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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys! Pretty new rider here. I'm 18 turning 19 in february. Just finished my MSF course and need to decide on what bike to get.

I'm pretty short about 5'5 and about 150 lbs.

I was looking at the Ninja 250s but I don't know if that will do it for me. I know it has great mpg, great beginner bike, it's cheap and has a high resale value BUT!

I work far, about 50 or so miles a day 30 or 40 minutes a drive on the interstate or freeway.

So I was also looking at the Ninja 650's. The only things I am concerned about the 650's is is it too much power for me since I've just finished my class and am starting out? Or is does it still have enough power for me to control since it's still a beginner bike and isn't really as powerful as a regular 600cc bike?

The other thing I am concerned about is if I am tall enough to ride it? Is it too big for me? Are my feet going to touch the ground?

Thanks in advance.
 

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The 650 is still a two-cylinder bike, so I don't think that would be too much power for you. You definitely don't want a 600r or zzr at this point.

The 500 is also an AWESOME starter bike. I just sold mine after riding it for 2.5 years. Great gas mileage, and you shouldn't have trouble flat-footing it. The 650 is actually a little bit taller. It would be good for you to go sit on bikes at the dealership.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I didn't really like the looks of the ex500, sorry but i'm one of those types lol. It's just too old fashioned for me.

I've heard somethings about shaving the seat an inch, links etc
 

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I didn't really like the looks of the ex500, sorry but i'm one of those types lol. It's just too old fashioned for me.

I've heard somethings about shaving the seat an inch, links etc
Sounds like you've already decided then, huh? There are lowering options for most any bike. Either the 260 or the 650 have them available. I'd stay away from shaving seats just from a comfort perspective, especially with the distances you'd be riding every day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
+1 to what Liz said. Buy something cheap for a first bike. You'll eventually want to move up, but there's also a high possibility of a spill.
Thing is I don't want to get bored in a month nor get the same bike as my friend who also has a sports car that thinks i'm only getting a bike cause he mentioned it. I know there is a high chance of me laying the bike down but that's also why i'm not holding back on safety gear. And am probably going to drive around a empty parking lot or around my neighborhood for 2 weeks+ before I make it my main transportation.


Sounds like you've already decided then, huh? There are lowering options for most any bike. Either the 260 or the 650 have them available. I'd stay away from shaving seats just from a comfort perspective, especially with the distances you'd be riding every day.
I guess I can see if I am comfortable on the seat first. My friend has a bike and he is taller than me and he is on his tippy toes all the time. Doesn't stop him from riding his favorite bike though.
 

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I didn't really like the looks of the ex500, sorry but i'm one of those types lol. It's just too old fashioned for me.

I've heard somethings about shaving the seat an inch, links etc
The 500's look cool with the full fairing, though. And everyone asked me "what is it?" while I had the bike.

You won't get bored as a new rider on either the 250 or the 650, if one of those is what you choose. For at least your first 10,000 miles there is ALWAYS something new to learn!
 

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For at least your first 10,000 miles there is ALWAYS something new to learn!
Except when you're 18! I'm pretty sure my son (now 19) thinks he learned everything there was to learn in the first few days of riding his 883 Sportster. He's only put about 3K miles on it in 3 years. In the same time period I've put 28K on my Mean Streak and another 6K on a couple of other bikes and I know I'm still learning. Wish I learned as quick as my son.

You WILL want a different bike, so don't worry about making sure your first bike is the perfect one. Important to learn basic skills, then move on up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thing is, I'm pretty sure if I get a 250 or a 500 I would want more power or so after a few months. But with a 650 I'll be asking for all I need. At a top speed of 140 I think that'll be enough for me, i'll probably only go to 110 or 120 mph on special days.

Not to mention my sister doesn't think I should get a bike but I've already decided to take the class and a bike, so I want something to tell her that it's not as powerful as a 600cc.

Not to mention i've also heard people have their 650 for years and don't get tired.
 

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I would certainly not advise going "110 or 120 mph" for quite awhile, if at all. That kind of speed is a huge risk for a brand new rider. Please keep yourself alive for a few more years…
Agreed. If you're tempted to do so, go with the less powerful bike.

Really, you should not be concerned with getting a bike that you'll love forever and ever...you haven't been riding, so you really don't know the type of rider you are. I found out after about 9000 miles that the type of bike I had was completely different from the type I needed for my riding. As Mike said, you will most likely want a different bike. Buy with that in mind...buy used, buy with good resale, and most importantly, buy what will fit the bill RIGHT NOW.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Agreed. If you're tempted to do so, go with the less powerful bike.

