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Discussion Starter #1
Hello forum,

As some of you noticed from my title I am a noob to bikes :) I just recently (this past weekend) received my motorcycles license. I am 20 years of age around 6'1 160 pounds looking for a bike that is worth the money and something that I cant grow out within a few months..

Before I took the class and learned how to ride bikes I was interested in buying a Kawasaki ninja 250r... But after discussing it with some one who has the bike and him telling me he grew out of it within a month of him purchasing it... I was a little lost on what to get. I am thinking about getting something around 09-11 and with at least 600 cc. Something I can use to drive to school and back but also have fun with it. (Looking for something that not only looks good but can perform well. Also something that will last if taken care of.)

Questions I hope to get answered-

What bike is worth the money?
What are some recommendations?
Is 600-650 cc too much to start off with?
Used or new? Pros and cons to these
With every new year a motorcycle gets new "parts" like an '09 doesnt have all the features as a '10. In some bikes does this matter?

All and any help is appreciated I want to make sure I get the right bike.

Thank you very much.

-Sinotek
 

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I started on a ninja 250 rode it for year then put about 1500 miles on a CBR 600 then moved to my z1000. I would recommend either a ninja 250, a 650 twin like a ninja 650, and if your gonna go supersport a 600 max. A 250 lacks power and after riding 600s it felt like a toy but you learn a lot and it is a forgiving bike. Supersports are racing machines and a 600 can get you in trouble fast. Whatever you go with respect the bike regardless of engine size. A friend of mine once told me when you no longer respect the power of your motorcycle it's time to stop riding, something that I agree with. You can seriously harm or kill yourself on any size motorcycle. If this is your first bike I don't recommend buying new. When you dump it a piece of your soul will die inside. Dropping a used a bike is a lot better than a new one. I dumped my 250 3 times while I was learning lol crushed my spirit. Whatever you choose just be safe and ride within your limits.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Actually... Idk... If i get riding experience in with a friends harley that is a 1.2 cc... and I can handle it will i be able to handle a 650r?
 

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I started off with a Z1000 though I wouldn't mind having a 250 or 650. The key is to get your skills up there some people rider better on a smaller size bike you don't need to do the power to do wheelies down the highway just get something you will have fun with. Also check the insurance in your state that may also impact your decision.
 

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A "non-sport" 650-ish...

I think folks can be alright starting on a 650-ish cc bike if it is of mild tune. I fully agree that any "Sport bike", more or less a racing machine, is NOT a good choice for a beginner EVER.

Folks have mentioned the Ninja 650R. I believe there is still the Ninja 500 out there for purchase as is the Suzuki GS-500F. I am also taken by the Suzuki GSX-650F. Mainly because I am partial to 4-cylinder machines.

If you fear "out-growing" a 250.... I'd shop the bikes listed above. As a beginner, you don't need anything with 100+ Horsepower. My ZR-7S is rated in the neighborhood of 72 HP and that is PLENTY.

I agree that the 25 - 30 HP of the 250 will probably leave you wanting over time. But, trust me.... there really is no need for 100+ HP on the street.

Just my :2cents:
 

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When I first started out, I was looking for a Kawasaki Ninja 500 or 650 OR a Suzuki GS-500 or an SV-650. I found a gently used 650R with low miles and at a good price. I definitely recommend buying used for your first bike, and also keeping the power level down. A 250 can also be a good choice for some folks.
 

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Actually... Idk... If i get riding experience in with a friends harley that is a 1.2 cc... and I can handle it will i be able to handle a 650r?
My first bike was a 750 cruiser. I thought "Hey I can go to a 1000cc now". Way different bike. It's the difference in driving an old caddy 500 and a blown 454 camaro. So far I haven't wrecked. I have thought before that a cheap beater 650 or even an old ss bike would have been a better step up. I do love my Z though.
 

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Before I took the class and learned how to ride bikes I was interested in buying a Kawasaki ninja 250r... But after discussing it with some one who has the bike and him telling me he grew out of it within a month of him purchasing it...
-Sinotek
Anymore a statement like this just makes me smile. For most of these comments it means the person mostly wants a bike to go fast in a straight line and hasn't really learned how to ride it to the limit yet. Ask your friend if they could lean the bike over so far in curves that they could drag bike parts on demand? If not then they haven't really "grown out" of the bike yet, they just want more power.


