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MCN  says:

First big bike test - MCN wants your views

What do you look for in your first big bike? Is it a smooth engine or perhaps a low seat height? Maybe it just needs to be at the right price. MCN will be testing a selection of naked bikes and we want to know what new riders look for in their first big bike. The test will involve a Kawasaki ER-6N,...

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  • Posted 5 years ago (05 August 2010 14:32)

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Feb 10

Posts: 63

JamesQGM says:

Aprilia Pegaso Trail

Size (i'm 6"3), Price and Practicality were my main ones. I wanted something fun, but that i could do 200 miles on at the weekend on A Roads and Motorways without getting bored. Of course at 18 insurance was a big issue.

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Aug 10

Posts: 1

Stripleboy says:

Street Triple

I tried a few bikes before biting the bullet of ownership- for me, the confidence of knowing the bike will go when I want it to, stop when I want it to, and turn when I want it to, was an overwhelming factor. I love the light(ish) weight of the Street and the easy and comfortable riding position, this is also a confidence boosting factor. I also liked the fact that Triumph have really focused on customer service- I live overseas and they have been nothing but helpful with service requirements and advice on looking after it. I also feel confident the bike will be reliable and trustworthy- which to me is a luxuary of a slow learning pace of bike maintenance and bike handeling charachteristics. I also would say, vain though it is, very much worth saving for the bike you really want- the pride and joy is priceless. 

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Aug 02

Posts: 2769

spondonste says:

my 2p

I passed my test quite some years ago now and at the time the image and sportiness is what I bought in to (RG500 cos Sheene used to race them followed by an NS400R and RGV250M cos I was young but wanted a sporty and stylish bike). The shortlisted bikes are all decent and dependable but wouldn't be in my shortlist for first big bike if I was starting out again.

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Jul 09

Posts: 19

Dan09 says:

Great question...

I bought my first big bike last year. Value for money was top of my list, but I also wanted a road bike that would do a bit of everything- commute, blast, and occasional longer rides/touring when I want it to. I went by reviews, lots of them, and not just sports bike oriented mags, partly cos I was in the admittedly pretty crappy position of not being able to test ride - I took my test on my 125 (who needs bike school?) so got a 33bhp restricted license, also a consideration when weighing up options, as I'd need to get it restricted. I wanted something new or just a few years old... my shortlist was SV650, ER6F, Gladius, Bandit 650S. I went for the Bandit and I love it to bits. Haven't ridden other proper bikes, so more experienced riders will rightly say I can't make much of an informed judgement, but from my experience riding pretty much every day over the last year, I think the Bandit is fucking ace. I got a brand new K8 on 09 plates (ie. discount for last years styling) for £4300 from GT in Plymouth: for value for money I couldn't find anything to match it. It's still growing with me, has much more to offer, just can't wait to get that restrictor off... Don't get why your group test is so limited - just 3 bikes? there's loads of good first bikes out there. Or why only nakeds? I get the expensive fairing damage scenario for new riders, but the Bandit's half fairing means motorways are a breeze, literally, rather than a gale force blast. Means long distances are do-able, adds to the practicality and versatility of the bike immensely. And lastly, my own perfect first bike might have been the SV - lighter than the Bandit, a bit more frugal? - but I wanted that half fairing but did not want clip ons, bit of sporty is great but I also want commute comfy, traffic jam friendly, long distance sensible handlebars on my bike... hence SV650S was off the list.

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Jul 07

Posts: 36

seabeeahh600 says:

New One

I pased my test about 7 years ago and at the time I knew I wanted something no higher than a 600. I considered a Fazer, SV650 and a bandit, and in the end opted for the SV650 (faired). I found it quick enough for me to start with, and going from a 500 to the SV it seemed quick as...  but soon realised how under powered it was for someone of my size and soon wanted something bigger!

I think of todays bikes, Street Triple is the obv choice for a new rider !! After just passing your test, I think you need something that isnt going to scare the sh** out of you the first times your ride it, but a bike that helps build confidence and is  a joy to ride, plus evertyime you open your garriage/get on the bike you want to enjoy every second and be proud of what you are riding


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Aug 06

Posts: 22

nickmas says:

Go your own way

I'd bought a 2001 Triumph TT600 in roulette green before I'd passed my test, all I know is it was in my price range and highly desired by me, seat height was not an issue as I'd sat on it and knew I could put both feet down. The fact that I'd only been riding a GS500 on lessons and test meant the TT was a damn sight faster than that didn't matter (wright wrist controls that), the fact the TT was crap from anything below 6k revs didn't bother me.

