I have to admit, I have mostly been looking at new bikes but mainly as a matter of convience–it’s easier to sit on several bikes at the dealers than it is to ask private parties if I can sit on their bikes. Even so, I have been looking on Craigslist too, and in my area I would say there are some decent deals.
By the way, I am new to this (I guess that is why they call it the best beginner site) so I didn’t know about the TU250, so I’ll have to do more research on it. Thanks. I just found out about the Buell brand a few days ago–had never heard of it before.
The Ninja 250 gets an awful lot of praise in this forum and on other sites as well, so it just may be the right bike for me. I too am around 240 lbs, so I imagine the quality of the braking system should be important to me. Thank you for mentioning this. And the liquid cooling is also a very good point. It seems to me that in my brief research so far that most bikes in this range are air cooled–at least I have had this impression. Although I have been giving the Ninja short shrift in my thinking mainly because I feel I am more of a cruiser guy (funny how a guy who doesn’t even ride a motorcycle can come to such a conclusion) but the praise for this machine is overwhelming. While I do like the cruiser styling from the ’60’s and ’70’s, etc, the retro look, I also like the Ninja’s modern look as well. I’ve got to go and sit on one of those bikes. It is obvious that I am missing something if I don’t. Besides, I have read a great deal about what a nimble handling bike it is and that will help a lot when you are just learning to ride, let’s face it. Obviously, the Ninja has to move up on my list.
I have also been considering some of the lesser known brands, Hyosung, for example. While I don’t have any true favorite at this time, I am also thinking about the need for local dealer support–I am not a mechanic and want to have one close by for when the bike needs servicing, etc. There are several dealers for Kawasaki in my area, so it wouldn’t be an issue choosing the Ninja if this is the way I wind up.
Thank you for mentioning some of the finer points of why you made your decisions–this is very helpful to a newbie like me.