either would be fine if you respect and learn to ride them. I've heard the BS about buying a "smaller blah blah blah bike" to begin on but I never bought into that......inexperience leading inexperience, or should I say the blind leading the blind will always give you that pseudo politically correct advice. Buy what you want up front and you don't have to wish later. I've owned about 25 bikes in my 39 years and personally, the ZZR is the most bang for the buck to start on of the two. You may not want to ride wheelies at this point in your life but if you decide to learn later, the ZZR is the better bake to do this with and will have plenty of usable power. Also, for "sport touring" for whatever that means, the ZZR is better and more comfortable to put in some miles.
my first street bike was a 250 ninja and it suited me perfectly. i was living in austin tx at the time it i had no trouble keeping up with traffic on 35 and mopac and the bike being very comfortable and unintimidating made it the right choice for commuting and parking around downtown and the round rock area. perhaps the 500 ninja would have been just as good but the 250 had plenty of power and good looks (often mistaken by the uninitiated as an older 600), it handled well and it had some great features like the luggage hooks, helmet lock and center stand all as standard equipment. i sold the bike to a friend and 7 years later it is still running great.
sorta off topic but concerning the zzr600 i am curious: will the older 2000-2002 zx-6r aftermarket parts fit on this rereleased new bike? i'm thinking of a middleweight sport/tourer type bike for commuting and atm i'm deciding between the zzr600 and the cbr600f4i. i'm leaning toward the zzr600 and i got a friend with a few left overs from his 2001 zx6r (i.e. cosmetic accesories) so it would be great if the parts would work on this newer version.
Of those get the 650R, but be prepared to take a hit on resale. Two other thoughts, when I took the MSF course many years ago my instructor reminded me that the only thing I was qualified to do was ride a 125cc bike around a parking lot at 15mph. MSF does not teach you to ride as much as it teaches you to think. I second all the other recs--get a non-faired bike for your first. 2-3000 bucks for a simple drop which can happen if you stall pulling away from a stop while in a turn. Finally don't scoff at the NINJA 250 suggestions. The smallest Ninja will teach you how to ride both quickly and well (you have to be really smooth and on top of it to go fast) More power for a newbie leads to a reliance on the right hand to make time. I still have a 125 (MZ) which I enjoy as much as my big bore bikes. (Duc 999, Breva 1100 and R!)
If you buy used, pay cash and you live in the Sunshine State, you can skip the insurance on the bike. Just make sure you get a personal protection policy for yourself. But get a good full faced helmet, some riding boots (no tennis shoes or flip flops, a common sight in Fla.) a good jacket w/padding and some gloves. Makes me break out in a sweat just thinking about it Oh yea, unless you live out in the countryside, skip riding in rush hour traffic until you get some seat time.
As for the bike, I suggest a dual sport, probably the most fun bike to learn on.
I would get a little used XT225 or DR200 dual sport. Ride it a lot, then pick out a bigger bike. Then keep the little dual sport...you won't want to get rid of it! It's always nice to have more than one bike.
My first bike ever was a 98 zx6r. Fantastic machine in every way. It was probably too much bike to start out with, but I forced an extreme level of dicipline on myself (not easy, I'm a little impulsive) and had a great time without ever putting it down even once. As much as I love my FZ1, I really do miss that bike. Must be something about that first bike that leaves us all a little misty when thinking about it.
I'd strongly suggest you take the MSF course before buying any bike. As a former instructor, I found many people had already bought a motorcycle and either couldn't control the bike (believe me, some people should never get on a motorcycle) or didn't like riding nearly as much as they thought they would. If you pass the course and enjoy riding, I'd suggest a used bike such as a Ninja 250 (if you aren't too big), an EX500, or a standard SV650. You will learn to control a motorcycle better with higher handlebars versus the low clip-on types of the SV650 'S' model. The SV standard would be my first thought because the motor is so user friendly. It is easy to control, but once you really learn how to ride, it is strong enough to provide many grins. Also, the less plastic on the bike, the cheaper to repair if it hits the tarmac. There are tons of used ones around at very reasonable prices. There is one of the best support groups on the internet when you go to www.svrider.com and link up to the forum. I have been riding for 43 years, mostly the "latest & greatest" crotch rockets and I swear the SV650s were the most fun I've had on two wheels. No matter what anyone tells you, if you have a modi***** of common sense and a reasonable respect for the dangers of motorcycle riding, the SV is not too much bike for a new rider. Trust me, a rider hell-bent on destroying his bike and body will do it no matter how many horsepower is stuck between his legs. Hope this helps. Enjoy the ride. Cheers, Jack
There are two kinds of riders; those who have dropped their bikes, and those who will. Get a yr or two old bike (Dirt bike, if you have a place to ride it, SV 650 if you don't) I absolutely guarantee you that that 650 will be WAY faster than you are for at least a year. Maybe it will be all you ever need, if you are as 'Mature' as some of us think.
Well, this is a guy who mentioned looks as first on his list. Getting through the first year without killing yourself is the trick. By that time, you maybe know what kind of riding you like. Let's not get the kid killed in the first month or two. I know you're just trying to get some ***** stirred, but really, this kid has no Freakin Idea how fast a ZZR 600 is. Even an EX 500 can kick the crap out of about any car you're likely to find on the street. When he can corner with the big boys on a 500 or 650, he's ready to deal with rolling on power coming out of the corner.
The funny thing is, I actually dropped my very first two wheeler, a Vespa 200, right after I got it 20 years ago. I had that thing for about 4 months, and quickly learned that bigger wheels and engines make for way more fun, but it really is the easiest thing to keep upright, yet somehow I got it to drop right about the second time I stopped it. It happens.
Since then I have owned and ridden maybe 20 bikes, from HD to Ducati to R1150GS to R100RS to 77 KZ1000, and I haven't dropped one again. Okay, there was that one tieme a bug flew into my helmet and I pulled off the road too quickly into the gravel, dropped my bike and had a helluva time getting it back up considering that it had fallen downslope into a ditch. But mostly I have an easy time keeping bikes way heavier and with much higher centers of gravity upright, even though I dropped a Vespa.
Kinda funny, but I can relate to dropping the first one, no matter how big it is.
Go for the ZZR600, it's a better bike and will have better resale and chicks will prefer it. It's more dangerous but then you'll get more credibility with it and chicks like "dangerous" guys.
I did accelerated courses to get to my full license quick and went from no riding to a 2004 Honda CBR1000rr in 6 weeks. Sure I was frightened but a 2 years later I'm getting the bike right over in the twisties with a massive grin on my face.
I got immediate respect because I was riding a hot bike, no one can tell you're a ***** rider on the street.