New Rider First Bike

Posted at 11/4/2014 2:57:03 PM

budoka

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Please point out where above I said to pick up a 600?

"Point was, if the rider wanted more power but something that is forgiving like a 250, a 650 should be considered as an option."

I rest my case. As Richard mentioned, the 650 Ninja, SV, Versys etc are NOT beginner bikes at all. Just because a few fortunate souls got away with using them at a young age and low experience level (myself included) doesn't mean they are for the masses.

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Posted at 11/4/2014 7:52:15 PM

nzapanda

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Hmm

Not sure if you get my point..but first off lets clarify.

"I rest my case". Are you kidding me? You said I suggested new riders to get a 600. You still haven't quoted where I have done such a thing.

2ndly, from your previous response, it seems like you think is 650 is the same thing as a 600. Its not. 600 is 4 inline. 650 is a twin. Its like saying a V4 is the same as a V8. If you read closely, I don't suggest a 650 for mass consumption, similarly I don't suggest a 250, 600 or 1000 for the everyone as a 1 size fit all solution.

3rdly, when I suggest a 650 as an option does not mean, "DO NOT GET A 250, GET A 650". I'm just flabbergasted that there is a such thing as "forum target fixation".

I will say this, maybe I'm wrong to assume that most new rider will ride responsibly. For newbies out there, if you know you are the individual that will be tempted to weave in and out of traffic, tempted ROLL ON the throttle to showboat around town, and do idiotic things on your bike, well, the responsible decision would to NOT get a bike at all.

Whats my point? (and I wonder if you will get the point I'm trying to get across)

Every individual is different. There is no single 1 size fit all for anything in life. That include motorcycles.


Posted at 11/4/2014 8:39:05 PM

nzapanda

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Richard47 said:
nzapanda said:
Point was, if the rider wanted more power but something that is forgiving like a 250, a 650 should be considered as an option.


I'm not happy with recommending a 650 twin to a newbie. OK, so you've got away with it (so far), but we have no idea of the capabilities of the newbie. He may be a careful, considered sort of rider, or he may not.
I owned a SV650 for a while last year and I don't like to think of what would have happened to me if I had had one of those as a first bike 50 years ago. I was a rash little git, no mistake and I would be dead for sure. I doubt I would have lasted a year. Fortunately for me I started on a Suzuki 80, so my mistakes were not as serious as they might have been.
I owned that little Suzuki for quite a while, even when I owned other, more powerful bikes and I had a lot of fun.

We have been conditioned by the ever increasing size and power of modern bikes to consider a 650 as a modest little machine. But it isn't. It's a sizeable, powerful machine. You couldn't get anything like as powerful when I started, fortunately for me. I don't want some grieving mother posting to tell us we recommended a 650 and now her son is with the mortician.


Its almost like...suggesting new drivers shouldn't own a V8. I mean, 50 years ago, cars didn't have the power like they do have today. It maybe true that NOT ALL new drivers should start with a mustang, but its also not true that "Anyone who starts with a mustang is going to kill themselves or get in a accident". Judge the individual. Don't cram a Ford Escort down every new drivers throat.

This is me, not everyone else, like you said. Maybe I'm just lucky like you said, although I'd like to think I'm just more responsible than the average person.

This is how I look at life to help you frame my perspective. For example, if I have to handle a equipment that risks injury or death, it is my responsibility to handle this equipment with the utmost care. This includes tractors, motorcycles, guns, boats, atvs, etc.

Even things like investing in rental property has risk/reward, all measurable risks. I understood risk/reward/responsibility at an early age, I bought my first investment property at the age of 19. Most people told me I was crazy, throwing away 10 grand, inexperienced, and say I would fail, etc. If I were to listen to the naysayers, I would not be making $400 per month on this property, after PITI, maintenance/repairs and reserves. 10 years later I own 19 rental properties, all of which make money despite the "housing collapse". Speculators and "investors" who DID NOT know what they were doing lost money, just as these people should not be buying a 600 as their first bike. Peoples habits, bad or good carry throughout everything that they do.

I know my own limits and set boundaries for myself to include margin of error. If people aren't responsible and disciplined enough to do this in their normal, financial, and extracurricular lives, they shouldn't own a bike, period.

