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Hey everyone. I'm a new rider with some questions about which bike I should get... I know you probably read that all the time, but hopefully I can put a new spin on it. I'm 24 years old, 6'3", 180lbs. I've taken the MSF class and have a license, but outside of the MSF course I have very little experience riding. I have invested in some gear though, so don't worry about that.

I guess I will tell you what I want out of a bike, and you can tell me which of these I should get.

I'm not a speed freak (yet, I guess :D ) and realize that my skills as a rider are not up to handling a big bike. I don't want to start in the 600 class. I want something with some level of performance of course, but I don't need anything crazy. I would mostly be city riding with some short stretches on local highways (65 mph)

The main things I want out of a bike are, in order of importance:
-appropriate for my skill level.
-big enough for me, being a taller rider
-reasonable performance

I'm looking at buying used, since I'm sure whatever I get will end up horozontal on the pavement at least once.

I know these are both appropriate for my skill, but will the 250 be big enough for me? How could one describe its performance, in terms of a normal car on the road?

Thanks - hope to be riding soon 8)
 

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the 250 is faster than most cars out there, but its power range starts at about 9K through 13K, have to keep it revved up to get it to move. The 500 has about 6K-9500 power range, and it sits a little taller. I started on the ex500, bought my '01 with 3K miles on it for 3K. There should be plenty around and that bike will keep you happy for quite some time.
 

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Hey man!

I just got a 2000 ninja 500r and I have ridden it about four times. I was just like you, MSF class, liscence and awsome gear but no bike for a couple of months...

I think the 500 is perfect.. It is not as powerful as my sisters 600 class YZF and not as heavy.. easier to pick up ;) I zipped around town today.. 3rd day or so riding.. perfect 65 F weather.. all my gear is pimp and fits very well for being bought all online! Back to the EX, its got enough power to move and is more like real bike.. I think it is the perfect first bike..
Today I went past 55mph and I am very imaginative about possible accidents so you can tell how fast I have gained confidence.. still must work on swerving and slow manuvering but I love the stability of the bike (and mirrors that dont buzz) it also looks way better than the 250... I know its not htat important but dude above is right that the rpms are much lower.. I have not been past 6000rpm and I was near 60! it accelerates very well and being all stock it sounds and looks awsome.. I really love the 2000+ models as they look sporty with the wheels et al..

Get it and you wont regret it and also the insurance for me 19 years old is 123$ for 6 months for 50/100/50 liability.. the second to lowest coverage avaialble...this includes the MSF 10% discount and maybe a good grades discount....

Oh yeah.. I had a light change infront of me at about 50mph and the dual disks are much nicer than the drums on th e250 from msf class

gOOD LUCK AND use Leather (not your own!)
 

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I recently bought the ex500 as my first bike. Wish I had started riding sooner.

I did look at the 250 as it sat right next to my 500 on the showroom floor. It felt much shorter than the 500, I'm 5'11" and can perfectly place my feet flat on the ground with the 500, knees a bit flexed. The 250 felt a lot lower.

Still both good bikes according to most people around here. The 500 might last you longer. May not get bored from a lack of power as quick as the 250. I know I've already scared myself once or twice with mine.
 

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Hm, well I'm 6'5 and I'm going with the 250. Going to purchase a new one from a dealership. It looked and felt fine for me. My important criteria for the bike:

-Economic feasability (student)
-Looks (personally I like it better than the looks of the 500)
-Experience level oriented

I haven't clocked any miles on the road yet. And a side note the 250 has front and rear discs from 1999 or 2000 on I believe... not sure on the years prior.

The biggest difference everyone seems to say about the two bikes is the 500 has more torque at lower rpms than the 250 and the 250 revs higher and is lighter.

Obviously you will choose the bike you want, but those are my reasons for choosing the bike I did.
 

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Aikata said:
The biggest difference everyone seems to say about the two bikes is the 500 has more torque at lower rpms than the 250 and the 250 revs higher and is lighter.
the 500R has lots more low end, but also has nearly double the power on the top end too, it just redlines at 11K where the 250 redlines at 14K. A stock 500's power range starts at 5500rpm and ends at about 9700rpm. The 250's starts at 9K and goes until redline. The 500 will be more street friendly, and if left stock still gets about 50mpg in the city. The 250 gets 65+ I believe.
 

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ekinnee said:
That'd be nice since I'm planning a 45 mile each way commute with mine.
45 mile commute every day? Make sure your comfortable with the 500 and you'll do fine, probably sore the first week or two, but you'll get away from that with time.

with that kind of commute you might look at a suzuki katana 600, very comfortable sport touring bike.
 

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ekinnee said:
Well ****, I'd have to trade this puppy in already??? :D
the kat 600 is just a good sport touring bike, very comfy. I like the 500R better myself, more comfortable and better in the twisties.
 

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Colder, your question was about performance of the Ninja 250 compared to a car. I have a Ninja 250, and it can beat just about any car on the road, including most sports cars (even most of those with V8's).

The Ninja 250 can definitely haul your 180 lb butt around with no trouble, but you need to rev it up. It doesn't redline until 14,000 RPM's, so it has quite a kick for a small engine.

In my opinion, the biggest problem with the 250 is that your buddies are going to call it a moped. If you're not bothered with peer pressure, then you are a greater man than most.

Another issue is highway travel. I take mine on the interstate all the time, and it does great. It has plenty of acceleration, even when it's doing 85 mph. But I haven't taken it on long trips. Most people say a bigger bike is more comfortable on a long trip, but I don't know that personally.

The 250 handles 2-up riding, too, but make sure your passenger doesn't make any sudden moves. The bike is pretty light, and I've felt it move on me when my passenger leans over. A lot of people put a 500 shock on the rear to make it a little stiffer, especially for 2-up riding. That's a very common mod.

My 2001 Ninja 250 has disk brakes front and rear, and it can stop on a dime. That may be because it only weighs 304 lbs.

Insurance is cheaper on a smaller bike, too. Geico has it for $80 per year!

Try it out to see if your height feels right. I don't think height will be a problem. Just scoot back in the seat so your helmet doesn't bump the windshield.

After some time with the 250, you may want something more powerful, depending on your personality. It should be easy to sell the 250 for a good price. There are no other small sportbikes in the US. No Hondas, no Yamahas, no Suzukis. So if that's what a new rider wants (and they do) then they'll have to come to you to buy yours. And when you consider that you saved money on gas and insurance, you're really not out anything to get the 250 now, and and you get a better bike for learning. Then you can get another bike some other time if you want to.

If, on the other hand, you just want the 500, maybe because of peer pressure, or because you just don't want to buy another bike down the road, or you want to go on long trips, or you just like its styling, then go for it. It's a great bike, too.

Be careful out there.
Curt
 

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yeah its lighter

Yeah the 250 is lighter...

but thats not always good... alot easier to be blown and less stable on the highway.. good point up there...
 
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