Went to another dealership today
February 12, 2011 at 1:15 am #4335JoeSTLParticipant
And sat on a few more bikes. I tried out an older Ninja 250 and it does fit me (6’3” 240) much better than the newer 250’s. With the adjustable pegs it should be fairly comfortable. The whole time I was there, the salesman was trying to push me to start on something bigger, like the FZ6. Says that I’ll get bored with any 250 or 500 within a month. The FZ6 was really comfortable, but it still felt like too much bike for me. Maybe it’ll be a good second bike down the road.
Tried on some helmets as well. I’ve always like the Scorpion designs, but they really don’t fit my head very well. The Shoei’s fit awesome but are a little pricey for me. The HJC’s fit me almost as well, so I’ll probably end up with one of those.
42 days until the first day of my MSF course! Can’t wait!!February 12, 2011 at 2:07 am #29225bigguybbrParticipant
You’re a couple inches shorter than me, but about the same general size. If you are long in the legs, I can see why they might try and push you to a larger bike for comforts sake. Regardless of the modifications that you might make, the geometry of the 250 ninja is always going to make it a bit small for someone of our stature. It’ll be rideable, but it is going to be an annoyance. Something like a dual sport or motard will have better ergonomics for you in the 250cc class/
Anyways, the FZ6R (fully faired bike) is a little more beginner friendly than the FZ6 (naked bike, which yami actually discontinued, naked bikes just don’t do well here in the USA, we’ll hope the fz8 does better)
I started a couple years ago and bought a brand spankin’ new FZ6R right as it came out, actually about 2-3 weeks before my MSF course. I had my learners permit, and lived only 1/4 mile from the practice course, so I was able to get some practice in before the MSF even started. At low RPMs the FZ6R is a real kitten, and is very predictable in it’s handling. Now while it’s performance is easy to manage, and the ergonomics are great seeing as you can adjust both the seat height and handle bar distance to fine tune your ride, it is considerably heavier than a 250, as well as a little pricier. At a 467lbs (wet weight) it’s the same general weight as some 800cc sport touring middle weights, as well as many small cruisers (but much lighter than a harley sportster, it’s like they are made out of lead and concrete!). This will make it more difficult at first to get you confidence up at tight low speed turns, especially for smaller riders, who might be afraid of the weight. This weight however makes for a much more stable bike on the highway, making commuting more comfortable as passing cars and trucks won’t blow you around as much, an incredibly unsettling feeling on a smaller bike when starting out. Weight aside, the bike is still incredibly nimble, and incredibly fun to ride. As you grow and discover more of the throttle, the bike will grow with you and will move quickly when asked. All in all I couldn’t ask for a better bike to start with. This is year 3, and the end of payments on it for me, and I still totally enjoy it, and am looking to find it a partner rather than a replacement.February 12, 2011 at 3:55 am #29226JoeSTLParticipant
It was the naked FZ6. I saw the FZ6R’s but didn’t sit on one… I assumed it would sit like any of the other super sports, which I don’t really like the way they feel.
Lots of people have said that I’ll want to move up from a 250 right away. I actually don’t mind if I have to do that. It’ll mean that I’ve mastered the lowest level and actually want to get something bigger/faster/more powerful. I’m totally cool with that.
Plus I only have about 1500-2000 bucks to spend, so I can get a 05-07 ninja 250 for that.February 12, 2011 at 7:01 am #29227eonParticipant
Here’s my opinion on the “want to move up from a 250” statement. If were talking about a Ninja here and not a cruiser, then I don’t buy it. Will there come a time when you wish you had more power to overtake someone? Sure. Will there come a time in the twisties where you wish you had more power? No.
I have a very heavy 500cc maxi-scoot (less power to weight than the Ninja 250) and have done 26000 miles in little over 2 years. Do I wish I had more power now? Yes, but when it comes down it it’s only on very specific occasions. I’m having most fun when leaned over into corners on twisty country roads. I am not at full throttle at those moments so why do I need more power? I don’t. Sure it would make my life easier when I come up behind a slow car to have instant acceleration on tap, but that power would probably have got me in trouble in the early days. Do I regret buying this as a first bike? Not at all. Most of my riding buddies are on 1000cc+ cruisers and have been riding for a lot more years than me but that cannot stay with me in the twisties. That says a lot more about them than me but you get my point. Don’t get sucked into the whole power thing, especially when you are brand new to it. Trust me, you will have plenty fun on a 250 (especially when you smoke folks on larger bikes )February 12, 2011 at 7:34 pm #29228Jeff in KentuckyParticipant
The main drawbacks for the 250 Ninja is for a passenger, or riding 1,000 miles in 24 hours. People do it, especially when adding seat pads, but the little Ninja is not the best choice for this.
