Passing their bike test was the easy bit. Now our band of intrepid new bikers have been set the task of choosing a first bike from five models aimed at new riders
The BMW just felt too tall for my little legs and I got the feeling I couldn't hold it up if it started to topple. The styling was a complete turn-off, I'm not quite up to the standard of riding where I want people to turn and look at me!
Everything about the BMW was easy. It's easy to ride, brakes well and corners as well as I am prepared to try. The switchgear felt a little cheap and basic and the horn button was in the wrong place but apart from these silly little things the BMW was really easy to get on with. The looks actually grew on me, but probably because I started to enjoy the bike.
The BMW was nice and relaxing, a bit like a cup of tea. On the road it performed really well, smooth and very easy to live with. But, and this is a big but, aesthetically it's horrible. I was pleasantly surprised by the BMW and preferred it to the Guzzi, but I couldn't live with its looks.
I like the hassle free side of the BMW. The belt drive looks a bit odd but at least it cuts down on maintenance. I found it a bit sluggish but it feels light and handles well. A good town bike too.
I really liked the BMW, which surprised me because I really didn't think I would on looks alone. To ride it didn't feel very powerful and the gearbox was clunky, but apart from that it makes a great town bike. But like the others I don't like its looks and no matter how enjoyable it is to ride I couldn't own one because of this.
Once I got used to the fact it vibrates more than any other bike I have ridden the BMW was really nice. It looks a bit weird but is friendly and relaxing to ride and cornered well too. I like the thought that has gone into making it practical and would definitely buy it over the Ducati or Harley.
Jon Urry - Road Tester
The CS is an oddball. If you either like, or can live with its looks, the BMW surprises. As a town bike it's very easy to get on with. The compartment where the tank should be is a great solution to the problem of where to put luggage and the pillion grab rails are excellent. It can vibrate a bit, but this is true of most singles, and the gearbox is a bit stiff. However, with options such as ABS, BMW provides the extras that new bikers will find comforting. But the CS's problem is that no-one seems to like its looks. It has a serious image problem.
Next - Ducati Monster
TYPE - STREETBIKEPRODUCTION DATE - 2003PRICE NEW - £5395ENGINE CAPACITY - 652ccPOWER - 47.9bhp@7000rpmTORQUE - 41.9lb.ft@5400rpmWEIGHT - 170kgSEAT HEIGHT - 780mmFUEL CAPACITY - 15L TOP SPEED - 113mph
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