. Also something that will last if taken care of.)
They will all last if taken care of


What bike is worth the money?
They all are!(except for HD's, sorry I just think they are overpriced.)

Is 600-650 cc too much to start off with?
The problem is it's not so much the engine size as the bike size/weight and the power delivery.
I've ridden for over 30years and probably 100k miles on bikes. Never owned anything bigger than a 750, my wife likes the cruiser style so she started on a rebel 250. When she thought she was ready to move up after a year we went to a HD dealer and she test rode a used sportster(sp?) 800. While on the test ride we went to a big parking lot so she could do some circles and turns. Having never ridden a V twin, I asked to take it around the parking lot. I got on and started rolling around then got in a straight line and whacked open the throttle. Don't laugh but I almost fell off the back of the bike! I wasn't expecting the powerful SNAP that a v twin can deliver when whacked open like that.
Once the SNAP is past that thing was a dog, but not expecting the snap almost got me in trouble. SS bikes have the same problem but the SNAP occurs sooo much higher in the rev range that it can also cause problems. This is even more pronounced in the 600cc SS's because they are tuned for peak power, so you open the throttle and the bike starts to go faster and faster then suddenly the power explodes on you. If you are in a straight line this can mean the front end just comes up so you are now on one wheel. Or if in a turn the back end can start to spin and slide out on you.
So picture yourself at a red light with you left turn signal on. The light goes green and you start to make your turn, all is going well so you give it more gas. You are almost all the way around when you open up the throttle so you can blast down the straight and all is still well and just as you are about to finish your turn the power hits and the back end starts to spin and chase the front end around the corner! Who you gonna call?


Used or new? Pros and cons to these
Most riders will say to get a used bike as your first bike. The reasons for this are many but here a few biggy's:
You will have a good chance of dropping the bike while learning, would you rather drop a new or used?

you can start smaller as you know you will probably get a newer/bigger/better bike after a few years on this one(or maybe not). Used will hold their value better than a new. My wife bought a used 250 Rebel, rode it 2 years and sold it for $200 less then she bought it for. So she rented that bike for $100/yr. If we had bought new that would be closer to $400-500/year.

If you are new to riding you may not purchase your "ideal" ride the first time. It takes time to know what and how you like to ride. Better to start used in this case.



Before you make your purchase I suggest YOU answer these questions:
how often do you plan to ride?
will you commute on the bike?
where will you be riding it?
who will you be riding with and what do they ride?

The answers to these questions will help you narow down your choices of what kind of bike to buy.
 

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my first bike was a Z1000

Its all about self control and being smart. Not trying to race all your friends that have been riding forever. Just use your brain and be smart.

After i rode for about 6mths I started to really experience what the Z had to offer, and every day since has been a great day.

good luck
 

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simple enough... ride your own ride, and dont "showboat".... pretty simple concept.... famous last words, are way too often, "hey everybody....watch this! "
 

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I have been riding for only 4 years now...have had 3 bikes ..all brought new.
Started out on a 07 Suzuki GS500f ...out grew this bike within 6 months, brakes & suspension are very basic.
Moved on a a Honda 07 VTR1000 Firestorm (superhawk) ...loved this Vtwin awesome bike ..did not grow out of her but after 70000k's wanted a bit more power & a lighter turn in the twisties.
Now own a Z1000 ...& oh I am having fun on her !!
IMO 'Growing out' of a bike is all part of the learning process....(and we never stop learning)...If I went straight on to a high powered bike from the get go, I could have ended up in all sorts of trouble, I would not of had the skills to handle the power at that point in my riding experience.
 

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my first

i just picked up my first bike last week...2011 ninja 650r, the orange onw :D i thought about buying something used since its my first bike, but when i saw that burnt orange i had to have it...

so far its great...there's enough power there that i know i won't ever get bored with this bike, but not so much that i'm going to launch myself into orbit.
 

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Just got my 2nd bike ever.. A 2007 ninja 650r(blue).. Prior to this, i had an 04 shadow 600. Dropped it about 2 weeks of riding. Thought id never get another.. Had a change of heart and this 650r fell in my lap. Since ive only had the two i can only compare those two..

The ninja is WAY easier to drive for me... The shadow felt to bulky, to tight, and just seemed setup wrong. Love the ride and feel of the ninja. Great power, but im patient so im not pushing the bike at all, just taking my time and learning. I think thats the most important part.. If your gonna be dumb on a 250, your gonna be dumb on a 1000.. Find something YOU feel comfortable with.
 

