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Discussion Starter #1
Just been reading a link about having a 954 as a first bike. I have noticed a lot of riders across the pond seam to start on large bikes, ie 600, 750, 1000cc. It might just be me but i find it amazing that anyone would start on such a powerfull bike for your first time, in the uk most people like my self started on 50cc bikes, then went on to 125cc then 250/400cc. and then went for a 600/750/1000. I have been riding for 30 years now and i believe i am still alive today mainly through luck but also through learning step by step, so when i did get it wrong i wasnt riding at high speed on a heavy bike. Just interested to know why our American friends start so big.:idunno:
 

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Everything is BIG in America Rick. I hear what you are saying for sure. My own experience in Canada (which is basically the same as the States in most things) and abroad is that in the UK or other place over there, practicality is a motivator behind choosing a bike or anything for that matter. All vehicles are small over your way and small bikes are very cheap and practical. You may then move up if you get more out of a bike than just transportation.

Over here, bigger seems better although not a wise choice sometimes as you say. You really don't see smaller bikes around much. So with peer pressure as it is and to be with the in crowd, the tendancy is to start with a larger bike than they should. Hopefully they live through the learning stage but unfortunately many times they don't. Guess it's a culture thing!
 

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Very well put denzee!
Most with a passion for racing, want the fastest or best handling bike they can afford or just get their hands on, riding knowledge or not!! I think most would go bigger than the 600 if their pockets would allow for insurance.:cycle:
 

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How did you feel when your kids or close ones tell you they wanted to ride....did it make you nervous the idea them jumping straight on a large bike? I still worry about mine now, they think they are the greatest riders out there, and know it all. I have noticed a lot of the lads on here seam to know there limitations and are not afraid to ask, which is great to see. Still feel you learn more about a bike if its lighter and easier to handle.Each to there own as they say...:)
 

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IMHO the limiting factor for us is insurance - it's so bloody expensive for younger people! There was a 17 year old lad on here that was quoted something like £6000 to insure an old CBR600 restricted to 33bhp! Also insurance companies just won't cover inexperienced riders on big bikes, so you can't ride them legally.

I started on a 600 which was OK for me, it seemed fast enough when I first got it but I soon got tired of the lack of mid-range. I had to choose carefully though, supersports 600's were too expensive to insure, I had an old ZZR. The 'budget' 600's would probably make decent first bikes.
 

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From a European perspective, I know the American system seems weird. Like a newbie can just go out and get a literbike. Hell, you don't even need a license for a literbike. For the 'learner's permit' (all you have to do is take the written test) you can still ride a hayabusa (just can't take it on the freeways or ride after dark). It really makes more sense to do it the way that the Europeans do it, with the restricted license and all.

BTW, I did start out on a 50cc bike. Started off on dirtbikes when I was a kid. I think it is a good way to start out, because I think it is more difficult than street riding. (For example, dirt bikes taught me the all important lesson of 'don't lock up your front wheels or else you are going to go down').
 

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I grew up on dirtbikes, but started riding street on a 08 1kRR. I would vehemently argue people learn to ride in the dirt before riding on street, and have let more than a few of my friends borrow my dirtbikes to get accustomed before getting on the street.
 

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I grew up on dirtbikes, but started riding street on a 08 1kRR. I would vehemently argue people learn to ride in the dirt before riding on street, and have let more than a few of my friends borrow my dirtbikes to get accustomed before getting on the street.
:plus1: I feel people should learn in the dirt first also, if it is possible. I had an old rm80 which was was the only bike I ever had before I bought my first road bike which was a 92 fzr600, the first time I rode it, it felt like a rocket ship.....how times change. I think the UK way(and other countries) of starting on a smaller bike is much smarter for the fact people have to have experience on a small bike first, but I am glad I didn't have to go through it at the same time. My:twocents:
 

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600cc-1000cc bikes where I'm from very affordable. So that thing with insurance is not an issue with anyone, since we're only required to purchase liability insurance $70-$150/yr.
90% of the new riders I see are wanna-be stunters or GP racers, and you can't do wheelies riding a 250.;)
-Marc
 

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Here is what I would suggest:

1) When you sit on the bike are your feet flat on the ground?
2) Can you move the bike from left to right and the other way around and it isn't to heavy for you?
3) Can you reach all controls?

If you answered all questions with yes then the bike is most likely for you.

Did you notice that non of the questions is connected to engine size?
 

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Just been reading a link about having a 954 as a first bike. I have noticed a lot of riders across the pond seam to start on large bikes, ie 600, 750, 1000cc. It might just be me but i find it amazing that anyone would start on such a powerfull bike for your first time, in the uk most people like my self started on 50cc bikes, then went on to 125cc then 250/400cc. and then went for a 600/750/1000. I have been riding for 30 years now and i believe i am still alive today mainly through luck but also through learning step by step, so when i did get it wrong i wasnt riding at high speed on a heavy bike. Just interested to know why our American friends start so big.:idunno:

Hello, just to throw it out there, I started on my 954, because it was a friends bike. After that I took classes on a 250 dual sport. The reason I have such a large bike is, it just so happened to fall into my possession. I was trying to get rid of my car, and a friend traded me for his bike [954RR]. It wasn't until later I realized the torque and power on the street, and started having confidence issues. I need to have the suspension professionally adjusted for my weight, and change the rear sprocket back to stock, right now its set up Huge for stunting.

