First bike purchase in 10 years

Discussion in 'Americas' started by WE2EA&Around, Mar 14, 2012.

  1. WE2EA&Around

    WE2EA&Around Adventurer

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    Hi All,
    If this is the wrong forum for this post, my apologies. I am new to ADV so, please be gentle. To say that this site has opened a new world to me is to put it mildly. I know now how Alice felt when she slid down that hole into wonderland. I have just slid down the hole and am just coming out the other end, still rubbing my eyes and what's that tingling feeling, its my ass, itching to get on a bike. Yeap, 10 years ago, I sold my CBR 250 and got busy with school, got a job, got married, had a kid. And all the while never really thinking about getting back on a bike but then I stumbled upon this site a few weeks ago, ah well, i will be getting a bike this summer and getting some rides in. Which brings me to my question, up here, in Yellowknife where I live, the window of opportunity to ride is small, after all, we are buried under snow 8-9 months of the year. I am planning a trip across Canada as my maiden trip. My dilemma is what to get for a bike? There is only a Yamaha & Harley dealership in town and very few used bikes. I have been searching for used one but no luck so far. I am mechanically challenged so I need something reliable that will not leave me stranded. The cell phone coverage up here is atrocious. Granted there is still about 8 weeks of winter to go before I can realistically get a few test runs in. So any suggestions for a born again rider?:D Something that can take me down South as well as further up North.
    Oh yeah, if folks on his forum find their way to Yellowknife in their adventures, I would love to meet you. I have been living vicariously through all of your trip reports so it will be nice to actually meet some of you.

    M
    #1
  2. acejones

    acejones Long timer

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    You haven't told us if you'll be offroad or not. That would make a difference.
    #2
  3. WE2EA&Around

    WE2EA&Around Adventurer

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    It will likely be both. Heading North from Yellowknife, the roads are not very well paved. Let's say for example, if I want to ride to Fort Liard, Whitehorse, YK or Alaska, the roads may be less than optimal.

    Heading South is usually on a reasonably well paved road. Having said that, if history is any indication, I will leave for South more often than leave for North. Leaving Yellowknife to go anywhere involves a fair bit of riding/driving so by default, it is a long ride to go anywhere.
    #3
  4. sparkymcgee

    sparkymcgee Been here awhile

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    Welcome back to riding...

    I stopped for about 6 years after an accident and was a poor student at the time and with my injuries, I decided a car was my best bet. I got back into it after my wife rented a Harley for me for my birthday. Biggest mistake she made. Now I ride almost every day and love it.

    Invest in good protective gear and wear it all the time. With two little ones needing a daddy, I just invested in a Motoport suit. Make sure the insurance is up to date and sufficient.

    Oh...and have fun!!
    #4
  5. sieg

    sieg Wearing out tires......2 at a time, day after day.

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    Well if you want to deal with the local dealer the WR250R and Super Tenere are both rock solid machines. Either will do the bad roads you have up there or the good roads. Just need to decide if you want large or small.
    #5
  6. WE2EA&Around

    WE2EA&Around Adventurer

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    Thanks!. Couldn't agree with you more bunghole. Safety first! I will be taking any chances on gear and insurance etc.
    #6
  7. WE2EA&Around

    WE2EA&Around Adventurer

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    Ideally, I was thinking about getting a used 500-750cc bike. Get a few rides in, just to get the feel and my reflexes back before the planned trek to the East Coast. But its been a challenge to find a used bike here this time of the year. The other consideration is budget. I don't want to start off with an expensive bike after such a long break. Super Tenere is a beast! May be in a couple of years when I am ready for a Canada to SA trip. So small and cheap it is for now. Keeping my fingers crossed!
    #7
  8. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

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    Not much in the way of used bikes up in ice road trucker Great Slave Lake country. The Yamaha dealer probably mostly sells sleds I imagine, but it would be nice to have a local dealer if you aren't too handy with a wrench. And for picking up chains, sprockets, oil filters, and other consumables. Although most rural mechanics are good at fixing anything you bring them.

    The WR250R is a great bike but maybe too spendy for your budget. The XT250 is another good solid reliable bike. Much less expensive than the WR and perfect for rural Provincial riding where the roads can be variable. Yamaha makes some good bikes.

    Or you could go with a good used KLR650. Solid reliable and affordable.

    Craigslist is a good place to find used bikes. Unfortunately it isn't much good in rural areas like mine where the nearest city listed is 150 miles away. I checked Yellowknife and the pickings are slim unless you need a snowmobile.

    Which means you'll probably have to drive or fly somewhere and ride it back unless you are lucky and find someone who will ride their bike up to Yellowknife and fly home. I know I would if I had a good bike to sell you.

    In the meantime I would check out maybe Edmonton:

    http://edmonton.craigslist.ca/mca/

    Whitehorse;

    http://whitehorse.craigslist.ca/search/mca?query=+

    This bike in Prince George doesn't look bad:

    http://princegeorge.en.craigslist.ca/mcy/2888659895.html

    Happy hunting until the northern snows melt!

    Kindest regards,
    John Downs
    #8
  9. WE2EA&Around

    WE2EA&Around Adventurer

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    Thanks for your suggestions. I have been checking peer to peer selling websites frequently. Edmonton will be my choice given the low taxes on purchases. I am leaning towards flying down to Edmonton, getting a used bike and riding up. Now I have to wait until the roads are clear of snow which won't be until May. I will update on what I finally come back with hopefully by early June.

    Cheers!
    #9
  10. bumper1871

    bumper1871 Been here awhile

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    I would say a Suzuki DL-650. Not expensive,very reliable, very easy to maintain and great on dirt roads or asphalt. But I'm not very objective because I own one.
    #10