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Kawasaki Ninja 250R or Yamaha YZF R125? - Beginner Motorcycle

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' started by DragonWarrior, Jan 22, 2010.

  1. Hey guys,

    This is my first post on these forums so i thought i would start of by saying a big hello to everyone :grin:

    Recently i have developed quite an interest in motorcycles and as such am planning on getting one in the near future. Out of the bikes i've been looking at i've come up with these two as contenders for my first bike (still open to others though). My reasons for liking each bike are as follows:

    Yamaha YZF R125:
    - Looks amazingly good
    - It would have good fuel economy
    - Full sized bike which may or may not be better for having to adapt to a larger bike later

    Kawasaki Ninja 250R:
    - Still looks good for a learner bike
    - Nice amount of power

    The purpose for the bike i choose will be for a bit of fun and maybe commuting to work some days. In my mind at the moment these bikes are virtually a tie and as such would like to hear from people on these forums who have owned either bike, know someone who has owned either bike or would simply like to weigh in on the discussion and hopefully acquire some of your wisdom :wink:

    So what i'd like to know is, in your opinion, which would be a better learner motorcycle?

    Would the Yamaha YZF R125 have enough power to keep me happy until the time comes that i may choose to upgrade to a more powerful motorcycle (600cc or 1000cc)?

    Does the Yahama YZF R125 have enough power to safely ride on highways and freeways where the speed limits are 100km/h and 110km/h; although most of my riding will mostly be done around the streets though?

    Anyway i hope you guys are able to answer my questions and thanks in advance :wink:

    P.S. I did search the forums for a comparison already but i was unable to find anything
  2. the yamaha looks good but dont be fooled..

    get the kawasaki, it has the ability to be ridden anywhere, the yamaha wont like a hills run for example 15hp and a lot less torque, sure less weight, but into a headwind on the freeway your going to battle to do 100km/h

    and fuel usage will be bugger all difference, i had a 125cc scooter that used the same ammount of fuel as a 400cc scoot that weighed double, how you ask?

    the 400cc used to shit it in, heaps faster with only 1/3rd the throttle, the 125cc was and needed to be flatout at all times..

    the yamaha does look good though, i'll give it that...

    but why not just buy a vtr250 or similar if your going to upgrade soon anyway
  3. I owned a CBR125R for over a year as my first bike and it was a brilliant first bike - dropped it once and it came away unscathed apart from a bent clutch lever as it's so skinny no fairings touch the ground when it goes over.

    Enough power to ride at 100km/hr? Heck no. I don't know of any 125 that does. You can hit 130 on it, sure... but I wouldn't call them safe at 110km/hr. You're screaming along 2,000RPM shy of redline at that point in time and you have so little reserve for overtaking or emergency maneuvers that it doesn't feel safe... at least not to me.

    If we hadn't moved out of the city we'd probably still have our pair of 125s - they're brilliant city bikes but when you have to get on a highway to get anywhere they're not quite as practical.

    $30 of premium fuel gets you over 1,000km, though, which is stupidly good. Awesomely cheap bikes to run.

    I now own a 2010 Ninja 250R and am very happy with how it performs at 110km/hr along the freeway; I don't particularly feel the need for a bigger bike at this stage as it's still very cheap to run (3.5L/100km as opposed to 2.5L/100km with the 125) and it's largely for commuting to work and fun on the weekends. The Ninja looks like a much bigger bike but that appears to be mostly puffed-out fairings to make it look like something it's not ;)

    My advice would probably be to go for a secondhand CBR for $3.5k or so, learn on that... if you drop it, probably no biggie and you can sell it in 12 months for likely hardly any loss. We bought ours $3,990 brand spanking new and sold them for not much less over a year on.
  4. I had a 250R as my first bike; was brilliant. I wouldnt choose to ride a 125 just because the 250 had barely enough power... :)
  5. Hi,

    Don't think that just because you are new to this you need a particularly small bike.

    Consider the LAMS bikes:


    There seem to be a large number of second hand ninja 250's around, I think by the time people are off restrictions they are well and truly ready for an upgrade.

    I don't know what the fuel economy on a ninja is, but the Gs gets me about 5l/100km consistently.

    I definitely agree with everyone else though steer clear of the 125.

    just my 2 cents.

