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I'm middle-aged, and am looking toward getting my first motorcycle. I've ridden friends' bikes, scooters in Bermuda, and have tried out a number at some dealerships that allow test drives.

Is a 919 appropriate for a beginner? I'm not worried about riding like an idiot, but I don't want to get on something that will be dangerous or too much to handle for someone who is just starting out. I don't want to start out with a 250 cc bike, but also don't want something that will get me into trouble.

BTW, passed the MSF Class 1 with flying colors.

Thanks
 

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a fireblade IS NOT NOT NOT suitable for beginners, im 42 years old with 25 yrs riding experiance in all weather here in Ireland "with CRAP roads" & riding a 929 & if ur not 100% tuned in, these machines will kill you, fantastic motorcycle probably the best of the blades of em all :rotfl: :rotfl: :inlove: :inlove: ,but please take my Irish ass advice FIREBLADES aint for beginners :gve:
 

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a fireblade IS NOT NOT NOT suitable for beginners, im 42 years old with 25 yrs riding experiance in all weather here in Ireland "with CRAP roads" & riding a 929 & if ur not 100% tuned in, these machines will kill you, fantastic motorcycle probably the best of the blades of em all :rotfl: :rotfl: :inlove: :inlove: ,but please take my Irish ass advice FIREBLADES aint for beginners :gve:
Very good advise :plus1:

Think you should be looking more around the 600cc still plently fast enough
 

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You always get 1.

I would say if you respect the bike and don't think your invincibly and take real care, if a blades what your after buy one. Do some classes "load" and watch how much you twist the wrist you should be fine.

What the guys are saying is right though a 600 would be more than enough, but after a 20yrs break i passed my test and jumped on a blade. I must admit i had ridden for a good few years though, now i have a Blade and BMW k75lt but that wouldn't pull the skin off porridge in comparison with the blade, and trust me my blade is a slow one...
 

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I tend to consider 600s to be a good starting point, although the SuperSports 600s might not be as good. The 650 twins are good too - Kwawsaki ER6, Suzuki SV650.

The '919' you are looking at (we call it a CB900 Hornet over here) is a better bet than a Fireblade, it's not quite as powerful but it will have a lot more torque than a 600/650. They are good bikes, but to a newcomer it will feel extremely powerful. It's not impossible to start on a 919, but you will need to take things VERY easy and take plenty of time to learn the bike. By way of example, I had a 600 as my first bike, followed by a Fireblade. It took me a good year to enen start to feel comfortable on the Blade.
 

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a fireblade IS NOT NOT NOT suitable for beginners, im 42 years old with 25 yrs riding experiance in all weather here in Ireland "with CRAP roads" & riding a 929 & if ur not 100% tuned in, these machines will kill you, fantastic motorcycle probably the best of the blades of em all :rotfl: :rotfl: :inlove: :inlove: ,but please take my Irish ass advice FIREBLADES aint for beginners :gve:
I have a very healthy concern about dying, so I see myself riding like an old man. I've never been a speed demon, and don't ever see myself riding fast unless I'm on a track.
Very good points Sean and Mass if ur one on those dilly dally merchants then the blade will only be waisted on you. Secondly as your that type of rider/driver what the blade is going to throw at you will probably kill you or seriously maim you. This thing will have a mind of its own if your not used to excitement.
600 sports is still a mad machine, no two ways about it, but at least a little bit easier than the blade.
Des mentions a couple of great bikes for beginners and they are good for all occasions, some people never move up any further.
SV650 (s, for me) and the er-6 are both great bikes to learn on and in your case stick with
 

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I began with a CBR 600 F2 back in '93.
Took a few years off and have been riding CBR 954RR. I'm more of a grandpa Driving Ms. Daisy on the 954RR BECAUSE I remember the scares from the F2.

I won't say :nono: to the 919; I will say a resounding :thumb: YES to the 600 sportbike. I agree that 250 is not enough.

:soapbox: Though you are more conservative, please be adviced that she will be a temptress. She will call to you.



"After four years of hearing about so called “Honda Hornets” that Europeans had been raving about across seas, North Americans were growing increasingly curious as to what they were missing out on. In 2002, Honda finally released an all new model they were calling the Honda 919 CB900F. The Honda 919 CB900F was developed with all the knowledge and technology gained from earlier-model Honda Motorcycles and superbikes. Specifically, the Honda 919 CB900F was basically the Honda Hornet body with, essentially, a “tested-and-true” Honda CBR900RR engine with 919 cubic centimeters, sixteen valves and inline liquid cooling." http://www.cb919.hondagl.com/honda-919-history/
 

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I would consider the 919 to be a safer bike for a newbie than most 600's. Most 600's today have more power and weigh less than a 919. I think in adult hands the 919 is a fine beginners bike. I know that a lot of people recomend a 250 for begineers but I would have been bored within a month on a 250. I think the people that would get in trouble on a 1000cc sport bike would get in the same trouble on a 250. The only difference is that you may be going a lot faster when you get in trouble.

