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Old 11-15-2012, 08:14 PM   #1 (permalink)
Ecky
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Location: Vermont
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Gaptooth (retired) - '00 Honda Insight
Team Honda
Gen-1 Insights
90 day: 54.26 mpg (US)

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90 day: 41.27 mpg (US)

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Sister is looking into a cheap bike, I know little about bikes

^ However I find that I can typically trust the opinions I find on here.

About a week ago she asked me to look into a low-cost bike. She's not mechanically inclined - probably enough to change the oil or tighten a loose mirror, but she won't be doing any mechanical repairs on a bike. She originally linked me to a Chinese 250cc Ninja clone. I did some reading and what I've found suggests that it has a simple and fairly reliable carburated motor coupled with a very short 5 speed tranny - looks like it caps out around 65 in top gear due due to revs. It's advertised on some sites as getting "up to 80mpg" but I bet that's going to be at 25-35mph in top gear.

My first suggestion was that we should go to a Honda dealership and look at a CBR250R... and find out if her feet can even touch the ground on one. She's about 5'2".

She's open to the idea of other bikes but a scooter is pretty much out, she wants something that resembles a sports bike at least in looks.

Some other thoughts:

I think it might be worthwhile to go with a Honda so parts/repairs are easier to find.

It has a much more comfortable top speed of ~90mph. I don't think I'd trust taking anything that can only do 60 on a freeway. However, she's concerned that since she's very light and a 250 is a pretty light bike too, it might not be safe to take on a freeway anyway. What's the truth behind this?

What kind of parts/warranty do dealers typically offer, and do you suggest going to a dealer and getting a new bike, or maybe a certified preowned, or should I also consider hitting up craigslist, considering my limited knowledge about bikes?

Has anyone had any experiences with cheap Chinese bikes? Might it not be a bad option? Certainly the Honda is more expensive, but is it worth being ~twice as expensive?

Any other thoughts/suggestions?

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