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Discussion Starter #1
This is the last time I talk about this subject but it's an extension of another post that was really listed in the wrong forum section.

First of all, if you are a new rider, ask yourself why you wanted to start motorcycling. For fun? Learn new skills? Look good? Sound good? Bragging rights? Of course, there is nothing wrong with any of these reasons at all, but if you choose the wrong ones at the wrong time then you have to be able to accept the consequences.

If you want to ride for fun then I'd assume that any bike would satisfy you. Since you have no experience, why not start on a bike that is more forgiving in every aspect? Sure, many people are quick to learn and have a lot of natural talent but no one is perfect. Even the ones who pick it up right away will make a mistake now and then or be an emergency situation. When you make a mistake learning your new skill or if you are faced with an emergency would you rather be in the saddle of an EX500 or an RSV Mille R? Unless you're filthy rich and wipe your ass with $100 bills everyday then I'd assume you chose the 500 in this case.

Here are a few reasons for why you should choose a bike like the EX250, EX500, GS500, or (by a far stretch) the SV650. First of all, you've grown to like motorcycles and the idea of riding. So, you want a bike that's going to grow WITH you. Don't get sucked into the idea that you'll outgrow the bike and that you'll want to upgrade soon - that's the excuse for the people who want super-sports no matter what. I'm willing to bet my own bikes that over half of this board cannot fully use the potential of the 54hp that an EX500 has, on the track or the street. The idea is that you don't want to buy that R1 and get so scared (because many of us has had a close call at one point or another in our lives) that you don't want to touch another motorcycle again. It happens, and when it does you lose thousands of dollars.

Another reason you want a forgiving bike is because of your reflexes. Some of you have very slow reflexes and that would be fine for a smaller bike - some of you have very fast or over-reactive reflexes and that's even a bigger excuse to buy a small bike. Imagine being out on the street for your first time covered by nothing but leathers and a helmet when, suddenly, a car pulls out of a driveway and you only have 75 to stop and you're going about 45-50mph. Being in a car you can just hit your brakes or swerve and you'll feel a little nervous, maybe. On a bike you wouldn't know what to do being your first time and if you grab that front brake hard on a ZX6R then you're going down for sure. However, if you grab the brake hard on a 500, the worst that can happen is that you lock the brake, skid, and low-side. You're thinking to yourself, "Either way, in a situation like that I'm going down so what does it matter?". Well, if you chose to buy a used 500 then you'll have some plastic and parts to fix. If you flip over on a major stoppie with the ZX6R then you can buy a good used bike with the damage you're going to have to pay.

These are just some things you might want to consider. The handling on newer bikes are far more touchy and responsive than bikes of old, so you really have to have a good sense of touch and feel. Even then you'll need all the experience you can get and it's better to acquire that experience on a smaller bike. Many find the ergonomics to be discouraging, too. There are many posts on this site about sore wrists or a painful lower back. These are the types of things you're not likely to experience on a standard or standard/sport bike. Also, low-speed things such as u-turns and other parking lot maneuvers are more difficult on the newer sportbikes. The DMV practical test is MUCH more difficult with the SS bike - just something else to consider.

OK, aside from the obvious and riding aspect of motorcycling you'll want to consider other factors in choosing a bike. For one, everyone knows you'll need good gear. Expect to pay about $100 for good gloves, $200 for good boots, $350 for a good jacket and also about the same for a decent helmet. If you want to throw in leather riding pants then add another $220. It adds up, doesn't it? That's nearly a grand for just the riding gear alone - assuming you want that protection when you ride. One thing I always say since hearing this good advice is NEVER CHEAP OUT ON GEAR. Don't blow your money starting out on the latest and greatest if you're going to be left with a t-shirt and shorts.

