New rider, and a question
May 3, 2008 at 9:00 am #1325
Hello everyone. Recently passed my MSF BRC (a week ago, huzzah).
As exciting as that has been alone, it’s kind of hard to be thrilled when I don’t own a bike yet.
Here’s where I come to you fine folks, seeing how I have no one to ask these questions and reading articles can only sway my judgement so far.
The main reason I got into this is a toss up between always wanting to ride, and how much money it would save me (depending on the bike).
I’d like to get a 250cc bike. I’m honestly torn between the V-Star 250 (I know formally Virago heh) and a Honda NightHawk. Let me just get this out of the way I never touch the interstate, the bike would be for commutes to school and work. The roads I frequent are normally 45 MPH or 50 MPH speed limits.
About myself. I’m a rather large 21 year old man 6′ 210 lbs. I’ve honestly been leaning twoards the Nighthawk because of the higher seat.
Sadly I’ve heard so many mixed reviews and I’m far too green to pick apart the BS from honest fact. I’ve read the Nighthawk is a fantastic newbie ride, easy maitnence, runs hards and starts no matter what, at the same time I’ve heard they are shakey at high speeds,have a confusing gear pattern (one review stating it was impossible to find neutral), and that it has drum brakes opposed discs
For the Virago I’ve heard just as many mixed reviews, it’s too light, the mirrors are crap, the seat height is too low for taller riders etc etc.
Before anyone suggests a Ninja 250r please don’t. It’s a lovely bike it really is, but perhaps it’s due to my age but the Ninja would actually cost twice as much to insure as a Virago or a Nighthawk, or even some of the larger 500/600cc cruisers I had looked at. (Clean driving record here, not so much as a speeding ticket, can only assume it’s the age factor)
So if anyone would be kind enough to lend me some wisdom. I’d be overjoyed to hear any and all recomendations and I really do appreciate it.May 3, 2008 at 1:22 pm #5960swedeParticipant
First of all, go to a dealership and sit on the bikes, it’ll give you more than all the fanboys/haters in the world can tell you. Finding a virago shouldn’t be a problem finding since the world is flooded by them.
Second, there are more bikes than just the two you mentioned, investigate more bikes of this type. The Kawasaki 250 Eliminator (BBM has some info about the little 125 sibling) As for the 250EL I almost bought it when I started looking for bikes, as opposed to the Virago, it has liquid cooling, a practically maintenance free belt-drive instead of a chain, has more power (~10HP more) and it even has a 0,1inch higher seat
Not saying it’s actually better, but definitely worth checking out.
Oh, and it’s both called ZL 250 and EL 250 for some reason, so don’t get mixed up
JonathanMay 4, 2008 at 12:42 am #5966
actually the insurance on a Ninja isn’t high, I’ve recently bought my first bike and hardly no experiance, age 26. My insurance is $490/year. I’ve found that the major insurance co. charge a hell of alot more per year then you would pay for the bike itself. My point is, look around for insurance rates its not b/c of the bike, exp. or age. Hope this helps.May 4, 2008 at 12:48 am #5967
Guess I’m looking in the wrong places for Insurance on a Ninja 250.
The few places I’ve tried have quouted me a price ranging from $1700/year to $4500+/year, bloody more than a new ninja 250r itself.
And that is with basic coverage across the board and with rather high deductables on comp and collision, the only thing I did raise above baseline were the amounts for medical payment coverage.
Seems like collision and medical payments are where my premiums skyrocket on the 250.
*shrug*May 4, 2008 at 12:56 am #5968
from one rider to another, try these guys b/c AllState, Geico, Progressive, State Farm, eSurance gave me those re-damn-diculous prices also… I have medical insurance thru my job so I didnt need it with the bike, everything else is pretty standard for me as well so try these guys, its who I use.May 4, 2008 at 1:06 am #5969
You Sir/Maam, are fantastic. Thanks for linking me to that site, they just gave me a much more reasonable quote.May 4, 2008 at 1:10 am #5970
Ma’am and you are welcome!May 4, 2008 at 7:55 pm #5961AaronMerlotParticipant
Some insurance companies will charge ridiculous fees for sport bikes or wont insure then at all, regardless of your age or record. Try State Farm and All State, they tend to have good prices and are sport bike friendly.May 21, 2008 at 6:22 am #6500RobbieJParticipant
I am in the market and intend on take a training course when I return from my deployment, as well. I was looking into the insurance cost of certain bikes I was looking into and weighing the pros and cons of the difference of a Ninja 500 and the Ninja 600. When I asked for a quote on insurance for the 500, I was very pleased with the $600/year, they said. This is including medical and a few other things that I won’t need because I’m in the military and it is covered for me. So, I’ll be able to knock some of that down, also. However, when I asked about the 600, it was a significant difference. My yearly went up to nearly $2500/year. That would increast my payment to nearly 4 times the first. What I did learn was that even thought the Ninja 250 and 500 are in the sport class of bikes, insurance companies aren’t classing them in the sport range. Not entirely sure why but, who am I to argue, right? So, after that and reading on these forums, I’ve decided on the Ninja 500. Not that the 250 wouldn’t be enough for me but, I have a lovely wife that I wouldn’t mind showin off on the back with me every so often, too. I just wish I could get the Ninja 500 with the same fairing as the 250. Damn, that’s a great looking new style.February 18, 2009 at 6:48 pm #16587AnonymousGuest
Some insurance companies will charge ridiculous fees for sport bikes or wont insure then at all, regardless of your age or record. Try State Farm and All State, they tend to have good prices and are sport bike friendly.February 19, 2009 at 5:56 pm #16603jollier80Participant
I’m 6′ and just purchased a 2006 Virago 250. I absolutely love it. It rides lower but is a very comfortable position as the foot pegs are further out than the Honda Rebel. I agree that the mirrors are not very good on the Yamaha but these are easily replaced to something more suitable. Also, if you are looking new, the Nighthawk is not made by Honda anymore.
I’m 29 and the insurance is about $15/month.February 19, 2009 at 7:51 pm #16604SantaCruzRiderParticipant
I got a bunch of quotes recently on several bikes I was looking at and it was interesting to see the results. Typical jumps for bikes over 500cc and then again over 750cc (although typically the jump came later for cruisers).
What I thought really interesting was the premium placed on certain brands. A Ducati with a bit less ccs than my Kawasaki 1000 had rated about 30% higher. Both bikes have essentially the same tested hp, acceleration, stopping distances, weight, etc… I wasn’t getting comp, so theft doesn’t factor. Turns out the premium is because the typical Ducati rider is more likely to wreck than the typical Kawi rider — so the Duc costs more to insure.
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