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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have earmarked funds for gear, insurance, maintenance, and title transfer/state registration. I've taken the MSF course and received my M license. There's $4,200 remaining to purchase my first bike this August. It will mainly be for pleasure on weekends and week nights since I have a car for my commute.

Choices:
1) Buy a 2011-2012, used Ninja 250 off Craigslist? Prices are between $2500 and $3000.

2) Brand new or used 2011-13 CBR 250r? Prices range between $3000 to $4500, and some include ABS.

3) Buy a used 300 without ABS? $3,900-$4,300 around here.

4) Or, wait until spring 2015? The KTM RC390, YZF-R25, and CBR300r will be released by then. They will certainly impact the low-cc segment in the US market, and hopefully lower prices as well.

An older rider told me carburetters and anti-lock brakes are not worth it, that I'd get "bored" with the 300 quickly, and that for cities like Dallas - which have straight highways and streets without any canyons or curves - the 300 is wasted.

Another rider loves his 300, and he said the old Ninja shouldn't be considered because it's outdated and inferior. Were it not for the CBR250r, Kawasaki had become complacent hence the release of the brilliant 300. He added that ABS and EFI will become standard as recent legislation in Europe and Asia prove.

Can someone help me approach this? The Ninja 250 lacks electronic fuel injection and the ABS option which the other two have. Ideally, I would buy a new 300 w/ABS, but I can't afford it. Seems OTD prices in Texas are around $5200-6000.
 

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Carburetor's can be a pain in the ass. ABS is great in general, though obviously not needed, as millions of people learned to ride motorcycles without ABS (myself included).

The ninja 250 really is outdated (and slow, compared to the 300 even) -- if you're going with a ninja, go either 300 or 650. If you only have straights and just want to go fast in a straight line, the 650 is closer to what you want I think. You may very well be fine without ABS, just make sure you take the time to go to a parking lot (a number of different times), and practice various types of braking (and read about how to properly brake on a bike).

Can't say anything about the cbr other than it's a single cylinder (because that's all i know).
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Carburetor's can be a pain in the ass. ABS is great in general, though obviously not needed, as millions of people learned to ride motorcycles without ABS (myself included).

The ninja 250 really is outdated (and slow, compared to the 300 even) -- if you're going with a ninja, go either 300 or 650. If you only have straights and just want to go fast in a straight line, the 650 is closer to what you want I think. You may very well be fine without ABS, just make sure you take the time to go to a parking lot (a number of different times), and practice various types of braking (and read about how to properly brake on a bike).

Can't say anything about the cbr other than it's a single cylinder (because that's all i know).
I hadn't considered the 650. It has everything I want actually. Do you have any experience with the 650 for beginner riders? There are several 2009 and 2010 650s in my area within my budget.

I was told the power was too dangerous for a beginner rider with no experience. Yes, I realize some started on 600cc's and Haybusas, but I'm firmly in the camp for less power leaving more room for inevitable rookie mistakes. I was told the 650 is an intermediate all-rounder bike.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'd say none of the above.

Save your money until you can get what you want.

Dave
Normally I'd agree with that sentiment, however I'm leery of spending more than $4,500 cash for a beginner bike. Other than riders with deep pockets, most people say they spent $1000-3500 on their first bike which they dropped in the early months. Hopefully used 300 w/ABS prices will come down to the $4000 mark by winter.
 

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It comes down to what type of person you are. I bought a brand new 300 as my first bike, and love it. I have owned it 3 months and see myself on a 600 within 6 months or so. With that said, I do not regret buying this bike. I have learned a ton, maintenance wise and riding wise. If possible, I do not plan on selling it either when I upgrade. The 300 teaches you how to ride, and proper body position without an overdose of power so you are able to learn at a confident level.

It comes down to what you want to do. I love the twisties and cruising, so I modified my 300 a bit and it suits me just well. If you just want a cheap bike to play on, get a 250 ninja. It is a carb but we are spoiled now with efi. It really comes down to how much you really want to spend and what you want in a bike.

