Originally Posted by Coho
I've been thinking about getting a ninja for starters but am worry about the maintenance costs...how steep is the learning curve in terms of initial costs for such a two-wheeler?
I'm a bit confused. Costs for gear? Standard maintenance? Initial learning curve for riding such a machine?
Gear: I fully advocate that everyone spend money on proper gear. I disagree on costs, per j. I got a pair of good leather riding gloves new on sale for $15. Also got a pair of 'sport' kevlar-knuckled gloves for ~$40. Plenty of riders have gone down in serious accidents in $100-150 helmets and they've done more than well. Overpants? I'll admit I'm unfamiliar with pricing on these. Sport boots can be had on special; I caught a sturdy pair of leather boots on sale at $40. A competition moto leather jacket can be had cheap, mine was ~$110 shipped on sale. Gear is like fashionable pieces of clothing: you can get exactly what you want for a premium, or get things that are nice on sale for a fraction of the cost. I probably have less than $300 into all of my gear, and it has survived a good bit of trouble so far. Don't get me wrong, J, if I had the money I'd buy bling gear!
Maintenance: The ninja, both the 250 and 500 (assuming you're talking about these standard bikes) are dirt cheap to work on, and very easy to learn. My best bud has a Ninja 250, and a good girl-friend has a 500. They are great, reliable machines that are very easy to work on and upgrade.
Learning curve: These bikes are easy to learn on, and very forgiving. I always say that a Ninja 250 is the perfect bike to learn on and forces one to learn the fundamentals of riding before advancing. A 250 can embarass bigger bikes in the tighter corners, if the rider knows what he's doing.