Motorbike suggestions

Discussion in 'transport' started by RubyToogood, Apr 10, 2009.

  1. RubyToogood

    RubyToogood can't remember what goes here

    Well, it was a Moto Guzzi Nevada. Lovely people, lovely bike, could hardly find a thing wrong with it. It was so pristine it felt almost pointless going through the checklist. Asking price perfectly reasonable. But it felt too heavy for me again, felt like a physical effort riding it. Not helped by a very low side stand that means you have to haul the thing up for miles, and I have a dodgy back. So I said no. My companion loved it and now thinks I am nuts.

    The side stand could be altered. But I just didn't feel comfortable riding it, it was too much of a leap. I have learnt my lesson, which is to stick to Plan A and not look at anything over 500cc, however pretty.

  2. Janh

    Janh signs might be omens

    Aw, too bad. I read that it is a lovely bike for women riders.

    I once had a heavy bike that took a lot of hauling up from a low side stand and altered it by bolting an ice hockey puck to the base. It raised the angle of the bike to something more manageable and gave a bigger footprint so it didn't sink in mud that easily.

    The right bike for you will turn up , always does for me.
  3. RubyToogood

    RubyToogood can't remember what goes here

    I too read it was a good bike for women riders, and it's not that heavy as they go... it may be partly about the way the bars/levers and everything were set up perhaps, general ergonomics.

    Funnily enough, the guy's mate suggested I go for an old CB400/4, and they do seem to come up fairly regularly, so perhaps I should look at that again if I can convince myself that there isn't a parts/reliability issue.
  4. Janh

    Janh signs might be omens


    sweet-looking engine

  5. stupid dogbot

    stupid dogbot Haughty and Superior

    Did you ride it? Almost all bikes feel heavy standing still...
  6. RubyToogood

    RubyToogood can't remember what goes here

    I did yes, albeit very slowly (we were in a local park on the internal roads). I came back and got off and said "this is too heavy for me". Then I had another look at it for a while, realised it was a cracking bike, had another potter round on it, got off and said "nope, this is still too heavy for me". Like I say, I think it may have been about the positioning of the bars and levers etc as much as the real weight. It felt awkward and unnatural. Admittedly I've not been on big bikes before and of course I was very tense and using the clutch a lot, came back with a stiff left arm.

    When I sat on the Honda CB400 Super Four I looked at (but didn't test ride) I felt comfy and natural from the minute I sat down. It wasn't like that. It reminds me of when I was learning to play the melodeon. I learnt on a nasty cheap one I'd borrowed, then bought myself a decent one. As soon as I got the decent one, I could reach all the notes more easily, it all felt really natural, and suddenly I was twice the player I had been before. It ought to be like that. The Super Four was, the Nevada wasn't. Yet when I actually look at the stats, the Nevada is only 10 or 20kg heavier.

    Anyway it was too good for me, I'd only spoil it by riding it all the time and not being arsed to put the cover on it.
  7. stupid dogbot

    stupid dogbot Haughty and Superior

    Fair enough, just wondering. Tbh, only you can decide what's comfortable and what isn't for you. :)

    As an aside, I've had brand new tyres on the R1 last week, and had my first ride on it yesterday. It's like a different - much, much better! - bike. Little things can make lots of difference.
  8. RubyToogood

    RubyToogood can't remember what goes here

  9. RubyToogood

    RubyToogood can't remember what goes here

    Hm. Did another little tour of local second hand bike shops. One of them has a Super Four coming up, classic Honda red and white colour scheme. This sort of thing.


    BUT because it's practically unused they want a grand over my top budget for it. It's not so much that I don't have the money. But it was earmarked for other things. Like hardcore emergencies, redundancy, doing serious home improvements, that sort of thing. Not buying something that will depreciate from the day I buy it. Hmmm.... <looks thoughtful>
  10. Elvis Parsley

    Elvis Parsley

    nice looking bike, but do all Super Fours come with black down pipes? don't like those
  11. RubyToogood

    RubyToogood can't remember what goes here

    Apparently not.

  12. weltweit

    weltweit Well-Known Member

    Get a Naked Suzuki Bandit 1200 ...

    Monster torque, whellies on demand and a natural speed limiter because you have no fairing!
  13. stupid dogbot

    stupid dogbot Haughty and Superior

    But... it's a Suzuki. :(

    Ruby, that Honda is dead nice. :)
  14. FunkyUK

    FunkyUK u=5337

    Will you just buy a bike Mrs lady? Blimey, this thread is a year and a half old, by the time you get around to it, you're not going to need to worry about the 33hp restriction:D:p
  15. stupid dogbot

    stupid dogbot Haughty and Superior

    ^^ We've all thought it. :D
  16. Janh

    Janh signs might be omens

    Lots of 400/4s for sale in the back of the Classic Bike magazine August edition. Some, even, in the South East.
  17. RubyToogood

    RubyToogood can't remember what goes here

    I'm aiming for ten pages :)

    And yes I'm seriously considering putting the restrictor kit fund into getting the old bike sorted and then buying a bike in the spring when the restriction expires, in the hope that something will come up by then. I am beginning to think though that there may be no bike on this earth that would suit me...

    Anyway. I went and looked at a Super Four this evening, not so much because I thought it was a serious contender as because I at least wanted to test ride one and see if I liked it. I have a sneaking suspiction that when the Very Expensive one comes into the shop they won't let me test ride it because of the 33bhp thing.

