View Full Version : Buying my first bike

14-12-09, 11:59 PM
Hi all,

I'm looking into buying a bike very soon and while I have done a bit of research on bikes my knowledge of them is still very limited. Since I've never had to inspect or maintain a bike, I'm not really sure what are the things I need to look out for.

Just got my Ls and this will be the first bike I buy. I'm looking at older bikes like the cbr250rr so I expect to see some wear and tear.


15-12-09, 12:58 AM
Most learner bikes have been dropped before, so thats a moot point. As long as it hasn't been crashed badly it should be ok. The 250RR's in my opinion are one of the best most reliable bikes out. They are abused, rarely serviced, imported, raced and most still run relatively well.

Things that matter the most are roadworthiness. RR's can have electrical problems, but there are many spare parts out there to fix.

Things like tires good condition (not dunlop arrowmax anything but those tires are better). By good condition I mean how old they are, if they are still round and not squared off.

Brakes, lights and engine all in working order. The bike should start up relatively easily and idle around 1500rpm give or take. If if hunts at idle and doesn't idle at all at 1500rpm (I think its 1500 been awhile since I had one, someone please confirm?) then it will need its carburettors cleaned and sync'd.

The most important thing is that it rides straight and doesn't crash over bumps, the forks should absorb bumps nicely and the bike shouldn't feel like it is pulling to one side. Bent forks and leaking fork seals (look about half way down the front where the smaller tube slides into the bigger tube) is expensive to fix.

Check the life of the chain, if the chain adjuster is at the very end and theres more than 1.25" of slack in the chain you'll need to replace that.

Check the sprocket teeth, if they are sharp and pointy like shark teeth they are worn too.

CBR's tend to run hot so make sure you take it for a decent ride and it doesn't overheat standing in traffic, it should run hot but not to the point where it stays in the red area for a long time

shit that was a long post

15-12-09, 01:02 AM
Lastly, don't cheap out on your first bike, but don't get ripped off.

Spend/budget for decent riding gear.

Every rider needs a comfortable helmet that fits properly and has good vents and choice of iridium visors.

Tight fitting leather jacket with vents.

Tight fitting leather gloves with good venting. AT THE VERY LEAST.

It gets amazingly hot on a bike especially during summer, so most people buy a textile jacket with lots of venting as well.

15-12-09, 10:59 AM
Cheers jbird...that was very informative and helpful. Regarding the gear, I have all that sorted already. I've only got one head so I've purchased the best thing I could afford and same goes for the jacket and gloves.

By the sounds of it, I'm probably going to need someone to test ride it with me as I'm not really confident enough to be testing a bike in traffic right now as I've only just passed my pre-learners. To be safe, I'm planning on riding around my block after purchase until I really get the feel of it.

Most of the things to look out for is something I can do by myself, just the riding part.

15-12-09, 04:05 PM
If you have just got your l's licence some sellers are willing for you to test ride the bike if you have a deposit etc. If your not confident enough then like you said best get someone to ride the bike for you so they can look out for certain problems.

i wouldnt mind helping you out test riding a couple bikes so long as there arent far away (im based in hurstville area). maybe other members such as danielb, benxx, roadster etc may help you out. im pretty sure they have ridden cbr250rr's themselves and know what to look out for.

16-12-09, 10:47 PM
I've got a zx2r which im selling at the moment PM me if your interested.

17-12-09, 12:11 AM
Hey man,

Some things you should know about buying a motorbike. Alot of the time the bike will need work so you should know the approximate cost of the work that the bike needs so you know how much to pay and what your getting for the money.

For a learner bike

Tyres around $300 <even if there is tread the tyre could still be rubbish, look for cracked or hard rubber

Chain and cogs $300 < make sure the cog's teeth are not all pointy this is bad, the chain is not too slack and if it is slack see if it can be adjusted.

Insurance $2-400

Fork seals - often leak on older bikes, i dont know the price but to change the fluid yourself is around $50 or less from memory

oil and filter Service if you do yourself under $100

Plugs i remember being expensive compared to cars


If you can get a bike with all that attended too, i think your doing pretty well. CBR's i thought were over priced (and still are) but if the bike is reliable pay more.

