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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Never ridden before and I'm looking t usps tracking o start, my dad has been riding for around 8 years and started on a ninja 250 then upgraded to a 2006 650r after a few years, he said he would be willing to sell it to me possibly for $2k which I think is pretty good, is that too much for a starter bike though? I was originally planning on getting an r6 but after doing a lot of reading I think that might not be very smart for a first bike. How do they compare? Thanks for any help
 

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Buy the bike -

Especially if you know it was well maintained. The 650 as with any motorcycle, if treated with respect, will be a great all round bike. Generally one may outgrow a 250. The 650 MAY keep you from buying 2 bikes in a short amount of time. There are many who have had liter bikes, big cruisers etc. that in short may have traded down and bought the 650. Many run around on a 250 for a year or two then move to the 650. And, its not really a down trade as much as does the bike fit the kind of riding you want to do.

You may want to think on that first, the 650 may not be suited for things like gnarly dirt adventures and desert crossings.....

The key here is you. How you ride. The choices you make while riding. technique and control come with time. Be gentle with the throttle at first, or rather, be a smooth operator and you should be fine. Be an idiot and you may win a Darwin Award..... and that can and does happen on a 250.

My experience is that in US traffic here in NC, the bike is more than enough to meet the challenges of the roads where I live, be it semis on the freeway or farm equipment on the twisties…. again, the key is you and your skills and caution, and situational awareness. I notice your flag in your avatar, if you are in Europe, it is more than enough except for perhaps running 375 Km/hr on the Autobahn..... it will do 160 for sure.

I have had my 2009 650R since 2011. I took it out a coupla days ago and came home smilin'. It's all I need.

I have over 30,000 miles on it most of which were put on 2011-2018 as we were going through a rough patch and I needed cheap transportation. I rode all year as a commuter on my 12 mile one way mostly city commute. I rode in 9 degree F mornings and 100 degree F afternoons in my late 50s. Rain, snow and sunshine. I was never left stranded.

Was I cold and hot? Hell yes! did I do all the prescribed maintenance, sure. I have modded the bike to my liking and riding style. Suspension upgrades with Race Tech emulators and a better rear shock, while costly, to me was money well spent. (Thank you Bradmeister, woot woot!)

I have done the Dragon, Cherhola Skyway, the Rattler and trips of more than 1,000 miles. It's a good bike imo.

Again, any bike is a good bike if you like it. You the rider are the most important factor, second is the riding you want to do. Buy the bike that fits. This one does a lot very well, so I say...

Buy the bike.
 

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Personally, Id recommend starting on a 250 or similar first. I started on a nighthawk. As a second bike this is fine. But I don't think a 650 twin with short gearing is the best first start. There's a lot of low down torque combatted with a large rear sprocket. If you accidently get a handful in first, possibly second, you will launch that front tire off the ground. Plus this bike has the potential to get you in a hairy situation before your skills have developed.

I never agreed or understood why people start on bikes with 70 plus hp. Keep in mind this has 50 or so ft-lbs of torque. That's a lot for a bike just over 400 pounds. This bike feels quicker to me up to 60mph than my ZX6R did. And it always has available torque on demand, there is no lag. My Ninja was a dog until you hit 8K rpms. This one not so much.

I think some videos that suggest this is a good starter bike, albeit by people who have been riding for years, is because the power is linear. If I look back to when I first started, I would have at least dropped this bike upon stalling, or worse. I started on a bike with virtually no power, a single disk front and rear drum brake. Plenty of room for mistakes. A smaller bike is not going to get ahead of you and your not going to be locking the brakes or diving the front with too much grab. Remember, you still have to learn clutch control, braking, maneuverability, etc. I remember stalling my 250 upon takeoff and it started to tip past that point. Had it been any heavier i would have dropped it.
 

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I started on my 650 and loved it. I’d never been on a bike before and learned everything on her. I would never buy a 250 because it’s just so small you’ll grow out of it within a month. It will also be hard to pick up on the freeway. The 650 will be fast enough to get you out of trouble if you get into it, and it’ll last you for many years. 2k is a good price especially since you know your dad took care of it.
 

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I'd get the 650 myself. Some of these low power bikes I kicked around in are not suitable in some higher speed roads and you will be the little old lady in the slow lane at best. Problem is that a slow rider in a highway for example will have cars tailgating you all the time trying to pass you, very uncomfortable, and you will not have the power to pass traffic going 65 or 70 mph. Sometimes you need to do that to get away from a big truck behind you.

