Author Topic: Top 5 Reasons to Start On a 250cc bike  (Read 5936 times)

Offline Curtie223

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Top 5 Reasons to Start On a 250cc bike
« on: August 22, 2011, 07:18:47 pm »
1. You'll Learn Faster Than a 600cc
Riding a motorcycle is hard for most people. Sure, put someone on a motorcycle for a few months or a year and it will eventually become second nature. Until you build the muscle memory that you need to properly operate a bike, you need to stack as much in your favor as you can. One of the easiest ways to do that is by choosing a 250 as a first motorcycle. With a 250 you don't have to worry too much about twisting the throttle and pulling a power wheelie (although I have seen it done by a pro 250 rider at the track). With a 600 it is quite easy to reach 40 or 50 miles per hour in first gear with just a twist of the wrist, add into that target fixation and you soon become a human missile headed for an oncoming car. When you take the power out of the equation you can build a solid foundation of skills that you can transfer to a larger motorcycle later. You learn to shift properly, carry your speed into turns, look where you want to go etc... All of it is achievable on a larger motorcycle, but you can learn it quicker and more efficiently on a 250cc.

2. They are Cheap to Buy and Run
You can pick up a brand new Kawasaki Ninja 250 for under $3,500 (maybe a few hundred dollars more or less depending on the dealer), or a 2008 Honda Rebel for about $3,200. By contrast an 08 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R is over $9,000 brand new! That's a lot of moola to spend on a bike that you are most likely going to drop at least once during your first year of riding. 250's generally get twice or three times the miles per gallon (MPG) that their larger counterparts do. A smaller engine means less gas is needed to get you where you are going. Add to that the fact that they are usually at least a hundred pounds lighter than a 600 and its going to increase that MPG even further. If you insure your motorcycle (which is the law in California) then you will also notice a pleasant surprise if you own a 250 versus a 600. Small motorcycles are more inexpensive in every department, plus when you are done with them you can get almost all of your money back when you sell (especially if you buy them used first).

3. They Hold Resale Value
One of the great things about these motorcycles is they really hold their resale value. Tons of new people are getting into motorcycles ever year, and that means a lot of beginner riders that want to buy their first bike. The most sought after motorcycle is of course the 600, and the market is literally flooded with them from new riders who buy them and try to sell them less than a year later because they either crashed, or they found out the hobby wasn't for them. A lot less people buy 250's for their first bike, but because of the internet the idea of starting on a smaller bike is gaining ground. There is a short supply of 250's and a much greater demand for them, this keeps their resale value extremely high. Check your local craigslist.com and you will see hundreds of advertisements for 600cc bikes, but when you check for 250's they are few and far between. Bookmark a few of the 600 ads and check them again in a week and you will notice that a lot of them are still there. If you do the same thing with a few of the advertisements selling 250's you will notice that most if not all of them will have been sold already. This is how it is in the California Bay Area, so I would imagine it would be the same in most other parts of the country with a thriving motorcycle community.

4. 2008 Ninja 250
Yes, the 08 Ninja is a great reason to start on a 250 motorcycle. Simply put this bike looks better than some of the 600cc, or 1000cc bikes I have seen! I realize that some people out there might like the 'dated' look of the 2007 models and earlier, but I think those folks are crazy. It's taken the Kawasaki engineers nearly 2 decades to come out with a new version of the 250 and this one takes the cake. This is probably one of the only times in the last 10 years where people are buying a 250cc bike for the looks, and not for the practicality. The new version of Kawasaki's famous ninjette is also quite a bit more powerful than its predecessors. Most riders feel like they are riding a bike with at least 100 more CC's than they actually are. This is great because it will make the transition to a 500cc or 600cc bike that much easier if you choose to do so. Honestly for the price, and for the looks, this is one bike that makes being a beginner motorcycle rider really cool.

5. You Can Ride Them to Their Limits
Ask anyone with a Yamaha r1 if they have ridden their bike to its limits on the street. If they answer yes, they are lying, unless you happen to be talking to a corpse. The same can almost be said for most 600cc inline-fours as there are very few people that have the balls or the skill to ride a bike that that to its limits on public roads. The reason being is because once you have enough experience to actually take a bike to its limits, you are generally not dumb enough to do so in an area with cars coming the other direction.

The 250cc bike though is a different story. Most of them top out before they reach 100mph which means you won't be smoking any lambo's on the freeway. This makes the ideal terrain for the beginner bike the twisty roads often found in the hills on the outskirts of town. Here you can lean the bike over, crack open the throttle, and carry your speed into turns a lot easier than with a 600cc bike. For the ninja 250 you'll be shifting out of first before you even hit 20mph, the same cannot be said for its big brother the Kawasaki ZX-6R. While riding the 250 you'll have much more of a racer feel because you will be shifting more to keep the bike in the ideal power range. To get the same feeling with a 600cc bike you would have to be going two to three times the speed.

