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SlvrDragon50
01-13-2011, 15:21
I remember a while back there was a thread about buying a motorcycle (I think big made it?) and the forum seemed to be fairly knowledgeable.

Well, I'm going through the same process except I will be a first time rider besides a scooter, which was simply too slow for me (30 mph in a 45mph road = bad bad bad news). I'm fairly certain on the sport bike (crotch rocket, call it whatever you want) and I've already looked at insurance costs and it looks to be around 50-100 a month.

What I'm having trouble is.. buying new and used. Like cars, I know buying used is a great deal but I have no clue what I should be looking for. I found a cheap 500 cc Kawasaki Ninja for 2000 with 9000 miles and seems to be in stunningly good condition (and also happens to carry cheaper insurance costs than a new 2011 250cc Ninja) but 9000 miles seems like a LOT. I've gone through maybe 200-300 miles in a semester of college.

Uses: College student, going to class, etc.

Will never be going on a freeway for longer than a mile.

I've been looking mainly at the Kawasaki Ninjas because they're cheap and it's a strongly established line of motorcycle. However, I just looked up Honda CBRs and they seem like great motorcycles since they have the ABS system.

Any help to clear my thoughts would be appreciated :)

Noob
01-13-2011, 15:43
When I was looking the #1 advice I got was "Make sure it has never been dropped" The dealer told me that if it has more then likely the frame could be bent and at top end the bike will wobble.

Vercingetorix
01-13-2011, 15:57
This is the bike I'm looking at (new, not used) Not too expensive.
2009 VulcanŽ 500 LTD Cruisers - Kawasaki.com (http://www.kawasaki.com/Products/product-details-features.aspx?autoplay=false&id=317&scid=7)

Not a crotch-rocket, but good for local streets and highway and can ride two easily with a backrest.

Jack Hammer
01-13-2011, 16:06
Crotch rockets suck for commuting. They're a lot of fun to ride but the fact is they're designed first to be on a racetrack then converted down to be street legal. This allows them to be used in specific and popular race classes. For a sporty bike that's also day to day rideable you may want to consider a hooligan style bike (a somewhat muscular cross between a sport bike and a cruiser) or something like a used Suzuki SV650 (a personal favorite that is street comfy and extremely well suited to race tracks).

bottomdweller
01-13-2011, 16:10
I have a 1989 Kawasaki ninja 250cc that has about 21,000 miles on it. Never had much of a problem with it all these years, I bought it new. I think the 500cc ninja for 2 grand would be a solid choice.

SlvrDragon50
01-13-2011, 16:20
Crotch rockets suck for commuting. They're a lot of fun to ride but the fact is they're designed first to be on a racetrack then converted down to be street legal. This allows them to be used in specific and popular race classes. For a sporty bike that's also day to day rideable you may want to consider a hooligan style bike (a somewhat muscular cross between a sport bike and a cruiser) or something like a used Suzuki SV650 (a personal favorite that is street comfy and extremely well suited to race tracks).
I'd love a Suzuki SV650 but they're awfully expensive. My neighbor parks his right next to my scooter so I just ogle it every day :( It seems to be a recommended bike for starters on a motorcycle forum I'm looking at. I don't plan to ever race so I don't see a need to get a supersport bike. I just read that apparently Kawasaki motorcycles have quality control issues? Could anyone confirm/deny this?

SlvrDragon50
01-13-2011, 16:28
I have a 1989 Kawasaki ninja 250cc that has about 21,000 miles on it. Never had much of a problem with it all these years, I bought it new. I think the 500cc ninja for 2 grand would be a solid choice.
So 9,000 miles really doesn't seem that much? Is there anything in particular I should be looking for.

KO-Texas
01-13-2011, 16:43
This is the bike I'm looking at (new, not used) Not too expensive.
2009 VulcanŽ 500 LTD Cruisers - Kawasaki.com (http://www.kawasaki.com/Products/product-details-features.aspx?autoplay=false&id=317&scid=7)

Not a crotch-rocket, but good for local streets and highway and can ride two easily with a backrest.

For 2 up I'd want at least a 750cc. The extra hp and torque help move the added weight of 2 bodies more easily. I've had a Vulcan 750 and really liked it. Never a problem.

I have also owned 4 Ninja's. I have toured the entire U.S. between them. A touring bike is what you have. Of course at the time I was younger. Now I'd probably want something different. I'm leaning towards a Vulcan 900 when I graduate.. ? .. ? .. ? :smiley20:

KO

KO-Texas
01-13-2011, 16:49
I remember a while back there was a thread about buying a motorcycle (I think big made it?) and the forum seemed to be fairly knowledgeable.

Well, I'm going through the same process except I will be a first time rider besides a scooter, which was simply too slow for me (30 mph in a 45mph road = bad bad bad news). I'm fairly certain on the sport bike (crotch rocket, call it whatever you want) and I've already looked at insurance costs and it looks to be around 50-100 a month.

What I'm having trouble is.. buying new and used. Like cars, I know buying used is a great deal but I have no clue what I should be looking for. I found a cheap 500 cc Kawasaki Ninja for 2000 with 9000 miles and seems to be in stunningly good condition (and also happens to carry cheaper insurance costs than a new 2011 250cc Ninja) but 9000 miles seems like a LOT. I've gone through maybe 200-300 miles in a semester of college.

Uses: College student, going to class, etc.

Will never be going on a freeway for longer than a mile.

I've been looking mainly at the Kawasaki Ninjas because they're cheap and it's a strongly established line of motorcycle. However, I just looked up Honda CBRs and they seem like great motorcycles since they have the ABS system.

Any help to clear my thoughts would be appreciated :)

We always recommend new riders avoid the plastic wrapped bikes. Not because of safety, but because a minor parking lot drop can cost big $$. A lady backed into my Ninja knocking it over in the parking lot. Her insurance paid, but the total was near $1500 for new plastic parts. (the bike was 3 weeks old at the time).. She tried to drive off but my neighbor caught her!! :)

Since you do have some experience with a scooter the point does become less important.
Around campus a 250 Ninja should be fine. I probably wouldn't go cross country on it though... but then again if it's all I had? See ya- I'm off!

Jack Hammer
01-13-2011, 16:50
I'd love a Suzuki SV650 but they're awfully expensive. My neighbor parks his right next to my scooter so I just ogle it every day :( It seems to be a recommended bike for starters on a motorcycle forum I'm looking at. I don't plan to ever race so I don't see a need to get a supersport bike. I just read that apparently Kawasaki motorcycles have quality control issues? Could anyone confirm/deny this?

All brands have "quality control issues" at some point. Kawasaki recently had a voluntary recall related to the ZX-10R's valve springs resonating. Similar things have happened to other companies, that doesn't make them bad companies. Many time companies source parts from the same suppliers and slap their own part numbers on them. For example, certain Kawasaki and Suzuki parts used to be interchangeable.

Perhaps you may consider working out a budget then searching for local bikes in that range. See what you like and research the model to see if it'll fit your needs/wants. Sometimes that's a lot faster than picking a model and trying to find one that'll fit your budget.

TwistedSister209
01-13-2011, 16:52
Nice bike, Vercingetorix!
Future son-in-law has a Ninja--loves it and uses it as primary work vehicle.

KO-Texas
01-13-2011, 17:20
All brands have "quality control issues" at some point.

All are pretty good these days, but any can have issues.
Most importantly- find a shop you can trust with a quality service department.

I've rode Kawasaki for the last 20+ years, not because I just LOVE Kawasaki, but because I have a shop I trust and who has treated me fair the entire time.

My next bike will almost certainly be...... you guessed it... Kawasaki !

KO

SlvrDragon50
01-13-2011, 17:21
My main issue is that I'm not sure if I should buy new or used. If I bought new, I'd only get a motorcycle with ABS.

