Beginner/Honda Rebel Question
August 22, 2010 at 4:13 pm #4199
I will admit I am new to the world of motorcycles. I have not ridden one since I was a kid, and that was a Honda 50.
I have been looking around several websites etc… and been to a shop and kicked some tires. I am “wait-listed” for a MSF course (I am the first alternate), so there is a good chance I can get in next month. Assuming I can pass the course, and written test I will be able to purchase a bike.
I have read reviews of bikes and I have heard good things about the Kawasaki Ninja 250 but I just do not really like the looks of the sport bikes as well as the cruisers. I really like the looks of the Honda Rebels, but everybody I have talked to locally says that a 250 bike is not enough bike for me. At the shop I visited, I was quickly escorted away from the Ninja and redirected to a 750 Honda Shadow. Granted the Shadow looked really nice, it just felt very heavy and I was afraid of dropping it.
I am 5’9″ 185-ish, and with basically no experience riding. Is the Rebel too small for me? I have read articles on here that a 250 is a great starter bike, better than like a 600. Locally there Yamaha V Star 650 for sale, I was thinking about going to take a look at that too.
I thought it might be a good idea to buy a smaller bike like a Rebel (I like the look and I’m not intimidated by the size), would I look like a fool riding around on that? They are cheap, and I figure I might try one out and if I like it, eventually upgrade to something bigger, or if I didn’t like riding I wouldn’t have a lot invested and could probably sell it and not lose too much.
Furthermore… is the advice I am getting about time of year and buying bikes, is cold weather the best time to get good deals?August 22, 2010 at 6:36 pm #28239WeaponZeroParticipant
Never listen to a salesman who is trying to steer you away from a 250. They’re just trying for more commission. Unless you yourself are a HUGE guy (which you are most certainly not), a 250 will do you fine. The Honda Rebel 250 is a great bike for around town but it struggles at freeway speeds. It tops out in the neighborhood of 85-90mph which is the speed traffic flows at on the highways in South Florida where I was born. I think you should let that be what decides it for you. If you plan on hitting the highways often, yeah I would move up to something bigger, perhaps a 500. But if not, the Rebel will do you fine.
I can’t speak for elsewhere but here in Pittsburgh the sales are great right now. Dealerships are letting 2010 Ninja 650Rs and ER-6ns go for under 6k OTD. My local dealership has a 2010 Z1000 on their showroom floor that has a sticker on it for 7500 OTD.August 22, 2010 at 6:43 pm #28241
Thanks for the input there… I guess it is a bit suspicious that I was looking at about a $2000, bike and the bike I was directed towards was about $5000. I kinda wondered if he was messing with me when he said a 250 was built for (and pointed to a petite lady in the shop) trying to get me to feel girly for even considering a cheaper bike.
I figure my “target” riding area is around town and backroads. Most of my traveling even in my SUV is done in 55mph zones or less. I rarely need get on the interstate for anything (I live in a pretty rural area).August 22, 2010 at 7:58 pm #28243plasticParticipant
I was in the same position a month ago. Complete newbie myself so can’t give advice, however, I would say go on and sit and feel as many bikes as you can, and during the msf, ask the instructors to ride different bikes during the break. That should get you an idea of what you like. And they usually have the rebel and virago on the classes.
Btw, I ended up getting a heavier bike (mana850), and so far my impressions are; riding it feels great at 15mph and above, throttle control has not been a problem. Maneuvers at low speeds however are tricky, and I already dropped it once – which I probably would not have done with a 250cc. 500′ is a lot of weight to balance when you start going down. Just got it last week so that’s all I know for now. Overall I don’t regret getting the bigger bike yet, but def wish it was lighter… Oh well…
Again, I’m really new to it, so listen to the most experience guys advice (like wzero). just wanted to share my experience so far.August 22, 2010 at 9:44 pm #28253RabParticipant
‘Sounds to me like a 250 will be ideal for you and the little Rebel is as solid as a rock.
I started on a 250 Nighthawk (same 230 c.c. engine as the Rebel) and at the time I was ~185 lbs and 5’11”.
