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Wanted - 125cc Bike for Learner
firefly
post Wed, 22 Jun 2005 - 11:31
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Hi all,

I'm starting a new job next month and I've decided to go on two wheels as opposed to four.  I can't be bothered with sitting on a train day in, day out - so I've decided the best thing to do would be to pass my CBT test and get a bike.

I'm a total beginner, but I was thinking about getting a second hand 125cc bike (Aprilia, Honda).  Can anyone:
i) Recommend, or know of anyone who would sell such a thing
ii) Advise of the best kind of bike for me (I'd like as much grunt as 125cc can offer... icon_wink.gif )

Any other tips that you think would help would be gratefully received.

Cheers.


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post Wed, 22 Jun 2005 - 11:31
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chadders
post Wed, 22 Jun 2005 - 11:43
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Hi ff, may be a good idea to stick down your 'area' if you haven't already got an instructor lined up. Word of mouth is always best, and there seems to be a lot of bikers in here.
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peteturbo
post Wed, 22 Jun 2005 - 13:00
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ff,

the first thing is to decide your long term ambitions.

Cos if all you want the 125 for is to pass your test, then just spend peanuts on anything that  is fully legal, relaible and will sell fast afterwards, so you have more money for the real bike.

If you are going to keep the 125, what type if bike do you prefer?  sports, commuter, scooter, easy wan / rider.

The danger is;  My first 'bike' was a C50, then a 100cc test machine only whilst i dreamt of a cb200 benley commuter.  Trouble is that after passing my test, and looking at 200cc bikes, a bloody 350LC crept upon me and changed my life.  20 year ago that were.  You wont know what these numbers mean, but the bikers reading will - and you may soon too!

To reiterate; what is your long term goal bike, and be ready for that goal to change drastically.

Awful things bikes, especially the one on the left.  Bitch.


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OU812
post Wed, 22 Jun 2005 - 13:13
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Since trying to find a Harley 125 is like finding rocking horse doo doo I've been toying with getting one for these for starters

http://www.southcoastscooters.com/niftysc125_28.html
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Clear Skies
post Wed, 22 Jun 2005 - 13:28
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QUOTE (firefly)
Hi

Any other tips that you think would help would be gratefully received.

Cheers.


some good ideas from essex, small number plates and smoked visors....

bad essex  ideas is all that weaving between cars, thinking bikes are indestructable..  one ex essex lad,  on the a127 , found two lorries overtaking , so went between them and was sucked under the wheels by the draughts
.
Lorry driver then had a heart attack and died.. altogether quite a mess...

note the wednesday and friday meets in the dengie/dengie bends  are now well policed with 6 new police bikes, and Herr flick also hiding in bushes on those specific days..that's In addition to weekends.. so france is much nicer for some 2 wheel  fun .
A130 also has plod on them almost every day and night since two deaths there.. one of which was caused by a marital row.. so much for speeding kills.

good luck smile.gif

rgds


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firefly
post Wed, 22 Jun 2005 - 13:50
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Thanks guys,

I've no long-term ambitions to own anything too major.  It's purely a way of getting to work and back.  I've been told the Aprilia 125 is nice, and is nippy enough to get away from most things.

Basically I want something that's quick off the mark, between £1k-1.5k and looks OK.  There's stacks kicking about, but I wondered what the best option is.  The plan is to get one decent commuting bike and hold on to it when I pass the test.


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andy_foster
post Wed, 22 Jun 2005 - 13:59
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There are essentially 2 schools of thought:

(1) the CG125* is the best 125, after all it is an 'onda.

(2) bollox to that, you want a real** bike mate.

*Makes Sign Of Holy Pushrods
**500cc+ e.g. CB500, NV650, Bandit, Fazer

For commuting under 10-15 miles, in urban traffic only, a 125 might be ok. Other than that you'd be far better off with a bigger bike. 125s don't have the acceleration to get you out of trouble when some 'tard pulls out in front of you. Also, you're far more likely to get caught speeding in urban areas on a 125 because you need to maintain your momentum to make any progress.

If you take your test on a 125, you'll be restricted to 33hp for the next 2 years. If you take the direct access test (over 46hp - IOW 500cc) you get a proper licence.
Second hand 125s have always (well, since the limit was lowered from 250cc) cost more than comparable (slightly) bigger bikes.


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firefly
post Wed, 22 Jun 2005 - 14:09
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Thanks Andy,

The Aprilia 125 is, apparently, f*ck off fast.  I know two guys who had one and say it's pretty much perfect for the sort of journeys I would be doing.  You reckon the Honda then?  I'll have a look...


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chadders
post Wed, 22 Jun 2005 - 14:49
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Are the bikers thinking what I'm thinking... give a little while after he passes his test...

And then discover the delights (as I did) of something like a GSXR-600; erm... 1st gear... red line... 85mph - oh crap!
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Bob_Sprocket
post Wed, 22 Jun 2005 - 15:11
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Hi ff,

I learned on a Honda CG125. IMHO this is a very good bike to learn on and made the CBT and round the bollards stuff a piece of pi$$. It is four stroke and has a little bit of low speed torque, much more than 125 two strokes. So when you are doing manouvers it is much easier to go at low revs with your back brake dragging a little and be intotal control with a bit of clutch feathering. When I did the first part of the test the younger guys on their two strokes were reving away and really struggling to get their bikes under control at low speeds.

Nowadays I would probably go to a school that would loan me a bike. I think that I would also do the direct access route and get onto a bigger bike quicker.

