first bike questions, ninja 500R vs SV650 - Sportbike Forum: Sportbike Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-16-2005, 07:43 PM Thread Starter
 
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first bike questions, ninja 500R vs SV650

I'm planning on getting my first bike very soon. I've got no experience at all on a bike. The two bikes that I am considering are the Kawasaki Ninja 500R and the Suzuki SV650s. Before anyone suggests it, yes, I will be taking a safety course before riding, and yes I will definitly be buying the bike used.

Now for my questions. Well really my question is how do these bikes compare? Obviously this is a pretty general question, but I've yet to find a good comparison of them anywhere online. Any information people can provide me would be really appreciated.

I'm planning to use the bike almost exclusively for around town riding, hopefully not during rush hour. I would also like to take the bike on a short highway trip ~100miles when I get enough experience that I feel comfortable doing this. Another important factor is that I would also like to be able to ride with my g/f as a passenger once I feel comfortable with the bike. I'm pretty much not at all concerned about the bike's performance, I allready know anything I buy is going to be more than adequate performance for my n00bness.

I was almost 100% set on the ninja after sitting on them and looking at a few. But recently I've heard a lot of people recommending the sv650 over the ninja. I haven't actually looked at any sv650s yet though. The reasoning I have heard amounts to the following:

Ninja 500R will be very poor for riding with another adult passenger. Is this true? And how does this compare to the Sv650? The SV650 seems a lot more capable of handling a passenger.

The Sv650 is fuel injected versus the carbeureted ninja. I'll be honest that I have no idea why this is an advantage really, but I have heard that it is something I should consider.

The Sv650 will last me a lot longer than the ninja 500 will. Personally I don't think this will be a problem, as I highly doubt the ninja 500 will bore me anytime soon, assuming it can do the things I outlined above adequately. Do people honestly think I will get bored in a month or two by the 500? I understand it won't last me forever, but I'd at least like something I won't be bored of in a month.

On the other hand however, getting the Sv650 seems like a bad idea for the following reasons. 650 sounds a lot bigger than 500 and the whole point was to get a bike I would be comfortable on. So how much more powerful is the 650 than the 500? Is it going to get me into unwanted trouble?

The 650 also seems like a lot "bigger" bike just looking at it, after sitting on the ninja's I felt very comfortable on them, but the sv650 just seems like a lot bigger of a bike.

Also cost is somewhat of an issue, the ninja is a good bit cheaper than the sv650, but then again if I'm going to outgrow the ninja in a month, but not outgrow the sv650 for a year, the extra cost is probably worth it.

Also I probalby should mention I'm about 6' tall and about 180 pounds. And I'm in my twenties, if that matters.

If anyone could offer me an advice it would be very much appreciated... thanks!
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-17-2005, 01:05 AM
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Get the SV, it should fit you fine, you'll love the handling, and has enough power for the rider to grow before stepping into race replicas.

But sit on the bikes regardless to get a feel for it. I have the 02 carbs version, no FI, and it's a bit bigger than 03 , but fits me fine at 5' 11". Bike is very light and nimble, 390 lbs wet.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-17-2005, 07:10 AM
 
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Sounds to me that what you're looking for should point you right towards the Ninja 500. Even though a lot of people here recommend the SV as a great first bike, the fact is it's pretty damn torquey and has a reputation as a wheelie monster. In my opinion, it's a "borderline" beginner bike. Ok for someone who can pick up motorcycling fast, keeps a sane head, and is very careful. But only good things can come out of starting smaller.

You don't care very much about power: The Ninja 500 is no slouch, you won't get bored with it. Even the 250 is a capable machine. The Ninja 500 is cheaper than the SV, and you mentioned the 500 felt more comfortable when you sat on it compared to the SV. So go with what you want! Carbureted vs. fuel injected? I don't think it's a big deal.

And wait a WHILE before you ride with your girlfriend on the back. You'll need to put some miles under your belt before you're comfortable riding it alone...riding with a passenger is another experience. Bike's that much heavier, slow cornering gets tricky, braking takes longer...plus you don't want to make newbie mistakes while someone else is at stake. But to answer your question, I don't know how the 500 would be riding with a passenger compared to the SV.

