Debate time!! - Sportbike Forum: Sportbike Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 88 (permalink) Old 04-11-2005, 11:19 AM Thread Starter
 
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Debate time!!

First of all I, I would like to say that the point of this post is not to start an arguement. It is solely for the benefit of newer riders.

Let me start with this quote:
"With a few notable exceptions, today's sportbikes are no longer the razor-edge focus, high-strung thoroughbreds they used to be. For the most part, ergonomics and overall street manners are palatable enough for everything from urban commuting to an overnight sport-tour." (Taken from Sport Rider BOTY article 2001)

That being said, why do you guys always say start small? After all, a crash at 50mph on a 600 4-cylinder is the same as a crash at 50mph on a 250. You can go into a turn too fast, or make some other mistake on any bike, no matter the size. I ride a GPz550 which 20 years ago was one of the baddest small bikes you could buy and I'm sure back then people where scared to start riding on one. Flash forward to 2005 and my bike is looked at as a good beginner bike with a predictable powerband and user friendly ergos.

You guys also make it sound like you have to have a physics degree to turn a motorcycle, which just doesn't seem truthful to me. You turn a motorcycle basically the same why you turn a bicycle. You get the feeling for it through practicing. You crash your bike, you get up, you think to yourself how that could have been avoided and you gain expereince. The same goes for motorcycles.

Also, no where on the major manufacturers websites does it say "this bike is not for beginners". After all in these days of silly lawsuits you'd think that the manufacturers would take responsibility for what they are providing to their customers and not leave it up to some salesperson who may not really even know how to ride.

I've also read the posts that say stuff like"well you didn't learn how to drive in a Lamborghini". Well, you could! They are no more difficult to operate than any other car. I've driven several different models of Ferarris, a Lotus Esprit Turbo and an XJ220. All cars with lots of power, but not any more difficult to control than a Ford Escort.

Basically I'm just wondering why it seems like you have to be some all powerful being to operate anything above 600cc.

P.S. Peace, don't bash me, it's a perception I have.
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post #2 of 88 (permalink) Old 04-11-2005, 11:31 AM
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I think a lot of it is driven by a very "the earth is flat" viewpoint. Most people I've gotten into this argument with don't seem to take into account our ability to adapt to current technology. I've even used the same argument you did about how the cutting edge race bikes of yesterday, who nobody at the time would have ever dared to learn on, would be spanked by a run of the mill 250 today. It was like talking to a doorknob, I never really did get any answers to that one.

I've basically given up on this argument, but I encourage you to take it head on if you're really interested. Perhaps you'll get farther than I did. For now I pretty much just say anything 600cc's and below is good to start on, and leave it at that. I don't bother posting my opinions on why. If someone wants to find that they can dig through the archives, I have no desire to rehash it over and over.

Good luck!

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post #3 of 88 (permalink) Old 04-11-2005, 11:47 AM
 
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lxer96, it's a numbers game. If 10 people who had never ridden went out and got new GSX-R 1000s, some would be alive a week later, and some would not. Since no one around here who gives advice wants riders to die, the general consensus seems to be start low.

That said, I think the whole "start on a 250" thing is BS. I also tend to think that learning on a race replica of any size, be it 600 or 1000 or 1300 is tempting fate. There's got to be something in the middle.

Your analogy about learning to drive in a Lamborghini is not apt. The Lamborghini has four wheels and to turn it all you have to do is turn the steering wheel.
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post #4 of 88 (permalink) Old 04-11-2005, 11:49 AM
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Since an opinion is formed on the basis of experience, literature and feedback, it seems to me you already have your answer. I'm one who disagrees with sh and you in some ways but won't leap again into the drawn out version.

If you've read the commentary on both sides, you have to make your own decision. If you think, for instance, a liter's cool, then do that. If you think nothing more than a 250cc is right, go that route.

As for your comment about there not being a warning on the manu's site, here's something I found on Suzuki's site under the GSXR600's Rider Safety link suggesting you're incorrect:
Quote:
The Suzuki GSX-Rs are engineered for experienced riders.

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post #5 of 88 (permalink) Old 04-11-2005, 12:52 PM
 
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If you lookat the "performance specs" of a liter biker vs a 600 sportbike, they aren't too diffierent. R6 can do roughly 166mph vs R1 @176mph. 1/4 mile times aren't even a sec. apart. So if you think bigger is better go for it. If you can't ride well, just pretend like you're to cool and fast to race the next punk lil kid who pulls up @ the light and wants to see what a liter bike can do. Why the overkill unless you can use it?

Advising people to start small, you think who help. But then there are whose who learn and think they can ride anything now. They upgrade to the bigger bike with less fear and respect for the bikes power and bam.... you get the picture.

Just as all bikes are a little different, so are the riders. We all learn at different rates, some pick it up faster than others. No matter what you ride enjoy it , think how bad it'll suck if you hit the ground.
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post #6 of 88 (permalink) Old 04-11-2005, 03:22 PM
 
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The problem with beginners on powerful bikes isn't the speed, its the fact that they are very unforgiving. Among the issues is that weight is transferred very quickly on a powerful bike.

