One of the major reasons for getting a bike for me while in central London is to carry me and my girlfriend to short social trips and meals, etc. There won’t be so much chance for recreational riding.
As such, what sort of bike is best to make her feel comfortable and safe?
At present, without this criteria, I was thinking along the lines of fast bikes like Hornets or Street Triples and slow bikes like CBF600 or Divvy etc. Because they are all great bikes and have sufficient interest for me when on my own. However, I will probably be commuting mostly on my push bike.
What are these like with pillions and should I consider different types of bikes altogether - a cruiser (lol)?
What are some boring and sensible, cheap (but can hack the winter, so prob no suzuki) bikes I should consider?
wont a car be better for shopping trips? i did it on my bike and usally just end up with a stack off beer on my rear seat that gets taller and taller 1 off these days i am gonna hit the top off the fly over when i go under it loool:DWHOOOOOPS SORRY WRONG FOURM SORRY I AM TIRED NOT BEEN TO BED YET!:hehe:
One obvious thought is indeed a scooter - my biggest reservation about them is that it will teach me less about biking proper, which I’d like to do someday - preferably outside London - because it is automatic.
There’s no shame in starting out on a scooter – it will let you get the feel for biking in London, and you can always move up to a “real” bike later. The main advantage is that when your mind is boggled by assessing traffic situations and the like, you won’t have to get your head 'round shifting gears at the same time.
That said, if you want to carry the girlfriend too, you’d want a bit of grunt to move away from the lights quickly. A CBF600 has 78 hp so it’s hardly a “slow” bike… a 600 hornet isn’t slow, either… it’s really up to you mate. Any naked bike is probably best for the city due to the upright riding position and lack of unwieldy and fragile plastics.
You can also get a “big” scoot, the 500cc - 600cc scoots boast tons of storage and are great for urban warfare from what I hear.
True. Even a 250 scoot will do you 2-up around town. And it didn’t hamper me going to Switzerland and back the last 2 summers either. Up and down the mountain passes and on the motorways and A roads. Won’t go much more than (gps) 70 mph, but a 500cc scoot will top 100mph if you want to go that fast. Happy to accept that I might be a glacially slow learner, but I’ve still got a way to go before my riding skills are better than my scoot’s abilities.
At the end of the day, if you want a geared bike, then you’d better get a geared bike.
But: taking a pillion (it’s easier for a pillion to get on a scoot than on a bike); shopping trips (my scoot does 6 or 7 bags of shopping easily, and then there’s the “curry hook” for extras); storing your gear (room for 2 helmets. Room for all my bike gear, and boots under the seat/in the topbox); etc. It’s what scooters are made for!
But remember, if you get a scooter, then no “proper” biker will ever nod to you :P:D
Yep - Bandit 600 - perfect for this job - cheap - easy to service (and loads of cheap spare parts via breakers) - proper big motorbike size - so room enough for the pillion - unlikely to get nicked. Will hack the winter - just keep the rear calliper bolts and pistons greased and your laughing.
In my opinion Its not worth the hassle and expense in removing the fairing and finding a mounting for a new set of lights mate - plus you might have to adapt/replace the clocks with ones from the naked 650.
If you hate the fairing that much (i think it looks ok - and will be useful on the motorway) then compromise and get a naked without abs.
Well I’ve got a Bandit 1250 ABS (the one with the fairing) and love it. Had it since August 07, nearly 20k miles from new, use it mostly for commuting (30 miles per day round trip, Croydon-central London) but it’s also great for weekend touring with pillion and full luggage. Only downsides are the GF gets sore ankles after long journeys so the pillion seat might be a bit cramped for someone her height (5’ 6"), and have had to have the cat. converter changed as original overheated the housing pipe. That was covered by the warranty.
Also it is top-heavy which took a bit of getting used to. A machine control session with Kent Advanced Motorcyclists sorted that one out
It sounds like deep down you want a proper bike; so don’t get a scooter. You’ll always wish it was a proper bike. Don’t get cruiser, they’re rubbish in the city, and outside of it. Get something like an old NTV or a Deuville, since you’re not going to enjoy riding it anyway… To be honest, it sounds like you should just get a car though. Riding a bike is brilliant if you got a long commute through traffic, or if you enjoy it. But for going to social events and stuff like that to be honest its a pain in the arse; going into the pub with two sets of protective clothing and 2 helmets, and not even a big scooter can hold all this.