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  #21  
Old 19.03.2011, 12:53
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Re: Motorcycle Purchase Advise?

TiMow speaks a lot of sense, obviously a seasoned veteran.
I'd say the XJ600 is physically too large as a first bike. They are quite long and heavy. You should look for something that you can easily place both feet on the ground, makes life much easier.
The classic route up to larger bikes is get a 500cc twin, like a CBF500 or GS500.
These bikes make a lot of sense. They are plenty fast enough for a beginner and have enough power to overtake cars with ease, and nowadays not that heavy.
Better would be a 250cc bike. They are still capable of 100mph and are a lot of fun, but like you say there's hardly anything available here.
Keep us posted.
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  #22  
Old 19.03.2011, 14:40
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Re: Motorcycle Purchase Advise?

Hi

I picked up a bmw 650 cs late last year as my first bike for 10 years.. it's absolutely brilliant and I can definitely recommend them as a first bike..not too scary fast, easy to handle and looks.. bonkers... shame about the timing here because i'll be looking to sell it in summer to move up to something bigger...
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  #23  
Old 19.03.2011, 15:07
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Re: Motorcycle Purchase Advise?

I'll weigh in here with another opinion, halfway in between what's already been said. (edited: I realise that 17clarence offered more-or-less the same advice)

I don't think you should buy a 125. It's underpowered, and aside from learning the basic controls of a motorcycle (clutch, brakes, etc) you'll outgrow it very quickly. If you're a mature rider and can be trusted not to ride something bigger like an idiot, a bigger bike is a better investment.

At the same time, there are a few truths about riding bikes. First, it's easy to get in trouble when you are inexperienced and have a lot of power on tap. Second, no matter what anyone tells you, you're going to drop your bike at least once in the first year of riding. So find yourself a naked bike without too much bodywork to crack.

There's a huge range of bikes available in the 500-750cc range, and that's where I think you should be looking. They're big enough that they handle like a 'big' motorcycle, light enough that they're easy to control, but powerful enough to keep up in all traffic conditions. Don't look at the 100+ horsepower 600 sports bikes, but have a look at some of their more basic cousins.

If I were in your shoes (and this is exactly what I did myself) I would buy a moderately powered (50ish horsepower), naked, 500cc bike. In the UK, this is what they use for all their direct-access courses, and they suit the purpose well. The Honda CB500 is a great bike, and an even cheaper option is the Suzuki GS500. You can pick up a reasonable copy of either one for a few grand.

After a year, your riding skills will have improved and you'll be in a better position to decide which bike is right for you longer-term. You might decide to go for a dedicated tourer like a Pan European or something a little smaller like a VFR800 -- both bikes which are probably beyond your capability today but certainly manageable with a year's riding experience under your belt. You'll be able to sell your 500cc starter bike after a year for almost what you paid for it -- there's a good turnover in these sorts of bikes, because they're the best entry into big biking.
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  #24  
Old 19.03.2011, 15:21
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Re: Motorcycle Purchase Advise?

A Suzuki SV650 is a great bike, and the Hyosung clone of it is supposed to be almost as good, but costs less.

Tom
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  #25  
Old 19.03.2011, 18:54
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Re: Motorcycle Purchase Advise?

I agree with Village idiot and st2lemans.

I personally think underpowered bikes are more dangerous than 'bigger bike' Plus you mentioned earlier you were taller than the average bear so No no no to wee bikes, far too wee!

Smaller bikes are great for town as they are nippy, easy to handle and cheap BUT long distance they are a nightmare so look for bigger.

My recommendation is this -

The Yamaha XJ600 Diversion. This has ALWAYS been a superb bike. look here: http://www.yamaha-motor.co.uk/uk/pro...rsion-abs.aspx

Second hand in the UK for example are around 3 - 3.5k for 1 to 2 years old and around 4k on the clock.

I am now a Kawasaki man through an through but the first bike I played around on all these years ago was one of these.


don't know if this link will work from Autotrader in the UK but let me know if it doesn't http://www.autotrader.co.uk/search/u...ld/cc-to/700cc
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  #26  
Old 19.03.2011, 19:34
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Re: Motorcycle Purchase Advise?

