Ninja 500r or a Katana?
August 17, 2009 at 2:31 am #3302
I am a new rider, and am a bigger guy (230lbs) and have ridden a 250 and was not sure how I felt about it. It was fun, for sure, but it seemed a little weak for my size (I was bigger then so maybe is would not be soo bad now)
Anyway, I am thinking I am going to get a 2000-2006 500r ninja or a Katana, I like the Katana but I am afraid it will be too much… any advice? I am open to Ideas and thoughts. Mostly the look of the Katana is what seems nice too me.
I have also heard that the 2008+ 250 ninjas are faster, is that true? Would that be worth it?August 17, 2009 at 5:45 am #21668SpoolParticipant
A friend of mine has a 2006 ninja 500 that I have put several hundred miles on. I really like the bike and think it would make a great starter. It has plenty of power, I weigh about 230 myself and I have never felt that it was underpowered at all. The 500 is also a very light weight bike which makes learning on it much easier. It also has a more comfortable seating position than most sport bikes. I put 225 miles on it in one day and felt great.
I’ve never ridden a katana but they are quite a bit bigger and heavier than the Ninja 500. They also have a lot more power. The smallest engine katana is an I-4 600cc motor. Not something that is usually recommended for beginners. The weight of the bike will also make slow speed manuvering difficult to learn. This is not too say they are bad bikes, they’re not. They are a great machine and very capable in experienced hands. However the ninja 500 is much better as a starter.
In regards to the 250 ninja I beleive that they did get a slight increase in power for ’08 but it’s not really a significant difference.August 17, 2009 at 6:17 am #21669
I personally own the new Ninja; 09 Ninja 250r. Regarding your motorcycle issue I would go with the 500 over the Katana. As Spool mentioned the Katana has a 4 cylinder 600cc. The cc isn’t much of a problem because I have also test drove the Ninja 650r. The 650 has 2 cylinder engine making it easier to ride compared to a 4 cylinder 600. If you are worried about your weight then I wouldn’t recommend the Ninja 250r. It all comes down to your experience and comfort zone. If you don’t have much experience then go with the 500. The best thing to do is try to test ride one before actually buying. That usually makes the breaking point on deciding. If you can’t test ride one then at least sit on one and see how it feels, check how low it is from the ground, etc. Comfort is important, especially for big guys. Hopefully that helps.August 17, 2009 at 6:40 am #21670eternal05Participant
They have less peak horsepower than the previous generation as a result of being tuned for more midrange. While this means it will tug a bit more in your normal driving powerband, you’ll be “slower.”August 17, 2009 at 6:53 am #21671
That’s very true eternal05, since most 250’s are meant for low speeds the engines are tuned to low to mid range. I’ve noticed that on my 250r the engine revs closer to the red line regardless of speeds. Even expert riders have pointed out that when test riding one.August 17, 2009 at 12:41 pm #21675
Say, what? The 250 is def. not made for low-speeds. It can handle any legal speed (including going over to the point of wreckless driving on the highway in most states) without a problem. If you’re callin’ it slow, then thems fightin’ words.
I don’t know what Kawi did when they messed with the 250 for 08, but if I remember correctly, it was a little tweak in gear ratios.
The bike revs high yes, but it should never be more than about 11K, which is about 3K short of redline. If you find yourself getting above 11K, then you should have already shifted up, because you’re getting outside the powerband as the engine speed goes past that.
Keep it between 8-10K while riding around and you’ll get all the power it can give you.August 17, 2009 at 12:54 pm #21677
For a larger beginner, the Ninja 500 would be fine. The Ninja 650 would probably be a better idea since it’s FI and is only about, what, 40 pounds heavier than my 03 250, which is very acceptable considering it has 2.6 times the displacement.
The Katana is air cooled, which is a bummer. I don’t know if anyone has had problems with overheating. It’s also an I-4, so it could scare a newb if the throttle hand gets greedy.August 17, 2009 at 3:58 pm #21693
The Ninja 250 is def. not slow. You make it sound like if I was putting down the bike. I would never put shame on my own bike. When I said it was meant for low speeds I meant speed that a beginner would feel comfortable riding, usually 50-70. As for me, I have way more highway miles than city miles. As soon as I passed the breaking point I got on the highway. Riding back on forth on the highway I feel comfortable enough that I can maintain the motorcycle at a higher speed. Like you said “It can handle any legal speed (including going over to the point of wreckless driving on the highway in most states) without a problem,” and I can back that up with personal experience.August 17, 2009 at 4:02 pm #21694
LOL, to the last part. What’s up squid?August 17, 2009 at 4:15 pm #21695
Oops, sorry for misunderstanding what you were sayin’.August 17, 2009 at 4:30 pm #21697JackTradeParticipant
…I’m constantly amazed at the norms of what’s “fast” in the motorcycle world and how it frequently seems totally out of context with the majority of what else is out there.
The smallest sportbike (like a Ninja 250) will hold its own with performance cars costing many many thousands more. And it just goes up from there, right up to easily-obtainable superbikes capable of acceleration/speeds comparable to that of a tiny group of exotic sportscars that very few people are likely to even see, much less drive. All in a package with no protection other than rider skill and judgement.
I understand the track use thing, as well as responsible riders, esp. on this board. I’m not against fast bikes at all, just that the performance arms race that’s developed seems at times unconnected to any sort of reality. Just a beginner’s observation I guess.August 17, 2009 at 6:29 pm #21715
Well that is what I felt about the Katana, so I guess I will not look too much more into that I mostly want thinking about the katana because I found one for $2900 perfect condition with 6000 miles. Looked like a good deal.
What about the 650r? Or should I just stick with the 500r? The only reason I would want the 650 is because the body is a little nicer, not as classic, but more modern, which I like. But I would rather have a nice riding experience then just look good =p
Also, I am looking for a trailer that could carry the bike on a class 1 hitch. But I want one that is collapsible so i can keep it in my room if needed, like under a bed or something. Anything like that available? Anyone use one of these? http://www.bikelug.com/
Thx again for all the responsesAugust 17, 2009 at 6:39 pm #21716
A trailer for a bike?
Unless you’re taking it home from the seller the first time, there’s no need.
I’m not a fan of those people who trailer their bike, take the bike off 10 miles from the destination, and then pretend like they rode there. It’s a street bike, not a dirt bike. It should never see a trailer IMHO.
I could see it being a bit of a pain if you’re in college, though. What do you do at the end of the year when the dorms close? Can’t leave it parked on campus or around town. I think that’s when finding someone to car pool with comes in handy.August 17, 2009 at 6:41 pm #21718pixiedustParticipant
Rather than start a new thread, I thought I would just ask for a bit more feedback on the Ninja 650. I have been shopping for a few months now and haven’t purchased anything yet but seem to be leaning toward the Ninja 650. Most of my riding experience has been on a borrowed 2006 Ninja 250 and I’m feeling pretty comfortable and confident on that. I would like to buy something that I’ll have for several years and I like the ergonomics of the 650. Sat on one, but didn’t have time to ride it.August 17, 2009 at 6:51 pm #21720
I am a student at BYU-Idaho, so the reason I am looking at a trailer is so that I can go from Chicago to Idaho and then from Idaho to Chicago and still bring my car and all my stuff too. I need a trailer because I spend lots of time in both places and in both placed I need my car but would like to have my bike. Make sence? It is for moving, not to avoid driving my own bike, that is why I am buying a bike. And I don’t have anyone I know in Idaho that would go to Chicago with me (I can’t even think of any friends that own a bike)
I think that trailer I posted is perfect for me, but I would liek to know if anyone has used it before.
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