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I've been riding for 6 months now on a 2002 Kawasaki Ninja 500R. I had researched what newbie bike I should purchase for months before settling on this bike. When I first walked into the dealership I honestly thought this bike is way too big, "maybe I'm biting off more than I can chew", but I always wanted to learn how to ride, so I stuck to my guns. My problem is this, I actually feel I have out grown the 500R and would like to upgrade. I have read in several forums about the bike creating complacency and overconfidence. I originally intended to purchase this starter bike and ride for 2-3 years and then upgrade to a 600cc, R6 or F4I. My problem is that I feel I've outgrown the bike and I'm feeling more of a bug to upgrade NOW! My question is this. When do you know that your skill is good enough to handle a more powerful bike, or am I being overconfident?
 

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I dont think there is a scientific way (ok a written document) as to when someone is ready to get a bigger bike. You may have to go with your gut feeling. You can also try to go to track and see how well you can push your ride in a safe environment. IMHO.
 

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All depends on the rider. The bike will only do what you tell it to, the difference (I've learned) between a good starter bike and a not-so-good starter bike is how willing to do what you tell it the bike is.

For example... cruise along in 3rd gear on an SV650s and "accidentally" whack it to wide open throttle. It burbles happily before starting a strong steady climb in speed and RPM. Cruise along in 3rd gear on a GSX-R600 and "accidentally" whack it to wide open throttle and you better be holding on and leaning forward or it's going to dump you on your bum.

I made the jump from an SV650s after 5 months to my GSX-R600 (that I just got last week, I'm going to go start a thread so you guys can flame me :p ). I love the bike to death, the power is so silky smooth. But it has surprised me already a few times, but I'm riding it so gingerly trying to be ready for all it's little surprises that the ones it has delivered haven't even ruffled my feathers.

The Gixxer isn't nearly so comfortable as my SV was and I miss that, but I've taken it on an hour and a half cruise (about as far as I'll ever go without resting) so I know it's doable for me. The Gixxer is light, even lighter than the SV was, and turns like a monster. I've already picked up where I left off on the SV and am slowly working on my riding skills.

I agree that moving early to a super sport bike, even a 600, is not for everyone. I had lots more to learn from the SV, I'm just glad I have the self control to continue learning where I left off rather than just become a straight-line-squid. ;)

Of course, that leads to why did I change bikes then? Because I love the sound and the look of the GSX-R's, and after riding one I fell in love with the silky smooth power delivery. I have no problems cruising mine around the city, even though everyone I pass tries to get me to wheelie. :rolleyes:

I tell them all the same thing... right now, I only do one trick. It's called... "Sticky side down, shiney side up". :twofinger
 

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I started out on an EX500 as well. I really loved the bike. It was great for to start on. I had planned on keeping it until it was at least paid off. Sure, my buddies on their 'busa's, R6's, F4i's, ect, could blow my doors off when we rode, but I learned a tremendous amount about riding with that bike. Well, wouldn't ya know it, fate had it's way with me (actually, a little old lady in a blue bonneville) and now I have an F4i. At first I was very skittish of the bike and the extra 100cc does make a difference, as does the fuel injection. But it didn't take long before I was WOT on the F4i. I've grown confident on the F4i, but I still respect it. I feel confident enough that I think I could upgrade to a 954, but why bother? I'd say keep that EX500 as long as you can. Learn as much as you can on it. It'll make you a much better rider in the long run. It may fall behind on the power factor, and maybe even a little in the agility department, but it is a fun bike. Not to mention, insurance is cheap as hell.
 
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