View Thread: Street Bike for beginner

My parents met racing motocross, and I was never really interested in it when I was younger. Yet as I age, now being 21, the urge to ride a bike is growing stronger. And I am probably financially able to get a decent one.

That being said, I am a newbie as far as street bikes go. The most I have read is really Shaman's posts on his new 1 litre bike. I do NOT want anything like that. I just want a relaxed bike for having fun while driving to school/work, that will probably be a lot better on gas than my truck.

So, what are some good bikes for someone like me? I prefer the look of street bikes I guess you'd call them, as opposed to the more cruiser style. But I also have heard some of those bikes can be absolute killer on your back. Anyways, anyone with the time to post some opinions, please do so, they will be appreciated.

Sia Bani
I'm 20 and got my M1 license at the end of last summer. I just wanted to get one so I knew how. I'm probably going to wait until I'm out of college before I buy one, but any sport bike rider will tell you that you'd want something around 500ccs, ideally at around 250cc.

My heart is set on an sv650s in yellow, when I eventually get one, but that is probably good as a second bike. Ninja 500s (ex500s) are the way to go if you want some power, but not too much.

It really depends on your style though...crusier vs standard/sport, etc. I think my first bike will be either a true dirt bike or a dual sport so I can tow out to some ohv areas and have fun.

I really like my SVS, but my adrenalin glands have been reset to something faster. Speed's an addiction... buy a honda and stay clean. :)

If you're a first time motorcycle rider, look up a 500cc all purpose bike and flog the hell out of it.

Then move up. Really, the SV650/S bikes are too much for a complete beginner IMHO. They're not overpowering or anything, but they are still faster than most GT cars and frankly they are a bit twitchy for a complete beginner... the head angles, etc. are set up for sport riding and that tends to really mess with beginners.

But, if you are already somewhat skilled with bikes and have put in dues in the dirt, the SV650 might be the ticket. Everyone's different.

You could do what I just did and get a Kawasaki Ninja 250. They're $2000 cheaper than the 500 and probably a better bike to learn on, IMHO. You can get a new 250 for 3 grand, flog it for a year or two, then trade it in on something in the 600-650 range. That's probably what I'm going to end up doing. Maybe I'll keep it longer, who knows. Anyway, that's my recommendation because they're cheap, reasonably fast, easy to maintain, and because you only spent $3000, you won't get mad if you lay it down a couple times.

I have one thing against the 250. No torque/power. Power on a motorcycle is a safety feature, IMHO. If you don't have enough to get yourself out of trouble in some occassions, you're less safe.

The 250 sounds like a good bet. Pretty cheap, but reliable and fun. Speaking of reliablity, how long do bikes last? Cars that are taken care of last 100k regularly now. What is a common figure for bikes?

And Shaman, you saying the 250 is low on power is double sided. One, you are a horsepower addict so maybe the 250 is just too low on your totem pole. But second, you are very knowledgeable. Remember that I am a beginner, and my main attraction is the openness, similar to a convertible. As long as it has adequate power, I don't think I will stress to much about it.

By the way, what are the power figures for it?

It's the torque that will get you out of trouble, not so much the horsepower. Well, of course I'm talking about something under 60hp, all the same. 60HP on a reasonably light bike will carry you to 200km/h and do it about as quickly as a Z/28.

I'm not coming at it from a horsepower addict angle, believe me. Putting a supersport bike of any size into a newbie's fists is just a bad idea. But with a 250, let's say a lunatic zips out from behind another car on the highway doing 30 over (it happpens) and he hasn't seen you until he pulls out. On a 250 you'll probably never get out of his way if you can't pull back in to another lane. On a 500 or higher, you can crank on that sucker and it will probably get both of you out of immediate danger (on a litre bike you leave him sitting in your tire smoke at any speed under 120mph!). This same thing holds true in plenty of other areas. A 500cc machine provides you with enough torque and power to get yourself OUT of problems. Every bike including a 250 will provide enough power to get INTO problems, so that's a moot point. The Ninja 500R or EX500 (used) would be a good choice, IMHO.

But hey, if you really like the 250 go for it. I'd stay away from traffic on it, in a big way. I'd also buy used, because you WILL drop it...

...and don't ride with anyone else unless they are riding at or really near the speed limit, OK? The reason is that nobody likes to be the slow guy, and frankly you'll be the slow guy for a while... and riding with other people tends to get you in over your head trying to maintain the pace they are at.

Rotary Boy
a used EX500 would be a great starter bike

People use the term drop it regularly. That sounds kinda scary, you know. But I suppose you have to be realistic when talking about bikes. It just comes with the territory.

Shaman, how much would one of those used 500's run you were talking about?

Rotary Boy
yeah you will drop it at least twice in your first year, at least, but that kinda coems with the territory, and bikes are really pretty tuff, my CBR900RR stood up to so many minor dings, scrapes, three fairly major falls and one flat out tag from a car(it was parked) and all that ever happened to it was cosmetic damage nothing that wasn't fairly easy to repair, to bad it got stolen.

Most people just drop it in the parking lot, to be honest, not on corners. And they drop it at low speeds, where a bike doesn't have any stability built up.

All the same, you're going to drop it. It's not if, it's when, if you have no prior experience. If you've ridden in the dirt at all, you have a BIG head start.

EX500s are going used fairly cheap. They are excellent starter streetbikes, IMHO.

Sia Bani
How much are they now? Like a decent one...

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