Jump to content
Onion

Buying a Motorcycle

Recommended Posts

I've been contemplating buying a motorcycle for some time now. I'm passing my license the weekend of the 26th and am looking to buy a cheaper bike to practice on and save money on gas, as well as enjoy the weather (aka not roast in my 240z with no AC). 

 

This is more of a two part question. 

 

First part: Kawasaki Ninja 250R, what do you guys think about it for a learner bike? I know a lot of people hate it because of the carbs. I'm used to carbed engines and know how to tune them properly, so that part doesn't bother me at all. I've also heard people say not to get a manual as a first bike because I'd have to learn how to ride a manual while trying to focus on riding. Operating a manual is already second nature to me, so I'd be able to focus on actually riding. This will be my first actual bike. I learned to ride on a 150cc scooter and have taken my dad's 650cc scooter a couple times. Are there any actual issues with this being a bike to learn on? They're fairly light, so I don't think it'll be too difficult, but I am pretty inexperienced with actual motorcycles. 

 

Second part: I've got the cash to pay for a bike up front. Would it be wise to spend a couple hundred dollars extra and get a loan from my bank, pay for the bike up front with that money and gradually pay it off to the bank to keep building my credit score? I'm sitting at around 720 with $3,500 of credit available to me. I've made sure that each statement only ever shows about 5%-10% utilization. I have no problem with spending the extra money to boost my score. 

 

Edit: Besides the Ninja 250R, what other bikes are suitable for learners of short stature (30 inseam) that are looking for good gas mileage? Comfort, loudness, etc don't matter to me, anything is an improvement over my car. 

Edited by Onion

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One of the first tests you need to do is lay the bike down and then try to lift it back to it's wheels. If you can't than it's to big for you. Second, bike engines, although simular to auto engines, aren't the same. Yes, have auto repair knowledge will help tou. Third, shifting on a bike is not the same as on a car. your hand is the clutch and your foot it the shift lever. It takes quite a bit of practice to get it right.

 

Beyond that have fun and wear your helmut!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know of a 3 people that used those bike to learn on(all women) and they seemed to do well. I also have two friends that started out on Honda Rebels(both guys) and they did well on those as well, other than outgrowing them rather quickly. The girls actually kept their bikes for a few years so they were able to get their moneys worth out of them. The biggest problem with any starter bike like those is the resale value sucks if you bought it new. I would suggest if you have the dough to buy the first one used instead of financing it outright. If you were to outgrow it and pay it off to quickly it may actually ding your credit a bit. Not only that but you finance 5k you would be lucky to get 3k for it the next year.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know of a 3 people that used those bike to learn on(all women) and they seemed to do well. I also have two friends that started out on Honda Rebels(both guys) and they did well on those as well, other than outgrowing them rather quickly. The girls actually kept their bikes for a few years so they were able to get their moneys worth out of them. The biggest problem with any starter bike like those is the resale value sucks if you bought it new. I would suggest if you have the dough to buy the first one used instead of financing it outright. If you were to outgrow it and pay it off to quickly it may actually ding your credit a bit. Not only that but you finance 5k you would be lucky to get 3k for it the next year.

+1

 

I loved my 2001 Ninja 250 I had for 3 years, but I bought it used for $1500 and sold it to a friend for $1000. It was great and helped me to be the better rider I am today. That being said you should take a BRC (Basic Rider's Course), I still plan to and wish I had to start since I hear it REALLY helps. I still am not 100% confident at low speeds on my FZ6.

 

TL:DR. The Ninja 250 is awesome but buy used, 1st or 2nd gen will both give you a solid learner bike that's so much more than that should you choose to keep it. They keep their resale pretty well after the new price depreciation!

 

I hate carbs and that was the ONLY reason I got rid of my 250 TBH, I still sit on it every time I visit my friend's and miss its featherweightness. I still wouldn't mind trying Ninja 300 out, I feel like if THAT was my starter...I'd never upgrade haha.

Edited by IVIYTH0S

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yamaha Virago 750 is what I learned on.

I would never intentionally lay my bike down.

I would also never intentionally pay interest

GL

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

BRC is mandatory in Florida for any motorcycle over 49cc, that's what I'm taking on the 26th. I'm definitely buying a used bike, they cost half as much used with less than 5k miles as a brand new one. Also, what are your thoughts on a CBR 250? They're lower, so they might fit me better. 

