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Giant Purple Snorklewacker
Giant Purple Snorklewacker MegaDork
1/5/15 10:07 a.m.

I'm already on record here saying that there is no reason a beginner can't learn on a big bike and it can save a lot of money - my first three bikes were a GR650 Tempter, then an FZR600, then an FZR1000 all in about 18mos of selling at a loss. I kept the big FZR for a few years - then settled on a VFR for the next 30k miles. My riding buddy at the time started on an FJ and sold it to buy a CBR1000F. He didn't seem to have any more or less trouble than I did coming from mid-size bikes.

I don't think it matters what the 1st bike is as long as you learn to ride it properly and take the time to practice until it becomes unconscious habit. I'll agree it should be used, not too pretty and not too expensive though. I don't know anyone who kept a 1st bike under 500cc very long.

Flight Service
Flight Service MegaDork
1/5/15 10:34 a.m.

Reason for rule #4. Simple, check craigslist and the local paper for the number of low mileage, damaged sport bikes being sold by noobs.

Then check the local paper obits in spring and summer for young people died in motorcycle accidents.

No noob needs a <400lb 100+ hp bike. It's a bad idea. I have seen new riders not even make it out of the parking lot, that is the advantage of working at a motorcycle dealership. I like the dual sport/super motard idea. If you are comfortable on them, they are great starter bikes, and a great second bike you can play with after you get a true street bike.

Now, can it be done, yes. Have people done it? Yes. But then again compare the number of college drop outs that are flipping burgers and working at Walmart vs the number of Richard Branson's or Steve Jobs there are and you will get my point.

yamaha
yamaha MegaDork
1/5/15 10:41 a.m.

Yes, the reason some can do it is that it teaches respect of the machine very quickly. Hell, my '04 stood up in 3rd from a 40 roll......wasn't expecting that much power. Some people just can't be taught this anyways and will act like idiots on whatever they have be it sportbike, harley, dirtbike, and for the special ed people, race quads.

carknut
carknut New Reader
1/5/15 11:03 a.m.
yamaha wrote: Yes, the reason some can do it is that it teaches respect of the machine very quickly. Hell, my '04 stood up in 3rd from a 40 roll......wasn't expecting that much power. Some people just can't be taught this anyways and will act like idiots on whatever they have be it sportbike, harley, dirtbike, and for the special ed people, race quads.

Thats just it. R-E-S-P-E-C-T has to be had for motorsickles. Bikes are much like guns, even the little ones will hurt you.

yamaha
yamaha MegaDork
1/5/15 11:17 a.m.

In reply to carknut:

Precisely, I've seen it go both ways, too much bike to start with and a feeling of invincibility on bigger bikes because you could ride a 70's 125 honda. With bikes, it is a self correcting problem in most cases.

Heck, I went 1.5 years on a defective sv650(sold due to losing the will to ride after a close friend's death), 6 years later, stock '04 10r(Widowmaker), and almost a year to the date of getting the '04, the 3xx hp Raptor(for all intents and purposes, its an '05 10r with a big turbo and several one off parts)

wlkelley3
wlkelley3 SuperDork
1/5/15 11:42 a.m.

I've known several people that got scared off of riding by starting on too big/powerful bike. I believe starting on a reasonable size bike will help someone get familiar and comfortable riding. Some type of standard or dual purpose are great starter bikes. I've seen way too many young people with a no sense of invincability get seriously hurt or worse using large crotch rockets as their first bike. I think Germany and their graduated motorcycle license is a great idea. Motorcycle size limitation on license and size based on experience and testing.

yamaha
yamaha MegaDork
1/5/15 11:56 a.m.

In reply to wlkelley3:

I can agree with most of that viewpoint. I just wish US licensing also required them to pass a spelling and grammar test. I am tired of having to decipher Ebonics when I go looking for used parts.

Giant Purple Snorklewacker
Giant Purple Snorklewacker MegaDork
1/5/15 12:01 p.m.
wlkelley3 wrote: I think Germany and their graduated motorcycle license is a great idea. Motorcycle size limitation on license and size based on experience and testing.

