Wild Dog Adventure Riding

General => General Bike Related Banter => Topic started by: Zh3nK on September 18, 2013, 05:47:30 pm

Title: Not a rider yet and in dire need of advice!
Post by: Zh3nK on September 18, 2013, 05:47:30 pm
Hi guys,

So I introduced myself and seeing that this is the biggest forum of adventure bikers in the country I bet the best advice would be from the members here, here goes:

First of all I do not own a motorcycle as of yet but after some discussions with my girlfriend we kind of decided that this would be an amazing hobby for the weekend seeing that we love the outdoors and nature reserves and especially the "grondpaaie" close by seeing that we are staying in Kuruman in the Northern Cape, in short our options for great trips close by are endless.

Now here is the catch, I have ridden a motorcycle in my life maybe twice and never ever serious, I know this might sound silly but I am really into this idea and its equally shared by my better half!

Now here are some requirements:

- Budget of R75k max for a bike.
- Must be a good and forgiving (learner) bike.
- Must be able to carry me and my girl without hassle seeing that we want to make it a couple thing.
- We want to start out with the machine that we will be using for some time to come, I see no use really in buying one now and then replacing it early on because it is not what we are looking for ( its a total loss money wise and we are still a bit tight on budget )
- Good carrying capabilities for the clothes etc etc and gear.

Points of note:
I am really not one for adrenaline and just want a good bike that will take us where we want to go which will only include tarmac to get to the more gravel roads and destination in the end.
I am very patient at learning something and after looking at you're injury threads I bet i would be kak scared of trying to be cocky at all, damn I might even just drive around the house to get a feeling for it for months if that is what it takes.  

The dream in the end is of course for me and my future wife to get our own bikes each, but as of now we want to explore the beautiful part of the country we are situated in with a motorcycle that we both can enjoy and be transported by for the experience.

Bikes I took a look at and caught my interest are:
BMW F800gs
BMW G650Gs Sertao
Yamaha XT660z Tenere

I would be more comfortable with the 650 and 660 but I am looking at the 800 for its better carrying capabilities and pillion.

Please do not hesitate to call me on it if this is a stupid idea and we are bored or something but we are really adventurous and enjoy nature together, and a Bakkie is really mainstream.

PS: Forgot a few things, I am really tall 1.99m, and info for pillion I weigh 94Kg and my Girlfriend about 50kg's.

Kind Regards:
Title: Re: Not a rider yet and in dire need of advice!
Post by: punisher on September 18, 2013, 05:52:21 pm
hi and welcome
i am sure you will get loads of advice from the okes here

my 2 cents , ..........klr 650
simple ,reliable , cheap and durable
Title: Re: Not a rider yet and in dire need of advice!
Post by: Ratt on September 18, 2013, 06:06:16 pm
Kawa KLE 500, they go around R20k. Raising kit and some goodies should be around R5k to sort out.

Ride it, learn the ropes, then upgrade. Rather use money on descent kit
Title: Re: Not a rider yet and in dire need of advice!
Post by: ican on September 18, 2013, 06:08:00 pm
KLR 650 is great value.
Title: Re: Not a rider yet and in dire need of advice!
Post by: subie on September 18, 2013, 06:19:42 pm
Think small and a bike that crash well (cheap to fix)
Title: Re: Not a rider yet and in dire need of advice!
Post by: sheldyn on September 18, 2013, 06:20:18 pm
Hey bud,

My 2 cents is the 660 Tenere but first dibs would be on the Sertao, dont know if you can pick one up in your price range though.  Bank on 10k per person for helmet and decent gear - this is really important.

In fact, if you look hard enough you will find a good second hand Dakar 650 gs,  sertao is the new model.

You will get loads of people pushing u in different directions here so it will be up to you to do the homework and make the final call.

Try find a good nik second hand machine that already comes with side panniers and top box for storage, that way you wont be spending extra on all that jazz.

I take my wife on my Sertao albeit not often, it carries her perfectly and my mates carry their misses on their 660 teneres with ease.  Same weight as u...  Both these bikes are good to start on -800 GS may be a bit much, its VERY powerful for a beginner IMO.
Title: Accessories
Post by: skydiver on September 18, 2013, 06:32:46 pm
In your price range....the XT660Z. It will carry both of you with some luggage and when you ready to buy each of you a bike, your missus keeps the 660Z if she is tall enough and you buy a 800 or you keep the Z and buy your missus a lowered 650.
Title: Re: Not a rider yet and in dire need of advice!
Post by: Titanic on September 18, 2013, 06:43:06 pm
F800GS, then you won't want to replace it after a few months.
I love KLR's, but it is not going to work with pillion and panniers.

Bear in mind there are very few nature reserves that are keen on bikes.

Remembers proper bash plate and crash bars.
Title: Re: Not a rider yet and in dire need of advice!
Post by: Charlie Brown on September 18, 2013, 06:49:18 pm
One of the things to take into consideration is what dealer support network there is in your home town area. The BMW, Yamaha, Honda etc are really very nice bikes, but should anything go wrong or you have an off, you will probably have to get the bike to a dealer / agent for the problem to be sorted out.

 The "old" technology bikes like the Kawasaki KLR, Suzuki DR, Honda XRL etc can be fixed by just about any mechanic in any garage any where in the country. The trade off is that the "new" technology bikes generally have more power ( essential for 2 up traveling ), fuel injection for better economy, mostly better brakes and handling and are quite a bit faster..........but they do cost quite a bit more to buy and maintain. The "older" technology bikes do not have all the bells and whistles, are tried and tested, do the job adequately to very well, are cheap to maintain, cheap to buy and you don't end up in tears when you drop the bike because you know it is going to cost you a shit load of money to repair..........just pick the bloody thing up and carry on riding.....unless you get broken in the fall. I went for the KLR for 2 reasons 1) It was cheap and I know I'm going to crash it a few times before I can ride reasonably well, cheap to repair and maintain, 2) I hired one and took it through the Tankwa Karroo as a complete newbie, the bike does nothing in style, it just gets on with the job effortlessly, and it gives you a feeling of quiet confidence without having too much power.

I posted a RR on my first DS experience and what the KLR was like, I don't know how to put up the link, but the ride report is called " A newbies first DS experience", might be worth your while to read it??
Title: Re: Not a rider yet and in dire need of advice!
Post by: Zh3nK on September 18, 2013, 07:08:18 pm
Hi Guys,

Thanks a lot for the advice thus far, it's much appreciated.

I get a feeling that the KLR650 is quite the bike to start out with, I have taken a look at it and it seems not to bad, I cannot judge at all to the riding of it seeing that I have next to zero motorcycle experience, the only downside for me is the fact that it will not handle the pillion and panniers very good and lets be honest, not that it really matters I guess but I wont be able to fall in love with how it looks :/
Now there have been some suggestions for the XT660Z Tenere, and I really am founded with that bike, my only thing is will it be really easy to learn to ride bikes with?

Thanks in advance and keep the suggestions coming!
Title: Re: Not a rider yet and in dire need of advice!
Post by: Dux on September 18, 2013, 07:20:06 pm
I agree with something old tech , XR650L , KLR650 or DR650 , all of them are tried and trusted , if you are not looking at going everywhere at high speed then either of these will work well  . My preference is for the Honda , it has a low price and all it really needs is a larger fuel tank , the suspension is better than the KLR or DR , and power can be upgraded easily and reliably as confidence grows . 
Of course there is the simple fact that  either of these will resell easily , if you start off with a second hand bike you will lose even less when you upgrade .
Title: Re: Not a rider yet and in dire need of advice!
Post by: alanB on September 18, 2013, 07:27:27 pm
If you havent ridden a bike much I would actually say get a small bike like a 250 or DRZ400 or something (I wouldnt even go for a 650).  

