250R or 650R?
June 14, 2009 at 7:23 pm #3006
Just joined, anyways here is my situation.
I have no experience. Taking the MSF course this July and plan on buying the gear and a bike shortly afterwards. I am 31 Y/O 5’10” with a 32″ inseam. Weight ranges from 190-210 depending on amount of gym time, I am reasonably athletic. I have seen a lot of people suggest the 250R, and I like the way it looks(08-up) I dont like the way the 500 looks, but the 650R is nice. I have heard some suggest the 650R is a good beginner bike, especially if you do a lot of highway travel versus the 250R. I will probaly do 50/50 city/highway driving, but probaly nothing over 75-80. What are your opinions? Thanks.June 14, 2009 at 9:45 pm #19709
SV650s or SV650sf. Been around forever and there’s a ton of experienced information on them as well as aftermarket support. I’ve heard the ergos on the 650r are slightly better though.June 14, 2009 at 10:37 pm #19710
I had the same debate when I was buying a bike. I’m a couple inches taller than you and a couple dozen pounds heavier, but our inseams are the same. I similarly had no experience, so I decided to wait until after the MSF course make a decision. As it turned out, I was pretty comfortable after the course, so I went with the 650R and I’m definitely happy with that decision. (This was just a few weeks ago, FYI). I’ve been out a on the highway a few times, and I can definitely see how a smaller bike would be uncomfortable. I’ve heard that the 250R is just a little small for the highway and that the wind really blows you around. I also like to know that if I see a car coming up too quickly behind me, or something like that, I have enough reserve power to accelerate out of the way – even at 70 mph in 6th gear. I don’t know that the 250R lacks this, but I’d imagine it has less power in that situation than the 650R.
The bottom line for me is that the 250R only had two things in the pro column over the 650R. It was cheaper, and it’s better for people who don’t have a level head, or who can’t control the throttle well (or people who just want to get a 250 for other reasons, but that’s a different thing). Since I have a cool head (and I could afford it), I went with the 650R.
I’d say if you’re really going to be doing 50/50 city/highway, get the 650R as long as you have a cool head (you aren’t prone to racing people just for the fun of it, etc), and you feel relatively comfortable after the MSF courseJune 14, 2009 at 11:00 pm #19711
Yeah, I was looking at those too, but I do like the way the Ninja 650R looks much better. Do you know if they are close to the same as far as power? I dont want to get something to powerful for a beginner, and I know the SV650 is at the upper limits for what a beginner should ride.June 14, 2009 at 11:12 pm #19712
In terms of power, the 650r and the sv650s/sf are pretty much the same. If you fear getting into trouble with the SV, the 650r isn’t anymore newb friendlier. In terms of looks, if you get a fully faired sv650, they both look damn good. the 650r does have that distinctive kawi green color though. I don’t know if the 650r has abs, but you can get abs version of the sv650 lines.June 14, 2009 at 11:19 pm #19713
The 650R doesn’t have ABS. And that Kawi green color makes me cringe…at least it would if it ever ended up on my bike.June 14, 2009 at 11:34 pm #19714
Thanks for the response! I would say I am reasonably level headed, I have 2 Grand Nationals and a STS-V and I never race them, unless at the track. I may speed in them when travelling on the highway for long distances(10 or so above the speed limit), but who doesn’t? How is the throttle response? Will you “lose” the bike from under you relatively easy? Thats the main thing I was worrying about, if that was too sensitive. Thanks again.June 14, 2009 at 11:34 pm #19715
I like the kawi green… on kawi’s… for some reason, my brain says that color’s cool on kawis… but put in on another manufacturer’s bike and it makes me want to puke…June 15, 2009 at 12:00 am #19717
I wouldn’t say that you would lose the bike from under you. If you pop the clutch out too quickly while your starting, it’ll jump a little bit. I did that once and it was frightening, but I wasn’t in any danger of crashing or anything like that. It’s all about the clutch. The only way you’ll lose the bike from under you is if you give it WAY too much throttle and dump the clutch (I wouldn’t worry about that happening unless you’re trying to do something stupid). When I first got the bike, I made sure to err on the side of stalling due to not giving enough throttle until I got a feel for it (I’m still getting a feel for it).
But if I’m cruising down the road and I need some sudden acceleration, I have no problem leaning forward and rolling the throttle on pretty hard.
