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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone. This is my first post on these boards (only been reading a few days now) but I've just recently gotten into bikes. I've always loved going fast (responsibly, for the most part). I'm 18, and the first car I purchased with my own money was a '93 Trans AM. I absolutely love it but I'm ready for something more (aren't we all?) So recently I've compeletely fallen in love with sportbikes. In reality though, I'm a freshman in college and have very little money to play with. I've already realized I need to take the MSF course, but I was curious as to what bike you all would recommend for no more than $3,000?

I've read posts recommending the GS500 and the SV650. I checked out the MSRP on a used SV650 but from what I can tell Suzuki didn't start making them until 1999 and a used one runs for about 4grand. So enough blabbering, what would you all recommend?

Thanks in advance,
Nick Wells

P.S>Ah yes, I have 0 bike experience. My dad used to own a bike and plans on buying another sometime in the next few years, but that's about it.
 

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I will just say this: Everyone i know who started out with a 600cc sportbike has wrecked it with chillling results (5) buddies at last count. Everyone I know that started on a 500cc bike has had most enjoyable time riding and can handle themselves very nicley on a larger displacement bike (now).

To sum it up id go with the EX500, it is a grat bike for someone on a budget that hasent rode much before. If you haven ridden very much you will probably be on a budet anyway replacing mirrors and turnsignals!

Good Luck, Lemmie know what u get.
 

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I don't want to contradict ¾ Throttle, but don't let him scare you too much. I am all for starting out on a bike you can handle, and you have to make that call. I myself started riding on a brand new 2000 Honda CBR600F4, and never had one bit of trouble. I never took a safety course and only got my permit 2 days before buying the bike. The point I want to make is, how much control do you have over yourself? I was able to learn to ride just fine by controlling myself while on the bike.
A few pieces of advice though are to go ahead and take the saftey course, I wish I had, and plan to as soon as I can. Also, have you figured riding gear into your budget? At the very least plan on a helmet, gloves and jacket, but get pants and boots in there as soon as you can.
As far as what bike to get...well if you genuinely want to learn to ride well and safely, then I think you would be fine on a 600, but if you have the need for speed and want to go out and crank the throttle wide open the first day then I would suggest getting something smaller that won't kill you if you do that. All the restraint and control you need lies between your brain and your throttle hand, it's up to you to use it properly.
Whatever you decide just do it safely and have fun! There is a ton of good advice on here!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank You

Thank you both for the great responses. I've done a little research on the cost of gear and it really blew me away. I was thinking I could get Helmet/Gloves/Jacket/Pants/Boots all for about 1k but it looks more like an easy $1500. Am I looking at equipment that's designed for more than I'll be doing or am I just looking at the necessary stuff? Concerning speed/power: I certainly think I can control it when I'm alone. What really scares me is how horribly some people drive. Even in my "cager", a somewhat low-to-the-ground/small Trans Am, the way some people drive terrifies me. I can only imagine what it's like with a shield of skin vs a skin of steel. I'm afraid (and maybe it's only because I've never been on a bike) that I'll have a whole lot on my mind for a while when I'm driving on the street and I don't want way too much power to be one of them. On the other hand, I'll be in college for atleast 3 more years and probably won't have enough money to by another bike for a few years. I want my first to be entertaining even after my n00b riding stage. What is the difference between the ES500 and GS500? Oh yeah, and who makes it? (no flames! hah).

Thanks to anyone who responds,
Nick Wells
 

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No flames at all! You have to be a newbie at some point! :)

The EX500 is a Kawasaki Ninja 500. It has a little bit more of a sporty look to it for those who like that. I have ridden some, but my personal experience was that I didn't like the gears/shifting on the Kawasaki.

I have a GS500 which is Suzuki. It has more of the "traditional" bike look as opposed to the sportbike look to it. The gearing (for me) feels more solid and secure.

People say that the GS is a bit more "tame" than the ES but I have cranked mine out and it has plenty of power for any beginner... Infact... Mine is for sale if you have any way to come get it ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Haha!

I wish I could come pick it up lol. Unfortunately it's going to be a while, still have to work up the funds and convince the female parental (read : mother). The dad was all go for it so long as it's responsible, but my mom's not into the idea at all. So, what I got from that is the ES is a little more tame but still has some go-power and the GS has a little more umph but might be a little rought for a beginner? What model year would I be looking at for around 3g's? And what's a good mileage/year on a bike in the Texas area? It's pretty warm year round so I imagine it'll be pretty high.

I'm favorable to the sporty look on bikes, but I don't want it to be all show and no go. Plus I know I'll be dropping the thing once or twice and I've heard plastic + concrete = $$$.

Wrap-up: Any more bike recommendations? What's the typical mileage/year on a bike in the south? What's a good beginner bike with a sporty look and some (not overpowering) oomph to back it up.


