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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi guys, I've been reading many threads on this forum and its proved to be tremendously useful. The experienced folks are quick to reply with sound advice sans the nonsense.

Without further a due I'm currently in the market for a new or used sports bike, I've read up on what a "good" beginner sports bike is and I've narrowed my choices down to four first is the KAwa ninja 250R, ninja 500r, the suzuki gs500f, and the Ducati Desmosedici D16RR. Any suggestions will of course be appreciated, new or used.

Before I even start looking for a bike I will complete the MSF course first, if there is any recommendations for schools in the bay area or LA that would be great.

After that is finished and if I feel confident I will begin shopping, I have considered a used 250R but the 2008 model looks absolutely delicious and for the price its not out of my realm of possibility.

Shopping for cars I have a lot of experience but bikes, I got jack squat. I was going to start by checking the dealer inventories at cycle trader (already have, cant help it im excited!) then visit the actual dealers and ride the bikes to see how comfortable I am with the bikes. That is actually my main goal for my first purchase, whether or not I feel comfortable on the bike. I beleive, and feel free to correct my if I'm wrong, comfort leads to stability and stability leads to safety. However it does not mean I will purchase a R6 despite how comfortable I may feel on it. (I hardly doubt I will feel comfortable on a machine of that caliber).

After that though, I'm out of ideas, does this sound like a reasonable way to go about it? I have a couple of friends who ride but I doubt that my schedule and their schedule will match every time so there may be times where I would have to look at the bikes by myself.

I have read the guide on the motorcycle links page on the impulsive or compulsive shopping article but there are still many parts I am not familiar with. If someone could reiterate on what the parts to check for are, and what they should look like I would really appreciate it.

As far as experience goes I have none. I rode BMX for a while but I'm sure its drastically different. With that said, I aim to set aside about a grand for gear, I've read that this is a reasonable amount for protective gear. Again I do not know where to begin looking for quality gear at a resonable price. I've read that I should goto a local shop and try on the gear, write down the specs, then go online and order it. One stipulation I had in mind was about local shops having bundled sales, as in whole suit plus helmet. I fathom that may save me a few bucks plus I get to purchase what I just tried out. However this of course is TBD. So if there is a reputable online vendor that some of you guys use frequently to purchase goods I love to hear about it.

Thats about all I can think of right now Im going to continue reading up on the threads and perhaps add to my (hopefully not so) annoying rant. I know its a bit much but I'm very serious about this purchase because a bike is not a toy and I could seriously get fu*cked up if I think otherwise. So I could use all the help I can get in choose the right setup.

-Thanks in advance.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I would also like to know of a few good websites where I could check their inventory to see if they have something I'm interested available. So far I've come up with cycle trader and thats about it. Could anyone list some suggestions?
 

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CraigsList is another good source. Good luck on the 250R! I've been on a waiting list for one and will be for the next couple of months. :rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I've actually looked on craiglist a couple of times, however the results did not meet my demands. I only found 3 of 250R, none of which was in my color preference, and 2 of them had more mileage than I'd like to have on my bike.

Since as of this moment the new 08 250R are hot cakes and older 250R are a bit hard to find (at least for me, if you know if any sources please feel free to chime in), I've been leaning more and more towards the Kawa 500R and suzuk Gs500F. I know these 500cc bikes may be a bit much for a beginning rider so if I do find a good pre-owned Kawa 500R and suzuk Gs500F, what should I inspect the bikes for, and what should I watch out for?
 

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Strength and Honor
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First, welcome :cheers:

Second, thanks very much for doing your research up-front. You're already a winner in my book.

As for narrowing the bike choice, go out and indulge your excitement and sit on as many as you can find. You're right, the comfort may decide the bike for you very quickly. My wife and I did that and she quickly eliminated the Suzuki SV650 from the contenders list yet the Kawi 650R was "good enough". You'll have plenty of time for an aggressively seated bike so don't rush that, consider your planned use, which is probably street for a while.

As for control/suspension, that does vary by bike so after you have some sort of ordered preference list post up and Vash or others who've been on more than a few might be able to offer advice on the suspensions for your top ones.

Shopping can take time once you have a model or two. I usually track bike-specific or manufacturer-specific sites because they have the best deals. I also use Ebay to "Watch" bikes that list to see what the going rates are. When you've narrowed to one or two, we can offer some specific sites probably to help in finding a used one (highly recommended)

As for inspecting a used bike, the value of a bike is reduced if it has been:
Crashed/laid down/dropped
Stunted
Raced/run on the track

The reason for the first is obvious. Stunted rides often have been dropped and the way the clutch is used and the fact that the oil pickup can be run dry for short periods hurts the bike's long-term viability. Raced/tracked bikes are less likely for the set you're looking at but obviously running a bike near or at redline can be tough on it compared to someone who just strolled it around the streets.

