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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hello everyone,

Whats a good starting bike for a beginner? I keep having people tell me to get a 600 because I'm 6'3" and I'll get bored of a 250cc in a month or so. any suggestions? I like the naked bikes but I'm not sure. Its between that and a sports bike. Thanks!

A little info about me...

Budget: I'd like to get one used since it will be my first bike. under $3,000 if possible. I live in FL so I don't need insurance.

Style: Sports or naked...haven't decided yet.

Annual mileage: It will be my everyday bike. I don't do alot of highway driving. just local. maybe a trip to miami every now and then. (only an hour away)

What's your riding experience? I just passed my test.
 

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In my opinion, you want a 250cc Ninja, or something like it, as your first bike. I don't think you'll get bored with it in a month, but in a year you'll be ready to look for something else assuming you put in a reasonable amount of saddle time on it. Unless you want a cruiser, the 250cc Ninja is the best bet because:

1) They are not expensive and you can *almost* ride it for free. You can get a late model for under 3K and an early model (2007 and earlier) for under 2K. The insurance on the bike will be very affordable, even in your first year of riding. The bike also gets great gas mileage and has low maintenance costs. When you are ready to resell it, you'll likely get very close to the purchase price, which means you'll have only paid insurance, gas, and taxes/registration to ride it. There aren't many bikes that one can do that with.

2) They are great bikes to learn on and fun bikes to ride. They're relatively light and comfortable machines. They are also very forgiving when you make a mistake. You'll have an easier time riding it and building confidence, and it'll be much easier to build the control and handling skills that you'll use on all future bikes.

3) They are versatile machines, allowing you to do ride in a variety of conditions and situations. Want to use them to commute? No problem, they work great in the city and in traffic. Want to use them to go riding on the backroads? No problem, they're peppy and are hella fun in curves. Want to take a road trip? Can do. They have room for tank bags and tail bags, and they're upright enough for a long haul. Want to do track days? They can do that too, and they are great bikes for building skills. Whatever type of riding you see yourself doing now may change in a year, and this is a good machine to explore what you'll really want in the next bike.

Edit: And just because you don't need insurance, doesn't mean you shouldn't get insurance. Assuming you don't plant your bike in something and total it, you will want it in case of theft.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
You make a lot of good points. I read all the stickies and now I am leaning towards a 250cc, but the one thing that worries me is I tend to spend a good amount of time on the highway and I keep reading that 250cc tend to start straining at 70mph and are not mean't for highway speeds. Any thoughts on that?
 

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I bought a 300 ninja new (not the best choice since ill prob drop it at some point) I am at the end of my first month and I'm at 700 miles. I don't even feel like I've reached 50% of what this bike will do. So unless your an amazing rider already then you shouldn't get bored or your doing it wrong.

Who is telling you it struggles to get to 70+ the top speed is around 100 it will do 70 all day the engine is built for it. I say get the 250 and if you get bored or you really don't like it you can flip it for about the same price.


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My 250 goes 80 easily, just gets there slower then other bikes, but just as quick if not quicker then the average car.
 

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I would also consider the Ninja 500 and the SV-650, especially if you like naked bikes.
 

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I started on a 250 and I think it was the best decision to make. It is a HUGE confidence builder and it's very forgivable. You can mess up on a 250 and it says "Hey man, it's cool. Learned your lesson" rather than "OH MY GOD WHAT HAVE YOU DOIJISEJPSIEJSEUUOCIASDYGFGY -EXPLOSION-" A tad exaggerated but it helps you learn your skills without you stopping at the end of a road needing to change underwear. My .02 :wise
 

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...I keep reading that 250cc tend to start straining at 70mph and are not mean't for highway speeds. Any thoughts on that?
My experience with my ex250 is the same as binx's, it'll get to 80 fine, it just takes longer than a bike with more power. I'll also note that I have a Vespa 200cc scooter with less power than the Ninja 250 and I ride it on highways all the time. I also take it on the interstate for short runs with no problem.

So I don't think this should be a concern. Its your first bike, you shouldn't be trying to ride regularly at interstate speeds (65+) until you've got some saddle time. How much? I don't know, there's no magic number. I think I had a few thousand miles before my first interstate trip.

Also, statistics show that most motorcycle accidents involve hitting something in front of you. Like the asshole talking on their cell phone, holding it up to their left ear that doesn't see you coming up in the fast lane and pulls out right in front of you. The faster you go, the less time you have to react to a threat, the more time it takes to brake, the less comfortable you will likely be with swerving at speed (though swerving may very well be the best option). So why push yourself to break the speed limit on the interstate? I've heard folks say over and over 'but I want to have the power I need to get myself out of trouble' but I really think that is a justification that does not hold water in this case, especially for a new rider.

The bike's fine at highway speeds (55 - 65) and it'll do legal interstate speed. If you've got a route you plan to take regularly with heavy traffic pushing you to do 80, I'd say pass on going that way.
 

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The previous posters touched on all the really important points as to why to get a 250, and I agree with them.

I am also in Florida and I can tell you you want insurance. I don't know if you've lived here long, but the drivers here are so bad. Especially if you were to make the unfortunate mistake of getting an SS as a first bike.
 

