New Rider...help! - Kawasaki Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 49 (permalink) Old 03-19-2010, 10:54 AM Thread Starter
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Question New Rider...help!

I have just became interested in sport bikes. I've been wanting something sexy, sporty, and cute. I have been debating between a sports car (Nissan 350z vs a bike) I am leaning towards a Kawasaki Ninja 250R. I am a new rider and (clearly) have no clue about bikes. But I am willing to learn the ins and outs. I'm a 20 year old female 5 foot 9.5 inches at a weight of 115 lbs. I don't want something with alot of power, just a play toy for sunny days.
Does anyone know which one would be good for me? I'm only leaning towards the Ninja 250 because I do not weigh much and have been told that could be a problem for powerful bikes and "weighing them down". Is this true?
All Opinions, Thoughts, Advise are welcomed
Thank You
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post #2 of 49 (permalink) Old 03-19-2010, 11:21 AM
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Re: New Rider...help!

Hi and welcome Lauren. If it were up to me, I'd go for the bike of course. There's nothing better than riding a bike on a sunny day. Sounds like you've never rode before, so you should look into a MSF class first. Here's the link: Motorcycle Safety Foundation

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post #3 of 49 (permalink) Old 03-19-2010, 02:25 PM
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Re: New Rider...help!

I took the class before I bought a bike and it was a great learning oppurtunity and you can really learn a lot of hands on stuff from the experts that will help teach the class. You can even get insurance discount from a couple companies. The best thing is to get some thing cheaper and ride a while. Some people will buy a bike, thinking they will like it, and sell it with 300 miles because it wasn't for them.

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post #4 of 49 (permalink) Old 03-19-2010, 02:29 PM
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Re: New Rider...help!

Yes, be sure to take the class before you go buy a bike. That way you can be sure you like riding.

The Ninja 250 is a great bike, and it has a really good resale value. You can't go wrong with that bike. If you can find a used one, great. But even a new one will retain its value pretty well.

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post #5 of 49 (permalink) Old 03-19-2010, 03:59 PM
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Re: New Rider...help!

Don't be in a hurry to buy; you may find you like the Honda Rebel 250 more.
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post #6 of 49 (permalink) Old 03-19-2010, 09:55 PM Thread Starter
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Re: New Rider...help!

NJdrifter1500
Hi and thank you. Yes, I really am leaning towards a bike because it seems to have more pros including the ability for me to keep my current car (a Toyota corolla). Which is a good car, great gas mileage, and perfect to drive whenever the weather gets bad out. However, the only major problem Iíve came across is my family and friends are terrified about my safety and think a bike will be the end of me. Also, I have one male friend who is determined to say that I do not weigh enough nor do I have the upper body strength (which is why I picked the 250R, because to my understanding, it is the least powerful). And thank you, I will certainly check that web site out. I definitely want to get a feel for it before I actually get out on the open road with one. (And your assumptions are correct, however I was a passenger once, I loved it)

Kawasaki Noobie
Thank you, that is very helpful. And I noticed you said ďI took the class before I bought a bikeĒ so Iím assuming they will provide bikes for you to learn on? And I live in SC, do you think the classes would be similar despite where you live? And if it wouldn't be to much trouble for you, could you tell me about your experience in the class, like: do they take you aside and give you one on one training? Do they make sure you know your bike first and comfortable with it before you get on it? Do they stand over and watch you? Do you drive in an enclosed place first, or street?....

Jukief
Thank you. And Iím planning to buy new. A big problem Iíve ran across while in search for a sports car (Its going to be a bike or car) but I was leaning towards a Nissan 350z which is no longer made (370z are out now). And a huge worry of mine was the mileage on them, how long they are good for, and most of all how they were driven. 9 times out of 10 a sports anything is going to be gunned and I donít like coming into something where Iím blind about the past. So a new one isnít to much money to pay, I can get it in the color I want, and donít have to worry about its past. That is helpful, itís good to know they retain their value pretty well.

Nomadthesailor
Thank you, and I am definitely not in a hurry. I know I want to research and learn before I even plan to buy. But really? Can you tell me more about the Honda Rebel 250? Or do you know any other brands/models that would be good? My current pick is Kawasaki just because some guys at work suggested it and I've been told its a good make.

For everyone:
What kind of gear would I need to get started? And do you happen to have a favorite style &/or brand and why?
Is my weight and/or upper body strength going to be a problem?
And does anyone have any suggestions about a better bike to start on besides the 250R? Or any other makes besides Kawasaki?
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post #7 of 49 (permalink) Old 03-19-2010, 10:20 PM
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Re: New Rider...help!

