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Discussion Starter #1
Hey,

I am thinking of saving up and buying a bike next spring, and I just a few questions I hope someone can answer.

First of all, how safe is riding a motorcycle? I am not going to be a stupid speed deamon or anything. I will be taking a training course and wearing proper protective gear and what not. But if one rides defensivly and responsibly, is a bike a good safe choice?

My second question is regarding the Ninja 250R. I will most likely be purchasing this bike new as it has been recommended as an excellent starter bike, and the price of it and insurance for it will be very low. My question is if anyone knows if this bike is avaialable in Canada? I ask this becuaes I see it on Kawasaki's American site, but not the Canadian site. On the Canadian site they only have the ZZ-250R which I have read many people saying they didn't like as much as the Ninja 250R.

Any help is appreaciated :)
 

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I live in Toronto too. I bought a 500R at McBride this spring and when I was being shown bikes I don't even remember them showing a 250 as an option. If I were you I would go with the 500. I thought it would be suffice for me, but I'm now wishing I had enough money to drop on the insurance for a 600. If you're looking to get a 250 a 500 will probably keep you satisfied for a while.

You'll most likely ride a 250 in your training course. I did.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
jemberlin said:
I live in Toronto too. I bought a 500R at McBride this spring and when I was being shown bikes I don't even remember them showing a 250 as an option. If I were you I would go with the 500. I thought it would be suffice for me, but I'm now wishing I had enough money to drop on the insurance for a 600. If you're looking to get a 250 a 500 will probably keep you satisfied for a while.

You'll most likely ride a 250 in your training course. I did.
Hey, thanks for the replay. The 500R would be a good choice, but it costs alot more and my insurance shoots up quite a bit with it.

That is why I was hoping to get a Ninja 250R becuase it would only cost like $4,000Cnd new. The ZZ-250R is even pretty pricy.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I am 20 now, I will be 21 by the time I get the bike. My insurance quote came in at $1252 /yr with the Ninja 250R. This was just done online though at kanetix.com I think it was.
 

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Up north you run into the opposite issue we have in the states. You are trying to find a Ninja 250 and we want the ZZr250.

What you will need to do in order to get a Ninja 250 is find an importer that can set up the transfer from the US to Canada. Not up to speed on Canadian laws on imports, but if it is anything like the US going the other way, It's a pain and sometimes not possible.
 

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Jackthemeangiant said:
. . . how safe is riding a motorcycle? . . . is a bike a good safe choice?
It's not safe. But driving a car isn't safe, either. A bike is inherently less safe than a car, but if you don't drink or speed or dart around in traffic the risks drop dramatically. And if you wear a helmet and drive defensively, the risks drop dramatically again. A safety course will help you to learn a lot about your risks and techniques to minimize the risk.

As a matter of significance, suppose that 30% of car drivers will die in their cars, and for motorcycles it's three times that much, or 90%. Under those circumstances, I would never get on a bike. But suppose that it's more like 0.3% and 0.9%. The motorcycle is still three times as dangerous, but the danger is a lot less likely to occur. It still can occur, but it's a low enough level that it's worth the risk. I think that part of riding a motorcycle is all about reducing your risks, so you can move from the 90% group to the 0.9% group.

Jackthemeangiant said:
My second question is regarding the Ninja 250R. I will most likely be purchasing this bike new as it has been recommended as an excellent starter bike, and the price of it and insurance for it will be very low. My question is if anyone knows if this bike is avaialable in Canada? I ask this becuaes I see it on Kawasaki's American site, but not the Canadian site. On the Canadian site they only have the ZZ-250R which I have read many people saying they didn't like as much as the Ninja 250R.
The Ninja 250R is a great starter bike. It is also a great bike. These are two different things.

I would recommend you buy a used one instead of a new one. You'll save a grand or two, and you won't feel as bad when you dump it. If you buy a used one, you are more likely to own it outright (no loan on the bike), which means that you won't be required to carry full coverage. Liability is dirt cheap on a 250.

I know Kawasaki markets the ZZ-R250 in Canada and the Ninja 250R in the US. I think that the ZZ-R250 is a much better bike. The ZZ-R250 has an aluminum frame, 17 inch wheels, and much more modern styling than the Ninja 250R, but it is more expensive, even in US dollars.

Jackthemeangiant said:
Well is the EX250R the same as the Ninja 250R?
The Ninja 250 was called the EX250 back in 1987 or so when it first came out. Somewhere along the line Kawasaki decided to call it a 250R instead. It is exactly the same bike, and lots of people (including official Kawasaki literature) use the terms interchangeably.
Curt
 

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Well the statistics say that a bike is 26 times more dangerous than a Motorcycle ( wish it were only 3 times ).

