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dalan
05-09-2005, 12:24 PM
:uhh:

Oh man. I'm in the midst of a thread over on a ZZR1200 forum, where there are a couple folks suggesting that it might be OK for a total newbie to start out on one of these things, so long as he rides with a "responsible head" and, you guessed it, "respects the power". There's one guy there who actually did this: bought a ZZR1200 this December and has since put 3500 miles on it. Says he's not afraid of the bike anymore and wouldn't mind having more power, and that he would have regretted starting on a smaller bike. In his defense, he admits to being an AGATT rider and specifically says that he doesn't recommend it for most starting riders, but the implication still scares the bejeezus out of me.

So, how do you counter this without sounding like a yellow-bellied fear monger?

MarcS
05-09-2005, 12:39 PM
Heheheheheheh. Not a battle worth fighting, IMO ;) just point newbies to the sub-800cc cruiser or standard of their choice.

The main point I would emphasize about starting on a smaller bike is that you gain more skill more quickly than with a larger bike. One of the prominent instructors at a racing school said something along the lines that his students biggest hangup in learning was that they were on the wrong bike. Plenty of stories of people on CBRs getting passed by people on EX250s or dirt bikes . . .

Motorcycling is about accepting risk. Find one of the many videos on the 'net showing someone hopping on some newbie bike and promptly smacking it into a tree, or visit an MSF course -- there are people who accidently wheelie the little 250s . . . there was a story of a kid at an MSF ERC who dropped his brand-new Hayabusa -- after the bike hit the ground, it leaned enough that the rear tire touched asphalt -- the bike picked itself up and flipped onto the other side. Find some of the crash pictures of someone who lost control on a 600, and nearly split a car in half. You can occasionally find some of the gorier pictures, esp where someone lost control on the freeway, and left a trail of hamburger a hundred feet long. Of course, you can do most of this on a 250.

It might be OK few a newbie to learn to ride on a ZZR1200. It might be ok to snort coke just once...it might...

sanglant
05-09-2005, 12:55 PM
:uhh:

Oh man. I'm in the midst of a thread over on a ZZR1200 forum, where there are a couple folks suggesting that it might be OK for a total newbie to start out on one of these things, so long as he rides with a "responsible head" and, you guessed it, "respects the power". There's one guy there who actually did this: bought a ZZR1200 this December and has since put 3500 miles on it. Says he's not afraid of the bike anymore and wouldn't mind having more power, and that he would have regretted starting on a smaller bike. In his defense, he admits to being an AGATT rider and specifically says that he doesn't recommend it for most starting riders, but the implication still scares the bejeezus out of me.

So, how do you counter this without sounding like a yellow-bellied fear monger?


Take it to the track and kick their asses with a D class lightweight bike. :)

Honestly, I wouldn't get into the debate with them. It is an opinion issue supported by ancedotal evidence. It's like arguing religion; no one can objectively, absolutely prove they are right, but a whole lot of people are convinced that they are in the right.

My favorite analogy to make to a new riders that are considering that, though, is the "where is the respect line?" By that I mean most motorcycles have a 90 degree twist throttle (or a quarter turn, which is the same thing). At 6,000 rpm, a bike like the F4i isn't even making 40 hp, and that' is a stretch for a beginner to be riding. At the same 6,000 rpm, my GSXR1000 is making almost 80hp, twice as much, with twice as much chance for an error to spit you off the saddle if it spins up the rear when you're leaned over. I also like asking how many degrees is respectful, and just how educated is your wrist? My bike makes around 150 rwhp, so each degree 10 degrees of throttle is ~16 more hp (yeah, that's not exact, but it actually works in your favor since most of the first and last degrees don't have much impact on the power curve, making the middle part that much more sensitive). On a bike like my DRZ400, it's making about 40 rwhp, so each 10 degrees of throttle movement is about 4.5 hp. In other words, you can make an error in "respecting the power" on the DRZ and it can't do much more than groan and gum you a little. Make an error with the gixxer, and she'll start hazing up the rear. Can a new rider deal with a rear wheel slide? If the answer involves "close the throttle" then no, they can't. They can do a nifty highside that way, though.

mbossman2
05-09-2005, 01:04 PM
"respect for the power" is a learned response, generated by experience. Unfortunately during the learning process, the inexperienced rider may end up in a situation where their skills do not match the power that has already been unleashed. (heck, even an experienced rider can end up in that situation).

A smaller bike (generally) does not have the ability to rocket from one end of the "safe" performance envelope to the other (and beyond) with the same speed that some of the larger bikes are capable. While the difference is only a second (or less), that is enough time for a save or a disaster to occur.

LoDownSinner
05-09-2005, 01:07 PM
Try an approach like this:

http://forums.about.com/n/mb/message.asp?webtag=ab-motorcycles2&msg=748.4

speeddemon
05-09-2005, 02:49 PM
Yeah, I have read the same thing at the FZ1 owner's site. Can you imagine starting out on one of those?! 1000cc, de-tuned R1 engine, over 120 HP. But I think that its the nature of brand-enthusiast sites...I mean, that's why they exist, to extoll the virtues of a particular bike.

mbossman2
05-09-2005, 02:52 PM
there is a balance that needs to be struck between brand loyalty and having the right tool for the right job.

I know, I work for a manufacturer and have, after several years (and tons of experience), come to the realization that while my company does make the best product in our field, it is not always the right fit for certain customers - - they don't need half of what my product offers.

subvetSSN606
05-09-2005, 03:15 PM
The best angle I can think to take is that "respecting the power" only helps with the type of problems that arise from intentionally getting yourself in over your head. Keeps you from being deliberately stupid. Doesn't help at all with unintentional errors.

