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Which 47BHP Bike?


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So you got the A2 license that came in at the end of January 2013?

It's unfortunate however it's 14BHP more than what you were allowed previous to this so don't moan too much :lol:

As I did a 125 thread, I thought this would be of some use to the forum as we get more newbies joining and asking the same questions. So at the end of the thread I have added a "Best first big bike to restrict".

It runs off the general opinion with bits of my own and personal experience as I have been focused on these bikes lately.

So here is a list, along with a scoring system of how I rate each bike is what you can own on a A2 license.

The power range is from 20BHP - 47BHP

Using the old score system (revised a bit)

Town bike = Quick off the mark, easy to use, but not for going too far afield

A/B/M-road Blitzer = Quick accelerating and good for reasonable distances

Small tourer = Good all round town bike adept at taking on long journeys without bad discomfort

I've condensed this down to make it more easy to sit and use. No need for the repetitive nature of the last guide.


1.0 - Ninja 300

1.1 - KTM Duke 200

1.2 - Suzuki Inazuma 250

1.3 - Honda VTR 250

1.4 - Honda CBR 250

1.5 - Hyosung GT250R

1.6 - The old 500s, the Suzuki GS500, the Honda CB500, and the Kawasaki GPZ500 with references to their close siblings.

1.7 - Big bikes with less than 47BHP - Bikes packing less than 47BHP as standard

1.8 - The new 500s - Honda CBR500 - Honda CB500 - Honda CB500X

1.9 - Best Big Bikes To Restrict

2.0 - So Which is For Me?

2.1 - Summary and final words

Followed by a score out of 10 to say how good it is in its field.

1.0 Kawasaki Ninja 300


This bike is new to 2013, it is a fully reworked 250 and the changes are well received. All the niggles with the 250 were addressed. And a powerful 44BHP engine was fitted, a twin cylinder, and likes to be revved. It is a very small bike, so short riders will love it if they want a sports bike. It can be used everyday riding due to it's lightness and expected reliability however the revvy nature does mean it has to be worked for the power. More for pleasure than business but it deserves a good score. A friend of mine is after this bike and a test ride showed it will be a bit of a handful for slow stuff but it still manages it well enough, so on top of having great new suspension and a engine to have fun with on the weekends it can do the daily grind, albeit not as comfortably as some other options

Road Blitzer - 8/10

1.1 KTM Duke 200


An unexpected admission to the motorbike market, the KTM Duke now comes in a 200cc variant. Some think this will just be a glorified 125 but with KTM many have been wrong before. Its single cylinder makes around 20BHP and when it is already lighter than the YZF 125 a 25% power boost in a nippy bike like this really helps around town, which is dominated by 125s. It will pull away better than most cars, but being a naked the A40 is its limit, much past 60mph and the single makes itself clear through vibes. A great town bike or restricted to country roads it will be fun, if a little short on power for the latter.

Town bike - 7/10

1.2 Suzuki Inazuma 250


Trying to be a baby B-king this bike has a easy going twin, much alike the CBF250 but with a bit more power and quicker revs thanks to the extra cylinder. It doesnt inspire much in terms of its looks but it is popular with female riders who came into the biking world on small nakeds due to its low seat height and ease of use. A good little town bike but it is a bit boring unfortunately, the single piece seat is very dated as is the GSR600 style fairings. Needs an update!

Town bike - 6/10

1.3 Honda VTR 250 Import


It has to be imported but I've seen a few around. A v-twin 250 packing mid-20sBHP horse power.

Again it sounds low but the cylinder arrangement gives it a great punch off the line, it looks like a small Ducati monster which is a marmite bike generally. But this could be considered a good thing! A cheap naked bike and with Honda reliability it will never go wrong. Parts are easy to get hold of through any dealer too.

