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Old 12-05-2012, 02:13 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Car for a bike? Mixing it up

Been lurkin' for a couple of days now and I've really enjoyed this forum thus far so here I am!

I have an 03 Nissan 350z. Car payment + premium + insurance = PITA

I've been seriously considering selling it to buy a motorcycle as my only mode of transportation. Looking at something like a ninja 250. Something cheaply priced and cheap to maintain with great gas mileage, but at the same time, it should have some fun factor. A 600 would be nice, but they are more expensive and not as fuel efficient, not to mention I don't know what my insurance would look like with a 600. Any other bike suggestions? Will I get bored with a ninja 250? Here is a ninja I found. 250 Ninja (3K miles)

I've had nothing but discouraging comments made by close friends and family("What if it rains? It's dangerous. It's not practical.") I know that many others have done it before.

Thoughts?
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Old 12-05-2012, 02:29 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I don't know what part of TX you live in but I've lived in Dallas and the weather is WAY too insane to ride all year round!!!

I would def get some crappy car along with a 250 for those storm, tornado, flood, hail, ice, flying pig, etc weathers you get out there in TX.

If you don't have any friends that can teach you on a regular basis, def start with 250. Move up when you're ready. Being 20, insurance will not like you.

But don't let EVERYBODY you know talk you out of riding, they don't know what riding is like because they don't ride. With that said, if they know you'll do dumb sh*t because you are a dumbh sh*t on the Z, then.... maybe listen to them. LOL
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Old 12-05-2012, 02:37 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Hehe yes, I do live in Dallas. The weather isn't THAT bad! It's 61 degrees right now. But yes it can be unpredictable.

I learned to ride on a 250 ninja a friend had. Planned on getting my M endorsement at the time, but other things came up and I didn't get the chance.

I figure insurance would be high. I have 2 at faults and 1 other claim on my record(Parking brake didn't engage all the way. Car rolled into lamp post with cement base. Apparently still counts cause it's collision.) as well as a speeding ticket. Speeding ticket was taken care of by defensive driving course.

I don't act a fool in my Z mainly because I cannot afford to. Gas kills and a a new set of tires would find me asking for change on the street corner.
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Old 12-05-2012, 02:49 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Call up an insurance agent and get a quote. It's not hard. They'll tell you exactly what you would have to pay for certain bikes.


But here's the deal. Insurance on bikes CAN be cheap on a 250. But if you DO move up, it won't be cheap until you've been riding for several years. Assuming you go to a supersport.

Tires. Tires don't last more than about 10k miles, and they are not particularly cheap. On a 250, though- you're looking at about 65-70 bucks each. Not terrible. But supersport tires are quite a bit more. About 300 for the set.

Gas mileage will be around 60-65 mpg on a 250. On a 600SS, closer to 40. Big difference.

Then you have to replace the chain and sprockets periodically. About 150 bucks, give or take. Only every couple of years.

And then you have to buy gear. If you ride all year, you need SEVERAL sets of gear. And then luggage, so you can actually use the bike to run to the store and stuff. Plan on needing at least 2 grand or so worth of gear/luggage in the first year. It'll last you for a LONG time, but you won't want to ride in the rain without rain gear, or in cold weather without cold weather gear.

The bike you posted looks like a pretty damn good deal. Maybe offer 1300 and see what happens.

The reason I broke down the prices, though.... a ninja 250 is one of the only bikes that can actually save you money over a car. With a supersport, you get a little better mileage, but the tire costs and insurance and other maintenance offset that.

With something like the Z, you'd be breaking even, more or less. If you drove a civic, it would be cheaper to keep that then to get a bike.

So yeah- a 250 over a 350Z will cost you less in the end to operate. How much less? Depends on how much you drive. At least you wouldn't be making car payments.

BUT- unless you have close friends/roommates/family around that have a car you can borrow from time to time, having a bike as an only vehicle is VERY hard to do. There's a lot of times where you just need a car.
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Old 12-05-2012, 02:50 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Have you considered a bicycle .
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Old 12-05-2012, 03:04 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I do have family that, if I ever needed it, I'm sure would let me use their vehicles. I may even have money left over to buy a little beater car after gear purchases.

All the gear would be pretty expensive, but I figure I can buy the appropriate gear when I need it. Easier on me if I don't see the money go all at once. Every day riding and rain gear would be priorities, but the winter gear can wait. If this winter is any indication of future winters, I could probably make due with casual riding and rain gear.

Suquentialshift - A bicycle would be nice, but wouldn't be practical for the area I live in. School and work are not within riding distance. I live in Dallas county, but in the suburbs. Much different than living in a city. NY for example.
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Old 12-05-2012, 03:20 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hyena View Post
Hehe yes, I do live in Dallas. The weather isn't THAT bad! It's 61 degrees right now. But yes it can be unpredictable.

I learned to ride on a 250 ninja a friend had. Planned on getting my M endorsement at the time, but other things came up and I didn't get the chance.

I figure insurance would be high. I have 2 at faults and 1 other claim on my record(Parking brake didn't engage all the way. Car rolled into lamp post with cement base. Apparently still counts cause it's collision.) as well as a speeding ticket. Speeding ticket was taken care of by defensive driving course.

I don't act a fool in my Z mainly because I cannot afford to. Gas kills and a a new set of tires would find me asking for change on the street corner.
Maybe it's just the difference of North Dallas then.. I was in Richardson, Plano, Frisco area. Still compared to here in SoCal, it's bad out there!

