Ninja 250 Vs Ninja 500

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Ninja 250 Vs Ninja 500

Unread post by Babydrop » Fri Feb 18, 2011 11:10 am

I have taken the MSF corse and am looking for a first bike trying to decide between a 250 and a 500 ninja whats your suggestion? Pros and cons for both.
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Re: Ninja 250 Vs Ninja 500

Unread post by sunshine229 » Fri Feb 18, 2011 12:59 pm

Congratulations! and :welcome:

Both bikes are awesome for starting. I am more of a timid rider so if I were choosing between the two to start on I'd go with the 250. I probably wouldn't have moved up for at least a few years.

In fact, I started on an old 400cc (which had about the same power as the ninja 250) and I rode that thing for 4 years. It was a blast! I never worried about the weight or how to handle it because it was VERY forgiving. The Ninja 500 will not be as forgiving as the 250.

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Re: Ninja 250 Vs Ninja 500

Unread post by JC Viper » Tue Feb 22, 2011 2:32 pm

The 250 should be a good starter if you are still shaky about riding once you get your license. The 500 is still very manageable and will pull harder than many cruisers if you wring it. The 500 would make a good long term bike. Both can be found very cheap if you go for used pre 2007 models.
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Re: Ninja 250 Vs Ninja 500

Unread post by totalmotorcycle » Tue Feb 22, 2011 3:59 pm

Definately go used. Great value, no "oh my god, is that a scrach on my new paint" syndrome and you don't mind junk-yard diving for parts for it. :D

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Re: Ninja 250 Vs Ninja 500

Unread post by waterbuffalo750 » Wed Feb 23, 2011 11:38 am

I'd go 500. A lot of people will want to trade up from the 250 after about half a season. And the 500 definitely doesn't have too much power, just enough to keep you from getting bored. Careful though, because there is enough power to get stupid.
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Re: Ninja 250 Vs Ninja 500

Unread post by Superfly3176 » Sun Feb 27, 2011 5:46 pm

I'd go 500 as well, they really don't have that much power, and you wont want to trade up after 1 month of riding.

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Re: Ninja 250 Vs Ninja 500

Unread post by High_Side » Sun Feb 27, 2011 9:39 pm

If your planing on riding any highway I would go for the 500. They are very manageable bikes but also have enough power to get out and pass if needed.

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Re: Ninja 250 Vs Ninja 500

Unread post by gsJack » Mon Feb 28, 2011 1:27 am

Here's a good read about a Hyabusa guy doing a 700 mile ride on a Ninja 250.
http://www.pashnit.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1145

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Re: Ninja 250 Vs Ninja 500

Unread post by Superfly3176 » Mon Feb 28, 2011 9:45 pm

gsJack wrote:Here's a good read about a Hyabusa guy doing a 700 mile ride on a Ninja 250.
http://www.pashnit.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1145
Great read, but that guy doesn't have to ride a 250cc every day of his motorcycling life. So I'd take it with a grain of salt.

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Re: Ninja 250 Vs Ninja 500

Unread post by totalmotorcycle » Tue Mar 01, 2011 5:34 am

Remember back in the days.. like the 70's, a 750cc was the biggest bike the Japanese made, and then we are talking about just 60ish HP. A lot of people toured America on 360cc Honda's, 250cc Kawasaki's or 350cc Yamaha's. Those were "middleweight" motorcycles then and they didn't have anywhere near the power of the 250cc today.

Remember... "It's not the size you have, it's how you use it". HAHA.

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Re: Ninja 250 Vs Ninja 500

Unread post by JC Viper » Wed Mar 02, 2011 1:30 am

A lot of people buy Ninja 500Rs as a cheap race bike as it can be found used, easy to modify and parts are abundant (for now at least). I hear they have their own class for racing.
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Re: Ninja 250 Vs Ninja 500

Unread post by Wrider » Wed Mar 02, 2011 2:01 am

Out here they're starting a Spec 250 class! Only 250 cc and under bikes can compete in it, so it ought to be a lot of fun to watch. Especially to see the difference between the Ninjette and the new CBR250...
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Re: Ninja 250 Vs Ninja 500

Unread post by James-ER » Tue Mar 15, 2011 2:11 pm

gsJack wrote:Here's a good read about a Hyabusa guy doing a 700 mile ride on a Ninja 250.
http://www.pashnit.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1145


read that write up, very well done. My question is a novice one, is there anything wrong with having to get the ex250 to 9-11000rpm to maintain highway speed? would it be safer/more efficient/etc to have the 500 where you could travel at 60-75mph without such a high rev?



