A Ninja 250 testimonial
I recently bought a new bike, and I've been talking to a friend about it and comparing it to the 250. I have seen a lot of riders on this board move up to bigger bikes in a matter of months (and that's fine), and I'm no professional, I'm no Rossi, I'm no super insanely crazy rider, but I moved up to my "bigger" bike in about 2 seasons (2 years) of riding and definitely have something to say.
The point of this is to basically say "You know what, there's nothing wrong with the 250". A lot of people flick people crap for the bike, a lot of people say "You'll get bored of it" and a lot of people say "Those aren't good bikes."
I started out riding wanting something new. I wanted something that would be interesting in my life, something very unique, and something I'd wanted since I was a kid. I remember when I was a kid, my uncle and I were outside during the summer and a sportbike rode by. My dad was there and I said "Wow, someday I'm going to have one of those." Dad said "Like hell you will!" and my grandpa said "Let him do it when he moves out and he's old enough he can do what he wants". Sure enough, I hit 18 and I bought myself my first sportbike, a Ninja 250R.
I was excited, and had just started a relationship with my future wife. I was stoked, happy, and she was TOTALLY against it. Months down the road I couldn't get her off it. Having ridden almost 2 entire seasons with buddies who had HUGE sportbikes, I was getting to the point of feeling that "I need a bigger bike" phase.
Last summer I almost bought a Ninja 600RR because I heard "they're fast, and quick and insane!" and thought "I NEED that power! Especially to keep up with my friends". A couple wonderful close friends hit me with some reality points of view, as well as some sane riding perspectives, and talked some sense into me. I kept my 250. However, in the back of my mind, all the hype and all the crazy stuff I heard made me think I needed that power.
For another season I kept riding the 250. This summer and last winter, as I started riding more, I noticed a better pattern in my style. I was easier at cornering, I was getting the hang of stuff, and before I knew it I was doing way better than I remembered last season. I thought "You know, this 250 stuff isn't so bad after all. And you know what, I love this bike." Where some of my friends had 250s and sold them in a season, I was going on 2 seasons and loving the darn thing. Time progressed into this year and I still loved it, but I was feeling the big bike bite.
I finally took the plunge and bought a Ducati 900SS. The bike is great, I love it, and it's everything I dreamed of, but I have STILL been riding the 250. I haven't owned the SS for long, and I can tell I'm going to grow on it a LOT, but I'm never going to sell that 250. I look back at all the crazy sarcasm and feedback I got from that bike, people saying "Look at those chickenstrips!" and me explaining how different profile tires will never use the full profile of the tire, how the suspension does this and that, and how the bike handles. I look back and think of how I learned so much and how this bike was a gateway DRUG to the bike world and thought "You know what, people can say that I'll get bored of this bike ALL they want, but you know what..... the people that sold their 250 in one season had no clue."
When I look back I realize how great the Ninja is, how much I love it, and know EXACTLY how much I'll be holding onto this bike. It has taught me a lot I didn't know, is still teaching me a lot there is to know, and is indeed one of the best beginner's bikes out there. It is forgiving, it is fun to ride. It is extremely easy to work on, cheap, reliable, and everything the beginner/intermediate/advanced rider wants, from something to putt around on to something you can thoroughly enjoy on the street. I don't care how much fun my "duke" is, and how much fun my "duke" becomes, this bike is going NO WHERE.
So, for those that have that "I need" a bigger bike bug, don't put that bug away. Get what you want, because if it makes you happy it's TOTALLY worth it. However, these 250's are amazing works of art and something that you'll never get tired of. I can see myself owning one of these little buggers forever, and you will ALWAYS have a happy enthusiast on this board for the 250, ALWAYS.
I will not let my 250 hold me back from enjoying my new toy. But here is a testimonial from a guy who is not afraid to admit that a lower cc bike has provided him with nothing but absolute joy, fun, and a hobby that will follow him through the rest of his life.
I am forever a 250 Ninja crack addict and proud to admit it. Here's to what got me started, and here's a toast to the future addiction of the motorcycle world in me. I started small and I'm proud to admit it. I'm proud to have started on something with 29hp or less. For anyone looking into a bigger bike, I urge you to look at these wonderful bikes and consider what they are capable of. I have yet to touch even the cornerstone of my new bike, and I am far from learning the full boundaries of my 250. I know I'll still be learning new things on each bike, still be learning things day to day. I just wanted to say that these bikes are rockin', and that the 250 is truly a machine that is something to be proud of. I love my machine.
Derek (ZX2) - 250 Ninjas Anonymous