My budget is 2000, maybe up to 3000. I'm seeing an awful lot of SV650s and GS500Fs around that range so it seems like that'd probably be my best bet. Twisted, would you know which model he has?

And KO - Wouldn't 750 CC be a bit too much for a starter? I'd imagine I'll be using a 250-500 cc engine this weekend when I ride a motorcycle. And could you comment as how comfortable the Ninja was? Seeing as how you toured with one it had to have been prettty amazing! That or you're crazy :P

KO-Texas
01-13-2011, 17:35
My main issue is that I'm not sure if I should buy new or used. If I bought new, I'd only get a motorcycle with ABS.

My budget is 2000, maybe up to 3000. I'm seeing an awful lot of SV650s and GS500Fs around that range so it seems like that'd probably be my best bet. Twisted, would you know which model he has?

And KO - Wouldn't 750 CC be a bit too much for a starter? I'd imagine I'll be using a 250-500 cc engine this weekend when I ride a motorcycle. And could you comment as how comfortable the Ninja was? Seeing as how you toured with one it had to have been pretty amazing! That or you're crazy :P

I started on a Vulcan 750, but I had been racing dirt bikes for years prior to being street legal age. Power is only dangerous if used unwisely. The bigger bikes do tend to be heavier though. If you do 2 up and need to pass on the highway you will seriously appreciate the hp/torque. ymmv, it depends on the type of riding you do. I could only afford 1 bike and it had to do everything.

Crazy? You wouldn't be the first :smiley29:. We happened upon a bike rally in the Poconos. Harley guys were giving me grief for riding a crotch rocket, until they realized the bug covered Ninja had TX plates. Yah- they thought I was crazy too.
A touring bike is whatever you have. I made due, but my riding buddies here with BMW's and Harley's thought I was nuts... possible ? yep....

One thing I would recommend to any new rider is take a MSF (Motorcycle Safety Foundation) riders course. They are relatively cheap and worth the $.
Then I advocate quality safety gear! It only takes seeing road rash one time to put up with the heat of wearing safety gear every time!

YES- Touring the US on a bike is absolutely AMAZING!!! :smiley20:

KO

SlvrDragon50
01-13-2011, 17:40
I'm not sure if this is the same:
Motorcycle Basic Rider Course - Florida Motorcycle Training (http://www.floridasafety.org/coursetext.asp?class=3)

I'll definitely take the MSF course though if not. I already wear a full face helmet on my scooter! Definitely buying a jacket when I get my bike.

As far as 2 uping.. only on local roads. It's gonna take me a long time before I feel confident enough to even try riding on I-75 (4th most dangerous highway in the nation! woo hoo!) Did you 2 up on your ninja? Or only on the Vulcan?

KO-Texas
01-13-2011, 17:43
My main issue is that I'm not sure if I should buy new or used. If I bought new, I'd only get a motorcycle with ABS.

My budget is 2000, maybe up to 3000. I'm seeing an awful lot of SV650s and GS500Fs around that range so it seems like that'd probably be my best bet. Twisted, would you know which model he has?

And KO - Wouldn't 750 CC be a bit too much for a starter? I'd imagine I'll be using a 250-500 cc engine this weekend when I ride a motorcycle. And could you comment as how comfortable the Ninja was? Seeing as how you toured with one it had to have been prettty amazing! That or you're crazy :P

Oh, you asked how comfortable the Ninja was for touring?? Depends? On open I highway I would lay on the tank, but I did have to stretch regularly. We tried to make stops every few hours. We needed to rehydrate, bathroom break etc. anyways. Breaking up the trips minimized fatigue. There are much more comfortable long distance bikes.. I hated those when we hit the twisties though, so I endured.
No they are not comfortable for long distance, but I found a way.
KO

Straegen
01-13-2011, 17:59
I would look at the Suzuki DRZ400S. How tall are you? If you are over 6' a KLR would be high on my list. Dual sports are easy to maintain, can run forever, great handling in traffic, light, can tear up the corners, tough as hell, inexpensive to maintain, pretty much drop proof and are a great do-it-all motorcycle. It takes a pretty long inseam to feel comfortable on the larger ones though. Most of the dual sports are fantastic bikes even the low powered but very good commuter 250s. The only real downside to a dual sport is they don't generally have a lot of top end and do not have a big fairing to hide behind in weather.

I am a fan of the newer Versys or smaller VStrom but probably out of your price range. An older VFR or Katana might make the list if you want something a bit sportier. I also like the SV and FZ lines. Above 650 would be pushing it for a new rider IMO. The VFR is an exception since it is extremely well mannered, good safety features, built very well and can be sporty, can tour and rolls through traffic like a breeze.

IMO, avoid the Ninja 250/500 and well as the GS500 unless you come in under 5'10" closer to 5'8" or less. Those bikes put your feet up very high so the distance between your ankle and rear is very sport bike oriented and can be very uncomfortable. Better to step up to a Katana or SV for the room and a bike you can grow into if you are a bit taller.

Those are my picks.

scubadiver888
01-13-2011, 18:06
When I was looking the #1 advice I got was "Make sure it has never been dropped" The dealer told me that if it has more then likely the frame could be bent and at top end the bike will wobble.

This is really good advice. Look for obvious damage first. Next, look for minor damage. If the bike had been dropped and repaired they sometimes miss things. The ends of the handles will have scratches. If the muffler pipe would make contact when the bike is dropped there might be scratches on it. The underside of the foot pegs. They are designed to flip up when you lean the bike over during a race. If the rider dropped the bike, they flip up and get scratched on the underside.

You should also check the tread wear. On a bike with low mileage there should be lots of tread left. If the rider is a bit of a yahoo and likes to do donuts on the thing you'll see excess wear on the back tire.


This is the bike I'm looking at (new, not used) Not too expensive.
2009 VulcanŽ 500 LTD Cruisers - Kawasaki.com (http://www.kawasaki.com/Products/product-details-features.aspx?autoplay=false&id=317&scid=7)

Not a crotch-rocket, but good for local streets and highway and can ride two easily with a backrest.

Totally different ride. Depends on what type of rider you are. I was race trained. Bikes like the Vulcan scare me. The bike is all power with less control. If you are looking for a laid back easy cruise then it can work for you. If you tend to be a bit of a "lead foot" then you can get yourself in some serious trouble with a bike like this. Essentially it will let you get really fast, really quick but doesn't stop or corner as well as something like a Ninja.


I have a 1989 Kawasaki ninja 250cc that has about 21,000 miles on it. Never had much of a problem with it all these years, I bought it new. I think the 500cc ninja for 2 grand would be a solid choice.

The 250cc was a great option. Looks like a 500cc but is more nimble and better on gas. Hard to get yourself in any serious trouble with the 250cc but still good enough for the occasional highway drive. Definitely would not take either on a long trip. I used to stick to inside the city for the most part.

The Honda CBR line is nice if you are looking for something a little more comfortable. It lets you stretch out a little more than some of the other racers. The typical racer assumes you are putting all your weight on the foot pegs (lowers the centre of gravity for better handling); not really designed for sitting too much.

If the Ninja 500cc hasn't been dropped I'd think that was a good deal.

mcr0112
01-13-2011, 18:23
I've owned both rockets & cruisers. Each has its place. When young I thought fast was important but now I want an easier ride. When buying my last one ( was looking for a cruiser) a salesman asked where I was going to ride. open highway or city streets. He advised up to a 900 cc v twin for city and larger than 900 for open road. Nijas are fast and manuever better than a cruiser. Cruisers are heavier and smoother. See if you can try different ones. & do take the MC safety course as it will make you a better ride r& in Tx you get an insurance discount.
As for used look at the ends of everything, that where it makes contact when dropped. has someone hold the bike straight up with the front wheel straight then you get about 25 ft in front and see if the frame & front forks look parrelell to each other.
Good Luck as bikes are like scuba gear, everyone has a favorite brand or style.

