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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
okay, after hearing all the pro's and con's of starting on the smaller (250/500) bikes, I am curious to hear what people have to say that have started on the b***** bikes (600 +).

This should be interesting to see the other side of the coin. I'm just curious that is all.

-Austin
 

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i started on a 93 gsxr600(still on it) been riding street for about 3 months, havent taken the msf course(but i plan to, once i get some extra cash) I have been riding dirtbikes and such for about 5 years now. so thats my story.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
ok, how easy/difficult was it for you? I have some dirtbike experience and I even took the MSF dirtbike course (my friend knew an instructor and he spent a LONG time showing us everything).

Have you ridden any other bike at all?
 

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it was extremely easy for me, but i have a way of being able to figure things out very quickly. I felt comfortable on it the 2nd day i had it. I dont know hard to explain, i think it all depends on the person. But you got to think it is a 93 so its not even close to performance of the newer ones... :)
 

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It's my first season on a bike: '89 Ninja 600. Done about 4500 miles or so, and only in the last few weeks have I started REALLY feeling comfortable on the bike. Don't get me wrong, I was doing city, highway, and all sorts of riding before that, even a trip from Montreal to Laconia for bike week (about 350 miles each way). But the weight and available power haven't lent much confidence to me. I didn't feel like I was one with the bike, and even now I'm miles away from pushing any dry weather traction limits. I actually wanted to start on a Ninja 500, but couldn't find one that I could afford. Bought the 600 because it cost me about a grand.

Starting on a 600 was doable and still fun, but I think I would have been railing around corners much sooner had I had the oppurtunity for a 250/500.

I also did a rider's course, which is compulsory where I live, and is longer and more comprehensive - from what I've heard - than the MSF. By law, I also need to always ride while accompanied by another motorcyclist for my first season - before even being allowed to do my road test - which has kept the temptation from doing something stupid at bay.

For a system where you're allowed to ride by yourself after doing a very simple test, I think starting on even an older 600ss is a little iffy. I believe that starting on a newer one is downright unreasonable.

(note that unreasonable does not = impossible)
 

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'99 YZF600R was my first bike. No riding other than MSF. I recommend against a 600cc. It is hard to concentrate on important aspects of learning to ride when you are forced to be so careful with the throttle and brakes. One of my friends got a GS500 after I had been riding for over a year and he was a better rider than me within months.
 

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I started on a '93 CBR 600. After the initial adaptation to the throttle and the basic riding skills, it turned out to be a good choice for me. I bought the bike the week that I started my MSF course so I just practiced in my neighborhood for a week before venturing out onto local backroads. I took my progress very slowly, always rode my own ride, and tried to read and learn everything I could. Fortunately, the F2 was a generally forgiving bike as well.

Although I don't usually admit to it on SBN since you can never tell about other members, I believe it is much more about the rider than the bike. Everyone agrees that fast riding is 80-90% rider and the remaining about the bike. I think the same general principle applies to starter bikes. However, we all like to err on the side of caution and recommend something that will be safer for all riders--those smart and those not so smart. Generally, I recommend the Ninja 500, even though I haven't ridden one nor did I start on one. It is the safer choice, but it doesn't mean that I assume that starting off on a 600 is a bad idea. I do, however, think starting off on a new bike is a bad idea.
 

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I just got a 97 CBR600 F3 and so far doing so so. Going straight is no problem, its the tight turns that are harder because of the weight of the bike. First time I rode it was to bring it home when I bought it about 20-30 miles away from home. I took local so I was on the rode for 40 min in traffic. I have been riding almost everyday since I got it taking it easy and going on familiar quiet rodes. I would have to say it will take a lot longer to get comfortable on a 600cc than something smaller. I bought the F3 because it was the best bike I found for the price. If there was a cheap kawi 500 I would have considered that.

My friend got his M1 license about 1-2 years ago but only started riding about 2 months ago. Besides the bikes from MSF he has not ridden any bikes. The 600 he started on was an '04 600rr. After that he has ridden another friends R6 and I believe an 04 R1. He has hit the twisties on the rr but thats it. His opinion of the 600rr was that it was not too hard to learn on but still liked the R6 better.

I guess it comes down to personal knowledge, preference, and ability.
 

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started out on an 02 F4i. i went VERY slowly for the first couple of weeks and then picked up speed as i went. i've had the bike for about a year and a half now. laid it down once going around a turn, but didn't mess anything up (not too bad at least!). i wish that i would've started out slower, but hindsight's 20/20. maybe when i get back from iraq i will pick up a 250 for cheap and ride that for a few months before i get my aprilia.
 

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my first sportbike was and still is an 01 R6... i was riding about a year and half before that on an old cruiser bike, and i have taken the MSF course (highly recommend doing this). i kinda wish i had started on a 500 though, just because i think i would be a better rider than i am now, as far as leaning and things like that.
 

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I started on a '92 Yamaha FZR600. I don't have nearly enough miles down to say I'm over the learning period (hell, you're ALWAYS learning). I've been having a ton of fun with it. I don't think the brakes are nearly as touchy as some of the newer bikes, but two finger emergency stopping is possible. The throttle isn't bad once you try it a couple times IMHO. It'll respond with a little more than the weight of my hand on it, but not too harshly. The clutch isn't touchy, but there's not much to the friction zone. Actually, it's a big friction zone, but only a TINY part of it is useful. The rest of it is very grabby, and you can easily stall it by getting into the grabby area too quickly.

