Originally posted by L.O.T.R.
I'm currently set on a Ninja 500. I like the look and feel of sportbikes, but don't want to get something absurd to start off with. My question is whether or not the 500 is starting out TOO conservatively, or if I should move up slightly (to a 600).
Just a few things to think about
1. First, decide exactly what you expect your bike to do? Just going to ride around town/track, or could you see yourself taking trips on it after you get some experience (don't be surprised if you find the latter to be the case, even if you presently think not). They don't have to be long trips, but maybe 3-day, etc.
2. Assess your finances. While probably not a good idea to start out on anything with full bodywork (simple drops can get expensive), I can empathize with wanting a 600 to save on losing money shortly in the future.
3. Don't forget the insurance angle. Before you buy, check the rates on your choices! It may very well make your decision for you.
'Course, you also gotta consider your size/shape when making a choice. There are plenty of good, used bikes out there that will save you big on purchase, insurance, and pain when/if you drop it (and you probably will). Don't automatically give in and 'know' you're going to drop it, but the odds are you'll have a tipover or two before your learning curve starts to flatten out (and you got one helluva learning curve to climb)!
Most importantly? Get one/both of David L. Hough's books! If I were a motorcycle dealer, I'd throw one/both of these in with every bike purchased, 'specially by a newbie (breathing customers are repeat customers)!
Street Strategies : A Survival Guide for Motorcyclists
Proficient Motorcycling : The Ultimate Guide to Riding Well
Amazon has both books for $31.42, and you can read excerpts of the second at their site.
Maybe SportBike World should add some books to their store section? Might not be a bad idea for someone in here to write a nice article for newbies, with a link to it on the front page. There seem to be a lot of 'em coming here for advice!