Is this the best choice for a starter bike? [Archive] - Glock Talk

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emt1581
07-28-2004, 00:53
I'd like to get a 248cc Kawasaki Ninja. I'm in the process of figuring out what the cheapest time to buy one and what the minimal insurance rate would be for just liabiliy.

I know next to nothing about buying a bike. I've trained on a Nighthawk with the state, and I hated the way that sat me. I'd definitly like a more sporty, crouched ride.

What should I know? Feel free to make some suggestions. Thanks!

-Emt1581

Tennessee Slim
07-28-2004, 20:16
emt1581, buddy, youíre not getting much help so Iím gonna throw in my 2 cents worth.

The 250 Ninja is an excellent bike, virtually unchanged for 12 or 13 years so whatever bugs it had have long since been ironed out. The only suggestion Iíd make is that you consider a middleweight (400-600ccs) instead. Yes, that 250cc motor will break every speed limit in the US of A, but at what cost? I donít know your weight but I think youíd soon tire of leisurely acceleration and the fact that you have to wring its guts out to make go.

You and the 250 makes about 15 pounds per HP. On a 600, closer to 10 pounds per HP. Lots more hustle in the 600.

If youíre concerned that a larger bikeís power might be intimidating, ...well, it might be, at first, but I can assure you youíll get used to it quickly. Better you should ride it timidly for a couple of months while getting used to the power than spend two years wishing it had more.

Like cars, bikes are cheapest to buy just before (or after) the new models are released. The problem with that strategy, also like cars, is that resale value is lessened by virtue of the fact thatís itís already a year old model.

If you carry that to an extreme, sometimes dealers will have (or can get) left-overs; bikes that can be even a couple of model years old but are still new in the crate. If you have no concern for trade-in or resale value theyíre your best buy, but the dealer probably wonít offer that he has (or can get) them. Heíd prefer to sell you a new model else it might end up a left-over, too, so if you want to go that route you might have to be insistent that youíre only interested in a left-over.

The other drawback is that there arenít likely to be any left-overs of the popular models. If your local dealer tells you there arenít any left-over 250 Ninjas, call two or three Kawi dealers in other cities and ask them. If they give you the same story, itís more than likely true.

Motorcycles donít have the mark-up of a car so the dealer doesnít have the luxury to dicker so much over price. What you can do is negotiate an acceptable price on the bike, then tell him itís a deal if heíll sell you a helmet, rain suit and tank bag (or whatever accessories you need) at his cost. Every little bit helps.

As for insurance, shop around. Rates will vary tremendously.

MikeG22
07-28-2004, 22:06
Are you going new or used?

A Suzuki GS500 is a good way to go. Can be had pretty cheap, more power than the 250 but hopefully not enough to kill you. Get a cheap bike without fairings first. You'll most likely drop your first bike and new plastics are expensive. If you get something like gs500 you'll be able to sell it for what you bought it for then move up into a more serious bike.

Beware learning on any newer supersport bike, 600 or otherwise. Just alot going on and they aren't as forgiving.

So, an older ninja or a gs would be good to learn on. I have a gs500 that's been passed around thru 5 or so of my friends as the bike to learn on. It's been dropped a number of times and yet is still worth what it was bought for. I'm keeping it around in case any other friends want to learn since it's perfect for that.

WERA49
07-28-2004, 22:22
I agree about the 250. The problem with them, is that in two weeks your ability will be better than the bike. Then what? Now you're back in the market for a bike again. An EX500 or GS500 would be a much better choice. Both are great bikes. I don't recommend a late model 600's to beginners. They run high 10's/low 11's in the quarter mile with a top speed of approx. 160 MPH. That's not a beginners bike.

I usually recommend a SV650 to anyone that wants a newer bike. They are reliable, reasonably priced and sporty. Insurance will be 1/3 of a new 600. If you ride one, you'll see why they have such a loyal following.

