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Thread: So, nobody started on a 600 sportbike?!?

  1. #11
    Johnny Dollar
    Anthony- That's pretty much the answer I was looking for. I don't want to start on something too small and not enjoy myself. By the same token, I don't want to be so completely freaked out after my first few rides that I'll park it and scratch the little "M" off of my licence.

  2. #12
    FWIW I was 26, married, etc. when I started riding and figured I was receiving that advice was because I was old enough to be responsible with the bike.

    What I quickly learned was that no matter how much you have for the bike it has absolutely no respect for you. Sportbikes respond and demand experienced, decisive input from their riders. The mixed signals you end up sending to the bike when you are new to riding is what seems to come back to haunt you. While the Katana didn't have the "almost telepathic" turning response attributed to the supersports it did have a similar response when it came to braking and throttle. The slightest input had dramatic results. To date it is the only bike I wheelied and stoppied, both unintentionally (and thankfully pretty small).

    The wheelie was from not having my wrist in a good position and hitting a pothole I hadn't seen, probably a 1/4 turn on the throttle while running just below the powerband in 1st gear. The wheel came up a bit without too much drama. Except I was now doing 35-40 mph in a school zone.

    The stoppie was pulling it into the garage after my friend dropped it of at my house the day I bought it. I was duck-walking it up the driveway into the garage, giving it a little gas to help move it along (it was heavy), thought I had the clutch all the way out and completely let it go to roll it a little faster. Turns out I was just entering the small friction zone instead of leaving it. With the motor humming at about 2500 rpm, the bike took off into the garage at which point I almost fell off (I still had my feet nice and flat on the ground and wasn't expecting it at all). Since I was sliding off the back I ended up giving it more gas in the process of trying to get back on the seat and then quickly grabbed a handful of front brake while rolling off the throttle. Since I still wasn't completely seated well I was thrown into the tank, the rear tire lifted and the bike almost went down. Managed to keep it up, pure dumb luck, but it wasn't the best way to start my new hobby.

    Everyone has to make their own choice in the end but if I had to do it again I would have started on something a lot smaller. Instead I missed out on some good years of riding....

    Last edited by AnthonyC; 08-17-2005 at 09:24 PM.
    "Be Content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you."
    Lao Tzu

    Former Rides - 1995 Kawasaki VN750, 02 BMW F650GS (*sigh*), 93 Suzuki Katana 1100

  3. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny Dollar
    There's just that adrenaline inducing effect when you mount a supersport that's amazing.

    That's been the argument that has gotten my attention the most. Not that I'll drop it, not that I'll hit a bump and jump 6000 RPM, but that I'll develop more slowly and not learn the proper riding style/technique. Plastic I can replace. Months of learning bad habits on the other hand.......
    Adrenaline. Therein lies the problem. I've posted this on other boards. It's a curse to show up for a track day on a hot bike and feel you have something to prove. Don't ask me how I know.

    It's just as much of a curse to jump on a high powered 430 some lb. sportbike around other riders on similar bikes and feel you have to keep up with them. That's not been a problem.
    VF 500 track bike
    ZX-10R street bike
    '99 ZX-11 "Cruiser"

  4. #14
    Flirting With The Redline
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Vancouver, WA
    Based on your story, I'd say you're one of those rare people where a 600 isn't out of reason.

    I wouldn't be in a big rush to ride 2-up, however. Give it a year.

    For 2-up, consider a YZF600R, F4i, ZZR600 or a Katana 600. The full on race reps won't appeal to your future spouse. I still recommend a good used bike for a first street bike.

    I still think that one can have a lot of fun on a 250/500 starter bike, too.

  5. #15
    Flirting With The Redline 2000 Posts! MarcS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    King George, VA
    VanDawg, all the bikes you mentioned are race-reps from a few years ago. And the pillion seats on all of them suck.

    Johnny, there's nothing wrong with buying a small bike and moving up. The best advice I can give is to spend some time on a 250 or 500, and then selling it when you feel confident. You'll be safer that way, and you shouldn't be riding two-up early on anyway. If you buy a well-loved older bike, you'll potentially be able to sell it for what you paid for it. And if you're serious about riding, you can put 2-3k miles on in a couple of months and have a lot more experience and skill that'll help you pick your next bike -- and that might be something quite a bit larger that is very well suited to two-up touring, like a lot of BMW bikes.
    Ia! Ia! Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fh'tagn!

  6. #16

    2005 Kawasaki EN500C (SOLD)
    1986 Yamaha YX600 Radian (SOLD)

    M.I.T.G.C. #30
    (late bloomer)

  7. #17
    RiderCoach We've stopped counting... LoDownSinner's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Nashville, TN
    Hmmmm, IIRC, the Banshee 350 is a pretty high performance piece of machinery. Isn't it a two-cylinder two-stroke?

    If it's like the ones I've seen at a few Hare Scrambles, you should be pretty used to a peaky powerband and have a firm grasp of the basics of traction management.

    The power delivery of a 600cc sport bike is going to be a bit less peaky than the Banshee, but it's gonna have a boatload more torque - meaning it will pull harder and longer.

    I'm gonna go out on a limb here, but with your off-road experience, if you've been riding fairly hard, should have prepared you for just about any bike.

    A lot of the same principles apply to riding a high performance street bike as a high performance off road machine. Be very careful, and remember that the bike's capabilities will be much greater than your own. The bike will do exactly what you tell it to do, exactly when you tell it to do so, and do it with extreme enthusiasm - it's up to you to learn how to tell it what you want it to do.

  8. #18
    Hittin' The Twisties TeknoGTI's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Orlando, FL
    Quick and short. Sure, one can survive starting on a 600cc bike or larger but know this. I have 2 friends that both bought new Yamaha R6's, both were careful, made sure or tried to make sure they understood the power before the took it into traffic. needless to say, both have laid their bikes down. Not to bad for n00bs to just lay their bikes down, but I can tell you, I wouldnt buy the bikes now, cause they dont really look nice/nwe anymore. Another friend started out on a big cruiser, dont know cc's, however he rode for a week before he broke his right leg and had surgury on it to put plates in. He will never ride again, he is to scared now. As for my 2 friends on the 600cc bikes, 1 is already talking about upgrading to a liter bike, the other friend and i look at him like he is crazy. He feels that after 2k miles he is ready for a bigger bike, i try to explain to him that he prob has not even reached the bikes limits and only his. I am trying to convince him its a bad move, but whatever. Both of you have a decision to make. I myself have a ninja 250, i love it. Yes, its not the quickest bike out there and yes I drool over the Ninja 636, R6 and 600R, even the GXR. I also had prior riding experiance, but I can tell you, i had a couple oops calls on my bike and i know if i were on a larger bike things probably would not have worked out the way they did for me. Anyway, best of luck. I guess i tried to make this short and sweet, but just didnt work out.

  9. #19
    Flirting With The Redline
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Vancouver, WA
    Quote Originally Posted by MarcS
    And the pillion seats on all of them suck.
    Not as bad as the current ones.

  10. #20
    Contributor We've stopped counting... MsPotatoPotatoHead's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Potato Ranch, CO
    Without more street experience, I would say probably not a good idea. One of my MSF instructors used to work at a motorcycle dealer. She said that 100% (I repeat, because she stressed this, 100%) of all the 600cc and up sportbikes they sold in the two years she worked there came back, wrecked, within 30 days. That's one of the most telling statistics I've heard as far as the advisability of starting out on a 600cc+ sportbike. A 500 or an SV650 sounds like a much better idea.


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