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Old 06-15-2009, 12:00 PM   #1
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Default 5'6" short, got question 'bout bikes :)

Never ridden a bike before, but have been looking everywhere on info about it. Will take the MSF soon. I've been looking up info on "starter bikes" and pretty much have my eyes set on the Kawasaki 250R. When I look more and more into bikes though, my heart's already thinking about future bikes. Problem is, most of the non-starter bikes seem to be made for taller people.

If I was an experienced enough biker, does the seat height make a huge difference? I was looking at the Kawasaki ZX-10R (and guiltily looking at the Ducati 1198s), and it looks like the seat is only about 2-3in higher. Doesn't sound like a big deal, but is it?

Also, are all bikes (specifically the 1198s, and/or ZX-10R) seats adjustable so that they can be lowered if I take it to a shop?

For what it's worth, the bikes will be used mainly to just have fun with my buddies. Ride around the city, and maybe 2-3 hours traveling just for the hell of it. Stuff like that. Never for racing or offroad stuff. I know that the bikes I mentioned are used for racing, I just like the way they look, among other things.
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Old 06-15-2009, 12:57 PM   #2
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Just get a Hayabusa or ZX-14 and be done with it.
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Old 06-15-2009, 01:12 PM   #3
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Get a fresh drink, maybe pack a lunch and look at our 'New Riders' thread. LOTS of good poop in there.

Few bikes are designed to be lowered, and not many have 'adjustable' seats.

Get the 'little' bike and learn to ride and become familiar with the Rules of the Road for motorcyclists. No. 1, of course, is - "They are all out to Kill You!"

Once you are comfortable on the road, you can move up to the bike you've decided you want.

Good Luck!
You would not understand,
this is not how I am...

I have become -
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Old 06-15-2009, 01:26 PM   #4
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The 250R is a good starter bike. Don't worry about upgrading to something else until you have a season or two under your belt.

Yes, seat height (even just a half inch) can make a huge difference. Seat height is usually not adjustable. Sometimes you can get a "low" seat for a particular make and model of bike, but it depends on the exact make and model you're looking at.

You can lower a bike by using lowering links (which also possibly involves lowering the front end and cutting (shortening) the kickstand). Lowering a bike in this way can affect the handling, but it's not always a bad thing.
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Old 06-15-2009, 02:03 PM   #5
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If you buy ANY bike over 600cc in the sportbike segment you will CRASH AND DIE. Really, we don't care how careful you'll be. We don't care how responsible you are. As motorcycle insurance agent I can tell you that well over 70% of my customers with no experience crash within 3 wks of ownership. Many on the first day. Buy the 250 or a nice used $1500 early 2000 Ninja 500, but for the sake of Murphy's Law don't buy anything bigger for at least two full riding seasons.
"Slack" - a state of being in which everything flows smoothly.....a frame of mind so at ease that the universe naturally cooperates.
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Old 06-15-2009, 02:11 PM   #6
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After a season or 2 on your 250R you may have a totally different desire than you do know. Who knows a DP or a motard, the list is endless. Seat height may not make that much of a difference to you later on as well, for this I speak from experience.

Why didn't anyone recomend a Boss Hoss? Have they fallen out of favor as a starter bike? I'll go soak myself in salt water now.
STN refugee
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Old 06-15-2009, 03:17 PM   #7
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Seat height and width make a big difference in how you fit on a bike. Many of the newer bikes have narrow front portion of the saddle.

I'd like to second the previous posters, you should NOT ride anything bigger than a 500cc bike for the first year or two.
"Aid to the helpless indigent is civilized. Aid to the irresponsible is socially corrosive." ----- Schizuki (c. 2011)
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Old 06-16-2009, 06:04 AM   #8
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Wha's with all the Short People?

Short people got no reason,
Short people got no reason,
Short people got no reason to ride.

They got tiny legs, can't touch the ground.
Stand on the pegs, they're still sittin' down.

Don't want no short people,
Don't want no short people,
Don't want no short people on my bike.
Mongo just pawn in game of life.
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Old 06-16-2009, 06:58 AM   #9
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People that don't like
Short people
Can kiss me right between
My short legs.
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Old 06-16-2009, 07:28 AM   #10
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Damn Midgets....
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