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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.
I doubt they are weak to the point of being unsafe; the reviewers are probably just dogging the Nighthawk's brakes in comparison to other bikes. As a newbie, they'll probably feel great right up until you ride something else. ;)

I can't imagine any disk brake in good repair being dangerously weak, unless you don't have a lot of grip strength in your hand.
 

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My husband who is also 6', 180lbs rides a Ninja 250. He chose the bike because he does have back issues and found it to be more comfortable with its semi upright postion than some of the other sport bikes out there.
 

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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?

Thanks!!!!!
Correct. A 600cc sport bike is a very powerful machine. High revving, high horsepower inline 4 cylinders.

Another engine configuration such as a vtwin, despite being bigger.....is more tame and easily ridden.

For reference I ride a 1736cc vtwin.....despite being 3 times bigger than a 600cc sport bike......my bike is VERY tame in the power dept. In fact my 1736cc vtwin is more akin to a 250cc Ninja in performance.
 

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Yup, the power and torque is quite a bit different in the larger engine cruisers versus the supersports. So while a 650 cruiser wouldn't be a bad choice for a first bike for a taller rider, a 600cc supersport is a bad choice all around for a first time rider.
 
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