Recommend Me a Motorbike

Hello,

Am after motorbike recommendations.

I am a 6 ft, 120 kg fella who needs to travel from point A(Downer) to point B(Tuggers) in Canberra.
I have an Australian motorcycle licence and in the recent past have driven a Royal Enfield Bullet 350/500 in Dhaka, Bangladesh for a few weeks - so I am fairly comfortable riding motorbikes.

With a hilly terrain like in Canberra bikes like Agility RS125 are probably out of question given my weight profile. Riding a bike (bicycle) for 90+ minutes is also out of question.

All I am after is a reliable motorbike (even electric should be fine) that will run comfortably on a hilly terrain in taking me from A to B. I am a relaxed and comfortable cruising type driver and not after mad speed at all. What do you recommend? I usually lean towards buying new automobiles - so my preference will be for a new bike. I am not quite sure on the budget around $5k as $5k isn't going to get me anything decent I am upping my budget just for the bike to $10k or so. Happy to spend separately on gear.
A few other questions :

  • On Google maps there is no motorbike option - am I correct in assuming whatever route is shown for a car is automatically applicable to motorbikes?
  • Is parking free for motorbikes everywhere (in Canberra)?
  • Whats the cost of ownership on bikes like? Is the rego as much as a cars?
  • Do most motorbikes expect some kind of regular maintenance? I can probably to a bit of DIY fixing if its straightforward enough but dont want a constant expenditure every month.
  • What will I additionally need if I have to drop a kid off to school on a motorbike?
  • What do you do when it rains?

Comments

  • +4

    650~750ish twin naked bikes. Best for commuting and good for hilly areas. Twins have plenty of torque compared to inline 4's and are much nicer to ride in a relaxed way.

    I would look at bikes like the Royal Enfield Continental GT 650, CFMoto 700CL-X, Ducati Monster 696/596/821/Scrambler, Yamaha XSR700… Just saw you added a budget of $5k. None of these are in that range, even second hand. You are not going to get a new bike that is decent size and power new for $5k. You may have to look at bikes like the CF Moto NK300 or a lightly used NK650.

    You'll want to go just over the LAMS 660cc limit, because most LAMS bikes are powerful enough, but are munted to get under the power to weight ratio. Some, like the CFMoto NK650 and Ducati 659 can be de-restricted with little effort.

    As for electric bikes, I would wait on that. Electric is good, but you will get much better value and range out of a 700cc bike that will also cost you about 1/3rd of the cost of a comparable electric bike.

    On Google maps there is no motorbike option

    Cant vouch for that, but most places cars can go, bikes go. Interesting though, in the Google tracking part, it seems to know if I am on a bike and not in my car…

    Is parking free

    Some places, yes, some no, you are still required to adhere to the road rules.

    Whats the cost of ownership on bikes like?

    Rego is cheap… everything else is expensive. Tyres are expensive and last about 1/4 of a car tyre life. My bike uses almost as much fuel as my car… (More to do with how I drive compared to how I ride.) Insurance is way more expensive. Then there is the gear…

    Do most motorbikes expect some kind of regular maintenance?

    Absolutely… Probably more so than cars. Things like chain (lube and adjustments), oil changes are more regular. Fluid changes (brake/clutch). Tyre pressures. etc. Most of these things you can learn to do yourself though.

    What will I additionally need if I have to drop a kid off to school on a motorbike?

    A car?? An understanding wife/husband/life partner/trusting child? The child will need to have their own safety gear (obviously), jacket, boots, helmet, gloves and somewhere to carry and/or store it for the return journey. Also I think the law is that a child needs to be over a certain age to be taken anywhere on public roads on the back of a bike, you may have to check that out as well…

    As for the Kymco Agility 125… dont. I am 110kg and 6'2" and own a Vespa 175, and it does not like hills. A 125cc scooter would be worse. If you want to go scooter, look at something in the 300cc or bigger class for your ahem weight and hills.

    Source: I own 6 bikes. From an EV scooter up to 1000cc supersports bikes.

    • +1

      Insurance is way more expensive.

      This varies by style of bike - my rule of thumb is avoid short wheelbase and full fairing because most (if not all) insurance companies consider them sport bikes which places them in the highest risk category.

      My K1300R will easily keep up with a Hayabusa and costs me $450/year for comp.

      • +1

        That is why I suggested naked bikes. My Monster is way cheaper than my SS, but ironically, they are near identical bikes under the skin. Same engine. Similar frame. Same wheels, tyres and suspension. The SS is almost double the cost to insure. And the Monster is a waaaay better bike to ride than anything else I have here.

        But, they are still more expensive than my car. And I dont think OP will have 6+ years of motorcycle insurance to keep the initial cost of insurance down. Considering the amount of km I do on my bike compared to my car, even with a lowered km usage policy, my $8,000 bike is still the same price as my $25,000 Corolla.

        Greenslips (CTP) on the other hand… for my car, $600+, for my bike $140ish. Rego costs on my EV scooter is $59 rego + $130 CTP.

    • +1

      Totally agree with your comments and I think OP needs to increase his budget at least by another 3K if he is to get something decent as any bike or scooter below 5K would be more suited for Ubereats.