I do not think you need ABS, that is my opinion. My 300 does not have it nor was I interested in it. IF you want to zoom down the highway at 120, the 300 or a 250 at that matter is not for you. If you want to cruise at 70-90 and then find some curvy roads, it may be for you.

Mine is a commuter as well as a weekend warrior.

I by no means have deep pockets, Im just a guy who loved the 300 since it came out and made it happen money wise. I think you need to figure out what you want out of a bike then go from there as far as what type and price range!

Goodluck dude
 

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It's definitely the best looking beginner sportbike in the US. Have you had any emergency/panic braking situations on your bike yet?
I sure have, bamby decided he wanted to take me out. Handled like a beauty. Another time I was eyeing out other bikes on the dealership lot, and sure as shit car in front of me stopped, almost shit my pants but she stopped perfectly and saved my ass.:biggrin:
 

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I would have to agree with whoever you talked to. I would get the 650. The 300 is a great beginners bike, but so is the 650 it is not a supersport so the power is not neck snapping. I think you would enjoy the 650 considering where you are. The 300 is great for around the town, but you will always want to go a little faster. Even with all the mods it really isn't much faster.
 

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The CBR250 is a single cylinder 4 stroke compared to our twin 4 stroke. It's incredibly sluggish in my opinion. It produces less power, it struggles more to maintain a higher speed for duration, and is generally just not a lot of fun after the "whee! I have a bike!" phase wears off. A friend of ours bought one for his wife last year when I got my Ninja and she decided she wanted to move from her scooter to a bike - she had to have the Honda because "she's a Honda girl." He rode it a bit, she rode it even less and the thing hasn't been out of the garage since last fall. All they do is compare it to my Ninja and how it doesn't quite stack up.

Don't settle for something just because it's currently within your budget. Wait until you can buy what you really want, because otherwise you're not truly going to be happy for very long.

And that's my 2 cents on this topic. As always, YMMV.
 

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Personally, I go find a used zx6 (Im a kawi fan) or R6, GSXR, or CBR. The 300 is great.I love that its light and nimble as fuck. Just lacks power imo.
 

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650 if you really can.

300 if not. Still a really fun bike, even if it does slightly lack the power and makes me wish I had a bigger bike...I don't regret it at all.

Don't get the 250cbr, I rode my friend's and it is like riding a shopping cart. Sluggish is the best way to describe it, and weak...really weak.
 

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I hadn't considered the 650. It has everything I want actually. Do you have any experience with the 650 for beginner riders? There are several 2009 and 2010 650s in my area within my budget.

I was told the power was too dangerous for a beginner rider with no experience. Yes, I realize some started on 600cc's and Haybusas, but I'm firmly in the camp for less power leaving more room for inevitable rookie mistakes. I was told the 650 is an intermediate all-rounder bike.
The 650 is a twin and doesn't make anywhere near as much power as a 4 cylinder 600cc ss bike. It's a good choice.
 

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Please dont waste your money on a 250. A friend of mine has a tricked out 250 and i can blow him out of the water with my 300.
 

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I hadn't considered the 650. It has everything I want actually. Do you have any experience with the 650 for beginner riders? There are several 2009 and 2010 650s in my area within my budget.

I was told the power was too dangerous for a beginner rider with no experience. Yes, I realize some started on 600cc's and Haybusas, but I'm firmly in the camp for less power leaving more room for inevitable rookie mistakes. I was told the 650 is an intermediate all-rounder bike.
I want to preface my comment with I've only been riding now for 6.5 weeks. Please keep that in mind if you bother to read the rest of the post.

I had never ridden before and was planning on buying the 300 but ended up getting a Ninja 650 for about the same price. (How could I turn that down?) I have had absolutely no trouble with the 650 as my very first bike. I was very nervous about the 650 being too much to handle as a newb but, if you make mature decisions the 650 it's just fine. If you don't make mature decisions while riding you can easily get in trouble on the 650, same with the 300, the difference being you can get in trouble a little faster on the 650.

