Buying A Learner-Approved Motorcycle (LAMS) Under $10k
What you get: New-2016, 0km
Read any review and you’ll get the picture very quickly: people love the MT-07 for its light steering, plus the character and flexibility of that triple-cylinder engine.
The 655cc learner version of the 689cc engine is down a little on power, but it’s been done in a way that you’re really not going to miss it.
Yamaha has made a bit of a virtue of the naked styling by providing lots of little highlights in the frame and chassis, so it doesn’t look like a cheap and cheerful operation. Just cheerful.
The only downside was the omission of ABS in earlier models (now added to current release) and a 14-litre tank, which is a little smaller than ideal for longer trips.
POWER: 38kW at 8000rpm
TORQUE: 57.5Nm at 4000rpm
WEIGHT: 179kg (wet)
THUMBS UP: Quick and nimble
THUMBS DOWN: No ABS with earlier examples, fuel capacity
Suzuki V-Strom 650
What you get: circa-2014, 5000km
Suzuki was one of the first makers to supply a proper LAMS tune on a road bike, with the SV650, and it soon followed with the V-Strom. That means you get an engine that feels very willing in a package that makes a good tourer (with some dirt-road ability) and a half-way reasonable two-up mount once you’re off your restrictions.
Engine flexibility is a highlight, as is the slick-shifting gearbox. Overall, this is a good match-up for the taller learner. The engines are tough and it’s really only high-milers (think around 80,000km) that you’ll start replacing peripherals such as radiators or brake discs.
POWER: 35kW at 12,500rpm
TORQUE: 60Nm at 6400rpm
WEIGHT: 214kg (wet)
THUMBS UP: Friendly and flexible
THUMBS DOWN: Big for some