      I've seen the current model (2016+) used SV650s going for around 8K and it is a great bike with a proven V-Twin.

    • Thanks for replying. I have upped the budget to $10k+ - does that make a difference to the recommendations?
      I clearly have no clue what a decent bike costs. Am happy to spend up to $15k including gear and everything else needed.

  • +1

    Do you have riding gear? it isnt as cheap as it sounds.
    Naked bikes suck for long rides with nothin to take the wind rain off you..

    Whats your budget?
    What do you do when it rains? Put wet weather gear on… i had bikes for 10yrs before gettin a car

    • No riding gear. Updated question with budget : I am not quite sure on the budget around $5k or so.

      • +2

        Honestly, you may as well just get a beater car for now.
        When you have the budget, then get a good bike for your scenic rides.

        And reliability is only as good as your brain and your workshop… so don't buy something that was designed poorly with low-parts availability. And focus a lot of your budget on the gear you need, and get very high quality stuff as this matters. Save up for a proper bike afterwards. Heaps of other good advice here.

        • +1

          As soon as I saw “take my kids to school” I thought… dude needs a car, not a bike.

          • @pegaxs: Wow, I managed to miss that when I skimmed reading it.

            Yeah, OP is an idiot if he buys a bike in this current state, and carries anyone. Even sidecars are pretty dangerous, and we're talking kids. The principal or teachers would be on him on the first drop off.

          • @pegaxs: Sidecar?
            .

          • +1

            @pegaxs: Kids= car
            Kid = bike is fine.

            • @pharkurnell:

              Kid = bike is fine

              you mean motorbike, right? If so, what sort of gear will be needed for the kiddo?

              • +2

                @tik tok: Yep, know plenty of people who took the kids to school on motorbikes, just normal pillions. My kids came on weekend trips with me on the bike. Admitted that was in the 90's before cage drivers lost their minds compared to shit I see these days… I'd have second thoughts these days.
                Rack on back is mandatory and usually boots, helmet, gloves, a jacket, and son used to like wearing his mx body armour :) Impressed the kids at school lol! Just gettin changed when you arrive there used to gain a crowd of other kids
                Also depends how far your going.

  • +3

    On Google maps there is no motorbike option - am I correct in assuming whatever route is shown for a car is automatically applicable to motorbikes?

    Yup, if you're in the sticks might pay to use the 'no unsealed roads' option but otherwise should be fine

    Is parking free for motorbikes everywhere (in Canberra)?

    Can't help, I'm in a different state

    Whats the cost of ownership on bikes like? Is the rego as much as a cars?

    Rego is pretty much the same as for a car in my state, doesn't get any cheaper if you own more than 1 either.

    Do most motorbikes expect some kind of regular maintenance? I can probably to a bit of DIY fixing if its straightforward enough but dont want a constant expenditure every month.

    It varies by usage, pre COVID I used to commute on my bike daily (10,000km/year) and one service per year was fine. Other things like tyres will vary depending on how much of a hoon you are :)

    What will I additionally need if I have to drop a kid off to school on a motorbike?

    A very trusting and understanding partner…

  • +5

    Any of the 400-600cc japanese bikes will serve you fine.

    Ninja 400, CBR/CB500 or 650, MT-/07, Z650/ninja 650, 390 duke.

    250/300cc bikes will do the job but progress beyond 100kph is a lot slower.

  • You need a fat boy

    • He should spend his 5k on doughnuts for his son then!

  • +1

    5k you're not getting a new bike and gear. Only a tiny cc bike or scooter.

    I have a Royal Enfield Interceptor 650. It's fantastic. Cost around 10k new. Allow at least $600 for a jacket and helmet and gloves.

    Prior to that I had a 300cc Honda CBR. It was enough power for me (6'1, 80kg) up to about 90km/h. Until you go to a twin cylinder you will really just run out of steam at anything above around 100km/h. Plus if you have already ridden for a while a bike sub300cc is quite small unless you're in the city.

    So, I can't answer your question about a new bike for a big fella with enough power for 5k, with gear. I suggest you save a bit longer or take out a loan on a more expensive bike.

    Re your other questions:
    * On Google maps there is no motorbike option - am I correct in assuming whatever route is shown for a car is automatically applicable to motorbikes?
    Yep. Unless you have really high traffic (a red line) in a particular place due to traffic lights, because you can skip those queues to an extent on a bike.
    * Is parking free for motorbikes everywhere (in Canberra)?
    No idea… but you can probably park at your work for free almost definitely. Check ACT gov sites.
    * Whats the cost of ownership on bikes like? Is the rego as much as a cars?
    Cheaper than cars but not nothing. Rego is a bit cheaper. Insurance can be cheaper (I'm with Swann, been very cheap). Fuel you use about half what a small car would. Maintenance is probably around half as well.
    * Do most motorbikes expect some kind of regular maintenance? I can probably to a bit of DIY fixing if its straightforward enough but dont want a constant expenditure every month.
    Absolutely, you need to service motorbikes. Clean your chain regularly. Change fluids once a year if you're riding not too many kms, more like twice a year if you are. Check the service manual and follow what the manufacturer says. It's similar to a car but cheaper. You can definitely do most of it yourself if you can lift a spanner.
    * What will I additionally need if I have to drop a kid off to school on a motorbike?
    Same as what someone else said. A supportive co-parent haha. Gear for your kid and lots of time for practice.
    * What do you do when it rains?
    Get wet. You get a cheapo plastic waterproof onesie and keep it in your bag. Or… you get wet.

