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Discussion Starter #1
...OK, now that I've got your attention :)

Not having a death wish, I'm not buying a Hayabusa, but would like some thoughts on the relative merits of some entry level bikes. I've read the stickied beginner links and am hoping to get some first hand feedback from some of the folks on here.

First off, I'm 40, married, not a risk taker and don't need to go 1000 mph with my hair on fire. I'm looking for something more along the lines of "Mercedes SL" than "Lambo Diablo", composed, smooth, and powerful enough to be entertaining. I also realize that I'm a complete noob and have a lot of learning to do.

My first bike will be used. I'm thinking along the lines of the Kaw 500 Ninja, Suzuki GS500 or possibly an SV650, or a Buell Blast (which I'm liking as it is somewhat unusual, which appeals to me). I will of course be taking an MSF course before getting serious.

If anyone can comment on these particular models and how they stack up, I would appreciate the input. The bike would be a Sunday morning type ride, with occasional commuting on Michigan's fine road system - just like Baghdad without the IEDs! (my tax money at work.... :mad: )

Thanks much for what looks to be a very informative site.
 

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sv650
cbr 600rr
gixxer 600
kawi 636

any of those will be good. but seeing how youve never been on a bike, i would suggest a ninja 500 or the sv650 over the rest of the mentioned bikes above. todays 600cc bikes have enough power to get you in trouble if not careful.
 

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All good beginner choices you have there with the ninja 500 being the most commonly suggested and chosen first ride from your list. The SV650 I hear is pretty beginner friendly too. As far as the buell blast it is a really good beginner bike but you won't get many recommendations for it here because this is a sportbike forum not a H-D/Cruiser one. The SV650 will likely take you the longest to outgrow while the easy learning nature of the blast may leave you wanting more just months after getting it.

As for everyone else's recommendations, why not just have him start on a ZX-14 cuse becoming a good rider quick and staying alive/uninjured is very low on the priority list when not outgrowing your bike being #1 priority of the first bike right? So instead of the 600 and liter first bike recommends lets just start all the newbs at 1400, if they die it just wasn't meant to be and if they don't we'll just see how long they last.
 

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i would suggest the Ninja 250R - its revamped and looks sweet for 2008.. brand new it is $3,500.. you can't really lose with the bike.. ride it for a season, learn to ride, then if you like it then sell it and get a bigger bike the next year.. just my thought... of course a Ninja 500 isn't a bad choice either.. you should really think used for your first bike - something maybe not in perfect shape - that way when you drop it in a parking lot or knock it over in the garage or something you won't be heartbroken.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
i would suggest the Ninja 250R - its revamped and looks sweet for 2008.. brand new it is $3,500.. you can't really lose with the bike.. ride it for a season, learn to ride, then if you like it then sell it and get a bigger bike the next year.. just my thought... of course a Ninja 500 isn't a bad choice either.. you should really think used for your first bike - something maybe not in perfect shape - that way when you drop it in a parking lot or knock it over in the garage or something you won't be heartbroken.
That's exactly why I tend to buy all my toys used - well, that and the depreciation. Bought a new offshore boat once and had to write a healthy check 3 years later when I sold it - not fun. Only used toys unless I win the lotto! :)
 

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Strength and Honor
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Mr.MI, you sound pretty similar to me. Right now I'm hoping to get some coin for a Kawi 650R, which is the market competitor to the SV650S. Either of those are great choices for around-the-town bikes and are a bit on the powerful side for new riders but not totally unacceptable. And both have a couple of active bike-specific forums where I'd start my search for something used. In my experience, that's where you usually find the good deals more regularly.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Mr.MI, you sound pretty similar to me. Right now I'm hoping to get some coin for a Kawi 650R, which is the market competitor to the SV650S. Either of those are great choices for around-the-town bikes and are a bit on the powerful side for new riders but not totally unacceptable. And both have a couple of active bike-specific forums where I'd start my search for something used. In my experience, that's where you usually find the good deals more regularly.
Do you have links for these forums? I'd love to sit back and lurk for a bit...
 

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S370HSSV 0773H
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I have a Blast I'd be willing to sell. :)
 

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S370HSSV 0773H
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As a beginner it really isn't a bad bike. We bought it for my wife to learn on, but what we had working against us was that she had ridden on sportbikes for years as a passenger, so she was used to their behavior/power. The Buell allowed her to get used to controlling a bike very well though as it had roughly the same weight as a 600 and a low seat height, allowing her to have both feet firmly planted on the ground. Our Blast has a couple hundred miles or so on it, a good deal of which I probably logged myself. I'm 6'2" and ~250 lbs and it still moves me pretty quickly.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I'm not where I can buy anything right now - have to sell my truck first (anyone need a 2005 F-250 CC 4wd?) but I'll shout at you if things change. Right now I'm kind of leaning toward a standard / sportbike / sport tourer type of ride once I get past the beginner stage (maybe an older VFR, Triumph Thruxton, Ducati Monster, something like that) but I get some serious lust for the occasional Harley or Victory. Guess I'm a bit vague on the purchase criteria! :)
 

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Strength and Honor
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The Blast was made for learning, passing the tests, and getting experience on an easy to handle machine that would still do well in most situations. I'd consider it regardless of whether you sell your truck or not.
 
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