Dropped/crashed bikes are usually easy to spot, unless the owner tries to hide it. Check the ends of the hand levers (clutch/brake) for signs of scraping, as well as the underside of the driver's foot pegs. Often they don't get replaced in a drop. Look over the frame to identify any scratches, dings, etc which are signs of a pretty significant incident. Lastly, use the Internet to your advantage. Check forums the person may use to see what kind of a rider they were and to note any events that might impact your offered price.

You'll find an MSF near you, I'm sure, just check out their website for the Beginner's Rider Course (BRC). Someone posted the cost on here for CA but I don't recall it, sorry.
 

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I've actually looked on craiglist a couple of times, however the results did not meet my demands. I only found 3 of 250R, none of which was in my color preference, and 2 of them had more mileage than I'd like to have on my bike.

Since as of this moment the new 08 250R are hot cakes and older 250R are a bit hard to find (at least for me, if you know if any sources please feel free to chime in), I've been leaning more and more towards the Kawa 500R and suzuk Gs500F. I know these 500cc bikes may be a bit much for a beginning rider so if I do find a good pre-owned Kawa 500R and suzuk Gs500F, what should I inspect the bikes for, and what should I watch out for?
Don't worry too much about mileage. Most bikes are totalled before they're broken in very well so it makes bikes with 15,000 miles look old. More than one person on here has logged over 100,000 miles on his bike. The engines you're looking at are bullet-proof established designs.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks guys for the response

@kanwisch, I've been reading up on the article found this forum
http://www.clarity.net/~adam/buying-bike-content.html. Although I've extensive knowledge on cars the layout of a bike is quite different thus I feel that I need to immerse myself in learning the components and the functions of the various parts. I know the guide is just a summary of the major parts but I need to start somewhere.

Hopefully after completing the article I will have better knowelege and confidence in shopping for a used bike. So far based on data alone I would have to go with the 250R, unfortunately none of my friends have that bike (the least cc engine of someone I know is a 600), So unless the 250R turns out to be uncomfortable upon my test ride I believe that should be the bike of choice.

My main concern is the limited quantities I am able to find on a used R250 and the new one (2008) is very tempting lookswise but pricewise it is not. So I've been looking into the Gs500F, and I must admit that bike is damm sexy. I've also heard that the SV650 is also a good starter bike, is this true?

@mkeeny, so basically a bike that has less than 15k miles is a suitable contender? I'm glade to hear that a bike engine is built to last, but is there a way to check to see if the engine on a used bike is functioning normally?
 

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Thanks guys for the response

@kanwisch, I've been reading up on the article found this forum
http://www.clarity.net/~adam/buying-bike-content.html. Although I've extensive knowledge on cars the layout of a bike is quite different thus I feel that I need to immerse myself in learning the components and the functions of the various parts. I know the guide is just a summary of the major parts but I need to start somewhere.

Hopefully after completing the article I will have better knowelege and confidence in shopping for a used bike. So far based on data alone I would have to go with the 250R, unfortunately none of my friends have that bike (the least cc engine of someone I know is a 600), So unless the 250R turns out to be uncomfortable upon my test ride I believe that should be the bike of choice.

My main concern is the limited quantities I am able to find on a used R250 and the new one (2008) is very tempting lookswise but pricewise it is not. So I've been looking into the Gs500F, and I must admit that bike is damm sexy. I've also heard that the SV650 is also a good starter bike, is this true?

@mkeeny, so basically a bike that has less than 15k miles is a suitable contender? I'm glade to hear that a bike engine is built to last, but is there a way to check to see if the engine on a used bike is functioning normally?
No, there's no magic mileage. I just threw out 15k because you rarely see bikes for sale with that many miles.

Look here for a good guide on things to check: http://www.sportbikeworld.com/forums/showthread.php?t=50602

You'll be very lucky to get a test ride of any bike you want to buy. It's very rare. Being a new rider, it's probably a bad idea anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
That makes sense mkeeny, I do not want to damage a bike I do not own and my limiting experience should be considered. In that case I will probably look at the bike and grind down to a few solid contenders then probably ask a friend to ride it for me to ween out any loose ends.
 

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The SV is an ok starter but going with a 250 or 500 will be cheaper outright, lower insurance cost, and better gas mileage all while giving you the chance to throw it around and learn more quickly :2cents:
 
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