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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-26-2004, 10:46 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 1
right or wrong?

Hello everyone,
I have a question for all the ladies. i have been on several other female rider forums and i see a mixed reaction to new riders wanting to start on an r6 type bike. on the womens forum there were several responses saying they had started on an r6 and wouldnt change a thing...they love it. then i hit the forums that are mostly men. when someone writes in an says "hey man, i want an r6, do you think this is a good bike to start on" out come the "break out the casket" comments. do you feel that women have a different approach to riding thus enabling us to do better at the start or are these women just lucky nothing has happened.....yet?! thanks for the imput
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-26-2004, 12:03 PM
Join Date: Jun 2002
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My thinking (as a man) is that a woman novice on an R6 would do better than a male novice on an R6.

Men are more likely to let their egos rule their lives, so as soon as someone says "that's only a 600, man", the male novice will whack the throttle to prove how much of a man he is. (Thus the "bring out the casket" comments)

If the woman has a "I'm gonna prove to those guys that I can ride just as good as them" type of attitude, I'd also be against an R6 as a first bike.

If you are willing to learn and listen to more experienced riders, and not out to prove something, you would be o.k. on an R6.
Just keep the revs down till you know what you're doing.
sinister988 is offline  
post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-26-2004, 01:40 PM
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I would totally agree with the basic premise that guys are, on average, worse off due to the testosterone, but would still suggest that you can learn better riding skills, faster, on a smaller bike. That's true for men or women. The lack of aggressiveness, assuming it exists, might help with basic survival from accidents caused by pure stupidity but it won't help with the learning curve to become a really good rider. That's acquired skill. Those skills defy most basic human instincts and reactions and are more easily learned on something a little less powerful. That's the part that too many non-riders, or inexperienced riders who only think they know what they're doing, male or female, don't grasp.

It's understandable that they don't understand as there is no built in point of reference in the normal human experience or inate human skills. That is very evident when reading the posts and arguements that go back and forth between experienced riders who have truly become quite skilled, and novices.

At the level of riding that starts at track days and up to the fastest racers, I am yet to hear anybody suggest that what they do with a bike has anything to do with "balls", but is all acquired skills. When they are doing what they do so well, it may be intense due to extreme focus, but is never just a guess nor is it truly terrifying scary. It is all consciously timed and executed moves to do exactly what they feel the bike will do and quick, often subtle, reactions to feedback from the bike as it moves along. If it were anything else, they'd crash, and when they get overwhelmed they do crash too, just like the mere mortals. Those are acquired skills, not natural. They are best acquired on a forgiving machine.

I'm not trying to suggest that all riders need to be racers. After all, even the fastest racers didn't do that the first time they sat on a bike. The point is, the more skills you've got, the safer you are. You'll acquire those skills faster on a more forgiving bike. A couple of years and 10,000 miles or so experience on a smaller bike will set you up to better handle a 600. It will not have you mastering the situation but hopefully enough to keep you safer as you continue building your skillset.

Many of the accidents on bikes that are not caused by sheer stupidity or lack of defensive driving skills, are caused by lack of braking skills, lack of cornering skills, lack of proper throttle control, and the always present "gravel.... nothing I could do". Being a rider for 35 years or so at about 20,000 miles a year, riding the same roads everyone else is riding on, last time to dump a bike being around 1976, I'll tell you there IS something you can do, and that's work on your skills on a bike that's forgiving. (If you do the arithmetic, you'll notice that 2004 - 1976 does not = 35) As the skill level goes up, the ability to deal properly with the additional power also goes up. If you're dealing with the additional power as you're trying to acquire the other skills, your learning curve is dramatically hindered by the addition of that one more BIG disadvantage, a hard to control throttle. Again, even the racers crash sometimes, when they've gone beyond their abilities.

I know this can be hard to grasp for many. I didn't understand when I started either. You'll have to take it on blind faith and trust that it's the proper advice most often given by truly experienced riders. Good luck.

Keeping the "Hap" in "Happy Holidays"!

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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-26-2004, 02:23 PM
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 145
Woooooo, great question.

I agree with the whole ego thing as well. But I admit to a little bout of over-confidence here and there that required a close call to keep the attitude in check. I regret nothing in having started out on a Ninja 250 (brand new so I was extra careful not to put a single scratch on it!)

Less than 10 months after getting the 250 I was way overdue for a change. I outgrew the little Ninja that once could a little faster because of frustration on the highway. 100 miles a day on that thing drove me mad. And numb! I put almost 8000 miles on that bike by the time I sold it a month ago. I bought a ZX6R and the transition from 250 to 600 was just awesome. I felt more confident in turns (better tyre), more secure on the highway (no snakiness when hitting road grooves) and much less vibration (okay maybe I miss that... kidding.)

I wonder a lot about how I would have reacted to the 600 first. I have never dropped a bike in the near year I have been riding and don't pull stupid crap other than the occasional twistie party with my riding group and a private wheelie every now and again. I don't think I would have learned as much about handling without the 250 as I can take turns so smoothly now that I can only attribute it to the amount of caution I used with the harder rubber, skinny minnie tyres of the 250. I am a lot bolder with the new bike. I think I would have been intimidated by a ZX6R right off the bat. The weight alone terrified me. I can't even lft a computer tower!
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-13-2004, 11:56 PM
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 2
Gotta agree with AZDaisy. My first bike was a Ninja 250. I rode the crap outta that bike for approx 11 months. It was extremely forgiving, very little torque on the low end (which allows for throttle errors), very light and maneuverable, which makes it great for newbies in slow, high traffic areas. After gaining some experience on that bike, I moved up to a Ducati M750. And I can say, I'm glad I took it in steps, cause if I would of started with the Ducati, I probably would of hurt myself, badly.

When it comes to bikes, you gotta walk before you can run. Making mistakes only become more pronounced, the bigger the bike.

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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-16-2004, 08:50 PM
Join Date: May 2004
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