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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Alright. So you know how it goes, trying to find that first bike...

I had my eyes set on the ZX-6R, until I did my research. I now understand the difference between sport and super sport...and uncomfortable is not my thing lol. So then I saw the 650R, I sat on one and I knew we were meant to be...

But my dad has been talking to his biking buddies (35+ years of riding) and they tell him it's too heavy and too large of an engine for me to handle and that I should get a 250R. I looked up the weight differences between the two, and it's like ~25lbs.

Is that significant enough to affect my riding? I weigh ~215lbs and I'm almost 6' tall and the 250R (although very respectable) just doesn't seem to connect with me. I want a bike to grow in to, not out of. How many of you guys have some positive experiences with riding a 650r as your first? Care to shed some light on my situation?

Thanks guys! FYI: I'm a responsible driver and a respectful person overall that would not fly by you going 90mph on the back wheel :angel:
 

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Is this your first bike ever? Skip both and get a used SV650.

If I could go back in time when I bought my first bike as a 650R, I would have done that.
 

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I started on a 650 this spring. It's the best bike to learn on in my opinion. If you start on a250, when you grow out of it, and waste money selling it, you'll yank the throttle on your new bike and get bucked. 250s are great for learning the mechanics and dynamics of riding, but that's about it, imho. I'm 5'10 on a good day, 145 lbs, and i can man handle this bike. Safety isn't what you ride, but how you ride it. And as far as the 25 lb difference... that' like the difference between a full tank of gas and an empty tank.
 

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In my opinion, if a brand new bike is what you want; go ahead and get the 650R. The weight of the bike has little bearing on the rider unless you plan on riding it and then parking it on one of the sides. The 650R powerband is very nice and does deserve respect so be careful with it when first learning to know your new bike.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I'm not shutting the idea out of any other bike, but I am leaning towards the 650R. I'll do some comparisons on the SV650 and the 650R, but I'm looking for comfortability, ease of use and the ability to learn on the bike. Thanks so far guys. all opinions are welcome!

I have ridden fast 4 wheelers, so I do understand the importance of not opening the throttle all the way as soon as I let off the clutch haha. Not fun...

and I don't mind getting a used bike. Used would be better actually, because I wouldn't feel so awful about "inevitably" dropping it. I ended up getting a 2010 hyundai accent off the lot, and I just feel so bad when I see a ding or scratch on it now. Just the xterra I had was literally falling apart from the rust (and 12mpg)
 

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I purchased my 650 this past summer as my first bike. I weigh like 180 and am 6'2". To be honest I think that it is a great bike especially as a starter. I am very happy with my choice and I think you would be too.
 

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Is this your first bike ever? Skip both and get a used SV650.

If I could go back in time when I bought my first bike as a 650R, I would have done that.
+1... SVs are awesome.
 

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I'm not shutting the idea out of any other bike, but I am leaning towards the 650R. I'll do some comparisons on the SV650 and the 650R, but I'm looking for comfortability, ease of use and the ability to learn on the bike. Thanks so far guys. all opinions are welcome!

I have ridden fast 4 wheelers, so I do understand the importance of not opening the throttle all the way as soon as I let off the clutch haha. Not fun...

and I don't mind getting a used bike. Used would be better actually, because I wouldn't feel so awful about "inevitably" dropping it. I ended up getting a 2010 hyundai accent off the lot, and I just feel so bad when I see a ding or scratch on it now. Just the xterra I had was literally falling apart from the rust (and 12mpg)
My younger brother just got his M endorsement and learned to ride on a friend's 250R. He almost dumped my new 650R the other day thinking he can open on gear 1 up to 5000rpm. Both he and I were scared ****less when he took off blazing for about 40 yards before he stopped. You'll like the 650R. Many riders don't like the stock seat but I find it to be quite comfortable for 300-500 miles rides.
 

