Reader response: Buying a bike

2013-02-15 10:06

Wheels24 reader Jarryd Smith was having a tough time deciding on a new ride, specifically of the two-wheeled variety. Smith, an amateur motocross rider who has never ridden on the open road, wrote to us seeking advice.

We passed Smith's request to our motorcycling guru Dries van der Walt who enthusiastically leaped at the chance to offer advice. Smith was so taken by his advice, not to mention the Wheels24 biking community as a whole, that he's sent us the following response:


"All I can say is, THANK YOU so much for such a detailed reply! I have read and re-read your mail about three times now and have begun researching the aforementioned motorcycles.

You definitely hit the nail on the head as i am definitely inclined to purchase a mid-size bike.

Travel-wise, I really don’t think I will be doing any long trips other than the unforeseen work meeting where I might not be able to catch a ride with a colleague (seriously, once in a blue moon stuff). It should also be noted that my wife is seriously nervous about me getting a bike, so the deal is, I can only use the bike to get work and back again ;-)

The other huge plus-point is that i live up the north coast of Durban, 7kms shy of Ballito. When I talk about "traffic", it is hardly more than a few cars heading in the same direction as me.

I've never experienced standstill traffic on my route to work and it has never taken me longer than 10 minutes in one direction.

Body size: I am 1.78m tall and weigh 82kgs, so i guess that puts me in the "average" category.

I will also more than likely be driving to work on a bike for the next two to three years until said-debt has been dramatically reduced and I can buy a car again. I think I will always own a bike - road & off-road - so I’m looking forward to starting this new journey.

I will definitely take your advice on getting proper road-training (any suggestions of contacts in Durban?) as I also need to get my bike license before buying a bike.

At this stage, my short-list of bikes (especially after your advice) to test looks like this:
- Honda NC700X
- KTM 690 Duke
- Yamaha FZ-6R
- Kawasaki ER-6N

TO THE WHEELS4 BIKE COMMUNITY (posted as a comment)

"Hi everyone. I just wanted to say a HUGE thanks to Dries and the team at Wheels24 for being so incredibly helpful and generous with their advice. And to all that posted, it is incredible to see how willing the biking community is to help out a newbie.

Some great suggestions from everyone and at this stage (as I hopefully wrap up the sale of my Toyota Fortuner), it looks like I’ll be going the KTM Duke 690 R route... opinions and thoughts welcome!

Again, thank you so much for all your advice and all the best for the 2013!

Wheels24 thanks Smith for his kind words and would like to extend a hat-tip to our biking community for their support. To Dries we'll be sure to give that man a bells.

Do you have queries on car or bike purchases? Are you looking driving/riding advice? Email us and we'll publish your thoughts or use the Readers' Comments section below...

  • Mandy Casey - 2013-02-16 01:04

    If you will only commute to work and back for 10 min trip, then also look at Honda CBX Twister250. Great learner bike.

  • gman44 - 2013-02-17 22:39

    And look at the royal enfield in kloof

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