The General Motorbikers Discussion Thread

Blind_Io

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There is a mentality among some riders that bigger is better. Some want to skip the "learner bike" and go straight to a 1000cc super bike or 600cc race bike (CBR 600RR, R6, ect.).

This is never a good idea! It got so bad with the squids in California that when a new rider arrived on the forum and announced that he was "mature enough" to handle a 1000+cc bike that more experienced members started putting dibs on salvaged parts from then inevitable crash.

And as I said, a small 250 bike will force you to be a better rider because you can't hide mistakes with power and bike ability. You learn how to corner because you have to, it forces you to be a better rider. Any fool can get in a Ferrari and go fast, but it takes more skill to go fast in an MX-5 or CRX. Which driver is better? The one turning in 1:30 lap times in a 458 Italia or the guy turning 1:40 in an MX-5? Which is more likely to crash in the high powered machine? The new license holder in the Italia or the one who learned to drive the CSX first?
 
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Kiki

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Ayup, in California, with the learner's permit, you aren't allowed to drive at night, on the freeway, or carry a passenger. Also, as of 2011, anyone under 21 must take MSF. When I was applying for my M1 in California, I signed up for MSF, took certificate of completion to DMV, passed the written test, and voila, M1.

Because the two-fiddy doesn't have a lot of power, you really have to learn how to corner, shift, and brake ... though you won't exactly learn the finesse of throttle control since, for the most part, you're at open throttle. ;) To a lot of newbies, it certainly is frustrating not to have that extra umph, which goes to the saying of "there is no replacement for displacement." However, as for the 250 handling on the freeway, I did just fine on my old Ninjette - cruising at 85mph at 8500 rpm. In the end, I think it really depends on the rider, and his or her judgement of the situation and the decision-making in those kind of situations. Don't get me wrong, power is certainly nice to have but not always necessary.

One of the few times I can think of when the 250s lack of power is dangerous to the rider is when you're on the track with an open class of bikes (but that's another story).

What do you plan on doing with your motorcycle? It really depends ... if you plan on doing a shit ton of highway driving and plan on carrying a passenger, you might look at the EX500, GS500 etc... All those bikes are really good beginners because they don't have a lot of power, and you will really learn how to ride. Learn the basics, move up, and enjoy what you can do on any bike.

EDIT: A lot of people will disagree with me on 250s and sport touring. A lot of peeps have used their 250s as a sport tourer since their super sports were a tad bit uncomfy. You can pack a lot of stuff, the bike's pretty comfortable, and parts are cheap. One of our acquaintances rode his ninjette from San Jose to Alaska a few years ago in fact.
 
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Ryotsu

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I see what you're saying. I know I won't be setting blistering times around the track for quite a while. My uncle took me for a ride on his Harley a couple year ago (he lives in Costa Rica, so I don't see him much), and I loved the way the you move with the bike. As the bike leans, you lean. It's not like in a car, where you basically sit on a sofa and turn a dial in front of you. That's why I opted for a manual in my car, because I wanted to be more involved in the drive. I won't go 0-60 in 2.3 seconds, and I'm cool with that (for now at least). I was just worried that .25 of a liter wouldn't even be able to get me up hills. You have to remember that I come from a world where 3700cc is the small engine. It sounds like the 250 will do everything I want it to do, and be the gateway drug for faster bikes. I've been told by my dad (who used to ride bikes) how dangerous it is, so I'd like to start out sensibly.

Does anyone know what I should be looking to pay for a Ninja 250 with under 10,000 miles on it?

P.S. I'm going to ride to class, mostly. And around tracks occasionally, if I can find a freaking track within 60 miles of me. No passenger transport, I have a car for that.
 
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Blind_Io

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I'm not sure what the market is like in California right now, but, depending on year and condition you should manage to do that for under 2k.
 

Redliner

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My first motorcycle was exactly like this one:


19hp, enough for my daily commute to University, which included 10 miles of freeway riding and 15 mils of city riding.
I rode that for a year before upgrading to a GSXF750, which I rode for another year and crashed due to sheer stupidity.
In hindsight, I should have taken a smaller step, but now it?s too late.



EDIT: Damn. Now I miss having a motorcycle again...:|
 
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Ryotsu

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Would a (what is that? Honda CBX 200?) be better than a Ninja 250 for a first timer who will be using it mostly for commute and a little back road fun on weekends? I'll probably be on that bike for a while. As I'll be in a University, I'll have just enough money for ramen, let alone an engine upgrade.
 

