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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone! This is my first post. I'm 5'10" and 165lbs...I know the concept of how to shift gears on a bike and all that but have never actually ridden before and at the motorcycle shop today, the sales guy told me that either the ZZR600 or Katana 600 are good starter bikes for a guy like myself. Me being a Kawasaki fan, I felt more at home sitting on the ZZR. I still have a feeling that those might be too much bike for me. He said I should stay away from the common Ninja 500 that everyone buys as a first bike cuz I will outgrow it too fast. So what do you guys think? Being the newbie of newbies, I'm open to any and all opinions/suggestions.
 

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Lol, I hear that a lot. "Don't buy a 250/500, you will outgrow it too fast." If that were true, you would be back to the dealer to upgrade and they would get 2 sales out of it.

I also see a lot of people do the, "Well, I can ride this 250 in a straight line now, so time to upgrade."

Reality is, you will have a blast learning to ride on a 250 or 500. I learned on a KLR 650, and I'll tell you, I wish someone told me to start on a Ninja 250. The speed is more than enough for any beginner(and most experienced) riders. The handling and light weight are great. It's cheap to fix when you drop it. Cheap to maintain. Cheap to buy. Good on gas. Cheap to insure.

Really, there is no reason to start on a 600. The only advantage it has over those bikes is the power, which you usually won't be able to use on the road anyway.

Start small and learn to handle. Then if you decide the extra power is worth the extra cost to you, go for a faster bike.
 

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+1... I started on a 250 as well and I think that was the best choice I made. You can get them in very good condition for under $2000, insurance is dirt cheap, and it is very forgiving on the common n00b mistakes that are made. Another positive about the 250 is most of the time you can turn around and sell it for the same amount or more than what you paid to begin with. I bought mine for $2000 and sold it 3,000 miles later for $2500. You will outgrow the bike eventually but at least you will make the bulk of your mistakes on a cheap bike to repair/operate. After learning on the 250, I had no problems stepping right up to the 636...
 

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i started on the 02' zx6r (zzr600) which is a great bike but i took a riding course before it. Take some lessons at the least. I know i woulda been a better rider if i started on a 500 like the ninja or suzuki gs500. Again i highly recomment the zzr after some professional lessons
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Wow thanks! I'm not stubborn and don't care about looking cool cuz when you got your helmet on, who knows who you are anyway? In my gut I feel like I should start on the ninja 250 or 500. I got the feeling the guy yesterday was just trying to sell me a "cooler" bike because it would make for a better sale??? he even said "yeah we don't enforce the rules, we just sell bikes. you don't have to have a license or insurance to buy a bike. 250 or R1 if you have the money, we'll sell it to you".

Anyway, thanks for that link! Helps a lot
 
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be RESPONSIBLE, use ur HEAD, and u can start on any bike. ur the one in control of that throttle. ur the one who can choose to either start slow, or be a squid on the streets, abuse the power and end up possibly dead.

plenty of newbies who had never ridden before (like me when i got my 04) are doing fine on their 600's. but then again im one of the few young guys who respected the bike 100% at the beginning, and still do to this day. thats what its all about.

no regrets whatsoever from me starting on a 600.

any size bike u get, can kill u. good luck, enjoy it, ride safe.
 

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I started on the ZZR600 and don't regret it at all. I would highly recommend taking the MSF course, it is cheap you will learn a lot and you use their bikes. Don't get the bike until you get the gear helmet, jacket, gloves, jeans and boots are a minimum.

Knowing how to shift the gears is not even the beginning. It is a totally different world on a motorcycle. It can be very stressful in the beginning and I suggest you find some good friends that are responsible and wll respect the fact that you are a beginner. You will learn to ride well in a lot shorter time.

So again my suggestions are to take the class before you do anything. Hell, you might not like it at all (doubt it). After that buy the gear and then you will know what kind of budget you will have for a bike.

Good luck and ride safe!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks everyone. The guy yesterday told me to go buy the bike first and then go to the MSF course that way I can learn on my own bike. That made no sense to me because how would I get the bike there and back if I don't even know how to ride it? I'll take the course first and then maybe look into a used 250R or something like that. I'm 24 right now but am not stubborn. I'll take any and all advice seriously. I want to be able to ride well and am willing to take all the steps and time I need to get there.
 

