Good sport tourer for new rider

Discussion in 'Road Warriors' started by dbk23, Feb 2, 2013.

  1. dbk23

    dbk23 n00b

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    Hello Everyone
    I will be taking a motorcycle course this spring and getting my bike licence. I want a bike that I can commute back and forth to work with, but I also want a bike I can head out on the weekends for weekend getaways so I am looking for a good beginner bike for sports touring. Yes I have considered the Ninja 250 or Honda CBR 250 but was told will out grow them fast. I am turning 50 years old, stand 5t 10" and weigh 225 lbs. I am looking at the Kawasaki Ninja 650r and the Yamaha FX6R and was wondering what the experienced riders in the forum thought of these bikes to start out? Is there any other bikes I should consider? lso maybe looking at the Kawasaki Versys 650 as a possible option as well. Thanks in advance for taking time to look at my post and hopefully provide some insite. Possibility of getting a used NINJA 500r as well.

    Thanks
    Darren
    #1
  2. Chris01011

    Chris01011 Adventurer

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    I was a new rider last year and had a cbr250. It was a great bike, and I'm sure you would have a great time on it. Buy used, since you will probably want to change to something else pretty soon. And that's ok!

    I'm on my third bike in a year since I started riding.

    Have you considered the Honda NC700x? Easier to ride than the cbr, slightly more power but certainly not intimidating, more comfortable, and similar fuel economy. I picked one up a week ago, and it ticks all my boxes just perfectly.

    Good luck.

    Chris
    #2
  3. Grainbelt

    Grainbelt marginal adventurer Super Moderator

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    Welcome.

    You will only outgrow the 250 class if you are big, heavy, and want to ride everwhere at 80mph. I started on a GS500, put 25k on a Ninja 650R, and now ride a Yamaha FZ6 (the 04-09 model, not the FZ6R, which is a different bike.

    The 650R, FZ6, FZ6R, and former Suzuki GSX650F are all very competent bikes. Six years and about 60k miles later, I'm still happy with that level of power output. All are modern bikes with good brakes, readily available proper tires, fuel injection, and most have good aftermarket support.

    The '12+ Ninja 650R offered in the US does not have rear grab handle mounts, which is where aftermarket hard luggage mounts up, so you're stuck with soft bags. Nice bikes though, I really enjoyed my older model, and have demoed a new one. Great powerband for the street.

    The FZ6R is heavier and has lower power output than the old FZ6, but a lot more midrange punch. I've been very happy with the fit and finish on my Yamaha, and the 26k mile valve adjustment interval is nice.

    There really aren't any bad bikes out there anymore. If you get a chance to check out the new Honda CB500, they are an intriguing option at about $6k new, with available factory luggage, ABS if you want it, etc. Would be an ideal first bike, in all likelihood. :thumb
    #3
  4. BK

    BK Electron herder

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    When I got back into riding 4 years ago I got a great deal on a Ninja 250.

    I'm about your same specs. (215lbs 46 y.o. 6' tall). If I had to do it again, I'd go with the Versys. The little Ninja is a great bike, but it is not very practical and the high RPM riding at highway speeds wore me out me out.

    It is a fun little bike to ride, but much more than an hour of the relatively cramped riding position is enough for me.

    I have a KTM 990 now and it's like a 2 wheeled Barca lounger, but I wouldn't have wanted to get back into riding on it!
    #4
  5. scotty918

    scotty918 Been here awhile

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    Suzuki V-Strom 650 or Kawasaki Versys with luggage. Great commuters and more than capable of going coast to coast.
    #5
  6. Eye of the Tiger

    Eye of the Tiger Adventurer

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    A used Ninja 500 or EX500 is a great choice. It was very common bike made for a long time, making it easy to get parts and accessories, and is not at all hard to work on. It has a fairly neutral, slightly sporty riding position, and the wind will take all the weight off of your arms when you're cruising. It is nimble and fast enough for anybody to have fun - talking about 13-second flat quarter miles, but the power only comes on at high RPM when you really mean it,, making it very docile and easy going around town. If you want a cruiser, the Vulcan 500 uses the same motor, making it very quick for a 500-class cruiser.
    #6
  7. richarddacat

    richarddacat high on honeysuckle

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    Klr650?

    Bmw f650?

