Questions from a Newbie
April 20, 2008 at 9:07 pm #1293
I am a new rider and just got my M1 Friday, I am really excited. I have always wanted a bike and just recently decided what the hell so here I am taking the plunge. I have been searching for information for the past couple of months, orginally was thinking of getting a Kymco Exciting 500 but when I saw the 2008 Ninja 250 on the internet net I fell in love. I have found this site to be awesome and extremely helpful in clarifing my decision to get the Ninja 250 and the reasons why its best to start small, other than the insurance costs
With getting the M1 (written test in Canada (3 tiered system) I’m able to ride on the roads(not at night or on highways). I have signed up for a 3 day Training course in June and that will get me my M2 (allow me to drive at night and highways). But I degress I have a few questions.
Before buying a bike and taking the traing course my friend is willing to take me out and teach me some basics and get me familiar with being on a bike. She has 2 bikes a 750 Lowrider (criuser not sure the make) and a Ninja 500. She thinks that the lowrider would be better because it has a lower sense of gravity, easier to pick up if dropped than her Ninja. Would you agree with her assement that for the first couple of leasons it would be better learning on the lowrider as I stated earlier its to get a feel for riding a bike before taking the course? She does agree that the Ninja 250 is the perfect starter bike to buy. The Ninja 250 is the bike she first bought and learned on.
The second thing I want to know is getting the 2008 worth the extra coin. Up here the MSRP is $4,249 (can) plus $151 dealer cost plus $100 for single seat attachment for a total of $4,500 before taxes. I am finding used ones that go from $3,200 (2003 Ninja 250) and up to $4000. I love the newer look but by the time you get taxes and all that it is over $5000. I plan on having the bike for a number of years, I looking at it as an alternative mode of transpertation to cut back on high gas prices. On a side note I’ve called a coulpe of dealerships (not all the ones in my area) and the ones I called are sold out and can’t get any more, they say I have to wait of the 09 model to come out (hoping the others still have some left).
The third thing is that I don’t have a garage to keep the bike in during the summer months (my folks have a garage I can store it there in Winter) is it worth getting a cover for the bike?
The forth thing is about short rides. I noticced you wrote a little blurb about it but I wasn’t sure what you considered a short ride. I am planning on using the bike to go to work and back and its about 13 kilometers one way (between 6 and 8 miles depends if the company proceeds to move to a closer location) and two trips a week about 80 kilometers (50 miles) each trip. Are the rides to work going to be too short and not heat the oil up and cause issues?
How long do you let a bike warm up before taking it out?
Thanks for any feedback
Cheers,April 21, 2008 at 3:24 am #5720megaspazParticipant
I’m a new rider myself, so take my 2 cents with a grain of salt…
I would try to practice on a bike that’s in the same class as the one I would be getting. If you’re going to get a sport bike, practice on a sports bike. If you can practice on the same model bike you’re planning to get even better.
I didn’t get a Ninja 250, 2008 or otherwise as I opted to go for a ’07 SV650SF ABS, but I have a more experienced friend with a 2006 Ninja 250 and a coworker who got a ’08 Ninja 250 and they both let me ride their bikes once in parking lots. I liked riding both of them. I can’t tell the difference really between the 2 as there wasn’t much opening up in a smallish parking lot, but the Ninja 250s in general seem to be very forgiving and very comfortable rides.
For me, there was a big difference in feel from riding the cruiser bikes at the MSF and mine and my friends’s bikes. This could just be from me being a new rider and my riding skills not being polished compared to more experienced riders.
Oh and FYI, according to the Hurt study, “… riders taught by friends or family were are about a third more likely to crash than those who taught themselves” – Proficient Motorcycling, David L. Hough
An interesting book, great read, and interesting stats and info. I recommend it. But I’m not saying don’t get your friend’s opinion on things or to teach yourself.
Anyhoo, good luck in your endevours and have fun!
If there’s anything more important than my ego
around, I want it caught and shot now…April 21, 2008 at 12:42 pm #5729MattParticipant
Hey there, I’m in ontario, and I own a 2003 ZZR-250.
When I started looking into motorcycles last year, I read a line that stuck with me – do your trust your friend with your life? Because by having them teach you how to ride that is exactly what happens. You are trusting them to teach you, and teach you correctly, the base skills you need to live in the event of something unexpected. You will inheret every one of their bad habbits, plus develop those of your own (as everyone inevitably does).
If you do get lessons from her, I’d ride the bike she asks you to. Chances are you are going to drop it, if you drop the Ninja, the side panels alone are a couple of hundred dollars. The cruiser is easier to keep upright, and has less stuff to break if it drops. If you’re trusting her to teach you, trust her to put you on the bike she feels better for you (and for it).
Now then, between the new ninja 250r and the 2003 zzr-250. I know that many places have already sold out their allotment for the year (Ottawa Good Time Centre, the largest eastern Ontario dealership only had three left two weeks ago. One of my friends bought one of those three, and it won’t be delivered to the dealership until end of April).
There is no question that it is an awesome bike.
But the ZZR is a much better bike than the older US spec Ninja 250. The ZZR has better suspension, more powerful engine, and a host of other upgrades (hence why it cost almost as much as a ninja 500). I’ve put 300km on mine in the past week and absolutely love it. It handles rough roads far better than I expected, and the power is more than sufficent. The new 250R might have more mid range, but even keeping the revs low, I have yet to find myself thinking “this is not fast enough”. Usually my brain is saying something with a lot more four letter words (starting with “Holy”). One nice thign about the ZZR over the 250R is that the ZZR has a centre stand. Centre stands make lubing your chain, and doing any work on your bike, much much easier.