Thanks again, sorry about all the questions. You all are great
Nick Wells
 

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My first bike is a 2002 Suzuki SV650S, and I laid her down once from coming down an incline to quick backwards, and I actually took a spill coz some jerk cut me off, but it had nothing to do with the power of the bike.

The 650S is a good pick only because it's a twin stroke, not a 4 cylinder like other 600's. Food for thought, take the course and buy a helmet, gloves and a jacket. Worry about what bike you want when you know you can ride one and not die.

I bought a $375.00 helmet (Shoei RF900) and a $190.00 jacket. It's not the best jacket in the world but it will get the job done. I also got a $40 pair of gloves and I got a spare HJC helmet for free with the gloves. I'm looking to spend close to $600 on gear and get everything. You have to shop around.

If you want a good bike to learn on that won't cost an arm, a leg and everything in between, get a Honda CBR600F2. Yeah it's a four cylinder 600, but they're from 94 and below so they're not too hectic, and I've heard they're a blast to ride and learn on and they DO have the sportbike look.

If you want something more recent, get a newer model Ninja 500. But I wouldn't recommend it because those bikes get grown out of quickly and you end up going through the hastle of buying a newer bike again and if you're the styling person you also have to get rid of your gear and buy matching gear.

Good advice that I heard from someone here: Learn your limits and do things safely. If you know your limits you can start out on a 600 like an F3 or F4 and gain experience and not have to buy a bigger bike. But if you have a heavy foot and on a bike you'll have a heavy hand then you better get the 500 or smaller. If you can handle it, get a 600. The ZX6E as I've heard is a really good bike and if you get a 95 or so, you can probably get one for sub 3,000 range. Try and find a bike that comes with a helmet and gloves or more. Whether it fits or not is not the point. You can always sell the gear and buy more fitting gear.
 

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please, people contradict me if I am not accurate! If I had 3k to spend on a 600cc bike that was sporty, and was managable even to beginners I would get a CBRf2, the average retail is $3,100, so you might find a good deal and get a helmet too.

Good luck
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Awesome

Wow, the f2 sounds like a steal. But, at that price, am I going to grow out of it quickly? Maybe I'm getting ahead of myself, but I'm a fairly atheletic person and tend to catch onto things relatively quickly; I'd be really bummed if I was bored with the bike after a few months but couldn't step up to anything better b/c of $ issues. Any comments?


Thanks for the replies,
NickW
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Question

I was doing a little research and in response to what ¾ Throttle

said, how could I get one brand new? I didn't see it listed on Honda's site; do they still make them? Just curious, I doubt I'd get a new one, but if they're still making them a 96-97 might be a nice possibility.



Thanks again,
Nick
 

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Put it this way... LOL. Honda #'s the F bikes based on generation. The newest one is the F4i which is different/newer than the F4. So no you can't get them brand new. And you won't grow out of an F2 quickly. You might not grow out of it at all. It's the most powerful out of all the bikes I've spoken about.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Excellent

So the F# represents the generation so to speak, like C3, C4, and C5 Corvettes. (I'm still a car guy until I get a bike!). Now that makes sense. I like the idea of having a bike i'll be able to ride for a few years that looks nice and won't, if driven safely, get me killed. So with that said, what are some of the major things that I should look at before buying one? Are there any issues they typically have I should keep an eye out for? This will be my first bike (obviously) so if you can, even the most seemingly obvious things will be appreciated.


Thanks again, you rock!
Nick W
 

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my first sportbike (not motorcycle, but sportbike) was a 94 f2. they are great motorcycles. i think they are a lot for a newbie.

i sold mine in 2000 and it was a give away at $3300. an f2 that's selling for 2400, isn't likely worth it. it's probably a wheelied out, fork seal, cct, new shock needing pos.

you can save cash on gear. www.1888fastlap.com and www.newenough.com always have a deal on leathers. and you can go the jacket route which is definitely easier to live with. buy boots used (seriously, i do, most guys get rid of them if they get dusty, fill with foot scum killer and you're set) i paid $50 for my alpinestar 511's and $125 for my daytona winner boots. i've also seen guys pay $75 for new agv 580's (an out-of-production clearance item). gloves are a personal thing. you can get $30-40 gloves. my hands are worth more than that. i spend serious money on gloves and do it every other year. my preference is held gloves. if you go cheap, make sure they have rivets. helmet specials are out there. get a good agv or hjc in a solid color.

and just for the record, i think the gs500 looks really nice.
 

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NickW

While I'm double your age, I'm in a similar dilemma...which begs the question, what will Nick be doing when he has HIS mid-life crisis! ;D Anyway, I am looking at the Suzuki SV650, the Suzuki GS500E and the Kawasaki Ninja 500R.

