Why I’m Not Moving Up To Bigger Bike Right Now
August 25, 2009 at 11:04 am #3346
I decided I’d share this with you guys.
I did some thinking about wanting to move up to a bigger bike. Thanks to eternal05 for the spreadsheet. It really got the gears in the mind moving.
It’s on hold until I get so flawless riding on my 250 that I start getting bored. And when I get to the point in low-speed skills where it’s in the bag everytime. I have a 250 in great shape, low miles, so there’s no need to rush on finding a new home for it. Not to mention, I am loving the Pirelli Sport Daemons I put on it. Difference between stock tires and those is like night and day. There are still many more mods I have left to do to the 250.
I don’t want to be one of those Squids on the 600cc CBR600s and such I met who had broken fairings and tales of whoa that involve them doing everything wrong going too fast. The sad thing is, I actually cared that they were ripping on my 250 for being not being poweful enough, that I was thinking of getting one.
My 250 is more powerful than my car when weight is taken into account, and I have never missed an opportunity yet to pass someone or merge onto the interstate because of too little power. There are too many motorcycle wreck stories I hear in the news every Saturday night (twisties, going to fast, doing everything wrong) for me to put myself in that situation on something too powerful for me in the first place.
Though I still would rather be hearing an I4, that dual-parallel when it’s in the powerband is fine for me. It sounds so much better getting every ounce of power out of a small engine than never using all that something bigger can provide.
Maybe next year. Can’t run until you have walking down first, to sum it all up.August 25, 2009 at 1:25 pm #21909SpoolParticipant
Like they always say, “It’s better to ride a slow bike fast, then to ride a fast bike slow”. I think you’re making a good decision, if there is no logical need for a bigger bike then why not keep the 250 and ride the wheels off of it. I’ve read many times where even guys who race 600’s and liter bikes keep a 250 around just because they are so much fun to ride.August 25, 2009 at 1:54 pm #21911JackTradeParticipant
Money can buy equipment, but it can’t buy skill.
Like Spool said above, much better to be the guy on the “lesser” bike with amazing abilities, than the guy who can barely handle his supersport. Which is more impressive?
Before getting into bikes, I was into auto racing. Used to spend tons of time autocrossing, as it’s a cheap thrill compared to expensive (potentially very, if you crash) track days. At one autcross event, a guy in a Ferarri showed up. I expected all the veterans to be at the very least intrigued, but I was surprised they weren’t…they seemed politely skeptical. Sure enough, he made a lot of impressive noises (and yeah, they were cool to be sure), but when the tire smoke cleared, his times were way bad. He left in huff a little later.
Lesson to me was that people who know are more impressed by what you can do, rather than what you paid for.
And as far as “fast” bikes go, it’s statistically likely that of those squids you met, at least one of them will be either severely injured or killed in the next year. For them, the “live fast – die young” life may be just the ticket…but the people here on this board seem to have families, jobs, other more important things worth living for. So I agree with you…take your time, learn the skills, and live to become an old motorcyclist with fond memories of many bikes owned. That’s my plan.August 25, 2009 at 1:57 pm #21912Zig308Participant
Being the owner of a new 600cc I4 … I’m interested in what tires you had stock and what you like better about the Pirelli’s ?
Mine came with Dunlops and I haven’t had a complaint yet, but I’ve just been cruising around town in the evenings and by no means have taken them to any extremes.
Thanks.August 25, 2009 at 7:25 pm #21918
Why on earth would you keep a 250 around when you have a 600 track bike in the garage?August 25, 2009 at 7:31 pm #21919
I wanted that track bike for sooooo long, and nearly bought one I don’t know how many times. Even when I did, one could argue it was too soon. Point is, you’re making the right choice, and I know exactly how hard it is to make. You just need to hold off that impulse, oh, I don’t know, maybe a couple hundred times , and then eventually you won’t have to anymore.
Hang in there mate. The day WILL come!August 25, 2009 at 10:03 pm #21921zipperZeeParticipant
I face a similar dilemma in that my 250, which I really love so far, was bought second-hand and has quite a few cracks/scratches and other mishaps in the fairings.
While it runs fine, fixing the cosmetics would run up to quite a bit of money…and wouldn’t be very logical for my first bike.
However, there simply aren’t any other bikes below the 600cc mark that appeal to me the ninja stands alone.
It seems a waste of money to trade in a 250 for a newer, practically the same 250 (minus the itty bitty damages)
However, the only step up, for sportbikes as far as I know, are the 650’s which are a lot more expensive to buy and maintain, *shudder insurance*, and probably too powerful for someone like me.
Regardless, I’ll see in a season if I would keep it or move up. Or if they bring the FI 250 stateside. (a little bit more power wouldn’t hurt either)August 25, 2009 at 10:52 pm #21922
I’ll start with what the Ninja 250 FAQ guys said about the stock tires:
Sizes: 130/80-16 rear; 100/80-16 front
Loudboys: I don’t know what kind of situation the OE tires are designed for, but it sure isn’t regular street riding. They don’t handle predictably, they don’t stick very well, and they don’t last very long. The stock tires are fairly unforgiving compared to most of the good replacement options. Once they’re unstuck they tend to stay that way.