I think the only way a ZZR-250 would let you down is if you don’t like the styling. If you like the styling, then the differences between it and the new 250R will be so small you’ll never care about owning the older one over the new one.
Lastly, bike covers are a good thing, if only to keep bird crap off your seat
While the bike shop may sell one for a hundred dollars, Canadian Tire, and Princess Auto stores sell half decent ones for as little as $40. Just try to get one with vents so the cover doesn’t trap moisture (no point letting your new baby rust).April 21, 2008 at 11:56 pm #5740
Thanks for the replies, I see there are a lot of more points to consider.
Megaspaz: My freind teaching me, well it would be driving around in the parking lot just to get the feel, so I feel comfortable she won’t get me killed there (one can hope she won’t). I am going to be getting my training from Durham College, with their Motorcycle Training Course with qualified instructors I wouldn’t do it any other way. Friday night in class, Sat and Sun (8hrs each day) on the bikes and you go for the M2 at the end. I’m guessing it is along the same lines as the MSF in the USA..
Matt: I don’t think I’ll be back in Ottawa until for the highland games doubt they will have any left by then. Ya rust is bad, and $40 isn’t bad for a cover and vented, well I never even considered that , hmmm so many things to learn Where did you end up getting you gear? I need to still get jacket pants and boots. Who are you insured with? I know of Kingsway, and Jevco, didn’t know if there was a better one out there. So are your saving that it is better to save the $1500 for a 03 or $500 for a 06 then get a new one? I much perfer the new look tenfold, however I’m just trying to figure out why buy a used with lots of clicks on it when I can get a new one with no clicks for $1500 or less. The resale value on these bikes look to be awesome, however I don’t plan on selling for a good number of years. I didn’t realize that the ZZR250 was that much different than the 250R US version. Where did you dig up that info?
Cheers,April 22, 2008 at 12:38 am #5741tugboat32Participant
I have to agree with Matt in every way.
The instructors at MSF prefer riders with no experience. Zero. It is better for them to start with a “clean slate” because you haven’t had the chance to pick up bad habbits. They are experts at teaching, and the job should be left with them.
I also have a 2003 ZZR 250 (live in Southern Ontario), and I love it. It’s your choice between the new 2008’s and the old ones. Either would be an excellent buy. Both have excellent resale value and popular with beginners, so moving to a more powerful motorbike in the future will be a breeze. You say that you plan on keeping the bike for a while, but once you master the 250, you’ll start to crave that “next” bike.
I got my motorcycle cover at Princess Auto for under $40, and use it almost everyday (no garage). For storage I have a large enough shed to store it and throw the cover overtop.
My old job was probably around 6kms away from my house, and it wasn’t too short. When October came around, I felt I needed to wait a while for it to warm up, maybe for about a minute. You can leave the choke on for the first few blocks, and turn it off when you are on your way.
I’m insured with Kingsway, but I don’t have much knowledge about the different companies. I know that my insurer got me signed up to Ontario Motorcycle Association Members (OMA) witch costs $20 per year, but saves several hundred in insurance. Ask about it when you find the right insurer.April 22, 2008 at 2:01 am #5745megaspazParticipant
Matt and tugboat… for the main reason of practicality. Not sure how it is with the course you’re gonna take, but the MSF where I live at uses 250 cruisers. It’s not a bad idea to get used to what you’ll be riding in the class… almost give you a leg up, so to speak…
If there’s anything more important than my ego
around, I want it caught and shot now…April 22, 2008 at 2:26 am #5747
that is easy then, I can always go for a ride on the back of the bikes and wait till mid june when my course starts. The place where I’m doing the training uses 250 bikes, they aren’t sort nor are they cruisers. I think they might be Hondas, I won’t know what kind unitl I get there but they are definitely 250’s I know a few people who have take the course and they all say they use 250s.April 22, 2008 at 11:58 am #5751MattParticipant
I got all my gear at the Good Time Centre. They have the most accessories and clothing in the area. I don’t know about any of the shops outside of the ottawa area though.
For the Gearing Up course (equivilant to the MSF, and actually, what the MSF is based on – bet you never knew the MSF started in Ottawa, Canada, in the 50s!) I rode a 150cc Honda Titan (imported from Brazil specifically for the course). It has a very neutral sitting position, and lets you transition to any other style very easily. They also used (but are fazing out) Blasts and Super Sherpas. There was only one Rebel there, and it was the instructor’s bike.
Given the choice between a 2003 and a 2006, I’d go for which ever has the least klicks and looks to be in the best condition. If the 2003 is roughly $3000, it is only going to really depreciate another $500 in its life – which is good when you resell it. Where the 06 has that much more money to be “lost”. But I’ll happily pay $1000 more for a bike in good nick, that is going to be trouble free for years.
Insurance in Ontario for NEW riders who a) take the course, and b) are over 25 – has to be Rider’s Plus.
They will not insure supersports, or bikes older than 25 years, or anyone under 25. However, if you meet those criteria, then they charge based solely on the cc of the bike. A 250cc bike costs $720 liability if you’ve taken rider’s training. Which was $100 less than the best kingsway would give me. Once I have a few years of riding under my belt, I’ll look into other providers, but for a n00b, they are the cheapest I’ve been able to find.
As for where I learnt about the differences between the ZZR250 and the Ninja 250, http://faq.ninja250.org is a really great site. They deal mostly with the us spec Ninja, but discuss the ZZR every now and then. They have an article specifically talking about the differences between the ZZR and in the Old Ninja – But the author is comparing *his* ninja (which has had several upgrades) to the ZZR. Basically, we get all the upgrades he paid for, as stock.April 28, 2008 at 4:40 am #5861WendySkeletonParticipant
“How long do you let a bike warm up before taking it out?”
45 seconds to several minutes.
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