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Thread: Greetings all! Newbie looking for advice.

  1. #11
    Thanks for all the replies!

    Right now, I am heavily leaning toward the SV650SF (even the non S models are strangely attractive). Maybe it's my untrusting nature but I'm just not comfortable shelling out 3k for a used 08+ 250R. I'd rather finance a new bike and keep it for at least 3 years.

    I will however make a more informed decision after I take the MSF course. Can't wait!

    On a side note, do dealerships even stock any new 08/09 SV650SFs?

  2. #12
    Flirting With The Redline Wanderlust's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dave... View Post
    Right now, I am heavily leaning toward the SV650SF (even the non S models are strangely attractive). Maybe it's my untrusting nature but I'm just not comfortable shelling out 3k for a used 08+ 250R. I'd rather finance a new bike and keep it for at least 3 years.

    ...

    On a side note, do dealerships even stock any new 08/09 SV650SFs?
    I'm guessing that if you want that specific year, you'll have to buy it used. Or else it will take a LOT of digging to find a dealer who still has that specific bike on the floor.

    What do you see on Craigslist? Sometimes dealers put brand-new but older bikes on there.
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  3. #13
    Flirting With The Redline Xoulrath's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dave... View Post
    Thanks for all the replies!

    Right now, I am heavily leaning toward the SV650SF (even the non S models are strangely attractive). Maybe it's my untrusting nature but I'm just not comfortable shelling out 3k for a used 08+ 250R. I'd rather finance a new bike and keep it for at least 3 years.

    I will however make a more informed decision after I take the MSF course. Can't wait!

    On a side note, do dealerships even stock any new 08/09 SV650SFs?
    I don't want to rain on your parade, but I think that is a bad decision.

    Let's look at it logically:

    1) You have never ridden before.
    2) You don't want to pay less for a used bike, but are willing to spend more for a new(er) bike and then finance it.
    3) You will be paying considerably more for insurance, especially if you have to have full coverage (whether you want it or not) due to financing the bike.
    4) You will pay more for everything else; brakes, tires, gas, typical maintenance like oil changes and chain lubes and the list goes on.
    5) You are trying to buy your first bike like it is your last. It isn't. Sure, you aren't getting the GSX-R or the CBR, but for a new rider there really isn't any difference between those two and the SV.

    I could go on and on with the above list, but I think you get the point. I too was looking at SV650S/SF models last year as a potential first bike. I too wanted to upgrade to a supersport, as I am one of those sportbike/sports car kind of people. I am extremely glad I started on my Ninja 250. It taught me so much, and I know I could have still learned from her. The people on this forum, books like Keith Code's Twist of the Wrist II (among many others), and videos like those of CaptCrash also helped me become a competent rider.

    That SV is a great bike, but it isn't a beginner bike. It will do what you tell it to, and the problem is you won't know what you are telling it to do.

    I am going to repeat again what I mentioned earlier in my other post: I weigh 270, that means I am almost TWO of you. My '09 Ninja 250 was as quick to 60 as my '07 GTI, which is to say roughly 6-6.5 seconds. That is quick, especially for a new rider still learning the controls. I will say again, it cruises at 80 mph like that is where it belongs. After running through twisties all day long, putting on 200 miles I was feeling absolutely no discomfort (this in spite of me being slightly crunched on the bike).

    You came on here asking for sound advice and had a great plan: start small and work your way up. It seems like you didn't get the answers you wanted about the SV and you are now just going to do what you are going to do. You are making excuses (you don't want to spend $3k or less on a decent used Ninja 250). If you really think the 250 is going to be that bad, well then I am sorry. It was a great bike for me and even though I love my new ride even more, I will always have fond memories of that 250 because it made ME a BETTER rider, and at this stage in your riding career, that should be your only concern.

    If you absolutely feel like you just can't do a 250, then look at the Ninja 500 and the GS500/GS500F. The GS500F can be found at dealers in my area for around $3500-$4000 OTD for new '09 models. They just don't sell here in the area of Georgia I am in.

  4. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by dave... View Post
    . Maybe it's my untrusting nature but I'm just not comfortable shelling out 3k for a used 08+ 250R. I'd rather finance a new bike and keep it for at least 3 years.
    Why? I'd rather learn on a bike I didn't risk my credit rating for. I've bought three bikes so far, all used, all still on the road AFAIK (the GZ-250 is the only one I've lost track of, sold the Savage to a friend and I still have the Vulcan), and paid for all of them in full. Never paid more than $2300, either, and none of them had over 10K miles when they were purchased. While it'd be nice to have a spandy-new bike, used bikes from a reputable dealer are a great option, and unless I hit the lottery or find my sugar daddy, will continue to be my best option.
    2004 Kawasaki Vulcan 500 -- Boudicca
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  5. #15
    Senior Moderator We've stopped counting... subvetSSN606's Avatar
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    Asp mentioned it before... one issue with the SV is that it's torquey, so even if as a beginner you are trying to be good and keep the rpms down low in the range, it's going to be "jumpier" in response to throttle input. Whether that input is intentional or not.

    Tom
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  6. #16
    I think you're jumping the gun deciding on the bike before you take the class. You may be perfectly capable of handling the 650 and I'll not add anything to that but at least see how you do in the class before you get all fired up over a specific bike.
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  7. #17
    By all means, I welcome advice steering me toward a 250 if you still feel the 650s are too much for a beginner.