Ian: Dunlop K630’s are pieces of crap, and you’re doing yourself a huge dis-service by riding on them. “
Once I had the Sport Daemons mounted at the bike shop, it inevitably rained while I was waiting in the showroom. Even with new slick tires and rain-covered roads, I still felt like I had more traction than those Dunlaps had dry.August 25, 2009 at 11:07 pm #21924
Look into a jet kit. Jet kit will add a few peak horsepower, but most importantly, will add a decent amount of power in the street riding RPM range.August 26, 2009 at 11:26 pm #21957Member548Participant
I’ve just got a ’05 ninja myself, but I have ridden race ATVs set up for XC and built several fast drag and road race cars, the pro touring Camaro I am building now should eat up 600 super sport bikes on a road course.
Back when I was 19-27 I went to the local midnight drag races every week. It was a pretty lose run what you brung kind of deal. Just about every week some new guy would crash a nearly new 600-1300 cc bike, mostly before the 60ft mark. Also I drove a Camaro then that would run a 11.90-12.10 every pass and I beat a lot of guys on 600+ CC bikes simply because they couldn’t even begin to tap the bikes full potential added to louse reaction times at the lights, and this is just in a straight line mind you, but there was one kid there about 20 that had been riding all his life and had an older beat up second hand 500 something that would get me by 5-10ft every race and I was always more impressed with him then the hacks that often couldn’t match that feat on massively more powerful bikes.August 27, 2009 at 11:31 pm #21967EliasParticipant
My friend who has been riding for 17 years had a Ninja 600 4 years ago. He sold it for a 250 enduro and rode that for years. He just recently (yesterday) moved back up to a 696 (yes, a duck). My point is that speed & power isn’t usually a huge deal when you just enjoy riding in general. Every bike is going to be fast and fun, so I say don’t tempt yourself with other bikes until you are (as you put it) completely bored with your 250. Getting a 600+ hopefully won’t change your riding habits or speed, so why worry about how much power it has.August 28, 2009 at 4:01 pm #21989WeaponZeroParticipant
Dunlops in general are a mixed bag. Some of their tires are god awful, some kick ass. Personally I think that as long as you stick with either Qualifiers or Roadsmarts you’ll be happy with your Dunlops.
I just bought a set of new Pirelli Diablo Stradas for my SV650. Going to have them mounted probably next paycheck, I’ll update then.August 28, 2009 at 10:18 pm #21993
I worry that it will change my speed. I already had the 250 up to borderline wreckless op speed on the highway for a brief period of time. Luckily, good sense, and the sluggish response even in the powerband told me to stop. What happens if curiosity kills the cat on a I4? Or at best, leaves the cat walking to work everyday because there’s only an state ID card in the wallet after a meeting with a LEO?
I figure I’d wait before moving to a 600 I4 so I have the skills engrained enough by then that trackdays could be a possibility to answer the age old question of “gee, I wonder how fast my new bike can go?”August 28, 2009 at 10:55 pm #21994
Quoth the Mighty Book of the Ninja 250 FAQ:
It is the general feeling of most members of this club that if you’re looking for more power, you’re on the wrong bike. That said, here’s what you can do: How much HP do you want?
* 1-5 : Exhaust pipe, intake and jet kit
* 3-8 : Porting, compression increase, cams
* 20+ : trade the Ninja 250 for a bigger bike.
Ooh, 1 more HP?!? (looks at Dynojet PDF) Almost worth the trouble.August 29, 2009 at 7:38 am #21999
At least not with a jet kit. Right. If you want raw horsepower, why the @#$! would you start with a bike that has 26 hp? Incidentally, your Ninja has less weight and has more power than mine (around 33 hp if I remember correctly).
So for those of you who don’t know (and sorry for those that do), when manufacturer’s claim “26 hp,” they’re referring to PEAK horsepower. That means that somewhere in the engine’s powerband it generates that much power at full throttle…if only for an instant. This is why you hear people with traditional I4 sportbikes complaining about “lack of midrange or low-end power” despite the astronomical horsepower figures. That full power is only available in the upper portion of the rev range.
A jet kit may not seem like much, but it actually makes a big difference to the street drive-ability of a Ninja 250 because it adds a lot more power in the midrange. You know how you were so sensitive about riding in the powerband? Well precisely what a Dynojet kit is designed to do is broaden that powerband and make more horsepower available throughout. Instead of being restricted to 6-10K rpm, my Ninja starts pulling just before 5K and keeps pulling hard up until 11-12K.
And for the record, when you have 26 hp, 1 hp IS a big deal, though chances are you’ll get more than that
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