Forum Replies Created
The Best Motorcycle Helmets for Beginners Under $500 [2023 Edition]
A friend of mine has a 2006 ninja 500 that I have put several hundred miles on. I really like the bike and think it would make a great starter. It has plenty of power, I weigh about 230 myself and I have never felt that it was underpowered at all. The 500 is also a very light weight bike which makes learning on it much easier. It also has a more comfortable seating position than most sport bikes. I put 225 miles on it in one day and felt great.
I’ve never ridden a katana but they are quite a bit bigger and heavier than the Ninja 500. They also have a lot more power. The smallest engine katana is an I-4 600cc motor. Not something that is usually recommended for beginners. The weight of the bike will also make slow speed manuvering difficult to learn. This is not too say they are bad bikes, they’re not. They are a great machine and very capable in experienced hands. However the ninja 500 is much better as a starter.
In regards to the 250 ninja I beleive that they did get a slight increase in power for ’08 but it’s not really a significant difference.
Had the bike been sitting long before you bought it? It most likely needs a good carb cleaning. It would also be a good idea to change the fuel filter if you have one, if not I’d suggest installing one. As for the oil leak, from where you describe it, it sounds like a valve cover gasket or head gasket. On these older bikes small oil leaks are very common. If the bike has sat for a while, the seals have probably dried out some. Often just running the bike regularly again will cause the seals to swell up enough to stop leaking, if not you’ll have to determine exactly what seals/gaskets are leaking and replace them.
From what I’ve seen $3200 is a great deal on an ’08 250. You said the dealer’s friend is selling it? Maybe the dealer will check it out for you for free since he’d be helping a friend of his make a sale.
I don’t know how much it would be to replace the fairing, but as long as the crack is not affecting anything I’d leave it for now since you are a new rider and I’m assuming this is going to be your first bike. Wouldn’t want too get the fairing fixed and then drop the bike and crack it again. After you get comfortable on the bike then would be the time to replace it.
Actually should be when a Mercury meets a Harley. That’s a Grand Marquis, not a Crown Vic.
You know just about everyone I know who rides wants a more powerful, bigger, better bike. It’s just the way it goes. One of my close friends has a Harley Street Bob. His is the 88ci motor (1450cc). I remember when he got it how impressed he was with the power, saying it was all he’d ever need. A few months into owning the bike he upgraded the pipes and added a power commander to get more power. Not to long after that a high performance intake for more power. The next season he had high performance cams installed for more power. Anyone seeing a theme here? Now he is talking about a big bore kit (I believe to a 1550). I’ve ridden this bike, it’s a great ride and IMO is insanely powerful the way it is now. Its the same way with people who buy sport bikes. There is no R type sport bike out there that can be used anywhere near it’s full potential on public roads, yet people upgrade them for more power all the time.
The point I’m trying to make here is that it doesn’t matter what bike you start with after getting familiar with it, 99% of riders want to upgrade. In most cases it’s not about needing a bigger, stronger, faster machine it’s simply wanting one. Unless you need the power for two up riding there is really no “need” for a bike more powerful than the S40. But that’s not going to stop you from wanting one.
Buy a bike that you are comfortable with now. But buy it knowing this, sooner or later (usually sooner) your going to want an upgrade. Everyone does. That’s the beauty of motorcycles, there’s ton’s of different styles out there and it’s great to try them all.
As you will read here many times, the problem with powerful bikes is that beginners don’t know how to control the power yet so they may use it accidentally.
I gotta get me one of those. I can think of a few more programs for it too.
One of my friends picked up a 2006 Ninja 500R recently. I ridden it a few times and I gotta say they are a great riding bike. Plenty of power too. More than enough for any legal riding that you need but not so much that it will get you in trouble if you accidentally crack it open. I was suprised at how comfortable it is. It’s more of an upright seating position than most crotch rockets which is nice. All in all I think it’s just a really nice, simple bike. A good starter bike but also something that you could hang onto for years and be happy with it.
That’s not necessarily true. Some spoke wheels are built in such a way that they do not require tubes. The Honda Rebel 450 for example. However I don’t think this type of wheel is real common.
I have an old ’81 Honda CM400. It’s been a good bike for me. I’ve put almost 4,000 miles on it without having to fix anything other than putting a new headlight in it. I guess that’s pretty good considering the bike is almost 30 years old. As for power its got plenty of power for solo riding, two up it is taxed a bit however it’s not really big enough to ride two people on it for long especially with me at 230lbs. I live in a pretty hilly area nothing huge though. Almost all of the hills are really curvy as well so it always ends up being the curves limiting the speed not the power of the bike. The one hill that is straight I have no problem maintaining the speed limit of 55 however I do have to shift down to 4th to go that speed. Funny thing is if I run it up to about 75 it will pull the hill at that speed in 5th, just the way the powerband (or lack there of) is.
That being said if you are looking at an older 400cc bike for the gas mileage I honestly think you’ll do better with something like the Vulcan 500. If I baby mine around I can eek out about 57mpg. Usually I am in the 52-53mpg area. Most people I have read about with the Vulcan are getting 55mpg or so and it has a lot more power than my 400 as well as being a bigger more comfortable bike. If you are looking for mileage that is significantly better than that then your only choice is going to be one of the 250’s.
I personally have no experience with 250cc bikes other than riding on in the MSF course. One of my friends does have a Suzuki GZ250 but he says its pushing it pretty hard to maintain the speed limit on the hills around here. I think that the GZ is the least powerful 250 though and the Honda Rebel and Yamaha Virago have a little bit more power.
What are you running for exhaust now? You’re not just running open headers are you?
The old v65’s were a beast of a bike. Not exactly a good beginner bike. For a few years they were the fastest production bike in existence. And from what I have read they are maintenance nightmares. That being said I’d love to have a V65 Magna in good condition. But I’d really look at something smaller for your first street bike.
I live in Derrick City, PA about a 3.5 hour drive northeast off Pittsburgh so my Pro’s and Con’s are about the same as Weapon Zero’s with the one exception being there are no large cities around here so traffic isn’t much of an issue:
More winding roads than you’ll ever need.
Weather-Just the right temperature for riding when not in winter.
Not much in the way of traffic
Cobblestone roads are more common than I would like.
Roads are poorly maintained, with potholes EVERYWHERE.
Weather-Winters suck and the fact that it rains every other day in the spring really only leaves 2 seasons for nice riding conditions.May 20, 2009 at 1:21 am in reply to: can you insure and register a motorcycle with a permit??? #18722
I don’t know about NY but here in PA you can register and insure with a permit. I did it when I bought my bike. I know plenty of guys who don’t even have a motorcycle license or a permit and have their bikes registered and insured.
The best way to know is to check your plugs. Most Suzuki’s (and most new bikes in general) come from the factory jetted on the lean side to pass emissions tests easier. I think that most slip ons will require a rejet, not as big of change as a whole exhaust system would require but still the slip on is going to be a little free-er flowing than the stock can. Better safe than sorry as they say, I’d check it or get it checked if I were you a lean condition can ruin an engine. On the plus side if you on running lean and you re-jet to the proper jet you will likely see a gain in power.
Here’s a good link on reading plugs to get you started.