Town bike - 7/10

1.4 Honda CBR250


This 250 has only been around for a couple of years now. Like others it was made to compete in a 33BHP category so it may soon have an upgrade but as it is, it is still worthy of upgrading to from a 125. With 26BHP from a punchy single it will return 70mpg. It is a very easy to use, easy to live with bike, it has a good suspension and brake setup so can be used for some fun on small roads with mates. My only gripe is the fairing is like the new 600f, we all know its a naked bike hiding in a frock and as its quite dainty I can't suggest taking it on big open roads. Some do but its on par with a good 125 for usability on a motorway so in this class it is a town bike. However Honda market it towards town use so it still gets a good score.

Town bike - 7/10

1.5 Hyosung GT250R


This bike has been around a good few years. I have used one and while I like it, it is now a bit dated but can be picked up cheap. The best chinese bike manufacturer around I would say. However while the ride is better than a ninja 250s I can't stress enough that the finish really lets it down. Its quite heavy and lethargic so while it tries to be a sports bike it is better off chugging up the motorway at 70mph.

Small Tourer - 4/10

This about sums up the lower end of the power range. The market for these is shrinking fast as more bikes closer to the 600cc range now exist and with greater ease to get there. A 19 year old with his dads wallet will certainly be angling himself towards a new 500. But some will always go for the classics, while old commuters now they are affordable and reliable. So I thought a small write up would be good. I am planning a commuter write up, which is more technical and will look at these more closely. I always intended to the do the "Which" bike as a series.

1.6 - Honda CB500 - Kawasaki GPZ 500 - Suzuki GS500

Here they are in order. And a score.


Town Bike - 7/10


Road Blitzer - 6/10


Town Bike - 6/10 (Naked of the GPZ)


Town Bike - 4/10

These bikes have been explained at length on the forum so heres a summary. The CB500 is a trustworthy, reliable, yet fun bike to own in town due to its lack of fairing. A sport version does exist which has a fairing making cruising up the motorway less daunting. They are tired commuters but can easily be restored and are simple devices meaning less to fail, more to modify to an owners spec and it will serve you for many years. But dont get Ingah started on them.

The GPZ500 is quite a hot running bike. Along with other kawasakis I found them along with the ER5 to run quite hot making them uncomfortable in summer time. They are quite fast though and are more usable on more open roads, I always saw them more able to get ahead of the other 500s. Other owners may agree/disagree. Electrics are known to deteriorate especially on the ER with age so keep an eye on them!

We then get to the GS500, the ride is awful, the reliability can be questionable as the front engine mount is known to break. There is a fully faired version but it isnt that much of an upgrade. It will serve you well if you look after it but it isnt very inspiring and may entice you to get an upgrade sooner than you expect.

One note is that some of these bikes put out over 50BHP, in some cases nearly 60BHP. I have been told this is unlikely to be an issue as the bikes didn't come with what they claimed new and have since aged. So its worth putting it on a dyno and seeing how it is after a service. If above then there are cheap restrictor kits available! See Bonniebirds post below or check ebay and they will be all there along with the right certificate. These bikes were included as they will handle the latest restriction easily as the power loss is so little they are expected to retain the typical characteristics they came with.

1.7 Big bikes - Low power (And its not just cruisers)

This bit was inspired by Bonniebird as shes looking at old 500's for someone and noted lawfully you still need a restriction even if its choking the inlet by only a few mm on the old 500s :lol:

We have multiple bikes that fall into this category. Entered and scored the ones below. I have missed out supermotos almost deliberately thus far. But I'm entering a couple of the road friendly ones for taller riders here.

Honda NTV400 (BROS 400) - Early 30BHP range


Town Bike - 7/10

Honda FMX650 - 37BHP


Yamaha Virago 535 - 38BHP


Honda NC700 - 47BHP


Ive included a mix here. There are many of these bikes around. The NTV400 I know for a fact is very reliable, it is likely to never let you down as it isn't highly strung. While it kicks out just over 30BHP it feels a lot more meaty because it has a good amount of torque. The FMX650 looks like a supermoto but I'm assured you should keep it on the road at all times, I wanted one and tried one to see. It will do all the road tricks a super moto can do but its a much more easy going package, punchy but very old engine in there as well. The Yamaha does the Virago 535 but I've seen one dyno 19BHP at the back wheel. I howled with laughter but if this is the bike for you please service and button it up properly! Finally with have the NC700, half a honda jazz. I was under the impression it wasn't even 40BHP but I have seen a Dyno where in each gear it got over 45BHP but no more than 46.7. They are worth the investment in my view if you want to get around and keep your head low for a few years while you build up no claims and savings. They are looking good for holding their value well at the end.

