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I bought my fiance a basic rider course as a gift. She took it and passed with flying colors.

As usual, I did a lot of research when thinking about getting her a bike. She wants to ride with me, and I have a Concours. She likes the Concours, and it looked like the EX500 was the perfect companion bike for a new rider. It's light and user friendly, but has the power to handle the interstate and would not get old quickly. She really likes the way it looks as well, always an important thing.

When she brought up my choice at the course, the instructors strongly disagreed with my choice, telling her I was probably just looking for a bike I'd enjoy riding, ansd that it was way too much bike for her. They also told her that if she made a mistake with the throttle it could be a disaster. Honestly, I'd enjoy tooling around on a 250 as much as anyone, but everything I've read indicates that the EX500 is a good first bike, and one that she could do everything on.

The funny thing is that I taught her how to operate a bike on my Fazer700, which is not what I call a beginners bike, with 100Lbs on the EX500, and a good deal more power, but she says she would like to go ahead and ride it for a while. I'm sure the instructors would blow a gasket if they heard her say that... I'm kind of nervous about letting her learn on the Fazer, but I already have it and she is comfortable with it.
 

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well they have observed her skills and might not think she could handle it? I know they tell some people that should never buy any bike, because of what they have observed.
 

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Regardless of her skills, they're just trying to be safe. Contrary to what the geniuses on the Internet will tell you, there's absolutely nothing wrong with starting out on a small displacement bike and moving up to a larger one. She could be very comfortable on a EX500, but I guarantee she'd be more comfortable on an EX250, a CMX250, or the like.

I could argue 'till I'm blue in the face with people who disagree with me (and I won't), but I'd rather buy a small bike, tool around, then sell it to get a larger one as opposed to having my parents sell my large bike after my funeral.

In the grand scheme of things, motorcycles aren't prohibitively expensive enough to keep someone from buying a small one, learning, and then trading up to the next larger (or whatever) size.

If money is an issue about buying something you'll ultimately sell in a relatively short period of time, it makes me worry that money for the correct safety gear and maintenance would be an issue, too.
 

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i'm of the opinion that the BRC instructor doesn't really know what an EX500 is, but rather that's it's a Sport Bike (never mind the other classifications of sportbikes) and they all go a bizzilon miles per hour. I'm sure had she say that she was thinking of a Vulcan 900 he would have said sounds good...

oh well. i'd be more afraid of a slip of the throttle on a v-twin cruiser with boat loads more torque than a para-twin could ever dream of.
 
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Men are fallible.
MSF Instructors are men.
Therefore...

I strongly disagree with this MSF Instructor and I wouldn't take what he says to heart. OR if you'd like some assurance, how about asking how he ascertained that 500's tend to be statistically dangerous to new (or new female riders.)
I taught my ex-wife to ride on a 500. She was only 5'3" and was barely capable of safe operation of an automobile, and the 500's power never got her into trouble. And after our first year (20,000 miles) of riding together, she demanded to be upgraded to an '02 ZX6R.
I can't believe this Instructor actually accused YOU of wanting to get a bike for yourself, and am tempted to offer a conclusion or two about him.
But instead, I'll just disagree. The 500 is nearly the perfect bike for a new (and new female) rider.
-Chris in Carlsbad, CA
 

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Knightslugger said:
i'm of the opinion that the BRC instructor doesn't really know what an EX500 is,
I'd like to believe those instructors' personal prejudices didn't come into play.
I'm friends with three of the guys that teach the MSF courses back in WV-- they're required to have an obscene amount of training to become instructors-- through that, and sheer love of the sport alone, they should be reasonably familiar with the 500. If this is level of training is true everywhere (which I can only imagine it is), there's no way those guys didn't know what an EX500 is. How many of these things does Kawasaki sell every year?
 

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I'm a MASSIVE supporter of starting small and feel the EX 500 IS a good choice. I'm with Knightslugger in the feeling that it's possible the instructors don't know what the EX really is. Just see it as a sportbike. To me it IS the best all around choice and that's after 38 years and many hundreds of thousands of miles on bikes. Not too big, not too small. And I'm not just saying it. It's what I started my kids on, how I wound up with one of these in the first place. Good luck.
 

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i think fidopunk has it right... people who are just learning how to ride should start on a small street bike, master the basics of braking, trusting your tires, watching for the drivers that dont watch for motorcyclists, looking through the turn...etc etc. there is sooo much that you have to learn before you should be worrying about how fast you can go. the ex250 and honda cb250 are great beginner bikes... they can both hit 80 mph and are both very reliable

the ex500 is a great bike for inexperienced riders, but not what i would suggest to a person who has JUST started to ride. there is too great of a temptation to bump the rpms up and show off the speed.
 

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Knightslugger said:
i'm of the opinion that the BRC instructor doesn't really know what an EX500 is, but rather that's it's a Sport Bike (never mind the other classifications of sportbikes) and they all go a bizzilon miles per hour. I'm sure had she say that she was thinking of a Vulcan 900 he would have said sounds good...

oh well. i'd be more afraid of a slip of the throttle on a v-twin cruiser with boat loads more torque than a para-twin could ever dream of.
I'm w/ KnightSlugger on this.

I just took my MSF course Saturday... 10 bikes all cruisers excepy my 500 and a 650 Burgman (sp?). One instructor asked what size my bike was & thought it was much bigger than a 500. He was riding a BMS boxer twin world bike (enduro-style?).
 

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Are you sure that the guy understood that it was a 500 ?

His reaction tells me that he's thinking of a way bigger bike..

Over here, even from my motorcycle instructor (last year) I've got the speech that this bike is a girls bike and that I would grow tired of it real quick and I should be getting an older 600cc bike...

