New Guy, No Clue…
August 13, 2010 at 3:55 pm #4164
My name is Shalin and I am absolutely new to motorcycles. I’ve read just about everything I can find on what a beginner should likely start with, but there’s still a lot of uncertainty I have with my decision. I’ve been researching a motorcycle I would like to get and felt certain that it would be sufficient until today!
First, I was convinced 250cc was the absolute best way to go. Sport bike is my style, so I found I had two choices- Kawasaki Ninja 250R or a Hyosung GT250R. After short deliberation I decided to choose experience over styling and want a Kawasaki Ninja. Today I began to question whether I should get a 500cc!?
What will be the major differences in these two bikes? Can I expect it to be more difficult to learn on the bigger bike?August 13, 2010 at 4:36 pm #28050
The 500 is noticeably heavier but not to a degree that it makes it uncontrollable. It is still a perfectly suitable beginner bike. It does make a good bit more power as well but again, not to the degree of being uncontrollable. Put it this way: Back when I was first looking into getting my first bike, a group of experienced riders told me that the Kawasaki Ninja 500R and Suzuki GS500 were the PERFECT beginner bikes for an average sized guy looking to start off with something sporty. If you go with the 250 over the 500 you will be trading off a fair degree of power (that will really only impact freeway riding) but making it more controllable at low (read: parking lot) speeds. It’s entirely up to you.
If it were me, I would let whether or not I planned on doing lots of freeway jaunts decide for me. The 250 is definitely better in an urban setting due to its light weight, but the 500 rules on the freeway.August 13, 2010 at 4:42 pm #28051
In able for me to get to work I have to hop onto an interstate for a great percentage of the trip.August 13, 2010 at 4:52 pm #28053
That right there answers your question for you then.August 13, 2010 at 4:54 pm #28054
Now that I’ve figured that a 250 IS too small for freeway, a 500 is good, is a 600/650 too big for a beginner?August 13, 2010 at 5:02 pm #28055
I started out on a 650. My first bike, which I still own, is a Suzuki SV650. I’m not going to say it’s impossible because it is still considered a viable beginner bike, but I do know that I would be a much better rider today if I started out on something a bit smaller. An SV650 WILL lift the wheel in first gear if you snap the throttle which makes it debatable as to whether or not its a suitable beginner bike. The 500s won’t.
Also I wouldn’t say the 250 is TOO small for the freeway, just that it’ll have a harder time with it than the 500. Stick with the 500s I think.August 13, 2010 at 5:09 pm #28056
I’ll definitely take your advice to heart and consider everything you’ve said before I make a decision! Thank you very much!August 16, 2010 at 6:11 pm #28103CBBaronParticipant
The Ninja 250R is definately not too small for the freeway. It will easily do 80 mph. The only problem I have at speeds above 65mph is the amount of noise and buffeting that I experience on my body. I think any bike without a large wind screen is going to have this problem.
I can accelerate if needed at those speeds, however the 500R will accelerate faster and I believe cruise at those speeds at a lower rpm.
If I was forced to do alot of freeway miles I would look at getting a bigger wind screen or just keep my speed below 65. The 250 vs 500 would not concern me much.
And definately get some ear plugs before hitting the freeway. The wind noise is really fatiguing at those speeds.
CraigAugust 17, 2010 at 2:16 pm #28118
Also though I would like to say that it depends on what constitutes freeway speeds where you are. The speed limit on the freeway is only 65 sure but depending on where you live traffic could flow up to 20-30 mph above that. Where I come from in South Florida, freeway traffic flows in excess of 90mph. I certainly wouldn’t want a 250 for that. But at 75-80, like here in Pittsburgh, sure, no problem.August 18, 2010 at 1:02 pm #28135CBBaronParticipant
Freeway flows at 90mph??!!!
OK even a Ninja 250 would struggle to keep pace with that.
Ofcourse I would not want to do many miles like that on any naked or sport faired bike. The wind buffeting and noise is really fatiguing at those speeds.
Around here (Cleveland) limits are 60 and speeds are 70-80. I try to stay around 70, which is much more comfortable than 80, and have no problem with traffic. A larger wind screen like Mike’s shields sells would probably help.
CraigAugust 23, 2010 at 8:11 pm #28265
Speed limit posted is 60. Usual speed of traffic is 65. Usual speed of me, 70! Can’t say I’d dislike that 90 mph freeway speed in my truck!August 24, 2010 at 3:13 pm #28277ranetteParticipant
I can’t/won’t comment on the difference of starting on a 250/500/650 or the viability of the smaller bikes on a freeway. However, I would disagree with one of WZ’s points. I started on a larger bike, larger than but with a similar power delivery to his SV. At the beginning it was certainly a challenge, probably more of a challenge than on a smaller bike. However, according to unbiased judges-ERC and ARC coaches-my riding ability is excellent for somebody with two years under their belt and I would not be a better rider today if I had started on something smaller. Again, not advocating for or against any bike in particular, just saying that if you do start larger(within reason of course), it will not necessarily impede your long term progress.
Again we’re all different and there is no stock best bike for everyone. In order to learn to ride properly it takes dedication, concentration and maturity. Hopping on a 650 to start might mean you will have to exercise those traits a little more zealously, but keep in mind that starting on a 250 doesn’t give you a pass, you still need to approach it in a mature manner.August 24, 2010 at 3:16 pm #28278madjak30Participant
I know my 500cc bike has problems maintaining 75mph if there is a strong head wind or a steep hill, I have to gear down to keep that pace and drop another gear if I wish to speed up…as for the buffeting, I have an after market wind screen that is fully adjustable (with some wrenches)…if I have it adjusted incorrectly (like last week), I got more buffetting than when I had the wind screen removed…sounds like the wind from your wind screen is hitting your body just below your helmet, which will cause lots of buffetting…also being a lighter bike, the bike itself is probably bothered more by the wind….so it depends on the terrain, weather and whether or not the wind screen is set up correctly for your body…
I’m not trying to say that a 250cc bike is too small, but saying it will easily do 80mph may be a little miss leading. I’m a firm beleiver that the smaller the bike, the better the learning experience…and anything will be pretty decent upto around 60-65mph…even a 250cc dual sport would be fun to that pace (an excellent choice for a beginner)
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.