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Discussion Starter #1
Greetings and salutations...

Well, here is yet another guy new to the bike scene. Let me feed a little bit of background before I start asking some questions.

I've been around motorcycles for a long time. Lots of relatives of mine have motorcycles, but not sport bikes. Mostly people in my family ride cruisers and the like. I've never actually rode the bike myself, though I've been on them as a passenger numerous times, so I pretty much have a good idea what it's like. Don't get me wrong. I know that the sport bikes and super sport bikes are a whole different world from the cruisers. Anyway, in the past I never really had an interest in bikes. Recently my brother has been talking about getting a GSX-R600; I was curious what this was all about so I looked into them.

Well, as it so happens I need another vehicle and I don't have endless amounts of cash. As I noticed the prices on some of these bikes I became more interested. I did some research on Yamaha, Kawasaki, Suzuki, and Honda's websites. (I do like the look of some of the Honda's but that's beside the point.) As I browsed over various bikes, I soon started to drool at the Gixxers. I went to epinions.com and read some reviews and liked what I read. Soon enough, I found this site today and after everything I've seen, I'm hooked. I'm going to take the CHP cycle class to get my motorcycle license in a couple of weeks. Then I will test out some bikes.

Now here come the real questions. I wish to know what bikes would be good for a true beginner. I'm pretty smart, pretty careful, and like to go really fast. I weigh about 200 pounds, if that matters all that much. Am I better off with a used bike as opposed to a new? This may be a stupid question, because I'm pretty sure everyone is going to say yes.


Also, my brother's friend has a 2002 R600 that he is essentially giving away. He just wants someone to take over the payments on it. He's had it for a few months and I guess is going to upgrade to a R1000. I guess he’s been riding a while. But will the R600 be too much power for me? I'm a pretty quick learner, and usually don't do things that I'm not comfortable with, like pushing the bike too hard before I’m ready. If people could list some models of bikes I could look into that would be great. I’m pretty hooked on Suzuki at the moment, but any suggestions would be great.

Sorry this post was so long. Any help here would be appreciated. Thanks!
 

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Welcome! I am glad you are deciding to take the class before getting the bike. I wish I'd have done the same thing. Anyway, about the GSX-R 600 and its power...my current bike is my first street bike. 2000 GSX-R 600 (pictured in my sig, and in the gallery). I had a good amount of dirt bike experience before going street, but as is mentioned so often, dirt bike experience means very little on the street. I think the only thing that can be gained from dirt bike experience is a BASIC knowledge of the mechanics of driving a bike (shifting, throttle, etc). In my opinion (which probably doesn't hold much weight here), the GSX-R 600 isn't *too* powerful for a beginner bike, though it's damn close. That's not to say it won't get up and go like a bat out of hell. I still haven't had the balls to wind mine out to redline or go over 90mph. The only reason why I went with a gixxer for my first street bike instead of an SV650S is because a friend of a friend sold it to me for an awesome price. I agree with all of the experienced riders here, that you will learn faster with a less powerful bike. However, that's not to say it can't be done with a gixxer 600...you just have to be careful. I have almost lost three friends in motorcycle accidents, and that's what has given me the caution and alertness with which I ride. If you can find a good deal, get an SV650S. If you find a better deal on a gixxer, just remember to respect the power (and your life!).

[ 01-28-2003, 10:10 PM: Message edited by: Calaphor ]
 

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I'd go for the GSXR600 or the SV650. New or used your decision. I would get an 01 or 02.
 

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i have to disagree with the above post...

maybe I'm a newb.... and sure i've never riden, but this is my thought.

respect fades fast, it quickly go to obcession, and then to just tollerance.... as an example to wat I think will happen (and will prolly happen to myself as well) is that he will get a bike (gixxer or not) and be very careful.... he might be too careful and drop it going too slow in a turn in a parking lot.... after the immediate intimidation wears off the shit hits the fan.

this reminds me of when i went from a thunderbird to a mustang GT... sure i was intimidated at first, but once comfortable with the power i stressed it harder and started to "play" with it.. after taking a few turns and going WOT in the apex and having my ass spin around, getting really sideways and then over correcting and going off the road, and finally when drag racing a trans am hitting a dip in the road and losing control into a horrid spin... since then i've calmed down and gotten a TRUE respect for the GT... but that is After a long time and finding its limitations with nobody around.... now i can drive it hard and safely and make it do tricks....

thing being is i got lucky... i lost control and because of the tuned suspension i didnt flip and could recover... on a bike you do not have that luxury.... I'm not old by any means, but going through some ordeals will put age on real fast...

i dont really know why i wront all that, so disregaurd if you want...but to actually have a point... after he gets comfortable i can see him taking chances because the feeling he gets from it will be irresistable... (dreaming back to when i first got my stang) and at that point mistakes happen because you are careless... there is not much you can do... its a factor of being young and wanting to try thing... that being said..

get a used bike, period. if you want a gixxer6.... go for it... but before you lay hands on it, get your helmet, gloves, jacket, and pants. icon has good gloves and pants for cheap that are also good looking. they also have boots that i'd recommend. so when you do mess up you will come out in better shape. if at all possible, get a SV650s or below.... they handle great in turns to keep you happy, but dont have near the top end a gixxer has... a lot more torque for great jumps off the line and quick boosts... but not the high speeds of the gixxer..

second reason is because the bikes are cheaper... the SVS has les fairings on it so when it is dropped or slides a ways there is less plastic damaged.... also the bike its self is cheaper, on insurance too....

do yourself a favor.... do more research... hit a few MORE forums. talk to some bike guys at work, or school or whatever and get their advice if you disregaurd ours... this is just a bit of what I've learned on my quest for a first bike... be extremely careful... and take notice of when you relax... because when you do finally relax you will get nailed... always expect to get rammed by a car... get a cheap bike to start, get some frame sliders, get good gear to keep you alive...

this is a long ass post, but just thought I'd give another "newbie" opinion.

