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Discussion Starter #1
I’m 22-years-old, 6’ 180 lb, and looking to get my first bike. I’d like to use it for daily commuting and for long trips. I drive cross country a lot and would love to use a bike instead. For example, I’m driving from Chicago to Dallas in a few months.

I’m sold on a Ninja, but can’t decide which model I want. A 300 is cheaper, but I want a bike that can handle longer trips without straining the engine too much. The comfort and added performance of the 650 appeals to me, but the biggest draw is the ABS system. I obviously want to be as safe as possible.

I don’t want to drop more than ~$8K on my first bike, so a new 650 ABS is out of the question. And I’m having trouble finding a used one. 2013 is the only year with ABS, right? People seem to be hanging onto them. Only one I found is this, and something’s pretty suspect about this ad; can’t put my finger on it:
2013 Kawasaki Ninja 650R ABS

I’m thinking a 2008+ 650 without ABS might be a good compromise, but I’d need to hear a good argument for passing up on ABS first. I mean, this is my life and I only get one, so…

Thoughts appreciated,
 

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Key word in the ad is "REBUILT" aka it was written off in an accident by the insurance company. Now I'm not saying it's not safe or a good deal etc, it's just raises a lot more questions about it's safety.

As for ABS vs nonABS and safety.... you said you're joining the Marines soon so to me it seems a moot point.

Also not all the photos line up in the ad. One has the garage in brick, another in siding. Pics could have been taken elsewhere though..
 

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but I’d need to hear a good argument for passing up on ABS first. I mean, this is my life and I only get one, so…

Thoughts appreciated,
Please read at least some of the hundreds of existing threads about "My First Bike".
The basics are the same for EVERYBODY.

$8k is WAY too much for a first (training) bike.
This is different than learning to drive a car.

You should take the MSF course first, then you will have a better idea of what you really need.

Long term, you might want ABS but it's not necessary on a first bike.........as you should NOT be taking it out on the Interstates for the first 6 months to a year. Around Chicago, maybe never.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Key word in the ad is "REBUILT" aka it was written off in an accident by the insurance company. Now I'm not saying it's not safe or a good deal etc, it's just raises a lot more questions about it's safety.

As for ABS vs nonABS and safety.... you said you're joining the Marines soon so to me it seems a moot point.

Also not all the photos line up in the ad. One has the garage in brick, another in siding. Pics could have been taken elsewhere though..
Implying I shouldn't worry about safety because I'm doing something else unsafe is a ******** thought process.
 

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True, I've never been in the Marines. Don't plan on it either. You said you only have one life.... joining the Marines seems to conflict with your super safety conscience ABS vs non statement in my mind. Obviously you've got it all sorted out - I'm happy for you.

I have though been riding bikes for longer than you've been alive. I have at least some expertise in that I'm not dead from it yet - unless I've just been terribly lucky so far.

Motorcycling is inherently dangerous in it's very nature.

ABS isn't necessary - it's a luxury. Having it won't make you safer necessarily. It can give you a false sense of security.

Take the MSF course and get some decent gear. It'll certainly help you protect your hide - like Easy Rider said.

You need to learn to ride, then practice practice practice what you've learned.

Good luck.
 

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Nothing wrong with a "rebuilt" bike, you'll find a lot of bikes on craigslist that are rebuilt and you'll never know because the title is still clean - they just did the work needed.

That is a GREAT price, obviously try to test ride it. I would love ABS, but its not needed, like Obo said it's a luxury. You learn to ride without it, even in emergency braking. the MSF course will help with that a little bit but you need to practice that type of riding situation. I'd offer $4500 and if he bites jump all over it.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Is the MSF course something you take after you take the BLC and get a license? I'm planning on taking that next weekend and getting a permit this weekend. Almost done reading the guidebook. If I read the guidebook thoroughly, should I be fine on that 15 question permit exam?
 

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My Nephew is joining the Marines and is wanting a Ninja 650, too.....Interesting.