1.8 The New Generation Of 500cc

Here are the CBR500, the CB500 and the CB500X. All the same score but you will notice a slight differences.


Road Blitzer - 8/10


Town Bike - 8/10


Small Tourer - 8/10

I had a test ride of these on a Honda open day. To put it bluntly, Honda have really pulled the rabbit out of the hat with these. While the same engine is in each, and in two the same suspension they come across differently when you ride them. The engine isn't lazy, its a thumpy twin, not vibey but with great feel. Same with the suspension and brakes.

Their ergonomics are what interests me. The CB500 rightly is a town bike due to it being a naked, it does feel very windy at speeds over 60mph. The CBR on the other hand punches through the air and invites you to open the throttle more at speed. This slight change managed to distinguish them between two groups as you'd expect, I was more throttle happy on the CBR but loved filtering on the CB as it feels slimmer.

The CB500X is an adventure style bike and it was brilliant. Slim enough to dart through traffic like a super moto but with that engine, and it felt sure footed. It would just chug away at 70 all day if you let it in comfort.

I used to not like Honda but in light of the new rules I find these bikes well worth trying. And don't try one thinking it shows what the other is like. You need to go for the actual one you want!

1.9 - Big Bikes To Restrict

In no real order. No scoring as they are in a different league.

Suzuki SV650


A V-twin that while underpowered to the experienced, is still user friendly, good fun and the list of mods are endless. New riders gel well with it due to its low end torque helping them do slow stuff without too much hassle. Older models are more jerky but these bikes attract a big range of riders, its almost an icon. It comes back each year and sells well!

Yamaha Fazer 600


The old model has the better engine I'm told. But the new model, while a bit buzzy is still a great contender due to its improved handling. It is easy to ride, leans very far, and has a large amount of new riders running up to buy one. Yamaha reliability and it has more peak BHP than most in it's class.

Honda Hornet 600


New or old these bikes are good, with a detuned CBR engine it can offer miles of smiles but isn't too harsh when restricted. They are smooth, agile and of course its a Honda so the reliability and longevity comes with a greater chance of seeing you through a number of years and winters. I just rebuilt one, it was a joy and a surprisingly simple engine.

Kawasaki ER6


As a naked or faired bike it is a town bike or country road blaster. I had one and it wasn't that good for motorways generally speaking compared to other bikes like the SV. But it has a great engine for restriction. They are reliable if a little prone to corrosion and are amazing fun in terms of handling. It beat the SV at the TT twin races last year.

Yamaha Thundercat


Shares a lot with the fazer. The suspension is a bit soft but if you want a restricted sports tourer, this is the one to own.

Suzuki Bandit 600


These bikes are quite common, and so the spares are endless. They are the basis of many streetfighters, have a lot of interchangeable parts and are reliable. They do corrode on the outside quite quickly but I'm led to believe kept serviced and they are bomb proof. And good to restrict as again its an inline 4 in a soft state of tune.

2.0 - So Which is For Me?

Well here's a good trick. If you are brand new to riding, have no previous experience and are a cautious person then I suggest starting on a used 200-300cc bike. Or at most an old 500. These bikes will teach you some good road craft, get the silly mistakes out of the way and prepare you for a full sized bike.

If you came up owning a 125 then take your pick. Are you confident but respect the throttle and won't abuse it? Go for a big bike and restrict by all means. Restrictor kits will soon be available and you will benefit most when you take the full test and get de-restricted.

If you have previous experience of bikes and wan't to get back in the game slow, a new or old 500 is the answer dependent on your budget. If you like carbs and fiddling with bikes an old 500 is better. If you want a modern take on biking the new 500 will do you right.

