Author Topic: I'm going to buy a motorbike, but which one to choose?  (Read 2345 times)

Diego

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I'm going to buy a motorbike, but which one to choose?
« on: July 01, 2017, 03:45:15 AM »
Hello people,

I'm pretty new in this mustachian world and my money mustache hasn't grown enough, so I ask you.

I live in Spain (sorry if my English isn't good) and my daily commute in public transport to work is about 60 min per journey (total 120 mins/day). I could reduce it to half of it by buying a not very expensive motorbike. I have make numbers and I see this (I use € but you can imagine $. Please note that in Spain we earn a lot less money than in US and Canada, so maybe this prices can look cheaper, but they aren't!)

1 year costs:
- Total public transport cost (annual): 720 €
- Total maintenance not so cheap motorbike (including gas): 1,661 €
- Total maintenance cheap motorbike (including gas): 1,094 €

Now the question: The 'not so cheap' motorbike is a BMW F650 GS ('06) and the 'cheap' motorbike is a Suzuki Marauder 250 ('07). Obviously the BMW is better (650cc vs 250cc). I have to do road trips (about 15 minutes per journey) and with the Suzuki I can't advance cars. Also, the BMW has ABS while the Suzuki doesn't. And last but not least, EVERY person (not mustachian) I know and I have ask for their opinion says the BMW will be a better fit for me, and since this will be my first motorbike, I have no prior experience with a decision like this.

The problem with this is that I'd like to work abroad (UK or USA) within a year, and then I probably would sell off the motorbike.

The BMW costs 2500€ and the Suzuki 1400€.

So, what would you do? Moving to a closer place to my workplace isn't an option here, since I live with my parents and I'm living almost free.

Thanks!

big_owl

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Re: I'm going to buy a motorbike, but which one to choose?
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2017, 09:16:25 AM »
If those are the only two choices and you're in this for the long haul and it isn't just a fad....I'd go with the BMW without a second thought.   More weather protection, *ABS*, and I believe those rotax engines are known to be pretty reliable.  Maintenance should be pretty easy on either bike.  I also believe the BMW will support heated grips or gear more easily, a life saver when commuting in cold or rain.  And it's very comfortable to boot.  No brainer for me.

Diego

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Re: I'm going to buy a motorbike, but which one to choose?
« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2017, 02:13:56 PM »
Thanks for your answer. The problem here is that I would like to work abroad in not too long, so the motorbike would serve me for about 1 year.

Do you think in this situation the BMW is worth the extra money?

Freestyler

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Re: I'm going to buy a motorbike, but which one to choose?
« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2017, 03:05:04 PM »
I'd say the BMW, mainly because it has ABS. This should significantly increase your safety, specially as a novice motorbike driver. Resell value should be OK and being here and with your plan I'm assuming you're already mustachian enough in other regards. You're probably able to spare a bit on a nicer and, specially, safer ride.

P. S. De un español exmotero por el mundo 😉

big_owl

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Re: I'm going to buy a motorbike, but which one to choose?
« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2017, 04:12:39 PM »
Thanks for your answer. The problem here is that I would like to work abroad in not too long, so the motorbike would serve me for about 1 year.

Do you think in this situation the BMW is worth the extra money?

As above poster said, it's worth it just for the ABS.  As long as you don't crash it you should be able to sell it for close to what you paid for it. 

And you'd *like* to work abroad...doesn't necessarily mean you will.  I wouldn't worry about what might happen in another year when we're talking this sort of money.  Commuting on a shitty motorcycle is shitty.

BlueMR2

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Re: I'm going to buy a motorbike, but which one to choose?
« Reply #5 on: July 03, 2017, 05:20:52 PM »
Definitely go for ABS.  In my area it cuts insurance in half, so it's obviously MUCH safer.

That said, not overly a fan of BMWs due to cost to operate/repairs.

In general, as long as the engine is big enough to merge into traffic you're good.  I hear a lot that anything under 600cc isn't enough.  Ummm, no.  My old touring 600cc bike (not even a modern FI, nevermind a super sport!) will run a mid 12-second quarter mile (right on par with my modified racecar).  300cc bikes out accelerate my daily driven sportscar.  Unless you're running on the express way over 70 mph, a 300cc should be enough.  If you're 60mph max, I wouldn't be afraid of a 250cc.

Oh, and try to buy something without all the fancy side fairings and stuff.  It's a MAJOR deterrent to DIY maintenance.  I spend more time screwing around with the fairings on my Katana to get to the mechanicals than it takes to fix the mechanicals!

Diego

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Re: I'm going to buy a motorbike, but which one to choose?
« Reply #6 on: July 04, 2017, 01:39:57 AM »
Thanks your all for your replies! Right now I'm also considering buying an electric bike instead of the motorbike (or converting my regular bike to electric). The problem is that 30 miles round trip, in a rainy cold morning...

The choice of a BMW is because the most affordable bikes I've seen with ABS are from BMW, not for the brand itself. In fact, the motorbike I would like is the Honda NC 750X ABS (or 700), but it's expensive since they are still too new.

As I'm new to motorbike world, I don't have any idea of repairs or maintenance, but I hope to get started with my uncle's help. He is an enthusiast of motorbikes, so I hope not going to the garage very often.

P. S. De un español exmotero por el mundo 😉

¡Gracias Freestyler!

nexus

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Re: I'm going to buy a motorbike, but which one to choose?
« Reply #7 on: July 05, 2017, 02:49:01 PM »
Why is the Kawasaki Ninja 300 not part of this discussion? It gets around 70mpg, has a 300cc engine instead of a 250 and is one of the top/best rated beginner bikes out there. You should be able to find a 2014 one with ABS at a decent price. I just purchased one in June for about $3700 USD from craigslist. The ninja 300 has plenty of power to easily, easily outpace a car. It's a sport bike, but for a 15 minute ride it is plenty comfortable. I hit 80mph on the freeway if I'm not paying attention and it cruises along nicely at 70mph.