First off, welcome to the forum and world of motorcycling.

Second, as others have stated, taking the MSF course first will give you an idea of what you're getting yourself into (around here, they use 250 Nighthawks). It is the same curriculum regardless of state (though the bike may be different)...so no worries there...and definitely worth the money.

As for your friend who doesn't think you weigh enough or have the upper body strength...ignore him. A very good DVD series, Ride Like a Pro, features women who weigh no more than you riding and even picking up dropped Harley Road Kings (7-800 lb bikes). On the bike, weight and strength won't mean much for street riding. When you drop the bike, its all about technique getting it back up.

For safety, I'm a big fan of getting versatile gear when you first start out. Textiles are generally cheaper, and many are 4-season (they'll feature zip in liners, plenty of venting, are waterproof, and, if you're interested in such things, available in a wide range of color options). Over the ankle boots and a decent set of gloves are also a must. For the helmet, the most important thing is fitment. Theres not a ton of difference in safety from one helmet to another...price differences are generally feature based (comfort, aerodynamics, venting, paint quality, weight, etc). Opinions vary wildly on gear...I prefer leather with armor and full face helmets...others will prefer textile gear or no gear...go with what you like.

However, the most important safety tool we have is our ability to avoid accidents...training, practice, and situational awareness are critical. The MSF course goes over that really well.

Anyway, there's a lot more involved, but I don't wanna write a novel
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post #8 of 49 (permalink) Old 03-19-2010, 10:24 PM
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Re: New Rider...help!

Hmmm...I should have read your MSF questions a bit more:

Yes, they will provide you with the bikes. You generally take the course in a closed parking lot. They will make sure you are comfortable with the controls...they teach you how to operate the bike in a way that is as unintimidating as you can imagine. If you need help, they will pull you aside and help you. They'll explain the drill before hand, one of the instructors will run through the drill on a bike, and then you will do the drill. Its really a VERY good course for a beginner...and they offer refresher courses where you can use your own bike as well.

Hope that helps!
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post #9 of 49 (permalink) Old 03-20-2010, 07:48 AM
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Re: New Rider...help!

Quote:
Originally Posted by NJdrifter1500 View Post
Hi and welcome Lauren. If it were up to me, I'd go for the bike of course. There's nothing better than riding a bike on a sunny day. Sounds like you've never rode before, so you should look into a MSF class first. Here's the link: Motorcycle Safety Foundation
I gotta agree. Then you can find out before you buy a bike if its something you'll really enjoy! Plus there is usually an insurance discount that most companies give.

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post #10 of 49 (permalink) Old 03-20-2010, 09:48 AM
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Re: New Rider...help!

Holy Cow. I had this huge thing written and clicked wrong and it was gone.

OK - in a nutshell

Yes, yes, yes - take the MSF course. It's much safer, statistically, than the other method called "learning from a friend". You may find that SC waives your motorcycle test to get your endorsement on your license. Many states do. Ask your course providers.

Before you decide on brand, go to the dealers and sit on bikes. Bikes have minimal adjustments, so, like shoes, if it doesn't fit right you won't ride as well as you might (and you'll be sore and aggravated by it rather than thrilled like you should be).

The 250 is a great starting size for a sport bike. You may, like a woman in my office, decide that's as much bike as you want for long term riding. It's not just a "starter bike". Ignore your friends when they want compare cc counts. A lot of biking is about image. Many people buy more bike than they need just so they can swing something bigger than their friends. "Mine's bigger than yours" is a game played with more than body parts.

The insurance savings for getting your MSF was minimal for me. A bigger deal was the 'free' license. Bigger savings for insurance will be had after riding for a year with no claims - therefore learning to ride well will be a bigger investment than just getting the piece of paper.

Yes, MSF provides bikes. Use them even if you purchase before you take the course. Dropping the bike is a real risk and you'd much rather drop theirs than one you just paid big bux for.

Family: yeah. Mine too... and I'm 45 years old. I finally decided it was my decision, there's lots of dangerous hobbies and I'm smart enough to avoid a lot of behavior that leads to people becoming organ donors. We lose a couple people a year to ski accidents in Colorado but nobody is screaming at the skiers that "you're gonna kill yourself on those things". Ride smart - good riding is not about speed or stoppies or other tricks. It's about control. Be in control.

V2K, "Look like a fish. Moves like a fish. Steers like a cow."
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