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Offline Marid2apterbilt

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Re: Top 5 Reasons to Start On a 250cc bike
« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2011, 08:16:56 pm »
Ahh ooh so true..

Start small learn faster, Almost wish I had..
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Offline RandyRocks77

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Re: Top 5 Reasons to Start On a 250cc bike
« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2011, 01:47:09 am »
Good Read!

Offline DragonRider

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Re: Top 5 Reasons to Start On a 250cc bike
« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2011, 07:49:58 am »
There are not too many classes of bikes out there that I haven't ridden at some point and I still want a new Ninja 250 to play on! It's more fun to ride a slow bike fast than a fast bike slow. :)

Offline LukeNukeEm

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Re: Top 5 Reasons to Start On a 250cc bike
« Reply #4 on: August 23, 2011, 08:17:59 am »
Every single point you listed Curtie is 100% correct.  I love my 250 I got.  I much prefer it over my fz6, or zx6r I had.  And it sees more road time than my concours as well.  Its just so lightweight and nible you can have your way with it.

Offline PAULRIDES

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Re: Top 5 Reasons to Start On a 250cc bike
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2013, 09:55:01 pm »
Never road a 250 NINJA or 250 anything. But I think the new 300 NINJA would be better as one could cruise easier at 70mph on Interstate if needed and still not be over powering. Plus, I think there are bikes over 250CC that will then suit you longer when you become a bit experienced (say after 5000 miles or so).

However, I agree that a lot of folks get too much power to learn on.

I had a VLX 600 Cruiser as first new bike in 2001 after 35 yrs of not riding. I had ridden about 3 years back in the early 1960s - started on a Honda 150 Dream, then a 350 BSA which I soon made into a dirt/trail only.  The 600cc VLX is medium power as is a 650 V-Star (top speed about 95, maybe 100). Other than being somewhat poor handling (cruiser) and a bit on heavy side, the VLX 600 is a low seat, 4 speed, and an easy ride. I think one can learn on that as not overpowered and then still have something to ride the roads including Interstates for miles before moving up. 

I put 71000 miles on the VLX 600 and had a good time on it.
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Offline adurbin

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Re: Top 5 Reasons to Start On a 250cc bike
« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2013, 05:05:08 pm »
As someone who owns the 300, I can honestly say that Kawasaki has hit the nail on the head when it comes to the perfect "beginner bike" While it is more powerful than its predecessor, it seems that Kawi took the time to put the extra power in the right places. Namely, I can cruise down the highway without feeling like I'm wringing it's neck. They've taken the frustration out of starting the bike for the first time in the morning, as well as DRAMATICALLY improved throttle response by giving the bike fuel injection, which gives the bike a "bigger bike" feel. Overall though, I would have to say that the best thing that they have done with the bike is the looks. It makes a new rider (or at least a new to the street rider like me) not feel as though they are having to compromise between the look of a bigger bike, and the safety of knowing that they are learning correctly, and at a safe pace. I had a guy (who rides a 600) at Dunkin' Doughnuts the other day ask me if it was the new 636 or 1000. The look on his face when I told him it was a 300 was priceless. Kawi has also "done it right" by providing the new rider with a bike that they can keep for a lot longer than the 250, without feeling like they are growing out of it too fast. I was almost one of those guys that jumped on a 600 for my indoctrination into street riding, but realized very quickly that I did not want to become a statistic, and that I wanted to be in the sport for the long haul and not scare myself out of my own skin. The 300 is just simply a confidence builder, much like the 250 is, but without stomping out the "man ego" in all of us..
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Offline DragonRider

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Re: Top 5 Reasons to Start On a 250cc bike
« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2013, 06:07:53 pm »
Adurbin, glad to hear you like the 300. It's one I'm looking at (along with the CBR500R) as a play bike.  I have the Ducati Corse but frankly anything past midway in 2nd gear is a felony speeding ticket on any freeway. It's too serious to have fun on.  I have a few miles on the '12 250 and really like it but want that extra oomph that the 300 has. Who knows as with the prices being so bloody fantastic it's hard not to just go grab one! :)

(Editors note, I have 29 years of riding experience and roughly 400k miles under the belt on motorcycles and yes, I actually found flogging her Ninja 250 more fun than my Ducati. Seriously!)
« Last Edit: March 14, 2013, 06:09:01 pm by DragonRider »