No doubt someone is going to tell you to buy a 1200 soon, but those big heavy bikes are no fun to learn on.  They are very powerful and heavy and can make the learning process unnecessarily difficult.

Your girlfriend is not going to feel safe when you are really battling and wobbling along!  And the end result is you are going to avoid stuff like sand and mud and even gravel  but not want to admit it and just want to stick to tar - maybe that's OK?

But I would suggest a completely different approach.

Don't plan on taking her on the back while you learn.  If necessary get her a small bike too - you can within that budget.

Spend a year learning the basics and then choose the long term bike of your choice AFTER that.

But honestly, its just sooooo much easier to learn the basics on a small lighter bike.  

Bike riding safely and competently requires certain skills that have to be learnt - like anything else if you learn them properly to start with it just makes everything else that much easier later on.

The SA male ego will however tell you to buy the biggest most powerful bike you can afford right now - you choose!

Also everyone is going to tell you to go on a course - which is a VERY GOOD IDEA.  But again you will learn more and progress faster on a small bike.
Title: Re: Not a rider yet and in dire need of advice!
Post by: subie on September 18, 2013, 07:45:34 pm
If you havent ridden a bike much I would actually say get a small bike like a 250 or DRZ400 or something (I wouldnt even go for a 650).  

No doubt someone is going to tell you to buy a 1200 soon, but those big heavy bikes are no fun to learn on.  They are very powerful and heavy and can make the learning process unnecessarily difficult.

Your girlfriend is not going to feel safe when you are really battling and wobbling along!  And the end result is you are going to avoid stuff like sand and mud and even gravel  but not want to admit it and just want to stick to tar - maybe that's OK?

But I would suggest a completely different approach.

Don't plan on taking her on the back while you learn.  If necessary get her a small bike too - you can within that budget.

Spend a year learning the basics and then choose the long term bike of your choice AFTER that.

But honestly, its just sooooo much easier to learn the basics on a small lighter bike.  

Bike riding safely and competently requires certain skills that have to be learnt - like anything else if you learn them properly to start with it just makes everything else that much easier later on.

The SA male ego will however tell you to buy the biggest most powerful bike you can afford right now - you choose!

Also everyone is going to tell you to go on a course - which is a VERY GOOD IDEA.  But again you will learn more and progress faster on a small bike.

Zh3nk you should take note of this advice and heed the warning therein.
Adventure biking is a simple and safe "hobby" . I have seen many riders on big and powerfull bikes without a solid small bike foundation and it is a bit of a sad sight seeing so many riders with limited  horisons.
Title: Re: Not a rider yet and in dire need of advice!
Post by: Gérrard on September 18, 2013, 07:51:55 pm
Hi Guys,

Thanks a lot for the advice thus far, it's much appreciated.

I get a feeling that the KLR650 is quite the bike to start out with, I have taken a look at it and it seems not to bad, I cannot judge at all to the riding of it seeing that I have next to zero motorcycle experience, the only downside for me is the fact that it will not handle the pillion and panniers very good and lets be honest, not that it really matters I guess but I wont be able to fall in love with how it looks :/
Now there have been some suggestions for the XT660Z Tenere, and I really am founded with that bike, my only thing is will it be really easy to learn to ride bikes with?
Thanks in advance and keep the suggestions coming!


It ticks all the boxes. You won't get better or more versatile for your money.

All Said

In your price range....the XT660Z. It will carry both of you with some luggage and when you ready to buy each of you a bike, your missus keeps the 660Z if she is tall enough and you buy a 800 or you keep the Z and buy your missus a lowered 650.
Title: Re: Not a rider yet and in dire need of advice!
Post by: Grumpleton on September 18, 2013, 07:53:11 pm
If you haven't ridden a bike much I would actually say get a small bike like a 250 or DRZ400 or something (I wouldn't even go for a 650).  

No doubt someone is going to tell you to buy a 1200 soon, but those big heavy bikes are no fun to learn on.  They are very powerful and heavy and can make the learning process unnecessarily difficult.

Your girlfriend is not going to feel safe when you are really battling and wobbling along!  And the end result is you are going to avoid stuff like sand and mud and even gravel  but not want to admit it and just want to stick to tar - maybe that's OK?

But I would suggest a completely different approach.

Don't plan on taking her on the back while you learn.  If necessary get her a small bike too - you can within that budget.

Spend a year learning the basics and then choose the long term bike of your choice AFTER that.

But honestly, its just sooooo much easier to learn the basics on a small lighter bike.  

Bike riding safely and competently requires certain skills that have to be learnt - like anything else if you learn them properly to start with it just makes everything else that much easier later on.

The SA male ego will however tell you to buy the biggest most powerful bike you can afford right now - you choose!

Also everyone is going to tell you to go on a course - which is a VERY GOOD IDEA.  But again you will learn more and progress faster on a small bike.

I agree, i ride a Suzuki DRZ 400 and have been all over with it , we have just come back from a trip with a bunch of people on 250 and thy had just as much or more fun the the blokes on the 650 and 800, for That price you have you can practically get to brand new Honda Crf 250 the road leagel one and can each enjoy the off road experience with out worrying that you are going to crash and take the better half down with you , :thumleft:
Title: Re: Not a rider yet and in dire need of advice!
Post by: Rags on September 18, 2013, 07:56:35 pm
I would say get the Tenere with your height, but the 800gs could be more comfortable for the pillion?

I also started with a 650 after only riding scooters. Takes a while to get comfortable but I have no regrets and it takes the hassle out of buying and selling. The DR and XR are not really pillion friendly. You could of course get two DR's with that budget.

The KLR is also an option and allows you to really get some decent kit for both of you, kit could easily burn another R20k of your budget. Also allow for some professional training in your budget for you and/with the pillion.

my 2c

And don't fret. Follow your heart, get a bike and make some time to travel our wonderful country.  :thumleft:
Welcome.

EDIT: And alanB make very valid points. If you are able and patient go learn with a lighter bike first.

Title: Re: Not a rider yet and in dire need of advice!
Post by: Fuzzy Muzzy on September 18, 2013, 08:08:44 pm
My 1st bike was a Transalp 650.. I never looked back

Look for a bike you like and get that, honestly if you have no riding experience it will not matter one little bit if you get a BMW or a Yamaha as your 1st bike, you will learn to ride that bike. Forget about getting advice here it will make no sense to you as everyone likes different bikes, for example I would rather not ride a KLR because it would be a bike I would have to upgrade in a year.

The Transalp 650 is a great pillion bike , reliable and you can pick them up for R40k. Great as a starter bike, touring bike etc, if you have the money of all of them on your list I would get the 800gs

My 2c
Title: Re: Not a rider yet and in dire need of advice!
Post by: dieseldawie on September 18, 2013, 08:15:43 pm
Hi Guys,

Thanks a lot for the advice thus far, it's much appreciated.