Most folks only change oil once or twice a year (about every 5,000 miles). Motorcycle oil is more expensive than car oil. You need to regularly lubricate your chain also, occasionally adjust your clutch cable, and tires wear out faster on motorcycles than they do on cars.

Don't buy anything too nice or expensive for your first bike. I'm 99.9% confident that you're going to drop it at least once as a new rider. The 250 or 300 CC bike is also going to be lighter and easier to pick back up than a 650. I say this because as a new rider I stalled mine trying to take off from a stop up a hill, lost my balance and let the bike fall (I remained standing). I was uninjured because I was barely moving, but pretty embarrassed. Other folks tend to wipe out taking curves improperly & slide off the road.

Don't just think about the cost and maintenance of the bike. I recommend a motorcycle safety training course. They'll teach you lane positioning and how to take curves & turns. Helmets are also expensive. You'll need gloves, boots, a riding jacket, and riding pants too. The boots protect your feet from being crushed if the bike falls on you. Sneakers/tennis shoes will result in broken feet. The pants, jacket, and gloves protect your skin from being torn off if you fall. The helmet is a no brainer and at least in my state/country it's against the law to not have one.

Anyway, hope this helps & best of luck! I'm actually creating a post very soon on a motorcycle-related subject.

« Last Edit: July 05, 2017, 02:51:02 PM by nexus »

Diego

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Re: I'm going to buy a motorbike, but which one to choose?
« Reply #8 on: July 09, 2017, 09:24:56 AM »
Hi nexus, thank you for the tips! I already have a helmet (a Shoei X-Spirit 3 I bought in Black Friday). My uncle has also give me used boots, summer gloves and a jacket. I only have to buy winter gloves and a pair of kevlar jeans. And he is going to teach me how to ride safely when I get the bike.

The Ninja 300 is an awesome bike. At first I was looking for one... but I think I'm too tall for it. My height is about 6.07 feet, so I'm looking for a trail.

markbike528CBX

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Re: I'm going to buy a motorbike, but which one to choose?
« Reply #9 on: July 09, 2017, 09:44:18 AM »
Until I saw that you're 6ft (1.8m) tall, I'd have _insisted_ on a ninja 300 or some such.   At your height (and seat height allowance) the BMW F650 might be OK.  Its not about the weight, because as others have said, a 300cc bike can out-accelerate most cars. 

 If there is another brand that has ABS, that might be cheaper.    The F650 is a single cylinder bike which might be "buzzzzzzy" vibration at speed.  You _will_ drop the bike at some point, and minimal fairing to be damaged is a positive thing.

nexus

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Re: I'm going to buy a motorbike, but which one to choose?
« Reply #10 on: July 10, 2017, 01:11:01 PM »
The Ninja 300 was my first bike. I'm 5'11'' and never felt too tall/big for the bike, but that's a choice you'll have to make. It was incredibly comfortable considering I learned how to ride on a Honda Grom.

aalferez

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Re: I'm going to buy a motorbike, but which one to choose?
« Reply #11 on: July 10, 2017, 08:10:19 PM »
Hi Diego,
As you, I am from Spain, more particularly from Madrid.

I live now in Chicago, USA so the difference is big, but I own a motorcycle here and ride it when the weather allows ( 7 months a year with luck)

From what I know in Spain, any bike would do the job. If you are commuting, I would just do a 250cc, something used.
Someone mentioned the Ninja 300. That was my first motorcycle when I was living in Michigan. It is a very friendly bike for begginers. VERY recommended. I used to commute 20 miles each way.
If I could go back it time I would have bought something more friendly even and of course USED.

About the comment on the ABS, I don't recommend you buying a bike with ABS. It will teach you bad habits and you won't learn how to properly brake. Plus that will only save you ONLY if you are breaking with the bike up right.
And ABS is just front wheel. If you lock the rear wheel on a curve you will loose control too.
Just treat the bike with respect and she will take care of you.

I owned a '13 Ninja 300, '85 700C Honda Shadow, '07 Suzuki GSXR 600, '13 Ninja ZX6R. None had ABS.

Oh and I am 6'2''

triangle

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Re: I'm going to buy a motorbike, but which one to choose?
« Reply #12 on: July 12, 2017, 02:18:46 AM »
I think going with the cheaper non-ABS bike is the best option. While ABS certainly has benefits, if you are driving proactively and with caution its benefit is not so great, since you will be in fewer situations that requires locking up your front wheel. I would worry less about breaking on curves (non-ABS rear wheel concerns) since if you are driving with proper caution you should never need to brake while leaning into a curve. Of course some animal may leap into the roadway to block your path or a driver may quickly switch lanes, but in all other respects the brakes should be applied while upright and before entering the apex of any curve.

Whichever bike you buy you should try to practice emergency braking in an empty parking lot. Though you do not want to over do that, unless you do not mind spilling over the bike in order to find the ultimate braking limits of your machine.

rothwem

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Re: I'm going to buy a motorbike, but which one to choose?
« Reply #13 on: July 12, 2017, 07:18:03 AM »
I had a Ninja 250 for my first bike, and I'm 6'2".  I looked a little ridiculous, but it was more comfortable than the 600cc sportbike I bought after that, with definitely more legroom.  Supposedly the Honda 300cc bikes are more comfortable for tall people than the Kawasakis.