Positioning that's what it boils down to.. You say Ninja, peeps think of a sport monster. You say 500, peeps think you are less of a man... Even when they don't even have a bike..

I think that the 500 is a great bike to start off with, it's the best choice in my mind, she will love it I'm sure ;)
 

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furyskater911 said:
...the ex500 is a great bike for inexperienced riders, but not what i would suggest to a person who has JUST started to ride. there is too great of a temptation to bump the rpms up and show off the speed.
Depends on the size & natural talent of the rider though.
A new small rider: 250
Larger new rider or well-balanced/coordinated small rider: 500
 

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MrSciTrek said:
Depends on the size & natural talent of the rider though.
A new small rider: 250
Larger new rider or well-balanced/coordinated small rider: 500
I agree, this should be judged on a case-by-case basis.

To paraphrase Marge Simpson, I think I could've started on my 500R, but I don't think I should've started on it.
 

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I think he was crazy, it's a great beginner bike. I wouldn't want anything much smaller.

calamarichris said:
Men are fallible.
MSF Instructors are men.
One of mine was a woman. :eek: ;)

furyskater911 said:
i think fidopunk has it right... people who are just learning how to ride should start on a small street bike
The EX500 is a small bike. I'm not wowed by it's performance. Granted, it's faster and more fun than any car I've owned, but the acceleration is lackluster compared to the big bikes, it doesn't seem any faster than my KDX250 in that respect. (Although the KDX does it with gearing and has no top end)
 

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I started riding on my dad's Road Star in a parking lot when I was 15. I was 5'9" and not big. He was very careful teaching me what to do, and I could do it, but it was way too scary to get comfortable on. That's why he got me the 250R, and I was immediately comfortable and got really good very quickly, but I was ready for something bigger pretty fast. So now I ride the Road Star more than my own bike. I still think I'd be better off with something in between. That Yammy is HEAVY.
 

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It's funny. I mention the word "ninja" or let anyone see my bike and they immediatly think "crotch-rocket". I then have to explain, well, it's a 500cc rocket, so it's really not that powerful. Except the guys on "real" sportbikes. They, of course, think we're sissys.

When I took the MSF I was actually planning on getting a ninja 250. One instructor joked "that's the only 250 that can break 100mph... but you didn't hear that from me." I don't remember what they thought of the 500, but I remember one saying it worried him when every newbie came in wanting a gsxr 600 or equivalent. They also commented that the bikes we learned on (eliminator 125s) were really decent bikes for around town, as long as you didn't want to go on the highway. Quite a contrast when I walked into a motorcycle dealership for the first time "eliminator? pfft, you'd get eliminated on that thing. You need a FIVE HUNDRED, no, you need a SIX-FIFTY!"

I went on a trip to marble falls last weekend. Ended up eating lunch with two ladys I met who rode Silverwings. They both seemed supprised that I "actually started out on *that*". Funny thing is, the silverwing's top speed is about 120mph, which is a hair faster than the ex500. It's all about the image, I guess.
 

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I had a Silverwing 20 years ago. Except for highway comfort & style (for some folks) the ex500 does everything else better.
 

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I think it's how you present it. Did your wife say I'm going to get a Ninja 500 sportbike. If she did they probably heard Ninja...blah blah blah..and Sportbike. Just like my buddy did. I told him I bought a 500cc Ninja...his response. Holy-Sh*t you bought a Ninja.

I think a 500 would be fine depending on your wife's ability. You have to ask yourself, will the wife be happy with the 500 or the 250? Will she feel psychologically overwhelmed with the 500r? I think that you guys have been around motorcycles for awhile so she has a general understanding of things.

However, anything can happen on the street....I laid mine down avoiding a huge pothole, went wide and hit grass and gravel...and down I went. Could have just as easily been on a 125, 250r, 1300...(I looked at 250s before buying the 500).

My buddies all bought 600cc and larger (Hyabusa) but I hadn't had a bike in 20 years. So I wanted something smaller...they all said don't get the 250, you'll get tired of it get a ZZR, 600, etc...etc...

Also, it sounds like you are into Sport Touring a so a little heavier bike might be what you need. I've found the seat on the 500r to be comfortable and I don't feel like I'm going to get blown off of the highway at speed.

Just my 2 cents.... I vote 500r and not just because I bought one. In the long run, I'm glad I went with the 500r because it allows me to learn at a comfortable pace (I don't feel completely overwhelmed)and it has enough oomph to keep me interested.
;D
 
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It just dawned on me: This MSF instructor is probably a Harley rider, that's why he thinks a Ninja 500 is too fast. :D
I'll never forget the time this 'Baditude Rebel'(tm) on an FXR (a 1370cc-Harley) with straight pipes lane shared right between my ex-wife and I. He had a little sticker on his helmet that said, "ABLE TO OUTRUN HIGH-SPEED PURSUIT!!" ( ;D but he wasn't quite able to outrun my pissed-off wife on her '01 EX500 ;D)
-CCinC
 

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Having an ex500 as a first bike I feel that anyone who can't handle it shouldn't be riding. For the first month or so after I got the bike I don't think I even hit the powerband...haha. Then one day I was on the highway and was like what the hell. I decided to rev it out a bit and actually found where the power is. Do i ever hit it on a typical day riding? NO. If I want to pass or move quick will I? Sometimes. If your just putting around town a scooter would be fine. A bicycle would work too. If your hitting a highway I think the 500 is great. Your realize this bike put out less than 1/2 the power of pretty much all 600s. I know people who have gotten the 250. They are sick of it within a few weeks. Sure you could buy a used 250, then upgrade to a 500 after a month or so. You wouldn't really lose any money, you'd just have to deal with the hassle of buying and selling multiple times. The bike is fine for around town and such as well. I can't imagine anyone who knew what this bike is calling it not good for a beginner.
 
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