I get a feeling that the KLR650 is quite the bike to start out with, I have taken a look at it and it seems not to bad, I cannot judge at all to the riding of it seeing that I have next to zero motorcycle experience, the only downside for me is the fact that it will not handle the pillion and panniers very good and lets be honest, not that it really matters I guess but I wont be able to fall in love with how it looks :/
Now there have been some suggestions for the XT660Z Tenere, and I really am founded with that bike, my only thing is will it be really easy to learn to ride bikes with?


Thanks in advance and keep the suggestions coming!


Baksteen rode Gonubie to Kenhard with his wife on the back and luggage, He is 120 kg ? and she maybe 60kg. Money he saved by buying a KLR allowed him to buy a decent intercom system so they could chat on the long road while staying under 5000rpm

And you get to join the KLR Clan where we show you how to fix/service your own bike for a case of beer.
Also have an in house doctor with an affinity for plastic sheep.

BTW Pebbles and I were in yr area last month and decided definitely a spot we need to visit and ride.
Title: Re: Not a rider yet and in dire need of advice!
Post by: Piet on September 18, 2013, 08:36:04 pm
I started out a few years ago on a pre-2007 KLR, still my only bike. Never had a moment's regret. I've done solo tours and pillion tours, no problem. The KLR doesn't get there fast, but if you are planning to stick to the golden rule 80km/h on gravel, then it's the ideal tool for the job. You can load it like a donkey and it'll run.

Best advice so far is to get proper experience on gravel/sand before taking the girlfriend along. So take her along on the tar, but take the dirt roads alone for starters. Most of the gravel/dirt roads in SA have those unexpected thick sand patches. Riding sand is really simple once you get the hang of it, but a pillion will cause a spill if you don't know what you are doing yet.
Title: Re: Not a rider yet and in dire need of advice!
Post by: Zh3nK on September 18, 2013, 08:54:32 pm
Wow, awesome replies guys thank you.

Ok I did take the point that I could get a smaller bike first and try the ropes on it, seeing that I am tall though what would be a less awkward bike for me if I do go that route? Btw I did not mention it but ofcourse all the practice will be done without the missus on the back, I think she wont be able to resist learning herself as well, so it will definately be a turn based scenario if you ask me!
The only thing is now, it will kind of be a big dedication to start out with because we are still young and well, it will be a big investment for us, that is why i though that if we start now we should atleast get a kind of capable bike that would last us some good time. As for classes I would be more than willing to take them but i seriously doubt there is a place even close that will be offering them, maybe Kimberley, will have to do some googling regarding that one.
So yeah I am getting some mixed feelings regarding what to do, some are ok with the bigger bikes and personally I think the biggest I will go will be the 660 for starters, I just don't want to end up hurting myself with it, and to be honest I did sit on a few smaller bikes (never rode them) and me with my lenght and long legs it just felt awkward and falling off on the first turn just felt inevitable, so yeah physically I need a bigger bike, not just engine wise.

More comments and advice will be much more appreciated.
PS. Having an in-house doctor on stand by just tips my nerves off the edge, yeah I know it comes with their risks but I will rather be riding slowly than falling and breaking things like I have seen happens in the injury thread. So yeah that is still a fact that I am chewing on, the risk of serious injury and if it is worth it.

Regards:
Title: Re: Not a rider yet and in dire need of advice!
Post by: T Rex on September 18, 2013, 09:05:06 pm
My first thought was the GS 800 , however ....

The fact that you are totally new says  ....NO!

Go for an KLR , will serve your purpose ..... For now!

I had a BMW Dakar .... Sereato now ........ for 8 years, only sold it because of the fact that it takes a bit of strain on the long runs with pillion and luggage.

In the long term , if you want to pillion with luggage the 800 would suffice but the 1200 GS is better. It is actually an easier bike to ride than the 800 IMHO.
Title: Re: Not a rider yet and in dire need of advice!
Post by: Tito on September 18, 2013, 09:41:24 pm
You and your girl take a ride up to JHB, and I will teach you to ride properly in one day, we supply the bikes, helmets and you don't need a learners licence, then you will have the ability to ride the bikes everyone's talking about and decide for your self.. The days of being self taught are not necessary any more, I will teach you more in one lesson than you will teach yourself in a year of riding. Not to mention saving you the Pain & Suffering ...
So sure of my training that if after you complete it and you don't agree with me I will give you it for Free.....
Regards Paul Rotorookies motorcycle training ..... Face Book Rotorookies Paul Fawkes... 0824471407...
Other than that start on a small bike, a small mistake on a small bike is still  a smallish mistake ,but on a big bike, Eish !!!!!
Title: Re: Not a rider yet and in dire need of advice!
Post by: Charlie Brown on September 18, 2013, 09:55:44 pm
Wow, awesome replies guys thank you.

Ok I did take the point that I could get a smaller bike first and try the ropes on it, seeing that I am tall though what would be a less awkward bike for me if I do go that route? Btw I did not mention it but ofcourse all the practice will be done without the missus on the back, I think she wont be able to resist learning herself as well, so it will definately be a turn based scenario if you ask me!
The only thing is now, it will kind of be a big dedication to start out with because we are still young and well, it will be a big investment for us, that is why i though that if we start now we should atleast get a kind of capable bike that would last us some good time. As for classes I would be more than willing to take them but i seriously doubt there is a place even close that will be offering them, maybe Kimberley, will have to do some googling regarding that one.
So yeah I am getting some mixed feelings regarding what to do, some are ok with the bigger bikes and personally I think the biggest I will go will be the 660 for starters, I just don't want to end up hurting myself with it, and to be honest I did sit on a few smaller bikes (never rode them) and me with my lenght and long legs it just felt awkward and falling off on the first turn just felt inevitable, so yeah physically I need a bigger bike, not just engine wise.

More comments and advice will be much more appreciated.
PS. Having an in-house doctor on stand by just tips my nerves off the edge, yeah I know it comes with their risks but I will rather be riding slowly than falling and breaking things like I have seen happens in the injury thread. So yeah that is still a fact that I am chewing on, the risk of serious injury and if it is worth it.

Regards:

Relax, they are referring to a bike doctor........not a people doctor.............I think  ??? ???.........I hope  :eek7: :eek7:..................aargh farkit, just enjoy the riding, but be warned,....once the gogga bites and it gets in your blood, you will always want to ride bikes. There are quite a few of us "old ballies" here on this forum.
Title: Re: Not a rider yet and in dire need of advice!
Post by: hugh101 on September 18, 2013, 10:10:07 pm
I was in the same position as you a few months ago, got my learners, never rode a bike in my life before, spoke to a friend of mine, he suggested I get a bmw Gs650.I found a gem 2006 with 17000 km for R45k.I bought it, friend rode it home for me.A few days later i figured out the controls, and in the last 4 months i have done close to 7000km riding(commuting and long-distance and gravel). The gs is seriously easy to ride and very forgiving on a newbie. It is lightweight when it come to handling, good power/weight (i am 120kg), very forgiving gearing with good torque, i cannot comment on the pillion riding.When i grow up i will get me a 1200gs! :biggrin: :ricky:
Title: Re: Not a rider yet and in dire need of advice!
Post by: BlueBull2007 on September 18, 2013, 10:28:11 pm
Maybe what you should do is what we did when we started: After much consideration we went for two 250's (In our case XR 250's), both were 2nd hand bikes and we started out on those. Now we both ride bigger bikes but its MUCH easier to learn how to ride dirt on smaller bikes. Fun too. You could probably get two small bikes given your price constraints as well. One of our best holidays was to take the bikes on a trailer around South Africa riding them in all kinds of interesting places.
Title: Re: Not a rider yet and in dire need of advice!
Post by: aka.Goliath on September 19, 2013, 12:42:59 am
I got my first bike over year ago and it was a 1200GS, I did learn to ride on a 650GS for a few months but it really felt wrong for me and I am glad I had the opportunity to do that so I could realize a small bike would not suit me or what I wanted to do. I am 198cm and weigh 100kg and wanted to do the long distance tours on road and gravel. I test road every bike under the sun and liked the 1200 the most. Being so tall I had a great advantage over my sister who at around the same time got herself a 800GS (which is taller), but by the same token we have both now done some really interesting riding with both these bikes and managed to get through everything we tried. I have even taken my 1200GS to parts of de Wildt and Maraisburg and managed to get through although quite tiring. I love the fact that a can ride all day on my 1200GS with luggage at 140+ k/hr and still do some rough off roads.

