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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Looking to buy first bike; suggestions?

Hey guys, I'm new to the forum here. I came across it when I was doing some researchon the internet about purchasing my first street/sport bike.

As I said, I'm lookijng to buy my first bike. I don't have much riding experience riding besides a few in-town cruises on my buddy's GSXR750. I wanted to get something smaller that I won't kill myself on (don't worry, I consider myself 'responsible' and don't plan on anything stupid while driving, just a figure of speech). I just fell in love with the sportbike design.

Financing aside (which is lined up through a bank; trying to avoid sky-high rates through the dealer), I didn't know if anyone had any opinions on which might be a better purchase for a first-time buyer: the 2005 Honda CBR600F4i, or the 2005 Kawasaki ZZR600? Forget all the jazz about "Honda reliablity," I'm familiar with it already, my civic has 220,000+ miles on it :p .

Both bikes seem to be similar in size and specs, outside the 2K price diff. So can anyone offer anything that might help me in my decision? I'm leaning twoards teh ZZR600 right now, but I wanted some other owner's input first.

Thanks!

- Dave

edit: read below before flaming me!!!
 

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Umm...assuming you're not a troll, you might want to put on your flame suit.

Neither of those are good starter bikes. You should read the stickies in the New Riders forum and think your decision through a bit more. An EX250 or 500 would make a much better choice.
 

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They are both great bikes and both very capable of anything you could want to do. The only main difference is that the CBR is fuel injected and the ZZR is not. That's it in a nutshell. What these guys are gonna tell you, and they know what they are talking about, is that both of those bikes are seriously powerful and will kill someone in a heartbeat. It doesnt matter how responsible you are they are really dangerous for a beginner. People have and will start out on a 600cc sportbike but most people that start on a 500 ninja or a 250 ninja never regret that they did, especially if they want to learn how to "Ride". Like I said you will do what you want and many people have started on 600cc bikes but put simply it's not what most people will suggest for a first streetbike. Oh and take the MSF safety course and wear your gear. That is the basic reply you will get from 90% of people on here, except it will be much more brutal. Cheers.
 

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The first bike I ever rode was the first bike ever bought and that was a 1987 Honda Hurricane 600. I had never ridden a motorcycle before (just a moped) but when I got on this bike, it was if I had been riding for the past 5 years(this is going back to 1990).I personally had no problem with starting out with a 600cc machine but some people are not. MSF and 500cc I always say but I guess some people can handle it.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Thanks for your input thus far.

ServoR6, what's with bein' a lamer and calling me a troll?

I came to ask an honest question, I wasn't trying to get "flamed" or whatever. You could've easily omitted the first part of your post, and you'd be a lot cooler. Your second sentence, on the other hand, was appreciated (the Form vs Function thread proved insightful; looking into a Ninja 500R).
 

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Let's review:

"Assuming you're not a troll."

You'll notice that's not the same as:

"You are a troll."

And as for the flaming, I am simply trying to prepare you for what you might be in for. A number of people come to the board and post that they are getting a 600SS for their first bike simply to cause conflict, as they know that is contrary to what most on this board would recommend.

And I really don't care how cool one thinks I might or might not be, or I never would have spent all of those years playing D&D. :cheers
 

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I don't wanna be a dick but:


If you are doing research then you probably should have gone to the beginning riders section, there you would have seen a sticky about starting on a small bike, taking msf, and wearing your gear.

That being said both engines are good, it was already said that the f4i is fuel injected while the kawasaki is carburated.

It's good to hear that you are looking into the ex500.


[edit] Where's oober with his popcorn?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Right-on (I was more of a Vampire: The Masquerade kinda guy). My apologies for not thoroughly reading your post. *nod*

So, is it really that much of a power difference b/t a parallel twin 499 cc and an in-line four 599 cc? Like I said, I have no real riding experience; I did roll a 120 cc Honda scooter for a few semesters at school (there's always 'motorcycle' parking area at most universities that's almost always empty), but that barely qualifies as cycle experience. So, sorry for the "newbie-ness" of my questions, because I am new to this.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
twice the engine, twice the power

:p

should've put that one together
 

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d.kerg said:
Right-on (I was more of a Vampire: The Masquerade kinda guy). My apologies for not thoroughly reading your post. *nod*

So, is it really that much of a power difference b/t a parallel twin 499 cc and an in-line four 599 cc? Like I said, I have no real riding experience; I did roll a 120 cc Honda scooter for a few semesters at school (there's always 'motorcycle' parking area at most universities that's almost always empty), but that barely qualifies as cycle experience. So, sorry for the "newbie-ness" of my questions, because I am new to this.

