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Old 05-23-2008, 11:38 PM   97 links from elsewhere to this Post. Click to view. #1 (permalink)
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Now, I do want to stress that most of these bikes are fairly new. Some of these bikes are much more expensive than others as well. These were bikes I recommended in an email to one of my friends looking to get into sport bikes. It is common knowledge that getting a cheap old standard or touring or even sport tourer would be the best bet, but here is my list of newer bikes that look great and work as good beginner bikes.

_______
Ok, so first, here's a list of bikes that I think would be a good first bike. Now, when I say first bike, I'm not saying you'll get bored by them or that they'll look like crap. I've picked a couple of pretty interesting bikes to check out.


I've pretty much left out the ss (super sport) bikes. These are the 600cc, 750cc, and 1000cc super bikes that can go faster than 160mph and are basically just race bikes with mirrors. Although they are really cool looking machines, they're extremely unforgivable bikes, and are supposed to be piloted by people who know its limits and not go over them, because that's when you crash. Those ss bikes are usually cramped, uncomfortable, deadly quick, and will respond to any input you give them at an exponential rate. Their brakes are super grabby (bad for people with poor brake control because you can lock up your tires easily, which is a bad, bad thing on a bike), their throttle is super responsive and the bike is super revvy (bad for people with poor throttle control, especially when turning or when hitting pot holes or gravel, etc. As an example, all 600cc throttles turn 3/4ths as short a distance as my bike's throttle. This means any minute mistake will be increased another 25%. This can cause you to crash)

So, pretty much, forget about getting one of those bikes. When I talked to the local suzuki/honda dealer when I was looking for my bike, I asked how often people end up crashing and returning their brand new 600cc sport bikes, and he said that he gets back 1 IN EVERY 4. He told me they had either crashed them or became to scared to ride them.

Now that that's out of the way, here is my list of good bikes to start out on:

- - - - -

Suzuki Sv650SF/Sv650S/Sv650

There are plenty of reasons to get an Sv. It is a V-twin, so the crazy amount of acceleration on a 600cc inline four bike is traded for a smooth, linear power band. That being said, this bike is on the very high end of the scale on speed, and most intelligent people consider it to be one of the fastest bikes to start out on. You must be very careful getting this as a first bike, and it is recommended to start out a bit smaller. There are three models available (although Suzuki is only selling the SF now). The Sv650SF (in picture) has full fairings, the Sv650S has a half-fairing, and the Sv650 is a naked bike.



Pros:
Plenty of torque

Cons:
May be too much power for people with low maturity level
High stock seat height, so not recommended for shorter people

- - - - -

Kawasaki 650r

Kawasaki's take on the 650cc twin cylinder motorcycle. Similar to Suzuki's Sv650SF.



Pros:
New model looks killer
Plenty of Torque

Cons:

- - - - -

Suzuki GS500F

This is considered to be one of the best starter bikes. Not too powerful, not too aggressive of a riding position, but with sport bike style looks, most people will think you're riding a 600cc or 1000cc sport bike. The other thing that you need to see is the specs. With a respectable 52 horsepower, and being so light weight, it will go 0-60 in less than 5 seconds, and will do a quarter mile in the high 12's. This is supercar territory.



Pros:
cheap insurance
great gas mileage
Looks like a super sport
Cheaper than the 650

Cons:


- - - - -

Buell Blast

Inexpensive and reliable. Fits smaller people well. The 500cc single makes enough power for around the town riding, but can get long in the tooth on the highway.



Pros:
Great power curve
Light
Cheap Cheap Cheap
No fairings
Low seat height

Cons:
Underpowered for excessive highway riding
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We know you're a unique and special snowflake. We know you're the exception to the rule. We know you're not like all those other dumb assed n00bs that wadded themselves up. You're a mold breaker, babe! You're a natural. You were born to tear it up on a hot rod stuntin' superbike.

You're not a moron, you're just misunderstood.

