Jumping into the world of biking!

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Davey569

Native
Jun 18, 2008
1,166
68
Off the beaten track
Well I think its about time I got myself a motorised vehicle, but I cant afford a car. So Ive decided to get a motorbike! I have pretty much no experience apart from riding round the fields as a kid, so I thought Id start a discussion for any kind of advice people have for a first timer on the saddle?

I will need to do a CBT and have had a look on the web already and think it would be good to start with a 125cc. Best bike deal I can find at the moment is an easy rider style bike at around £800. :cool:
 

ged

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Have a look at the thread "Any bikers here?" There might be some useful stuff in there for you.

http://www.bushcraftuk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=51002

As I never tire of telling everyone, motorcycling is almost the most fun you can have wearing leather BUT it's the most dangerous thing that you'll do in peacetime. One mistake can very easily make big, bad changes to the rest of your life. In winter, if you don't have the right gear, it can be downright miserable. So make sure you REALLY want to do it before you do it.
Otherwise, a bicycle is easier to maintain, it will keep you fitter, cost a lot less, probably will be less likely to be stolen and will be quite a bit safer.

Here's my pitch last week about seventy miles south of Calais on the way back from the Pyrenees:

http://www.jubileegroup.co.uk/JOS/misc/bike_under_tarp.jpg

While I was down there, it tipped it down for three days solid. I'm not trying to talk you out of it (well, maybe just a little) but I think anyone who gets into biking should know what they're letting themselves in for.
 

Asa Samuel

Native
May 6, 2009
1,450
0
St Austell.
Make sure you factor in protective gear to your budget. A helmet alone will cost you £80+ for a decent make, I managed to get my boots from aldi for about £20, gloves were £20 and the jacket and trousers I have cost £40-50 each and they were on a clearance sale. I'm not trying to put you off or anything but make sure you factor in the extra gear so you know exactly how much you can spend on the bike. I do about 90km a week which isn't much and because I'm only on a 125 I only spend about £5 on average per week in fuel so you do get your money back eventually on all that kit :)

Other things can make a difference as well such as how far you are travelling. If it's only a few miles you might consider forgoing the trousers but that is the only thing I would ever not wear; I value my ankles too much not to wear my boots. Oh, and please, please don't go riding without gloves in the summer just because it's hot.

Keep her rubber side down!
 

Andy BB

Full Member
Apr 19, 2010
3,290
0
Hampshire
Personally, I wouldn't buy a new Chinese bike for £800. I'd go for a Honda 125 second-hand. THere are thousands out there, servicing and spare parts re no problem, and they're ultra-reliable and good on fuel (not surprising as they've made millions of em over the last few decades!). Get the best helmet you can afford - its your head after all.
 

Davey569

Native
Jun 18, 2008
1,166
68
Off the beaten track
Thanks for the replies there. Andy, a mate of mine has a Honda crb125 and I would love one but I think they are a little bit out of my price range. Still, I shall see what I can save up as Ive asked my folks for cash for this festive season. The bike I saw was really nice only problem was it comes unregistered for that price so not sure I can put up with the pain of that but the guy said he would knock some off for me. Will have to weigh up the pros and cons.

Just looking at CBT at the moment and the cheapest one I can find is £100 from a local company reccomended by a kawasaki dealer. Ive read the average price is around £100-£140 so do you think this is a good price?
 

Andy BB

Full Member
Apr 19, 2010
3,290
0
Hampshire
Thanks for the replies there. Andy, a mate of mine has a Honda crb125 and I would love one but I think they are a little bit out of my price range. Still, I shall see what I can save up as Ive asked my folks for cash for this festive season. The bike I saw was really nice only problem was it comes unregistered for that price so not sure I can put up with the pain of that but the guy said he would knock some off for me. Will have to weigh up the pros and cons.

Just looking at CBT at the moment and the cheapest one I can find is £100 from a local company reccomended by a kawasaki dealer. Ive read the average price is around £100-£140 so do you think this is a good price?


Re Hondas, I was talking about the ubiquitous CG 125, rather than the more "sporty" models! The benefits of these over the Chinese/Taiwanese imports is that
- they are proven designs and mechanicals
-for the same price you will get a bike that will depreciate very little - important when you come to re-sell (as you will!)
-Excellent parts/spares availability
-uk owners club
-Hayes manuals etc etc etc.
 
CG125's a good reliable model and like Andy says the spares on them are everywhere not because they die but because there are so many of them. this is based on the fact that you're handy with your hands and will be doing work on it yourself via a breakers rather than throwing it at a Honda dealer and saying I can't work the fuel tap.

