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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys im looking for some advice on my first motorcycle. I've ridden dirtbikes for about 4 years now so I do have some experience riding though.

I'm looking for something that is pretty cheap but I will take any recommendations. Things that I'm looking for are something that's pretty light and nimble but can get a little distance in too. I need to be able to do 500 miles in a day. I know that can be pretty subjective but I'm interested in what you have to say.

Some bikes I'm looking at are Ninja 500, SV650, FZ-07, FZ6, Versys, or Vstrom. I know some of them don't exactly fit what I'm asking though. My dad really likes the BMW 1200gs too but I think it's a little big.

I'm open to anything and if you have any questions then please ask. Thanks!
 

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I'm actually a seasoned rider but I am looking for a bike right now that fits similar criteria you have specified. And what's funny, before I got to your list of bikes...my first immediate thought was Ninja 500 haha. That's the cheapest out of the group. Performance is pretty good too for a basic sport bike. And reliability is excellent as well. I'm in the market for one of these right now. $1500-$2000 can get you something fairly clean.

Anyway...moving onto the other bikes you listed...

To be honest, all of those are good bikes. However, the FZ's are a lot of bike for a beginner. Even the FZ6...It basically has a slightly de-tuned R6 motor. I'm pretty sure the only major differences are just smaller throttle bodies and less aggressive camshaft profiles. Other than that, the engine is just about the same. They are very fast...and speed can be very unforgiving for beginners. Riding dirtbikes and riding streetbikes are not the same.

The SV650 would be my #1 choice. V-twin torque, the horsepower is plentiful but forgiving, they are great looking, and great sounding. For me personally though...the cost is just too much higher than the 500R for me to justify it. Sometimes you can find these cheap...but it's rare. But if you can swing it, this would be my suggestion.

And the V-Strom I hear is also a great bike. It has almost the same powerplant as the SV...just a more off-road oriented chassis...and a huge sticker price. These hold their value extremely well.

The Versys I dont know much about...but I'd bet they are good bikes. Similar powerplant to a Ninja 650 I would assume...which is a good engine. These tent to be expensive too though.

As far as the beamer...if you are worried about cost...forget a BMW GS anything. An older F650GS will cost you $3k. The 1200GS's...forget it. $4k for something with 100k miles. They are awesome bikes...but $$$$.

So my vote, depending on what you have to spend....Ninja 500 or SV650. And remember: If you get bored of your bike, you can always sell it. Although thats usually more of a problem with 250s. Good luck, hope this helped!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the response! I know that the FZs might be a little more than usually recommended but I'm reading that the FZ6 is tame up until 8-9,000 rpm. I think I could be careful of that but I'm also just waiting for people to talk me out of it. The 07 is my favorite but that would probably something it would be better to move up to.

I have the same thoughts about the SV. Im not sure if its worth it over the ninja.

The main thing I'm checking at is the distance requirement. I think all the bikes are good choices without needing to ride far. And I'm pretty sure that the versys and vstrom could easily handle it but they are moving away from the bike type I like. If I could do 500 miles on the ninja or sv then I'd rather do that.

If I wanted the GS I think my dad would buy it but I'm not a fan of people buying things for me and would rather stay away from it.


Thanks again!
 

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Sv650

I used to have an SV650.
Rode it a few hundred miles over the mountains. Sweet bike. If you do not like the sport bike style, then the VStrom is a good bike.
No comment on the others. But you did say cheap. I am not sure how 1200 BMW and cheap go in the same sentence. Likewise with new and cheap.

If you are worried about ultimate power, then you will need to change a lot of your criteria.

Unkle Crusty*
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I apologize for not explaining it better. If my dad insists on buying it then the BMW is within budget. If I pay then my budget is much lower.

I do not understand your comment on ultimate power though. Im only looking for something that can ride highway speed for a good distance. I don't feel the need for anymore than that.

Thank you for sharing your experience with the SV!
 

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V twin

Might add. The SV650 is a really smooth running V twin.
I have an SV1000 which is a bigger beast, and not a rookie bike.
The 650 is more comfortable for a smaller rider, engine is smoother, and it is nicer to ride around the twisties, and around town.
My old bike is across the street with my neighbour.
they make as much power up to 9000 revs as the screaming 600s. I am not a fan of a screaming 600, for around town or even highway.
They were just not designed for normal street use.

A lot of the 400 and 500 twins are nice bikes. With the counter balance system they are quite smooth. I have an 83 XS400 that revs to 10,000 without any vibration.

Unkle Crusty*
 

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I have an '04 SV650s. I just bought it in September. When l bought it, l had narrowed my list down to 2 bikes...it and an EX500. I rode an EX500 the day before and it was an easy choice for me, based on the following...