Tom

subvetSSN606
05-09-2005, 03:18 PM
Of course then there's the argument that riding a bike that is way overmatched to your skill level is by definition- not respecting the power.

Tom

LoDownSinner
05-09-2005, 03:20 PM
Can a new rider deal with a rear wheel slide? If the answer involves "close the throttle" then no, they can't. They can do a nifty highside that way, though.
Amen!!!

:thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

A_Pmech
05-09-2005, 03:26 PM
Respect and technique are different words with different meanings. Don't confuse the two.

Not much point in arguing with a person who's brain hangs between their legs. ;)

x_cuesme
05-09-2005, 06:35 PM
Please..- It is SO HARD to resist the obvious comment!!! :heyyou:

Paduan
05-09-2005, 07:06 PM
Didn't think that thing hanging between the legs had a brain.

slaps76
05-09-2005, 11:54 PM
This is a good sticky post at a Hayabusa forum:

http://www.hayabusa.org/cgi-bin/busa/ikonboard.cgi?;act=ST;f=6;t=9637

One thing some people need to be reminded, is when you're learning something, pretty much anything, you make mistakes. When you make those mistakes on something as sensitive and powerful as a bike like that, it'll bite you in the a$$. Nothing to do with "being careful." The 250/500 sportbikes are much lighter and more forgiving. Plus, those super-bikes will always be for sale, and by learning the right way, the beginner rider will be there as well to purchase bigger bikes in the future.

Smitty
05-10-2005, 08:29 PM
When you have people with set minds though no real knowledge of what they are talking about, it is rather hard to take the wind out of their sails for so many are born with excuses & ready to fight whatever you say.

After a try or two I will simply say they win with fixed minds or note others are saying the same & simply ignore said Thread & posts.

Galaxieman
05-10-2005, 09:13 PM
What did Rossi start racing on? 125's thank you. Nuff said. If the best rider in the world (at least for the past 4 years anyway) started small, what makes you think you're any better?

-Jim

LoDownSinner
05-10-2005, 11:41 PM
What did Rossi start racing on? 125's thank you. Nuff said. If the best rider in the world (at least for the past 4 years anyway) started small, what makes you think you're any better?

-Jim
Pocket bikes. I believe he started on pocket bikes.

dalan
05-11-2005, 10:24 AM
What did Rossi start racing on? 125's thank you. Nuff said. If the best rider in the world (at least for the past 4 years anyway) started small, what makes you think you're any better?


That's exactly what I said. The thread died at that point (imagine that).

Galaxieman
05-11-2005, 12:19 PM
Pocket bikes. I believe he started on pocket bikes.


I stand corrected. His first GP win was on a 125, but he did switch to minimotos (fancy term for pocket bikes) after karting. Even better argument for starting small!

-Jim

Paduan
05-11-2005, 12:54 PM
Having done a bit of MX, scrambles, and flats when I was considerably younger, here is an interesting observation:

In motocross, it is often possible to negotiate a course faster on a 125 than the bigger bikes.

You spend less time backing down and more time powering on. This is an advantage on a tight course.

And, your skills must be a little finer to take full advantage of the little bike. You have less power to get yourself out of trouble and into the front.

Most of the great racers started out small.

Smitty may also have found this to be true?

Jack_R1
05-13-2005, 08:31 AM
You spend less time backing down and more time powering on. This is an advantage on a tight course.
It's the same in roadracing. 600cc bikes are known to post smaller lap times with the majority of riders, especially on "technical" tracks (not 1st hand information, though).

And, your skills must be a little finer to take full advantage of the little bike. You have less power to get yourself out of trouble and into the front.
This isn't so, I think.. It just makes you use another set of skills. Smaller bikes are more forgiving and allow more small throttle errors, and that allows less concentration on turning the throttle, and more - on the correct line, braking, and powering out. That's why literbikes with newbies lag behind in corners.

Jack_R1
05-13-2005, 08:33 AM
Ah, and about literbikes and newbies - like the Hayabusa board, we have the same discussion (if it can be called that) going on R1-Forum.

http://www.r1-forum.com/forums/showthread.php?threadid=75113

sanglant
05-16-2005, 03:38 PM
And, your skills must be a little finer to take full advantage of the little bike. You have less power to get yourself out of trouble and into the front.
This isn't so, I think.. It just makes you use another set of skills. Smaller bikes are more forgiving and allow more small throttle errors, and that allows less concentration on turning the throttle, and more - on the correct line, braking, and powering out. That's why literbikes with newbies lag behind in corners.

Yes, it does take another set of skills. The trouble is, the line between "too much" and "just right" on a liter bike is very fine and the penalty for crossing it is severe. Hence, most riders err on the side of caution and don't come near the line. A tire doesn't care what engine is spinning it; with a given chassis and track, it can only take so much force before it spins and slides.

Consider this simplified example: A given tire can take 90hp before it breaks loose in a given situation. A 600cc bike makes 105hp at it's peak, way up around 14-15,000 rpm. A 1000cc bike makes 150hp at it's peak, somewhere in the 11-12,000 rpm range. At 8,000 rpm, the 600 is no where near breaking the tire loose. At the same 8,000 rpm, though, the liter bike is on the ragged edge of a slide. So, the liter bike rider, fearing to cross the edge, doesn't reach that rpm while leaned over, and is slower applying the throttle. The 600 rider, however, twists away and adds on more power, effectively using more of his bike's available ability than the liter bike rider. Afterall, it doesn't really matter how much power you can make; it matters how much power you can effectively put to the ground.