Offline LukeNukeEm

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Re: Top 5 Reasons to Start On a 250cc bike
« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2013, 06:56:06 pm »
dragon, the way prices are for the 250's right now you should sell, sell, sell, and buy you a 300........then let me ride it. :21

Offline RayMan

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Re: Top 5 Reasons to Start On a 250cc bike
« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2013, 10:20:28 pm »
As someone who owns the 300, I can honestly say that Kawasaki has hit the nail on the head when it comes to the perfect "beginner bike" While it is more powerful than its predecessor, it seems that Kawi took the time to put the extra power in the right places. Namely, I can cruise down the highway without feeling like I'm wringing it's neck. They've taken the frustration out of starting the bike for the first time in the morning, as well as DRAMATICALLY improved throttle response by giving the bike fuel injection, which gives the bike a "bigger bike" feel. Overall though, I would have to say that the best thing that they have done with the bike is the looks. It makes a new rider (or at least a new to the street rider like me) not feel as though they are having to compromise between the look of a bigger bike, and the safety of knowing that they are learning correctly, and at a safe pace. I had a guy (who rides a 600) at Dunkin' Doughnuts the other day ask me if it was the new 636 or 1000. The look on his face when I told him it was a 300 was priceless. Kawi has also "done it right" by providing the new rider with a bike that they can keep for a lot longer than the 250, without feeling like they are growing out of it too fast. I was almost one of those guys that jumped on a 600 for my indoctrination into street riding, but realized very quickly that I did not want to become a statistic, and that I wanted to be in the sport for the long haul and not scare myself out of my own skin. The 300 is just simply a confidence builder, much like the 250 is, but without stomping out the "man ego" in all of us..

Well put.

Offline Deuce

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Re: Top 5 Reasons to Start On a 250cc bike
« Reply #10 on: March 16, 2013, 07:30:06 am »
Not that anybody cares...lol. But, Anything under 400cc isn't legally allowed to operate on the interstate. Or at least that was the case when I worked for the Dept of Safety.
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Offline Full Tilt Boogie

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Re: Top 5 Reasons to Start On a 250cc bike
« Reply #11 on: July 19, 2013, 10:37:35 pm »
I tbink people should start on busas

Offline emd513

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Re: Re: Re: Top 5 Reasons to Start On a 250cc bike
« Reply #12 on: July 20, 2013, 01:25:23 am »
I tbink people should start on busas
lol  would eliminate all the squids

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Offline BASSGEEK

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Re: Re: Top 5 Reasons to Start On a 250cc bike
« Reply #13 on: July 20, 2013, 03:45:50 am »
Rode my ninja 250 for 3 years before my bro and d convienced me to get a bigger bike to keep up with them...

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Offline PAULRIDES

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Re: Top 5 Reasons to Start On a 250cc bike
« Reply #14 on: July 20, 2013, 08:19:02 am »
Sat at Mtn Motorsports reading comparison review (I do sit at MM doing that frequently - ask them  :) ) of NINJA 300 and Honda CBR500.

There were advantages and disadvantages to both mahines. Overall, the 3 test riders picked the 300 NINJA.

FOR WHATEVER THERE OPINION IS WORTH  :groan

Mainly as I remember -- The 300 NINJA is cheaper, slipper clutch, better suspension (they say), handles better (complained about fatter tires on the Honda), and adequate power (of course the 500 has quite a bit more torque, HP, and weighs more).


 
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Offline EsrTek

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Re: Top 5 Reasons to Start On a 250cc bike
« Reply #15 on: July 21, 2013, 12:27:18 am »
Loved my 250, glad I started on it but got bored w it in 2 months of highway use.. kept it off interstates as much as possible and kept the lil bugger 2 seasons!!
I want another 250, but really I want the old school 2 stroke zzr250  :happypep

Offline Deuce

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Re: Top 5 Reasons to Start On a 250cc bike
« Reply #16 on: July 21, 2013, 06:59:32 pm »
I want another 250, but really I want the old school 2 stroke zzr250  :happypep

That's what I'm talking about!  :happyrider
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Offline SilverZZR

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Re: Top 5 Reasons to Start On a 250cc bike
« Reply #17 on: August 28, 2013, 11:17:00 am »
I started on a 250 as well ... very fun and nimble bike. I crashed it a time or two but didnt break a single bone, just my pride.
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Offline gl1dinorider

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Re: Top 5 Reasons to Start On a 250cc bike
« Reply #18 on: August 28, 2013, 05:50:21 pm »
I started on a Yamaha dt 100 myself. that was one tough little bike. I even tried the back side of powerline hill (mooresburg) with it. uh, no. ;D
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Offline Chris

