Kawasaki Motorcycle Forums banner

1 - 20 of 49 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have just became interested in sport bikes. I've been wanting something sexy, sporty, and cute. I have been debating between a sports car (Nissan 350z vs a bike) I am leaning towards a Kawasaki Ninja 250R. I am a new rider and (clearly) have no clue about bikes. But I am willing to learn the ins and outs. I'm a 20 year old female 5 foot 9.5 inches at a weight of 115 lbs. I don't want something with alot of power, just a play toy for sunny days.
Does anyone know which one would be good for me? I'm only leaning towards the Ninja 250 because I do not weigh much and have been told that could be a problem for powerful bikes and "weighing them down". Is this true?
All Opinions, Thoughts, Advise are welcomed
Thank You
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
263 Posts
Hi and welcome Lauren. If it were up to me, I'd go for the bike of course. There's nothing better than riding a bike on a sunny day. Sounds like you've never rode before, so you should look into a MSF class first. Here's the link: Motorcycle Safety Foundation
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,502 Posts
I took the class before I bought a bike and it was a great learning oppurtunity and you can really learn a lot of hands on stuff from the experts that will help teach the class. You can even get insurance discount from a couple companies. The best thing is to get some thing cheaper and ride a while. Some people will buy a bike, thinking they will like it, and sell it with 300 miles because it wasn't for them.
 

·
I miss you, Deron
Joined
·
19,783 Posts
Yes, be sure to take the class before you go buy a bike. That way you can be sure you like riding.

The Ninja 250 is a great bike, and it has a really good resale value. You can't go wrong with that bike. If you can find a used one, great. But even a new one will retain its value pretty well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
NJdrifter1500
Hi and thank you. Yes, I really am leaning towards a bike because it seems to have more pros including the ability for me to keep my current car (a Toyota corolla). Which is a good car, great gas mileage, and perfect to drive whenever the weather gets bad out. However, the only major problem I’ve came across is my family and friends are terrified about my safety and think a bike will be the end of me. Also, I have one male friend who is determined to say that I do not weigh enough nor do I have the upper body strength (which is why I picked the 250R, because to my understanding, it is the least powerful). And thank you, I will certainly check that web site out. I definitely want to get a feel for it before I actually get out on the open road with one. (And your assumptions are correct, however I was a passenger once, I loved it)

Kawasaki Noobie
Thank you, that is very helpful. And I noticed you said “I took the class before I bought a bike” so I’m assuming they will provide bikes for you to learn on? And I live in SC, do you think the classes would be similar despite where you live? And if it wouldn't be to much trouble for you, could you tell me about your experience in the class, like: do they take you aside and give you one on one training? Do they make sure you know your bike first and comfortable with it before you get on it? Do they stand over and watch you? Do you drive in an enclosed place first, or street?....

Jukief
Thank you. And I’m planning to buy new. A big problem I’ve ran across while in search for a sports car (Its going to be a bike or car) but I was leaning towards a Nissan 350z which is no longer made (370z are out now). And a huge worry of mine was the mileage on them, how long they are good for, and most of all how they were driven. 9 times out of 10 a sports anything is going to be gunned and I don’t like coming into something where I’m blind about the past. So a new one isn’t to much money to pay, I can get it in the color I want, and don’t have to worry about its past. That is helpful, it’s good to know they retain their value pretty well.

Nomadthesailor
Thank you, and I am definitely not in a hurry. I know I want to research and learn before I even plan to buy. But really? Can you tell me more about the Honda Rebel 250? Or do you know any other brands/models that would be good? My current pick is Kawasaki just because some guys at work suggested it and I've been told its a good make.

For everyone:
What kind of gear would I need to get started? And do you happen to have a favorite style &/or brand and why?
Is my weight and/or upper body strength going to be a problem?
And does anyone have any suggestions about a better bike to start on besides the 250R? Or any other makes besides Kawasaki?
 