BTW, my first streetbike was a FZR400.

emt1581
07-28-2004, 22:53
Thank you all so much for the replies so far!!! :):)

So Suzi. or Kawasaki would be a good choice? After I finish typing this I'm going to check out the Suz. website. I did a bunch of searching before and as far as power and price go, I seem to remember Kawasaki was the best buy out of all brands.

Also, pardon my ignorance, but what are fairings and what do they have to do with how a beginner learns?

Again thanks for all the info and PLEASE keep it coming. I really do appreciate it.

-Emt1581

WERA49
07-28-2004, 23:40
but what are fairings and what do they have to do with how a beginner learns?
The fairing is the plastic bodywork. It is supposed to be more aerodynamic than a bike with no fairing. No fairing bikes used to be called UJM's (Universal Japanese Machines), or standard bikes. The new buzzword is "Naked Bike". Modern bodywork is not very aerodynamic, but that is for a different thread.

The bodywork (fairing) has nothing to do with learning. Most high performance bikes have a fairing. That being the case, insurance companies associate a fairing with high performance and charge accordingly. It is true that high performance bikes (sportbikes) are crashed more often than the standard bikes. Sportbikes really do go, stop and turn better than standard bikes. Motorcycle ability is not the problem. The problem is the attitude and lack of experience that gets most sportbike riders into trouble.

My recommendations:
Buy a used, moderately powered, unfaired motorcyle

Take the MSF class. You'll qualify for the motorcycle endorsement of your drivers license while there. Which means, you won't have to ride (and schedule) a test at your local BMV. MSF is the Motorcycle Safety Foundation. After you pass, you'll receive a 5% insurance discount from most major insurance companies.
http://www.msf-usa.org/

Get your motorcycle endorsement ASAP. Most single-bike accidents are from people that don't have a motorcycle endorsement. They pay $4 for a temporary permit in April then ride through the summer until October. Second verse same as the first.

Edited to add: Bodywork is VERY expensive to replace. Insurance companies don't like that, so they charge extra. A complete set of bodywork can easily run $3,000. More than that for a Ducati, Moto Guzzi..........

emt1581
07-28-2004, 23:57
So the GS500 doesn't have fairings?

The description says it has fully enclosed fairings...is that of any benefit over normal fairings?

Typically with a bike that costs around $5000 msrp, how much can I expect to pay for it?

Thanks

-Emt1581

WERA49
07-29-2004, 00:08
http://www.gstwin.com/
So the GS500 doesn't have fairings?
The newer GS's do.

The description says it has fully enclosed fairings...is that of any benefit over normal fairings?
Not really. Full bodywork does clean up the aerodynamics a little, but only at higher speeds (above highway speeds). Mostly, full bodywork is for looks and to sell bikes.

Typically with a bike that costs around $5000 msrp, how much can I expect to pay for it?
You'll have to research the bikes in your area. Your question is vague. Value is relative. Spring/Summer are the most expensive seasons to buy a motorcycle (and other recreational objects).

These factors must be considered:
receipts for maintenance
a log book of maintenance records adds value
items needed (chain, sprockets, brake pads, tires)
overall condition
miles
accessories (they add very little, don't pay MSRP for accessories)

emt1581
07-29-2004, 00:32
As far as the fairings go, I only plan on insuring it for liability. So I don't know that the ins. co. would make me pay more for something they won't have to fix.

Right now, looking at a 500cc bike, the gs500 does seem to be the most attractive choice.

I'm glad it was brought to my attention.

Would winter be the best time to shop for a bike?

Any other models, in the same price/power range worth taking a look at? Thanks

-Emt1581

ColoradoPacker
07-29-2004, 00:33
The ninja 250 is an excellent bike at an affordable price. Excellent gas mileage, and could keep up with all my harley biker friends to about 90-100mph, while outhandling them all. I seem to recall a stock 0-60 in under 6 seconds and a qtr mile time of about 14 seconds - nothing to sneeze at, easily matching a 1200cc sportster.

