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Discussion Starter #1
Greetings,

I'm a new rider and will be taking the BRC again in two weeks. I took it back in 09 in Chicago and never committed to riding. I know I need to take baby steps and work my way up to the bike I want.

I plan to use the bike as a daily commuter, 48 miles each way.

How should I approach my first used bike? Do I start with a ninja 250r, ninja 300 abs, or cbr650f? I need something I can handle in my early stages but also use on the freeways in socal when I'm ready.

Ultimately I wold like to get into a 600r, but thats a long time from now and maybe my mind will change once I get a better feel for the roads.

I'm 5'10 160 lbs and had an opportunity to sit on all the bikes mentioned above.

Thanks for the help!
 

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..............I'm a new rider and will be taking the BRC again in two weeks. I took it back in 09 in Chicago and never committed to riding.............
I think I'd like to explore the reason "why" you didn't commit, back then. I believe it bears consideration first, before bike size.

By the way...........if you are going to travel "48" miles, "I" believe that comfort and storage, gas mileage and performance, are going to be the big plus factors in your choice of bike.

Anything (IMHO) smaller than a 750cc seems TOO small of a bike, to fit into the four part catagorical list I presented.

-Soupy
 

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I also don't get why the OP is smart enough to post the question in the right forum but hasn't read the other "what's the right bike for me" questions in that forum and at least asked a more direct question based on what was read.
 

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Anything (IMHO) smaller than a 750cc seems TOO small of a bike, to fit into the four part catagorical list I presented.

-Soupy
Soupy, you want a new rider to start on something over 750 cc ??? Only if he/she has a death wish. I'd want my first bike to be one of the following: Honda CBR300R , Yamaha R3, Kawasaki Ninja 300. I think that out of these three, the 320cc Yamaha is the best option, but it comes to European dealers in April 2015, so we'll see.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Based on the replies I didn't ask the right questions and should direct some of the questions in another thread. The reason I never committed in 09 was due to the fact I took the course closer to the end of the season. Although I did pass, to me it didn't make sense to go out and buy a used MC and not get enough practice time. But what I did learn is I was interested in riding. Since 09 it has still been an interest.

It seems I'm getting ahead of myself with which bike would be ideal for my first and for the freeway.
 

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Personally, l think if you are interested in sport bikes, at your size a used Ninja 250 would be perfect. You can pick up a clean one in great working order for under $2000 and they are reliable, easy to ride, and forgiving to the new rider. I would say the 250 Ninja and the 250 Rebel are the most common beginner bikes out there.

Don't bother with a CBR300 yet. They are too pricy and whatever you start with you are going to drop a couple of times, even if it is just in your driveway. Save the pretty bike for your next purchase. This is your first bike, not your last bike.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks hawk, I agree with your reply. Now I'm debating to get one from a private seller or dealership.
 

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Also, l am curious if you have any other riding experience, like on dirt bikes, or even just riding scooters around, a 4-wheeler up at a friend's cabin, anything? Or is riding super new to you?
 

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I would buy from a private seller. You will save lots of money.

I just spent the Summer searching for my bike, and got a great deal. The trick is to look a lot at the same kind of bikes so you start reading between the lines. The ideal seller is the person who bought the bike and motorcycling just wasn't what they thought it would be. Either that, or buy from a woman who bought it as her first bike. IMO girls just take better care of their toys.
 

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Travis, I somewhat agree with Hawk. Get a ninja 250, it's got sport bike styling and a more upright riding position. And no 45 miles is NOT a long ride even for a beginner. Maybe an hour in Chicagoland. You don't need a 650, or a 750. You don't need a bagger or a tour bike to start with. Go with a Ninja, get a backpack and roll on.
 

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I should add that l just bought an SV650, which, from what l understand, is not as powerful as a CBR650. I have a lot of experience in the dirt but had not been on the road in 20 years. It was a handful for me at first, l would not recommend it for a new rider with little experience. If you had at least spent considerable time in the dirt then that would be another thing, but being green, l would go smaller.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks all. how will that 250 perform on the expressway? I'm thinking I need to build up my skill level and technique before I venture on expressways. Should I wait until I upgrade or will I be ok with the 250 on expressways.
 

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I'm thinking I need to build up my skill level and technique before I venture on expressways.
I'm thinking that's a good idea. I got my license last year and had zero experience before class. It took me a bit to start feel more comfortable. There's lots of stuff that's not taught in class like getting wind blasted that for me took some time to adjust. Perhaps it's worth considering getting an inexpensive used bike to just ride around until you feel like you're ready to move up. You shouldn't lose much when sell it.

I've had my TU250x on the freeway and the bike is plenty stable, but it crawls forward when gassing it at high speed, though the bikes you're looking at are more powerful.

Another bike to consider might be the CB500 - F, R or X, whatever your flavor. It has enough horsepower for the freeway while still being light and nimble.
 

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When a tractor trailer passes you on the freeway, the wind blast can really jolt you around. It can be scary at first, especially if you aren't expecting it. If you are following behind a tractor and you are feeling that wind blast, just back off a little bit. I'd get used to your bike and what it's limitations and your limitations are before heading out on a freeway. I've been riding for a few months, but still lack the courage to get up and try it. I will before the end of the season though....
 

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There is a difference in bikes and how they handle such things as truck blast, crosswinds etc. A sport bike or sport tour will generally be more effected by cross wind due mainly to all of the plastic. They are designed to be frontally aerodynamic not from the side. A standard will be moved less mainly due to less wind blocking surface area. Since I've never owned a bike more than 560 lbs I can't comment on heavier bikes but those who ride heavy bikes say they aren't as effected by wind. My old Street Triple was much better in heavy wind than my Sprint sport tour, my current ride is virtually unbothered by cross wind. You will also find cross wind to be much less noticeable when you learn to relax on the bike. A death grip on the bars and tight shoulders will make cross wind much worse.
You should wait some time prior to getting on a highway in heavy traffic, that amount of time is dependent on your comfort level. It could be days, weeks or months, time in the saddle is important to building skills, riding in a straight line is easy and if that is all you do can lead to over-confidence. Although in the Chicago area I don't know where you might get out of traffic. A 250 Ninjette will handle the highway though you will lose some acceleration ability above 70 since you're getting close to maxing it out. Yes it will be revving high, but it's okay, it's built for it. Most of the guys (and gals) who complain about them being buzzy are large cruiser riders who are use to running 3K on a bike with a redline of 6 or 7K. The Ninjette has a redline of around 14K, so if your running 7K you're just in the mid range. Personally I don't mind higher RPM's. The 1200 Tiger runs around 5K at 85mph indicated (speedo is off about 6% which is pretty common) Redline is 10K.
 

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Zippy is right about being blown around by an 18 wheeler but it is not a problem if you can relax enough to not tighten your grip. The roads in SoCal are not the best for beginners. I know because that is where I started 45 years ago.Traffic is the biggest issue there. No matter your riding skills the shear volume of traffic may overwhelm you. If you are not confident enough to ride on the freeways, don't do it. There is always some other way to get where you are going.
 

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Hey, its pretty much wintertime in Chicagoland, you can really only ride for 6-7 months in a given year. Are you sure you are still interested in the investment? All you will need power wise is a 250, you can only really use a backpack for storage though!
 
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