I guess if you just only stay in the neighborhood, the 250 will do. Like others will say, you will quickly out grow the 250 and if you don't out grow it, you probably shouldn't continue riding as no experienced rider would buy a 250.
 

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Stay in the neighborhood? I started on a 250 and rode it for a year. That was a 92' I believe. It would go at least 75, I never tried to go faster than that my first year. But I rode it on the interstate plenty of times with no issues. I'm not saying buy a new 250. The largest I would go personally for a first bike is maybe the cbr500. I would say that or lower. I understand that some people choose to start on our beloved ninja 650's but their is so many better starter bikes for first time riders.

And as far as no experienced rider will buy a 250? I've been riding for 25 years and if that zx25r comes to the states, I will be tempted.
 

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no experienced rider would buy a 250.
That's only your opinion. I have been riding for 48 years and bought a Ninja 250 a few years back. I loved that bike and it was a great bike to ride - fast, handled well and looked good. I now have my Aprilia Shiver 750 AND a Loncin 250. I love both bikes because both do different things. The Aprilia is great for out of the city riding, but around town, it's hot, heavy, has a twitchy throttle and is difficult to manoeuvre. I found the same things with the Ninja 650 when I owned it (except for the throttle). That's where the 250 comes in - light, fast, great for lane splitting, flickable and easy to park. So maybe while YOU may not buy a 250, you can't speak for everyone else.
 

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And as far as no experienced rider will buy a 250? I've been riding for 25 years and if that zx25r comes to the states, I will be tempted.
Agreed, there are some great looking 250s around - take a look at what they are turning out in Asia, and my little Loncin 250 is a great bike. I just put a larger carb and sports airfilter on it, iridium plug and competition coil and it is a very fast scoot. (Since the pic, I have put an aftermarket exhaust system on it as well.)
122499
 

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Hey OZNINJAGUY - good to see you're still kicking around, dude! I agree with you on this one. One cannot say what an experienced rider will or won't do. I'm experienced and I can't say I will ever buy a Triumph Rocket III. I could not imagine trying to horse that around the Philippines, or even here on NC Twisties.

Can it be done? SURE!!

Will I? Seriously doubt it. Right now, the 2009 650R is all I need.

To the OP Pilecarls8.....I'm curious to know what you did. Please return and report!
 

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Hey OZNINJAGUY - good to see you're still kicking around, dude!
Hi Mate - Yeah, got a message from the Forum a few months ago about whether I wanted weekly updates, and I agreed. Don't comment much, but will throw in an opinion occassionally. I remember you and I had some seriously good discussions a while back. Take care there.
 

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There will always be this debate on whether or not to start of a 250. Some riders are adamant about it on boot sides. However, I think the 250 is an antiquated bike, and the new start for starter bikes should be the 300cc category. The Ninja 300 (now 400) and R3 there are more but these are the ones I have experience with are great bikes. They have really good useable power, contrary to the 250s. Top speed is also a bit over 100MPH. 0-60 is about 6 seconds or so. All of that makes these really good beginners and commuting bikes. I have Ninjas and R3s for about 3/4 years before I bought a 2017 650. I did not feel the real urge for more power rather I was trying to sell my R3 before the new styling change to avoid grater depreciation. I will say the 650 has a ton more torque and it is loads of fun but during your hearing learning period (we are still all learning) this can get you into trouble. I had some instances where I grabbed too much throttle or I wasn't looking where I was going but the slower throttle response with the 300cc bikes saved me for sure. Furthermore, the Ninja 300/400 and R3 have better handling than the older 650s and some may argue the newer ones as well.

Do not think it's 250 or 650 the 300cc is a really good place to start and priced somewhat similarly. The 125cc Groms and Z125 do not make good beginner bikes imo rather I think they are good secondary bikes for riders who want something extremely nimble. You will definitely outgrow the 125 bikes.
 

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I guess if you just only stay in the neighborhood, the 250 will do. Like others will say, you will quickly out grow the 250 and if you don't out grow it, you probably shouldn't continue riding as no experienced rider would buy a 250.
I try not to attack or cast apsresions at people I don't know, but this is an outright ignorant statement. Especially the last part.


OP - the two biggest reasons to NOT get the 650 as a first bike are the power and the fact that she's a bit top heavy. I've got 35K plus miles on a 250, and almost 40K miles on my 650. If I had not needed $$ quick, I'd still have my 250. It had a higher resale value than my 650 when I had to make the choice which to sell.

Take the MSF course and don't be ham fisted with the throttle and you may be OK. Given your situation, you're getting a good deal on a very good bike.
 
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