For you I would really suggest a 800GS or the like (maybe KTM 990, Triumph, etc.) It will require some practice at first, riding just one-up but soon you will be confident to ride two-up long distance and do gravel. If you want to do two-up riding I would be sceptical about using a bike less than 800cc especially with luggage. I can't deny it will be easier the learn to ride on a smaller bike but then again what in life is easy. Oh and how ridiculous do you look on a 650, I know I did with my long ass legs.

lastly when you both decide to get your own bikes each then you already have your first really nice bike, then you just need to get a smaller 650 for the other half.
+100000 for good safe gear, GOOD helmet, neck brace, proper boots, pants and jacket.

 Not matter what bike you get go ride it and enjoy - and welcome
Title: Re: Not a rider yet and in dire need of advice!
Post by: ChrisMann on September 19, 2013, 04:06:24 am
I weigh 94Kg and my Girlfriend about 50kg's.


Onthou om op jou elmboe te druk.
Title: Re: Not a rider yet and in dire need of advice!
Post by: Piet on September 19, 2013, 06:18:20 am
I weigh 94Kg and my Girlfriend about 50kg's.


Onthou om op jou elmboe te druk.
:imaposer: :imaposer:
Title: Re: Not a rider yet and in dire need of advice!
Post by: Lommies on September 19, 2013, 06:47:26 am
I weigh 94Kg and my Girlfriend about 50kg's.


Onthou om op jou elmboe te druk.
:imaposer: :imaposer:

Ja-nee dis die beste advies wat jy tot nou toe hier gekry het.. >:D
Post maar eerder fotos van julle tweetjies, dan sal ons die "regte" bike vir julle match
Title: Re: Not a rider yet and in dire need of advice!
Post by: J-dog on September 19, 2013, 06:52:20 am
I haven't read the the replies carefully, but they seem to generally be on the right track.

HOWEVER, could I make a suggestion?

Borrow a bike like a dakar or something, and go for a weekend trip in your area with an experienced buddy who rides DS bikes, or a group of buddies.

Chew the cud during the trip and talk about bikes, gear, riding, pillions etc, and also get a feel for what it's like to ride the back roads on a bike.

Then you will start to form a picture of what the lifestyle is about and what you want to get out of it and your bike.

If they are experienced DS riders, they will be a gold mine of information and also give you a feel for the "soul" of DS riding.

Perhaps hook up with some dogs in your area for your "test voyage"

Just my 2 cents  8)
Title: Re: Not a rider yet and in dire need of advice!
Post by: Draadtang on September 19, 2013, 07:03:46 am
Buy a 800gs from the start,the 650,s will be a frustration to ride with luggage and a pillion and not to say that when you need to over take a truck on the tarmac.The worst of the 650,s fully loaded and pillion is when you get the wind from the front :deal:
Title: Re: Not a rider yet and in dire need of advice!
Post by: tour on September 19, 2013, 07:10:51 am
hi there
 you have read a lot of opinions here some good some bad. I have been riding since I was really young on obviously small mx bikes until I was 16 then stopped. started at 25 again and on a big bike, an Africa twin. I am not a good rider but I have many years of experience of riding various bikes. so take my advise or not. what I have noticed is you will get the same advise from people with the same experience. the okes/ladies that have been riding for years will tell you to get something small. the okes/ladies with short term experience will tell you o stuff that and get something big. who will you trust someone with lots of experience or someone with less experience???

small bikes can do everything a big bike can do only slower.
small bikes will give you confidence to learn quicker.
small bikes are loads of fun. you fall slower so chances of living is a lot higher.
you CAN pillion on a small bike. just slower
you can buy 2 x 250 bikes for the price of 1 x 650
you wouldn't really loose much money when selling it in a few years time.
your missus might kick your arse if you ride together on small bikes. you ll be both learning freedom together safer.

big bikes are faster and heavier which makes it awesome
big bikes will intimidate you and you will learn slower.
being scared of your bike wont help.
brcause the bike is faster you will push it. don't lie to yourself it is fun to go fast no matter what you say.
because bike bikes are faster and heavier your crashes can break your confidence or your body or kill you.

like many boys and girls here I have a big ktm. it is awesome. I also have a small dr250 which I ride and have done long trips with. it is sooo much fun riding the small bike.

big bike is adrenaline, speed, less safe and its your EGO
small bike is safer, easier, more capable, and its awesome. you can get 2.

I have seen many people ride big bikes with experience crash and seriously injure themselves. I still think most of the time many of those crashes could of been avoided if their egos where not their bosses and they rode smaller bikes faster. not bigger bikes slower.  

so please make a good safe choice. take it or leave it
Title: Re: Not a rider yet and in dire need of advice!
Post by: Vlakhaas on September 19, 2013, 07:20:42 am
Welcome to the forum!

Your budget will allow for two nice KLR's + kit. Get the wife her own. Pillion on gravel in not the best idea to cut your teeth on. Your main concern should be you and your wife's safety, not trying to buy a bike now that will last you 20 years. A KLR is not pretty, but there is a good reason why their owners are fanatical about them!

If you go the one bike route, the 660 Tenere is a very capably, easy to ride and forgiving bike. The old 650 Dakar is a gem, for you or the wife. IMHO the best DS BMW ever built. BMW's are expensive to crash and KTM's are nasty to maintain and make you go a lot faster than you actually safely can.

Stay away from KTM 990's and the likes for now. They stroke the ego, and then they bite.

Buy a affordable bike and the best kit you can, including for the wife.

Do a course, AND HAVE FUN!
Title: Re: Not a rider yet and in dire need of advice!
Post by: Ratt on September 19, 2013, 08:07:37 am
hi there
 you have read a lot of opinions here some good some bad. I have been riding since I was really young on obviously small mx bikes until I was 16 then stopped. started at 25 again and on a big bike, an Africa twin. I am not a good rider but I have many years of experience of riding various bikes. so take my advise or not. what I have noticed is you will get the same advise from people with the same experience. the okes/ladies that have been riding for years will tell you to get something small. the okes/ladies with short term experience will tell you o stuff that and get something big. who will you trust someone with lots of experience or someone with less experience???

small bikes can do everything a big bike can do only slower.
small bikes will give you confidence to learn quicker.
small bikes are loads of fun. you fall slower so chances of living is a lot higher.
you CAN pillion on a small bike. just slower
you can buy 2 x 250 bikes for the price of 1 x 650
you wouldn't really loose much money when selling it in a few years time.
your missus might kick your arse if you ride together on small bikes. you ll be both learning freedom together safer.

big bikes are faster and heavier which makes it awesome
big bikes will intimidate you and you will learn slower.
being scared of your bike wont help.
brcause the bike is faster you will push it. don't lie to yourself it is fun to go fast no matter what you say.
because bike bikes are faster and heavier your crashes can break your confidence or your body or kill you.

like many boys and girls here I have a big ktm. it is awesome. I also have a small dr250 which I ride and have done long trips with. it is sooo much fun riding the small bike.

big bike is adrenaline, speed, less safe and its your EGO
small bike is safer, easier, more capable, and its awesome. you can get 2.