    Bmw k75?
    #7
  8. Scoobynut

    Scoobynut Been here awhile

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    Honda NT700V. More of a true Sport Tourer than the bikes suggested by others here. Comes with factory luggage, a lot of used ones have a topcase already installed, shaft drive, ABS optional, heated grips optional etc. I believe Honda has discontinued this model, but there are plenty out there both new leftover and used. If I were looking for an entry level, mid-size tourer it would be at the top of my list.
    #8
  9. lambotte

    lambotte Been here awhile

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    Second the vote for the honda nt700v. My demographics are essentially the same as yours. I couldn't be happier. Only thing I've added is a top case and cee bailey +6. Abs modes are harder to find. Used prices are very reasonable.
    #9
  10. duck

    duck Banned

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    "You're buying your first bike, not your last one."

    Your first bike should be something that is easy to learn on and forgiving of nOOb errors. You'll develop your riding skills more easily, quickly and safely that way.

    Buy a decent used nOOb bike like a Ninjette or whatever, ride it for a year and then sell for it for about what you paid for it when you decide to move up.

    In that year, you'll not only develop your riding skills more easily but also get a better idea of what you really want in your next bike.

    JMHO...
    #10
  11. ph0rk

    ph0rk Doesn't Care

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    Not great as a first bike unless you're rather tall, it is very top heavy.
    #11
  12. doc4216

    doc4216 Chronic High Fiver

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    I agree with the Weestrom....being 5'10", 225, you should be absolutely fine with it's height and weight. It was my third bike, I learned the most of my riding skills on it and it's a great reliable, versatile bike. However, being 5'7" it was just a bit too tall and top heavy for me...For you, should be fine!
    #12
  13. DAKEZ

    DAKEZ Long timer

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    FZ6= GOOD! Delta box frame, good swing-arm, good brakes, good suspension, good seat...

    FZ6 (Real bike)
    [​IMG]

    (starter Bike) FZ6R is Lame by comparison. Steel tuber frame, Adequate brakes, swing arm, suspension, seat.
    [​IMG]
    #13
  14. Grainbelt

    Grainbelt marginal adventurer Super Moderator

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    It is true the FZ6 is a decent bike. 43k miles on mine, I keep trying to talk myself into replacing it, but it is still a fine machine. Fork rebuild with new springs this winter, then back out on the road. :thumb
    #14
  15. JustKip

    JustKip Long timer

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    Timeless wisdom. Most people recomend a used dual sport, because they don't break as badly or easily as sport bikes if you drop it. After a year of riding experience you will want to take test rides when you know better how you like to ride
    #15
  16. single

    single Been here awhile

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    You are basically the perfect size for a Ninja 250 or CBR250R. The only way to outgrow those bikes is to literally be too big for them, which you are not. There isn't a man alive who can't have fun with a 250 in the twisties and either bike will be able to cruise fine with your weight double digits above the speed limit on the highway, if that really is your thing.

    They really are the perfect platform for learning, light, nimble, flick-able, cheap, replaceable, and easy to buy and sell. Besides, it's really too early in your riding career to start following bad advice like "you will outgrow a 250 quickly". :deal
    #16
  17. single

    single Been here awhile

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    I actually thought the opposite after a quick spin on both. True, looking at the spec sheet you'd expect the FZ6 to be better, but after riding both the FZ6R is worlds more refined and accessible. Don't knock the FZ6R until you've tried it.
    #17
  18. DAKEZ

    DAKEZ Long timer

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    I have.... More than "a quick spin" One is a beginner bike aimed at the female market (FZ6R)

    and one is a real motorcycle (FZ6)

    They are both good bikes but are VERY different. :deal
    #18
  19. dwthump

    dwthump Been here awhile

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    I test rode a Versys at Kawasakd Demo Days and if I wasn't 6'2', I'd probably have one by now, gorilla on a tricycle. The engine and 6 speed tranny was snappy.

    Darren

    *It's a KLR, I'll catch up*
    #19
  20. damasovi

    damasovi Long timer

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    I am all for 300 cc and under for starter bikes, actually if I tell you that I choose 125 cc as a started bike, would that make me look like a little girly man? Well I did, why? because I had the feeling that maybe motorcycles could not be for me, and buying a 650 (the "minimum" for a man's bike, so say some) I would have spend so much more and crash very fast, so instead I learn to ride, 1 year all types of roads, off road (it was a DP bike).

    I was 27 years old when I first rode by first bike, and even do I felt ready with in 2-3 months I decided I would continue with this small bike so I could have more experience and think what I wanted to do with the bike.

    So, have you look at the ninja 300? with abs? if you are open to used bikes then there are many bikes out there. Take a look at the DP bikes such as the KLX250 from kawasaki and the other ones have mention.

    Somebody recommended the Vstrom 650 and it is a nice bike, and at your height it is very doable, but it is all about confidence, I stand at 5'8" and have a KLR with a 35 in seat height and my inseam is only 30" and no problem!

    Damasovi
    #20