Honda Rebel or Ninja 250 for first bike?

I was researching good motorcycles for a beginner. I visited a dealership and the salesperson was showing me around. He suggested for a beginner I should look at a Honda Rebel or Kawasaki Ninja 250. I got an idea of the look and feel of both bikes. I honestly thought the rebel looked a little short for me and the... show more I was researching good motorcycles for a beginner. I visited a dealership and the salesperson was showing me around. He suggested for a beginner I should look at a Honda Rebel or Kawasaki Ninja 250. I got an idea of the look and feel of both bikes. I honestly thought the rebel looked a little short for me and the ninja just slightly taller. Maybe it was in my head. I'm not a short guy. I'm 6'1" but I don't have really long legs. He said that the he thought the ninja was much more bike for the money, I didn't think to ask why because now that I look at it... they have the same size engine don't they?

I think the ninja looks better, like a young persons bike. The rebel isn't too bad, it just looks like a beginner bike (I am a beginner so that's fine I guess). I have never owned a motorcycle before, but if I saw one driving down the road I would instantly think "that must be his first bike". The dealer was also pointing out the Shadow, but I don't like that style. I am 20 years old and I would feel out of place on a bike like that.

Also I need storage space, do either of them have optional accessories I can attach for storing more stuff. I can wear a backpack for my textbooks I guess, but I also am an avid photographer and need somewhere to put my bag/tripod. The rebel looks like it might be designed better for the possibility. He was telling me that a scooter would provide more storage, but I would be a rolling road block on the freeway.

One more thing, I can see the bikes are different styles. Is one easier to ride than the other? Or maybe more comfortable? What are some drawbacks to both designs if any?
Update: Ok another issue is the insurance. I might have to go with a cruiser, I was doing getting some quotes and the price difference is shocking.

For example, a Rebel costs me a $450 premium and a Ninja 250 is $1700. I guess they figure its a bike that attracts young idiots.
14 answers 14