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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys,

Im new to the forum and have read countless threads regarding the SV650 being a beginner bike and the jury seems to be divided. But when reading Ive noticed those opposed to the SV650 as a beginner are referring to current models post 2003 models. I was wondering if the same applys to 2002 models. From what I understand, those make less horsepower at the real wheel and I wonder if it would be equivalent to a current year model 250r or gs/ex500. It seems every year things get faster. Just curious to know if there are differences.

As far as my experience. I have very little to none. ive gone to a school where they allow you to ride on 250 cruiser up and down the street and around the block. (taking the MSF course next month) I was never taught much except I was told I excelled the pre-simulation test. I did have a scare as I was upshifting like crazy to get the bike moving and I believe I down shifted to soon and the rear brake started to swerve. I was horrified but why I kept duplicating that to get a feel of the bike is beyond me but I got a better handle on it and I didnt have a problem fishtailing anymore. Im not wreckless in anyway but I do try to push myself and overcome certain fears to enhance my abilities, mostly to get and understanding of whats before me (not sure Im conveying that right)

But your comments, advice and expertise will be greatly appreciated and I love constructive critism and not looking for a license to do what my emotions tell me but rather would choose sound judgement almost 99% of the time.

My reason for asking is because i have always wanted a GSXR600 but read endless forums about how 4 cylinder arent noob friendly. i then became stuck on the SV650 and when I went to the dealer I feel in love with it it 07. Since the remodel of he Ninja 25o, I had decided on possibly getting that bike to start on but with prices well over $3500 for even a used one on craigslist, it became a bit discouraging. but when i saw a 2002 Sv650 for about $2500 I fell in love once again. The price, the color (bodacious blue), the year....I was saying "could this be her, could she be the one, is someone tryna tell me something". Ive literally been dreaming about her webcam pictures and her sleek lines. "We could possibly be together forever......sigh!!!"
 

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My 04 was my first bike and i love it. I think the SV is a great starter bike as long as you respect it. You dont have to rev the pi$$ out of it to make it go. IMO you will out grow a 250 a lot sooner than an SV. Just my .02
 

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The 99-02 is a good beginner bike for the right person and it's superior power delivery is better than a 250 or 500 in every way. They might be a few horse less than an 03+, but it's not night and day. My 2000 had a full exhaust, filter, rejet and it would walk away from my buddy's stock 03. It was fast enough to have lots of fun.

You can kill yourself on any bike, but only you can be the judge of whether or not an SV is too much for you. If you are responsible, set reasonable expectations, and are cautious, you'll most likely be fine. If you are none of the above, consider a smaller bike or maybe a small car. Seriously though, the SV has been a great beginner bike for multitudes of people, but no one can predict your future.
 

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I started out on a Ninja 250 last summer and just got my 07 SV last Tuesday.

I can say that the SV is a whole lot faster lol. As far as beginning goes, the sv can be a great beginner bike if you respect it. The only thing the 250 does for you is be a little lighter, and if you accidentally hit the throttle, won't take off on you. I don't think you would be going wrong with either bike, just be careful and you should be alright on either.
 

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I agree.. I think the SV is a pretty good beginner bike. I had a 92 cbr f2 for my first bike and now my 3rd bike is an SV and I wish I'd started on this one. It's the kind of bike that you can learn on and not need to upgrade.

And unless you were pressing the rear brake, it sounds like you downshifted too many gears and then popped the clutch, basically the engine braking from that will lock the rear brake - don't do that - haha..
 

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I just bought an 02 for my 15 yo daughter. This isn't her first bike but she doesn't have that many street miles. She won't be legal to ride the street until she turns 16 in April. She's ridden it on the street and already has fallen in love with it.

I think you can handle that bike as a beginner, just take it slow. Even experienced riders can get bit by an SV.
 

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I have an '01 standard for my first bike.

The torqie off idle will surprise you if you've only ridden that 250 cruiser. So you have to take it easy initially, get used to it, etc, before you become completely proficient with it.

The throttle can also be a bit jerky when you engage and disengage to and from zero throttle.

But otherwise, it is a light bike, the seat height is low and the handlebars high enough to make it easily controllable and give you lots of leverage. It is a beginner bike that you might just keep for a few years, or never sell at all. I bought mine in '05.
 

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Im in the camp of the SV being a good beginer bike and the difference between the 1st and 2nd gens will be small for power gains. One thing to consider, the ninja 250 seems to have a great resale value. You could probably get one and resell it in a year for near what you paid for it. Just keep your eyes out for a good deal. Its a buyers market right now.
 

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http://forum.svrider.com/showthread.php?t=40231

he's right

Most people who started on the SV say it's a good beginner's bike. Some say it wasn't the best.

Everyone I've seen who started on a smaller bike says they were glad they did.

First gen SVs don't make noticeably less power (I think just 3 hp or something). The throttle may be less jerky, though, since it's carbureted. I can't say for sure, I've never ridden a first gen.
 

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An SV may not be the best beginner's bike, but it would be WAY better than starting on a Gixxer.

A 250 or even a 500 would make the best beginner bike from the standpoint of learning to ride, simply because they're smaller, lighter, and easier to ride. But heck, smaller lighter bikes are more fun to ride anyway.

