Ninja 250 questions
April 7, 2009 at 9:57 am #2674
Another new rider here, I’m probably gonna get a ninja250 based on all the research I’ve done the last few weeks, seems like the best bet. I’ve got a lot of questions from various aspects I’ve been looking into, however:
The used market for 08s and 09s where I live (southern California) is pretty insane, they’re all going $4000+. It seems I’m gonna have to get a new one.
A dealer I’m lookin at threw out a $4900 OTD quote for a 09 ninja. Unfortunately they don’t have any 08s left. Wondering what the lowest I could get that figure down to? I seem to recall a site where one could look up the dealer invoices for these things to get an idea of what they really paid for it? Anyone know which site that is?
Since I have a credit card with the room and a decent fixed APR (better than anything I could probably get at the dealer) I’m thinkin of puttin the bike on that when I get it.. do dealers usually let you do that or do they insist on cash/money order? This would also have the advantage of saving on insurance cost since financing would most likely require I have comprehensive coverage (which adds $1000/yr)
So far my best insurance quote for an 09 ninja is in the $400-500 per year range, that’s without comp. I’m 29 and have a good driving record. I’ve tried Geico, state farm, and Progressive so far. Wondering why it’s so high, guessing it’s where I live as well as the fact I’m a new rider?
Any ninja 250 owners want to comment on their mpg figures? I’ve heard everything from 45 to 70. One of my main considerations for a 250cc besides the newbie factor is the better mpg they get versus the 600+cc bikes.April 7, 2009 at 1:16 pm #17568
Your insurance company can probably get you a better rate if you get an MSF certificate. The classes are also a good opportunity to try out different bikes, so it’s probably worth waiting until after the class to buy. Not that there’s anything wrong with the Ninja 250. It’s a very attractive bike with a good reputation. But nothing beats actually riding a bike to get a feel for it, and MSF is your place to do that.April 7, 2009 at 2:13 pm #17575bigguybbrParticipant
The MSF CAN be your place to do that, but most likely won’t.
Like I said in another post, mine was a real mad dash free for all and I couldn’t get on the model I wanted to ride. I had to talk to the instructor and show up extra early for the 2nd class to get on a bike that suited me.
They really are pretty intent on keeping you on a single bike if at all possible, just to keep you used to the controls, so you don’t lose rolling time figuring out the friction zone on a new bike. The class is intended on teaching you how to handle a bike, not how to handle your bike. That comes later in the intermediate and expert riding courses when they tailor the class to your specific bike that you show up on.
So moral of the story don’t walk in to your MSF course thinking you are going to try a bunch of different bikes to find your preference, you won’t. If you want to find out what you preference is, go to dealerships, plunk your butt down on every different bike you can find and see what you are comfortable on.April 7, 2009 at 7:12 pm #17584
Yea, the $400-500 figure is their rate if I have the MSF course. The savings with MSF was pretty negligible, maybe $40 or so. I figured it’d be more than that. And yea, I’m not buyin until after the class, even though I’ve ridden on manual transmission scooters it’s not the same.. I’d rather have the basics down first.April 7, 2009 at 7:26 pm #17586AndrewParticipant
The Ninja was not an option at my MSF class.
If the used Ninja’s are 4K and you can’t find an ’08 then that should tell you that they are a high demand bike. Based on that your chances of dealing on a new one are slim to none. Most bikes here last summer were selling fast and the local dealers didn’t have to negotiate at all. Most Ninja dealers have long lists before they get the bikes so a deal on a new Ninja won’t happen while demand is so high.
Check out the used market you may get lucky.April 7, 2009 at 8:13 pm #17587DKParticipant
1. Why not go pre ’08? Insurance will probably be lower, the performance should be close to same, and you won’t be as mad at yourself if you drop it for some impromptu cosmetic alterations.
2. I think dealer loans = credit cards for most of the bike shops these days. They will be taking your money however thay can get it…
3. I am on the low end of the mileage ratings with my ’02, but there is a reason for that. I don’t get much time to ride for fun and my commute is all of 5 minutes at 30mph. My engine is barely warm by the time I get to work.
