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Discussion Starter #1
First off I would like to say hi to everyone,
after taking some time off of riding I have saved up enough money to buy a new ninja 500r. Only problem is there is no dealership in the area that will let you test ride. :( So I was wondering if you guys and gals could give me some input on the 500r, things like acceleration, handling, comfort, Or if you could gimmie advice or you personal opinion about this bike. I have had a few bikes in the past both were standard, 1 was a 750cc and 1 was a 500cc. Both were fun but not like the fun of a sport bike.
I just dont wanna buy it if I will out grow it in a month. Any help would be appreciated. :lol:
 

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In my opinion ) I think your $5k would be better spent as a down payment on an SV650. The SV has received countless stellar reviews and is praised for its qualities as a perfect beginner bike, yet one that veteran riders can really enjoy.

OTOH, having the title to a bike tucked away in a drawer gives me warm fuzzy feelings....so bravo for having the will power and determination to save up enough to buy a 500r outright.

Tough decision.....
 

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I've had my 500R almost a year, put 14K miles on it in that time. I know many people who say they've 'outgrown' this bike, but they all seem to go slow in the corners on their newer (and more expensive) bigger bikes. Comfort could be better, but I can pull off a 400-500 mile day without being sore at all.

Just a note: Zootech doesn't get to be around anymore, so you might wanna take his sarcastic advice and forget it. A 500r can be outgrown, but it takes a heck of a good rider to really outgrow this very capable bike. A sv650 is a good bike too, but having a friend who rides one the bikes aren't that different in acceleration and power.
 

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Freakinout said:
Just a note: Zootech doesn't get to be around anymore, so you might wanna take his sarcastic advice and forget it.
Think again. Hopefully Uncle Bob will be so kind as to unlock the actual ZooTech username, but for now he has been gracious enough to let me use this one.

I am curious why you take my advice as sarcasm....and wonder if that isn't what led to all these problems in the first place... :?

As a subscriber to three major motorcycle publications for over three years, and as a person who has spent countless hours researching bikes and reviews online, I feel (at bare minimum) qualified to express my opinion on the subject of beginner bikes. All three magazines I subscribe to refer to the SV650 as a "great beginner bike" due to its wonderful ergonomics, its low-end power, its flickability, and its decent brakes. The interesting thing to note is that I have never once read an article on the Ninja 250, and have seen it mentioned only once in a mass bike index of all the manufacturers.

Now, I never said the 500r was a bad bike for a beginner....but he made the comment about outgrowing the bike and not wanting to do so. It is my belief, based on the research I have done (and my own exerience learning on a 500cc twin) that the SV650 is a better choice. Although, as I mentioned, having the title for the 500r in-hand would be nice too....

Freakinout said:
A 500r can be outgrown, but it takes a heck of a good rider to really outgrow this very capable bike. A sv650 is a good bike too, but having a friend who rides one the bikes aren't that different in acceleration and power.
Then I must be one helluva rider, because I felt I had outgrown my Nighthawk 700SC in just one year. Let us not forget that production bikes are up to 2300cc this year, and manufacturers are increasing displacement while making the chassis lighter. Suddenly learning on a 650 doesn't seem like such an impossibility. And in a sea of semis and SUV's (being driven by people on their cell phones), I prefer to be on a bigger bike, with an updated chassis (the Ninja 250 and 500 are both decidedly outdated), better brakes, and better handling.
 

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Uncle bob will be locking the username you are on soon enough as it is.

You must be a hella rider, I mean people race ex500's (500Rs) all the time, its actually a very popular race bike, maybe riding in a straight line didn't give you enough of a 'rush'. I take people on liter bikes every time I ride in the twisties, you can only go so fast through a curve, reguardless of engine displacement.

The reason you don't see articles on a ninja 250 is the fact that it is unchanged for 17 years (tried and true). Every motorcycle mag I've seen has the latest and greatest in it, which is not what newbies need. This has been discussed more than enough times on here, newbies and powerful supersport bikes don't mix well.
 