The SV650 is considered more of a middleweight bike, but it's still small and light, and has a lot more power than a 250 or 500. Sure, it will make a good first bike that ya won't "outgrow" anytime soon, but ya have to take it real easy and be real smooth with the controls for the first year or two, until you get plenty of experience.

If you've found a good deal on a clean SV, I'd say go for it. Just be careful and pay close attention in the MSF course. :thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I started out on a Ninja 250 last summer and just got my 07 SV last Tuesday.

I can say that the SV is a whole lot faster lol. As far as beginning goes, the sv can be a great beginner bike if you respect it. The only thing the 250 does for you is be a little lighter, and if you accidentally hit the throttle, won't take off on you. I don't think you would be going wrong with either bike, just be careful and you should be alright on either.

You see, this is what I keep hearing about, throttle control. The last thing I want to happen is for the bike to get up from underneath me so unexpectantly especially if and when I eventually go on the highway. A spill and a slide in front of cars could be disastrous.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I agree.. I think the SV is a pretty good beginner bike. I had a 92 cbr f2 for my first bike and now my 3rd bike is an SV and I wish I'd started on this one. It's the kind of bike that you can learn on and not need to upgrade.

And unless you were pressing the rear brake, it sounds like you downshifted too many gears and then popped the clutch, basically the engine braking from that will lock the rear brake - don't do that - haha..
Yeah, i think I tried to mimic like I was some type of racer at the time and it just seemed so cool to downshift rather than upshift and it scared the friiggin crap outta me. I definetly wont be doing that again.....unless in a parking lot...lol
 

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Thanks guys and gals for all of your feedback. Im still somewhat on the fence but what makes it so difficult is that the price is so right for the SV650 (mind you this is my favorite bike) and the new 250R just seems less and less attractive. Im not going to sit up here and think that Im not gonna eventually go down, but its really the manner in which that dreadful day actually happens. Id be hella pist if I were to drop the 250R and considering its newness plus full fairing who knows what the extent of the damage may be. The fact that the SV is naked, makes it more purposeful and functional for what I need it for. Granted, I wanna put myself in the best possible position and learn how to ride properly and dont wanna jeopardize my health/ well being, but from a financial , economical and all other words that end with 'al, it just makes sense somehow. The bike has about 8k miles on it but unless she just explodes on me I could see me keeping her for a long time. Especially with all the aftermarket upgrades both mechanical (there goes another 'al word) and cosmetic she'll probably be a keeper.

I really think Im going to invest in some extra classes at one school that teaches on cruiser 250's and the another that let u practice on old Kawi 900's. I may even get the bike and just ride it on the back blocks of my neighborhood at 1st, where there is little to no traffic. My goal is to put at the least 50-70 miles per day for the 1st month to practice as well as riding in this parking lot not to far from my house. Id probably work on my uturns and low speed maneuvering and push it every now and again to see what she's made off in this controlled environment. Plus if I do fall (can u tell Ive embraced this fact already), there is no one around which im sure will save the embarrassment, just hope she isnt to heavy to pick up by myself if that does happen.

One question I have is regarding the top heaviness of the bike when it has a full tank. Does it make the bike significantly heavier and more difficult to manuever. I believe I heard someone refer to inertia when speaking of this. How much of a factor does that play or is it something that'll go unnoticed. Because who rides on an empty tank anyway???
 

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That bike weighs 380lbs.full of fuel. When the low gas light comes on,it's 3 gal. lighter.
Only about - 18lbs. A good running one will get 50mpg.
 

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as well as riding in this parking lot not to far from my house. Id probably work on my uturns and low speed maneuvering and push it every now and again to see what she's made off in this controlled environment.

This is an excellent idea! I learned on a 250 honda interceptor (sold it for more than i bought it for) and the first thing I did was take it to a parking lot for hours and hours until I felt comfortable with it. Also a good idea to take the safety courses, they make your riding confidence grow ten-fold. In the end, if you stay calm, cool, and collected and are confident on the bike, then you'll be fine no matter what kind of bike you're riding.

Side note, i loved learning on the 250, its nimble and easy to throw around in the turns, not "too" powerful, and got 70mpg! Granted I did outgrow it within a year and am now looking to get a first gen sv....
 

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I bought a gen1 last summer and it's my first bike. I looked at ninjas forever but I ended up with the SV because the price was right. I'm 6'3 (almost too tall), 200 lbs and the bike is easy to manage.

The only issue that I've had with it is pushing it up my 40% grade driveway after the battery died. Other than that, don't worry about it being too heavy. As far as power goes doxiedog hit the nail on the head.

I've heard that the gixxer and the sv are matched up to like 80 or 90 mph (i think). Then, the gixxer tears down the road. I don't need that type of power when I'm not even strapped in. lol
 

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I have been riding around my new 2000 SV for about a week and a half now (put on about 120 miles) and I have to say it is easy to learn on as long as you take it easy. I have never rode bikes before, not even dirt bikes and I started knowing nothing. I hadn't planned on riding at all before the MSF but I just couldn't resist with her just sitting there. I found it not as intimidating as I thought it was going to be. The biggest issue that I have had was with the very sensitive throttle. If you just take it easy and relax it shouldn't be a problem.
 
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