I've had to do a few emergency stops and turns, but I don't think they would have been possible without getting the basics down in a parking lot over a weekend beforehand. Turns are fine for me. The bike is very stable, even at fairly low speeds, though it's not possible to turn sharply at slow speeds because of the steering geometry (I'd imagine). The key for me when I first started was not to push it farther than what I was ready do. I dropped it once so far by putting my feet down in mud in a parking lot (I swore it was solid...).

For the record, I DON'T recommend a 600ss bike to a beginner. It was a dumb choice for me, but I wasn't really aware of their touchy controls. If you insist on getting a 600+ ss bike, I'd seriously go with something late '80s/early '90s. If my bike's this powerful and this touchy, the newer ones must be insane...

Mike
 

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I started out this May on a '04 Yamaha FZ6. It has the "de-tuned" R6 engine (600 cc) and can be a handful. Best description I saw was its a "pussycat with fangs" :)

But bottomline is with control of the right wrist, I've found it to be a great bike to learn on without getting bored too quickly.
 

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DarNinja,

In this thread, were you hoping to get a bunch of 600cc starters to come out say a 600 is a fine choice as long as you "take it easy" or "respect the bike"? Judging by the responses, I'd say that backfired. Even the ones who started on a 600 are almost universally advising against it. Let me add my voice to the list and I didn't start on a 600.

Bottom line, if you are set on a getting on a 600cc sportbike of any stripe as a first bike, why bother asking? Do you need the justification of strangers to help you feel better with your choice? If so, then you already realize deep down that such a decision is bad and you are looking to ease your own worries with the distant words of others. Got news for you: if that is what is happening, the words of others will mean nothing to ease any anxiety. You'll get your 600cc bike, stumble through the basics, figure out that it is tame down low, figure the "start small" crowd are full of it and within a few months as the confidence and especially, the overconfidence, develops, some screw-up will happen. Fault will not matter. But in the end, you'll probably start to realize that what the "start small" crowd says is probably true and recognize that maybe, just maybe, catering to your desires and ego rather than practicality and common-sense was likely a bad idea.

If you want a 600, get a 600. No one can stop you. It is you who has to live with the choice and the consequences of that choice. My only hope is no one else gets hurt as a result of any errors that you might make.

I recommend strongly against starting on a 600cc sportbike. You can learn on one but there are better, smaller machines out there that will allow you to develop your skills and confidence is more sustainable and comfortable fashion.
 

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Started on my current bike, a 99 ninja zx6r. I really believe it's all about the riders mentality. I have over 7k miles and 6 mos of experience now. I spent the 1st 2 days in my neighborhood riding getting used to everything on the bike then took it out slowly on the main roads after a couple of weeks riding I got real used to everything.
 

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i started on a 1996 GSXR 750
 

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I started on the bike that I have now. The FZR has been good to me. I have had it since the end of February and I have logged over 4,500 miles on it. I didn't ride a lot at 1st because when I 1st got the bike, I kept it at the guy's house that I bought the bike from and he stayed 30 mins away from me. I want to take the MSF course, but I haven't had to time or money because a little over a month after I bought the bike, my daughter was born.

Now let me tell you about me, 3 years ago, I was the guy that was like, "You're crazy for buying a motorcycle!! Do you know how many people gets killed on motorcycles!!" Then my friend put together a wrecked FZR with a broke down FZR and let me ride it up and down his street, which was a dead end so I didn't have to worry about any cars. When I rode that bike, I was hooked. I started to practice with my friends in huge parking lots and I used to follow them around in my car. I know it was goofy, but man it just the rush of it. Finally, I was able to get one. I got the 600 because it was for a good price, it was an older sportbike, and I weigh about 265lbs so at the time, I felt I was a little too heavy for a 500.

Should I have started smaller? Maybe, but I don't regret starting on this bike. Have I fell on the bike? Twice, once in a gas station when I came to a complete stop and my left foot stepped in some motor oil, which it didn't have any damage at all since I was able to ease the bike down. The second time was when I was getting off the interstate and was looking for oncoming traffic and I hit a huge reflector in the road that I thought I had already went by. I did minimal damage as I was only going about 15mph. I was able to ride the bike home.

I think what really helped me was having good friends that really took time to show me things that I needed to do and things that I shouldn't do. I don't know where I would be without them, well to tell you the truth, I wouldn't be riding if it wasn't for them. Well, that's my experience riding this bike. I know that I don't have a lot of miles under my belt but since I have been keeping the bike at my home, I ride that thing every chance I get. I have rode in the rain numerous time, even though I didn't plan on riding in the rain, it just kind of sneeks up on you.

I guess it all comes down to the rider themselves. To this day, I haven't gotten on anything b***** than a 600 and I don't plan to for a long, long time. I have seen how fast the newer 600's are so whenever I feel like I need to get a newer bike, it will be a 600 because those literbikes are just scarey fast.
 
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