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Offline Sardine

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Bike On A Budget
« on: May 28, 2013, 04:57:01 pm »
I started working in January, and I realised that my 20km (yup, that's all!) commute every day is starting to cost a fortune in the car (an old Golf). So with the high petrol prices, and my high fuel consumption (driving like a granny and driving at full taps doesn't make a difference), I thought that maybe it's time to invest in a bike to commute with.

I own a TZR125 which I'm trying to sell so that I can put the money towards an upgrade, and make some space in the garage.
But the question is, what to upgrade to?

My limiting factor is money (isn't it always?) My budget is a mere R30 000 (provided the bike comes with what I need. If I need to buy extras, the budget for the bike alone will decrease significantly). I'm only looking at buying in about 3 months time, so this is purely research at the moment.

At first I thought of a road bike. Honda CBR600f3/4 perhaps. Dream bike would be a Suzuki SV650. But then I thought, how much will tyres cost? How long will tyres last? How much will it cost to replace a mirror? How much is a service, and can I do it myself?

So then I looked at what I'm after: A simple bike. No heated grips or fancy gizmo's. A bike I can work on myself should something go wrong. A bike I can put a top box on. A bike that will get me from A to B without me having to spend a fortune on petrol and/or oil. Something that is reliable, and should it break, have parts readily available. Something with seals and tyres that won't cost a fortune.
And the other big thing... I must be able to fit a windscreen to it. I don't like the naked bike thing; it's uncomfortable.
It will be used for riding on tar. If I do take it off the black stuff, then it will only be on to a dirt road in decent condition.

So with that in mind, I started hunting. First Gumtree to get an idea of prices, then to Google to see what the bike reviews were.
Now I'm thinking a DS is the way to go.

- Suzuki DR650. Rode one. Enjoyed myself! Seat height is good, and I know I can pick it up by myself.
- Yamaha XT660e. Only read reviews. I like the look of it.
- Kawasaki KLR650. Doohickey's and oil consumption?
- Kawasaki KLE500
- Honda XR650 (suggested by a friend. Seems they don't come cheap second hand. And I see they're being discontinued)

I've sat on a KLR650 and could reach the ground with my toes, so there shouldn't be a height issue.

My concerns:
A lot of bike shops don't want to see a bike older than 10 years, because when they repair something, they find that the cause of the problem is more complicated than it originally seemed, so repairs take longer and the costs mount. But older bikes tend to be more bullet-proof; less plastic rubbish. So, do I go for a bike newer than 2003, or is a '98 model still ok?

Running costs. Oil burn (I have a two-stroke, and that uses a lot of oil. I don't want to have to top a KLR or something every other day). Seals, springs, chains. Tyres- how long do they generally last, and how much do they cost to replace? Idieally, I'd like to buy something that already has road tyres fitted, or comes with road tyres.

Servicing costs. Change the oil and sparkplugs? I can do that.

How high, is too high, in terms of mileage? Is 40 000km for a DR a lot?

I would like to be able to go a breakfast run every now and then, and be able to maintain 120km/h fairly comfortably.

But the main thing is, saving on fuel. And having fun during the ride to work.

My biking experience comprises of: TS50, Yamaha TZR125. BMW R60/5. Suzuki DR650. BMW F800. BMW 1200GS. Then I borrowed a friends TT-R 230 and splashed through some puddles.

Is it possible to get a bike that will last another few thousand KM, relatively hassle-free, for R25-30k?

All advice and suggestions are welcomed! I'm here to learn!

Offline Sharingroads

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Re: Bike On A Budget
« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2013, 05:47:15 pm »
Older bikes is not always bad.

BMW Funduro - very easy to work on yourself, can still be serviced by BMW and indestructible Rotax engines.

PM me if you want more info.
 

Offline Sardine

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Re: Bike On A Budget
« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2013, 07:00:22 pm »
Older bikes is not always bad.

BMW Funduro - very easy to work on yourself, can still be serviced by BMW and indestructible Rotax engines.

PM me if you want more info.

PM Sent!

Offline lecap

Re: Bike On A Budget
« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2013, 09:05:04 am »
Anything bigger than 200cc - 250cc will be just as expensive to run as your car - or cost even more.

Get for example a Honda Twister if you want a road bike or a DR200SE if you want DS (and scrap the "maintain 120" thing). You will be able to buy new or almost new.
The Bajaj Pulsar apparently is a commute winner too (ask Dogmatix)

To have an economic commuter you have to go for the smallest package that can do the job.

