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The Toad
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Orthodoxy suggests that you first get something lighter with less power than the 1200 Bandit unitl you rebuild you skills set to embrace the new paradigm. By the time you top out a 1200 Bandit you'd probably be completely out of Israel anyhow.



The fact is most any Japanese bike these days is pretty inexpensive to operate. Sportsters as well are pretty practical bikes. I'd suggest a 400-500cc bike. Or maybe a dual purpose bike in the 400cc range. Something light and handy.



I'm sure you've got more medium class bikes to choose from than we do in the USA.
 

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The Bandit 600 is a fine choice. Air-oil cooled and if you have any mechanical apptitude you can get service book and do everythng yourself. Another good bike is the Suzuki sibling SV650 and it's sister the DL650. Notice I didn't say SVs (the standard no fairing bike has a better riding position). Kawasaki makes a bike call the Ninja 650r. Don't let the Ninja name fool you. It's a pretty straight forward water-cooled standard bike. Honda makes the 599 (hornet in europe). Pegs are a bit higher but it's still a standard. Don't forget Triumph Bonnevilles. Used they can be had for $4000-4500 (USD) in real clean well cared for condition. The Burg is a fine maxi-scooter. Make sure you are getting the facts right from the dealer. They are pretty bullet-proof. Yamaha makes a scoot called the Majisty that is pretty close to the Burg so check that, as well. Good luck, welcome to MO, enjoy the sarcasim, and glad to see you back in the saddle.

 

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Add into the equation tires and other maintenance cost, as well as what you're going to use the 2-wheeler for, for both bikes and scooters, and see which floats to the top for you economical sense.



Highways or really beaten up roads and the motorcycle will probably be more enjoyable. Around town or on well maintained roads a scooter's just fine.
 

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Replace the drive belt at 12K kms?! WOW!! That must be one hell of a powerful scooter. My dad's Road Glide has about 41K kms and has maybe needed the belt adjusted once.



I would hope that 12K kms is bull$hit.
 

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what about a used mid-weight cruiser like the virago 535, the yamaha v-star 650 classic/custom; something with a torquey v-twin for getting you around city traffic? add a detachable windscreen and a tankbag, and these two can tour nicely.

or if you're into sportbikes, the kawasaki ex500 is very low on maintenance costs with its venerable parallel twin, has plenty of power, and a fairing for touring. considering that it can be had new for under $5000 USD, that's a pretty great value.

the suzuki bandit 600s is a fine standard bike as well, and can be had for cheap (in the states).

-helpy helperton
 

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There is simply, positively, absolutely no way a Burgman 400 is going to go through a V belt every 12K km. I had a Honda Silverwing, which is signifigantly more powerful and heavier which (if following the maintenance schedule) only needed a belt every 18k mi (roughly 26k km). There's also absolutely no way that it would cost $1k to change the belt unless they're completely gouging you or your sales tax is in the neighborhood of 500%. The belts for the Silverwing were ~$110, probably $200 if you had it installed by a dealer. What's more, is that the tires on a big scoot last longer than most motorcycle tires and cost about 30% less. Also ignore the folks that say it's not fit for the highway - I've ridden a Burgman 400 and met up with a few people riding them out west on a long road trip, thousands of miles from home. It'll easily handle any paved road. I even had the Silverwing off road a few times, and while it was the definition of squirelly to hustle a ~600 pound (with fluids) machine with an over 60" wheelbase and a 14" front wheel over loose sand and sliprock, I managed to get the job done. As they say, it ain't the tool.



All that said, if you're a tall or heavy guy, I'd highly recommend a more traditional bike. The Bandit 600, SV650, DL650, GS500, Honda 599, Sportster 883, KLR650, Ninja 650 (or even better for a returning rider used 500 or 250 ninjas), Buell Blast, DR400 or 650, and XR650 are all excellent examples of cheap and practical, but still fun bikes that you can take anywhere.
 

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Re: Being an Outlaw Is Expensive

When I saw "MC Running Costs" I thought it was going to be about the high cost of running an outlaw motorcycle club.

One-percenters OWN the term "MC" don't you realize? So you'd better watch your ass or you'll be "educated" -- and don't call me "Bro" if you know what's good for you.
 

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Burgman 400 belt replacement is 14,500 mi. Have it replaced along with a full service for about $500. Still pricey though. I'd get a good single cylinder dual sport (DRZ400, DR650, XR650L or KLR650). Get a used one, adjust every thing, then change the oil, put in gas, lube the chain and beat the hell out of it. The DRZ is a bit more finicky than the others but all are simple, reliable, will take you anywhere and are inexpensive. You can always buy a second set of wheels and do the supermoto thing.
 

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One item that has been left out by the original writer is that import duties for almost anything into Israel are 100% of value or higher. Petroleum costs would be $4 to $5 a gallon, I suspect and oil will be high as a part for service as well, with $20-$30 per liter not out of the order? (I am basing oil prices on past times in Japan.) The belt should last much longer than the time the dealer mentioned. Most of the alternate bikes mentioned are good choices. If available, a Yamaha TDM 850 would be a good one to look at or a Honda TransAlp in 500cc or larger size. I would avoid the pocket rocket 4 cylinder 4 stroke 250 cc or 400 cc Japanese bikes just due to the small physical size for touring.



I like my ZX 6 Kawasaki and had a ZZR 400 cc in Japan that I used to tour the main island. The ZX 6, ZZR 600 and the ZZR 400 are the same frame with different bore and stroke in the engine so the ZZR 400 could be used to tour solo quite well since I have done so. I even toured with a rider for short day trips with it since it was about 65 horsepower. My ZX 6 routinely gets more than 50 mpg on regular gasoline and is capable of going 8,000 to 9,000 miles on a set of good tires.

Chain adjustments are easy to do and the valves need adjustment every 7,500 miles. Change the oil every 3,000 miles and ride, ride, ride...
 

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Like burnt rubber and fabric?
 

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This is all well and good, but how will it affect the price of Gefiltifish on the corner of Derech-Patah and Yitzhak-Sadeh?
 

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If you're looking for inexpensive and easy to care for, I'd suggest the DR650 Suzuki. Not expensive to get into, good cargo rack, easy maintenance, valve adjusts are screw and nut so they're easy (I did mine myself in about 1 hour with minimal effort). Chain adjusters make adjustment a snap. Gas milage was about 50. Being dropped wasn't a big issue and being less water cooling just made it simpler to take care of. And if the road isn't so good, it doesn't mind at all.
 
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