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Originally posted by ninjakid04636
be RESPONSIBLE, use ur HEAD, and u can start on any bike. ur the one in control of that throttle. ur the one who can choose to either start slow, or be a squid on the streets, abuse the power and end up possibly dead.

plenty of newbies who had never ridden before (like me when i got my 04) are doing fine on their 600's. but then again im one of the few young guys who respected the bike 100% at the beginning, and still do to this day. thats what its all about.

no regrets whatsoever from me starting on a 600.

any size bike u get, can kill u. good luck, enjoy it, ride safe.
That's great for you. You might be one of those special people born to ride a 600 out of the gates. But if you will read the article I posted, you will see why you shouldn't suggest this to anyone else.

Here it is again. Check it out. It is a great read: http://www.chicagolandsportbikes.com/forums/showthread.php?t=26786
 
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whats the point of me reading that. i didnt suggest he get a 600 or a 250 or anything. bottom line - some people are responsible enough for it, some arent. that was the point of my post. so 20 years and a million miles from now if i wreck that's b/c i started on a 600 huh?? are u invincible b/c u ride a 250? [:M77]
 

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get the 250 imo.
i did start out on an older 89 600 ninja,well im just starting to get used to street riding now after many years of dirt riding.
my bike is way more bike than i need.
but i am older (35) and not so keen on high speeds anyhow.
responsability has a large role in the area of safety imo.
i feel i would have been perfectly happy with a 250,just in my case i didnt get a choice.
i think you should take the course first also.
i didnt and would have noticed my bike wasnt road worthy if i had.i ran about 600-700 miles on 0psi in both tires.but im still gonna take the course.i didnt know the tires were flat as they didnt look it and i had no other experiance to compare it to when riding.

i think also the main thing is people think about noobs usually trash a bike many times before they can move on too a better,faster bike.
start out on a expensive 600 and your wasting tons of money if you dump it a few times.
luckily my ninja is an 89 so id have to break it into pieces to decrease its value much.
 

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Originally posted by FormulaRX
The guy yesterday told me to go buy the bike first and then go to the MSF course that way I can learn on my own bike.
Translation: "Buy this 600 from me NOW!" or "Gimme the cassshhhhh!"

As you've realised, learning on your own bike (assuming you were actually to buy a new 600) is not necessarily the smartest thing to do. I'd almost bet money that you'd drop the bike at some time during the course, simply because they're not the best bikes to learn on.

Bikes are pretty much all the same to ride - so once you have learned to ride one (say, a 250), you'll be able to ride them all, although some may take some adjusting to.

The best bike to learn on is one which is very manoeuverable and light, which is exactly what 250s are.

Learn to ride the bike slowly (ie: at walking-pace speeds), and practice U-turns, circles, figure-8s, and riding in a straight line at very slow speeds. You can pick up the higher speed stuff later on, as you progress with your riding. No-one goes straight out and rides well (if at all) at high speeds anyway. It takes practice and experience.

If you go on any group rides, you will probably be left bahind a bit (to start with, at least), but if you've practiced your low-speed stuff, you can make everyone else shake their heads in disbelief when you do a u-turn confidently, while everyone else is doing three or five-point turns.

Being able to do the slow speed stuff does make you a more competent rider - you gain a better understanding of how the bike works, and how to make it do what you want it to. It doesn't always transfer directly to high-speed riding, but it is applicable to about 99% of riding.

Anyway, get the 250 of your dreams (;)), practice riding at low speeds, and show everyone else how crap they really are at riding, because they may be able to do 150mph on the highway, but they won't be able to do a u-turn in the width of a street, and you can laugh at them for that.
 

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i'd have to agree with that, especially the last paragraph. each person should have an idea of what type of rider they're going to be. all those bad driving habits fall under being responsible. its true, a lot of people cant drive, much less ride a bike. i was a cautious driver, then after i learned how to ride, i became even more cautious behind the wheel. u learn to anticipate moves, keep a distance from someone in front, be more aware of the risks and how easy accidents can happen b/c of negligence. if someone's stubborn or hard headed and not capable of learning from mistakes, they dont belong on any size bike.
 

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And if you read the "final equation" in that article, it explains why a 600 is NOT a good bike to start on. Really good stuff. I wish I had read it before I bought my first bike.
 

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Bottom line is you will learn more, and learn it faster on a smaller bike than a bigger bike. Riding a motorcyle _GOOD_ isnt easy, and getting a bigger bike just makes it harder.
 
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