DanRoM

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I was told that a 250 would have a hard time maintaining freeway speeds
Bullshit. Just last weekend I did a trip with a friend who has that exact bike. He had no problems matching my 120 - 130 kph cruising speed, and had enough reserves to go up to 150 when needed.
He doesn't own a car, so he regularly uses the bike for 400 km Autobahn stints to visit his parents...
 

Redliner

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Would a (what is that? Honda CBX 200?) be better than a Ninja 250 for a first timer who will be using it mostly for commute and a little back road fun on weekends? I'll probably be on that bike for a while. As I'll be in a University, I'll have just enough money for ramen, let alone an engine upgrade.
Yes, it?s a CBX200. Are they even available in the USA?
I would say it?s as good as a Ninja 250. It has less power but it?s a simpler machine, no fairing to worry about, the rising position is more comfortable and it?s a Honda, which means it will outlast cockroaches.
Top speed might be problematic for freeway riding in the USA, because it tops out at around 87mph, but since average speed on here is 60mph, I had no trouble.
 

Crazyjeeper

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The Honda CBX200 isn't available in the US. The closest thing they offer is the CBR250R which is new this year.
 

Ryotsu

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Sit on both (or more generally: all the candidates), then decide.
To decide which is most comfortable? What are the other candidates? It sounds like the Honda is down on power from the Kawasaki, but will last longer. I'm leaning a bit towards the Honda, as it'll probably be my only bike for a few years until I get out of college.

EDIT: I see ABS as an option on a lot of bikes. It seems to put about $500 more on the cost of the bike, is it worth it?
 
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DanRoM

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To decide which is most comfortable?
Basically. You have to fit comfortably on your bike or you'll never ride safely. Whether a bike is for you or not depends very much on your height and how long your legs and arms are.

ABS: I'd recommend it, but admittedly, I've never ridden a bike without it anyway.
 

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I was told that a 250 would have a hard time maintaining freeway speeds, but I did some research. While your on your California motorcycle learners permit, you aren't allowed to go on the freeway. I was looking more at a 500 because it would handle freeway speeds better, but I won't even be going on the freeway for a while. Anyone know what 250 would be good?
I didn't say you couldn't use a 250 on the highway, only that it was less than ideal. You can get a 250 up to 90 on the freeway but it takes a very long time and it isn't going to be happy about it. Passing power just isn't there, and that's not safe at all IMHO.

As for the whole "girly bike" thing, I guess none of you guys have the testicular fortitude to admit that there are women out there who could ride you off the road on smaller bikes and have no problem handling powerful motorcycles. I rode with a lady who was rocking a 999 once and I would have needed an airplane to keep up.

Oh, and didn't Elena Meyers just top 200 mph on a borrowed Suzuki MotoGP bike?

Girls can ride, many ride fast. Some I know ride track days, races, in the dirt, around town, etc and can probably kick our combined asses. So let's put the machismo away and respect the female riders out there.
...

At what point did ANYONE in this thread say women could not ride and ride well?????
 
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Ryotsu

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I didn't say you couldn't use a 250 on the highway, only that it was less than ideal. You can get a 250 up to 90 on the freeway but it takes a very long time and it isn't going to be happy about it. Passing power just isn't there, and that's not safe at all IMHO.
I didn't say that it couldn't either. So, if I'll be using it on the freeway, a 500 would be safer? Should it be something with a 500cc engine then?
 

Spectre

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I didn't say that it couldn't either. So, if I'll be using it on the freeway, a 500 would be safer? Should it be something with a 500cc engine then?
For the average male (it's a matter of weight) I tend to think a 400-500cc class is a better choice for freeway work.
 

Spectre

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Would it be a better first bike though? Or should I start on a 250?
The downside to a 250, as I see it, is that you would get tired of it and get exasperated by the overall lack of top end power (as most people do) pretty quickly and then need to sell it on after the six month initial period. If you get a 500, you can keep it for a while and thereby avoid more effort and expense. There's another issue with the Ninja 250 most people are pushing - the engine tends to disintegrate by about 50-60,000 miles. The Honda 250s don't do that, but they're also not in such a high state of tune either.

By the way, 500 to 600 is a HUGE jump as the supersports start in the 600 class these days. Avoid those for now.
 
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Ryotsu

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2009 Suzuki GS500 with 1840 miles for $4400?

I like the sound of the Honda bikes, anyone know a good 400-500cc Honda?
 

Spectre

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They made several good candidates in the 80s - the Nighthawk 450, the Honda Hawk 400 and 450, the CB450T.

The GS is a good bike, but that's more than I would recommend paying for a starter bike.
 
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