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Discussion Starter #1
New rider here. Just signed up for my BRC and will be taking it next week. I plan on purchasing my gear very shortly as well. As for a bike I'm mainly looking for something sporty. I've been researching bikes for a couple of weeks and what seems to keep turning up as a great sporty starter bike is the Ninja 250, which is what I have my mind set on for now, and maybe the CBR250. I'd like a 250 mainly for the insurance cost, as I don't want to pay anything outrageous. However, I'm concerned about the lack of power. I will be doing some highway riding (commuting back and fourth from school/work, etc). It seems that many people say the power is adequate enough to handle highway speeds. Within the last couple of days dual purpose bikes/supermotos have sparked my interest. I still would like something somewhat sporty looking. My budget would also be somewhere around the $2k mark. What are some good bikes that fall in this category for about that price, used of course. Are they adequate enough to handle the highway? I may consider going up in CC's but I don't want to go too high, as I'm only 19 and will be paying for the bike and insurance myself in addition to my car insurance. Any help here?
 

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A Ninja 250 is a great starter bike. Light, easy to ride, forgiving, dependable. They have enough power for a rider who is under 200 pounds. If you are a real big guy l would then suggest a 500 Ninja. They are similar other than engine size.

How much riding experience do you have?
 

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Other bikes in that price range, maybe a Suzuki GS500...it is Suzuki's naked version of a Ninja 500. There are older bikes, like Honda Nighthawk 250 or 450, Honda Hawk 400, etc. but now you are getting into questions about reliability, what kind of shape is it in, how much work does it need, etc. Better to start off fairly new IMO.

Also, pay attention to what a bike needs. If the seller doesn't talk about recent maintenance then it probably hasn't been done. A lot of bikes for sale on Craigslist need tires and a tuneup, maybe the carbs cleaned and/or rebuilt. This Summer l was looking at what appeared to be a really clean 1985 Suzuki GS700, it had saddle bags and everything. Just needed the carbs cleaned and synced, and a new windshield. It was $1000. But the "all it needs" stuff added up to another grand. Plus who knows what l find when l get in there? I went the safer route and bought a bike with 5k miles for $3000 with fresh everything. Saved me a huge headache.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Other bikes in that price range, maybe a Suzuki GS500...it is Suzuki's naked version of a Ninja 500. There are older bikes, like Honda Nighthawk 250 or 450, Honda Hawk 400, etc. but now you are getting into questions about reliability, what kind of shape is it in, how much work does it need, etc. Better to start off fairly new IMO.

Also, pay attention to what a bike needs. If the seller doesn't talk about recent maintenance then it probably hasn't been done. A lot of bikes for sale on Craigslist need tires and a tuneup, maybe the carbs cleaned and/or rebuilt. This Summer l was looking at what appeared to be a really clean 1985 Suzuki GS700, it had saddle bags and everything. Just needed the carbs cleaned and synced, and a new windshield. It was $1000. But the "all it needs" stuff added up to another grand. Plus who knows what l find when l get in there? I went the safer route and bought a bike with 5k miles for $3000 with fresh everything. Saved me a huge headache.
Thanks! As for my size I'm about 5'10'' and about 180-190 lbs. I'll definitely take a look into those 2 recommendations. As for experience I have very little, the closest thing that I've ridden to a bike is a moped, and that was only for a couple of hours. Besides that just a very small pit bike. This is why I'm wary of getting anything too large; my lack of experience is something that's holding me back from a couple of different options.

Since you mentioned maintenance that's another thing that I'm somewhat worried about. I'm new to bikes and I don't know very much about them. I did however look at the sticky about what to look for when buying a used bike. I just need to expand my knowledge a bit so I don't get screwed over when it comes time to purchase my bike.
 

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I just bought my bike in early September. This is what l did.

I made a list of things that were important to me. It looked something like this...

-Big 4 make
-Bright color
-Sport/sport touring style
-Twin engine (not inline 4)
-Under 450 pounds
-Great running condition, needs little or nothing
-Clean, never downed
-Upright seating position
-Low miles
-$3000 max

I was able to get everything on my list checked off, except for the seating position. My SV650 is more forward than l would like. I will do a handlebar riser this Winter.

Some of the things l learned along the way...

1) If the seller tries too hard to explain something, or justify something, then he probably has guilt over the bike. A common example of this is a guy doing too much explaining over the damage from a bike being down. The honest seller simply says, "Bike was down at about 15 mph, damage can be seen in photos."

I bought my bike from a woman. Women, in general, ride easier and make sure their toys are serviced on time. They are less likely to abuse it. Ninja 250s are especially popular for women as first bikes, so find one if you can.

Pay close attention to any mention in the ad for maintenance that has been done. Tires are expensive. Carb cleanings are expensive. Everything is expensive. Find the bike that was owned by someone who took pride in how well it was maintained. It should be fairly easy to spot.

Be leery of anyone who has title issues. Many times ads say stuff like, "Comes with bill of sale, no title but bill of sale from previous owner" etc. These issues aren't necessarily hard to deal with, but they are red flags that the bike was a project, the seller bought it in a state of neglect and cleaned it up, got it running again and is now selling it at a profit. You have no idea how thorough that guy was or how good of a mechanic he is. The reason for the title issues is that he didn't want to spend the money to put it in his name and, more importantly, didn't want to wait for the clean title to come in the mail. What is the likelihood that he used top quality parts, oil, brake fluid, coolant, filters, or whatever else he put into it? You are way better off buying the bike that someone was emotionally invested in.

