Why not a Sports Bike for a First Bike ? - Suzuki GSX-R Motorcycle Forums Gixxer.com
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post #1 of 370 (permalink) Old 02-19-2003, 12:07 PM Thread Starter
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Why not a Sports Bike for a First Bike ?

After a rash of posts about what bike to get as a first bike, and a lot of posts defending the reasoning behind "only a 600" or "having respect", or "too big to ride a small bike"....

Why not a GSXR/R6/ZXR/CBR/996 etc?

Well, I am not sure that the fact that these are "only 600's" means a great deal, they are seen as "slow" by newer riders, and therefore easier to master than the 1000cc versions. Many people have said that they feel a 750 would be fine.

I guess that your idea of slow, is a fair bit different to mine. My idea of slow is something that accelerates like, say, a Geo Metro, not something that accelerates faster than a Dodge Viper.

Lets face it, the modern 600 is faster than a 750 of six or seven years ago, in a straight line, up to about 130mph.......

Six years ago the 750 class was in the middle of open warefare season, the (then new) SRAD 750 was the king of the beasts, trouncing the CBR900RR, and the FZR1000 or Chunderace) and destroying everything else in its path. Not just in a straight line either, but the 96 SRAD was a marvellous corner carver.

In its day, it was brutal - it still is, wild head shakes, inadvertant wheelies, and an utterly brutal rush beyond 10K RPM.

The latest 600's whilst just as fast, are only slightly more civilised, the power is not as brutal, but there is still a huge rush, and on the dyno they are only a couple of HP short of the benchmark.

So the power of the latest 600's is amazing, there is frankly more than 99% of people can use, and more than anyone can need on the street - on the track its a different matter, but we are talking street bikes here.....

Its not just the power either, its the power delivery.

These bikes are race-bikes with lights, or at least they are very, very similar to race bikes. In order to be competative in racing, where modifications are minimal, the engines are tuned to be very "racer friendly". The throttle response beyond a few thousand revs is instant, this is great if you are on a track, but merely OK on the road. If you are heavy-handed, it can be very dangerous. The MSF course teaches you to roll on the throttle in a curve, to a newr rider, rolling on is just that, add 1/4 turn maybe ? Well with a modern sports bike 1/4 turn is FULL throttle. Rolling on on these bikes means may 1/32nd of a turn - if that.

This is not a nice trait - you have just gone from 20hp to 80hp in the blink of an eye, and you lowsided - if you are lucky- into the scenery.

So, handling is the next problem.

These bikes are race bikes with lights, this means that they are super-fast handling. In fact they are astonishingly nervous, in order to make they turn fast, they are set-up to respond to minute inputs, and this is another major issue for a new rider. A new rider will not have the subltly of input that the bike needs, rather than push the bars, you apply a slight pressure, and the bike sails into the bends, push on the bars hard, and it becomes all nervous and unsettled, and again, the new rider may be lucky to get through the bend.

Obviously this will not be a good thing - to an experienced rider these bikes feel planted, and predictable, for a new rider, they feel horrible, and your confidence takes a hit.

Ok - Brakes

Again, these bikes are similar to race bikes. One of the few places that they differ is in the braking department. The brake pads have to last a little longer than race compound ones, so they are a little less brutal than those on a racer, also they have rubber hoses, which have a little "give" in them, making it harder to lock the fronts.

But, they are still eye-poppingly good, its possible to stand any of these bikes on its nose, at really, really high speeds, assumning you are hard enough on the brakes.

Then there is the rear brake, and again this is overly efficient, all too easy to lock it, all to easy to high-side as a result of the locked brake.

Repair costs.

As they are race replica's they comer covered in expensive plastic. Each side is $600 or more. A slow-speed drop could easily cost you over $1000 just in plastic bits. Add to that the normal "consumables" and you are in the $1300 range for a 10mph spill.

Combine all of these factors, and I hope that you see why a sportsbike is not a good first bike.

It has exactly the wrong set of characteristics for a new rider to learn to ride. Its too fast, too responsive, too twitchy, too nervous, the brakes are too sharp and they cost a lot to fix.

I'm not going to tell you that you should not get one (I'm not your mother), just that you need to bear in mind that these bikes belong in the "expert class", not the "new rider" one.
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post #2 of 370 (permalink) Old 02-19-2003, 01:05 PM
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Re: Why not a Sports Bike for a First Bike ?


Damn Fraggle you really need to look at getting a degree in technical writing man. Excellent write up. I dunno what else could be added to that.




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post #3 of 370 (permalink) Old 02-19-2003, 01:37 PM
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Re: Why not a Sports Bike for a First Bike ?

Great write up---
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post #4 of 370 (permalink) Old 02-19-2003, 02:00 PM
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Re: Why not a Sports Bike for a First Bike ?

As a good friend told me when I was agonising about my first bike,
"you can get a sensible bike and get bored of it or get a mad bike and get used to it"!

Never did me any harm...

BTW my first bike was a 87 gixxer750, which I'm still riding....
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post #5 of 370 (permalink) Old 02-19-2003, 02:47 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Why not a Sports Bike for a First Bike ?