SlvrDragon50
01-13-2011, 18:35
I started looking at some Suzuki SV650 and there seems to be some killer deals. There's one that looks to be in amazing condition with 40k miles for only 1700 dollars.

There are some GS500Fs for 2000-2400 dollars but only 4-5k miles. I was leaning towards the sport bike for that reason scubadiver888, I really want to have a lot of control.

Stragean, thank you for those pointers. I'll try the Ninjas out but more than likely I'll pass them since I'm 5'10" and my dad says I'm still growing since I'm starting to have to look down at him to talk :P

Straegen
01-13-2011, 18:38
At 5'10" I would certainly skip them. I am 6'3" and look like a clown riding a minibike when I ride one.

40k miles on anything aside from a BMW or similar bike is A LOT of miles. I would want a bike under 10k unless it has excellent service records.

divingmedic
01-13-2011, 18:40
Nice bike, Vercingetorix!
Future son-in-law has a Ninja--loves it and uses it as primary work vehicle.

Both of my daughter have been warned about dating boys with motorcycles. The first one never did, am hoping the second one follows.
I will never get one. Occupational hazard I guess.

SlvrDragon50
01-13-2011, 18:42
True. I was reading a sport bike forum and it seems like a 40k mile motorcycle will be fine as long as it's been maintained properly. I'll be sure to ask for documents but it comsetically seems to be in great condition:
2001 Suzuki SV-650 (http://gainesville.craigslist.org/mcy/2154499858.html)

SlvrDragon50
01-13-2011, 18:43
Both of my daughter have been warned about dating boys with motorcycles. The first one never did, am hoping the second one follows.
I will never get one. Occupational hazard I guess.

Oh man :( I'm hoping not too many fathers tell that to their daughters! I'm only getting one while I'm here at UF. Once I graduate, definitely getting a car or back to public transportation.

TwistedSister209
01-13-2011, 18:51
SD50--
Phoenix has a Kawaski ZX6R--a step up from his other Ninja. I can't stress enough the good safety equipment--In December, Phoenix was in an accident. His gloves were shredded, as were his trousers, and that's it. Sad the bike was a month old.

I just got a starter bike--1983 Honda Nighthawk 550 shaft drive. And I will be taking the safey course next month.

scubadiver888
01-13-2011, 18:52
I started looking at some Suzuki SV650 and there seems to be some killer deals. There's one that looks to be in amazing condition with 40k miles for only 1700 dollars.

There are some GS500Fs for 2000-2400 dollars but only 4-5k miles. I was leaning towards the sport bike for that reason scubadiver888, I really want to have a lot of control.

Stragean, thank you for those pointers. I'll try the Ninjas out but more than likely I'll pass them since I'm 5'10" and my dad says I'm still growing since I'm starting to have to look down at him to talk :P

You might want to google for reviews on the motorcycles as well. Sometimes the cheaper bikes do things like reduce the damping of the engine and frame. This results in the vibration from the engine going through the frame and making your hands and feet numb. I owned a Honda CB-1 which suffered from this. I typically rode 100 to 150 miles. The CB-1 would make my hands totally numb after only 50 miles.

mcr0112's recommendation to take the mc safety course is a good idea. I took one in my area and it was some great fun plus it reduced my insurance.

You should give the ninja a try. I'm 6'0" and I found the Ninja fine. The only guy I knew who had to be picky about the crotch rocket he rode was 6'4" tall.

SlvrDragon50
01-13-2011, 18:57
Thanks. I plan on going to a motorcycle store on Monday before I go back to school (I hope they're open :/) to just sit on them and get a feel for them.
Just waiting on a couple responses now though!

scubadiver888
01-13-2011, 19:14
SD50--
Phoenix has a Kawaski ZX6R--a step up from his other Ninja. I can't stress enough the good safety equipment--In December, Phoenix was in an accident. His gloves were shredded, as were his trousers, and that's it. Sad the bike was a month old.

I just got a starter bike--1983 Honda Nighthawk 550 shaft drive. And I will be taking the safey course next month.

Reading this reminded me, you should understand that while riding a motorcycle you stand out like a neon sign to police and are invisible to everyone else. The number of times a police officer would pull me over for no good reason. For example, I'd get pulled over and he'd say, "You looked like you were lost. As long as I have you, can I see your driver's license and insurance?"

As for being invisible, I would be unable to count the number of times someone pulled out in front of me, cut me off, lane changed into me, etc. My favourite: One time I was driving along at 25 mph. A car parked on the right pulled out when I was less than 10 feet from them. I hit the brakes. Realized I wasn't going to stop in time. Laid the bike down and rode the tank. Got within 1 inch (literally) of the car when she sped away (MR2 sports car). Someone chased after the car and made her come back. All she could say, over and over was, "I didn't even see you." Broke my knee. Bike was fine but had $2000 worth of body damage. Fortunately, her insurance paid for everything.

P.S. chain drive bikes are best for racers. Belt will have less vibration but are typically found on cruisers. Shaft drive bikes can sometimes cause the rear to rise when you accelerate.

Straegen
01-13-2011, 19:20
You should give the ninja a try. I'm 6'0" and I found the Ninja fine. The only guy I knew who had to be picky about the crotch rocket he rode was 6'4" tall.I know several people who actively race the little Ninjas as well as one very close friend who rode one for a couple years while he was learning... He is 5'10" and was very happy to move into something roomier. Most of the racers I know never ride the bike up to the mountains as the ride there wears them out. At 18 his hips probably won't pin on that bike but not many of us that are older would dare call most sport bikes much less a mini Ninja comfortable. I ride a Sprint ST now and I would list it is as moderately comfortable but certainly not plush even with my Day Long saddle and risers.

SlvrDragon50
01-13-2011, 19:35
Reading this reminded me, you should understand that while riding a motorcycle you stand out like a neon sign to police and are invisible to everyone else. The number of times a police officer would pull me over for no good reason. For example, I'd get pulled over and he'd say, "You looked like you were lost. As long as I have you, can I see your driver's license and insurance?"

As for being invisible, I would be unable to count the number of times someone pulled out in front of me, cut me off, lane changed into me, etc. My favourite: One time I was driving along at 25 mph. A car parked on the right pulled out when I was less than 10 feet from them. I hit the brakes. Realized I wasn't going to stop in time. Laid the bike down and rode the tank. Got within 1 inch (literally) of the car when she sped away (MR2 sports car). Someone chased after the car and made her come back. All she could say, over and over was, "I didn't even see you." Broke my knee. Bike was fine but had $2000 worth of body damage. Fortunately, her insurance paid for everything.

P.S. chain drive bikes are best for racers. Belt will have less vibration but are typically found on cruisers. Shaft drive bikes can sometimes cause the rear to rise when you accelerate.
That's an awful tale. I'm hoping I never get in a single accident no matter how small :/

I think being in Gainesville I should be better off since the motorcycle/scooter population is pretty high thanks to UF. Our Target even has designated scooter/motorcycle parking :)

Straegen
01-13-2011, 20:02
I have been in twelve serious accidents over the years. 8 were offroad or track. One was a head on when I was young without a helmet. Two were cars pulling in front of me. The last was a car hitting my rear end while I was trying to turn. I have a lot of joint damage and warn anyone throwing their leg over a bike especially in the SUV/Cell Phone/Texting era that motorcycling is VERY dangerous. They don't call them donor-cycles for no reason. You are not guaranteed to wreck but odds are you are going to have an accident sooner or later. Just have to believe training and practice will see you through. IMO, training on a motorcycle is significantly more important than training for diving and we all know how important that is.

