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Author Topic: Not a rider yet and in dire need of advice!  (Read 1801 times)

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Offline stevo

Re: Not a rider yet and in dire need of advice!
« Reply #40 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:
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Offline zebra - Flying Brick

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Re: Not a rider yet and in dire need of advice!
« Reply #41 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.
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Offline g1_

Re: Not a rider yet and in dire need of advice!
« Reply #42 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 :)
« Last Edit: September 19, 2013, 09:40:52 am by g1_ »
 

Offline lecap

Re: Not a rider yet and in dire need of advice!
« Reply #43 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.
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Offline Gérrard

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Re: Not a rider yet and in dire need of advice!
« Reply #44 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.
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Offline lecap

Re: Not a rider yet and in dire need of advice!
« Reply #45 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
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Offline J-dog

Re: Not a rider yet and in dire need of advice!
« Reply #46 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:
 

Offline Gérrard

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Re: Not a rider yet and in dire need of advice!
« Reply #47 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:
...dis nooit te laat om n happy childhood te he nie !

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Offline Zh3nK

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Re: Not a rider yet and in dire need of advice!
« Reply #48 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:
 

Offline bud500

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Re: Not a rider yet and in dire need of advice!
« Reply #49 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...
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Offline Sharingroads

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Re: Not a rider yet and in dire need of advice!
« Reply #50 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.
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Offline alanB

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Re: Not a rider yet and in dire need of advice!
« Reply #51 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.
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Offline Lommies

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Re: Not a rider yet and in dire need of advice!
« Reply #52 on: September 19, 2013, 10:59:17 am »
Some more reading material
http://flamesonmytank.co.za/
IMHO some of the best, most objective advice for a noob
 

Offline lowflya

Re: Not a rider yet and in dire need of advice!
« Reply #53 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
 

Offline Hentie06

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Offline Zh3nK

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Re: Not a rider yet and in dire need of advice!
« Reply #55 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?

 

Offline Hentie06

Re: Not a rider yet and in dire need of advice!
« Reply #56 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
« Last Edit: September 19, 2013, 12:34:17 pm by Hentie06 »
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Offline Vlakhaas

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Re: Not a rider yet and in dire need of advice!
« Reply #57 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!!
 

Offline Charlie Brown

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Re: Not a rider yet and in dire need of advice!
« Reply #58 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:
 

Offline J-dog

Re: Not a rider yet and in dire need of advice!
« Reply #59 on: September 19, 2013, 03:39:39 pm »
moenie rondfok nie. koop 'n KTM