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My cousin and his gf both bought 2009 FZ6R and that is a nice bike too. I rode my cousins yesterday. very smooth riding bike. It has a very similar set up as the 650r does as well giving it the more comfortable ride
 

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Alright. So you know how it goes, trying to find that first bike...
Depending how old are you are...maybe your dads buddies comments hold true. If you are 16-18, I wouldn't even recommend getting a street bike until you have atleast 3 years experience on the road before. 90% of the dangers of motorcycling comes from the environment around you (not necessarily, birds/trees/weathers but other drivers/situations that requires experiences/etc)

That being said, the 650R is not too much motorcycle for you to start with if you surpass what I stated above; but it is also a motorcycle that you need to respect from the get-go and in-turn it will allow you to grow into it. Personally, I had 5 years of dirt bike experience on a KLX 125, and 4 years of driving experience before purchasing my first bike the 09 650R.

Regarding your comment on the ZX-6R(or similar motorcycle of different bran), are racing machines...bread for the track but sold on the street. That being said, you need to realize that it is not the seating style that should turn you away from a bike like that for your first bike. But instead why the seating style is like that, which is because it is a racing machine.

As far as the 250 is concerned, that was one of my options as well before purchasing the 650. I figured, it gets amazing reviews, it's cheap (being a college student that appealed to me), it had the styling I wanted and it wasn't too much for me to handle. Well, my father went to go look at the bike; sat on it then called me and told me "There is not a chance in hell I am letting you on the streets with this motorcycle. The dealer is showing me a 650R right now. If you want a motorcycle, allow me to give you the difference between the 250R-650R and I will allow you to own a motorcycle." Well, let's just say it didn't take much convincing because originally I was going to fund the motorcycle on my own. The reasons my father didn't like it, is because he felt it was too light and did not put out enough power for me to be riding on major roads safely.

My personal thoughts on the 250R...it's a great bike for what it is but that's about it. The only person I would recommend a 250R to, is some one like a gf who is trying to get into motorcycling only because you have one and they probably won't be riding that much to begin with. Most who I have spoken to that owned a 250, owned it for a season or less. The acceleration most likely wont leave you satisfied being about the same as most low-mid $ modern day sedans. The power on the bike tapers off at around 70 mph; which could potentially create a hazard if you find yourself in the wrong situation on a highway. Not to mention, with your height and build; frankly I think it's a miss match. I am only 5'9 135 lbs and I have had no issues w/ the 650.

Bottom line...the 650R is the way to go.
 

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my 650r is my first bike. I am 6 feet 150 lbs. The bike is not to heavy for me. When i first learned and was a major rookie, i got into a seesaw battle with it when i stalled out. I was able to get off the bike and and get the bike straight up again without it hitting the ground.
I had the same decision to make between the 650 and 250, and i am glad i went with the 650. You can find a used one on criagslist for roughly the same price as a used 250. The 650 has so much more gettyup than the 250. It has been a whole season of riding so far, and i am not dissapointed with my choice.
 

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I looked up the weight differences between the two, and it's like ~25lbs.
I'm pretty sure that is very wrong. I think the weight difference is at least 50 lbs if not more into 75 - 100.

But on the stubject of 650r, I bought it as my first bike even though I was not eyeing it. At the time I was aiming to get a 250r but there were either non fs in my area or the price was very unreasonable.

I saw the 650 on craigslist and it was a lil higher than what I wanted to pay since the 250 would probably would have been substanially less. However the 650 is fuel injected and the guy was willing to bring it too me.

But I do wish I started with a 250. I personally think slower machines are fun(ner) to play with. Especially now that I see so many 08,09's fs at extremely low prices.
 

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Is this your first bike ever? Skip both and get a used SV650.

If I could go back in time when I bought my first bike as a 650R, I would have done that.
Agreed.
 

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If this is your 1st bike ever, I would recommend a used dual sport bike like a DR350 or KLR250. They can be dropped with little to no damage. If you insist on a "sport" bike, get a used Old Style Ninja 250. You can sell it for what you paid for it if you don't damage it.

The one problem with larger displacement bikes is the perception of speed. You find yourself going faster than you might think you are going and that is when you get into trouble.
 

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Yes, it is.

Could you explain why? Is it easier to handle, lower power etc.?
Well there are numerous reasons. The SV has been on the market a lot longer, and youll be able to find one for super cheap, and there are a whole slew of models to choose from. The motor is arguably better all around, there are a lot more options for bars and clipons, and the aftermarket for the SV is probably 5X the size of the 650R. Power is actually better on the SV slightly.

If you want a better touring bike with much more upright ergonomics stock and a full fairing, the 650R is a bit better. If youre leaning towards a sportier bike, the SV is the way to go.