    This one had been extensively couriered and had all sorts of things wrong with it*, but I did get to have a go and it felt manageable and comfy etc. My only reservation was that my knees and feet felt really tucked up. I suppose that's just a more sporty position than I'm used to and I think I'd get used to it, but I did wonder if it would be uncomfortable if I was on the bike for more than an hour or so. My knees felt really quite squished up.

    *Headlight and horn not working, flasher unit dead, one fork seal gone, back brake binding a bit, untraceable oil leak from the engine. Not to mention that the bloke who actually owned it had gone back to Hungary and fallen off the radar.
  18. RubyToogood

    RubyToogood can't remember what goes here

    Part of the problem is that for various reasons I'm really restricted to London and the nearer bits of Surrey and Kent. This does not help.
  19. stupid dogbot

    stupid dogbot Haughty and Superior

    Tbh, most dealers won't let you test ride unless you've been an appropriate license holder with your own bike & insurance for at least year, ime.
  20. RubyToogood

    RubyToogood can't remember what goes here

    That doesn't surprise me. Lots of private sellers insisting on the full value in cash and the like before they'll let you test ride as well.
  21. RubyToogood

    RubyToogood can't remember what goes here

  22. RubyToogood

    RubyToogood can't remember what goes here

    I have seen a bike I like! And am on the point of buying it. However... I bought an HPI check on it, which states that the colour was changed in February of this year. It obviously hasn't been resprayed so if the colour really has been changed, they've changed the tank, mudguards and side panels. Am waiting for the seller to get back to me with some answers. He himself has only had the bike a month, having bought it as a stopgap while his main bike was having major repairs, and doesn't know anything about the colour change.

    It's an oldish bike so may well have undergone some restoration, but was sold to him as original... could be a horrible bitsa, despite appearances being good...

    Edit to update: he never got back to me, hung up when I called him and it went to someone else on the ebay auction for as much as I'd agreed with him.

    What I have learned from this is 1) always do the HPI check and 2) I like a Kawasaki GT550, which is what this was. Very heavy, but fine when on the move.
  23. RubyToogood

    RubyToogood can't remember what goes here

    Right. I know no-one is reading this thread any more because everyone's bored of me faffing around, but you should be because it's now a cautionary tale.

    The more I think about it, the more sure I am that I had a lucky escape with that bike. The HPI report stated that it had had 7 previous owners. And somehow, over 17 years, 7 people had only managed to notch up 23,000 miles on it? I don't think so. Low mileages like that only come about either if the thing is a weekend toy (not likely with a sturdy hack like this model) or if someone has put it in a shed for 15 years (not likely with 7 owners).

    The only paperwork that came with the bike was a V5 and the current MOT certificate. I strongly suspect someone had torn up the old MOTs and put them in the bin because they record the mileage and would have shown a big drop at some point.

    Not only was that bike a bitsa, it had been clocked in my opinion.

    Anyway. I'm definitely looking for a GT550 now and there are plenty about so it should be doable. I have a month to sort it out so may have to buy something from outside London without having seen it, which is a whole other can of worms.

    Not everyone's idea of a dream machine, I appreciate, but eminently sensible and I like it:

  24. stupid dogbot

    stupid dogbot Haughty and Superior

    Aaaah, the GPz550 (GT550)... Reliable, comfy, easy to ride and work on, cheap for bits...

    I get all sorts of abuse about my Kwak, but it's fucking bulletproof. Far more so than the abusers' Triumphs and Suzukis, which are built of cardboard and spend half their time off the road. Get a good 'un with some history and take care of it, they'll last forever.

  25. Janh

    Janh signs might be omens

    v nice choice and with sensible covered forks and shaft drive
  26. RubyToogood

    RubyToogood can't remember what goes here

    How the heck do people pluck up the courage to buy bikes off ebay sight unseen? I'm really struggling with this, it goes so much against the grain and I've seen so many bikes that turned out not to be as advertised... not to mention the fact that nearly everything I've ever bought off ebay has had something wrong with it that wasn't listed...

    I've got a friend lined up in Bristol to look at bikes on my behalf if anything comes up there, but that's a bit of a long shot.
  27. DownwardDog

    DownwardDog Riding a Brompton with a power meter.

    I just buy it. If I don't like it I put it straight back on ebay at a slightly higher price.

    I've got to say I'm not feeling the GT550 love. The newest one you will be able to get will be over 10 years old and being in London it will, with a certainty approaching 100%, have been used by a courier.
  28. moose

    moose like some cat from Japan

    Same with all vehicles - I have heard so many tales of woe from people who've gone down this route. I admire your persistence and patience, Ruby - hope you get sorted soon!
  29. RubyToogood

    RubyToogood can't remember what goes here

    Well yes, and I think the same is true of the Super Four - this is an argument in favour of buying from ebay half way across the country. I think they stopped making the GT550 in 2002 btw. I started corresponding with a trader about one this week, but he's stopped returning my emails since I requested the hpi report, some bigger pictures and more info about returns if I thought it was not as described. Obviously I've marked myself out as a troublesome customer :rolleyes:

    I really don't want to buy something and then have to palm it off on some other poor sucker, I want to just get it right.

    It's not patience, I haven't got a choice. Without a bike I'm fucked because although my agoraphobia's a lot better than it was, I still have a problem with public transport over more than a short distance. I've got to buy something or I'm screwed - and I've only got till the end of September to do it.
  30. Mrs Magpie

    Mrs Magpie On a bit of break...

    Well, I'm still reading it. I don't think you're faffing at all. You don't have much spare cash and want a reliable bike and can't afford mistakes such as buying a dud. This thread has been an education.

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