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      12-02-2009, 02:54 PM   #1
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Best starter motorcycle?

Hello Everyone,

I've got the itch to get a motorcycle and wanted to know if any other riders out there had some tips on a good starter bike (and anything else).

I'd like to eventually get an R1 (Raven looks nice), Ninja, pretty much anything that is super fast and will most likely get me killed....BUT I need to start on something easy to learn on.

Thanks
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      12-02-2009, 02:59 PM   #2
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Don't bother with a Kawi 250/500, it's a waste of money because in a month or so you'll want an 'R' bike anyway.

Buy a used 600cc 'R' bike and take a riding course.
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      12-02-2009, 05:07 PM   #3
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i got two friends with yamaha's. Ones got the r1 and the other has the r6. The r1 has crazy torque and my friends had it up to 193 on the highway but was limited because he does not have a power commander. that would be a little to much to start with.

the r6 is plenty fast and since your a beginner it will take you a while to get it to its full potential. I would stay start with an r6. it has plenty of power and it looks almost as good as an r1.
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      12-02-2009, 05:20 PM   #4
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I started on a Yamaha FZ6..sporty and fun but you aren't leaning over. Kept it for 4 months and bought a CBR600RR. Go find a used bike ride it, sell it for close to what you paid and then get your sport bike. I wouldn't recommend starting out on a sport bike first.
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      12-02-2009, 06:48 PM   #5
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I don't understand the whole theory of starting off w/ a small bike...Size has nothing to do with starter bikes. If you can't control your right hand you shouldn't be on a bike. Unless you are talking about tracking. B/c that would put you in different classes.

I took everyones advice and got a cbr600f3 and grew quickly tired of it. Within 4 month of riding I was on a gsxr 1000 and wondered why I didn;t start on this bike?? The same holds true for dirt biking as well! Just get what you can afford and put some sliders on it. But watch that right hand.

And if you want to take it another notch get the Duc 1198, it made my 07 r1 feel like a 600.
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      12-02-2009, 07:06 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmm def View Post
I wouldn't recommend starting out on a sport bike first.
This is some of the only worthwhile information stated thus far.
/\ If you've never ridden, consider a Ninja 500 or older 600 (pre-2002). Realize you will drop your motorcycle so it's preferable for your first bike to be ok with scratches. You should keep your first bike for a full riding season or at least 5,000 miles.

Stay away from an R6 as your first bike. Some people have started with sportbikes and been ok, and you'll hear a lot of guys saying "I had an R6 as my first bike and I was fine! If you can't handle it you're a pussy!" but they are the exception to the rule. 100+ hp on a motorcycle is dangerous and will injur most starting and kill some.

EXCELLENT starter bikes are Suzuki SV650s, Kawasaki 650R, Honda 600F3, Kawasaki EX500, or Yamaha FZ6.
Quote:
Originally Posted by krnnerdboy View Post
I don't understand the whole theory of starting off w/ a small bike...Size has nothing to do with starter bikes. If you can't control your right hand you shouldn't be on a bike.

I took everyones advice and got a cbr600f3 and grew quickly tired of it. Within 4 month of riding I was on a gsxr 1000 and wondered why I didn;t start on this bike??
Because bikes aren't like cars. If you put your throttle down in a car, you'll either accelerate or oversteer. If you do that on a sportbike, you can loop it or lose the tire out the back. I've been riding for 6 years and I've had over 15+ friends DIE. I can't tell you how many new riders have crashed because they were either going too damn fast or they were on a bike too big for them. "Control your wrist" doesn't work as well when you're 0-60 in 3.5 seconds and 0-100 in 5.0 seconds. The tiniest of throttle increase can send you hurdling towards the wall on modern sportbikes.

Also, krnnerdboy, I'd be interested to hear how you ride. Riding in straight lines or on highways, etc would be one thing on a Gixxer 1000, but riding it properly on the kind of roads I travel (read: corners & lots of em) is rediculous unless you have a lot of experience.

Also where do you keep your bike in the powerband? Many riders who skip up in the powerband quickly never end up using their motors. They ride at 6-9k RPMs. They've often never ridden at all if more than a brief moment at 12-15k RPM. SOOOOOOO many riders think "Their 600 is slow I must need 1000!" but they've never gotten above 11k. Fact is sportbikes aren't designed to really have any power until you hit 9k or above, and they dont really start moving till 12k+. My 600cc is quicker than most Lambos, I just use it correctly. Many never even realize they're not using their power.
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      12-02-2009, 09:31 PM   #7
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R6! grow a pair!
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      12-03-2009, 01:42 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spec 1 View Post
This is some of the only worthwhile information stated thus far.
/\ If you've never ridden, consider a Ninja 500 or older 600 (pre-2002). Realize you will drop your motorcycle so it's preferable for your first bike to be ok with scratches. You should keep your first bike for a full riding season or at least 5,000 miles.