 

How's this for a helmet? I've done some searching around and I'm gonna go try some out tomorrow but definitely don't want to skimp. I've decided to go full face, and need something that breathes well because Florida summers get a bit toasty. http://www.amazon.com/Shark-Vision-R-BeCool-Motorcycle-Helmet/dp/B00CME157E/ref=sr_1_5?s=automotive&ie=UTF8&qid=1397444457&sr=1-5&keywords=shark+helmet

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

whatever you decide o, have fun but be careful,..i've been riding since my youth, have grown eyes in the back of my head, am completely hyper-vigilant on two wheels, and still have occasional close calls in traffic,... i'm not ready to read bosco's sad obituary of you in crew members lounge...that bean bucket is too much money...you can do better...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

BRC is mandatory in Florida for any motorcycle over 49cc, that's what I'm taking on the 26th. I'm definitely buying a used bike, they cost half as much used with less than 5k miles as a brand new one. Also, what are your thoughts on a CBR 250? They're lower, so they might fit me better. 

 

How's this for a helmet? I've done some searching around and I'm gonna go try some out tomorrow but definitely don't want to skimp. I've decided to go full face, and need something that breathes well because Florida summers get a bit toasty. http://www.amazon.com/Shark-Vision-R-BeCool-Motorcycle-Helmet/dp/B00CME157E/ref=sr_1_5?s=automotive&ie=UTF8&qid=1397444457&sr=1-5&keywords=shark+helmet

The CBR appeared after I had my Ninja for about 2 years, I hear they have better usable power (midrange with less peak) and are fuel injected. Another bike I'd like to try sometime, but it didn't make sense going to from my Ninja 250.

Are you able to get one as cheap as a Ninja? The used market has probably tons of used Ninjas to pick from but probably less CBRs (so likely they'll be higher priced for similar mileage?).

 

That helmet looks fine I guess, like cases I never feel right commenting on helmets because it's the look and fit that suits that individual. I personally would try on some at the store and if you like them and can find them...then I'd go for one off the internet. But I'd be wary of having something fit the way you want it to straight from the internet, but that's just me. Ironically the helmet I have now I tried at the store but was less satisfied once I started riding with it, I didn't realize how the air would flow around it. (wish they'd have some kind of blowdryer at the store to test that). I just dealt with it though since you can't return helmets where I bought it :glare:

Edited by IVIYTH0S

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

whatever you decide o, have fun but be careful,..i've been riding since my youth, have grown eyes in the back of my head, am completely hyper-vigilant on two wheels, and still have occasional close calls in traffic,... i'm not ready to read bosco's sad obituary of you in crew members lounge...that bean bucket is too much money...you can do better...

 

Driving the Z is similar. It's ever so slightly safer than a bike, but definitely not something I want to have an accident in. I'm much more aware of my surroundings in that car than I ever was in the Mustang because I always have the fact that it'd probably kill me if I wrecked it sitting in the back of my head. I'm mainly gonna use it for heading over to school and not waste gas in my car, as well as enjoy the prime parking spots for motorcycles. Don't worry, there won't be an obituary for me for quite some time, my area has safer drivers than most of Florida and I don't plan on goofing around on the bike. That all stopped when the Mustang got wrecked. 

 

 

BRC is mandatory in Florida for any motorcycle over 49cc, that's what I'm taking on the 26th. I'm definitely buying a used bike, they cost half as much used with less than 5k miles as a brand new one. Also, what are your thoughts on a CBR 250? They're lower, so they might fit me better. 

 

How's this for a helmet? I've done some searching around and I'm gonna go try some out tomorrow but definitely don't want to skimp. I've decided to go full face, and need something that breathes well because Florida summers get a bit toasty. http://www.amazon.com/Shark-Vision-R-BeCool-Motorcycle-Helmet/dp/B00CME157E/ref=sr_1_5?s=automotive&ie=UTF8&qid=1397444457&sr=1-5&keywords=shark+helmet

The CBR appeared after I had my Ninja for about 2 years, I hear they have better usable power (midrange with less peak) and are fuel injected. Another bike I'd like to try sometime, but it didn't make sense going to from my Ninja 250.

Are you able to get one as cheap as a Ninja? The used market has probably tons of used Ninjas to pick from but probably less CBRs (so likely they'll be higher priced for similar mileage?).

 

That helmet looks fine I guess, like cases I never feel right commenting on helmets because it's the look and fit that suits that individual. I personally would try on some at the store and if you like them and can find them...then I'd go for one off the internet. But I'd be wary of having something fit the way you want it to straight from the internet, but that's just me. Ironically the helmet I have now I tried at the store but was less satisfied once I started riding with it, I didn't realize how the air would flow around it. (wish they'd have some kind of blowdryer at the store to test that). I just dealt with it though since you can't return helmets where I bought it :glare:

 

 

It probably would cost quite a bit more than a ninja, but if I do find one for a price close to the ninja, I'd consider spending the extra money for that better powerband. 