Think of it this way, the 650R is totally aimed at complete beginners or budget minded sport tourers, and can be made into a competent sport bike. The SV is a true middleweight sport bike (not supersport, mind you) from the start that's also good for beginners or sport tourers.
 

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My two cents is this: generally speaking a new rider can learn the basics of riding better on a smaller cc machine. So I would not recommend that you start with any type of super sport as your first bike.

I started riding on a GS500F (a very good learner bike) I had no prior riding experience, And at the end of one season of riding I was at the same level as my friend who had dirt bike experience but bought a ZX7R.

The reason is quite simple, on a smaller bike you have less weight, and you learn how to go thought the gears, plus you can experiment a bit and make some minor slip ups without getting in trouble. If you start on a super sport the power may be intimidating at first and you will spend a month or two babying the bike, always scared of messing up, which can really hamper your learning curve.

Hope this helps a bit, the 650R should be good for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks for all the responses! Definitely thinking about the SV650 pretty seriously now...

I have been driving for I think about two years now, but I do understand the risks other drivers pose to you on two wheels is much greater. And I was joking about the seat being the only reason I didn't pick it :p At the time I started getting into motorcycles I didn't understand the difference in engines. I only knew cubic centimeters and the 2-strokes and 4-strokes. But now, I get what a track bike is designed for...the track...

But, I'm turning 19 in January, and will probably end up buying a bike in the early spring, which gives me a lot of time to do research and get a feel for more bikes. I've seen lots of SQUIDS who ride like idiots on GSXR-1000s and R1s and zx-hugemotors w/e and whatnot. I saw a guy crash into the side of a big van going over 75mph. The dent he left was huge, and blood was on the pavement wear his helmet laid. I understand the safety concerns and consider myself more mature than others my age.

And the weight, I only googled for the numbers quickly. I'm not 100% sure of that. Don't want anyone listening to my advice ahaha. Riding a quad definitely prepared me for using the clutch and switching gears. I know I've got that down...so it should not take long transferring that skill onto 2 wheels.
 

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The one problem with larger displacement bikes is the perception of speed. You find yourself going faster than you might think you are going and that is when you get into trouble.
xlnt point. after nearly 12 yrs of cruiser riding i bought a 650. omg, when i got onto the freeway i was not prepared for the acceleration when i cracked the throttle.

the claim that if you buy a 250 you can sell it for what you paid for it after one season is not necessarily true.....

in may of 09 my daughter bought for $2200 an 06 250 with not quite 6000 miles on it. she replaced the battery and a tire after purchase. she put 2000 miles on it, and sold it off craigslist a couple weeks ago for $1850, after listing it for $2200 for several weeks and receiving very few inquiries. as far as i am concerned she paid a fair price for it when she bought it.

anyways, i would suggest a smaller bike, and a 250 would be a good choice. when my daughter bought hers, she did not have the M designation on her license (she had already passed the msf course and done the paperwork with the dmv), so i rode the 250 about 20 miles home on the freeway, after dark. it was perfectly fine. no it's not as quick (acceleration) as a 650, but you don't need it if you are a beginner.

jmho fwiw.

oh, yeah, forgot to mention that after she bought her bike, my daughter went to mexico for two weeks. while she was away i put 500 miles on her 250. the experience inspired me to buy a 650.
 

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I weigh ~215lbs and I'm almost 6' tall
Freeow. I'm way smaller than you, and I find the Ninja 250 cramped.

I do agree with the guy who mentioned dirt riding. At your age and time on the street, I think dirt riding would be an awesome way to go; dirt riding is lower-speed and there are no cars to hit you. :p You learn a lot about bike control in the dirt, and it's great fun. Also, most dirtbikes and dualsports are a lot taller than streetbikes, which would be good for your ergos, without being heavy. If you're not going to hit a lot of freeway, a DRZ400S would be a good bike to consider. You can hit the dirt, and it's good for backroads and urban environments. It's light for a streetbike, and since it's a dirtbike at heart, it's no big deal to drop.


All that being said, the 650R is a very beginner-friendly bike. The throttle has a ridiculously long throw, so the power comes on easily. The bike is light and slender, as streetbikes go. You can get them used for pretty cheap, now that they've been out a few years and are into a second generation.
 
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