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Old 05-23-2008, 11:39 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Ducati Monster 696/695/620

This bike is seriously cool. I mean, c'mon, it's a freakin Ducati. The Monster is being sold as Ducati's entry level motorcycle, and it's really a sweet machine. Being a Ducati, it is more expensive than the other bikes. (retail is $8,775) You can find used ones much cheaper. The older 620's were considered a bit unreliable, so consistent maintenance is a must, but if you can treat your bike with a little more love, they're awesome machines. Being a 696cc v-twin engine, it's still not too powerful for a beginner, (just as quick as an Sv650) and it produces a good amount of torque at the lower rpm's. You will have to realize that it's not going to be as cheap to maintain as a Japanese bike, and aftermarket parts aren't really that common and are more expensive, but it just looks so freakin good that it's pretty easy to convince yourself to get one, even with the steep price.



Pros:
Italian (ie, looks sexy, sounds great)
Good power
No fairings
Low seat height

Cons:
Italian (ie, expensive, not as reliable as other bikes)
Fastest bike on the list, so immature riders beware

- - - - -

Kawasaki Ninja 500r

The 500r is Kawasaki's version of a 500cc sport bike. It's similar to the Suzuki, so pretty much whatever you think looks better is probably your best bet if you're looking at this range of motorcycle.



Pros:
Light
cheap insurance
great gas mileage
Cheaper than the 650

Cons:
dated design

- - - - -

Kawasaki Ninja 250r

This is considered the be all end all of beginner bikes. It's reliable, not over powerful, cheap even brand new ($4000), and the new model looks sexy. It is a great bike to learn on, gets great gas mileage, and costs very little to insure, yet will still go 0-60 in 5 seconds, which is faster than all but maybe 5% of the cars on the road. It's also very light. Likewise, if you ever do decide to sell it, the resale on this bike is phenomenal. You won't lose much money at all on this purchase, unlike many other bikes posted here if you were to buy them new.



Pros:
Looks really good
Cheap to buy, cheap to insure
Light and nimble
Great gas mileage

Cons:
Previous model looks dated

- - - - -

BMW G 650 GS

Similar to the Kawasaki Versys in its versatility, the 650 GS is BMW's beginner bike. Powered by a 650cc single, its linear power and comfortable seating position make this a great bike for a first timer.



Pros:
Great for commuting/highway riding
Comfortable
linear power curve
Surprisingly low seat height for this kind of bike
Tons of cool extras (heated grips/ABS)
Great gas mileage


Cons:
Expensive
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jerome_oneil

We know you're a unique and special snowflake. We know you're the exception to the rule. We know you're not like all those other dumb assed n00bs that wadded themselves up. You're a mold breaker, babe! You're a natural. You were born to tear it up on a hot rod stuntin' superbike.

You're not a moron, you're just misunderstood.

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Old 05-23-2008, 11:40 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Hyosung GT650R/GT650S/GT650

Hyosung is a popular newcomer in the motorcycle world. Plagued with production issues at first, they have been able to iron over most problems to produce a reliable, cheap alternative to the Japanese manufacturers. Three options are available; the naked GT650, the half-faired GT650S, and the fully faired GT650R (in picture).



Pros:
Good looks for all three bikes
cheaper than the competition

Cons:
Aftermarket parts harder to find
may still have some reliability problems if poorly maintained

- - - - -

Hyosung GT250R/GT250

Similar to the GT650, the GT250 comes with both a faired (GT250R, in picture) and a naked (GT250) option. Plagued with production issues at first, they have been able to iron over most problems to produce a reliable, cheap alternative to the Japanese manufacturers.



Pros:
GT250R looks great, although the naked version looks a little cheap
Amazing gas mileage
Cheap to insure

Cons:
Heavy compared to the Ninja 250r (~50lb difference)
Aggressive seating, may be uncomfortable (R version)
Aftermarket parts harder to find

- - - - -

Suzuki V-Strom 650

*ADDITIONAL INFORMATION NEEDED ON THIS BIKE*



Pros:
Comfortable riding position
Wide bars for easy steering
Great for long commutes

Cons:
Can be too much for an immature rider (same engine as Suzuki 650)
Seat height too tall for shorter riders

- - - - -

Kawasaki Versys

Named the 2008 motorcycle of the year in many magazines, this do-it-all bike gets great gas mileage, has plenty of power, is comfortable, and won't break the bank. It's a great all around bike.



