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Old 09-08-2005, 07:48 PM   #41
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Default Obligation Fulfilled

I feel obligated to suggest this: a nice used Honda Hawk GT will keep you happy for years. My Hawk was my first and only bike to date. After four years, I'm nowhere near bored with it. I'm still developing skill as a rider and mechanic, and it still has room for improvement. As an all-around learning tool, a daily commuter, a mid-range tourer (400 mile days), a track day participant and canvas for personal expression, I can't think of a better bike for me.

And, when you drop it, there's almost nothing to break. Guess how I know.

Check out HawkGT.com.
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Old 09-09-2005, 02:24 AM   #42
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Default Re: NOOBIE bike questions

This is another vote for the 250. I started on a used 250 that I bought for 1300 bucks and after 6k miles in 2 months (and 4 carb rebuilds since it had sat for a year untouched) and I moved up to a race prepped 600f4. The 250 is a great bike. Mine had all the power I wanted except it was a little sluggish over 100 mph, and topped out at 120. Your choice is a question of restraint. I bought the 250 on the advice of my dad a long time rider. At 18 I thought I had the restraint to handle a 600, but I now realize that giving in and getting the 250 to satisfy my dad was one of the best choices i've ever made, and probably is why I now have been riding for over a year, 10k+ miles, currently ride a 900rr, and haven't been in a single accident (all 10k+ miles have been harrowing orlando commuter miles). If you really think that you can restrain yourself a 600, perferably non-race spec (no GSXR, YZFR, CBR600RR) is a possible choice. But it seems not to many people have the capability to accurately measure their restraint regarding riding such a fun vehicle. If you buy a used 250, you might actually make money reselling (I sold mine for 1800 after 3 months).

I'll tell you one thing, I don't understand how someone can suggest the gsxr600. My race prepped 2000 cbr600f4 dyno'd at 98 hp, and topped out at an indicated 175 mph. It was fast as snot. And even after being introduced to the 250 first, to give me some indication of how fast a m/c is compared to a car, the first time I cracked open the throttle I nearly got spit off the back of the bike (apparently you need to lean foward). But then someone is going to say that a new gixxer (even though honda is reknown for having the best begginner bikes regarding stability) with 105+ hp at the rear tire stock is a good choice? I disagree.

Oh and the nighthawk 750 is an awesome bike. Just is a cruiser and I assume your looking for a sportbike, but its what I grew up around and is a fun bike.

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Old 09-09-2005, 04:09 AM   #43
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Default Buy your gear, then your bike

I've been riding an '86 Suzuki GS450L for the last 3 years now, and I keep thinking that I'll upgrade, but it keeps me entertained on my commute, costs $100 bucks a year to ensure and gets 45 mpg in city traffic ($4.50 every 2 weeks, now $6 -- ouch).

Go out and buy complete gear before you get your bike. Helmet, jacket, pants, gloves, and boots--they don't have to be the most expensive out there, but budget $700-800 for their purchase. I swear that some of the squids I see out there on their 600s without gear didn't have any cash left after they make their bike and insurance payments.

The Ninja 250 is a nice bike, but keep an eye out for the Ninja and GS 500s too, they are both rock-solid machines. Better to learn on something smaller and then upgrade--I'm 6'3" and 280, and my GS hauls me around just fine (I needed to change the bars for comfort, which is likely the reason I haven't sold it yet.

Maybe I could have started out on an SV650 or a V-Strom, but I guarantee it would have seen the pavement more than once already--and I'd much rather have done that with my smaller/older bike that I can still sell for what I paid for it, irregardless of its rough edges. You can always go bigger, and the small bikes hold their value well.

I saw 5 friends go out and buy 600 and 1000cc sportbikes after high school. Within 2 years, each one of those bikes was totalled. Three of these guys are frightened enough not to ride again, and only one owns a bike today. You are most definitely looking to the right direction, and will be in it for the long haul if you logically upgrade as your comfort and skills increase.
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Old 09-10-2005, 02:57 AM   #44
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Default Re: NOOBIE bike questions

Wow - thanks to everyone for all the replies to this. Everyone had some great input.

After reading all these post, I decided to check out the 500's. I'm 5'11" and 185lbs. I actually made it out to a local Kawi dealership and checked out the 250..... it's a little bitty bike. I sat down on it, and just didn't feel right.

The Kawi 500 Ninja sitting right next to it made the 250 seem like one of those toy bikes. The 500 felt pretty good, and there was even a 636 sitting next to it. I loved it, but agreed that it was too much bike for me - for now anyway.

I really didn't like the way the Kawi 500 looked.... picky I know, but if I'm going to be spending this kind of money, I want to make sure I'm getting something I'm going to enjoy looking at every day for the next couple of years until it becomes my wife's bike.

I checked out the Suzuki GS500F online. I definitly like the way this bike looks A LOT better than the Kawi. The price is comparable, and the reviews on it are great. Next step, go check the Suzi out in person.

Thanks again to everyone that posted a reply! Hope to see some of you out on the road in the near future. Stay safe.

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Old 09-12-2005, 09:17 AM   #45
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Default My last word

I agree that the styling of the Ninja is a little unique.

for what it's worth, check out:


for a journalist perspective.

You know . . . you probably cound find a used very sexy gixxer 600 (cycletrader.com) in pristine shape for the money you'll spend on a new GS. Lots more available power when you need it and greater stability. And some of the older ones have the cooler color schemes with those lovely matching white wheels on them. A ***** cat to ride too, no comparison to the other ss 600's that don't have a damper. I've never owned anything but a 750 and no crashes, falls or accidents. But then again, I don't ride on two hours sleep, I am not 16 years old, I don't get on my bike after coming out of a bar, and do 99% of all that other stuff that gives sportbike riders a bad name (okay, I speed and weave a little bit).

I know its always popular to suggest the Ninja, GS, and SV. Just offering a different perspective. You're probably a whole lot safer and more mature than I am if you are even considering buying the Ninja or GS. But that also means that not only will you be as safe on a 600 as you would be on a 500, but you won't want to give it to your wife in a year or two - you'll be too much in love, and besides any woman looks extremely hot on a gixxer (you don't want your wife looking hot, do you?).

Okay, I give up - the masses have spoken. Enjoy your Ninja or GS (buy it used and then sell it for near the same price when you get ready). In the end, all that matters is that you've made the right choice for you, and that you get to riding soon.
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Old 09-16-2005, 09:01 AM   #46
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Default Re: NOOBIE bike questions

I have been on a bike for less than a year and went with a used 250 Ninja. I really don't have anything to compare it to but the only regret I have is getting the particular one that I did. I bought one cheap and ended up spending more money on it than if I just got something about 2-3 years old. You can find them on eBay for around 2 grand.

I am already looking at something bigger, something with highway capabilites but the 250 has been a good beginner's choice for me.
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