If you are a nervous newbie to bikes, youve had a 125 but maybe had a couple of drops. I do suggest a low end, small bike thats cheap. It will help take a small step rather than a big one, which will better your roadcraft. You need experience, and in the past this has been taken the wrong way especially when I say it to a girl in front of other girls. I am not being patronizing or sexist (its a morons assumption but ive had it). It applies to everyone, and whats more, I was one of them. I aquaplaned my little 50 and lost all confidence when I was 16 and crashed. I was not ready for a big bike then when I turned 17. It was a 125 for me and then when I got hit by a car on a 600 I decided to work up from scratch again.

2.1 - Well there goes 2 hours of my life

I appreciate this may be badly written. And I will update over the coming months and add more bikes, so I need your help here guys to make it be its best. I hope it has been as useful as the other guide I wrote. It's deliberately smaller so I can keep it tidy. And kept things short and simple where I could.

I am glad to see a new generation of bikes coming out, best you be as informed as I've made myself on them! I love the smaller capacity bikes and at the time I wrote this have a 600, 125, and 500 project in a queue to complete. So bikes 600cc and below are some what a specialty of mine now. If anyone needs help or advice I can point you in the right direction or help you myself.

Cheers and thanks for reading :thumb:

Edited by Fozzie
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I've been looking at the old 500's but they are all just over 47BHP - well the Suzuki is around 48 and the CB500, 58BHP.

Is anyone doing restrictor kits for these (hardly seems worth it) or given their age, can you take them to be dynoed and get a certificate to prove they've lost a few horses over the years. Or is it going to be necessary to restrict them to 33 (which would be a shame) with existing kits?

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I believe new restrictor kits are coming out!

I doubt many old ones are above 47bhp!

If I had to, the restriction is done by limiting the carbs with washers. I would buy a used 33bhp kit and cut out the holes much bigger then dyno it. You will probably be in the 40-45bhp range!

But I reckon you could buy one and be fine with no faffing around. Both the cb and gpz claim 58bhp, I saw one dyno 39bhp. I've heard it claimed they were closer to 50bhp than 58 when new.

But I included them as they will take the restriction easiest as it will make barely any difference!

Other options include the highly reliable Honda NTV400 and I think 600 still falls in the power range. They have the same setups as the cb, and famed for reliability.

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This guy is ahead of the game, seems to do 47bhp kits for a wide range:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Honda-CB-500- ... 4832237%26


I've referenced you and this below the old 500 section.

Inspired by you I just wrote up a big bikes with low power section too, 3 of the bikes being examples of what can be had by someone with a low budget and the final being a long term investment.

Im going with the flow of the recession here :lol:

So thank you, the feedback is helping it to grow.

Im actually after an old 500 myself later this year for a cafe racer. To give you peace of mind a CB500 I know off was dyno runned at 4000 miles old. The dealer did one of these runs for every bike he sold. And it gave 53BHP.

So I imagine one that is 15 years old with 25,000 miles is probably not as fresh as that!

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  • 7 months later...

A nice guide just to add a few, in the big bikes that have 47bhp or under.

All variants of bikes that use the Yamaha 660 single cylinder engine:

Aprillia Pegaso 650 (which is really a 660)

Yamaha MT-03

Yamaha XT660 (X, R, Tenere)

Yamaha SZR 660

MZ Skorpion

Probably a few more.

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Love my Yamaha xj6 Diversion A2 restricted I believe this replaced the Fazer600?

Nothing will replace the fazer :) but I think it was the FZ8 replaced it officially as its still called a Fazer

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Polecat is right the FZ8 replaced the Fazer 600. In my opinion the XJ6 is a watered down cheap option designed to meet the needs of those on either a tight budget or a restriction. The outgoing FZ6 was a far better bike that actually felt like it had a bit of grunt and in my mind it looks a damn site better to. Although I am sure under the new rules you can't restrict an FZ6 as it has too many horses to start with.

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  • 3 months later...

Are you sure the Thundercat is a viable option? They claim 100BHP which is more than the max allowed for restriction. Granted they often won't pull that, but from what I've read insurance companies and the law are interested in the factory spec rather than what it pulls at the dyno. Can somebody clear this up for me please?

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