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Old 07-12-2012, 08:18 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Female experiences upgrading to 500 or 600 bikes...

Hey girls!
I'm currently riding a 2005 250, and would love some input on your experiences upgrading from a 250 to a 500 or 600 ninja. Most of what I have read has been in the other sections of this forum, and was predominantly written by males.
I love the weight and handling of the 250, and that seems to be people's biggest objection to upgrading (although it still seems to be worth it, because it seems like most people do it eventually!). I want to ride a bike I can control, not a bike that controls me. And every once in a while something happens where I am thankful I don't have a heavier bike, like when I come to a stop and my foot slides on some sand or loose gravel.
What are your experiences? How different/heavier are these larger bikes? I don't necessarily NEED more power, but it would be nice to have a little more oompf for cruising on the highway, and a heartier sound so I don't sound like a go-kart (or nothing at all! lol).
I have also thought about "upgrading" to a new 250 and modding the exhaust, etc. to get a little more noise and power.
Any thoughts on this?
Thanks!
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Old 07-12-2012, 09:07 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Hey girl!
If you're looking for a bit more ooompf, but not give up familiar bike size and handling, then the 500R is the right bike for you. They are almost exactly the same seat height, weight... I started on a 500R, because I knew that I wanted to travel, and I didn't see myself put-putting up the mountains with a pile of luggage on a 250R..

When it comes to the 600-range, you'll have to be more specific about your body size and riding experience.
Body size mentioned first, because most of those babies are just not made for us short girls to get our feet on the ground. If you're worried about slipping on gravel and such...and I think the same way..then you'll have to find a bike that's low and comfy enough for you, or add the expense of lowering to the purchase price.
If you're looking at '600', there is the question of your prefered body position while riding. More upright would be something like 650R, tucked in fast and furious is more like a ZX6R... With one being a sport bike and the other being a super sport, there are, however big differences in insurance rates. Ask your insurance agent before you get the surprise!
There are of course differences in handling, compared to your 250R, but if your training and basic skills are solid, then it's 'just another bike to get used to'. Don't let the guys spook you with the 'waaayy to big bike (meaning engine size)' crap. We're girls are less likely to kill ourselves by opening up, just because our bikes have 120+hp... We're usually not that stupid...
If the bike is to big (meaning dimensions) and you can't reach the controls, then have second thoughts about it.

Last edited by ninja500hs; 07-12-2012 at 09:16 AM.
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Old 07-12-2012, 04:00 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Go to a dealership and sit on a bunch of different bikes. Feel the seat height, the weight, and the ergonomics. See what you like and what you're comfortable with!

You can control any bike, since you're the one giving the inputs. You just need patience and to practice to get your confidence up.

Basically, get what you want and what feels good!
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Old 07-15-2012, 12:51 AM   #4 (permalink)
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what's your height? I'm 5'5", no boots. I have a zx6r 09, and my new bike is a cbr 1000rr.
the 600cc supersports are just as flickable as a 250. only weigh 40lbs more.

this is what I would want to know now that I know better:

1) riding position (upright or a sportbike) - I have no issue with the 1/2 push up sportbike riding position, b/c when my bike goes over 50 mph, I lay on the gas tank, way comfy for slabbing it.

2) suspension: kawi's have a stiffer OEM suspension (aka bumpier street ride), but great for the track. Honda CBR 600 or 1000rr, they are softer and the bike just feels more planted.

if you go for a 650r or something in the 500cc range, nothing wrong with that, just know that most of the 600cc supersports have 110 hp at the wheels, so something like 125 at the engine. much high HP than the 650r and 500cc, and probably a little lighter as well.

If you are considering a cruiser, than that's cool too, just like someone else posted, sit on the bikes look at how gauge cluster is laid out and think about what bells and whistles you want, like ABS or traction control.

Personally I'd get the suzuki gsxr 750, b/c it has a engine output limiter, so you don't kill yourself on your first ride, 3 settings I think, I know the second setting is 600cc and obviously one is wide open. you get the light weight of a 600 but the power more like a 1000cc sport bike. best of both worlds.
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Old 07-15-2012, 09:55 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks for the good responses!
I'm 5'5" and approx 165 lbs, and I'm decently strong.
It's really interesting to hear that a 600 is only 40 lbs more than a 250. I sat on a few kawasaki 600's and it felt like much more! Maybe it's the fact that I could hardly touch the ground as-is, lol.
And I was really glad to hear from a 500 rider. That's what I had started to lean towards, although being discontinued, I'm not sure how easy it would be to get my hands on one of those.
Really cool to know about the gsxr.... I had no idea!
If anybody else has any input, keep it coming! I'm sure I'm not the only female with this question about upgrading!
Thanks again girls.
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Old 07-15-2012, 11:46 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I'm 5'5"/120lbs and I own and ride an unmodified and unlowered 500R, with both feet firmly on the ground. My ZX6R is lowered about 2.5 inches. Absolutely NO problems whatsoever. Both bikes have about the same weight, the ZX gas tank is a bit wider,and that makes her feel bulky. Each bike handles completely different from the other, but once you know how to position yourself best on the seat, balancing them is easy for a short (weak...hahaha...) woman..
500Rs are still available, in fact the dealership here in town has a brand new one, that for some reason nobody wanted. They are asking about $3000 for it, and it has never left the showroom. Just look around, some stores might have taken one in as trade, and they are just hiding it, because they are making more money on new sales.
Both of my current bikes are fun as hell (so was my Harley, but that money went into the ZX...). I got the 500R about 4 years ago as my beginner bike, and I put 17k miles on it. The ZX6 moved in 15 months ago, and she's been carrying me for 12k miles since then. In fact, I always try out different stuff on each bike,and I never stopped learning.
And for the record: No speeding tickets...and no attempts to 'kill myself', regardless of what the relatives are bitching about....

