Anonymous
Anonymous asked in Cars & TransportationMotorcycles · 1 decade ago

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 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.

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  • Dimo J
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    The Ninjette is $4700 OTD, the Rebel is $3700 OTD. Not mentioned is something like a KLX250S dual sport at $4300 OTD or the super moto version for $300 more.

    Don't know where you are, but a dual sport is an ideal city bike as it can ignore minor little things like rough pavement, potholes, curbs, and those little lain down telephone poles used to block off parking lots.

    A bit larger physically than the Rebel, and possibly a bit better starter bike, the Yamaha V-Star 250, $4200 OTD. And the bike I was eying before I noticed the Savage, the Suzuki GZ250, also $4200 OTD.

    A Step up, but still considered a beginner's bike, the Suzuki S40, $5500 OTD, but a 650cc Thumper that will keep up with anyone at any legal speed and a bit more.

    The V-Star, GZ250, and S40 all can mount LeatherLyke saddle bags, the two 250 use the 14 qt compact size, the S40 (with optional sissybar) the 18 quart cruiser size. I've had my bags for over five years and they still look good. Lockable storage is "nice". My Savage (S40) I took off the sissy bar pad and bolt a plastic milk crate on the pillion that can carry a 50 pound bag of dog food.

    The Ninjette is the faster sportier bike. But you might want to talk to your insurance agent before choosing. You can get big scooters that are not rolling road blocks, but they are more expensive and heavier than comparable motorcycles.

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  • 1 decade ago

    As another poster said, apples and oranges. Cruiser vs Sport bike. It depends on your personal riding style preference. At 6'1" you might find the cruiser style more comfortable for distance riding, but if your primary purpose is commuting then a sport bike style, such as the Ninja, would be fine. (assuming your commute isn't two hours in duration...) You can buy tankbags and saddlebags for both styles of bike, which will increase your cargo space. Personally I'd recommend you start with something a little larger than a 250. (Rebel or Ninja) A 500 Ninja, or the Suzuki GS500F, if you like the sport bike style, or a Yamaha 650 V-Star or Suzuki S40 (650cc), if you prefer the cruiser style. Unless you're on a really tight budget, and fuel mileage is a huge consideration, the larger bikes will keep you entertained for much longer. If you don't feel comfortable going higher than a 250 to start with, buy used. That way when you flog it in a few months (or next year at the latest) you won't lose your shirt.

    Also, some unsolicited advice; if you haven't already done so, sign up for a motorcycle safety course. You get to learn from trained pros, learn on someone else's bike, and get a real feel for riding. They may also have different styles available to try, which can give you a better idea of which style you should buy. Also can help at insurance time.

    Source(s): 25+ years riding, 5 years safety instructor
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  • 1 decade ago

    To be perfectly honest, you are too tall for both the rebel and the ninja 250. 20 and out of style on a shadow?? Dude, trust me, there are plenty of guys our age, im 24, ride cruisers. My first bike was a shadow 600 and it is a great first bike. I recommend a shadow 750 for someone your height, You should be able to pick up a used one pretty cheap and probably find one with saddlebags. Saddlebags make a big difference. I use my bags all the time. This kind of storage really does not exist on the ninjas, you would have to get a sport touring bike, but there are no beginner sport touring bikes. To me, cruisers are much easier to ride and they are a lot more comfortable than any sport bike. They are much cheaper to insure generally speaking and tend to be better taken care of by their owners.

    Go take the MSF class and learn to ride. After that go test ride a few bikes and see what you like the best and what fits your needs. Do not buy a new bike, you will probably drop your first bike at least once and will be wasting money. You will most likely want to upgrade within your first year anyway, and will lose a considerable amount of money in the process. Good Luck!

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  • 1 decade ago

    Ninja 250r is a great beginners bike if what you are looking for is a sports motorcycle. This bike will prepare you if you choose to upgrade to a 600, 1000, etc crotch rocket. But since it doesn't seem that is the path you are going for, I suggest you get the rebel if you don't want to exceed that 250cc range.

    Since you need storage and are looking for a comfortable ride, the Ninja is a horrible bike for this, especially if you plan on using it longer distances. You can't ride more than 2 hours without taking a break. Even for a young person, it will put pressure and hurt your back after some time. Also, the only thing you can carry with you on this bike is a backpack. They do sell a magnetic bag that attaches to the tank, but I wouldn't suggest this, it scratches the paint.

    It is completely safe to get a motorcycle with a bigger engine. Try looking for a 500cc dual sport. You won't have to keep your back forward. You will have power and speed, but it won't be anything difficult to handle since it does not perform the same as a high-revving sports bike. Maybe you should take a look at the Suzuki SV650, or Yamaha FZ6. These are both great bikes for both beginners and experienced riders. Or even the Kawa ER6n.

    Good luck on purchasing!

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  • 1 decade ago

    Not knowing the difference between a Rebel and a Ninja tells all that is needed, to say nothing about what the insurance should tell you.

    I have ridden for forty years and have no desire for a crouch rocket. The name implies speed and that is what you get. That is also why the insurance is so expensive. The Ninja is not for the beginner or even the experienced rider. There only attributes are speed and noise. They are easy to ride and even easier to die on.

