New to the sport/looking for first bike
April 28, 2009 at 11:39 pm #2761
Hello. I’ve been surfing this site for hours and found so much helpful information I decided to join in on the fun. I passed my MSF course this weekend. Was on a Zuk DR200SE and was very comfortable on it. Other than that, only a handful of hours on a dirtbike covers my experience w/motorcycles (I rode quads a lot as a teenager).
By the way, is there a way to ‘search’ the content? Am I overlooking it?
I’m looking for thoughts on the new Yamaha FZ6R as a first bike. I was leaning this way after several told me I could handle it – if I am careful, which I tend to be. It’s ‘tamed down’ compared to the YZF-R6 (something like 50 less HP, I think.) Afraid of accidental wheelies on this thing, though.
As I’ve been reading, I’m thinking smaller CCs is the way to go and the Ninja 250 sounds good…as I do want to have fun, not be scared of the power, and develop great skills. Here’s my question and I keep reading different opinions on this. I live in the country in Montana, and want to be able to do several-hour trips to Spokane, WA or even weekend trips. I’d most likely be doing mostly freeway riding, and there are a LOT of big rigs here. (However, I’m sure I’ll be in town a lot too.)
I want something that handles well, that would be great for the freeway as well as in town, that I won’t regret buying (whether it’s a 600 or 250 cc) in a couple months.
I’m worried the 250 will:
1. be a hard ride (physically) if going on long trips (yes, I understand to get off and rest every 100 miles or so) – but I’ve heard larger engines are smoother to ride.
2. be blown around too much at 75 mph freeway speeds
3. that I’ll get tired of it. I spoke with a girl at a bike shop that got one as a new rider, and wanted more power and upgraded to something bigger in a month.
I’m totally confused now about which route to go. I’ve read post after post and thread after thread and am just not sure I’ve found the right bike. The Zuk 500 sounds good, but it’s cold here (today it snowed in late April) so if they still start slow in cold, that would be an issue. I’ve sat on the Ninja 500, and it lays down too much for me.
I’d appreciate any thoughts. Especially if anyone knows about the FZ6R. I wasn’t sure where to post this question, so please tell me if I need to move it to a different forum (like the general one).
Big Sky GirlApril 28, 2009 at 11:54 pm #18087Zig308Participant
I’m sort of in the same boat as you. I take the MSF next weekend and have been looking at the Ninja250r with some reservations about outgrowing it fast, but have basically decided to get it since it’s cheaper and am on a tight budget.
If I get the Ninja250r, I’ll let you know how it goesApril 28, 2009 at 11:57 pm #18088SantaCruzRiderParticipant
Admins may have other tips, but I’ve found that I can search the site by going to Yahoo! Search and entering “bestbeginnermotorcycles” and your other search term, such as “FZ6r”.April 29, 2009 at 12:06 am #18090
Thanks, SantaCruzRider! I didn’t want to ask repeat questions if there was already a tread going and as you are probably aware – there are pages and pages of threads on here and it’s taking me ‘forever’ to search them all. Thanks for the tip!!!
Big Sky GirlApril 29, 2009 at 1:36 am #18094kirkParticipant
Hmmm…tough questions I must say. I can tell you from personal experience what I went through.
1. I started with a GS500F. Now I ride a CBR 1000RR. I only notice a smoother ride at higher speeds. Below 70mph the engine felt the same. On my CBR I’ve hit rather elevated speeds and it feels very smooth. The GS struggled a bit but nothing out of this world.
2. Maybe I’ve been lucky but I haven’t been blown around on either bike. I’ve had large semis pass me with no problems.
3. Now with this question you will get many differing opinions. The dealer also recommended the 500 as a starter bike for me. He said it was a nice starter bike to get experience on. He said one of two things would happen with the 500. I would hate riding (for whatever reason) and wind up selling the bike. Option two: You will love riding and you will be back in three months looking to upgrade. Suffice it to say I loved riding and wanted to upgrade in two months.
Good thing is I kept the bike for a good year. I practiced everyday and got comfortable. My fear slowly went away and I moved from quiet neighborhood streets to the interstate. I waited then went in for the CBR. So far I have no regrets or additional accidents!
Long story short, practice a lot, be safe, and you will know when you are ready to move up in the CC world.