Quote:
Loz said:

As a good friend told me when I was agonising about my first bike,
"you can get a sensible bike and get bored of it or get a mad bike and get used to it"!

Never did me any harm...

BTW my first bike was a 87 gixxer750, which I'm still riding....
Well if you live in the UK, and your first bike is an 87 GSXR, then that means a bunch of things, firstly you have a Car licence, secondly you are over 21 (or is it 25?), secondly you have gone through a lot of training

CBT - Compulsary Basic Training - several hours of low-speed basic control, and cone weaving

DAC - Direct Access Course. - This is a "sevearl day" epic training marathon, by accredited trainers (I am/was one of these guys) riding on private land, then on the street on "over 33bhp" machines, in radio contact with an instructor. Before finally gaining your license on an over 33bhp machine.

In comparrison the optional MSF course is extremely lame, and extremely easy, it is not even as "good" as the UK CBT.

Given the circumstances, you are way better placed to ride that 750 than ANY US based new rider, but its still an awfull lot of bike - how long you had it ?????
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post #6 of 370 (permalink) Old 02-19-2003, 05:00 PM
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Re: Why not a Sports Bike for a First Bike ?

Well said. Is there anyway that the admins. can force a new reader to read this post or ones like it before accessing the board? It would be nice, not to sound like an asshole. I am a believer we all have the option on what posts we read, but shit, every forken day there is a "Im a newbie, should I get a bike with more HP than my car?" Then argue as to why they are special and exempt from begining mistakes, because they have already made up their mind before their post was made.
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post #7 of 370 (permalink) Old 02-19-2003, 05:42 PM
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Re: Why not a Sports Bike for a First Bike ?

I vote for a sticky.
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post #8 of 370 (permalink) Old 02-19-2003, 06:10 PM
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Re: Why not a Sports Bike for a First Bike ?

Quote:
Brolo said:

I vote for a sticky.
It is a sticky


Damn people with 98/600's are slow.... Oh wait!



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post #9 of 370 (permalink) Old 02-19-2003, 08:02 PM
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Re: Why not a Sports Bike for a First Bike ?

Flesh, that's a bitchin avatar . I'm LMAO.
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post #10 of 370 (permalink) Old 02-19-2003, 08:57 PM
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Re: Why not a Sports Bike for a First Bike ?

Are you calling me slow, Fleshy??
That's it...I'm getting a moderator....
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post #11 of 370 (permalink) Old 02-22-2003, 01:51 AM
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Re: Why not a Sports Bike for a First Bike ?

i had a kawi ex500 2002 for my first bike and i am 5'10 170 it was a lot of power for me as a new rider and i went through a msf course i agree it is crazy to go out and get a new 600 750 or 1000 i am a nurse and i see people every day in the trauma center and its because they were going to fast on a bike they couldnt control start out with something smaller or older i now have a 91 gsxr 750 that has 125 to the rear wheel i can stand it up without trying and it scares the hell out of me sometimes so please get something u can handle not something to powerful just beacause all your friends have one dont worry u wont look stupid on a smaller bike u will look smarter cuz u can control it speed isnt everything unless u are confident and can control it
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post #12 of 370 (permalink) Old 02-22-2003, 05:54 AM
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Re: Why not a Sports Bike for a First Bike ?

good one bro!!!!!!
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post #13 of 370 (permalink) Old 02-22-2003, 03:48 PM
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Re: Why not a Sports Bike for a First Bike ?

Great write up. I am a firm believer in the ride what you want theory. However that stated, if you can't keep your attitude/ego in check you will be in trouble no matter what you begin on. I have seen people buy the biggest baddest and keep that throttle hand in check and be fine. However I have seen riders with a lot of xperience change to a new year model and think " I know what I am doing, nobody is going to tell me to be careful" and proceed to dump the bike leaving the parking lot of the dealership. I think we would all be better off if everybody had to do a 6 month stint on a bike, not just riders. I also believe in the step type licenses like in Europe. Here in Washington state you can go take the test on a 125cc and then be endorsed to the stars and go buy a Gixxer 1K as your first bike. Then there is also the whole Darwinism theory I subscribe to............. idiots should be allowed to do dumb things and should pay dearly for those dumb mistake. So jump off that bridge when your friends do, eat and drink heavily right before going for that swim, and by all means drink anything under the kitchen sink that clearly states "DO NOT TAKE INTERNALLY". Stupidity should be xtremely painful.
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post #14 of 370 (permalink) Old 02-23-2003, 04:33 AM
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Re: Why not a Sports Bike for a First Bike ?

I think the main reaons I would try to talk someone out of a sports bike for their first bike is the riding position.

A race ridng position is 100% unforgiving, you hit a wet white line or somthing, which you will if its your first bike and on a sports bike your probably going down. On a sports tourer or a harley copy type bike you might slide a bit but you will probably learn and grow.

Mistakes on sports bikes are usually worse imho....
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post #15 of 370 (permalink) Old 02-24-2003, 07:00 PM
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Re: Why not a Sports Bike for a First Bike ?

