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  1. #1

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    Default Thinking of getting a motorcycle!

    I'm looking for a starter bike for my wife and I to learn on and have read some really, really great things about the Kawasaki Ninja 250s. They retail for $2999 NEW and I see a lot of them on ebay and craigslist going for around $2000 with only a few thousand miles on them. I figure I can't go wrong with something that inexpensive where I could turn around and sell it pretty easily and not lose a ton of money on it.

    I really want something we both can ride so it can't be too big, because my wife is pretty small. I'm 5'10 155lb and she's 5'3 130lb.

    Do you guys think this is a wise decision or should I be looking at something else? Granted, we're still pretty young (25) so I don't mind having a crotch-rocket looking bike. However, a good thing I read from the reviews is that it rides very similar to a cruiser and not a sport bike, which is great.

    Lastly, will this thing allow my wife to comfortably sit on the back? We probably won't be taking any 60+ mile trips on it.

    Thanks!

    http://kawasaki.com/kawasaki_main/im.../2231_1024.jpg

  2. #2

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    The Ninja 250 is a very nice bike. It's plenty fast and gets great gas mileage as well. However, your wife will definitely not be comfortable on the back. It's just not meant for that. If you are looking for a bike that she can ride on the back, I would look into a cruiser, if you like that style. There are plenty of entry level cruisers out there that you and your wife should be able to handle once you know hw to ride. I went through this over the summer as well and bought a Kawasaki Vulcan 900 Classic as my first bike. Plenty big for two people, quick, and gets in the mid 50's for gas mileage. If you look around you can find them for about $7000. For any more info in researching Kawasaki models (cruisers and sportbikes) check out
    http://kawasakimotorcycle.org/forum/
    Lots of good info here. Also if you haven't yet I would recommend that you take the MSF course, it's well worth it. Good luck!
    Chris

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  3. #3

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    Buy used 100%.

    You should also sign up for the organ donor option with your local MVA. You're smart, but those around you aren't, take caution.
    Last edited by dorokusai; 09-09-2006 at 02:38 AM.

  4. #4

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    Hahaha, nice vote of confidence for the new rider, Mark. Although, along the same lines, make sure you invest in some good helmets.

    Mazeroth - what dagame27 said is mostly true. Sport bikes are not fun for even the smallest girl to be on the back of for more than 15 minutes. She's basically perched up there. If you want to go for nice long rides, that just won't end up working out for either of you.

    Beyond that point, the Kawi is a nice bike, and the smaller engine would make it a great learner.

    Good luck man! Bikes are lots of fun, as long as you're careful and whatnot.
    If you will it, dude, it is no dream.

  5. #5

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    Don't forget to up the life insurance...:D

    Really, it sounds good. But you do need to be careful, I don't wanna lose another friend...
    I smell ass, burning ass, glowing cherry red spanked ass.

    RT1

  6. #6

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    I would say go with the honda shadow. You can buy a used one for 2 to 3k and its a nice cruiser to learn on and your wife will be comprtable on the back of the back. Just do not ride with a passenger untill you feel very comfortable riding it yourself.

  7. #7

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    +1 what fireman said. Definitely become comfortable riding solo before riding with a passenger. It's a much different ride with someone on the back.
    Chris

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  8. #8

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    You're on the right track, buy used, hell, buy a beater at first, and make sure it's something you really want to do (ride). Broham, please wear a helmet, no matter what the local laws are.
    Check your lips at the door woman. Shake your hips like battleships. Yeah, all the white girls trip when I sing at Sunday service.

  9. #9

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    Forget about it. If you buy the 250, you'll want to upgrade within 2 weeks of learning how to ride. Might as well start with something a little beefier. I highly recommend that you guys take the motorcycle riding course (or whatever it's called). And if you're gonna include your wife, tell her to get her own bike.
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  10. #10

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    Thanks everyone for the replies!

    I went to the Kawasaki dealership and priced out a new 2007 (just to do it). It came out to $3320 with tax and title. I was in sales for years and did my best but could only get them down to $3200. Now, I know there's not much markup in these bikes so $3200 might be a good deal. Anywho...

    I have been researching them used and they retain their value pretty damn well. Most of them that are 3-4 years old with 4-5000 miles still go for around $2000. I did strike gold on Craigslist and found a silver 2005 with 2500 miles for $2000. I'm going to go look at it and research a little more before I purchase it.

    As far as my wife riding on the back, I'd much rather get her a bike of her own and we could ride together. From that Kawasaki message board it seems the 250 is the best bike you can get to learn on and they're extremely well built. If I could pick up two of them for around $4000 in near mint condition I think it's a pretty damn good deal.

    One other thing. I'd like to be able to talk with her while riding and was wondering if there are any inexpensive radio type thingies you can get for your helmet? Also, what's a cheap but GOOD helmet?

    Thanks!

  11. #11

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    I don't suppose you could be convinced to go Moto Guzzi...

  12. #12

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    Excellent advice thus far.

    If you haven't completed a Motorcycle Safety Course, PLEASE consider this line item mandatory.

    I was surprised how much i learned and the quality of the instructors was outstanding. No gimmies here... several people had to retake the riding portion a 2nd. time.

    We rode honda 250 rebels, yamaha 225 dual sports and the kawasaki 250. It was cool to try different bikes in an environment where no selling was involved.

    Safety equipment cannot be overstated.

    Enjoy, stay safe and keep your head on a swivel.

