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Discussion Starter #1
It's a bad combination, but one were seeing more and more...

For some reasonthere's always a "new rider; what should i get for my first bike" posting near the top of the list. What worries me is the majority of these new riders want to rush out and buy the latest and greatest 1000cc ( or even bigger ) sportbike. The thread appears fairly regularly on other message boards i frequent, and you can probably guess how it progresses. The experienced riders caution against a new, big bike, and recommend buying a used 600, or something even smaller. Then there are always the people claiming that starting on a big bike is not only fine, but implying that the new rider's manhood would be called into question if he didnt start on a big bike.

It's all i can do not to respond right away in capital letters that buying a big sportsbike for your first motorcycle is crazy, but thankfully, with the amount of traffic on the message board, these threads have become fairly predictable and follow to that logical conclusion for the most part. Generally - and thankfully - cooler heads prevail and the new rider is swayed to a smaller bike.

What intrigues me is the reasoning some people use for starting on a new 1000. Some are confident they can handle the power, having ridden dirtbikes for a number of years as a teenager. Others claim they can't afford to buy a smaller or used bike now and then trade up in a year or so once they've gotten some experience. Still others, from what they write, are worried they will outgrow a 600's performance after just a few days. My gut feeling tells me many of these people are looking for just a single positive response to justify the purchase to themselves, rather than real advice. To me, entering motorcycling by buying a new literbike is like rushing out and buying a Gibson Les Paul to learn how to play guitar, going to St. Andrews for your first - ever round of golf or deciding to climb Mount Everest on a whim. It's just not something i would even consider.

Today's literbikes, as fast and powerful as they are, are docile enough to easily accommodate a new rider, and many people turn that fact around to infer that a new rider can cope with a literbike - which is definately not the case. Now more than ever, extreme care and restraint are needed when riding big bikes.

Every time we go for a ride in our local canyons, we see what are most likely the results of the new rider / big bike combination: a telltale rear - tire skid straight off the edge of the curve, indicating the rider came into the corner with too much speed, panicked and rode off the pavement with the rear brake locked on. I shudder every time we pass such a mark, hoping the rider didn't go too far off the road and only has a wrecked bike to worry about.

I realize that people looking to get into sportbikes are bombarded with the flash and glitter of the latest and biggest bikes, and face a definate lack of information as far as the smaller or used bikes are concerned. You can point the finger at manufactures and dealers for guiding new riders to literbikes rather than towards something more appropriate - there is more money to be made selling a new R1 or a GSX-R1000 than an R6 or a GSX-R600, and much more in new bikes than, say, five - year - old EX500's.

You could also cite how ridiculously easy it is to obtain a motorcycle license in most states. In California it's a simple matter of completing the written test and then riding around a few dots in a parking lot. License in hand, your free to ride any - sized bike you please. Tiered licensing, in which new riders are limited to smaller bikes for a number of years befor being allowed free reign, is one answer. That is a practical solution employed in many countries, but here in the U.S., with it's open spaces and freeways - it would certainly hinder the growth of our sport.

Rider education is another solution, and we are lucky to have the Motorcycle Safety Foundation ( www.msf-usa.org, 800-446-9227 ) and its training courses. New riders can take the basic RiderCourse in lieu of "riding the lollipop" to obtain their license, and i would urge everyone - license or not - to take the course if they haven't. I'm certain anyone who's taken an MSF course would see the danger in starting out on a big bike.

As we see on our message board, most beginner riders - once the experienced riders have pointed out the risks involved - gravitate to a 600. It's simply a matter of the riders who have been there befor using their voice of reason and guiding new riders in their buying decision. If this helps to reduce the number of those skid marks i see running off the road, Then this post will be well worth it.

