It is and it isn’t like a super sport in it’s riding ergonomics. It actually has handle bars, rather than clip ons just like the ninja 250, and gives more of an upright riding position. (Pics are courtesy of cycle-ergos.com, a great site to see your particular dimensions on a ton of different bikes)
Some of this conjecture is a bit premature. Before you get out and ride, almost all bikes seem monstrously large and heavy as you have no real world frame of reference to judge them by other than perhaps a bicycle or a dirt bike if you have had the experience. After you take the msf, you can start to gauge if some of the bikes feel small to you. I know personally I had to change bikes from a honda nighthawk to a yamaha tw200 because the distance from the foot peg to the gear shift was too close, and I couldn’t shift properly (I’m 6’5″ 245lbs, with a size 13 boot, there are definitely some bikes that are too small for me to ride safely). So before everyone is quick to judge every bike sales person as being just out there to make the bigger commission, give them a bit of a break. If you think about it, won’t they make more of a commission selling you an ill fitting bike, and then taking it back as a trade in towards another bike shortly after you get sick of it? Perhaps they are just trying to save you from paying tax, title, and registration twice, when you could be putting that money towards better use.
The displacement debate I’m not really going to get into. In short, displacement is in no way a gauge of power, torque, or the delivery characteristics of either. Case in point, the fz6r vs my fiancées old bike, the suzuki boulevard s40. The S40 – 652cc, 31hp, 33ft/lb of torque while the fz6r 78hp (at the crank, more like 60 at the rear wheel), 44ft/lb of torque, and if you go for an r6 600cc, 100hp, 44ft/lb of torque. Her new bike, a 2009 sporster 1200cc makes for about 70hp and 74ft/lb of torque. As you can see, there is no linear correlation between displacement, and output.
Also $1500-$2000 depending on your area is going to be a bit of a challenge trying to find a ninja 250 right at the start of the riding season. There is a big demand for the ninja 250 then, and people are getting almost new prices for them even used then.
With the comments about 250 being more than enough, as all the fun is in the twisties, there is some truth to that. The only draw back is sooner or later, you are going to have to take a highway to get someplace, like work, or even the dealership to get your bike worked on. While I firmly believe that a 250cc bike can be a great learning tool, I’m not convinced it is a practical bike for everyone.
On gear, check out http://sharp.direct.gov.uk/
They have some awesome helmet info, as they have impact test results to help you gauge which helmets give the most protection. I know the scorpion exo-400 lids get good reviews, and you can find them pretty cheep right now.
Sorry if this is all a bit of a rant, but bike season is around the corner and I’m itching to talk shop