I've created a MONSTER!!! - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-11-2009, 03:39 PM Thread Starter
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I've created a MONSTER!!!

Sorry to those of you who opened this and didn't find a cool bike.

SO, I've slowly gotten my wife interested in riding. She started last year with a permit and short jaunts on her 150cc scooter. She just took her safety course this past weekend and passed with flying colors.

Now she wants a bike!!!!!

Here's my problem. She is considering a Buell Blast or Ninja 250. I'm not entirely convinced these are the best bikes for her. Although the market is flooded with all kinds of used starter bikes, everyone seems to be asking quite a bit for them. I know she can handle an entry level bike and would love it, but I don't know how long she would love it. I really don't want to get her a bike that she will outgrow in one or two seasons.

She really wants a naked style bike, she loves the Ducati Monster, Aprilia Shiver, Er-6n, Gladius, and all of the Buells. We can't afford any of these, and I am resisting getting her a new bike for her first, especially since the Er-6 and Gladius would be the only ones we'd consider for her starter bike of all of these.

SO, we're looking around for older SV650's, but I have no idea how they would be for a beginner. Any thoughts? Found an 01 in Spokane for $2500 at a dealer, but he said they don't know the mileage on it??? They bought it at auction. Sounds fishy to me.

What about the Blasts or the Ninja's? Thoughts on those? Will she grow out of them quickly?

Any other bikes we may be overlooking???

Thanks for your help.
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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-11-2009, 04:13 PM
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here is my thinking if my girl came to me wanting to ride.

shes is a bit nutty behind the wheel, (as most women are) so i would insist on something small like the ninja 250 which is an excellent starter bike. and if it gets dropped or she takes a fall its not a very expensive bike so i wont cry as much over the damage.

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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-11-2009, 04:39 PM
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250R, 500R or 650R should fit the bill perfectly. Also, the SV650 should be fine. You might be able to find a used 07 650R for a decent price.

Also, if she is really really short, the 250R is great. Nice and low seat height.
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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-11-2009, 04:45 PM
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Just my two cents -

If your wife has taken the MSF class and knows her limits and understands the risks and wants a Buell Blast, let her get it. I wouldn't want my wife miserable 3 months down the road saying "If you'd have let me get what I _wanted_ to begin with....". The wives do control the happy-funtime-after-dark recreation after all. Besides, it's called the Buell "Blast" for a reason: It's the perfect starter bike and a blast to ride! Upright seating, Underslung exhaust (no burned legs), auto-choke (no fiddling in the mornings or forgetting 12 miles down the road), belt-drive (no adjustments needed) , it has a top speed of maybe 75mph and it will hug corners like mad. OMG its light too! Man I want one now... lol

If she rode one during her MSF course (I am speaking from experience) it will be a benefit because she's already familiar with the bike. This will allow her to focus more on the road and feedback from the bike than "where is the turn signal on this bike ?" or "is the choke under the tank or behind my leg ?" ... OMG one wrong twist on a 650 and she's on her butt, but you have to stand on the tail light to pull the wheel off the ground on a Blast.

Also, if she does drop it or get tired of it, there's very little invested in it and you could likely turn it around quickly. They beat the crap out of them in the MSF classes at the Harley dealers and the pick them right back up and ride more.

I've _read_ the ninja is a great bike for track-day beginners to start off on because it allows you to push the limits of the bike (as a track day should) without going 200mph to do it. I don't know how much fun one would be for a long day of riding though. Might be fun to try. It and the blast are both about the same price.

Whatever you decide - congrats to the wife and I hope you guys enjoy riding together! I am still trying to convince my wife the motorcycle won't bite!
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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-11-2009, 05:36 PM
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Creeper77-

"shes is a bit nutty behind the wheel, (as most women are)"
You are ridiculous.

Montanaversys-

Now, back to the post. The Buell blast is a great little bike. Will run 100mph down hill, easy to maintain, you can ride it so slow you hear the pistons slap, Harley makes a nice aftermarket windshield and bags for it, a touch cold blooded, and REALLY HARD TO SELL. So if you get one, pay bottom dollar.

The standard SV650 is a bike I would always have in the garage if I had space, and it has good re-sale, a great motor, and what a super fun bike.

Nighthawk 250 with a smaller front sprocket- nice if you can find one that's in good shape. Singles can be buzzy.

New Yamaha XT 250- super nice.
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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-11-2009, 07:33 PM Thread Starter
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Update-

Today she sat on the Ninja 250 and 500, Er6n, Ninja 650, A couple of 250 enduros, honda rebel, vulcan 500 and the blast. For her MSF course she rode a Yamaha TW200. She effectively has eliminated the ninjas, all enduros, and all cruisers.