The thing I had the most trouble with was being smooth on the throttle, especially if you're at a stoplight wanting to do a left turn. If you're not smooth on the throttle, especially in 1st gear, things can get pretty exciting in the turn. Practicing in a parking lot will help with that big time.

When it comes to turning the bike all the same rules that apply to a 300 apply to the 650. If you don't follow the basic rules of turning a bike and are afraid of leaning it over, you're going to have trouble no matter what size the engine. If you follow the rules, get all you're braking and shifting done before the corner, set you're entry speed, look through the corner where you want to be, have the throttle open, spot your exit and apex, roll the throttle on and accelerate exiting the corner you'll have no trouble. (Google "Keith Code" and "Twist of the Wrist".) The keys again being throttle control and mature decisions.

Just as a note, I drive a car with an anemic 4-banger in it because I've had more powerful cars and I don't make mature decisions while driving. My first time on the road in drivers ed the instructor said, "Why don't you open this thing up and see what she can do?" Does a 15 year-old need any more encouragement? That comment has kinda set the tone for my driving style. Since I know I don't make mature decisions in a car I finally bought a car that doesn't allow me to make immature decisions. The bike however is a different story. My sense of self-preservation keeps me practicing proper riding safety on the public streets.

What this all boils down to is if you're committed to making mature riding decisions a 650 should not be a problem. If you're like me when I get into a car ... the 300 is the way to go.

I saw you're in the Dallas area, I'm in Austin. On the highway where the speed limit is 85mph the 650 has had absolutely no trouble with that pace. It has plenty of acceleration to keep up with traffic should it be moving faster too. I mention that because the Dallas area doesn't have alot of twisties and if you do alot of highway riding the 650 is perfectly comfortable on the highway. Since I've never ridden a 300 I can't say how it will behave on the highway.

Oh yeah, I have put 3000 miles on the bike since buying it so I have some riding under my belt. Anyway, there's my $0.02. Feel free to leave change.
 

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i wouldn't wait half a year to get a bike if you are prepare to ride now. There is always something on the horizon.

Get what you can and know that from now till the new stuff comes out, you would have accumulated so much experience.

If you are new, go for the learner bikes. The pressure is not there so you can learn at a healthy pace. Faster bikes don't offer newer riders the cushion to learn and make mistakes.

You will change bikes no matter what you end up getting right now. Very few people don't ever change their first motorcycle. The more you ride, the more you will understand what you want in your rides so the bike will change according to that.

Get something relatively low cost and fun to start is the best way to introduce yourself to the riding world.

Ninja 250s is a good starter and plenty fun. The cbr single cylinder has more lower end torque and will offer some thrills. The ninja 300 is the best of the small displacement bikes right now. Next ups are the cbr 500s, ninja 650s, cbr650s, and yamaha fz6rs - you might fine these at the top end of your budget.

Remember insurance will factor in along with gas and most importantly, gear.

If you can afford it, look into the yamaha fz 07 - the best sub $7k bike imo.


"Rules" on the small bikes do not apply to the "rules" of the bigger bikes. Entry speed is not that simple when you factor in throttle response, tire grip, engine breaking behaviors, bike weight, bike flick ability, etc
 

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FWIW - I've had my 300 for a little over a year and love it. Been riding since the '80s, so it's not a beginner bike for me - still love it.

Jumped on a CBR250 last night for the first time - huge difference. With the single cylinder and gearing it pulls away like a boat in the water - sluggish. Scratch that one off the list.

My first bike was a carbureted 650 and I agree with earlier posts - take some time to figure out what kind of rider you're going to be. If you truly believe that you can be conservative and careful, a larger bike will be fine. If you're itching to push it, even a little, stay with a smaller bike until you know exactly what you're doing. On a 300 you can fly through traffic, and do absolutely everything you want with some wiggle room if you goose it to hard, etc.
 
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