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nopeda
nopeda New Reader
6/15/24 9:12 a.m.

Hi,

I would like to get a lite weight inexpensive four stroke bike mainly for street riding. Something that can run easily at around 60 mph but could get up to 70-80 for passing and some highway use. I had a Honda XR500 for several years then got a CB750 because the 500 was eating through too many knobby tires and I never did much off road stuff. But the 750 ate through chains too fast so I got a car and later also got a GL1100. 

Now I want to get a smaller bike and from first looking into things get the impression a 125cc or 150cc won't do the job so probably need to go for a 250cc. Can anyone suggest machines they've found to be a good inexpensive light weight street bikes? 

The searches I've done so far bring up new names to me like Hawk and X-Pro, but maybe they are by the same company? I'm trying to keep it down to under $2000 and so far don't care if it's a new machine or a used one in decent condition.  I want something that can be easily loaded into and carried in my Dodge Ram van and also on a carrier mounted to the back of the van. Something small and lite but beefier than a scooter.

Thank you for any help learning about these machines!

David
Maine, USA

johndej
johndej UltraDork
6/15/24 9:39 a.m.

TU250x

Cousin_Eddie (Forum Supporter)
Cousin_Eddie (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
6/15/24 10:01 a.m.

A Honda rebel would fit the parameters. They've been making them since Ronald Reagan was in office so there's plenty of them out there. 

fatallightning
fatallightning HalfDork
6/16/24 12:18 a.m.

Id also look at Savage 650/Suzuki S40. They're 650cc thumper, but only make 30hp. They're also only about 40 lbs heavier than a Rebel 250. It's just enough extra oomph to not feel like you're killing them on the highway. Also made forever, usually can always find a decent one for under 2k. They're smaller than they come across in pictures.

Appleseed
Appleseed MegaDork
6/16/24 4:02 a.m.

Ninja 250-300, and their standard derivatives.

MadScientistMatt
MadScientistMatt UltimaDork
6/16/24 6:45 a.m.
Appleseed said:

Ninja 250-300, and their standard derivatives.

There's also a couple Honda and Yamaha 250-300 cc sport bikes out now in the same vein - CBR250, YZF-R3, and I think there's a naked version of the R3 as well.

ddavidv
ddavidv UltimaDork
6/16/24 7:19 a.m.

Royal Enfield J-series 350s. Four different flavors to choose from, depending on your desires.

If you want a little more off-roady type bike, go get a Scram before they are all gone (will be discontinued after this year).

You can buy new, or nearly new, for the price of a lot of used bikes out there. 

There's also the excellent Triumph 400 singles, but those will cost you a bit. 

I wouldn't go less than a 350, personally, though the TU250X isn't a bad little 250.

 

Cousin_Eddie (Forum Supporter)
Cousin_Eddie (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
6/16/24 8:27 a.m.
ddavidv said:

Royal Enfield J-series 350s. Four different flavors to choose from, depending on your desires.

If you want a little more off-roady type bike, go get a Scram before they are all gone (will be discontinued after this year).

You can buy new, or nearly new, for the price of a lot of used bikes out there. 

There's also the excellent Triumph 400 singles, but those will cost you a bit. 

I wouldn't go less than a 350, personally, though the TU250X isn't a bad little 250.

 

I've had a Royal Enfield so I get what they're all about, but his budget is 2000 dollars. 

stuart in mn
stuart in mn MegaDork
6/16/24 9:42 a.m.
nopeda said:

I'm trying to keep it down to under $2000 and so far don't care if it's a new machine or a used one in decent condition.

Your price limit is going to keep you in used bikes - I think even the newer Chinese imports will cost more than that new.  Also, wanting to put it on a carrier on the back of the van will limit the size - hauling something larger than a 250 on a carrier can be done, but it gets pretty sketchy due to the weight.

ddavidv
ddavidv UltimaDork
6/17/24 8:50 a.m.

I'd recommend saving more money then.

About the only thing decent you might pick up that cheaply would be an older Ninja. Pretty safe bet, though.

fatallightning
fatallightning HalfDork
6/18/24 5:32 p.m.

You might find a TW200, 60 really is the happy place. More than that is pushing your luck. 

914Driver
914Driver MegaDork
6/19/24 7:51 a.m.

Are you handy?  If so that opens up a ton of more options.  I bought my wife a GS-550e to learn on, that's when I learned my friends that said "Some people don't belong on motorcycles" were correct.  The 550 was light, easy to ride, comfy at 60 mph and the bikini fairing broke the wind off your chest.  

Honda Ascot.  

 GS-550e.

CB-450.  

 

pres589 (djronnebaum)
pres589 (djronnebaum) UltimaDork
6/19/24 8:12 a.m.

How much CX500 does $2k buy these days?  Or maybe an ugly SV650?

Being interested and able to work on the thing will open up options a lot. 

914Driver
914Driver MegaDork
6/19/24 6:39 p.m.

Visit Naked Gold Wings at NGW.com.  I believe they have a whole section on CX-500s.

$1400.   

Pretty one fr $1600.  

$2,000.  

ddavidv
ddavidv UltimaDork
6/20/24 7:03 a.m.

SV650 is a good answer. CX500 has some mechanical flaws (water pump, charging system) that could be a real downer for a new rider. 

fatallightning
fatallightning HalfDork
6/20/24 11:52 a.m.

I'd probably pencil in a GS500 also. IMO, if you're dealing with carbed bikes, the less cylinders the better for mental health. 

maschinenbau
maschinenbau PowerDork
6/20/24 1:09 p.m.

I was going to say DR-Z but they never seem to dip below $3k for decent ones.

fatallightning
fatallightning HalfDork
6/20/24 4:21 p.m.

Yeah they tend to bottom out there for titled ones. Occasionally I'll see a DR350 kicking around that number. You may see KLR250s or Super Sherpas sub 2.

pres589 (djronnebaum)
pres589 (djronnebaum) UltimaDork
6/20/24 7:23 p.m.

GS500 is probably a pretty good option.  I had one for a first bike and if I had wanted to wrench on a bike that I didn't really fit on well it would have been great.  If you're under 6' tall these seem like a good option. 

Woody (Forum Supportum)
Woody (Forum Supportum) MegaDork
6/20/24 10:20 p.m.

Honda Nighthawk 250

 

ddavidv
ddavidv UltimaDork
6/21/24 7:15 a.m.

I'd bet you could find a Nighthawk twin for about the ceiling price of the OP.

Woody (Forum Supportum)
Woody (Forum Supportum) MegaDork
6/21/24 7:45 a.m.

In reply to 914Driver :

Ascots are great looking bikes. They came in both V-twin (VT500) and multi-valve single (FT500). Personally, I'd go with the VT like the one you linked above, but here's a 7000 mile FT for two grand. 
 

https://www.facebook.com/share/KwHBJHbKqu7wXoEb/?mibextid=79PoIi

 

914Driver
914Driver MegaDork
6/21/24 11:05 a.m.

Buy this and  the $1700 left in your budget will easily get you new roady tires and the seat recovered by Sargent.

Please don't run knobbies on the street, slamming to a stop on a drizzly day for someone running a light across you bath ends badly.  (experience)

 

DancesWithCurves
DancesWithCurves New Reader
6/21/24 11:47 a.m.

Not sure if OP is ever coming back, but rider height/weight could be a factor in recommendations.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
6/21/24 12:12 p.m.
ddavidv said:

Royal Enfield J-series 350s. Four different flavors to choose from, depending on your desires.

I just want to say that this photo had me looking at the Royal Enfield website and dreaming, and I don't even ride motorcycles. That should be the picture in the dictionary for "motorcycle".

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