Stay away from an R6 as your first bike. Some people have started with sportbikes and been ok, and you'll hear a lot of guys saying "I had an R6 as my first bike and I was fine! If you can't handle it you're a pussy!" but they are the exception to the rule. 100+ hp on a motorcycle is dangerous and will injur most starting and kill some.

EXCELLENT starter bikes are Suzuki SV650s, Kawasaki 650R, Honda 600F3, Kawasaki EX500, or Yamaha FZ6.


Because bikes aren't like cars. If you put your throttle down in a car, you'll either accelerate or oversteer. If you do that on a sportbike, you can loop it or lose the tire out the back. I've been riding for 6 years and I've had over 15+ friends DIE. I can't tell you how many new riders have crashed because they were either going too damn fast or they were on a bike too big for them. "Control your wrist" doesn't work as well when you're 0-60 in 3.5 seconds and 0-100 in 5.0 seconds. The tiniest of throttle increase can send you hurdling towards the wall on modern sportbikes.

Also, krnnerdboy, I'd be interested to hear how you ride. Riding in straight lines or on highways, etc would be one thing on a Gixxer 1000, but riding it properly on the kind of roads I travel (read: corners & lots of em) is rediculous unless you have a lot of experience.

Also where do you keep your bike in the powerband? Many riders who skip up in the powerband quickly never end up using their motors. They ride at 6-9k RPMs. They've often never ridden at all if more than a brief moment at 12-15k RPM. SOOOOOOO many riders think "Their 600 is slow I must need 1000!" but they've never gotten above 11k. Fact is sportbikes aren't designed to really have any power until you hit 9k or above, and they dont really start moving till 12k+. My 600cc is quicker than most Lambos, I just use it correctly. Many never even realize they're not using their power.
This is good advice. I've been a motorcyclist for over 35 years (dirt bike at age 11) and have been street riding for 27 years (over 100,000 miles). What no one has yet mentioned is riding a motorcycle in traffic is ENTIRELY different than driving a car in traffic. Having a 1000 GSXR with no riding experience and getting into a situation that will lead you to panic (every new motorcyclist does) is a recipe for injury or death. Get a 600cc standard and take the MSF rider course and take a slow progression on learning how to ride on the street. A good motorcyclist has a good attitude, extreme confidence, and excellent skills that he builds over time.
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      12-03-2009, 03:14 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ENINTY View Post
This is good advice. I've been a motorcyclist for over 35 years (dirt bike at age 11) and have been street riding for 27 years (over 100,000 miles). What no one has yet mentioned is riding a motorcycle in traffic is ENTIRELY different than driving a car in traffic. Having a 1000 GSXR with no riding experience and getting into a situation that will lead you to panic (every new motorcyclist does) is a recipe for injury or death. Get a 600cc standard and take the MSF rider course and take a slow progression on learning how to ride on the street. A good motorcyclist has a good attitude, extreme confidence, and excellent skills that he builds over time.
Well said. I have about 40,000 street miles under my own belt. Motorcycling is indeed a constant learning experience and what you said about traffic is correct. I tried to touch on that with the "Control your wrist" comment the other gentleman made, but just adjusting your wrist because it's sore/stiff could send you hurdling into the car in front of you. Modern sportbikes have enough power to literally throw you off the back if you chop the throttle. Check youtube and watch how many videos there are of sportbikes flying into the back of cars. Those are guys on bikes bigger than they should be on, and garaunteed every one of them would have told me I was stupid or a pussy for suggesting they're on too big of a bike 10 min before their wreck.

Always have respect for your motorcycle, because as soon as you loose it, you'll wreck.

Having said all this, OP, motorcycling has been one of the greatest experiences of my life thus far. Not only for the sport, but also for the community involved with it. Good luck!
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      12-03-2009, 04:01 PM   #10
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      12-03-2009, 07:53 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bweezy311 View Post
Hello Everyone,

I've got the itch to get a motorcycle and wanted to know if any other riders out there had some tips on a good starter bike (and anything else).

I'd like to eventually get an R1 (Raven looks nice), Ninja, pretty much anything that is super fast and will most likely get me killed....BUT I need to start on something easy to learn on.

