I had a 09 ninja 650 before moved on to a rc51. The ninja 650 is a great started bike. The sv650 is a great bike also. I know a bunch of riders that do track days and regional racing on sv650s. I would go with which ever is in the best shape for the price but I would learn towards the sv650
How do you like the RC51? I've been looking for a 2003+ in black for a while. One of my must have bikes (and I'm a Yamaha guy!)
Looking at picking up a new used bike. Very late in the season but there a few deals around. I was looking at an 07 SV 650 but have found a 09 Ninja 650 that I like. Any thoughts on which one is better? I am new to riding and will be doing more highway riding than anything else.
I looked heavily into this when purchasing my first bike. I wanted something in the 600 class sport tourer segment. The Ninja 650 has about 65 HP, the SV 650 has about 75 HP... The Yamaha FZ6 has closer to 100 HP. I know you're not buying a race bike but the FZ6 is a much more powerful bike than most others in the segment (apart from the Honda 599 I guess).
Now... I started on the FZ6, put about 25,000 km on it over two years and then bought myself an R1. The FZ6 (and anything in the sport touring segment) are much more comfortable to ride for long distances, and I somewhat regretted the R1 purchase. If I were to buy again it would be an FZ8 or FZ1.
Funny story though, after I sold my R1 there was a group ride coming up with some old friends. One of the riders let me borrow her daughters Ninja 250 for the day. We were out on public roads of course so no crazy riding, but that little 250 was able to hang with R6's and many sport touring bikes no problem. So on one hand I'm saying don't buy something underpowered, and on the other I'm saying that the rider makes the bike instead of the other way around.
The only trouble with the Ninja and SV series is that you may get bored sooner on them. An inline-4 based sport tourer will have a much higher revving engine (and much higher peak HP) which can make things fun when you want. The smile factor on an FZ6 is pretty big!
The FZ6, SV650 and Ninja 650 all have roughly the same peak torque (although it occurs much higher up on the FZ6), and roughly the same curb weight. The FZ6 has the largest fuel tank of the bunch (don't ignore this stat!)
If you can sit on a bunch, do it... And if you want any help test riding, I still have my helmet and gear.