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Freakinout said:
Uncle bob will be locking the username you are on soon enough as it is.
Good to know you speak for him. We worked things out, that's how I'm able to post right now (this username WAS banned earlier today).

Freakinout said:
You must be a hella rider, I mean people race ex500's (500Rs) all the time, its actually a very popular race bike, maybe riding in a straight line didn't give you enough of a 'rush'. I take people on liter bikes every time I ride in the twisties, you can only go so fast through a curve, reguardless of engine displacement.
The fastest speed limit here in Ohio is 65mph. I don't see the need to buy a bike capable of reaching twice that in a short time. When I recommend bikes, it is not based on their speed, it's based on how well I think it would work as a day-to-day commuter bike, since that's more-or-less how I rack up most of my bike's miles. If a bike doesn't fare well on the freeway, or would make your arse really sore riding it for 10 hours to Chicago, I wouldn't personally want to own it, or recommend that a friend of mine drop several thousand dollars into it. Whether or not they race 500's all the time or not is irrelevent...I simply said that if I had enough cash to purchase a 500r outright (over $5,000 out the door) I'd rather use it as a down payment on an SV650 (MSRP $5,899.00) and finance the remaining grand.

Freakinout said:
The reason you don't see articles on a ninja 250 is the fact that it is unchanged for 17 years (tried and true). Every motorcycle mag I've seen has the latest and greatest in it, which is not what newbies need. This has been discussed more than enough times on here, newbies and powerful supersport bikes don't mix well.
A) The Ninja 250 has been left unchanged for 17 years because Kawasaki knows it would be a waste of R&D funds to invest in such a lightweight with a $3,000 price tag.

B) Since when is an SV650 a "powerful supersport bike"? Three major magazines seem to think it's an ideal beginner bike.....and I happen to agree.
 

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z00tech said:
Then I must be one helluva rider, because I felt I had outgrown my Nighthawk 700SC in just one year.
I would have loved to have been able to keep my Nighthawk....but finances dictated that it be used for trade-in. I was quite happy with its 700cc mill
Found the above zootech quote in the post "newb"...interesting how things change over the course of a few hours
 

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Ok sarcasm warning - Don't read if you are faint of heart.

For our reading experts out there that are EXPERTs when it comes to written opinions that are given to those riders by the manufacturers that support their magazine - continue to absorb and buy into the bull.

The main ingredient to any succesful rider is what is between your ears and not your legs.

Reading it is one thing...Doing it, now that makes it all real. By the way...there have been plenty of articles over the years about the Ninja 250, but you may not have been riding then?

Ok- sarcasm over.


PS the SV650 rides nice too!
 

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z00tech said:
The fastest speed limit here in Ohio is 65mph. I don't see the need to buy a bike capable of reaching twice that in a short time. When I recommend bikes, it is not based on their speed, it's based on how well I think it would work as a day-to-day commuter bike, since that's more-or-less how I rack up most of my bike's miles. If a bike doesn't fare well on the freeway, or would make your arse really sore riding it for 10 hours to Chicago, I wouldn't personally want to own it, or recommend that a friend of mine drop several thousand dollars into it. Whether or not they race 500's all the time or not is irrelevent...I simply said that if I had enough cash to purchase a 500r outright (over $5,000 out the door) I'd rather use it as a down payment on an SV650 (MSRP $5,899.00) and finance the remaining grand.
Recommending a liter bike seems like the most uncomfortable choice out of all of them. 10 hours on any SS bike would leave a ride with a sore arse among other parts. A SV650 isn't a bad choice, but its also not very different in ergos and power than a ex500.

z00tech said:
A) The Ninja 250 has been left unchanged for 17 years because Kawasaki knows it would be a waste of R&D funds to invest in such a lightweight with a $3,000 price tag.

B) Since when is an SV650 a "powerful supersport bike"? Three major magazines seem to think it's an ideal beginner bike.....and I happen to agree.
A waste of R&D? How about a cash cow? The bikes that the manufacturers don't change are the ones that make them the most money (ex250, ex500, katana's). Steel frames, and bullet proof engines are what the ex250 is made out of.