When I was poor but experienced rider, I had one because it was all I could afford that was new and reliable with cheap insurance - prior to that, I had owned a Kawasaki S2 350, an XS750 and XS1100, and Vision 550, and FJ600. but, then being done with med school, I had to pony up $25,000 to start a new medical office and bikes were a luxury I couldn't afford. I did a yoshimura 2-1 pipe and rejetted it, and it sounded like a 500. The Ninja 500 if still aorund is a better choice, while still being small and managable weight, but without the full fairing it doesn't "look" as cool.

However, something on order of a 600 Bandit would be a better choice if money is not an issue, but if a big bike trying to fall over at a stop light scares you, a Ninja 250 is going to be easier to handle size wise. The power of a bigger bike can be controlled by being moderate on the throttle, but the weight is another issue.

My next bike will be another Harley, but likely all I could afford is another sportster, since I have to buy my wife a house with 3 car garage first - that's our deal...

Here are pics of my modified Bandit 600 with 100hp :D

http://www.subaruplanet.com/images/bandit600a.jpg
http://www.subaruplanet.com/images/bandit600b.jpg

emt1581
07-29-2004, 00:46
I think it's honesly going to come down to me, getting off my butt and visiting a dealer that sells Suz. and Kaw. bikes. I'd like to get some quotes ahead of time for liability ins.

The two I'd like to look at, and test drive, if dealers do that, is the 250cc ninja and the gs500.

From what I remember, a dealer only requires a class M permit.

Thanks for the pics, that's a very sweet looking bike.

-Emt1581

Ralphumor
07-29-2004, 19:24
I am in the school of thought get the biggest bike possible because you will soon wish you had more power. Also be careful with liabilty INS. It is my understanding that if you have a lean on the bike you can not have just liab. All that plastic cost out the wazoo to fix. Just falling over in the garage can cost quite a bit. Take a learner course and Join the AMA (American Motorcyle Assoc.) Kinda like the NRA for us. Good luck and maybe one day Ill pass and wave!! Keep the shiney side up!!

D25
07-29-2004, 19:54
I don't think that the 250 would necessarily be a bad bike to get, but, for the reasons already mentioned, something in the 500 range would probably be better. The fact of the matter is that any sized bike, from a mountain bike to a Hyabusa, will get you deader than a doornail if you do stupid things, overestimate your ability, or fail to have a high degree of respect for the machine you're riding. Hell, even if you are doing everything right, Grandma Methusela might just "not see you," and game over.

I second the idea of a no-fairing bike. Plastic is expensive.

GS's are a good choice, but my recomendation for a good starter bike is a mid 80's Honda VFR 500, if you can locate one in good shape. It's what I learned on, and I still enjoy riding it every once and a while.

Just remember to always wear your gear.

c5367
07-30-2004, 03:33
Definitely some good advice so far. The Ninja 250 is a great starter bike for all the reason posted above and then some. If you intend on riding hard the 250 will offer a few thing that a large bike can't. With the 250, you can learn what a bike feels like at its limits without getting into the stupid fast range. Learning the fundamentals is easier on smaller less powerful machines, just like shooting. Its easier to learn trigger control sight picture, etc on a Ruger MkII than a S&W 500, and its roughly similar on bikes.
Another reason to go with a smaller, less expensive bike is that most beginners will drop a bike a some point, especially if they like pushing the envelope. Better a beater bike than something nice.
Another bike to look at might be a mid 90's Yamaha Seca II. The insurance is CHEAP, and depending on your individual circumstances maybe cheaper than a Ninja 250 or GS500. A gently used model in good condition should run less than $2500.
If you do decide to look at used bikes, check out this link (http://www.clarity.net/~adam/buying-bike.html) It has some good points for inspecting them

45acp4me
07-30-2004, 06:32
The EX 500 and GS500 are the best starter bikes for the average person. You'll get a couple years use out of them before wanting to upgrade. As it's been said, the Ninja 250 won't grow with you for very long.