Torinalth
 

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An SV would be a good choice. But like you, I was offered a great deal on my Gix. I've been very happy with it, though I sometimes feel that I'd learn faster if I'd started on a smaller bike. That would have allowed me to work on my fundamentals with less fear; the high-end power can be a little much when I'm focusing on smoothness.
Many people say that the fastest riders are the ones who start racing on a 250 and work their way up. Even with a little 250, they can smoke weak riders on bigger bikes. This is a much longer road to bikedom bliss, but far more fruitful in the long run I'd say.

Everyone says they'll be "really careful", which is great, but shit will happen that would be less of an issue on a smaller bike. Plenty of possibilities, but from personal experience...

1. I was pulling into an uneven driveway one night (construction zone), barely moving with both feet down, and lost my balance. In a split second, the bike started to tip and my angle was all wrong to pull it back up (still straddling it). I ended up gently placing it down onto its frame slider, then picking it up again. No big deal, but shows you how quickly you can drop the thing. If the bike were a 250, I probably could have heaved it up despite the screwy angle.
(this is also reason why you should get a used bike...WITH frame sliders)

2. I was spending some time up in cottage country, going for bike trips daily. I was LOVING the quick acceleration, getting the bike moving slowly in 1st gear then throttling up (great sensation). But one time there was a little patch of sand on the road. I flicked open the gas and the rear tire kicked out on me about 2 feet to the right. I got off the gas, rode it out and straightened up. Could have been MUCH worse (highside?)! A less-powerful bike would have been in a more favorable position as it would have kicked out less (easier to recover).

3. Wet manhole covers. While turning.

That one was damn close. Again...smaller bike, less force...less forceful slide.

4. Getting the front wheel caught in a tar patch on the highway, while in a gradual lean, at about 185 km/h. You could easily point the finger fully at me for this one but...again....if it were a 250 I wouldn't have been going at that speed. It turned out okay but I had to fade into the outer lane with a widened turn angle. Lucky for me I didnt' have someone following behind me in that lane.

No one admits to being stupid, foolish, squidish, etc. etc, and I'm obviously no exception (I won't bore you with a writeup of what makes me such a safe and responsible guy, blah blah blah). I do ride carefully, took the MSF, clean record, etc. etc. But Jesus...you buy yourself a sport bike...are you just gonna granny it around town on Sundays??? Nope. You're bound to open 'er up every now and then. It's an inevitability. A straight stretch of road in the middle of nowhere. An exit ramp with a beautiful bank. You will experiment, and you will unintentionally push your limits at times. Additionally, you can't account for all the uncontrollables (road condition and other vehicles primarily).

Plain and simple...
- a smaller bike is less likely to bite you
- the learning curve is much greater if you start smaller and work your way up. You'll be whoopin' all the newbie 600 riders (ie. ME!) in no time.


With that last point in mind, a buddy of mine started about 8 years ago on a EX 250. Then he bought an EX500. He now rides an SV650 and I can't catch him. This may reflect upon my lack of using my bike to its max (I'm nowhere close), but it moreso points to his smoothness and skill that he learned over the years with smaller displacements.

So there's my....14 cents.
I can't steer you away from a Gix 600 as I got one myself and love it. But, there are clealy benefits for you to consider re: starting smaller.

Ride safe.

[ 01-29-2003, 02:10 PM: Message edited by: Brolo ]
 

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Torinalth...


GSXRMAN01, what's wrong with people promoting using your gear? In the end, it's your body, sure, but if somone new to riding is asking for advice, my first bit is to tell them to get in as much gear as they can...it's not realistic to expect a noobie to not crash and i'm sure everyone here would be happier with their skin/head in tact than not.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Hello again all. Sorry it's taken me so long to reply. I just wanted to get as much feedback to look over before I did. All of your stories, recommendations, and advice as been so valuable and I am listening to you guys, trust me.


Just so you know, I am looking to get a used or new SV650. I am NOT going to get a Gixxer, yet. I am going to take the CHP classes in a week or so to get my license. Trust me when I say that I do have a respect for bikes and power, and I've never been one to push my skills at anything. My dad gave me some advice about riding. He said, "Always think that the cars around you can't see you."

I think that's pretty sound advice. And know that right now I'm not interested in racing per say. One day, perhaps in a few years, I'll head to a track and try it out. But I'd like to get comfortable with the bike first and keep myself alive.

Any way. Thank you all for your advice. You really made me feel welcome here.

***EDIT***
Oh yeah, one last thing. I will be riding my bike on the freeway and probably as main transportation. Does anyone see anything wrong with this? I mean how does a SV650 handle on the freeway? I mean, does anyone else do this on a sport bike, or do you guys mainly use sport bikes as racing bikes / fun bikes only?

[ 01-30-2003, 03:14 PM: Message edited by: Erazmus ]
 

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I commute on mine - my old commute was 37 miles of mixed freeways and city gridlock, my GSXR has handled it really well.

my new 4 mile commute hardly gets it warm ......

The SV is a hoot on the freeway - its very, very gutsy, so you will find that you hardly have to shift gears between about 40 and 100mph
 
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