I wasn't referring to the sv650 as a "powerful supersport bike", but I've already seen that you've recommended liter bikes to newbies which is very stupid.
 

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Stuart said:
z00tech said:
Then I must be one helluva rider, because I felt I had outgrown my Nighthawk 700SC in just one year.
I would have loved to have been able to keep my Nighthawk....but finances dictated that it be used for trade-in. I was quite happy with its 700cc mill
Found the above zootech quote in the post "newb"...interesting how things change over the course of a few hours
Good observation...I like your style! :wink:

Thing is, while I wouldn't want to ride long distance on my Nighthawk again, it was awesome once you got into the city. I feel it would make an ideal stablemate for my Mean Streak, which is why if you dig deeper into my posts you'll note that I said I'd like to park a V-Strom 650 next to the Meanie in a couple years. The Nighthawk's weakness was that it had to work too hard to keep up with freeway traffic, and unfortunately that's what I travel on the most (hence, I feel I have outgrown it if it was to be my only motorcycle). Once in the twisties though, the 16-valve engine and 6-speed tranny came into their own....and I already miss that (though the Meanie doesn't do too bad considering its purpose and weight).

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1Adam12 said:
Ok sarcasm warning - Don't read if you are faint of heart.

For our reading experts out there that are EXPERTs when it comes to written opinions that are given to those riders by the manufacturers that support their magazine - continue to absorb and buy into the bull.

The main ingredient to any succesful rider is what is between your ears and not your legs.

Reading it is one thing...Doing it, now that makes it all real. By the way...there have been plenty of articles over the years about the Ninja 250, but you may not have been riding then?

Ok- sarcasm over.


PS the SV650 rides nice too!
I didn't notice any sarcasm...what you said does ring true to some extent. While I agree that a certain amount of nepotism does exist between bike magazines and bike manufacturers, I have encountered far too many articles on the SV650 in other venues (such as the internet, and owner reviews) that seem to back their claim. The SV has all the makings of a great beginner bike....from its comfortable ergos to its reliable and forgiving V-Twin engine which, by the way, demonstrates excellent low-end torque, making it easier for low-speed travel while one is learning the ropes.

I do, in-fact, believe the 500r also exhibits these same qualities....but as far as which bike will be "outgrown" first, I think it's clear the 500r wins that unfavorable mention. For one thing, the seat looks like some sort of Wedgie-Master 5000, and I cannot imagine sitting on it during a long trip. The only thing that made my Nighthawk bearable for our trip to Chicago and back was the Corbin seat I purchased to replace the stock saddle which, by the way, caused me a great deal of pain during the previous riding season due to a little thing called "Prostatosis" (an inflamation of the Prostate gland common among motorcyclists). I do believe Corbin makes a replacement seat for the 500r, but I cannot imagine it's that much better. The bike is too narrow to even design a decent seat, and the only thing the aftermarket can do is try to make a bad thing a little less bad.

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Freakinout said:
Recommending a liter bike seems like the most uncomfortable choice out of all of them. 10 hours on any SS bike would leave a ride with a sore arse among other parts. A SV650 isn't a bad choice, but its also not very different in ergos and power than a ex500.
For the record, with the amount of money he's looking to spend, I don't think a "comfortable" bike exists....unless he's willing to buy a 2-year-old 650-800cc cruiser, which I doubt he is. That said, the articles I have read (whether you wish to consider them credible or not) all tout the SV as having "all day comfort".

Freakinout said:
A waste of R&D? How about a cash cow? The bikes that the manufacturers don't change are the ones that make them the most money (ex250, ex500, katana's). Steel frames, and bullet proof engines are what the ex250 is made out of.
Yes, admittedly, the Ninja 250, Ninja 500, Yamaha VMAX, and even the Yamaha Warrior 350 (a four-wheeler) are in-fact "cash cows" because they fill a niche. The two Ninjas have been touted as great beginner bikes because of A) their affordability and B) the misconception that a beginner absolutely must learn how to ride on a 300lb bike. Yamaha skips out on updating the VMAX because it hauls arse (though the poor suspension is catching up with it, and soon it will either be redesigned or given the axe) and the Warrior is still around unchanged because for a long time it was one of the only sporty quads with reverse.