·
I'm your Huckleberry
Joined
·
3,317 Posts
First off, welcome to the forum and world of motorcycling.

Second, as others have stated, taking the MSF course first will give you an idea of what you're getting yourself into (around here, they use 250 Nighthawks). It is the same curriculum regardless of state (though the bike may be different)...so no worries there...and definitely worth the money.

As for your friend who doesn't think you weigh enough or have the upper body strength...ignore him. A very good DVD series, Ride Like a Pro, features women who weigh no more than you riding and even picking up dropped Harley Road Kings (7-800 lb bikes). On the bike, weight and strength won't mean much for street riding. When you drop the bike, its all about technique getting it back up.

For safety, I'm a big fan of getting versatile gear when you first start out. Textiles are generally cheaper, and many are 4-season (they'll feature zip in liners, plenty of venting, are waterproof, and, if you're interested in such things, available in a wide range of color options). Over the ankle boots and a decent set of gloves are also a must. For the helmet, the most important thing is fitment. Theres not a ton of difference in safety from one helmet to another...price differences are generally feature based (comfort, aerodynamics, venting, paint quality, weight, etc). Opinions vary wildly on gear...I prefer leather with armor and full face helmets...others will prefer textile gear or no gear...go with what you like.

However, the most important safety tool we have is our ability to avoid accidents...training, practice, and situational awareness are critical. The MSF course goes over that really well.

Anyway, there's a lot more involved, but I don't wanna write a novel :redface:
 

·
I'm your Huckleberry
Joined
·
3,317 Posts
Hmmm...I should have read your MSF questions a bit more:

Yes, they will provide you with the bikes. You generally take the course in a closed parking lot. They will make sure you are comfortable with the controls...they teach you how to operate the bike in a way that is as unintimidating as you can imagine. If you need help, they will pull you aside and help you. They'll explain the drill before hand, one of the instructors will run through the drill on a bike, and then you will do the drill. Its really a VERY good course for a beginner...and they offer refresher courses where you can use your own bike as well.

Hope that helps!
 

·
IBA#34418
Joined
·
6,332 Posts
Hi and welcome Lauren. If it were up to me, I'd go for the bike of course. There's nothing better than riding a bike on a sunny day. Sounds like you've never rode before, so you should look into a MSF class first. Here's the link: Motorcycle Safety Foundation
I gotta agree. Then you can find out before you buy a bike if its something you'll really enjoy! Plus there is usually an insurance discount that most companies give.
 

·
'06 V2K, Baby!
Joined
·
2,325 Posts
Holy Cow. I had this huge thing written and clicked wrong and it was gone.

OK - in a nutshell

Yes, yes, yes - take the MSF course. It's much safer, statistically, than the other method called "learning from a friend". You may find that SC waives your motorcycle test to get your endorsement on your license. Many states do. Ask your course providers.

Before you decide on brand, go to the dealers and sit on bikes. Bikes have minimal adjustments, so, like shoes, if it doesn't fit right you won't ride as well as you might (and you'll be sore and aggravated by it rather than thrilled like you should be).

The 250 is a great starting size for a sport bike. You may, like a woman in my office, decide that's as much bike as you want for long term riding. It's not just a "starter bike". Ignore your friends when they want compare cc counts. A lot of biking is about image. Many people buy more bike than they need just so they can swing something bigger than their friends. "Mine's bigger than yours" is a game played with more than body parts.

The insurance savings for getting your MSF was minimal for me. A bigger deal was the 'free' license. Bigger savings for insurance will be had after riding for a year with no claims - therefore learning to ride well will be a bigger investment than just getting the piece of paper.

Yes, MSF provides bikes. Use them even if you purchase before you take the course. Dropping the bike is a real risk and you'd much rather drop theirs than one you just paid big bux for.