Pros:
Comfortable riding position
Wide bars for easy steering
Great for long commutes

Cons:
Can be too much for an immature rider (same engine as Kawisaki 650r)
Seat height too tall for shorter riders
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Originally Posted by jerome_oneil

We know you're a unique and special snowflake. We know you're the exception to the rule. We know you're not like all those other dumb assed n00bs that wadded themselves up. You're a mold breaker, babe! You're a natural. You were born to tear it up on a hot rod stuntin' superbike.

You're not a moron, you're just misunderstood.

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Old 05-23-2008, 11:41 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Aprilia RS50

*ADDITIONAL INFORMATION NEEDED ON THIS BIKE*



Pros:
Italian (great looks)
Good gas mileage
Higher quality parts
Unique bike, not a brand everyone else has

Cons:
More expensive to buy and maintain
Not as many aftermarket parts
Very aggressive seating position (Uncomfortable)
Tops out at 55-60mph

- - - - -

Aprilia RS125

*ADDITIONAL INFORMATION NEEDED ON THIS BIKE*



Pros:
Italian (great looks)
Good gas mileage
Higher quality parts
Unique bike, not a brand everyone else has

Cons:
More expensive to buy and maintain
Not as many aftermarket parts
Very aggressive seating position (Uncomfortable)

- - - - -

Yamaha WR250X

Not really your average 250. Most 250s in North America are kind of put together to be cheap, get good gas mileage, and a few look cool. The WR250X is pushing the envelope of a "performance 250" so to speak. This bike's motor has more in common with a 250 motocross bike than a Ninja 250. It's still not going to win many drag races, but it will take most, if not all, other 250s and with a good rider can certainly handle with the big boys. Speaking of handling, that would seem to be the strongest suit of this bike, the handling is very much supermoto in nature (and so is the weight, coming in at 299lbs wet). Packed full of technology such as fuel injection, it is a 250 that does not feel put together from the leftover parts bin and can be loads of fun! The high eat position, claimed 71mpg highway, light weight, and high maneuverability should put this bike near the top of the list for city commuters and those not looking to do too much highway (the 6-speed transmission has the capability, but the seat is not designed for touring). Many regard it as the most fun commuter bike on the market. It is also available in a more dirt-oriented R model for those looking to some dual-sporting.



Pros:
Not another bargain bin 250
10,000RPM redline, and the motor loves to be revved
Wringing the throttle through the corners, blaring the RPMs, having the biggest grin on your face, and then realizing your only do 5 over the limit
Carves corners like no other 250
Very good gas mileage
LOW insurance rates
26K mile valve checks

Cons:
High seat at 35.2" (the suspension can drop it a bit as well as some cheap or free modifications)
Not for long highway rides (seat not great, small tank)
High price for a 250
Stock mirrors and rear fender a little goofy looking
Can take from upstanding MSF graduate to hooligan with a suspended license in a month flat

- - - - -

Suzuki DRZ400SM

Ol' reliable. Cheap used, cheapish new, cheap maintenance, reliable as dirt, overall a great bike. Lacks in some of the areas of the WR250X (suspension and transmission) but has an extra 150ccs for a bit more torque (only a couple more overall hp, but lower redline) and a slightly larger front brake. Another great city commuter, it weighs only 321lbs wet and also has excellent handling in the twisties and smooth maneuverability for city riding. The aftermarket is huge and guys have claimed 60hp motors with great reliability. One of the most popular supermoto bikes. The seat puts you up high and the bike instills confidence in the rider.



Pros:
Great handling
Can be had used for excellent prices
Great gas mileage (55-60mpg)
Low insurance rates
Lighter than even the smallest of sport bikes
Excellent commuter ride, puts the fun back into going to work
MASSIVE aftermarket, the sky (and your pocket) is the limit with this thing

Cons:
A bit expensive for a first bike
High seat of 35"
The 5-speed transmission can be lacking on the highway
Restricted from the factory, but uncorking it will change the feel entirely
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jerome_oneil

We know you're a unique and special snowflake. We know you're the exception to the rule. We know you're not like all those other dumb assed n00bs that wadded themselves up. You're a mold breaker, babe! You're a natural. You were born to tear it up on a hot rod stuntin' superbike.

