What bike for new rider?

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by MikeyE, May 4, 2020.

  1. MikeyE

    MikeyE n00b

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    I am currently looking for a bike. I believe I have narrowed it down to a V-Strom 650, RE Himalayan,KLR 650, Versys 300X or a nice used 2013 BMW Serato with about 7,000 miles on the clock. I have been riding a KLX 250 for about a year. I have seen a few used R1200GS bikes in my price range. I am just not sure if I should make the jump to a 1200 just yet or at all? I worry about the reliability of the RE but I like the looks of it. Help!
    #1
  2. TurTal

    TurTal Long timer

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    Kawasaki-Versys-x-300-768x512.jpg
    #2
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  3. C/1/509

    C/1/509 Now with more sarcasm

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    What do you want the bike to be good/best at? Do you have the KLX because you ride off road a lot? It's pretty easy to pick from your list (or add to it) but more information would be helpful.
    #3
  4. Tripped1

    Tripped1 Smoove, Smoove like velvet.

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    Of those listed the Versys is going to serve a new rider best.

    Its light, so you don't have the heft of the of the wee-storm (welcome to ADV) or Serato, Himalayan is going to be somewhat challenging mechanically, and R1200 is a big old beast of a bike. The 300X also requires dedicated effort to get going fast enough to get you in trouble and has a lack of focus that will better let you explore what you want to do with the bikes.

    ...and of course a review video
    #4
  5. ZoomerP

    ZoomerP Been here awhile Supporter

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    Interesting video. I was shopping new 250s when I realized that used CRF450L prices were closing in on the price of the CRF250L. The 250L & 450L are different enough that Honda could've used another naming convention, but it's worth considering if @MikeyE is shopping for a DS in that price range.

    As @C/1/509 said, knowing the intended use & budget are important factors, and I found myself giving a lot of thought to that while deciding if the advantages of a 450L outweighed its negatives. For me, they did, but I know that isn't the case for everyone.
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  6. MikeyE

    MikeyE n00b

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    I am looking for a bike that I can do some adventure camping and some light off road riding. Most trips would be at most a couple hours away. I will Trying to have an all in budget of no more than 6,000.
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  7. C/1/509

    C/1/509 Now with more sarcasm

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    The Versys will certainly work for what you're looking for. I would also strongly consider the V Strom (or SV650). Good luck with whatever you decide.
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  8. baekdongmul

    baekdongmul Been here awhile

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    The Versys 300x is a great choice because it's a solid learner bike that can still keep a rider interested as their skills grow. Hard to find that combination of reliability, easy parking lot experiences, light off road capability, and balls out fun on a twisty side road. Been riding 36 years and really want one for myself.

    DL650 and SV650 are hard to beat as well, but aren't quite as flexible or noob friendly. If you're over 6' tall maybe a Suzuki DR650 tooo
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  9. millman84

    millman84 Been here awhile

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    The RE Himalayan would make an good starter bike. It is going well be the easiest one to do maintenance on if you do your own maintenance. I think it is the only one on your list that does not require that you remove the cam (or cams) to do a valve adjustment.

    The only problem you might have with it is that it does not even pretend to be fast. It handles really good, it just don't get in a hurry.
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  10. millman84

    millman84 Been here awhile

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    The RE is just as reliable as any of the euro bikes. Now does that mean that the RE is reliable or that the euro bikes can be somewhat unreliable?

    If you are worried about reliability the jap bikes are known for it.
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  11. ZoomerP

    ZoomerP Been here awhile Supporter

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    Have you ridden a 1200GS? I'm sure it's a fine bike, but I have a friend that rarely rides his because it's just too big for him to feel comfortable horsing it around.
    #11
  12. st3ryder

    st3ryder Long timer

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    You're not a new rider, get what best suits your projected riding style, and keep in mind, the bike will effect your riding style, EG the big Beemer will probably make you a cross country tourer more so than a smaller bike. Just get what you are drawn to, and adapt to the bike. You mention nothing about your size which is a determining factor as well.
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  13. AwDang

    AwDang Enabler

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    no one has mentioned the CB500x yet, so I will
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  14. The_Precious_Juice

    The_Precious_Juice 2019 DL650XT Touring

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    Welcome to ADV Rider.

    Yes, we need size of Rider.

    Thanks for the budget number.

    "I am looking for a bike that I can do some adventure camping and some light off road riding. Most trips would be at most a couple hours away. I will Trying to have an all in budget of no more than 6,000."

