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Old 05-07-2009, 03:46 PM   #1
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Default Need advice from the experts:)

Hello everyone!

For a couple years now I have been considering getting a bike, my trucks gas mileage and reliability are just not up to par with what I need. I have experience riding bikes, on the street and off road, and have a quad rite now, a 450r. I've been reading the stickies and and all the "new rider" threads and so far am very glad I have come here. Seems like you guys and gals are brutily honest and that is just what new guys need. I am looking for a bike that is a bit sporty, but nothing that I am going to kill my self on. So far the only bike I really have been looking at is a Kawasaki Ninja 250 to get me going. I will be doing a lot of riding once I get a bike. I have to travel about 25 miles to get into town, and obviously 25 back. So give or take I'm looking at about 50 mile round trip 4-6 times a week, which is where my truck has been absolutely killing me in gas mileage. Also after looking at a few quotes for what insurance might be, a bike turns out to be cheaper both on gas and insurance. So here are the real questions I have...

Is the bike I have chosen a decent place to start? Would a Ninja 500 be ok?

Apparently here you don't need a motorcycle license right away when you purchase the bike, and I guess there are classes at the college I go to that you can get your license through and various other motorcycle related things. Has anyone heard of something like this?

I've been doing a lot of reading, but I figured most of you have been doing this for a long time and might have the expert advice I am looking for.

Any comments and suggestions are welcomed!

Also if it helps I'm 5' 11", 150 pounds
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Old 05-07-2009, 03:54 PM   #2
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Depending on what state you are in, I would take a Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) based class if available. Preferably before you buy a bike. Most states issue you a license after passing the class. You will probably get a break on insurance too. See Motorcycle Safety Foundation

Ninja 250 and 500 are good choices. I would probably go with the 250 because it has been recently restyled and would probably have better resale value when you go to upgrade. In addition, I think the 250 is more popular with women riders which means the resale value would be better than the 500. The 500 looks dated but is still a good bike. Consider used bikes as well. Welcome to the club Make sure to spend some money on good gear: boots, helmet, jacket, gloves and pants

Last edited by SpeedCop; 05-07-2009 at 04:02 PM..
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Old 05-07-2009, 04:08 PM   #3
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Either bike is a good starter bike. The newer-styled 250 looks better, but has less power. Let me interject by saying that gas mileage alone should NOT be the main factor for buying a motorcycle (or power scooter for that matter). If you do decide to buy a bike, make sure you buy it having considered all the risks, consequences and benefits. If you can still justify a motorcycle, then either one (the 250 or 500) will suffice. Buy the one that you like the most.
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Old 05-07-2009, 04:30 PM   #4
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Thanks for the info and comments I will be getting a used bike with out a doubt, no point in going out and buying a brand new bike when I am new rider. Gas wont be the only reason I will be getting the bike, it just happens to be a nice plus


I checked the MSF website and turns out the class I was talking about at the college I go to was the MSF course and you do get your license after completing the course.

Last edited by thebrandon; 05-07-2009 at 04:33 PM..
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Old 05-07-2009, 06:11 PM   #5
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Just remember on the gas thing you save, but tires and maintenance depending on the bike you choose tends to level things out a bit. The baby ninja is less likely to eat tires as fast as bigger sport bikes where you can burn up a $200 tire at one track day or a 4 day tour (as my buddy did on his K12s thru oregon and norcal).

Then there is the buying stuff for your bike that will lighten your wallet, gear, farkles etc (see aerostich.com for ways to drain your bank account). So I dont recommend getting into riding just for $ savings as depending on your ride and riding style it may not materialize. figure in about a Grand for riding gear on top of it all. Not saying you cant save, but it may not be that be what you expect. The $4k to $5k you'll spend on a used bike, gear, training and insurance buys a lot of gas in that pickup.

In summation, ride because you want to.

Last edited by 12er; 05-07-2009 at 06:13 PM..
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Old 05-07-2009, 06:56 PM   #6
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Wise is thebrandon to seek the way before his journey.

Look, the Ninja is a great bike and all, but if you're really going to be riding that far to work and back every day, the bike is going to get small in a hurry. You're going to need a place to put your rain gear, maybe some work shoes (boots for the ride) and whatever crap you haul to work and back. Maybe you should consider something a bit more upright, and that lends itself to saddlebags, topcase, and some decent wind/weather protection (windshield).

What's the budget for this? Buying new and financing or paying cash?
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Old 05-07-2009, 08:01 PM   #7
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Usually I would suggest the smaller bike, just because of the available power that might be dangerous to a new rider of modern bikes, but you sound like a very rational person. There's been some great advise: take the MSF course, and get the endorsement, so you can go into dealers and ask for a test ride. (Some private sellers won't let you test ride without an endorsement, either)

After looking over several sizes and styles of bikes, choose one on which you feel comfortable, and one you know you can control under normal circumstances, meaning one that won't turn on you and develop long and sharp teeth before you have the experience to handle it.

And of course, there is no law that prevents you from selling your first bike after a year or whatever, and moving up. Nearly everyone does.....

Whatever you do, take your time and enjoy things. Play, enjoy, learn, and pass it on to someone else.

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Old 05-08-2009, 01:43 AM   #8
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Thank you very much everyone for all the info

MSF course is something I will be taking for sure. Right now I am just gathering info before I go out and do anything, my purchase will be made within the next 8-12 months I hope, that is if my truck even lasts that long. I've always liked riding, and I think it's time I got my own bike to enjoy. I'll be getting a used bike without a doubt. I've read too much about people dumping new bikes and I really do not want to spend that much money on a bike when there is the chance of wasting it, or making payments on a brand new wrecked bike lol. Also, the price of the bike+gear+maintenance would end up being cheaper than repairing my truck at the moment. I am actually surprised the truck hasn't killed me yet, that's how scary it is. I can get a used ninja for anywhere from 2-3k in wonderful condition around here, while repairing my truck would be an unthinkable price, considering all that is wrong, even with doing the repairs myself the price is stupid high.

Thanks again everyone, you've been a great help! I'll be reading around the forums gathering as much info as I can until I can finally purchase a bike
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Old 05-08-2009, 06:11 AM   #9
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Be forewarned about the gas mileage savings!

Tyically you will drive your truck to town and back and plan your stops to maximize the bang you get for your buck.

If you love riding your bike as most people end up doing, that 50 mile round trip will slowly morph into 75, maybe 100, and there go the savings out the window.

BUT, and you will notice it's a big but, the experience will add a new dimension to your life that only the chosen and honored few are lucky enough to enjoy.
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Old 05-08-2009, 06:25 PM   #10
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Don't kid yourself, there are no experts here, just a bunch of a$$holes! :-p
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