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nightmare
04-10-2007, 10:48 AM
Ok...here's my situation:

My brother has been talking recently about getting a motorcycle (which, of course, I'm happy to hear). However, he is saying that he wants to get a ninja 636 or a ninja 650. I told him that he should read the article by Chris Sedition that I posted recently on how to pick a first bike. After I showed him several new possibilities (including the Kat, SV650, GS500, and the two small ninjas) as well as some early 90's bikes ('92 ZZR600 looks really sharp to me, and the old CBR's), he basically disregarded everything I was saying to him and simply said "I'll get the bike I want". Basically, he said that he doesn't like the way any of the other bikes look and he only wants the ninja 650 or ninja 636.

So my question is this: Is the 650 or 636 too big for him to start on? I personally thought so, but I want to hear from some people with more experience.

Also, what are some very sporty looking bikes that are gentle enough for a beginner? I think my brother is getting stuck on looks so if I could find a really fantastic looking 500 or an older 600 maybe he'll change his mind.

Thanks for any assistance you guys can offer!

- J

woobie
04-10-2007, 11:07 AM
Your facing an uphill battle, if he has buddies that ride you could hope they will help out with the less powerful bike arguement. But it's seems pretty close to an even split that you'll either hear "get a small bike to learn" or "get a super sport and just becareful"

If he's dead set on those bikes good luck trying to sway him. Personally I've always liked the looks of a lot of older bikes over the newer ones, The old FZR is one sexy looking bike IMHO lol.

Up here we have the high cost of insuring a SuperSport to deter many new riders. A lot of area's in the States seem to have super low insurance rates so it makes it that much easier for a newb to buy a SS.

In the meantime though you could try to get him to at least go gear shopping so if he does choose a SS as a first bike he'll be prepared "just in case". I would assume mesh or perforated leather would be best down in Florida.

Other than that get him to sign up for the MSF course or any other rider training available.

allblackkat
04-10-2007, 11:19 AM
Make sure he takes the MSF course. Tell him the Ninja 650 is way cooler than the 636, (cuz it's really the safer of the two. If thats possible in the hands of a noob.) 75hp on the 650 compared to 125hp on the 636...

The 650 is really just a step up from the ninja 500..
I would've gotten it for my wife as her first bike after we took the MSF course.... It's lighter than the 500..

Throw a motogp style exhaust on that thing and it sounds sweet.... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-GQPbMRIy0s&NR=1

But def no go on the 636... It is lighter than the 650 and is way too much bike, and less forgiving.

LocoKat
04-10-2007, 12:39 PM
Nightmare,I bought a 636 two weeks ago and decide to sell it (too fast),I'm getting another KAT this week,your brother can see the bike in Craigslist (Orlando).

87vert
04-10-2007, 12:52 PM
make sure he takes the MSF before buying the bike. The MSF might help sway him to a different bike. Thought it might also instill a false convidence. "Hey I can ride these bikes just fine so I could ride any bike just fine"

make sure he gets the gear also.

Make sure to tell him not to buy a new bike as a first bike.

KatanaSoldier
04-10-2007, 03:10 PM
Man this is tough because he is blood! Man, in honesty, I think the throttle is too unforgiving for a new rider. Just my opinion though.

KatanaSoldier
04-10-2007, 03:10 PM
No way to talk him out of it?

tdrcomm
04-10-2007, 03:20 PM
+1000 to all the above.

Unfortunately, there's nothing that looks as cool as the supersports or "R" bikes under 600cc's (in my opinion). The Ninja 500 looks cool if you strip it and make it a naked streetfighter, and I like the fully-faired SV and the Kawi 650 (it does sound sweet with the right exhaust).

Tell him to get the best gear he can afford and pray for the best. The 636 is NOT a forgiving bike for a newbie.

Black_peter
04-10-2007, 04:07 PM
If he were my brother I would just stop by his house every night and pull off a part of whatever he bought ..
One day clutch lever, next day shift lever..

Lucky my brother rides a Harley.. So worst case he's too poor from the repair bills to buy the beer.

nightmare
04-10-2007, 06:32 PM
If he were my brother I would just stop by his house every night and pull off a part of whatever he bought ..
One day clutch lever, next day shift lever..

:lol:


Ah ok...so the 650 is what I should guide him towards (if he won't listen to anything else).

I definately won't tell him about the horsepower difference, though :-D

Thanks alot for all of the advice...I was really getting worried that by brother would be counted among the squids who have died on a bike that was too fast. I'm definately pushing the MSF course on him and I'm hoping he'll at least let me give him some pointers on some of the basics...

...I was really hoping he would just love the pre-98 kat so I would get to ride it :D

I have another question: since the 650 is obviously not an SS bike, how does it compare to the Kat in terms of weight?