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Re: Top 5 Reasons to Start On a 250cc bike
« Reply #19 on: January 23, 2014, 08:56:07 pm »
1. You'll Learn Faster Than a 600cc
Riding a motorcycle is hard for most people. Sure, put someone on a motorcycle for a few months or a year and it will eventually become second nature. Until you build the muscle memory that you need to properly operate a bike, you need to stack as much in your favor as you can. One of the easiest ways to do that is by choosing a 250 as a first motorcycle. With a 250 you don't have to worry too much about twisting the throttle and pulling a power wheelie (although I have seen it done by a pro 250 rider at the track). With a 600 it is quite easy to reach 40 or 50 miles per hour in first gear with just a twist of the wrist, add into that target fixation and you soon become a human missile headed for an oncoming car. When you take the power out of the equation you can build a solid foundation of skills that you can transfer to a larger motorcycle later. You learn to shift properly, carry your speed into turns, look where you want to go etc... All of it is achievable on a larger motorcycle, but you can learn it quicker and more efficiently on a 250cc.

2. They are Cheap to Buy and Run
You can pick up a brand new Kawasaki Ninja 250 for under $3,500 (maybe a few hundred dollars more or less depending on the dealer), or a 2008 Honda Rebel for about $3,200. By contrast an 08 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R is over $9,000 brand new! That's a lot of moola to spend on a bike that you are most likely going to drop at least once during your first year of riding. 250's generally get twice or three times the miles per gallon (MPG) that their larger counterparts do. A smaller engine means less gas is needed to get you where you are going. Add to that the fact that they are usually at least a hundred pounds lighter than a 600 and its going to increase that MPG even further. If you insure your motorcycle (which is the law in California) then you will also notice a pleasant surprise if you own a 250 versus a 600. Small motorcycles are more inexpensive in every department, plus when you are done with them you can get almost all of your money back when you sell (especially if you buy them used first).

3. They Hold Resale Value
One of the great things about these motorcycles is they really hold their resale value. Tons of new people are getting into motorcycles ever year, and that means a lot of beginner riders that want to buy their first bike. The most sought after motorcycle is of course the 600, and the market is literally flooded with them from new riders who buy them and try to sell them less than a year later because they either crashed, or they found out the hobby wasn't for them. A lot less people buy 250's for their first bike, but because of the internet the idea of starting on a smaller bike is gaining ground. There is a short supply of 250's and a much greater demand for them, this keeps their resale value extremely high. Check your local craigslist.com and you will see hundreds of advertisements for 600cc bikes, but when you check for 250's they are few and far between. Bookmark a few of the 600 ads and check them again in a week and you will notice that a lot of them are still there. If you do the same thing with a few of the advertisements selling 250's you will notice that most if not all of them will have been sold already. This is how it is in the California Bay Area, so I would imagine it would be the same in most other parts of the country with a thriving motorcycle community.

4. 2008 Ninja 250
Yes, the 08 Ninja is a great reason to start on a 250 motorcycle. Simply put this bike looks better than some of the 600cc, or 1000cc bikes I have seen! I realize that some people out there might like the 'dated' look of the 2007 models and earlier, but I think those folks are crazy. It's taken the Kawasaki engineers nearly 2 decades to come out with a new version of the 250 and this one takes the cake. This is probably one of the only times in the last 10 years where people are buying a 250cc bike for the looks, and not for the practicality. The new version of Kawasaki's famous ninjette is also quite a bit more powerful than its predecessors. Most riders feel like they are riding a bike with at least 100 more CC's than they actually are. This is great because it will make the transition to a 500cc or 600cc bike that much easier if you choose to do so. Honestly for the price, and for the looks, this is one bike that makes being a beginner motorcycle rider really cool.

5. You Can Ride Them to Their Limits
Ask anyone with a Yamaha r1 if they have ridden their bike to its limits on the street. If they answer yes, they are lying, unless you happen to be talking to a corpse. The same can almost be said for most 600cc inline-fours as there are very few people that have the balls or the skill to ride a bike that that to its limits on public roads. The reason being is because once you have enough experience to actually take a bike to its limits, you are generally not dumb enough to do so in an area with cars coming the other direction.

The 250cc bike though is a different story. Most of them top out before they reach 100mph which means you won't be smoking any lambo's on the freeway. This makes the ideal terrain for the beginner bike the twisty roads often found in the hills on the outskirts of town. Here you can lean the bike over, crack open the throttle, and carry your speed into turns a lot easier than with a 600cc bike. For the ninja 250 you'll be shifting out of first before you even hit 20mph, the same cannot be said for its big brother the Kawasaki ZX-6R. While riding the 250 you'll have much more of a racer feel because you will be shifting more to keep the bike in the ideal power range. To get the same feeling with a 600cc bike you would have to be going two to three times the speed.