Posted at 11/5/2014 7:48:27 AM

Easy Rider

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nzapanda said:

I will say this, maybe I'm wrong to assume that most new rider will ride responsibly.

Every individual is different. There is no single 1 size fit all for anything in life. That include motorcycles.



Yes you are wrong.

Many new riders don't know what responsible IS.
Of those that do, many don't have the skills necessary to DO IT responsibly.

One size might not fit all but it does fit most.

And riding a motorcycle is quite different that driving a car.

It seems that most everybody here is ignoring your tirades and now I will too.



Edited by Easy Rider at 11/5/2014 7:50:07 AM

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Posted at 11/5/2014 9:04:54 AM

GAJ

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Nzapanda, your opinion, and, correct me if I'm wrong, is based on a grown adult thinking rationally about riding and finding that rationality and a responsible approach can, indeed, lead one to start on a larger motorcycle.

For the most part the rest of us are thinking about far less mature riders lacking the self control, life experience, and brain development of an adult...never mind the testosterone level differences and susceptibility to peer pressure and the gee whiz nature of riding.

Like Richard I started in the 70's as a teen on a small (in my case 50cc) motorcycle. I am very glad I did not start out on a Triumph Bonneville, (slower than modern 650's), as I would, no question, have done severe harm to myself. As it was I crashed that road motorcycle several times and even managed to get hit broad side by a car in a suburb of Brussels.

Yes, today, I might do better as there is actual training and information out there to help new riders that simply did not exist in the 70's so, perhaps, starting on a 300 would be prudent today.

If my now almost 30 year old daughter had wanted to learn that is the path I would have followed; MSF prior to buying a bike and buying one of not more than 400cc to mentor her on.

Why do I say 400cc?

Because, though I've owned many bikes, including a 1000cc SS, no motorcycle I've ridden is as "easy" to ride or as fun to ride as my DRZ400SM. I'm certainly not slower on the street than I was on my literbike, and, in fact, I dumped the literbike once I had the 400cc SM, (though I do also have an 800cc sports tourer for longer jaunts).

I'd still recommend that course for more mature riders to be honest.

If you had a teenage son who wanted to ride would your really recommend a 650 to them?

PS: yeah, buying rentals in the downturn was the best investment decision I've ever made.




Current bikes: F800ST, DRZ400SM

Past bikes, starting with the first in 1970: CB50, K75S, Seca 550, Nighthawk 750, TL1000S

Posted at 11/5/2014 9:23:23 AM

Richard47

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You don't seem to get my point. I don't think it is right to recommend a powerful machine to somebody without first knowing their capabilities. If you don't know for sure the type of person asking the question how can you make that call?

Your point about starting on a powerful car is not at all relevant. You might easily make an error of judgement in a car and get away without injury. The same sort of minor error could easily kill a rider.

Answer me this. What sort of aircraft do future ace fighter pilots (or anyone else) start on? That's right, they start on nice easy to fly planes that are not going to do anything startling when provoked. There is a parallel here with motorcycles because it is very easy to kill yourself with both.

Old git on an old bike.

Posted at 11/5/2014 10:45:25 AM

budoka

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The two coloured lines in my last reply are direct quotes out of your posts. Very self explanitory. Go back and read your own posts again if you think I'm telling an untruth here.

I completely understand that you had a specific need and type of motorcycle to fit that need. Fine for you, just not necessarily so for other rookies, which is all we are trying to convey but you won't see through your own position. What Richard and I countered with is even the 650 that you ride (even though it's a twin not an I-4 rr supersport) is still a very powerful motorcycle (which you also admit with your performance stats) and given that understanding we believe it to be a poorer choice for a beginner than GAJ's DRZ400 or a 300 or 250. One need only look at the fleets that training schools use and the cc displacement to see that a 'lowly' 250 that is perfect for training purposes could easily be an ideal longer term (but by no means permanent) personal bike for a rookie. I would go so far as to offer the CB500F or CBR500r as a good first choice for a trained and licensed rider with the caveat that it does definitely have more than enough power to get a newbie in serious trouble as well.
If you think we are being overly cautious on this subject, I suggest you take a tour of some m/c bone yards and see just what percentage of bikes in the 600cc and up class were put their by rookies versus how many >400cc bikes landed there.

