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The Best Motorcycle Helmets for Beginners Under $500 [2023 Edition]
The GS500F and Ninja 500R are other good starter bikes that have the sport bike look.
Other things to look at are supermotos. You should be able to find a DRZ-400SM or KLX250SF below $3000. With luck you may find a WR250X in that price range. The look is a little different but are said to be tons of fun in urban riding and in the twisties.
Several online sites like Progressive and Geico allow you to enter your information and get quotes for various coverage. You will need to enter the bike you are interested in to get accurate information. The bike will often make a big difference. Try several sites to get an good idea as some have found huge differences between companies.
You need to decide, probably as you are buying your bike whether you need full coverage. If you can afford to pay to repair or replace you bike incase of an accident then you can go with just liability. If not then full coverage is a good idea. I paid $1600 for my bike, so its inexpensive to replace, and it would not take much damage before I would just walk away from it. Liability is fine. However, you say bought a new WR250X for about $6000 then you would be out a serious amount of money if it was stolen or wrecked next week.
Its up to you but that the question seriously.
Very good point.
However it does make you think about helmet construction and testing.
First mechanisms for modular helmets and visors require some mechanical space. Modular mechanism more than visors due to the forces and sizes.
That space can be handled in multiple ways but it seems most often it replaces EPS within the helmet shell.
If the shell is sufficiently rigid in that area then it is probably not a problem, but that point is also probably a weak point due to the pivot and visor opening.
Second are helmets tested with impacts to the side of the helmet taken into consideration? Like mentioned above, this seems to be a weak point in helmet design so it seem reasonable to test it to ensure sufficient protection.
Can anyone point to some studies?
Lots of good choices in most styles of entry level bikes.
Honda Rebel, GZ250, Vstar-250
TU250X, Nighthawk 250
DR200se, XT225/XT250, TW200
I think many of the members here tend to be more interested in sportbikes so that is where many of the conversations go. Plus the Ninja 250R is a great value and more capable of highway speeds than most other entry level machines.
I think the TU250X is an ideal beginner bike for someone not interested in sport bike styling. It is a standard, which means a very netural riding position. It is nimble and the fuel injection means no playing with the choke or carb issues. However the riding position of the Ninja 250R is not much different despite the looks. The ninja really is more of a faired standard than a sport bike.
I don’t care for cruiser styling or handling but they do have the lowest seat heights if that is a problem. The Rebel and GZ250 both feel to me like I am sitting on the ground. But then again I am 6’2″
I think the WR250X or DRZ-400SM is an excellent suggestion for a taller rider. Like he said you will not easily get bored with the bike but they are easy to learn on, you won’t hardly notice it if you do drop the bike and powerful enough to flow with traffic when necessary.
I’m 6’2″ and ride a ’06 Ninja 250R. The Ninja 250R is a great bike to start with as its still a small light weight bike but is probably the fastest of the 250 class bikes. As a tall rider it feels bigger than most other 250cc bikes but the seat is low so your knees will be bent pretty tight. Just get off and stretch your legs every hour of riding and it shouldn’t be a problem. The new 250R may not fit well without lowered footpegs as the fairing is a different shape that interferes with your knees. Still it is a pretty inexpensive upgrade if you find you need it.
The Ninja 500R and Suzuki GS500F may provide a little more more though I still had problems with the Ninja fairings.
You’ve been doing your research.
BTW I believe the BMW Megamoto was sold in the US for a couple years. Atleast I found several reviews of the bike in US based magazine for 2008 and 2009. So if true there are still probably several available new at dealers.
I’m your height and ride an ’06 Ninja 250R.
The pre-08 Ninja 250R work OK for me. The seat to peg distance is a little tight but the bar reach is good and there is nothing on the fairings hitting me wrong. With both the Ninja 500R and new Ninja 250R I found that the fairings had a crease by my knee that seemed like it would be uncomfortable if riding much.
Supermotos seemed to fit very well. The WR250X and DRZ-400SM seemed like ideal machines for a taller rider to start on. They are light weight, roomy, easy to maneuver and reportedly loads of fun, even for experienced riders. Only downside is higher price compared to Rebels and Ninja 250Rs.