Family: yeah. Mine too... and I'm 45 years old. I finally decided it was my decision, there's lots of dangerous hobbies and I'm smart enough to avoid a lot of behavior that leads to people becoming organ donors. We lose a couple people a year to ski accidents in Colorado but nobody is screaming at the skiers that "you're gonna kill yourself on those things". Ride smart - good riding is not about speed or stoppies or other tricks. It's about control. Be in control.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
Welcome aboard:

I suggest you go to several bike shops and sit on dozens until you find the one that fits you best. You will know it immediatley. Your options increase if you are not stuck on a certain manufacturer. Your tall height give you more options as well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
263 Posts
NJdrifter1500
Hi and thank you. Yes, I really am leaning towards a bike because it seems to have more pros including the ability for me to keep my current car (a Toyota corolla). Which is a good car, great gas mileage, and perfect to drive whenever the weather gets bad out. However, the only major problem I’ve came across is my family and friends are terrified about my safety and think a bike will be the end of me. Also, I have one male friend who is determined to say that I do not weigh enough nor do I have the upper body strength (which is why I picked the 250R, because to my understanding, it is the least powerful). And thank you, I will certainly check that web site out. I definitely want to get a feel for it before I actually get out on the open road with one. (And your assumptions are correct, however I was a passenger once, I loved it)

Hi Lauren! I got the same kind of attitude from my family about getting a bike. Did I listen? Hell no lol, and I'm glad I didn't. The key is being very defensive and being aware of your surroundings. Here's an example: This weekend was absolutely gorgeous, so I went for a ride Saturday. I was on a main road in my town and as I'm approaching a side street, I see this car that is coming to a stop sign. As I'm keeping and eye on him, I said to myself this guy is not going to stop! I just had that feeling and by the way he wasn't slowing down, I was correct. I slowed down and he blew thru the stop sign, then sees me and slams on his brakes and stops in front of me. If I wasn't defensive, I would have slammed right into him or him right into me. His window was open and you can guess some of the things I called him. So, always try to think what that other driver is going to do. You have to take the attitude that everyone is out to get you. It's a shame we have to think that way, but it's true.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20,606 Posts
welcome! :)

take the MSF, find out if biking is for you.
Go to dealerships and sit on lots of different bikes.
You won't want too many CCs for a first bike, as the bigger the engine, the more power, so the faster and easier it is to get into trouble while you're learning.
But at 5'9" you have the height advantage of at least being able to put your feet on the ground when sat on them.

Don't listen to friends and family who say it's too dangerous and that you're too light to ride. They either have never ridden, or were bad at it if they did ride; and now hold a grudge.

If you take the MSF course, you will learn how to be a safe rider; and as long as you continue to ride safely and defensively, then you should have no problems at all.

Live life how you want to live it. Ride safe. Smile lots. And have fun :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Bubba68CS and Belrix
Thank you so much, for all of that information it was very helpful! :)

NJdrifter1500
It really is a shame we have to think that way. My problem, I have times where my mind drifts off to other things while I’m driving (like what shopping needs to get done, did I finish all my hw, and so on). So that worries me a little. The other thing is man I’ve heard soooooo many horror stories. Its not making me feel very safe. The only thing saving me is I really see this as only a “play toy” something to do for fun and when I feel like it. A bike will not be my only means of traveling. So if I’m coming home late at night from work or if theres a chance of rain, I’ll just take my car. Only for perfect weather, when I feel like it, and when I’m fully decked out in my protective gear (frankly I think the gear we wear is sexy) but anyways only then will I dive it. So, I’m still leaning towards a bike. And my family has started to understand. I really am not a crazy speed driver or anything, plan to be careful, wear all the gear, and only drive it when I’m comfortable with the conditions of the road and weather.

And I’ve talked to my friend more, its something about I would probably do something wrong with the clutch and that would cause me to drop the bike or it throwing me off or something. Idk, I’ll try to quote what exactly he says sometime. I’m not a pro when it comes to bike talk…yet :)
As far as everything else, I will be taking the MSF. I figured, like yall said, it would help me learn the bike, how to ride, comfortable with it and so on. So I’ve decided I’m going to do that this summer in May, because right now I’m too busy with college, work, and homework.