Next, think about insurance. There are many insurance companies that won't even insure a motorcyclist unless they've had one to three years experience. In some places choices are limited and if you choose a 100+ horsepower sportsbike then expect to pay anywhere from $3000-$6000 a year for full coverage. If you don't believe me, then shop around and don't lie on your quote - tell them you are new to riding and see what they say. Then again, you could always ride without insurance like many squids do in Southern California, but that's your choice and no one's going to help you there.

The last thing you should consider is what you have to lose. Pretending like nothing is going to happen is being in denial and the worst thing any motorcyclist can do. If you go out and finance a $10,000 R1 and you just so happen to crash then you are going to pay. I don't like discussing the inevitable with certain bikes, like... "Oh, well if I get hit then what does it matter if it's a CBR1000RR or a Ninja250"? Again, like I said, if you're rich then it doesn't matter. However, if you've been saving up and were finally able to put a down payment and get enough of a paycheck to finance for monthly payments then you're screwed. Are you willing to lose thousands of dollars so that it may be another few years before you ever ride again? Or would you rather dump or trash a small and inexpensive bike and ride again in a few months? Even garage tip-overs or driveway accidents will cost more than a used bike... and if you've been riding for a year or more then these little things tend to go away and not happen. I think I remember someone on here saying they just bought a 636 and were asking for help on new plastic. I believe the damage was going to be about $800!

Well, that's it, this post is long enough. Remember, it's not just engine size and power but it's also brakes, handling, ergos, costs, insurance, and so on and so forth...

Oh, if you answered, "I wanna look good, have a fast bike, win drag races on the street, and be able to brag about my bike" then go ahead and buy that penile-extension but be prepared for the consequences.
 

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Not to start an arguement with you blue 636, but can you utilize the full 54 hp on that ex500? I know I can't do it on the 600, i'm just wondering if you could on that 500, and if so how do you know?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I know I can't use it yet, but I'm still riding it. I only ride the ZX6 occasionally, except for the last three weeks. I'm waiting on an oil pan for my EX500 so I've been riding the ZX6. I'll know if I can fully utilize all that power once I hit the race track.
 

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IHAB, You keep following me around. Heh.
That post you were talking about is probably mine. Its was posted in the main forum once upon a time, and I made it a sticky way back in time. Its still on here, I just can't remember which forum.

I didn't want to get into the whole insurance and gear part of the equation, well, just cause its an even bigger pain in the butt than what bike a newbie should start on in the first place.

But you learned the hard way that the 636 doesn't make the world's best beginner's bike. It teaches you to do things that are bad for your health, like ride everywhere at speeds that mean automatic trips to the county lockup. And that's just to get onion rings from the local BK. Imagine what happens when you go riding with a bunch of other guys on hyperbikes? Next thing you know, someone's laying on the side of the road, CPR is being performed, and someone's screaming "When the hell is the ambulance going to get here?".

It ain't pretty when things go bad. I've seen more than my fair share of bad things happen on the street. I stay away from large groups of riders, if possible. I really enjoy riding with Localbar and another friend, the two of them are down to earth guys, love to both tear up the twisties as much as they enjoy pinning the throttle back, and watching the needle climb. But they both prefer to keep both tires on the ground, which is the best part. When we go riding together, we don't attract the wrong type of attention to us.

But, you can't always find guys like that to go riding with. And, I can't get them to not get tanked up on Friday and Saturday nights so that we can go riding on Saturday and Sunday mornings to save my soul. If I had a dollar for everytime one of them told me he didn't feel like going riding, well, I'd have a whole bunch of dollar bills. [8D]

But the track... Ooh... I've done that, and it's the ultimate high. Someone looks over your bike, your gear, takes a bunch of money out of your bank account, and tells you "Don't get in over your head" and points you at an evil set of twisties, chicanes, hairpins, and the smoothest asphalt money can buy... I loved it. Must go again, with my Hawk in better shape.

Plus, the track will let you know how much more capable your bike is than you are when you see someone else on an identical bike just leave you in the dust. Or worse, a person on an inferior bike, spank you from start to finish.

