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Hey SVsquad,
Are there any women or know of any women who've ridden the SV650?
I am 110lbs, 5'3 and I went halves on a old, broken down, SV650 with my ex. We fixed it up and I started learning to ride on it. Then of course he sold it.
I've always ridden on the back of my dads cruisers, friends bikes and I ride dirtbikes.. everyone tells me to get the ninja 400 but I feel like I would get bored of that bike quick. I remember the SV was super reliable, easy to work on and was comfortable to ride. I'm smaller but I know how to ride generally but not too much solo/driving street experience.

Wanted the groups input. I don't want to bite off too much for my first, very own street bike but I have good throttle control so I know I'd be able to have self awareness and discipline over the bike. I just want to have power there when I need it and not get caught in a bad situation from lack of power.

Should I suck it up and get a small cc for my first street bike or do you guys think I would be ok on a 650 if I start out slow through neighborhoods and stuff?

Also, do you guys ever adjust suspension to your weight like we do on dirtbikes?

Thank you!馃槉
 

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Although I'm not a girl I bought my 2018 sv from a mtbing friend who bought it for his girl friend. While they were together and she riding the bike, she seemed to really enjoy the sv. She is 5'8" around 135lbs, had a Honda Rebel 500 for a year or two before the sv.
I've had several opportunities to ride two different Ninja 400s, I don't think you'll be too bored with it. It's a fun, reliable, comfortable, capable bike. Have you had the opportunity to test ride a Ninja 400?
 

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The SV is a pretty generally-accepted good first bike and "wife bike" :rolleyes: as your own experience can attest to. I think it is a pretty popular choice among the ladies. My wife always said it was her favorite out of the many I've had over the years. You would absolutely not be making a bad choice in getting one and it would be pretty well set for a 110 lb rider right out of the box. If you learn to really handle it in the corners then pretty much no bro on an R1 could hang with you either as you would have a massive weight advantage.
That being said, I doubt you would get bored with a Kawasaki 400. When my 650 pops I plan on getting one for my next bike. Power becomes less important as time goes by and experience evolves. Learning to ride a slow bike fast is much more rewarding than running out of tarmac.
 

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The Gen 3 SV (the new-ish naked one from 2017 onwards) has a relatively low saddle making it easier to get feet on the ground, and a riding position that seems to suit a wide range of different-sized people. As there's quite a lot of them around, they're also fairly cheap both new and used.

Try the SV and the Kawa 400 and see which one you take to. Certainly with the SV, you'll never get caught out for lack of power anywhere below 90mph.
 

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An acquaintance who rides a Ducati 999S at the track got an SV 650 for his daughter to learn to track ride.

SVs are inexpensive, tons of aftermarket support, plentiful used parts and generally friendly handling and power band.

The SV has a bit broader powerband than the little Ninjas, which can be good for learning riders. Neither is necessarily bad, just different.
 

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Also going to add that the ninja 400 is around 85 lbs lighter than an sv650, that's a big advantage in learning to control a motorcycle and learning to track ride.
 

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Do feel conformable on the SV? Think you could handle it? If yes then you have answered the question. As for what you can handle, my sister's first bike was a Harley Davidson Heritage Special, she's 5'6" and 135, It's what you feel comfortable with will only go as fast as you twist the throttle.


Good luck
 

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I thought the SV was not a good first bike, if by first bike you mean first bike ever, no previous experience whatsoever.
Don't know if 30 years driving a Vespa PE 200 scooter qualify for previous experience, but the SV is my first bike, and I find it perfect for learning.
 
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Don't know if 30 years driving a Vespa PE 200 scooter qualify for previous experience, but the SV is my first bike, and I find it perfect for learning.
Yes, that would qualify as previous experience.

Don't get me wrong, I think an SV is a great second bike. But I would not take someone who had never ridden a bike before and toss them the keys to one and say g'head, there's the clutch, gas, and brakes.
 

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Yes, that would qualify as previous experience.

Don't get me wrong, I think an SV is a great second bike. But I would not take someone who had never ridden a bike before and toss them the keys to one and say g'head, there's the clutch, gas, and brakes.
I mean, it would be entertaining ;)
 

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I've known a few women who have ridden SVs, including a couple who raced them. Kind of a shame, but I don't think there's very many on the board any more. Used to be quite a few.

Anywho...as a first street bike I vote for a Ninja, be it 250, 300 or 400. My wife had a Ninja 250 for a while and I rode it quite a bit. Fun bike. The new 400 makes plenty of power, I wouldn't be worried about being bored on it. As Irishgirl points out, the lower weight is a big advantage.
 

