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Discussion Starter #1
I've been riding the Big Burg for a few years now and besides a few issues (suspension, mostly sorted) it's been an ideal mount. Thing is, I'm worried about losing my motorcycle shifting skills--I enjoyed that aspect of riding. So I've been toying with getting a CBR125 just to keep the muscles busy. It's small on everything, gas/insurance/maintenance/hp. I know it's no freeway monster (tested the first NA model, maybe about 110km/h max). What I want to know generally is: how dangerous is slow accelaration and restricted top speed? Are there more close calls in traffic than on more powerful machines? I know I don't need 100hp, nor even 50hp. My old gs500 did fine with 35. Bigger isn't always better, but when is small too small?
 

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250 was the cutoff for me, and even then I wanted some more for the freeway. The Burg 400 was the answer. But if you want a shifter, Ninja 250 perhaps?
 

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The CBR125 was never offered in the USA. Canada got it for a few years. It was designed and build in Malaysia or Thailand or someplace over in SE Asia. Huge following over there with lots of parts. The new one coming very soon is the CBR300 and it's naked sister the CB300F. There is also the older CBR250, might still be a few on dealer's floors for really low prices.

As to traffic issues - I went 6 years on a 50cc scoot. For smaller cities it is great but I would say a 125 is as small as one should go for anyplace big. And for sure if you ever want to go on a street 45mph or faster it is a necessity.
 

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Plus 1 on the 250 cutoff, 125 is really weak when it comes to getting out of the way of traffic. Another option that no-one seems to mention is to look for a Hyosung GV 250 if you like cruisers or GT if you like sport bikes. The prices are lower than for a "big name" manufacturer, the bikes are dead simple and bulletproof and they will give you the same performance as the Burgie 400. Also check out the 200 to 400cc Motard bikes, they have quite different gearing and really move compared to small street only bikes and you have the option of exploring non paved roads as well.
 

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How about a Royal Enfield 500? Great bike, great retro looks and very good price for a new one.
 

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Over this side of the pond the 125 rules in cities and towns. Folk even tour on them. I've ridden many of them over the years including the Honda. Owned one also. Great bikes. The thing about them is that you cannot break one if you service it fairly regularly. I was cruising at 70mph indicated on the motorway on my Burg the other day and to my surprise, a Honda 125 single cylinder machine glided by me doing about 75mph estimated. It had a young spotty faced teenager on it but he held that speed for some 20 miles with no problem. Upon talking to him at the next fuel stop, he had owned the bike for 3 years and it had over 70,000 miles on the clock. Yes, he showed me! Which brings me to the next point. They do last pretty much forever. We have Honda 125 scooters over here that go over 100,000 miles with not problem other than service parts. That includes clutches and variators. You could do worse but may be you may want to look at a 250 upwards. After the Burg you may find a 125 too flat on performance.
 

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I spent a number of summers in Greece renting an Aprilia Atlantic 125 and 200. I had no trouble keeping 65 MPH on either one. They climbed the mountains nicely also. Admittedly, the roads were such that sustaining 65 MPH before you started hitting the curves didn't happen very often. I would hazard a guess that if you were in the states, with our roads, a 125/200 would be more problematic. I would get around 90 MPG with the 125, so for an around-town type bike, with the storage of the Atlantic, it would be ideal.

John
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the input. I'm up here in Ontario, so that means straight roads and rolling farmland where the suburbs aren't gobbling it up. No worries about hills--there's one hairpin in the whole province. The northeast around Algonquin Park is nice, but hours and hours away from where I am, droning there and back no matter how you slice it.

The RE 500 is pretty neat (easiest rear wheel removal ever), but we get soaked with a 30%-50% premium on EVERYTHING you guys in the States buy, used stuff included. Even a 20-year old borderline scrap bike is $2000 here ("Ran When Parked").

There's a sale on CBR125s at the moment, so about $2600ish OTD get's me shiny new wheels. My old zx6 had double the Big Burg's power (and 150 lb lighter to boot), so I know about adjusting to less zip. As long as it's not a dangerously dumb idea, and the thing fits well enough, the MicroCBR checks all the boxes.
 

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The RE500 doesn't seem to be within the parameters of the question you asked. They are beautiful in a nostalgic way but have doubtful reliability, just as the ones did when I was a kid. Their dealer network is ridiculous in the U.S. I think that little 125cc Honda has as much HP and would probably out run it:)

If you are planning on using the 125cc Honda bike in the city and urban areas, it should be fine, just don't pull out in front of a line of traffic and keep impatient riders waiting to pass.

I rode a Yamaha Zuma 125cc back and forth to work, a distance of about 24 miles round trip, with 90% being nice, curving country roads and enjoyed the 45 mph speeds and 80 to 100 mpg economy. I tried to avoid pulling out in front of traffic even if the cages were far away.

Personally, I would look in the 180 to 250cc range and that would allow you to occasionally jump on a Highway or Interstate if you had to.

Sam:)
 

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Flywheel - ideal bike for where you are



http://www.kijiji.ca/v-motorcycle-other/barrie/klr/594384704?enableSearchNavigationFlag=true

The are bullet proof
Enjoyable to ride
And covers an area off limits to the Burgman 650

I love mine in Aus

You won't miss the power as much and won't feel you are on a sewing machine.
Cmon....12 HP in Ontario is NOT a good thing.
40ish on the KLR is fine and will cruise all day at 110.

And there are some nice easy dirt roads plus of course Ganaraska and you'll be a better road rider.