I have seen many people ride big bikes with experience crash and seriously injure themselves. I still think most of the time many of those crashes could of been avoided if their egos where not their bosses and they rode smaller bikes faster. not bigger bikes slower.  

so please make a good safe choice. take it or leave it


Good advice
Title: Re: Not a rider yet and in dire need of advice!
Post by: Zh3nK on September 19, 2013, 08:24:23 am
Hi guys,

Thanks a lot for the replies,

Ok I get it now and also think that a smaller bike will be better, I mean learning together with my better half will be just as great fun hey?  My question now is, which one is the best to go for, remember my length, I am 1.99m so anything small will be very awkward and make me look really ridiculous haha, I actually think just buying one bike and then taking turns with the missus will be best and then spending some good money on safety kit for both of us.
Any suggestions guys? And btw, we don't own a bakkie so taking the bike to practice areas will be a hassle if we wont be able to ride it to where we want to be.

Regards:
Title: Re: Not a rider yet and in dire need of advice!
Post by: Kaboef on September 19, 2013, 08:25:50 am
There is no right choice

Buy the bike that your heart tells you to.

If you don't like it, sell it and buy something else.



But I agree 100% with Tour that if you have limited riding experience, get something small first. You will live longer that way.
Title: Re: Not a rider yet and in dire need of advice!
Post by: bud500 on September 19, 2013, 08:42:54 am
Some good advice here. To me that Yammie 660 is the bike for you. In my opinion it is no use buying a fugly bike you don't like staring at late at night in the garage. As others said, remember to budget for both rider's kit.

If you have patience as you said, and you take it slow you can learn to ride on almost anything. Shit, some of my first experiences as a 14 year old was on a XT600 with bent bars and frame on buckled rims shod with road tyres in sand. Nobody would recommend it but it worked..

Slow and steady, maybe with advice and encouragement from an understanding friend will see you through.
Title: Re: Not a rider yet and in dire need of advice!
Post by: TrailBlazer on September 19, 2013, 08:44:05 am
I have to agree with Fuzzy... an Alp is a great bike, and not too expensive either.

I ride a 650 'Alp and my missus and I have done 2 long (4500 to 5000 km) trips, and the bike handled / performed well.

Also, take the time to look at Trailrider's blog  (http://trailriderreports.blogspot.com/)
 It should give you an idea of the Transalp's capabilities.

At the end of the day, it's your decision. Good luck with your choice.
Title: Re: Not a rider yet and in dire need of advice!
Post by: Lem on September 19, 2013, 08:50:12 am
Koop vir julle albei ordentlike kit, en dan 'n gemaklike bike met die res van die budget. Trust me, ek het al paar beserings al deurgemaak. Goeie kit het my lewe gered.

Ek stem saam met Fuzzy oor die Transalp. Uitstekende, betroubare en sterk genoeg bike (650 V-twin) om mee te begin, en mee te lift. Indien jy na so iets wil kyk, kyk ook na die Suzuki V-strom.

Jy kannie fout gaan met n Dakar of die Yammie 660 Tenere nie. Beide is betroubare singles.

Daars natuurlik 'n pragtige Africa Twin te koop op die forum. Hiers manne op die forum wie groot trips al two up met hulle gedoen het.

Met jou lengte hoef jy nie gepla te wees oor die grootte of gewig van die bike nie. Solank hulle regop is weeg hulle niks nie. My eerste bike sedert 9 jaar riding absence was n BMW 1150 GSA.  As die gogga julle albei gaan byt sal jou meisie op niks anders/kleiners wil saamry as daai groot dualies nie, en dan gaan julle ook nie noodwendig te technical terrein ry nie.  

Title: Re: Not a rider yet and in dire need of advice!
Post by: Fuzzy Muzzy on September 19, 2013, 09:21:03 am
hi there
 you have read a lot of opinions here some good some bad. I have been riding since I was really young on obviously small mx bikes until I was 16 then stopped. started at 25 again and on a big bike, an Africa twin. I am not a good rider but I have many years of experience of riding various bikes. so take my advise or not. what I have noticed is you will get the same advise from people with the same experience. the okes/ladies that have been riding for years will tell you to get something small. the okes/ladies with short term experience will tell you o stuff that and get something big. who will you trust someone with lots of experience or someone with less experience???

small bikes can do everything a big bike can do only slower.
small bikes will give you confidence to learn quicker.
small bikes are loads of fun. you fall slower so chances of living is a lot higher.
you CAN pillion on a small bike. just slower
you can buy 2 x 250 bikes for the price of 1 x 650
you wouldn't really loose much money when selling it in a few years time.
your missus might kick your arse if you ride together on small bikes. you ll be both learning freedom together safer.

big bikes are faster and heavier which makes it awesome
big bikes will intimidate you and you will learn slower.
being scared of your bike wont help.
brcause the bike is faster you will push it. don't lie to yourself it is fun to go fast no matter what you say.
because bike bikes are faster and heavier your crashes can break your confidence or your body or kill you.

like many boys and girls here I have a big ktm. it is awesome. I also have a small dr250 which I ride and have done long trips with. it is sooo much fun riding the small bike.

big bike is adrenaline, speed, less safe and its your EGO
small bike is safer, easier, more capable, and its awesome. you can get 2.

I have seen many people ride big bikes with experience crash and seriously injure themselves. I still think most of the time many of those crashes could of been avoided if their egos where not their bosses and they rode smaller bikes faster. not bigger bikes slower.  

so please make a good safe choice. take it or leave it


+ 1000.. good advice, but there is one point where you talk kak in your second line 'I am not a good rider' go pull the wool over someone elses eyes  :laughing4:
Title: Re: Not a rider yet and in dire need of advice!
Post by: stevo on September 19, 2013, 09:34:38 am
My 2c worth

Go on a training course with your wife/gf. Learn to ride and get wife to learn as well. Then decide if you both going to ride or if she is going to pillion.

She will want to ride so buy 2 cheaper klr's and enjoy.

I use my KLR when I am by myself, I use the Triumph800xc when I carry Silvia. With the KLR I go anywhere, with the triumph I stay away from thick sand and rocks. (and I have been riding for 30+ years)

It is a hell of a lot more fun if you both ride. The bigger bikes 800 and 1200 from whatever brand are easy to ride on tar, flat gravel roads but are f.....g beasts to ride in sand, rocks and anything technical for beginners.