Hence, it makes no sense for Kawasaki to poor a ton of R&D cash into a bike that sells itself based on low-cost and the misguided belief that a tiny bike is a good starter bike.

Freakinout said:
I wasn't referring to the sv650 as a "powerful supersport bike", but I've already seen that you've recommended liter bikes to newbies which is very stupid.
I recommended a liter bike to ONE newbie, based on his maturity, his sheer size, and his budget. He couldn't be happier.....so I don't understand why you guys continue to bring this up.

I have come up with a theory as to why you guys insist on recommending a 250cc bike for beginners. This theory applies to everyone except Uncle Bob, who I believe actually has authentic and sincere concern for beginners based on the fact that A) he's from Canada (I believe their National motto is "Safety First!") and B) he's been riding almost as long as I've been alive...which leads me to believe he's older (I didn't say OLD!), and older gentlemen tend to be safety oriented.

Here's the theory in nutshell:

A) By recommending such a small bike, you hope to convince the rest of the non-motorcycling world that being able to ride a motorcycle is such an accomplishment as to warrant praise and a sense of "awe" for your greatness. Recommending such a tiny (IMO) motorcycle reinforces this because then anyone riding a bigger bike would look like an accomplished veteren.

B) Your budget dictates that you ride a small, inexpensive bike and it would drive you nuts to see a newbie riding a better bike than you.

C) Your skills as a beginner were so bad, you'd be embarrassed to see my coworker hop on a Honda Hawk one month, and be riding it to work with an endorsement on his license (he took the test only once) the very next month. Somehow the thought of this is a huge blow to your overinflated ego, so you feel the need to attack anyone who recommends a bike other than the one YOU learned on.

Just a theory.....but the shoe seems to fit nicely, IMO.....
 

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Uncle Bob said:
Didn't unlock it so that you can attack other members and my mods.
Freakinout said:
I've already seen that you've recommended liter bikes to newbies which is very stupid.
He attacked....I responded.

I thought I made it clear that I didn't just go around carelessly recommending liter bikes to all newbies I run across. His situation was very unique (I don't have too many friends his size), and I recommended what I thought would work best for him....and after asking him about it today, I was right. He said anything smaller would have been a waste for him, as some of his friends have found out the hard way.

The only thing I'm trying to say here is, the Ninja 250 is NOT FOR EVERYONE. Some of you had great experiences learning on one, and some even hung on to theirs because they feel/felt it fits their needs just fine. But calling me stupid because I recommend something different is just plain rude and closed-minded.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I think it all depends on the rider and his or her maturity. For example, I have friends that learned on katana 600's and 750's, a few that learned on gixxers and a few on the old honda hurricanes, with out ever getting hurt. But, I knew people that had 250's and wrecked because they had false confidence, I think a larger bike makes you respect it more. You see its like this, could you learn how to drive a car if it where a 6 speed corvette ZR1? or would you have to learn in a yugo because it is slower? Well if you were a lead foot 16 year old you would most likely crash, but maybe not. My first car was a nissan 300zx 5spd most people said I would kill myself but didnt, but I knew other people driving slower cars that crashed. So now back to motorcycles. My 1st bike was a 750 heavy as hell, I dropped it a few times but it was a junker so I didnt care, after a week I never dropped it again. Speed was never an issue, I went from the riders course on a kx125 rainbow, right to a 750, understanding the principal of riding and throttle control was the key.
It's not the bike that hurts you, it's the rider that hurts himself, like the way people view handguns, they dont kill you by themselves. I would like to believe that any person with the right attituide and half a brain could learn on lets say a gixxer600 or 750, or any 750 for that matter. Given that this person has the dexterity to control the bike and the strength to hold it up.
Although I believe some riders need to start on a smaller bike. :lol:
 

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It does basically come down to a case by case basis. Some people will freak out when a bike reacts to unintentional throttle other will take it in stride.