I'll give you the same advise I gave him. Give it six months before buying a bike. You just made a major life changing decision and have no idea where you'll be in six months. No reason in heck to have that new bike sitting there while your off...god knows where.

Thanks for being willing to do what I did not have the guts to.

OR..buy somehtign cheap, ride for a few months THEN make a long term purchase.

I like abs, traction control, crash avoidance, gps, and all other electronic stuff....but, we made it a long time without these. How abotu taking the class, learning how to ride, then being able to make an informed decision for yourself.
 

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Of course most of us didn't plan or could afford long trips on our first bikes. We honed our skills in our town with minor excursions up to an hour away.

Wondering whether the Ninja 300 would handle a trip? There have been first gen Ninja 250s who's owners have ridden 11,000 miles in 11 days during the iron butt rally.

https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=ninja+250+in+iron+butt+rally
 

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My Nephew is joining the Marines and is wanting a Ninja 650, too.....Interesting.

I'll give you the same advise I gave him. Give it six months before buying a bike. You just made a major life changing decision and have no idea where you'll be in six months. No reason in heck to have that new bike sitting there while your off...god knows where.

Thanks for being willing to do what I did not have the guts to.

OR..buy somehtign cheap, ride for a few months THEN make a long term purchase.

I like abs, traction control, crash avoidance, gps, and all other electronic stuff....but, we made it a long time without these. How abotu taking the class, learning how to ride, then being able to make an informed decision for yourself.
This post makes sense, you have no idea where you will end up. If you want something now, get a used or cheep0, dont worry so much about ABS. Learning to ride a bike is the same with or without. If your new to a bike, that split second moment is more about skill then the wheels not locking up. Anyway, Things are going to change in your life very rapid. Basic training is going open your eyes up to a different life and discipline. Wait until after you get to your new unit to buy a new bike. I know in the Army, you have to take a riding course and pass before you are allowed to operate a motorcycle. once your at your new unit, settle in, and think about your new bike purchase after: you finish thinking about "what have i done". now you have a stable income, and you can save money. especially if you deploy. combat hazard pay is helpful. DOnt get a girl pregnant, DOnt make huge investments,Dont get married right before you deploy. Im not sure if your married, if you have girlfriend. say You have been together for 3years, dont run and get married before you deploy. Deployment can change everything, time is not your friend when it comes to this.

Edit: sorry for all that, i was Ranger and seen so many of my soldiers go through this time and time again. I apologize if that came off a bit authoritative or something. I snapped back into another place.

if you want advice on things to expect PM me, ill talk with you. Thanks for joining the service.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
This post makes sense, you have no idea where you will end up. If you want something now, get a used or cheep0, dont worry so much about ABS. Learning to ride a bike is the same with or without. If your new to a bike, that split second moment is more about skill then the wheels not locking up. Anyway, Things are going to change in your life very rapid. Basic training is going open your eyes up to a different life and discipline. Wait until after you get to your new unit to buy a new bike. I know in the Army, you have to take a riding course and pass before you are allowed to operate a motorcycle. once your at your new unit, settle in, and think about your new bike purchase after: you finish thinking about "what have i done". now you have a stable income, and you can save money. especially if you deploy. combat hazard pay is helpful. DOnt get a girl pregnant, DOnt make huge investments,Dont get married right before you deploy. Im not sure if your married, if you have girlfriend. say You have been together for 3years, dont run and get married before you deploy. Deployment can change everything, time is not your friend when it comes to this.

Edit: sorry for all that, i was Ranger and seen so many of my soldiers go through this time and time again. I apologize if that came off a bit authoritative or something. I snapped back into another place.

if you want advice on things to expect PM me, ill talk with you. Thanks for joining the service.
I enlisted ~4 months ago actually. It took 6 months because of all of my waivers. Was a ****-up as a kid. Whoops. I ship to boot in Oct, then School of Infantry, then hopefully Recon if I make it. End-game is to finish my last semester of college and go to OCS to fly planes. I've wanted a bike for years though. I'm 22 now. Just very bored working a boring job as I wait to ship and want something fun to do. I don't think I'm gonna change my mind about wanting to ride. I've been an avid mountain biker for years and I love it.
 