The seating position on the Ninjas are too aggressive for her liking. All cruisers are too laid back for her, and all enduros don't have enough oomph for the riding we'd like to do. She LOVED the Blast. On a whim we applied for credit, and were surprisingly accepted. I am doing my absolute best to hold off on getting it. I'm REALLY stressing that we get one used.

After looking closely at one, I have to admit I was fairly impressed with how cool it is up close. But, once I started looking really closely at it and messing with stuff, it seems really cheap. I guess it is, but I'm not gonna spend almost $5k on a new cheap bike) Damn that thing dances at an idle, it looks like every little piece wants to hop of the bike.

Chicken Little- I had forgotten about the Nighthawks. (What I rode when I took the MSF course a decade ago) Will see if one can be found.

Did find an old Suzuki Katana 550E for $750 bucks locally. Want to look at that for sure.

We'll see what she thinks of all this once we start test riding.

Anyway, will keep you posted. Thanks for the suggestions so far.
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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-11-2009, 09:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by montanaversys View Post
Update-

Today she sat on the Ninja 250 and 500, Er6n, Ninja 650, A couple of 250 enduros, honda rebel, vulcan 500 and the blast. For her MSF course she rode a Yamaha TW200. She effectively has eliminated the ninjas, all enduros, and all cruisers.

The seating position on the Ninjas are too aggressive for her liking. All cruisers are too laid back for her, and all enduros don't have enough oomph for the riding we'd like to do. She LOVED the Blast. On a whim we applied for credit, and were surprisingly accepted. I am doing my absolute best to hold off on getting it. I'm REALLY stressing that we get one used.

After looking closely at one, I have to admit I was fairly impressed with how cool it is up close. But, once I started looking really closely at it and messing with stuff, it seems really cheap. I guess it is, but I'm not gonna spend almost $5k on a new cheap bike) Damn that thing dances at an idle, it looks like every little piece wants to hop of the bike.

Chicken Little- I had forgotten about the Nighthawks. (What I rode when I took the MSF course a decade ago) Will see if one can be found.

Did find an old Suzuki Katana 550E for $750 bucks locally. Want to look at that for sure.

We'll see what she thinks of all this once we start test riding.

Anyway, will keep you posted. Thanks for the suggestions so far.
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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-11-2009, 09:40 PM
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Careful with the Katana's. For 5 years- I think it was late 90's, they had regulator/rectifier problems. Easy fix, but it's still money.

Used Blast could be just the ticket. Ebay? Albuquerque for $2500 with farkles. Or, is there a local Harley Dealership that has some used Blasts from and MSF course reconditioned? Usually they will finance those at a greatly reduced price.
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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-11-2009, 11:43 PM Thread Starter
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quadnut- the V is WAY too tall for her, she can barely throw her leg over it, and once she does get on, she can't hardly get it upright. I know there's lowering kits and lower seats, but we really want to get her a bike she can ride off the lot stock, without having to spend an extra $700 to make it fit her.

Chicken little, the Katana is an 86 gs550. Looks to be in decent shape, but she doesn't want it.

Wish the local Harley dealer had MSF Blasts, I don't even think they run any MSF courses at that dealer. I was actually shocked they had a Blast in stock when we walked in today, the sales guy said they normally don't get many of them and when they have them they don't last long. Not sure how much of that was sales BS.

Anyway, doesn't look like I'm going to be able to hold off on her getting a new one. She's already got the scooter up for sale. Hope it takes awhile so we can find a used one.
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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-11-2009, 11:55 PM
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Thumbs up

I checked ebay ...There are about 7 Blasts...All with low miles and most 1/2 price of the new one...Even if you had it shipped you'd still be a couple of K ahead...A couple might be close to you and even if its an 8 hour hop you'd be saving major $.....If you gotta finance, ck your local credit union...They weren't affected as much during the meltdown and most like to lend money on a bike transaction.
.I wish you luck and good ridin and keep us posted...

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post #11 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-12-2009, 08:22 AM
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I've heard bad things about the Blast. Stay away! There's a reason there are so many for sale!!
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post #12 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-12-2009, 10:44 AM
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Just went through this myself.

http://www.kawasakiversys.com/forums...ead.php?t=3300

Looked at all the bikes you mention and ended up buying her the V and she couldn't be happier.

Didn't want to waste money on the 250s, the Europeon bikes were just too pricey for what you get (Jap bikes are better anyway), the sv650 is a fine bike but we didn't want the "old model" wanted something current. So we looked at the Gladius, she really liked it but the seat was designed by the Devil himself (no aftermarket at that time). That left the V and the ER-6N, the V was too high and the 6N leaned a bit too much. We could have either got bar risers for the 6n or the lowering kit for the V. She really liked the looks of the V and the riding position better. So the V won out and we are both confident that we made the right choice, (no buyers remorse), because the V in so many critical areas is a better bike.

The lowering kit is $125 and you can get the seat lowered for $75 which is a bargain for customizing a bike.

