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Old 07-17-2004, 06:38 AM   #3
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A little more additive from other experts:


Getting ANY 600cc for a first bike is a bad idea that may also be an expensive form of suicide. Even worse is getting a BRAND NEW 600cc bike. Here are a few reasons why.

1. Knowledge of Subject Matter

Right now your at the most basic beginners period, the very start of the learning curve (i.e. you arenít even aware of what is that you don't know). A personal example of this is when I started taking Shotokan Karate. On the first day of class I didnít even know what ďinside-blockĒ was, let alone how to do it with correct form. After I learned a bit, then I could start to realize how bad my form was and begin the process of improving it. I had to become AWARE that inside-blocks even existed before I could realize that I couldnít do them correctly. This is to say that it takes knowledge OF something to be able to understand how something works, functions, performs, etc. Having NO motorcycle experience, youíre not even aware of the power, mistakes, handling, shifting, turning dynamics etc. of any bike, let alone a sport bike. In the process of moving through the learning curve you begin to amass all this new informationÖyou also make a ton of mistakes.

2. The Learning Curve

When youíre learning to do something, you make mistakes. Without them the learning process is impossible. Making mistakes on a sport bike can be fatal. The thing newbies need to learn above anything else is smooth throttle control and proper speed & lean going into turns. On a 600cc bike, a mistake with throttle control or a turn can cost you your life before even knew what happened. A bike that is less forgiving of mistakes (ninja ex 250, 500, or an OLDER 600cc bike) is far safer to learn on.
Ask yourself this question; in which manner would you rather learn to walk on tightropes A) with a 4x4 board that is 2 feet off the ground B) with a wire that is 20 feet off the ground? Most sensible people would choose ďAĒ. The reason why is obvious. Unfortunally safety concerns with a first motorcycle arenít as apparent as they are in the example above. However, the wrong choice of what equipment to learn on can be just as deadlyÖregardless of how safe, careful, and level-headed you are.

3. Iíll be Safe, Responsible, And Level-Headed While Learning".

Sorry, but that excuse doesnít cut it. To be safe you also need SKILL (throttle control, speed, leaning, etc). Skill comes ONLY with experience. To gain that experience you must ride your bike in real traffic, with real cars, and real dangers. Before skills are developed which can foster safe riding, you need a bike that can mirror the level of safety that youíre currently at, not a cutting edge race bike that will throw you off the first chance it has.
Imagine someone saying, "I want to learn to juggle, but Iím going to start by learning with chainsaws. But donít worry, Iíll go slow, be careful, and stay level-headed while Iím learning". Like the tightrope example above, the answer here is isnít hard to see. Be careful all you want, go as slow as you want, be as cautious as you wantÖyour still juggling chainsaws! Without a foundation in place of HOW to juggle there is only a small level of safety you can aspire towards. As such, itís better to learn the skills of juggling with tennis balls first. The same holds true for learning to ride a motorcycle.

4. I Donít Want A Bike Iíll Outgrow'

Please. Did your Momma put you in size 9 shoes at age 2? Get with the program.

5. Cost (ďI donít want to waste money on a bike Iíll only have for a short period of timeĒ)

Smaller bikes have good resale value, because other (smart) people will want them as learner bikes. Youíll prolly be able to sell a used learner bike for as much as you paid for it.
If you drop your brand new bike that is fresh off the showroom floor while your learning (and you will), you've just broken a directional, perhaps a brake / clutch lever, cracked / scrapped the fairings ($300.00 each to replace), fucked up the bar ends, etc. It's better and cheaper to drop a shit bike that you donít care about than one you just spent 8k on. Most newbies drop bikes going under 20MPH, when the bike is at its most unstable periods. They often only donít result in physical injury, just a big dent in your pride andÖ.

6. EGO

Worried about looking like tool on a smaller bike? Well, you'll look even more like a tool with a brand new, but fucked-up, 2004 bike (or a new bike that you canít get out 1st gear without stalling 15 times). Any real rider would give you props for going about learning to ride the *correct* way (i.e. on a learner bike). If youíre stressed about impressing someone with a ďcoolĒ bike, or embarrassed about being on small bike then your not mature enough to handle the responsibility of a motorcycle. Try a moped. After you've grown up revisit the idea of a motorcycle.

6. "Donít ask advice if you don't want to hear the answers".

A common pattern:
1) Person X asks for advice on a 1st bike (wanting to hear certain answers)
2) Experienced riderís advice against a 600cc bike for a first ride (this isnít what Person X wanted to hear).
3) Person X thinks, "Others fuck up while learning, but that wont happen to me" (as if they are invincible, hold superpowers, have a Ďlevel headí, etc).
4) Experienced riders explain why a Ďlevel headí isnít enough.
5) Person X makes up excuses as to why veterans riders ďdonít understand why Iíd be able to handle a 600cc bike whole others canítĒ.
6) Person X as a total newbie, who couldn't even tell you what a shift pattern is, by some grace of God now understands what the best bike to buy is and totally disregards all the advice he asked for in the first place (which brings us right back to the very first point I made about knowledge).

Iím not trying to be harsh, Iím being real. Look all over the net. Youíll see person after person after person telling newbies NOT to get a 600cc bike. Why? Because we hate them? Because we don't want others to have cool bikes? No way. The more riders the better (assuming there not squids)! The reason people like me and countless others spend so much time writing huge rants on this subject is because we actually care about you. We don't want to see people get hurt. We don't want to see more people die in senseless accidents that could have been avoided with a little logic and patients. We WANT you to be around to ride that 600cc bike you desire so badly. However, we just want you to be able to ride it in a safe manner that isnít going to be a threat to yourself or others. I hope this was of some help, and feel free to email me with any questions.
Speaking of help, this is a great time to plug the MSF (Motorcycle Safety Foundation) course. The MSF course is a GREAT learning opportunity for new riders. The courses are offered all over the USA. I listed a link for their web page at the bottom of this post (or do a Goggle search and check you local RMV web page.). The MSF course assumes no prior knowledge of motorcycles and teaches the basics of how to ride a bike with out killing yourself (and NO, just because you passed the MSF course dose not mean your ready for an R6, GSX, CBR, etc). They provide motorcycles and helmets for the course. It is by far THE BEST way to start a motorcycle career that I hope will last you lifetime. Again I hope this information helped, and feel free to email me with any questions.

-chr|s sedition
Boston, MA
I'm the greatest!
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