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Re: Ninja 250 Vs Ninja 500

Unread post by jstark47 » Tue Mar 15, 2011 8:13 pm

James-ER wrote:
gsJack wrote:Here's a good read about a Hyabusa guy doing a 700 mile ride on a Ninja 250.
http://www.pashnit.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1145


read that write up, very well done. My question is a novice one, is there anything wrong with having to get the ex250 to 9-11000rpm to maintain highway speed? would it be safer/more efficient/etc to have the 500 where you could travel at 60-75mph without such a high rev?

J
From what I've read, the Ninja 250's engine is designed for those RPM's, and it tolerates it very well. 9-11K is that bike's powerband, by the way. Check out: http://faq.ninja250.org/wiki/Accelerati ... ging_gears
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Re: Ninja 250 Vs Ninja 500

Unread post by JVRR » Wed Mar 16, 2011 2:52 am

Same problem I need to look into on my GS500F, low RPMs sound deathly, but high RPMs sound like its working so hard (probably all due to being a cage driver :D).

But yes, I second the people that say start on a 500cc. I took the MSF class, did very well but fell apart for test time and just barely passed, my personal comment from the trainer was "You are very teachable," which probably summarizes as "you were the worst, but had a good attitude." I thought for sure on the last day of class that I wouldn't be leaving the parking lot on my bike for weeks. In other words, I did not feel very confident at all.

What I did know is that the price difference between used 250cc and 500cc is minor, and I was already being sort of financially stupid buying a bike- I wanted one that I would not get bored with, even in a year, with lots of riding, I figured I might be ready to upgrade from 500cc, but it should at least still keep me entertained.

I am very glad I started with the 500cc. I think one thing people fail to think about is, yes, top speed on even a 250cc bike is high. The idea though that you can get into more trouble on a 500cc is not as likely as I think some push it as, from what I have observed. The trouble at least I frequently see mentioned is basically panicking and giving way too much throttle, or being unable to control throttle, etc. Yes, a 500cc is going to be more powerful than a 250cc, but its not like going down the road in third gear you are all the sudden going to throttle it into 60mph in the blink of an eye, not without shifting. And at highway speeds on my 500cc you certainly don't go from 60mph to 100mph with an accidental twist of the throttle.

Lastly, the kind of problems a more powerful bike can cause, like excessive speed. Are caused by stupid and overconfidence. And you can't fix that- if you have that problem, you are going to have that problem on a 49cc scooter. I am glad I started on the 500cc, I can see more being a bit much, but I know less would have been disappointing. With one caveat, I am looking at potentially lots of freeway riding. If it was purely to get around town, I might have a different opinion. BTW: Asterisk on the end of all this is of course, I am a noob. Been riding, what, a week, or is it two? Time has its way.

EDIT: Okay I would like to add I can see where the excessive throttle issue in a panic could come into play on a 500cc. But don't forget you cannot always brake your way out of trouble either, sometimes the answer is more throttle.
Last edited by JVRR on Fri Mar 18, 2011 2:00 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Ninja 250 Vs Ninja 500

Unread post by JC Viper » Wed Mar 16, 2011 11:34 am

The new Ninja 250 has a little more mid range but still needs to be revved to make power. A buddy of mine rides his 2009 250 and at 70 MPH he's already around 8 - 9000 RPM or something and that's in 6th gear. At first some thought he was afraid to shift out of 3rd or 4th or something until they rode it themselves. It redlines at 13k anyway so no harm to the engine. Many smaller engines will behave that way. Even in cages... in relative terms.

Despite starting out on a 125cc dirt bike (driving school) then owning my own 250cc cruiser, moving up to a Vulcan 500 then to a 2001 SV650 back down to the Vulcan tuned up, I'm in the crowd that says it's okay to start off on a 600cc sport bike (650 for the SV) if done with caution but cap it at that size. Some are understanding and teachable and level headed so it makes little sense to start out too small. Those that aren't win the Darwin awards. I feel a bit bitter having wasted time and money with the baby steps. Still those 125s and 250cc dirt bikes are powerful, more so when you actually off-road them.

