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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey, I've been poking around on my local craigslist and I'm seeing quite a few older sport bike for pretty cheap, a couple examples are a 91 ninja 750, and a 94 ninja 600, both for $1500 and that's around the same price or cheaper than newer ex500s and 250s. What I'm wondering is how silly an idea it is to get one of them as a first bike?

I have a car and a truck at the moment, and I'm hoping (needing really) to sell the truck and use the money from that to pay off some bills and hopefully pick up a cheap bike to crash a few times before getting a nice new one. It's looking like I'll have about a $1500-2000 budget for the bike, and in my area the choices are a little slim with most of the bikes in that price range having salvage titles, or being 90's era bikes.

Thoughts?

Edit: Forgot to mention, I already own a full face helmet, a leather motorcycle jacket with armor, gloves and boots, and I have a set of knee/shin guards as well. I also took an MSF course a few months ago, then my job dried up a bit, things are looking better now though.
 

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As with buying any used bike, you will need to go and inspect each bike - if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. There are exceptions to that rule, but they are few and far between.

Don't be afraid of a bike just because it's a 90s era. Many of the bikes from that era will still be in spectacular shape, as long as the owners have taken care of them. Check for signs of abuse like tire shreds under the tail (habitual burnouts, and lack of interest in cleaning the bike suggest less than stellar maintenance), check the chain to see if it's adjusted properly or has kinks or rust on it. Check the oil to make sure it's not pitch black or altogether not present. Granted, older bikes (like those from the 90s) will have more wear and tear in general, but a well maintained bike from that era should have no problems at all.

I hope that helps you with your decision!
 

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Strength and Honor
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Between those two I would recommend against the 750. It is a trade-off between older bikes and newer ones: hp versus maintenance. Older bikes require more attention so if you're mechanically-inclined and enjoy that kinda thing, then the older bike might be a better deal and you could probably have more pricing leverage with the owner.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
So an older 600 isn't going to be too twitchy for new to street bikes rider? I know that's one of the reasons that newer 600s are recommended against, besides the power they produce.

I should be ok with the higher maintenance, I'm somewhat mechanically inclined. I'm actually a computer tech, but that's a whole different ballgame.

Thanks for the input guys!
 

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Back in their time, those bikes were not recommended for beginners but compared to the bikes of today those bikes are way better for a beginner than something from the past 10 years.

I wouldn't recommend the 750 but the 600 is workable especially since you have the know how from taking the MSF. Don't get cocky and I'm sure you'll do just fine. Just to answer your question, the older bikes (> 10 years) aren't as razor sharp as the newer (< 10 years) bikes so the bike doesn't get out of control so quick. So yea thats a positive for an inexperienced sport bike rider or inexperienced rider overall.

Keep the rubber side down and rack up them miles on 2 wheels.
 
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