Bandit 250, as good as big brother?

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Bandit 250, as good as big brother?

Post  Ulsterkiwi on Sat 20 Jun 2015, 9:16 am

Hi folks.
The good lady is getting her motorcycle licence. She isn't sure where its going or if it will be her thing. However, for context, usually when she decides to do something its 150% effort on her part. An example. She decided to take up Scuba so she could come on a holiday with me. After one year she was an advanced diver with two additional specialities and had clocked up 120 dives. We are talking proper stuff here, not dipping her toes in the bath. Most keen newbies get about 25 a year in.
Anyway she will be needing a bike. There are some very very good new machines out there but until she gets her confidence we are thinking something older, cheap and cheerful.
Darling Mrs Ulsterkiwi is a bit of a hoon in the car. I am thinking the usual GN offering will not hold her interest long. I have come across a few examples of Bandit 250s and would like your advice on these 4 pot 250s. I had read in other forums things like: 4 cylinder smaller bikes are to be avoided, 250s tend to be raped, 250s are this that and the other.
You lot tend to be a bit more measured and realistic with your input (tell noone I said that).
So, how would the following stack up do you reckon? If this turns out to be her thing am thinking 6-9 months to get her confidence and then go shopping again.

Bandit 250

Wife is 168cm tall, 70kgs and a very confident driver, she is rock solid as a pillion, never freaks or panics. Am hoping that transfers to the front seat!

Of course I might be barking up the wrong tree so any suggestions would be appreciated. Also FYI, we have a carbon copy of your LAMS scheme here in NZ.

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Re: Bandit 250, as good as big brother?

Post  reddog on Sat 20 Jun 2015, 9:47 am

They aren't bad bike, but id honestly recommend a Honda vtr for a first bike. If you are keen on a 4 pot the Bandit 250 shared is motor with the Across, which isn't a bad looking bike and has a rather large boot in place of the fuel tank.
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Re: Bandit 250, as good as big brother?

Post  paul on Sat 20 Jun 2015, 9:57 am

The other bike which has been popular with a lot of learners is the 250 gpz kawasaki  and especially the ninja model over here .
As RD said the Accross is also a good choice if you can get a good one ................not sure what they share mechanically with the Bandit .

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Re: Bandit 250, as good as big brother?

Post  Ulsterkiwi on Sat 20 Jun 2015, 10:00 am

yep, have been looking at all of the above. The Ninja is probably the best looking. I am inclined towards a naked first time around. Ach, who am I kidding, she tries the one she likes I won't have say anyway lol.

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Re: Bandit 250, as good as big brother?

Post  Chook on Sat 20 Jun 2015, 10:11 am

@Ulsterkiwi wrote:who am I kidding, she tries the one she likes I won't have say anyway lol.
I feel you pain Mad
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Re: Bandit 250, as good as big brother?

Post  Bosco15 on Sat 20 Jun 2015, 10:42 am

My 2c worth. It's all about torque.  
Sv650 or Hyosungs copy. Or the twin 250's like zzr or gpz if you have to go 250. 
A twin pot has a lot of low down turning power as opposed to the four pot top end power. 
When learning, one less thing to worry about, such as having a bit of oomph no mater which gear you happen to have forgotten you were in, will be very helpful.  
The Sv are readily available second hand and well built, with the added benefit of being a bike that is suitable for an intermediate rider, so wife may not outgrow it as quickly.  
Congrats to your wife on joining the two wheel fraternity.  
Quality riding gear, warmth, comfort and protection, should be an important investment too.

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Re: Bandit 250, as good as big brother?

Post  madmax on Sat 20 Jun 2015, 10:55 am

Are you restricted to 250cc max?

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Re: Bandit 250, as good as big brother?

Post  Chook on Sat 20 Jun 2015, 10:57 am

@Bosco15 wrote:
Sv650 or Hyosungs copy. Or the twin 250's like zzr or gpz if you have to go 250. 
A twin pot has a lot of low down turning power as opposed to the four pot top end power. 
When learning, one less thing to worry about, such as having a bit of oomph no mater which gear you happen to have forgotten you were in, will be very helpful. 
Good advice, I'm on the look out for something for my daugher and have been really undecided. I must admit, I've even considered a single trail bike for her as well
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Re: Bandit 250, as good as big brother?

