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Old 01-29-2006, 07:32 PM   #1
saizai
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: San Francisco
Motorcycles: Red '98 Ninja EX250
Name: Sai
Newbie bike (and advice) wanted

I am in the market for a newbie bike. I just finished the MSF BRC (at TWST); have no other experience.

My criteria:
* very reliable
* droppable (i.e. no expensive shiny things) (not that I intend to drop it, but such things do happen with one's first bike...)
* very controllable for someone of my experience level
* relatively cheap, or with resale value in 6 months ~= purchase price
* easy to maintain
* pref. low on chrome
* comfortable to ride
* sufficient power to operate at highway speeds, insufficient power to easily get me into trouble I couldn't get out of
* has room securely lash or stow a 3000 cuin backpack (the small end of camping backpacks)
* SAFE (well, granted motorcycles aren't 'safe', but relatively speaking...)

I will be using it for my college commute (Oakland to UC Berkeley), and probably miscellaneous other bay area driving. I may also want to take it for a cross-country road trip come June. I expect to leave the country in August and will be reselling it before then.

I am 24, 5'5", 135lb, and male.

My expectation is that I'd be looking at a ~250cc standard bike, but I'm looking both for offers and advice on what bike to get (and am open to suggestions).

Thanks.

- Sai
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Old 01-29-2006, 07:40 PM   #2
mikev
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EX250 or EX500
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lying on the stones on the shore. in the dark. muscles torn. bones broken. heart aching. waiting for the tide to rise and take you into sweet oblivion. and then dawn breaks. and the glow flows over you. and you open a swollen eye, and cry at the beauty of the sun on the horizon. and think maybe...maybe you can pull yourself up - and make it one more day. maybe. one more day. and you rise.
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Old 01-29-2006, 07:54 PM   #3
saizai
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Quote:
Originally posted by mikev
EX250 or EX500
How does the Ninja EX250 compare to the 250R? I only see an entry for the 250R on Kawasaki's site.
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Old 01-29-2006, 07:55 PM   #4
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same bike
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lying on the stones on the shore. in the dark. muscles torn. bones broken. heart aching. waiting for the tide to rise and take you into sweet oblivion. and then dawn breaks. and the glow flows over you. and you open a swollen eye, and cry at the beauty of the sun on the horizon. and think maybe...maybe you can pull yourself up - and make it one more day. maybe. one more day. and you rise.
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Old 01-29-2006, 07:57 PM   #5
saizai
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Quote:
Originally posted by mikev
same bike
Any idea why the name change then? (Or any reference on Kawasaki's site to the 'EX' designation?)
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Old 01-29-2006, 08:04 PM   #6
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R sounds cooler than EX

get the 250. It's a lighter bike vs the 500. I think about 180lb difference. Not worth it for another 10 horses. You get better gas mileage for commute, it'll do 80 mph fine on the freeway.

ninja 250's also have good resale value.



i dont remember seeing your post in the newbie section, but i might be wrong. either way,
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Old 01-29-2006, 08:10 PM   #7
saizai
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Join Date: Jan 2006
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Motorcycles: Red '98 Ninja EX250
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Quote:
Originally posted by chronoxdragoon
R sounds cooler than EX

get the 250. It's a lighter bike vs the 500. I think about 180lb difference. Not worth it for another 10 horses. You get better gas mileage for commute, it'll do 80 mph fine on the freeway.

ninja 250's also have good resale value.
*nod*

Any comment re. the other motorcycles I've seen recommended? Here's the list so far as ones I've seen elsewhere being recommended as newbie bikes:
BMW F650, airhead R-bike, or K75
Buell Blast
Honda Nighthawk 250, Hawk, or CB-1
Honda 250 and 450 Rebels
Honda CB ~400-650
Honda CM400T
Honda Shadow VLX600
Kawasaki Eliminator 125
Kawasaki Ninja EX250 / EX500
Kawasaki ZX-6
Suzuki Bandit 400, GS500, or SV650
Suzuki GS ~450/500
Suzuki GZ250
Vulcan 500
Yamaha Seca II 400
Yamaha Virago 250 or 535


Quote:
i dont remember seeing your post in the newbie section, but i might be wrong. either way,
Thanks.

I didn't make one; will if I expect to be posting much. Don't really have much to say 'cept what I put here.

