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Ninja 250 -vs- Rebel 250

Old 03-31-2007, 07:59 PM
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007
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Default Ninja 250 -vs- Rebel 250

I know that one is a cruiser-type and the other is more sporty. What I want to know is which one is better to get my wife started riding on? It would be a bike used for a couple of years to learn on.
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Old 04-05-2007, 08:40 PM
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Originally Posted by 007 View Post
I know that one is a cruiser-type and the other is more sporty. What I want to know is which one is better to get my wife started riding on? It would be a bike used for a couple of years to learn on.
Considering that the Ninja is a sport-bike & although it may only be a 250, is more powerful than a Rebel. One of the two bikes that I rode doing my MSF Course was a Rebel 125 and knowing how small they are, I would recommend the following for your wife along with any other person wanting to begin riding:
1. Take an MSF course, you can find courses offered near you by going to www.msf-usa.org and don't buy a bike or attempt to do any riding until taking that course
2. Make sure to buy a helmet, gloves, jacket (preferably leather), long pants (preferably leather) and over the ankle boots before buying the bike, for that you have the proper riding gear from day 1.
3. By a smaller used bike that is easier on forgiving for newby mistakes (jerking of throttle, etc.) & make sure it doesn't have alot of plastics preferably as you're likely to lay it down which in the first year or two atleast once & the plastic body panels can get expensive to replace.
4. I personally feel that no sport bike should be used for beginners, however if you (in this case your wife) absolutely wants a sport bike than go for something like the Ninja 250, other wise I would recommend a standard or cruiser style.
5. Chances are a 250cc is likely to feel too small in no time (a year or less) and you or or wife in this case would want a bigger bike very soon after, so I would recommend something like maybe a Honda Shadow 600cc if she can handle the weight of it (leaning it over, walking it, etc) that way she won't out grow it for a while. If you have no problem with buying a bike that she will outgrow in no time than I would say go for the Rebel 250. Just Make sure that no matter what bike you go for, she can comfortably sit on it, reach both feet flat on the ground when stopped & that the bike isn't so heavy that she can't lean it over when sitting on it without dropping it, any of those would not make good for a beginner.

I took the MSF course myself past October, got my license in November & got my first bike (1983 Honda CB550SC Nighthawk, which I find a great beginner bike) in December. Can't wait until after I heal from my injuries on my back from an auto accident & can get back on it. Hope this info helps.
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Old 04-06-2007, 04:30 AM
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Thanks for the advice.

She has gear already (she rides on the back of my bike) and three of my riding buddies are MSF instructors, so we have those bases covered (firm believer in the MSF). Back when I took the MSF we used rebels, and I thought that those bikes were pretty fun. But one of the guys who rides out in the hill country with us rides the little ninja and he loves it. He has been riding for about 20 years and he says he still prefers it. So it got me to thinking about it. I am overseas right now but I will be returning this summer and my wife has shown interest in riding her own bike, so I am kind of going back and forth between the two bikes.
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Old 04-06-2007, 05:14 AM
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I am glad to here she already has all the bases covered. Considering that she does ride on the back of your bike and several of your friends are MSF instructors, either bike should work considering that she knows the basics of bikes. Personally I would prefer the Rebel over the Ninja as I don't the sport bike styling, however in your case I think the best thing to do is you & your wife go out to look at both the Ninja's & Rebels, sit on them both, and get which ever one she feels more comfortable on & like better. I don't know how your & your wife's financial situation is, however if she wants a bike that is capable of highway riding, or that she plans on riding for a couple years before upgrading to a new one, than I'd suggest something between the 400-600cc range, unless wanting to upgrade to a bigger bike in no time. As I'm sure you already know another thing to consider when buying a bike is what type of riding is she going to do mainly & where at. Goodluck on your wife getting a bike & stay safe.
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Old 04-06-2007, 05:23 AM
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You touched on a key point: finances. We will be buying used, and we don't have money to burn so we are hoping to make a fit that will last for a while. I think that she will be happier on the rebel, but it isn't for me to tell her what makes her happy, I suppose. My buddies are pushing for the ninja because they all ride sportbikes.
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Old 04-06-2007, 05:57 AM
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If your looking for a bike that she can keep for a while, than I personally wouldn't recommend doing any 250cc, ESPECIALLY if she plans to do any highway riding with it. If your positive that she won't outgrow a 250 before the two of you's are wanting to buy 2nd bike, than I would say get which over one she feels comfortable on & likes most. I had the same problems when I started bike shopping as most of my buddies also ride sport bikes & tried to get me to get one, but have to remember that let your wife get what she wants, regardless what your buddies ride. Better to have a bike that she likes, than one that your buddies like, when she is the one having to ride it.
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Old 04-22-2007, 07:35 AM
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Default Honda Rebel 250cc

Hello!

I just bought a used Honda Rebel 250 in a private sale. It's a 2001 with 3000 miles on it and I got it for $1400. However, depending on where you live, you might be able to pick up a used Motorcycle Safe PRogram course bike for between $900 and $1400. THey sell them at auctions. In PA, the next auction is this TUesday, April 24th.

Prior to buying this Rebel, I owned many bikes "back in the day" (when I used to ride, 30 years ago). I probably owned about 6 or 7 bikes, ranging from a Suzuki 90 to a Yamaha RD 250. The biggest bike that I routinely rode on the streets was actually a Honda CB200. I put a LOT of miles on that bike - highway miles, too. At the time, the Yamaha RD250 was the largest street bike I'd ever owned & I didn't like it. I only kept it for a few weeks before trading it in for a Suzuki TS185 which I also put a lot of miles on, including highway miles.

