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Discussion Starter #1
Just passed my big bike test this morning!

I actually did it on my 125 so technically I'm limited to 33bhp for 2 years, but the reality is I can buy any bike I want and add an electronic restrictor.

Now the thing is I'm moving house next year and am likely to increase my mileage by a factor of about 5. I currently use naff all on my 125 - I use about £120 a year in petrol at the mo as the bike gets nearly 100 mpg actual consumption!

Now I would like a Yamaha R6 but the fuel consumption is probably around 35mpg in the real world. I thought maybe a Ninja 250R but I think the front light cluster is a little ugly.

Maybe a Triumph Daytona 675? But that would be as bad on petrol as an R6. Hmmm.
 

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Why not just do the test again on a proper bike ???
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I did my course and tests in 2 days and £400 on my own bike, instead of 5 days and £1000 on a 600cc bike. The big thing was time. I can't afford to waste 5 days leave because of family commitments. I'm not going to lie though, the money saving was tasty too.

Besides, I can have any bike I want with a restrictor for a couple of years. Though I might choose a 250 anyway because of weight and fuel consumption. I'd prefer the bike to be light and thin for traffic work.

Actually my R125 is perfect for my current commute across 30 and 40 zones but we are moving this year and hlaf the commute (time wise) will be on a dual carriage way (50 zone but the cars are mostly at 65).
 

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Nobody can tell u which bike to get as we all come in different shapes and sizes just like the bikes :) and we all have different likes and dislikes

For what its worth one of the best road bikes i have owned was a triumph street triple. It was so easy to ride and would give a litre sports bike a run for its money in the twisties but was like sitting in an arm chair due to the sit up riding position. And the 3 cylinder engine was again sublime. Plenty of torque throughout the rev range even low down unlike a straight 4 but liked to rev like one ;) i knew a few people who had restrictor kits fitted. Maybe worth a test ride? :)
 

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Hi

Price difference sounds way too much between the 2 tests (given they are pretty much the same tests and training, just done on a different bike).

Restrictors are an odd thing. There is no legal requirement for any proof that a bike is under 25kW / 33hp (although your insurance company might want some proof). However the biggest supplier of the kits to restrict bikes is FI who sell them for silly money and demand that they are fitted by a dealer.

There are cheaper ways to restrict some bikes (ie, Honda CB500 has some restricted intake rubbers for a fairly reasonable cost, which are fitted combined with some different jets - although most Honda dealers seem to have no knowledge of this).

Most of the kits to restrict bikes consist of washers that fit in the intake after the carbs. With a bike with CV carbs this has much the same effect as not opening the throttle much and the fueling should pretty much sort itself out. This doesn't apply to an injected bike or one with slide carbs.

More modern bikes with fuel injection tend to be harder. Normally done using a throttle restrictor, which means you land up with only a tiny bit of the throttle travel the bike is designed to have.

After that it comes down to what you fancy and what fits you. Suspect if a 250 Ninja fits you the 675 might be a bit tall, and likewise if the 675 fits you the 250 might be a bit small.

All the best

Keith
 

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None. Too many people I know have been killed or injured riding one:(

If you're insistent, at least carry an organ donation card......
 

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From the original post you haven't really given much to go on to determine what the best route is for you, other than talk about mpg.

In which case you may as well forget about proper bikes and stick to your 125 or a scooter.

If you want to progress to a proper bike in a couple of years time, you need to be riding one with proper weight and some power. As others have suggested, you're going to need some low down torque for this with the restriction you have, and a Triumph Triple will do that for you.

Either way, I'd put good money on you not keeping the bike you decide on now in 2 years time, so make sure you don't waste money on a brand new model.
 

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Suzuki SV650 would suit you I reckon. Cheap to buy & run and fast enough to be fun. :thumbs: to the Street Triple though, I love my Daytona 675 but it'd be bit of a handful as a first big bike.
 

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From the original post you haven't really given much to go on to determine what the best route is for you, other than talk about mpg.

In which case you may as well forget about proper bikes and stick to your 125 or a scooter.
This.

For comparison of mpg, what we have had with a selection of the bikes we have / had.

1200 Bandit - About 46mpg in normal use. Actually improved a touch to 47mpg when tuned. Dropped to about 41mpg when running 1 tooth smaller front sprocket.
600 Bandit - Bit better but not much.
FZR600 - About 45mpg
XJ600 - About 45mpg
GPZ500S - 65mpg if you kept below 7000rpm / 85mph. Mid to high 50s if going quicker.
ZZR600 - Motorway cruising at 90 about 55mpg, at 80 about 60mpg and at about 70 about 64mpg.
Aprilia RS125 - 55mpg. Although it did manage 74,5mpg when ridden very carefully during the fuel strikes (trust me, it wasn't worth it).
Yamaha YSR50 - About 65mpg (pretty dire for a 50cc engine)
Honda H100 - 100mpg when thrashed (which it was all the time)
CB100N - 90mpg.
Bimota YB10 - 35mpg average.
TZR250 - Not sure I want to know.
FZ750 - 46mpg in normal use (for some reason was noticebly better on 4* many years ago than it was on unleaded)

As you can see most are around the 40~50mpg range. Only way you are likely to get much more is on the economy biased bikes (ie, GPZ500, ER5, CB500, etc).

All the best

Keith
 
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BMW F650GS single, 60+ mpg, cheap to service, bullet proof, can carry luggage if you commute, not too quick or slow, bounce quite well with little damage if you do have a slow speed off :)
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Wow good info people, thanks. Kickstart's mpg guide is particularly helpful. Interesting that so many bikes get about 45mpg, since according to Fuelly, people seem to be averaging about 48 uk mpg on an R6, so it's no worse than most.

