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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
actually posted it twice and it went completely ignored, so I'm making a thread for it hoping I can get some feedback:


Would a ninja 650 really do me that much harm in terms of my learning curve as a first bike? I was considering buying it and using it for a nice long time before getting a different bike. I've heard that in the low ranges its remarkably similar to the 250, except its power really shines through when you speed up above highway speeds. Is this not true? Is it a bike that's going to keep me from learning the fundamentals? I don't plan on riding at unsafe speeds, so hearing something like "it has enough power to top 120 mph" or whatever really has no meaning for me.
 

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The Ninja 650r seems to be a good choice (I don't speak from personal experience, so take my words with a grain of salt) for a beginner bike. One thing you have to understand is that, for years and years the Ninja 250 was really the only "modern" beginner bike you could buy new at a dealer; as such, it's sort of gospel that if someone mentions "beginner bike", the response is "Ninja 250R". There are thousands of threads here every year asking about which 600 CC supersport is best to start on, "my buddy has an R1 and I rode it around the parking lot and imma get a busa", "I've read all the threads about starting small, but.., fuck you all I'm not doing what you say who here will validate my decision?", etc etc. Today though, there are quite a few more choices out there that are suitable for beginning riders. In addition to the Ninja 250R, which IMO is a remarkable piece of engineering (it's still higher-tech than most Harleys), there are a few options in the US from Kawasaki, Suzuki, newcomer-to-the-US-market Hyosung, even BMW (foreign markets have always had better choices, due mainly to stricter licensing requirements).

Once you've decided that you're wise enough to start on a proper beginner bike, it really comes down to what fits you best, what's most comfortable for your body, size posture, and fitness (and wallet). If the Ninja 650R fits you like a glove, then it'll do you fine for a beginner bike.
 

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read the sticky want a 600? on the top of this section. A 650 is not needed in fact i have a zx10 and a 500r and i know i can take corners faster in the 500r and probley take on a 650 and smoke it in twistys. This being your first bike a 500 has more then enough power especily in twistys.
 

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The 650 is nowhere near a 600 in terms of raw performance, twitchiness, or razor-sharpness. It's much closer to an older air cooled 500 than it is a modern (or even semi-modern) 600 I4.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
read the sticky want a 600? on the top of this section. A 650 is not needed in fact i have a zx10 and a 500r and i know i can take corners faster in the 500r and probley take on a 650 and smoke it in twistys. This being your first bike a 500 has more then enough power especily in twistys.
..how much experience exactly do you have with sport bikes? I'm not talking about a 600 cc supersport. Just because the Ninja 650 has 50 mL more displacement doesn't mean it's a race replica bike.

Did you read my original post thoroughly? Or did you just compare the number '650' to '600' and think I was trying to buy a race-ready CBR as my first bike.


edit: thanks for the reply, jeep. I'm hoping someone here with experience on the 650 can tell me that it won't disrupt my basic learning curve just because it's not a 250.
 

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jeepcoma is right. The 650 is more like an SV650 with a bit less torque since it's a parallel twin instead of a v-twin.

I don't have any direct knowledge just what I've read, but the 650 is a good starter bike from what's been written.
 

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I was not comparing the 600 to a 650 in any way, mearly pointing out the thread about people staring out on bikes b***** the 600cc. I was comparing the 50ish hp of the 500 to the 70ish hp of the 650 and telling you that its not needed. I know that a 600 is prettly much a track bike with mirrors and the 650 is just in upgrade from the 500, no need to be an ass about it. You asked for someone oppion and i told you the way i feel. My 500 was used as a daily commuter on the highway and worked great and it would also rip up some back road twistys great. Cant we all just get along :cheers
 

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cant say ive riden it, but it is one of the bikes i am considering moving up to. From what i hear, this bike is a great beginner/intermediate bike. You find a good deal i suggest you buy it. I had the oppurtunity to buy one at a really good price, but decided to pass it up because i thought it may have been a little too much for me. After a couple hundred miles I feel like I could probably ride the 650r just fine. But im glad I went with a 250 to begain with.

How well did you do on your msf course? Do have any experience with clutch, gears, etc? If you did well and you got some experience im sure you will do awsome on a 650r. Just watch the throttle!
 

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ok well i do have a 650.. not kawi though.. but 650 none the less.. mines is a little heavier than the kawi..but the hp is most likely the same.. they are great learner bike IMO.. and has enough power to get up when you u want it too.. but has really good low end control, not overly throttle responsive like a SS.. alot smoother...

just my .02
 

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I have a Kawasaki 650. It is my first bike and I had no prior riding experience. I feel I have developed well on the bike. Others around me say I caught on pretty quick to riding it. Initially you have to be sensitive to the throttle because it will take off on you.
 

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the ninja 650 i would say is an ok starter bike. It has great body positioning for a new rider and the engine seems predictable. Its not so "twitchy" like a race replica is. To me the ninja 650 feels like... well a 650 version of the 250 lol. it just has stronger brakes and more horses. The only thing i didnt like about the parallel twin is the buzzy feeling. you feel it on the 250r, 650r, and versys just the same. Take the MSF course, buy some gear (not cheap shit lol), and take it slow. Read up on throttle control and practice in low traffic areas (backroads, parking lots).
 

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If you read what the people racing the 650r are saying (and there aren't that many), they're finding that the Ninja is actually stronger in the bottom and the middle than the sv 650. However, they're at a 5-7 peak horsepower disadvantage which hurts them on the straights. So I definitely wouldn't say that the 650r at lower rpm is like a 250.
 
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