Thanks
It sounds like you're taking the notion of getting a sportbike a bit too lightly. With that kind of attitude, you could very well be seriously injured, possibly even killed. Don't underestimate sportbikes and riding in general. I've been riding for over 7 years and have seen more than my share of things that can and will go wrong on a sportbike if you're not in the right mindset. That is, respect the bike and respect the power.
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      12-03-2009, 09:34 PM   #12
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I understand where people are coming from when the say "you'll be sick of the 250 in a week" but I would never say it's a bad idea to start off on one.

The Ninja 250R has been the default choice for years and now with the 2008 update it's even more popular but the price is getting to the point where it's not really that great a value.

What I think made Kawasaki suddenly update the 250R is Hyosung coming into the U.S. market with their GT250R and GT650R. They are better looking bikes -- even after Kawi's update -- and now for the 2010 year have Direct Fuel Injection. They handle better, get better MPG and have a better dash and are the size of real 600cc bikes and have the aggressive body position. There are some who question reliability because it's less of a known brand but I know people who've been riding them for years and they seem fine, 2 year warranty as well.

Kawasaki on the left, Hyosung on the right.



Not bad at all for a $4,200 MSRP. Also, Hyosungs get you ridiculously cheap insurance. One 40yo male on youtube is paying $98 a year for the 600cc through progressive.

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      12-03-2009, 09:55 PM   #13
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Bweezy,

Your asking a great question. I've been riding street bikes for about 6 years now and I've had some decent experience with friends who wanted to get into riding. One thing that always seems to stand true, people who start on smaller bikes become the best and most successful riders. They do this because they've learned how to control the bike and how it reacts in certain situations. I've seen too many people with the bigger is better attitude and some of them are no longer with us today. Point being, its just too damn easy to get yourself in trouble on a big bike until you know exactly what you are doing.

I began on a Suzuki SV 650s and it was a perfect beginner bike. I'm a Ducati guy now, but had I started on one I would probably be seriously injured or worse. Like others have said, it doesn't take but a small mistake on your part to twist just a little too much throttle and get yourself into serious trouble. Motorcycles are great fun but sometimes it only takes one mistake. My advice... start on what makes you comfortable and happy, learn on it and enjoy riding for what it is. You can always upgrade when you are ready. If you care about other people's opinion of what is cool then your missing the point of riding altogether.
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      12-03-2009, 11:29 PM   #14
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Pick up a used 600cc.
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      12-04-2009, 08:49 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spec 1 View Post
Well said. I have about 40,000 street miles under my own belt. Motorcycling is indeed a constant learning experience and what you said about traffic is correct. I tried to touch on that with the "Control your wrist" comment the other gentleman made, but just adjusting your wrist because it's sore/stiff could send you hurdling into the car in front of you. Modern sportbikes have enough power to literally throw you off the back if you chop the throttle. Check youtube and watch how many videos there are of sportbikes flying into the back of cars. Those are guys on bikes bigger than they should be on, and garaunteed every one of them would have told me I was stupid or a pussy for suggesting they're on too big of a bike 10 min before their wreck.

Always have respect for your motorcycle, because as soon as you loose it, you'll wreck.

Having said all this, OP, motorcycling has been one of the greatest experiences of my life thus far. Not only for the sport, but also for the community involved with it. Good luck!
Hopefully the OP will take our advice and keep a level head about it.

I remember my first ride with my bother (who was a motorcycle courier in Washington DC) on his early 70's 3-cylinder Suzuki 2-stroke. I was probably 9 years old. We went blasting up the hill on Chainbridge road and it scared the living crap out of me while at the same time thrilling the crap out of me; I was hooked. I remember a second ride a few years later with my other brother on his Suzuki TS 185, when we came around a corner on a two lane road and there was a VW Bus putting across on the cross street. The driver saw us, panicked, and decided to stop in the middle of intersection leaving no place for my brother to go. He locked the rear (mind you we were two up) slid around the back of the VW got into the oncoming lane, then on to the dirt on the side of the road. My brother stayed upright, corrected it, and we went on our way (it was Sunday and we were going to Church - my Brother later became a Priest, so maybe God was looking out for him). My point is those experiences helped me when I became a motorcyclist; not having them probably would have let me not respect the machine. As you said you need to respect the machine.
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      12-04-2009, 08:59 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by njw View Post
Bweezy,

Your asking a great question. I've been riding street bikes for about 6 years now and I've had some decent experience with friends who wanted to get into riding. One thing that always seems to stand true, people who start on smaller bikes become the best and most successful riders. They do this because they've learned how to control the bike and how it reacts in certain situations. I've seen too many people with the bigger is better attitude and some of them are no longer with us today. Point being, its just too damn easy to get yourself in trouble on a big bike until you know exactly what you are doing.