I was originally looking at a ninja 250r. But people told me after a month of daily riding it, I would hate it, and in turn it would have been a waste of money. Not my personal opinion, just opinions from friends and a select few who have gone that route. So, that's my story of why I have a big first bike... Shoebox's Big Bike, a true story. :D
 

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I'm glad that there are other people who started out on dirtbikes here. I grew up in North Dakota/Minnesota, so there was plenty of space to ride (like my house was 3 acres and I could ride in the front yard). But in Cali, I have to drive out some place if I want to ride in the dirt. :(

Something I would also throw out to advocate starting off on dirtbikes: if you are learning to ride, you WILL drop your bike at some point or another. While it is not a real 'pleasant' experience, dropping a bike on dirt or grass is not going to suck as much as going down on asphalt!
 

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I started out on dirt with a brand new '76 KE100 Kawasaki. I ran that bike for nearly 6 years. When I sold it, it had 10,000 miles on it. I had put a pipe on it and took generally good care of it. Ten years later I purchased an '84 VF700 Interceptor. Drove that bike nearly 15,000 miles.

So I agree that dirt is a great way to cut your teeth in motorcycling, especially on a smaller, lighter bike.

I nearly traded the KE100 off for a KH350 triple two stroke. I had it on one wheel not two blocks from the bike shop on the test drive. That bike didn't go over with the parents however.

OBTW, I started riding when I was 12 after buying the new bike with money I made working in the summers. Child labor wasn't as much of an issue back then. I painted houses with my father, doing all the hard scraping and clean up work.
 

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Started on a '07 blade, haven't had any problems yet... I believe that your personality should be a factor when deciding what bike to get first. If you're the kind of person that lose their temper on the road easily, or like to start pushing things and testing limits fairly quickly, then maybe a smaller one methinks. It's true for most new riders that your skill will improve more quickly if you start out on a smaller bike, I was/am willing to wait and take things slow on the bike to start off with. Also, I got a good deal and I commute on the bike, so that midrange is a nice touch :smilebig:
 

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IMPO ;) I think we would see a lot less wrecks here in the states if it was required to have restricted license like across the pond. ( I'm sure most the guys well sign and say well shes a girl) but hey the system works doesn't it :idunno: it is required for you start out on a small bike before you can get on one that requires more experience & knowledge.

myself I started out on a honda 250 rebel I like the way it handled was forgiving in my inexperience and gain a lot of seat time I rode it for about a year then I traded it in and I can honestly say if I would have started out with a big powerful bike I most likely would not be riding today. I'm know with my inexperience it was the best choice for me and I'm glad I did not let peer pressure or anyone talk me into getting a big bike because I would ot grow in a couple months. :thumb:
 

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I'm glad that there are other people who started out on dirtbikes here. I grew up in North Dakota/Minnesota, so there was plenty of space to ride (like my house was 3 acres and I could ride in the front yard). But in Cali, I have to drive out some place if I want to ride in the dirt. :(
!
I hear you, there are no places to ride dirt here near the city either, I have an hour drive everytime I want to go, which is often, but it is worth it. That is what sucks, most people who live in a big city have no place to learn how to ride in the dirt first or have a truck to get it there. Scooters are usually the first bike in a heavy urban area.
 

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IMPO ;) I think we would see a lot less wrecks here in the states if it was required to have restricted license like across the pond. ( I'm sure most the guys well sign and say well shes a girl) but hey the system works doesn't it :idunno: it is required for you start out on a small bike before you can get on one that requires more experience & knowledge.
:plus1:
 

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Discussion Starter #18
It would appear that a lot of us started on trials bikes...i started on a Suzuki TS50ER, then a Kawasaki KE125 then jumped to a yamaha LC then upward and onward. How many riders got put off bikes because they started on a big bike got scared and jacked it in...........?:idunno:
 

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I woulda loved to have started on a 1000*... would probley have killed me if I did though.

but... for all it's faults our system does seam to have improved things over the years, when I started (and many others).. at 16/17 you could legaly hop on a 50cc/125cc, bung on L plates and ride it, you didn't need any training just a little bike... if you wanted bigger you had to pass a test and that was it

now the government appears to be putting barriers in the way of getting a bike. having to take a CBT, restricting licenses, harder and harder tests.... but for all that, the people who wanna ride still do it, then pay the extorsionate insurance premiums and 90% still say its the best thing they ever did:D
and most of the people I know are the same as me, even if they don't get enoph chances to ride they wouldn't be without a bike:smilebig:

*actualy.... it would probley have been a 750 or a z650 then. the 1000 were slow heavy beasts
 
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