Shouldn't I consider a bigger bike? Won't I want a bigger one later anyway?

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Frankly, it gets old to hear that "you'll outgrow the bike in a few months" stuff. Where are people taught this? If this were true, everyone would be out to sell you a 250, knowing that you'd be back in a few months to buy a bigger bike, which would give the dealer another sale, more profit, and a barely-used bike as a trade-in. It doesn't make sense.

What does make sense is that as a beginning rider, you need to be very careful that you don't get in over your head. The 250 is a great bike to start with, and to keep. There are more than a few people on the board who have bigger bikes but still ride the 250 because it's so easy to handle and that much more fun than their bigger bikes. The 250 can give you a lot; when your riding skill and experience exceed what the bike can give, then you'll be ready for a bigger bike. But... that can take a very long time.

But I need more power, don't I?

Some people have this impression that if they can top out their bike in a straight line, they've mastered it. They fail to realize it's all about handling.

If you ride a 250 with 600cc and 1000cc bikes on the highway, they're gone before you even get started. We'll concede that. If you hit a nice twisty road, though, it's amazing how everything evens out. At lower speeds, handling and experience become more important than horsepower. Inexperienced riders, no matter what bike they're on, tend to hammer the throttle, slam on the brakes, ease through a turn, then hammer the throttle again.

If you are a decent rider, and have practiced your technique, then you can keep up with or pass larger bikes on winding roads, and then listen to their excuses afterwards.

Want to go faster? Learn to ride better.

See also: Why sportbikes are NOT beginner bikes

Won't such a low-powered bike limit how much I can learn?

  • For all you newbies who think you need a bigger cycle: I'm consistently slower through twisties on my 650R than I was on the 250R (this is rider ability, not cycle limitations). New technology and a bigger engine don't equate to a faster cycle all the time.
  • A smaller bike can teach you more about riding than a bigger bike. I'd put over 60,000+ on the 1200 Bandit when I bought my Buell Blast, but I learned more about what Keith Code was trying to teach on the Blast than any bike up until that time. It taught me more about relaxing on the bars, rolling on the throttle through a turn, what happens to the suspension when hitting the rev limiter in a turn (not keeping the 40/60 weight distribution), single turn lean-ins, that sort of thing, than the Bandit ever did. Learning correctly is just far easier on a small bike than a big bike. Power and weight will cover up many riding errors.
I've had so many people get annoyed/pissed at me for saying that. They think I'm telling them they didn't learn correctly on a big bike. That is not the case. They can learn MORE on a small bike.

Can I ride this bike with a passenger?


250thill7.jpg 250thill4.jpg

We're not saying that this is the best 2-up motorcycle ever made, but it works for many. The above pictures are on a bone-stock EX250.

  • I'm 175 and my girlfriend is 110. She hops on the back of my bike all the time. The bike will handle the weight with no problem. Don't work on upgrading the bike; work on upgrading your skills.
At the track I often give people rides. Some of these guys weigh well over 200 pounds. The bike steers very slowly with big guys on the back. I also lose a lot of ground clearance and drag stuff in tight turns. It is a real challenge to keep up a fast pace, but it can be done.
  • You need to be aware that a passenger really changes the performance and handling dynamics of any bike, but especially a lighter one like the Ninjette. To be reasonably safe, you need to get used to a passenger. A passenger also needs to learn to ride. They have to get some skills so they can work with you, and not against you. Start mellow and allow for a learning curve on the part of all parties.

Why you might want a bigger bike

While the Ninja 250 is an excellent bike, and is capable of doing anything you are legally allowed to do on a motorcycle, there are some things at which it does not excel:

  • High speed touring
  • Aggressive freeway riding
  • Carrying much load (another passenger, lots of bags)
  • Sidecar tug

If you want to do any of these things, then the Ninja 250 may not be a good long-term bike for you. This is not to say you should skip straight to the bigger bike -- the 250 is a fabulous learner's bike and will set you up well for a more powerful bike later on. And, like it says above, you may well find the 250 is a good second bike to have around even if you do upgrade. It gets better gas mileage and handles better than most bikes on the road, and it costs fairly little to insure. Ninja 250s have good resale value if bought used: you can typically sell a used 250 for about what you paid for it, if you got a decent deal and haven't abused it.

Will a 250R make me cool?

If you're not comfortable with who you are, you probably won't want an EX250. If peer pressure led you into a life of drinking, smoking, and snorting, then you probably won't be able to handle the comments from your buds about how you aren't really a rider until you get a TorqueMonster 1000. If, however, you are intelligent enough to realize that this bike will do nearly everything you need it to do on the road, and is a great way to limit the amount of trouble you can get into as a learning rider, then this is the machine for you.