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Hi,

I have been riding a Honda Magna 2002 for a year and absolutely love it.

I am tempted to switch to a sports bike and try track days -- perhaps even get a racing license. Primary motivation is to have fun and up my riding skills.

I was initially thinking of getting a Ninja 250 and spending a year on it before looking at an sv650 or an inline 4 -- they're cheap, forgiving, could learn to lean em and parts are a plenty and cheap (I was thinking of the previous Gen but folks have told me to go for the current Gen ... the price of a used current Gen ninja 250 and an sv650 are pretty comparable).

However a lot of folks are telling me to start off with an SV650.

Would appreciate comments / suggestions.

I'm rather budget constrained and what should I look for when looking for an SV 650 for the purpose I've stated.

Thanks in advance, look forward to reading your comments.
 

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SV650 is one of the most fun bikes out there... true story :D

It's a fine beginner bike. I thought a few girls how to ride on mine and they all did fine :p
 

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I moved from an Intruder 800 to the SV. No regrets.

Love the Magnas, BTW. First street bike was an '85 Magna 500. Great little bike. My bud rides a newer Magna. Like a banshee. It's a cruiser that thinks it's a sporting bike. ;)
 

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I've had an SV650 for 4 years and 29500mi.. You won't likely find, for the price, a bike with this much soul and passion inspiring performance.

Just put good tires on it and let the good times roll.

I'm actually in a situation where money is very very tight and tends to just about always be that way. My SV has made being a daily rider possible.
 

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Hey Fatty, you've got a customer!




Sent from my right shoe using the Motorcycle app
 

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the sv has one of the biggest track followings. Basically half the paddock at most races is on them. Parts are ubiquitous as well to make life easy.
 

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Coming from a cruiser I imagine you are going to be more comfortable on the N model, with an aftermarket seat and the buell peg mod.

*NOW THAT I HAVE READ THE POST*

Since you already have ridden a bigger bike a la the magna, the 650 will be a great beginner track bike. I am also heavier so a stock suspended sv650 would do me better than a stock suspended ninja 250.
 

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If you want to take a motorcycle to its ultimate limits on a track, the 250 Ninja would be a better choice. Light weight and limited power and good handling all work in your favor if you're learning to take a bike to its limits, which is what a race track is all about. And the 250 class is very competitive. You won't get bored there.

For everyday use, the SV is a far better bike in terms of fun and practicality and over-the-road manners; the extra mass and power are really helpful in the real world.

All of this assuming that you don't weigh 200 pounds or more.
 

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I started off with my sv. I love my bike dearly and doubt there is a bike out there that would have been more suitable.

I looked at the little ninja, but I'm too tall and 200lbs. It didn't make much sense for me. With your experience you'll be fine on the sv imo.
 

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I'm of the mindset that the SV650 is probably a bit much for a beginner bike for most brand new riders... Or at least on the upper end of beginner bikes. However, since you have a year on the Magna, I don't see any reason why you couldn't start on the SV.

I took my Ninja 250 to the track three times. There is something to be said for passing 600s and liter super bikes in the turns (in beginner group, of course!). Having such a finite amount of power really facilitates learning to corner, as that is the only way you'll ever get past any of the bigger bikes... However, it can also get frustrating as hell. I hated working through a group of riders, only to have every one of them pass me in the straight just to slow me down again in the turns. Of course, this probably wouldn't be much of a problem if I had moved up past the beginner group (or racing in 250 class).
 

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Of course, this probably wouldn't be much of a problem if I had moved up past the beginner group (or racing in 250 class).
I've raced in a CBR125 league. Getting pwned by 12 year olds is humbling (but in the SV650 cup I'd be getting walked by 14 year olds.. so maybe I just suck :))

To the OP: SV sounds like a great fit for what you're looking for. The Ninja 250 and SV both have great club racing followings but by the sounds of it I think the SV will be a lil more fun for someone in your position.
 

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Coincidentally I come from a similar background. My first bike is an 87 Magna, very similar to your 3rd gen Magna. I put 25k on the Magna before I bought a 2005 SV650S.

The SV actually has slightly less HP than the Magna, but it's also about 120lbs lighter. So the SV is a lot easier to throw around in the twisties, but a drag race is very close with the SV edging the Magna in the 1/4 mile. If you're used to the power of the Magna, then transitioning to the SV should be pretty easy. It's a lot easier to ride the SV IMO. The reduced weight makes a huge difference. Personally I'd skip the 250.

As far as ergonomics, the S model's clipons was the first thing I changed. I went with the LSL bar kit and it made a huge difference. The bars are slightly wider and way more upright so it feels like riding a dirt bike. I do appreciate the fairing though for touring, but I imagine the N model would be just fine. For track riding the S model would probably best.
 

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I am reluctant to recommend the SV to new riders, but if riding the Magna came easy to you, it is probably ok to move to the SV.

Actually, you cannot go wrong with either the Ninja 250 or the SV650 -- or the Ninja 500, or the GS500.
 

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I moved from an Intruder 800 to the SV. No regrets.

Love the Magnas, BTW. First street bike was an '85 Magna 500. Great little bike. My bud rides a newer Magna. Like a banshee. It's a cruiser that thinks it's a sporting bike. ;)

Another one, eh? I knew there was a reason I liked you!

I moved from an Intruder 800 to an Intruder 1400 to an SV650. Holy hell, what an improvement! I started on cruisers and rode them for years, but then was introduced to the SV. I never looked back.

Better comfort, better ergos, better handling, better this, better that. For a few with back/neck/shoulder problems, a cruiser *might* be the better bike, but will of course vary with model. But for me, the SV has been one of the most comfortable non-Barca-lounger bikes I've ever been on.

I've been riding for 28 years now. I've had and loved my SV for 11 of them. It's gone through several iterations--bone stock, upgraded to a 636 rear shock and SonicSprings with a Sargent seat. Then it changed to a GSXR600 front end and Corbin seat. I recently put a custom top triple on with the OEM bar and just ordered a new Sargent seat.

Yeah, I love my SV.
 

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As others have said, you'll be fine moving from the Magna to the SV.

That being said, want to sell me your Magna? :D
 

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I am so doing a track day this year since I finally got my oil leak fixed so can pass inspection, plus I dont want to have it on my conscience if I contribute to someones crash due to oil.
 

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I went from a Suzuki Marauder 800 to an SV1000. It sounds like you know what you're doing; I'd say you don't have anything to worry about. A 250 would be SWEET, but it would not suffice as my only bike.
 
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