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Discussion Starter #1
Hey, I'm new to the world of Sportbikes, but have been interested in entering it since I was a child playing the popular computer game "Road Rash" haha.

Now I'm a student in University (majoring in philosophy, as some may have realized from the topic I'm wondering here.) I'm about to turn 19, and (not trying to be concieted or anytihng, I just think this is relevant info) pretty well built for my age.

I'm finally going to take the leap and get a sport bike, I've been looking around at some used ones and I'm down between an 86 Ninja, and a 91 Katana, I'm leaning toward the Katana.

Now to get to the subject itself, I have read over and over, not to start riding on a 600 unless you have some or a lot of experience riding, (this apparently includes dirtbikes, smaller sport bikes, etc..) but what about scooters? for the last 4-5 years I've owned a few scooters, some were capable of 90 KM/h (that's like 50 or so Mph I think?) and my most recent one weighed roughly 250 pounds.

So what I'm wondering is, after all my experience on scooters, would a 600 be a reasonable step up? I understand throttle control, I know how to lean, I'm under the immpression my biggest challenge will be getting used to the weight and power; yes that is a broad challenge I agree, but I'm confident I can adapt to it, I'm not a fool when it comes to riding either, I don't plan on breaking sound barriers with this, I just want something with enough power to have fun on, and I've always been attracted to 600cc sport bikes haha.

So is my logic right here? would scooters fit under the category of experience?

Thanks.

-Jmart
 

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Yes, in much the same way that go-karts prepare you to drive a Bugatti Veyron. You know the basics. But it's not the basics that kill people. It's the crazy unpredictability.

That's my normal opinion. In your case, you aren't looking at a brand new R6 or something crazy like that. I don't think it's at all unrealistic to say that you should be fine, as long as you stick with one of the bikes you listed and take it slow.
 

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Strength and Honor
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Those are ok in my book.
 

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Yes, you should be fine on an older 600 like that, since they make about the same amount of power as the current crop of approved beginner bikes such as the Ninja 650R and Suzuki SV-650.

And yes, I think the scooter experience will definitely help.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
That's great to know, I'm glad I wasn't totally off like i feared I was haha. Also just for a side note, I'm taking the local training course so I can be as safe as a new rider can be out on the roads.

Thanks for the replies.
 

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Starter Bike

I would suggest the 600 Katana as a good starter bike. The Ninja might be a bit much for a first bike. Regardless considering the years of the bikes I would suggest you have someone (mechanic) check over the bike before you buy. It can be very discouraging to jump in and find out you have purchased an unreliable "money-pit". Don't get me wrong they are both good bikes but any older bike that has not been properly maintained can be a nigtmare for the rookie maintainer.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I would suggest the 600 Katana as a good starter bike. The Ninja might be a bit much for a first bike. Regardless considering the years of the bikes I would suggest you have someone (mechanic) check over the bike before you buy. It can be very discouraging to jump in and find out you have purchased an unreliable "money-pit". Don't get me wrong they are both good bikes but any older bike that has not been properly maintained can be a nigtmare for the rookie maintainer.
Thanks for the advice; I already have this part covered as well :D I have two good friends, both of them are motorcycle mechanics, one specializes in customizing bikes, and I'll be "using" him for those abilities I think haha, I can get any paint job done for the price of the paint, and he's agreed to help "show me the ropes" of bike's, I don't want to go into riding un-educated so this I'm hoping will really pay off.

All-in-all, I'm really looking more at the Katana, it has less Km's apparently, and I find it more attractive to the eye.

I'm going to look at it this weekend so I'll keep you guys updated.

Thanks.

-Jmart
 

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Strength and Honor
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That's great to know, I'm glad I wasn't totally off like i feared I was haha. Also just for a side note, I'm taking the local training course so I can be as safe as a new rider can be out on the roads.

Thanks for the replies.
I think most people would argue that the very best upgrades that can be done for riding is training. That includes MSF courses, Abate classes, track days, even drag strip work can teach you things about your bike in a controlled environment that can be useful.
 

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Hate to revive an old thread (fairly recent on the list though) but scooters don't count. They don't have a clutch so the little craps don't count toward biking experience :p

I know it's gonna be never ending with newbs asking, more like seeking peer approval, if a bigger bike is ok for a first bike but my question for all of them is "Why do you, out of all the bikes out there, feel that you need or have to have the big bike?"
 

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Cat, you're right in that the scooter doesn't have a clutch, but it's fair to take accept that scooter riders and bikers face similar dangers on the road. The fact that he's been on the road for a few years already, I think, should account for something.

An older 600 should be okay to start on. If he comes back, though, and says that he's changed his mind and decided to buy a NEW 600, then he's a douche bag.
 

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Cat, you're right in that the scooter doesn't have a clutch, but it's fair to take accept that scooter riders and bikers face similar dangers on the road. The fact that he's been on the road for a few years already, I think, should account for something.

An older 600 should be okay to start on. If he comes back, though, and says that he's changed his mind and decided to buy a NEW 600, then he's a douche bag.
Your right, his years on the road amount to, on a scooter he did pretty good at staying alive. Throwing a clutch combined with a big engine and big bike into the mix is a whole new ball game. Kind of like a 4-wheeler who's only driven an automatic trans compact car who wants to step up to a big rig truck, their previous experience doesn't carry any "experience" points over to the big rig even though they both will be driven on the same roads.

I'm sure it doesn't matter now but an older 600 nowadays can be a 2004 CBR600RR to some unknowing kid and even though it's 599cc and 5 years old I wouldn't say it's a beginner bike. Even older 600's I'm not quick to recommend because not all 600's are alike and not all are wise for beginners.

I do believe as an experienced scooter rider he has adequate knowledge of traffic to keep himself out of trouble for the most part. But like my compact car to big rig truck analogy, it's a whole different ball game in my opinion.
 
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