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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone!

I am really getting interested in buying a motorcycle for this summer and need some advice. Here are my stats:

Riding Level: Absolute Beginner
Male, 190 lbs, 6 foot 5 inches, 18 years old.
Will be riding without passengers

I want a good beginners bike that is safe to ride, will teach good technique, yet is powerful & stable enough to take on highway rides (I plan to go on the highway a lot). I should also mention that I live in a mountainous area and it must be able to pull the hills.

Here are the bikes I am looking at:

Kawasaki Ninja 250R
Kawasaki Ninja 650R
Honda CBR 250R

Which of these bikes is the best combo for me? At my height would I be uncomfortable on a 250R?

Thanks in advance for any advice!
 

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Firstly, Welcome to the site!! Good luck with your decision, and don't jump before you consider everything!
Personally, since I now ride a 650R, I am extremely glad that I started on the 250R. There is mountains of difference in the performance and for an absolute beginner like yourself, I would have no hesitation in recommending the 250R to start on regardless of your size.
Ok, for the record you are about 1 foot taller than me, but only about 10 kilos heavier, so the 250R will have no issues lugging your ass up a hill or mountain!!
Physical size may be an issue, but there are products available to help lengthen your riding position.
Best advice would be to take a test ride on both 250's and see which one is best suited. Grab a 2nd hand model, there are plenty around and that way you will not be devastated when you drop it(Don't kid yourself, it will happen!) and learn your techniques properly. Take a riding safety course and talk to other riders, but don't let them talk you into getting something bigger cause that will just get you hurt or dead quicker.
Ensure you have good gear, do not skimp on this at all!
Don't get me wrong, I don't know everything, I'm about to turn 37, but have only been riding for 3 years, but I am so glad I listened to good advice and started on the smaller bike!
Good luck, and keep us updated on your decision.
 

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I think you'll find the 250R is too small of a bike for you... It's optimal for someone maybe 5'10", with a 30" inseam. At six foot, I'm too tall.

That may not be the same of the Honda, which felt like a much taller bike to me (tho it's not a favorite here). You say you live in the mountains, check with the locals as to how well the Honda pulls. It's power may not be up to the task.

A used 650R would be a better choice IMO (I have one as well). It's not a fast bike, but it pulls well. And it's easier to insure. They get a lot of respect, as first bikes.
 

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Ringo,
Here are my thoughts.

Based on your stature, one could easily defend getting a larger starter bike. But you confidently mentioned you are an absolute beginner.

With this being the case wouldn't it make more sense to 'learn and build' the necessary skills to allow you to handle a more powerful bike. Skill building comes from actual riding so i fall in the realm of you starting on a kawi250 or cbr250 and go from there. This will also allow you to really figure out what second bike will be better fit. You will not k ow this without miles under your saddle.

Remember, We are of course trying to preserve the sport and more importantly a persons life!

:Sent from my iPhone NewNinja App:
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks everyone for the responses. So right now the count is 2 for the 250 and 1 for the 650. The advisors at the dealership say either will work, but they are thinking the 650 would be better for me. My guess is that they would just like to sell a more expensive bike :) I am leaning towards the 250 because I want to develop good riding habits, and be safe. Everyone else agree?
 

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Ultimately it's a personal choice. I will always support an individual starting out on a smaller displacement bike to build skill for safety. After your skills have matured you then move up to a larger displacement accordingly.

:Sent from my iPhone NewNinja App:
 

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Thanks... I am leaning towards the 250 because I want to develop good riding habits, and be safe. Everyone else agree?
Good habits can be learned on any bike.

Have you taken a Basic Rider Course yet? For a person of any age, it's the best way to be introduced to motorcycle riding. And I would recommend taking a class, before buying.
 

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Ringo, don't be fooled into a false sense of security that you will be safe just because you opt for a 250. The little Ninja (or Honda for that matter) is very capable of accelerating rapidliy to speeds that will get you hurt in a sudden and unexpected get off or manuevering in ways that will crush you if you don't take safe measures as a responsible rider.

Having said that, the 250 is no SuperSport, and neither is the 650. Both have good power without being absurd. Both would be manageable as a beginner bike, the key is in being a good beginner. You have to learn to ride, establish your skills, and learn to ride with traffic like they never see you.