If I think back to any near accidents that I've had, none of them had to do with power.
 

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I would consider the 919 to be a safer bike for a newbie than most 600's. Most 600's today have more power and weigh less than a 919. I think in adult hands the 919 is a fine beginners bike. I know that a lot of people recomend a 250 for begineers but I would have been bored within a month on a 250. I think the people that would get in trouble on a 1000cc sport bike would get in the same trouble on a 250. The only difference is that you may be going a lot faster when you get in trouble.

If I think back to any near accidents that I've had, none of them had to do with power.
Sorry have to disagree with you here and if you get bored with a 250 quickly your just not riding it properly :rotfl:

600 sports wouldnt be my recommendation either, they are mean machines too.

Your last statement says it all and into trouble he will get and at his age mending will take a lot longer, that is he manages to survive.
 

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Sorry have to disagree with you here and if you get bored with a 250 quickly your just not riding it properly :rotfl:

600 sports wouldnt be my recommendation either, they are mean machines too.

Your last statement says it all and into trouble he will get and at his age mending will take a lot longer, that is he manages to survive.
:plus1:

Recently started out on a CBR 400 RR, got more grunt than a 250 but not enough to scare you. Key word here is "learner" bike. You don't want your first bike to be your last. :smilebig:
 

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I ride a 919 (aka CB 900 Hornet).

I moved up to this bike from a 750 NightHawk, and the 919 can certainly be a handful. It is also much more mild-mannered than a CBR (FireBlade).

The 919 is a great bike for the street, and will do fairly well for track days as well. The riding position is upright; neither leaning forward nor laying back. This lends itself well to daily commuting. There's plenty of power, and the engine makes that power smoothly & without surprises.

It handles well in traffic; plenty agile without being twitchy.

As far as being a good first bike - the answer is MAYBE.
Among the larger more powerful bikes, it is among the best choices to learn on. Just realize it is a lot of bike and learn accordingly. I've been riding for many years and am still learning. I recommend a beginner class, followed by a more advanced class several months later.

If you have the opportunity to take a track-oriented class after that, do it. You'll learn more in one track day than a year on the street.

I know some riders who have been on bikes for years and still don't know how to ride. Keep learning - its a lot of fun!

ETA:
WRISTTWISTERS.COM is a discussion site heavily populated with 919 riders. You can get some very good, if biased, info there.
 

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It can be done, but is not a good idea. My guess is you've already decided and are looking for a few people to validate your decision to do it. I ride a 919 and an 1/8 turn on the throttle will put you at about 80mph. I also own an R6. They are a completely different. My wife took the MSF course and then went on to get her license before getting a bike. We are doing parking lot time with the R6. Slow and steady, learn the bike and enjoy it. Truth is she's afraid of the 919. She's got her license, but knows how fast it goes with such little effort and doesn't want any part of it. That may change with time, but it'll be a while before I let her. I don't want her to die. It doesn't matter if you entend to go fast or not, a mistake will put you there in about 1 second. I wish you the best of luck if you really intend to learn on a 919. Stay in a gear too high to slow the torque a little bit in case of a mistake.
 

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One of the most common questions new bike riders have is, “What kind of bike should I get?” This question is asked so often that I created a standardized response. Please keep in mind that these are the views and opinions of one person (albeit countless other also hold them) With that said, on we go…
Getting ANY modern 600cc sport bike for a first ride is a bad idea (far, far, far worse is a 1000cc). In fact, it may be nothing more than an expensive form of suicide. Here are a few reasons why;

1. Knowledge of Subject Matter
When anyone starts something new they find themselves at the most basic point of the “beginner’s mind”. This is to say that they are at the very start of the learning curve. They are not even aware of what it is that they don't know. A personal example of this is when I began Shotokan Karate. The first day of class I had no idea what an “inside-block” was, let alone how to do it with correct form, power, and consistency. After some time, and a lot of practice, I could only then realize how bad my form really was. Then, and only then, was I able to begin the process of improving it. I had to become knowledgeable that inside-blocks even existed before I was aware that I could not do them correctly. I had to learn what the correct elements of inside-block were, before I realized that I did not have those elements. After I learned, I was then able to aspire towards the proper elements. This example is to illustrate the point that it takes knowledge OF something in order to understand how that something works, functions, performs, etc. Now lets return to the world of motorcycles. A beginner has NO motorcycle experience. They are not even aware of the power, mistakes, handling, shifting, turning dynamics etc. of any bike, let alone a high performance sport bike. Not only does the beginner lack the SKILL of how to ride a motorcycle, they also lack the knowledge of WHAT skills they need to learn. Acquiring those skills comes only with experience and learning from mistakes. As one moves through the learning curve they begin to amass new information…they also make mistakes. A ton of them.

