The n00b versus the 250 thread~ - Sportbike Forum: Sportbike Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-05-2005, 11:13 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 40
Lightbulb The n00b versus the 250 thread~

Hi folks!

Let me start off saying this is my first post here, so don't be too awful hard on me. Although, I tend to appreciate a good bit of sarcasm I've been lurking the board for about a week or two and have gotten a great deal of information already, and want to go on about my final buying decision for a bit.

I'm sure everyone will be excited to hear that I'm thinking of a Kaw 600RR *cough* I mean 250 or 500r. I'd prefer to find a late model low milage 500r (missed an '03 with 7k miles for $3200 by a week ), but in the event that I can't find that in an acceptable amount of time I think a new 250 would also be acceptable. Although I wouldn't turn my nose up at a well maintained used one either. I've checked out the ex500riders and ninja250riders websites, and still have a couple of questions that I couldn't find good answers to. (btw, how about the message board layout on that 250riders site? )

First off, I'm only about 150lbs, so I know the 250 won't have any trouble at all cartinng my ass around. But if I stick with this and really start to enjoy riding, I expect I'll want to take some long trips (getting ahead of myself, but I'm talking about Austin -> Las Vegas in November if I'm comfortable with it by then, which means an awful lot of practice inbetween now and then) and at 6 feet even, I know it's going to be uncomfortable. The only question is would the 250 be less comfortable than the 500? When I sat on them I thought the 500 seemed to have a little more space, but I might've just been making that up. The other concern is how the 250 would feel after 10+ hours of straight highway time, at 9k+ rpm? The folks on the 250riders site seem to think it makes an excellent highway bike for the most part, with just a few dissenting opinions, but for some reason I trust what I read here more. Some of them also recommend gearing the bike a little longer.

That brings me to my next point. I'm not a mechanic. I never even changed my own oil in my old beater, and certainly not in the new cage. I also live in an apartment, so even if I decided that I wanted to learn to work on the bike, I've got nowhere other than the apartment parking lot to do it, so that severely limits what I can do. So any maintenance that I want done will have to be done by some shop or other. Maybe the new 250 would serve me better here? Maybe it would be a bigger pain in the ass because I have to do the break in myself?

I've already got my riding gloves and boots, a friend of mine is going to hook me up with an 'open box' set of leathers for cheap, that should fit me. I'm taking the MSF course this weekend, and have my financing taken care of. I also found a cover for the bike since it'll be living outdoors for the most part. The only thing that isn't wrapped up is a helmet, or the leathers in the case that the ones from my buddy don't fit, but newenough has some affordable stuff that looks like it should do the job.

Right, so what is my question again? With all that in mind can you folks think of any reason why I might be hugely disappointed with a 250 such that I'd be better off waiting for a good deal on a 500 no matter how long it took? I'm planning on waiting until the end of May in any case, so it's a ways off. Also, any suggestions from folks who have experience combining a motorcycle with apartment living that may make my foray into the world of two wheeled wonder a bit easier?

I know I know, so many words. Madness! If anyone bothers to read all that, let alone give me some useful advice I'll be impressed. I guess I just figured I'd get it all out of the way at once. At least I'm no

mkoob79 is offline  
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-05-2005, 01:15 PM
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 609
I've never ridden a Ninja 500, but my first bike was a 250, then I moved up to a 600. I actually learned on a 600 before getting the 250, which is how I noticed the one thing I didn't like.

First off, if you're going to be doing a lot of time on the highway upfront, you may have to throw the "proper break-in" out the window. You have to keep the 250 in high RPMS to generate power, and I've heard the break-in period is kind of painful, keeping the RPMS low. (I'll try to find an article I saw here that says it's better to run a bike hard when it's new, rather than following manufacturer's recommendations).

The 250 is comfortable enough on the highway, and is capable of 100mph+. So the guys on the 250 site are right: it's a very capable highway machine. The one thing I didn't really like about it on the highway, and this is just my opinion, is the passing power was pretty weak(once you're at 70+mph, NOT up to that point). Your brakes are much stronger than your engine in terms of avoiding an accident, meaning ideally you want to stop rather than try to accelerate around a possible incident, but I still didn't like the lack of passing power while at higher speeds. Sometimes you just want to get the hell past that old lady asap. However, it's really a quick bike for a 250.

That's where the 500 is superior in your case. Don't get me wrong, I still miss riding my 250. It was an absolute blast to to wind the gears out, can take corners fast+easily, very light, but I think if you're going to be doing long trips the bigger engine will serve you better.

newenough is an awesome site...but I highly recommend going to a store to try on helmets before you buy. Each brand/model fits differently, and you don't want to get stuck with a helmet that is killing your head after an hour.
slaps76 is offline  
post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-05-2005, 01:27 PM
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 8,798
First off props to newenough. it is an awsome store.

I've never ridder the 500 or 250, but I am of the school that doesnt believe in proper break-in. I think the worst thing for a new engine is dronning it at constant rpm. Change speeds often, let the engine brake often, and to hell with what rpm you are running in. I've done that with my z1k, I've done that with my zx10, and I'll do it with my next bike too. If you want to full article the slaps is talking about google motoman.

As for apt. and maintanance, I dont find it to be much of a problem. I change oil at my apt regulalry, without any problem. For anything major like a valve adjust I do take it to my friends house where I can use a garage.

The biggest problem with leaving a bike at an apt building is that its inviting for every joe shmoe to come and play with it. I came home one night and found my bike laying on its side. Talk about being upset.

Vash is offline  
post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-06-2005, 05:53 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 40
Thanks a bunch for the info guys!

I'm definetly planning on buying my helmet in town. I figure at least until I know more about them I should actually be able to try on the helmet I'm thinking of buying to make sure it fits properly.

As far as the rest goes, sounds like I need to just hold my pants on and wait for the right used bike to come along so I can get a 500 for the right price. And thanks Vash for the encouraging words about apartment lot maintenance. At least I know it's not totally unworkable!

mkoob79 is offline  
post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-27-2005, 08:35 AM
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 11
I own a 2005 250. It is a fun bike to ride but on long trips it gets a little uncomfortable. That thing has to be around 8000 rpms to go 65. It vibrates the crap out of my hands and feet. I've ridden larger bikes as well on fairly long trips (maybe a couple hundred miles) and they weren't quiet as bad. But I can't take anything from the 250 it is a blast to ride on a curvy road.
jeremy2569 is offline  
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