If you wont listen to the old time guard listen to someone who started on a 1k:
IT MAKES A BAD STARTER BIKE!!
So I was peer-pressured/arrogant enough to buy a 2002 Triumph Daytona 955i as a first bike! I am definitely still a newbie, and refuse to go ride with the guys still cause I know how hard they push. To put it in perspective, whenever I get off my bike my hands are shaking from how much adrenaline dumps, it would have definitely scared away the feint of heart by now. Only at about 1100 miles riding experience so far
I thought I would share some experiences for other people considering making a stupid decision:
1: Dropped after owning it for only about 4 weeks, I was pushing it up onto a trailer, not sitting on it but standing on the left side. When the front tire bumped the front of the (uphill) trailer where did the weight go?! UP and AWAY from me, and from the left side there is zero chance to stop the drop. I was lucky and there is very little damage, no hard parts were hurt\scratched just plastic, easy fix.
Lesson: Sit on your bike when loading so you can balance it and USE AN EXTRA PERSON TO HELP.
2: The steering even on a "mild" sports bike (most jap liter bike owners scoff at my tona) is VERY quick for a newb, it WILL throw you if your heavy handed. Oh yeah, head shake, read about it, be ready to experience it if you pin the throttle in low gears on a 1k.
Lesson: practice sub 30mph maneuvers so you dont wobble like a newborn calf when on city streets/parking lots.
3: The power, again even on a "mild" litter bike, is INSANE
Having owned a 400whp/2100lb car I thought I was used to fast... not so much, the bike is a WHOLE different level of fast.
Lesson: Learn throttle control but more importantly learn reaction time/distance and stopping time/distance, it IS farther than you think it is.
4: MSF... do it, BUT bear in mind there is a LOT they do not teach. For example, where do you put your weight during what maneuvers? They don't teach to lean forward during hard accel, they don't teach how to move your body prior to a high speed sweeper on a sports bike, they dont teach how to recover from said position, they dont even mention what head shake is or how to ride through it. Do not expect the MSF will make it "ok" to buy a big, powerful first bike.
Lesson: MSF teaches the BASICS, enough to get you on a bike to learn HOW t ride.
5: I mostly ride in a very controlled environment, on my military post 15mph over the limit is loss of license for 1 year. Running a stop sign is 45 days of hell plus you loose a over $1k in penalties. A cell phone in hand while driving will get you pulled over and your boss has to come get you from the MP station. That said, I have a very safe (comparatively) environment to learn to ride in vs public roads in the US.
6: Be ready for maintenance, no one ever explained to me/taught me that bikes take a lot more maintenance than cars do, even high performance custom build cars (like mine was). Be ready to learn how to do it on your own.
Bottom Line: Liter bikes (ANY) are BAD starter bikes not so much because of the power but the inate characteristics of a SS built to handle all that power, but are tremendous fun.