Really, you should not be concerned with getting a bike that you'll love forever and ever...you haven't been riding, so you really don't know the type of rider you are. I found out after about 9000 miles that the type of bike I had was completely different from the type I needed for my riding. As Mike said, you will most likely want a different bike. Buy with that in mind...buy used, buy with good resale, and most importantly, buy what will fit the bill RIGHT NOW.
Hmm okay, with your reply it helped me a lot. I'll probably get a 250 for training wheels and a 650 as my "dream bike" so to say. Just like a car, a crappy one first then your dream one.

Of course I'm not going to go 110 or 120 right off, it'll probably be a year or so until I hit that much. As i've mentioned before i'm going to probably practice for another two weeks or so.

Just went out to buy my KBC Helmet and gloves.

Thanks for all of your help guys.
 

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Thing is, I'm pretty sure if I get a 250 or a 500 I would want more power or so after a few months. But with a 650 I'll be asking for all I need. At a top speed of 140 I think that'll be enough for me, i'll probably only go to 110 or 120 mph on special days.

Not to mention my sister doesn't think I should get a bike but I've already decided to take the class and a bike, so I want something to tell her that it's not as powerful as a 600cc.

Not to mention i've also heard people have their 650 for years and don't get tired.
There are people who go years without getting tired of a 250. I own both, and I can tell you that I prefer my 250, even though the 650 is faster and has more power. If all you are focusing on is power, how fast you can go at the top end, and how long it'll take you to get bored, you need to rethink getting a bike. At 19, you're plenty young enough to take the time and do it right. Start on a 250 and really learn how to ride, cause there's a LOT more to riding a motorcycle than how fast you go in a straight line.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Yeah I know there's a lot more I need to learn. You'll probably never stop learning about something.

But I've heard that the 250 isn't ideal for freeway or interstate because you can't overtake sometimes, it's really light and windblasts affect it more than other bikes and it's considered a "toy".
 

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But I've heard that the 250 isn't ideal for freeway or interstate because you can't overtake sometimes, it's really light and windblasts affect it more than other bikes and it's considered a "toy".
Personally, I wouldn't want to do a lot of highway riding with a 250 for those very reasons.
 

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Just bought a 09 Ninja 650 about a month ago; I had never been on a bike prior to taking the MSF course. I had a lot of the same questions and concerns that you did trying to pick between the 250 and 650. Don't know if you've bought yet but I can tell you that my experience with the 650 has been great so far. I'm 5'6" and about 140 lbs; I have no problem getting both feet on the ground and the bike's weight hasn't been an issue. As a new rider I can say that the 650 has more than enough power for me and it rides pretty smooth on the highway. I only have 600 miles under my belt so I am still quite a newbie, but a buddy of mine who has years on a bike told me it's not the bike, it's the rider...makes sense to me. Pick what suits you best, be responsible, and enjoy the ride.

PS: I wouldn't dream of doing 110-120 as a new rider (probably not once I get more experience either); just my opinion.
 

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I've owned both a 250 and a 650. I have the 650 now and love it. It will NOT be too much power for you. It's very tame - more so, I think, than the 250 in that the 650 is stable and less revvy and squirelly than the 250. The 650 has lots of torque, so it'll get up and go on the freeway when you need it to, but cruises nicely at 50 or 60 when you want that. In fact, it's "comfort zone" is about 60 mph.

I've done long distances on both and found the 650 much more comfortable. The wind is certainly an issue with the 250. Plus, it has a lot of vibration through the footpegs and the handlebars at speed. We experienced MUCH wind on our trip on the 250 and the pinky and ringfinger on my left hand were numb for 2 days after we got home because I had to put so much pressure on the left handlebar to keep the bike tracking straight in the wind. My feet would get numb from the vibrations in the footpegs.

I'm about your size - about 10 lbs lighter. I feel much more comfortable on the 650. I can put my feet down very solidly. I did add 1" bar risers because I tour on mine and wanted a more up-right seating position.

The throttle is not near as twitchy on the 650 and my only complaint about the brakes is that the rear one is very soft. I've had mine up to about 90 and it's very smooth.

Don't let engine size alone fool you. What the engine DOES with that power is just as important. A 500cc can be much more difficult to control than a 650 if the 500 is more geared towards sport riding. And the name Ninja can be misleading too. The 650 is not a "crotch rocket". It's more a sport tourer.

Just my 2-cents' worth. Let us know what you end up with. And be sure to post pics!
 

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whatever you get, ride smart...learn and live the MSF fundamentals, remember that no one is looking out for you but you
 

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Hmm okay, with your reply it helped me a lot. I'll probably get a 250 for training wheels and a 650 as my "dream bike" so to say. Just like a car, a crappy one first then your dream one.
And nothing's stopping you from keeping both bikes. You might find you like the light weight of a 250 for certain rides and take the bigger bike out for long hauls. But if you started with the bigger bike, you'd never know what a small, light bike feels like.

Like a lot of things in life, if you start at the end, you miss the journey and all the experience and enjoyment that comes with it.
 
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