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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi I posted on the Video section but thought I would get more responses here.

I'm currently looking at bikes for commuting in the summer to save on parking and gas. I will be mainly be driving highway and a bit of city driving. I don't have much experience with motorcycles so I am wondering if the CBR500 is right for me. I'm not very tall at 5'7" and weigh 180.

Any other bike recommendations?
 

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Not understanding your climate, I may screw up (the more cold/rainy weather, the more you need a fairing).

First bike: get something used, after, taking a motorcycle training course. If you are still interested in a bike after the course, read how to evaluate used bikes (link below).

Used Motorcycle Evaluation Guide

If your weather isn't too bad, nor your commute too long, a naked bike may work for you. But, naked or faired, get something in the 250-500 cc range as a first bike.

You didn't tell us anything about speed limits or normal travel speeds on this commute of yours. I commuted and took 2K-mile trips on a 250 cc two stroke Suzuki scrambler back in the 60's so I know that the small bikes are capable. What we need is to figure what loads you will normally carry (a backpack full of books in a saddle bag or bungied as a tail bag, versus a thermos and lunch pail?) as well as the distances and speeds.

The Suzuki 500 bikes have been discontinued and are inexpensive orphans. They are standards, ergonomically, and good for almost any use.

I suggest that you read up a bit about the major types of bike, cruiser, sport, super sport, etc.

This wikipedia link may be a decent starting place:

Universal Japanese motorcycle - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

If you could tell us more about your intended uses, you will get better feedback. :D
 
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Not understanding your climate, I may screw up (the more cold/rainy weather, the more you need a fairing).

First bike: get something used, after, taking a motorcycle training course. If you are still interested in a bike after the course, read how to evaluate used bikes (link below).

Used Motorcycle Evaluation Guide

If your weather isn't too bad, nor your commute too long, a naked bike may work for you. But, naked or faired, get something in the 250-500 cc range as a first bike.

You didn't tell us anything about speed limits or normal travel speeds on this commute of yours. I commuted and took 2K-mile trips on a 250 cc two stroke Suzuki scrambler back in the 60's so I know that the small bikes are capable. What we need is to figure what loads you will normally carry (a backpack full of books in a saddle bag or bungied as a tail bag, versus a thermos and lunch pail?) as well as the distances and speeds.

The Suzuki 500 bikes have been discontinued and are inexpensive orphans. They are standards, ergonomically, and good for almost any use.

I suggest that you read up a bit about the major types of bike, cruiser, sport, super sport, etc.

This wikipedia link may be a decent starting place:

Universal Japanese motorcycle - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

If you could tell us more about your intended uses, you will get better feedback. :D
good read!

I agree with what you said about getting a used bike if you're just starting out & sticking to the 250-500cc range.

This is probably one of the best times to buy a "starter" bikes seeing how many used 2011-2012 CBR250's are showing up in the classifieds for $3000-4000. I bet there is also some negotiating to be done that can bring the price down a bit more.

I rather drop my used honda cbr250 that I bought for $3000-4000 rather than my brand new cbr500r I paid $8000 for OTD!
 

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Jsonder is giving you some great advice. As a starter you should first understand the dynamics of riding a motorcycle so you know the concept. Having the knowledge first before hand is great so if you ever encounter a situation you have a quick a good understanding before it take you out. Second, is to invest in a training or graduate riding course.

A used bike for a first bike is key, although you shouldn't jinx it you will and have a good chance of falling sometime in your riding lifetime. So to prepare yourself you need to be knowledgeable and most important... drive offensively. I can't stress more on this, you have to be prepared and looking for things that seem out of line before it happens.
 

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It seems like no matter who you ask everyone suggests getting a "used bike" as your first bike because it's likely you'll damage your first bike.

But personally I have some major concerns buying used

1) The CB500F has a base price of $5400, and in my area that's about the price of a recent (less than 5 year old) 650cc cruiser. At 150cc's larger than the CB500F and about 70lbs heavier I'm not sure it's a good bye. Now you could get a 250cc bike for less but lets be honest, if you thought a 250cc bike was going to suit your needs you'd be on the CBR250 forums not here.

2) Lack of ABS on most used motorcycles. I've seen the IIHS video showing the difference between a motorcycle stopping with ABS and without ABS on a slick road and the lack of ABS on any used bike is a major downside in my opinion.

3) Weight, when your looking at used the majority of used bikes for beginners would fall in 250cc and then we make the BIG jump to either 600cc 650cc or 750cc. The increase in CC also increases the weight for example a Honda Shadow 600cc chimes in at around 530lbs, which is 100lbs more than any of the CB500's.

4) Lack of security when purchasing used. If you drop $2k on a motorcycle only to get it home and find out that the previous owner got into a serious accident on the motorcycle but never reported it to insurance you may have just inherited someone elses problem. You could try to avoid such issues by buying used at a dealer and getting a warentee but if you did that you'd be paying the same taxes, title and registration fees that you would pay if you were buying new.


If you feel that a 250cc bike is going to be able to fill your needs then go for a used bike. (It's really hard to go wrong when your paying $1-$3k for a bike). If your looking for something bigger because you intend to drive on the freeway frequently, or take passengers along with you then I honestly don't see the benefit of buying a "used bike" instead of a CB500.

The prices are mostly the same, and the CB500 weighs less, comes with a 1 year warentee, has ABS, and a clean title/background.

At least that's the logic I'm using to justify my purchase of the CB500F. I've resigned myself to knowing that I will most likely drop it at some point, but that's what insurance is for.
 

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Relatively inexperienced riders, which the OP is, shouldn't be looking at riding two up for some time. The passenger changes the bike handling (just the weight/loading) not to mention training the passenger to mimic the body position of the "driver"; this is a lot of "new stuff" and responsibility to put on a fairly inexperienced rider.

A used 650 with ABS might not be a bad deal, but, you are right about all purchases of used motorcycles having some risk.

When I bought the NX250 five years ago I had to diagnose and repair a failing cdi. However, I paid $1300 for that bike (with 10,000 miles) and have put another 19,000 miles on it since then.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for all the good advice. Right now I'm looking into getting a Kawasaki Ninja 250 or 300, most likely sometime this summer. Hopefully, I don't have the need to upgrade to something with more power anytime soon.

Much appreciated.
 

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Thanks for all the good advice. Right now I'm looking into getting a Kawasaki Ninja 250 or 300, most likely sometime this summer. Hopefully, I don't have the need to upgrade to something with more power anytime soon.

Much appreciated.
Are you going to get ABS?

Since you're fairly new to riding I would highly recommend you get it
 

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Hi, í don´t really know if the cbr500r is too small for me, because i´m 6,33 feet...
193cm...im from germany ;)
can someone tell me if the cbr500r is only a bike for "normal" people??
or for someone who is as tall as i am?
thanks ;)

matzewest
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Are you going to get ABS?

Since you're fairly new to riding I would highly recommend you get it
Thanks. It seems to be the common advice I am getting, so I will spend the extra money on it. I have yet to hear from anybody who has ridden with abs that didn't recommend it.
 
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