    • Thanks for replying. I have upped the budget to $10k+ - does that make a difference to the recommendations?
      I clearly have no clue what a decent bike costs. Am happy to spend up to $15k including gear and everything else needed. Just dont want to be in a position where I am regretting a purchase and then go bike hunting again.

      • +1

        Awesome, that's more like it. 10k we can work with.

        I would suggest you don't really need to worry about getting a new bike per se.

        Your criteria should probably be:
        * two cylinders
        * 650cc ish
        * 180kgs+
        * naked (fairings are expensive)
        * not too sports-oriented (will be twitchy and you're paying for something you don't want/need)
        * lightly used or new ish (sub 5000kms probably)

        I'd say just go on bikesales.com and put in some similar criteria as listed above and see what comes up. I'd try to avoid particular brands (just like with cars) and stick to the made in Japan, but it's probably a bit less important with bikes as they are simpler.

        Some of the Chinese brands are proving to be pretty good value and reasonably reliable. There's a million Royal Enfields riding around in India just fine despite being beaten on daily. For the record mine has not missed a beat yet, haven't really heard of anyone having problems with them either. I'd try to avoid Italian and British, not because they are bad but they are more of an enthusiast product to an extent and can be a bit more finicky, plus getting parts is trickier. I think the Triumph twins are generally pretty bulletproof but I'm not too sure.

        Then it will just depend on style and what sort of ride you are after. You need to test ride and look at them, really. Some things you should probably have on your shortlist:
        * Royal Enfield 650 twins - silky smooth, simple, good looking, should be around 10k.
        * Royal Enfield Meteor 350 (I know it's a 350 but I've heard great things about them on the highway and as a cruiser)
        * Suzuki DR650 - bulletproof, should be around 10k
        * Yamaha VStar 650 - if you like the cruiser / Harley style
        * Suzuki Boulevard 650 - as above, chill Japanese Harley style
        * Yamaha XSR700 - i THINK these are based on the MT07 which is probably a bit too much bike for your experience level and preferences - they're pretty quick and twitch. So just a maybe on this one.
        * Suzuki VStrom 650 - mid size adventure bike. The Subaru Outback of bikes. Really can't go wrong w one of those.

        Alright all of the above you should be able to get a late model used or new ish one within your budget leaving room to get good quality gear as well. Unless you live in a city and just want to go down to the shops, beach, or work, I reckon motorbiking is something to be taken fairly seriously and done properly. Don't have to buy a 30k German bike and 2k worth of leathers to ride, but you do need to do some research and spend the right amount of cash to do it safely.

  • +2

    sorry, but ur too fat for a 125. that poor bike will be struggling.

    • 1000000%

    • Is heavy the word you are looking for?
      If that was a smart arse comment then I have already stated that 125 is probably a poor choice for me.

  • On Google maps there is no motorbike option - am I correct in assuming whatever route is shown for a car is automatically applicable to motorbikes?

    Why would the directions be any different for a motorbike vs a car, you literally take the exact same path? There's never a path that a motorbike can go that a car can't.

    Having said that, traffic jams affect motorbikes less because of filtering but still.

    Also yeah, a 125cc will be torture for you given your weight.

  • If you're budget is only 5k, a decent chunk of that will be taken up by gear, I'd definitely go for a used Z300 or something similar

    • Thanks for replying. I have upped my budget to $10k for the bike - trying to stay under $15k all up.

  • ZX6R or don't get a bike.

  • +1

    DRZ 400SM. Used will be in your budget and enough grunt to get you where you need to go. Also a KLR 650 will do just fine but the DRZ is taller.

    • Thanks for replying. I have upped the budget to $10k+ - does that make a difference to the recommendations?
      I clearly have no clue what a decent bike costs. Am happy to spend up to $15k including gear and everything else needed.

  • +2

    Look at the vulcan s 650 it uses the ninja 650 motor (retuned) so its tried and tested. plus you can unrestrict it if wanted in about 10min.

    It has the ergo fit system and you can move the foot pegs back 1" or forward 1" for the cost of a $10 brake rod. Seat and bars can also be swapped but they cost a fair chunk more.

    TBR makes a pipe for it however modficaions to lams bikes is a grey area by that i mean its not allowed but who cares, there is barely a legal harley arround but meh its the risk you take

    I sold mine pre covid for $5500 but even now I see a few examples for 7k range.

    Maint wise its every 10000km nothing crazy oil and filters (cheaper than a car service) you should also check you chain more regularly.

    Rain wise a visor will help a lot but a rain coat or specialised wet weather gear will sort that.

    Heated grips are an option for winter riding again not expensive, gloves also help alot.

    Buy a decent helmet (AGV k3 is what id start at for decent)