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Discussion Starter #1
I am new to motorcycles and have never been on one before. I am going to get my license and take a training course in May 2005. I will be buying a used bike, but I need help to choose which one.

Since I know very little about motorcycles, I have narrowed my options down to 4 bikes based on apearance alone. (and not getting something with too much power)

Kawasaki - Sportbikes
Ninja 500R
Ninja ZX-6R
Kawasaki - Retro/Naked
ZR-7S
Kawasaki - Sport Touring
ZZ-R600

Could someone please make me 5 seperate lists using the criteria below as most important for each list for the bikes above.

1. Fuel Gauge - I heard that the 500R doesn't have one??
2. Exhaust Noise - Quieter is better. I don't like loud bikes.
3. Acceleration - 0 mph to 60 mph? or 0 Kph to 100 Kph?
4. Radio - Does it have one?
5. Brakes - Do they all have front and back brakes?

Please don't think that the above features are the only thing I care about. I'm just starting off with some simple questions first.

Thank you. :D

Oops. One more thing... In regards to Noise of a Motorcycle, could you please tell me an approx Decibel Level based on this Chart...

http://www.chem.purdue.edu/chemsafety/Training/PPETrain/dblevels.htm
 

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1. Fuel gauge is not a big deal - just push the odometer trip button and go. When you run out of fuel you'll still have your reserve for about 30-40miles.
2. Don't know.
3. Don't know, but the 600's will get you there faster than the 500.
4. All do not have radios.
5. All of the bikes you mentioned will have front and rear brakes.

Someone else will jump in with more info for you.
 

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The 500r is the slowest accelerating, but it still accelerates faster than a corvette. A motorcycle is a different world than a car. I'd suggest the 500r over the others for your first bike.

Cale said:
Cycle Magazine:
Performance

Standing start ¼ mile 12.73 sec. @

102.21 mph

Acceleration, 0-60 mph 3.76 sec.

45-70 mph, top gears (4) 4.08 sec., 343 ft.

(5) 5.92 sec., 492 ft.

(6) 6.62 sec., 589 ft.

Braking, 60-0 mph 115 ft.

Horsepower @ 60 mph 9.58

Engine rpm @ 60 mph, top gear 4935

Average fuel consumption rate 48 mpg

(20.4 km/l)

Cruising range (main/reserve) 202/29 mi

(237/46 km)

Load capacity

(GVWR less curb weight 418.5 lbs (189.8 kg)

Maximum speed in gears

@ engine redline (1) 44 (2) 63

(3) 82 (4) 101 (5) 118 (6) 133

133mph-theoretically because she cannot hit red in 6th.
 

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1. Fuel guage is a neat toy but that's about all.
2. Look for factory exhaust, it will usually be quietest.
3. Any of the bikes on your list are scary fast, with the 500 being slowest and the zx-6r fastest (all under 4 sec. 0-60)
4. Radios are more useless on a bike than fuel guages
5. All your list have good front and rear brakes, the zx-6r probably has the best.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks

Thanks for the help.

I also went to a local dealer today and I was told the following:

He said that the ZZ-R600 might be a better bike for me.

Here's what he said about the four bikes:

Ninja 500R: Is a really good beginners bike but after the first month I might get bored with the performance.

Ninja ZX-6R: Is an Awsome bike but it might have a little too much power for a beginner.

ZR-7S: Fun bike, but I might want to wait for the 2005 Z-750 because it is using newer technology (Liquid Cooling) but will have the same Fairing as the ZR-7S

ZZ-R600: It's got the extras I wanted like a Fuel Gauge and it has a few compartments to store little things that the 500R didn't have.

He also said that if my legs where shorter than maybe he would put me on a 500R but since I can fit on a ZZ-R600 just fine, it might be a better bike for me. The ZZ-R600 is better for longer distance rides.

What do you think about those statements???

Here is some info on me:

25 year old, male
Weight: 170 lbs
Height: 5' 10"
Winter Activities: Good Snowboarder who takes a few jumps once in a while
Summer: Cycling and Knee boarding.

I am not a musculer person, just average but in good health. Well.... I do have a little bit of a beer belly, but it's not too big. My girlfriend says it's a good size. :lol:
 

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I would say rule out the 6R and Zr7s

Let me ask you what is bored with performance?