SV had to go. I thought I could handle the insurance increase but other interests cropped up... In all I upgraded in matter of months not years. The Vulcan 500 was satisfyingly powerful enough. Ninja 900R is pretty gentle unless I hit the 5500RPM mark on the tach. Then it becomes a "I hope nothing is in front of me" type thing.

Top speed on a Ninja 250 is 100 - 110MPH and it takes a while to get there. Top speed on a Ninja 500 is said to be 125 - 135 and it takes 12+ seconds to reach 102MPH (basing off 1/4 mile times for that one) and after tuning up the Vulcan 500 it can go 125MPH but took its sweet time. Nothing too rediculous in terms of top speed. Some states have speed limits pegged at 75 - 80mph. Surrounding traffic can be around those speeds.
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Re: Ninja 250 Vs Ninja 500

Unread post by gsJack » Wed Mar 16, 2011 12:24 pm

James-ER wrote:
gsJack wrote:Here's a good read about a Hyabusa guy doing a 700 mile ride on a Ninja 250.
http://www.pashnit.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1145
read that write up, very well done. My question is a novice one, is there anything wrong with having to get the ex250 to 9-11000rpm to maintain highway speed? would it be safer/more efficient/etc to have the 500 where you could travel at 60-75mph without such a high rev?J
I just linked that Ninja/Busa write up to show that a well ridden small bike could do almost any thing if you like a small one. Along those lines here's another one that caught my attention:
http://www.pashnit.com/forum/showthread.php?t=18512

My first bike was a CB400T and I traded it in on a new CB750K 6 months and 6k miles later feeling the 400 just didn't have enough power for the highway when actually I just didn't know how to ride it. After the 750 and a nice Nighthawk 650 I went to a 500. I've done my last 12 years and 160k miles on a couple of GS500s and had a ball doing it. If I were starting all over today I'd go with a 500.

If I get one more bike with my current level of experience it would be something like this, it looks like fun:

http://www.cycleworld.com/video/video_a ... 0r_-_video

80 mph is more than fast enough for some one pushing 80. LOL

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Re: Ninja 250 Vs Ninja 500

Unread post by totalmotorcycle » Mon Mar 21, 2011 6:36 am

gsJack wrote:
James-ER wrote:
gsJack wrote:Here's a good read about a Hyabusa guy doing a 700 mile ride on a Ninja 250.
http://www.pashnit.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1145
read that write up, very well done. My question is a novice one, is there anything wrong with having to get the ex250 to 9-11000rpm to maintain highway speed? would it be safer/more efficient/etc to have the 500 where you could travel at 60-75mph without such a high rev?J
I just linked that Ninja/Busa write up to show that a well ridden small bike could do almost any thing if you like a small one. Along those lines here's another one that caught my attention:
http://www.pashnit.com/forum/showthread.php?t=18512

My first bike was a CB400T and I traded it in on a new CB750K 6 months and 6k miles later feeling the 400 just didn't have enough power for the highway when actually I just didn't know how to ride it. After the 750 and a nice Nighthawk 650 I went to a 500. I've done my last 12 years and 160k miles on a couple of GS500s and had a ball doing it. If I were starting all over today I'd go with a 500.

If I get one more bike with my current level of experience it would be something like this, it looks like fun:

http://www.cycleworld.com/video/video_a ... 0r_-_video

80 mph is more than fast enough for some one pushing 80. LOL

Great advice! Wisdom from experience is priceless.

My CB400T was fine on the highway as well. It would top out at around 145km/h so it was fine for passing when a good length of road was to be had and I took it everywhere it was so small and light. After that I wanted something bigger for 2 up riding so I got a GS550E then a XJ650R which was perfect for 2 up and everything else. The GS550E would have been just fine but it was a 1978 model and 550cc in 1978 isn't as good as 500cc in 2011.

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Re: Ninja 250 Vs Ninja 500

Unread post by Marvin » Sat Mar 26, 2011 5:41 am

I would go with the Suzuki GS500F instead of the Kawasaki Ninja 500 or at least look at one and compare the price difference.
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Re: Ninja 250 Vs Ninja 500

Unread post by JVRR » Mon Mar 28, 2011 8:07 pm

The fit on them is different, I would get the one you feel more comfortable on. I preferred the peg position on the Ninja (in relation to shifter) but the bars on the GS500. Got used to shifting pretty quickly :D. Love my GS500!
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