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newbikerchic
08-26-2005, 11:12 AM
I am a newbie to this sport and have just completed the MSF course over the weekend. I am now looking for my first bike.....yeah!

Basically, I am trying to decide between SV650S and the Ninja 500. It is pretty much slim pick-ins on used bikes in my area, so I've decided to buy new. (I know...it's probably a bad decision) I feel that if I am going to finance a bike, then I might as well finance a new one....right?

My background is this: Riding experience- MSF course! Yep, that's it. I seemed to pick up the sport fairly quickly and toted around on a Honda Nighthawk for the weekend. (No drops or crashes)

Now I have my endorsement and I am ready to buy a bike!. I want a bike that I can keep for awhile and not get bored with it in a year, but on the other hand, I don't want something I can't handle.

Both the SV650 and 500R feel good to me when I sit on them and my feet touch flat footed on the ground. SV has better reviews and will deliver a more comfortable ride (according to friends and reviews) 500R has less power and is cheaper....

Help? :???:

GRYDE001
08-26-2005, 12:11 PM
Welcome to the board!

I ride cruisers myself, but have always wanted a sv6250. If you're serious about riding, you might outgrow the 500 kinda fast, but I have no experience riding either. Probably the best thing to do is go and sit on both and see how they feel.
I'm sure others will chime in with their thoughts, but from what I hear, both bikes are good choices, it just comes down to which one you can handle being a new rider.

Wookie
08-26-2005, 12:38 PM
Both are great bikes, but the Ninja 500 is much more of a beginner friendly bike than the SV650, which is considered boarderline by most. In your situation it might be the better choice and offers plenty of performance for it's size.

Another thing to consider since you are financing is insurance costs. Check the rates on both bikes before purchasing since they could vary considerably. Also don't forget the cost of gear in your purchase. the extra grand you save on the Ninja will buy a lot of great gear.

newbikerchic
08-26-2005, 12:43 PM
Great tips! Thank you! I am in the process of getting insurance quotes right now. Like you said Wookie, that may make my decision even easier!

newbikerchic
08-26-2005, 12:53 PM
Another newbie question:

Beside the obvious difference in engine size, what makes a Ninja 500 more beginner friendly than the SV650? Is the V-Twin engine harder to control?

E-Man
08-26-2005, 01:09 PM
I'm a fan of the SV650 (not S since I like the standard pegs).

I had the same problem buying used so I ended up buying new. Worked well for me.

I do see more SV650s's for sale (maybe they are more popular).

Sounds like a tough decision-how about the dealer options?

Wookie
08-26-2005, 01:15 PM
Beside the obvious difference in engine size, what makes a Ninja 500 more beginner friendly than the SV650? Is the V-Twin engine harder to control?

The SV650 makes a fair amount more power than the Ninja (1/4 mile times for the Ninja are mid 13's, for the SV650 mid 12's). On top of the power difference is a difference in powerband. The SV being a nice V-Twin makes good power down low which makes throttle control at low speed more important. The Ninja doesn't quite have the low end grunt of the SV, which makes throttle control easier to learn

In the end both are great bikes, with the beginner friendly nod going to the Ninja.

asp125
08-26-2005, 03:39 PM
I've owned both. Here's a review comparing one with the other that I wrote some time ago. http://sv650k3.blogspot.com/2004_02_01_sv650k3_archive.html

MarcS
08-26-2005, 04:39 PM
The SV650 power curve matches that of modern supersport 600s up until 9-10k, where the supersports are hitting their powerband, and the SV is running out of steam. That sad, double the power curve amplitude on the SV650 motor, and you get something pretty similar to the 1300cc Hayabusa.

TomStromie
08-26-2005, 08:05 PM
As a happy owner of a DL650 (same engine as the SV650S), I can't really recommend this engine for a beginner. The throttle is very sensitive and the engine has a lot of torque. A lot. You would probably have a great time with either, but I think at this point you would enjoy the Ninja 500 a little more.

guitardad
08-26-2005, 08:47 PM
First of all, congrats on your MSF! It's a very big, very important first step.

I rode an SV650 for a year, and recently tooled around on a friend's EX500. For a new rider, with no experience beyond the MSF, I'd recommend the EX500 first. It had plenty of acceleration, and the brakes were good without being grabby. You can easily ride it for years - depending on what sort of riding you end up enjoying, maybe forever. The SV has what I'd describe as "hair-trigger" responses, that will get you in trouble if you're not very careful. And if you're trying to be careful with the bike, you can't really get your attention up on your surroundings the way you need to.