There is no doubt that the zzr600 is a stronger performing bike. IMHO its what is between your ears that matters the most. When we talk about learning on a bike part of the philosophy behind getting a smaller bike is to take away some of the temptation of really opening the bike up on a road. Ripping down the road as an inexperienced rider tends to equal crashing. The other part is dealing with the weight of the bike. It is much easier to get out of trouble with a lighter bike and it tends to be more forgiving in riding errors. Heavier/faster bikes as it may be will be launched beyond the point of return with a simple twist of the wrist.

I would agree that the zzr600 could be a long term bike and take you from beginner to experienced rider without selling or upgrading, but for your initial education in riding I think it better to ride the 500 and upgrade later to a different bike. You may find out that the 500 is all that you will ever need. You may also find out that your second bike will be a lot larger than the 600?

To me it comes down to whats between your ears. You gotta be honest with yourself on this one or at least a friend to help you see the light.
 

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Have to agree, you're short enough that a 500r would compliment you nicely, hell, a lot of people here are over 6' and ride 500's and don't get bored, I admin also

So, 500r less expensive, less insurance, more power than you're going to need in your first couple of seasons...when you reach that level of achievement which you might never...you can do mods to lighten it up and strengthen the engine, maybe even enough to get it into the range of a 600
 

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Kozanator; I see your from Thunderbay ONT. That is some real awsome motorcycle riding country my friend,your a lucky man living there! :) I've been riding & racing motorcycles for 40+ years (Yes I'm an OLD Man :wink: )...if your looking to get into a motorcycle for the first time,myself personaly would recomend a used bike over new! for a few reasons #1 if you drop it you won't be so upset! #2 older bikes tend to have a much wider power band which makes them much easyer to ride safely IMO #3 They can be bought most of the time for out right cash VS. going through a bank and raising your insurance costs! For your discription of yourself I would recomend a few GREAT older bikes 1977 thru 1982 KZ 650/KZ 750 4 cylinder air cooled engines..... early to mid 90's Zepher 550/750 they were remakes of the old KZ's I would lean towards the 750 for you!! Some other GREAT old Kawasaki's are the 81/82 1000 J... 79/80 Mark II 1000 shaft or chain drive,if you like cruiser custom type bikes there are SR/LTD/Spector versions of most of these bikes I'm talking about..Most of the bikes I'm talking about can be had for between $500.00 and $2,500 Canadian except the 550/750Zepher's they will go much higher as they are real collector type bikes proably between $3,000 and $6,000 Canadian! No matter what you choose for safety sake DO TAKE a MSFC also being where you live in Canada I would recomend taking a Road Race Class at Shananville Raceway.. BTW: out of all the bikes I recomended only the 550 Zepher would you ever grow out of,the rest would be life time keepers even if you got a newer bike later! Good Luck and ride safe no matter what you do my young friend!!
 

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One more thought being your in Thunderbay ONT. try to buy these bikes I speak of from Oct. thru Feb. while they are at their lowest prices in your area,also seach through Win. Man. & Cal. Alberta news papers good deals on older Kawasaki's can be worth the drive to get from out there! Good Luck my friend and Ride Safe Ya Hear" :wink:
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Superbike Mike said:
One more thought being your in Thunder bay ONT. try to buy these bikes I speak of from Oct. thru Feb. while they are at their lowest prices in your area, also search through Win. Man. & Cal. Alberta news papers good deals on older Kawasaki's can be worth the drive to get from out there! Good Luck my friend and Ride Safe Ya Hear" :wink:
A few people told me to try and buy a bike in the winter season cause it's cheaper but... Since I don't have any training or even a license for that matter, I would feel too uncomfortable buying a bike and not really knowing how to use it.

The Motorcycle training courses in Thunder Bay only run from April 30th to September 20th. I just missed it! :(

Thanks for the input "Superbike Mike" I will surf the internet and take a look at the bikes you mentioned.

In regards to the 500r vs. the ZZR-600... I'm still trying to decide. I like the fact that I might keep the ZZR-600 for a longer time and I don't have to use all the power. It's also got the fuel Gauge and I've heard that it's better for longer rides on the highway (I would mostly be doing highway driving between home and work). The 600 also has better space to carry stuff. but.... the 500r is cheaper and if my girlfriend gets a license then she could use it too. She's too small to fit on the ZZR-600. Also, if my girlfriend wants to get into bikes later on, I could give her my 500r when I upgrade.

I would use my VW Jetta 1.8T for the winter as my primary and the Bike for the summer (obviously) as my primary.