Here's another site that may be of help:

http://www.motorradhandel.ch/default.cfm

- "Motorradhandel" (motorcycle trade) - a comprehensive (but probably not complete) list of dealers, used bikes (from dealers and private) and renting options - if you wanted to have a go on something of the size you may be considering, for a day** - for the whole CH. All selection choices on l.h.s., including option to switch to French if this was better for you.

Key German translations:

- occasionen = used/2nd hand;
- vermietung = rental;
- händler suche = dealer search.

** it might be worth considering renting a bike for the day or w/e so you can see how it is - although you may have to travel a bit to find a suitable bike to try.
Also be aware, that on a couple I tried as examples, they needed CHF1000 security deposit (probably c.c. would do), and the insurance carried CHF 1000 excess in case of loss or claim.
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  #27  
Old 19.03.2011, 19:42
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Re: Motorcycle Purchase Advise?

Hmm...lots of ideas here, and so much to think about. Thank you for your collective wisdom, this is very helpful for us.

Okay, I have more questions if people aren't tired of sharing their opinion (I'm getting the impression that people like talking bikes!

When buying used, what questions would you ask? What would you look for? What would be a big red flag? How old is too old? How many kms are too many kms?
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  #28  
Old 19.03.2011, 21:33
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Re: Motorcycle Purchase Advise?

Hi there,

I will just put in my two penneth –( mostly for the benefit of the lady rider)!

I (40+, female, reasonably tall) started riding 4 years ago in CH and started on a BMW 650 CS and moved on fairly quick to a BMW 650 GS which I still ride now (but would like to change up to something bigger). Very many schools use the BMW 650 GS and it is considered (by my instructor) as a great beginners bike. It can be lowered a lot too so many ladies ride it.

IMHO I would go straight for a 650 in an enduro style, mine is quick enough, but no danger of leaving my knickers behind (as a fellow rider so eloquently put it). It is a single cylinder, which is usually not as quick as a twin/3/4 cylinder. I think you would soon be bored on a smaller bike especially if you are touring but think maybe a sports bike could frighten you at first. One thing I consider vital is ABS brakes.

Just a couple of things you may want to consider as well as engine size while you are a beginner:

I (as most bikers) dropped my bike a time or two when I first started riding. The enduro is made for this and has no nice shiny faring to get scratched. It didn't suffer at all.

I (as most bikers) dropped my bike a time or two when I first started riding - I can't pick it up on my own, my partner can. I dropped it once when out on my own (riding the passes), and only had to wait a couple of minutes for a nice butch biker to pick it up for me but if you are doing a lot of riding in towns, I don't suppose anyone much will help you. You might want to consider something lighter if that is the case.

My partner has been riding for years and just a quick trip out for a coffee usually turns into 300km - my point is to get something you can sit on comfortably for a long while if you wish to tour. I spent endless hours at bike shows sitting on every bike I could to see what was comfortable. (If you are leaning too far forward you will hurt your wrists)

My biggest problem when touring is my left hand cramps after a while when changing gear a lot. Again I spent a lot of time pulling clutches at bike shows...... I found many bikes, especially the Kawasakis I tried to have incredibly stiff clutches , you can get a device fitted which helps a bit but not completely.

Luggage can be important too, if you are touring. The BMW cases for the 650 GS have quite a lot of room but are heavy .

You also mention riding on dirt roads – no reason why the GS won’t do this.

By the way I don’t work for BMW, have no interest in you buying one, just wanted to give you a review from a lady rider’s point of view!

I personally would go to a dealer rather than buying second hand off ebay for your first bike. Moto Mader in Oberentfelden is one of the biggest and we have noticed it is a bit cheaper than some of our local dealers but might be nice to build up a relationship with a local dealer who you can use for servicing etc.

If you have a look at the sites that have been mentionned you should soon get an idea what is a fair price. If the mileage is too high, you may be looking at some expensive replacement parts and big servicing bills.



Hope these few tips help a little bit.



