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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
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.

About me: 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).

The bike: 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!

Previous Experience: 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.

That’s it! :surprise:

Purchase day: 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!

The goal: 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! :thumbup

Since then: 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.

Surprises: 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.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Great intro!
If you can find a seasoned rider who is not a jackass to ride with it would help.
Thank you! I agree, that would be nice. One of my friends from high school has a Honda CBR1000rr, so he offered to ride with me once the weather warms up. Not sure how he is though.
 

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You will find some people are, and done people are not so suited to ride with at your skill level. It's going to happen. When it does, it's your responsibility to not let them push you to ride outside of your skill level. A true friend would understand if you ask them to kick it down a notch, otherwise you're gunna have to pack it in. If they give u a hard time about it, give them a little room while riding and duck out down a side street and leave them. I've done it before.

I've ridden with strangers or acquaintances and wasn't tying to be as aggressive as them, or they were otherwise just riding like dicks and id just sink back a bit and dip out on em.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
You will find some people are, and done people are not so suited to ride with at your skill level. It's going to happen. When it does, it's your responsibility to not let them push you to ride outside of your skill level. A true friend would understand if you ask them to kick it down a notch, otherwise you're gunna have to pack it in. If they give u a hard time about it, give them a little room while riding and duck out down a side street and leave them. I've done it before.

I've ridden with strangers or acquaintances and wasn't tying to be as aggressive as them, or they were otherwise just riding like dicks and id just sink back a bit and dip out on em.
Good advice and will do exactly that. I won't let another push me to doing stupid things, his CBR1000RR is also modded so I know he is faster. He has a pipe, power commander, and gear reduction. He is way more experienced and much faster, so if he were to try and make me keep up with him I would dip out and call no joy.

It can be all talk, a lot of people offer to hang out and such but it never happens. For now, I am working on smoothing out everything, shifting at different speeds, leaning, different road types and conditions. I will be commuting to work (78 mile round trip) soon once the weather warms up and I take the MSF course on April 12th. By summer I hope to be a good rider and by next year a great one. For now, I am having a blast and keeping a cool head.
 

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Captain Obvious ... because obviously it’s obvious
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Better yet, do a track day.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Better yet, do a track day.
Must crawl before I can run :grin2: but I plan on that as well. I need some warm weather here, because of course the one day it hit 57 lately the rear brake seal broke like 2 days before. :hammer

I had to get a new caliper off eBay and wait for that, but now all pads are changed out, new rear rotor installed, and brake lines bled. It has been in the mid to low 40's during the day, but in the 30's at night. This next week so far looks like we might be in the high 40's, early 50's.
 

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Ex-Lady Supermod
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I'm not going to comment on your choice for a first bike but you do need to make sure the front master cylinder recall has been done. Use this picture to see the differences to see which you have.

 

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There is also a recall lookup site that you can punch your Vin into and confirm whether it has pending recall work or not. You will have to Google it. That I confirmed my K7 750 needed the master cylinder recall
 

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Must crawl before I can run :grin2: but I plan on that as well. I need some warm weather here, because of course the one day it hit 57 lately the rear brake seal broke like 2 days before. :hammer

I had to get a new caliper off eBay and wait for that, but now all pads are changed out, new rear rotor installed, and brake lines bled. It has been in the mid to low 40's during the day, but in the 30's at night. This next week so far looks like we might be in the high 40's, early 50's.
You'll be safer on the track than the street and learn light years more than you will on your own. I was nervous just reading that! :frantic
 

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Discussion Starter #13
You'll be safer on the track than the street and learn light years more than you will on your own. I was nervous just reading that! :frantic
To be honest, I am getting to the point where I feel very comfortable. I have put a lot of miles on the bike and even more tonight (about 28 miles in 30 degree weather at night). That is nearly 300 miles already since I bought it. Considering I bought it on 3/9/2018 and it's only the 24th today (plus it was down over a week) that is a lot of driving. Keep in mind it's really cold here too.

Track days will be great, this summer I will look into doing that. For now, I am just enjoying it and have had no near misses or other issues. No drops, even had a few people pull out on me and I have avoided issue. The power and speed have been a non-issue, got on it a few times tonight but I am not racing around or testing my luck.

I honestly feel the way I am driving it, it is no different than any other bike. Not to say it is not capable of getting me into trouble quick, mind you. But I am not driving out of my limits and not blasting around. I have mostly been driving it a little over the speed limit with a few blasts of speed here and there when the roads are open.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I will look into those recalls, for sure. The rear caliper was messed up where the piston was smashed and ground out some material from the caliper body. I got a good one from eBay (works/looks like new) and the bike stops well from either front or back brakes now.
 

