How do I start to learn how to ride a motorcycle? - Kawasaki Ninja 250R Forum
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-16-2008, 06:31 PM Thread Starter
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How do I start to learn how to ride a motorcycle?

Where do I go to learn how to ride?

You should start by taking the Motorcycle Safety Foundation class, or MSF class. To locate a local class in your area, visit They will provide you with a bike, a helmet, classroom and hands on instructions. In most cases, after completion you will not have to take the driving test at your DMV. Also, some insurance companies offer MSF discount for new riders.

What should I get as my first street bike?

Generally speaking, your chances of dropping and crashing a bike as a new rider are much greater than an experienced rider. For that reason alone, it's wise to get a cheaper older less powerfull bike as your first bike. For starter, your initial investment will be much lower than a brand new bike. Second, you won't lose much resale value when you're ready to upgrade to your "dream" bike. Third, you won't feel as bad when dropping an old beat up bike. Fourth, insurance on an older bike is much cheaper than a new one, especially for new riders. Fifth, it's a lot easier to control the throttle of an underpowered bike than a more powerful one. You're less likely to surprise yourself and get into trouble. "Take it easy" is relative. As a new rider, you may not know the limitations of your bike, therefor, you may not know how to "take it easy".

Some of the better first street bikes are: Kawasaki 250R/500R, Honda Hurricane CBR F2/F3/F4, Suzuki SV650 & GS500, Yamaha YZF600R, Kawasaki Ninja 650R.

What should I get for protective gear?

The most important gear to have is a well fitted helmet. Most helmets out there are DOT approved, but you should purchase one that is both DOT and SNELL approved. SNELL has a more stricten testing method, including multiple and chin bar impact, compare to DOT. Your helmet should be snug fit, and should not move around when shaking your head. A full-face helmet will give you the best protection. For more information regarding SNELL helmet testing method, visit

In addition to a helmet, you should wear something to protect yourself from abrasion. Leathers are the best abrasion protection, but require more care and maybe a bit uncomfortable. Textile products are a lot more comfortable, but may not be adequate to protect you in a crash (depending on the material used). Most motorcycle jackets/pants come with armors, dual density foam or GP. You can buy those separately and add them into your existing jacket/pant, if there are pockets for them. You should have GP armors (hard plastics) on your shoulders, elbows, shins, back, and knees.

Gloves and boots are also a must. They will protect your hands and feet in case of a fall. They also give you more consistent control of your motorcycle instruments. Boots should have hard ankle and shin padding. Gloves should have at least some thick palm padding, and enough velcro patches to prevent them from coming off during a fall.

How much gear should I wear?

Well, the answer will be different from person to person. Some people will say that just a helmet will be adequate, others prefer wearing everything available even when it is hot outside. Before you make your decision, ask yourself how much protection you want to have in case of a crash? Are you prepared to go through the pain and being out of work? Because a crash can happen whether it is your fault or not, full protective gear is recommended. However, you will have to make this decision yourself.

What should I modify on my bike first?

Generally speaking, any modern street bike, especially sport bike, is a handful for a new rider. The power to weight ratio and throttle response on these bikes are incredible. As a new rider, we always want to encourage you to invest your money in riding gear, and riding school to take advantage of the power of these bikes. There is a saying, "power without control is a liability, not an asset." With that said, the most common modifications are fender eliminator, additional decals/graphic kits, smaller blinker lights, exhaust canister/full system, lighter sprockets and chain, lighter wheels, steering dampener, and aftermarket suspension system.

What are some of the basic maintenance?

Keeping your bike in top running condition is critical, especially when you can get hurt if something goes wrong. Some of the basic maintenance are oil change (every 3000 miles), chain lube (every 500 miles), cable lube (every 2 years), coolant flush (every year), fork oil change (every 15k miles), brake pads replacement, chain & sprockets replacement.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-17-2008, 03:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Vtec44 View Post
What should I get as my first street bike?

Some of the better first street bikes are: Kawasaki 250R/500R, Honda Hurricane CBR F2/F3/F4, Suzuki SV650 & GS500, Yamaha YZF600R, Kawasaki Ninja 650R.
I'd also recommend a Honda Hawk NT650, Yamaha FZR400 if you can find one, and even a Yamaha FZR600.

If you feel like you've outgrown your 250, you've probably outgrown your helmet too.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-20-2008, 11:20 PM
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Originally Posted by ZMoe View Post
I'd also recommend a Honda Hawk NT650, Yamaha FZR400 if you can find one, and even a Yamaha FZR600.

But for your first bike always remember, smaller is better. Meaning the bike is lighter has less power so its more forgivable. If you were to shift in mid turn with a 600 or bigger you might risk loosing traction to your rear wheel resulting in a high side (High sides are caused when your front and back tire are no longer aligned), which will sling you off your bike like a giant slingshot.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-14-2008, 08:42 PM
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my first bike was a honda was a direct drive and basically a maintenence free bike..otherwise, get whatever is reliable and you think you can handle..there's soo much out there you can google to find out power and what will keep you comfortable to learn on..i'd say not to get new just because of the drop factor. i'd never try to scare you with a horror story but most people fall as part of learning and get some scrapes like when you learned to ride a bicycle.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-16-2009, 05:01 PM
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fz6 no way thats a starter bike it goes from like 50 or 60 to l00 in the blink of a eye
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-17-2011, 03:33 PM
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93 250

just bought a 93 250 for $450.00, by friend parked it in his storage unit 15 years ago, before he went oversees, all fluids have been drained, what do i need to get this bike safetied and registered ?
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-17-2011, 03:50 PM
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Motorcycles are subject to the same registration requirements as other vehicles. You must have a properly signed-off title and a Nevada Evidence of Insurance Card. Take the title and evidence of insurance to the Henderson DMV office. The vehicle must be registered within 30 days of purchase.

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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-21-2011, 03:06 PM
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What a sweet buy 450 yeah its a 93 and it sat a while but a little TLC it'd be almost back in its glory days post a picture up of it.

'09 Ninja 250R Special Edition
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-10-2011, 05:13 PM
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Twist of the wrist

Keith Code has a part 1 and part 2 book.A lot of the book gets down to real and being in touch and understanding your ridding especially on the track.
There also is a dvd.
But if anything all this helps on the real world riding. On the road, the mountain and the day to day turns and things we should understand about our riding.

Any new rider I recommend looking into this.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-13-2011, 06:04 PM
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Thanks for the suggestion! Just bought my bike and I have not been on one since I was a kid! Nervous and excited! Bought a brand new ninja 250. Just got back from my second tour in the middle east and finally bought myself a bike!!!
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