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Discussion Starter #1
If you've somehow stumbled over my first thread, you know I'm in the market for a commuter bike. Aside from the newer 250s being more aesthetically pleasing, I would like to get some track days in. How do the pregens fair on the track? How about the newer models? I don't plan on a lot of track days, just what I can afford if ever I can afford it.


Thus far, I've only been eyeing pregen ninja 250s as I've been told that the cost of ownerships is least on these bike, but compared to what? A supersport?

When comparing cost of ownership between the old 250s and the new ones, how much is the difference really? I just priced tires for each on motorcycle-superstore.com and the difference is $15 between the two. I used a set of Pirelli Sport Demons for the comparsion.

As far as brake replacement cost, etc. goes, I have no idea, so that's why I came to you guys! I guess $15 here and $15 there can add up, but does it?
 

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King of the Hopeless
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250 Ninjas

Well, I am no expert but this is the deal. The newer bikes I am pretty sure have 17 inch rims which makes it much easier to get better radial tires. The older bike had 16 inch rims so tire choice is a bit more restricted. The newer ones had some engine updates that allowed them to eke out some more power - but considering the size of the bike a couple of hp makes somewhat of a difference. The bodywork is also lighter and looks quite a bit better. The frame is also less flexible - I am not sure if this is due to different frame material - but whatever, it is less flexible.

One of the positives of the older bikes is that they are very very cheap right now. I am sure that the coming of the Ninja 300R will also have the effect of depressing the values of the third generation bikes. I see them at $2700-3200 used. Once the new ones come out - those values should drop a bit.

There is a ton of knowledge about how to race them - a whole thread dedicated to it on the WERA forums. The WERA guys know these bikes inside and out and they are the ones that will tell you a s-ton of information.

If I were you, I would hold out for a third generation bike (the last generation made) rather than getting one with 16 inch wheels.

Good luck.
 

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Step 1) Buy older (pre-07) Ninja 250 for $1000-1500
Step 2) Spend the remainder of your budget on gear
Step 3) ???
Step 4) Profit.
 

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That's my plan right now. I'm wondering how it'd fair on a track day though.
A track day isn't an actual race, so it really won't matter if you are on a vespa or a stolen GP bike. You'll learn just as much and have just as much fun on either.
Also, one could argue that for the price difference, mods could put the older model equal or ahead of the new one.
 

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Habitual line-stepper
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Lots of people use them on track days. You can swap in a stock SV650 first-gen shock on the rear, throw some beefier springs and heavier oil in the forks, and you should be alright. That should really be done even for the street, though.

^ This is for the 88-07 bikes, btw.

And the newer bikes have more PEAK horsepower, but if you look at a dyno chart, total usable power is actually down considerably in stock form. EPA rules. They are also almost 30 pounds heavier.

But they have 17" wheels and look better.


For what it's worth... in stock trim the suspension is so bad that when I come to a stop, the front end bobs up and down twice before settling. And that's with freshly-rebuilt forks. They are VERY undersprung and underdamped from the factory. At least for a normal sized man.

But with a couple suspension upgrades and decent rubber, they don't need much for the track. A set of rearsets or at least plates to raise the pegs are needed for having ACTUAL ground clearance, and woodcraft clip-ons help get your body positioned better for track duty... but those can be had later. In my opinion, with stock suspension I could never track one. It would be scary.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Lots of people use them on track days. You can swap in a stock SV650 first-gen shock on the rear, throw some beefier springs and heavier oil in the forks, and you should be alright. That should really be done even for the street, though.

^ This is for the 88-07 bikes, btw.

And the newer bikes have more PEAK horsepower, but if you look at a dyno chart, total usable power is actually down considerably in stock form. EPA rules. They are also almost 30 pounds heavier.

But they have 17" wheels and look better.


For what it's worth... in stock trim the suspension is so bad that when I come to a stop, the front end bobs up and down twice before settling. And that's with freshly-rebuilt forks. They are VERY undersprung and underdamped from the factory. At least for a normal sized man.

But with a couple suspension upgrades and decent rubber, they don't need much for the track. A set of rearsets or at least plates to raise the pegs are needed for having ACTUAL ground clearance, and woodcraft clip-ons help get your body positioned better for track duty... but those can be had later. In my opinion, with stock suspension I could never track one. It would be scary.
What do you figure it'd cost to make those mods? Cheaper than buying the new gen bike?

Also, how is maintenance on the newer 250s? Much harder to service than the old ones? Valve adjustments?
 

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Discussion Starter #14
If your budget is 2k, it's probably best to keep saving or put that money towards school..
Currently, I'm making payments on a 10 year old car that takes premium only. Not to mention cost of insurance for a 2 door sports car. I'm looking to sell that car, pay off the loan, buy a bike, and use what's left to pick up a beater car. In this way, I will free up some money.
 

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Currently, I'm making payments on a 10 year old car that takes premium only. Not to mention cost of insurance for a 2 door sports car. I'm looking to sell that car, pay off the loan, buy a bike, and use what's left to pick up a beater car. In this way, I will free up some money.
What kinda sports car? If you dont mind me aski g. Just wondering. :)
 

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Why not sell the car, pay off the loan, buy a beater car and have money to eat things other than Ramen while you're at school instead? This is an expensive sport man.. Insurance will not be cheap, and you're a fool to run without it.
 

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I think when dealing with an older bike, it's best to just have liability insurance. If you drop it you can find parts on eBay for cheap.

Im paying $120 a year on a 10 250.

An older 250 will probably be less.

Gear isnt that bad either, just look for close out sales on the websites.

You could probably get a nice deal on a ninja 500 also. Like an 02 model. There are a lot of bikes for under 2,000. check out Craigslist.

Also, where in Texas are you ? Try: Sanantonioimports.com

houstonimports.com

motohouston.com

Also, I've tried this and had replies. Post on your local craigslist. In the motorcycle section under for sale. Post a wanted ad for a bike you would like to buy.

You can say something like: Hello, I'm looking to buy a 04 Kawasaki Ninja, and I have cash in hand. Please call or text me.

Just my opinion.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Health Insurance - Check!
Liability will be on the bike.

I have money to buy food! I'm actually very health conscious and follow a rather strict diet. I have something of an obsession for nutrition. As far as gear goes, I have a DOT approved helmet a friend gave me and I've purchased a pair of Sidi boots. I got them at a pretty reasonable $125. I've decided to go with a pair of AGV Telluride pants and Held gloves. Those are the two things I'll be purchasing in new condition. As for jackets, I'm looking at 2 Alpinestars. Both leather. Priced at $125 and $180. The $180 one is much nicer and was originally something like $330.

As for the car, it's a 2003 Nissan 350z.
 
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