Now I rode an old KZ400 for about 6 months before buying the SV, and that was enough to get my skills up to the point that the SV was a fun ride. And I sold the KZ for the same as I paid for it. I know this is a bad time of the year to find a good used bike, but if you try you may find something that will let you build your skills without costing an arm and a leg. And after a few months on the road, you'll have a better idea of what sort of riding really appeals to you. After all, the only thing worse than buying the less expensive new bike, only to find you don't like it, would be to buy the MORE expensive new bike, and find you don't like it. Don't be in a rush to buy your "dream bike"- your dreams may change as you ride more.

Ride safe!

asp125
08-26-2005, 09:00 PM
Great tips! Thank you! I am in the process of getting insurance quotes right now. Like you said Wookie, that may make my decision even easier!

Be sure to call several places, some carriers put the SV into sportbike category and some don't. In my case, Allstate wanted $600+ for full coverage, State Farm $286 (LESS than my Allstate policy on my EX500)

Missy B
08-27-2005, 01:48 AM
Welcome to the site newbikerchic! :wavey:

I asked the same exact question, was recommended same as has been mentioned now...go with the Ninja 250 or 500. I had to wait a couple of months to find a used Ninja 250 or 500 (and that WAS the off-season).

I've put 2900 miles on my Ninja 500 in about 8 months, and have not regretted my purchase at all. I have had my moments where I was glad I didnt get the SV650, too. If you havent read it, read asp's article. I hadnt seen it before, and it sure does confirm what I've heard between the two. IE: the throttle input is more sensitive on the SV.

And I know I wont be bored with my Ninja any time soon. I would eventually like to get a sport tourer for longer trips, but I put a 250-mile day trip in recently and the Ninja and I faired well. I have a Corbin seat on it, which helps tremendously. The stock seat is not good for longer trips, if that's what you think you'll be doing.

I am confident that if you go with the Ninja (my recommendation, too) you will not be disappointed.

newbikerchic
08-27-2005, 05:01 PM
Thank you for all of the great info! Hopefully I can make up my mind soon.....

Argo
09-03-2005, 06:38 PM
If uve never bin on a bike before deffintly go with the ninja 500 it has predictable power and is fun to ride.

VanDawg38
09-03-2005, 10:00 PM
If uve never bin on a bike before deffintly go with the ninja 500 it has predictable power and is fun to ride.
Dang, Argo. Not to be the spelling police, but please.

"If you've never been on a bike before, definitely ..."

Otherwise, sound advice.

:)

Don't get me started on Guinness.

MarcS
09-04-2005, 12:10 AM
Don't get ME started on Guinness. If I could live on the stuff, I could live on the stuff (though they say if you drink something like 20 pints a day, you will meet all your nutritional needs...)

VanDawg38
09-04-2005, 12:50 AM
My kind of diet! :)

newbikerchic
09-05-2005, 06:03 PM
Well, I actually decided to go with the SV650S. I picked up a brand new blue 2005 on Thursday and have already put 275 miles on it! What a great bike. I haven't dropped it yet or had any scares, so all is well so far.

Thanks for all the great advice. I had to follow my inner drive and I am definitely happy with my choice!

AnthonyC
09-05-2005, 06:31 PM
Congrats on the new ride.

Ant

Missy B
09-05-2005, 07:02 PM
Well, I actually decided to go with the SV650S. I picked up a brand new blue 2005 on Thursday and have already put 275 miles on it! What a great bike. I haven't dropped it yet or had any scares, so all is well so far.

Thanks for all the great advice. I had to follow my inner drive and I am definitely happy with my choice!


Where is that "This thread is useless without pics" smiley when you need it?? :mrgreen:

nnnneeeeDDDDDDDDDd pics. :mrgreen:

Johnny Dollar
09-05-2005, 07:23 PM
Congratulations on the new bike! Let's see some pictures!

JC
09-06-2005, 02:38 AM
Obviously missed out on this one..... but I'm actually coming around to thinking the SV isn't such a bad starter bike. I started on the GS500 before going to the SV, and though it breeds confidence very quickly, a bike where you can just pin the throttle at any moment and suffer no ill effect (particularly as a bigger guy) breeds bad habits. Perhaps that's also the argument for starting small, but I realized how many bad habits I had developed as soon as I twisted that SV throttle the first time.

Either way, sounds like the decision has been made. Congrats on the purchase, and have fun!