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Ex-Lady Supermod
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To be honest, I am getting to the point where I feel very comfortable. I have put a lot of miles on the bike and even more tonight (about 28 miles in 30 degree weather at night). That is nearly 300 miles already since I bought it. Considering I bought it on 3/9/2018 and it's only the 24th today (plus it was down over a week) that is a lot of driving. Keep in mind it's really cold here too.

Track days will be great, this summer I will look into doing that. For now, I am just enjoying it and have had no near misses or other issues. No drops, even had a few people pull out on me and I have avoided issue. The power and speed have been a non-issue, got on it a few times tonight but I am not racing around or testing my luck.

I honestly feel the way I am driving it, it is no different than any other bike. Not to say it is not capable of getting me into trouble quick, mind you. But I am not driving out of my limits and not blasting around. I have mostly been driving it a little over the speed limit with a few blasts of speed here and there when the roads are open.
*Ride/ridden/rode

You drive a car, you ride a motorcycle. 300 miles huh? That is less than I ride in one day, my rides are between 100-500 miles and yes, I've ridden in sub-32 even having to beat ice off my jacket, gloves and ice cycles on my bike. These bikes are easy to ride which puts new riders in a dangerous a position. The first 2 years are the most dangerous time for a new rider. Do you have any training, a motorcycle DL, insurance?
 

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LOVES old ass '85-'92 GSXR's,HATES new GSXR's
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I would not say it is impossible, as I proved it can be done.
Cause you didn't kill yourself during your first ride?

I bougth a gixxer as my first bike also, its third season, and I wouldn't say that 'I made it' yet. Still a lot to learn - which would be easier if I bought a 300 for example

Anyway good luck

and yea, huge props for the writing, I mean it was enjoyable haha
 

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To be honest, I am getting to the point where I feel very comfortable. I have put a lot of miles on the bike and even more tonight (about 28 miles in 30 degree weather at night). That is nearly 300 miles already since I bought it. Considering I bought it on 3/9/2018 and it's only the 24th today (plus it was down over a week) that is a lot of driving. Keep in mind it's really cold here too.

Track days will be great, this summer I will look into doing that. For now, I am just enjoying it and have had no near misses or other issues. No drops, even had a few people pull out on me and I have avoided issue. The power and speed have been a non-issue, got on it a few times tonight but I am not racing around or testing my luck.

I honestly feel the way I am driving it, it is no different than any other bike. Not to say it is not capable of getting me into trouble quick, mind you. But I am not driving out of my limits and not blasting around. I have mostly been driving it a little over the speed limit with a few blasts of speed here and there when the roads are open.
False comfort after 300 miles. Your own description read as you could barely take off from a stop.

Anyway, I'm not going to chastise your decision. What's done is done. Take an msf course IMMEDIATELY. And you should be riding in full leathers and high quality race boots, nothing less.

* I just looked up those shoes. Throw those sneakers in the garbage and get a real pair of motorcycle boots.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
False comfort after 300 miles. Your own description read as you could barely take off from a stop.

Anyway, I'm not going to chastise your decision. What's done is done. Take an msf course IMMEDIATELY. And you should be riding in full leathers and high quality race boots, nothing less.

* I just looked up those shoes. Throw those sneakers in the garbage and get a real pair of motorcycle boots.
Now I never said I am the next Rossi, I am a new rider, yes, but doing good riding it so far.

That was my first trip riding it that you were referring to, and at the time I did not have my license, just my permit which added to my nervousness. But I managed to bring the bike safe to my house on bad roads and next to crazy Chicago drivers. That was just the first few lights, mostly just because of the pressure of lots of cars behind me when the lights turn. I take off, turn, signal, and ride with ease now because I am not testing the bike limits.

I have my motorcycle license now and taking the MSF course on April 12 and the driving tests that weekend.

I like my gear a great deal, even my shoes. I do not want boots and these protect my feet fine. They are very sturdy and cover my ankles. I will get summer gear soon and likely some Alpinestars shoes or boots or Dianese, but for now I am concentrating on getting better and better.

I could get a little snarky, but I know your intentions are coming from a good place. I am doing just fine and I have managed to drive more than a lot of people have in just a few days driving. When I start bringing it to work, I will be driving 70+ miles a day just commuting to work, not to mention wherever else I ride it. I will be quite seasoned by this summer and sure I will have some horror stories to tell.

Near misses so far: 0
Drops: 0
Bad take offs since 1st day: 1 (2nd day)
Ignition kills: 1 since 1st day (2nd day)

For fun, I will be checking it with my progress as I spend time in other parts of this forum. But so far I am still here and I jump in the pot with both feet when I am really into something. It is the other idiots you have to watch. The dorks with the Hondas fart cans trying to race me, the idiot with the Impala who cut me off today. People like them! :banghead
 
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