August 15, 2008 at 3:50 am #1908AndrewParticipant
I rode a Nighthawk in the MSF class and got pretty comfortable with it and I have now test ridden a Ninja 250 twice. The Ninja feels way easier to ride, to control and to do a u-turn. The Ninja is 302 lbs to the Nighthawks 286 lbs so it’s not lighter. Is the handling all to do with the wheelbase and the angle of the fork then?
I’m guessing the shifting is partly because the clutches on MSF bikes get abused by noobs who can’t shift.August 15, 2008 at 4:04 am #10574parad0x177Participant
While the Nighthawk is a decent motorcycle for what it is and what it costs, it is an older design and it is definitely at a technological disadvantage compared to the little Ninja. The Ninja has a better chassis, suspension, engine, and transmission. All of these things, plus steering geometry (rake, trail, wheelbase, etc) designed for more precise handling should all contribute to a better overall experience. Really, despite its small displacement and the lack or respect from the Squid crowd, the 250R is truly a fine machine for the money, particularly the new ’08.
And, while (in my experience) the MSF bikes are remarkably well maintained for what they go through, there is always the chance that the one you rode was suffering a little from a relatively hard life. Oh, and I generally hated the transmission on the last Nighthawk I rode; shifting was a little hit or miss and finding neutral was like trying to find Atlantis.August 15, 2008 at 5:07 am #10579AndrewParticipant
The other thing that helps me might be the riding position of the Ninja. I didn’t think I would like the placement of the pegs until I rode one and they just seem to be in the right place for my body. The position is a little leaned over (not much) but that seems to feel easier for me.
Finding neutral on the Nighthawk was easier than the Rebel I rode. Maybe it’s because I was so raw that first ride but man it was tough.August 15, 2008 at 11:48 am #10585BoOZe P-ti MotardParticipant
yeup… bikes that can be best controlled
standard (like bandit or z750 – to have an idea)
from my experience…
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