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Old 04-04-2012, 10:19 PM   #1
 
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What is best 250cc bike for highway and mpg

Hi there, I'm a new rider and am looking for a cruiser style or standard style bike. I need help deciding which bike would be best for me.
Requirements:
Good fuel economy - 50 MPG at least
Can do highway speeds without struggling much, at least 60MPH
Cruiser style or standard style, other style suggestions welcomed, but I think this might be the best for highway riding
Not be a maintenance nightmare or a money sink


Bike will be used to commute a min of 40 miles (2 way) up to 65 miles (2 way). It will be divided about 10 miles city and the rest highway. Don't need much luggage space, enough to place a medium backpack would be fine. Doesn't need to be comfortable for 2-up riding as this will be used to get to and from work and college.

Emphasis on fuel economy.

Thanks for your help.
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Old 04-05-2012, 12:58 AM   #2
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Re: What is best 250cc bike for highway and mpg

Hi, I would say a 250 ninja of course since that what I have. No problems passing at highway speeds, ultra cheap insurance since it's not classified as a sportbike and cheap on gas. The body is a little different this year but they've been making basically the same bike for ages, easy to find parts but this bike frequently hits the 100k mark without much ado.

The other one to look into is the Honda CBR250. More upright riding position but much the same re gas and insurance. It was a whole new model last year so you may want to do some reading on forums for this bike to see how things went with the first year.

I think hyosung makes the 250 cruiser. Don't know anything about it but there are probably reviews that put all three of these bikes against each other. Google up 250cc review or 250cc shoot-out and you should get some results from the regular motorcycle mags.

I love my 250 and will never part with it. It's just plain fun. If you like to shift, it's a dream to ride, you never get bored. You should be able to find a used one for a good price. Looks sporty but it's comfy/ Some people change out the seat for long rides but my rides are usually a couple hours and so far no problems. My first bike.

A good forum dicussion about people who love the honda and people who love the ninja can be found at nin jette . org
(take out the spaces...)


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Old 04-05-2012, 2:54 AM   #3
 
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Re: What is best 250cc bike for highway and mpg

Thanks for the quick reply! I have read some info about the ninja and really like the styling. Different places (forums, wiki) put the MPG around 50-60 with some claiming up to 75mpg (would like personal input). Is this MPG riding really slow or is it at a constant speed? I looked at top speed and says around 110mph so I suppose doing 60-65mph on the highway shouldn't put much stress on the bike at all.

As for reliability is it on par with whats said of the honda rebel? This is another starter/commuter bike that caught my interest. MPG said to be around 65-75. Supposedly legendary reliability if taken care of(never had anything honda except for a lawn mower lol) and easy to work on in case something does go wrong. Can do 60mph, but top speed about 75-80mph.

I have heard that tires on bikes do not last much at all, some claiming that at 5k miles you may need to change them and that they are expensive (150$ for one). What has been your experience with this on the ninja? I do not mind changing the rear tire at 12k (approx once a year) and the front at 24k, but 150$ at 5k seems a bit too much.
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Old 04-05-2012, 3:24 AM   #4
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Re: What is best 250cc bike for highway and mpg

Originally Posted by xenx View Post
Thanks for the quick reply! I have read some info about the ninja and really like the styling. Different places (forums, wiki) put the MPG around 50-60 with some claiming up to 75mpg (would like personal input). Is this MPG riding really slow or is it at a constant speed? I looked at top speed and says around 110mph so I suppose doing 60-65mph on the highway shouldn't put much stress on the bike at all.
Don't have any numbers for you but my first tank took forever to go through so that would be slow riding, under 4k rpm (break in) and lots of stops, starts, gear changing. Some of the reviews put the mileage at the upper end 70-ish.

Many people use it on the highway and it has no trouble jumping up to pass if you need to. I'm smaller 5'3" and have no issue with the wind so far. I don't have much highway experience with passing tractor trailers and their turbulence so I'd check one of the ninja forums to see what people have to say about that. Can't see it being a problem or there wouldn't be so many on the highways.

