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I have read the suggestions for new riders but I didn't see an answer for my question which is... I am looking into buying a first bike. I have narrowed it down to a used model Fzr6, SV650, cbr500r, Ninja 650,ex 500 or the newer 300,400 models.

I like everything I have read about the ex 500 and it sounds ideal, except it looks hideous.
I am willing to admit that looks are an important factor to me. Can I attach a more modern fairing to the bike with a fabricated mounting bracket without having it negatively impacting the handling of the bike?

I would probably steer toward a pre 2010 model due to the lower price for my first bike.
I have an inseam of 29 to 30 inches. what seat height should I be targeting? What amount can I lower a seat without changing the suspension a great deal.

thanks in advance for your wisdom any other helpful suggestions would be most appreciated
 

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Motorcycle Ergonomics

Only you can answer your question. My 2 cents worth is go with good enough. Save the search for perfection for another day.
 

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It's hard to beat the EX-500 / Ninja 500 for a starter bike. If you're only planning to have it for your first year or so, don't put too much emphasis (or spend money) on the looks. If you're going to keep it for several years, you might want to look into some dress-up options.

With some shopping you can probably find a full lower fairing for the EX 500 that will help the looks quite a bit.

Kawasaki Ninja EX 500 500R 94 08 Lower Front Fairing Belly Factory Part | eBay

Once upon a time Targa made a full fairing kit for the bike, but I think they stopped when the bike went out of production. You might find a used one, though.

Look at some of the pics here and you'll get an idea of what can be done with the 500.

https://www.google.com/search?q=nin...TFsASj74CoDA&ved=0CAkQ_AUoAQ&biw=1264&bih=651
 

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My inseam is about 29", I had an FZ6R that was lowered, but found that I sat on a friends FZ6R that was stock height and it was fine for me, setting the suspension to a lower setting to allow some suspension sag helps. I would suggest tho, that you get yourself a Ninja 250/300, CBR300, or something similar. Much less drama in the throttle, and easy to ride, not difficult to keep from dropping when it happens.
 

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The seat foam on most bikes can be shaved to gain almost an inch improvement in leg reach. Sit on the bikes first.
 

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I ride an ex-500. It's ugly, but you can't tell when you're sitting on it. It's a first bike not a last bike.
 

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Get the EX500 and forget about modifications, that's just money down the drain, you will never see it back and it will actually even lower the resale of the bike. Get the EX500, ride it for a year and keep saving for a nice bike, then you sell the unmolested EX500 for about the same money you paid for it, add your savings and buy a super sport.
 

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Get the EX500 and forget about modifications, that's just money down the drain, you will never see it back and it will actually even lower the resale of the bike. Get the EX500, ride it for a year and keep saving for a nice bike, then you sell the unmolested EX500 for about the same money you paid for it, add your savings and buy a super sport.
Or a Seca II!
 

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If looks are important to you then get whichever one looks the best to you. All the bikes you named are good, fun, easy going bikes (I've personally started on an SV650 and I had no issues). A lot of people will tell you not to worry about looks, but if that's a big deciding factor then who cares, its your money being spent after all.

Sent from Motorcycle.com Free App
 

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See my prof pic. I have a full lower fairing. It came when I bought it though... ninja 300 is nice if you have excess amounts of money. If youre ballin on a budget, the ex500 is best bang for buck. Fwiw, I rode to a friends house once. A few people thought it was another person's bike. The other person rides a gsxr750... The looks of the 500 grow on you. I can't say enough good things about it. Cheap to buy, cheap to insure ($150/year for my 1st year riding) easy to work on, cheap parts, teaches you how to ride, and more than fast enough.
 
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