Always buy used for your first bike, don't take the big hit in value by buying new if you are going to sell it in a year or two. Buying and wearing good gear is a must as well.

ColoradoPacker:

While I'm a big Bandit fan as I won one, they are pretty darn top heavy for a starter bike.

Regards,
Glen

ColoradoPacker
07-30-2004, 16:17
Originally posted by 45acp4me
The EX 500 and GS500 are the best starter bikes for the average person. You'll get a couple years use out of them before wanting to upgrade. As it's been said, the Ninja 250 won't grow with you for very long.

Always buy used for your first bike, don't take the big hit in value by buying new if you are going to sell it in a year or two. Buying and wearing good gear is a must as well.

ColoradoPacker:

While I'm a big Bandit fan as I won one, they are pretty darn top heavy for a starter bike.

Regards,
Glen

I totally agree - I did say, "but if a big bike trying to fall over at a stop light scares you, a Ninja 250 is going to be easier to handle size wise."

Now that I think about it, my XS1100 as my second bike in 1982 was easier to hold up at a light than my Bandit.

norton
07-31-2004, 07:42
My 2 cents
It looks like you live in Pa. My suggestion would be to wait until Sept, then start looking at used bikes. Lots of riders find they don't want to make payments in the winter on a bike they can't ride, and bargains are out there. Lots of new riders find out m/cycling isn't what they thought it was gonna be. They are just looking to dump their financial obligation.

Think about riding a dirt bike before you invest in a street bike. Riding dirt bikes will teach you more about traction, throttle control, then you will ever learn from riding a street bike.

BTW, I was an EMT when I first started riding.

After 30 years, and about 2 dozen bikes, I decided last year to give it up. But it was a blast, and I have memories that will last a lifetime.

emt1581
07-31-2004, 16:06
Speaking from an EMT's perspective...

I was at an EMS conference last year and they showed us how in Austrailia for example, they have EMT's on bikes. They can zip to the scene, start working on the patient and when the rig comes they do a quick load and go. It's been extremely successful there so far...hopefully it'll catch on there.

That's not a bad idea about waiting until Sept. to buy a used bike, as long as it's in like new cond.


What I was hoping to do is test drive a few bikes. Is that allowed at dealers?? I'm pretty impressed by the GS500's specs, but I'd like to get a feel for the bike before I spend a penny on it. Thanks

-Emt1581

ColoradoPacker
07-31-2004, 20:45
I'm think that from a center of gravity perspective, you should get the $6,995 Harley Sportster instead.

MikeG22
07-31-2004, 22:48
Even though a new bike sounds good, seriously look into a mid-late 90 gs500. You can get a nice one for 1500. Insurance is like 100 bucks a year for liability. Learn on that for 4-6 months and then go buy the bike you want.

You accomplish a few things, if/when it falls over it's not a huge deal. You'll get to learn how to handle a bike without having to worry about loosing out on lots of money fixing it if something happens. Once you learn how to ride and get a better feel then uo will know more what you want in a different bike and could go to a 600 at that time. Getting a new bike now might be a waste imho. You will be able to sell the initial bike for the price you bought it for easy and you've learned to ride and can get a better bike at that point.

If you drop 5k on the new bike with the initial depreciation plus normal dropoff you'll get hit pretty hard and that would be money well spent on a bigger bike when you are ready.

Also, with a less expensive bike spend some good money on gear. IE jacket with armor in the elbows and shoulders and a backplate, good gloves with nuckle protectors, sturdy leather boots, good full face helmet, etc. Being that you're most likely to fall while learning that is the exact time you need quality gear so plan on spending the money on that too. Leather is your friend, road-rash sucks the big one.

