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Having suffered the slings and arrows of many years of motorcycling I still can't get over the looks of my first motorcycling love, the 1970 Yamaha R-5. It won't do anything for you but it sure did something for me. There is just no way not to let looks enter into the picture when buying your first bike. It is ALL about the passion. And yes, I did learn on a tiddler dirt bike and the R-5 came later because it was no starter bike back then.
 

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I'd like to strongly reinforce previous remarks by saying that you need to get a smaller bike to start with - a Ninja 250 is best.



Short story: I helped a friend of mine buy his first motorcycle - a used Ninja 250 - and was there when he toodled around on it in a parking lot for the first time. He's now licensed, insured, and will spend his first season on the bike.

While he was toodling around the parking lot, he inadvertantly slipped the clutch a bit - panicked - hit the gas, then dumped the clutch the rest of the way - with the 250 turning 6k at least. He didn't get bucked off, and learned a valuable lesson about alertness and vehicle control.

A similar event (newbie error) on the ZZR or 650R would put you onto your new protective gear watching the new bike disintegrate into $1000s of damage.

Learning on a light, forgiving, and bulletproof bike will pay dividends down the road. Please rethink your choices.
 

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Re: No, no. get something smaller...

Don't get a 650 as a first bike. Get an old thrashed Honda 100 that you can drop a whole bunch without any major damage to you and the machine.

I had a buddy in the Navy who never rode beore, and he went out and bought a Kawasaki 750 twin as his first motorcycle. After snapping off dozens of clutch levers and turn-signals, riding feet-down through intersections, etc. I insisted he ride my CB100 for a while to get use to riding before he killed himself.

After that he was pretty good. Didn't fall down nearly as much. And I got to ride his 750 for a few weeks.

Be carefull out there.
 

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IT'S LIKE SMOKING! BETTER JUST TO NOT START. get a Camry with airbags man.



er, actually that 650R looks like a near-perfect first bike. Light, skinny, with handlebar up in an easy place to grab. 2 bad they don't sell the naked one here, what's up with that? you could remove fairing lowers first week or 2 just in case...
 

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Believe it or not, a used '00 or '01 BMW F650GS. Easy to ride, you can go on easy dirt for practice (or fun). Retail price dropped $1K this year and used ones (though hard to find) may seem pricey, but a year later, you will sell it for exactly what you paid for it with virtually no depreciation. Insurance costs will also be minimal. And you can ride across the country on it, if you want. If you lived in any country in the world other than the US and Japan, this is what you would get.
 

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I agree about the ninja250, although I upgraded after 3 months to an sv650s.



However, I disagree about not dropping your bike. You got lucky if you never did when you were first learning. I dropped the 250 once, and I dropped the sv650s once on an oil patch at 2 miles per hour. It happens when you are learning. I'm glad I didn't have a bike with full fairings (I guess the 250 does but who really cares much there. )
 

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For most 250s I would have to agree. The Ninja is very different than any other 250 on the market.

It is pretty fast, stops well, and is a lot of fun to ride.

If at some point you want a bigger bike you can sell it in a heartbeat or you could use it for track days.

an EX500 would also be a good choice.

 

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I bought the ZZR 600 when it was the ZX-6R in 2000. It was my first bike. I learned to ride dirt bikes about 20 years previously. Although I now own a Hayabusa I still have my ZX-6R. It is quite a handful for a true first timer. My bike will do 170mph so I don't think I would call it a starter bike. I do agree with the others that you will get bored with a Ninja 250 very quickly. In fact you will probably want to trade up during your first riding season. A couple of my friends are like that. The 650 is not a bad choice since it doesnt have the power of the 6R. Take a look at a used Katana 600 for a first bike. Brand new they are in the $5k range. I gave one to my girlfriend for learning purposes and she loved it. I also rode it and had plenty of fun. You WILL definitely drop your first bike. A used Katana 600 may be a good starting point then upgrade once you have the skills. Good luck on your course and make sure you always wear safety gear..."Dress for the crash not for the ride."
 

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Of the two bikes you mention, the 650 is by far the better choice. But do consider the 250 Ninja. Over 70 mpg, great handling (probably doesn't matter if you're in Florida, though), great looks, light as a feather and cheap. I was already riding for 15 years when it came time to buy a new bike, and narrowed my choices down to that and a Suzuki Bandit 600. I chose the Bandit for luggage and two-up capability, but I still like those Ninjettes.
 

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Dude,



Don't listen to these knobs. Here is what you do. Buy an USED bike that:



1. Fits you.

2. Has smooth clutch/throttle action.

3. Has low insurance costs (you're a 20 year old male; all insurance premiums will be high for any motorcycle).

4. Is mechanically simple (so you can learn how to do basic maintenance tasks).



Don't worry about what your buddies are riding. You ride for yourself. And remember, chicks dig bikes. They don't care what kind of bike you ride.



Don't limit your choices to just sport bikes. An older jap, middle displacement cruiser or standard is a great start. It's a starter bike, use it for what it is. Ride it everywhere, work on it, make mistakes, have fun, learn, learn learn.



peace,



CDM
 

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The Ninja 650 is much better choice and should be manageable for a cautious beginner.An EX500 would be better still,but if you are set on a 650 or600,you wont be happy. Dont believe you HAVE to drop your bike. My wife took her MSF course(dropped bike once) and has yet to drop her Buell Blast in 3000 miles of driving. Trick? She fits the bike well,rides within her limits,avoids traffic congestion as much as possible and only rides with small groups of riders(1-3) who keep her skill level in mind.
 

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I have a ZXR600

I started on a 01-ZX-6R = ZZR 600 but I was older than the usual newbie (over 30). The ZX-6R has a relaxed seating postion compared with other sportbikes.. Almost as comfy as a VFR.. See MOs comparasion of the two..

However, Twin engine bikes have nice low end torque which is nice for newbies </a>

The tires on the ZX-6R will be more expensive and the 8000 mi valve adjustments aren't cheap.

I would buy a used SV650S... or EX500.. ride the crap out it and then get a R6, CBR600RR, ZX-6R etc.
 

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Drop

What is with the YOU WILL DROP IT comments.

Knock on wood (where's KP's head when I need it), but I've never dropped a streetbike in my life.

I've flung plenty of dirtbikes into the weeds but it can't be that hard to keep a streetbike upright.
 
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