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Old 04-17-2011, 11:55 AM   #1
Joey_Redd
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Looking for a good beginner bike

I've been riding dirt for nearly 10 years now, i've ridden street though only a few times. Now as seeing as it is that I'm gonna be coming back to Texas and that gas is expensive and that I'm poor i'm looking for a good beginner bike. I'm interested in a motard perhaps a ktm or a Husqvarna or a decent DRZ-400sm if it's tuned good. Of course I'm open to getting a street bike, but it's just that I feel more comfortable on a motard because it's basically like a dirtbike and it's light easy to maneuver and easy to fix if I set it down, plus I have better visibility. This in mind feel free to tell me your opinion or about how a motard is a terrible beginner bike or what you feel would be a reasonable bike to start with
looking forward to y'alls input.
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Old 04-17-2011, 12:00 PM   #2
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ninja 250. cheap to buy and on insurance, maintenance, and gas. if you go the streetbike route that is
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Old 04-17-2011, 12:03 PM   #3
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I've been riding a 250, with no prior motorcycling experience. It is a tough little bike and a lot of fun. The wind protection is decent, especially with an aftermarket screen. It gets fair mileage for commuting, but only because you have to rev the out of it to put it in its powerband.

The only major downsides are the tires and suspension. Replacement tires are fairly cheap and well worth it, though. The suspension is pretty soft and some of the bad houston roads can be really punishing. Also the brake dive can be disconcerting, even if it has no ill effects.

I've been looking at the DRZ myself, it looks like a riot. Plus its aftermarket is enormous.
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Old 04-17-2011, 12:04 PM   #4
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If you're looking for a motard as a beginner street bike the DRZ will be the most truble free one to consider.
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Old 04-17-2011, 12:11 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clintalmighty View Post
ninja 250. cheap to buy and on insurance, maintenance, and gas. if you go the streetbike route that is
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rael View Post
I've been riding a 250, with no prior motorcycling experience. It is a tough little bike and a lot of fun. The wind protection is decent, especially with an aftermarket screen. It gets fair mileage for commuting, but only because you have to rev the out of it to put it in its powerband.

The only major downsides are the tires and suspension. Replacement tires are fairly cheap and well worth it, though. The suspension is pretty soft and some of the bad houston roads can be really punishing. Also the brake dive can be disconcerting, even if it has no ill effects.

I've been looking at the DRZ myself, it looks like a riot. Plus its aftermarket is enormous.
So tell me how is a Ninja geared, and would it be comfortable for extended periods of riding?
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Old 04-17-2011, 12:53 PM   #6
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So tell me how is a Ninja geared, and would it be comfortable for extended periods of riding?
You could always get a SV650. They are much more fun to ride
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Old 04-17-2011, 12:55 PM   #7
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You could always get a SV650. They are much more fun to ride
And get an S model for the added wind protection.
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Old 04-17-2011, 01:13 PM   #8
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SV650 I heard that was good beginner bike before what kind of power does that thing have, powerband gearing and such.
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Old 04-17-2011, 01:13 PM   #9
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So tell me how is a Ninja geared, and would it be comfortable for extended periods of riding?
1st is really short and stops being useful in the mid 20's indicated. 6th tops out around 95 indicated. The handlebars get uncomfortably buzzy (for a long trip) past 75 indicated in 6th gear. The stock seat is good, and the pegs give you room to move around. If you keep the revs down it would be fine for an extended trip.

The torque turns on around 8k RPM, redline is 14k.

Highway mileage at texas speeds turns out mid fifties mpg.
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Old 04-17-2011, 01:15 PM   #10
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1st is really short and stops being useful in the mid 20's indicated. 6th tops out around 95 indicated. The handlebars get uncomfortably buzzy (for a long trip) past 75 indicated in 6th gear. The stock seat is good, and the pegs give you room to move around. If you keep the revs down it would be fine for an extended trip.

The torque turns on around 8k RPM, redline is 14k.

Highway mileage at texas speeds turns out mid fifties mpg.
that's pretty good mgp how is it on turns?
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Old 04-17-2011, 01:36 PM   #11
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Quote:
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SV650 I heard that was good beginner bike before what kind of power does that thing have, powerband gearing and such.
It has 74 hp and 47 tq. Low end is great, top end is... ok.
Suzuki retards the amount of timing you get in first and second, but with a aTRE that removes the restriction and the fun begins.