  6. I would stay away from the 125s especially with the long lams period for new riders. Get a cheap 250 and then upgrade to a 400 or something else a bit later when you get comfortable.
  7. Go the 250. Mines served me well for about 20,000km's and 3 crashes. (2 at decent speed.)
  8. def. get a 250..

    i started getting over the power of a 250 within about 3 months. I've been riding for 7 months now and im already searching for my next bike to buy. My dream bike is a daytona 675 (without riding any of them, obviously), although i think ill step up to the gsx650f first.

    If you've got the money, id go for a second hand gs500f first
  9. hold onto your pennies the 675 is a wicked bike.

    No personal bias or anything.
  10. Wait until march and Yamaha should have the new XJ6 through the LAMS approval process by then.
  11. Thanks for the information guys it's really helpful (y)

    I think after reading all of your posts i will infact have to go with a 250cc for my first bike

    I never actually considered that bike andrewd, probably because i was only really looking at bikes that looked sporty (not saying this bike isn't sporty but something maybe you'd see on motogp :grin:) but considering how much they cost, they sound good, look alright and there is also plenty of them out there i may have to add this as another contender :wink:

    I haven't really looked that much into the LAMS approved bikes that are over 250cc mainly because i automatically assumed that they would cost a lot more and could possibly be serverly underpowered for their weight. Is this the case? Is the power on these bikes good and managable? Would the extra weight play a large role for a learner? Also is it possible to get these de-restricted after i get off my P's because if so these LAM's approved bikes over 250cc could be a really good option.

    Thanks again for your help guys :)
  12. i suggest you add the suzuki sv650s to your list.
    half fairing so still looks the goods... can also buy a genuine suzuki full fairing kit.
    its also a v-twin like the ninja and only another grand on top.

    best thing is they are limiting the amount of lams ones they are bringing in, so the resale wont hit you too hard.

    i test rode one the other day and the power isnt restricted at all in the lower rpm, but theres not much point reving it past 9k rpm
  13. Out of the 2 definitely Ninja, however if you broaden your horizon and have say 7-9K then consider a cb400 or gs500.
  14. Get an old banger mate, If your into the sportbike look, go for a beaten up cbr/fzr/gsxr250rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr,

    they'll go faster (44 horses is better than 15) and they'll cost you a heap less to buy. maintence will cost more but learn to do some yourself and it'll ewnd up helping you in the long run.

    The problem with getting a newish bike is that your porbobly going to fall of it and kick your self repeatedly. The cheeper the bike, the less it matters.

    Jusy my 2cents anyway
  15. :rofl:

    the new Yammie 125 is so not sportier than the VTR250! :LOL:

    VTR 250 is a sweet bike. If I didn't go on the cheap with the spartan SPADA I would've gotten one. I chucked my little thing down the road twice and all I had to replace was the indicators and mirrors.

    The VTR1000 on the other hand has been a bit more pricey to crash :rofl:

    Sorry, i'll contribute. I'd suggest that you check specs of bikes (fuel range, top speeds, acceleration, comfortability etc.) and contrast as well as factor in what looks you want in a bike. If you want to get a good starting point for research, look at the LAMS list on the RTA website and type in Learner in the search box of bikesales and your state for a comprehensive list of whats available and for how much.

    Generally people want the best thing available to them as soon as they go for their licence and generally end up buying the shiniest piece of plastic that the salesman sells them on. That's why the CBR125, Ninja 250, Hyo's sell. They are marketed on aesthetics. If I had to say a straight choice between the YZ 125 and the Ninja 250 I would say the 250 because I've ridden a friend's one and I think that Kawasaki haven't just strapped plastic to a lawnmower engine. I do strongly suggest researching further though... alot of good advic in this thread on where to start looking.

    This is only the beginning of the journey, there is the long and rewarding road where you take all the step ups and enjoy a long riding career. Take your time with your decisions, you will be rewarded for your patience ;)
  16. Good advice, except the Ninja is a parallel twin.

    You've narrowed your choices down to two overly shiny, underpowered, overpriced "race replicas". Fairings are very expensive to repair, do you really need them? Are you going to be looking at the bike whilst it's parked on Lygon street or will you be riding it?

    For the same money you could get a very good s/h lams bike & gear.

    The only LAMS bike you can de-restrict are the Hyosung 650's, but if you let us know what state you're in we can suggest some specific models you may want to look at.