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Nobody, ever thinks they are not gonna like riding, that's why there are so many low mileage, almost brand new bikes for sale. Even if you do like riding, there's good chance without any personal experience, you NOT gonna buy the bike that is best for you. My advice is similar to others. First bike, USED, you have no idea of what you want in a bike, a cheap used bike will tell you what you like and don't like in real world applications. CERTAINLY, IT WILL TELL YOU MORE ABOUT WHAT YOU NEED IN A BIKE THEN WE CAN. SCRAP the love for "Ninja", it's a name, you don't ride the name, you get to tell your buddy's you ride a "Ninja", but Ninja's come in many different sizes and flavors so it really doesn't mean anything. There are TONS of great bikes that are NOT Ninjas, odds are, the perfect bike for you, as well as most other riders (an overwhelming number of bikes AREN'T Ninja afterall) isn't a "Ninja". ABS is a useful aid, but certainly NOT an iron clad guarantee you're not gonna be in an accident, billions of riders have never had a bike with ABS and did fine, millions of riders have died in accidents where even if they DID have ABS, it wouldn't have helped them any.

Buy a cheap bike that you will be able to unload quickly if you need to without losing too much money. Do this until you have a good handle on what you want in a motorcycle, then buy all the new bike you want.
 

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Honest, though...If you buy a new bike it sounds like you'll finance it, right? Even if you pay cash. The last thing you need is a payment, or a nice bike thats on the other side of the earth while you're "working"....a very possible thing with the Marines.

Plus, if you get to a foreign country, you might find something there you like. I dont believe you guys make THAT much money to start, right?

I see my nephew doing this...almost like he wants to have some tie back to home. Believe me, no one is going to forget you guys while your gone. Now's the chance to leave all the screw up kid stuff behind, and move on to something new. When you get home in six months or a year..whatever....YOU"LL BE SOMEONE. The rest of us might be promoted to head fryer at Burger King. Get the good bike then, when you'll be stationed somewhere permanent.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Nobody, ever thinks they are not gonna like riding, that's why there are so many low mileage, almost brand new bikes for sale. Even if you do like riding, there's good chance without any personal experience, you NOT gonna buy the bike that is best for you. My advice is similar to others. First bike, USED, you have no idea of what you want in a bike, a cheap used bike will tell you what you like and don't like in real world applications. CERTAINLY, IT WILL TELL YOU MORE ABOUT WHAT YOU NEED IN A BIKE THEN WE CAN. SCRAP the love for "Ninja", it's a name, you don't ride the name, you get to tell your buddy's you ride a "Ninja", but Ninja's come in many different sizes and flavors so it really doesn't mean anything. There are TONS of great bikes that are NOT Ninjas, odds are, the perfect bike for you, as well as most other riders (an overwhelming number of bikes AREN'T Ninja afterall) isn't a "Ninja". ABS is a useful aid, but certainly NOT an iron clad guarantee you're not gonna be in an accident, billions of riders have never had a bike with ABS and did fine, millions of riders have died in accidents where even if they DID have ABS, it wouldn't have helped them any.

Buy a cheap bike that you will be able to unload quickly if you need to without losing too much money. Do this until you have a good handle on what you want in a motorcycle, then buy all the new bike you want.
I don't want a Ninja because it's a Ninja. I actually think it's a stupid name and I hate logos and will have it painted over if I can get it done cheap. I want a Ninja because I'm reading a ton of reviews saying they're great starter bikes and strike a good balance between performance and comfort and practicality.

New bike was never in the works. Don't see the point. Game plan is probably to buy a used 650R and put some of those side fall peg things on it. I just wanna find a white one.
 