Buying a bike that is to difficult to master will make you stop riding, cause it stops being fun.  :ricky: :ricky:
Title: Re: Not a rider yet and in dire need of advice!
Post by: zebra - Flying Brick on September 19, 2013, 09:37:28 am
Also everyone is going to tell you to go on a course - which is a VERY GOOD IDEA.  But again you will learn more and progress faster on a small bike.
+1 million...!
Title: Re: Not a rider yet and in dire need of advice!
Post by: g1_ on September 19, 2013, 09:38:37 am
My, so called, "upgrade" path goes something like this:
50cc -> 250cc -> 400cc -> 500cc -> 650cc -> 400cc -> 125cc

Most fun I had was my DRZ400. Fun offroad and you *can* tour with it, it's just a matter of picking the right routes. In my opinion no bike is fun on the N1 / N2, so for me I don't see a point in the bigger bikes. Two up is probably better suited to bigger machines. But two up is not fun either. Better to have two bikes between you.

For me my KLR was completely the wrong mix of unpowerful and heavy. Felt sluggish. My DRZ was much more exciting...

Bought the XR125L this year as a cheap run about and to teach my fiancee. She's doing her learners next week and planning on buying her own XR next month.

Originally the plan was to ride Cape to Cairo (or similar) on the 125's, but now we're getting married instead. We'll see what happens :)
Title: Re: Not a rider yet and in dire need of advice!
Post by: lecap on September 19, 2013, 09:45:09 am
You have the chance to do it right:

Get your girl to ride her own bike. She won't regret it and you won't either.

Besides the obvious (much safer: How likely are you to break or crash two bikes simultaneously?)

Big DS bikes suck big time as soon as the riding gets a bit demanding. A smaller bike loaded with one person and luggage for one will master with ease what will become an unpleasant manhandling exercise (or worse) with a big bike two up and the household in panniers strapped onto the back.

Get small bikes to start with. 200cc - 250cc

Don't worry about going bigger later. You will not waste money since you will be a better and more informed rider when you upgrade to a bigger bike. Also: Rather take the knock of selling and buying something else since it will likely be cheaper than crashing a big bike on which you are a passenger due to lack of skill and experience.

And with regards to the "What if I have to overtake a truck at 140?" question: If you ride on roads where you encounter large trucks travelling at high speeds you are doing something wrong. Go ride somewhere else and leave the freeways & national roads to trucks & cars.
I never have problems with lack of power to overtake trucks rather with lack of visibility due to the dust the truck kicks up.

We've got 3x 650's (2 SuzukiDR & 1KLR C as spare :D ) and a 125 Honda XR125L. Also went from small to very big and back to medium size / small over the last three decades.
Title: Re: Not a rider yet and in dire need of advice!
Post by: Gérrard on September 19, 2013, 09:58:28 am
You'll find many of us has a similar experience the older we got. here's how it went for me :

80cc - 400 - 650 - 1000 - 1100 - 750 - 1200 - 660 - 600

My XT 600e is the bike of choice and used when I ride alaone. The 660 Z when I pillion the wify and we tour.
Title: Re: Not a rider yet and in dire need of advice!
Post by: lecap on September 19, 2013, 10:13:49 am
:laughing4:

Yes it looks kind of like a Gaussian distribution with the maximum of bike size sitting in between the time in your life when your testosterone level is the highest and when your dispensable income is at its max.

Later in life people are more likely to realize that they have time :D
Title: Re: Not a rider yet and in dire need of advice!
Post by: J-dog on September 19, 2013, 10:22:08 am
You'll find many of us has a similar experience the older we got. here's how it went for me :

80cc - 400 - 650 - 1000 - 1100 - 750 - 1200 - 660 - 600

My XT 600e is the bike of choice and used when I ride alaone. The 660 Z when I pillion the wify and we tour.

I went 125, 175, 230, 500, 650, 990, 1200, 950, 690, 300, zip  :laughing4:
Title: Re: Not a rider yet and in dire need of advice!
Post by: Gérrard on September 19, 2013, 10:24:31 am
:laughing4:

Yes it looks kind of like a Gaussian distribution with the maximum of bike size sitting in between the time in your life when your testosterone level is the highest and when your dispensable income is at its max.

Later in life people are more likely to realize that they have time :D

Yip, sensabilty(coupled with experience) starts to play a big role. Now I ride a small bike, bought cash, the money I would have spent paying off a big bike is used for petrol, so I ride plenty as much  :biggrin:
Title: Re: Not a rider yet and in dire need of advice!
Post by: Zh3nK on September 19, 2013, 10:35:09 am
Hi guys,

Lol, I didnt start out early enough and now I think that I am a bit too tall to start with the small stuff.
Spoke to a friend now who owns  a r1200gs and his previous bike was a XR650L, he said he's willing to borrow me it for some weekends and will show me some of the ropes, let me get a feel for it and everything, you guys think the XR650L will be tame enough to start out on with? I have no options for any smaller bikes except the high performance MX bikes some of the friends I have. I am still waiting on suggestions on a smaller bike to get for us to start out with if the bug bites.

Regards:
Title: Re: Not a rider yet and in dire need of advice!
Post by: bud500 on September 19, 2013, 10:44:56 am
The XR is fine. Nice low down torque makes it easy to control on pull away.
Just not that great to pillion on.

My first bike I owned at 17 years old was a 1984 XR500RE...
Title: Re: Not a rider yet and in dire need of advice!
Post by: Sharingroads on September 19, 2013, 10:47:29 am
You'll find many of us has a similar experience the older we got. here's how it went for me :

80cc - 400 - 650 - 1000 - 1100 - 750 - 1200 - 660 - 600

My XT 600e is the bike of choice and used when I ride alaone. The 660 Z when I pillion the wify and we tour.

Mine was different.
50cc, 650cc, 640cc, walking.
Need a evolution sticker going in reverse. :imaposer:
Title: Re: Not a rider yet and in dire need of advice!
Post by: alanB on September 19, 2013, 10:56:49 am
Hi guys,

Lol, I didnt start out early enough and now I think that I am a bit too tall to start with the small stuff.
Spoke to a friend now who owns  a r1200gs and his previous bike was a XR650L, he said he's willing to borrow me it for some weekends and will show me some of the ropes, let me get a feel for it and everything, you guys think the XR650L will be tame enough to start out on with? I have no options for any smaller bikes except the high performance MX bikes some of the friends I have. I am still waiting on suggestions on a smaller bike to get for us to start out with if the bug bites.

Regards:

An XR650L is a good option!

I think you are worrying too much about how you will look on a small bike.  Who cares?

Just get a bike that FEELS right for you, so try and test ride a few small bikes, preferably on dirt roads.  You want something that's light and very easy to ride through tricky stuff to learn on.

The DRZ 400 mentioned previously is a good choice IMO.
Title: Re: Not a rider yet and in dire need of advice!
Post by: Lommies on September 19, 2013, 10:59:17 am
Some more reading material
http://flamesonmytank.co.za/ (http://flamesonmytank.co.za/)
IMHO some of the best, most objective advice for a noob
Title: Re: Not a rider yet and in dire need of advice!
Post by: lowflya on September 19, 2013, 11:48:34 am
It's not a fashion show, so how you "Look" on the bike matters zip, it's how you "FEEL" , tons of awesome advice, My 10c ....  get two KLR's, GOOD kit ....and a riding course ..... you'll BOTH be happy for years .... you now have Backup in the event of a mishap/ failure .... and an independent personality type partner probably won't be happy for long as a pillion
Title: Re: Not a rider yet and in dire need of advice!
Post by: Hentie06 on September 19, 2013, 12:02:50 pm
here you go

http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=131159.0 (http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=131159.0)

http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=133145.0 (http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=133145.0)

http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=127620.0 (http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=127620.0)

my 2c
Title: Re: Not a rider yet and in dire need of advice!
Post by: Zh3nK on September 19, 2013, 12:15:59 pm
Sjoe,

That 2004 Dakar you posted is a beautiful bike, the KLR is like new for a low price, whats the catch with the KLR's?
Which one would be the more forgiving bike?