Puffs
09-06-2005, 03:00 AM
It is funny you mention that.
I have been goosing the throttle on my 250 all weekend and I often wonder if this is a really bad habit. :)

Then I realized that I am lazy, and would probably prefer a bike that I didn't have to twist as much. ;)

VanDawg38
09-06-2005, 11:02 AM
I still think it's better to start small, JC, on a bike that will let you get away with some bad habits. Like you, I didn't realize my lack of "smoothness" until I jumped on a more capable bike.

AnthonyC
09-06-2005, 11:32 AM
I still think it's better to start small, JC, on a bike that will let you get away with some bad habits. Like you, I didn't realize my lack of "smoothness" until I jumped on a more capable bike.

I would agree. I started the other way around and trust me, it is better to start with something that will let you be a little coarse with the throttle when you start. It's a lot easier to work on being smooth with the throttle when mistakes aren't rewarded with a huge burst of power and lifting the front wheel off the ground.

On a smaller bike, just because you can be rough with the throttle doesn't mean you should be. The point is build your skills and smooth out/refine your technique. When you switch to something more powerful you will still need to adjust some but it should be more along the lines of fine tuning than relearning how to use the throttle. Regardless of how far you have to open it up on the smaller bike, if you're doing it well (as opposed to just whacking it open/closed all the time) you shouldn't have a bad habit to break.

Just my $0.02....

Ant

E-Man
09-06-2005, 11:37 AM
This is something I have to work on with my 883. It can still go faster than my abilities can handle, but I love giving it the throttle.

I rode my friend's 1200R and I noticed that I have to relax!

JC
09-06-2005, 03:18 PM
It's a lot easier to work on being smooth with the throttle when mistakes aren't rewarded with a huge burst of power and lifting the front wheel off the ground.

On a smaller bike, just because you can be rough with the throttle doesn't mean you should be.


Very good points and ones that I generally agree with, but we are referring to the SV here, not a gsxr1000 or a cbr600f4i. Once again, I phrase this in respect to bigger folks..... I've TRIED to get the sv's front wheel off the ground, and I cant do it. And though I realize you "shouldn't" be rough with the throttle, as a bigger guy sometimes I had to to get my GS going where I wanted it to.

I think that I'm probably :horse:

but, I suppose the thing to remember is that not all riders start at the same level. Some have a higher level of dexterity which allows them to take to riding more naturally. I know a number of people who have started on SVs and have done beautifully. And when a friend came to me asking for my opinion, I included the SV in my list of suggestions.

Anyway, Ant you do have very good points and have proven your expertise here time and time again.... when it comes down to it, people should listen to you, not me :) Just offering a different opinion

Java
09-06-2005, 03:44 PM
The decision has been made, so congrats on the new bike! I just had to sneak my 2 cents in here, for anyone else reading this thread with the same question. I couldn't just let this go...


I ride cruisers myself, but have always wanted a sv6250. If you're serious about riding, you might outgrow the 500 kinda fast, but I have no experience riding either.


Now, I'm not picking on GRYDE, because he qualified his statement pretty well, but.......I still, after all these years, don't understand the "grow out of it" thing. OK, it's a "beginner sportbike" (there's an oxymoron) It'll outrun pretty much any car you'll ever actually see. There have been a handfull of cruisers made in the last 20 years or so that will beat it in a straight line, but throw in 1 corner, and it's gone. If after riding for a while, you might decide that you like long distance riding, the EX is OK for that, but there are other bikes that are better, that you might decide to move on to. Same with boulivard cruising, or canyon straffing. The EX is OK for all these, but there are other bikes that are better. For commuting, and around town, you might decide to never move on from it.

I just get a little disturbed (and worried) when people talk to noobs about this great all-around, do everything little bike like it's some kind of child's toy that will bore a noob in a week or so. After a few hundred miles or so, it won't scare you any more. Is that what it's all about? People get bored with a bike, or think they've outgrown it, if it doesn't scare them any more? I promise you, just like with ever faster computers, if you spend enough time on a 'Busa, eventually you find yourself thinking "why am I siitting here, waiting for a second for the revs to come up? This thing should be quicker."

Of course, that's all when things are going well. When things get ugly, ( and it may not happen during the first thousand miles, or even the second, but believe me, if you put in enough miles, eventually things will get ugly on you) that's when you want to be on the more forgiving bike, that you can actually handle. Just because you've survived on it when everything was going right, doesn't mean you can genuinely "handle" it.



Sorry, I'll take my pill now, and be quiet.

Congrats again, on the new bike, newbikerchic!

AnthonyC
09-06-2005, 04:30 PM
Very good points and ones that I generally agree with, but we are referring to the SV here, not a gsxr1000 or a cbr600f4i. Once again, I phrase this in respect to bigger folks..... I've TRIED to get the sv's front wheel off the ground, and I cant do it. And though I realize you "shouldn't" be rough with the throttle, as a bigger guy sometimes I had to to get my GS going where I wanted it to.