Mmmmm yeah... 2 at faults with your age will get it up there... But 250 shouldn't be that high. If it is, consider a cruiser. Cheaper insurance(probably half), still lots of fun and at least you'll be on 2 wheels to start off.

Even if you can borrow family car from time to time, I know how a STORM comes out of nowhere in TX and you might get stuck somewhere for a while without a chance to pick up a car. Def get an old civic or something. I have a 96 beater and still runs like a champ!
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Old 12-05-2012, 03:29 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I should also add that for reference, my wife's ninja 250 with liability and comprehensive is like 175 a YEAR to insure. And 75 of that is just the north carolina per-vehicle cost that you can't get around no matter what.
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Old 12-05-2012, 03:43 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Motorcycles are not cheaper than cars overall. Get a cheaper car if thats your motivation.

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Old 12-05-2012, 04:20 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Just checked into the New Riders subforum. Great reads throughout! If that seller gets back to me about that 250, I'll probably pick it up should he decide he'll take a little less.

Also found this ***** 2005 Kawasaki Ninja -black- *****

Doesn't list miles, but is there any reason an 05 is better than an 04? Or should I just go with the cheaper one?

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Old 12-05-2012, 04:36 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Motorcycles are not cheaper than cars overall. Get a cheaper car if thats your motivation.

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Right- that's what I was saying.


The ONLY exception is the older 250's because tires are so cheap and the chains last FOREVER, and insurance is cheap.

But the cheapness to own it does NOT offset the added aggravation of not owning a car, IMO.

My wife rides her bike A)because she loves to ride B)because it's as cheap as any econo car C)because it was 500 bucks D) because a car permit for her campus is 325 a year and a bike one is 17 E) car parking is a half mile from her lab. Bike parking is 20 yards

If not for the above, it's not worth having it as an only vehicle. You HAVE to be committed.

Someone like PhilB on here did it for a LONG time. But he lived in socal, his wife had a car, and he'd been riding long enough to know that he could do it. If you've never owned a bike before.... then what if you don't like having to deal with it every day?

I know I'd fucking blow my brains out if I had to ride my bike every day. I remember I was doing work on my car one time for like two weeks and rode my bike every day because of that. It was fucking awful.
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Old 12-05-2012, 04:38 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Cheapest to own is probably the WR250R or X. It is slightly quicker than a ninja, has no body work to screw up in a drop (just plastic), weighs less, has less than half the engine maintenance, and handles better... but they also cost more to buy and you wont find any for under 2 grand.

DRZ400, similar to the WRX but faster and requires more maintenance. You may be able to get a super cheap one though and it will definitely be more powerful than either 250, also a lot less gutless... BUT they are known to be buzzy on the highway. It bothers some.

Neither of those are sport bikes though, they are supermotos and dual sports. Meaning less wind protection and different styling that some love and some hate.


I personally commute on my WR250X. With the constant stop and go traffic it still manages 60mpg, it costs me roughly $5 a day to commute in my light truck vs $1.60 to do it on my bike. Also, the difference in insurance price would allow me to buy a set of tires every few months ($30 for the bike vs $120 for truck), except I still own and insure the truck Have to buy groceries, haul the garbage off, drive to work in freezing rain, etc... so I need it.
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Old 12-05-2012, 05:28 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hyena View Post
Been lurkin' for a couple of days now and I've really enjoyed this forum thus far so here I am!

I have an 03 Nissan 350z. Car payment + premium + insurance = PITA

I've been seriously considering selling it to buy a motorcycle as my only mode of transportation. Looking at something like a ninja 250. Something cheaply priced and cheap to maintain with great gas mileage, but at the same time, it should have some fun factor. A 600 would be nice, but they are more expensive and not as fuel efficient, not to mention I don't know what my insurance would look like with a 600. Any other bike suggestions? Will I get bored with a ninja 250? Here is a ninja I found. 250 Ninja (3K miles)

I've had nothing but discouraging comments made by close friends and family("What if it rains? It's dangerous. It's not practical.") I know that many others have done it before.

Thoughts?
I live in Austin and had a bike only for 3 years and it's doable but can be miserable as well. Riding in the rain, riding in the heat, traffic in triple digit temps 'cause yes, lane splitting is illegal in Texas and worst of all, riding in the rain and cold to the point when you get to your destination you and your bike are covered in ice. Ice storm or snow, forget it as you're not going anywhere. Hard rain and you don't want to go anywhere but school/work wont let you slide so you do it. Yes, it can be done but it is far from ideal.
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Old 12-05-2012, 06:34 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Cheap & low maintenance get a GS500 will make it on the highway and be reasonable for insurance. Less likely to get stolen..
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Old 12-05-2012, 06:45 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PCHbreeze View Post
Motorcycles are not cheaper than cars overall. Get a cheaper car if thats your motivation.
Motorcycles are WAY cheaper than cars of the equivalent type. There is overlap overall -- the higher-end bikes are more expensive to buy and run than the cheaper cars. I'm sure I could run a Honda Fit or Toyota Yaris or such for less than my Ducati. But why would I want to? Any good car that's fun to drive and has any performance and niceness to it would be far more to buy and run than any but the most exotic bikes. And when you step up to the exotic bikes that cost a lot to run, they are no contest with an exotic car -- you could ride a Bimota daily for a lot less than a Ferrari or Lamborghini.

Apples to apples.

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