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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Greetings all...thanks in advance for your advice. I have just about 3000 miles under my belt on a little ol Honda Rebel 250. Needless to say, that got boring real quick. Let alone, I could hardly merge onto the freeway for the work commute. After borrowing a friends gsxr I fell in love with the riding position, etc...did my research and am crazy about the RS. BUT- I've got people telling me I'm too inexperienced, too small (5'6" 150) and have a death wish moving up to this bike. You agree? I never had any probs on the "mini cruiser", felt right at home riding (MSF instructors called me a natural :) and feel confident enough to handle it. They just jealous? lol
 

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Sorry about this, but I say NO.

A 1000 cc sports or sport touring bike is a bike for an experienced rider. At 3000 miles lifetime, you are not. Oh, you'll probably survive and may certainly enjoy the experience. The problem is that this bike is heavy, relative to your Rebel, and has far more of everything else. More motor, more brakes and it is much less forgiving of rider errors.

As I'm sure you are already aware, the MSF course taught you to ride a small, light bike with very little power and very forgiving brakes around a parking lot with no traffic to speak of. Once you got your own Rebel, you still had to learn much more about street survival skills and controling the bike out in the real world. Natural or not, you still have bunches to learn and that big bike is going to impede your learning process.

Take your time. I understand the Rebel can be boring by now, but you will be far better served taking an intermediate step before you move up to a Sprint. Take a look around at the used bike market, or even new. Look in the 600 cc range and get a twin, not a 4. Even an FZ6 would be a lot of bike for you. Look at thinkes like SV650, Versys, Gladius., etc. These bikes have PLENTY of power, decent brakes and decent handling and are very controlable.

You will progress far faster as a rider on the smaller, lighter bike and still realize all the performance you are capable of handling. Even the smaller 500 class twins would be good choices. You won't have any trouble keeping up with traffic or getting on the freeway with something like an EX500 or whatever Suzuki is calling theirs these days. The beauty of these bikes is they are available on the used market quite cheaply and you, when you are finally ready to move up, can probably sell it for what you paid for it. Not so this Sprint, especially if you drop it (a likely occurance) and rash the plastic and/or cases.

Remeber this, back when dirt and I were both young, a 650 cc bike, with around 40 HP, was considered a big bike and only for expert riders. Today's 650's make 50% more power, have better brakes, tires and suspension and will out perform, in the hands of a good rider, a poorly ridden liter bike all day long.
 

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You don't say how long you've been riding but it is a big step up to the 955i from an light and underpowered cruiser.

The RS is quite a weighty (200kg) bike and top heavy to boot. Combine that with the gobs of torque and top speed and you have a great bike but not really one for a novice IMHO

I am as brave a man as you would find but if one of my mates asked me I'd say no. If you've been riding for a couple of years - no issues but the 955i can be a handful especially with the stock BT020's tyres on.

If you think that you could behave yourself it wouldn't be an issue but they do have a lot to offer in the power department and a beginner could easily get themselves in to trouble.

As SSed has said look for an SV650 or the like.

Good luck with your choice. :)
 

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Hmmm.... A bit of a tough call in my mind, but I got the Sprint RS as my 3rd bike and I'm pretty happy about that. I still managed to whack the throttle open too hard and drop it coming off a stop sign about 2 weeks after I bought it, despite ~3 years and 30,000 miles in other bikes.

If you were bored with a Ninja 250 after 3,000 miles, I'd say you were doing it wrong. The Rebel, though, I can actually see. I'm going to emphasize something Ed said, or maybe rephrase it.... Avoid most of the inline 4-cylinder bikes. Even the 600s make crazy power. I'm also going to say that the SV650 makes a good beginner bike on paper, but it's got a freakin' twitchy throttle. (I have heard that the GSX650F is beginner-friendly, though.)

I really like Kawasaki for beginner and second bikes. Ninja 250s and 500s make great starters you can stick with for more than 3k miles, and their entire 650 twin lineup is great for second bikes. Ninja 650 if you want a sporty standard, Versys if you want a real all-rounder, and ER-6N if you want something just as ugly as a Ducati Street Fighter for a third of the price. :p Suzuki GS500s are decent little twins too. They top out right around 100MPH, and it's a whole lot of fun getting them there.