After I passed my test I used the bike for about a year and then had about 10 years without a bike. When I decided to buy a big bike I did a two day returners course and then got my 1100cc BMW to really start to learn. wink.gif

Best wishes

Bob
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ZX6R
post Wed, 22 Jun 2005 - 15:16
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QUOTE (andy_foster)
For commuting under 10-15 miles, in urban traffic only, a 125 might be ok. Other than that you'd be far better off with a bigger bike. 125s don't have the acceleration to get you out of trouble when some 'tard pulls out in front of you


100% andy - they're dangerous on dual carriageways.  Too light in backdraughts, gutless up hills, and top heavy if your over 17.  Also, I'd find a 125 uncomfortable.  Its not just the engine size you need to consider, its the frame size, seat height, bar position...everything about the bike.

I'd go down to the local dealers and sit on a few 125's, you might change your mind then and decide on the the direct access route to something bigger.  Even on the A2 licence (tested on 125cc) you can ride anything provided it's restricted.

For commuting something like a bandit, fazer, SV, etc....  Or for a bit more fun as well, the 600 sports bikes are OK for commutes up to an hour or so.

Good luck with whatever you decide on ... and welcome to a world of complete freedom.
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Clear Skies
post Wed, 22 Jun 2005 - 15:54
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[quote="ZX6R"][quote=andy_foster]

I'd go down to the local dealers and sit on a few 125's, you might change your mind then and decide on the the direct access route to something bigger. .[/quote]

surprisngly, as very little else happens  there, u will find  a good dealer in stanford le hope,  king street.

rgds


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andy_foster
post Wed, 22 Jun 2005 - 16:28
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QUOTE (firefly)
Thanks Andy,

The Aprilia 125 is, apparently, f*ck off fast.  I know two guys who had one and say it's pretty much perfect for the sort of journeys I would be doing.  You reckon the Honda then?  I'll have a look...


IIRC the one of the Prillers makes about 33 bhp when de-restricted. To do this legally, you'd need a full bike licence as (despite being within the power limits for restricted licences, the power to weight ratio is too high).
N.B. I'm pretty sure that this was the case a few years ago, however they might be using heavier paint or something to get the weight up now.

To get any real power out of a 125, it needs to be severely tuned - i.e. have a very narrow powerband. Two smokes also need to be given the berries as a matter of course, otherwise the engine will sieze.
If you're a skinny 17 year old headbanger who wants a bike for making lots of noise and/or throwing around tight twisty bends, then it's an ideal bike.

There is no such thing as a fast (unaccompanied) learner-legal bike.
I would strongly recommend against getting a 125 other than purely as a learner bike (unless you only intend to use it for urban commuting).

If you intend to take a bike test (and all the bikers here will tell you that you should) then you have 3 options.

(1) Buy a 125 hack, do the CBT, and teach yourself to ride and/or take a few lessons. Take your test - restricted to 33 bhp for 2 years. Keep 125 or sell and buy a bigger (probably restricted, unless 250cc) bike.

(2) Intense/residential  (3-5 days) on a 125 (supplied by bike school) . Take test, buy a restricted bike.

(3) Direct access test (intense/residential) on a >46bhp (Suzuki GS500E  :cry: ). Buy any bike you like.

The advantage of the first option is that you will get far more experience using a cheap hack and hopefully learn how not to crash.


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MrsMiggins
post Wed, 22 Jun 2005 - 17:34
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If it's only for commuting just buy a scooter.  They are easier to ride, smaller so they fit through gaps in the traffic more easily and there's space under the seat to carry stuff!


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FooMan
post Thu, 23 Jun 2005 - 11:32
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QUOTE (MrsMiggins)
If it's only for commuting just buy a scooter.  They are easier to ride, smaller so they fit through gaps in the traffic more easily and there's space under the seat to carry stuff!

I would second that, if it's only for commuting, although I don't actually have a scooter (Husky Supermotard). I believe the Gilera Runner VX 125 is pretty good. I have had a go on an earlier version and it was well built and quick.
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peteturbo
post Thu, 23 Jun 2005 - 12:26
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I think FF wanted sensible replies!
scooters icon_eek.gif


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Blackbird
post Thu, 23 Jun 2005 - 13:21
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Just to put my two penneth in, I would avoid 2 stroke bikes as a commuter.  Too much maintenance.  I'm not anti 2 stroke - used to own RG500 but would back up Bob's comments on usability.
Having met FF I think he would be a prime candidate for Direct Access (anybody please correct me if the rules have changed in the last year, I know they are due to).  Use a school bike, pass the test and then there are some wonderful commuter bikes available  :D

Regards


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ZX6R
post Thu, 23 Jun 2005 - 14:08
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Direct access scheme (DAS) and accelerated access

AFAIK, DAS scheme hasn't changed in the last year.  Certainly late last year, a friend of mine passed by DAS, so unless it's changed in the last 6 months and the DSA haven't updated their website, it's still an option.

I did read rumours in MCN last year that the DSA were considering changes.
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Blackbird
post Thu, 23 Jun 2005 - 14:38
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Thanks ZX6R
QUOTE
I did read rumours in MCN last year that the DSA were considering changes.
Me too hence my 'reservation'.  I was lucky to have passed my test  when all it consisted of was twice round the block and the examiner jumped out in front of you to see if you knew where the brakes were  :shock:
I took my test on a BSA Bantam but I had a Bonnie parked outside the test centre so that I could ride away in style  :D

Regards


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firefly
post Thu, 23 Jun 2005 - 15:02
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Many thanks one and all.

To be honest, I don't want anything too big (i.e. powerful).  The reason for this is that I just don't trust myself in it.  I take the point about having more torque available, and the argument about the weight etc, but some of the 125s are pretty darned quick from what I can make out.

Any thoughts on this bike? (Aprilia 125, two from the bottom).


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