I grew up dreaming of owning a sport bike, so finally at twenty two years old I bought an '02 gsx-r 600 for my first bike. Eight days after I bought it I was hit by a fifty year old man that said he didn't see me and blamed the incident on me (the kid on the crotch rocket). The police saw it the other way. Not to mention he didn't have insurance. But fortunately, I did. I would agree the cost of repair or replacement is high. I say it all depends on the driver. I've owned it five months now with no other problems. I wouldn't trade it for any honda shadow.
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post #16 of 370 (permalink) Old 02-24-2003, 07:13 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Why not a Sports Bike for a First Bike ?

Quote:
flynlow03 said:

I grew up dreaming of owning a sport bike, so finally at twenty two years old I bought an '02 gsx-r 600 for my first bike. Eight days after I bought it I was hit by a fifty year old man that said he didn't see me and blamed the incident on me (the kid on the crotch rocket). The police saw it the other way. Not to mention he didn't have insurance. But fortunately, I did. I would agree the cost of repair or replacement is high. I say it all depends on the driver. I've owned it five months now with no other problems. I wouldn't trade it for any honda shadow.
Did you not see him ?

Did you not take avoiding action ?

I've seen so may people get seriously hurt, and a few killed because they figure that they can handle it, and so many people let their ego decide their choice its almost untrue.

In the US there seems to be an horrendous stigma involved in riding a small bike, or a small car. It seems that you are judged "not worthy" if you admit you limitations, and start at a decent level.

Add to that the appalling lack of choice in the none-hyper-sports arena for new riders, and you have a catch22. Only when the lawmakers realise that people are dying will they act, adn because they are not "into" the sports bike world, they will probably figure that a 600 is a small bike, therefore perpetuating the myth...

I hope that in 20 or 30 thousand miles you feel that the 600 was a good starting point, because almost everyone that I have know that gets a sports bike as their first bike, still can't ride for shit after a couple of years, and gets a 750/1000 to make up for their lack of skills, you see, they explain, two years on a 600 and I'm ready for the 1000. Well I call bullshit

anyway - to me its not the power thats the whole issues - its the machines dynamics that are deadly.....
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post #17 of 370 (permalink) Old 02-24-2003, 09:20 PM
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Re: Why not a Sports Bike for a First Bike ?

Nah, I didn't see him until I was parallel with him. I did lock up the rear brake which is very easily done like you said. What really got me, was when my right brake lever stuck in his door before throwing me and the bike to the pavement. I get your point though. Maybe it wasn't such a good choice for me. But what can I say, live and learn.
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post #18 of 370 (permalink) Old 02-25-2003, 03:08 AM
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Re: Why not a Sports Bike for a First Bike ?

i also am a believer in the get what you want theory. i lerned how to ride a honda xr-80 dirtbike ist and practiced for about a week. then i hopped on my unlces 02' triumph 955i Daytona and learned how to handle a street bike at very low speeds. 2 weeks on this bike riding up and down the street and turning around constantly and riding around the block, getting used to the weight and learning balance. anyway, after 2 weeks i waited about 1 month, and bought my 99 gsxr600. practiced non stop for a mont on the days of no rain and after 3 months ive logged on about 2.5k miles, riding from here to the bay area every weekend(about 1 1/2) hours and i feel that im a pretty decent rider. and i havent even taken my msf yet. my date is March 7 and i cant wait cause i heard it helps alot. anyway, i have no regerets about buying a gsxr as a first bike. as far as learning difficulty, but i am still scared that one day i will drop it and mess up the nice pretty paint job. i would never have purchased a brand new bike for a first bike. and for those who are thinking about doing just that- i would highly reccomend buying a used bike to learn even if it is a gsxR or any other R bike. a brand new bike is not for a beginner. i only paid 4k for mine but its in perfect condition and im scared as hell to drop it.if i had a new $8k bike i would shit my pants if i dropped it.

o well , i just thought i would add a few thoughts. i say to a beginner-buy what you want-but get it used------if tht makes sense.
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post #19 of 370 (permalink) Old 02-26-2003, 09:26 PM
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Re: Why not a Sports Bike for a First Bike ?

Excellent write up.....My opinion is absolutely to start with a 600...I started with a 600 and I'm a pretty good sized guy...It was more than enough power at first...I learned a alot by riding that bike...I laid it down once to avoid a collision and drop it several times just because I wasn't used to the weight distribution...Also, It took me a good month or so just to get used to the steering and braking...
Eventually, (after 3 years of riding), I grew bored of it and decided to make a change so I upgraded and eventually upgraded again...MORAL OF THE STORY: there is nothing wrong with starting small and learning the ropes and then moving up the ladder.
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post #20 of 370 (permalink) Old 02-27-2003, 04:45 PM
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Re: Why not a Sports Bike for a First Bike ?

I tell people the exact thing you wrote about. Most people thing the bigger the displacement the bigger the bike, so I always hear, "I'm too tall for anything under a 750cc bike".
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