Anyway, people can buy whatever they want. Doesn't bother me in the end.
I'll still spank 'em in the twisties, no matter what I'm riding! ;)
BC.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
My friend who rides an F4i actually had a very difficult time keeping up with me in the twisties and he's been riding a year longer (I was on my EX). I'll be hitting the tracks very soon and I'm actually attending Keith Code's suspension class on the 24th of this month.

It's too bad there aren't people like your friends in my area to ride with. Everyone's either a poser that sucks at riding and doesn't really ride just to "ride", or they just live a little too far (Southern Cali is big).
 

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I agree with nearly everything you said Blue636....

There are "real" riders out there, they are just hard to find.

And I'm a firm believer that you learn much faster on a bike that doesn't scare the shit out of you, and to be honest, when I first bought me ex500 a few years ago that scared the shit out of me when I hit around 9-10 grand...again that was my first bike...


i have since gotten a 2002 zx-6r and find that I would like more power from time to time, but to be honest I never pushed my ex500 as hard as I could have...And you can't on the street and if you do you are stupid...


now track is another story, i would love to do some track days, just wish I had more money....


and to be honest I like riding any bike, I even take my girlfriend 250 out for a spin from time to time becasue sometimes it's nice to just relax and not worry about going too fast...
 

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Discussion Starter #8
That's one thing I'd actually like to do is take a little Ninja250 out for a spin. I always wonder what it'd be like to have a small and flickable bike just for scootin' around town. You should move to Cali where you can ride year-round and there are plenty of tracks. Except you'll have to deal with more posers but there are some nice guys around... mostly older riders.
 

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The little 250 is soo easy to ride it's not funny. Feels like a bike with a motor. I could push the bike pretty hard but I'm not confident with the stock rubber on the bike.

very fun easy to ride bike...and you can wring the hell out of it and not be going 150mph...


and I doubt I would fit in very well in Cali. The year round riding sounds fun, but if I rode year round, my bike would never get any work done to it ;)
 

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Andy! Why the hell do you still have the stock rubber on your girl's bike?
I'm ashamed of you. You oughtta be ashamed of yourself.

Spend a couple bucks on some decent tires, and put those K630's in the back of the garage in case the bike ever gets a flat. If you need the tires installed, bring the bike up to NYC one sunny morning, and I'll have them mounted in a bit. No charge.

BC.
 

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"Andy! Why the hell do you still have the stock rubber on your girl's bike?
I'm ashamed of you. You oughtta be ashamed of yourself."


As often as she rides it and the fact that she isn't confident enough to push the bike the stock rubber seems fine. I do run lower stock tire pressures which seem to help.

I ride it pretty fast with the stock rubbers and dont have too much problem. I just don't push it too hard....I ride it maybe 2x faster than my girlfriend so I know she will be safe...
 

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One of these days I'm going to hold a competition on the 250 board to see who uses their bike the least.
I think DaveNYC/Localbar is going to win, though. ;)

BC.
 

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No, he still has the Ninja 250. He bough an '01 6r and sold it for a pretty penny, then bought an F4i, and sold that for an even prettier penny, and then got a bit too drunk, and decided to buy a house.

Something tells me he's not going to be turning a profit on it anytime soon, or buying another shiny bike anytime soon.

He doesn't ride the 250 because its buried in the garage behind boxes that once contained his manhood. ;)
Oh, I'm just kidding about that part, he keeps those in the basement.
BC.
 

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I know what it's like buying a house, bought a new house a couple of years ago. It takes a few years to get you money situation stable and predicable.
 

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you raise a good point at the same time a more responsible rider may be able to handle and be RESPONSIBLE with a R1. It tottally depends on the rider. Personally, I wish i would have bought a R1 or a 1000 CC bikes, Thankfully I didn't, because we have all had our run ins.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Accidents are called accidents for a reason, whether the rider is responsible or not. It's easier to learn how to ride on a small bike rather than an R1.
 
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