I began on a Suzuki SV 650s and it was a perfect beginner bike. I'm a Ducati guy now, but had I started on one I would probably be seriously injured or worse. Like others have said, it doesn't take but a small mistake on your part to twist just a little too much throttle and get yourself into serious trouble. Motorcycles are great fun but sometimes it only takes one mistake. My advice... start on what makes you comfortable and happy, learn on it and enjoy riding for what it is. You can always upgrade when you are ready. If you care about other people's opinion of what is cool then your missing the point of riding altogether.
Ding ding ding.

And please don't be one of those guys I see wiz by me with their helmet hooked on the back of the bike. I just don't get that at all.

Wear it or don't bother.

I read the Buell Blast is a good starter. ???

My first street was a low saddle 500. Honda CX500 I think was the model. Showing my age now.

If it goes down and you can't pick it up it's the wrong bike.
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      12-04-2009, 09:19 AM   #17
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sv650's are tough to beat, and a popular race class
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      12-04-2009, 11:37 AM   #18
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RC51.

Not really. I'd recommend starting off with what we always called a "starter bike" for good reason. Had a lot of friends go down hard, some with no more than bruises, a couple with many broken bones (including neck) because of lack of experience. I usually recommend the Ninja 500, but people rarely listen because anything less than a racing 600 is pussy to them. Until they wipe the floor with their face.

I've seen people start on a CBR600RR and outgrow it in a month. Others started with the 600 and dumped it so much that they just never want to ride again. Your call. I still say start small until you've "outlearned" the bike, and sell it to get the next step up, until you get to the RC51 and realize everything else is crap (just kidding; that's just my personal favorite, that's all).

But really, you're safer not biting off more than you can chew. And by safer, I mean less likely to die or be severely maimed.
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      12-04-2009, 03:41 PM   #19
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Used ducati monster is a great way to go!
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      12-04-2009, 04:58 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cyphr View Post
It sounds like you're taking the notion of getting a sportbike a bit too lightly. With that kind of attitude, you could very well be seriously injured, possibly even killed. Don't underestimate sportbikes and riding in general. I've been riding for over 7 years and have seen more than my share of things that can and will go wrong on a sportbike if you're not in the right mindset. That is, respect the bike and respect the power.
It's hard to put a voice of saracsm in text...as that was ment to be a joking notion. However, do not misinterpret that statement. If you read my question again I clearly am aware which is why I want to start on something small and easy. I am very humble and conscious of the dangers that come with riding a motorcycle. Frankly, it's made me too scared to ride a bike. Those reasons are why I haven't wanted to ride a motorcycle all this time. I've now reached a point where I'm willing to try it, and by my question, want to start the right way and learn correctly.

I'm not a cocky insecure person so I'm not worried about not wearing a helmet or giving it gas to show off. I want to ride a bike to ride a bike. I eventually want a top of the line/fast bike because it is something nice looking and good to have the option of going very fast. Simliar to having the choice to drive in a honda civic vs lamborghini, both are cars and will get you from A to B, but the one is much sexier and faster.

I appreciate everyone's advise greatly! Please keep the discussion going! Recommending the right type of bike really helps me as I know very little about bikes (I have a lot of reading to do!).
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      12-04-2009, 05:38 PM   #21
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I know it inappropriate to say this but these guys are giving you the right advice. Specially spec_1....He know'w what he's talking about. Start off slow with a small bike and gradually, when your confidence increases, get a superbike. Trust us, this is the right solution.
BTW, I made a mistake by buying a 750Gixxer as my first bike. I was thankful to God that nothing happened to me as I couldn't handle it with confidence.
And now, I have realized my mistake,sold it and I'm planning to get a 600CC next year for track purpose only. I will train on the track first then think about going on the open Highway.(UAE car drivers are rough and immature)
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      12-04-2009, 11:15 PM   #22
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You'll get bored of a 250cc within a few months, yet it'll be the smartest move you'll make when purchasing your first bike.

Learn first, then upgrade later.

A slip on the throttle with a 250 might hurt you, but a slip of the throttle on a 600+ sports bike might kill you.

I started on a kawasaki 250r and it was the smartest decision I made.
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