I found these prices at www.autotrader.ca

2001 Kawasaki Ninja 500R with 1470Km (914 miles) for $4900 Canadian ($3800 US) - Mint Condition (privately for sale)

1999 Kawasaki Ninja ZZR-600 with 29,000Km (18,024 miles) for $5000 Canadian ($3900 US) - One side is all scratched up but it includes all the replacement parts that can be put on now or held off until later. (for sale by a dealer)

Are those good deals???
 

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Kozanator;I bought a brand new Kawasaki Concours with a fuel gauge on it I've had the bike for 3 months I have over 11,000 miles on it already and I have "NEVER" not one time looked at the gas gauge,there is no reason for having one on a motorcycle at all,set your trip meter to ZERO when you fill it up the first time and when it hits reserve look at the miles on the trip meter,now you know when to stop for gas! I have owned 100's of motorcycles in my time and never looked at a gas gauge on any of them EVER!Gas gauges are worthless DO DAD's IMO! Your prices for what your looking at sound pretty good to me,but with out seeing them my self it would not be fair of me to say to buy or not" that will be up to you my friend! Don't be afraid to buy a motorcycle,they won't bite if you see something you like and suits your wallet and style GO FOR IT and start learning about the world of motorcycles! You'll love it no matter how it works out AS LONG AS YOU DO THE MSFC "FIRST" Have FUN my friend and if you some help at anytime my young friend just e-mail me your phone# and I'd be glad to call you,I'm not to cheap to spend money on a phone call if it will help a fellow motorcyclest! :wink:
 

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Discussion Starter #12
ZZR-600

1Adam12 said:
I would say rule out the 6R and Zr7s

Let me ask you what is bored with performance?

There is no doubt that the zzr600 is a stronger performing bike. IMHO its what is between your ears that matters the most. When we talk about learning on a bike part of the philosophy behind getting a smaller bike is to take away some of the temptation of really opening the bike up on a road. Ripping down the road as an inexperienced rider tends to equal crashing. The other part is dealing with the weight of the bike. It is much easier to get out of trouble with a lighter bike and it tends to be more forgiving in riding errors. Heavier/faster bikes as it may be will be launched beyond the point of return with a simple twist of the wrist.

I would agree that the zzr600 could be a long term bike and take you from beginner to experienced rider without selling or upgrading, but for your initial education in riding I think it better to ride the 500 and upgrade later to a different bike. You may find out that the 500 is all that you will ever need. You may also find out that your second bike will be a lot larger than the 600?

To me it comes down to whats between your ears. You gotta be honest with yourself on this one or at least a friend to help you see the light.
I don't know If I would get borred with the performance of a 500R.

I went to a local dealership and the sales guy was dealing with me and a couple who were also looking at a ZZR-600. The couple were cops. I also found out that the girl just started ridding last year and she bought a 500R. She said it was really fun for the first month or two but then she got bored quick, because it didn't feel really stable at higher speeds. She was telling me that I might want to get the ZZR-600 if I don't want to upgrade in a year.
 

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Like I said in my first post the 550 Zepher will be gone in no time! You would be much better off with the old style 750 or 1000's I listed then a newer style ZZ600 IMO because the old style 1000 engine will have less HP's then the new 600 with a MUCH BROADER" power band,much nicer and easyer to ride IMO! Good Luck with what you deside my young friend!! :wink:
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Superbike Mike said:
Like I said in my first post the 550 Zepher will be gone in no time! You would be much better off with the old style 750 or 1000's I listed then a newer style ZZ600 IMO because the old style 1000 engine will have less HP's then the new 600 with a MUCH BROADER" power band,much nicer and easyer to ride IMO! Good Luck with what you deside my young friend!! :wink:
What does IMO stand for? I'm guessing... In my opinion?

What does IMHO stand for? I'm guessing... In my honest opinion?

What does MSFC stand for? I know it's some kind of test or course? Is it an American test? Is it called something different in Canada?

In Canada I beleive it goes like this:

1. write a road test to get a M1 Class Learner's Permit
2. Take a 2-3 day training course to be upgraded to a M2 Class Licence which will lower your Bike Insurance by 50% in some cases.
3. One year/Season later you can upgrade to a full License which is called an M Class License. When this happens, your Insurance goes down again.
4. Once you turn 25 years old, your insurance goes down again
5. Once you get married, your insurance will go down somemore.
6. Once you turn 30 years old, your insurance will be very low but no major changes since your insurance will already be pretty low.
 