If you don't do any freeway during your commute get an XR125L. Mrs. Le Cap has one, 15km commute one way, all 60km/h roads and heavy traffic. Much faster than by car & much less stressful. Bike was R15,500 brand new, 30km/l, tires, chain and brake pads last forever. It happily travelled from the Northern Suburbs to Cape Point and back (carefully avoiding the M3 ;D )



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Offline Dogmatix

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Re: Bike On A Budget
« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2013, 09:25:42 am »
Bajaj Pulsar for sure for commuting! R51,000km and still going strong - not one minute of grief. You can pick up a second hand one with low mileage for about R10k on Gumtree.

Then you could look at something like the 250 I'm selling (moderate punt). Great DS bike if you want to go anywhere and you're not looking to break any speed limits. http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=123228.0

Then you have a nice two piece, as reliable as anything and you get to choose which one to ride everyday.... and you still have some spare cash in your pocket for the inevitable farkle.
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Offline Sardine

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Re: Bike On A Budget
« Reply #5 on: May 29, 2013, 08:36:25 pm »
Not what I wanted to hear  :(

Road I drive, I need to be able to do 100km/h, or risk being run over by cars, tractors (yeah, I've seen those things move it!) and trucks.

Sick of having to fight off the wind. A 2-stroke 125 didn't do it for me, so I know a 4-stroke 125 won't do it for me. A 125 has enough power to get you into trouble. But sometimes not enough power to get you out of trouble.

Dogmatix, your XLR. Do you get any aftermarket screens for those? Just a bit of wind protection will be great, especially in the cold.
How much do you spend on services? How do the tyres handle tar (I see they're semi-knobbly)?

My parents want me to use my savings to get a newer car. Maybe meeting them halfway by getting a cheaper bike for some weekend fun and the commute, and trading in the car, is the way to go?

Offline Dogmatix

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Re: Bike On A Budget
« Reply #6 on: May 30, 2013, 07:48:44 am »
I don't know about XR or XLR specific screens but you can use just about anything to make up a decent wind protector - check out the Pooratech thread.

Services I do myself, easy peasy - change oil filter and oil, clean air filter and replace spark plug every few services. Total cost about R60. 

Tyres handle fine for tar. They are semi knobs so it's not as smooth as a road tyre but they're not that agressive that you'll feel loose. You get used to it pretty quickly. Saying that, the rear is nearing the end of it's life. Have a spare front with a good few kms left.

Come and ride her.

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Offline Shaun500

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Re: Bike On A Budget
« Reply #7 on: May 30, 2013, 08:10:18 am »
If you want a road commuter then get the Honda CBX 250 Twister IMHO.  You can probably get a good second hand on at the price you are looking at.  That would be my choice if I was in the market again for a commuter.  Cost of ownership is low and can maintain 120 highway speeds comfortably.  They are as tough as nails.  You can also get a Kappa screen for it and they also look quite nice.

The KLE 500 is a great commuter and reliable as an anvil.  Serviceing costs are low/reasonable, however pray that you dont drop the bike or that something goes wrong.  Spares are flippin' expensive and second hand parts are rare.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2013, 11:05:07 am by Shaun500 »
 

Offline Sardine

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Re: Bike On A Budget
« Reply #8 on: May 30, 2013, 09:03:46 am »
I don't know about XR or XLR specific screens but you can use just about anything to make up a decent wind protector - check out the Pooratech thread.

Services I do myself, easy peasy - change oil filter and oil, clean air filter and replace spark plug every few services. Total cost about R60. 

Tyres handle fine for tar. They are semi knobs so it's not as smooth as a road tyre but they're not that agressive that you'll feel loose. You get used to it pretty quickly. Saying that, the rear is nearing the end of it's life. Have a spare front with a good few kms left.

Come and ride her.



How much will a new rear tyre set me back?
Will PM you just now.

Shaun, thanks for the info re the KLE; that's just the type of stuff I'm looking for! I don't want a bike with low running costs etc, but where I'd have to wait ages for parts AND pay an arm and a leg for them.

Offline Dogmatix

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Re: Bike On A Budget
« Reply #9 on: May 30, 2013, 10:09:19 am »
How much is a back tyre? Probably around R800. As with everything, it's all negotiable.

