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Old 07-07-2013, 04:52 PM   #31
Jedi Apprentice
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R, X, and F all have the same engines.

R is going to be more sport oriented, mainly in the way of looks with the full fairing. Another inmate mentioned that it has more rearset pegs, I am unsure if this is true. I sat on it and it has a lot of knee room. Felt like a lot more than the ninja 650.

F is naked, with an upright seating position with a slight lean.

X is the adventure/touring version, and like the R, this is mainly in looks. It will be more upright than the F. I am unsure if the suspension differs.

These bikes start at 6k, but after dealer fees, tax, tags, and insurance you are getting near 8k, 30% greater than your budget.
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Old 07-07-2013, 04:54 PM   #32
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Why would you want to buy a new $6k CB500 when a $2500 or less used GS500e or Kaw 500R does the same thing? ride the CB for a year and it's worth about $4k, ride the crap out of the used bike for a couple years and it's worth within $500 what you paid. Try to think of your first bike as a tool not only to learn on, but also to let you know if riding is for you.
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Old 07-07-2013, 05:46 PM   #33
131unlimited
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Um, expected more from this site... forget getting a street bike as your first bike. Get a 250 to 450 cc dual sport bike and learn to ride on road and off road. Take the MSF course and practice a hell of a lot both on and off road.
The skills you will learn off road will translate onto the street and help you tremendously.
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Old 07-07-2013, 05:56 PM   #34
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The OP understands a clutch/trans, races road bicycles and could probably start on anything and not fall over. Get a good instructor then practice, practice, practice.

Read the two threads I linked for the 300 & 500. I have a N300, I'm 6-01" and 210 lbs. At your weight it will be a rocket.

Try them all on, get a feel for the fit and weight. The 500 is a good bit heavier than the 300.
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Old 07-07-2013, 06:03 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by 131unlimited View Post
Um, expected more from this site... forget getting a street bike as your first bike. Get a 250 to 450 cc dual sport bike and learn to ride on road and off road. Take the MSF course and practice a hell of a lot both on and off road.
The skills you will learn off road will translate onto the street and help you tremendously.
Yes....what he said. Offroad is great to teach about balance, braking, sliding, etc.

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Old 07-07-2013, 06:18 PM   #36
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First, remember it is your FIRST bike, not the last. Most of us change bikes around every 4 years unless you become a bike collector like some of us.

You absolutely will drop your bike at some point. We all do at some point, and it is much easier to repair a good used bike without all kinds of plastic fairings that cost more than gold bars to replace if you break them (you will !).

A good used 250-350 cc bike, preferably a standard naked, will do wonders for helping you learn to ride in the combat zone of idiots on cellphones. They are plentiful and cheap to buy, and when your confidence tell you that you want something a little bigger, you can always get your money out of the starter bike. New bikes depreciate horribly, so unless you are independently wealthy, start with a used bike.

As suggested, a good dual sport bike is a good choice as you can do a little dirt riding, as well as using it as a street bike. Just be aware that if you are vertically challenged, dual sport bikes tend to be tall and can be intimidating to a new rider. Most used dual sports tend to have stuff like crash bars on them which makes drops a lot less stressful on the rider and his wallet.


DO NOT get on any kind of sport bike. Race bike replicas are not beginner bikes simply because you cannot use the power they have, and things can get out of hand very, very quickly because their power band is narrow and comes on hard and fast as they have to be revved up into their power bands. They are not really good street bikes for those reasons. They are a lot of fun on the track, AFTER you have a year or two under you to learn how to ride a motorcycle on something smaller and a lot safer for a newbie, and do some track days for proper instruction of technique. If dirt or off road riding catches your fancy, the BMW/RawHyde off road academy in California or the BMW Performance center in North Carolina offer awesome training on the big BMW dual sports you can rent at each.

Always ATGATT, and remember that you are invisible and everyone on the street is out to kill you. Act accordingly and you will do fine. Good luck on your choice.
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Old 07-07-2013, 07:53 PM   #37
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Buy a Ninja 250:
1. They are very affordable
2. They are extremely reliable
3. When you drop it, they are easy to pick up (frame sliders will be your best friend)
4. Despite what your father days, they do just fine on the HW (they make great track bikes too)
5. Go to cycle gear, catch a sale, buy gear you can afford



Three things to know:
You will drop a bike, do it on a cheap one
You will wreck a bike, do it on a cheap one
You will make novice mistakes, do it on a cheap one

Most importantly, learn how to ride slow. Any jack ass can do 100mph and cut off cars on the highway... it takes skill to ride slow ;-)
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Old 07-07-2013, 07:55 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by Cakeeater View Post
Yes....what he said. Offroad is great to teach about balance, braking, sliding, etc.

Cakeeater
While true, it doesn't teach about traffic, wet pavement, or picking up chicks at a local bike night.
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Old 07-07-2013, 08:18 PM   #39
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A 350cc + bike for a newbie?

A newbie needs something light and maneuverable. Bikes can be light and maneuverable for commuting and learning OR comfortable on the highway but rarely both. Therefore I would agree with the others that say go with a used cheap (2-3K) 250/300cc light bike to learn on. Then if need be replace it in a year or two. OR go with a bigger bike and hope you don't break something when it lands on you or carries you into a left turner or off a curve.

CycleGear.com has stores nationwide and an online presence. They often run sales on most of their house brands plus you can try stuff on in the store. CompetitionAccessories.com has some nice mail order "sliders" jeans and pants for a reasonable price.