The little Ninja is a good choice for a beginner, but the dealers make more money on bigger bikes and try to steer new riders toward more than they can handle safely. I would also check out the new 250cc Honda sportier bike and the 250cc Suzuki cruiser- they both have fuel injection, or the older 500cc Ninja with carbs.
For shorter trips, the supermotos with their narrow seats are a good choice, or the 650cc Kawasaki KLR dual sport for long trips and tall riders with quite a bit of arm and leg strength- it has a single cylinder and about 34 horsepower, much safer for a beginner than a 650cc twin cylinder with close to twice the power and more weight.
For track days, the typical learning bikes are a 250 Ninja to a 500 Ninja to a Suzuki SV650 to a 600cc 4-cylinder.February 13, 2011 at 12:29 am #29229bigguybbrParticipant
It is and it isn’t like a super sport in it’s riding ergonomics. It actually has handle bars, rather than clip ons just like the ninja 250, and gives more of an upright riding position. (Pics are courtesy of cycle-ergos.com, a great site to see your particular dimensions on a ton of different bikes)
Some of this conjecture is a bit premature. Before you get out and ride, almost all bikes seem monstrously large and heavy as you have no real world frame of reference to judge them by other than perhaps a bicycle or a dirt bike if you have had the experience. After you take the msf, you can start to gauge if some of the bikes feel small to you. I know personally I had to change bikes from a honda nighthawk to a yamaha tw200 because the distance from the foot peg to the gear shift was too close, and I couldn’t shift properly (I’m 6’5″ 245lbs, with a size 13 boot, there are definitely some bikes that are too small for me to ride safely). So before everyone is quick to judge every bike sales person as being just out there to make the bigger commission, give them a bit of a break. If you think about it, won’t they make more of a commission selling you an ill fitting bike, and then taking it back as a trade in towards another bike shortly after you get sick of it? Perhaps they are just trying to save you from paying tax, title, and registration twice, when you could be putting that money towards better use.
The displacement debate I’m not really going to get into. In short, displacement is in no way a gauge of power, torque, or the delivery characteristics of either. Case in point, the fz6r vs my fiancées old bike, the suzuki boulevard s40. The S40 – 652cc, 31hp, 33ft/lb of torque while the fz6r 78hp (at the crank, more like 60 at the rear wheel), 44ft/lb of torque, and if you go for an r6 600cc, 100hp, 44ft/lb of torque. Her new bike, a 2009 sporster 1200cc makes for about 70hp and 74ft/lb of torque. As you can see, there is no linear correlation between displacement, and output.
Also $1500-$2000 depending on your area is going to be a bit of a challenge trying to find a ninja 250 right at the start of the riding season. There is a big demand for the ninja 250 then, and people are getting almost new prices for them even used then.
With the comments about 250 being more than enough, as all the fun is in the twisties, there is some truth to that. The only draw back is sooner or later, you are going to have to take a highway to get someplace, like work, or even the dealership to get your bike worked on. While I firmly believe that a 250cc bike can be a great learning tool, I’m not convinced it is a practical bike for everyone.
On gear, check out http://sharp.direct.gov.uk/
They have some awesome helmet info, as they have impact test results to help you gauge which helmets give the most protection. I know the scorpion exo-400 lids get good reviews, and you can find them pretty cheep right now.
Sorry if this is all a bit of a rant, but bike season is around the corner and I’m itching to talk shopMarch 9, 2011 at 2:57 am #29343Newbie_BikerParticipant
Congrats on signing up for your MSF course. You will not regret it. I took a safety course here in Indy in October 2010 and had so much fun. I learned a great deal and am glad that i took it now that I have gone out on my own. Let us know how it went.March 9, 2011 at 3:36 am #29344eternal05Participant
Eon hit the nail on the head. You (the OP) have the perfect outlook.
You’ll be so happy when you wreck guys on big bikes and leave them wondering what happened…
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