Happy riding!April 29, 2009 at 1:40 am #18095hawkeye206649Participant
Congrats on passing your MSF!! When I passed my MSF I purchased an 06 Ninja 250R. I mainly due city riding on mine so at most I spend 45 mins riding at a time. At 5’8 and 270 pounds I still find it to be a comfortable ride.
When I do ride on the freeways I do notice that it’s easy to be pushed around in strong winds or when a big truck passes me. After a while you will get used to it and be able to adjust to it.
For me the bike has enough power for what I use it for and I have had it for about 6 months now. I would recommend that you got to a dealership and sit on one and see how its feels to you.
As far as the YZF-R6 its a beautiful bike but from what I read its powered by an inline four cylinder and as a good rule of thumb beginners should stay away from them. You can read this article about why its not a good idea to start with a 600
If you still think the 250R is too small you can also look at the Suzuki GS500F I hope my little knowledge answered your question If not im sure some of these other guys can help you out. What ever you go with I hope you have a fun and safe rideApril 29, 2009 at 2:15 am #18098
Thanks for your input. The YZF-R6 I know is too much for me, I’ve looked at the FZ6R (why can’t they make the initials a BIT more different?) It is a ‘tame’ version of the R6. I’m thinking it might still be too much, but hadn’t really seen anything in the threads on it. It is similar to the SV650. I asked my instructor coach what he thought and he said to make sure it’s comfortable, they did tell me I was the best female rider in the class and that I did very well (whatever that translates to as I’m still learning).
My main concern is a 250 on the freeway. I’ve sat on a Ninja 500 and it leans over too much for me. I’m thinking also about the Suzuki GS500F but don’t know if I want to fight with starting it on cold Montana days.April 29, 2009 at 1:36 pm #18106
Thank you for your input!April 29, 2009 at 9:24 pm #18116
haha I’m seriously going with the FZ6R. If you think you can handle it. If you read the reviews on it. It usually says its a great “entry level commuter bike”. For me, I think the ninja 250 is too small (but that’s just me). Everyone has their opinions.May 4, 2009 at 7:28 pm #18165bigguybbrParticipant
I’m not gonna be the only one with an FZ6R! Woohooo! You’ll love it, it’s lots of fun and easy to get going on.
Just remember, I had it first!
P.S. Avoid the fz6 board, those guys really hate the bike because it shares the same name but only cranks out 78hp and it has a full fairing.May 7, 2009 at 1:12 am #18220
haha I’m seriously loving the FZ6R but I’m thinking about going with a used R6, not sure yet.May 7, 2009 at 7:05 pm #18237bigguybbrParticipant
The R6 is a while lotta bike. Be carefulMay 8, 2009 at 6:02 pm #18273
haha yea that’s what I hear. I have a little experience. Pretty sure I can handle it.May 10, 2009 at 7:47 pm #18311
I bought my first bike! Thanks everyone for your comments. After reading more and more on these boards, I’m going the cautious route and starting with a Ninja 500. Couple of reasons:
1. I can get it used! I got an ’06 w/only 500 miles w/ a full set of gear (that’ll fit my hubby if he decided to ride) for only $2,800. (The FZ6R is $7 K – would have had to finance it.)
2. I wanted larger than a 250 for lots of freeway and mountain pass riding, but small enough that the weight and power wouldn’t make me nervous. Something with a nice weight that would handle the freeways well, that I could develop my skills on.
3. The Ninja fit the bill. I looked at the Zuk GS500F and liked it too, but it was a little wider and I didn’t like the feel as much, plus I couldn’t find any used ones in the area.
4. In a year I plan to upgrade to the Yamaha FZ6R – which by then I’ll have more experience and they’ll have been out a year, so I can get it used, or at least cheaper if they have ’09s still on the floor.
I went on my first two rides yesterday and the hardest part of the whole thing was putting it back up on the center stand! LOL I had to have hubby help me! It rode very well, and I could even do slow maneuvers with it (those killed me at the MSF course)!
Thanks so much for all your input! This is an awesome site!
Big Sky GirlMay 12, 2009 at 12:28 am #18357
Congratulations, I know what you mean about financing. That’s what I was going to have to do. Actually looking for a 06 GSXR600 right now.
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