- Which 600cc bike for starting out?
Try and test ride a few as there is such a huge difference in the ride between the different styles of bike.
I’ve owned an SV650 which was great and I’ve had a go on an Kwak ER6f, 2013 Yam XJ600 and a Honda Hornet; all of which were really lovely bikes.
If you want something really sporty then something like a CBR600rr or GSXR600 for something that’s not too full on.
You don’t necessarily need to start on something friendly and low power as the throttle works both ways.
I passed my test in 98 and to be honest just went out and bought a Fireblade as it was the bike I really wanted.Posted 4 years ago
The main thing about plastic-coated 600s is if it falls over, it’s expensive. And that can just be “pushing it across the garage and overbalanced” or “forgot to take the lock off” or “stalled at the lights” or any number of other zero-speed drops. I hate the idea that all learners will crash, it’s just not true but you don’t need to crash to do expensive damage.
Modern ones tend to chase revs as well which makes them relatively hard work if not ridden hard, and incredibly fast if ridden hard. Ironically it’s easier to ride an R1 slow than an R6.
So this is a longwinded way of saying do what I did, get an SV650 or something very like it- ER6, Hornet, etc etc. Fast enough to scare your eyes out, nicer to ride slow, and much much harder to kill. Stick a set of decent crash bungs on an SV and after the nuclear apocalypse, keef richards’ll be riding around on it. Oh and very resellable should you decide to upgrade in a couple of years, as long as you’re not mad enough to get a new one.Posted 4 years ago
i know I should post this on a dedicated motorbike forum and I will but always good to hear from STW hive mind. Did a taster session today and will get my CBT soon but pretty tempted to get my full license (cost is the barrier) I spoke to the instructor about if I get my full license whether cutting my teeth on a 250 was a good move but he said just get a 600. I know there will be probably lots of tests in magazines in the moment but what are thoughts and opinions here? taPosted 4 years ago
Christ my 650 single bmw scared the shite out of me for the first few months and now after four years, 25k miles and an advanced test pass I am still not exactly riding the wheels off it, although it does lack grunt for fast overtakes. Its slow compared to an sv or a bandit too!Posted 4 years agopatgMember
Recently did all the bike tests Theory, CBT, Mod1 (twice) and Mod2.
Pretty expensive, but probably the best thing I’ve done in a while.
All the training was done on a Yamaha FZ6 – I thought it was really good, very comfortable. I was in the market for this or a honda hornet but then a cheap CBR600FS came up at work. Wow what a bike, easy enough to ride for a numpty like me but open the throttle up and it’s like a bloody missile.Posted 4 years agopatgMember
Oh forgot to add found a brilliantly cheap site for motorbike clothing, probably half the price of most places. Search for Bikers Gear. Comparing their stuff to the £200 plus stuff in the local shop its not as good but for my first couple of years it will be good enough.Posted 4 years ago
There’s cheap and then there’s cheap, my Spada gloves were some of hte cheapest I ever bought, and the best by miles (well, apart from my Gerbings, but that’s cheating). I’m out of date now but Teknics made some excellent, well priced kit- had a couple of pairs of their cordura trousers and they were ace. Wolf, too. Frank Thomas have some decents stuff and some absolute toss (never, ever, buy Frank Thomas gloves)Posted 4 years agoJujuuk68Member
Just adding a vote for the sv650.
I have one. It’s easy to ride as being a v twin rather than an inline 4, means it pulls away more sweetly from lower revs, has the torque so you don’t need to cane the engine like an inline 4, nor play tapdance with the gear lever and as a consequence, the difference between being in the powerband and not isn’t the same as an inline 4. Only disadvantage is that it might be just a little more snatchy or grabby at low revs/speed.
But its light, easy to manhandle, and frankly after a car, quick enough for your post test running in period. Its also pretty benign handling, they rarely shake the bars, and you can be quite heavy handed and get away with it.
Other than poor build quality, and budget suspension that isn’t the best, I can’t recommend one highly enough, and you’ll get a useable one for a grand probably…. I paid £1400 for a mint low miles fsh 51 plate 3 years ago, and its still worth a grand today.Posted 4 years ago5thElefantMember
Price has nothing to do with protection.
You might want to narrow down the type of bike you want. Trail, sports, street, tourer, cruiser. Then start looking for a specific model.
Keep in mind that sports bikes are horrible at legal speeds and anything without a fairing is horrible above legal speeds.Posted 4 years agobwfc4eva868Member
Suzuki GSR 600 as a first 600 or something like a Hornet 600. All the good points of the sporty models like the GSXR 600. Except they are slightly detuned and have useable low down power.
I have a 2006 Suzuki GSR 600 and its on 2333 miles. And i use it for commuting. 40 Miles per gallon or 150 miles to £20 full tank.
It acclerates stupidly fast up to a 100mph and anything more it feels like your heads going to ripped off by the wind.
Its also happy chugging round town, nice wide bars, so U turns and filtering are very easy, handles like its on rails to.
Get which ever bike you like the look of most and best budget. You can kill yourself on a 14.6 bhp 125cc. Do not rev the bollocks off it in first from a junction like i did, and consequently fracturing my leg.
