Well you must know that there are all kinds of Kawasaki Ninjas.
There is the Ninja 250, the Ninja 500 even a Ninza zx10
Kawasaki bikes are very reliable. I have only owned Kawasaki all my riding life.
I'll give you a few tips that you need to really pay attention too or you will regret your buying decision. But if you heed them you will love the bike you buy!
I weigh about the same as you and I started with a Ninja 250.
The bike is excellent for everything even very very very very long trips except if the trip is long on the freeways. The bike, is so light about 300lbs, that it blows around alot on the freeways and its no fun. This can be managed on short stints on the freeways of 5-10 miles or so but more than that it gets to be a pain.
Now its not just an issue with the Ninja 250 but really any bike in that weight.
So the very first thing you have to decide on before buying a bike is this. What percentage of time will you be riding freeways? If its like 5% or less than a Ninja 250 is the cheapest best quality bike out there.
Also most folks don't know this but the Ninja 250 is the only sleek full fairing sport bike available in California in the 250 class. It's the only sport bike in its class available.
The bike has 6 gears and is unbeatable on gas mileage. You can go about 200+ miles before needing gas. It is not only air cooled but also liquid cooled and also has a fan to cool the engine so the bike runs very cool and reliable.
You haven't had fun until you have ridden a Ninja 250 in the twisties. It handles so damn well that guys on 600 and 750 cc bikes were shocked that I was able to keep up with them and even pass them at times, it's just so light and nimble..but again...you don't want that on freeways.
Here is a list of the best bikes for the buck in order of cheapest to highest cost.
Ninja 250 $1500 or more used Very light bike very reliable I owned one before (now have zx10 Ninja) and never had even 1 problem with it.
Ninja 500 $1900 or a bit more about same weight and reliability of the 250 but twice the power. Better on freeways with the extra power but still blows around the lanes alot.
Suzuki Sv 650
The Suzuki sv comes as a naked bike or a fairing bike (the plastics that make it more aerodynamic) and it runs around $2000+ if you buy used. Much better bike and they sell fast at that price. The 650 engine is better for freeways and..
THAT REMINDS ME...If you ride freeways a lot you must absolutely get a 600cc (or higher) bike. It is safer for you on the freeway with more power. I have ridden the Ninja 250 on the freeway and the first thing you say when you get on the freeway, even if you are an atheist is OH MY GOD!!!
You will be shocked at the winds how they buffet your body a lot.
Now...if you plan on riding on the freeways frequently there is a bike called the Suzuki Katana which is better than all the bikes here on the freeway. It weighs in at about 500lbs and is awesome on the freeway. Very reasonable you can get a used one for about $2000
When buying a bike used its ok if it has cracks in fairings here and there most used bikes do but there are some things you must make sure work as its a pain in the as* if you buy it used and think "Oh well ,I'll just fix it later".
Don't buy a used bike with
a. Bad tires that don't have good tread left. Those dang tires are more expensive than car tires and it sucks to buy a bike but then you can't even ride it as its unsafe so there is no need to buy a bike with bald tires.
b. Gauges not working. If the speedometer is not working never buy the bike. Or if the odometer is not working either.
c. Turn signals
Make sure the turn signals all work or it bugs ya when you ride it and you can't signal, or if they tape on the turn signals etc..
Now where do you buy a bike? There are 3 places to buy a used Ninja 250 for example or any bike and some places are more expensive than others. The lowest prices are at craigslist. First site below To use craigs, go to the site, click on your STATE, then click on a CITY near you, then click on the word MOTORCYCLES and you can actually type in the motorcycle you want and see the images of it. I bought all my bikes on craigs..The reason why craigslist is cheapest is that its Free to post an ad but on ebay (Second best place to buy) it costs the seller on average, about $35 to post their bike for sale.
HOwever you do get a better price (if you are the seller) of the bike. It will sell higher on ebay. Obviously you don't want to buy on ebay unless you get a good deal and I have seen some there but most likely you'll get one on craigs.
The last place you want to buy is from the dealer. The only time you buy from the dealer is if your Uncle Joe is the manager or owner of the dealer lol. To give you an example of how much write up the dealer tacks onto a bike, the same bike at the dealer for $4000 you can find at craigslist for $2000 and a $3000 bike at the dealer you can find for $1500
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