May I ask this again..... - Sportbike Forum: Sportbike Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 29 (permalink) Old 10-23-2001, 10:45 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2001
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May I ask this again.....

I would first of all like to thank everyone that posted replies to my last thread "First Sport Bike (2?)"

However, The question that I wanted answered the most wasn't even answered once. There has to be somebody, so here it is again.....

How many of you started off on a 900 or bigger Sport Bike, and if you you feel that you made a mistake?
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post #2 of 29 (permalink) Old 10-23-2001, 11:15 AM
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Finding riders that started on a big bike will not be hard, but finding one that'll admit it was a bad idea will be!
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post #3 of 29 (permalink) Old 10-23-2001, 12:05 PM
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Originally posted by Tristan
Finding riders that started on a big bike will not be hard, but finding one that'll admit it was a bad idea will be!
That's true.

For those who won't admit it, let me say this. My observations of the few (10 or so) I know who did is that they have had multiple wrecks in a relatively short period of time. Most got away with it with little more than some road rash and/or some relatively minor broken bones. This soured about half of them on riding at all, so they quit. One on a 750 hit a car and spent the better part of a year getting operations and in rehab. His one leg won't ever be completely O.K. but his limp is hardly noticeable. He now has an R-1 and one year later has wrecked it about four more times that I'm aware of but solo, two of them losing wheelies and two from overpowering the rear wheel in a slow corner. He will explain to you how "you couldn't do anything about it" (1 cold tires and 2, raining). Another one on a 'Busa dismembered himself and took out his inexperienced buddy on a 929 while doing it. The buddy spent 6 weeks in the hospital and about six months recovering as much as he will, while the dismembered one wasn't NEARLY as lucky. Nice service though.

In the next category, much larger, is those who had a 600 or so and "outgrew" it in a few months or a year, with 3000 or fewer miles experience. That group wrecks pretty good. too.

Now that I think about it, I don't know one person who started on a 600 or better that hasn't had some kind of accident, however minor. I can think of only two people who started on smaller bikes who haven't wrecked ever. One was on a 350 Honda back in the early '70's. He put 13,000 miles on it in one year and then moved up to a 750 Honda (about 50 HP vs. about 95 HP for most new 600's). He quit riding after about one more year due to an overbearing woman that he married and later divorced. The other one was my sister who started on a 175 back then. She still rides about 30 years later but was never too crazy.

Myself, 32 years now, haven't wrecked in about 28 years. I didn't wreck my first bike, but did my 750 Honda. That's the bike that I really searched for the limits on... and found... about 7 times.

My daughter just started this past summer on an EX-500. After about 1500 miles she had her first minor crash. Due to proper gear, she received only a very minor bruise on her leg, bike about $3000.00 damage.

Is that enough? I CAN keep going!

BTW, the EX-500 should be on your short list of good starter bikes.

Keeping the "Hap" in "Happy Holidays"!

Regime change begins at home.

Blind patriotism is worse than no patriotism.

Last edited by Dad; 10-23-2001 at 12:41 PM.
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post #4 of 29 (permalink) Old 10-23-2001, 12:25 PM
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My last motorcycle was a VF500 Interceptor, which I bought in 1986 & sold in 1989.

I rode motorcycles only on and off from 1990 to 1997 but never owned one.

In 1997, I bought a ZX11D. That's 8 years without a bike.

Was I sorry? Was the ZX11 too much bike for me?

Well, I'm still here. The worst thing that happened was I dropped the ZX11, after only 3 months, going up my driveway at walking speeds. I didn't wheelie to death. I didn't accelerate out of control. Not once did I ever feel that the ZX11 was "too much bike" for me. It was as docile as a kitten when ridden as such. A total monster when there's a monster behind the bars.

Analyzing my abilities at the time:

I sucked in the twisties. So I stayed away until I felt comfortable enough riding in the turns.

I exercised self control. Judicious self control.

I gradually worked my way along the throttle. As I gained experience, I twisted more throttle.

It took me the better part of a year until I felt confident enough to ride the ZX11 in all modes and types of roads. However, it took another year for me to be able to reach the limits of the ZX11's handling and power.

Do I feel like I made a mistake? In, cause I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. The first time I took the bike home, from the minute I started the engine all the way to my driveway, I felt confident. My skills were all still there. However, I never tried anything beyond what I felt comfortable with.

You however, might be different 'cause you have NEVER ridden a streetbike in any length of time. I do believe that if you have the skills, all you're missing is the experience. To gain experience, you must ride. But ride within your limitations. Only YOU will know where those limits lie. If you're set on getting a CBR900RR, but you're having doubts, perhaps you should re-consider. But if you feel confident that you can control the bike and yourself, go for it.
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post #5 of 29 (permalink) Old 10-23-2001, 02:09 PM
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I think rogue is right.

