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Hey guys. I am a new guy looking for new bike and im completely new to it so I wanted to ask some questions. Im most likely going to sign up for the MSF course but I just don't know which bike to get. I'm 5-9 at 150lbs. I was thinking of getting a Kawasaki Ninja 250 because it seems affordable (new or used), very popular for parts, and seems to be a great learners bike. Well the problem with that is I live in NYC and i'll be doing a lot of driving. As in LIE, NJ Turnpike, Belt Parkway, along with all the other inside and outside highways, driving to Boston on a daily basis and such. So I need a bike that can do highways just as much as do city riding. I race mountain bike downhill professionally so I don't know if that can qualify as experience but i'll put it down here anyway.

Anyway i'm looking for help in picking out the right bike and would really appreciate your help. Thank you.
 

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Sounds like a 500 is going to be your best bet. It's a good bike to learn on, and is more highway-friendly than the 250. Either a Ninja or a GS-500F will do you just fine. An SV-650 (or equivalent) wouldn't be totally out of your league either, but I'd still say that sticking with the 500's would be better.
 

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Personally I don't know since I started on an old 600, and my 250 experience is limited to zipping around on a friend's Honda Rebel in a subdivision. The general consensus seems to be that the Ninja 250s are a little "buzzy" at highway speeds. Don't get me wrong, they will get up to speed with no problem, and will move your weight easily. But they are not geared for >150mph, so you're going to be cruising at higher RPM's than you would on a 500 or 650.

Personally, I'd rather have one of the new 250's than any of the 500's I've seen, just based on looks. And I don't know how much they've changed the motor and gearing this year.
 

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In a crowded urban environment, a Ninja 250 would be a pretty fun bike. They aren't slow, easily able to keep up with traffic and out-accelerate most cars 0-60. Top speed is about 105 mph. Gas mileage would be absolutely killer. I think you can get 70 mpg on a Ninja 250. And snaksht is right, the redesigned 2008's are really good looking bikes. But you would have to stir the engine up a bit for highway motoring and I think that is where the concern is. If you'll be riding on really crowded, rush-hour freeways where you're lucky to just get up to 60 mph, then the 250 probably would be just fine. But if you'll be needing to maintain 75+ and still have some reserve for passing, then something bigger might be called for. (Ninja 500R, 650R, Suzuki GS 500F, SV-650)
 
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