I highly recommend one-on-one training both on the road and on a track in addition to routine practicing of emergency procedures.

scubadiver888
01-13-2011, 20:35
I know several people who actively race the little Ninjas as well as one very close friend who rode one for a couple years while he was learning... He is 5'10" and was very happy to move into something roomier. Most of the racers I know never ride the bike up to the mountains as the ride there wears them out. At 18 his hips probably won't pin on that bike but not many of us that are older would dare call most sport bikes much less a mini Ninja comfortable. I ride a Sprint ST now and I would list it is as moderately comfortable but certainly not plush even with my Day Long saddle and risers.

Agreed, I'm talking to SD50 with the assumption that he is 18 years old. I know at my age and will all the broken bones I have, a Ninja is not in the card for me. My last bikes was:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aXj0J2B7lR8

Very comfortable ride. Trying to outrun a hailstorm I got clocked by a patrol car doing 124 mph on I-80 in Nebraska. The best thing I liked about it was the hidden trunk. I remember coming home from a 3 week drive across the US. Border patrol asked how long I was in the US. When I said 3 weeks he looked at me (all my clothes were in the trunk) and you could tell he was wondering if I wore the same clothes for 3 weeks. He just waved me through; I think he assumed I must stink and didn't want to get out of the booth. :)


That's an awful tale. I'm hoping I never get in a single accident no matter how small :/

I think being in Gainesville I should be better off since the motorcycle/scooter population is pretty high thanks to UF. Our Target even has designated scooter/motorcycle parking :)

Things might be better for you. I live in the largest city in Canada. I've driven through downtown LA during rush hour and thought it was nothing. Toronto is just a nasty place for anyone to drive, car or motorcycle.

You do have to get in the habit of watching other drivers and anticipating them doing something stupid. Position yourself so you are never beside a car for too long. Watch their head to see if they are checking their blind spot then assume they will not see you and lane change into you.


I have been in twelve serious accidents over the years. 8 were offroad or track. One was a head on when I was young without a helmet. Two were cars pulling in front of me. The last was a car hitting my rear end while I was trying to turn. I have a lot of joint damage and warn anyone throwing their leg over a bike especially in the SUV/Cell Phone/Texting era that motorcycling is VERY dangerous. They don't call them donor-cycles for no reason. You are not guaranteed to wreck but odds are you are going to have an accident sooner or later. Just have to believe training and practice will see you through. IMO, training on a motorcycle is significantly more important than training for diving and we all know how important that is.

I highly recommend one-on-one training both on the road and on a track in addition to routine practicing of emergency procedures.

This reminds me of one other common problem I had driving a motorcycle. Whenever I come to a stop at a stop sign or red light I gear down, leave the bike in first gear and hold the clutch in. This way if I have to drop the clutch and go I can. It happened at least once a year that I'd stop at a stop signal and the car behind me didn't see the stop signal or me. I'd drop the clutch and go only to hear the car come to a screeching halt in the middle of the intersection.

SlvrDragon50
01-13-2011, 21:33
Oooh pretty. Is that your bike in the video?

I still have to figure out a way to buy groceries on the motorcycle. I think I'll buy a large duffel bag and make trips for eggs only if I have to get eggs :P

scubadiver888
01-13-2011, 21:43
No, not my bike. I swapped my bike for a boat years ago.

SlvrDragon50
01-13-2011, 22:55
Well I just got a picture of the fairing of a SV650S (2005, 18k miles.)

http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c155/SlvrDragon50/DSCI0037.jpg

Seems pretty nasty. Owner says it was dropped and it slid "a bit" A bit seems like an understatement... From what I understand, the fairing is just cosmetic. True?

Its price was 2350 but I think I could bring him down to 2k or less. It also needs a new rear brake since he removed it ( dunno why) and the gas tank was slightly dented.

divingmedic
01-13-2011, 23:07
Oh man :( I'm hoping not too many fathers tell that to their daughters! I'm only getting one while I'm here at UF. Once I graduate, definitely getting a car or back to public transportation.

That was mostly in jest. Been a paramedic for 30 years, gotta hand to you guys, it takes guts to ride those things. I will stick with 4 wheels. I do not get into helicopters any more since I fell out of the sky twice in those.

SlvrDragon50
01-13-2011, 23:14
Oh trust me, if I could have a car, I'd LOVE it since Ginnie Springs is only 15 minutes from me :/

Still can't carry my scuba gear on a motorcycle I'm afraid :P

divingmedic
01-13-2011, 23:18
Oh trust me, if I could have a car, I'd LOVE it since Ginnie Springs is only 15 minutes from me :/

Still can't carry my scuba gear on a motorcycle I'm afraid :P

That has to bite. My wife has a friend in that area. Would love to get over there dive Ginnie Springs.

alpha
01-13-2011, 23:30
Well, I'm going through the same process except I will be a first time rider besides a scooter, which was simply too slow for me (30 mph in a 45mph road = bad bad bad news). I'm fairly certain on the sport bike (crotch rocket, call it whatever you want) and I've already looked at insurance costs and it looks to be around 50-100 a month.

What I'm having trouble is.. buying new and used. Like cars, I know buying used is a great deal but I have no clue what I should be looking for. I found a cheap 500 cc Kawasaki Ninja for 2000 with 9000 miles and seems to be in stunningly good condition (and also happens to carry cheaper insurance costs than a new 2011 250cc Ninja) but 9000 miles seems like a LOT. I've gone through maybe 200-300 miles in a semester of college.

Uses: College student, going to class, etc.

Will never be going on a freeway for longer than a mile.

I've been looking mainly at the Kawasaki Ninjas because they're cheap and it's a strongly established line of motorcycle. However, I just looked up Honda CBRs and they seem like great motorcycles since they have the ABS system.

Any help to clear my thoughts would be appreciated :)

You are thinking along the right lines.
Kawasaki ninjas 250 & 500 are very durable engines for simple slow (less than 80mph) transportation from school.I like the look of the new 250's more than the 500's.
ABS is better but probably not too important for max. of 45mph to 55mph commuting. Cheap is good in college. smaller wheel base allows easier turning and less weight is good when the bike falls (it will probably either by your fault or others). I would not worry about buying a bike with light scratches on it if only for commuting at 45 to 55mph and would purchase used.
One of my kids has a old ninja 500. It will pull 2 people fine. It is not comfortable on long trips over 1 hour but will do if needed.
I would have preferred him to have the 250 as he seldom doubles & I like the lighter weight and slower top speed of the 250.
I really would have preferred he keep the moped with max. speed of 45mph as I consider it safer for him & you. They have very short wheel to wheel distance and are very easy/quick to turn and the simplest to dump the bike away from you in a crash. The moped 100 to 150cc :moped: would be my 1st choice for college kids commuting :moped: short distances as the 150cc in most brands would reach 60mph... Unfortunately it's just not cool enough for most people.

Glad you have had the experience of a moped.

***Most states do not require insurance on mopeds/motorcycles...I have never purchased it for those items.***

Cheap wheels for mopeds often go 10,000miles before needing to be replaced probably due to the light weight of the moped...

Motorcycle wheels are more than twice the price & will be lucky to get 5,000 to 7,000 miles due to increase bike weight and softer rubber (wears out quicker) to gain in high speed traction around curves etc. . Get use to tightening the chain& keep it lubricated. Rear sprocket will wear out but very slowly with your slow take off commuting driving.

A lot of pros vs cons to both and also to cars. Price is sometimes not that much cheaper with the extra upkeep for the bike.

SlvrDragon50
01-13-2011, 23:57
I probably won't get more than 5000 miles through my college experince unless I attend med school here at UF. I actually already have insurance for my scooter (mom was freaking out about it.. I don't know why).

Would you say that SV650S wouldn't be too bad then? The damage looks nasty but often pictures are a lot worse than they really are. Especially since it's just plastics that seem to be damaged.

KO-Texas
01-14-2011, 00:20
I probably won't get more than 5000 miles through my college experince unless I attend med school here at UF. I actually already have insurance for my scooter (mom was freaking out about it.. I don't know why).