4. Insurance discounts are never quite as exciting as you think they should be.
5. You could take a risk and look at Hyosung… From my experience at my local dealership they are very willing to negotiate. By showing only mild interest I was offered a $300 gas card, $300 off for taking the MSF, and a free helmet to buy one of there bikes. I decided it wasn’t for me, but I seriously thought about it for a while.April 7, 2009 at 9:29 pm #17588JimParticipant
1. I pay $120 a year for insurance for my Ninja 250 through Progressive, I’m 45 with a clean driving record.
2. Sounds like your credit is good. Kawasaki offers pretty good deals on financing at the dealerships. I got a $15,000 line of credit from them fixed at 7% for 3 years. I bought a brand new 2006 Ninja 250 from a dealer last summer for $2800, financed through Kawasaki. Even though I financed the $3k I didn’t have to put full insurance coverage on the bike. Also you can use that credit for bike service at your dealership (mine takes my Kawasaki card at least).
3. Gas milage 50+ easy.
It’s a fun little bike.April 8, 2009 at 8:47 am #17597
Thanks for all the info guys. I got a quote from McGraw today that was only around $160 or so, a ton lower than the Geico quote. If I wanted to add comp I could get that for $640 or so. Anyone here dealt with them before?
As for pre-08 ninjas, the used ones that don’t have a ton of miles are going in the 2500-3500 range here. I got my heart set on an 08 or 09, after I read the improvements they made over the older ones. If Hyosung were lower in MSRP I might go for one, but I’m thinking (hoping) it’ll be worth it for the ninja. The other thing is the Hyosung is heavier.
Very good point about dropping the bike though, I wish there were a naked sport option, that’d negate the potential damage somewhat. I thought about a cruiser (on which you can get some naked 250 or 500 versions) but I think a sport will be a better fit for me. I guess I’m gonna have to be super paranoid about it, I never ran into any problems riding my friends’ scooters, but I realize that’s a completely different league. Eh, what can I do. It basically comes down my wanting to get on something now (financed) versus waiting a few months to get the extra cash set aside for something used.
Just registered for the MSF class tonight, it starts next Monday. Costs $250 here in CA.April 8, 2009 at 9:03 am #17598eternal05Participant
Back when I got my 250R, new ones were impossible to find. The economy hadn’t completely tanked and supply was low. I had to wait four months to get mine, and paid through the nose for it (~$5K). Now that same dealer has four sitting around, unclaimed, each with a sticker price of $3,900. I would say your dealer is messing with you. Negotiate it down, especially if they have multiple 250Rs on the floor. There’s no reason for them to inflate the price in this economy.
The dealership I went to wouldn’t take credit card for the full amount, but would take debit. Perhaps you could pay the max via credit card and the remainder as a cash down payment. I would highly recommend avoiding financing if you can, especially on such a relatively affordable vehicle. Paying “cash” (in whatever form) will also sometimes help your negotiations.
As far as dropping the bike goes, you don’t have too much to worry about if you’re a decently strong individual. The Ninja 250 is very light, and I was able to save the few situations I ran into that might have been drops on a heavier bike. It’s a risk for all beginners, but you have much better chances with this bike than you would with your average cruiser.
Finally, I ask this of all people that come through here looking for a Ninja…are you over 6′ tall? This may compromise your ergonomics. Be absolutely sure to sit on the bike before you waltz off with it. Get it in a work stand or have a buddy hold it up while you go through all the motions. Shift your toes from the pegs to the foot controls (shifter, brake) and see if you can comfortably grip the tank with your knees the whole time. I can’t. It makes riding the Ninja…interesting at times.
