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Old 03-05-2012, 09:44 PM   #16
Jim K.
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I'd look really hard at the 650 Ninja. It's just freshened up for 2012. Dream handling, light weight, nimble, great brakes. The frame is almost a work of art. Another that's worth a look is the GSX 650 F. It's an I-4 tuned for mid range, but with raised bars & grownup ergos. Fairing is subtly more upright than a real Gixxer. Unfortunately not sold here since 2009 but popular in the rest of the world, there are new leftovers at very appealing prices. Blue/White version does raise the antennae of our troopers here in Ct. Both these bikes are sheep in wolves clothing. They look the part, & perform @ 80% of modern 600 sport levels (which is plenty!), but they are both tuned for more real world roads & traffic, have realistic riding ergonomics, & both are priced for real world buyers as well.
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Old 03-05-2012, 10:03 PM   #17
71olds
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I think al lot of you have miised the point He is 18 years old a 1000 will kill him on insurance & may hill him also..
When I was 18 I has no self control


Anyway check out the price of insurance before you buy anything. At your age full coverage will cost you a pretty penny even for a 250

Yes on a 250 you will get board of after on season, That is why you see 1 & 2 year old Ninja 250's for sale for 2000 bucks.

You will be much happier with a FZ6 but check insurance before you buy.

Also the 650 dual sports DR650 XR650l KLR650 should have a pretty good insurance rate. & ride on the higway as good at a 250 sportbike

& you can ride down a dirt road

DRZ400sm supermoto would be a real fun bike that should insure well
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Old 03-05-2012, 10:17 PM   #18
max384
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Originally Posted by devsfan3026 View Post
Hey guys, first post so go easy. I'm an 18 year old college student looking to purchase a good bike for getting around town but that I can still take on the interstate and keep up with the flow. I've done a little research, and being a bit of a Honda purist looked into the CBR 250 extensively (since its a bit more in the price range). When I went to take a look at one in the showroom, talking to the sales guy he turned me onto the Yamaha FZ6, mostly since I have been riding dirt bikes for about 10 years now (currently on a Honda CRF450R). He said I would get bored with a 250, and being 6'1" 180 lbs. it may not do what I want. Used FZ's don't cost much, and now I'm leaning that direction, and offer more power and a better fit. Whats the verdict on the FZ's and is it really a better idea? Thanks!

My first streetbike was a Ninja 250. I put about 13,000 miles on it, commuted 50 miles daily, nearly all highway, have done two-up on many occasions, did three trackdays with it, several smaller roadtrips, and one 1700 mile trip on it. The 250 sportbikes have ample power to handle any road in the country and still get a speeding ticket. They're faster to 60mph than most family/subcompact cars, and reward you with excellent fuel mileage, even if you throttle them. You're not going to be blown away by the power by any means, but they're not as anemic as some will make them out to be. I'm 6'0", 200lbs and came from a dirt background. I have absolutely no regrets about starting on a 250. Quite the contrary. I always recommend this as a starting point, particularly to someone young. Insurance is insanely cheap for a new, young rider, and they facilitate learning at a much faster pace than bigger bikes. Plus, there's nothing like taking it to the track and passing guys on liter bikes in the turns who have a bike that is too big for them!

I think a 250 or 500 is the best way to go for a new rider. I know you have dirt experience, so you're not entirely new. However, riding street is a different beast than the dirt, and although knowing the controls and how to handle a bike will make your learning curve much flatter, there is still a learning curve.

A 650 or equivalent power-wise bike can make a good first bike for someone with a dirt background, but I still think a 250 or 500 is better if you really want to develop your skills and become a good rider on the street. If you're leaning toward a sportbike-type machine, don't go for a 600 supersport (gsxr, r6, cbr600rr, zx6r). Although they're smaller displacement than a 650, they're inline 4 cylinder engines, not a twin, which makes a big difference in both power and powerband. They're also tuned differently than other more beginner-friendly four cylinders, like the FZ6. Lastly, they definitely don't have anywhere near upright seating position.

I would also buy your first bike used. There's a good chance that you'll drop it/wreck it. Spend the money for a new bike on your second one. Also, if you buy a used 250, you can likely sell it for about the same price you bought it for a year later, assuming you don't wreck it. There is such a demand for used 250s that the resale value is astounding (assuming you didn't buy it new).

Good luck!
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Old 03-05-2012, 10:53 PM   #19
SactoPat
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Plain & simple, put all that "get bored soon" stuff aside. Get the easiest cc bike (preferably 250/500) bike you can find and ride the hell out of it for at least couple years. No matter what your first bike is you will want to get another one anyways. 250/500 cc bikes are very forgiving but some 600+cc's may not be. You don't need a powerful bike...you need a forgiving bike that will take up the slack when you make a mistake, not a bike that will slam you into the pavement or tree. Once you've ridden awhile and have developed good riding mechanics then worry about looking for a higher cc bike. You're 18 and got sooooo much time to develope your skills, so take your time and start small then work your way up to a higher cc bike. Just my worthless 2cents
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Old 03-05-2012, 11:33 PM   #20
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All very helpful input! I definitely have more of a bearing now on which way to go. Especially with insurance...which sounds like a blast to me. Anyway my uncle was the one who told me to join up here and ask around, and once again he was very right! You guys are awesome, and thanks so much for the input. Hope to post pics with me on my first bike soon! Leaning towards that 250 for now, but we'll see I'm sure I'll change my mind at least one more time already learned a lot!
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Old 03-06-2012, 12:35 AM   #21
IRideASlowBike
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Ninja 500s can be found dirt cheap and are by all accounts great bikes. Some more power than a 250, and probably less cramped as well, but not as high-strung as the inline 4-cylinder bikes.