Would you say that SV650S wouldn't be too bad then? The damage looks nasty but often pictures are a lot worse than they really are. Especially since it's just plastics that seem to be damaged.

I would be leary of any bike that has been down. Not a show stopper if the price is right, but much to consider. Will you repair it or ride it as is? Plastic is pricey. If you plan on replacing get price quotes to include in overall cost.

You will have to inspect in person. Sometimes photos look worse, sometimes they can hide damage..you just can't tell definitively. I once drove over an hour for a "deal" on a moto with minor damage. Pictures looked great, bike was a POS! You'll just have to look. As others have said, minor scratches aren't a big deal, as long the there are no cracks or other major damage. Minor cracks will have to be repaired or they "can" get worse over time.

One thing I'd be concerned with are the extra foot forward foot pegs. I see one in the picture. These are usually installed by riders who perform tricks. Rear brake removed= red flag in my book too? I would be concerned about how the bike was used.

Insurance- Much to my surprise Geico ended up being the least expensive for me.

Good luck, feel free to keep asking questions! Most of the moto crowd is very supportive of new riders and I see here is no different :smiley20: :smiley32:
KO

SlvrDragon50
01-14-2011, 00:30
Alright! Well I asked him about the rear brakes.. seeing as you guys have been in your more than fair share of accidents, can you confirm this?

"Id not put it [rear brakes], just [be]cause under emergency braking hitting the rear brake will cause you to slide, and with the upgraded front rotors and callipers the bike will stop 99.9999% of the time.."

KO-Texas
01-14-2011, 00:43
Alright! Well I asked him about the rear brakes.. seeing as you guys have been in your more than fair share of accidents, can you confirm this?

"Id not put it [rear brakes], just [be]cause under emergency braking hitting the rear brake will cause you to slide, and with the upgraded front rotors and callipers the bike will stop 99.9999% of the time.."

Not having the bike upright will cause it to slide. Proper braking the bike should stop straight. Most of the braking force does come from the front, so much that hard braking with the fronts will cause the rear to lift off the ground- called a stoppie.
The guys who do stunts/tricks on bikes tend to add the forward foot pegs and remove the rear brakes.
Why remove the rear brake, vs. not using it? Proper braking is the use of all available brakes to stop as quickly as possible. Practice, practice, practice builds confidence in oh-*hit moments.
I would never remove the rear brake! ymmv!
KO

SlvrDragon50
01-14-2011, 01:02
That's what I was thinking! That part about stunts makes me think he might have tried to pull some stunts...

I don't get how you could just drop a bike and let it slide causing the fairing to take that much damage. I think it'd have to be going at some pace, at least 10-15 mph, to get that messed up. I'll have to look at the tires and see if there's anything to give me a clue.

KO-Texas
01-14-2011, 01:15
That's what I was thinking! That part about stunts makes me think he might have tried to pull some stunts...

I don't get how you could just drop a bike and let it slide causing the fairing to take that much damage. I think it'd have to be going at some pace, at least 10-15 mph, to get that messed up. I'll have to look at the tires and see if there's anything to give me a clue.

You can tell the direction the bike slid by the direction of the scratches. A parking lot drop tends to break plastic, with only minor scratching. Been there. Longer scratches mean bike slid. Bikes slide when dropped at speed. How far they slide is determined by how fast they were going...(unless something gets in the way) basics physics :smiley2:
Tires may/may not show signs? When I went down tires were perfect. Fairings cracked/broken and scratched. Me broken and ego bruised... White Nissans are dangerous! !
KO

SlvrDragon50
01-14-2011, 01:44
I see ST is still full of late night people :)

I suppose the damage is only cosmetic but I get a bit anal when it comes to looks :( I baby everything I own. Tons of other motorcycles on CL though, still waiting..

KO-Texas
01-14-2011, 01:55
I see ST is still full of late night people :)

I suppose the damage is only cosmetic but I get a bit anal when it comes to looks :( I baby everything I own. Tons of other motorcycles on CL though, still waiting..

If looks matter- definitely find out what the fairing will cost to replace. May or may not be a deal after all?
Plenty of bikes which have never been down. AND if you are lucky, you may even find one barely ridden? Often times people buy a bike, then don't ride it. I have picked up a few pristine new near bikes this way !
When I sold my 93 Ninja last year it was in like new condition. High miles, but meticulously cared for! The guy who bought it got one sweet ride!!! and a folder with receipts for every wrench/part which touched the bike.
KO

SlvrDragon50
01-14-2011, 02:24
Yea. Of course, I also strictly follow the lovely belief that I believe in performance over looks :)

When I'm more awake tomorrow, I'll research the upgrades and see if the upgrades are worth it. His pricing is pretty much what the Kelly Blue Book has it valued at.

scubadiver888
01-14-2011, 08:18
SlvrDragon50,

I'd be REALLY nervous about the SV650S. Looking at the damage near the headlight shows me the bike was dropped at speed. This was not the bike was knocked over.

You have to remember that broken body work tells you the bike was dropped. How hard it hit the ground will determine the mechanical damage (which you cannot see). The missing piece of plastic beside the headlight and the way the plastic pieces don't fit back together properly leads me to think the bike went down hard. This could mean messed up steering or bent frame.

I also have to wonder why the rear brake was taken off. The front and rear brake work independently. There is no real need to remove the rear brake if it is functional. You can simply choice not to use it. The rear brake lever is on the right foot.

Also, as KO-Texas stated, locking the rear wheel and leaning the bike will cause the rear end to slide out on you. If you keep the bike in a straight line, using the rear bike would not cause the bike to drop. Additionally, if I had to stop as fast as possible, using both front and rear brake will stop me faster than just the front brake. Finally, if the bike is not straight and you hit the front brake too hard you could get thrown over the handlebars. I've gone over the handlebars once. Broke my ribs. Hospital told me the broken rib almost hit my heart. I'd rather have the rear slide out then go over the bars.

I'd consider the Ninja over this bike. Cosmetic damage could cost thousands to fix. If you are unhappy with the bike, you will have a hard time selling it with the damaged fairing. There is most likely mechanical damage as well. Steering damage is a really bad thing on a motorcycle. You might not realize how bad it is until you are in an emergency braking situation and the bike vibrates out from underneath you.

Jack Hammer
01-14-2011, 09:09
Well I just got a picture of the fairing of a SV650S (2005, 18k miles.)

http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c155/SlvrDragon50/DSCI0037.jpg

Seems pretty nasty. Owner says it was dropped and it slid "a bit" A bit seems like an understatement... From what I understand, the fairing is just cosmetic. True?

Its price was 2350 but I think I could bring him down to 2k or less. It also needs a new rear brake since he removed it ( dunno why) and the gas tank was slightly dented.

It takes more than a slow parking lot fall to wear that much plastic off a fairing and grind down the end of the clutch lever. The missing rear brake on top of that with the apparent vagueness by the seller would put me off on this particular bike. I've never had issues with bikes that have been down or raced and re-street legalized as long as the seller is upfront about it.

It's a huge myth that racers don't use the rear brakes, they do more than just help you slow down. And despite the miscontrued belief that all stopping is in the front brakes, using rear brakes too helps to slow you down much quicker and more controlled than using just the fronts. Every stunt rider I've known also used them quite a bit. Just about the only bikes I've seen that were missing the rear brake lost it in a crash.

Straegen
01-14-2011, 09:36
I still have to figure out a way to buy groceries on the motorcycle. I think I'll buy a large duffel bag and make trips for eggs only if I have to get eggs :PGet a Shad or CooCase topbox. Easy to install, pretty secure and VERY handy. Can be bought new for under $100 with mounting kits. Just over for HUGE ones.


Well I just got a picture of the fairing of a SV650S (2005, 18k miles.)

