Originally Posted by muddmonky
im looking to get my first sport bike by around february 2013. im going to start looking at the dealerships and seeing what fits me best in the next few weeks.
what im looking to get from anyone here with riding experience and bike ownership experience is the differences between the top 4 brands.
this is not a honda vs suzuki vs kawasaki vs yamaha..... from what iv read there all pretty good and you get what you pay for. what im looking for is what features/parts/designs are brand spacific.... like what are the good, bads, and just stupid shit some of the brands put on there bikes.
is there any features or performance issues you like on certain brand or any you cant stand that its competitors put on there bikes. do any particular parts or components on certain series's go out/breaking prematurely or need upgrading right off the bat, stuff like that
I think the biggest feature you want is fuel injection.
The old Ninja 250 was not designed as well as I would like it to have been. The carburetors are buried in the bike- you have to take out part of the FENDER and the gas tank to move the air filter box to get to the frigging carburetor if you need to clean it. And you'll need to clean it every ~5K miles. And it will be hell to start if it's less than 50 degrees outside.
Not having to deal with a carburetor in a first bike is a big plus. IIRC the Ninja 250 and 500 are carbureted. The CBR 250 and 500, as well as the Ninja 300 are fuel injected.
Also, start small- 500 ccs or less is the best way to go
. Those 600 cc bikes have power to weight ratios more comparable with F16s than sportscars. You WILL learn to ride an R6 or a CBR in a few years, maybe by the end of a full season if you really want to push it, but you want to learn to ride it well- with skill and with confidence. In order to get there, you need to start on a 250, a 300, or a 500, and ideally switch to one of the less crazily tuned <100hp bikes for your second bike (IE an SV650 or maybe an F4I).
Dealers will try to sell you on a 600CC bike. They want a bigger commission on the sale. Private party sellers will try to claim that old FZRs and Katanas are safe for new riders. They want to get rid of an old bike to a new, inexperienced buyer. Trust me, go for a Ninja 300 or a CBR 250, (or any other =<500 cc bike with fuel injection) and try to get it in a private party transaction. Even if you can't get that, the inconvenience of a carbureted bike, especially for a few thousand miles during the summer, is a heckuvalot smaller than the inconvenience of dealing with a 450 lb motorcycle as a starter bike.
Used Ninjas, GS500Fs, CBR 250s and 500s, and other starter bikes bought/sold in private party transactions tend to retain their values well, and tend to sell fairly easily, especially if you live in a large metropolitan area. Reason is that they're starter bikes that people are always looking to ride to get experience, and people are always looking to sell as they upgrade.
After 1000 miles, you'll stop dropping the bike and making bigger mistakes.
After 3000 miles and six months, you'll be able to take curves quickly and ride confidently in heavy urban traffic. That would be my minimum experience threshold for considering a faster bike. Don't worry, you'll get there quick and the work of buying/selling the starter bike will be less than $500. Call it an investment in riding skill.