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Old 04-30-2010, 06:24 PM   #1
aalberti
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Default New Rider - College Student

Hey everyone,

I'm a college student who is beyond interested in getting a bike. I currently have zero experience riding but know for a fact that I want to get into the sport. I'm not an idiot, I know that the bike can and will kill you if you don't respect it; I plan on taking the MSF riders course in a couple weeks and am just after some advice from some old timers. I'd really like to have my first bike by the fall (I have a particular lack of cash at the moment...). For the past two summers I have been researching safety issues and particular bikes and have finally convinced my parents to let me get one. So, I've been around dealerships, talked to family friends who ride, and have found out that with my age, athleticism, and awreness i'd be able to handle a 600cc bike for my first bike. With that, i've been looking at used CBR600s, Ducati Monsters, and a couple others... Any advice in regards to a bike? Or anything for that matter? I'm all ears.

Thanks
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Old 04-30-2010, 07:24 PM   #2
trenttheuncatchable
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Read the new rider sticky. Then, after you take the MSF BRC course, get a used Ninja 250 and ride that for a year. Then upgrade. To something like an SV650S. Ride that for another year or two, take some track days, and then get a CBR600.

Getting a CBR600 as your first bike is a *bad* idea that can easily get you killed. You need seat time on a much more forgiving bike.
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Old 04-30-2010, 08:07 PM   #3
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Don't get a 600c supersport as your first bike. The ninja 250r is one of the best choices out there for a first bike.
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Old 04-30-2010, 08:53 PM   #4
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Heh, you must have skipped around all the "first bike" articles and threads . As they have said, you don't want to start too big. I rode my dad's 1100 a few times, and even at low RPM I could tell the throttle was very touchy and a little bit could easily send an experienced rider out of control.

I grew up on dirt bikes, and I have a few experiences of how a too-powerful bike can easily get away from you--and that's even with lots of experience! The worst one was I was in 2nd gear on a hand-me-down CR250. I went over some rocks that were a little bigger than they initially looked, causing me to bounce backward on the seat. That rear motion caused me to yank the throttle, causing me to slide further back, causing me to yank the throttle more, ad nauseum. In no more than two seconds, I was doing 30 MPH when I was originally doing less than 10, the front wheel was floating directly above the rear wheel, and I was flying through the air, face-up. I was just lucky to be on dirt instead of pavement, and wearing full motocross gear, and to get off with a bruised tailbone and the wind knocked out of me.

Within seconds, my stepdad on his new torquey CRF450 had that get away from him, and he ended up with a dislocated shoulder (that fortunately popped back into place during the fall, as we later learned). So, we both layed there for a while, regretting our overly-powerful bikes, until the pain had subsided enough to put back to the Jeep so we could wrestle the bikes back onto the trailer and I could drive us home.

We subsequently dropped the CRF450 and got a CR125 for me, and he went back to the 250 which was already plenty powerful (could already snap the back end sideways in 4th gear, and wheely in 5th with just throttle).


You won't know a bike is too powerful until you end up hovering over it at a high rate of speed.


Oh, and not to mention insurance for a new rider on a bank-owned race-replica is going to be like $8k for the first year.... Even if it all ends up working out just fine, that alone is reason enough to start small, as after a year that same premium will probably be under $1000 for a year for the same bike. But yeah, people have started big and turned out fine. Hell, I have a friend who's first bike was an R1 over a year ago and he is still fine. But lots of statistics and even more anecdotal evidence shows that is most definitely the EXCEPTION, and not the rule!

Last edited by JMcDonald : 04-30-2010 at 08:56 PM.
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Old 04-30-2010, 09:24 PM   #5
aalberti
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JMcDonald --> that story is the kind of reason that I am questioning or not whether to get a 600. I don't even want to imagine what would happen to me or anyone else if that was pavement!

But apart from that, the other reason I am questioning getting a ninja 250 is that I know it will be a great starter bike to get me rolling but after 6 months or so I might be tired of it and ready for an upgrade... I just don't to spend all the money and gear on a bike that I'm only going to have for 6 months, I want my first bike to last, something I'm not going to want to trade in in 6 months... But, if a 600 will kill me within those first 6 months ill trade it in
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Old 04-30-2010, 10:11 PM   #6
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Heh! "Wants his First bike to Last!" If you live through it, your first bike is NEVER your Last!

