T Nation

Opinions on These Motorcycles?


Im thinking about tossing down some dollars and getting a motorcycle. Im looking at a couple different things, my top two choices being the Kawasaki Ninja (haven't decided which model yet) and the Yamaha V Star 250. Does anybody have any experience with these bikes that they would like to share? Im kinda a rookie when it comes to motorcycles


Don't get a crotch rocket, that's all I have to say (uh oh, look what I've started...)

Eventually I'll get this: http://motoprofi.com/bikephoto/3181/triumph_bonneville_america_2002_1.jpg

It's a Triumph Bonneville.

Well, start off with a small engine, but IMO 250cc is too low because you'll get used to it fast, and just want to buy another bike with a bigger engine. Still though, the V Star is a very good choice for you, regardless. Some other good bikes (get used if you don't have that much money) are: Kawasaki Vulcan, Yamaha Virago (there's a 250 and 535 I believe), Honda Nighthawk, Honda Rebel, and Suzuki Marauder.


I got a Buell Blast last year and I love it. It is about a 500 (492cc). Great beginner or commuter bike.


A 250 is fine. The Ninja is a polular starter. Personaly I think it's best to start in the dessert on a small dirt bike to practice shiting, braking and u-turns. Turning is different on street and dirt.

Anyhow, once you got the hang of that then the best thing to do is classes. Do the MSF basic. There is an advanced class. After that you should go to the track. Yes it adds alot in price but i'm refering to instructer lead sessions. You could actually rent a 600, leathers, boots, etc and take a 2-5 day course depending on your cash flow. If that's out of th ebudget then get some books and videos (try amazon). Learing how to turn and brake can save your life.


If you go check out motorcycle forums you will see questions like this come up all the time and there are always 2 ways of thinking.

The Ninja 250 is a great bike to buy as a first bike (if you are going to stay with race reps) it let you learn cornering and controlling the bike with out getting into much trouble when it comes to power.

Some others say to start on the Suzuki SV 650 or the Ninja 650 both are V-twin and don't have the high HP that the Race reps have. But they have torque and you want find in the RR's.

I started on a Ninja Zx6r as my first bike. I had been around bikes most my life and have taken the MSF class 2 times. I also know and understand the power of the bike and don't care for the dumb stunts I would reather go hit a track and see what I can do with it.


Unless you're a 100lb kid in a VERY urban environment you probably don't want a 250cc bike. While they are fun and you'll learn a ton, you'll get bored quick and they really don't handle the highway well at all.

You first need to decide what style you want to ride; cruiser, touring, sport, etc. I'd suggest a GS500, EX500, Honda VT500. Even like Slayers said, a SV650 makes a good starter bike if you can find a good deal on one. Stay in the 500 range and watch CL for a good bike you should be able to find one you like pretty quick.

Pay the money take the MSF course, wear your gear ALL THE TIME.


I have been looking at the Harley 883 lately. Anybody have any epxeriece or information.



Hmmmm, what have you started?

I ride a Honda1000 CBR. Considering how I ride and the performance of my bike, I personally don't see why someone would recommend you don't get one. I mean, no car is going to beat a newer model liter bike or a 600 if the rider knows how to work it.

I personally think a 250 maybe ok to learn on if you don't have a naturally quick response time and are just learning how to ride. I do not think it will allow a new rider to mature much meaning it won't be long before you feel the need to go up.

I learned how to ride on a 600 (YZFR6). I kept that one for two years before I traded up. It was a great bike and someone much smaller could probably hold onto one of those forever without needing to really go up.


I'm most definitely going to do the MSF courses, I wouldn't feel safe without it. No renting of the 600 though, working at a sorority house doesn't pay THAT good.


I'm pretty much decided on the cruiser, I love the way it looks slash feels. Im only going to be using the bike to ride to school (I live about 4 miles away from campus) and the occasional trip from College Station to Dallas. This may sound like a question that merits a taking away of the man card, but do I need to toss down for a 500?


This is what I want.


You could get a mid 70s CB750 or CB500. They are 'standard' bikes tho.


speed triple is an awesome bike.


Im actually buying one of those in green soon Rizza... I love Triumphs...and nekid bikes...

IMHO, you have to ask yourself this, cruiser or sport as your end goal... If sport is your end goal as mine was, get the ninja 250r 08 or newer... new they are 3500.... you can drive it for a year or two until you mastered it and I mean knee dragging in turns.... Then, sell it.. it looses about 200 to 300 per year until it hits 2500 to 2800 and just sits there, My friends just sold theres (buddy and his gf both bought one when I got mine) and it was sold through motorcycle trader before the print edition came out (less then a week)... I sold mine in 2 days on a college campus (kids coming back from summer jobs)... The 250's are great if you have no clue what your doing since if you crack the throttle you wont loose control like you will on a 600 or higher... That said, an older adult "can" learn on a bigger bike, but you hit a pot hole for the first time with a death grip on the throttle and your going to learn the art of wheelie... The 250 lets you get used to the feel of a sport bike but wont try to kill you when you show it your afraid...

If your end goal is a cruiser, get a Buel (forget if its a 250 or 500).... they are what the ninja 250 is to sport bikes but for a cruiser...

If you have no knowledge at all and no friends to teach you, take the state sponsored saftey classes, in most states if you pass them you dont have to take the test at the DMV, they provide the cycles, so all you need is boots, long pants, jacket and a helmet... They offer a more advanced class which you use your own bike, I'll be taking that his fall now that I have had mine for 1.5 years...

Whatever you do, dont be a retard that rides around in a t-shirt and shorts with a helmet.... wear the gear... or atleast if your gona be retarded, become an organ donor...

If you have any questions beyond that PM me so I see it and I'll be happy to help ya out...



"If the rider knows how to work it"

True words.

I took my bike to the track a few years ago(1984 Suzuki GS1150) on grudge night for the fuck of it.I thought for sure the 750's(gsx) were going to blow me away...I never lost a race against any of them young'uns.I was consistantly running in the mid eleven's stock.One kid was supremly pissed off...no way that bike is stock.It is.Too bad so sad,learn throttle and clutch control.Those guys should have beat me but lacked experiance.

Also not sure how much time on the seat you have but if you can maybe buy a shit box dirt bike for this year to really learn on would go a long way in teaching you to letting er rip without dodgeing transport trucks and cars.Alot of the best road racers started off in dirt.My 2c.


If you really want to, you can push the 08 and up 250r's pretty hard, friend of mine bought a wrecked one and did a frame up and built a track bike for the 250 races... If your under 250 pounds they are a great starter bike and I have beaten every car I have ever raced until about 80 / 90 where for my weight (215 at the time) the acceleration really starts to slow down...

I realized I needed a bigger bike when I got into long weekend cruising and on the express way the 250 just has no acceleration for passing and at 330 pounds when the tank is full, bigger trucks and semis can really blow you around the road....



They are nice. My 77 CB550K when I first bought it, for $425. But with old bikes, if you don't know how to wrench a bit, you may be paying more than it's worth to keep it up. Especially if you get a hold of one that needs work already.


She's a beaut! I always wanted to get one and turn into a Cafe Racer.


Thanks! It's a good bike. Only 17K on the clock. If I had the time (and cash) I would fully restore it. But at the moment, as I'm short on both, I can only keep it running. A cafe racer would be sweet.


I can't imagine too many people on this forum would fit on an 883. I've ridden my buddy's and I feel pretty absurd on the thing. Its not particularly comfortable for my size (6' 220 lbs).

For a normal sized to big guy, go for the soft tail or fat boy families. My nighttrain is my favorite thing on the planet. It'd only take a month or so of riding to grow out of the 883.