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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone. I'm new to the site and have recently completed my MSF course. I am planning on looking for bikes over the winter but don't really know where to start. I am looking at bikes like the SV650 but have seen comments blasting people for not starting small. I first tried to look for a 500 but couldn't find anything in my area. Any other suggestions for a first bike that isn't a 250?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I haven't but I need something that will comfortably do about 80. Unfortunately my commute to work has higher speed limits on the highway and will do quite a bit of highway travel due to my location. Some friends suggested not going under 500.
 

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I haven't but I need something that will comfortably do about 80. Unfortunately my commute to work has higher speed limits on the highway and will do quite a bit of highway travel due to my location. Some friends suggested not going under 500.
Ughhh, in that case the 300 would not be a good choice. What kind of experience do you have? I'm thinking ninja 650, SV650, or a cruiser.


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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Other than the MSF course and riding those 250's I did some hot laps on a friend's Ninja 650. I do have the luxury of waiting through the cold winter to make a decision so I should be able to look at lots of info. Overall, I am a true beginner and am willing to take time to learn the right way.
 

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Other than the MSF course and riding those 250's I did some hot laps on a friend's Ninja 650. I do have the luxury of waiting through the cold winter to make a decision so I should be able to look at lots of info. Overall, I am a true beginner and am willing to take time to learn the right way.
I don't have the answer for you but I have to tell you that it is refreshing to see someone with your attitude. I wish you the very best of luck.


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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks. Who knows, maybe I will end up with the 650 myself. Not my first choice since insurance will be higher but then I can grow into it.
 

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I think a Ninja 650, Versys, or an SV-650 are all legitimate starter bikes.They are sertainly a lot more user-friendly than any of the 600s. Honda is making a few 500s now, and there is also the Ninja 300 as mentioned. I test rode a Ninja 300 at bike Week in in Daytona. It seemed like a pretty serious motorcycle. The Ninja 250 always felt like a toy to me. A fun toy, but a toy nonetheless. I wouldn't buy a Ninja 250 if you have a significant 80 mph commute.
 

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There aren't many 500s out there now other than the brand new Hondas. I started on a 500 cruiser but sold it 4 months and got a 650R,I think it's fine as a starter bike, it's very forgiving and did highway just fine.

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The Ninja 300 will cruise at 80 no problem. The question is will you? Take a new riding class every year. The ARC class first, then the California Superbike School. Read the books, check out the videos. Buy good quality gear ( helmet, boots, gloves, jacket, pants, often cheaper off CL or EBay )

Start with the 300 which is lighter and less intimidating. Go to a 650 next. After that with good training, you can get pretty much anything you want. I just went through this with my son.
One more thing, get ABS brakes, hopefully you'll never use them, but if you do they can be very helpful keeping the rubber side down.
IMHO
Best of Luck:cheers
 

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Personally, I would look for a naked bike. As a new rider, a drop is quite possible, even if just in the driveway. A faired bike will always sustain more and costly damage than a naked.
 

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Personally, I would look for a naked bike. As a new rider, a drop is quite possible, even if just in the driveway. A faired bike will always sustain more and costly damage than a naked.
+1, my girlfriend dropped her Buell while trying to start in a gravel lot and all I had to replace was a turn signal and I bent the shift lever back into place.

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I was just "cruising" at 80 on my girlfriend's 05 Ninja 250 the other night. Granted the motor was spinning like a top at about 9k RPM's and it was also about 40*F out which I'm sure helped, but it was fine. SUCH a fun little bike. Puts a grin on my face every time I ride it. It's SO different from my Aprilia Tuono & SV race bike, but I've never met a bike I didn't like, not even the POS bikes at the MSF course :p

Now it wouldn't be WISE to get anything b***** than an SV650 but plenty of people have started on b***** bikes & have been just fine.... then again, plenty of people have started on b***** bikes & quickly ended up a lot worse.

That said, get whatever YOU are comfortable on and makes you happy.
 

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I commute multiple time a week on my 2006 Ninja 250 and it's okay on the highway. I usually average 70-75. I got taller tires which helps keep the RPMs slightly lower on the highway. It's about 9k RPM at 75 which is right in the middle of its powerband, and it revs up to 13k so don't worry about topping out at 80, it will go well past that even with OEM tire sizes.

Here is a calculator that shows your RPM at a certain speed and gear. It's probably not 100% accurate but I think it's close. It's used to show how things change when you get a different tire size or change the sprockets.
Ninja 250 Speed Calculator

The reason I got taller tires, just FYI, (100/90 and 130/90 instead of /80) is because it opens up a world of tire options. With /80 you're stuck with the OEM tires pretty much. I think the changes in handling is negligible.

I think a used Ninja 250 is a wise choice because there are so many of them for sale, especially in the fall. SV650s and Ninja 650s are common too, but I wouldn't go any b*****, and be careful on a 650. They aren't supersports but they still have a lot of power.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thank you all for the input. I want to sit on a SV650 so I can get a feel for it but right now am leaning more towards that. From all that I have read they are pretty beginner friendly even though they have decent power.
 
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