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Discussion Starter #1
This was posted originally by QuantumDuck.

So you want a sportbike huh? Before you go asking what bike is right for you, you should ask yourself a few questions first. Questions like,'Why?'. Why do you want a sportbike?
Because they are powerful? Because every single one of them out there on the market is beautiful as hell? Because all your buddies are getting them? If you have no or limited motorcycle experience and are considering a sportbike, consider a few other things first. First of all, it is my opinion that any modern 600cc sportbike is NOT an entry level vehicle. I base my opinion on everything I have read about them for the past 15 years. A few years ago a motojournalist took a stock Honda CBR600, used RTV silicone and a piece of plexiglass to make a bellypan, and raced it the Daytona 200. We are talking about a stock motorcycle in what is arguably the most prestiguous race in the United States. He placed 26th. Not the best finish in the race,but certainly not last place. Yes there was 25 riders ahead of him, but there was also a good number of riders BEHIND him, and keep in mind his was a completly stock motorcycles against fully preped race bikes. That should show you the performance potential of 'just' a 600cc sportbike.
You can look at almost any manufacturer specific forum on the website and read about someone who has just recently downed their bike. Thankfully the vast majority of them are about how they walked away. A few however are done posthumously. When someone comes in asks about wanting to get a bike, a first bike, and talks about all the different makes and models of the latest sportbikes, the overwhelming response in always the same. Don't get a modern 600cc sportbike for you first bike. We are not telling you not to get what you want. We are not trying to be your parents. We are not trying to tell you how to live you life. We are simply giving advice. Advice that some of us have learned the hard way, some of us have unfortunatly learned it through the loss of people we care about.
The majority of men and women that frequent this website like to see new riders. It means that the sport we love is growing. But sportbike riding is still just that, a sport. And like all other sports there is a certain level of skills and knowledge that need to be attained before a person can truely enjoy the sport and themselves while doing it. If you have never surfed before, you wouldn't dream of going out and buying a surfboard and paddling out into the 50ft waves of a storm in Hawaii would you? If you have never been on a skateboard you go and buy one at the local skate shop and head over to the skate park and drop in on the 12ft halfpipe with 2 feet of vert? The same can be said about inline skates, mountainbikes, even running shoes and so many other pieces of sports equipment. Just because the equipment is readily available does not mean that you are ready to use it.
There is basicaly one main reason for the majority of us to tell you start with an older, smaller bike. We all love our sport. For me,it has been a lifelong passion. We all want to see our sport grow. The key word is grow. Start small, lay a good foundation and grow. So what if you spend a year or so on a bike that isn't as flashy or shiny as that brand new sportbike in the window. This isn't about what you ride, it's about the RIDE. It's about being around in this sport long enough to get skills required to handle that sportbike.
I don't beleive that there is a single member of this community that will tell you to get out if you say your new and just got an LTD 440 or Honda Rebel 450 or any 250cc streetbike that has ever been manufactured.
Take a good look around these forums, there are a lot of very good people here. I could not begin to figure out how many hundreds of years of accumulated knowledge, skills, experience, and yes even humor that there is here. Please, I implore you, use the wealth of information and advice that is available to you here. We all want you to help us in making our sport grow stronger.

-QuantumDuck

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Well I have some stuff to add to this topic.

First thing, NO ONE "outgrows" a motorcycle. I hear that phrase alot lately. Example, "Dont get a 500 you'll outgrow it in a month" or "just get the R6 instead of the 600R. Why buy a bike when you'll outgrow it in a month or two". Thats just BS.

Secondly. If you're a big guy/gal dont think just because its a 250-500 (or even a 600) that it cant handle your weight. It can. We had a 250lb guy on a EX250 here and he had a lot of fun on that bike. New 600's are putting over 100HP now. If still not convinced, think of this. Ever see a fat couple on a HD? You know the 300lb guy and 200lb wife/gf? Total weight around 1200lbs and the HD only has 50-60hp and will push them along at a pretty good clip. A 50-60HP bike is more than enough for a new rider to ride for a year or two.

Lastly. TAKE THE MSF COURSE!!! Even though I never did, wish they would've had it here when I learned (was cancelled repeatedly for 3 yrs here), its should be a MUST DO for new riders. Also learn the basics and master them BEFORE trying to push the bike a bit. And even then, push your limits SLOWLY.



YZFRob

97 YZF750R7
93 CBRF2 sponsored by TrickTape
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank QuantumDuck. It was here before, but got shuffled way down and eventually deleted.

YZFRob

97 YZF750R7
93 CBRF2 sponsored by TrickTape
 

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Thank you so much for your time in writing out this letter to newbies... I gave a copy of this to my brother and it sunk in coming from someone else other than me. I owe you one.

~Andy



Don't BRAKE till you see the whites of their eyes, oh yeah remind me which is the brake lever again
 

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Very good letter.
I hope people listen to it. It puts the thoughts
of some of the veterns here in plain english.
Hope it helps some people with their decisions.



"I wanna be a Kawboy baby... with the throttle rolled back and the front wheel flyin'..."
 
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"First thing, NO ONE "outgrows" a motorcycle."