  13. #13

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    Like I said before, you could do a lot worse that the 250. Not only is it light and nimble, but it still does 0-60 in about 5-6 seconds. As for the helmets, the only way to see what one is right for you is to try it on. The more expensive helmets like Shoei and Arai provide more creature comforts such as lightweight, removable liners, better venting, etc. They will not, however protect you any better than a cheaper helmet like HJC or KBC. If you do not need the extra stuff, by all means get an HJC, but try it on first, do not order online unless you have already tried it on. You are not going to want to wear a helmet that gets uncomfortable after a half an hour or so. As the others said as well, definitely take the safety course. It IS worth it!
    Chris

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  14. #14

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    How much does the MSF course cost? I checked their site and price isn't listed on there. Another downside is there isn't one within 1.5 hours from where I live, and it's a one million person city AND the capital of the state! (Columbus, OH).

  15. #15

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    When I took the course I think itwas like $150, but it could vary from state to state.

    Re: interperson communication. They do make helmet walkie talkies, although from what I've seen (never known anyone who had them) they're kinda bulky. Not to mention that you're ona motorcycle, and it's one step from being on a cell phone while riding, and I REALLY wouldn't recommend it, at least until you get a little experience under your belt. Paying attention fully while riding is pretty much the most important thing - you can be the best driver in the world but someone else out there isn't, and if you're paying attention to talking to your wife somethin' bad's gonna happen. However, if you do decide to go with them, they have wind cancellation and all that on them, VOX (so they start transmitting when you start talking, no button to push), etc. Here's one review of one, here's a website for another.

    Just remember, once you get out there, you're nto gonna wanna be talkin', that's what stopping is for. :)
    Last edited by bobman1235; 09-10-2006 at 08:40 AM.
    If you will it, dude, it is no dream.

  16. #16

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    Funny this thread should come up. As you may have seen here, I'm working on my dad's old YDS3 cycle. Just this past week I went and got my motorcycle permit, then signed up for the Motorcycle Safety Course. Here in PA, the course is sponsored by cycle manufacturers, and there is no charge for entry. They provide a bike and a helmet (if you need one). By far, worth the 15 hours of my time! I'd much rather have my first riding experience with a motorcycle be in a closed parking lot than out on the road.

    By the way, my local Kawasaki dealer has the 250r, and I was looking at it pretty seriously. It would be way-cool to have that as a sport bike, and then the YDS3 just for cruising. $3000 isn't that much for a bike that, as pointed out, will retain its value. I think I might talk to them about financing options :o
    Ludicrous gibs!

  17. #17

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    As others have said, be safe. Rice bikes are a whole other animal.

  18. #18

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    That Motorcycle Safety Course may save your life on day, well worth it time and money well spent.

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  19. #19

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    Rice bikes a nephew of mine had a super rice bike more super then he could of bought here in the states (he was in the air force base in Japan if I remember right). Well he had it for less then a week died riding it, sad but true.


    Come to think about it he must likely could of used that Safety Course. ;)

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  20. #20

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    I ride an 02 ZX-7R thats in full sharkskinz upgraded forward controls, rear sets, sprockets, jetted, timing advancer, Full Muzzy exhaust etc etc etc, hence the 7R in my name. Personally i think you should try an older bike around 500cc. The 250's arent bad but after a few weeks you will be looking to upgrade, bikes are almost as bad as audio for upgraditis. Both a 250 and a 500 can hurt you, so dont go thinking you'll be "safer" on a 250. Also with a 500 you might just have the little bit more you need to get out of a situation. You never know. I started many years ago on a 93 ZX7R and it was more than i thought at the time, but i had been riding dirtbikes since i was a kid and it just kind of worked out ok. Not something i would advise anyone starting out. And i would suggest if you have any friends with dirtbikes or quads ask them to ride so you get used to the forward controls, shifting and braking. Its not terribly hard but dirt is alot more forgiving.

    Motorcycle safety course's are awesome and a great way to get introduced to biking without feeling any kind of peer pressure to do things you arent ready for. Go slowly at first and dont worry it will become as easy as riding a bike. ;)

    As far as helmets go, well i had a friend that had a saying that went something like, "if you have a 10 dollar head buy a 10 dollar helmet". And ive lived by it ever since. Ive lived in florida and watched all the "tough guys" ride around with only a pair of sunglasses on. I get the feeling these fella's arent the brightest out of the bunch. Personally i have an Arai Edwards replica, yes it costs a bit but its my head after all. If i can validate spending 4k on a tv i can make 600 for a helmet work. Also dont forget about gloves, not the textile breathing type, but the real leather/kevlar with metal inserts covering knuckles and extra protection in the palm. Chances are if you do go down your hands will be the first thing that hits the ground. Ive seen hands with no gloves hit the ground.... its bad, real bad. And this goes for jackets also, again leather is the name of the game here. Yes textile stuff may be more comfortable, but after a few times wearing leather it will break in and you will never notice it again. Icon and Alpinestars are two of my favorites for both jackets and gloves.

    Sorry if im a bit long winded here, its just important to REALLY pay attention to the safety devices available to you. Ive hit the ground a time or two and have been lucky to walk away with a few scratches and bruises, the bikes well haha they make parts everyday right. Ive lost friends to this hobby and have seen many more hurt. Its a great risk, but its a great reward.

    Bottom line is you can have a great time riding, but pay attention to the safety aspects. If you dont understand something ie; countersteering, lowslides etc... Ask Ask Ask. The more informed you are the better your decisions will be.

    Enjoy and get out on the road, you will love it im sure. :D


    Dave
    Last edited by Poee7R; 09-13-2006 at 02:32 AM.

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