The 690 SMC is the same engine as the Duke but with dirt bike suspension (10.5″ vs 5.5″ travel). Much more of a supermoto. The Husky SM630 would be similar. One downside might be seat height but if I remember correct that should not be a problem for you.
Is the Duke really much different than the SV650 you currently ride? Power weight and style are some what similar. Both are 650cc sport nakeds with about 65hp. Duke is a single vs the SV V-twin and Duke is lighter.
Sorry for thinking out loud in your thread but I have been having similar thoughts. Mainly I’m thinking what I might like that would give my legs a little more room than the Ninja 250R.
Sounds like the hypermotos or bigger super motos would be a good fit. Megamoto, Ducati Hypermoto, Aprilla Dorsoduro, KTM 690 or 990 Supermoto, or possibly Husky SM630.
Ofcourse these are much more expensive than the DRZ and WRX
But they are sweet looking machines.
I heard this from many different riders. Pirates think you need a 1200cc+ V-twin and squids think 600cc I-4 is a beginner bike and you should get a liter bike once you learn to ride.
I think its ridiculous. I’m 6’2″ 220# and ride a Ninja 250R. I have had no problem accelerating away from traffic at a stop light or accelerating to avoid a merge on the freeway. The bike will do 90+mph. How much faster do you “need”?
Sure a 1000+cc bike will accelerate much quicker than the 250 and you probably won’t need to down shift twice for a quick acceleration but the little bike works just fine. But starting on a smaller bike makes learning much easier and less dangerous. How many youtube videos can you find about new riders getting on a big bike and having it take off into the side of a car when they screw up the throttle and clutch? A small bike gives you much more time to recover and produces much less panic at that point. The light weight allows you to learn to handle the bike without much fear of dropping it at the slightest mistake. Riding twisties on a light bike is easier and it give you the chance to really learn to ride.
As a taller rider the small cruisers like the GZ250, and Rebel may feel a little cramped. The Ninja 250R and 500R are not bad and are great bikes to start on. However your knees will be folded up pretty tight. The GS500 has a little more room and is also a nice choice. Dual sports and supermotos give you the most room and will be similar to the dirtbikes you have ridden but may not be the best choice if you need to do plenty of highway miles.
I’m 6’2″ and have started with a Ninja 250R. They are one of the best values available, especially used pre-08 models. I think I still would have prefered a dual sport but I would have paid much more or gotten a much older model.
I think you may want to add the supermotos like KLX250SF, WR250X and DRZ400SM and probably thier dual-sport equivalents. They are a little more expensive than some of the other styles but they are light, easy to handle, and dropping one results in minimal if any cost.
As mentioned a couple of those bikes are pretty rare and a newbie is not likely to see one. I think i would not mention bikes that have been out of production for more than a decade or were not common when built.
The Ninja250R and GS500F will be less stressed out at highway speeds though I don’t think your Rebel would be incapable.
The Supermotos like WR250x and KLX250sf would be capable and handle the irregular pavement better but the seat heights may be tall for you.
This is why I like the Ninja250R. It is light and low like the other 250cc entry level bikes but has about 50% more power than the air-cooled 250s like the Rebel and Nighthawk and GZ250, which means it will do 75mph freeway speeds and still accelerate if you need to.
Unfortunately there is a derth of street bikes available between 250cc and 600cc. The only ones that come to mind are the dual-sport/supermoto DRZ400 and the sport/standard Ninja 500R and GS500F. There are a number of choices at 200-250cc and at 600-650cc but not many in between.
Carbs are not a huge problem with altitude. It may help to rejet initially for optimum performance but the bike will still function without it. Many a rider has done those passes with a carb bike. Even a Ninja 250r will have enough power to pull you 2up up the mountain.
However as mentioned there are some options and may be more in the future. Just avoid the supersports to start with as is mentioned several times throughout this site.
I can see the relaxing comfortable ride of a cruiser being attractive to some, my FIL setteled on a Roadking after several other bikes. I think a lightweight easy handling bike would be more fun.
The Ninja 500r is an excellent first bike. Maybe you should nudge your brother that he needs to upgrade so that you can get his bike