Very upright seating - nice for commuting and that has the correct items - doohickey and a lower seat.
Easy bike to ride.

It's a twin for mine in Aus right to year and colour.



Totally reliable.

This was on a 220 km out and back ( unintentional ) in 37 degree heat.



we got stopped by the Mitchell River being a tad high to cross...of course buddy had to test it



You can buy a KLR650, ride it and then generally get close to what you paid for it.
Legendary bike.
 

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I agree with all of the claims about the KLR and would add that I love the exhaust sound! However I hear that they are maintenance intensive (but easy) and they are a very large bike...even taller than the V-Strom. If you want a light, tossable bike the KLR is still a tad heavy and if your insurance is like B.C.'s the price goes up quite a bit when you have more than 400 cc's but that could be countered by buying an old KLR that has been looked after and putting collecters plates on it.
 

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Small displacement bikes are cool too. Would love to own a 125 Buddy. Cute retro looking Vespa type and super quality. For now though I'll stick to my 50 hp Burgie and 100 hp 919.
 

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Unless you are staying in the city where city scoots are good - the smaller machines really are a bit dangerous due to lack of power.

I don't maintain my KLR very well and it puts up with it...never fails to start even after 9 months in a blazing hot shed....the battery dried out entirely but we poured in gas, jumped it from another battery and I rode it home.

Last time it got knocked over by one of the girls ( tight driveway ) after sitting outside under a cover for 8 months. Lay there for a week.
Finally GF and a Burgman rider friend got it upright.
Got down there ( new battery again ....bought a lithium this time ) - put the battery and not even fresh gas.....cranked for a while then fired up.
Rode it for the season with no issue.

Good enough for the Marines...good enough for just about anyone.

It is taller than the Weestrom BUT lighter and with the seat lowering and if you wish the lowering links ( turns out I only needed the lower Sargent seat to be fine. I have a 30" inseam....and of course an older model will have some "sag" when you are on it.

I suspect insurance will be not bad on it for an experienced rider.
If you can ride a Burgman 650 you can ride a KLR650.

Here is another at $2500

http://www.kijiji.ca/v-sport-touring/guelph/klr650/1016858681enableSearchNavigationFlag=true

and another with great add ons.



Great condition. Get it before the price goes up in the spring! Bought a new touring bike. This is an awesome adventure bike, great on insurance. Comes with twin 36L Givi monokey panniers and 15L Okford tank bag (could be sold seperately). Twin Air air filter upgrade. Tires at 70%. Upgraded tall touring windshield. New this year chain and sprockets.
If I could get those Panniers to Aus I might grab them. You could go around the world on that set up.
And some have
http://www.rtwrider.net



It's a good companion to the Burgman 650 and will keep your riding and shifting skills sharp and let you explore roads less travelled.

I got $568 as insurance cos no comprehensive/collison which is decent for Ontario for the KLR and $438 for the CBR125 with comprehensive or $353 without with TD.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Ketchup...Catsup...Ketchup...Catsup

Good stuff guys. I definitely know my Japanese dual sports by this point--they were in the running while I considered the Burger King and aren't totally out of the question now. DR650, DRZ400, XL650, XR650, CRF250L, KLR650, KLX250, WR250R, etcetera. Dug through reams of reading on all of them to the point I almost feel like I've owned all of them!

At least one of the above was parked near my old shop on any given day, so I got a chance to have a good look at them and chat with their owners when they were around. The WR250R looked especially sharp.

Insurance (for me) is about the same as the Burg for the 650s, which is annoying. Insurers in Ontario insist (with the government's blessing) on wholly separate policies for each bike, so you can't add a new machine to your existing coverage for a small fee. Sucks for riders, awesome for corporate profits!

They relent a little for smaller machines, so a CBR125 is $300ish for the year, full coverage. I'd love nothing better than to really start learning (mild) offroad, even though I'm getting older. Wish we had a Ganaraska and some canyons in the west end of Toronto. Being jammed against a lake and surrounded by nothing but flat urban development for hundreds of km is a real buzzkill.

Maybe I'll take MacDoc's advice after all--it worked pretty well with the Burgman. :cool:


 

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I'm 66 and still doing medium off road. There are some trails just north of Belfountain.

Here is your closest for forest track.

Simcoe County Forest - This is a county forest surrounding the Barrie area. You must be an OFTR member to ride here. Failure to comply may result in trespassing charges. SCF has almost 200 km of single track trail. The trails range from open fire roads to tight twisty single track thru the woods. Some areas have very little elevation changes while others get quite hilly. Soil is mostly sandy to loam. Unlike the Ganaraska SCF is divided into a number of smaller parcels of land. Not all of the forest tracts are deemed suitable for motorized use. The Simcoe County Off Road Riders are the hosting club. Maps are only available to OFTR members on the OFTR or SCORRA websites. SCF hosts the Midhurst Trail Ride.


But the KLR is too heavy for single track. Back roads are more the thing and there are loads up in Hockley etc

How come we don't see you at the Forks?
There is good info and chat with the riders there

BTW - even in Cairns - its 50-100km to reach riding areas.

The KLR is quite happy at 80-90 kph with even fairly agressive tires - so comfortable enough to get to good spots
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I was sliding the Burgman along some of those gravel roads around Hockley and Shelburne at about 80km/h. Very fun, though washboards would put a damper on things, no pun intended!

Haven't had much time to ride outside Toronto this season. Besides the late spring, condo development forced my shop to move. Expensive and exhausting--big cities have fewer places for average people to thrive these days.
 
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