Right Bike Size Advice Needed
September 1, 2010 at 2:31 pm #4217
Yes, another bike noob asking advice, whee!
I’m thinking of getting a bike, never rode one before, but I’ve won a poker tournament recently and the cash is burning a hole in my pocket, plus I’d better spend it before the wife thinks of something ‘practical’.
Anyways, there’s a few used Honda CBR 125’s in my area, which I’ve read is a great starter. But I’m not sure if it not too small for me, I’m 6.2, 195 pounds, not a little guy and the last thing I want to do is eat pavement because I’m riding something designed for someone half my size.
Any advice, or recommendations would be awesome, thanks!
– BartSeptember 1, 2010 at 4:11 pm #28387briderdtParticipant
Alas, they’re not available here…
Anyway, those bikes would be fine on backroads and such, but may be a bit challenged on highways. Size-wise, you’d have to sit on it to be sure.September 1, 2010 at 4:32 pm #28388
That is my first bike, which I have put over 8000kms this year. It is great for learning to ride, without felling like it is way too small of a bike. I don’t know if you have gone in and sat on the CBR125R yet, but it is a smaller bike than the GS500 (physically smaller)…I’m 5’11 and the GS is about as small of a bike as I would suggest for a taller person…I don’t know about the physical size of the Ninja 250R or the 500R, but I think they are similar to the GS…my 11yr old daughter can almost get her feet down on the CBR, she was very excited about that…only you will know what fits and what doesn’t, but at 6’2 you will be in the same boat as me at a minimum…the 500s have enough power to do hiway travel without any problem, just remember these are sporty looking commuter bikes, not sport bikes…so don’t expect powerful accelleration at hiway speed (that was a problem I had at first…)…I have decided that I will be upgrading my bike next season to a cruiser for more comfort (I’m getting older…lol)…if you are in Canada you could also check out the Ninja 400R that is brand new this year, and fuel injected…woo hoo…
If you are looking for a GS500 and you are in the Red Deer, Alberta area…drop me a note in here…maybe we could talk…lol
Good luck!!September 1, 2010 at 7:04 pm #28386
Yes, it seems every other day someone would ask the same question, and the same answers are given. Read through the old threads and you’ll see dozens of similar threads.
I’m 6′, 170 lbs. For my first bike, I didn’t want one that’s too powerful, like a 600, nor a bike that’s smaller than necessary, like a 250. I started on a GS500 after extensive research. A Ninja 500 would be in the same category. If you just do a search on the web on GS500, you can see what everyone says about it.
I just sold my GS500 because after a year of riding it started to feel a little small physically, and I now own faster bikes, but I still strongly believe it’s the perfect beginner’s bike.September 1, 2010 at 8:55 pm #28392
Thanks for the tips, though i’m surprised to see suggestions for a 500cc bike for a new rider, potential for painful wipe-outs?
Hey madjack, actually, I’m in Edmonton, so yeah, we could meet up easy if you’re willing to let it go for a good price.September 1, 2010 at 9:16 pm #28393Jeff in KentuckyParticipant
Here is some older advice for beginners, back when the 650cc Triumph and 883cc Harley Sportster were considered sportbikes for experts:September 1, 2010 at 10:10 pm #28394horsteParticipant
Thanks for the excellent link. I loved reading that article. I am looking at getting a Buell (http://minneapolis.craigslist.org/ram/mcy/1930979091.html) for my first bike. I’m also toying with a Suzuki DR-Z400SM (http://minneapolis.craigslist.org/ram/mcy/1927556505.html).September 1, 2010 at 10:55 pm #28396
Do some research and see for yourself if your perception is correct. My suggestion came from first hand experience, and from my long research. (I thought about, read about, and looked for, my first bike for a couple of years before finally getting the GS500.) I have never read or heard from anybody saynig that they regretted getting a GS500 as a first bike because it’s got too much power or difficult to ride. Brand new beginners, even smaller guys, gush over how a GS500 is super user friendly and easy to ride. If anything, some have concerns of out growing the GS500 within a short time (nothing but a late model supersport would satisfy those guys’ self image), but for someone serious about learning to ride, GS500 is a perfect tool.September 2, 2010 at 1:39 am #28400
I’m in no rush…I will be upgrading in February, and was planning to sell in the spring…but if you would like I can send you some pics and what I paid for it…repairs done, maintenance, etc…
As for suggesting a 500cc, well like Gary, it is from experience…I have not regretted getting the GS500, except about three weeks after getting the bike I wanted more power off the line, but soon realized that you need to get pretty confident in the corners before you can claim to know how to ride (actually still learning there). I do a lot of hiway riding and the bigger bike does it easier than the smaller 250cc bikes could…so the only question I had when buying was “what style of bike do I want?”…I decided the standard bike was the way to go for me…I didn’t want to be hunched over the tank on a sportier bike, and a dual sport wouldn’t be as stable on the hiway.