Black_peter
04-10-2007, 06:51 PM
If he were my brother I would just stop by his house every night and pull off a part of whatever he bought ..
One day clutch lever, next day shift lever..

:lol:



I wasn't joking...

JZ67
04-10-2007, 06:56 PM
You know your brother best. If you don't think he can respect the power of the SS bikes and control his wrist you should plainly let him know what your position is without being overbearing. Show him that you care about his well being. You lecture him and he won't listen.

Perhaps let him take your bike for a spin so he can see for himself that the HP number is not the most relevant factor.

MSF course - no doubt in my mind. As woobie said, take him gear shopping. Perhaps being helpful will play on his mind how serious you are about his safety.

Check out the local Kawi dealers with him and find out when or if Kawi is setting up an event day locally so he can ride both bikes.

I saw a program about a place in Daytona called "Destination Daytona". All my web searches show it is HD driven but I swear they had a Yami dealer that has daily demo rides - did not see if Kawi or Suzuki was represented. It is only two hours from you so you guys could make a day of it. Damn, I swear they interviewed a guy that just tested an FJR1300.

Good luck.

md86
04-11-2007, 04:48 AM
Remind him how much theives LOVE them SS bikes , too . Usually , I just roll up my sleave and show my cool "tatoo" from my wreck a few years ago to get their attention , then go on to explain how just about ANY bike they get no matter the cc's will be faster than the Civic they wish they could be as fast as :roll: . And if they STILL don't listen , ask for first dibs on their parts . When they ask "what parts" , say "the parts that'll be left when you wreck your bike because it's too much for you" :roll: .

fadeykin
04-11-2007, 10:11 AM
I rode the Kawa 650 before buying the Kat 600 last summer and as a fairly new rider I can tell you that I found it very forgiving and easy to get along with. Ride height and position felt really good (I'm 6', 165lbs) and the power was very managable. Similar to the Kat in some respects and if not a little more tourque'ish.

Just as a side note, I went the Kat in the end, after testing both bikes I really felt like the Kat was a better bike overall, but that's just me.

On the hand, I've ridden a friends 636 and as cool and fun as it was, I got off in 5 minutes. I knew right away I didn't have the experience or the know-how to really enjoy the ride for what it is and what it should be.

I have a few friends that ride and two summers ago when I said I was going for my motorcycle license all of them said the same thing about getting my first bike, go reasonable, alloy yourself time to learn but make sure you have fun.

Plus everyone basically told me that if I bought a bike that was over my head they'd steal it.

My oppinion, do what you can, no matter what. Fact is, this isn't a toy, no matter how fun they are. If something bad happens on a bike, there is an awefully good chance that he would die. We've all seen it happen.

Range
04-11-2007, 10:56 AM
basically...he is buying the name "Ninja", as he has no idea that both bikes are very dissimilar.

fadeykin
04-11-2007, 11:29 AM
basically...he is buying the name "Ninja", as he has no idea that both bikes are very dissimilar.

I'll never understand someones willingness to die over a brand name. "Gixxer", "Ninja", "Busa" or whatever.

Maturity is a giant factor to riding a motorcycle well, staying of trouble and learning from your mistakes and there's no getting around them, a new rider will make mistakes, period.

There's another thread in Riding Tips where someone copy/pasted a great article for newbies on how to pick a good "first bike", you should print copies and leave them in multiple areas your brother would find it. Hopefully he'll get the point.

EDIT: Link to the thread I mentioned, it's awesome advice.

http://www.katriders.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=30260

BlackburnD
04-12-2007, 12:42 PM
I am going through a similar situation. Yet I have already defeated "this bike looks awesome" buying power. My brother called me a few days ago and asked me what I thought of a Gixxer. I said they are great bikes, but you can't have one.... He asked why and I told him high insurance rates, large amounts of power, and let alone the fact that he has NEVER been on a motorcycle before. I sat down got on the net and emailed him a list of good starter bikes. He has not decided what he is giong to go with, but I guarantee it's not a Gixxer.

allblackkat
04-12-2007, 01:13 PM
blackburn said,

"that's a great bike, but you can't have one"

that about sums it up.. If he won't listen to you as a brother who cares for him then maybe you shouldn't talk to him unless he smartly decides on a sensible bike to start out on....

don't forget to mention that he will drop whatever bike he does get as a first ride.... How much does he really want a brand new bike?

BlackburnD
04-12-2007, 02:26 PM
Lucky for me it didn't take too much convincing. He asked my opinion becuase he is aware I have more knowledge of motorcycles and other automobile stuff than he does. So he of course respects and wants my thoughts on it. Sometimes it goes the other way for things that I don't know as much about as he does.

