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Original Article:
2013 Beginner Sportbike Shootout - Video

Please discuss the Motorcycle.com article 2013 Beginner Sportbike Shootout - Video in our Motorcycle Forums below. Use the reply button to let others know your comments or feedback on the article. Constructive criticism is always appreciated, along with your thoughts and personal opinions on the bikes and products we have tested.
 

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Nice bikes

I would have definitely had this Honda if available in the late 60's early 70's. I was very brand biased/oriented back then. I really like the Kawi especially with a slipper clutch. When riding aggressively wheel hop can be a little disconcerting. Wasn't so hot on the Hyosung. If they want to sell some bikes they need to be the engineering and price equals of the other brands. If not there needs to be a bigger price differential. They have a long way to go. Nice review. Did I miss the gratuitous wheelie photo?
 

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I believe I'm starting to look-forward to this more than the annual Liter-Class throwdown.

The Little Ninja that Could is still The Business - if only Hyosung would step-up like Hyundai and stop considering themselves "Bargain Brand Motorcycles Incorporated", there might have been a different outcome. They have almost been a Real Motorcycle Company™ for several years now. It is about time for them to grow up.
 

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Wasn't so hot on the Hyosung. If the want to sell some bikes they need to be the engineering and price equals of the other brands. If not there needs to be a bigger price differential. They have a long way to go. Nice review. Did I miss the gratuitous wheelie photo?
Yep, we were disappointed the GT's price isn't significantly less than the others. It shows how Jap-engineered and Thai-built bikes can compete on price.

Wheelies on these things are hard to come by but not impossible. No cameras were around for those antics. :(
 

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Riva Motorsports has the new Ninja on display, and it's virtually impossible to differentiate from the 600RR. In fact, the factory display stand has a flip-sign so it can be used for either model, and it was flipped the wrong way. When I pointed it out to the sales guy he had to get close and really look to see what I was talking about.

Kudos to Honda for bringing the class back into competition again, even if Kawi did turn around and eat their lunch 2 years later.
 

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These intro 250/300 bikes, along with the new Honda CBR500R and Ninja 650/Versys and SV/Wee Strom are where the action is. "Real" sport bikes have gotten so expensive and intense that they are not a good choice for most riders.

The EX500 Ninja is probably Kawasaki's best selling model over the years. There are tons of those out there used as a result for dirt cheap. Lots of SV650s too. A friend had an SV with a Leo Vince can on it and I spent some time riding it. Really liked that bike. It is compact and easy to handle, sounded s great, had easy torque and did sweet wheelies! Was mid wheelie on the SV when the neighbor's cat ran out. Being the dirt biker I am, I stayed on the gas and hoped for the best. The cat ran right under the bike, missed it by inches. SVs are versatile bikes capable of just putting along, or flying down the road in hooligan mode, creating cat stories. Depending on who is doing the buying, the used market is full of good candidates.

Luching back to the point, another valid beginner bike is the crop of 250cc dual sports. Honda has done a great job of bringing a modern and yet affordable 250cc dual sport to the market as well. Kawi has been there forever with their KLX and Yam with their very good but a bit expensive WRR. Advantage of these bikes is their greater versatility, and the fact the mild trail riding is a great way to learn how to handle a bike. Plus they don't break things when you drop them :)

Agree on the Hyosong too. Like Kia/Hyundai before them, they need to compete on the quality of the product. Hyundai and Kia used to be "cheap" but not any more. Recent models compete at full price, on their own merits, and they are very good vehicles.
 
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