You seem to be thinking on those lines, good for you. So, as for which bike? I think you can start on either one and at this point you should go with whichever one is the better deal. But, you sound like you'd not keep a 250 for long, so if you go that way, look for a used one and you won't loose much money on a re-sale. I'd say look for the 650, I think it's more of what you are looking for. My 2 cents.
 

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Ringo, don't be fooled into a false sense of security that you will be safe just because you opt for a 250. The little Ninja (or Honda for that matter) is very capable of accelerating rapidliy to speeds that will get you hurt in a sudden and unexpected get off or manuevering in ways that will crush you if you don't take safe measures as a responsible rider.

Having said that, the 250 is no SuperSport, and neither is the 650. Both have good power without being absurd. Both would be manageable as a beginner bike, the key is in being a good beginner. You have to learn to ride, establish your skills, and learn to ride with traffic like they never see you.

You seem to be thinking on those lines, good for you. So, as for which bike? I think you can start on either one and at this point you should go with whichever one is the better deal. But, you sound like you'd not keep a 250 for long, so if you go that way, look for a used one and you won't loose much money on a re-sale. I'd say look for the 650, I think it's more of what you are looking for. My 2 cents.

Well said.... :thumb: ( And best response so far. ) We need a 'like' button, on this forum.
 

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Blackboar put it best and I have to say the 650 as well.

More than likely your safety course will tell you how a 250 feels. It did for me, and I opted for the 650 as my first bike and I have no regrets. It will kick your ass at first, but once you get in to the rhythm and learn how the bike responds, you'll be nothing but smiles.

With your weight & height you will get better value out of the 650.
 

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I choose the 650r for the same concerns you have ringo. I'm 6'2", 170 pounds and everything is a hill here. I did sit on a 250 for a short bit trying to get a feel for it's size. It felt ok, if anything I felt a little pressure in my knees (may not be an issue for a young buck like yourself) that made me wonder how long I could ride the 250 before that "little pressure" became too much pressure. That's when the dealer showed me the 650r and the rest is history.

Either bike you choose you can't go wrong. I bought new b/c of financing reasons but if I had the cash I would have gone used.
 

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id say go for the 650
I learned on a 650 non-ninja and a ninja 600 before getting the 250
I found learning low speed maneuvers way easier on a bike more suited to my height
Learning to balance on an undersized bike takes a bit longer, but is certainly doable
I'm 6'4 and 205 lbs.
At the end of the day you will need to use discipline and self-control on any bike and from my experience the 650 isnt so powerful that you'll kill urself if you accidently blip the throttle around a corner
 

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Ringo! Welcome! I'm in Westy, so, maybe we should go bike shopping!

Anyways, everybody's responses are good and have something to offer, look for the repeats.... Having owned a 250 for the past 3 years in CO I say go for the 650. Going uphill is going to be true torture for you, going downhill, well, you will become a fantastic rider if you stick to the 250, it teaches you oodles about corner speed...

However, as the others have said, make sure to get into a BRC class ASAP. They usually have the 250's in the class, and you'll get a feel for the gutless wonder.. :) Don't get me wrong, I LOVE my 250, but I'm 5'10" and 150lbs. I also can't keep up going uphill, and can't get past 100mph. However, it is fun to watch the bigger bike rider get frustrated when I keep up going down hill. Anyways, best of luck, and hopefully we can catch a cup of coffee or something!

Also, check out cosportbikeclub.org - they are a bit mean, but not a bad resource.. :)
 

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I usually recommend starting on a 250, but based on your specs, it may be pretty cramped. I could be done, but there may be better choices for you.

Also check out a used SV650n (no fairing). IMO, a bike without a lot of bodywork (and some sliders) is a good idea for your first.

My advice - don't buy, or finance, a new bike for your first.


Jay
 

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Too bad you folks don't have the Ninja 400R south of the border, that would fit you perfectly (same size as the 650) and has plenty of power for the beginner, and enough for the experienced rider.

Since the 400R isn't, go with the 650, its not a supersport so its not crazy fast. Good rider training, a good head on your shoulders, and taking it easy with your right hand and you'll be fine.
 
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