by: Andrew Trevitt
 

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amen, when i worked in the parts department i cant tell you how many people ive seen crash a bike before they even left the parking lot because they 'say' they can ride. Im talking ive seen a zx6e flipped before the guy even got out of the parking spot. thats hard to do. but ive also seen 50cc scooters crashed leaving the parking lot as well. I think the answer is education. I had a friend i went to high school with that wanted to ride, he told me he could ride. I took him off road and let him ride my ke125 i had at the time. he flipped that thing, crashed it, broke the chain. He owed me a big repair bill. That bike worked him over good and he wanted to ride my yz250, NO WAY. two weeks later he came in a got a hayabusa. Rich parents. rode that for awhile then the zx12 came out so he got one of those too. Its scary cause he was revving it to like 6 grand when leaving and just feathering the clutch.
these people that get into new bikes worry more about what their friends ride rather then what they can handle. they think if they get a bike that is faster then their buddys then they can instantly out ride them. Its a tough call because new bikes are very easy to ride unlike buying an old bike where you have to know what your doing because brakes / suspension tires are out dated. But most old bikes cant flip you going 100. I think all new riders should be required to take an msf course. Tiered license tests would also be good but they should be based on skill i feel. If you are on a lower tier you should have to put in x amount of miles because one person may ride 1000 miles a year and another 1000 a week. Something should be done. Honda knows this thats why all their sport bikes have horrible gearing so unless you know what your doing that front wheel wont come up.
 

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Ever think it also has something to do with the maturity of the owner.

I see all kinds of threads here & on other boards about how fun it is to go fast, blaze thrugh the "twisties" ride wheelies & other reclkess stunts that are not only illegal but down right stupid. Owners of these bikes promote reckless driving by doing these stunts in public for cheap thrills & infulence others to also try them.

However, new ridders see people doing them and reading about it & then they try doing the same stunts but don't have the driver skills.

I had a guy who worked for me go out & get a brand spanking new 500 crotch rocket of some kind (don't remember the make) & less than 3 weeks he was in the hospital with road rash over 60% of his body & a minor head injury (no helmet) he laughed about it & always said he had more fun on the bike & figgured he would die on it someday.

I've not ridden a bike since 87 & then it was a Suzuki 850. Before that I had a 650 but that bike was way to small for me & the X wife on the interstate & the 850 was marginal for the 200+ mile rides we took. Had a buddy we went ridding with & he has a Suzuki 1100ESES (or something like that, it was the fastest stock production bike at the time) & that was his 1st ever motorcycle. Guess what in the 4 years we rode togeather he never once dumped it or did anything stupid that endangered him or anybody else.

I could write a book about the motorcycles in Japan (I spent 3 years in Japan) & how phycotic they are. I saw more death's on crotch rockets than all other motor vehicles combined & 99% of the time the dead driver was at fault.

I've neen looking at bikes for all of a week when we stumbled across the 1600 Classic & it was love at 1st site (let alone after I took it out for a test ride) & yep, it's a monster bike with power & toque to spare even with my fat azz on her.

IMHO it all boils down to the rider & the maturity level of said rider. If you're immature & drive it like a stupid azz showing off you're bounds to have problems. However, if you drive it while using you're grey matter (brains) you won't have the problems the immature drivers do.
 

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Freakinout said:
Tiered licensing, in which new riders are limited to smaller bikes for a number of years befor being allowed free reign, is one answer by: Andrew Trevitt
This is sheer and utter bul crap.

If this is the answer how about doing the same thing with drivers of cars. You must drive a compact car for 3 years before getting a SUV & then drive the SUV for 3 years before getting a pickup. Then you must drive the pickup for 5 years before driving any farm truck/dump truck sized vehicle.

It's just another way to take away personal responsibility. Bottom line is the driver is personally responsible for what he/she does when twisting the throttle. Way to many people think the driver is not responsible for their actions & the bike should be blamed for driver stupidity.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
RampRat said:
Freakinout said:
Tiered licensing, in which new riders are limited to smaller bikes for a number of years befor being allowed free reign, is one answer by: Andrew Trevitt
This is sheer and utter bul crap.

If this is the answer how about doing the same thing with drivers of cars. You must drive a compact car for 3 years before getting a SUV & then drive the SUV for 3 years before getting a pickup. Then you must drive the pickup for 5 years before driving any farm truck/dump truck sized vehicle.

It's just another way to take away personal responsibility. Bottom line is the driver is personally responsible for what he/she does when twisting the throttle. Way to many people think the driver is not responsible for their actions & the bike should be blamed for driver stupidity.