So it is a bike that is forgiving for beginners but has more torque than most 600 supersports. Top speed is around 125ish, but with no windscreen I wouldnt go much faster than that anyway.
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Old 04-17-2011, 01:37 PM   #12
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that's pretty good mgp how is it on turns?
Better than the gray matter between my ears

With new tires it will take corners at very good speeds. It is also light enough that adjusting line during a corner is pretty easy. I don't have the experience to push it nearly as hard as it can go, though. It is tough as nails too and basic repairs are a cinch, which is very helpful, at least to my learning process.
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Old 04-17-2011, 01:52 PM   #13
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My SV650S averages about 53 mpg. On the track it has pretty linear power delivery too. I just keep it above about 6000 rpm for decent power.

And I have a friend with a 09 Ninja 250 and he manages pretty well riding with us. He only struggles when we're pushing a strong headwind. One one trip we were running about 70-75 mph into a 20-30 mph wind. At that time he was just a couple of percent from full throttle whereas I still had plenty to spare on the SV. And of course if we're on a road with a 70 speed limit and want to pass somebody doing 65, the little Ninja has to give it a little more room and downshift a few extra gears whereas the SV just torques around the traffic.

I've redlined mine in 6th gear at an indicated 145 mph, so I'm going to guess that was maybe really just over 130.
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Old 04-17-2011, 02:00 PM   #14
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My SV650S averages about 53 mpg. On the track it has pretty linear power delivery too. I just keep it above about 6000 rpm for decent power.

And I have a friend with a 09 Ninja 250 and he manages pretty well riding with us. He only struggles when we're pushing a strong headwind. One one trip we were running about 70-75 mph into a 20-30 mph wind. At that time he was just a couple of percent from full throttle whereas I still had plenty to spare on the SV. And of course if we're on a road with a 70 speed limit and want to pass somebody doing 65, the little Ninja has to give it a little more room and downshift a few extra gears whereas the SV just torques around the traffic.

I've redlined mine in 6th gear at an indicated 145 mph, so I'm going to guess that was maybe really just over 130.
I always viewed this as an issue regarding headwinds. So tell me though, how do you street riders sit all hunched over like that? Is it comfortable?
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Old 04-17-2011, 02:15 PM   #15
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Also since I'm too retarded to figure out how to edit my post i'll double post

What kind of gear would you guys recommend? Any good shops in the La Marque/Texas City area?
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Old 04-17-2011, 02:16 PM   #16
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I've got a motard and an SV.
Motard is more agile and fun in the tight twisty stuff and will give you a more commanding view of the road. The SV can handle freeways and long rides better than the tard.
Hope that helps your decision a little.
Either would be a good starter bike. Buy a good used one for cheap. If you don't like it, flip it for something else.
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Old 04-17-2011, 02:18 PM   #17
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I always viewed this as an issue regarding headwinds. So tell me though, how do you street riders sit all hunched over like that? Is it comfortable?
The ninja's seating position is really neutral. You can shift the weight to your feet, , or hands depending on what is comfortable. I only hunch over to get out of a really nasty headwind.

For commuting I wear boots, an armored jacket, and a helmet. If I'm doing a bit more spirited riding I add a set of knee/shin guards. I'm going to get a set of armored compression shorts asap though.
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Old 04-17-2011, 02:24 PM   #18
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Whats the view on kevlar jeans here? Are they good for stopping road rash and do they got inserts for armor?
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Old 04-17-2011, 02:29 PM   #19
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Yeah, the SV really isn't hunched over much unless you're comparing it to a cruiser. The S model does lean forward a little more then the naked models as the naked models have regular tubular handlebars. Still I also have a VFR800, and it's much more comfortable more upright than the SV. I think this has been in other threads, but here's a useful tool for looking at different seating ergonomics: http://cycle-ergo.com/

Gear minimum for me is the regular helmet, jacket, gloves and some sort of over the ankle boots. I also highly recommend some type of riding pants. I just wear some textile pants from First Gear. I've been down in textile gear and didn't get a scratch and I've seen shredded jeans and lost skin on other riders. There are some brands of stronger jeans with kevlar and armor in them.
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Old 04-17-2011, 02:33 PM   #20
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To get a feel for the ergos sit on the bike in a riding position as you talk to the seller. It will at least give you an idea of where your weight will be.

I forgot to add gloves to my gear list. I go with over the wrist armored gloves.
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