Title: Re: Not a rider yet and in dire need of advice!
Post by: Hentie06 on September 19, 2013, 12:33:23 pm
Daar is nie 'n catch nie.

Good priced bikes. Ek was nie so slim soos jy om eers die kat goed uit die boom te kyk nie en verkeerde fiets gekoop. Nou is dit seker maar jalousie wat oorneem want ek troll altyd en soek na daai illusive 650's
Title: Re: Not a rider yet and in dire need of advice!
Post by: Vlakhaas on September 19, 2013, 01:01:16 pm
No catch with cheap KLR's, their R&D budget was already recovered back in the early eighties  ;D Have a look on the KLR Klan forum. Old technology, bit underpowered compared to other 650's but as simple and reliable as only a KLR can be.

If you are worried about your length on a KLR, it is quite cheap to raise it a bit with aftermarket progressive springs in front (<1800.00) and "dogbones" at the rear (<350.00) Huge difference in handling as well. The Tenere 660 is a tall bike, and should suit you fine as is. It is a far more modern bike, but cost a lot more.

The last ride report of Dark Moll shows a video of a guy and his wife with panniers on a Tenere 660 coming down Spreetshoogte. The road at the bottom was very corrugated and at places deep sand, and they easily kept up at 100km/h plus.

You will be surprised how many guys that actually get a bit of dust in their teeth went from big, expensive liter bikes to something more nimble.

I'm young and quite fit, yet a lighter bike makes a huuuuge difference especially in technical terrain and sand riding. Don't get me wrong, on a smooth gravel road with a pillion and a weekends luggage on the back, nothing comes even close to the 1200 class bikes, but take my word: Light = fun!!
Title: Re: Not a rider yet and in dire need of advice!
Post by: Charlie Brown on September 19, 2013, 01:07:03 pm
Sjoe,

That 2004 Dakar you posted is a beautiful bike, the KLR is like new for a low price, whats the catch with the KLR's?
Which one would be the more forgiving bike?



 The KLR has been around so long that kawasaki don't really have to spend too much money marketing the bike, changing manufacturing molds  etc. I think they only did one major cosmetic upgrade in about 20 years or something. In business therms this means that their unit cost is far lower than the other companies who keep changing things every 2 years or so. With the KLR, the thing works, so why mess with it.

Some people will tell you about soft suspension, so what....most DS bikes out there need to have the suspension done any way, the difference is that on a KLR you can have the front and back done for R5000.00. Then you hear all about the "doo-hickey"... so f...ing what... get the Eagle Mike Doo, costs R1500.00 if you get somebody to do it for you, half that if you do it yourself. Then of course you will hear that the "absolutely drink oil".........there was a problem with some of the models, but I think that Kawasaki seems to have sorted that out. Most "old" scool bikes use oil if you ride them to hard, the KLR was designed to run at it's sweet spot of 5000 - 5500rpm. This is +/- 110 - 120km/hr, I cruise on tar very comfortably at 130km / hr, and at 80 - 90km / hr on gravel, she can go faster on gravel, but I'm either too shit scared ...or sensible... to go faster than 80 or 90 km/hr. Remember it's not how fast you can go, its how fast you can stop when there is an emergency situation....or how fast and hard you want to fall.

I know of quite a few people who own KLR's, and very few of them have the oil problem, but those guys ride the bikes the way they were intended to be used......FFS, it's not a crotch rocket designed to be ridden at a 100 and splatter km/hr... it's a general purpose, all round bike designed for commuting, legal speed limit freeway riding and plonking around on country back roads........it's a very affordable, jack of all trades, master of none, type of bike.

Personally, I think the biggest problem with the KLR, is that it is not a "cool", ego boosting, pull your arms out of their sockets, impress the shit out of everybody type of bike. It is a perfect bike if you are not into, gizmo's, gadgets and bling. I am willing to bet that the majority of riders out there who have the really fancy "macho machines" can't actually ride those bikes to their full potential
 :peepwall: :pot:, but there are quite a few who really know what they are doing and watching them tame those beasts is absolute poetry in motion. It's a bit like buying a Ferrari or a Porsche...WTF...you can't ride them to their full potential on our roads anyway.........too many f..ing potholes! Why spend all that money if you cannot really get the benefit.

Honestly, I don't think you can go very far wrong with any of the smaller bikes, the BMW 650, Honda Transalp, Honda 650 xrl, Suzuki DR 650 or the KLR, buy what speaks to your soul, you are the one who has to ride the bike and be comfortable that you can handle the power, height, weight etc...............me, I'm biased, the KLR ticked all the boxes for me, once I have more experience on the dirt, I will buy another slightly bigger bike for the longer tours, the Yamaha 660 Tenere or the Triumph 800 XC really tick the boxes for me, but I'm way too inexperienced with dirt riding to jump on one of these yet. I've been riding the tar roads for 33 years, but I am very new to dirt and its very different to tar.

Good luck with you decision on what to buy and welcome to the wonderful world of biking.  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Not a rider yet and in dire need of advice!
Post by: J-dog on September 19, 2013, 03:39:39 pm
moenie rondfok nie. koop 'n KTM
Title: Re: Not a rider yet and in dire need of advice!
Post by: chicco on September 19, 2013, 03:50:59 pm
KLR, best value for money, cheap to buy, cheap to maintain. Easy to sell again when upgrading.

My first adventure bike was a KLR. No problem 2 up on dirt roads even with soft luggage. Me and SWAMBO did many +400km trips on weekends to explore KZN.

Its also the right bike to hand down to your wife if you upgrade and she wants to ride by herself.

The next bike after the KLR will be a KTM.....Guaranteed...... :thumleft:

My first KLR.
Title: Re: Not a rider yet and in dire need of advice!
Post by: the_BOBNOB on September 19, 2013, 04:08:11 pm
all the advice is subjective

but what i can tell you is that 650 bikes can pillion no problem

but you start to feel cramped for space very quickly

xr650 and dr650 is out if you want to pillion more than 50km

the sloped seat also makes the pillion slide forward etc etc etc it is very uncomfortable

the klr has more space but it also has the sloped seat so you will have the same issue but not as bad as the xr or dr

in the 650 class if you want to pillion look at the f650gs/dakar, xt660z tenere or the 650/700 transalps

if you have half a brain you will survive - i would not do 250cc etc you will soon want to travel further and then you are stuck at 85km/h

i went from a 250cc to a 1100cc - i was scared witless but i quickly realised it only go as fast as you make it go  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Not a rider yet and in dire need of advice!
Post by: hamman69 on September 20, 2013, 09:59:49 am
i bought the xr650 L awesome bike nice low down torque, its nice and high i had mine lowered, but i would not pillion for more than 50 km,  another problem is that the maximam weight limit of the bike  is 149kg's and if i am not wrong it would be the same for most 650 class bikes? i am also new to ds riding, and would rather buy your wife her own small bike than riding two up
Title: Re: Not a rider yet and in dire need of advice!
Post by: alanB on September 20, 2013, 10:18:11 am
i bought the xr650 L awesome bike nice low down torque, its nice and high i had mine lowered, but i would not pillion for more than 50 km,  another problem is that the maximam weight limit of the bike  is 149kg's and if i am not wrong it would be the same for most 650 class bikes? i am also new to ds riding, and would rather buy your wife her own small bike than riding two up

149kg's is quite light!  Some of the other 650's are 180-190g's, not much lighter than their bigger cousins.