Avoid the idea that you will get a better quality bike from a renowned dealer. Dealers know about as much about their used bikes as you do...they took it on trade. They have no idea how it was cared for. They have had it for a week or two. You will pay 30%-50% more. That should tell you something about the true value of that bike.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I just bought my bike in early September. This is what l did.

I made a list of things that were important to me. It looked something like this...

-Big 4 make
-Bright color
-Sport/sport touring style
-Twin engine (not inline 4)
-Under 450 pounds
-Great running condition, needs little or nothing
-Clean, never downed
-Upright seating position
-Low miles
-$3000 max

I was able to get everything on my list checked off, except for the seating position. My SV650 is more forward than l would like. I will do a handlebar riser this Winter.

Some of the things l learned along the way...

1) If the seller tries too hard to explain something, or justify something, then he probably has guilt over the bike. A common example of this is a guy doing too much explaining over the damage from a bike being down. The honest seller simply says, "Bike was down at about 15 mph, damage can be seen in photos."

I bought my bike from a woman. Women, in general, ride easier and make sure their toys are serviced on time. They are less likely to abuse it. Ninja 250s are especially popular for women as first bikes, so find one if you can.

Pay close attention to any mention in the ad for maintenance that has been done. Tires are expensive. Carb cleanings are expensive. Everything is expensive. Find the bike that was owned by someone who took pride in how well it was maintained. It should be fairly easy to spot.

Be leery of anyone who has title issues. Many times ads say stuff like, "Comes with bill of sale, no title but bill of sale from previous owner" etc. These issues aren't necessarily hard to deal with, but they are red flags that the bike was a project, the seller bought it in a state of neglect and cleaned it up, got it running again and is now selling it at a profit. You have no idea how thorough that guy was or how good of a mechanic he is. The reason for the title issues is that he didn't want to spend the money to put it in his name and, more importantly, didn't want to wait for the clean title to come in the mail. What is the likelihood that he used top quality parts, oil, brake fluid, coolant, filters, or whatever else he put into it? You are way better off buying the bike that someone was emotionally invested in.

Avoid the idea that you will get a better quality bike from a renowned dealer. Dealers know about as much about their used bikes as you do...they took it on trade. They have no idea how it was cared for. They have had it for a week or two. You will pay 30%-50% more. That should tell you something about the true value of that bike.
Wow! That list is incredibly helpful. Lots of great points, especially the first one, seems like something a lot of sneaky sellers would try to do when selling to someone who isn't very knowledgeable. I'll definitely be going private party rather than a dealer, these tips should definitely help! I appreciate it. Ill keep the thread updated possibly after my purchase. Btw your bike is really nice! You got yourself a nice one there.
 

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Wow! That list is incredibly helpful. Lots of great points, especially the first one, seems like something a lot of sneaky sellers would try to do when selling to someone who isn't very knowledgeable. I'll definitely be going private party rather than a dealer, these tips should definitely help! I appreciate it. Ill keep the thread updated possibly after my purchase. Btw your bike is really nice! You got yourself a nice one there.
Maybe they are sneaky sellers, maybe they are just worried that someone will make more of a big deal of it than it deserves...it isn't my place to say who is trying to pull a fast one and who isn't. My observations just told me to avoid it altogether. Which brings me to another point...very rarely does a deal come by that is just a screamer that you can't pass up. When it does, you just have to pounce or someone else will. I always go into it with the idea that there is always another deal out there, and if it doesn't feel right, just walk away.

I also made a deal with myself that l would not buy the first bike l looked at no matter what. I am glad l did too, because the EX500 l rode the day before l bought my bike was a great bike, but l would not have enjoyed it like l do the one l bought.
 

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You are very smart to want to start off on the smaller side. Don't worry about what some people may think or say. They are the ones with the problem, not you. When I first got my bike, someone said to me "maybe if you water it ,it will grow" I so wish I had though of using the comeback I could use on him now "so how many times did you drop your Goldwing?"

Your first bike doesn't need to have all the wingdings and hoopla's. After all, there's a very strong possibility you will drop it at the end of your driveway. Slow maneuvers are the hardest to learn, and this is where most newbie's drop their bikes (i did). Most of the time you just get up, brush off the dirt and drop a few F bombs. So your first bike should be something that's not going to break the bank if you get a few dings and dangs in it.

I think one gains more knowledge and confidence starting off small. This will be your first bike, not necessarily your last bike. They end up being like potato chips, you can't have just one.....
 

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Discussion Starter #11
They end up being like potato chips, you can't have just one.....
Haha love that line. I already see what you're talking about, I've been bitten by the bike bug and I can't get enough! I'm definitely excited for the bigger bikes but like you said, it's definitely smarter to start off small.
 

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Also, put good money into your riding and safety gear. It's your body, after all. Any bike will be fun (I ride a Honda Rebel, a light, nimble, reliable bike I got for $1K with 800 miles). Take some time with your (full face) helmet's fit. Get a good, armored jacket and pants, preferably leather or aramid. Get good MC boots and gloves. Make sure you're very visible. And of course take a MSF course.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Also, put good money into your riding and safety gear. It's your body, after all. Any bike will be fun (I ride a Honda Rebel, a light, nimble, reliable bike I got for $1K with 800 miles). Take some time with your (full face) helmet's fit. Get a good, armored jacket and pants, preferably leather or aramid. Get good MC boots and gloves. Make sure you're very visible. And of course take a MSF course.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
Plan on buying my gear soon and just finished my course, thanks for the response!
 
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