Oh, and on insurance, if you get a bike that's new it's definitly worth getting full coverage or at the very least theft protection as well. Bikes are super easy to steal and get stolen alot, you don't want to be left out to dry if it gets taken. And see if it's worth the full coverage too, my buddy recently dropped his 03 GSXR 600 and has to replace all the plastics, the headlight, rear subframe, etc and is costing alot that he would have saved had he had full coverage. Heck, full coverage for my 04 GSXR 600 is only 475 a year with AAA and I'm only 23, one minor spill could pay for many years of insurance.

45acp4me
08-01-2004, 09:52
Originally posted by MikeG22
And see if it's worth the full coverage too, my buddy recently dropped his 03 GSXR 600 and has to replace all the plastics, the headlight, rear subframe, etc and is costing alot that he would have saved had he had full coverage.

This is another reason why the GS500 or a bike without a full fairing is best for a beginner bike. Just about everyone will drop it in a parking lot or driveway on accident. On a naked bike you'll replace $25 to $70 in parts. A fully faired bike could cost you hundreds.


ColoradoPacker,

When I hear somone say "big bike" I'm usually thinking of at least 800 or 900 CC's, the Bandit 600 didn't register as a big bike to me. :)

Cheers!
Glen

ClickClickBoom
08-02-2004, 08:37
Something cheap so in the event you drop it (Can happen anywhere, a parking lot with sand, some moron not looking where they're going, whatever) you're not out hundreds or thousands of dollars worth of Damaged motorcycle. At least until you get some miles under your belt and get a feel for dodging things and keeping the bike under you, negotiating intersections, parking lots. Common mistake among beginners is to try and leave in the wrong gear, stall the bike while you were lifting your feet and have it flop over in the middle of an intersection. When you get better, buy a better bike. Starter bike should be mechanically sound and ultimately disposable. Secondly, I never recommend a sportbike to someone starting out simply because the bike's abilities will exceed the riders umptyfive fold, and that can tend to make new riders cocky and thats when the fit can hit the shan. Some actually start to think they're God's gift to two wheels because they can rip through a corner at Mach III. The truth of the matter is the manufacturer spent millions of dollars designing a motorcycle that would rip through a corner at Mach III if it was being piloted by Clyde the Orangutan.
So lets recap,
A starter bike should be:
1: Reliable
2: Cheap
3: Disposable
It's not the only bike you're ever going to own, you don't have to keep it forever. But while you're learning, if you do something to a brand new machine that you're still making payments (Or even a used one you put down $3000-$4000 on) on you'll be kicking yourself until the Four Horsemen ride in.

Mad Ryan
08-02-2004, 21:32
A used SV-650 can be had for around $3k and is about as fun as it gets for under ten grand. There are racing classes for them at every track in America so hopups are numerous and they handle awesome. The stock 60 or so HP is peppy for such a light, easy to handle bike, and the torquey little twin is a joy to ring out on a twisty road. It's a modern bike, with all that implies, but it's been out for several years so the bugs are worked out. The newer ones have fully adjustable suspension, which is a big plus, and as most japanese bikes, they run like a top, just change the oil.

I don't dislike the other bikes mentioned, but they're going to cost within a thousand or so of the SV,(excepting the ninja 250 which is a fun little teeny bike) and won't handle or grow with the rider nearly as nice. When you feel you've outgrown the SV, you turn it into a dedicated track bike, with a bigbore kit, and no street gear, and it just sails. I know a guy that turns faster lap times on his race kitted SV then he does on his R-6.

Just my opinion, it was free...

ClickClickBoom
08-02-2004, 21:33
And another thing... I went from Progressive to Geico and saved a bowel-shattering amount of money ;f ($1700 a year! for full coverage)

Mad Ryan
08-02-2004, 21:38
Originally posted by ClickClickBoom
And another thing... I went from Progressive to Geico and saved a bowel-shattering amount of money ;f ($1700 a year! for full coverage)

I'm paying $27 a month for full coverage on my 2002 ZX-9 through State Farm. They base it solely on Displacement. I'm lovin it! (I'm also 28 with only one speeding ticket)

emt1581
08-02-2004, 21:50
Click,

Are you saying that you PAY $1,700 a year??? Or did you save that much?