Do your body a favor. Begin with a MSF course, start with a smaller bike, ATGATT, and comfortable riding conditions (temperature, distance, daytime). Keep your speeds down (like below 40mph) whenever possible for a decent while (5000 miles?). Read ALL the safe riding books (one is Proficient Motorcycling) and implement the strategies you find relevant.
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Old 07-08-2013, 12:22 AM   #40
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I was in a similar position a little over a year ago. Never ridden a motorbike, ever. Got the itch, did tons of internet research and didn't listen to my buddies who said don't start on a 250. After 8 months of riding, I'm very glad I started on a 250. That's not to say in 1 year, 2 years or whatever I won't move up to something bigger but for learning it's perfect. Hell, after a few months of looking, reading, thinking and researching all kinds of 250cc bikes I ended up on a 250cc scooter because it made sense for me.

I took the MSF course and read Proficient Motorcycling before buying my bike. I still wiped out on gravel in a turn. Not what I had planned, survived; but lucky not to break my hip. I do ride ATGATT. Good luck.
GH

P.S. Even my scooter travels at a steady 65-70 mph GPS.

P.P.S. When thinking about bigger, heavier, more powerful bikes consider this: going fast in a straight line is easy, coming in just a little too hot for a turn (on any size bike) and you could end up 18 inches over the center line and that may not end well.
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Old 07-08-2013, 05:57 AM   #41
Dranrab Luap
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First of all, thanks for the great responses!

This is a really good point that I hadn't thought to address. I live in Massachusetts and I am planning on doing a road trip to florida next summer when I have a lot more experience riding. In, the meantime the bike I purchase will be for commuting to work and riding for fun!

Ideally, I would prefer a sporty commuter bike that CAN be used for long distance rides. I don't want a touring bike (I hate how they look to be honest). Dual sport is also out, as they are usually single cylinder. Despite more advanced counter balancing, all reviews I've read say they still vibrate a lot at highway speeds, but please correct me if I'm wrong about this. Either way, I do not intend to ride off-road anyway.

I also forgot to mention that I drive a manual transmission car, I race on a road bike (not the same thing I know, but it helps), and I will be taking a safety course before I get started. I think I should safely be able to go straight to a motorcycle rather than a dirt bike.

Anyway, I hope that helps any further posts narrow down the choices a bit more. Thanks guys!
-Luceid
Are you talking about a road bicycle? I am a fairly avid bicyclist as well, but the skills don't really translate. It will benefit you in that you are probably good at reading traffic and riding defensively.

Let me tell you about vibration. It's very subjective. I had a DR650 single and the vibrations didn't bother me at all. I had an XR650L single and I found the way it vibrated was a bit fatiguing. Vibrations, air/wind management, seat comfort and helmet comfort are all very subjective. These are things you have to feel out for yourself.

You mentioned a 6K budget. Does that include your gear? When you take your trip next year, what are you going to use to pack your belongings?
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Old 07-08-2013, 06:02 AM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GREY.HOUND View Post
I was in a similar position a little over a year ago. Never ridden a motorbike, ever. Got the itch, did tons of internet research and didn't listen to my buddies who said don't start on a 250. After 8 months of riding, I'm very glad I started on a 250. That's not to say in 1 year, 2 years or whatever I won't move up to something bigger but for learning it's perfect. Hell, after a few months of looking, reading, thinking and researching all kinds of 250cc bikes I ended up on a 250cc scooter because it made sense for me.

I took the MSF course and read Proficient Motorcycling before buying my bike. I still wiped out on gravel in a turn. Not what I had planned, survived; but lucky not to break my hip. I do ride ATGATT. Good luck.
GH

P.S. Even my scooter travels at a steady 65-70 mph GPS.

P.P.S. When thinking about bigger, heavier, more powerful bikes consider this: going fast in a straight line is easy, coming in just a little too hot for a turn (on any size bike) and you could end up 18 inches over the center line and that may not end well.

I love that book. Where the rider course focuses primarily on basic riding skills, Proficient Motorcycling teaches you how to avoid situations where you will need to use emergency handling skills. I have saved my own bacon more times by reading traffic well than through emergency handling.

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Old 07-08-2013, 06:29 AM   #43
JerryH
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Thanks, you basically confirmed what my research was indicating. But I'd like to ask why you chose the F out of the three models. I saw an article detailing the differences between the three and I was still left a bit confused!

I still haven't fully decided obviously, so if anyone has any additional input I will continue to monitor the thread!

Thanks,
-Patrick
I chose the F because it will have a more comfortable riding position, and should still handle fine. My last bike of that type was an EX500 Ninja, and it had no legroom at all, because the pegs were to high and to far back. I have a 34" inseam, and my legs were all twisted up underneath me. It was very painful, and would cause leg cramps and eventually numbness. Several people on ex-500.com had fabricated forward pegs using an aftermarket frame slider setup which had a long bar bolted across the front downtubes. But that still left the bars to low and to far forward. The F model is also the least expensive, MSRP is $5499. But as somebody else said, there will be fees. Honda now adds on a $310 destination fee, and there will be sales tax, title and registration. I'm hoping the "destination fee" will eliminate the freight and setup fees dealers usually add.
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Old 07-08-2013, 08:13 AM   #44
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The OP said he is 5'6", the Kaw would probably fit him (or her) perfectly.
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Old 07-08-2013, 08:29 AM   #45
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And be easier for them to hold up at a stop too. More so the CBR250, but IMO it just gives up too much top cruise speed to the 300.
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