We can debate this forever but the bottom line is that bad things happen much more quickly on a powerful bike and handling those bad things takes more skill. There is so much more to controlling a motorcycle than just turning your wrist or squeezing the brake lever.
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post #7 of 88 (permalink) Old 04-11-2005, 04:58 PM
 
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I opted against getting a smaller beginner bike and bought a used 2001 F4i and did fine. Some people I know wrecked in the first week. It's personal. Some people pick it up quick and some people don't.
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post #8 of 88 (permalink) Old 04-11-2005, 06:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Smoke Eater
The problem with beginners on powerful bikes isn't the speed, its the fact that they are very unforgiving. Among the issues is that weight is transferred very quickly on a powerful bike.

We can debate this forever but the bottom line is that bad things happen much more quickly on a powerful bike and handling those bad things takes more skill. There is so much more to controlling a motorcycle than just turning your wrist or squeezing the brake lever.
+1

My first bike, a '99 ZZR 250 , would do 160km/h - 100mph. That's a 40hp bike with a 185lb weight on it! However, it was very forgiving out of corners, because the power wasn't there to snap the back wheel out of line if I twisted the throttle a bit too far too early.


BTW, lxer96, we don't argue here. We are all civilised people who enjoy abusing each other.




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post #9 of 88 (permalink) Old 04-11-2005, 11:38 PM Thread Starter
 
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re:

Quote:
Your analogy about learning to drive in a Lamborghini is not apt. The Lamborghini has four wheels and to turn it all you have to do is turn the steering wheel.
I know. It wasn't my analogy. It's one I've read on this forum.

Quote:
The Suzuki GSX-Rs are engineered for experienced riders.
Yes, but it doesn't say "only experienced riders", nor does it say something like"Suzuki does not recommend beginners learn to ride on a GSX-R 600 or larger bike".

Quote:
The problem with beginners on powerful bikes isn't the speed, its the fact that they are very unforgiving. Among the issues is that weight is transferred very quickly on a powerful bike.
Please elaborate. Do you mean a lateral weight transfer or longitudal weight transfer and how does the transfer occur faster on a more powerful bike?

Quote:
BTW, lxer96, we don't argue here. We are all civilised people who enjoy abusing each other.
I like this forum, I just don't get the whole "start small" thing. Seems to me like it would be easier to learn on a peaky bike than something like a v-twin with grunt in the low end. At first your not going to be revving too high(I wouldn't at least) because you don't know what you can do. Wouldn't a "low peaking" engine break the tires loose easier during normal riding?
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post #10 of 88 (permalink) Old 04-12-2005, 05:50 AM
 
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Maybe someone with a pilot liscence can confirm this for me, but i suspect riding is closer to flying than driving. So you wouldnt want to learn how to fly in an F-22, you would start in a sescna (sp?).

I think there are two dangers to full size sportbikes (I dont recomend a modern 600 as a starter either. Early 90's 600s are one thing, modern ones are no less dangerous than a liter bike). One is the comfort lever. in my expirience, riders start to get comfy on their bikes after about 2 months. that doesnt mean they learned how to ride, but it does mean they arent scared anymore. So people start playing around. Twisting the throttle on something that will do a 0-60 in 2.5 sec in one gear can end up bad.

The unforgiving factor is a more powerfull argument. Modern sportbikes have very aggressive rake angles, little trail, short wheelbase, touchy brakes, and agressive tire profiles. All of these things make the bike more nimble, but sacrifice stability to do it.
Any modern 600 can flip over backwords from whacking the throttle open in 1st gear. Any modern bike will flip over forward if the rider gets on the front brake too hard (when he sees a small animal run out in front of him). Most have peaky power bands so the rider is likely to stall a bike 3-5 times before starting out, than frustrated, might just dump the clutch with abit too much power and flip it (happened to more people than I care to count).
Most bikes will lock the rear tire from just downshifting a gear. Engine braking alone is enough. New riders tend to be terrified of locked tires, and cant be expected to know how to handle a slide.
Than there are tankslappers coused by the bikes aggressive geometry. Its a phenomena that terrifies expiriences riders, since the bike will very quickly yank the bars from the riders hands and buck hard enough to couse the rider to loose their hold on the pegs too.
As for twins vs inlines, most twins have a wider more gentle powerbands. So while there is more power in the low end, it is easier to control, so a rider is less likely to sping the tire due to a sudden surge in acceleration that is not proportional to throttle change.
Than there is the expance factor. Everyone drops their first bike. EVERYONE. I've heard of modern supersports getting their frames bent from falling of the stand. they are that light.

But I dont think people necessarily need to start on a 250. In fact I dont recommend a 250 to most people unless they are really small. A 500, a large (750+) standart (not sport), an SV650 are all fine starter bikes.



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