Take plenty of time, make your choice, always wear your gear, and enjoy your new bike!

Last edited by ninja500hs; 07-15-2012 at 11:50 PM.
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Old 07-16-2012, 12:09 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I'm 5"3 and 150 lbs , I ride a 2002 lowered Ninja 500. I have both feet on the ground, it handles like a dream, good on highways and in residential areas.

It's my first bike ever, it's been really good to me and I've been good to her : )
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Old 07-16-2012, 01:17 PM   #8 (permalink)
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oh, the triumph daytona 675, has a narrow seat (which means more inseam for us). it's a great bike also.
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Old 07-16-2012, 01:57 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sprorchid View Post
oh, the triumph daytona 675, has a narrow seat (which means more inseam for us). it's a great bike also.
I totally agree! But...finding service, parts or any dealership within a reasonable (towing) range is a bit of a bitch... I had been interested in a Ducati Monster before, which I can handle, as far as seat height goes, but the closest source was about 200 miles from here... Not an option, because I don't have tools or time to work on bikes....
There is one Suzuki 650 model that is as low as the 250R/500R, but I forgot which year/type..

Last edited by ninja500hs; 07-16-2012 at 02:00 PM.
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Old 08-05-2012, 03:34 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Bikes and boots

Quote:
Originally Posted by KawiJess250 View Post
Thanks for the good responses!
I'm 5'5" and approx 165 lbs, and I'm decently strong.
It's really interesting to hear that a 600 is only 40 lbs more than a 250. I sat on a few kawasaki 600's and it felt like much more! Maybe it's the fact that I could hardly touch the ground as-is, lol.
And I was really glad to hear from a 500 rider. That's what I had started to lean towards, although being discontinued, I'm not sure how easy it would be to get my hands on one of those.
Really cool to know about the gsxr.... I had no idea!
If anybody else has any input, keep it coming! I'm sure I'm not the only female with this question about upgrading!
Thanks again girls.
hey, I am a female rider also. I don't have the height issue tho as I am 5'10", they actually had to adjust the height up for me. But with kawasaki, and most brands, when you get into the 600 range the height is adjustable and since you are an average height the dealer can adjust it for you before you take delivery of the bike. the tank is wider on the 600 and 1000, which leds more to a grip issue when wearing certain jeans (i.e. my stupid AE jeans). Nothing some stomper grips won't cure, and then you feel as if you have more control. I have a 600 and it is the first bike I have owned and I love it. i am actually upgrading sprokets, K&N air filter, and putting a full exhaust to add to my slip on and also a power commander V onto it, which should give it much more power. The 08 ZX6-R that i have, with only a two bros slip on, dynoed at 90 hp range, so don't let those stock numbers scare you because in the real world they aren't actually that high. I would personally say don't waste your time or money with anything lower then a 600, I mean unless it really is a smashing deal. After a few months riding the 600 you may even want to get a 750 or 1000, but the 600 does great on twisties, and in my opion with good riding can beat some 1000s. Also when you get to 600 range you have more upgrade capiblites then you do with the 250 range. I think if you got a 600 with either a two brothers slip-on or full exhaust you will have the sound you are looking for without an over powered bike or sounding like an anger lawn mower. I work at a motorcycle shop and I hear the gammet of bikes and two brothers always sounds the best, its deep and throaty not high pitched and whiney.
As far as the slipping thing on gravel it happens but I have switched to the TCX X-Street shoe and they are amazing. They look like sneakers and feel like sneakers they also make female ones in either waterproof or a suede like material, read this review on them TCX X-Street Waterproof Shoes | Used & Reviewed - Super Streetbike Magazine . They have saved my butt a few times in gravel because they are very grippy. I also love I can go to the mall or casual dining in them with out having a shoe that looks like a bike shoe on, but has the same protection.
I am thinking about starting my own forum just for women and women riders only, not tagged up in a larger forum. What is everyone's take on this? Would you use it or would it be a wash? I also don't know how many female riders there are out there because in tucson it seems like there are none or I just keep riding with dudes. It was refreshing to read that a fellow female rider didn't want unicorns or butterflies on her boots and wanted more options then hot pink in gear. Anyway let me know please and I can get one going!
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