Seems pretty nasty. Owner says it was dropped and it slid "a bit" A bit seems like an understatement... From what I understand, the fairing is just cosmetic. True?

Its price was 2350 but I think I could bring him down to 2k or less. It also needs a new rear brake since he removed it ( dunno why) and the gas tank was slightly dented.The damage looks cosmetic and appears to be a minor spill. The rear brake removal is the worrisome part to me. No idea why someone would want to do that at least for any sensible reason and that probably means this person has been doing to dodgy mechanics of their own. I would skip this bike and keep looking. Plenty of used bikes to choose from and usually a good one will fall into your lap with a little patience.

SlvrDragon50
01-14-2011, 10:02
Yup. I was advised by other people that more than likely it was lowsided (whatever that means, I guess leaning too much?).

I found three other awesome deals though.

1) 2007 Ninja 250r with 5400 miles, 2400$ stunning condition
2) 2006 Ninja 500 as before, 2000$
3) 2007 Ninja 650r for 2700$

All the other SV650s and GS500Fs in my area aren't responding to my inquiries :/
I plan on checking out the 250r and 500 though next week.

Straegen
01-14-2011, 10:42
No question in my book if that 650r is up and in good shape, I would buy it. Uses a very new rider friendly engine. Even the ergos on the bike are pretty good. You probably won't outgrow it any time soon either. Sort of like getting a Versys on a budget (which is still one of the best all around bikes I have ever thrown my leg over).

Kawasaki Ninja 650R Review | Beginner Motorcycle Reviews | BeginnerMotorcycleReviews.com (http://www.beginnermotorcyclereviews.com/kawasaki-ninja-650r/)

If the 250R was an 08, I might take a look since insurance is bound to be heaps cheaper. For an 07 though, it is overpriced IMO. You can probably find a new 2011 for around $3500.

bigman241
01-14-2011, 11:06
I ended up buying an old bike till I could get a new one, will be selling it soon and upgrading to a newer and alittle larger bike, looking at a shadow 1100 or yamaha 1100.

I would have concerns with anyone one, small or large going from a scooter to a sportbike(crotch rocket). I would also highly recommend sitting on one for 10 minutes then thinking if you want to sit on it for hour or so. I did years ago and it sucks.

Sport bikes are for speed, power, maneuverability, and the shock value.

I would recommend a street bike, 500 to 900cc. Could go 1100 if you want the power. The is a big diff in sitting on a scooter and riding a sport or street bike down a highway.

Straegen
01-14-2011, 12:19
Not sure I agree with the scooter to motorcycle concern. Scooters while they don't get a lot of motorcycle respect are on two wheels, employ the same principals, often have a good power/weight ratios and IMO a bit more dangerous than many motorcycles. Small tires, smaller profile, often inferior stopping power, most scooter riders do not wear adequate protection and they are generally driven in traffic. Their maneuverability and lack of top end power works for them but otherwise they are rarely safer in the hands of a trained rider.

Sports bikes have their place and IMO aren't for shock value. IMO that is more of a Harley thing with loud pipes (and I get just as annoyed by race cans on the road), chromed out heavy bikes, horrible power to weight ratios, relatively poor stopping power and honestly poor handling characteristics compared to their cousins. If a rider is going to dig a pure sports bike for being "shock value" they should be on a purpose built bike like a Versys, BMW RT/GS or even a Goldwing if they are piling up the miles.

TJDiver
01-14-2011, 12:27
Not sure I agree with the scooter to motorcycle concern. Scooters while they don't get a lot of motorcycle respect are on two wheels, employ the same principals, often have a good power/weight ratios and IMO a bit more dangerous than many motorcycles. Small tires, smaller profile, often inferior stopping power, most scooter riders do not wear adequate protection and they are generally driven in traffic. Their maneuverability and lack of top end power works for them but otherwise they are rarely safer in the hands of a trained rider.

Sports bikes have their place and IMO aren't for shock value. IMO that is more of a Harley thing with loud pipes (and I get just as annoyed by race cans on the road), chromed out heavy bikes, horrible power to weight ratios, relatively poor stopping power and honestly poor handling characteristics compared to their cousins. If a rider is going to dig a pure sports bike for being "shock value" they should be on a purpose built bike like a Versys, BMW RT/GS or even a Goldwing if they are piling up the miles.

Dang...wish I woulda known all that about my Harley before putting 70k on it criss-crossing the country. :smiley2: I've ridden most every popular brand of bike out there, and my Harley is perhaps the best balanced bike I've ever had the pleasure of throwing a leg over. Don't be hatin' on my HOG, man. :smiley36:

Queen
01-14-2011, 12:35
Dang...wish I woulda known all that about my Harley before putting 70k on it criss-crossing the country. :smiley2: I've ridden most every popular brand of bike out there, and my Harley is perhaps the best balanced bike I've ever had the pleasure of throwing a leg over. Don't be hatin' on my HOG, man. :smiley36:

Ditto this, I've owned 30+ bikes over the years, my all time favorite was my plain old '98 FXD. LOVED that bike.

KO-Texas
01-14-2011, 12:36
Dang...wish I woulda known all that about my Harley before putting 70k on it criss-crossing the country. :smiley2: I've ridden most every popular brand of bike out there, and my Harley is perhaps the best balanced bike I've ever had the pleasure of throwing a leg over. Don't be hatin' on my HOG, man. :smiley36:

IMHO- ride what makes "YOU" happy. I'll ride with any type bike. I more care that the rider is someone I feel safe riding with, and enjoy hanging out with after the ride. The group I ride with is a motley bunch! Beamers, Harleys, sportbikes and even a vintage Norton before Jeff moved away.

We'd catch grief at the Harley rallies- until they realized we rode our bikes half way across the country and stopped in to say Hi. . . Usually went something like this..."You rode "That THING" ALL THE WAY FROM TEXAS" ?? Let me get your first beer! ... welcome. Good times! :smiley20:

When we rode to Daytona we passed numerous trailers loaded with bikes. Many would trailer the bikes to their hotels then ride in. I just made the ride.. To each their own...
KO

TJDiver
01-14-2011, 12:57
Ditto this, I've owned 30+ bikes over the years, my all time favorite was my plain old '98 FXD. LOVED that bike.

Yeah, I've never had a bike that fits me like my '05 Softail Deluxe. The Deluxe is a chrome whore straight from the factory, but it was the fit that sold it. Our instructor at my LDS rides a sport bike, and we get some good natured ribbing going between us. He calls my Harley a couch...and, I call his sport bike the power ranger mobile. :smiley36: It's all good...and, like KO says, ride what makes ya happy. :smiley20:

Apologies to the OP for the hijack...and, good luck with your search.

Straegen
01-14-2011, 13:31
I don't hate Harleys but I do usually end up getting into heated debates with the riders as they tend to look down their nose at most other two wheeled vehicles and my reactions are usually keyed on that history. My point wasn't that Harley's suck it is just that calling a sports bike "shock value" is something that should probably not be said by anyone who rides a bike that is designed as much for looks as it is riding. Additionally, knocking a scooter as something other than a motorcycle is also something that riders of bigger bikes tend to do. So as not to show complete bias, I actually owned a Harley for several years along with a dozen dirt bikes, Katana, couple KLRs, two scooters/mopeds, KE, Versys and now my Sprint. I get equally ornery by riders who dress like racers, talk like racers, outfit their bike like racers and try to educate others how to ride like a racer yet haven't even begun to scuff their rear tire beyond the center line.

Overall balance on a motorcycle is a highly overrated "feel" that is usually more to do with a bikes weight than its actual balance. Gyroscopic effects override most imbalances in a bike and the rake/tail/suspension of a bike are generally what most riders are feeling. I also hear riders talk about planted, solid, etc which are usually the same thing. R1s feel very nervous compared to a Harley but I know which one is faster and more capable in the corners in virtually every regard but I wouldn't take an R1 across country. Now a BMW RT or GS are great handling bikes that have some great long distance capability.