 

I definitely was not planning on buying a helmet without trying it on, I was mostly shopping around for good quality stuff and making notes of what helmets to look at when I go to the store tomorrow. I bought a pair of Nikes online once. They were my size, they were the same type of shoe, and they were from a similar series, but they fit totally different. I'm never buying shoes or helmets without trying them first. What do people usually spend for a good helmet? I'm looking for a full face model, and don't need any extras like bluetooth etc, just good protection. I don't want to get a cheapo $40 helmet, but I'd rather not overbuy. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As an MSF-certified RiderCoach who regularly teaches both the BRC and BRC2 (just finished one this afternoon, actually) I would encourage you to go to a dealer and just spend some time just sitting on as many bikes as you can, especially those that you think you might be interested in owning.  Most motorcycles have fairly limited adjustment options as far as the positions of the bike's controls are concerned and not all bikes will "fit" all riders.  Especially as a new rider having to struggle with controls/ergonomics that just don't work for you or plain don't feel right is an unnecessary complication that you can spare yourself with a little bit of time.
 
As far as the Ninja and CBR 250s go, they're both fantastic bikes for what they are and would be more than adequate (and enjoyable!) as beginner bikes.  Understand though that in all likelihood if you plan on getting into riding in a meaningful way chances are you will quickly find either choice rather limiting due to their lack of displacement/engine size.  Both are certainly capable and entertaining bikes but will struggle to provide you with the torque I would argue is necessary to ride safely at higher speeds (such as riding on interstates or expressways).  Unless it's a budget thing I would also consider those same, or similar, bikes in the 500cc range.  You would have ample room to grow with the bike as a rider and I don't necessarily buy into the "250cc for beginners 'cause it's safer" stuff that some folks might throw around.  At the end of the day the rider is responsible for the operation of the motorcycle; the bike is only going to respond to the control inputs it receives from the rider, regardless of engine size.  

 

I will say that I am happy to hear that you will be taking the BRC as I personally consider the information and experience the course offers to be absolutely invaluable, especially for new riders. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

BRC is mandatory in Florida for any motorcycle over 49cc, that's what I'm taking on the 26th. I'm definitely buying a used bike, they cost half as much used with less than 5k miles as a brand new one. Also, what are your thoughts on a CBR 250? They're lower, so they might fit me better. 

 

How's this for a helmet? I've done some searching around and I'm gonna go try some out tomorrow but definitely don't want to skimp. I've decided to go full face, and need something that breathes well because Florida summers get a bit toasty. http://www.amazon.com/Shark-Vision-R-BeCool-Motorcycle-Helmet/dp/B00CME157E/ref=sr_1_5?s=automotive&ie=UTF8&qid=1397444457&sr=1-5&keywords=shark+helmet

You just want that one because it say BeCool in the name LOL! 

 

BTW I will never ride on two wheels. Not that I can't its just I see what happens to the idiots as well as those that obey the rules of the road when others cannot see them.  I choose not to put my self into that position.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As an MSF-certified RiderCoach who regularly teaches both the BRC and BRC2 (just finished one this afternoon, actually) I would encourage you to go to a dealer and just spend some time just sitting on as many bikes as you can, especially those that you think you might be interested in owning.  Most motorcycles have fairly limited adjustment options as far as the positions of the bike's controls are concerned and not all bikes will "fit" all riders.  Especially as a new rider having to struggle with controls/ergonomics that just don't work for you or plain don't feel right is an unnecessary complication that you can spare yourself with a little bit of time.

 

As far as the Ninja and CBR 250s go, they're both fantastic bikes for what they are and would be more than adequate (and enjoyable!) as beginner bikes.  Understand though that in all likelihood if you plan on getting into riding in a meaningful way chances are you will quickly find either choice rather limiting due to their lack of displacement/engine size.  Both are certainly capable and entertaining bikes but will struggle to provide you with the torque I would argue is necessary to ride safely at higher speeds (such as riding on interstates or expressways).  Unless it's a budget thing I would also consider those same, or similar, bikes in the 500cc range.  You would have ample room to grow with the bike as a rider and I don't necessarily buy into the "250cc for beginners 'cause it's safer" stuff that some folks might throw around.  At the end of the day the rider is responsible for the operation of the motorcycle; the bike is only going to respond to the control inputs it receives from the rider, regardless of engine size.  

 

I will say that I am happy to hear that you will be taking the BRC as I personally consider the information and experience the course offers to be absolutely invaluable, especially for new riders. 

 

That's exactly what I was going to do tomorrow. I've been bike shopping with my dad when he was looking to buy his and spent some time sitting on some at that time as well. I really liked the 883 Iron and it was a perfect fit for me but it's about 3 times what I'm looking to spend. It also isn't as economical as the baby ninja. I also already know German bikes are out of the question for me as they're all very high. 

 

It is a budget reason for getting a 250cc, but I'll definitely look at the 500cc ones. I can afford them, I just mainly wanted something cheap to get around town in. I have the self control to learn on a bigger bike, the main thing that drew me to the 250cc was that they were zippy enough to get out of harm's way in the city but still got amazing gas mileage (75+ compared to my 12-15 in the Z). 

 

Thanks for the info, I definitely need all I can get at this point. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...