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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
what I mean is why are there never exceptions to the rule of thumb about bike size for a starter? I watch a lot of youtube videos and read a lot of opinions here and on other sites about starter bikes and I'm just curious why there are never exceptions to starting on a 600 vs. a 250 or 500. I am one of the people who had very little riding experience on a smaller bike. (I had less than 48 hours on a Rebel 250) and I own a CBR 600 F3 as MY first streetbike. the rebel wasn't mine its just what I played around on to learn the differences between a dirtbike clutch and a road bike clutch. So why aren't there any exceptions to the rule? I research and practice everything I can to give myself the knowledge to avoid or handle sketchy situations. I've been told by people who have much more riding experience that I'm doing everything right for someone who is starting their road career on a "b*****" bike. I'm not saying I haven't messed up on my 600 but because of my own practice and research I've been able to handle the situations with a cool head. so where does the exception start? or should there never be an exception?

just trying to get different opinions and viewpoints not argue with the veteran members about my personal choices regarding my bike.
 

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what I mean is why are there never exceptions to the rule of thumb about bike size for a starter? I watch a lot of youtube videos and read a lot of opinions here and on other sites about starter bikes and I'm just curious why there are never exceptions to starting on a 600 vs. a 250 or 500. I am one of the people who had very little riding experience on a smaller bike. (I had less than 48 hours on a Rebel 250) and I own a CBR 600 F3 as MY first streetbike. the rebel wasn't mine its just what I played around on to learn the differences between a dirtbike clutch and a road bike clutch. So why aren't there any exceptions to the rule? I research and practice everything I can to give myself the knowledge to avoid or handle sketchy situations. I've been told by people who have much more riding experience that I'm doing everything right for someone who is starting their road career on a "b*****" bike. I'm not saying I haven't messed up on my 600 but because of my own practice and research I've been able to handle the situations with a cool head. so where does the exception start? or should there never be an exception?

just trying to get different opinions and viewpoints not argue with the veteran members about my personal choices regarding my bike.
You partially answered your own question buddy.
 

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Best to say there is no exception.. If you state one then kids on the edge between a b***** bike and a proper learner bike will justify it incorrectly. One thing to understand is that you can start and learn on any bike (and survive) you can also become a very talented rider. A b***** bike just is much less forgiving than a learner bike, so when a mistake is made (one we have all made) it can be much more dangerous on a b***** bike.

The main problem with SS bike is not only their monstrous acceleration, but their braking. It isn't built to be forgiving, because it is effectively a Race Bike or tool. Its purpose is to take precise inputs in order to be the fastest. As a person takes longer to learn the basics on an SS(assuming they are dedicated and practice) the time at the beginning, say the first 6 months, when they don't have the skills down will have a higher risk of issues if an emergency were to occur.

This isn't dealing with the special snowflakes, who haven't the first idea of what respecting a machine means. The people who seek out information and are willing to listen to advice are the ones most of us are trying to talk too.

The problem I have noticed is that most of us under ~25 seem to be lacking in the patience department (myself included). This is either because of a lack of experience (in life not just on a bike) or just that most I encounter are spoiled and want everything now. Now if you have the option to suck up your pride buy a used 250 ride it for 6-8 months (a season maybe two) then sell the 250 for exactly what you bought it for. You are then a more experienced rider, and you can better understand the meaning of torque/hp figures at low revs vs at high revs ultimately making a better decision of a bike which will fit you. I don't see whats so bad about this option rather than the guy that can't ride the overpowered bike he bought, kind of like a guy buying a porsche gt3 and not knowing the first thing of driving a manual... just makes you look a bit of a c**k (on top of putting your life at higher risk of course).

EDIT: some spelling..
 

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Best to say there is no exception.. If you state one then kids on the edge between a b***** bike and a proper learner bike will justify it incorrectly. One thing to understand is that you can start and learn on any bike (and survive) you can also become a very talented rider. A b***** bike just is much less forgiving than a learner bike, so when a mistake is made (one we have all made) it can be much more dangerous on a b***** bike.

The main problem with SS bike is not only their monstrous acceleration, but their braking. It isn't build to be forgiving, because it is effectively a Race Bike or tool. Its purpose is to take precise inputs in order to be the fastest. As a person takes longer to learn the basics on an SS(assuming they are dedicated and practice) the time at the beginning, say the first 6 months, when they don't have the skills down will have a higher risk of issues if an emergency were to occur.

This isn't dealing with the special snowflakes, who haven't the first idea of what respecting a machine means. The people who seek out information and are willing to listen to advice are the ones most of us are trying to talk too.

The problem I have noticed is that most of us under ~25 seem to be lacking in the patience department (myself included). This is either because of a lack or experience (in life not just on a bike) or just that most I encounter are spoiled and want everything now. Now if you have the option to suck up your pride buy a used 250 ride it for 6-8 months (a season maybe two) then sell the 250 for exactly what you bought it for. You are then a more experienced rider, and you can better understand the meaning of torque/hp figures at low revs vs at high revs ultimately making a better decision of a bike which will fit you
Exactly what I would have said if i wasn't drinking right now.
 