SlvrDragon50
01-14-2011, 14:01
I didn't feel the scooter was safe because I was driving severely under speed limit and the brakes are... mediocre at best.

I can definitely talk down the owners of the 250rs though since Nadaguide.com gives an estimated value of like 1300-1800. What do you guys think of a Yamaha R6? I heard it's a race replica so it won't be as comfortable as a normal Sport bike?

TJDiver
01-14-2011, 14:34
Yeah, but the "shock value" statement wasn't made by a Harley rider...nor were Harleys even mentioned until your post...seems to me you're just looking for the heated debate? Lighten up, Francis. :smiley2:


I don't hate Harleys but I do usually end up getting into heated debates with the riders as they tend to look down their nose at most other two wheeled vehicles and my reactions are usually keyed on that history. My point wasn't that Harley's suck it is just that calling a sports bike "shock value" is something that should probably not be said by anyone who rides a bike that is designed as much for looks as it is riding. Additionally, knocking a scooter as something other than a motorcycle is also something that riders of bigger bikes tend to do. So as not to show complete bias, I actually owned a Harley for several years along with a dozen dirt bikes, Katana, couple KLRs, two scooters/mopeds, KE, Versys and now my Sprint. I get equally ornery by riders who dress like racers, talk like racers, outfit their bike like racers and try to educate others how to ride like a racer yet haven't even begun to scuff their rear tire beyond the center line.

Overall balance on a motorcycle is a highly overrated "feel" that is usually more to do with a bikes weight than its actual balance. Gyroscopic effects override most imbalances in a bike and the rake/tail/suspension of a bike are generally what most riders are feeling. I also hear riders talk about planted, solid, etc which are usually the same thing. R1s feel very nervous compared to a Harley but I know which one is faster and more capable in the corners in virtually every regard but I wouldn't take an R1 across country. Now a BMW RT or GS are great handling bikes that have some great long distance capability.

Queen
01-14-2011, 15:07
I didn't feel the scooter was safe because I was driving severely under speed limit and the brakes are... mediocre at best.

I can definitely talk down the owners of the 250rs though since Nadaguide.com gives an estimated value of like 1300-1800. What do you guys think of a Yamaha R6? I heard it's a race replica so it won't be as comfortable as a normal Sport bike?

I'd be very curious to see the insurance costs for an 18 year old on an R6.

Straegen
01-14-2011, 15:08
Yeah, but the "shock value" statement wasn't made by a Harley rider...nor were Harleys even mentioned until your post...seems to me you're just looking for the heated debate? Lighten up, Francis. :smiley2:Maybe you should slow that roll since it takes two to tango mon frare.

The "Harley" crowd jumped on with my single word mention of Harleys when I was referring to the subculture of riders who buy Harley and Harley-esk bikes then weight them down and loud them up strictly for show purposes and then go on to complain about sport bikes. It in no way was meant to be a indemnification of all Harley riders especially since my riding club has several Harley riders that I greatly respect. I would also add I referenced how I dislike the similar qualities on sports bikes and their riders in the same post (and same sentence). My main point about scooters and sports bikes was completely ignored.

IMO, I was correcting a couple misstatements in another post rather than condemning an entire segment of the riding community or trying to pick a fight.

Lastly, I am not the only person who feels this way about these types of riders. South Park did an entire episode about it and aside from the WoW episode is probably my favorite.

The F Word (Season 13, Episode 12) - Full Episode Player - South Park Studios (http://www.southparkstudios.com/full-episodes/s13e12-the-f-word)

Straegen
01-14-2011, 15:17
I didn't feel the scooter was safe because I was driving severely under speed limit and the brakes are... mediocre at best.

I can definitely talk down the owners of the 250rs though since Nadaguide.com gives an estimated value of like 1300-1800. What do you guys think of a Yamaha R6? I heard it's a race replica so it won't be as comfortable as a normal Sport bike?

600s sports bikes are actually great bikes for open riding but not really for commuting. They rev high so they are really fun but often require a lot of extra clutch work in traffic. For commuting you will likely want something with more torque and less HP. Lower rev ranges tend to work better at slow speeds. Dual sports, some cruisers and a handful of other similar bikes are better in traffic. True sports bikes (which are most 600cc sports bikes) don't like low revs and tend to need extra gear changes to keep at the right speed. They can also be abrupt from a dead stop. My Sprint which has decent torque but is a bit too jerky to be considered good in traffic.

Jack Hammer
01-14-2011, 15:33
Yup. I was advised by other people that more than likely it was lowsided (whatever that means, I guess leaning too much?)...

A lowside crash is when the bike simply slides out while leaned over and lands on the side nearest the ground (the low side). This is common from turning too fast through water, oil, debri, or just leaning the bike off the edge of the tires. Generally it doesn't cause a tremendous amount of damage (relatively speaking). The majority of motorycycle crashes are lowsides.

A highside crash is when the bike breaks traction when leaned over then suddenly regains traction causing the bike to react with a whipping like motion that jerks violently, may or may not straighten the bike up, and often launches the rider into the air (sometimes the bike too). The bike can land on either side or just correct itself and run away, without the rider, til it hits something. This generally causes a lot of harm to both bike and rider. This type of crash is less common on the streets unless riding extremely aggressively.

The damage shown in that picture looks to me like a very fast low side with a hard initial impact. Fast enough to lift the rear of the bike off the ground while it slid on the front. I'd be extremely leary of the bike pictured, especially since the seller is downplaying the damage. Glad you're looking at other bikes.

acamato
01-14-2011, 15:40
I am glad that you are going to take a MSF class.

Have you thought about a GS500 E (non-faring). They are readily avail under 2K. There is a good forum desicated to the GS500's gstwin.com. The GS is also a standard, you sit more upright than a sport bike.

Have you thought about a Nighthawk 750. I was set on a GS500 for my 1st bike, then I bought a 92' NH750 from a friend, price was right and bike was in great condition. It has 4300 miles on it. It is very comfortable to ride long distances. Very easy to maintain. It has hydraulic lifters, so you don't have to worry about valve adjustments.

8648

TJDiver
01-14-2011, 16:21
Well then...if South Park says so...:smilie39: Man, my first response to you was just a bit of sparring and joking around...I thought made evident by my smiley icons. None of us complained about sport bikes...that came in with you out of the blue. Personally, I think they're amazing pieces of engineering. Now I know it's a sensitive subject, and I'll leave it alone...it's all good...no worries. :smiley2:


Maybe you should slow that roll since it takes two to tango mon frare.

The "Harley" crowd jumped on with my single word mention of Harleys when I was referring to the subculture of riders who buy Harley and Harley-esk bikes then weight them down and loud them up strictly for show purposes and then go on to complain about sport bikes. It in no way was meant to be a indemnification of all Harley riders especially since my riding club has several Harley riders that I greatly respect. I would also add I referenced how I dislike the similar qualities on sports bikes and their riders in the same post (and same sentence). My main point about scooters and sports bikes was completely ignored.

IMO, I was correcting a couple misstatements in another post rather than condemning an entire segment of the riding community or trying to pick a fight.

Lastly, I am not the only person who feels this way about these types of riders. South Park did an entire episode about it and aside from the WoW episode is probably my favorite.

The F Word (Season 13, Episode 12) - Full Episode Player - South Park Studios (http://www.southparkstudios.com/full-episodes/s13e12-the-f-word)

Straegen
01-14-2011, 18:07
Well then...if South Park says so...:smilie39: Man, my first response to you was just a bit of sparring and joking around...I thought made evident by my smiley icons. None of us complained about sport bikes...that came in with you out of the blue. Personally, I think they're amazing pieces of engineering. Now I know it's a sensitive subject, and I'll leave it alone...it's all good...no worries. :smiley2:I read snarky from your replies which I interpreted as my offending the "Harley" segment with my original reply. I am not sensitive about this subject only that I may have inadvertently offended.