Right now, just pondering what first bike should be, & for that matter whether to *get* one (since I expect to be in Japan come August...)
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Old 01-29-2006, 08:16 PM   #8
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250R sounds cooler *shrug*
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lying on the stones on the shore. in the dark. muscles torn. bones broken. heart aching. waiting for the tide to rise and take you into sweet oblivion. and then dawn breaks. and the glow flows over you. and you open a swollen eye, and cry at the beauty of the sun on the horizon. and think maybe...maybe you can pull yourself up - and make it one more day. maybe. one more day. and you rise.
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Old 01-29-2006, 08:47 PM   #9
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I would not get a heavy bike. Fzr is great power wise but very heavy. Consider the sv650 (non S model, naked version). Its reliable and nothing to break if you drop it. It might be a little tall for you though.
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Old 01-29-2006, 08:52 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by saizai
*nod*

Any comment re. the other motorcycles I've seen recommended? Here's the list so far as ones I've seen elsewhere being recommended as newbie bikes:
BMW F650, airhead R-bike, or K75
Buell Blast
Honda Nighthawk 250, Hawk, or CB-1
Honda 250 and 450 Rebels
Honda CB ~400-650
Honda CM400T
Honda Shadow VLX600
Kawasaki Eliminator 125
Kawasaki Ninja EX250 / EX500
Kawasaki ZX-6
Suzuki Bandit 400, GS500, or SV650
Suzuki GS ~450/500
Suzuki GZ250
Vulcan 500
Yamaha Seca II 400
Yamaha Virago 250 or 535




Thanks.

I didn't make one; will if I expect to be posting much. Don't really have much to say 'cept what I put here.

Right now, just pondering what first bike should be, & for that matter whether to *get* one (since I expect to be in Japan come August...)
The Kawi 250 will be the easiest and quickest bike to sell in August. The other bikes are ok, but I don't see any of them being as desirable as the 250R when it comes time to sell. It's also the best bike for what you are looking for.
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Old 01-29-2006, 09:17 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by chronoxdragoon
R sounds cooler than EX

get the 250. It's a lighter bike vs the 500. I think about 180lb difference. Not worth it for another 10 horses. You get better gas mileage for commute, it'll do 80 mph fine on the freeway.

ninja 250's also have good resale value.
I disagree completely. Especially regarding the numbers. The 500 is about 50 pounds heavier... (330 lbs vs 380 lbs) and pushes out about 20 more horsepower (33hp vs 52hp). Ive ridden my friends 250, and im reeeaaall glad i got the 500.

Oh, and mines for sale.
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Old 01-29-2006, 09:31 PM   #12
saizai
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Originally posted by get low
Oh, and mines for sale.
Link?
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Old 01-29-2006, 09:51 PM   #13
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http://www.bayarearidersforum.com/fo...hreadid=151052

Further research shows the ex250 actually claims a dry weight of 304, so the weight difference is closer to 80 lbs.
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Old 01-29-2006, 10:05 PM   #14
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it feels realy, realy nice to have a noob come along who doesnt want to start out on an R6 or a 900RR!!!!

welcome!!!

a friend of mine is also thinking about selling his strater bike, a Yamaha Seca II 600 in really nice condition (never down).

although he's a bit heavier than you, that bike definitly was not too much bike for him. its an aircooled bike decently reliable but not overly powerful. (relatively weak compared to an SV650 in fact)

i dont know if he has decided on a price yet, but PM me if you're interested.
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Old 01-29-2006, 10:11 PM   #15
Eisernkreuz
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Quote:
Originally posted by saizai
recommended as newbie bikes:
BMW F650, airhead R-bike, or K75
Buell Blast
Honda Nighthawk 250, Hawk, or CB-1
Honda 250 and 450 Rebels
Honda CB ~400-650
Honda CM400T
Honda Shadow VLX600
Kawasaki Eliminator 125
Kawasaki Ninja EX250 / EX500
Kawasaki ZX-6
Suzuki Bandit 400, GS500, or SV650
Suzuki GS ~450/500
Suzuki GZ250
Vulcan 500
Yamaha Seca II 400
Yamaha Virago 250 or 535
Forget the Nighthawk 250. The 750 isn't that hard of a bike to learn on, and you get better brakes up front and a much more usable engine. CB1 is kinda rare, you'd be better off with a NT650 Hawk. Shadow is cool, Eliminator 125 is way too gutless for enjoyable riding, ZX-6 might be too sporty, GS500 is great, SV650 is also more sporty (better 2nd bike), Seca 400 would be dumb, but 600 would be better since it's a low output engine anyway. Ninja 250 is a good choice, though I don't like Kawasaki much anymore (and I still own one haha). Hondas are cool, Suzukis are cool. Good luck to you, you seem to be going about it the right way
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