There is a difference between a 500cc bike and a 1000cc bike vs. compact car and a suv/truck. How about comparing a V6 car to a dodge viper. That is a much better comparison. I don't think it has to do with maturity (although it is a factor) if you start on a 1 liter bike you are a dumbass. You can never be as good of a rider with a bike with that much power to begin with. This is all based on you surviving. I know 1 person who has started on a liter bike and not wrecked it. He is also only skilled in going in a straight line. I think liter bikes are great, but only for those who are trained, experienced, and mature enough to ride one.
 

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Insurance and maturity

I think that insurance should be as high as it is for those that have no riding experience and then as the years progress it should be reduced based on the lack of number f addidents. I think that the tiered lecense may be a good thing, but when the Government gets involved it gets out of hand. Bottom line is education. I think testing for each class of bike should be mandantory, and I believe that MSF should be required by insurance comapnies or IF they will insure you there would be a substantial cost until you have the course under our belt. Education is the key. A viper, a real one with a 1.8 Turbo Diesel, would not be the same threat on the road as one with a massive 10 cylinder monster motor in it...it's not the car as much as it is the power and maturity of the driver. Sure the car with a diesel will have those with less maturity involved in accidents...but that only shows the lack of maturity...you can't blame that on the car...it still looks the same on the outside... Polaris makes a new atv owner set through a video and then go through a series of riding skills after actually showing you the controls...this is a cool concept...you don't get singed off and take it home till you show that you can park it ride it go over obstacals breaking off camber riding...why not some of these things at a local motorcycle dealers as well?
 

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Interesting thread, Andrew (Freakin') bit I think I'll go with Ramp on this one. If one uses the brain God gave him, you'll be just fine ! ! !

A Good Man Always Knows His Limitations ! ! ! Dirty Harry
 

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Discussion Starter #9
The thing is, people think even with a cool head you can handle a 1 liter bike, which in a straight line might be true, its when you start going through curves and any other non-drag type situation and a newbie is going to make mistakes. On a 500R those mistakes aren't as big of a deal. On a 1 liter bike the mistakes can be deadly. There is also handling principles.. a 1 liter bike was never designed for people who had never ridden. Even modern 600cc bikes have more power than 1 liter bikes did 10 years ago. There is no reason somebody should start on something that big. And it does affect everybody, if some dumbass kid kills himself on a 1 liter bike because he did something stupid my insurance goes up. My medical insurance also goes up if this kid ends up in ICU for 10 days. This is not even factoring in if he hit somebody and hurt them while doing something stupid.

A 400lb motorcycle running into a car will generally go into the car, killing whatever was there.

The moral is, stick with something smaller and after you learn how to handle the bike properly you should move up to something bigger. This is generally 2-4 riding seasons. It is not a matter of months like many people feel. If you stick it out with a smaller bike when you upgrade to a bigger bike you will be one of the better riders out there. Quicker, smoother, and you should have an ability to rail like no other.
 

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WAIT

Hold your horses! You can take away about (140-75=65) 65MPH away from a nice Ninja 500R and do wheelies in 5th as well...you don't need all of that top end...I say BULL if you tell me that you do! It's nice to have power to pull some couple of boddies up the side of a mountain but how much top end do you really need? I say the answer is in the gearing. I say that the answer for single folks should be in a TRUE Ninja 250R. The basic setup for this bike is found all over the world for this bike except the US. Even Canada has the ZZR-250 Aluminum Frame 17" wheels same motor that we have in the 250...I say drop the steel round frame go with aluminum (GO ZZR-250) and do some mods like Kawasaki has on other 250 motors like in Australia) and then we would have a decent bike. I don't know about pulling 20,000RPM's, and I have to admit that I would be leary...at first, but the motor out the door even for beginners is set up for a 14,000 RPM...C'mon, lets get real with the program and have Kawasaki come clean with a real sport bike in the US market for the single rider interested in a real sport bike, not a 1L that has the option to haul a second rider, a second rider option should exclued it from being classified as a SPortsbike!!!
 

