Hello everyone, new member and new GSXR 600 owner purchased March 9, 2018.
Besides introducing myself, I figured I would write about my own experiences with starting a 600cc super sport. Personal experience, surprises, etc. YMMV, of course, but this is mine!
Why the GSXR 600 as a first bike?
Besides always loving the way they look and sound, my co-worker happened to be selling his. I have seen the bike parked at my work and he does take good care of it and his regular ride: 2016 Dodge Challenger. It is always clean and he keeps up well on the maintenance as well. I liked his 2005 GSXR 600 the day I first saw it, but never imagined it would be mine soon.
39 years old, lived in Illinois all my life. Currently live in Chicago Heights, previously lived in Crete, Riverdale, and Naperville. Driving since 17 years old. Italian with German and Irish ancestry (like that matters).
2005 Suzuki GSXR 600, bone stock with 19k miles. Blue color with white accents and red lettering. Besides a few knicks here and there, it is in great shape, especially for the year!
1 ride: 125cc motorcycle riding two up when I met my wife in the Philippines in April, 2014. We borrowed a 125cc Honda Wave from her friend. I drove it down the road, picked her up, and ended up driving roughly 30 miles on winding roads with gravel and amidst other Filipinos on their vehicles, mostly motorcycles. No issues, but if I messed up, the cliffs go down about 50-100+ feet on the sides of the road. I was nervous about the idea, no license and no experience, but I did well considering riding two up and the bad roads we traveled on.
1 ride: Kawasaki 125cc 2 stroke dirtbike October 2017. About 25 minutes mixed road and offroad.
03/09/2018. Temperature 35 High/27 Low. Purchased a Scorpion EXO GT-920 helmet and Joe Rocket Ion Atomic Jacket, with Joe Rocket Velocity gloves. I was nervous and sweating to death thanks to me having thermal pants under my jeans, a hoodie, Joe Rocket jacket, and a backpack with my gloves and helmet attached to it. I also was wearing my new SS Run With The Bulls 2.0 motorcycle shoes. After getting caught in traffic going from Romeoville to Chicago, he opened the garage and there sat my soon to be GSXR! I was stoked but nervous!
Pay him, bring the bike safely home from around 75th street in Chicago to my house in Chicago Heights. About a 30-mile, 40 minute ride going down Halsted Street. I opted not to do the expressways yet, especially if stop and go which it likely would have been. Wife meets us there, pay him, he follows in case I need him to take over, and get it home safe.
The drive home:
Current temp: 30 degrees. Time: 8:30 am. I put up the kickstand, nervously getting on it my first time. I started it up (watched lots of Youtube videos) and he did a brief control overview. I drove it from the alleyway to the front of his house. My wife met us at his house, I work 3rd shift, as do all of us, so she just met us after our work. We go inside and talk a few minutes inside of his home. I pay him, he gives me the title, I shake his hand, and we head out. My coworker takes the lead with his car, wife behind him with our Kia Forte, and me with my new GSXR. The first few times I brake, I nose dive a bit because not used to how strong the front brakes are. 4 times I take off bad, mostly because of the pressure of cars behind me. I kill the engine but recover quick each time and take off without issue. Forgot to turn the blinker off a few times as well. It is hell being a newbie!
About 15 minutes later, he opens his window and gives me a wave and thumbs up, which we agreed to. If I was okay about halfway home, I would let him go home and go ahead with the bike and wife. I waved at him and thumbed up in reflection, he turns right and we continue straight down Halsted. One more engine kill (d’oh) while still at the red light. I was tired from no sleep, working 3rd shift, and being nervous mostly. After that, once nearing my house no issues and I was really starting to enjoy it! Even with the brutal cold, the helmet protected my neck from cold and all the layers kept me warm. Hands were a little cold, but never freezing.
Ran into some construction stop and go traffic before turning off Halsted Street, allowing me to hone my takeoff skills. I pull up to the front of my house and park it on the sidewalk to prepare to bring it into my garage. Mission accomplished!
Driven it 4 days for a total of 240 miles! Side streets, alleys, expressways, bad country road (King’s Road in Steger, Illinois). Kept it below 7K RPM mostly, but did one higher speed take off. No issues, no drops, no problems following rules and driving next to vehicles and even being on bad roads in very cold weather. It blew a back brake seal, so was down over a week waiting for parts. New caliper and rear rotor. Also changed the oil and put a new K&N oil filter as well.
Not too many, I did my homework and knew what I was getting myself into. It is harder to do the DMV tests because a 600cc has a wider turn radius than a smaller bike.
600cc as a first bike:
I would not say it is impossible, as I proved it can be done. But there are people who absolutely should not. There is no “respecting the bike”, I term I see thrown around too much! This bike can outrun most cars with ease, a little over 3 second quarter miles and around 11 to 10 second ¼ mile times. If you drive like a jackass or drive over your skill level, you will regret it. It will do exactly what you tell it to do, so it is up to you to control it. It can be done, but I feel declined to advocate or disavow if you should or not. I feel I made the right choice, but I would not have been against starting on a smaller bike for a while to hone my skills.
It is completely up to you, your ability, and maturity level.
Just thought I would share my experience, look forward to being a member here.