Cheers, HTH,
-Kit
 

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If he's 5'6", chances are he ain't gonna be comfortable on a Versys, cool bike it may be. The seat heights the same as the Tiger. Do they still sell the Bandit 650? I've always liked the old air cooled Suzuki engines, and its got a half fairing like the RS.
 

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600 is a great stepping stone...

I would highly recommend going for a 600 or thereabouts as a stepping stone. As Ed says buy yourself one secondhand for a good price and you should be able to sell it for pretty much the same when you decide to move on - and that's where some of the fun of riding comes in, progressing through a variety of bikes to find what you really like. If you go straight for a litre bike you have missed out on a whole world of fantastic bikes in between.

I had an '04 bandit 600 and loved it. It was a very capable bike, and not nearly as heavy as the sprint - much easier to get used to the weight and "save" the bike from the embarrassing topples at a standstill.

The 600's are great value and will be much easier on the pocket in terms of insurance too (well, in the UK they are. Not sure where you are I but I would imagine it's the same everywhere)

Whatever you choose there is always a chance of having an accident minor or major, so be careful and consider extra training.

Enjoy whatever you choose!
 

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Welcome

Hi and welcome to the forum david6849:)

I am also of the start small and work your way up camp for all the reasons already stated.

If I was to make a suggestion it would be get some more miles and or training under your belt on a something like an SV 650 Suzuki that is light and has plenty of power, before stepping up to a heavy litre sports tourer.

Good luck.:)

cheers
DaveM:cool:
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
advice

Thanks for all the excellent and honest opinions...any more, keep em coming! I am thinking I might toss a ninja around first...they are a dime a dozen around here. I dont mind the way they look at all, just that all the kids have them...
 

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I just started riding last spring. I'd ridden years ago but nothing like the bikes that are out nowadays. I bought a Ninja 500 and was very happy with that as a starter. After putting about 4500 miles on that and making the mistake of trying out my buddies VFR800 I felt I was ready to step up to a bigger bike. I'm in my mid 50's and have become a fairly aggressive rider but I know my limits and stay within them (most of the time). Bought a Sprint ST last summer and have put around 9k on that so far. I love it and am glad I stepped up to the liter size. Just don't push it until you get to know it and you'll (probably) be ok.
 

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I had ridden a fair amount 20 years ago and when I returned to biking in 07, I bought a Kawasaki 650 twin. This was partly economical, but also because I knew it would be better to return to riding with a mid-sized bike. As the above poster said, 600s and even the 650 twins have considerably more power than when I rode before. I am also 5'6" and 150.

If I were buying one today, I'd probably go for the Suzuki SV650S. In fact, there are some people that will tell you that's even too much bike for your level. But it has the riding position you like and it's a great overall bike from most reviews. You can probably pick up a clean used or new leftover pretty cheap. And this is a bike that experienced riders would not necessarily outgrow.
 

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This is an interesting debate. I started riding in 1975 on my 16th birthday, and progressed over the next 4 years through 50cc, 250cc, 400cc, 750cc to 1000cc.After a lengthy layoff,I now ride a Sprint RS and an Aprilia Falco. I have always felt that new riders should progress through the lightweight and middleweight bikes before getting onto 100+BHP. However, despite the greater power outputs of today, that is probably less important than back in the '70s when Japanese tyres were nylon and didn't grip at all in the wet, and disc brakes had warning stickers so you knew that they didn't work in the wet either. Oh, and the frames and suspension struggled to handle the power the engines developed. Now, bikes are much faster but chassis, brakes and tyres are infinitely better, and more forgiving, especially if the bike has a linear power delivery like the RS. Some sports 600s with their narrower power bands are probably more dangerous than the RS despite their lesser capacity. I would certainly prefer to see an inexperienced rider on my RS than my Falco, especially in the wet. A rider is probably more likely to come unstuck through poor roadcraft than easy access to 100BHP. The other factor worth considering is your age and maturity.The fact that you're asking the question probably shows that you're sufficiently aware of the risks! So, while I would recommend, as others have, a 600-650cc interim bike, if you get some advanced training, I don't think an RS is necessarily a recipe for disaster.
 

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I own both a 2006 SV650 and a 2008 Sprint ST1050 and for sure the SV650 is lighter, more nimble, and therefore easier to ride. There is a reason that thousands of people use them as track bikes.

However, I would also say it's the rider and not the bike. (Guns don't kill people, people kill people.) If you use your head and ride with respect for both yourself and your machine then you will be fine.