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IMO your correct! .........IMHO H is for HUMBLE!....... MSFC is Motorcycle Saftey Foundation Course it is NOT a test!!! it teachs Safe Motorcycle Riding so you don't get killed riding like you drive your car!!! #1 RULE to staying alive on a motorcycle #1-#1-#1 I can not stress this enough" you must ride at all times like everyone on the road is trying to "KILL YOU" always at all time this is #1 at all times! I taught my daughter to ride a motorcycle on an Ice Skating Rink in the dead of winter at 14 years old so she would never ever dought her ablity to control a motorcycle,then I drumed the #1 rule into her head till she couldn't stand it anymore :lol: I'm also an EX Road Racer,EX Road Race Instructor,EX MSFC instuctor so she learned well very well IMO.. :wink: You have a GREAT place to learn more about motorcycle safety and control then anywhere in the U.S.A. (LIKE I SAID) Shananville Raceway SIGN UP AND GO take it!! it's only a few hundred dollars!! I would if I lived where you do,those people in Shananville are magic in my book! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Hi "Superbike Mike"

I took a look at some of the bikes you mentioned, but my one problem with them was age. I don't mind fixing a few things here and there, but I wouldn't want to do anything major because I've never worked on anything mechanical before.

I've decided to get a newer bike between 1999 to 2002 with low mileage. I'm guessing, I won't have to do as much maintenance.

I love the look of the Ninja ZX-6R but I won't get it until I have at least 2 years of ridding experience.

I like the look of a 2001/2002 Ninja 500R more than a 1999 ZZ-R600 but still undecided.

Once I take the training course (they supply the bikes) then I might be able to make a better decision.

Thanks for all your help.
 

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Your welcome my young friend!! #1 Rule of buying a used motorcycle IMO is buy one with 8,000 miles per year on it or don't buy it,a motorcycle that sits is nothing but trouble for the new owner. I have wrenched motorcycles all my life so I know great bikes and models the ones I recomended to you are bullit proof and if they had 100,000 miles of total abuse on them they still wouldn't give you any trouble,or I would have not recomended them to you at all!! Good luck my young friend! :wink:
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Print out

I'm going to print out all the information from this thread because I found it very helpful. :D

Like I said earlier, I'm not going to be buying a bike tomorrow, but I want to keep all this information with my research folder for when I do buy.

Thanks again.

I'm the kind of person that has to understand everything before I buy something. It took me 6 months of research and test driveing before I bought my first car. :eek:
 

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Kozanator,

The most important thing in my opinion in buying a used bike is its service records - no records = owner not meticulous with maintenance or could just be bad record keeping. I bought my 1985 ZX900A2 the original Ninja from a man in Chicago. It had 5500 miles on it and by other peoples standards you should stay away from. Keep in mind maintenance is as important as riding it for lots of miles.

Whatever you decide to do start to talk with the local Kawi shops or very reputable independents shops around you. I have several shops that I can use to have bikes worked on, but prefer to do my own work. His is a great reference for you to checkout http://www.clarity.net/~adam/buying-bike.html
 

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Kozanator, take your course next year and get then get the Ninja 500R. Trust me, I've put almost 10,000 miles on mine since I bought it last January, this bike is a good one that won't be too hard to learn to ride on. Buy it used, ride it for a year or two, then move up. It has enough power to keep you entertained while building good riding skills. I doubt I'll ever truly be able to outride this bike on public streets. As for that girl saying it wasn't stable at highway speeds, she doesn't know what she's talking about and sounds like she's a squid anyway (squids are the riders you see who don't wear gear and ride like idiots; going too fast, doing stunts on public streets, just riding very stupidly). I finished a 650 mile weekend a while back and the bike ran great. The only problem I had was that my butt hurt (bad) after the trip, even with a Corbin seat (Corbin is an aftermarket seat company that makes seats made for long distance touring). Another thing to take into consideration is your gear. You should wear all you gear, all the time. Get proper gear and wear it. This is important, so I'll repeat: Get proper gear and wear it. Good gear itself will run you $500-1000. Get a helmet that fits, a good jacket with good armor, pants with armor, good gloves, and riding boots. DO NOT SKIMP ON YOUR GEAR. That is the only layer of protection between you and the asphalt if you do down. You should buy all you gear before buying your bike as it will take up a good chunk of your budget. And get leather gear if at all possible as it has the best abrasion protection. To sum it up:

1)Take the beginner rider course (whatever that is called in Canada)
2)Buy good gear (leather preferably)
3)buy a used smaller displacement bike to learn to ride on and then sell it when you decide to move up later. Remember, this is your first bike, not your last, so get something that is easy to learn on (the Ninja 250 or 500 are great learning bikes).

and since you're a beginner this site might be helpful: www.beginnerbikes.com
 
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