There WILL be other bikes down the road that attract your attention - and if you've got it bad-enough (and your finances dictate you can do it) one bike might blossom into a garage-full.

Everybody wants to be Valentino Rossi or Casey Stoner - but even THOSE guys started-out on smaller bikes, and remember them fondly when asked of them.

My own first bike was a '71 Honda CL100 - and it was more than fast-enough to kill me (thankfully, it didn't!). I still remember that bike like it was yesterday, and that was over 27-years and about a dozen bikes-ago.....

You won't be "tired" of the Ninja - you might pine for more power in 6 months (don't do it!), but unless you're into jumping-off buildings, bridges, and cliffs; or juggling flasks of Nitroglycerin - you're not going to be "bored" of it.
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Old 04-30-2010, 10:57 PM   #7
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I thought that at first, about losing money in resale.

However, two things you should know:
1) Buy any used 250. Even if you buy a used 2009 at an average price, in a year you might lose just a few hundred if it is taken care of.

2) In any case, loosing even several hundred on resale will hardly matter when you are saving, literally, THOUSANDS on insurance by starting with a tamer bike. And, your second year (with no tickets or claims), insurance on any bike will be SUBSTANTIALLY lower. I don't remember exactly, but if I remember correctly a rough Progressive quote for a new or near-new Yamaha R6 with no riding experience was like 9k a year, and if the only parameter I changed was adding 1 year of experienced, that same policy went down to like 900 a year.
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Old 05-01-2010, 04:25 AM   #8
jeff10236
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aalberti View Post
JMcDonald --> that story is the kind of reason that I am questioning or not whether to get a 600. I don't even want to imagine what would happen to me or anyone else if that was pavement!

But apart from that, the other reason I am questioning getting a ninja 250 is that I know it will be a great starter bike to get me rolling but after 6 months or so I might be tired of it and ready for an upgrade... I just don't to spend all the money and gear on a bike that I'm only going to have for 6 months, I want my first bike to last, something I'm not going to want to trade in in 6 months... But, if a 600 will kill me within those first 6 months ill trade it in
If you want more than a 250 and you want a sports style bike, how about the Ninja 500? From most of what I've read, those are acceptable first bikes too.

I wouldn't worry too much about losing money in a sale. If you check the prices of low to moderate miles used bikes, there is little price difference in a 5 year old bike v. a 10 year old bike if the miles and condition are similar. In Ninja 250's there is little difference in the price of a 3 year old bike v. a 7-10 year old bike. Keep it in good shape, ride it a season, and you won't be out much money at all. Now, if you buy new you'll lose some, but prices are pretty reasonable on 250 and 500 Ninjas, so even if you go new you'll only be looking at a loss of a few hundred bucks on resale.

As for getting safety gear, don't worry about matching colors or patterns to the bike (and definitely don't get brand specific gear), just go generic and it will still work fine when you buy another bike. Heck, even a lot of gear for the bike (bags for instance) will be removable.
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Old 05-01-2010, 12:38 PM   #9
aalberti
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jeff10236 --> I've read about the ninja 500 but don't like the styling. I also have a friend who rides a ninja 600r as his first bike. He says its a "sport" bike and not a "super sport" bike. He said the difference is that the r has a lower seat and is narrower than the super sport, also that the super sport is faster than the r. I like the styling of 600r and am trying to do a little more research on it. Any advice with the sort of thing?
And thanks for the tip on gear, I'll definitely keep that in mind!

The_AirHawk --> I like your reply! I understand how a 100cc bike can kill you, and that the 250 won't ever get "boring" unless your nuts. Definitely put the 250 near the top of the list.

Thanks for the advice everybody, I need all the help I can get!
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Old 05-01-2010, 12:40 PM   #10
aalberti
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JMcDonald --> wow, had no clue about the whole insurance thing. never really put that into the equation... Thanks for that insight!
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