Which is why the XR650L is quite a good choice IMO!

Title: Re: Not a rider yet and in dire need of advice!
Post by: g1_ on September 20, 2013, 11:57:26 am
i bought the xr650 L awesome bike nice low down torque, its nice and high i had mine lowered, but i would not pillion for more than 50 km,  another problem is that the maximam weight limit of the bike  is 149kg's and if i am not wrong it would be the same for most 650 class bikes? i am also new to ds riding, and would rather buy your wife her own small bike than riding two up

149kg's is quite light!  Some of the other 650's are 180-190g's, not much lighter than their bigger cousins.

Which is why the XR650L is quite a good choice IMO!



I think he's referring to carrying capacity, specifically with reference to riding two up.
Title: Re: Not a rider yet and in dire need of advice!
Post by: Askook on September 20, 2013, 12:23:29 pm
Ek het begin op n 250 md (motorcycles direct). K@k fiets, maar n goeie fiets om mee te leer.
Daar na het ek n 84 xr500 gekoop. N goeie fiets wat als wat jy vir hom gee kan doen. Kry net n beter shock.

Ek het nou n ou PE 400 vir veld paaie en n f 650 gs vir toer.

Die reel wat mens vergeet is: as jy respek vir die fiets het dan sal hy vir jou ook he.

As ek jy is sal ek by n 400 of so begin en later n monster koop.
Title: Re: Not a rider yet and in dire need of advice!
Post by: Bazinga on September 20, 2013, 12:24:10 pm
Koop die een waarvan jy hou en leer om die do..erse ding te ry.
Title: Re: Not a rider yet and in dire need of advice!
Post by: gastank on September 20, 2013, 06:28:09 pm
Koop die een waarvan jy hou en leer om die do..erse ding te ry.


Beste raad! Ry die ding.
Title: Re: Not a rider yet and in dire need of advice!
Post by: chopperpilot on September 20, 2013, 06:43:33 pm
You mentioned you want to pillion. ???

Then none of the 650/660s mentioned will do the trick. :o Not with your weight and length, and GF on the back. :o

They are ideal for you to learn on, but a no-go for a pillion. :thumleft:

Look out for a good 950S/990S, even if you have to stretch the budget. ;)

Both you and the GF will be  :biggrin: :biggrin: :biggrin: :biggrin: :biggrin:

Title: Re: Not a rider yet and in dire need of advice!
Post by: KTM2013 on September 20, 2013, 07:42:42 pm
For your budget, there are some amazing Ktm 990's on the market, as the 1190 has come in. I started biking 3 years ago and went straight onto a 990. Did intermediate course at Staals Amersfoort and then went straight into a 2 week tour through Bots, Zim and Moz, mainly offroad. Taking it slowly and practicing the things I learnt, I was comfortable within a few weeks.
My suggestion, for GF and you, 990 but must do course on how to ride Pillion and then practice in parking lots, vacant roads, etc. If you go the 690, 650, etc way, you no safer unless you do the above.
Either way, do some lessons, practice on weekends silly things like slow turns with GF on back, emergency braking, jumping potholes, etc. Safer rather than sorry. Good luck.
Title: Re: Not a rider yet and in dire need of advice!
Post by: chopperpilot on September 20, 2013, 07:53:56 pm
 :thumleft:
For your budget, there are some amazing Ktm 990's on the market, as the 1190 has come in. I started biking 3 years ago and went straight onto a 990. Did intermediate course at Staals Amersfoort and then went straight into a 2 week tour through Bots, Zim and Moz, mainly offroad. Taking it slowly and practicing the things I learnt, I was comfortable within a few weeks.
My suggestion, for GF and you, 990 but must do course on how to ride Pillion and then practice in parking lots, vacant roads, etc. If you go the 690, 650, etc way, you no safer unless you do the above.
Either way, do some lessons, practice on weekends silly things like slow turns with GF on back, emergency braking, jumping potholes, etc. Safer rather than sorry. Good luck.

ADA training also an option. :thumleft:
Title: Re: Not a rider yet and in dire need of advice!
Post by: Lem on September 21, 2013, 03:10:48 pm
Koop die een waarvan jy hou en leer om die do..erse ding te ry.


Beste raad! Ry die ding.

sę ek ook mos, ja!
Title: Re: Not a rider yet and in dire need of advice!
Post by: Chrissie B on September 25, 2013, 09:17:15 am
If you havent ridden a bike much I would actually say get a small bike like a 250 or DRZ400 or something (I wouldnt even go for a 650).  

No doubt someone is going to tell you to buy a 1200 soon, but those big heavy bikes are no fun to learn on.  They are very powerful and heavy and can make the learning process unnecessarily difficult.

Your girlfriend is not going to feel safe when you are really battling and wobbling along!  And the end result is you are going to avoid stuff like sand and mud and even gravel  but not want to admit it and just want to stick to tar - maybe that's OK?

But I would suggest a completely different approach.

Don't plan on taking her on the back while you learn.  If necessary get her a small bike too - you can within that budget.

Spend a year learning the basics and then choose the long term bike of your choice AFTER that.

But honestly, its just sooooo much easier to learn the basics on a small lighter bike.  

Bike riding safely and competently requires certain skills that have to be learnt - like anything else if you learn them properly to start with it just makes everything else that much easier later on.

The SA male ego will however tell you to buy the biggest most powerful bike you can afford right now - you choose!

Also everyone is going to tell you to go on a course - which is a VERY GOOD IDEA.  But again you will learn more and progress faster on a small bike.

Personally I think for a chap your size, a small bike is going to be a waste of time!  My first bike was a Suzuki GSX750 Katana (Superbike)... and although I always loved bikes, I was almost 30 when I finally got one!  My first duallie was a BMW 650 Dakar... although also a little under-powered 2 up (imo), it was a really nice bike, but after it got stolen I replaced it with my first Africa Twin (Honda XRV750)... and I'm now on my 3rd Africa Twin and totally loving it despite the fact that is is a very heavy bike, it weights a little more than a 1200GS and around the same as the KTM990!  Although I probably wouldn't recommend the AT for pillion riding, it is just too small.

Over the last few years I have ridden a large selection of different bikes, the ones that impressed me probably wouldn't suit a beginner (KTM990  :biggrin: & Triumph XC800  :thumleft:), but the one's that I really didn't like were the KLR650 and the DR650... I thought they were quite awful!  Sluggish and ugly.... and two up with your height and weight it is going to be a problem!  One wants enough oomph to get out of trouble and to get up the hills.... even my Twin struggles a bit when I'm fully loaded or take a bigger pillion with.  The Honda XR650 is not very comfortable and really not suited for pillions and long distances, it's also rather slow! 

So I would suggest the BMW 650 Dakar (Although also not very fast), you can get good 2nd hand ones at a reasonable price.  The other one too look at might be the older Triumph Tiger and of course the 660 Tenere. 

The problem is that since you are new at this, it's going to be a bit of a problem test riding the various bikes without a license and not really knowing what to look for, so take a friend with that knows bikes!  And a riders course or two is a must!  I have done 3 courses and still have lots to learn!  :3some:

Anyway... that's my 'girls' opinion.  ;)