose thing! :-)))

why not spend an extra $1,000 and buy bandit 600S? (or buy it used for the same price)
Usually people outgrow GS500 in about a year and move to a larger bike anyway. Bandit is still a good entry bike that leaves alot of room for improvement and you won’t get bored with it after a year. Ofcourse you can buy gs500 and them move on to a cruiser the next year :slight_smile:

After reading a lot of reviews, it seems that Ninja 500 is the most complete entry level bike. Unfortunately, Bandit has 25 hp more, but they say Ninja is faster bike! Ninja does 0-62 mph in 3.7 sec and quarter mile in 12.4 sec… I was also disappointed to find out that Bandit 600 has problems in low rev area and feels like asthmatic, like it is out of breath! Of course, Bandit is much more “stylish” and I want a naked bike that has a half-fairing, so that would be Bandit 600 S version. Today I have performed a close inspection of Fazer 600; I think I will simply have to stretch it a bit and get one. I like it. I like it a lot. :slight_smile: The only problem is that I will never be able to sell it; people here drive customs or R6, R1, GSXRs, various CBRs and Ducatis, lots of enduros and scooters, everybody and their grandma have them… nobody is buying more “exotic” bikes like Fazer… ;(

I never rode Fazer myself, but I’ve been down that road when buying a bike ‘stretch by another couple of grands to get a better bike’, then another couple… then I got a loan from my bank that took me a long time to pay off… be careful.
Also I like these sites when I want to find other people’s opinion about a bike
www.powersportsnetwork.com/ (in rider review section)
www.motorcycle.com/
and www.epinions.com/auto-Motorcycles-All

Nick, thanks for the suggestions… I was thinking about selling a kidney or something like that. >:-) I will check out the sites you gave me ASAP.

Let us know how it goes…

…drove my car today to an used car salesman, he did not give me money but will try to sell the car and take a percentage if he succees… this is step one - giving up my car for a bike. >:-) I will wait 30 days…

Boy, am I glad that I am not a student anymore, so now I can afford both bike and a car. Now giving up a car is a step one for buying a year supply of biotest supplements :slight_smile: If money were no object, what bike would you buy and why?

Nick, I am not in the college anymore either, but where I live, finished college does not mean having enough money for a car and a bike. :slight_smile: :frowning: Anyway, my lifestyle right now does not require a car. I live in a cramped up little city (200 people) and having a scooter is an absolute neccessity because of parking place and traffic jams. I plan to keep it, I even drive it in the winter and when it is raining. Right now I don’t need a car, but I need a motorcycle. Answer to your question: Honda CBR 600 or 900 or Hornet, Suzuki GSXR 600 or 1000, any Bandit, any Kawasaki ZR-* and/or Ninja, Yamaha R6 or R1, any Ducati Monster, Aprila RSV Mille, Augusta MV Brutale, Harley D. V-Rod would do… :wink:

Nick, if you are still around, it seems that things are developing in the right direction for this Croatian. I sold my f’kin car finally last Saturday and right now I am sitting here with 70 % of cash needed to buy my next ride - Yamaha FZS Fazer 600. Right now I have to sell my Yamaha Trailway or my right kidney to raise another 30 %. After careful consideration and reading heaps of reviews (and after a friend of mine bought Fazer last week and riding on it…) I finally decided that is the way to go. :slight_smile: Right now I am crazy because I don’t know when I will sell my present Yamaha and raise adequate funds for Fazer, and the summer started kicking in really hard here in the past few weeks…

Thats a good choice. I have ridden that bike before, very nice (although I still prefer cruisers :slight_smile: Don’t know about Croatia,but in the us prices on bikes go up substantially in summer. Right now I am waiting for the winter by buy my new bike. Let us know how you like it. By the way its much harder to recover after a heavy workout if you have only one kidney :slight_smile:

I can’t believe this. I spend yesterday afternoon calling bike dealers in Croatia and Slovenia. Nothing! I can’t buy damned Fazer! There is not a single one available!!! Finally, in complete despair, I started calling dealers in Germany and found two Fazers 2002. The problem is that import procedure is so complicated and costly, it makes the whole mission completely insane and almost impossible. I am very disappointed right now, Fazer is the only bike I really want right now. :frowning: In fact, it is good that I did not sell my Yamaha, or otherwise I’d go crazy, sitting here on the money and not being able to buy what I want. They say the demand is such that Yamaha did not manage to produce enough units, so everything planned for 2002 is already sold. :frowning: If I buy any other bike, Kawasaki ZR-7S comes to my mind, there will be a bitter taste of “not being able to get what I wanted so I settled with ZR-7” left behind. As for the cruisers, my friend bought last week Yamaha Dragstar 650. I believe in the States it is sold under name “Midnight Star”. This is the first come I ever encountered and I can tell you that I was smiling all the way on the road… :slight_smile: Completely different, relaxed feeling. Since that day I have a completely new perspective about customs. Maybe one day… :slight_smile:

I wanted to say that Dragstar 650 was the first custom I rode, not come… I was in a hurry when I was writing the previous post, please disregard both the style and the grammar.