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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Having been involved in motorcycling for over 25 years now (I started riding and racing dirtbikes when i was 4), I have been around and seen a lot. The most common thing I have seen and heard however, is the constant question of what bike to start with for the new rider. I have heard a lot of inexperienced riders say things like "You will get bored on a smaller-cc bike." or "A 600 is a girl's bike."

These statements are completely untrue, and as the saying goes "It is better to ride a slow bike fast than a fast bike slow."

Most modern 600cc supersport machines (Suzuki GSX-R600, Yamaha R6, Kawasaki ZX-6R, Honda CBR600RR) make as much hp as the early generation 1000cc bikes, handle infinitely better, and brake better as well. Anyone who says they are bored on a modern 600cc bike is either a professional racer, has way too big of an ego, or has no clue how to really ride a bike. Will you eventually get used to the straight line acceleration? Of course, but that will happen on any bike, whether it is a 600cc, 1000cc, or 1400cc.

If you really want to see how fast a 600cc bike can be, just check out any AMA Supersport race. The 600's handle better and brake better than the 1000's, the only advantage the 1000 has is hp.

Straight line acceleration should be the least of the concerns when buying a bike. How does the bike fit you? How does the bike handle? How are the brakes? Do you like the way it looks? These are all factors you should consider when buying your first bike. In order to become a good rider, you must first be comfortable on your bike, and the first step is to sit on different model bikes. Don't just go and ask around "What bike should I buy?" since you will get different answers from everyone. Find out which one suits your body type best, and go from there. Another major concern for most new riders is that of money. Can you afford the bike, plus tags, plus insurance? And what about when you crash (because you will), can you afford to fix the bike? Would you want your first crash to be on a brand new bike, or a used bike? Crashing is a reality every rider faces at some point in time, and it is something that you must deal with every time you go out on the bike. Whether it is your fault or not, it will eventually happen, so you need to be prepared for it.

All of this aside, the main reason to start on a smaller-cc bike is rider error. A 600cc is a lot more forgiving than a 1000cc, and errors on the 600 will be a lot less traumatizing than on the 1000. When someone first starts riding, errors will be made, and that is a fact. No one is immune to this, including myself, Valentino Rossi, and every other rider in the entire world. For example, let me tell you a story about a kid who came riding with my group one day. This kid met up with us, he admitted he was a new rider, but was on the latest, greatest piece of 1000cc machinery (it was a 2004 Kawasaki ZX10). He was cautious about it, and said he would stay at the back of the pack. While this was true, and he did stay at the back of the pack, he hit a pothole, and due to his inexperience, the bump from the pothole caused him to hit the throttle a little bit. This in turn spun up the rear tire (due to how much hp the bike made), he panicked, and closed the throttle. The tire regained traction, and he highsided into a tree, breaking his ribs, collarbone, and causing all sorts of internal damage. The bike was totalled, and he only had liability insurance. So now he is in the hospital, recovering from this crash, and still paying off a bike that he had to throw in the garbage. Would this have happened on a 600? No, since the 600 doesn't have enough hp to spin up the tire at such little throttle. If it was an experienced rider on the 1000, they would not have closed the throttle, and just ridden it out.

Now that was just one aspect of the errors that will be made when learning how to ride. The brakes will lock up, you will target fixate, you will not know how to countersteer and if you do you will most likely forget when you really need it.

So now, why is everyone on this "I need a 1000" kick? Because this is the USA, and bigger is better! Ever wonder why Europe has graduated licensing? To prevent people from going out, buying the latest, greatest, fastest bike, and wadding it up while leaving the dealership because they didn't realize the tires were cold and still had the release compound on them. Maybe its the "cool factor", so that when they pull up to the local bike spot they won't feel inadequate on their 600, but realistically, what is the point of having a 1000 if you can only use a fraction of the power? (except of course in a straight line, since anyone can just hold the throttle open)

When someone is learning to ride, they should not be worried about hitting the throttle and having the bike stick them in the ground like a golf tee, they should be focused on learning the basics of how to ride, such as body positioning, countersteering, smooth throttle, brake, and clutch inputs, etc...

And of course, there will always be those who say "But I am too big for a 600!" This always makes me laugh since the 600's and the 1000's are within millimeters of each other in overall size and shape.

So basically what I am saying is that no one should be concerned or embarassed with getting a 600 as a first bike, and anyone who tells you to get a 1000 as a first bike is basically telling you they don't care about you. Is it possible to start on a 1000 and not kill yourself? Of course. But, if you start on a 1000, will you ever be as good of a rider as you would have if you had started on a smaller-cc bike? Absolutely not.

I know plenty of guys who ride 600cc bikes who will run circles around 90% of people on 1000cc bikes, but then again, there are those people who actually know how to ride and can ride a 1000cc bike at its limits, those are a very rare breed. That type of rider is what newer riders should aspire to be like.
 

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anthony said:
thanks... hopefully it helps someone chose the correct first bike.
This is my first bike when I was a teenager, I had it for a few years, but don't usually count it, hahaha.. Kawi AR-80, 2 stroke, mini ninja capable of 70mph, lollz.
 

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nice write....

thats what i tell people all the time but not in those words
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Avplayer said:
i started on my 750 back in 05...now for my next bike i wanna downgrade and get a 600
and went 1 for 4 at loudon. coincidence? i think not...

just joking jared, you are a great rider for having started on such a big bike. just please don't take me out going into turn 1!
 

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anthony said:
and went 1 for 4 at loudon. coincidence? i think not...

just joking jared, you are a great rider for having started on such a big bike. just please don't take me out going into turn 1!
Elbows out..!:biggrin
 

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anthony said:
yeah seriously. i am gonna have to go back to dirtbike style if he is next to me!
Well, being you're racing Superbike class, those are usually smaller classes, unlike 600 which is a nut house, hahaha.
I don't recall more then 10 people being in a SBK race (check the stats from last season, if you've not already done so), so that should make T-1 a bit easier.
I had some 600 races which had 45-60 people on the grid, imagine T-1 the first lap? Insane.
 

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Kelevra said:
I had some 600 races which had 45-60 people on the grid, imagine T-1 the first lap? Insane.
See i'd have to fuk someone up if they make me total my shit. whats the rules on that? cause if its their fault i want to get cashed out..... and how often are there fights out there?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
no fights unless your name is aaron yates,


and as far as someone paying you because they made you crash, that isn't gonna happen. you are on the track and taking that risk, so if shit happens, shit happens!
 

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thats fuked... track rules are the rules, so no fights is the last word.

Its different at the stunt spots, if someone messes up your bike they got to cash you out or find those parts for you.
 

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05oaklandGSXR600 said:
thats fuked... track rules are the rules, so no fights is the last word.

Its different at the stunt spots, if someone messes up your bike they got to cash you out or find those parts for you.
Doesnt make sense to me, stunting is a risk, just like racing.
 
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