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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I realize that this question has pretty much been beaten to death but I haven't really found advice for my situation.. :confused:

Everything I've read has told me to get a 500 ninja as a newb rider (which I am) but I don't want a sport bike.. I get that a Kawasaki Ninja is great for a beginner, but I have absolutely no desire to be hunched over that severely.

I'm looking for something that can be driven to work (45mins each way) and comfortable enough to be taken on weekend trips. Or at least won't make me want to be run over by a semi just so I can lie straight on the pavement.. It'd be nice to have something a little more on the forgiving side since I'm sure I'll be messing up while I'm learning. Used of course, under $10,000. Am I just dreaming that this can happen with a starter bike?

Does year matter? I was surprised to notice that some bikes from the 80's and 90's were suggested. Also is it an ok idea to get something higher than a 500 if I'm looking at something that isn't a sport bike?


Also in case it matters I'm a woman, 22, nearly 6 ft tall and 180#.

Thanks!!!!!
 

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The Ninja 500 does NOT have a hunched over position. Have you sat on one personally? They are basically just standard bikes with fairings. They have a similar position to an SV650N. Try one before you shrug it off.

That said, look at some SV650Ns, Kawasaki Vulcan 500 (same engine as is in the Ninja 500), etc. With cruisers you can look at up to about 900cc for a beginner, however you need to consider the weight of the bike as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for all the suggestions!! I'll definitely be looking into them. I hadn't really considered a dual sport bike since I'm not really a fan of how they look (visions of :71baldboy: keep dancing in my head) but I'll shove my pride to the back and look at them as really great learning tools :)

The Ninja 500 does NOT have a hunched over position. Have you sat on one personally? They are basically just standard bikes with fairings. They have a similar position to an SV650N. Try one before you shrug it off.
No, honestly I haven't. All the guys I know that ride have FAST bikes. Above 1000 cc. One of them offered to let me use his Suzuki Hayabusa (he has two for some reason, 2008 and 2011) but after about 10 seconds of research I realized that it would take me about that long to kill myself on it :wink:
I'll go sit on the ninja before I dismiss it.
 

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Pegasus trapped in a human body on a motorcycle
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A Shadow 600 or 750 would be a good option as well. They both can handle highway speeds well enough, and at 6feet tall, they should still be big enough so you dont feel cramped. They are small enough though so they wont feel intimidating. (it helps that their center mass is low, so it feels much better balanced.

They are very forgiving bikes as well, having a good broad powerband, but that power level is low enough that is should not feel scare in the least. They handle turns with a sure footedness that inspires confidence, and respond well to imputs, but they are not riding the razor's edge like some bikes (read supersports) would be.

I do recommend you try the 500 Ninja out to see if it feels ok for you. If it feels decient for you, then it wll fill the other requirements nicely. If it does not feel right, then a Shadow or similar cruiser may be the better choice. One more thing about the Shadows, you can get one brand new out the door for $8k or less. If you go that route, you have various choices, but they all will be 750's (which is not a bad thing) If you go usedthen your options will be grately expanded.

Also, you can include the 500 Vulcan as an option. Thats another good choice.
 

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not that it matters in the slightest, but i agree with what everyone has said. all the bikes i would recommend. well, cept the harley. but that has to do with weight (and preference) just look used. you will hate yourself when you drop a brand new bike.
(learn to) ride safe...
 

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Pegasus trapped in a human body on a motorcycle
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My only caviet about the Nighthawk 750 as a first bike would be concerns about power. Would the I-4 engine produce more power than I would recommend for a beginner rider? Yes, there are some I-4 bikes out there that are not way overpowering, but there are some (even 600cc ones) that are WAY more powerful than I would recommend. That is why I recommend a Shadow or equivolant.
 

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Being 6'2" myself, the only persons that I would recommend a Shadow or equivalent to are "altitude impaired". I.E. Under 5' 8".
They are all VERY UNCOMFORTABLE and even DANGEROUS to ride for a taller person.


Sky...
 

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Everything I've read has told me to get a 500 ninja as a newb rider.........
I was surprised to notice that some bikes from the 80's and 90's were suggested.
The reason so many people recommend the EX500 is because it's been around for years and they are plentiful on the used market and easy to sell to the next new comer. They are also a fairly docile bike. If your looking into a used one, stay away from the ones ridden by kids because they usually rev them too high and don't keep up with the valve adjustments leading to cylinder head problems.

You shouldn't be surprised at the praise for the older bikes. Where do you think the reputations for all these companies was forged? The Japanese have always had tremendous pride in their workmanship and they value their good names. Bikes of the 80's in particular are often overbuilt with the idea toward longevity.

I have to be honest, for your size I think a Nighthawk 750 would be an excellent choice. It is not an intimidating bike yet will continue to thrill as time goes by. That engine is reliable and there are plenty of them out there. If you get one, do yourself (and your mechanic) a favor and get the HondaLine center stand kit that is available for it.
 