Also, probably really dumb question (and forgive me) but is there any way they make an automatic sport bikes? I can’t (or at least haven’t learned how to) drive manual. (Sad I know) but if I must, I’m willing to learn. Hopefully it isn’t too hard.

Next question, to my understanding, you can get the paddle/clutch on the handle bars or down by your foot in order to change gears. Is this correct? And how can you tell which bike has what?

Also, I have scoliosis. I actually have two curves. One is about a 22 degree curve between my shoulder blades it is both curving and rotating. The other is at my lower back this one is about a 12 degree curve so its not considered scoliosis yet, the doctor thinks it is because my body is trying to counter the curve between my shoulder blades. Idk, good news is I have also been told they have stopped moving/curving or at least slowed down. So how they are now is about as bad as they are going to get. I have heard that because of this fact, a crotch rocket/sports bike may hurt my back more. But idk, has anyone else heard of this or knows someone who rides and has scoliosis too? Would a cruiser be better?
Thank yall much! :)
 

·
BACK ON TWO WHEELS
Joined
·
13,542 Posts
Hi and welcome Lauren. If it were up to me, I'd go for the bike of course. There's nothing better than riding a bike on a sunny day. Sounds like you've never rode before, so you should look into a MSF class first. Here's the link: Motorcycle Safety Foundation
hey he stole my thunder...in all seriousness..lifelong advice
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20,606 Posts
Bubba68CS and Belrix
Thank you so much, for all of that information it was very helpful! :)

NJdrifter1500
It really is a shame we have to think that way. My problem, I have times where my mind drifts off to other things while I’m driving (like what shopping needs to get done, did I finish all my hw, and so on). So that worries me a little. The other thing is man I’ve heard soooooo many horror stories. Its not making me feel very safe. The only thing saving me is I really see this as only a “play toy” something to do for fun and when I feel like it. A bike will not be my only means of traveling. So if I’m coming home late at night from work or if theres a chance of rain, I’ll just take my car. Only for perfect weather, when I feel like it, and when I’m fully decked out in my protective gear (frankly I think the gear we wear is sexy) but anyways only then will I dive it. So, I’m still leaning towards a bike. And my family has started to understand. I really am not a crazy speed driver or anything, plan to be careful, wear all the gear, and only drive it when I’m comfortable with the conditions of the road and weather.

And I’ve talked to my friend more, its something about I would probably do something wrong with the clutch and that would cause me to drop the bike or it throwing me off or something. Idk, I’ll try to quote what exactly he says sometime. I’m not a pro when it comes to bike talk…yet :)
As far as everything else, I will be taking the MSF. I figured, like yall said, it would help me learn the bike, how to ride, comfortable with it and so on. So I’ve decided I’m going to do that this summer in May, because right now I’m too busy with college, work, and homework.

Also, probably really dumb question (and forgive me) but is there any way they make an automatic sport bikes? I can’t (or at least haven’t learned how to) drive manual. (Sad I know) but if I must, I’m willing to learn. Hopefully it isn’t too hard.

Next question, to my understanding, you can get the paddle/clutch on the handle bars or down by your foot in order to change gears. Is this correct? And how can you tell which bike has what?

Also, I have scoliosis. I actually have two curves. One is about a 22 degree curve between my shoulder blades it is both curving and rotating. The other is at my lower back this one is about a 12 degree curve so its not considered scoliosis yet, the doctor thinks it is because my body is trying to counter the curve between my shoulder blades. Idk, good news is I have also been told they have stopped moving/curving or at least slowed down. So how they are now is about as bad as they are going to get. I have heard that because of this fact, a crotch rocket/sports bike may hurt my back more. But idk, has anyone else heard of this or knows someone who rides and has scoliosis too? Would a cruiser be better?
Thank yall much! :)
if you have trouble concentrating while on the road, you might want to reconsider riding a motorbike. You have to pay attention when riding as balance and awareness of hazzards is very important.
Hell, i'd question if you should be in a car if you can't concentrate while behind the wheel :lol:


But if you can make sure you concentrate, then motorbiking isn't dangerous.