You're not a moron, you're just misunderstood.

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Old 05-23-2008, 11:41 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Still another save spot:


MORE INFO/PROS/CONS NEEDED

If you have something to add, feel free to let me know. (and be sure to say WHY you are suggesting it)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jerome_oneil

We know you're a unique and special snowflake. We know you're the exception to the rule. We know you're not like all those other dumb assed n00bs that wadded themselves up. You're a mold breaker, babe! You're a natural. You were born to tear it up on a hot rod stuntin' superbike.

You're not a moron, you're just misunderstood.

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Old 05-24-2008, 12:52 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Throw in the V-Strom and the Versys. Oh, and the DRZ450 Suzuki motard.

KeS
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Old 05-24-2008, 02:05 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I would suggest the Aprilia RS 50 and RS 125 (strictly b/c of their reasonable looks and small engine size)

But they don't seem to be manufactured anymore, in favor of larger cc bikes
(they're listed in the 08 model list on wikipedia, but not on the Aprilia USA site...)
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Old 05-24-2008, 10:22 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Ah, good ideas from both of you!

I'll be out all day today (taking the girlfriend out for our 1yr anniversary) but Sunday I'll try to have most of those bikes put up.

What would you list as the pros and cons of the bikes you've listed?

EDIT: ooooooohhh! I like that v-strom! Almost wish I would have gotten that as my first bike instead of the sv! I never really knew much about it until looking it up on wikipedia just a second ago.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jerome_oneil

We know you're a unique and special snowflake. We know you're the exception to the rule. We know you're not like all those other dumb assed n00bs that wadded themselves up. You're a mold breaker, babe! You're a natural. You were born to tear it up on a hot rod stuntin' superbike.

You're not a moron, you're just misunderstood.

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Old 05-24-2008, 01:25 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TwoColorShoe View Post
Ah, good ideas from both of you!

I'll be out all day today (taking the girlfriend out for our 1yr anniversary) but Sunday I'll try to have most of those bikes put up.

What would you list as the pros and cons of the bikes you've listed?

EDIT: ooooooohhh! I like that v-strom! Almost wish I would have gotten that as my first bike instead of the sv! I never really knew much about it until looking it up on wikipedia just a second ago.
VStrom and Versys are pretty much the same bike; not as aggressive riding position or chassis geometry as a sportbike make them easier to ride and more forgiving of input errors. Wide bars for easy steering. Easier on insurance and versatile. Great for commuting. Good alternative for larger riders.

The Suzuki motard (I think Yamaha is introducing one this year, too) is a good answer to the "I've ridden a dirt bike for years so I know everything about Busas" crowd. Good crossover bikes with some cool factor and not too pricey or powerful.

KeS

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Old 05-24-2008, 02:49 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I'm curious as to why you have the cons for the Ninja 250 read:
"Not recommended for lots of highway travel"

That's pretty ignorant and misinformed. I ride my 250 pretty much only on the highway, and I'm 6 feet tall and weigh in at about 235. It gets me up to about 95 MPH for a cruising speed and can go faster if I tuck. I can easily travel between 80 and 85 MPH for extended periods of time. This is after all my mods...before the mods I could easily travel between 80 and 85 MPH for extended periods of time. Oh wait, that's the same for a modded 250 or a stock one.

Throw a 15 tooth front sprocket on and those speeds are even more easily attained on the highway.

Saying the bike is not good for highway riding is horrible advice...and should be left off of an otherwise pretty good list with pretty good information.
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Old 05-24-2008, 02:53 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevin_stevens View Post
The Suzuki motard (I think Yamaha is introducing one this year, too) is a good answer to the "I've ridden a dirt bike for years so I know everything about Busas" crowd. Good crossover bikes with some cool factor and not too pricey or powerful.

KeS
For I think the first time ever on this site, I have to disagree with you Kevin. I think the DRZ-SM would make a pretty bad starter bike for anyone...mainly because the bike's power band simply inspires you to do illegal things on it...like wheelies and riding over other people's lawns.

It's also pretty good at doing other hooliganisms...like stoppies and burnouts.

