Which 600cc bike for starting out?

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  • Which 600cc bike for starting out?
  • fontmoss
    Member

    *hangs head in non thread searching shame*

    amplebrew
    Member

    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.

    shermer75
    Member

    Hell’s teeth I thought it was another new wheel size!! 🙂

    Depends what you want. All the bikes posted above plus Bmwf650, Transalp, tenere etc. I tried a 600 bandit but found it really uncomfortable and prefer more upright bikes.

    Premier Icon nedrapier
    Subscriber

    I’ve got my eye on a street triple for the not too distant future.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    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.

    fontmoss
    Member

    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? ta

    Premier Icon martymac
    Subscriber

    i would echo northwinds opinion ^^^
    an sv650 (for example) is slow compared to an R1, but would still leave any ‘normal’ car standing.

    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!

    fontmoss
    Member

    Cheers guys, lots to think about! Anyone recommend a bike forum? Trying to work out running costs and also getting started eg clothing.

    nickname
    Member

    Had a go of a fazer yesterday at ‘wheelie school’…was pretty impressed with them.

    I don’t think you will go far wrong with any bike to be honest…fazer, bandit, sv650, hornet, er6…

    If it was me, I’d probably go for a hornet 🙂

    patg
    Member

    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.

    patg
    Member

    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.

    curvature
    Member

    Don’t by cheap M/C clothing.

    It won’t last and it won’t protect you if you come off.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    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)

    riiich
    Member

    Northwind +1. Plastic coated bike turned out very expensive when dropped (repeatedly). Had more fun and less strss on £500 Yamaha xj600n. Then again depends where you want to go with it.

    Jujuuk68
    Member

    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.

    5thElefant
    Member

    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.

    Premier Icon takisawa2
    Subscriber

    600 unfaired Bandit. No plastics to break. Bulletproof air cooled engine.

    Was looking at a ZZR600 the other day. Chap picked it up for £700. 14k on the clock. Lot of bike for the price of some RockShox. 🙂

    fontmoss
    Member

    Bandit, fazer, hornet all on the radar, sv650 now added 🙂 CBR600F might be worth a look it seems

    M1llh0use
    Member

    Would concur with the “you’ll more than likely drop it in the first year” thing so don’t be too precious over a first bike.

    Cbr600fs is a weapon in the right hands and an awesome all rounder.

    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.

    Premier Icon tomaso
    Subscriber

    Loved my SV650 – really fun bike. However its not as much fun as my CBR69er, its a 600 really, honest..

    muddyfool
    Member

    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!

    rp16v
    Member

    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 attention

    Premier Icon Capt. Kronos
    Subscriber

    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.

    mogrim
    Member

    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.

    I agree with the Captain. Some of the Jap bikes naked and sporty bikes are built for midgets.

    superfli
    Member

    (never, ever, buy Frank Thomas gloves)

    +10000
    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.

    nickname
    Member

    ^ 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.

    Premier Icon Capt. Kronos
    Subscriber

    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….).

    Premier Icon buck53
    Subscriber

    The correct answer is the one that makes you go, “Oooooohhhhhh nice” they longest/loudest.

    CBR600F/600 Bandit/Fazer 600/SV650/Hornet

    Choose one depending on which you like.

    Don’t worry about dropping a bike, get some crash bobbins fitted, and any low speed drop is going to cost you a lever at worst.

    CBR600F is hard impossible to beat as an all rounder.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    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!

    gwaelod
    Member

    saw the thread title and assumed this was about another new MTB wheel standard.

    My Urine temperture instantly flashed to 500 celsius

    As you were.

    fontmoss
    Member

    That’s an unusual response to wheel size

    stumpy01
    Member

    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.
    He considered the 600 but I think at the time (around about ’98/’99) it was considered pretty sluggish compared to the 750.

    Premier Icon annebr
    Subscriber

    If you’re looking for a motorbike forum I’d suggest http://www.therevcounter.co.uk/forum/

    gwaelod
    Member

    That’s an unusual response to wheel size

    its becoming my standard response to wheel size threads. We should have an seperate forum for them

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