I think that I'm probably :horse:

but, I suppose the thing to remember is that not all riders start at the same level. Some have a higher level of dexterity which allows them to take to riding more naturally. I know a number of people who have started on SVs and have done beautifully. And when a friend came to me asking for my opinion, I included the SV in my list of suggestions.

Anyway, Ant you do have very good points and have proven your expertise here time and time again.... when it comes down to it, people should listen to you, not me :) Just offering a different opinion

Understood (I'm 6'1" 250), I occasionally have to flog the Vulcan and previously the BMW especially in the mountains but for the most part I try to be as smooth as possible on the throttle. I don't think the SV is necessarily a bad first bike like a supersport would be. I just think that there are bikes that will likely be more forgiving to a new rider. As someone that has gone the wrong route in the past I'm perhaps a little more conservative than most when it comes to suggesting bikes since starting on the wrong one almost kept me from pursuing riding again.

I think people are going to decide what is going to work best for them. Having more opinions is always valid and something like the SV may be just what they were looking for. I'd much rather see someone contemplate the SV or the Ninja 500 than some of the alternatives.


I just get a little disturbed (and worried) when people talk to noobs about this great all-around, do everything little bike like it's some kind of child's toy that will bore a noob in a week or so.

I agree completely. Of all three bikes I've owned the BMW was the most fun to ride and had similar specs to the Ninja 500. It had plenty of useful power, was light/nimble, cornered well, had good visibility and got stellar gas mileage. It wasn't going to win a lot of drag races with other bikes but it was faster than the majority of cars on the road.

Granted for specific applications, 2-up touring in particular comes to mind, I can see how someone would rather be on something else but some of the middleweight standards (including the Ninja, SV650, F650, etc.) are great, all purpose bikes with their light weight and power that can be taken full advantage of. If they are generally more forgiving that seems like a bonus to me, not a reason to condem them.

I certainly wouldn't hesitate to get another F650GS (if I could afford it) and be happy with it. I could see adding something else that might be a little better suited to touring at some point but I would much rather have to tour on the BMW than have to commute on a touring bike since commuting is the majority of my riding.

Ant

aprilmaybe
09-06-2005, 04:59 PM
Frickin frackin double post....

aprilmaybe
09-06-2005, 05:46 PM
Very good points and ones that I generally agree with, but we are referring to the SV here, not a gsxr1000 or a cbr600f4i. Once again, I phrase this in respect to bigger folks..... I've TRIED to get the sv's front wheel off the ground, and I cant do it.

Squid :redtounge

Need some lessons? I know Jims gotten the front wheel of the SV up and hes a big guy as well.

Cammie
09-06-2005, 09:47 PM
Squid :redtounge

Need some lessons? I know Jims gotten the front wheel of the SV up and hes a big guy as well.


Umm...April, what is Jim doing to my bike, I mean the bike I used to own. I thought it went to a good home :???:

Madd-Mann
09-07-2005, 12:01 AM
ASP,

I just read your reveiw. I have to say; very well put!!! Thank you for that little piece. I had a pretty good idea of the differances; however, I have always had a tough time expressing it in words. You just made that very easy for me.

Would you mide if I print that out and use it when talking new riders out of the GXSR1000 or R1???

I talked a guy out of buying a 1100cc bike from a dealer the other day. You should have seen the dealers face lol... This guy hadn't even riden on the back of a bike let alone been in control of one. I used the SV650s and the Ninja 500 as an example of why he shouldn't buy it. This would make that talk so much easier...

asp125
09-07-2005, 02:06 PM
ASP,
..Would you mide if I print that out and use it when talking new riders out of the GXSR1000 or R1???

I talked a guy out of buying a 1100cc bike from a dealer the other day. You should have seen the dealers face lol... This guy hadn't even riden on the back of a bike let alone been in control of one. ....

That would have been a sight to see. LOL! Feel free to use that article if it will pursuade a new rider to make an informed choice. To put it in context though, I have another longer term review (http://beginnerandbeyond.com/modules.php?op=modload&name=Reviews&file=index&req=showcontent&id=18) of the SV from a more advanced rider's view:

JC
09-07-2005, 02:11 PM
Umm...April, what is Jim doing to my bike, I mean the bike I used to own. I thought it went to a good home :???:

Haha! The price of intergroup bike purchases......

I think the naked has different gearing than the S april... that may make a difference