My first bike was a 10 year old CB900F six weeks after taking the MSF course on a whim (it's free in Illinois, just took it for fun with no intent to buy). Not exactly a rocket by todays standards of power but still....... What I started out with was an understanding that I was new and the bike was big for a beginner. I.E. respect and patience to not use all of the throttle. Along these lines was a good piece of advice from dad, "choose where you're going to be stupid carefully."

Think before you twist and you could be fine. I could make a gixxer 1000 power like a gs 500 by simply turning the throttle no more than 1/3

Old bikes increased in weight along with power and thus heft was an issue for a beginner. Today the difference in weight between a gixxer/yzf 600 to 1000 in weight is minimal and you get at least as good a suspension if not better. If you're not blind to the fact that you have a lot to learn and a single moment of indiscretion could get you dead quick you could do fine.

The fact that you were concerned enough to search out reasoned and experienced opinions (to bad all you got was us) tells me you get the seriousness of biting off such a big bite so to speak. Don't choke.
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post #6 of 29 (permalink) Old 10-23-2001, 02:41 PM
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I started out on an R1 and haven't been riding for very long, however I do not feel it was the wrong decision. One thing I noticed after acclimating myself to my bike and trying a friend's 600 was that the throttle on my R1 is much more sensitive than on his bike. I can't ride my bike to it's full potential yet, but since I learned to ride on the street on this bike I also won't punch the gas out of habit either. Everyone is different, but I would rather start with the equipment that will last me years rather than start small and build up to it.
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post #7 of 29 (permalink) Old 10-23-2001, 03:19 PM
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Originally posted by Rogue_Biker
However, it took another year for me to be able to reach the limits of the ZX11's handling and power.
Originally posted by Rio
I can't ride my bike to it's full potential yet
I don't have the experience on my own to make this comment so I'll draw on the experience of those I've been priviledged to meet and talk with and from what I've read. Aside from a select few, todays litre bikes are so powerful that rarely is their a person who can ride the bike to its limitations. Motorcycles in general have increased exponentially in power, design, handling, mechanics, electrical systems... etc over the last 20 years or so. These bikes are so monstrous, that it is near impossible for a human to ride them to their fullest potential.
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post #8 of 29 (permalink) Old 10-23-2001, 08:46 PM
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Bear with me as this is boring but I'd like you to know what a new rider has to go through here before he/she can get a "big" bike.
Option 1: Age over 21/ Direct access test on bike with 46.6 bhp or more.
1. Do compulsorybasic training (CBT).
2. Ride a 125cc bike on "L" plates or a bigger bike WHILE accompanied with approved instructor on another bike.
3. Pass your theory test.
4. Take the practical test on bike with 46.6 bhp or more.
5. A pass allows you to ride any bike.

There are 2 other options dealing with people under the age of 21 which basically only allows those to ride a bike which is restricted to 33 bhp for 2 years before giving them an "unrestricted" licence. This means that someone between the ages of 17 to 21 can go out and buy a Hayabusa which WILL be restricted to 33 bhp for 2 years. That's of course if they could get insurance for it. Highly unlikely !

Think yourself lucky that you have the choice to buy what you want. But whatever your decision, take a roadcraft course of some discription and enjoy yourself.
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post #9 of 29 (permalink) Old 10-23-2001, 11:29 PM
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Dude, it all boils down to this and you can nuke any question, theory or point of view to death if you'd like........getting a bigger bike will only be as uncontrolable as you let it be. Bigger bikes are more expensive, whether we are talking insurance or MSRP......the question I quess is this, and it is only something you can answer as a individual.....are you a mature rider? If you think that you can handle the situations a bigger bike will put you in as a rider....enjoy.....if not, then why are we still talking about this? Good Luck
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post #10 of 29 (permalink) Old 10-24-2001, 02:29 AM
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First bike a litre bike?

I admit that my first bike was a RF900. Big bore bike. Detuned GSXR1100 motor. Plenty of power, though I respected it. Was it a mistake?? Nope. At the time I wanted a bike that could carry a passenger without a problem in handling or performance. No 600 carry's a passenger and retains its performance.

A couple phoenix people might say that a guy on an R6 (can't recall his name) came past me with his girl on the bike, but I attest that it wasn't a race and he was way over his head thinking that the bike still handled the same.

Anyway, respect the bike whether its 33hp or 133hp. The consequences are the same for mistakes.

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