You would put Harley and all the other cruiser/hog only mfgs out of business. No 50 year old attorney is going to start out on a 250 and graduate to a "real 'murican" bike. If 50 year old attorneys can't buy $40k 1600cc bikes on their 50th birthday with their god-given abilities the whole thing comes crashing down. The terrorists win. Freedom dies. Vette sales go thru the roof. Can you see the lobbyists lining up to shoot that idea down with laser beams?

Edit: Otherwise... not a bad idea. Not because I agree that everyone needs smaller bikes for learning - but because if the laws required it we might get some really cool ones worth having. Aside from the WR250R that is.

yamaha
yamaha MegaDork
1/5/15 12:12 p.m.

In reply to Giant Purple Snorklewacker:

Nah, most Harley people around me don't even have licenses......doesn't stop them any since they can still plate/register it.

Moparman
Moparman Dork
1/5/15 6:13 p.m.

In reply to Giant Purple Snorklewacker: I don't disagree with you, although each new rider is different. What I have a problem (in general) is the belief or assumption that everyone needs a big bike. Personally my 750 Katana is plenty big enough for me. I actually prefer riding my smaller bikes. My point is that while some new riders can learn on a larger bike, it is equally true that a big bike is not always Necessary, at any point.

Moparman
Moparman Dork
1/5/15 6:15 p.m.

In reply to Flight Service: Maturity and intelligence certainly has a lot to do with it.

Flight Service
Flight Service MegaDork
1/5/15 8:49 p.m.
Moparman wrote: In reply to Flight Service: Maturity and intelligence certainly has a lot to do with it.

True but we are talking about buying a motorcycle on GRM. That causes some foregone conclusions to the case.

yamaha
yamaha MegaDork
1/6/15 2:16 a.m.

In reply to Moparman:

Actually, going fast is amusing, but it's work keeping yourself and the bike in check. Both 10r's are excellent 30-90min commuter bikes due to having more power than required. I've had more fun riding my friend's 250r ninja due to being able to WOT everywhere.

ultraclyde
ultraclyde SuperDork
1/6/15 6:48 a.m.

I'm waiting a couple more years for my wife's stance motorcycles to soften and the new Duc Scramblers to take the depreciation hit. I dislike cruisers. Sportbikes are cool in an abstract way as long as I'm not the one strapped to it. Those smaller all-purpose bikes? THOSE make me want to learn to ride.

carknut
carknut New Reader
1/6/15 8:54 a.m.

If I was to haz one more street bike it would be a motard. Riding dirtbikes since I was 8 I think I would probably be over confindent on something that light, powerful, and with so much grip. Prolly be dead in a week.

Moparman
Moparman Dork
1/7/15 8:18 a.m.

In reply to yamaha:

I agree. It is more fun to ride a slow bike fast than a fast bike slow.

yamaha
yamaha MegaDork
1/7/15 9:26 a.m.
Moparman wrote: In reply to yamaha: I agree. It is more fun to ride a slow bike fast than a fast bike slow.

I don't think I would want to commute on my friend's 250r, they're actually much harder to get away from traffic that is trying to kill you with it. I also question the longevity of that little thing spinning at 10k going 90mph.

Moparman
Moparman Dork
1/7/15 8:04 p.m.

In reply to yamaha:

I agree with you there. I don't commute the 45 mile round trip on my 250 either (although I can ride the T250 easily at 5,000 RPM), but I have taken my GT380 and CB400T to work with no trouble. The ugly old Katana is my commuter. It runs well, but I hate the way it looks. Would like a good GS650 or GS750 for a commuter.

Tom1200
Tom1200 Reader
1/7/15 11:47 p.m.

