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post #1 of 128 (permalink) Old 05-20-2007, 09:28 PM Thread Starter
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Want a 600? Read This!

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!

Scott

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"Life is short, live hard!"

Last edited by IwakuniDiver; 05-21-2007 at 12:28 AM.
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post #2 of 128 (permalink) Old 05-20-2007, 10:10 PM
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^ +1... nothing like blasting past some dude going slow on his 600 or 1000ss on your ninja 250 with tiny tires that turn in way faster than his, which you're exploiting because you know the proper line and don't have to worry about high siding when you get a little greedy on the throttle on corner exit.

i'd rather embarass some dude who thinks he's hot shit than feel like i'm hot shit and be embarassed by some kid who's riding the wheels off his 250 and kicking my ass at the twisties
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post #3 of 128 (permalink) Old 05-20-2007, 10:31 PM
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^^what did you start on? how long did you spend on it? what do you ride now? how long have you spent on it?
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post #4 of 128 (permalink) Old 05-20-2007, 10:37 PM
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good post...

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post #5 of 128 (permalink) Old 05-20-2007, 11:29 PM Thread Starter
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My motorcycle experience started with a Honda XR80 when I was 12. During my teenage years I rode various dirt bikes in the Cascade Mountains and Columbia River Gorge even dabbling a little in mx. When I was 25 I finally got rid of my last dirt bike.

All my life I have always wanted to ride a sport bike. Pretty much ever since I saw Tom Cruise racing up that hill after Kelly McGillis in Top Gun (when it came out). My parents however were less than thrilled to say the least about me riding on the street since my dad lost a few friends over the years (rode HD's) and both my mom and dad were sick of seeing me in the ER from dirt riding and mountain biking accidents. So, I started racing cars instead.(Super Street Drag and Street Stock road course as well as copious amounts of street racing. (before it was "cool")

Through my 20's I never bought a street bike because I was too wrapped up in hot rods to buy a bike. Also, and more importantly, I knew I would be a danger to myself and everyone else on the road.

Finally at 32, I was talked into buying a bike by a good friend of mine who own a HD, thinks "loud pipes save lives", and thought I would be "bored" by anything less than a 600. Well, since I don't get into ANY new sport without researching the living tar out it, I set out to learn about bikes and riding. Most importantly riding well.

Needless to say, I didn't listen to my friend, and bought my VFR400R from another good friend for $1500 with matching gloves and jacket in March.

Since then I haven't stopped reading, and learning. I take my bike out almost every day and practice my form and technique on a closed, very twisty, mountain road not far from my house. Every time I go up there I learn more about my riding and my limits. Also, with everything new I learn, the more I realize how much I don't know which makes me want to be a BETTER rider.

Now, two months later, I can ride with guys from the base that have been riding for a year that started on liter bikes and they can't keep up with me on my "little" 400 in the mountains. When I see other riders and really WATCH them, its easy to pick out those that simply bought the "coolest" or most powerful bike but can't ride for shit.

Now, I'm not saying I'm "special" or have any "talent" with riding. I practice, and take my riding seriously. One day, I hope to move to the track and get some REAL instruction.

Anyway, didn't mean to ramble on and bore everyone. Just offering some "insight" to why I think the way I do.

And BTW, you folks here at SBN were one of the main driving forces in my decision on buying my first bike. Spreading the word is my way of saying "thanks"!.

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post #6 of 128 (permalink) Old 05-20-2007, 11:50 PM
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Great post!

-Joe-
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post #7 of 128 (permalink) Old 05-21-2007, 12:11 AM
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post #8 of 128 (permalink) Old 05-21-2007, 12:40 AM
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When I first started my gut would've told me that all that was just personal opinion and didn't count for much, but after being to three funerals back home for riders that pushed it too far I kind of have to agree. Granted there are the people that've learned the hard way and therefore take a 600 seriously and really do learn on them well (a friend of mine is better than any rider I've seen and he started on a 600), I guess it's a question of maturity. But for those people that won't respect it a 600 would def be too much to handle. Comin from FL I've heard more stories than I would like about crashes and a kid I know here just ruined himself taking a turn too hard only a couple months after he bought it. Some people have the respect to handle a 600 off the bat I think but I would agree it would seem most don't.

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post #9 of 128 (permalink) Old 05-21-2007, 12:59 AM
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I agree.600cc sportbikes arent not good as first time bikes which is why i bought my CURRENT bike one week after taking the msf and getting my motorcycle license.5k miles and more than one year later im here and happy.I wouldnt have it any other way.
Even if you take a ninja 250 and ram it into something at 60mph the results wont be pretty in my opinion.But teens in general will do things to impress others and i can easily see a young kid getting himself into trouble trying to impress the girls or his male buddies.
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post #10 of 128 (permalink) Old 05-21-2007, 01:03 AM
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Don't forget that the smaller bikes are to ugly to buy.
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post #11 of 128 (permalink) Old 05-21-2007, 01:05 AM
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post #12 of 128 (permalink) Old 05-21-2007, 08:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by umairhashmi
I agree.600cc sportbikes arent not good as first time bikes which is why i bought my CURRENT bike one week after taking the msf and getting my motorcycle license.5k miles and more than one year later im here and happy.I wouldnt have it any other way.
Even if you take a ninja 250 and ram it into something at 60mph the results wont be pretty in my opinion.But teens in general will do things to impress others and i can easily see a young kid getting himself into trouble trying to impress the girls or his male buddies.
You're just barely out of your teens yourself. You have more in common with an 18 year old than a 30 year old. When you make it to 30 you'll see that.

It's easy to pilot a bike in a straight line, and it unfortunately gives you a false sense of confidence that 'you know what you're doing'. Be aware that you are entering the period where you are second most likely to have a crash. Be careful.

I see it all the time up here. Guys ride around Columbus on the freeways taking exit ramps and think they are good riders. Then they go to Hocking Hills about 40 minutes from here (a place with nice curves but nothing crazy), and crash.
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post #13 of 128 (permalink) Old 05-21-2007, 10:20 AM
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hocking hills is sweet.

and great post. it has true facts
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post #14 of 128 (permalink) Old 05-21-2007, 11:32 AM
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Great post!

I'd just like to add that I hope and wish for this to happen to me every day! "Kate Beckinsale showing up naked at my doorstep with a bowl of whipped cream."

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post #15 of 128 (permalink) Old 05-21-2007, 04:55 PM
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Good post, my only criticism is that your Ninja 250 numbers are inflated a bit.

Under the most ideal conditions:
0-60 mph (0-100 km/h) 5.75 s
1/4 mile 14.6 s @ 88 mph
Maximum speed 105 mph (160 km/h)
Max horsepower 36 bhp (27 kW) @ 12000 rpm, 26 hp (19 kW) @ rear wheel
Max Torque 18 ft.lbf (24 Nm) @ 10000 rpm, 14 ft.lbf (19 Nm) @ rear wheel
Fuel Efficiency 55-75 mpg US

A great beginner bike though!
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