That’s all. Good luck, and have fun at MSF!April 8, 2009 at 1:00 pm #17603
Both Elwood and I have dropped our bikes by forgetting to put the kickstand down before stepping off. At that point you’re in a crappy position to stop the fall. Also, if you try to snatch it up with your arms you will get a rude shock. Even a 250 will do serious joint damage that will take weeks to fully heal. They’re lighter than our bikes, but they’re still heavier than you think.April 9, 2009 at 3:50 pm #17640Jay TParticipant
1. Don’t let it happen first place.
2. Scream obscenities the whole time it is falling in slowmo, pose next to the motorcycle for the Kodak moment, get the motorcycle back on it’s stand and get out the pliers and duct tape to get me to a shop or home, get out the credit card.April 10, 2009 at 9:05 am #17650eternal05Participant
I’ve never dropped either of my bikes, but I have done something quite embarrassing that will even the score a bit. What’s worse is that I did it multiple times. It’s part of the reason I think I never dropped a motorcycle.
I’m also an avid cyclist and amateur road racer (that’s man-powered bikes, mind you), but when I was first getting into it, I had never used clipless pedals before. For those of you that aren’t familiar with them, clipless pedals are somewhat confusingly precisely the type of pedal that you clip into. You were a shoe that has a little metal (or something) cleat on it, which snaps into a corresponding mechanism in the pedal.
You think it’s tricky for a newbie motorcyclist to remember to put down the kickstand when they stop? Well, I forgot to clip out. I rolled up to a stop sign and, as usual, slowly came to a stop. Then I took my foot off the pedal and put…put it on…WTF WAI IZ MY FUT NOT MOEVIN!?!?!…….ohhhhh…[email protected]#$…THUD. I dropped my bicycle, but with me still attached to it. It took me another idiot stop or two to figure it out, but let me tell ya: doing that in front of 20 people at an intersection is all kinds of embarrassing.April 10, 2009 at 9:13 am #17651
I’m 5’10”, so height shouldn’t be a problem. Of course I do plan on checkin it out at the dealer to see if I like the feel. As for dealers, well, the place I called is known as one of the best places for low prices in socal by the local riders.. OTD motorsports. The other dealers around here are all higher, as an example I drove by a pretty local place to me last week, walked in and saw them sellin the 09 ninja 250 for 6800 or so. It sucks we have to pay such high prices, and the recent 1% sales tax hike has made that worse.
I’m hoping perhaps I can get OTD to lower the price a bit, 1k over msrp is pretty steep I think. Ideally, get em to lower it and also throw in some gear. Hm, any socal ppl here who’ve bought ninja 250s recently?
Another thing I’ve been thinkin about.. I’d like to do all the work on my bike but don’t really have most of the tools to do so (things like socket wrenches, tension wrench, etc). I’m mechanically inclined so I could likely pick up the jist of it fast enough, just wondering what kind of initial investment would be necessary to get all the right tools/gear. Already I’m figuring at least another half grand for the proper safety gear.. this 3499 bike (well, the 08 was..) is gonna end up being a lot more than I planned for. Too bad the used market sucks around here.April 10, 2009 at 3:09 pm #17658Jay TParticipant
I’m hoping perhaps I can get OTD to lower the price a bit, 1k over msrp.
Good luck with that. There are people standing around dealers like groupies for the little Ninja. The dealer here doesn’t have any and they are not seeing any soon. They are taking after HD and taking $250 deposit for the next PINK one that arrives to go to the next person on the list. I am not sure any dealer is cutting prices on this hot ticket. Check Craigslist. I have seen a few 2008 for sale now and they don’t seem to last long. The right one will come along.April 10, 2009 at 3:43 pm #17660
You’ll need a motorcycle lift at some point, which runs around $200 at Harbor Freight. Oil filter wrench, oil pan, a set of metric wrenches. An inexpensive socket set is probably good too. You might also want to get a tire changing rig, but that’s a moderately advanced project. Although the biggest shop in this area is charging $80/tire for changes, in addition to full retail on the tire, so the rig would pay for itself pretty quickly.
If you buy this bike new, you’ll be doing your first year of service at the dealership, so you don’t need to worry about it right away.
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