Last week, I was on my way through a two lane junction in the rush hour, in the outside lane on my CBR. The plonker at the front of the inside lane braked and threw his right indicator on at the last second. The car immediately behind him decided to change lane and go around him. What he did, was turn straight into the right side of my bike as I was going through. The bike and I got knocked a couple of feet sideways at the back end so I was pointing across the inside lane. Out of instinct to stay upright, the first thing I grabbed onto was the clutch. That was a good thing, 'cos I also grabbed the throttle bar and the bastard roared it's nuts off. I was in second and, if I hadn't grabbed that clutch first, old nag that she is, that bike would have took off and tossed me into oncoming traffic.
I had a bruised foot and a bent brake pedal........ it had dug in behind the idiots front bumper and luckily the bumper gave way first ..... Ripped it right off the car, in fact. I was happy enough to be relatively unhurt and my bike needing no more than a five minute spanner and hammer job to fix, that I told the driver he was lucky and next time to bloody look where he was going 'cos the next rider might not be so lucky and that he should piss off now before my good humour ran out, which he did once he got his bumper loaded into the car.
It was definitely something I sat and thought long upon, though. I'm of the opinion that, when you have a 'moment' on the road, regardless of whose fault it is whether it's a little twitch at the back wheel that gives you a jolt or one that makes your arse bite a chunk out of the seat, you should have a bloody good think about it afterwards and digest the 'what ifs'. 'If' I'd been riding that CBR and only had my license three weeks, would I have had the sense and instinct to lift my hand off the bar and grab the clutch first in the split second I was able to? To get a grip on my balance and keep it upright? I'm not saying that there was no luck involved ....... but you make your own luck by conscienciously gaining experience and riding with it every day.
I've had that CBR since I started riding 12 years ago ....... haven't the heart to get shut of it 'cos it's so much fun and a workhorse to boot ....... so I'm well acquainted with the bugger. I've ridden a 750 Gixxer before today and, to be sure, it was a feckin animal. Now I've got a SRAD in the garage of my own, waiting on some refurb calipers to arrive so I can get it roadworthy, insured and get out on it. One thing I'm absolutely certain of: Other posters are right ......... That is a fuck of a lot of bike to get things wrong on, or get a nasty surprise on, if you haven't at least got some experience honed instincts to protect you from yourself if shit happens......... and I don't care how much control anyone says they have between their brain and their wrist. When a car suddenly sideswiped me, all I had was luck and instinct to stop me taking off out of control.
A new rider doesn't have that ....... An old horse like my CBR could cause a lot of damage for a new rider in that situation. A 750 Gixxer would be a nightmare. I know there are riders who go out on R1's and Gixxer thou's from the start and manage to keep it together..... but asked if it's a good idea for the new rider? ...... That has to be a no ........ And it's not the 'snobbery of experience' that's talking there ....... It's just plain common sense.