1) The EX500 had very little power, l was surprised at how hard it was to get it moving. Granted, l am a bit bigger - 6'3 and 250 - but it just didn't want to go. I was confident l would be bored with it quickly.
2) Everything on the SV is beefier...the foot pegs, for instance, are significantly thicker and provide better foot placement. On the EX l felt like l was on a bike designed for a teenager.
3) The SV is a bigger bike all the way around; not big in the world of motorcycles, but it was a better fit for a tall rider. The EX was very small for me.
4) The SV has a great sound...mine has a nice Delkevic aftermarket pipe that is throaty but not obnoxiously loud. The EX l rode was quiet and sounded weak. I don't know much about pipe options for them.
5) The SV is a great combination of easy to ride, yet a great performer. At first it is very deceptive. You crank on it in 2nd gear and it gets you to 40 like that, but not in a way that makes you feel like the bike has taken over and you are losing control. It is smooth and stable. On the highway it has no problem doing 75, and is easy to maneuver around a truck or whatever. When l get on the freeway l just get into 3rd and crank it, and l am at 60 and looking to merge, it really is effortless.
6) You mentioned price. I found it next to impossible to find an EX500 that hadn't been crashed, at least dropped and scraped up some. The one that l did ride was a 2002 with 14k miles and it was $2100. I got my bike with 5k miles for $3000. There is no question l got way more bike for the money, even though it was $900 more.

All that being said...if you want to ride it 500 miles, l would get a new seat and do a handlebar riser. The stock seat, from what l hear, is hard as a rock. (The previous owner of mine put an overstuffed seat on it and it is comfortable). The stock seating position is very aggressive and leaned forward. I haven't taken mine for a long ride yet, as l bought it in the Fall, but l doubt it is good for 500 miles. I plan to do a riser on it at some point, although l may also just buy a cruiser and relegate it to being my commuter. It is fantastic for that, and l love how bright it is
 

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My first bike was a Ninja 500. I recommend this bike for learning to anyone. I paid 2800 for a '07 with 2000 miles on it. This was back in 2009. I sold it after a year for 3000. I couldn't see myself doing 5000 mile on it at all. It's a great bike for around town or even commuting. If you plan on riding it for 500 miles take my advice and get a comfortable seat and some added comfort for your grips.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thank you guys! Im not sure how many times id being going that far but still want to plan for it. Im also going to sturgis this year with my dad. He has a Harley street glide and says that they'll go through a couple hundred miles a day but I'm not sure how long they'd actually go at a time. Id be the only non harley rider though.

Ill definitely get a better seat. Its just hard to tell how much I need from the bike. I guess I need to go see some of them and see how they feel.

Thanks again
 

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No prob man.

BTW, if you do go with an SV650, you want to go 2003 or newer. The 1999-2002 models were carbeurated, and l have heard there were some difficulties with the carbs, although l don't know that first hand.
 

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I rode a carbureted SV650 once and was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to wheelie. That alone tells me it's not a great choice for a new rider that has yet to master throttle proficiency. Dual disc brakes is another feature that can hamper a new rider that has yet mastered braking proficiency.

Prior off road experience will certainly help learning on the SV. Simply put there are worse choices you can make for a first street bike, but there are also better ones.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
I know that everyone says this but why wouldn't dirt bike experience transfer for somethings like throttle control?

Whoops sorry didn't see your edit.
 

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Sv650

My SV650 had carburetors and non ABS brakes. Loved the brakes, like them better than the SV1000, which has ABS on front, and a less severe rear. But for a rookie that lacks squeeze feel, they could be a problem.

The 650 is light and easy to ride. But again it could be a handful for a rookie. It all depends on the rookie.
I had rather a lot more experience when I chose an SV650.

Unkle Crusty*
 

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Carburetors

How was the carbeuration on that bike? When l was looking for my bike someone suggested somewhere along the way that there were problems with the carbs on the early SV650's, but l don't know that to be true.
Mine ran real sweet, no problems at all. Horsepower was about the same as the injected bikes. Guys are still using the carburetors at the track.
Mine was a 003 I think. Should see it on the road when it warms up. Neighbour usually drives a truck.

Unkle Crusty*
 

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Mine ran real sweet, no problems at all. Horsepower was about the same as the injected bikes. Guys are still using the carburetors at the track.
Mine was a 003 I think. Should see it on the road when it warms up. Neighbour usually drives a truck.

Unkle Crusty*
I am getting ready to change my oil...did you use a specific brand?
 

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My first bike was a Ninja 500. I recommend this bike for learning to anyone. I paid 2800 for a '07 with 2000 miles on it. This was back in 2009. I sold it after a year for 3000. I couldn't see myself doing 5000 mile on it at all. It's a great bike for around town or even commuting. If you plan on riding it for 500 miles take my advice and get a comfortable seat and some added comfort for your grips.
The review of Ninja 500 in Sep 13, 2012, still get interested by guys. :):):)

 
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