I did a lot of research before deciding on the Rebel 250. One very good thing about this bike is that it gets 70 miles per gallon!!! I bought it yesterday & have only driven it around my neighborhood so far because my skills are quite rusty, not having ridden for a good 30 years now. I am female, 5'4" tall and I find this bike to be EXTREMELY comfortable in terms of its height, and also the seat. I love it already!!! My son drove it home for me - a good 70 mile trip, at highway speeds, and he had no complaints.

The only thing "negative" about this bike, for me, is that I find it to be extremely heavy for me to maneuver when I am not riding it. It feels fine when I'm riding it, but, say, when I need to push it into my backyard, it's quite heavy. Other than that, it's perfrect for me and that's just something I'll have to deal with. Hopefully, once I regain my former skill level, I'll feel more comfortable about driving it into small tight spaces and will therefore have to push it less.

Given my past, extensive experience with smaller bikes that I rode all over creation, I have no intention of ever "moving up" to a bigger bike. I understand the Rebel can comfortably do 70 mph and I have no desire to go faster than that.

Interestingly, based on my research, I'd narrowed my choice of bikes down to the Rebel or the Ninja 250. Since I'm fairly small, the seat height was a major factor. Theft risk also differs considerably between these 2 bikes.

I think you've gotten some great advice on here so far & I find it interesting that you're also looking at either the Rebel or the Ninja for your wife. Best bet? Have her check out both bikes and decide from there. If she's fairly small, I think she'd probably find the Rebel more comfortable, but let her decide.
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Old 04-22-2007, 08:06 AM
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I can't say how comfortable the Rebels are at highway speeds, however as long as you're happy with it & its a good bike for you, than thats all that really matters. Congrats on deciding to get back in to riding after 30 years & you may want to take the MSF basic riders course if you havent already done so. When I took mine, there was about 5 people in there that haven't rode in 10-30+ years and they all was quite pleased with the new stuff they learned & was able to take from the class, and even if it doesn't help you out much, just remember its always better to be safe than sorry, especially on bikes now days. Goodluck, stay safe & hope you have plenty more happy years of riding to go.

Tim
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Old 04-22-2007, 08:51 AM
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Thanks, Tim. I AM signed up as an alternate for the Motorcycle Safety Course, beginning this Tuesday, APril 24th! Even if I were getting on the same exact bike I'd ridden 30 years ago, I think it would be a good idea. But this bike is a lot different than those I rode "back in the day", so I plan to get as much instruction, pointers, safe practice, etc., as possible before really getting out on the road.

Sue
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Old 04-22-2007, 09:45 AM
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Sue, that was good thinking on the MSF Course & glad to hear you feel the way you do, means you're likely to be safter out there...just always remember to watch out for those in "tanks" as they tend to not even think about those of us on 2 wheels, even when making eye contact. I'm not sure if they will discuss it in your MSF course, I know they did not in mine, but I've learned that & it does work, and that is to flash your brake lights when coming to a stop, if theres vehicles behind you, as it tends to attract their attention a little more. Than again we have to do just about everything we can to "alert" those in the "tanks" to try & keep us alive & still riding, as all of us would rather ride the bike, not the pavement. If for some reason you can not get in as an alernate, not sure if the MSF courses offer it in your area but here in my area, you can go 1 hr early I believe it is to any class to be put on standby as a walk-in & if they have an opening they take the walk-ins based upon the first ones that signed up with the instructor...that could be what your referring to as being already signed up as an alernate, not sure. Enjoy being back in the saddle again.
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Old 04-22-2007, 10:16 AM
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Default Ninja vs. Rebel

Tim,

ARound here, the walk-ins are a level BELOW alternates. In other words, they take those who got into the course as regular sign-ups first. Then, if some of them don't show, they start taking the registered "alternates". Then, if they still have empty slots, they'll start taking walk-ins. I really HOPE I get in as an alternate because the wait time to get in as a regular is too long for me. I want to get out there on the road ASAP, but I'd really like to have that coursework complete before I start venturing out of my little neighborhood.

Thanks for the safety tip about the brake lights. Believe me when I say I plan to take EVERY possible precaution. I've already bought an Olympia AST armoured touring jacket - neon yellow, and I've ordered a bright yellow Shoei full-face helmet. I bought day-glo orange gloves with reflective patches on them & my motorcycle boots have a reflective spot on the back. I also plan to buy the Olympia armored pants that can attach to my jacket, but since I'm considerably overweight, I'm hoping to shed a few pounds and then be able to buy a smaller size. Hopefully I'll lose ALL of the extra 45 pounds I've gained over the past 3 years (long story), but IF that happens the $189 pair of pants I'd buy today would no longer fit.

I was even originally planning on painting my rebel a bright yellow, but it looks so pretty right now, I'm having second thoughts.

I bought a deer protection system and extra loud horns, plus I'd like to get a headlight modulator, light bar with side headlights, extra brake lights, and a comprehensive LED light system. Believe me, I want to be seen!!! Now, all of this stuff is going to add up, but I figure I got my bike pretty cheap, so I can afford to spend the $ on the extra safety stuff, though I WOULD like to buy as much of it USED as possible.

Unfortunately, I'm finding that there's really not a whole lot of stuff out there that fits the Honda Rebel and based on my observations of e-bay, it's not that easy to save any money on many of these things.

If you have ANY advice about how to make a bike HIGHLY VISIBLE, please, let me know. Also, if you have any advice about how or where to buy used accessories and stuff that would fit a Rebel, please also let me know.

Well, I think I'm gonna go for a little spin around my neighborhood again. I just WISH there were a big empty parking lot real close to my house, that didn't require me driving out on the roads, to get to.

Sue
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