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Good first learner legal bike for taller rider?

Discussion in 'Biker's Cafe' started by Monkey Puzzle, Jul 8, 2014.

  1. Monkey Puzzle

    Soldato

    Joined: Mar 13, 2006

    Posts: 6,448

    Could anyone give any advice on a first bike for a tall rider?

    I've booked to do my CBT on August 9th and I'm planning on getting a 125 for an almost entirely A road 17 mile each way commute (through the New forest if that makes any difference), and want to get a bike as soon as possible after. I haven't really ridden much before at all other than a quick go on my brothers NC30 some years ago, and not sure whether I'd plan to do direct access after or just use as a commuter whilst I learn to drive, so I'm looking for something that would be bearable to ride for up to a year.

    I'm 6'3" and 93kg and have a 34" inseam - I've been looking at 125 learner legal bikes - what would people recommend for a decent commuter? - I don't want a CG125!

    I've been looking at the Honda Varadero XL125, Yamaha YZF R125 and KTM Duke 125 (I realise a 125 isn't going to set the world alight but would like to get as close to the maximum allowed power as possible as I'm a bit heavier than a 60kg 17 year-old!). Is there a noticeable difference in torque for 2 stroke engines (have been looking at a restricted cagiva mito evo/525 as a possible less-sensible option! Not sure whether a restricted 2 stroke would be more fun to ride/break down all the time/be lots more expensive to run)

    I've budgeted around £2500 give or take for a second-hand bike (figure that unless I wreck them I imagine they'd hold their value okay for the time I own them and around that price it shouldn't depreciate too much over say a years ownership)

    Anyone have any experience of any of these or advice about how they are to ride for a taller rider? Any other 125s worth considering?

    Also, what are the views on the YZF 125 - nice-looking bike or a silly boy-racers toy bike pretending to be something it's not? Will an undoubtedly boy-racer previous owner have thrashed the 4 stroke engine?
     
  2. atpbx

    Capodecina

    Joined: Oct 21, 2002

    Posts: 21,452

    I'd just look at the 4 strokes.

    Two stokes are more fun because they are easier to tune up (you won't get anywhere trying to tune up a 4 stroke 125, it's just not happening) but they are extremely fragile afterwards usually.

    A YBR 125 or CBF125 would be ideal.
     
  3. eidolon

    Capodecina

    Joined: Oct 31, 2002

    Posts: 13,861

    Location: Newcastle upon Tyne

    I'd go for the Varadero as the others are pretty tiny. I'm only 6ft and looked ridiculous on my first CBR125.
     
  4. TallPaul_S

    Soldato

    Joined: Mar 24, 2011

    Posts: 5,779

    Location: Kent

    Varadero. Job done. You'll have the pick of the bunch with that budget, you shouldn't lose to much money when you come to sell it either. 75mph, 85mpg, I do a 40 mile round trip everyday on mine, 200 miles a week. I'm 6ft 4, I've done 2300 miles since the 20th March and for a 125 it's great.
     
  5. mgsdetail

    Gangster

    Joined: Feb 1, 2012

    Posts: 199

    YZF r125 is what I would be looking at or a WR. I just sold my CBR as it was just to small for me. I've now gone and got a Rieju Rs3 NKD 125, not taken delivery yet but it felt a lot better than the CBR on the test ride.
     
  6. Craig321

    Capodecina

    Joined: May 2, 2004

    Posts: 19,971

    Varadero. I just about got away with my CBF 125 (I'm about 6'1).

    I guess you're not old enough to do your DA?
     
  7. Monkey Puzzle

    Soldato

    Joined: Mar 13, 2006

    Posts: 6,448

    How's the speed/acceleration on the varadero? Biker friend of mine said today they're a bit slow for a 125, but then he had last week suggested a 2-stroke DT125 as they're tunable, so not really sure whether he meant for a 4-stroke or just that they're slow even for a 4-stroke 125.

    Varadero's certainly look comfortable and practical.
     
  8. Monkey Puzzle

    Soldato

    Joined: Mar 13, 2006

    Posts: 6,448

    No, no, I am old enough, but I don't want the hassle of non-motorised commute (2 mile cycle, train journey, another 2.5mile cycle, then arrive sweaty etc) for the 6 weeks or so of work at my next job until I could do my DA. One of the reasons I'm looking for a decent 125 is fully comp insurance only looks like it's going to be around £300 anyway.

    Plus I wouldn't really want to jump on anything too big right away - would rather get to grips with a comfortable but still fast enough smaller bike and see whether I'd want to do direct access tbh.
     
  9. Craig321

    Capodecina

    Joined: May 2, 2004

    Posts: 19,971

    Yes I've heard they're pretty slow, but also heard people pushing 80mph on them. I guess the acceleration isn't great but top end is good enough for motorway.

    Fair enough, although I'd still highly recommend saving your 2.5k, get through the DA and you should be competent enough to get something a bit bigger than will last you longer and be more fun in the long run. Once you've been on a 600+ on your DA you won't want to look back :)

    If you want a bike right away then I guess you'll have to go 125, but I really wouldn't spent 2.5k on one. I picked my '09 CBF up for £1800 I think it was when I started biking and sold off for £1.1k so not too bad. Was a perfect little bike, never had a problem and didn't need to do anything to it. You really don't need to spent 2.5 on a 125.