I have a budget as well, with the SV being at the tall end, the GS at the low end. The order is about the same when you look at performance issues. So I'm currently leaning towards the Ninja right now. When the time comes to lay down some cash, that may change. With your limits, the SV may be out of the question.

Between the GS500 and the Ninja, the Ninja has better (according to Motorcyclist magazine) stock performance. It also looks pretty good. I also gather that it is an old, rock solid design. One guy I talked to said it's a great bike to learn working on motorcycles with. I'd imagine all the same could be said about the GS. Anyway, I like the looks of the Ninja better, it fits better (though I'd really like to be able to sit each, one right after the other!) and I think it'll be able to keep me entertained until the next time my spousal unit (read: wife) says I can throw down another $6+K for my own amusement!
 

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Kawi Ninja Ex500r

Hey there,

I just began riding sportbikes and decided to get something small but flashy. I also had a $3000 limit and chose a used 2002 EX500r with 1500 miles.

Having no bike experience at all, I read the manual on gear shifting, hopped on, and dropped it making right turns in the school parking lot. Felt alot different than my bicycle when young but has some of the same concepts. Eventually I got my permit and then my license.

The best thing about the 500 is that it lets me learn and enjoy riding hard but keeps me in control power-wise. I like to go fast. I am getting the looks and I hear the pipes and think I am doing something great. It's only when I try to ride with the 600+ that I soon learn the differences in displacements.

I went on ebay and purchased a used helmet for my wife for under $50. I do have the Joe Rocket Ballistic jacket that I copped for $125. Other than that, I'd recommend not going all out with the leathers, boots and fancy gloves until you've learned to ride and are ready to get your "permanent" bike. You'll find that color coordination is appealling.

-- First you learn to fly --
 

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Between the GS500 and the Ninja, the Ninja has better (according to Motorcyclist magazine) stock performance.
One of their editors also said not to bother with either of them and get a used Bandit 400. A bandit 400, if you can find one, is a great first bike. They sold them in the US from 91 to 93. They will outperform either of the 500s you are looking at, have no plastic to break in a drop, sound awesome, are easy to work on and are very easy to ride. NADA lists them at around $1400 to $1900 high retail right now. I bought a pristine low mileage example last year for $2100. It looks and runs like new. They have no emblems that indicate the displacement and can easily be mistaken for a 600 or a 1200 from a distance, by the unaware (nice, if you care about such things). Unlike the Bandit 600 and 1200, the 400s are liquid cooled. The engine came straight out of the GSXR400 with no detuning.

FUN BIKE. I ride a ZX9R mostly but still have a blast on my little Bandit. My wife rides it all the time and loves it too. I lent it to someone who did a 350 mile day on it. He was shocked at how competent it was for a 400.

This is what they look like: (not mine)
 

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When you are at the Second Hand Book Store ---

--- as I suggested when it came to you numerous questions on maintence. Then you will also note a number normal monthly m/c mags --- pick up a few that are not to old. Do a bit of riding & if still interested drop down to the local magazine stands & leaf through one to three till you find one NEW on you want then buy it & be able to read up on it when back at home.
Save people from answering all your questions UNLESS they are sensible ones & you are closer to SERIOUSLY thinking about purchasing a m/c. Besides in most cases the FIRST purchase is of a car as it is an ALL YEAR AROUND VEHICLE & a good 'used' car is a much better buy, lastslonger, parts less expensive & gets one into less problems be it physical or mechanically. A m/c is for the sport/hobby of riding --- they are not cheap to purchase new or use & parts hard to obtain & COSTLY compared to a cage.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Did not mean to offend

Alright. I didn't mean to waste anyone's time with my questions. I figured "New Rider" forum meant I could ask questions as they came to mind. I already have a car that I bought with my own money that also drives well year round. Then I recently got interested in motorcycles and decided to put my feet in the water to see what I was getting myself into. Could I afford a good beginner bike? Could I afford equipment? Could I afford maintaining the bike once I got it? All the questions seemed legitimate to me, considering their location on the board. I'll take you're advice on reading magazines, as I already do that with car mags, but I don't see the harm in asking questions. No one has to answer them if they don't desire to. Again, I apologize if I wasted you're time, but I wanted to know what I was getting myself into and I figured a message board would be the perfect place; maybe I was wrong.


Thanks and Sorry,
Nick W.
 

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Nothing to be sorry about, you do have legitimate questions. Sometimes people on here just get a little bitchy. They all have the option to not read and/or answer anyone else's posts. If you have questions then ask them. You'll more than likely get a lot of good answers or at least someone will tell you to do a search in a certain forum, as many topics have been covered many times over. Keep asking questions though, the only stupid ones are the ones you don't ask.
 
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