As for my sport bike comments they did not come out of the blue. The original post that started this was a reply on the scooter to sport bike and the "shock value" post just above. The South Park reference was something I was hoping would bring a laugh or two as I find it pretty funny.

alpha
01-14-2011, 18:46
No question in my book if that 650r is up and in good shape, I would buy it. Uses a very new rider friendly engine. Even the ergos on the bike are pretty good. You probably won't outgrow it any time soon either. Sort of like getting a Versys on a budget (which is still one of the best all around bikes I have ever thrown my leg over).

Kawasaki Ninja 650R Review | Beginner Motorcycle Reviews | BeginnerMotorcycleReviews.com (http://www.beginnermotorcyclereviews.com/kawasaki-ninja-650r/)

If the 250R was an 08, I might take a look since insurance is bound to be heaps cheaper. For an 07 though, it is overpriced IMO. You can probably find a new 2011 for around $3500.

Agree...650r is best buy of the 3 choices.

08 model change for 250 made it look better than the 500.(advise against 07 and older ninja 250's...just due to better looking 08 & newer ) Kawasaki Ninja 250R - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kawasaki_Ninja_250R)

650 would be the best buy if all in good shape of the 3.

SlvrDragon50
01-14-2011, 21:24
Mkay. I'll be contacting him then. It's beautiful.

The R6 was a great deal but I just checked specs and it has 50 more horsepower than the 650R! I always thought speed depended simply on CC but boy was I wrong.

Straegen
01-14-2011, 23:02
Top speed is usually related to HP. Torque is usually how fast you get to the top speed. Both are only indicators as to how fast a bike really is as weight, transmission, etc factor in to the final product.

A 600 is great for day riding and thrashing but generally isn't good for commuting and touring. They can do the job just not as well as other bikes. Older 750s/800s in the sport segment are what I call Jekyll and Hyde machines (katana and VFR come to mind). Under around 8k they are tame, easy to live with machines that commute pretty well. Over 8k they turn into thrash machines that can hold their own with all but the best out there given the same rider which makes them an ideal bike for an intermediate rider looking for a little of both. There is a new or rather old design that is becoming very popular and that is the 650 segment. Bikes that top out around 120mph, get there very fast, are easy to commute with and when ridden hard perform pretty well. That would be the 650R, SV650, Versys, etc you are looking at. They can even manage weekend touring with little effort. The Cruiser segment is really bike dependent as some bikes are built for commuting, some for show and others for touring. It is a very broad segment.

IMO if I were to recommend a bike sans cost, the Aprilla Shiver or Mana would probably top my list for a commuter ride. It is an impressive machine that is purpose built for new riders and commuters IMO second to those the Versys (a light touring version of the 650R you are looking at)

Jack Hammer
01-14-2011, 23:10
There's more to it but basically HP is top speed and torque is acceleration but don't get caught up in the numbers. HP #'s can be misleading because they give you the max amount of HP, not the real world usable amount. And those #'s many times are no where near what actually gets to the rear wheel, just the max amount made at the limit of specs and at the crank. Sport bikes (crotch rockets) are designed to be ridden at the upper RPM range and often can be a bit anemic at the lower RPM's where a bike would generally be ridden around town. A bike that makes HP and torque at low RPM's will be a much better street ride and have much more useable power than a bike that has to be rung out to near redline to make power. Just find a bike you like, most midsize bikes make enough power to get around comfortably and still have enough acceration hidden in them for those sudden passes.

KO-Texas
01-15-2011, 00:37
[QUOTE=Straegen;433794]Top speed is usually related to HP. Torque is usually how fast you get to the top speed. Both are only indicators as to how fast a bike really is as weight, transmission, etc factor in to the final product.[QUOTE]

Fast in a straight line is relative. Basic rider skills can take a bike to top end in a straight line. An experienced rider will be able to safely ride faster through the twisties.

Embarrassing as it may be, fact is, Jeff could out-ride me on his vintage Norton, me on a Ninja ZX6. Not in a straight line, but in the twisties I was humbled! I rode the old Norton and to me if felt like a tractor. Compared to the Ninja, it handled like *#@*# !! But facts are facts... He was better... this coming from someone with race experience too!

I liked the lighter ZX6 through the mountains. The ZX11 was highway king.

btw- fast in traffic? Nope, I don't have a death wish....
White Nissans are DANGEROUS! :smiley13:

KO

Straegen
01-15-2011, 02:25
Speed even in a straight line is ultimately determined by rider skill this is very true. My statement was in terms of the bike independent of the rider and really only to distinguish in a simplistic way HP from torque.

IMO never be embarrassed to admit someone is faster even on a beater (not saying his bike is a beater just using it for comparison). I know a couple guys who can whip me with their SuperMoto bikes (DRZ400SM) in the mountains and heaps of other fellows on more and less capable bikes.

Here is MountainRider and one of his videos from GA60:


http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-6272665413876327736#

It may look a bit slow, but keeping up with this guy (who is no spring chicken) is very hard to do (and something I cannot do). Note he is riding a bike that is a near twin to the Ninja 650R.

Vercingetorix
01-15-2011, 07:31
The video shows the driver crossing double-yellow lines at 0:54 and 2:02 to pass vehicles. At the second on, he not only crosses the double-line, he passes on a curve.

May be a fine rider otherwise. Not to be snarky, but if he breaks these simple rules/laws, don't follow this guy's example.

Straegen
01-15-2011, 10:43
May be a fine rider otherwise. Not to be snarky, but if he breaks these simple rules/laws, don't follow this guy's example.I would not promote doing this to an inexperienced rider and a good observation on your part.

In the N GA mountains it is considered somewhat normal riding as many riders do it for a couple reasons. The first is enjoyment (right or wrong) because if the rider doesn't pass on the double yellows they will be doing 10-15 MPH most of the trip which isn't the kind of riding many want to do up there. The second is very debatable but many riders feel it safer to be in front of traffic instead of in it much like lane splitting. There are risks simply riding a motorcycle but IMO passing like this are risks akin to solo or technical diving. Some risks are increased, others are decreased but doing so increases the enjoyment of the sport for some and all of these should be tempered with experience and training.

One quick note both passes he did have long visibility of upcoming traffic. The camera isn't showing that the rider can see a mile or more on both passes even the one at the 2 minute mark.

SlvrDragon50
01-15-2011, 16:39
Just had my first day of riding and it was a blast!

Although my quest to find a motorcycle did not get any easier. I've decided to completely abandon the R6 and look for a good SV650S or 500-600-650 Ninja. Tis a waiting game now :/

Straegen
01-15-2011, 17:06
That is great to hear. Hope the bike stays shiny side up for you.

SlvrDragon50
01-15-2011, 17:38
I am glad that you are going to take a MSF class.

Have you thought about a GS500 E (non-faring). They are readily avail under 2K. There is a good forum desicated to the GS500's gstwin.com. The GS is also a standard, you sit more upright than a sport bike.

Have you thought about a Nighthawk 750. I was set on a GS500 for my 1st bike, then I bought a 92' NH750 from a friend, price was right and bike was in great condition. It has 4300 miles on it. It is very comfortable to ride long distances. Very easy to maintain. It has hydraulic lifters, so you don't have to worry about valve adjustments.

8648
Just saw this, I'm actually riding a Nighthawk for my class. I actually didn't like the feel of it too much but I haven't been on a sportsbike yet.

I have been looking for GS500s but they're too expensive in Gainesville. The cheapest I found was 2700 and that one had a broken shift lever, broken brake lever, dropped a couple times, and needs new tires.