So I saty on a few bikes over the last couple days…
September 26, 2008 at 10:32 pm #2153briderdtParticipant
I stopped by a Honda/Suzuki dealer yesterday on my way between offices, sat on a couple of bikes there. The Suzuki GS500 was comfy, but I couldn’t quite flat-foot it. Folks there were really helpful. I just wished they’d carried Kawasaki.
And today I visited a Harley/Buell dealer… Nothing under about 1200cc’s there. And no one said boo to me the whole time.
Then I swung by a Kawasaki dealer. No Ninja 250’s (no surprise there), but they had a 500 and two 650’s. I sat on both, and liked the 500. But… I mentioned that one of the things I was looking at was fuel economy. And the dealer told me that the 650 got over 50 mpg, while the 500 only got 38. I asked why, and he says it’s because of the carburator vs fuel injection. So I look at the Kawasaki website, and it lists the rating for the 500 as 51 mpg… That wasn’t the only thing he said trying to steer me to the 650 over the 500. But even though the 650 was taller and I couldn’t quite flat-foot it, the knee position felt a lot better.
So in any case, I certainly don’t feel any need to go back to that Kawasaki dealer. There’s another Kawasaki/Suzuki/(and a few others) dealer that my wife and I will be visiting over the weekend.
Oh, and I sat on a Vulcan 500… Putting my foot on the peg seemed like such an unnatural motion (searching forward for it). On the Ninja’s it was just a natural lift and my foot was there.September 26, 2008 at 10:51 pm #12828TangoParticipant
I’m a bran new biker myself. The first time I ever sat on a bike was during my MSF class on the weekend of September 5th. The bike I used for the weekend was a dirt bike 250CC.
I did quite a bit of research before I did my MSF class, so that when I was finished if I really enjoyed myself I could get a bike. I decided on the 650R and so far after a week of riding I love it. I know it’s still new but the bike is great. It’s got power if I need it, and it does still scare me, but it’s not overboard where I’m worried I’m gonna kill myself every time I get on it.
Also I’d like to mention I am not a big guy, I’m 5″10 and about 150 pounds, and this bike is fine weight wise for me. My feet both touch the ground and the bike doesn’t feel overly heavy when I’m stopped. It’s also great on gas so far, with over 200km and the light hasn’t come on yet.September 26, 2008 at 11:50 pm #12830CBennettParticipant
Im the same way on the Cruisers..I like the looks of them fine..But the peg position I just cant get used to. Just does not seem….well…”right” to me. I also like the seating/peg/leg position on the standards(more upright feet under you not out in front of you like sitting in a recliner). I like the Cruiser look though im wondering if down the road I can get used to the Cruiser sitting/peg position….Id love to have some nice HARD LOCKABLE saddle bags but you really cant get a decent(inexpensive) set on a sport/standard cause of the frame(or lack there of) to mount them on so your stuck with a tail or soft saddlebags(i dont like tank bags) or a backpack if your like me and need to carry work/lunch related stuff.September 26, 2008 at 11:54 pm #12831RupmiscParticipant
I don’t know whether you are looking at new or used bikes. If they are new, however, be aware that the 2009 650R and its naked sibling, are about an inch lower. I am not recommending 650s over 500s, just telling you about seat height.September 27, 2008 at 8:51 am #12853nau_lax21Participant
i really doubt 38mpg on the ninja 500. i wont argue that fuel injection definitely gets better gas mileage than the same bike would with a carburetor, but my gs500f has a carburetor and it is for sure getting over 50mpg.September 27, 2008 at 2:39 pm #12855AmorylParticipant
not to mention almost every 250 I’ve ever heard of is carb, and most of them average high 60’s or better, the v-star claiming in the 80’s and several people say it’s closer to 90’s…sure they’re a lot smaller than the 500 or 650’s but thats a heck of a fuel ecconomy if carbs were THAT inefficient.September 29, 2008 at 8:46 pm #12971DaggerParticipant
I come from a dirt bike background myself.. Rode them for many years as a teenager then got out of riding all together.. I’ve recently decided to make the plunge into street bikes and started looking at the different styles and wondering what was right for me.. As far as what I was used to on the dirt bikes, Sport bikes are the most similar.. The same standing position with the high seats and legs more under my hips.. But being 39 now I’m not sure how my back would handle riding them on a regular basis (Back problems from a car crash years ago). Style wise, I much prefer the look of the cruisers so that has been what I was looking at mostly.. I did have concerns about the riding style of them and having my feet forward instead of under me so I found a local guy that gives private one hour lessons.. My lesson was on a Honda Rebel 250..
My first bit of insight was that at 6’1, 185lbs, that the 250 was WAY too short for me.. Not only did it make getting my balance hard but by the end of the hour lesson my hip was killing me..
My second bit of insight was that once I was moving.. The reclined position was a lot more comfortable and natural than I thought it would have been..
So today I’m hopefully purchasing a 2002 Yamaha 650P V-Star Custom I looked at this weekend.. The seat hight is about 2 1/2 inches higher than the Rebel I rode and overall, even with the pegs forward, didn’t feel like I was sitting back into the bike as much but more on top of it.. I know it’s going to take some time getting used to low speeds with the pegs forward but I figured that it’s the style I like and want to learn to ride.. Sure I could probably hop on a Sport bike and feel at home again but it’s not the ride I’m looking for..
I figure.. If you’re new at something and you have to learn anyways.. You might as well learn to do what you want.. I mean what’s the point of learning on a bike that’s not the style I want to eventually ride in the long run.. Anyways.. That’s my two cents.. Good luck to all the new riders and hope you all have safe travels..
I just want to make it out of this life alive…
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