Good luck.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-17-2005, 07:20 AM
 
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Get whichever one you like more. Both are fine starter bikes. Also the SV is a more capable bike, and thus a tad bit more dangerous. The 500 wont bore you in a month, but might get old after 6mo. The sv can provide a challange for years, but you will want to go up to something bigger anyway.
FI is more convinient if you plan to mod the bike, and abit easier to maintain (there is really no maintanance to FI), but its really no big deal.

Basicly go with whichever bike is more comfortable or looks better to you. You'll do fine with either.



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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-17-2005, 11:36 AM
 
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The SV is a perfect track bike, if you are ever going to go that route I would not hesitate on getting the SV. The Ninja is a good bike, depending on what you want out of motorcycle riding, if your first bike is just for you to learn and then get something bigger then go cheap, and not just Ninja but old ninja.

Sportbikes overall are no good for passengers IMHO
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-17-2005, 06:10 PM Thread Starter
 
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thanks for the replies guys. They are really helpful.

No one has really answered my question about riding with a passenger though. I am definitely not planning to ride with my g/f anytime soon, but once I feel experienced enough it would be really nice to have that option and be able to go on leisurly rides together. When I say is the Ninja capable of it, I don't mean is it going to have amazing acceleration and turning even with a passenger, obviously I realize this isn't the case. I just want to know if it is actually capable of riding say for an hour around town with a passenger on back just leisurly? Is it possible to maintain highway speeds for a while with a passenger? Or is that going to hurt the bike or is it going to be much more difficult compared to how the SV650 would handle this.

Ideally at the end of the summer so 4 months from now as I said I'd like to do a short trip (~ 1 hour highway driving) with the girlfriend. Again assuming i am comfortable by that time doing this. From what I understand the SV650 would accomplish this no problem, the ninja 500 however I have no idea about.

Thanks guys for the useful info!
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-17-2005, 06:49 PM
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My fiance and I used to go two-up on a 1999 ZZR 250. That only had 40hp. We took it up mountain roads even. It just means changing down a cog or two to keep the revs up.

The 2000 SV650 has 70hp, so you shouldn't have any problems with a pillion. Sure, it won't be anywhere near the same as a litre bike, but it'll drag both your a**ses along just fine.

Just remember that her life will be in your hands. It's a huge responsibilty to accept.




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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-17-2005, 09:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by cookeetree
My fiance and I used to go two-up on a 1999 ZZR 250. That only had 40hp. We took it up mountain roads even. It just means changing down a cog or two to keep the revs up.
That's a lot of horse for 250, the Ninja 250 for the US is half that figure.

I agree SV is pretty torquey, I'm still surprised from time to time how much roll on power is always there even in 5th gear. For example, I have to sometimes feather the clutch at 1st while making a u-turn, it just basically wants to take off at earliest opportunity. Over 7000rpm, it's like a 4-cylinder, similar induction noise and thrust. Engine braking is great, never abrupt. The brakes are progessive, but I just wished the front brake would have stronger bite, it just means that I have get on the front early.

But this bike is not a wheelie monster if you know what you're doing. It has tolerated my mistakes so far.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-18-2005, 05:38 AM
 
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z fanatic:
I am pretty sure that an ex250 is pushing 39hp stateside. But I could be wrong.

yoda:
Power wise either bike will pull a passanger all day long. Yes even at highway speeds. Even at passing on the highway speeds. The question is how comfortable your girl is going to be on the back of one of those things. The answear is "not very"



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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-18-2005, 12:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Vash
...The question is how comfortable your girl is going to be on the back of one of those things. The answear is "not very"...
Of course, she wouldn't be very comfortable perched on the back of some litre bikes, either.

You need to decide what you need your bike to do. If you plan on carrying your girl a fair bit you need to buy something that she will enjoy sitting on as much as you.

The biggest motivation for me to buy another bike was that my girl started to not enjoy being on the back of our bike.




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