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I went with the EX500 and have zero regrets. Nimble enough, accelerates quick, and has a broad power curve so you aren't fishing for gears. It'll do 90 before the end of an entrance ramp no problem... Haven't pushed it past that. I'd think a 250 would be just fine as well. So just looks for a EX250, 94+ EX500, GS500(E)(F), and the like that are in your price range and are in good shape. I think a SV650 might be a little much power wise for your first but its a great bike form what I hear. My 500 is about as quick as I'm comfortable with right now. I'm 5'7 and 120 lbs. I can maneuver the bike just fine. It weighs 430 wet according to wikipedia
 

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Notice how all your advisers are focused on power? My slant is a little different. I think a new rider needs a bike they can be physical with. You should be able to straddle the bike. You can learn to ride with just one tippy toe reaching the ground but it really makes it more difficult to learn. Then there is weight. Lighter is better.
I know The Mad Dogs will be after me for this but horsepower really doesn't matter until you learn to ride well enough to determine which branch of motorcycling floats your boat. Learn to ride without trying to choke the grips and you will automatically work the throttle by the friction of your glove (MUST WEAR GEAR. Gear is more important then which motorcycle)
At 6'3", you should be strong enough to 'muscle' a 450Lb bike. That is around what the 'learner' bikes weigh now-a-days. I'm a re-entry rider, having hung up my helmet for the last 4 1/2 years. I found many learner bikes between 1,000 and 2,000 USD. I almost went that way, thinking a summer on a 250 or a 500 would ease my re-entry but then I looked into it and found they weighed as much as a standard 600. So i went with an FZ-6 because of the riding position. I'm too old for the brokeback mountain riding position of the typical crotch rocket and never like the tailbone crushing OBGYN riding position of a cruiser.
So find what you can afford, feel comfortable on and can push around when you have too. This will be your FIRST bike, not your last. Unless, of course, you do something real stupid and kill yourself. You can do that with 10 horsepower, so the difference between 60 HP and 100HP doesn't matter as much as how stupid you were being.
Your 'stupid zone' is much smaller with 100HP then with 60HP. People still manage almost daily to kill them self with 1 horsepower.
 

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hello everyone,

Whats a good starting bike for a beginner? I keep having people tell me to get a 600 because I'm 6'3" and I'll get bored of a 250cc in a month or so. any suggestions? I like the naked bikes but I'm not sure. Its between that and a sports bike. Thanks!

A little info about me...

Budget: I'd like to get one used since it will be my first bike. under $3,000 if possible. I live in FL so I don't need insurance.

Style: Sports or naked...haven't decided yet.

Annual mileage: It will be my everyday bike. I don't do alot of highway driving. just local. maybe a trip to miami every now and then. (only an hour away)

What's your riding experience? I just passed my test.
If you don't want comprehensive or collision, that's fine, it's your bike to insure or choose not to. However, no offense but it's stupid as hell not to get liability insurance, whether it is required by law or not. One accident with property damage or bodily injury and you could be sued to oblivion. I assume that if you're considering not paying for insurance that you sure as hell don't have the disposable income to pay a lawyer and then pay for damages. If you can't afford to insure your bike than you can't afford to own a bike. Plain and simple.

Personally, I wouldn't swing a leg over a bike without liability, comp, collision, health, and life insurance. Riding is a dangerous hobby.

2old, here are some weight figures for starter bikes:
2008+ Ninja 250R - Wet weight 375lbs
Pre-'08 Ninja 250R - Wet weight 374lbs
CBR250 - Wet weight 359lbs
Hyosung 250R - Wet weight 416lbs
Ninja 300 - Wet weight 379lbs (w/ ABS 383lbs)
Ninja 500 1st Gen - Wet weight 410lbs
Ninja 500 2nd Gen - Wet weight 440lbs
Suzuki GS500 - Wet weight 439lbs
 

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If you don't want comprehensive or collision, that's fine, it's your bike to insure or choose not to. However, no offense but it's stupid as hell not to get liability insurance, whether it is required by law or not. One accident with property damage or bodily injury and you could be sued to oblivion. I assume that if you're considering not paying for insurance that you sure as hell don't have the disposable income to pay a lawyer and then pay for damages. If you can't afford to insure your bike than you can't afford to own a bike. Plain and simple.

Personally, I wouldn't swing a leg over a bike without liability, comp, collision, health, and life insurance. Riding is a dangerous hobby.

2old, here are some weight figures for starter bikes:
2008+ Ninja 250R - Wet weight 375lbs
Pre-'08 Ninja 250R - Wet weight 374lbs
CBR250 - Wet weight 359lbs
Hyosung 250R - Wet weight 416lbs
Ninja 300 - Wet weight 379lbs (w/ ABS 383lbs)
Ninja 500 1st Gen - Wet weight 410lbs
Ninja 500 2nd Gen - Wet weight 440lbs
Suzuki GS500 - Wet weight 439lbs

Pre-08 Ninja 250r - Wet weight 355lbs (not 374lbs).
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks for all the replies and input. I have decided that a 600cc wouldn't be what I am looking for. I see your point on insurance so I'll also budget for that. Is there any pro's and cons for getting a naked bike over a sport bike? i hear that it is a little better in case you drop it because you dont have to worry about the body cracking, and it is better for taller people. Any truth to that?
 

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Yeah, I was way off on the weight. Probably used the wrong conversion factor going from Kilos to pounds. :hmm

I did not get deep into researching any of the learner bikes. I saw they were twins, which killed any interest for me. I'm an I4 guy, unless it is free. :swoon
 

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I'm 5'5" and I have zero problem straddling my GSXR. It really is about skill-building. Please, please, PLEASE do not start on any sort of SS. I'm not really sure I would start on an I4 for that matter. I honestly believe a Ninja 300 is an amazing choice if you can find one in your budget... if not, ninja 250 or CBR 250 or maybe even a SuMo. TheGardenSnake can tell you all about his experience. Just be careful regardless. Be open to opportunities and really get some info from lots of different riders with different bikes. Yadayada. Fun things. Happy two-wheeling
 
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