No way in hell in paying that much for full per year if the bikes only costs $3-5K to begin with.

Thanks

-Emt1581

Mad Ryan
08-02-2004, 21:53
Originally posted by emt1581
Click,

Are you saying that you PAY $1,700 a year??? Or did you save that much?

No way in hell in paying that much for full per year if the bikes only costs $3-5K to begin with.

Thanks

-Emt1581

Insurance varies widely from company to company. I've always thought that Progressive and Geico were both really high. Farmers and State Farm are both better, depending on your age and record. Some companies base it on what you ride and some on the size of your bike.

ewah
08-03-2004, 22:39
dude. buy your first bike as cheap as you can find something that runs and moves forward. i had elusions of grandure and knee dragin tom foolery but could only aford a mid-80's honda GL 500 for $400 bucks and i bought it on lay-a-way!
i crashed it three times before i learned that 2 wheels are simply a dynamic that i was not ready to deal with like the four wheel hooliganism i was used to.
my point is... DO NOT SPEND YOUR PRECIOUSE MONEY ON A NEW BIKE.
i slid, dumped, and fliped that bike and for $400 bucks i learned how to NOT slide, dump and flip a bike.
having then belived i was wise, i bought a honda nt650 for 2400 bucks. i made that bike do things that would seem unnatural. if you've heard of chiken strips, let me tell you i had worn off the michellen man from the edge of the tread! then i hit some gravel and it was all over. my next point is, it doesnt f'n matter how good you are, you are going to go down.
with that said, my current daily ride is an '03 VFR that cost me $10k. it will do 160 with a tail wind and has more power than i admit i can handle. i pay about $500 year insurance on it only because i have learned that the only time i can get from zero to 160 as fast as i f'n can is when no one is in sight for as far as the road is straight and flat as i can see.

at 160 the doted yellow line becomes solid and you dont really look at the speedo because the time it takes to read the dial is too long. it is really quite something to realize that you are going so fast that no matter what jumps out in front of you... it, and you, are complete and utter toast. makes me wonder if i made the right choice in bikes. sometimes i wonder if i should have just kept and re-built the 'ol GL500.

btw, still have the nt650 and i can spank my roomies ducati monster 900's butt any day he cares to go at it. we dont even play with the VFR as it will lay the nt650 to bed hands down.

what ever you get.. be carefull, dont kill yourself and for F's sake, dont kill anyone else when you think you are the shiz cuz you can accel faster that anything you've ever owned before.

emt1581
08-03-2004, 22:47
Point taken ewah. I plan on buying used after a convo I had at work. I was told to check out the "Cycle Trader" booklet for used bikes in my area.

Chances are when I pass my safety course and buy my gear I'll get a used (around 2002 and prior models) GS500. Still a lot of researching to be done. Thanks for all the info.

-Emt1581

Wulfenite
08-03-2004, 22:50
MHO.....

Buy a cheep dirt bike or a dual sport/enduro type and bang away in the hills till you've got a couple hundred hours of two wheeled time in the log book.

I rode dirtbikes from age 5 till 16. I fell a lot till I was about 10 years old, almost never after that. When I was 19 I bought a GSXR 750 and rode it as my only wheels for three years. Never laid it down. But I lost track of how many times I should have piled up and didnt because of spot-on, completely reflexive, bike handling that had absolutely nothing to do with any skills you'd learn behind the wheel of a car.

What you learn when there's nobody out there trying to run you over will save you when there is.

ClickClickBoom
08-04-2004, 04:29
Originally posted by emt1581
Click,

Are you saying that you PAY $1,700 a year??? Or did you save that much?

No way in hell in paying that much for full per year if the bikes only costs $3-5K to begin with.