Post  Ulsterkiwi on Sat 20 Jun 2015, 11:11 am

@Bosco15 wrote:My 2c worth. It's all about torque.  
Sv650 or Hyosungs copy. Or the twin 250's like zzr or gpz if you have to go 250. 
A twin pot has a lot of low down turning power as opposed to the four pot top end power. 
When learning, one less thing to worry about, such as having a bit of oomph no mater which gear you happen to have forgotten you were in, will be very helpful.  
The Sv are readily available second hand and well built, with the added benefit of being a bike that is suitable for an intermediate rider, so wife may not outgrow it as quickly.  
Congrats to your wife on joining the two wheel fraternity.  
Quality riding gear, warmth, comfort and protection, should be an important investment too.
thank you, that sounds like good advice.
Oddly enough, one of the options we looked at for a fresher bike was the Gladius (basically an SV) They are available new in a LAMS 650 and there is a local guy who imports the 400 version with ABS from Japan direct. Used but in good nick.

Yeah she is well kitted. Something I insisted on when she began to come regularly on the back of my FA.

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Re: Bandit 250, as good as big brother?

Post  Ulsterkiwi on Sat 20 Jun 2015, 11:16 am

@madmax wrote:Are you restricted to 250cc max?
nope, 650cc with 150HP per ton, just like you fullas Very Happy

there are a few 600ish bikes I would be keen on her trying but they tend to be newer and (more importantly) heavier.

With lightness in mind I had also thought she should consider one of these

Not looking good for the old Bandit 250 eh? lol

There is part of me would like her to get this in black to match my FA. Too much too soon I think however and like I said, has to be her choice really.

Thank you for the input, really helpful Very Happy

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Re: Bandit 250, as good as big brother?

Post  2wheelsagain on Sat 20 Jun 2015, 11:55 am

Personally I'd have a close look at a ZZR250.
I've ridden one many times and my daughter in law just picked up a good one for 2k.

The VTR250 is too slow on the open road in my opinion. Maxes out at 120km/h and doesn't have much oomph from 100.
A nice bike for around town though.

The ZZR is turning at 8k at 100. God knows how many revs the 4 pot is doing?

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Re: Bandit 250, as good as big brother?

Post  Bosco15 on Sat 20 Jun 2015, 4:40 pm

https://touch.trademe.co.nz/motors/listing/view/898476644

Probably pic this up with a big discount if you put a cheeky offer in.

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Re: Bandit 250, as good as big brother?

Post  2wheelsagain on Sat 20 Jun 2015, 5:24 pm

@Bosco15 wrote:https://touch.trademe.co.nz/motors/listing/view/898476644

Probably pic this up with a big discount if you put a cheeky offer in.
Not LAMS but looks cheap enough

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Re: Bandit 250, as good as big brother?

Post  Ewok1958 on Sat 20 Jun 2015, 5:56 pm

It's a tricky question. Do you buy a bike that might last beyond the learner/probationary period (eg the SV/Gladius or similar) or do you buy something cheaper with a definite view that it will be replaced as soon as the rider is past the probationary period. The later is a sounder strategy IMHO, so the trick is to spend as little as possible on a bike that is at least a bit of fun for the rider (you don't want to risk the missus saying she is over the whole bike thing due to having picked an uninspirational bike for the Ls/Ps).

What about a Honda CB400 - fun little bike but perhaps hard to get a second hand one at a decent price. Good luck with the quest.
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Re: Bandit 250, as good as big brother?

Post  BanditDave on Sun 21 Jun 2015, 7:05 am

Just a wild idea.

We never pursued it but I have heard that it if you already have had a car license for a number of years you are eligible to go straight to an open license and bypass all the LAMS issues.

My wife began with a GN250 which was useless beyond the 80Kmh speed limits in fact I thought quite risky in faster traffic.

She progressed to an open license and despite my protests purchased a Honda 750 Shadow.

Oddly, a lot of people suggest the Shadow as a good learners bike particularly due to their low seat height. I don't think there are any other redeeming features Crying or Very sad

We did come across a Cagiva 650 Raptor which weighed about the same as the GN250 but her mind was made up on the Honda "Tractor".

In all fairness to her she did a 7000Km trip but shortly after that completely lost interest and it was sold.

My recommendations are to pursue the option of going straight to an open license then purchase a Cagiva 650, Suzuki SV650 or what I am buying tomorrow Suzuki DL650.

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Re: Bandit 250, as good as big brother?

Post  Ewok1958 on Sun 21 Jun 2015, 8:14 am

@BanditDave wrote:Just a wild idea.