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Is the MSF course something you take after you take the BLC and get a license?
No. You take the MSF before you get your full license endorsement.
In many places, it allows you to skip the "driving" portion of the test.
Whether or not you do the "permit" thing and when you do it doesn't really make much difference.

What is BLC ??
 

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Discussion Starter #16
No. You take the MSF before you get your full license endorsement.
In many places, it allows you to skip the "driving" portion of the test.
Whether or not you do the "permit" thing and when you do it doesn't really make much difference.

What is BLC ??
Schedule / Locations | Motorcycle Riding School Chicago | Chicago Motorcycle Classes | Chicago Motorcycle Learning | Ride Chicago

I thought how you start riding is you read the Secretary of State safety book thing, take the 15 question test for your permit, then take the 2-day Basic Licensing Class, buy some insurance and a bike, and you're road legal. Am I missing something?

I wanna take some more classes too because I hear the BLC isn't catered to sports bikes and different types of bikes have different braking techniques and stuff...
 

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Have a look here also:
[url]www.msf-usa.org


In Illinois, their classes are free (but often hard to get into) and are approved by the Sec. of State.
I don't know about that pay class.

I'm pretty sure that if you take an approved class FIRST, then you can take the written test and get your full endorsement; no permit required.

If you have the necessary knowledge and skills to pass all the tests, in most states you don't HAVE to do through the permit part.

And maybe more importantly, a new rider should ***NOT*** be concerning himself with "different braking techniques" because stuff like that does not apply to most (sane) street riding........and you need to master the basic techniques which are mostly identical no matter what you ride.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Have a look here also:
Motorcycle Safety Foundation Home Page

In Illinois, their classes are free (but often hard to get into) and are approved by the Sec. of State.
I don't know about that pay class.

I'm pretty sure that if you take an approved class FIRST, then you can take the written test and get your full endorsement; no permit required.

If you have the necessary knowledge and skills to pass all the tests, in most states you don't HAVE to do through the permit part.

And maybe more importantly, a new rider should ***NOT*** be concerning himself with "different braking techniques" because stuff like that does not apply to most (sane) street riding........and you need to master the basic techniques which are mostly identical no matter what you ride.
I'm very confused. What is endorsement? I'm 22 and I have an IL Driver's License. What steps do I need to take to ride a motorcycle legally? Is there a guide or something? Too many acronyms...
 

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Schedule / Locations | Motorcycle Riding School Chicago | Chicago Motorcycle Classes | Chicago Motorcycle Learning | Ride Chicago

I thought how you start riding is you read the Secretary of State safety book thing, take the 15 question test for your permit, then take the 2-day Basic Licensing Class, buy some insurance and a bike, and you're road legal. Am I missing something?

I wanna take some more classes too because I hear the BLC isn't catered to sports bikes and different types of bikes have different braking techniques and stuff...
You can take the class any time, but there may be a benefit to taking it before you get your license since in CA it counts as the practical part of the exam. I didn't have to take the DMV riding portion, just dropped off the certificate & upgraded my permit to a license. The class used standard bikes (Buell).

As far as what you have to do, you just need to pass the DMV exam to get the license, get a bike and get insurance. These can be done in any order, but you're not legal without the first & third (and not riding anyway without #2). Depending on your age and state you might have to hold a permit for a while, which here is obtained by passing the written portion of the license exam.

A permit is not required to take the basic course, so I'd suggest the course first though reading the manual & getting the permit wouldn't hurt as prep for the course.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I looked on Motorcycle Safety Foundation Home Page and these classes aren't free and RideChicago is still the closest to me and has the most available schedule and legit looking website. They say you need a permit to go though and they provide a bike and helmet.

Here's what I thought I had to do. Tell me if I'm wrong:
1. Read SoS motorcycle guidebook, Go to SoS office, take a 15Q test, get a permit.
2. Sign up for the 2-day class. Do that. They have on-site licensing.
3. Bring my certificate or whatever to the SoS and get an L-Class license.
4. Buy bike
5. Buy insurance
6. Ride said bike into sunset
 
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