The beginner 600cc or 250cc dilema
May 20, 2010 at 11:56 am #3980UrbanGrapeParticipant
I posted this in another section but thought I should post it here instead.
I was a beginner last year. I’ve now ridden over 10K miles and my first choice was the FZ6R from Yamaha. Everyones advice was, “dont get a 600, you cant handle it as a beginner”. Well I handled it just fine and would recommend it to anyone.
However there’s another thing floating on forums that again I think is absolute rubbish as far as advice goes and that is the perception that a 250 is a beginners bike. I just bought a used Hyosung 250 (the GV model – cruiser type). – It’s an absolute blast to ride. – Power, speed, handling, comfort – it’s all there. After riding this thing I would never classify a 250 as a “beginners bike” – because anyone with any experience riding would absolutely love one. – You can definately keep up – granted you probably wont be pumping the thing up to 95mph in 2 seconds flat, but when you step out of fantasy world and deal with reality you dont need to do that anyway. It gets up to highway speed very quick as it is and beyond.
I still want to consider myself a “noob” because, well – I just kinda like that little word. But all in all I would be very very careful about letting too much “advice” get in your way of making a good decision. I dont believe that anyone who buys a 250cc bike “will get bored” with it within the first few months. – In fact now that I have one I cant decide which I like more, my 600 inline four or my 250 v-twin. They are totally different in feel – It’s hard to describe, but I’m a rider who likes quick acceleration and fast cornering and I can do it both on either machine and I cant see every getting bored with a 250cc.
That being said a 600cc engine is just as fun. It’s fast and tempt you into over-acceleration at times, but it can be handled by a beginner. I think most of the advice points to the fact that the 250 is more managable for a beginner but I dont know if I totally agree with that either. Either engine is fine to start on in my opinion. Both have the ability to injure you equally well if you abuse the power.
Anyway, that’s my word on the whole thing. I’m loving it. Riding motorcycles is an experience that you cant fully describe until you start riding. Total funMay 20, 2010 at 2:06 pm #26605briderdtParticipant
Nice that you handled your 600cc bike as a beginner. The FZ6R is a de-tuned inline-4 that’s made to have a flatter power curve more similar to a V-twin than a supersport 600cc I-4 like a GSXR. Not all 600cc engines are equal, there’s no broad brush that these bikes can all be painted with.
Your points about the 250 are very valid, though. If some one is getting bored with a 250 in a few months, likely they’re not pushing the bikes capabilities half as much as they’d like to believe.May 20, 2010 at 4:12 pm #26612CBBaronParticipant
The FZ6R is an inline 4 600cc motorcycle but it is not a supersport. It falls into the same category as the Ninja 650r and SV650. Good sporty motorcycles that fall into the upper end of recommended motorcycles for beginners.
However I think every other 600cc motorcycle available and the ones getting the most attention are supersports so it is easier just to steer most noobies away from 600cc I-4s unless they particularly mention an exception.
And I totally agree with your assessment. I love riding my Ninja 250r. I don’t think I will ever get bored with it because it is too small. I would consider other motorcycles just for the change.
CraigMay 20, 2010 at 4:37 pm #26615UrbanGrapeParticipant
I agree about that. The FZ6R is not a supersport and is equivalent to the Ninja 650 or the SV or the Hyosung 650, etc. It has quite a bit of power, wont wheelie on you unless you make it do so, etc. – I havent ridden the supersports yet and cant give my opinion about them either way so it’s good you guys made the correction.
The FZ6R can suprise you at times when youre being agressive with it. It will reach 95mph in the blink of an eye, but with normal riding it’s very relaxed.
I was very suprised when I bought this Hyosung 250 though. The power it puts out, the handling characteristics, etc. It’s just an absolute awesome machine and definately one that I would recommend to any rider (not just beginners) – I have been wrong about the 250’s from the beginning because when I first thought about buying a bike I was told they are mainly the “beginner bike”. Well, it may be true that beginners could greatly benefit from riding one, to put this blanket label on them is just wrong.May 20, 2010 at 5:30 pm #26617eonParticipant
Now that I have a little experience (2 years, 16000 miles), I would still like to own a Ninja 250. I now know that almost all of the fun when riding is in the twisties and there power counts for nothing. Unless you are taking it to the track you simply cannot use the power of the larger bikes as 9 times out of 10 my corner speed is based on how far I can see, not how fast I can go.
I’m glad you guys can spell out the differences between the various 600cc bikes out there as I confess I can never keep it straight. The combination of letters and numbers guarantees I will never remember which is whichMay 20, 2010 at 5:40 pm #26609Gary856Participant
When people say 600cc is too much for beginners, they mean 600cc “supersport”.
FZ6 (aluminum frame) and FZ6R (steel frame) both have handlebars which give them a much more upright, street-oriented riding position. In this way they’re more like a standard bike, like a naked SV650 or a faired Ninja 650R, which are more ok for beginners. 600cc supersports like R6/GSXR600/CBR600/ZX6R, on the other hand, have low clip-ons for a crouched over riding position. More than the peaky engine, the low clip-on and the bent over ergonomics (unnatural until you’ve learned how to adapt to it) make a 600cc supersport uncomfortable, much more difficult to learn basic controls on for a beginner, not as easy to balance/turn at low speed so less suitable for street riding.
You can say FZ6 and FZ6R’s inline-4 engines are “detuned” (less peak HP) from R6, or you can say they are made less peaky, less track focused, and more street friendly. They’re still plenty powerful if you rev them up, but they’re actually less torquey than a SV650’s v-twin at lower engine rpm. The character of the engines are different. Inline-4s feel a little like a turbo 4-cylinder car – you need to rev it a bit. A SV650 feels more like a strong V6 – more punchy off the line.
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