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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Was lookng to get my first bike after taking the saftey course, Was wondering what would be better for a newb like myslef? I was leaning toward the 250, but I am not light (190, 5'7) and have read that the bikes old suspesion tech and lets say "interesting" braking tendencies tend to make the bike limiting in some ways. I figure no matter which bike I get it will onl be around for a year then I can upgrade to the R6 raven that I have been drooling after for some time now. My commute is 20 miles of mostly surface streets as no matter what bike I get the highway in south florida is not a place I want to be on a bike for quite some time. My father has suggested an FZ6 but the price is a little high for a bike that may lay down on the street.

IDEAS?
 

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MaNaMaNa DoDoDoDoDo
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Sit on them both. Which ever one suits your comfort and fancy. You will get so many different opinions on this. Some will say that the 250, because you are so new and less likely to kill yourself on this. Others will say the 500 or just go for the R6 now. Any way you look at it, safety is up to you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
nah definatly not ready for an R6 as my first bike, If I were to go for a 600 as my first I would think about the FZ6 in naked streetfighter trim. I would rather get a 250 or 500 because they are cheaper and I want something a little less expensive to drop.

I want the raven as something I can keep pristine.
 

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Whichever fits you better. They're going to be pretty similar in price on the used market. The 500 is just enough bike to satisfy yet easy to learn on. Pretty cheap to run, and a better selection of tires if its a '94+. (the older pre '94 500s had 16 inch wheels and some interesting engine components, I'd avoid them unless you know for sure its been taken care of)

You never know, you might not want to get rid of it in a year.
 

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...nah definatly not ready for an R6 as my first bike, If I were to go for a 600 as my first I would think about the FZ6 in naked streetfighter trim...
The FZ6 is basically the R6 engine in a less expensive frame with fewer fairings. You'd still have the to rev the hell out of the engine to get any decent torque out of it...it's why I didn't get one; I wanted torque that was in the rev range that I would actually use in traffic. Don't let the "naked bike" monicker fool you--it isn't the fairings that make a bike powerful.

Back on the subject...get a used 500R. 50 hp with that forgiving throttle makes for a very good beginner bike offering enough capabilities to help you improve so that by time you've mastered most of what it can do, you know that you'll be ready for your next bike.

I always wanted a bigger bike when I rode my 500R but I knew that I didn't really need to size up because I wasn't taking the bike to it's limits. Then one day I noticed that I was consistently riding the gears wider, the engine, brakes and suspension harder. After a few weeks of doing that, I knew that it was time to move up. Got my new bike back in early December and I've been handling it just fine. Why? Because I started on a 500R and rode it 'til I noticed that it wasn't quite keeping up with me anymore.

Also, spare parts for the 500R are more than plentiful and the bike is supposed to be easy to maintain...can't speak from experience though because I don't have the time or the inclination to wrench it myself beyond doing a simple oil change.

Sure the bike's ugly, sure it's based on 20 y/o technology but I guarantee that if you take care of that bike, it'll take care of you.
 

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I was in the same situation about two years ago. I went to a bike shop to purchase a used FZ6. I was all set to get it until the guy had a new leftover ex500 that was cheaper than the used FZ6. I sat on it and the lower seat height sealed the deal for me. It's been a great bike and I haven't regretted it in all of the 24,000+ miles I've put on it since then. Depending on how much commuting you do, when you finally get that R6, you still may want to keep the Kawi. 50 mpg, higher still for the ex250 (~70 mpg?), is hard to give up. Good luck.
 

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Propensity for velocity
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If you're buying used go w/ the 500. It handles hiway speeds w/o any trouble. Overall it is a great bike to start on. I too started on one and it taught me very well.
 

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Hi Localgod...
When i was learning.. and still am learning actually.. my 1st ride was the 250. In Malaysia, we hv 2 categories of motorcycle licenses. B1 (250cc & below) and fullB (no limit). The guys told me that since I'm planning to get my license,, might as well get the FullB one. In order to pass the fullB license which uses Virago535 for the test, i ended up buying a Virago to practice on. (still on my learner's)
This brought on the darn topic of why I bought a 535 to practice so that i can pass to ride my 250. Still an ongoing topic. :tongue:
My point is.. if you like the bike, get it! Try it out, see if u like the handling, and make sure parts are readily available. Be sure u can afford to change the fairing or fix it if it decides to 'lie down' on the job. And think of whether the 250 is 'small' for you. It is definitely lacking if u want to compare it with a 500 or 600 but if you want to 'play' with the throttle, it's a super fun bike. You won't get into too much trouble 'playing with the throttle on the 250 while still learning.
My son sure loved it. My friends love it.
So ask yourself, will u be quickly bored with the 250? Or are u ready to practice on a 500 or 600 without getting into trouble. Good luck!
 