    My initial instinct was to go with a 250 in order to reduce the severity of my mistakes which I have no doubt I'll make as a beginner. I've been trying to talk to as many riders in person as possible on recommendations for a first bike and specifically looking for those who would recommend a 250 in order to back up my initial instinct. About 20% stated I should start on a 250 whereas the rest suggested I go with a 600.

    I can't really say anything about my confidence as a rider being that I haven't taken the MSF course yet. While I would like to believe that a 650 could be okay, I would prefer to be competent in the handling, acceleration, and braking first. Is there a large gap between the 250 and 650 in this regard?

  8. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by dave... View Post
    Is there a large gap between the 250 and 650 in this regard?
    Yes. More sensitive power and braking in the higher-end bike means more unforgiving in the event of you being ham-fisted on the controls, which, in all likelihood, you will be at first. They're also generally heavier, so even if you do something bone-headed like get off without putting down your sidestand (happens to the best of us) (well, not me so far, but I've done other dumb stuff), they're easier to pick up.

    In other words, if you want something more forgiving of your mistakes, buy a bike that is actually more forgiving. Bikes retain their resale value, especially beginner bikes, as long as they're not too trashed. You could buy a Ninja 250 now, flog the hell out of it for a season or two, and still sell it on for only a couple hundred less than you bought it for. Might break even, if it's in good shape and you find the right buyer.
    2004 Kawasaki Vulcan 500 -- Boudicca
    2002 Suzuki GZ250 -- Friday (sold)
    1987 Kawasaki KZ305
    I am Moto Crew at the Boston Avon Walk for Breast Cancer -- you wish you could have this much fun! Join us!

    SKnight is allowed to call me mean. All others... at your peril.

  9. #19
    Flirting With The Redline Wanderlust's Avatar
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    That's a big plus to having had a Ninja to learn on for a whole season: the bike was easy enough to deal with that I could focus a lot more attention on my Big BoogieMan, TRAFFIC

    Seriously. I was much more worried about The Other Guy than I was about the Ninja getting away from me. I think learning to deal with traffic, while also dealing with a heavier, more powerful bike, would've made my first year a LOT more difficult. More difficult = less fun (at first, anyway)
    ************************************************** ************************
    Nobody makes these adventures come true for you. You just have to make up your mind and GO. You'll never regret it. -JD
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    M.I.T.G.C. # 53

  10. #20
    Chiming in here a bit; looks like you're looking at this the right way.

    Quote Originally Posted by dave... View Post
    By all means, I welcome advice steering me toward a 250 if you still feel the 650s are too much for a beginner.
    Good call on waiting, I think -- you seem to be doing this pretty sensibly, overall. Personally, if you're prepared to take the hit I don't see anything out-and-out wrong with a new bike; it's your money, and it'll help the economy along. Someone has to buy 'em new, after all, so other people can buy them used.

    I wouldn't count on keeping your first bike for 3 years, though. Bike changing can be a bit of a disease, and it's pretty hard to tell what you want until you've ridden for a while. You are also likely to drop it, if in not other way than at a stoplight or in your own driveway, so consider that.

    The choice is all going to depend on how you feel after the MSF class. An SV650 is pretty much 'grey area', by the lights of this group. We're relatively conservative, in general, and really are looking out for your best interests (hence the vehemence of a couple of the responses, I suspect). If you rock the class, and feel great, you could start on one. It won't be as easy to learn on, etc, but it's so much better than a 600 supersport it's not even funny.

    My initial instinct was to go with a 250 in order to reduce the severity of my mistakes which I have no doubt I'll make as a beginner. I've been trying to talk to as many riders in person as possible on recommendations for a first bike and specifically looking for those who would recommend a 250 in order to back up my initial instinct. About 20% stated I should start on a 250 whereas the rest suggested I go with a 600.
    I'd have to wonder how many of them have forgotten what learning is like, or don't really want to admit that a smaller bike would have been better. I could be misjudging them, but it seems a relatively common phenomenon. Smaller, lighter, easier to handle bike is easier to learn on; I didn't do the Ninja 250 thing but the KLR 650 isn't that different in terms of power and torque and has even less twitchy brakes. (Note -- KLR650 is a single, not a V-twin, with dramatically different characteristics!)

    I can't really say anything about my confidence as a rider being that I haven't taken the MSF course yet. While I would like to believe that a 650 could be okay, I would prefer to be competent in the handling, acceleration, and braking first. Is there a large gap between the 250 and 650 in this regard?
    As to the difference -- yeah. There's a big difference between an SV650 and a Ninja 250. I'm sure Wanderlust will chime in more here; she learned on the latter and now rides the former. From a pure numbers standpoint, the Ninja is about 30hp and 14 lb-ft of torque, the SV is almost three times that.

    All that with a 20% increase in dry weight.

    Finally, whatever your choice -- stick around here! Lots of good folks to help you out as you go along.
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    M.I.T.G.C #11

    Current bike: '11 Ducati MTS1200S, '08 WR250X
    Bikes I have owned: '06 Sprint ST, '06 KTM 950 SM, '03 KLR 650

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