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Old 09-01-2008, 12:01 PM   #1
Andrew James
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Any sportbike riders out there?

I want to start motorcycle riding for recreation, and sport bikes have always appealed to me. So for anyone out there who rides one, what would you recommend for a novice rider?

I went to a dealership last weekend and talked to a salesman for about an hour. He thinks I'll be fine on a 600cc, but I'm a little skeptical as he would make a much larger commission selling me a 600 rather than something smaller. What do you think?

Obviously I don't want to ride something way above my skill level and end up killing myself.
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Old 09-01-2008, 02:15 PM   #2
Dan Ensing
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Re: Any sportbike riders out there?

Kawasaki Ninja 250
Brand new they're only $3500 dollars, get 60+ mpg, top out at about 90 mph, and look pretty good. IIRC, they are Kawi's biggest seller. I've never read a bad review about them, and there are a bunch of them around, so it's pretty easy to find a used one for cheap. Kawi redesigned the bike for 2008. Some say for better, some for worse.

Suzuki GSX650F
Brand new they go for about $7000 dollars, have sportbike looks and handling, but have a more relaxed riding posture. These bikes get awesome reviews, and are recommended for novice and up. It is basically a less sporty version of the GSX-R600, and for $3000 less. Good horsepower and torque numbers, ang good MPG numbers, too.

Keep in mind that a smaller bike may be nice to learn on, but you may outgrow it and be looking again in a year. Personally, I'd get a 600. They handle great and the chances of you outgrowing it a pretty small.

If you're worried about really getting out of your skill level, stay away from the 1000cc and up (liter class) bikes. Those things have sick HP to weight ratios, and scream.

Dan

I gotta ask... what bikes have you been looking at?
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Old 09-01-2008, 02:43 PM   #3
Andrew James
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Re: Any sportbike riders out there?

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Originally Posted by Dan Ensing View Post
Kawasaki Ninja 250
Brand new they're only $3500 dollars, get 60+ mpg, top out at about 90 mph, and look pretty good. IIRC, they are Kawi's biggest seller. I've never read a bad review about them, and there are a bunch of them around, so it's pretty easy to find a used one for cheap. Kawi redesigned the bike for 2008. Some say for better, some for worse.

Suzuki GSX650F
Brand new they go for about $7000 dollars, have sportbike looks and handling, but have a more relaxed riding posture. These bikes get awesome reviews, and are recommended for novice and up. It is basically a less sporty version of the GSX-R600, and for $3000 less. Good horsepower and torque numbers, ang good MPG numbers, too.

Keep in mind that a smaller bike may be nice to learn on, but you may outgrow it and be looking again in a year. Personally, I'd get a 600. They handle great and the chances of you outgrowing it a pretty small.

If you're worried about really getting out of your skill level, stay away from the 1000cc and up (liter class) bikes. Those things have sick HP to weight ratios, and scream.

Dan

I gotta ask... what bikes have you been looking at?
The kawasaki ninja 250 is actually at the top of my list. The salesman at the dealership was trying to talk me into a ZX-6R. He was saying that I'll be ready for something more powerful in 3 months if I get anything less than a 600.

I'm also 6'3" and 220lbs, and don't know if I would even fit on the 250, as the dealership didn't have one for me to sit on. Thoughts?
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Old 09-01-2008, 03:19 PM   #4
Gavin Steel
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Re: Any sportbike riders out there?

Andrew, have you tried out any of the bikes that you are thinking of buying, or even sat on them to try em out for size?

You mentioned that you are 6'3"...I tried sitting on a kawasaki ninja ZX-6R and found it a bit small...and I'm only 5'10", the bars seemed really close to the seat....

I'd certainly second Dan and say go for the 600cc, you can grow into the bike and the chances of you getting bored with it or outgrowing it any time soon are slim.

I started out on a GSX-R600 and Im glad I did. Originally I had been thinking about an Aprillia RS250 however I now know that I would have been looking for something faster soon after. I have days where my 600 seems slow and I want something faster but then all it takes is for the bike to remind me to show it some respect and I think 600 is plenty fast.

If your starting out then defo stay away from the big boys, ZX-10R, Blade etc. They are a little bit bigger than the 600's but miles faster...I had a mate with an R1 and I couldn't touch him.
Unless your looking for a new Yamaha as the R6 is actually faster round the track than the R1 thanks to a mental screamer of an engine and tweaked chasis.

Take a look at the Honda CBR600RR. Hondas have a reputation of being well built and generally bomb proof. The finish on them is good quality and they get good reviews.

Another bike to consider would be the Triumph Daytona. This was so popular when it launched in the UK that they were on back order, the dealers couldn't get enough stock in to meet supply.

An older R6, not the new mental 1 litre beating screamer...the older bike is a solid race rep thats fast and reliable with a decent standard of finish.