It was just fine for everything except freeway riding which it was capable of, but not ideal. It could do a sustained 60-65 mph all day, but I had to down-shift when going up long hills to maintain the 60-65 mph speed (no big deal). It would top-out at around 75-80 mph, but was definitely buzzy and less pleasant to ride at that speed. It could handle taking a passenger around town no problem too if you dialed the suspension pre-load up.
I found this that you might want to watch:
Suzuki GZ-250 (cruiser) and TU-250 (standard) are other bikes to consider.August 23, 2010 at 1:55 pm #28260CBBaronParticipant
I think a cheap small bike is a lot more fun to start with. It makes learning easier and you can challenge yourself alot more than you would consider doing on a heavier more expensive bike. Like exploring down a gravel road, doing a u-turn on a small street, pulling off the road on to a gravel shoulder for a quick break or to that a snap shot, etc.
And as you mentioned if you can get a good bike for under 2 grand then if you want to get a different one later it no big deal.
If a salesman is trying to convince you by telling you you’ll be a sissy or look like a girl then I would completely tune that person out as they have little worth saying.
CraigAugust 23, 2010 at 3:01 pm #28263
Great input so far thanks! I am anxious to get into the MSF class so I can actually be on a bike that is moving instead of just sitting on them. I am budgeting about $2000 (could go a bit higher). I am open to pretty much brand, Honda (I guess I picked Honda first because I have owned a little Honda bike, and a few ATVs and they have been 100% on reliability), Yamaha, Suzuki, Kawasaki we have dealers in the area for the major brands in case I ever did need one to be worked on. I definitely would rather get a smaller bike and learn well, AND hopefully keep it in good shape. I really don’t want to drop a bike, or have a heavier bike on top of me due to lack of experience.
One thing I have noticed about price… not too much difference going on here, I called about a Rebel locally (turns out it was already sold), they wanted $1500 for it, it was a 1985 w/an undisclosed amount of miles. Is that a REALLY high price, or do these things hold their value that well, considering I have seen several 2007-08 models in the $2000 range? Will the price bottom out on bikes once it starts getting cold, or will the market for the 250cc class bikes remain pretty constant due to the already low-end pricing?August 23, 2010 at 10:19 pm #28267Jeff in KentuckyParticipant
A 1985 Honda 250cc Rebel for $1,500 is very high. They are $4,000 new, and the trade in value in my area for the Kelly Blue Book for a 1985 250 Rebel is $660.August 24, 2010 at 8:35 pm #28287CBBaronParticipant
I’d say that was over priced, however a working bike in decent shape will seldom drop much below $1000. So if you can find a nice newer used model for under $2000 you will have a nice bike that won’t depreciate much unless you wreck.
I think you will see more people selling low mile bikes for cheaper once it gets cold and they want to clean out the garage to make room for the car. I got my `06 Ninja 250R with 1k miles for $1600 last November. By spring I probably could have sold it for $2k.
Pick a couple models you like, or perhaps a style, and look for good deals. If you get stuck on one model you will likely end up having to buy new and pay nearly twice as much.
CraigAugust 28, 2010 at 3:20 am #28339gitchy42Participant
I’ll agree with most people here and say that most 250s are great for beginners and have enough power for most situation. That being said, unless you are in love with the look of a Rebel, I would avoid it. Compared to other similar bikes it has little power. If you like the cruiser or standard look I would suggest one of the Zuke 250’s.
I will admit that I am biased against the Rebel though, I think it looks silly too…like someone forgot half the motor. Although, I do like some of the larger Rebel models.August 30, 2010 at 4:52 am #28361MaxDadAKParticipant
I am your height and weight almost to a tee and can tell you a 250 will be fine. I’ve been riding my V Star 250 for two seasons and it’s rock solid. I’m in Alaska, where a lot of roads I ride are the same speeds your talking about and the 250 performs great at those speeds. You will outgrow it, though, at what rate depends on your opinion. I was ready for a bigger bike after last season but because of bad timing I missed the boat. If you are okay sitting on a beginner bike then do it. It’s all about what your comfortable with. I would reccomend looking at a V Star 250 before committing to a Rebel. The overall fit and finish of the Star and it’s better performance will serve you better.
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