Cool, I played Vampire as well. The late-model 600's all put out over 100 horsepower, and are very, very fast. They are equivalent to the liter bikes of a few years ago. What that means is that they are also very unforgiving of operator error. Obviously some people do start on 600's and are fine, but that is certainly not the recommendation. Check out my post in the New Riders forum on reasons to start small. My main argument is that it's easier to become a better rider on a smaller, less powerful bike...one that you can eventually push to its limits.

500's are in such high demand, that its easy to get nearly all of your money back on one when you are ready to upgrade.
 

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v4barnes said:
Well the my 500 puts out maybe 50 hp where as a newer 600 cc is gonna put out 100+ hp....


Let's explain this in a power to weight ratio manner,100 hp may not sound like much compared to a car,but it wiil get you from 0 to close to 170mph on a bike in less than 15 seconds.You really don't want that much power between your legs for a first bike.One little twitch of the wrist to much and it will come up and over your head and dump you in a heartbeat.

The 500 or even the Ninja 250 is a much smarter choice to learn to ride on.
 

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hondajunkie said:
The first bike I ever rode was the first bike ever bought and that was a 1987 Honda Hurricane 600. I had never ridden a motorcycle before (just a moped) but when I got on this bike, it was if I had been riding for the past 5 years(this is going back to 1990).I personally had no problem with starting out with a 600cc machine but some people are not. MSF and 500cc I always say but I guess some people can handle it.

You can't compare todays 600 with a 600 from 1987.
 

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The 500R I own is my first bike and I love it. I'll move up to a 600 eventually but this bike is a blast and has been great to learn on. Insurance for a 500 is also considerably cheaper than a inline 4 600 so that's another plus. I'd say go with the 500.. you won't regret it
 

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Dont know whether you've considered this but over here Hondas hold their value like all hell. Might be worth looking into, if you decide to sell it or whatever you might lose less money. Especially coz you're looking at buying a brand newie, they lose value like nothing.
 

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d.kerg said:
So, is it really that much of a power difference b/t a parallel twin 499 cc and an in-line four 599 cc? Like I said, I have no real riding experience; I did roll a 120 cc Honda scooter for a few semesters at school (there's always 'motorcycle' parking area at most universities that's almost always empty), but that barely qualifies as cycle experience. So, sorry for the "newbie-ness" of my questions, because I am new to this.
It's not just the size, it's the age of the technology and the engine format.

Look at the wide difference between these bikes:
My first bike: 1993 Yamaha Seca II 600CC inline 4 - 55-60 hp
My new bike: 2005 Yamaha FZ6 600CC inline 4 - 92 hp (detuned R6)
2005 Yamaha R6 600CC inline 4 - 110 hp

Note the Seca II above is around the same tech as the EX500. Both engines were desgined around the early 90's, and the EX500 has apparently not changed since.

There are mistakes a new rider can make that would be 'oops' on a beginner bike, but could be catastrophic on a supersport. I pulled away from a light in 3rd gear once because I forgot to downshift when I stopped. I had to rev the heck out of it to get moving then, remembered I was in the wrong gear, and I slammed it into first. On my Seca, that mistake only cost me a second of panic as the front wheel went up 2", then back down. On an R6, I'd have been laying on my back with the bike on top of me.

New riders make mistakes: nervousness, beginner errors, whatever. Some bikes forgive them.

Grab something old that's in demand like the EX500 (so few, and so many people want them to learn on.) Ride it for about 6 months/3-4000 miles, then sell it for waht you paid for it (I kid you not) and buy the F4i. (I threw that in because in 6mos you'll be sick of carburation!)
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
Thanks guys!

I actually found a 2004 Ninja 500R for sale from some guy in OH like two - two1/2 hrs away. It was his starter, now he's going up to a 600. He's asking 3600; but I'll get that down a few more hundred.

All of your input has been more than helpful. Hopefully this board will continue to prove as useful in the future as it already has.

AirForceTeacher:

Is curburation vs fuel injection that terrible of a difference in technology on these bikes? I've never driven anything w/ a carburator, outside of my old scooter. Was the lag between when I gave it throttle and when it responded due to that?
 

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Given your change in direction, I'd say this thread has been successful.

M/c carburetors are actually quite simple but refined compared to the old car carbs. Properly tuned, there shouldn't be any lag in throttle response. Some early FI bikes actually had funky off-idle throttle responses. I wouldn't worry about the difference on your first bike. Tons of folks know how to get an ex500 running great if necessary.

Once you've learned how to really ride on that bike, you'll know enough about what you want and don't want in your next one.

Don't forget MSF and good gear before you get too far along.
 
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