    Have you looked into the world of restricted bikes? No idea how good something a bit bigger restricted down to learner legal would be, or even if they really exist? I think they tend to restrict a big bike down to A2 rather than learner, but still worth a quick look to see if anything is available.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2014
  10. TallPaul_S

    Soldato

    Joined: Mar 24, 2011

    Posts: 5,779

    Location: Kent

    Well, after nearly 2300 miles on mine, I see it like this.

    City traffic - 0-30/40mph. I filter to the front of most lights/queues, and I'm away from 95% of cars by the time I'm up to 20mph. You're more aware on a bike as to the light changing, and therefore halfway up the road while doris in her ford is still checking her make up. :D Up to 40mph, they're nippy, faster than most normal drivers will pull away.

    Top end, dual carriageway - 70mph. No problem at all. Takes a while to get there, but will cruise at 70mph easily. 75mph is 12k rpm and on the red line, but it'll get there with a little duck behind the small fairing. Will sit at 75mph no problem. :D 80mph on a slight downhill, with a tuck - not a problem either. Start going uphill though and the speed starts to drop down to 60/65mph.

    Mid range - this is where is starts to get lacking. Try and overtake a car/lorry doing 40/50mph on a NSL road and you either need a very accommodating driver who gives you room, or a looooooong run up and plenty of planning. And a huge gap in traffic. it can lead to some dodgy overtakes or more likely, sitting behind the traffic until they slow right down.

    When it's just normal cars round me, I don't feel slow at all, I can keep up with and overtake cars on the dual carriageway, I can nip over roundabouts faster than most cars, and in town you're again faster than anything else through the traffic.

    Until, that is, a proper bike appears in your mirrors, then alongside you, then buggers off into the distance 30 seconds after you first saw him. :(

    The only things that make me feel slow, are other big bikes :D the way they can overtake cars, picking them off one by one in the smallest of gaps, all the while having them move over like the parting of the seas, is frankly depressing when you're stuck behind cars and they're off before you even get a change to have a look at their bike!

    I've heard that the ybr or other normal 125's sometimes will struggle to hit 60/65, so the varadero is much better than them considering it will do 75mph (indicated) without a problem. Compared to a 2 stroke 125 it's slower, but I don't see them a reliable commuter bikes.

    I would (as has been mentioned) spend up to £2k on a bike, and the rest on kit. £500 will get you some decent textiles, gloves, boots and a helmet once you've done your CBT.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2014
  11. wazza300

    Caporegime

    Joined: Jul 11, 2009

    Posts: 27,065

    Location: BenefitStreetBirmingham

    Last edited: Jul 8, 2014
  12. Yaka

    Mobster

    Joined: Oct 19, 2002

    Posts: 2,926

    Location: a dark place

    id go for the varadero or at least try and test ride one. its within your budget.

    i am enjoying mine, and i know i'll get back close to what i paid for it when i do get my full license.
     
  13. eidolon

    Capodecina

    Joined: Oct 31, 2002

    Posts: 13,861

    Location: Newcastle upon Tyne

    All 125s are going to be about 13-14bhp so they'll all be the same performance wise so don't worry which you choose. Just pick the one that fits you best
     
  14. TripleT

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Oct 24, 2002

    Posts: 9,399

    Location: Manchester City Centre

    Good post, pretty much how I feel on my 125. As I do purely town driving the top end bit doesn't bother me but you're right. My CBF tops out as 60-65mph although I don't tuck... Reckon it would look ridiculous :p
     
  15. Dogbreath

    Capodecina

    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

    Posts: 16,651

    Location: Devon

    The CG125/YBR125 are only 10bhp. Only the newest machines reach the 14.7bhp learner limit, since the limit used to be 12bhp.
     
  16. Sandycheeks

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Oct 30, 2013

    Posts: 1,735

    I'm about the same size and weight as you and used to have a DT 125 for the fields many years ago...something like that would be ideal.

    FYI - I had to get rid of it because it was that quiet it was dangerous, dog walkers couldn't hear me coming to move out of the way.
     
  17. sockky

    Gangster

    Joined: Jan 4, 2012

    Posts: 375

    Location: Sevenoaks, Kent

    Had a friend who just purchased a WR125X, he is about 5'7" and says it's really tall for him.

    Don't know if that helps at all :)
     
  18. Monkey Puzzle

    Soldato

    Joined: Mar 13, 2006

    Posts: 6,448

    Thanks for all the advice guys; really appreciate it. I think I'm settled on getting a 5-10 year-old varadero for up to around £2k. They seem to hold their value really well so that doesn't seem too crazy to me.

    In 2007 Honda changed it from carbed to fuel injection (which apparently has a smidge less power). Would you say it's worth going for EFI rather than the older carburettored model?
     
  19. wazza300

    Caporegime

    Joined: Jul 11, 2009

    Posts: 27,065

    Location: BenefitStreetBirmingham

    upto you,i have no qualms with carbs

    fuel injected are fine aslong as they don't go wrong,
     
  20. TallPaul_S

    Soldato

    Joined: Mar 24, 2011

    Posts: 5,779

    Location: Kent

    Buy on condition and mileage rather than year, although the FI models do have a nicer dash and a redesigned front end.