We never pursued it but I have heard that it if you already have had a car license for a number of years you are eligible to go straight to an open license and bypass all the LAMS issues.

.
Definitely not the case in the ACT Dave. But, if you are a mature-aged rider with a car license you have only a 3 month probationary period after 12 months on L-plates.  And the ACT does not have the 660cc limit for LAMS bikes that the other states have.  As a result, I bought a Suzuki VZ800 (M50) Boulevard when I re-sat my Learner Test in 2007 after some 25 years since my previous bike license expired.
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Re: Bandit 250, as good as big brother?

Post  Ulsterkiwi on Sun 21 Jun 2015, 8:40 am

there is no provision for that here in NZ. What we do have is an alternative testing system which I used. Under the old system, you had to wait 6 months before doing the restricted licence test. This had pretty much all of the limits of the learner licence except you didnt have to display an L Plate. After a further 18 months you were eligible to take the full licence test. What you guys would call open.

Under the Competency Based Training and Assessment system you can take your restricted test the day after getting your learner ticket and feasibly take the full licence assessment that day as well. However you have to wait 12 months before you can get your actual full or open licence. Essentially, get your riding skills sorted and you take a year off the timeline. The assessment scheme assumes you undertake training to prepare you for the assessment(hence the moniker). Additionally its run by actual motorcycle instructors, the old system you were tested by the same guys who test car drivers, most of whom did not actually ride bikes.
For me the main benefit is the timeframe assessment happens over. For the restricted test its usually an hour or more of on road riding in multiple scenarios and conditions. For the full its about 40 minutes. I did my restricted licence test in about 20 minutes under the old scheme and didnt experience a third of the scenarios the CBTA would or anything like it. The scheme definitely produces a more skilled rider. I still consider myself a learner mind you!

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Re: Bandit 250, as good as big brother?

Post  madmax on Sun 21 Jun 2015, 9:06 am

Interesting that the states all adopted the LAMS system but then put their own spin in it.
In Vic with a full car licence you are still required to hold the Learners for a minimum of 3 months and up to 15 months. Once you take the licence test you are still on probation for 12 months, although because you have a full car licence you don't need to display P plates. The restrictions still apply.
Vic also adopts the full range of LAMS bikes up to 660



I'd consider
CB400 or 500
GS500/F
SV650
SFV650
Versys 650L
FZ6R

Stay away from Hyosung, If you think the bandit has build quality issues, wait until you own a Hyosung affraid

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Re: Bandit 250, as good as big brother?

Post  reddog on Sun 21 Jun 2015, 10:57 am

We didn't have lams at the time I got my license. My wife and I purchased a Kawasaki gpx 250 which shares the motor with the zzr and now the new ninja. For a learner bike it does so the things OK. The parallel twin lacks torque so you have to be prepared to rev the little bike to get it to move. We did 24000kms on that bike before I upgraded, biggest problem I found was lack of power when overtaking. You had to get the elastic band wound up and hope no one came the other way Smile they are cheap too
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Re: Bandit 250, as good as big brother?

Post  dhula on Sun 21 Jun 2015, 12:38 pm

We sold the POS Zongshen and brought a nice '06 GPX250 for $1700.
The young fella loves it and he's 6 foot tall and 85 odd kgs. I've riden it a couple of time to work and back and think it's a pretty reasonable bike considering my frame size.
Easy and cheep to run and service plus it looks good I recon.
It'll do the speed limit (@ ~ 7k rpm) and above if needed. It handles the not so straight roads pretty well also.
Agree with reddog about winding up the lacky band but for what it is I recon it's a pretty decent bike for a new learner.
When both our boys are done learning and if the bike is still in pretty good nick, I think we will go pretty close to getting our money back if we sell it on.

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Re: Bandit 250, as good as big brother?

Post  BanditDave on Sun 21 Jun 2015, 1:38 pm

Seems like I misread the rules a little however it appears that you can get your learners permit and the following day do your RE license test with QRide.

This is the "grey area".

As I read it there is no reason why you cannot return to QRide and do your open license test the following day.

It all sounds dodgy however if you do the RE test and R test on a QRide loan bike then it saves having to purchase one or more bikes that you do not have any long term interest in.

Of course the above does not provide you with any riding experience, although a lot can be gained from an unregistered dirt bike on private property.

I would ask these questions with your QRide (or whatever they may be called?) trainer.

The worst answer is NO!

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