PM answered.
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Offline Ratt

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Re: Bike On A Budget
« Reply #10 on: May 30, 2013, 10:29:39 am »
I'll probably get crucified again for saying this. Gomoto 250 xplode. If I had a bit to spare I would buy one in a wink. Chinese yes, replacement motor about R3k, very simple bike to work on, no tons of screws to take plastics off to get to plug etc. Theres a guy in town here who commutes 40km to get to work, only had to replace chain and sprockets so far as the china stuff wore out quickly.
I'm not saying kill stupid people, I'm saying, remove the warning labels and let the problem sort itself out.

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Offline jagter

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Re: Bike On A Budget
« Reply #11 on: May 30, 2013, 10:35:54 am »
Anything bigger than 200cc - 250cc will be just as expensive to run as your car - or cost even more.

What he said.

I've got a KLR 650, and I can guarantee you it costs more to run that a 1600 car. And that is one of the cheaper bikes.

Tires, short service intervals, chains and sprockets, brake pads don't last, not all that great on petrol. It all adds up.

If you want to save money, get a scooter. A sym 300 or something. 


 

Offline Lem

Re: Bike On A Budget
« Reply #12 on: May 30, 2013, 10:41:42 am »
jy kan baie goeie bikes koop vir R 30 000

Die CBX250 Twister is 'n great roadbike opsie
,en jy kry hom ook in XR250 Tornado, wat 'n pragtige scramblertjie is. 250cc is sterk genoeg vir verskeie rolle.

vir jou doeleindes, bly weg van die XR125, ek het myne vir vier dae gehad, en op die eerste dag van commute, toe ry 'n tipper truck my moer toe. 5 operasies en 14 maande later is ek weer op soek na n bike.

Groter is sterker, sterker is veiliger.

Vir R 30 000, kyk na BMW F650 Funduro, of Yamaha XT600e, of koop LeCap se DR650 en kry klaar. Jy gaan nie veel geld op enige van hulle verloor met herverkoop ook nie.
« Last Edit: May 30, 2013, 10:50:05 am by Lem »
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Offline Pullaway

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Re: Bike On A Budget
« Reply #13 on: May 30, 2013, 11:37:39 am »
Sardine, sorry for the highjack, but is that a Boeing Stearman in your avatar?
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Offline Gérrard

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Re: Bike On A Budget
« Reply #14 on: May 30, 2013, 11:48:01 am »
I have a 2003 XT600e that I commute with. Great ride, simple aircooled and carburetter. Paid less than R30k for it including some expensive farkles.

You can get a good one for around R22 - R25k. Last forever if you look after it and get around 20km/l in town.
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Offline Sardine

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Re: Bike On A Budget
« Reply #15 on: May 30, 2013, 03:07:43 pm »
I want to avoid the scooter route.
I've owned a 125cc for some 6 years, and it's time to move up in the world.

If I AM going to go for a 250cc, it would make sense to get something that I can take offroad every now and then, so at least I can have some fun. The XLR looks more solid than these newer Tornado things.

Jupiter, thanks for the info. So it is possible to get one that doesn't cost a bomb, as long as I wait for that deal.

Pullaway, yessir, Boeing Stearman. It lives at the Stellenbosch Airfield. If you ever wander that way, let me know; would be cool to meet you.

Offline WP

Re: Bike On A Budget
« Reply #16 on: May 30, 2013, 04:54:04 pm »
My 2008 SV650S is for sale... A bit more than your budget tho... R 42 000...
Good condition and only 20 000km's... One owner... :pot:
 

Offline Sardine

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Re: Bike On A Budget
« Reply #17 on: May 30, 2013, 05:19:12 pm »
My 2008 SV650S is for sale... A bit more than your budget tho... R 42 000...
Good condition and only 20 000km's... One owner... :pot:

I'd have to sell my car to buy that  :(
Good luck with the sale!

Offline Casting from Turd

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Re: Bike On A Budget
« Reply #18 on: June 01, 2013, 08:31:50 am »
If you looking to the XR250 Tornado, you cant go wrong. I had one and as some of the okes will tell you I am not small.
Handles me and my fat ass with ease. Did a few long trips on it as well and what a pleasure
I dont want to ride fast, But I want to ride FAR
Past Bikes...Honda XR250 Tornado
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Offline Sardine

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Re: Bike On A Budget
« Reply #19 on: June 01, 2013, 08:03:54 pm »
If you looking to the XR250 Tornado, you cant go wrong. I had one and as some of the okes will tell you I am not small.
Handles me and my fat ass with ease. Did a few long trips on it as well and what a pleasure

Can one compare that with the older XLR?