The larger bike will need more rider input to get it to do what you want. I swear my SV will turn into a corner without me even thinking about it.... the ST not so much.
 

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Just to clarify my opinion on this- I think there are many bikes out there that would be a better second bike, but there are also many out there that would be far worse. A CBR600RR (or anything ending in "RR") would be worse than an RS, but any of the 500-650 twins would be a better choice.

Also, as far as Ninjas go, these are good beginner-intermediate bikes:

-Ninja 250
-Ninja 500
-Ninja 650

These are suicide machines:

Ninja 600
Ninja 636
Ninja 700
Ninja 750
Ninja 900
Ninja 1000
Ninja 1100
Ninja 1200
Ninja 1400

Cheers,
-Kit
 

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If you felt comfortable on a Rebel, but it's too small, you should take a look at a Bonnie or America. I take it you like Triumph, since you're here. These bikes are 900cc but as rider friendly as the Rebel. By the way, my wife has a Rebel and I love to ride it sometimes. It does get old quick though.
 

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and to think the bonneville was once the fastest thing on the road, when i got my first at 17. now it is considered an entry level machine?
i wouldn't recommend the sprint with rebel experience, no. whole different things. but do get something... i bought a new ninja 250 and it is the most fun bike i've ever ridden. my rs is too much for around here, really overkill. i can ride these back roads around here at 50-60 and feel like i am going fast on the 250. with the rs i'd never get out of second and that's still too fast for these county roads. so i agree with the ninja ideas but the 500 is ugly, cheap though. 600's are very fast. i went from two mini bikes, honda 90, yamaha 250, 650 bonneville, harleys, triumphs and bmws for many years and still. now people are jumping on the fastest right away. not a good idea imo. j
 

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I have to say, if I could afford 2 bikes the Ninja 250 would be my "get around town and tear up the twisties" bike. The 500 is butt ugly but if you can find a red one they look pretty decent. Don't know what it is but the other colors just look bad on that bike.
 

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I have to say, if I could afford 2 bikes the Ninja 250 would be my "get around town and tear up the twisties" bike. The 500 is butt ugly but if you can find a red one they look pretty decent. Don't know what it is but the other colors just look bad on that bike.
Its the 1990's styling that hasn't been updated... Up until 2008, the 250 was still running the 1980's look.

I rode an EX500 for several years before moving up to my Sprint. Everything said here is correct. The bigger, more top-heavy bike, with more power is probably too big of a step. But only YOU can make that decision.
 

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I touched on this in an earlier reply but want to emphasize it a bit.

Riding, and particularly riding well, is a process and as such, it takes time.

Your first bike has gotten you through the first steps of this process. You have managed 3K miles without killing or maiming yourself or the bike.

Your next step is to build riding skills (a lifetime quest). To do so, you are going to need a partner that is both suited to your current skill set and ready to advance with you as you improve as a rider. That is where these intermediate bikes shine. An SV650S makes a wonderful platform for this. Good power, decent, if not great suspension, decent, if not great brakes and good tires. There are very few riders, here or anywhere else you care to look, who can really get all that bike has to offer out of it. At the same time, it is a very forgiving bike to ride. No nasty habits like locking the front wheel inadvertently or doing a stoppie when you are not ready for it. It will do both, but you have to work at it. They turn in very easily and hold line quite well. While they do have the power to spin up the rear wheel when well heeled over, by the time you get to that point, you will have the skill to handle it.

A larger, 1000cc bike does all those things too but here is the rub. It will also require a good deal of your attention budget to keep yourself out of trouble on the thing. Attention that is better spent on the nuance of riding better. There are all sorts of subtleties involved in riding a bike really well. When you are all bugeyed from the shear power and how fast you got from the last corner to this one, you won't have time to learn them.

It's also the little things like learning to bring the bike to a stop upright and in control, right down to zero speed. I can do this on my Sprint ST to the extent that I don't often have to put a foot down till a few seconds after I have completely stopped. I can do it cause some of my early riding was on a trials bike where you are penalized for putting a foot down. Trying this on a big, top heavy bike is an adventure you don't want yet. Plastic is expensive.

The SV may be a bit intimidating for seat height at your size but, reread the above paragraph and you will find you need only the tip of one toe on the ground to keep the bike in balance. You have to build the skill and that is better done on a smaller bike.
 
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