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Hi, I'm Nym. I just joined and want to say up front I am a newbie when it comes to motorcycles in pretty much every way. My interest in bikes started two years ago and I've been doing research on and off since then. I've never ridden a motorcycle and have had pretty much zero opportunity to do so or talk to anyone who knows anything about them. I recently learned to drive stick on my grandfather's old beat up Toyota pickup, that's the only experience with manual transmission I've had. I've been driving a Toyota Prius for the past few years.

Now that I have some background out there here is my situation and what I'm looking for:
I have around a 8 mile commute to work 6 days a week that is in a not-too-busy town. The freeways around here don't usually go above 80mph. I am a 20 year old female, around 5' 7" and 110lbs. I'm looking at a Ninja 250 or 300. I'm looking for something simple and easy to ride for a beginner bike (easier to control for a lightweight gal) that will also serve me well if I decide to keep it in the long term; and have little interest in a bike with more power. I love the look of both bikes but am wondering which will be better for what I am looking for. I'm not necessarily looking for more cc's, but am wondering if the slipper clutch, fuel injection and extra's on the 300 is worth the extra money? I've heard different answers to this while perusing through different forums and reddit posts. I like the streamline appearance of the 300's dash and the idea of the fuel injection and extra room to grow but hearing my situation would like the opinion of someone with experience. Is there a substantial difference in mileage or anything else I should take into consideration? I figure I will look at craigslist or facebook market place for my first bike, would also like any tips on what to look for when buying used.

I've given it a lot of thought and I would like a bike not just for the beauty and fun, but want to learn some of the mechanics in hopes to maybe one day do my own maintenance work. Any tips are highly appreciated, like I said, I've had no first hand experience and no one I've been able to talk to one on one about this, pretty much everyone close to me in my personal life would be horrified to learn how serious I am about this. My father had a pretty serious accident as a young adult on his bike and I figure I'm pretty much on my own if I want to go ahead with this. I know and accept the risks that come along with owning a bike and I'm trying to get as much info as I can before I start.

With this whole virus pandemonium it has been difficult to know how and where to start but I did find a course on the basics that is set to open back up this month but training gear is no longer included. Finding a store that is open where I can try on gear is another challenge, but I'm looking. I've got my eye on some gear that I'd like online but would ideally want to try everything out first hand or at least get a feel for what I want. Any tips and first hand suggestions are much appreciated! I've watched hundreds of videos and read countless articles and forums but I'm really just groping in the dark on this one, the internet being my only source of info so far. My situation isn't ideal so I hope yall can be patient with me as I learn. Big thanks in advance to anyone who can take the time to give me some pointers and first hand advice!
 

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Hi and welcome to the forum :)

You appear to be pretty committed to enter the world of two wheels, and quite responsible at the same time, and that's always a good starting point.

First and foremost, and before you decide on your first ride, you should consider investing a brave amount of your money on protective rider gear. You will need a good quality helmet, jacket, pair of pants, gloves and riding boots or shoes and you will definitely need to use them while riding. Choose safety over appearance, try on everything and consider how safe you are going to be in case of an accident. Try the ultra expensive - racing stuff first to get an idea of top safety level. Don't buy cheapo helmets, spend at least 200 - 300$ or more. If you live in a very hot area you should consider buying separate full summer gear, if not and you think you can cope with the summer heat, a four season jacket and pair of pants with integrated ventilation, mid season gloves and a pair of standard riding shoes/boots is the most practical solution. You will need more of course, but that's a good starting point.

Study as much riding theory as you can, read books, watch online videos and attend a riding school or at least try to practice what you learned in a safe place.

The 300 is an amazing bike for beginners, practical enough for your commute and very entertaining. I totally recommend it (y)
 
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