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FFS, you know, I love this forum throughout the winter. I don't have to deal with any of these stupid arguments which drive me batshit crazy. I wish we could keep this squid stuff to the new riders forum.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I'm not trying to make an argument. Although your reply would normally start one. I'm just simply asking for opinions. knowledge is power when it comes to motorcycles.
 

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A couple good points made already..

I just want to see the sport grow and for people to appreciate motorcycles for what they're meant for.
Too many people buy sportbikes for their 1st bike, go fast in a straight line, are terrified and have no idea how to take a turn (but wont admit it) and then give up on motorcycles after they quickly get tired of going in a straight line.
Point and squirt, one of the reasons they're called squids.

I suggest starting on a 250/500 or 650 at most if only to have more fun.
The more steps up, the more fun, the more you appreciate, and the better rider you become.

The lack of sportbikes I see on the best twisting winding roads we have here is borderline depressing.
I've spent an entire weekend on one such road and seen as few as 5 sportbikes over 6 hours, and only just passing through at a snails pace.


These are just my random scribblings of why I think there's no exception. You should be buying a motorcycle to have fun, and you miss out on too much jumping into a modern sportbike.

For the record I don't think your '96 F3 is a terrible first choice. A modern 600cc will blow its doors off, so you can look forward to that while you learn to ride the balls off it
 

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Mainly two reasons, with a bit of a third:

a) There aren't a lot of bikes available in the USA between the 250 and 600s, and haven't been for quite awhile. So the assortment of 400cc I-4s and 500cc twins that a lot of the rest of the world sees are not available as options.

b) I guess because this is a sportbike forum, beginners here are incredibly resistant to trying other kinds of bikes. You want a b***** beginner bike? How about a Sportster? Great starter bike. Versys. V-Strom 650. F600 and 650s. Supermoto 250 and 400s are great starter bikes. Cheap as shit Honda 750 V-twin cruiser that sold for a zillion years, whatever that is called. Great starter bikes.

c) Beginners look to their peers, and to the b***** name brands - that means the Japanese Big Four, which again restricts the models. A lot of the European naked and streetfighter models are good beginner bikes, including the air-cooled small Monster. Nobody even thinks of those.

600SS bikes, as stated over and over and over and over, are bad beginner bikes for a number of reasons besides their peak power. They have poor torque for displacement, so are hard to get going. They have tall gearing, ditto. The steering is heavy and awkward for those who aren't used to it. (Yeah, yeah, you love your F3 and nothing could possibly handle better. Try a F800R or KTM with wide bars on it and get back to me.) The position is likewise awkward, especially when dealing with traffic. The dynamics of the bike are dramatic compared to any other motorcycle, and totally unsuited for someone who doesn't know with certainty what to direct the bike to do.

In short - they suck. Have you run your bike up to the rev limiter in second gear at full throttle yet? Have you come into a corner in third, tried to downshift to second, and ended up in first at 12K instead of second at 7K? Have you tried a real, honest, stop as hard as you can to stay alive panic braking stop yet? How'd you deal with the rear wheel coming up a couple of feet before you could ease off the brake? Oh, you haven't had that happen? Then tell me, exactly what ARE you going to do when the first (of many) cars pulls right out in front of you and stops? Drag your feet?

600SS are a terrible, terrible first bike, probably worse than anything but a literSS and arguably worse in some ways. Anecdotal reports of people surviving the experience doesn't make it a good idea, and isn't going to get it recommended. People survive landing jetliners with no experience every so often, too.

KeS
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
In regards to the car pulling out and stopping I haven't had a car pull out and stop I have had the displeasure of a car without functioning brake lights stop on a dime in front of me however and because I was doing close to the speed limit and have been paranoid of situations like you've described happening I was able to stop before slamming into the rear end of the vehicle. Not entirely the same situation but still I was able to handle it due to research and the practice I've done. I know most wouldn't believe me sayong this but I do regularly take my bike to empty parking lots and practice things that usually aren't practiced. Like hard braking and swerving. (Usually not at high speed but at 40mph and lower) It may be hard to believe but I don't want to end up as a statistic.

I have said in my op I'm not looking to justify my own case. I know the general population of this sitss opinion on starting big. I'm just curious to see what the reasoning is. And I appreciate the educated replies everyone has given.
 

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^^^ I agree with KeS and if my opinion had any value I would say that a 600ss is worse than a liter for the simple fact that more ppl are generally intimidated by the liter bikes and their massive power on the streets vice a 600ss who they compare to just liter bikes and hypersports. Also, i see more and more liter bikes coming with all sorts of electronic goodies to help the rider across varying degrees of riding conditions (or give a handicap depending on your perspective on electronics), not so much on the middle weight class bikes.

So you essentially got people getting 600ss bikes thinking they are faster than the smaller bikes but not as fast as the liter bikes that more squids drool over, a fraction of the riding electronics or basic skills to ride a bike properly/effectively, and not to mention lord knows the amount of gear (or lack of) the rider and/or passenger would be wearing. So many things factor in and play a part in the grand equation of motorcycle riding.
 