I have a Yamaha FZR250 for sale if your interested shoot me a PM and i can send you pictures it is located in western Sydney suburbs. =]


17-12-09, 12:17 AM
To both Perry and Paulstar, I've sent you a PM.
While I've been leaning towards a CBR, nothing is decided so some more info on your bikes please.

17-12-09, 09:14 AM
Not sure if your interested but something else to check out (what im looking at buying) is one of the 125 2strokes:
Aprilia 125
Cagiva mito sp525

They are fill sized bikes and from what i hear awesome to ride! The downside being high maitinace

17-12-09, 11:26 AM
2 Strokes are high maintenance, good for a weekender cause they have lovely powerbands and are really light and good brakes but not for a daily.

Personally the CBR250RR is the best sports learner bike, RVF400 comes a close second. The power is just right to find your legs and the handling and light weight can see you keep up. Fuel economy is also pretty good. I don't think they're overpriced, because they keep their value really well.

Paulstar is correct in his post except for the forks thing. If the forks are leaking, to change the seals would require massive amounts of work. From memory me and 2other people took 5 hours to change the seals.

Spark plugs generlaly dont need changing, they are the same price as car ones. On CBRs they are kind of hard to get to because the radiator is in the way but with small hands and the knuckle extension can be done.

100% find a bike with good tires or factor in replacing them. Tires as well as the rider are the two most important things. I would also factor in a coolant change just in case it hasnt been doen for awhile. Good to hear you got your tires sorted.

One of my firends might be selling his bike soon, but its unregoed atm cause he doesn't ride it, 250RR if your interestd pm me

17-12-09, 12:13 PM
2 strokes are not hard to maintain, and they are cheaper to fix if something breaks. I commuted on one (only had kick start also), just stay off roads that require you to sit at constant revs.

RVF400 is ftw on lams bike, CBR250RR's are great too. ZX2R (4 cyl), VTR250, GS500, etc etc, there are a tonne of good lams bikes

Getting a sports bike is good to get you ready for a big sports bike in terms of getting of the bike posture wise, but not much else, I think most lams bike will be as fun as the next and all will leave you wanting to upgrade still. so just accept what you get and enjoy riding, after your LAMS period buy what you really want and expand your skill set (slowly)

22-12-09, 11:43 AM
I think I will probably stay away from a 2-stroke for my first bike. Maybe down the line it's something I can consider, but for now, not knowing too much about the mechanics of a bike, I'll just stick to the 4 cylinder 250s.

Just having a browse on bikesales... and wow, some people really think to sell their bike for a ridiculous amount.
There are a few cbr250rrs close to 7 grand or more and some even say 'no test rides'. I wouldn't fork out that much cash for this bike if I wasn't even allowed to see if it rides well.
However, I suppose those guys have nothing on this bike... just a tad overpriced I think :P

http://www.bikesales.com.au/all-bikes/private/details.aspx?R=3130215&__sid=125B5F3472B9&__Qpb=true&Cr=9&__Ns=p_RankSort_Int32|1||p_Make_String|0||p_Model_ String|0||p_YearMade_Int32|1||p_PriceSort_Decimal| 1&keywords=&__N=1432%20604%201430%201429%201428%204294967259%2 04294967064%2080&seot=1&__Nne=15&trecs=36&silo=1400

22-12-09, 03:08 PM
im selling my 07 cbr125 for 4 k and its done under 2000kms
its full black with 1 year rego

22-12-09, 03:57 PM
im selling my 07 cbr125 for 4 k and its done under 2000kms
its full black with 1 year rego

Thanks mate, but not after a cbr125.
I'm not really keen on the newer bikes.. i.e. cbr125, or the new ninjas.

22-12-09, 09:14 PM
kick starters are the bomb.

ps, dont get a CT110 like i have.

the thing dosent go.

also, cbr125's look mega awkward. with skinny tyres and all.

though, ive heard lots of good things about the aprillia 125 and the nsr150(?)

22-12-09, 10:04 PM
I have a 06 GS500F with 8k kays for $6.5K for sale :)

plenty of rego all log book services and near showroom condition, never flogged or dropped if you are interested!


23-12-09, 08:54 AM
Thanks mate, but not after a cbr125.
I'm not really keen on the newer bikes.. i.e. cbr125, or the new ninjas.

trust me on this, but you would want the newest, most reliable bike you can find. not something that will break down on you every second ride :) unless you want to learn the mechanics of the bike the hard way. lol