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Pegasus trapped in a human body on a motorcycle
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Being 6'2" myself, the only persons that I would recommend a Shadow or equivalent to are "altitude impaired". I.E. Under 5' 8".
They are all VERY UNCOMFORTABLE and even DANGEROUS to ride for a taller person.


Sky...
That is entirely untrue. I know of several riders of Shadows who are rather tall (over 6') and they are quite comfortable on the bike, and ride it very safely. Yes, generally, the Shadow would be more comfortable for a short person like me, but thats not always the case.

Thats like saying that an 1800 VTX or a full dresser Harley would be unsafe for someone my size. (5'4") Considerin that I personally know one woman who is smaller than me who rides a full dresser just as well as anyone...
 

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Thanks for all the suggestions!! I'll definitely be looking into them. I hadn't really considered a dual sport bike since I'm not really a fan of how they look (visions of :71baldboy: keep dancing in my head) but I'll shove my pride to the back and look at them as really great learning tools :)



No, honestly I haven't. All the guys I know that ride have FAST bikes. Above 1000 cc. One of them offered to let me use his Suzuki Hayabusa (he has two for some reason, 2008 and 2011) but after about 10 seconds of research I realized that it would take me about that long to kill myself on it :wink:
I'll go sit on the ninja before I dismiss it.
Any idiot who tries to offer a newbie a ride on a Hayabusa has no business giving advice to anyone about riding a motorcycle. There is a reason why virtually any ad you see for a Hayabusa requires you to sign both a legal disclaimer and have the cash in hand first. Unless I am missing something (noticed your user name) you should know first hand how easily things can go wrong and the horrible consequences of what can happen when inexperienced newbies try to ride high performance machines. Stick with the advice given here. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Any idiot who tries to offer a newbie a ride on a Hayabusa has no business giving advice to anyone about riding a motorcycle. There is a reason why virtually any ad you see for a Hayabusa requires you to sign both a legal disclaimer and have the cash in hand first. Unless I am missing something (noticed your user name) you should know first hand how easily things can go wrong and the horrible consequences of what can happen when inexperienced newbies try to ride high performance machines. Stick with the advice given here. ;)
Yeah, he has a bulletproof mentality (most people who are new to vegas get I-can-do-anything attitudes. wrong.) which is why I am doing research and asking questions on here. I've scraped one too many faces off the pavement to do something that stupid.

Definitely thinking Nighthawk! I'm taking a MSF course next week then off to sit on a vulcan/nighthawk/ninja/everything else :D
and to call insurance companies.. sigh. there goes my low insurance rate :icon_cool:
 

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Being 6'2" myself, the only persons that I would recommend a Shadow or equivalent to are "altitude impaired". I.E. Under 5' 8".
They are all VERY UNCOMFORTABLE and even DANGEROUS to ride for a taller person.


Sky...
I agree with Sky, she stated she is 6ft and 180lbs. Many women and shorter men have the problem of putting both feet flat on the ground while stopped; which is extremely important for a rookie rider. At 6 foot she will have the problem of the bike not being big enough for her, being hunched up on the pegs and the bars to close.

My suggestion would be to do a lot of internet reading and find the type bike she wants; cruiser, standard, sport, duel sport, bober, sport touring, (I would not recommend full touring for a rookie because you really need experience to ride a half ton bike). I also agree to stay away from a Harley (not bashing them, I own a Geezer Glide Ultra Classic) but a Harley is heavier than most, and very expensive (even used) not a good bike to learn on.

But after she has decided what type bike she wants, then she should go to a bunch of dealers and try that type on for size. There are many manufactures which produce similar "type" bikes but the ergonomics are all a bit different, i.e. for taller or shorter folks. Find one that is fits right and is comfortable, light, not to powerful, and cheap. Quite often rookie riders will gain the experience they need and want to upgrade after a season or two. In addition, rookie riders are very likely to drop their bike in a parking lot, lawn, intersection... or worse at speed... not much sense in spending many thousands of dollars on a bike to learn on knowing it will likely get dropped a few times. Above all else make sure you take the safety course, learn from the professionals before you pick up bad riding habits that take years to correct
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks everyone for the replies I appreciate them!! I do have some concerns about the nighthawks braking, some of the reviews I've seen have said they aren't the best.. but everything else about it seems great. hmm.
 

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Considering that you want to use it to commute to work and week-end trips you are asking alot out of a beginner bike. I don't know but i've been told that sport touring bikes are pretty comfortable and have more a Standard sitting style than their sport bike cousins. Tours are built for long runs and as long as you are easy on the throttle and can handle the weight this seems like the best fit for longer rides. But might I suggest you take a couple Gs and get something manageble to learn on and then "because there is always someone looking for a beginner bike" sell it and trade up to your ideal bike.
 
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