    The Rebel is all you need to begin with. Will deliver all the power you need as a beginner. Your physical size is secondary unless you plan on going long distances, and you have shown that will probably not happen for some time.

    You may think you are a good rider or can learn to be a good rider but if you do not take a MSF (Motorcycle Safety Foundation) acreditated class you are only kidding your self about your knowledge and capabilities. I take at least one sometimes two courses every year and learn new techniques each and every class.

    You need to start with a learn to ride class and ignore what advice your buddies give you about anyone can ride, riding and riding safely and having fun are all different. You can have fun and be safe.

    Check out what the Marine Corps are doing to keep the troops alive, just go to a recruiter and ask what they require and ask what a difference it has made in keeping these troops alive. The Marine Corps lost more troops in motorcycle accidents (mostly crotch rockets) then in all combat and training missions combined. They have found the answer I hope you do as well.

    Good luck in your choice

    Hope you have many safe and enjoyable miles

    Bowhunter

    GLODWING RIDER

    Source(s): Forty years experence. GWRRA Goldwing Road Riders Association gwrra.org American Legion magizane about Sept. 2009 legion.org
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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I think a large capacity (400cc or so) scooter would suit your storage needs, at a similar price and it would be less of a rolling roadblock than the Rebel or 250 Ninja. Both of those were really more designed for in town use. The V Star is a better little cruiser than the rebel, but its motor has nothing to do with the Ninjas, and it has the same general draw bikes.

    I always recommend dualsports to taller new riders. Look into the Suzuki DR-Z400S or SM. The S is cheaper and dirt oriented. The Sm has sporty road biased rolling stock, and is a hoot to ride. Still no storage though.

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  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

    I've ridden both, and many, many other bikes. You, being 5'11" may not be comfortable on either. The Rebel is not great at highway speeds and the seating position is much too up-straight for comfort at high speeds when your torso picks up the bulk of the wind. The Ninja is a complete opposite, as far as seating position and handling. You are rather leaning forward with your legs slightly to the back. Better at highway speeds, harder to handle at slow stop and go traffic (the Rebel is better there), tired wrists after a long ride, back, et cetera. You could potentially find a slightly larger, gently used motorcycle at the same price as these two. Something in the line of 500-650cc would be optimal for highway speeds. I'd ridden 250cc on highways in Europe but will not do so here in the US. Too many people won't yield and such, so acceleration is the key. Look at Suzuki Bandit, V_Strom, Savage, Honda Shadow.

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  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

    250 Honda Rebel

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    At 6'1, Im surprised they told you to look at either of those bikes. Thats ridiculous. I have worked at many dealerships, and the 250s are better suited for shorter people. You are going to be cramped, more so on the rebel than the ninja. But it really comes down to what your personal taste is. Do you like sport bikes, or cruisers? Maybe a dualsport? Figure out what YOU like before jumping into a purchase you're going to later regret.

    But, going with either.. Id scrap the 250 idea. Upside to a small bike, the resale value holds since everyone wants them. But you will be bored of it in a month. Stay away from a scooter, it will not give you what you need. Only upside to storage is they can have a trunk, but other bikes are capable of much more storage room.

    It sounds like you might be new to riding? I would suggest going to a school (that supplies bikes to learn on) to really get a feel for it. No sense in dropping thousands of dollars on a machine and gear only to find you hate it.

    If you dont like the look of the shadow (which, by the way, Im 23 and I have a shadow, have for a few years now. I LOVE it). I also have the spirit which is the "chick version", but there is the Aero which is bigger and beefier. If you like the cruiser (which the rebel is classified as) go with a shadow. Or, go look at a Kawasaki vulcan 800cc or suzuki boulevards 800cc. Cruisers are capable of a lot of storage, saddle bags, sissy bar bag, handlebar bag... all available in various sizes.

    Sport bikes are a little more limited for storage, saddle bags and tank bag, which come in various sizes as well, but tank bags are a little harder, since they can get in the way if theyre too big.

    My honest opinion and best advice for you? If you're leaning towards sport bike, go look for an older 600cc... doesnt much matter what brand, honda, suzuki, kawi, yami... do some research and find one that appeals to you. And I say older as in early 2000's or mid to late 90s. You can pick something up for decently cheap thats in good shape, have it to learn on. You're going to drop your bike, it is inevitable. Better off to drop something you spent 3 grand on than 8-10.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Apples and oranges. The Ninja is a sportbike, and you ride it in a "jockey' position, with your feet somewhat behind you. The Rebel is a small cruiser, which you ride with your feet in front of you, which many people find more comfortable for longer rides. Both can be fitted with saddlebags for cargo, groceries, whatever. A scooter will indeed provide more storage, and if you get a 250cc scooter, it will easily and comfortably outrun the Rebel or Ninja. It will also have an automatic transmission and cost more. Your best best is, once you get your motorcycle license (preferably after taking the MSF course), test-ride all your options and see which one gives you the highest level of comfort and confidence.

    Source(s): Personal experience (riding since 1957).
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