Keith, you're right about the price of tests, it is actually the same price for both tests, however if you want to take the test on a big bike, you have to hire a bike from the bike school, and they recommend 4-5 days training with them on their 600cc bikes before taking the test. Hence the price differrnce racking up - instructor time and bike hire. As I've been riding for over 2 years I convinced them I could do it on my own 125 with 2 days of their training - and I did.

Well my R125 is awesome for economy, looks and sounds great but the reason for changing is that I'll be doing 10 miles of the A3 in both directions of my new commute. People seem to do about 65-75mph down there if the traffic allows, and I've found my R125 lacking in acceleration when doing trial runs of that journey - cars come up from behind and pass really fast and suddenly if you're not going "fast enough". That's why it's time to let go of the lovely R125 for something with more poke. Also I have been on the R125 3 or more days a week for 2.5 years so I feel the need for a little more power.

I am cautious as I know that people die riding (though no one I've heard of personally since we were 20-somethings). However, I do need to ride for my commute, and as you might expect, I've grown to like it. I say 'need to ride' - there are other ways to do the journey but they are painfully slow and expensive.

As to what bike would fit me, the R125 fits me perfectly and I find it comfy. The R6 is almost exactly the same shape and size.

It's worth bearing in mind that my perspective is a little different to most people's as I currently cycle to work 2 days a week on a thin-saddled Trek race bike with no suspension, correctly set up with the saddle higher than the handle bars (the most aerodynamically efficient position and best for getting full power from the legs). As such I find sports bikes luxuriously comfortable!

Also, I'm only 5'9" and 11 stone, so I don't have issues with fitting on a sports bike which taller people can experience. At the other end, of the scale, I've sat on a few dirt-bike style bikes like the XT and found them way too high-up and uncomfortable for me.

Yamaha and a few of the other manufacturers have lowered their prices recently. For example, there's a pre-reg'd R6 going for £7900. I can get a less-than 2 year old with 2-3000 miles on the clock for £5950 on Bike Trader.


I really like the Triumphs too, and would love to buy British, though I have to say I much prefer the look of the Daytonas to the Street Triple. That would mean a 675 on a restrictor I guess.

I've gone off the Ninja 250 since I found out it has carbs - I want something with injectors that starts first time in the cold. Thought it was a bit ugly too.

Sort of love the idea of an Aprilia 125, though I've been told the 2-stroke doesn't have much poke at low revs for town work. There was a guy on my old commute route on an Aprilia 125 who seemed quite competitive if you know what I mean, and it seemed his bike didn't pull much from a standstill but once the revs were right up it flew for a 125. Also have heard the Aprilia needs more TLC and a good warm up before use - obviously I warm the bike whilst putting on helmet, gloves etc but I want something totally reliable as a daily commuter.

I've also considered the Yam XJ6 Diversion though the reviews indicate it's a little lacking low down poke, having a de-tuned engine from a 2003 R6.

Everyone says the SV650 should be perfect, but somehow I've just failed to love it. I look at it and it just doesn't stir the soul.

So I may be looking at a restricted R6 or restricted Daytona 675. Is this mental? Judging by forums I've seen so far, there are plenty of happy people with restricted R6s.

I might wait til my house move to buy the bike (cheaper postcode as not London, and an extra year's no claims), in which case it would only be 18 months between buying the ike and deristricting it.
 

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From that last post it does sound as though an R6 may just be the right bike for you!

I've had two 600s, an XJ600 & a CBR600. Fuel consumption for both was high 40s/low 50s depending on usage, although both involved very little town or traffic riding, so your consumption may be worse.

As for the nay-sayers, yes, bike casualty rates are higher than for cars, but you've only got one life - it's up to you where you take the risks!
 

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Hi

To me it also sounds like an R6 isn't the kind of bike that would suit you, beyond having vaguely the same styling as the R125. Performance wise it is designed for high speeds, and strangled down to 25kW I don't think it would be that appealing beyond looks. And restricted it won't have any more performance than a restricted GPZ500 or the like.

Sort of love the idea of an Aprilia 125, though I've been told the 2-stroke doesn't have much poke at low revs for town work. There was a guy on my old commute route on an Aprilia 125 who seemed quite competitive if you know what I mean, and it seemed his bike didn't pull much from a standstill but once the revs were right up it flew for a 125. Also have heard the Aprilia needs more TLC and a good warm up before use - obviously I warm the bike whilst putting on helmet, gloves etc but I want something totally reliable as a daily commuter.
We have a load of Italian 125s including an RS125.

It is a good fun bike and in full power form pretty quick. Early ones are quicker and made (in the road tests) 28.5hp at the back wheel (so probably a bit short of 33hp at the crank). Top speed is around 100mph, but you do have to thrash the absolute knackers off it to go quickly (which is where much of the fun is, being able to thrash it without going that fast at the end of the day). Handles great and brakes well (or at least does with decent pads, the originals gave a fairly dead feeling to the brakes).

However they are maintenance intensive. Replace the rings at about 6000km and replace the piston every other time (neither are difficult, a gentle afternoons work). I wouldn't warm it up before riding (just means it takes far longer to warm up), but would keep the revs down until well up to temperature.

I would say they are a great bike for thrashing for fun. Not sure I would recommend one as a daily commuter.

All the best

Keith

PS - The 25kW limit for a restricted licence appears to be meant to be measured at the back wheel.
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
Great info Keith. Shame the Aprilia 125 needs that level of maintenance otherwise I'd love to have one! Maybe should look into some of their other bikes..

What about a Shiver 750?

Also, is it foolish to ride a naked bike year round for commuting purposes? Are bikes with fairings less prone to rust than naked bikes?
 
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