Curt's post about choosing a 250 for your first bike is really on the money but left out one important item to consider:


During your first months of riding you will make mistakes....how fast do you want to be going when that happens?


(PS: I started on a '67 Honda CB160.  Ian on a Ninja 250.)
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Offline tliggin

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Re: Re: Re: Top 5 Reasons to Start On a 250cc bike
« Reply #20 on: January 23, 2014, 11:41:07 pm »
I agree.. but reminds me of a motorcycle buddy from S. Africa.  Apparently down there they have two motorcycle permits. Below. 250 was cheaper and easier to get/maintain.  He had an 1100.  Had to pay higher insurance, higher license fees, had to take a riding class and pass extensive driving test.  Under 250 it was like a $15 permit you put in your wallet.  None of the rest of it.  The weight/power is way different.


Curt's post about choosing a 250 for your first bike is really on the money but left out one important item to consider:


During your first months of riding you will make mistakes....how fast do you want to be going when that happens?


(PS: I started on a '67 Honda CB160.  Ian on a Ninja 250.)

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Offline Marid2apterbilt

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Re: Top 5 Reasons to Start On a 250cc bike
« Reply #21 on: January 24, 2014, 06:57:29 am »
I started on a VFR800,  A bit of a eye opener even though I was expecting it to be a slow learning process.  Glad I survived.

Ive only ridden a 250 on the hill,  A old neglected one but it was still A blast.  I even gad 2 guys on 400 tards following me back n forth.  I could almost hear there laughing everytime we passed a 600 or 1000.   That was a fun day.   Would love to have a modern one w/ fuel injection to play on ..

A friend wants me to teach him to ride,  Only spare I have I don't care if it gets crashed is a 929RR.  Gonna drill him in a parking lot before he takes that onto the street..  Damn thing scares me...
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Offline Chris

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Re: Top 5 Reasons to Start On a 250cc bike
« Reply #22 on: January 24, 2014, 10:44:07 am »
A friend wants me to teach him to ride,  Only spare I have I don't care if it gets crashed is a 929RR.  Gonna drill him in a parking lot before he takes that onto the street..  darn thing scares me...

Sam,

Why not let the nice folks at the local MSF course do the heavy lifting on this one?  They have the trained instructors, training range, tools, curriculum, and learner bikes to give your friend a real good start on his motorcycling career.  The cost is reasonable and even gives you a discount on your motorcycle insurance.  The beginning course is designed to give the equivalent of the first six months experience in 20 hours of class time. And since the first six months are when newbies crash the most that experience is invaluable.

In addition, having that training under his belt will give him the background knowledge to understand what you tell him and put it into some sort of context if you want to help him keep learning after the class.  After a year, pester him to go take the experienced rider course.

Please don't think I'm intending this as any sort of slight as to your riding knowledge or skill.  But why not let those specialists do what they do best...teach!

Think of it this way...most of us can change a tire on our bikes if we need to...yet most of us take it to a shop because they can do it faster, easier, and often better than we could because they have the right stuff to do that job.  This is exactly the same sort of situation.


I was a MSF Instructor for the Air Force for 11 years...the courses are good products that I can recommend with no reservations.  (You become a believer when a former student comes up to you and thanks you for saving their life as happened to me several times.) But even with my experience in instructing, I would steer a friend towards taking the course...again, they have the right tools.

Oh, and just by the way, that way your Honda won't end up wadded.

Just my .02.

Chris
« Last Edit: January 24, 2014, 10:53:03 am by Chris »
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Offline Darren Burnett

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Re: Top 5 Reasons to Start On a 250cc bike
« Reply #23 on: January 24, 2014, 07:47:17 pm »
I tbink people should start on busas

I agree...... Make it a turbo Busa !!! I have a 250 and enjoy it..... But then again I have fun riding my Yamaha Zuma too. So my input is not valid. I do agree, most beginner riders should seriously consider a smaller discplacement bike. Especially with what is available these days. Kawasaki led the way with the 250 that has transformed into the new 300. Honda had the CBR 250, CRF 250L, and now a couple of killer light weight 500's. None, in my opinion, carry the old stereo typed label as a "beginner" or "entry level" motorcycles.
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Offline DragonRider

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Re: Top 5 Reasons to Start On a 250cc bike
« Reply #24 on: January 30, 2014, 07:59:27 am »
A big reason: With a 250 you learn to ride the bike, the bike doesn't typically ride you. ;)