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Old 05-21-2006, 05:47 PM   #11
ksquid
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Default Excellent Post umarth

Yep I agree if you can find a used SV that would be my pick.. Twins have the great low end torque.. I saw one today at a bike shop it had been wrecked cause it had a copper fairing and a blue tank... But folks were looking at it.. Lots of upgrade after market stuff for the SV including lower fairings, shocks, forks, etc.. good point umarth
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Old 05-21-2006, 07:01 PM   #12
sarnali
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Default Re: Not ZZR 600 or Ninja 650 R

Good review, I like the GS500's myself though I'm partial to Suzuki anyway. I also think the 599 Honda is a very tough bike to beat and it and the 919 are the only Honda's I'd own anymore. It sounds like you're making some smart choices and should do well.
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Old 05-21-2006, 07:21 PM   #13
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Default Re: Not ZZR 600 or Ninja 650 R

My brother and I currently have a 250 Ninja and 500 Ninja respectively. We have owned many bikes: 73 xl 250, 82 Yamaha 550 Vision, 83 Vision, 86 250 ninja, 93 Yamah Seca II, 98 VFR 800, 98 Ninja ZX-6E, VTR 1000 Superhawk, 2000 Ninja ZX 6R, 2001 Yamaha FZ1.



My favorite bikes among the bunch are the 250s, 500 Ninja, ZX6E, ZX6R and VFR. That leaves the 250s and 500 as the best beginner bike. The seca was fun but was hard to turn in because of the 4 cylinder engine.



The 500 does give you quite a bit more power and more character. The 250s are extremely smooth and high tech feeling. The 500 is built pretty cheaply and doesn't have the same high quality feel as the other ninjas, but it is a whole lot of fun. The engine has a lot of character and torque, with a nice hit above 5500 rpm. It is always smooth and will never numb your hands. The best part for a beginner is that it practically drops into the corners. It is super light handling. It turns into the corners easier than the 250. It tops out at 125, the seat is comfortable enough for a couple of hours. A centerstand is standard. It has a 4.8 gal fuel tank and gets 45 mpg in the city. You can get pretty close to 200 miles on the highway before reserve.



Negatives:

The mirrors aren't wide enough apart to provide a good view and the helmet holder requires an extender to be useful.
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Old 05-21-2006, 07:22 PM   #14
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Default Re: Not ZZR 600 or Ninja 650 R

A first gen SV650 should be around $3500 (1999 - 2001) and in your dollare range. Much more bike than an EX or GS for similiar dollars. It should be plenty friendly for a first bike as long as you know how to operate the controls etc already. The SV650 isn't a learner bike but it is a first bike!
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Old 05-21-2006, 08:56 PM   #15
caffine
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Default Re: Not ZZR 600 or Ninja 650 R

You make a great point here. I see a 600 every now and again getting the snot wrung out of it. But if, say, a first time used bike buyer finds one he can't pass up, what are the tell-tale signs of mechanical abuse/thrashed, providing everything by eye looks good.
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Old 05-21-2006, 10:15 PM   #16
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Default Re: Not ZZR 600 or Ninja 650 R

Yeah, that sounded a little peculiar to me too. My first bike was a bit smaller than that, in the late sixties to boot, and had no trouble running at 75 or so on the freeway. It's just that it didn't have the punch to reach that slot in the freeway that might be the safest place to be, if somone in a cage was eying the same spot. Motorcycles are very vulnerable, so having the ability to jump into a gap in traffic is valuable. That's why I think 500's or 650's are the way to go. If it was me, it would be the SV 650, like I think I already said in another post.
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Old 05-22-2006, 03:42 AM   #17
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Default Re: Not ZZR 600 or Ninja 650 R

If I may point out, the 250 can go much faster than 65mph. I rode my wife's for a couple of months while I was between bikes, and took it up to 80 or 90mph. Granted, the engine is working pretty hard at that speed, but the bike is definitely capable of doing it. I think there was even a guy that finished an Iron Butt Rally on one a couple of years ago. I've gotta imagine he was going faster than 65 through the day.
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Old 05-22-2006, 04:15 AM   #18
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Default Re: Not ZZR 600 or Ninja 650 R

you forgot the best part of a Ninja 500. If you don't buy new, you can usually sell them a year later for exactly what you paid for it.



My Ninja 500 was dropped once while I owned it (not by me) in a low speed parking lot tip over. Total cost to fix it was $6 for a new clutch lever. The fact that they tend to already look a bit beat up menas you are not going to worry about a few scratches (they make you look hard core anyway).
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Old 05-22-2006, 04:16 AM   #19
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Default Re: Not ZZR 600 or Ninja 650 R

I think he's talking about a Rebel/Nighthawk. Very different animal.
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Old 05-22-2006, 04:18 AM   #20
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Default Re: Not ZZR 600 or Ninja 650 R

I think OhioSteve was referring to a Rebel/Nighthawk. Very different from a GPZ250.
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