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i just picked up my first bike last week...2011 ninja 650r, the orange onw :D i thought about buying something used since its my first bike, but when i saw that burnt orange i had to have it...

so far its great...there's enough power there that i know i won't ever get bored with this bike, but not so much that i'm going to launch myself into orbit.
I did the same thing. MSF course 5 weeks ago and picked up my orange 11' 650R this week. Love it !!!
 

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my first bike was a Z1000

Its all about self control and being smart. Not trying to race all your friends that have been riding forever. Just use your brain and be smart.

After i rode for about 6mths I started to really experience what the Z had to offer, and every day since has been a great day.

good luck

I totally agree... I just bought a z1000 as my first bike las August.... Doesn't matter what your driving, just don't be stupid!
 

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Here's my experience. I'm very young, 26 years old. So when I give people advice about biking, they don't listen. But from my experience, I would recommend a Ninja 250, or a Ninja 500 top.
You wont grow bored of it if you ride it right, and your riding skills will improve much quicker on a smaller bike.

Of course when I first started riding (age 17), I didn't listen to any of that. I bought my first bike (used Kawi ZR-7S). That bike was built like a tank! And I'm glad it was, because I dropped it 3 or 4 times. It was way too heavy and sits too high for my size (5'5" weight 120 wet).
I figure it's just because it's a sport cruiser and they're heavier and doesn't balance well... so I upgraded to a Z1000. I LOVE my Z, and has a great respect for it, but if I were to go back, I'd knock myself in the head for going with such a big bike with my skill set. I've actually never dropped the Z, but I was always afraid of dropping it. Always cautious, always jerky. I was not comfortable on it, I never felt like I was in complete control it. I dont know if anyone else ever felt that... but it's not a great feeling.
Anywho, pass forward a couple years. Now I have about 25K miles on the Z, and about 10K on the ZR-7S. I thought I was riding pretty well, but I took the MSF course for a new job that requires it to ride. BOY was I wrong.
I've developed a lot of bad habits riding all these years without "proper" training. Most of my riding have been self taught, and they were taught wrong.
I learned SO much after the MSF courses. I've never felt better on the Z. I took it out to the same parking lot that we did the course at, and flicked it around with no problem.

So my advice, get a smaller bike. Something you can handle better and flick around corners and curves easier. When you feel you're ready for a bigger bike, take your current bike out to some curvy roads and you'll pretty much forget that new bike idea. Ohh yeah, I ALWAYS buy used. Just put in a little more research time and make sure the owner took care of it and didn't abuse it too much.
Buy Kawasaki :p
 

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I believe your first bike should be one where if you drop it you won't break the bank. Used bikes are the way to go for a new rider if you ask me and I also don't think new riders should ride bikes covered in body work. If the bike can't take a spill at low speed without costing $3000 to repair then it isn't a beginner bike in my opinion. My insurance rates are high enough and we could do without the sensless slaughter of new shiny sportbikes by new riders.

My first bike was a 1982 Yamaha XS400 that I bought from a junk yard.Got it running, thru the inspection and never looked back. It was a good starter bike because if I dropped it it wasn't going to hurt it. The bike was low maintenance because it had no horsepower. The Yamaha was hard to get yourself into trouble with. Insurance was cheap and when I was done with it I gave it to a friend. It was worth nothing to the general public but meant alot to the next noob rider.

Over time I moved up to bigger and bigger bikes and one day my passion became my career when I worked as a service manager in a big bike shop for years and years. Saw alot of people make the mistake of buying too much bike as a starter. Heck I saw alot of very experienced riders throw their bikes down the road too.

There are tons of good used bikes for sale in this economy that would make great starter bikes.

How about a Suzuki GS500?
IMG_9876.jpg


Kawasaki ZR7
Kawasaki-ZR7-1-2KX91VH9BG-1024x768.jpg

Honda 600 Hornet
Honda%20Hornet%20600.jpg

The all mighty Suzuki SV650?
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Go out and buy a bike like this and go for it. Go have fun and learn how to maintain your bike or fix it when you break it. Keep the bike in good condition and it's no big deal if you sell it in a year or so to move up. If you drop it and decide motorcycling is not for you simply replace the turn signal, mirror and sell it for about what you paid. Please try not to dent the tank for the next guy.

Aloha!
Baldness
 

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