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That's great advice to not buy the bike on credit but that's not what the op was asking.
Not sure how a college student is going to save enough cash for a decent used bike and then buy all the gear and insurance etc.
I'm not here to guide this guy through life. If he makes a bad decision then he'll learn the hard way.
What I've seen in forums is guys like this asking a question and 100% of the replies say don't do it.
Then they don't listen and do it anyway.
If I was to give advice on this matter, don't buy the bike until you graduate college and get a decent full time job
 

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Pursebully
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Dude... hate to break it to you, but as a 21 year old... you aint getting a loan on a motorcycle from any bank.
Oh really? Why's that?
 

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More horsepower is more dangerous- panicking and grabbing too much throttle is less likely to cause a crash on a bike with less total horsepower.


Second, the 600cc supersports and 1000cc+ superbikes have much more powerful front brakes, needed to stop the bike at 150 mph plus- panicking and grabbing too much front brake is less of a problem with a lower horsepower bike, since it usually has weaker front brakes that are less likely to raise the back tire off the pavement.


Third, the supersports and superbikes usually have wider, stickier back tires to keep their higher horsepower from spinning the back tire on clean pavement- panicking and using too much throttle or too much back brake is more likely to cause the back tire to slide then stick again, more likely to cause the dreaded high-side crash.


Fourth, a lighter bike can usually take corners faster without crashing- they usually have narrower tires because less turning forces are needed from the tires. Going too hot into a corner on a lighter bike is less likely to result in a crash- the heavier the bike, the more inertia wants to make the bike go straight instead of turn, and more friction is needed from the tires to make the bike turn, compared to a lighter bike.


Fifth, a bike with 4 cylinders is more likely to have a steeper powerband, with more power coming on all at once at higher rpm, compared to a single, twin, or triple cylinder bike. Beginners are much safer starting with 1 or 2 cylinders- 3 cylinder Triumph 675s and the Yamaha FZ-09 are probably too high powered for a beginner to be safe with. There are some tamer 4-cylinder bikes not considered a supersport now, such as the old Honda CB-750 air cooled motor with a top speed similar to the modern 650 twin cylinder.


England makes young beginners start with a 125cc and gradually allows more power, and Japan makes anything over 400cc a lot more expensive. The US lawmakers think it is wise to allow a ZX-14 as a first street bike for a 16 year old rider, and Kentucky only requires a helmet the first year of street riding- this ridiculous lack of laws does reduce the number of motorcycle riders in the US from the Darwin Effect (thinning the herd).
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Pursebully
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lack of laws does reduce the number of motorcycle riders in the US from the Darwin Effect (thinning the herd).
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Good. Laws can't make people intelligent.
 

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1. If you can't pay cash, wait until you can.

2. A 600 supersport as a first bike is a bad idea. Some have done it. Some have even started on literbikes and survived. That doesn't make it a good idea.

3. Save your money until you can pay cash for a used Ninja 250/300 or similar (R3 or CBR250/300), Ninja 650 at most. Be sure to budget for gear, insurance, and maintenance.
 

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I recall how little cash flow I had in college. I have a cheap bike and have already spend several hundred just fiddling with it. If you spend all your resources, you could end up with an unusable bike if a medium sized issue comes up.
 

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I started with an $1,800 car in college (in 1979), after working 60 hours a week in a factory for a year and living in my parent's house to save money for college.

I sold this car (1972 Plymouth Barracuda) and bought a $1,200 650cc motorcycle (1978 Yamaha XS-650) and a $200 car (rusty big Buick) in 1980, and only rode the motorcycle for 6 months for much lower insurance and fuel costs, to help pay for college.
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My first bike was a 1966 Honda 90.
Paid $10 for it by mowing lawns.
Wasn't the best for riding in the dirt but it sure taught me how to ride.
Sold it for $90
 

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This video linked below is good- he explains that his girlfriend's 125cc is not a good beginner bike, and the 300cc Ninja is better for beginners, because of how smooth and forgiving it is. The higher price compared to a used 2008 250cc Ninja is not so good, but you get a slipper clutch and the option for ABS braking with the newer 300.
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZDzi21ON8D4
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This video linked below is good- he explains that his girlfriend's 125cc is not a good beginner bike, and the 300cc Ninja is better for beginners, because of how smooth and forgiving it is. The higher price compared to a used 2008 250cc Ninja is not so good, but you get a slipper clutch and the option for ABS braking with the newer 300.
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZDzi21ON8D4
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so you say the higher hp bike is more safer bike better for beginners?
sev?:laugh:
 

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So many good bikes to begin with without spending/losing $$$...

And still free of electronic intervention I should add, I think it is important to learn how to ride a bike properly without endangering yours and other people's lives.

Nothing beats riding the wheels off of a purely analog bike :)
 

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so you say the higher hp bike is more safer bike better for beginners?
sev?:laugh:
There's a sweet spot involved here. I went with a 250r over a Rebel mainly because I knew I'd be going on the freeway from time to time and the Rebel can barely hit speed. My Ninja can happily hit 90 if I need to without much in the way of complaining.

But yeah, I'd be afraid to ride a 125cc bike, I'm not sure how I'd be able to get out of the way when I need to. A small, quiet bike is easily unnoticed and being able to drop the hammer if need be is a safety issue.

But, beyond about 300CCs of modern bike, I'm not sure you're going to see any meaningful improvements in safety on that basis.
 

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Get off of my lawn Dammit
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A few questions for the OP.

Do you have a car or will the bike be your main source for transportation?

Have you factored in the costs for maintenance, tools & good riding gear?

Have you looked into where in your state you can take the MSF course?

Good luck with your search but remember the cost of the bike and insurance is only the beginning. IMHO it’s a good idea to learn how to do at least the basics yourself so dealerships or other repair shops don’t rape you. Things such as fluids & filter changes, brakes (both pads and fluids), removing your wheels from the bike when the tires need replaced…things like that. To do this you’ll need tools. Tools cost money. I bought mine gradually over time. When I needed something, I got it.

Anyway, just some things to think about. Cheers.
 

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In the video above, his girlfriend's 125cc was a race replica- uncomfortable and with a front brake that was more of an on-off switch compared to a 300cc Ninja front brake.


A 125cc 4-stroke is probably just fast enough for a 55 mph speed limit, but at a high rpm that will wear the engine out pretty quickly for hours at a time, and such a light bike will likely get tossed around more by wind gusts.


Some countries have a 125cc 2-stroke engine available for street use with about the same power as a 250cc 4-stroke engine.


A 125cc 4-stroke scooter might be very comfortable, but it is only for a 45 mph speed limit or less, and you will not learn how to shift gears while using a clutch lever. A beginner is helped by starting with an automatic transmission, then later learning to manually shift for their second motorcycle.


Soon you will not be able to buy a new non-ABS street bike in England, and BMW will soon only sell new bikes with ABS- their on and off-road models will likely have a switch to turn off the back wheel ABS when desired.
 

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Actually you were kind of a dick to me with the grammar police and all in that one post.
Everyone asks why I even come here and I said Sev and a few others are pretty decent.
Other than Jeff in Kentucky being across the front page everyday, I still like to give my opinion once in awhile too.
Nobody said you had to like it.
JiK is welcome to tell me I'm wrong instead of you having to stick up for him.
Sorry I came across the wrong way.
 
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