As for reliability is it on par with whats said of the honda rebel? This is another starter/commuter bike that caught my interest. MPG said to be around 65-75. Supposedly legendary reliability if taken care of(never had anything honda except for a lawn mower lol) and easy to work on in case something does go wrong. Can do 60mph, but top speed about 75-80mph.
Reliability is one of the things this bike is known for - they offer a huge roadside assistance package for peanuts so that leads me to believe that I probably won't need it. The rebel may be the same, been around forever so that's a good sign and I still see lots on the road from different years and many for sale from different years. Someone on here should be able to give you a better idea of the reliability of the rebel. Hang tight and more folks should be along in the coming days.

Rebel might be the most comfortable for commuting and you could easily attach bags to carry your work clothing and such.
I think most of the big three Japanese bikes will be very reliable for the price.

I have heard that tires on bikes do not last much at all, some claiming that at 5k miles you may need to change them and that they are expensive (150$ for one). What has been your experience with this on the ninja? I do not mind changing the rear tire at 12k (approx once a year) and the front at 24k, but 150$ at 5k seems a bit too much.
I've been reading a lot about my tires lately and there's certainly two camps of opinion, at opposite ends of the spectrum. Some have three years of commuting on the originals and others ditch them as soon as possible and put pirelli street demons on them. I guess it's how hard your commuting surface is? Mine seem to have nice grip even when I lean quite a bit. I ride in the cold and the rain and haven't had any issues there either. They are not known as high quality tires but I haven't heard of anyone having them wear out early from regular riding. There's some specific info about tires on the website I mentioned earlier in the FAQ. Hell, we may even have one here??
If you buy something like an older ninja - keep in mind that they take smaller tires so your tire choice would be limited.
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Old 04-05-2012, 3:13 PM   #5
 
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Re: What is best 250cc bike for highway and mpg

Looked at more info about the ninja. Only found 2 used at around the 2k$ mark and they were 90s. New ones are too expensive which would negate the main reason I am buying the bike. I know that it will take a while before the bike pays for itself in fuel economy savings, but buying new (at 5.8k$ dealer quote) will make that time too long for it to be worth it in my current situation.

Currently driving a 16 mpg city, 22mpg highway and 18mpg combined mpg car. Using about $205 a month in gas @ $1.027/liter ($3.903/gal). I use about 10$ a day just to get to work..

With a 50mpg bike this would total out to about $78, a savings of $120. In your experience, how much is the maintenance including 1 rear tire? I want to know if this style of bike goes through tires faster than cruiser style and if this makes the gas savings actually less than what can be seen upfront.
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Old 04-05-2012, 3:39 PM   #6
 
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Re: What is best 250cc bike for highway and mpg

The bikes that tend to wear tires the fastest are the higher horsepower ones with a rider who thinks he is Valentino Rossi. Since you are only using for transportation, I think your good.
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Old 04-07-2012, 9:28 PM   #7
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Re: What is best 250cc bike for highway and mpg

Originally Posted by xenx View Post
Looked at more info about the ninja. Only found 2 used at around the 2k$ mark and they were 90s. New ones are too expensive which would negate the main reason I am buying the bike. I know that it will take a while before the bike pays for itself in fuel economy savings, but buying new (at 5.8k$ dealer quote) will make that time too long for it to be worth it in my current situation.

Currently driving a 16 mpg city, 22mpg highway and 18mpg combined mpg car. Using about $205 a month in gas @ $1.027/liter ($3.903/gal). I use about 10$ a day just to get to work..

With a 50mpg bike this would total out to about $78, a savings of $120. In your experience, how much is the maintenance including 1 rear tire? I want to know if this style of bike goes through tires faster than cruiser style and if this makes the gas savings actually less than what can be seen upfront.
Can't tell you about the gas mileage but my little tour around on Friday was 56kms and I started with 1/2 tank exactly. I finished just under the half tank mark - on the other side of the red line that indicates half tank - so maybe I used 1/16th? That was city riding, mainly in upper gears. 50kph and 80kph. Lots of stops and starts. Average commuting style.
By riding buddy used much more gas for the same ride and he likes to stay in 3rd and 4th so using all the gears seems to save gas. His is '09 mine is '11.
I'll take a look when I go out tonight to see if I can tell exactly how much of the tank that would be.

