It seems that there has been an overwhelming amount of the same questions being asked lately to the tune of,
"Hi! I'm buying my first street bike and I want (insert 600+ SS here)!"
In light of this, I thought it might be fun to explore WHY new riders are so insistent on buying an SS. Below are the most common reasons (excuses) people list around SBN along with the truth behind each.
So, if you're bent on an SS, think long and hard about WHY you want one so bad and see if your "reason" is down below. I bet it will be.
"A Bike Dealer/Friend/Relative/Guy with Bike told me that 600's are good starter bikes."
Its a common fact that people instictively try to find others with interests that follow their own. Its also interesting to point out that if a person makes a knowingly poor choice, he/she is likely to try and validate that poor choice by convincing others that it was an "OK" thing to do because "they did it." I also don't think it comes as a shock that dealers get a higher commision from selling a $9000 bike vs a $3000 bike.
I love the looks of (insert SS here)
Who doesn't? But if you are seriously ready to knowingly make an unsafe decision for the sake of buying a "cool bike", it speaks volumes about your priorities as a person. Its also not a stretch to predict that a person who buys a bike just so they can "look cool" on it, will inevitably crash because they were more pre-occupied with "looking cool" on it than watching where they are going. "Hey! She's checking me out!!! I really look.....(splat)"
"I'm a responsible/safe person and I will respect the power of the bike.
Um, no, you aren't and no, you won't. Styling aside, people don't buy a more powerful bike with the intent of going slow. If going slow was the intent, a 250/500/cruiser would fit the bill just fine. People buy an SS because they want to go fast. You're not responsible or safe because your actions (decision to buy an SS) is neither responsible OR safe. Also, why on Earth would you "respect" the power of an SS when you're buying it based ON its power? This excuse embodies the, "Peoples' actions show who they are, peoples' words dictate who they want others to THINK they are." philosophy.
I have dirt riding experience so I'm not a new rider
On the street? Yes you are. End of discussion.
I can learn just as well on a 600 as a smaller bike because I'm special.
Well, you may be "special". You may be able to hop on that bike and ride it like Nicky Hayden stole it after 1 month. BUT, the odds of that are about the same as the odds of Kate Beckinsale showing up naked at my doorstep with a bowl of whipped cream. Possible, sure... but not likely. And hating people that quote statistics doesn't make them less true.
I'm a REAL big guy so I need a big bike.
Real question here is height, not wieght. Unless you're in excess of 300lbs, its not that big of a deal when starting out. Now if you're over 6'2", comfort could be an issue. But there are cruiser bikes that you could learn on that would fit you better until you're ready to move up to the SS. There are always alternatives.
"250/500's are just not powerful enough" or "I'll get bored with it in a year"
A Ninja 250 with a 170lbs rider and full tank of gas will run a 14 flat 1/4 mile and has a sub-6 0-60 and a top speed of 120mph. 500's are even faster. If you you are buying a motorcycle with the sole interest of going faster than that, you shouldn't be on a motorcycle at all. Also, ask any EXPERIENCED rider, (read; years experience) how long it took them to be considered a "Good" rider. The answer is more than a year nearly every time. That first year is crucial to developing your skills, not seeing how hard you can ride.
Since I don't work for Kawasaki and don't have anything to gain other than a marginally safer riding environment from encouraging riders to start small. You could say that I am a "Start Small Nazi" on this board. I wear that label proudly (with the exception of the Nazi part, I prefer advocate) since by saying that about me, and others around here, you're saying....
1. We're able to set aside our vanity for a while in the interest of becoming a better rider.
2. Our desire to go fast doesn't trump our survival instinct.
3. Technique is more important than image.
4. There's another person I'll be able to smoke on track day when I upgrade to an SS if not now.
Ultimately, there's nothing that I, or anyone else on SBN can say to stop someone that's made up their mind to do something stupid. But, IMHO, if one person does the right thing this season and lives longer because of it, its worth it.
Oh, and if I missed an excuse, please post it!