In general I'd recommend staying away from 4-cylinder bikes as your first bike, but that's just me.
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Old 03-06-2012, 07:06 AM   #22
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I actually have another "parameter" to add...possibility of a passenger. will a 250 still do the job, even at highway speeds? passenger is about 5'7"...
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Old 03-06-2012, 07:19 AM   #23
DAKEZ
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Originally Posted by devsfan3026 View Post
I actually have another "parameter" to add...possibility of a passenger. will a 250 still do the job, even at highway speeds? passenger is about 5'7"...
She won't go flying off the back from the torque but a Ninja 250 does 2 -up just fine.
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Old 03-06-2012, 07:25 AM   #24
max384
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Quote:
Originally Posted by devsfan3026 View Post
I actually have another "parameter" to add...possibility of a passenger. will a 250 still do the job, even at highway speeds? passenger is about 5'7"...
If having a passenger is going to be a regular occurrence, the 250 might not be the best tool for the job. However, if it's just once in awhile, it will handle it just fine. I've had passengers on the back of my Ninja on the highway several times. It's a bit slower, but it still gets to speed faster than my wife's Hyundai! I wouldn't be in a hurry to put a passenger on the back though. Get a few thousand street miles under your belt before you put someone else's life in your hands. Handling is definitely different with a passenger, especially at low speeds. Passenger height doesn't really matter. It's the weight that makes a difference.

You might want to also check out the www.sportbikes.net forum for advice on your first bike. Not that there's anything wrong here, but it doesn't hurt get as much advice as you can. They get questions from people just starting out nearly daily there.
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Old 03-06-2012, 07:38 AM   #25
combustor777
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Quote:
Originally Posted by devsfan3026 View Post
All very helpful input! I definitely have more of a bearing now on which way to go. Especially with insurance...which sounds like a blast to me. Anyway my uncle was the one who told me to join up here and ask around, and once again he was very right! You guys are awesome, and thanks so much for the input. Hope to post pics with me on my first bike soon! Leaning towards that 250 for now, but we'll see I'm sure I'll change my mind at least one more time already learned a lot!
Let me commend you on soliciting advice at 18, that alone speaks volumes to your future of happy and successful riding! Just to add to the insurance issue: less plastic on the bike (naked/street fighter) = cheaper, as well as less displacement. Shopping around will save you a fortune; get a bunch of quotes. My first bike was a used F650CS (although a GS would be just as good). ABS, Single cyl, 50hp, 70 mpg, easy maintenance. Fun bike on a twisty road especially. I never rode before, never took a riding course, and I never dropped it. Keep doing your research, the internet makes it easy.
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Old 03-06-2012, 07:23 PM   #26
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I wouldn't recommend the Versys as a first bike. It's not the power that will get you, but you will end up dropping it because of the seat height. .
Per his original post - at 6'1, 180lbs and 10 years on dirt bikes, I think he'll be just fine....
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Old 03-06-2012, 07:31 PM   #27
DynaSport
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I personally don't see the need to start out with a 250 or 500cc bike. I rode dirt bikes as a kid and bought my first street bike more years ago than I care to admit. It was a Honda CX500 and I personally believe I could have handled a much more powerful bike. It was kind of a dog and I didn't enjoy it that much. It does take some self control with a faster bike, but with all the years of dirt bike experience you already have a good bit of experience on two wheels.

Best of luck to you, whatever you decide.
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Old 03-06-2012, 08:22 PM   #28
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I am not in the 250 camp either. Ya need to have them "on the boil" all the time to get anywhere. While fun sometimes, it really gets old quick in normal use. I'm a great sv650 fan as a first bike and ya can actually find a nice one in your price range. With your experience I wouldn't rule out an older 600 sport bike either. A bike with better capabilities (stops/turn/accelerates) just takes the bike's limits out of the learning curve. So, you can work on your skills and just has the headroom to keep/get ya out of trouble = safer.
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Old 03-06-2012, 09:00 PM   #29
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I would go with a Suzuki SV650...they make great bikes and hold their value well. A Kawi 650KLR is pretty sweet as well. Both inexpensive and reliable.
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Old 03-06-2012, 09:19 PM   #30
max384
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Originally Posted by 0ldhippie View Post
I am not in the 250 camp either. Ya need to have them "on the boil" all the time to get anywhere. While fun sometimes, it really gets old quick in normal use. I'm a great sv650 fan as a first bike and ya can actually find a nice one in your price range. With your experience I wouldn't rule out an older 600 sport bike either. A bike with better capabilities (stops/turn/accelerates) just takes the bike's limits out of the learning curve. So, you can work on your skills and just has the headroom to keep/get ya out of trouble = safer.
Ha! There are very, very few riders whose riding is actually hindered by their bike's limits. There are tons of riders who think their bike's limits are the weakest links. However, in actuality, very few riders can actually ride to their bike's potential... Most of them are paid to do so. This is especially true of sportbikes.

Like I said, a 650ish bike would probably be fine for him to start on, given his experience, but I think a smaller bike would facilitate faster learning. While being able to get out of trouble in a hurry can be safer in many situations, that same extra power causes way more crashes than it prevents. WAY more... Especially in new street riders.
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