I see a lot of twist and go 125's on the road nowadays too, they take less skill to learn to ride on, no clutch shifting or manual foot gear changing, you do simply twist the throttle and off you go. But I'm guessing they could be a little pricey too and if something did go wrong itcould get pricey.

Tops tips about the helmet and kit etc, you can't invest enough in that kind of stuff but ultimately it's your last line of defence, avoiding a crash is more important than surviving one.
 

monkey boy

Full Member
Jan 13, 2009
1,505
14
38
london
I agree, you cant go wrong with a honda mate,
I had a chinees bike for about 8month and in that time it had more problems than anything els on the rd, I kept having to buy parts and fixing it myself as mechanics wont touch the things,it was brand new when I got it, i was so relieved when it got nicked.
I got myself a Honda CBF 125 for about £1800 and its worth every penny, iv had it over a year now and have just reached the 15000mile on the clock, so giving you an idea on how much i use it, I use it for my work and I need to whip in and out of london and surrey everyday.
Now I know thats not in your price range but i know someone that has just got the same bike for £750 secondhand, he loves the thing.

my advice to you
. shop arround mate dont buy the first one you find,
. if your not sure take someone who does know a thing or two about bikes with you to see them
. if you come across a make that your not sure of, google it, im sure its chinees and they have been on whatch dog at some point.
. never buy a second hand helmet
. the best investment is the gear your gonna be wearing.
. A bike is a tool for transport, an enjoyable one at that, dont do silly things ie speed, popping wheelies, jumps, it gives bikers a bad name and we dont like you for it.

good luck mb
 

markie*mark0

Settler
Sep 21, 2010
596
0
warrington
A bike is a tool for transport, an enjoyable one at that, dont do silly things ie speed, popping wheelies, jumps, it gives bikers a bad name and we dont like you for it.

Thats if he doesnt fall into the world of biking and cannot get out, and then rides for the fun rather than the journey....

My 2p, if your just after transport, then yes a good 125 of any of the big biking names, Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki, Yamaha and even some of the others are all good bikes, but s/h ones can be ragged so choose wisely, as mentioned take a friend who knows about bikes.

But, if you want to get into the fun side of biking then i think you'd be tired of a 125 in no shorter than 3 weeks.... So i would suggest something a little bigger, but this starts to add cost for training etc.

Either way riding a motorbike is very dangerous and i now try and put young people off the idea, (includeding my two son's) as i've been involved in accidents and had mishaps of my own that could of ended up very differently to where i am now.

Ride safe.
 

ged

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
... Just looking at CBT at the moment and the cheapest one I can find is £100 from a local company reccomended by a kawasaki dealer. Ive read the average price is around £100-£140 so do you think this is a good price?

Well on the face of it, if the range of prices is 100-140 and they're asking 100 then it's at the bottom of the price range so it's a good price.

On the face of it.

But have you asked anyone who has actually been on a course with those people how they rated it for value for money?

By the time you could go on a motor-cycling course I think I'd already been riding for twenty years, so I never did anything resembling the CBT. But I've been on quite a few advanced courses and one thing that struck me was that the price doesn't necessarily reflect the quality of the course. I've been on excellent courses run completely free by the police and local authorities, and I can think of one particular course which I think cost about 250 quid where all we really did was go for a blast around Wales, pretty much shredding the instructor's back tyre in the process. I wouldn't say that was a complete waste of money, but it definitely wasn't good value.

There might be local biker clubs that can offer experience and advice, fortunately for you the Internet will help you to find them easily. Ask around. Almost everyone you talk to will be keen to help, but try to get views from plenty of people and weigh up what advice you're given in your own mind before taking any plunges.
 

Doc

Need to contact Admin...
Nov 29, 2003
2,109
10
Perthshire
Hi Davey. I was where you are two years ago. There's some good advice already posted.

Do the CBT before you buy anything. You get to try out the training bike. My CBT school used Honda CG125s but have now switched to Yamaha YBR125s. These and the Honda CBF125s are all excellent.

Don't buy a Chinese bike.

The CG125 is the best value, IMHO. Cheap now, as replaced by the CBF125. Spares are dirt cheap and very available. Pushrod engine, designed for the third world, so ultra reliable and it is the easiest bike to work on yourself. Loads of resources on the net. People have gone round the world on them. I love mine so much I've kept it despite passing the full test. Insurance costs me £50 a year, tax £15, 100 mpg, and it barely depreciates.

Re kit. You need a brand new helmet. Get one with a 5 star SHARP rating. The cheapest 5 star helmet is the Caberg Konda, about £100. Buy at a bike shop to get the fit right. White is probably the safest colour.