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My personal opinion is that 1% of riders can really handle a 600R bikes, and 0.1% can do it to 1000R bikes. I might be wrong and then the percent is even smaller. ZX10R is lighter than EX500 and has 3 times more HP.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Cale said:
My personal opinion is that 1% of riders can really handle a 600R bikes, and 0.1% can do it to 1000R bikes. I might be wrong and then the percent is even smaller. ZX10R is lighter than EX500 and has 3 times more HP.
I think you are correct.
 

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600's and 1L

Freakinout is absolutely right...todays 600's would be a great run for the 1983 Suzuki GS1100E. I've ridden them...and I'd call if from my experience an even ride...cool heads may be one thing but hte poer of a 600 is even to much for a newbie...the MAJORITY of them are in no way prepaired for the power when they panic, or are put in a situatio where they are unfamiliar with. I say 250's not only 500's for he beginners till they prove themselves and the insurance companies allow it with the number oa hours or something...to many rich families out ther are buyin g bikes for kids not ready for the power, or they qualify for a loan and that's just not right either...WE THE MAJORITY should not have to pay for higher insurance because kids are wrecking motorcycles faster than McDonalds are selling Happy meals...it's not fair to us...make the beginners do their time on smaller bikes, to hell with their money, their parents money and loans by the Motorcycle industry...someone needs to be held accountable for these acccidents and it's not fair to raise the rates on safe riders, or riders that have worked up to larger bikes...
 

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Oh bullcrap. You can teach anybody to ride any bike made if it's done correctly.

If you tell me I can't buy (or should not) buy a bigger bike cuz I need to learn how to ride a smaller one I'll laugh in you're face. That's nothing more than a piss poor excuse.

If it's true what you are saying then all 1000cc sport bikes & bigger should be banned from America as they are not safe & we all know it's our responsibility to protect the children.


Hell, take it one step further & ban all crotch rockets, who needs to go 3-4 times faster than the legal speed limit anywhoo.
 

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NO, DEFINATELY NO BAN!

My sugggestion is to have a bike so that people have to ride and demontrate a clean record for a bike an/or take a test to prove their proficiency on a biek before they have the endorsement just like license for regular vehicles like trucks out here in kansas. I don't think a 18 year old should be riding a Liter bike till he has shown proficiencY riding to the DMV and has had a clean record for a year before he/she is allowed to go beyond the 1L bike. Backing up to the 500 would be the same one year on the bike an a proficiency test before stepping up to a (?)750, then a year oefore testing on it, before a 1 liter...there has to be a way to slow down the kids even adults that can just go out and buy a 1000 and kill inocent people because of lack of knowledge and experience. Trucks and other vehicles are the same in most states, you can request a waiver, but the proficiency test has to be monitered. there is no written exam. When you are on a $100,000 dollar combine doing corn, wheat, or milo, what ever you have to know what you are doing, at any age...and the proficiency comes from riding and knowledge of what to watch for and how to control what you are doing...on the highway these kids are not allowed to drive the big grain trucks, rather stay in the fields, unlike the older rules. driving a diesel tractor/truck pulling all that weight on a trailer is dangerous...so they have put a halt to that...something has to be done about our insurance rates because of kids with rich parents and peer pressure that allows them to ride one no matter how rich or experience they have until they pass a proficiency test. In most states like California you have a written test then you take the bike out for the examiner to do a series of tests on a blacktop...you fail and you get a temp license for a short period with restrictions attached, then you return...I think something like that should be in effect...just like me/or an 18 year old going out and buying or driving his parents $250,000 RV diesel RV pusher bus, or pulling a trailer. With shipboard experience I can park with ease yet I have friends that own small trailers that just can't back a water trailer into a spot and have to use a 25' hose to get the water to their sistern... I see, really what you are saying it is a violation of our priviledges, but ther are differences between rights and priveledges...we shouldn't have to pay higher insurance rates because of the lack of education of any riders qualifications...this is a great debate on freedom...and I would have disagreed a year or so ago, but it's just a financial issue for me to have to pay more for somebody elses lack of expeiience and education... I'm open to listening to ideas and even writing to my Congressman about how to improve the system...but something hsto be done before only the rich folks can afford to ride...
 

