Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Jacksonville, Florida
Motorcycle: 06 GSXR 1000, 03 GSXR 750
Re: Why not a Sports Bike for a First Bike ?
Great post Fraggle, very well written.
Way back in the dark ages when I started riding (early 80's) I did my basic learning on a honda xr 75 dirt bike, and I'll admit that the first street bike that I owned was the Honda
MB5, 49cc two stroke street legal approx 55mph top speed. Looking back, thats probably the best decision that I could have made. I rode that for a year or so, like most one accident on it, although I can say (looking back now) that it was almost unavoidable (figure that I'd still end up in the dirt) cager made a left turn about 50 ft in front of me in a 45mph zone 2 lane road, no run off area to the right (deep ditch) couldn't use the left lane for the line of cars backed up behind the cage that took me down, almost made it but hit the right front corner of the cage. Bike was damaged pretty good, (I did slightly better) bent forks, stripped the mirrors off as I went over and left rear shock bent in a lovely C shape, also stripped everything off the left side of the bike, signals front and rear, footpeg, shifter bent the kick stand, and got the typical drop issues on the right as the bike ended up under the car. I was thrown about 50 feet landed on the back of head first then shoulders, hips and legs. End results, left forearm broken 3 places, assorted rash on shins (stripping mirrors off???) broken nose (helmet rotation???) ground almost completely through the plastic/fibreglass shell on the helmet and cracked it (wear good gear folks) still have assorted back problems, but I still average about 6K miles per year.
I figure that if I had started on the GPz 550 that I wanted, it would have been worse.
After almost 20 years riding, I moved up to the GSXR 1000 figuring that I was ready and could handle it, as I was dragging bits on the last couple of bikes. Looking back (to the last few weeks even) all I can say is WRONG ANSWER folks. The litre bikes are so far advanced and powerful that a moments distraction or indescretion can result in a number of things, either acceleration at warp speed or unintended wheelie. Luckily, this one hasn't taken me down, although I will say that a 70mph wheelie while kicked over exiting a turn will get your attention quickly.
Newbies go find a 250cc something at the largest (does big green still make the 100cc enduro?) you will learn the dynamics of how a bike works on something that will forgive a bit of rough handling without turning on you and slamming you to the pavement.
Be safe all.