Problem is there is no way of knowing who will react wrongly or rightly before hand. Back in my youth I was a rock climbing instructor, you could usually size people up and know after a few minutes which ones would want to risk more and those that we'd have to pry their hands off holds because of fear. Although my average evaluation was pretty good I was surprised on many occasions by people freaking out that had previously displayed a lot of bravado.

Guess that what I'm trying to say is under the circumstances we can only offer blanket advice about what constitutes a good beginner bike for the average newbie.

On the other hand a cautious and progressive approach for any new rider is in my opinion preferable. The average motorcycle on the road has less than 50 hp ( fifty, not a typo ), why would anybody need twice that amount to learn on.

Riders of supersport bikes all seem to think that unless you have over 100hp you're riding a scooter ! Everybody you know, who as started on one of these bikes as done well, that would be called luck.

Statistics also show that these high performance bikes are way overrepresented in crashes, as are beginning riders, so combining the two can't be a good idea.

Here's a fact , no person I've ever known as been killed in a car accident, should I assume that according to that fact, that nobody ever dies in car accidents.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Not at all, sure people die in car crashes. I know people that died in motorcycle crashes and car crashes. What I ment in short was, If you learn to drive a stick shift car, then most likely you could drive any 5-6 speed. So if you take the riders course and learn the fundamentals of rideing, then by simply choosing a bike that is of proper height and weight, there is no reason a person couldnt ride a 750, or larger. Now with that said the majority of people are negligent when it comes to speed, For that fact alone I would say that a newb should most likely start on a used or smaller bike. Considering most people can't walk and chew gum at the same time, only the right person could definitely start on a larger bike, just all depends. Just look at all the bad drivers out there, Do we want them to try and ride a bike? :twisted:
If you have the skill and ride the bike in the manner it which it was built you will have no problems. You can control your bike but not the road's conditions. Most crashes are a result of over rideing one's ability, excessive speed, bad judgment, poor conditions, or, just plain stupidity. Then there is other driver error. I want people to keep in mind that if you buy a used bike and only speed 1k or less fine, but if you are gonna spend 5k or more for your first bike keep in mind that you will outgrow a 500cc or smaller bike with in a short period of time. It's like buying a mustang 6 cyclinder or V8, the 6 is fast but lacks that punch you get with the V8. In no way am I saying to run out and buy a gixxer or something like that, just look at the 600cc bikes a little closer :lol: Very forgiving and enough speed to last a while. When you out grow that, then go with a 750 or bigger.( I am only referring to sport bikes, because cruisers are a totaly different argument)
 

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Palerider said:
If you have the skill and ride the bike in the manner it which it was built you will have no problems.


just look at the 600cc bikes a little closer :lol: Very forgiving and enough speed to last a while.
I agree with what you're saying, except for the two sentences above. How would a newbie who has little or no experience know if he had the skills necessary ?

600cc bikes forgiving ? Not a supersport bike like a Ninja or a Gixxer, the exact opposite is why we don't recommend these bikes for beginners. Hair trigger controls and newbiness just don't go together well.

Now you threw in a mix of bikes in your post and I believe we're saying the same thing except we must be more precise about what bikes we're talking about because someone reading a 600 is ok will in many cases be thinking Ninja or Gixxer, when I believe you're talking more about a Katana type 600cc bike.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Ya the Katana and the yzf600r, not the gixxer or ninja for they are a little to fast for most newbs.
 

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Palerider said:
Ya the Katana and the yzf600r, not the gixxer or ninja for they are a little to fast for most newbs.
the yamaha r6 isn't forgiving either, the katana is more forgiving based on less HP and more weight, but the R6 isn't a forgiving bike.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I said the Yamaha YZF600r, thats not the R6, the yzf600r is set up like the katana, where the YZF-R6 is like the gixxer. The YZF600R and the YZFR-6 are way different.
 
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