Very true! I had a Ninja250 for my first bike. I had it for one year (over 6000 miles) before I moved up to an R6. I was ready for a 600, but at the same time I was still not yet riding that 250 to it's limits. I could probably have kept that bike for another full year and still wouldn't have "outgrown" the bike.

 

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I dunno that I necessarily agree that any certain size or style motorcycle is "too much" for new riders... someone else pointed out that a lot of it depends on the rider. Yes, I agree with everyone about dropping the first bike... chances are you will have a parking-lot "oops" and smash up some mirrors, signal lights, and also plastic if so equipped... so what? If you can afford to buy that xyz-916 with the sexy carbon-fiber bodywork, you can afford to replace it a few times, right? The thing that bothers me about this whole thread is more implied than stated. Small bikes are less-intimidating than big bikes, but small bikes can still get a rider in over his/her head. If you get a 500 or 250, does that magic number mean that you won't do something stupid and highside yourself into a hospital? No, it does not. Back when I was roadracing, the worst I *ever* hurt myself was in the paddock, on a stinkin' little pocket-bike, doin' wheelies in a T-shirt... I was picking gravel outta my back for hours, and don't you believe that that rash felt oh-so-pleasant the next day inside my sweaty leathers... other things I've observed at the track include a newbie rider, on a brand-new `88 model gsxr 1100 winning his rider's school "mock race" (he paid attention and showed a lot of willingness to listen, learn, and he stayed within *his* limits rather than worrying about what the bike's limits were). That same weekend, in the same practice race, I watched a street-rider (who was on the racetrack for the first time) take an rz-350 out on the grid, wound the thing up to about 10,000RPMs and dumped the clutch when the green flag fell... he got up and ran after the bike after it launched itself forward on one wheel for about 50' and then fell over. The size/price of the bike is not nearly so important as the state-of-tune of the nut twisting the throttle open... you *can* get in over your head on a small bike, or you *can* learn on a big, powerful machine and not get hurt. Yes, the faster the bike, the faster things can happen... yes, it *sucks* to see a newbie splatter bodywork and break clutch levers in gravel parking-lots... but don't let the numbers-game fool you... *all* motorcycles can be dangerous or potentially deadly... if you're looking for a size bike that will garuntee your safety, do yourself a favor and go buy a new couch instead... and lastly... The MSF course is probably the absolute BEST way to learn to ride... I didn't learn that way, but I *did* take one of those courses back in the `80's when they first became widely available in the area I was living in, and guess what? I stopped falling on my head! (and saved countless hundreds of dollars from not having to replace clutch levers and mirrors) :) It's your money, and your hide... go sit on the bikes, shoot the breeze with the salesdoods, and get what you feel comfy with... don't let anyone give you any crap about "that bike's too big for you".... and *please* don't fool yourself into thinking that you don't need training and restraint just because you buy a "small" 250.

 

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I learned how to ride off road, on a "dual purpose" bike, and IMO that is the best way to learn, because the speeds are lower, you encounter WILDLY varying terrain, and there's no traffic to look out for. Plus you'll really learn about machine control. It's also a LOAD of fun!

<font color=blue>That's not a <font color=red> THREAT, <font color=blue>it's a <font color=red>PROMISE!!/images/icons/mad.gif
 

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That was awsome and inspiring. Thanks for taking the time to type that. Very well said.

-i
 

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deathv_69...QD is still around and lurking alot..two jobs and starting my own business has taken WAY too much time away from Esportbike!


Rob...Thanks for posting that...I had a computer crash of my own and the only place I knew it was saved for sure was here..and then it went down/images/icons/frown.gif...I was just getting to ready to ask if anyone had saved it /images/icons/laugh.gif...Thanks...

Catsis...I agree wholeheartedly with what you are saying...The rider is the ultimate deciding factor in how a bike is riden...and this topic has been debated over and over and probably will be debated some more...I understand that on the track is one thing...but on the street is also another thing...I just can't bring myself to say to someone,to say to anyone, that a bike that has enough power to propel you forward 10 miles an hour in less time than it takes to sneeze is a good choice for a new rider...

At the time I wrote that, there was rash of crashes...one was a teenage guy that had come in asking for advice on getting his first bike...he had stated he wanted an R6...98% of the responses were that he not start out on an R6...he got it anyways, and he was dead within a month or two...what a waste...Would he have been just as dead if he had died on a 250? Without a doubt, he would be just as dead...Would he have been doing the same things with 40-45 hp on tap instead of 100 hp?...maybe, maybe not...

Lets face it, I look at a sportbike, ANY sportbike and I see something exotic...they are around, but not in really large enough numbers to call them commonplace...the curves, the angles, the sound, the power...They are intoxicating...find a cage that fits thats bill and you are looking at something that costs over $100,000...you can get all that in a motorcycle for around $10,000 brand new...who in thier right mind wouldn't get excited over that?...I just don't think that the majority of people who have never riden a bike can comprehend what it takes to ride a modern sportbike...I have a cage that has less hp that ANY 600 put out in the last 4 years (please don't laugh at that too hard/images/icons/wink.gif)...I know a few people who have started out to learn how to ride on sportbikes and they are doing fine...but they are by far not the majority...wow....am I rambling or what? /images/icons/smile.gif

 
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