Thanks

-Emt1581

No, I'm SAVING 1700 a year. Progressive wanted an arm and a leg, my monthly for full coverage is now $50 (24 w/ 5 points on a 1200 CC Performance Motorcycle)

fastvfr
08-12-2004, 00:13
Hello, EMT;

I hear this issue being raised quite a bit.

My advice is the same advice I gave myself way-back-when:

Choose between a 650 KLR Kawasaki or a Kawasaki Vulcan 800.

Pay no more than one thousand dollars unless you get a trememdous deal, then consider $1,500.

I think the KLR might be the better trainer since, as someone posted, going offroad will teach you about the physics of the motorcycle like nothing else can.

Both of these machines would be considered slow by most. Both are also RELIABLE and DURABLE. Fairly comfy for longer rides, too, even with the skinny KLR seat and the Vulcan's Birthing Chair ergonomics!

If you want a roadbike-only and are of reasonable stature so that a 500# cruiser would not intimidate you, get the Vulcan and a set of crashbars for the motor, if it is not already so equipped. Vulcans have the advantage of a shaft drive or a belt drive, which is comparatively hassle-free.

But, as I said, the KLR is more useful, lighter, and will still handle traffic well. Heck, I am thinking about getting one as an adjunct to my VFR.

Best regards,

FastVFR

ColoradoPacker
08-12-2004, 18:33
I had a KLR 650 before the Ninja 250

Good power for wheelies, handles well for a dirt bike on the street, top speed almost 100mph ...

But, very top heavy for a starter bike.

RKC2000
08-24-2004, 20:35
My wife's starter bike was a used (1986) Kawasaki Vulcan 750. She had it for two years then I bought her dream bike: New (2003) Heritage Softail Classic. She loves it and thinks it handles much better than the smaller Vulcan 750.

BrianM_G21
08-25-2004, 09:22
I think it's funny that people believe the 250 is something you grow out of in a short time. I've got 10 years and somewhere arround 150k miles on motorcycles, several years of roadracing and a good span where a motorcycle was my only means of transportation. I picked up a 250 for my wife to ride and find that I ride it more than I do my VFR because it is just more fun, plain and simple. Anyone ever hear the saying "It's more fun to drive fast in a slow car than to drive slow in a fast car"?, yeah - well the same is true of motorcycles. On top of that, the 250 is the most flicable bike I've ridden outside of a Honda RS125, and has a girn per mile factor just slightly less than a YSR50 (not much though, cause I can burn off a couple tanks in the 250 and have covered 400 miles.. the 50 got to be a pain to ride).

There are people who use the 250 for a LD touring bike, shoot a friend did the IronButt Rally with his last year. There are people who bought these things new more than a decade ago and have put better than 90k miles on them in that time. My 2000 had 21k miles on it when I got it in the spring of this year, someone was riding the bike.

And FWIW, I'm 6'4", 260lbs.... I've owned everything from a Honda VF500f to a Kawi ZRX1100 w/ ZX11 cams, full muzzy, yadda, yadda, yadda.. made 132 RWHP aqnd the 250 doesn't underwhelm me with acceleration. I don't feel that I have to ring its neck to accelerate, not even to get up and go faster than traffic from a stoplight.

I'm living with the bike, and I'm not so sure that the people with the negative comments have done that. Lots of people bash motorcycles they've never even ridden (I see this most often with sportbikers bashing on Harleys). Yes, some people feel like they grow out of the bike, but those same people tend to express that without the learning done on the 250, a larger bike would have been an accident waiting to happen.

What you buy is up to you, but don't out and out discount the 250.

RKC2000
08-25-2004, 18:27
Hey - anything with two wheels and an engine as far as I'm concerned - as long as you're a rider and enjoying life!!!

Eyespy
09-05-2004, 00:11
The best beginner bikes are:

Kawasaki EX250 Ninja
Kawasaki EX500 Ninjs
Suzuki GS500

Many riders recommend the SV650 as a good first bike, but in my many years of experience riding the streets, canyons, and race tracks in California, I must respectfully disagree.

www.beginnerbikes.com