My first motorcycle once I was 16 and fully licensed (early 70's and for two years prior I tore arond on an old Honda enduro in the bush and a TC90 Suzuki on the street) was a Norton 750 Commando. Never dropped it, never had an incident. Raced Bonneviles, Kawi Mach III's, CB750's and did the usual (for then)teenaged hooligan things on that bike. The fellow that owned the Bonny I raced lost his leg that summer when he t-boned a Firebird when things went sideways (rider error) and ended up on the wrong end of an accidental counter steering ionput at too high a speed. I sold the Norton at the end of that season and stepped down to a 400 Hawk because of that incident. Should have been the reverse procurement of motorcycles in retrospect. I wasn't a good rider then although I thought I was. What I was was damn lucky.

That's why we post these comments, not everyone will be that lucky.

My Rides: 2003 VTR1000R/RC51; 2009 GL1800 Goldwing airbag model
So many bikes, so little coin...

Posted at 11/6/2014 10:03:13 AM

HockeyCoach

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Different Take

If you have a lot of driving experience (and maturity), then it matters much less what kind of bike you get first. I started with a heavier bike and don't regret that choice.

IOW, if you're 21 years-old, don't trust yourself with a 162 hp Ducati. You really shouldn't be going 150 mph down the Interstate at 2 am in morning after drinking with your buddies all day.

Posted at 11/7/2014 2:52:51 AM

Richard47

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HockeyCoach said:If you have a lot of driving experience (and maturity), then it matters much less what kind of bike you get first.


True, but only up to a point. Bikes are very different to cars in that they accelerate faster and can overtake much easier. And, of course, you are much less visible. This may not matter much on the freeway, but on ordinary roads it's very easy to travel much faster than the usual traffic. It's easy to get carried away with the fun of it, even for experienced riders. And it is a lot of fun.

I frequently pass a sad little bunch of flowers that marks the spot where a rider (an experienced one too) was killed. A driver was reversing out of their drive and took him out. The police didn't prosecute the driver because the bike was doing 100mph at a place where cars seldom exceed the posted 50 limit. They calculated the driver had only three to four seconds to see the bike, and that may have been reduced by passing cars.

Even if the new rider is an experienced car driver this sort of thing may not be apparent to them. It's so easy to go fast on a powerful modern bike. When I started out the only way my bike would do 100 is if you dropped it off a cliff. And that was true for quite a few years.

Old git on an old bike.

Posted at 11/7/2014 9:48:03 AM

Easy Rider

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HockeyCoach said:If you have a lot of driving experience (and maturity), then it matters much less what kind of bike you get first. I started with a heavier bike and don't regret that choice.


There are two different but loosely related things about a first bike:

Size/weight. A heavier bike is usually harder to handle at low speeds and sometimes exhibits "under steer" at speed too. It hurts more if it falls on you too.

Size/HP: Most I4 RR bikes have a burst of HP above 7K RPMs or so which can be FATAL to a rider that doesn't expect it. I almost ate it with my Eliminator 600 when I downshifted and got on the throttle preparing a 2-lane pass BEFORE pulling out in the other lane. Almost climbed into the back seat of the car ahead. There just isn't much of any safe use for that kind of HP on the street, especially not for a beginner.

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Posted at 11/7/2014 4:18:12 PM

HockeyCoach

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Richard47 said:
HockeyCoach said:If you have a lot of driving experience (and maturity), then it matters much less what kind of bike you get first.


True, but only up to a point. Bikes are very different to cars in that they accelerate faster and can overtake much easier. And, of course, you are much less visible. This may not matter much on the freeway, but on ordinary roads it's very easy to travel much faster than the usual traffic. It's easy to get carried away with the fun of it, even for experienced riders. And it is a lot of fun.

I frequently pass a sad little bunch of flowers that marks the spot where a rider (an experienced one too) was killed. A driver was reversing out of their drive and took him out. The police didn't prosecute the driver because the bike was doing 100mph at a place where cars seldom exceed the posted 50 limit. They calculated the driver had only three to four seconds to see the bike, and that may have been reduced by passing cars.

Even if the new rider is an experienced car driver this sort of thing may not be apparent to them. It's so easy to go fast on a powerful modern bike. When I started out the only way my bike would do 100 is if you dropped it off a cliff. And that was true for quite a few years.


Hopefully, "the bike was doing 100mph at a place where cars seldom exceed the posted 50 limit" is something that experience and maturity prevent.

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