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Thread: 125cc vs 250cc

  1. #1

    125cc vs 250cc

    Hi,

    After having searched the forum and Google, I couldn't find an explanation of the difference between 125 and 250 cc displacements. I'm 5'9" and 130 pounds or so, and want a bike that can go on highways without problems (going home on weekends from university is about an hour and a half max) but also motor around town. I've looked at the CBR-125 and the EX250 Ninja and they both look to be good starter bikes. I'm looking at buying used and they both run about 2500 used in Toronto Ontario. Is there any other criteria I could use to help me decide which one is appropriate? Thanks.

  2. #2
    Flirting With The Redline 1000 Posts! jay956's Avatar
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    I know the ninja 250 if fine on the highways, the top speed is over 100mph. but I don't know of any 125s sold in the US so I can't help you there.
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    Flirting With The Redline 4000 Posts! Logan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeanS View Post
    Hi,

    After having searched the forum and Google, I couldn't find an explanation of the difference between 125 and 250 cc displacements. I'm 5'9" and 130 pounds or so, and want a bike that can go on highways without problems (going home on weekends from university is about an hour and a half max) but also motor around town. I've looked at the CBR-125 and the EX250 Ninja and they both look to be good starter bikes. I'm looking at buying used and they both run about 2500 used in Toronto Ontario. Is there any other criteria I could use to help me decide which one is appropriate? Thanks.
    Don't know how it is in Canada, but in the US, limited access interstate requires 150cc in most states. For sustained highway speeds (1 1/2 qualifies) I'd recommend a 250-500cc. 650cc would be ok if it's a dual sport (Wee-Strom, F650GS, KLR 650).

    Have you considered scooters if you'll be doing a lot of short round town trips?
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  4. #4
    The ninja EX250 is hard to beat as a first bike. Fully capable of highway speeds yet a light easy to ride motorcycle.

    Have you taken a Beginning Riders Course? The EX250 is one of the safest beginning motorcycles. It can just barely kill you...
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  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by OBX-RIDER View Post
    ..... The EX250 is one of the safest beginning motorcycles. It can just barely kill you...
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    Flirting With The Redline 5000 Posts! TJinPgh's Avatar
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    I was told that PA only requires that a vehicle be able to constantly maintain a speed above the posted minimum. On limited access highways here in PA, that's 45 mph. Which, most things above 150 will do on the level.

    But, we have some fairly steep hills in this state. So, getting anything below that to keep above 45 going up those hills would require somebody extremely light weight.

    You MAY get it to do it at 130 pounds, but even at that you'd be pushing it. And, I'm not sure how long the bike would last if you rode it red lined constantly.

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    A 125 will get you up to cruise 80kpg/50mph (there will be a slight pause to get there), but it'll have very little acceleration up to 100kph/60mph. If you ride up a medium hill or a strong headwind your speed will markedly drop, and you'll have to drop a gear to maintain speed. If you encounter both a hill and headwind you'll certainly lose speed, even if you're at wide open throttle. The bike will also sound like it'll soon explode, though it won't. If you're cruising around town the 125 will be spectacular, with great acceleration that will beat most cars. A 125 can get you 55+kpl/110+mpg depending on the temperature and your riding style.

    If you have any aspirations of riding on a 400 series highway, the minimum is a 250 IMHO. It's simply too slow to ride on the highway with a 125. Sure you'll be able to get to 100kph/60mph WOT eventually, but with no reserve power left could get you into scary situations. You know that crazy car and truck drivers here don't go the speed limit, so aim to cruise a little higher than the speed limit. you'll have little issues with your weight with a 250.

    The fastest 250 is the Ninja 250, but there are others. I do like the Virago/VStar 250. There seems to be many used ones for sale in Toronto. While there is Toronto Craigslist and Kijiji, check out Cycle World Warehouse in Scarborough, on Sheppard E near McCowan. They used to be down on River Street. Last week they had a whole slew of used 250s: 6 Ninja 250s, 3 Rebels, 2-3 Virago 250s. They just opened in March 2008. I don't know their prices, but they have lots of used bikes.
    Last edited by TorontoBoy; 03-30-2008 at 09:35 PM.

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    Flirting With The Redline 1000 Posts! prester_john's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Logan View Post
    Don't know how it is in Canada, but in the US, limited access interstate requires 150cc in most states.
    I don't know about "most". Certainly "many". For my state I was given different answers by my BRC, dealer, a policeman and on the 'net. I finally got the definitive word from the State Highway Patrol, siting applicable parts of the state law - and it turns out all other sources were wrong!

    1) Get the answer for where you live and ride.
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    Flirting With The Redline 1000 Posts! prester_john's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jay956 View Post
    ... but I don't know of any 125s sold in the US so I can't help you there.
    Hmmm, in the USA there's the Daelim Roadwin and Daystar and innumerable 125cc motor scooter models like the Yamaha Vino 125. Kawasaki's Eliminator 125 was technically cancelled for '08, but I have a feeling they have some '07s in a warehouse.

    There are Youtube's of the four-valve air/oil cooled Daelims topping 70mph.

    Canada of course gets the Honda CBR125.

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  10. #10
    Flirting With The Redline 5000 Posts! TJinPgh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by prester_john View Post
    I finally got the definitive word from the State Highway Patrol, siting applicable parts of the state law - and it turns out all other sources were wrong!
    In my case, the dealer and Statie were the same person. Until recently, he had been a State Patrol Officer. Recently retired and was working at a family owned bike shop that sells a lot of scooters.

    He didn't recommend anything lower than a 250 for highway use. But, as I said, there area lot of hills around here. If I lived in, say, OH, where things are mostly flat, one might be able to get away with something a little smaller, depending on weight.

    1) Get the answer for where you live and ride.
    2) Get the right answer!
    Definitely. Call your state police or your dept. of transportation if you need to.

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