Most horror stories are passed on by people who exaggerate the original story, and most other ones involve people who were riding like an idiot anyway.


Cruisers and sportsbikes both can take their toll on your body in different places.
- cruisers you might experience some aches across your shoulder blades and lower back due to the fact that all your weight is on your lowerspine, and your arms are stretched out infront of you.
- on a sportsbike, the fact that your feet are directly under you helps to take the weight off your lowerback, but you will still notice a slight ache in your wrists and shoulder because you're leant forward and resting on your hands.

obviously a sport-tourer or all-rounder will put you in a more upright position, with your feet under you so you're not resting your weight on your wrists, and you can take the weight off your spine with your legs.

regarding transmission, you can buy automatic scooters... which range from 50cc to 800cc ... but they're still a scooter :lol:

or the Honda DN-01 automatic cruiser.... which is a nice ride, but might be a bit big & heavy for you as a first bike.
but otherwise, motorbikes are manual.
sorry.


i think everyone should learn to drive/ride a manual anyway. automatics are boring as hell.

regarding when you choose to ride the bike, riding in the rain isn't dangerous.

i personally think everyone should do it a few times so they don't become complacent. people who only ride in the dry (unless the weather is always perfect where you are) don't get much experience and pick up bad habits due to the lack of continual riding.
if you only ride in dry sunny weather, you might freak out if suddenly it starts raining one day while you're out too

:lol:

the MSF should help you with learning to ride using the manual transmission.
Which is another good reason to start on a small CC bike. Learning how to use a clutch on a bigger bike isn't a good idea... :)

definitely do the MSF first as it will help you decide if biking is indeed for you.
 

·
'06 V2K, Baby!
Joined
·
2,325 Posts
Yeah, the Suziki T-Max or Suzuki Burgman are both "super-scooters". I know a sport-biker that was impressed by the Burgman that passed them doing 100mph. Calling it a scooter is not quite right. Still - auto transmission & no foot controls.

Piaggio makes the mp3, a three wheeler auto-scooter that leans through turns. It starts with a 250 engine and has two bigger ones up to 500cc. I saw a bunch on I-70 one trip, doing highway speeds, riding two-up. they're odd looking but look powerful enough for a lot of purposes. Watch the video on their website for the mp3 - it's an odd critter.

Honda DN-01 can be operated in a semi-automatic or full automatic mode. Reports from riders are fairly positive and it doesn't look like at all like a scooter. Honda seems committed to that new transmission and their moving into their sport-bike line this year with the VFR-1200. That's probably too big for a starter bike.

The Can-Am Spyder has an semi-automatic transmission available but that's also a lot of bike to start with (and it's a three wheeler, too).

Ridley Motorcycles makes only automatics but they're all cruisers. Looking at their website, it looks like they market to women a lot - probably just for this reason.

IMO, you won't lose much "fun" if you went automatic. It's the speed, the view, the wind, and the lean that are the fun parts. Shifting is just a necessity.
 

·
BACK ON TWO WHEELS
Joined
·
13,542 Posts
the MSF should help you with learning to ride using the manual transmission.
Which is another good reason to start on a small CC bike. Learning how to use a clutch on a bigger bike isn't a good idea...

definitely do the MSF first as it will help you decide if biking is indeed for you.



listen to steve, he is up every morning even b4 me!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
go with a ninja 250, i did, im 21, f, and i love this bike!!! it def. goes fast when u want it, and its easy to maintain. keep the car as a backup, i love my acura so i kept that for when it rains!!!
 
1 - 20 of 49 Posts
Top