I think the 400SM is not a good bike for a person just starting out...it MIGHT be okay for the guys riding in the dirt for years and switching over...but for a very first foray into two wheel fun, I don't think it's a great idea.
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Old 05-24-2008, 04:41 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gimpdiggity View Post
For I think the first time ever on this site, I have to disagree with you Kevin. I think the DRZ-SM would make a pretty bad starter bike for anyone...mainly because the bike's power band simply inspires you to do illegal things on it...like wheelies and riding over other people's lawns.

It's also pretty good at doing other hooliganisms...like stoppies and burnouts.

I think the 400SM is not a good bike for a person just starting out...it MIGHT be okay for the guys riding in the dirt for years and switching over...but for a very first foray into two wheel fun, I don't think it's a great idea.
That has more to do with the maturity of the rider, more than the actual capabilities of the bike. You can wheelie and do stoppies and be a hooligan on a 125.

It's just that a 400 Dualsport/Supermotard would be much more forgiving than, let's say, a 600SS.

If you're a reckless and inmature rider, you will wreck on a 125 or a 1000...just that in the liter it would be easier.

I once read something like "There isn't a good starter bike. But there are good beginner rider actitudes". I guess this sum ups what I say. No, I'm not saying that if you consider yourself a level-headed person you should start on a 1000. I'm just saying that no matter what bike you get, you should have your head on your shoulders and be a responsible rider. Doing otherwise may result in injuries or death.
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Old 05-24-2008, 06:53 PM   #13 (permalink)
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no FZ6 on the list? I know a certain section of this forum will be chiming in any time now. But from a personal experience, I think it's a good bike. close to along the lines of the SV650. However being an I-4 could lead to some trouble. Fuel injection and throttle response are a bit notchy, as well as an abnormal friction zone on the clutch.
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Old 05-25-2008, 12:44 PM   #14 (permalink)
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no FZ6 on the list? I know a certain section of this forum will be chiming in any time now. But from a personal experience, I think it's a good bike. close to along the lines of the SV650. However being an I-4 could lead to some trouble. Fuel injection and throttle response are a bit notchy, as well as an abnormal friction zone on the clutch.
Although the FZ6 is a popular bike on this forum, I think it's safe to say that it's not a very good starter bike because of its power output. It's still a 600cc engine, and it still puts out close to 100hp.

I'm very happy to see more people debating on which bikes are beginner bikes! I'll have the thread updated with more bikes today if I can.
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We know you're a unique and special snowflake. We know you're the exception to the rule. We know you're not like all those other dumb assed n00bs that wadded themselves up. You're a mold breaker, babe! You're a natural. You were born to tear it up on a hot rod stuntin' superbike.

You're not a moron, you're just misunderstood.
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Old 05-25-2008, 06:43 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gimpdiggity View Post
I'm curious as to why you have the cons for the Ninja 250 read:
"Not recommended for lots of highway travel"

That's pretty ignorant and misinformed. I ride my 250 pretty much only on the highway, and I'm 6 feet tall and weigh in at about 235. It gets me up to about 95 MPH for a cruising speed and can go faster if I tuck. I can easily travel between 80 and 85 MPH for extended periods of time. This is after all my mods...before the mods I could easily travel between 80 and 85 MPH for extended periods of time. Oh wait, that's the same for a modded 250 or a stock one.

Throw a 15 tooth front sprocket on and those speeds are even more easily attained on the highway.

Saying the bike is not good for highway riding is horrible advice...and should be left off of an otherwise pretty good list with pretty good information.
I think you do have a point. The bike's top speed is still well above the speed limit on a highway. I'm still a little wary about it, though, as I have heard that it really kinda dies around 80mph.

I'll take that part out until someone else says otherwise.

EDIT: Ok, I've added in more bikes. Be sure to help out and submit your own suggestions for new bikes and useful facts for the bikes that I have listed that could help a newcomer out.
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Originally Posted by jerome_oneil

We know you're a unique and special snowflake. We know you're the exception to the rule. We know you're not like all those other dumb assed n00bs that wadded themselves up. You're a mold breaker, babe! You're a natural. You were born to tear it up on a hot rod stuntin' superbike.

You're not a moron, you're just misunderstood.

Last edited by TwoColorShoe; 05-25-2008 at 06:57 PM.
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