These statistics are based on the death and injury rate in relation to declared collisions. That is to say that being in a collision on a bike would increase your chances of injury/death by a multiple of 26.

So yes bikes are inherently more dangerous than cars if involved in a collision.

Statistics also say that if you were to eliminate unlicenced riders, untrained riders, riders riding while under the influence and lastly rider speeding ( four major contributing factors of motorcycle crashes) you would eliminate over 90% of motorcycle related injuries and death.

As for a choice of bikes for a beginner, I wouldn't go to a lot of trouble to find a specific model nor would I recommend buying new. Learners bikes are plentifull and reasonably priced and I doubt that the insurance premiums would be greatly different between a 250 and a 500.
 

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yeah, you may not crash it or even drop it but you can treat your first one like crap...I mean treat it like crap nicely :) and then upgrade in a season or two and sell your first bike for near what you bought it. Us bikers stick together and sell each other first bikes cheap.

Just to let you know, not all bikers crash, I myself have been riding for a long time and have yet to crash or let the bike fall...my closest call was when I had the bike parked on a little bit of an incline and it decided it wanted to roll forward some and then fall onto the ground but I put my leg under the 500 lbs of weight and popped it back up, it really only felt like 200 because it was still on it's wheels.


Ride Safe
 

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Jackthemeangiant said:
First of all, how safe is riding a motorcycle? I am not going to be a stupid speed deamon or anything. I will be taking a training course and wearing proper protective gear and what not. But if one rides defensivly and responsibly, is a bike a good safe choice?
Well, riding a motorcycle statistically is not safe. There are a lot of factors that go into making the statistics true though. Training, gear, common sense, and a few other factors will make it safer. But I can't honestly say riding a motorcycle is safe. Good choice? Oh yes...

Unfortunately I don't have any information about the availability of the EX250 being available for sale new in Canada. I do know that there are people that own and ride in Canada, but I don't know where they purchased their bike.

You could try this website if you haven't already and see if there is any mention of it there.

http://www.ninja250.com/home.htm

Kawasaki recently changed the name of the EX250 last year I believe to 250R in the US. It had been referred to commonly as the EX250 since '87 or so... it's also known as a GPZ250 in Europe. So any of those combinations are the same. I'm sure even a EX250R is the same thing :wink:
 

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It's safe for me, I pay so much attention I run the risk of makin myself paranoid :) I've never crashed and I've never been nearly hit by a car because I don't allow it to happen
 

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Stuart said:
. . . I run the risk of makin myself paranoid
A few years ago I realized how dangerous driving is. I can't control what other drivers are doing. A red light doesn't make them stop. They use turn lanes for passing in intersections. They pull out without looking. So I decided to believe that they are trying to kill me, and they are trying to be sneaky about it. If I drive as if the other drivers are deliberately trying to kill me, I drive a lot more defensively. It works on the bike, too.

A bike is not safe, but safe, defensive driving and proper gear can cut most of the risk.

Try that insurance quote again, but without full coverage. If you have a decent driving record, I'll bet you can knock a grand off your premium. Doesn't that convince you to buy a used bike?
Curt
 

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lol, yes, but then again my full coverage and roadside is only 290 a year :)
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks for all the input.

I think I will get a used one for sure. I will only use it for a season or two probably, then upgrade to somthing around 600ccs. Buying used is also going to put the bike in my price range :) I saw a '94 with 20km on it for $2,700 Cnd the other day, so I should be able to afford one no problem.
 

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Watch your speed and pay close attention to other drivers and traffic patterns. Like if you know people have a habit not stopping coming off an interstate exit --making a right turn ---when you're in your car-----triple your attention to that exit when on your bike.

Heck---almost had a head on while in my truck the other day---guy was reading or something----coming into my lane(way into my lane)----I started to hit the brakes---then the guy finally corrected----there wasn't even a look of surprise on his face----like almost having a head on was no big deal----amazing. I had butterflies in the stomach for about 10 minutes after that.
 

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r409z said:
If you are going to get a 250, I would get used just for the fact that not after long you will want something with a little more power. You won't run into this with the 500.
Not necessarily. I like my 250, and I don't see any need for more power for me. It depends on your personality.
Jackthemeangiant said:
I will only use it for a season or two probably, then upgrade to somthing around 600ccs.
Okay, I stand corrected. For some people (like me), the 250 is a great bike. For other people (like Jackthemeangiant), it is a great beginner bike.

If you're planning to move up to a 600cc bike later, then you might think about the Ninja 500R as your first bike. That will cost more than the 250R, but it will have more power, so you could put off buying that 600 even longer if you're already on a 500.

Personally, I'm very, very partial to the 250. But the 500 is a good starter bike, too.
Curt
 
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