I think that the reason that powerful bikes aren’t good for many beginners isn’t because of the physical difficulties in controlling a bike, but because of the temptation to accelerate quickly and ride as fast as they can. As long as you truly intend to ride within your skill level, and you aren’t tempted by the power of your bike, then you’ll be fine.June 15, 2009 at 4:16 am #19720Speedy RodriguezParticipant
I took the MSF class in July of 2008, and with only that experience on their 125cc and 250cc bikes, bought the Ninja 650R in May 0f 2009. I’m 5’11, 34″ inseam and about 185 lbs.
I now have about 2,200 miles of experience in most traffic conditions. I have driven it back from Albany to NYC in fog and rain. At typical highway speeds and up to 80-90 MPH, in every gear except 6th there is ample power to accelerate if you need to go even faster to get out of dicey situations.
Estimated RPM’s of 5k at 70 MPH in 6th gear, with redline on the bike starting at 11k. I have had the bike up to 100 MPH for brief stretches on the highway with no shaking or instability.
I’ve never felt I would lose control of the bike despite some jerky up- and down-shifting when I first started. I’ve really opened the throttle at times from a standstill and felt like I went from zero to 60 in a few quick seconds. I once opened the throttle up in third gear at about 50-60 MPH and got the front wheel about 6″ off the ground. I didn’t buy the bike to be a squid or do stunts, so it was just a little experiment, lol.
People seem to think it looks good too–the bike is black–as I’ve gotten compliments when just riding around town. I think it’s an excellent all-around beginner bike, and think that even experienced riders would enjoy it. Good luck with whatever you decide to go with!June 15, 2009 at 4:27 am #19721
I can second 5,000 rpm at 70 mph in 6th.June 15, 2009 at 6:04 am #19724EliasParticipant
I suggest making a decision after the beginner rider course. You’ll probably ride 250’s in the course, and it will give you a rough idea what their power is like. Me, I’d go with the 650R hands down, but that’s because I feel the 250’s are a bit sluggish. Not that I want speed, but I like the idea of more power than the 250’s.
+1 650R or SV650 from meJune 15, 2009 at 6:52 pm #19737
It depends, like a lot of things.
1) The newer 650s are FI. That means you don’t get to play the choke game, like I do on the 250. It’s nice to understand how it’s done should you go to a carb bike sometime in the future.
2) The 650 has a more linear throttle response, due to how it does FI. The 250 is more like other sports bikes, in that when you get to the high end of the power band, you go from fast to really fast. Not so much on a 250 as a 600 or 1L though, from what I’ve heard. That could be a downside if you trade your 650 for a R6 or Gixxer and get spooked one day not realizing that when your hand slips on a bump, you’re going to need to hang on.
3) The 650 isn’t much heavier than the 250, and the seat height isn’t much higher. It does have bigger wheels than the 07- 250s, so it might not turn as tight.
4) I’d steer clear of the 08+ 250s. Why? They have less power than the 07- 250s. Looks aren’t everything. Also, people selling them used paid $500 or $1000 more than 07- and expect to make it up from you.
5) Yes, the 250 seems a little underpowered for anything above about 50 MPH. It could just be that I need to figure out the shift-points better, so take what I say with a grain of salt. On the other hand, it could save you a ticket. Around town, I’ve found the 250 able to accelerate and handle much better than my car, hands down.June 15, 2009 at 9:59 pm #19745
On the 250… 7000 RPM @ 60 MPH in 6th. LOLJune 15, 2009 at 10:34 pm #19748
When I took BRC, the difference between the Honda CB125T and the Honda Nighthawk 250s was very noticeable.
I liked the CB125T more than the Nighthawk 250 personally. The Nighthawks seemed heavier and were beasts to handle.
Or maybe it’s because the CB125T looked more like an Ninja 250 “F” than the Nighthawk.
At any rate, even the 125s were overkill for going around in circles in a parking lot at 20 MPH max.
Keep in mind, there are people who commute to work daily on 125s, so don’t knock ’em too bad.
But I absolutely have to say, do not just buy a bike without taking BRC first. Yes, the low-speed maneuvering stuff is annoying, and I have yet to do a U-turn in a box in real life. BUT it’s better to get surprised by how much braking power a bike has at 15 MPH on a training bike and drop it than at a higher speed on your bike with a car behind you. The end results are probably not going to be the same.
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