The point being I got what I wanted and didn't care that experienced riders said it was the wrong bike, pass your test and buy whatever the hell YOU want. 


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Abstract rude


Aug 08

Posts: 62

Really big first bike!

I bought a vfr800f 98 model, I'm 18 so it's restricted to 33bhp tops out at about 100 but thats way faster than you need on the roads anyway... At first I thought  I'd made a mistake and gone with it because it looks awesome and I started to worry about the weight of it and handling such a big bike with less horsepower than a sit on lawn mower, but riding it around it's tought me loads and made me a pretty good rider because I had to adapt to it, all the knowlede was there, it was just a cause of building my skills on my new ridiculous machine. I know use it to ride to work and the odd 800 mile round trip to nottingham for work aswell!

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Jul 06

Posts: 4

joeer6n says:

First BIG bike

I passed my test nearly 5 years ago and my choice of first big bike was entirely down to customer services provided by dealer, done my CBT at a Yamaha garage so i went back there to check out a 600 fazer -  salesmen weren,t interested and seemed too occupied with carrying on in the showroom,next stop Honda dealership to check out hornet 600 - conversation went along the lines of "looking to try out a hornet - how long have you had a licence - 3 days - no fucking chance" !!!! Suzuki were fine up to a point and booked a test run on naked SV 650, went to pick it up and they said they could only give me half faired version - as a shortarse,the  stretch to bars was a wee bit too much for me - thats why i wanted a naked, took faired bike out for a couple of hours, brought it back to dealer  and salesman had papers filled out for me to sign on dotted line - without asking if i liked it or not (told me that i would have to wait months for a naked so i should just take the half faired version) next stop Kawasaki - dealer couldn,t have been any more helpful - gave me the keys to a Er6N and told me to bring it back at closing time !!!! Had the bike for 6 hours and loved every minute of it so went back to dealership and ordered one - had it for over 3 years with no problems whatsoever and last year i traded it in for a new kwak 750z

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May 09

Posts: 508

speedo007 says:

Before getting my final motorcycle license I was at a bike show and there was a Kawasaki Versys 2007 (we were in 2008) it was like 30% off and brand new still in the crate. I thought, might as well buy since 95% of other bikes I sat on were just too small for me. What a great bike to start on, really its an underestimated bike. Then the year after I fell in love with the Speed Triple. Found a great Triumph dealer, and although I had to place a deposit on the bike before even seeing one in the showroom, I knew its the bike I wanted so after winter, the 2009 bike arrived and I left the dealer's with a huge grin on my face. Such a fine bike, powerful, flickable, sounds ridiculously good and one of the best looking bikes in my opinion. But the more time I spent on the bike the more stupid I was getting, a few close calls for very high speed tickets, and I just realized I needed to get a bike that would be fun but would keep me closer to legal speed limits if I wanted to have any chances of keeping my license. The next year I sold my Speed Triple and bought a 2010 Scrambler. Love the bike, but not the best for long rides with a passenger (my gf smells the exhaust everytime I shift or downshift), she doesnt see in front of her and there's not many good luggage solutions either. So now I'm waiting for the Triumph Adventure, might just be what I need but will also try to keep my Scrambler for when Im riding solo, surprising how much fun a 60HP bike can be!

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Nov 03

Posts: 471

kl595 says:

wind the clock back

I passed my test 30 years ago, back in the days when you could ride a 250cc as a learner. If I'm honest, I didn't need to buy a "big" bike as I was quite happy on my 80mph DT250MX. Trail bikes were the in thing in those days as they were cheap and and spares plentiful. You could hit the dirt on a Sunday and ride to work on a Monday. The only reason I moved up was work. I started a job in London and wanted something to do the long haul in relative comfort without arriving stinking of 2 stroke fumes. It had to be cheap, look like a proper bike and be a Kawasaki as I had just seen Top Gun and there was a Kawasaki dealer near where I lived. So I bought a GPZ400 as the insurance was cheap and I couldn't afford the 900, or anything else come to that.

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