Gruss
Angie
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  #29  
Old 19.03.2011, 23:42
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Re: Motorcycle Purchase Advise?

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I found many bikes, especially the Kawasakis I tried to have incredibly stiff clutches
Hydraulic clutches are lighter if you can find a bike you like with one it would be ideal.
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I personally would go to a dealer rather than buying second hand off ebay for your first bike.
A sensible suggestion, especially as the difference will not be that substantial in money terms for a bike in the OPs price range.

It takes years to learn what to look for when buying second hand bikes and cars, so it would be better if you could take someone along with who already has this knowledge rather than try to gleen it from suggestions here, however valid they may be.
A bike that's been slid down the road may appear poorly, but could easily be in better mechanical condition than a gleaming one that's been owned by an idiot.
Going through a dealer would remove quite a bit of the risk.

A friend of mine passed his test here and bought a new F650 and raves about it. He regularly rides over the alp passes with his wife as the pillion.
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  #30  
Old 21.03.2011, 13:39
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Re: Motorcycle Purchase Advise?

Try this :
http://www.englishforum.ch/sale-want...ke-zurich.html

One careful lady owner !
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  #31  
Old 21.03.2011, 14:28
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Re: Motorcycle Purchase Advise?

Looking at selling my CBR 600. Low mileage with new MFK (end of last year). Also New battery (gel one) and chain.... PM me if you are interested.
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  #32  
Old 21.03.2011, 14:28
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Re: Motorcycle Purchase Advise?

My thoughts on the topic are these:
- the BMW 650 will struggle in the mountains two-up. BMW newer models have 800 in the range...
- a single will be harder work for long journey - the engine is very vibey and these consume oil
- as mentioned....you will drop it. Plan for this....lots of plastic = expensive....

I just have the one, it's a BMW with an 1150 engine.....you can be lazy with the gear changes....

Fazer 600 or SV600 or Bandit 600 would be a good beginning point as well as ER5, Monster 6, etc. Also what you have to consider is whether you want naked or not - a screen will give you protection from the wind, of course.
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  #33  
Old 21.03.2011, 15:07
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Re: Motorcycle Purchase Advise?

This is great bike for newbies and experianced riders. Has a nice engine,friendly handling and you can do some miles on it.

Or you could buy my Buell XB9 SX!!!!!


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Try this :
http://www.englishforum.ch/sale-want...ke-zurich.html

One careful lady owner !
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  #34  
Old 13.08.2011, 21:22
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Re: Motorcycle Purchase Advise?

Just thought I'd update since everyone was so kind and helpful with their advice (thanks again!)

We hemmed and hawed for many months, and finally decided to go for it in June. I bought at 2004 BMW F650GS with low kms, and my husband got a Yamaha XT660. We just got back from a 5000km problem-free roadtrip up to Norway and back and it was terrific! The bikes were just right for what we needed. Now we're excited to explore more of Switzerland.

Hope to meet some of you at a rideout!
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  #35  
Old 13.08.2011, 21:37
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Re: Motorcycle Purchase Advise?

Well done

Glad you had an enjoyable and safe trip.

Especially happy to hear you were pleased with your choices (particularly as I was first to suggest the Beemer).

Out of curiosity (no nosiness) how did they fit into your budget of 5K a piece (not)?
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  #36  
Old 14.08.2011, 09:00
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Re: Motorcycle Purchase Advise?

Curiosity is okay. They were both a bit higher than we originally intended, mid 5K, but we figured better to spend a little more on the front end and get motos we were confident in with fairly low kms, and hopefully spend less on surprises down the line.
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  #37  
Old 14.08.2011, 09:08
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Re: Motorcycle Purchase Advise?

With the F650, have a VERY good look on the front forks where the wheel spindle mounts. Its a known issue that the casting seperates from the fork tube with disasterous results.








Showa forks used in older and modern bmw F650's
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  #38  
Old 14.08.2011, 12:15
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Re: Motorcycle Purchase Advise?

Thanks for the concern Rob1, I'll make sure to do some inspecting, and it's overdue for it's 10,000km service so I'll ask specifically about that there as well.
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