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RampRat said:
If it's true what you are saying then all 1000cc sport bikes & bigger should be banned from America as they are not safe & we all know it's our responsibility to protect the children.
Not sure if they changed it, but when I lived in Japan the largest bike that could be sold and owned was a 750. Everything else larger then that was made strictly for export. They make them, makes you wander why they don't use them. Don’t take it wrong, I have nothing against what size bike anyone owns, it’s there call. But sometimes it does get a little insane when a 16 year old gets a new ZX-12R and has never ridden a bike in his life. If his parents have never ridden either they have no idea what they are getting there kid into and someone besides the salesman who is just looking at the commission should the them they are morons!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
RampRat said:
Oh bullcrap. You can teach anybody to ride any bike made if it's done correctly.

If you tell me I can't buy (or should not) buy a bigger bike cuz I need to learn how to ride a smaller one I'll laugh in you're face. That's nothing more than a piss poor excuse.

If it's true what you are saying then all 1000cc sport bikes & bigger should be banned from America as they are not safe & we all know it's our responsibility to protect the children.


Hell, take it one step further & ban all crotch rockets, who needs to go 3-4 times faster than the legal speed limit anywhoo.
I will tell you that, and I will send flowers to your mother when you **** up on a 1 liter bike and kill yourself.

But as I've bolded, you hit that right on the mark, but you don't start with the most badass fastest bike in the world. You start with smaller bikes and move your way up.

I know I won't be able to change your mind, but you won't be able to change mine either.
 

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No Liability

If my parents were alive and they gave me a box of m-80's at the age of 8, or I was playing with matches and burnt a buildig down ther should be consequences for my actions and for my parents knowing that i was to imature to handle these items. Buying a liter bike for a child should be a VERY expensive insurance cost for the parents if they list their child as a partial driver...if they list the child as the primary driver the fees should almost prohibit the child from riding. The parents are or should be held accountable for the action of the child. If they do not list the child for the use of the bike to save on insurance then they should be sued and have to pay for every bit of damage...including the damage of loss of life to other individuals. The insurance commision HAS to get involved in this mess and quit raising rates for all of us safe riders...it is not fair or just for us to pay for someone elses mistakes...I say make the parents accountable...let the kid not have a car license only a bicycle license, and do community time as an EMT rider or somethig just as fair.
 

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Interesting. Freakin, that was a very well put together and thought out opinion. Obviously this is something that you feel very strongly about. I must say that I agree with you, for a number of reasons. Case in point, a casual friend of mine, who happens to be in his 30's, went out and bought a brand new R1. No riding experience, no MSF class. He bought it because his buddies all had one. After about two months of riding, a woman pulled out in front of him while he was cruising at about 45MPH. He came within inches of hitting that car, and needless to say it scared the S**T out of him. So much so that two years later it's still sitting in his garage. Is he mature? Yes. Was he exerienced? No. Should he have started out on a smaller bike? Who knows, but I think yes.

On the other hand, a neighbor (also in his 30's) decided after seeing me toying around on my bike that he was going to buy one, a 2000 ZR600, also his first bike. He's had it for about 2 months now and has put less than 200 miles on it. Why? He's waiting to take the MSF class. This doesn't mean that he won't wind up in the same situation, but at least he'll have the basic skills to better handle it.

One thing that people sometimes confuse are maturity and common sense. You can have one without the other, but they work best in tandem. I have the maturity to handle any bike made, but I also have the common sense not to go out a buy something that would be more than what my skill level is. And that doesn't even bring experience in to play.

Gentlemen (and ladies), why do we feel compelled to argue with someone because their opinion is different from ours? Freakin took the time to sensibly and articulately express his OPINION. Instead of trying to go toe-to-toe with him, I think we should all give him his props. *steps down off of soapbox*
 

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In Japan a 750 is faster than any 1000cc bike in the US. Japs are crazzy stupid when it comes to speed but the Americans are CC crazzy always thinking bigger is better. I've got color pictures around here someplace of a Yakazua biker who's bike came apart on him & his face was ground down flush with his ears.

I love it, the same guys that drive super fast, pull stunts on the highway (wheelies & such) think that a novice ridder need a small bike to start out with.

The irony & Hypocrisy is so thick here it's not funny.
 
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