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I thought the SV was not a good first bike, if by first bike you mean first bike ever, no previous experience whatsoever.

If you have previous experience, the SV is a great bike.
Same, not a good first time bike. Torque plus a grabby throttle not the best bike for some beginners.
I agree with this review

Is the sv650 too much....
 

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I worked at a Yamaha Kawasaki dealership while in college, some first time riders bought 250 Ninjas others went with mid-size 600's and some with liter size bikes. The bigger/faster ones were dropped/crashed less often by new riders, the 250 Ninja and EX500 were always dropped and wrecked. People seemed to respect the faster bikes while riding the smaller bikes became over confident quickly.

If you're comfortable on the SV you'll be fine, it's narrow, low seat height, the weight is carried low in the chassis and easy to balance. Lighter weight is beneficial at slow speeds like in a parking lot but on the road can be a challenge, out in the country or on the interstate a lighter bike will be blown around more from cross winds or larger vehicles. The SV is just over 400 pounds and carries it's weight well.

If you'll be riding with others think about what they are riding and how they ride. Go to the dealership and spend some time sitting on the bikes you're interested in, see what you like.
 

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I worked at a Yamaha Kawasaki dealership while in college, some first time riders bought 250 Ninjas others went with mid-size 600's and some with liter size bikes. The bigger/faster ones were dropped/crashed less often by new riders, the 250 Ninja and EX500 were always dropped and wrecked. People seemed to respect the faster bikes while riding the smaller bikes became over confident quickly.
I have never viewed the beginner market in this way. Interesting observations from a dealership standpoint.
 

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Hey SVsquad,
Are there any women or know of any women who've ridden the SV650?
I hope I'm not the last female checking in here.

IMO, you will get bored with a 400-500. But so what? It's still the best way to learn to ride a street bike. It's cheap and relatively safe.
Small bikes typically hold their value well, especially used ones that are maintained. Spend one or two riding seasons on a smaller bike, then sell it and get an SV. They're the best all-around bikes ever made, but they're not good first bikes.
It's not a matter of cost that keeps people from starting small, its all ego. Few men can withstand the "shame" of riding anything under 1000cc. You'll find that most of the guys around here have ridden lots of different bikes and figured out it's more fun to "ride slow bikes fast".
 

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I hope I'm not the last female checking in here.

IMO, you will get bored with a 400-500. But so what? It's still the best way to learn to ride a street bike. It's cheap and relatively safe.
Small bikes typically hold their value well, especially used ones that are maintained. Spend one or two riding seasons on a smaller bike, then sell it and get an SV. They're the best all-around bikes ever made, but they're not good first bikes.
It's not a matter of cost that keeps people from starting small, its all ego. Few men can withstand the "shame" of riding anything under 1000cc. You'll find that most of the guys around here have ridden lots of different bikes and figured out it's more fun to "ride slow bikes fast".
Very well said. And I must add that gender has nothing to do with it 鈥 ANY RIDER will learn more and quicker on a small CC bike for the first several months than on an SV.

As @rocketgirl pointed out, small bikes hold their value very well so you can get a Ninja 300 or similar bike, learn on it for a couple of seasons, then sell it for basically the same price you paid for it. The argument of "I had an SV as my first bike and I did well" is laughable simply because you don't know what you don't know 鈥 you could have learned so much more/better if you had started out smaller.

As a professional rider (yes, I get paid to ride and teach both on the street and in the track) I can tell you this: I have so much more fun riding my 150cc supermoto on small, tight tracks than my GSX-R750 on large tracks. And I love stealing my wife's Ninja 500 to go to the canyons even though I have other "bigger, meaner" bikes.

Be wise, start small, enroll in tons of classes, have fun, stay safe.
 

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"you could have learned so much more/better if you had started out smaller."

A have a friend who went for a used R1 for first bike. For some time riding with him he seemed painstaking cautious, too much so...it's no fun riding a bike that your scared of.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
thank you everyone! I definitely don't want to start trying to handle something too big. I don't want to hurry into it too fast and get myself hurt or anything.
As far as the smaller bikes go, I'm definitely leaning towards a ninja400 to start off. Do they do okay on the freeway? I'd be using the bike as a daily eventually.
@Irishgirl @OfirMX @rocketgirl
 

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Discussion Starter #20
"you could have learned so much more/better if you had started out smaller."

A have a friend who went for a used R1 for first bike. For some time riding with him he seemed painstaking cautious, too much so...it's no fun riding a bike that your scared of.
Yeah for sure, I don't want to be afraid, I want to be able to build confidence and the skills needed. Definitely not in a rush to hurt myself lol
 
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