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things like knowing what to do in traffic or a car pulling out in front of you have nothing to do with what kind of bike you started riding.

starting on a small bike teaches a new rider how to ride without the danger of the massive power surge from the engine. that's pretty much it.
dirt bikes are great starter bikes in my opinion because they offer both learning how to ride a bike without 100hp and learning how it feels when a tire moves around under you and it doesn't = a crash.
 

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I think the short answer is that there are no exceptions because every individual thinks they are exceptional. Nobody else can tell if they really are exceptional or not. So what can you do but play the odds? The odds of a long career on motorcycles favor people that start on a 250 and make their mistakes in circumstances where they are easily correctable (and survivable).

Hope you have a long career on bikes, I really do. It makes me wonder what ever happened to "Bobby Light", the last guy that started on a 600 (but with a damn belligerent attitude).

- John
 

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I have said in my op I'm not looking to justify my own case. I know the general population of this sitss opinion on starting big. I'm just curious to see what the reasoning is. And I appreciate the educated replies everyone has given.
So the fair opposite question is: Why does every beginning rider think they're an exception?

KeS
 

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If there was 1 exception, every beginner would claim it.
 

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Not everyone who has ever had crashed a motorcycle without a helmet has died. Since we have no way of knowing which people could survive and in what situations, we advise against not wearing a helmet.

There are no exceptions when it comes to FIRST motorcycles - a lot of people start on them and don't get hurt, but that doesn't mean it was a good bike to start on. I started on a CBR600F2; looking back with the benefit of experience, I realize THAT wasn't the best motorcycle to start on for reasons stated above.

At the end of the day, a new rider still has to learn how to turn, break, accelerate, handle low speeds, and deal with traffic in a new way. A bike that isn't forgiving makes all of that harder.

We don't say 'you are going to die or get hurt' - we say, with the benefit of experience, that there are better starter bikes.

Listen to us or don't, but try not to be a squid and ruin it for the rest of us.
 

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From what I've seen on the short time I've been on this forum is that most of the people that ask for a first bike recommendation, and look for justification, are younger (25 and under). What are these beginners going to do on a supersport that they can't do on a 250cc sportbike, or any of the beginner bikes that Kevin Stevens mentioned? It's really not worth the hassle for them to buy a more expensive bike that will be very expensive to insure when they are only going to be able to use 10% of the bikes capability.

Another thing, as others have mentioned, is the lack of forgiveness. Sure if you're careful you will probably be okay, but sometimes things happen and the sharp steering, powerful brakes, and power surge can be overwhelming to someone who isn't used to how a motorcycle behaves (relative to a car).

Lastly, we don't know the person asking the question. They can talk about all they want about how they make good grades, are level headed, mature for their age, responsible, blah blah blah. Even if that's true, there's an itch in all of us to try something daring. With a supersport it's easier to get into trouble doing that.
 

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Best to say there is no exception.. If you state one then kids on the edge between a b***** bike and a proper learner bike will justify it incorrectly. One thing to understand is that you can start and learn on any bike (and survive) you can also become a very talented rider. A b***** bike just is much less forgiving than a learner bike, so when a mistake is made (one we have all made) it can be much more dangerous on a b***** bike.

The main problem with SS bike is not only their monstrous acceleration, but their braking. It isn't built to be forgiving, because it is effectively a Race Bike or tool. Its purpose is to take precise inputs in order to be the fastest. As a person takes longer to learn the basics on an SS(assuming they are dedicated and practice) the time at the beginning, say the first 6 months, when they don't have the skills down will have a higher risk of issues if an emergency were to occur.

This isn't dealing with the special snowflakes, who haven't the first idea of what respecting a machine means. The people who seek out information and are willing to listen to advice are the ones most of us are trying to talk too.

The problem I have noticed is that most of us under ~25 seem to be lacking in the patience department (myself included). This is either because of a lack of experience (in life not just on a bike) or just that most I encounter are spoiled and want everything now. Now if you have the option to suck up your pride buy a used 250 ride it for 6-8 months (a season maybe two) then sell the 250 for exactly what you bought it for. You are then a more experienced rider, and you can better understand the meaning of torque/hp figures at low revs vs at high revs ultimately making a better decision of a bike which will fit you. I don't see whats so bad about this option rather than the guy that can't ride the overpowered bike he bought, kind of like a guy buying a porsche gt3 and not knowing the first thing of driving a manual... just makes you look a bit of a c**k (on top of putting your life at higher risk of course).

EDIT: some spelling..
I can agree with everything you wrote except the respect part. Respect has absolutely nothing to do with anything. Even if a new rider knows about and tries to avoid the high performance aspects of an SS bike, he/she is bound to give the bike an incorrect control input sooner or later until responses become both automatic and always appropriately measured. That bad control input on an SS bike will result in the bike doing exactly what you tell it to do even if it is totally wrong. Respect has nothing to do with it. A more forgiving 250/500/650 might give you a jolt, but won't send you accelerating into a parked car or oncoming traffic.
 
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