My wife is 5'7" if your wife is on the short side all of this is a moot point, buy the bike that fits her Although I think there was a fellow here that bought his wife a V and she is 4"9"

My 2 cents

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post #13 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-12-2009, 10:53 AM Thread Starter
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God help me.

She's going in this afternoon to talk to the folks at Harley and possibly take a ride. Cross your fingers that she hates it. jhedges, I think the reason there are so many for sale is that they're a starter bike and are quickly out grown, as originally stated, one of my great concerns in which bike to get her.

Hafta give the little lady credit though, she's done some pretty impressive research already. (She was studying the Blast while she should've been studying for her finals) She found that the Blasts from 03-06 evidentally weren't well done, but most reviews from before and after have been great. She even found one guy who'd bought one for his wife and they now have a machine with 50k miles on it that's still running well.

She promises that if we get one, she'll stay on it for at least 3 years. HAHA, what a beginner huh? I try to tell her that you always want bigger and better, but she's the type who has to find out on her own no matter how many people tell her.

Well anyway, maybe I can convince the dealer to throw in a Nightster, Ducati Monster, or a Buell XB12 in with the Blast. (I hafta admit, I've been looking for something new too.)
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post #14 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-12-2009, 10:55 AM Thread Starter
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Fitz, she's not quite 4'9", for she's not 5'7" either. I keep trying to tell her to take the V and we'll lower it for her and just get myself something new. No go.
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post #15 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-12-2009, 10:57 AM
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Here's a used one in Montana, bright yellow for $2500.00 only 2000 miles. Offer 2000 and ride off. As someone said they do not hold their value.

http://montana.craigslist.org/mcy/1123657012.html

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post #16 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-12-2009, 11:06 AM
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God help me.

She's going in this afternoon to talk to the folks at Harley and possibly take a ride. Cross your fingers that she hates it.
You're doomed.
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post #17 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-12-2009, 11:46 AM
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Ultimately, she needs to be happy.

Although it depends on what kind of riding you do and I haven't ridden a blast, 34hp is weak. Around town it's probably OK, but on the highway......

My KLR has more hp and is slightly lighter and I think it's weak too, but around town and on the gravel, it's OK.

My wife started with an EX500 (Ninja 500) which was a great beginner bike with 59hp and 373lbs dry it has good performance and is an easy bike to ride. I don't need to tell you guys that these things are Ninja's in name only - they are definitely a beginner's bike. The 650 Ninja would also be a good choice with the same fairly upright riding position and better styling, but the 500 is probably the best bargain out there.

If I would have purchased the Ninja 650, my wife would probably still be riding it, but as fate would have it she wanted a ZX6R after taking the superbike course in Vegas. She isn't the typical woman rider, though and is very experienced racing offroad bikes.

Good luck,
Dave

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post #18 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-12-2009, 12:39 PM
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Having just sold my 2006 SV650 to get a more touring oriented bike, I'll share my thoughts.

The seat height (even stock) would not be great for someone short. I'm 5'10" and I couldn't totally flat foot the bike stock. There are a lot of options to fix that.

The SV is a very torquey bike, and has a good amount of power given it's low weight. If it's a later model with FI the throttle can be very sensitive, which can be bad for a beginner who doesn't have "the touch" yet.

It's a fantastic bike that can do so many things well, but I don't think I'd put a short newbie on it. I'd say a Ninja 250/500 would be a good start.
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post #19 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-18-2009, 06:42 PM
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The Ducati Monster 620's and 750's are fairly inexpensive (around $4k) and good starter bikes. Low CG, smooth power delivery, light weight, bullet proof motor (> 50k miles is chump change on the air cooled desmo's), etc. and she won't outgrow it anytime soon.
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post #20 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-24-2009, 06:58 AM
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Here is my past experience,
i think if the wife is looking at the Blast let her get it. My wife wanted one after taking the MSF course I guess because that is what she was comfortable on.. We found one for 2k had 600 miles on it and looked brand new. It is a great bike. Handles much like the V. Very forgiving easy to ride.Everything is located perfect for the beginner. I am 5'10'' 260 lbs and it hauled me around just fine. Highway speeds not a problem at all. For some stupid reason I thought she needed a bigger bike.I thought she wouold be more comfortable on a cruiser. So, we sold the Blast for 2k bought her a brand new Honda Spirit C2 Spirit 750. Beautiful bike Red with black flames and lots of chrome. She loved it in the showroom. She hated it after riding it! 34 degree rake along with the 21." front tire killed it. I always heard about her Blast. How she felt one with the bike. How it steered so much easier.How everything was right where it needed to be. How she loved the upright seating position as compared to the cruiser. Well we sold it and took a huge hit on it and now she doesnt ride. I think one day she might will ride again and I will be willing to bet my life on it that itwill be on a Blast. Hope that day comes soon I miss riding with my wife.
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