Unfortunately not everyone has that view point about their knowledge and the experience of others. Instead they know everything, and can handle what ever they choose to bring upon themselves. Good point about the dropping it though.

Nero
04-17-2007, 08:14 AM
You've got a better family sit. than me then, BlackburnD, because neither of my brothers listen to $hit from anyone. My younger brother wants a ZX-14 and the only street bikes he's ever owned are a Kat 600 and an Indian. Now, I know someone may think that's OK, except for the fact that he's got about 6 DUIs (one on the bike) and a fistful of tickets, plus he drives like a maniac. -It's all I can do to keep the A$$ from killing himself or someone else.

My older brother doesn't listen to me either. In fact, we've not spoken in five years. -But's that's another story. :violin

windofthefallen
04-17-2007, 09:02 AM
My sister let me have it like crazy when I told her I was going to buy a bike. But she thinks I'm a complete idiot. Let your brother know that you care and you are only thinking of his safety. Super Fast bike = Super scary!!!!!! Scared is not what any of us need to be on a bike. I bought a 600 kat and I think I couldn't have gotten a better starter bike.

nightmare
04-17-2007, 11:23 AM
UPDATE:

Actually I told him that he could learn on the 650 if he was completely opposed to anything else and if he took the MSF course first AND if he let me take him to a parking lot and go over some basics. After that, he said he was still strongly considering the SV650, which I gave the thumbs up for. So if I keep singing the praises of the SV650 I think he just might go for that one first. I feel better already just knowing that he's taken some of my advice seriously.

And, of course, I'm going to try and sneak a picture of a pre-98 Kat in and see what he thinks. I'm even thinking that I may offer to buy a pre-98 off of him when he's done learning (as a project bike) if he doesn't want it after that.

Novelldude
04-17-2007, 12:56 PM
Review of the MSF is rarely wasted on anyone. You can make sure he goes by footing the bill for it and taking it with him at the same time.

Doing so would accomplish several things:
1. Gives you a chance to refresh yourself.
2. Shows by example that you're serious about safety rather than just saying the words.
3. Gives you the chance to see and help coach his knowledge base because you'd be there with him to know what he picks up well and what still needs work.

Present it as a "if your going to do this, I was thinking of a refresher for myself so tell what I'll do..." add in anything else you want and become his hero/mentor as well as a concerned brother.

Just my .02
ND

KatanaEvolution
06-14-2007, 01:21 PM
I'm a new rider. When I was first considering a bike for commuting my considerations were heavily influenced by aesthetics. Personally I really like the Honda Repsol. Everyone who I know told me its too much bike, I'll kill myself with the power etc etc.

I listened to them, took the MSF course and learned a lot about bikes in the 10 hours we rode. The little 250cc bikes were jumpy, why would I want something like a 1000?

So we went shopping and found an awesome SV650S. Those bikes come naked right? But this one had a full fairing with the angular headlights. It looked as good as my friends gixxer, except the V-twin sounded a lot better. (It has a V-Twin right?) It had a carbon slip on and a carbon beauty kit. Its a very very cool and comfortable bike. It was 5k used.

Too much money for a bike I'm going to learn on and possibly damage due to inexperience, so I bought a co-workers Katana. I'm very glad I did. The styling is retro, it looks beefy and it has great power for riding the freeway. I don't think I'll be needing to upgrade anytime soon.

Good luck with your brother. Have you taken him bike shopping yet? Have him pop a squat for 10 minutes on the Honda and point out how uncomfortable the Honda seats are. Then take him over to a Suzuki and let him see the difference.

tomcatguy
06-17-2007, 09:40 AM
If you can't seem to talk him out of it. Then help him out. Get him a stupid small rear sprocket and as big of one as will fit in the front. It won't slow him down any but it will keep him on two wheels and take away alot of the bikes torque in the lower gears. This way he can learn to ride the bike he wants and yet it is tame enough to "learn on"
Just an idea but anyway it goes good luck to you and the Little bro.

fsand03
07-22-2007, 09:34 AM
I wish you and your brother the best of luck. Some great suggestions in these remarks. I too took the MSF and also talked to other riders before buying a bike. I ended up with a Katana 600 and enjoy riding it. Great commuter and not bad touring either. Hope your brother enjoys whichever bike you both decide on.

StevieB
07-22-2007, 12:19 PM
It's been more than three months since you originally posted, but I have some suggestions that I think are made timely by that:

1) If he has not bought a bike you feel is too big for his first bike, it may mean that he is listening to you. Stay on message, and be subtle, respectful and gentle with him.

2) You might also mention that everyone drops their first bike, in stupid, driveway ways, and he might be happier in the long run doing that to a less expensive bike with little or no bodywork. Tell him about your early low-speed drops so he knows you are not preaching.