For a first bike I generally recommend a dual sport or super moto bike, user friendly and not completely boring. The issue with bigger bikes is the weight and new riders judging their actual speed. I've known several people who've started on bigger bikes and seen guys at the track starting out on larger displacement bikes. The majority I saw crash, simple misjudged thier speed a little, over reacted, locked the brakes and / or tucked the front end. Now you can get yourself in loads of trouble on a super moto, I have not bought a set of super moto wheels for the Beta because I was already nicking the foot pegs on it with the dual sport tires...........oddly enough if you give me a R1 or other liter sport bike I ride sedately...........I rode my SRX 600 way more aggressively than the Honda 900.....so yeah rider attitude makes all the difference........basically I tend to be anti-social on small bore bikes. Call it Napolean complex or whatever but I revel on small bikes. Sad and petty as it is I took great pleasure in the stunned look on guys faces when they saw the lap times we were turning on 125 GP bikes and we still laugh about a new to bikes pal who couldn't figure out why my hotted up RD350 would suck the paint off bikes with twice the displacement. I understand about the 50 year old Harley guy not gonna ride one of those girly sportsters, it's tough trying to explain that my 500cc Beta weighs a third as much with almost the same horsepower, forget about the coupe guys I tried to explain that little 1 2 5s go 130mph or describing what it's like to ride a 250 GP bike, can't understand that a TZ250 is not the CL"250 "their dad rode around the campground. Back on topic my picks would be a DRZ super moto or XR600L or SV650 for something sporting. I am actually considering a new KTM RC390 43hp, around 340 lbs and so it should scoot up on-ramps faster then most of the other vehicles on the road.......they also have a cup version so I am sure it's possible to get one up to 50 hp and down to 320lbs...sounds fun, albeit not blindingly fast.

  Tom
GPz11
GPz11 New Reader
1/8/15 9:41 a.m.

Tom,

I somewhat disagree with you. What if the person isn't tall enough for a modern DS or a Motard? Most of those bikes are pretty tall. A newbie rider should be able to flat foot it till they get comfortable with their riding skills.

As for your small bikes for racing, Kinda disagree also in terms that it depends on the size of the rider. I'm a big guy and started racing a RZ350 and then went to a TZR250 / RZ350 hybrid. I did OK on them but my riding really took off when I switched to a RC51. I just fit the RC51 much better and my lap times dropped like a rock. I've also ridden both RS125's and RS250's. On the 250, I kept dragging my toes and couldn't shift the dang thing. I looked like a gorilla riding a tricycle.

yamaha
yamaha MegaDork
1/8/15 11:35 a.m.

In reply to GPz11:

The flat footing thing is a myth set about by cruiser riding ABATE people. Everyday people are lowering their bikes because of being told this, and most bikes handle even worse when lowered.

GPz11
GPz11 New Reader
1/8/15 11:40 a.m.

Ok, you don't have to flat foot it but you do need to be able to touch the ground. We are talking newbies here.

You must know know more about ABATE than I do.

yamaha
yamaha MegaDork
1/8/15 11:47 a.m.

In reply to GPz11:

I've attended basic and advanced courses, in my area, they actually talk down to anyone who doesn't intend to ride a cruiser type.

Cruisers have low seat heights so they claim it helps new people. So long as you can get one foot down flat, you're fine. Even if you have to lean the bike slightly to do so. My '04 10r requires me to lean it slightly and I'm 5'10 with a 32" inseam.

GPz11
GPz11 New Reader
1/8/15 12:03 p.m.

Really, ABATE has classes?? I honestly didn't know that.

I've done the MSF's basic, 4 levels of Code's school, Jason Pridmore's STAR school and a few others I'm sure I'm forgetting.

yamaha
yamaha MegaDork
1/8/15 12:45 p.m.

We have just basic and advanced here, both run by ABATE. Advanced is the hard one to attend, as there are only like 4-5 locations in the state that do it. I recommend it to people, but that comes with the warning "Keep an open mind past what they tell you"

When I let my license lapse, I had to retake the riding test.....it was put on by ABATE on the rider's own bikes. I saw far more people incapable of riding than I should have. One dragged feet through the whole course and passed.....

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