I now set off in 2nd unless on a hill. A bit of common sense with the throttle and you should be fine.Posted 4 years agomuddyfoolMember
I got a kawasaki zx6r for my first bike (2008 model). Mostly because I got a really good price – bought it new and traded it in 2.5 years and 9,500 miles later for only 1k less than i paid. As someone told me at the time, whatever the reviews may say all modern sports 600s are awesome bikes and capable of far more than I am, to the extent that i wouldn’t really be able to tell the difference in handling/power/etc. So choosing one you like the look of and makes financial sense isn’t a bad move… I didn’t get near the redline for many months, and I never took it to the limits in any other sense. But I did have a lot of fun and I absolutely loved the bike.
On the other hand, everyone who starts with an sv650 or similar seems to love them, and they’ll be cheaper on insurance etc (and if dropped, I suppose). And all bikes are fun in their own way, so there isn’t really a wrong choice – but you might find yourself wanting another one after a year or two, whatever you choose…
Oh, and I disagree with whoever said sports bikes are horrible at legal speeds, they’re absolutely fine except it’s hard to resist the urge to open the throttle!Posted 4 years agorp16vMember
sv650 from me I hunted for a curvy one (best shape they made) got it as a full faired but got pissed off with the lower fairings while doing servicing and checking oil so now sits as a half faired(looks better again) iv been using it for a 50mile round trip every day sins sept and today was my first breakdown due to a wet front plug and what I thing is a blocked jet as shes been abit finicky starting lately so carbs are currently off
as for running costs I use £15 will get me about 160miles of commuting
rear tyre depends but I like brigstone battlaxe at 130 each
tax just paid at 77ish for the year
but the fun it can give is priceless im happy to say il never need a bigger bike and that v twin sound is addictive
but watch out for old men ul find them wandering around it having a nose,no mater how old u are a v.twin always gets your attentionPosted 4 years agoCapt. KronosSubscriber
A lot depends on what size you are too, I found a lot of the Jap 600s were too tiny to be comfortable so started my riding life on a TDM850. Cheap to buy, run and insure – whilst being comfy and fast enough to give yourself a good scaring.
I would add the 650 V-Strom (WeeStrom) and 650 Versys to your list. Both good bikes which are plenty fast enough for enjoying yourself, whilst being more comfy and practical than many others. Possibly a Beemer 650 of some flavour too.Posted 4 years agomogrimMember
I’ve got a FZ6N – the unfaired model. Would be a pretty good first bike – easy to handle at low revs, comfortable, etc. Though pretty much any Japanese 600 would tick all the boxes, both 2 and 4 cylinder models. The smaller Ducati monster or the Triumph Street triple would also be reasonable (though more expensive) choices.Posted 4 years agosuperfliMember
(never, ever, buy Frank Thomas gloves)
And for that reason, I wont buy Frank Thomas again. Same with my Furygan gloves – wont touch that make again. FWIW I have Wolf textiles now, which have been excellent, but had Spyke + J+S textiles previous and they lasted 7+ years daily commute just fine. Leathers are Arlen Ness and have been comfy and tough – much better fit than my old RSTs.
As for bike, I will always recommend a CBR600F. Not as sporty as the RR, but still plenty powerful enough and will be fine day in day out for commuting. You get some with very high mileage to prove the point. Apart from a brief CCM600 spell, my 1st bike was a CBR6.Posted 4 years agonicknameMember
^ I have a Versys 650 as my first bike and still have it 10,000 miles after 🙂
If your a tall chap, then you really need to sit on a few, because some will just feel too small. Something like the versys is perhaps more comfy for taller peeps, and a bit more friendly around town as it’s high up. It’s a great all rounder.
Consider what you want from the bike? Commuting? Town bike? Touring? Track days? If you fancy a bit of touring then you might want something with more luggage options, a bigger fuel tank and more wind protection.Posted 4 years agoCapt. KronosSubscriber
For leathers I would go Scott myself – pretty damn good for a lot less than anything of similar quality out there. They even do a custom option for a remarkably small amount extra (I have a 2 piece off the peg set from them, plus a custom made jacket).
A very fine rider once said to me that anything over 90bhp is pretty pointless on the road. I kinda agree (even though my last three bikes have been comfortably north of that figure….).Posted 4 years ago
Can’t go too far wrong with a CBR600F, if it’s got to be plastickated. Old ZX6s were good too. Arguably the more racy versions are “better” but the older ones are better allrounders.
superfli – Member
Same with my Furygan gloves – wont touch that make again
FWIW Furygan leathers are pretty much beyond reproach, but yeah the gloves are awful. (I looked at what the mad ****** sidecar riders wore to help me decide- almost all out in ancient, hammered, but still intact Furygan. Mine’s been down the road a couple of times but didn’t just survive, it’s still tidy enough to wear to the pub (which is all it does now as the bike’s mouldering away) But a bit too expensive for this thread I think!Posted 4 years agostumpy01Member
Mate of mine bought a Ducati Monster 750 as his first bike.
Nice bike. At the time it was pretty down on performance compared to similar Japanese bikes, but it sounded great and is plenty quick for a first bike.Posted 4 years ago
He considered the 600 but I think at the time (around about ’98/’99) it was considered pretty sluggish compared to the 750.
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