If your contemplating a GSX-R600 or any of the suzukis be warned....they are good bikes, the suzuki gearbox is unsurpassed for smooth gear changes every time and the engines bomb proof however the finish on them is quite poor. They tend to end up looking tatty a bit quicker than similar aged bikes. It takes a bit more effort to keep a suzy in tip top showroom condition.

I would recommend trawling the showrooms and sitting on the different bikes to get a feel for the size of the bike as looks can be deceiving. Dont let the dealer talk you into anything. Private sales are usually where the good deals are to be had. Also check up on the web for reviews of your prospective purchase to be sure its not famous for any bad habits or been subjest to dealer re-calls....
And if you really want to save on some bucks buy out of season ie the winter and watch for end of line models as bikes change their colour schemes etc year on year, so last years model may be available at a good price....HAGGLE!!!!

All the best in your quest for a bike!!!!!
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Old 09-01-2008, 05:01 PM   #5
Michael Manisca
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Re: Any sportbike riders out there?

I say go for the 250cc..

I rode that bike for a year, and still had the ability to scare the crap out of myself...

Now, i ride a 1998 CBR F3 (600cc) and even though its slower than 99% of the other 600cc's out there... its faster than 99% of production cars out there... It still scares the crap out of me and I have no need for anything faster than this.

By the way, im 6' and had no problems 'fitting' on a 250 ninja.
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Old 09-01-2008, 05:23 PM   #6
Scott Ball
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Re: Any sportbike riders out there?

I do not ride sport bikes, I have a HD but will weigh in on this b/c I have some exp. BUMP UP!! Do not buy the 250 it is a waste of time and money. Get the 600 now. I never rode a motorcycle in my life, then went and bought the HD Wide Glide. Learned on it and never looked back. Get the big boy bike and take it easy on her while you are learning.
Def go through one of the riding courses, you'll learn a ton of good information and techniques. Either way, if you are buying a bike you are making a life changing decision, they are a blast to have.

If you want a real bike go for the HOG ...
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Old 09-01-2008, 06:35 PM   #7
Jeff Hines
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Re: Any sportbike riders out there?

I just had to chime in because I thought the thread was funny. I have wanted a sportbike for years. I've always wanted a GSXR600. But I've never ridden a bike in my life. Long story short, everytime I've gone to any "biker forum" people always scream at the new people to get a 250 or some other "small" bike to learn on. No matter how ugly or uninterested the OP might be in buying that learner bike.

I've always felt like why not just buy what you want and take it easy and grow into it. And low and behold my fellow crossfitters follow the same logic. I just thought it was funny-different that so many people are telling the OP to get the bigger bike, when I've seen so much to the contrary on other forums...I like it.
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Old 09-01-2008, 06:44 PM   #8
Michael Manisca
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Re: Any sportbike riders out there?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Hines View Post
I've gone to any "biker forum" people always scream at the new people to get a 250 or some other "small" bike to learn on. No matter how ugly or uninterested the OP might be in buying that learner bike.
Have you seen the new 250? not ugly at all!

WFS http://www.kawasaki.com/PRODUCTS/det...content=photos

besides, the OP already stated how the 250 is at the top of his list... so the ugly and uninterested factors are already not in the equation here.
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Old 09-01-2008, 07:01 PM   #9
James Besenyei
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Re: Any sportbike riders out there?

I cannot emphasize enough how very careful you will have to be on that bike. 600's today are extremely powerful machines. Inexperienced riders can get into big trouble really quickly. You'll be learning to ride with a 107bhp racing machine between your legs. I hate to be the buzz-kill here, but the safest bet is to buy a used 250, learn how to ride, then get your dream bike. As a beginner you are less likely to get into trouble riding a slower bike. Just remember, it's more fun to ride a slow bike fast, than it is to ride a fast bike slow. Good luck and welcome to the wonderful world of motorcycling!!
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Old 09-02-2008, 05:53 AM   #10
Travis Loest
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Re: Any sportbike riders out there?

Ok, I'm not a sports bike rider. But I am a 6"3 240#. I've ridden a Honda CBR 600 & CBR 1000rr, Suzuki 750 & 1000, Triumph Daytona 675 and Sprint ST. Those were all short term rides. I own a Triumph Bonneville. How long do you plan to ride at a shot, are you commuting? Distance of a normal ride? The CBR 600 & GSX 750 weren't too bad, wouldn't want to do any marathon rides on them though. the CBR 1000 & GSX 1000 "fit" me a little better but they're stupid scary fast, and it's pretty easy to get in over your head on one of those monsters. The Daytona made me feel like a monkey humping a football. and The Sprint fit well and rode great. If you're doing short distances/times sub 200-400 miles/sub 4-6 hours the 600's or a 750(not even sure if suzuki is making one this year) would be great. Don't worry that it's too "big" for you. Just be aware that you need to learn, and take the motorcycle safety course. It helped me bunches. Last piece of advice, be really picky who you ride with.
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