No sport bikes aren't harder on your tires and the ninja 250 is barely a sportbike. Yes it has guts when in the powerband so you can safely pass or avoid something but for insurance and ergonomics, it's not considered a sport bike.


Originally Posted by Blues View Post
The bikes that tend to wear tires the fastest are the higher horsepower ones with a rider who thinks he is Valentino Rossi. Since you are only using for transportation, I think your good.



While you're calculating costs etc, don't forget the fun factor. I would rather save only a bit of money and be deliriously happy than grudgingly getting into a car every day. If you're happy, your work is more productive, your family is happy to see you happy etc. Only a bike can do that. And it's a really good workout for your abs, your arms and your legs. Can't go wrong.
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Old 04-07-2012, 10:05 PM   #8
 
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Re: What is best 250cc bike for highway and mpg

I just saw a CBR 250R and it looked snazzy.
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Old 04-08-2012, 6:13 AM   #9
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Re: What is best 250cc bike for highway and mpg

Originally Posted by Godsmacked View Post
While you're calculating costs etc, don't forget the fun factor. I would rather save only a bit of money and be deliriously happy than grudgingly getting into a car every day. If you're happy, your work is more productive, your family is happy to see you happy etc. Only a bike can do that. And it's a really good workout for your abs, your arms and your legs. Can't go wrong.

Brilliantly stated GS :-)
My bikes cost about five times more than my cars to do the same mileage on them - but I would never drive somewhere when I can ride.
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Old 09-15-2012, 4:35 AM   #10
 
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Re: What is best 250cc bike for highway and mpg

Hi xenx,

I have the exact same reasoning and exact same requirements as you

What bike did you finally end up choosing and why? Also, what's your experience with the bike you chose, so far?
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Old 09-18-2012, 1:09 AM   #11
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Re: What is best 250cc bike for highway and mpg

Originally Posted by shikhanshu View Post
Hi xenx,

I have the exact same reasoning and exact same requirements as you

What bike did you finally end up choosing and why? Also, what's your experience with the bike you chose, so far?
And to you. Hope Xenx answers back, I was wondering the same thing.
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Old 09-18-2012, 1:19 AM   #12
 
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Re: What is best 250cc bike for highway and mpg

thanks Godsmacked (for the welcome)...

i ended up buying a used 2008 honda rebel 250cc... only 5691 miles on it... $3000 (out the door, inclusive of taxes, registration, etc.)... so i think it was an okay deal...

so far i have ridden it only 18 miles (from dealer's location to my home)... all of them were on the freeway; and seriously, this bike cries for help and barely touches 65... i was able to keep a steady 65 all the way; but any faster and the bike felt too stressed out...

but i am ok with that; i would be using it to commute to work daily where i'd drive only very little on the freeway; so its cool... the bike's rock solid otherwise... smooth shifts, comfortable ride... very happy with the purchase... now let's see what kind of mpg i get out of it...
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Old 09-18-2012, 1:26 AM   #13
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Re: What is best 250cc bike for highway and mpg

Originally Posted by shikhanshu View Post
thanks Godsmacked (for the welcome)...

i ended up buying a used 2008 honda rebel 250cc... only 5691 miles on it... $3000 (out the door, inclusive of taxes, registration, etc.)... so i think it was an okay deal...

so far i have ridden it only 18 miles (from dealer's location to my home)... all of them were on the freeway; and seriously, this bike cries for help and barely touches 65... i was able to keep a steady 65 all the way; but any faster and the bike felt too stressed out...

but i am ok with that; i would be using it to commute to work daily where i'd drive only very little on the freeway; so its cool... the bike's rock solid otherwise... smooth shifts, comfortable ride... very happy with the purchase... now let's see what kind of mpg i get out of it...
Awesome Great bike to start with. From there you can better tell what's important to you. 2008 should be good with gas. Keep up the maintenance to help and you're good to go.

Can you leave a bit earlier and avoid the freeways? May make for a more fun ride to work, get there all relaxed and happy. Otherwise I've heard that some people change the windscreen on cruisers to make the bike a little happier wrt wind resistance. Don't know how true that is though.
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