    How does the 250 feel?
    Boring
    Frugal
    A blast?
    Do want more bottum end power or top end?
    Can you wrench?

    We need more feedback.

    You have to put in more work for the best return (our wisdom) on investment.
    #14
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  15. el Pete

    el Pete toda su base

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    A KLR650 would be a great choice. They fit well within your budget and they've been around a long time so there is a great knowledge base and aftermarket support. I rode one for a few years before moving up KTM 990, and it pretty much did everything.
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  16. markk53

    markk53 jack of all trades... Super Supporter

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    I will mention keeping the KLX if you can. Then you can be a bit less compromising on the other bike.

    The Versys is real interesting and more road than some, but I'd take a serious look at a 650. Kaw has some slick removable hard bags. I saw a 300 and was very impressed. I also think if you've been riding a 250 for the last year you could go up on size a bit and do fine. Maybe the Honda would be a good comparison. I'm thinking both the Himalayan and KLR are too "off road" being singles and all. I rode a KLX650 for 20 years as my main bike. It was okay, but there were a lot of times I wished I'd had a more "street" bike. Now I do, with an XSR700 and my KLX250.

    As for the Versys 650, I'm thinking a bit more excitement than the V-Strom, but I could be totally wrong. I like the idea of the 650s though. Not too much, not too little. I'm sitting here with around 50 years riding and could have gone to a 900 or whatever, but I knew actually a good running 500 would be far more fun. The 700 was what fit and I absolutely like what I saw in the bike I got. I know it will do everything I want and more. It's not for everyone though.

    I'd recommend a 700 Tenere, but they aren't in the price range. I just love that 700 engine's performance!
    #16
  17. ZappBranigan

    ZappBranigan Still Riding

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    I always advise new riders to stay "small, cheap and used" but it sounds like that's where you are with the KLX.

    I'm a cheap SOB so I can't imagine paying the crazy stoopid prices that new BMW's command.

    Personally I wouldn't buy anything new. But I'm glad other people are less frugal or less pragmatic than me because they're the reason there are so many good, low mileage used bikes on the market.

    If you like the "look" of the Royal Enfield but are skeptical about their longevity in the current market, you could look at a gently used Triumph Bonneville which would likely be around the same cost as a new RE. I ride a Bonnie now (although an older one, a 2002) and I find it a perfect "all around" bike. It doesn't do anything magnificently but it does almost everything competently (including mild dirt road riding.)

    If you absolutely have to buy new you might also consider the Kawasaki W800. As with the Bonnie it will give you the "retro" look of a classic Brit bike but with Japanese attention to detail and reliability (plus having a much larger dealer network than RE and Triumph combined.)

    Other options you might consider are some of the sort of retro-ish bikes from Yamaha (XSR series?)

    I don't really care for the big "adventure bikes." They seem crazy expensive, complex and tall and the attraction of taking a 400+ lb bike onto a dirt track is lost on me. But that's a personal preference of mine.
    #17
  18. High Country Herb

    High Country Herb Adventure Connoiseur

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    I wouldn't consider you technically a new rider anymore with a year on the 250. The Verseys 300 looks like an interesting bike, but isn't a very big step up. It, and the BMW 310GS, would both be OK choices for first bikes.

    You are probably ready for a KLR650, V-Strom 650, or something similar. Maybe even a Yamaha FZ-07 or Honda NC700, but those are reaching into a heavier street biased style.

    A 650 dual sport might also be good, but you would need to travel very light since they typically have a lot less luggage.
    #18
  19. MikeyE

    MikeyE n00b

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    Hey everyone! Thanks for the great input and advise! I decided to go with the Himalayan, I will pick it up next week. The dealer called me when he got a used one in with 3,0000 miles and is still under warranty. The deal was too good to pass up. It has factory panniers already and an upgraded seat. I looked for a used Versys x300 for awhile but was not having much luck. As someone mentioned above I am too cheap to buy anything new. I have my reservations about the RE but I just like the looks of the bike and at this point in my life I dont really care if I get anywhere fast. I think of the RE as the really hot girl your friend meets and you know she is going to ruin his life. You tell him as much but he can't help himself. That's kinda how I feel about the RE.
    As for the KLX it is not mine. I ride it at work a few times a week both on and off road.
    #19
  20. markk53

    markk53 jack of all trades... Super Supporter

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    Then you probably made a decent choice.
    #20