January 12, 2010 at 8:13 pm #3649Guerjo1Participant
I am a new rider wanting to learn. I have a chance to get a 2006 Honda Rebel 250 For $800 and less than 1000 miles. I am 5’10” and weigh 195 lbs. Is this going to be a good bike to learn on? Or should I get something bigger? I am mostly going to be riding to and from work. It is all city roads and mostly flat. There are some hills but nothing too big. I will be riding on the highway occasionally going about 50 miles round trip between family member’s houses. there are alot of hills in Mo. but none that are too big.January 12, 2010 at 8:26 pm #23985briderdtParticipant
Find a local Motorcycle Safety Foundation class and take it. Do that first. Get your endorsement (in many states, passing the class waives the DOL test and you just pay your endorsement fee). THEN do your bike shopping. I didn’t do it that way (I got the bike first), and though a year plus (and over 6000 miles) down the road I’m comfortable on my bike, coming out of the class I probably would have picked a different one.
I don’t think the Rebel will be overcome by the hills, but you may find it small for your height. No way to know until you sit on one.January 13, 2010 at 4:56 am #23995Gary856Participant
I’m 6′, 170 lbs, and never touched a motorcycle before taking the MSF class. But even during the class, I wasn’t impressed with the 250 Nighthawks and Rebels we had. The two different Nighthawk 250 I rode were low and easy to handle and ride, but the engine was weak and buzzy. Their throttle response was terrible – off idle, it hesitated for a moment before responding to my throttle input; felt like a cheap go-car lawnmower engine. The Rebel 250 in the class looked terribly cramped for the guy on it, and he was like 5’8″ or so, and wasn’t big. Those bikes all had only a few thousand miles, and didn’t look beat up. So that experience totally turned me off to the 250s.
Now, the GS500 (’01, naked) I got as my first bike – can’t say enough good things about it! I remember the first time I stood next to one in person, and the owner fired it up, I felt a little intimidated by its size, thinking that it looked bigger than I thought. I rode my GS for the first time the night after I finished the MSF class, and thought it was so much more refined, more powerful, and actually easier to ride, than the 250s I rode earlier that day.
1 year, 11k miles, and 3 bikes later, the GS is the smallest bike in my garage, but still the one I ride the most. Compared to the bigger bikes, now the GS feels a little weak and a little buzzy, but because it’s so “easy” to ride, it’s still tremendously fun to ride. I think a GS500 would be perfect for a 5’10”, 195 lbs guy.January 13, 2010 at 10:30 pm #23997CBBaronParticipant
Thats a good price if the bike is in good shape, however it may seem small for your size. I think they are a really good bike for short riders because the seat is so low, but they felt cramped for me at 6’2″. At 5’10” you will fit better but it will still be small.
I think 250s are still a great starter bike as is the 500s. I have a ninja 250 that is plenty fast enough. The 250 dual-sports also fit me nice. A 500 like the GS500 or ninja 500 would also be good but will also be more expensive to buy and insure.
CraigJanuary 15, 2010 at 8:53 am #24028RabParticipant
I’m 5’11”, ~180-200 lbs (it varies) and I started on a Honda Nighthawk 250 which has the same air-cooled 234 c.c. parallel twin-cylinder engine as the Honda Rebel. The Nighthawk was plenty powerful enough for a beginner and would happily cruise all day at an indicated 65 mph. It would slow down a bit (to ~55 mph) going up long hills, but kicking it down a gear would soon get me back up to 65. It *could* do ~80 mph flat-out going down hill with a wind behind you, but was not really comfortable at that speed due to vibration, etc. I used to take the Wife as pillion (passenger) occasionally too (she’s quite a bit lighter than me) and it carried us both around town with no difficulty.
The Rebel might be a little more cramped than the Nighthawk 250 (I’ve never ridden one), but as Elwood says, “at $800 you can’t lose as a trainer”; ‘seems like a good price to me. If it’s in good condition and runs well, you’ll easily sell it for $800 in 6 months or so I would think; when you’re ready to move-up.January 15, 2010 at 3:03 pm #24034JackTradeParticipant
For a first bike you’ll keep for at most a year, that’s a great deal, even if the ergos aren’t perfect.
I’m 6′, 200 lbs and have been riding a Buell Blast for a year. It’s kinda small for me (all Buells are snubnosed bikes to begin with)…the seat height is 27″, and my knees are high on the tank. But it’s worked out just fine, and if I had to do it all over again, I’d get the same bike.
The Rebel’s seat height is about the same, so it should definitely be do-able for you. And as others have pointed out, the market for beginner bikes is so strong that you’ll easily get most if not all of your money back. Think of it as just a rental bike!
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