3) Forget about 250's- that will only alienate him, or at least predjuce his opinion of your input. Suggest a Ninja 500- he already is predisposed to get a Ninja, so it will already have some attraction to him, his buds may razz him for buying a smallish bike, but will also respect it because it is "not THAT small..." Stess the affordability of them, and repete the message about dropsies.

4) Find some magazine articles that say good things about that bike, and show them to him.

5) Buy him either the MSF course or gear for his birthday. Yeah, I know- expensive birthday gifts. I've lost three brothers- any one would have been well worth what is really, when you think about it, that small outlay of cash. He's your brother- nothing more to say. Don't say a thing when you give it to him- anything you say can and will be held against you, and silence will be much more effective. He will get the message.

If he has bought a bike: if it one you approve of, thank him for "taking your input into consideration." If it is one you do not approve of, do not volunteer your opinion on the suitability of the bike for him/a beginner. Admire the bike. If he made a sweet deal, or got a sweet ride, commend him for that. Do NOT say ANYTHING negative about it, not even as an "underhanded complement." That means no "Wow, fast bike. Hope you do okay with it." Everything, and I do mean EVERYTHING you say about him/the bike/riding, think thru the statment before you open your mouth to draw breath for that sentence. If it is not a positive, affirming statment, KEEP IT TO YOURSELF. He's an adult- treat him like one.

Ride with him, regardless of what bike he bought. Don't ride like a squid or a sissy- either is a bad image to convey to him. If he and his buds go out for a ride, you go, too. If they ride like squids, don't say anything about it, just ride your own ride- he will get the message. If they ride sanely, be sure to admire their riding style, technique, bike, gear, helmet, whatever.

And, finally, if he stuffs it, regardless of what kind of bike he was riding at the time, never, never, NEVER say ANYTHING that even echos I-told-you-sos. You will loose all credibility.

In short, be suportative, not judgemental. You attract more bees with honey, than vinegar. You might even convert some of his riding buds to your way of thinking, along the way.

BIGKAT1100
07-27-2007, 08:41 PM
It's been more than three months since you originally posted, but I have some suggestions that I think are made timely by that:

1) If he has not bought a bike you feel is too big for his first bike, it may mean that he is listening to you. Stay on message, and be subtle, respectful and gentle with him.

2) You might also mention that everyone drops their first bike, in stupid, driveway ways, and he might be happier in the long run doing that to a less expensive bike with little or no bodywork. Tell him about your early low-speed drops so he knows you are not preaching.

3) Forget about 250's- that will only alienate him, or at least predjuce his opinion of your input. Suggest a Ninja 500- he already is predisposed to get a Ninja, so it will already have some attraction to him, his buds may razz him for buying a smallish bike, but will also respect it because it is "not THAT small..." Stess the affordability of them, and repete the message about dropsies.

4) Find some magazine articles that say good things about that bike, and show them to him.

5) Buy him either the MSF course or gear for his birthday. Yeah, I know- expensive birthday gifts. I've lost three brothers- any one would have been well worth what is really, when you think about it, that small outlay of cash. He's your brother- nothing more to say. Don't say a thing when you give it to him- anything you say can and will be held against you, and silence will be much more effective. He will get the message.

If he has bought a bike: if it one you approve of, thank him for "taking your input into consideration." If it is one you do not approve of, do not volunteer your opinion on the suitability of the bike for him/a beginner. Admire the bike. If he made a sweet deal, or got a sweet ride, commend him for that. Do NOT say ANYTHING negative about it, not even as an "underhanded complement." That means no "Wow, fast bike. Hope you do okay with it." Everything, and I do mean EVERYTHING you say about him/the bike/riding, think thru the statment before you open your mouth to draw breath for that sentence. If it is not a positive, affirming statment, KEEP IT TO YOURSELF. He's an adult- treat him like one.

Ride with him, regardless of what bike he bought. Don't ride like a squid or a sissy- either is a bad image to convey to him. If he and his buds go out for a ride, you go, too. If they ride like squids, don't say anything about it, just ride your own ride- he will get the message. If they ride sanely, be sure to admire their riding style, technique, bike, gear, helmet, whatever.

And, finally, if he stuffs it, regardless of what kind of bike he was riding at the time, never, never, NEVER say ANYTHING that even echos I-told-you-sos. You will loose all credibility.

In short, be suportative, not judgemental. You attract more bees with honey, than vinegar. You might even convert some of his riding buds to your way of thinking, along the way[quote]


Very, very well put.

StevieB
07-27-2007, 10:19 PM
Wow, BigKat, somehow YOUR addition got put in the quote box, and MY statment did not. Wierd.

thanks for the endorsement.

KatanaSoldier
07-27-2007, 10:50 PM
Every time I see this thread revived, I think oh no, hopefully something bad did not happen.