Let me know if you want that info on the bike, or if you are going to wait…and maybe explore your choices further…September 2, 2010 at 8:45 am #28409eternal05Participant
The whole “what is the right size” debate is really tiresome because everybody is super-biased by their own experience. I know I am. You’ll find excellent, super-skilled riders who say that a 250cc bike is by far the largest you want to start on. You have other excellent, super-skilled riders (at the extreme, mind you), who think that a 1000cc sportbike is an obvious choice for the aspiring beginner (and these people are just clearly wrong). The problem is that the people giving the advice (including us) are the ones that succeeded in making their choices work out, and by virtue of making things work out, they inevitably believe they made the one “right” choice. There may be only a few people per city that began their riding careers on GSX-R1000s and stayed upright long enough to talk about it, but you better believe those few people will make more than enough noise to make up for all the quiet riders that ended up in ditches.
Ultimately, as somebody who’s 6’4″, 185 lbs and who now all-but-races supersports, I think you’d do well to consider a 250. That’s not to say that maybe a 500cc isn’t the right choice for you, but you shouldn’t rule out a 250cc bike either. Your first order of business is to go take your MSF beginning rider’s course (BRC), get the feel for what a 250cc bike feels like (they almost always use 250s), get a sense of what sorts of things you like or dislike in bikes, and THEN start shopping around, sitting on bikes, etc.September 2, 2010 at 2:19 pm #28414
I plan on taking a motorcycle course early next year (@ NAIT), I think this should give a decent handle on what works for me. Then look at picking up something used in early spring. I’ve looked at Kajiji, but are there any other good used sites to get a bike at good value?
Madjack, I’d love some pics, along with any info on mods you’ve done etc.September 2, 2010 at 2:33 pm #28415
These are personnal opinions based on personnal experiences, but I don’t feel that I am an exception to the rule. Now, I do have more weight to carry so that may have impacted my perception on the smaller bikes…but I also thought about the type of riding I will be doing, commuting on the hiway and rides to the mountains and lakes around me…I wanted the extra stability and power of the bigger bike. If I was going to be riding in the city mostly with just a few hiway runs, the smaller bike would have been the better choice for learning. The hardest part of riding a bike is going slow, parking lot and stop and go traffic. In these situations the lighter the bike the better off you are. If that was the case for me, I would probably have gotten a super moto bike…they would be an absolute blast in the city. The 250cc bikes (other than the Ninja) are best suited for upto 80-90 kph, after that they run out of breath. The Ninja has a top speed around 160kph, so definately don’t rule it out…you just have to get the revs up to get there.
As for the pics, I will send you an e-mail after I take some current pics of the bike. I will fill you in on the details in the e-mail.
PS..definately get the rider training, it was the best thing that I did…saved me from learning some bad habits that I would have to break later.September 2, 2010 at 2:59 pm #28419CBBaronParticipant
First of all most members here are Americans including myself and know almost nothing about the CBR125 as we have never seen one.
I’m 6’2″ 220 pounds and find my EX250 (`06) a great bike to start with. Sufficient power for any kind of highways, light weight and easy to learn handling and power modulation and cheap.
If you fit on the CBR125 then you will not end up on the pavement because its only a 125cc. You just may not feel it has enough power to ride the fast roads. Limit yourself to secondary roads and you will have more fun and learn how to handle the bike faster.
CraigSeptember 2, 2010 at 5:44 pm #28425
Ninja 500 is supposed to be similar to GS500, with maybe a slight performance edge. There are a lot of enthusiastic GS500 owners here and elsewhere; however, I’ve never seen Ninja 500 owners posting their experiences here. Wonder why…September 2, 2010 at 9:22 pm #28431Jeff in KentuckyParticipant
I belong to a Kawasaki forum with a section just for the 500R- here is part of one thread there:
When Kawi made the 650 in a twin platform and gave it FI, I knew the 500 was on borrowed time….sucks, but it wouldn’t make any sense for them to redo a bike so close to what they have already on the market. I would have to say though, 22yrs basically unchanged….not bad little 500, not bad.
In my mind a 500 makes a better 2nd bike or for some 1st bike than the 650, cheaper to insure too. I would have updated the 500 rather than introduced the 650. RIP 500!
I’ll keep my 500R until it bites the dust. It’s a fine bike for some city riding and highway cruising time to time.
Well, let’s be realistic. The 650R has 10 more horses than the 500, so it’s not a huge difference to the rider looking in that range. The 500 uses carbs, the 650 is fuel injected. That alone makes emissions better and starting easier. Plus, the engine is shared among three bikes, which makes their factory tooling that much simpler.
Do I love my 500R? Yeah, she’s great, and I plan on riding her for as long as I can. But do I think keeping around an orphan middleweight bike would be a good business decision for Kawasaki? Of course not.
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