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+1 for the 500, its my first bike and I couldn’t be happier with the choice. As above, very forgiving, comfortable, inexpensive to insure and parts are all over the place if you choose to do any work yourself. It really is very easy to work on.

There are a few functional modifications that are inexpensive, easy to do that make the bike very capable as well.

Hey Eidian - love the z, I'd like to go that way myself when finances allow.
 

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Buy whichever one you find used in good shape first.....both bikes will carry you well on the highway, and by buying used, you won't lose much (if any) money when you sell it next year and move up to that FZ6. Remember, it's your first bike, not your last.....
 

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...Hey Eidian - love the z, I'd like to go that way myself when finances allow...
It'll so be worth the wait! Settle for nothing less than the Z1 if that's what you really want. You're going to love everything about bike...assuming that the exhaust doesn't make you cringe--I love it myself.

I'm 5'8" and I couldn't believe that the Z1 is actually more comfortable than the 500R was for me; I really thought that the 500R was going to be best that I would ever get comfort-wise. And when you feel the power for the first time, you're going think two things: 1) this is the way riding should be and 2) this is the next "logical" step-up from the 500R. Of course there's the neat "whir" that the Z1 engine makes which is much more fun to listen to than the "farting" of the 500R when riding.

I sure hope that there's a Z1 in your future!
 

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Novice Tank Roller
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my vote is the 500. As long as the size of the bike is comfortable for you, the power should not be a problem for a newb. As with any of them, just be careful and take your time learning to ride.
 

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If you want to start cheap to be safe, get a 250. The new ones are out and the dealers are blowing out the '07s (making it difficult for me to sell mine). So you should be able to get one pretty cheap. You can get an '03 or '04, they are the same as the '07. Then when you feel comfortable, sell it and get something more expensive. It is also VERY cheap to insure.

I think the 650R would make a great starter bike too. You could probably get an '06 for around $4200 or so. But it would hurt more financially if you dropped it. You could get frame sliders for it but that would only help so much.
 

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Novice Tank Roller
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To anyone new to riding, I'd suggest getting something used for no more than 1500 to 2000 dollars. then if you wreck it, you won't be out so much. You should be able to find reliable 250s or 500s in that price range.
 

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To anyone new to riding, I'd suggest getting something used for no more than 1500 to 2000 dollars. then if you wreck it, you won't be out so much. You should be able to find reliable 250s or 500s in that price range.
+1!! Even dropping it is more drama than you want to have :(
 

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dropping a bike sucks, horribly. Especially when you just got a fresh custom paint on it. Oh man, I am just rambling, dont mind me. By the way, I would say go for either the 50 or the 250. I think both are perfect bikes for beginners. If you know you want either or, and are concerned about cash flow, then the 250 is cheap. Easy to fix if you know how to turn a wrench. No its not the fastest thing in the world and people who love the 250, dont love it for its speed. They love it for its style, easy wrenching, comfort level, great handleing and light weight. And more importantly, it gets up to 70+ mpg. I average at 70-71 mpg. The only downfall of the bike in myopinion is the exhaust. I cant help but think Im riding a 2 wheeled, really fast, lawn mower that has a vance and hines system on it. It just sounds weird. And no matter what exhaust you put on it, it will always sound the same, just with a different tone. lol When I first got my 250 brand new off the show room floor, i said I would ride for a year or 2, sell it and get something bigger. A year and half later, I got a bigger bike,(zx1100) and I still have my 250 and refuse to get rid of it. I will ride it til the wheel falls off. Ill rebuild, replace, the engine a thousand times if I have to but its not going no where unless it gets stolen, or wrecked. Ill ride it when Im 90 years old with a stiff back. Maybe not quite but Its in the family for ever. My son will grow up and when it gets to be 16 years old, Its his if he wants it.
 

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Hey local, welcome to the forum.

Hats off to you for considering a sensible bike as a first bike - you're starting off in the motorcycling world on the right foot and with the right frame of mind :smile:

Having said that, since it seems your biggest concern is price (you plan to have it for a year max just to learn the ropes)... I would pretty much go with whatever bike - 250 or 500 - you can find for cheapest.

Both bikes have their pros and cons. The 250 is the "safest" choice. You'll probably find one cheaper than a 500. On the other hand, the 500 has more grunt and will be more challenging to "dominate" in the space of a year (though don't get me wrong - as a new rider, you will never be able to dominate any bike in a year... I have been riding a year and a half and am nowhere near exploring the limits of my bike... even though I ride a 636 :biggrin:), so you are less likely to get sick of it in that timeframe.

Consider the pros and cons and go with the bike that provides the best balance - you'll have a blast either way :smile:
 
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