Leathers and boots are cheapest bought used on ebay. I got jacket boots and trousers, used but good nick for about £30. New you're looking at £200 plus.

Wear a dayglo vest.

Don't ride if it's below 5 degrees - at least until you have experience.

The two main killers are taking bends too fast (you can't use much brake when the bike is leaned) and SMIDSY (Sorry mate I didn't see you - ie, right of way violations by car drivers). So make yourself visible, assume the driver hasn't seen you, and go easy on the bends.

The risks are very real but you can minimise them. But don't forget the risk of being killed or seriously injured per mile is far, far greater than in a car (at least 20x greater, some argue 60x greater.) I did see a calculation that stated the risk of being killed riding London to Liverpool, is the same as doing a tour of duty in Afghanistan. I think this was based on deaths divided by the total number of deployed servicemen. I think if it was calculated as infanty deaths divided by number of deployed infantrymen the story would be different.
 
Last edited:
Nov 26, 2011
20
0
co mayo ireland
remember when you get your bike its your bike you bought it payed insurance tax and and all the gear if anybody wants a spin let them get their own bike seen two many taking bikes for a spin then crashing them just take your time on it no need to be going mad or showing off thrust me when a bike goes out of control its gone came of one 15 years ago hit the ground at 70 mph its not fun all that said with the right training and a bit of cop on their great fun just buy the best gear you can afford also as some of the lads said stay well away from that chinese crap cbr 125 not a bad bike
 

cbrdave

Nomad
Dec 2, 2011
418
16
South East Kent.
Plenty of nice 125's about, alot better looking than what i had, good luck mate, be careful out there, some people just dont see a biker on the road no matter how flurescent he is.
 

Asa Samuel

Native
May 6, 2009
1,450
0
St Austell.
I can't speak for every brand but I have a Chinese bike made by Lexmoto. It's their 125 street model and there's only been two problems with it the 1.5 years I've had it. The throttle cable went but was cheap enough to fix and the front wring loom got flooded with water, but that was simple enough to drain, mechanic didn't even charge me for it. Other than that it's been reliable and cheap enough to run.

If I had the choice I probably would've gone for a CG or something from a more known brand, but I needed a bike ad that was the best choice at the time I bought it. I'm more than happy with it although like I said, I have heard a lot of bad things about Chinese bikes in general. Didn't everyone say that about Japanese bikes at first though?

When I eventually pass my test I'd like to get a 250 but they seem quite hard to come by these days. Most people see to go straight for a 400.
 

Andy BB

Full Member
Apr 19, 2010
3,290
0
Hampshire
I can't speak for every brand but I have a Chinese bike made by Lexmoto. It's their 125 street model and there's only been two problems with it the 1.5 years I've had it. The throttle cable went but was cheap enough to fix and the front wring loom got flooded with water, but that was simple enough to drain, mechanic didn't even charge me for it. Other than that it's been reliable and cheap enough to run.

If I had the choice I probably would've gone for a CG or something from a more known brand, but I needed a bike ad that was the best choice at the time I bought it. I'm more than happy with it although like I said, I have heard a lot of bad things about Chinese bikes in general. Didn't everyone say that about Japanese bikes at first though?

When I eventually pass my test I'd like to get a 250 but they seem quite hard to come by these days. Most people see to go straight for a 400.

True - but the early Japanese bikes weren't very good! To give you some idea - one of the companies I look at in Tanzania used company bikes for some of its staff. The Honda CG125s just kept on going (remember we're talking about unsurfaced, rutted roads, lots of dust, poor fuel etc) whereas the chinese copies were regularly breaking down and falling apart.
 

jeffz

Forager
Apr 4, 2011
141
0
Surrey
If you want low maintenence and economy, get a scooter. If you want to have fun, get a full-license and get yourself a proper bike. There are some fantastic middleweights out there for reasonable prices. But for under a grand, for a 125, you might want to look at a Gilera DNA. It's got a proper riding-position, but it's actually a scoot. Downside? Probably been thrashed by a youth around a council-estate.

But whatever you do, stay away from bargain-priced Chinese-made bikes. They're bargain-priced for a reason. Pick up a copy of MCN, lurk on the BikeTrader website, and take your time...

Or, if you're a masochist like me, get into Ducatis and Triumphs. I remember passing my test many years ago on a Cagiva 2-stroke. In the snow. Through Epping Forest.

Good luck, and ride safe.
 

Davey569

Native
Jun 18, 2008
1,166
68
Off the beaten track
The advice just keeps coming! Thanks everyone, I am learning more and more each day. Still looking around for bikes and theres a couple Ive taken a look at, one was a nice suzuki GZ marauder at £1300. Just have to see if I can save enough before it goes. :)
 

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