2. The Learning Curve
While learning to do something, your first efforts are often sloppy and full of mistakes. Without mistakes the learning process is impossible. A mistake on a sport bike can be fatal. The things new riders need to learn above all else is smooth throttle control, proper speed, and how to lean going into turns. A 600cc bike can reach 60mph in about 3 to 5 seconds. A simple beginners mishap with that much power and torque can cost you your life (or a few limbs) before you even knew what happened. Grab a handful of throttle going into a turn and you may end up crossing that little yellow line on the road into on-coming traffic…**shudder**. Bikes that are more forgiving of mistakes are far safer (not to mention, more fun) to learn on.
Ask yourself this question; in which manner would you rather learn to walk on a circus high-wire (1) with a 4x4 board that is 2 feet off the ground (2) with a wire that is 20 feet off the ground? Most sensible people would choose (1). The reason why is obvious. Unfortunately safety concerns with a first motorcycle aren’t as apparent as they are in the example above. However, the wrong choice of what equipment to learn on can be just as deadly, regardless of how safe, careful, and level-headed you intend to be.

3. “But I Will be Safe, Responsible, and Level-Headed While Learning".
Sorry, but this line of reasoning doesn’t cut it. To be safe you also need SKILL (throttle control, speed, leaning, etc). Skill comes ONLY with experience. To gain experience you must ride in real traffic, with real cars, and real dangers. Before that experience is developed, you are best suited with a bike that won’t severely punish you for minor mistakes. A cutting edge race bike is not one of these bikes.
Imagine someone saying, "I want to learn to juggle, but I’m going to start by learning with chainsaws. But don’t worry. I intend to go slow, be careful, stay level-headed, and respect the power of the chainsaws while I’m learning". Like the high-wire example, the proper route here isn’t hard to see. Be “careful” all you want, go as “slow” as you want, be as “cautious” as you want, be as “respectful” as you want…your still juggling chainsaws! The “level-headed” thing to do in this situation is NOT to start with chainsaws. Without a foundation in place of HOW to juggle there is only a small level of safety you can aspire towards. Plain and simple, it’s just better to learn juggling with tennis balls than it with chainsaws. The same holds true for learning to ride a motorcycle. Start with a solid foundation in the basics, and then move up. Many people say that “maturity” will help you be safe with motorcycles. They are correct. However, maturity has NOTHING to do with learning to ride a motorcycle. Maturity is what you SHOULD use when deciding what kind of bike to buy so that you may learn to ride a motorcycle safely.

4. “I Don’t Want a Bike I’ll Outgrow”
Please. Did your Momma put you in size 9 shoes at age 2? Get with the program. It is far better to maximize the performance of a smaller motorcycle and get “bored" with it than it is to mess-up your really fast bike (not mention messing yourself up) and not being able to ride at all. Power is nothing without control.
5. “I Don’t Want to Waste Money on a Bike I’ll Only Have for a Short Period of Time” (i.e. cost)
Smaller, used bikes have and retain good resale value. This is because other sane people will want them as learner bikes. You’ll prolly be able to sell a used learner bike for as much as you paid for it. If you can't afford to upgrade in a year or two, then you definitely can't afford to wreck the bike your dreaming about. At the very least, most new riders drop bikes going under 20MPH, when the bike is at its most unstable periods. If you drop your brand new bike, fresh off the showroom floor, while your learning (and you will), you've just broken a directional, perhaps a brake or clutch lever, cracked / scrapped the fairings ($300.00 each to replace), messed-up the engine casing, messed-up the bar ends, etc. It's better and cheaper to drop a used bike that you don’t care about than one you just spent $8,500 on. Fortunately, most of these types of accidents do not result in serious physical injury. It’s usually just a big dent in your pride and…

6. EGO.
Worried about looking like chump on a smaller bike? Well, your gonna look like the biggest idiot ever on your brand new, but messed-up bike after you’ve dropped it a few times. You’ll also look really dumb with a badass race bike that you stall 15 times at a red light before you can get into gear. Or even better, how about a nice R6 that you can’t ride more than 15mph around a turn because you don’t know how to counter-steer correctly? Yeah, your gonna be really cool with that bike, huh? Any real rider would give you props for going about learning to ride the *correct* way (i.e. on a learner bike). If you’re stressed about impressing someone with a “cool” bike, or embarrassed about being on smaller bike, then your not “mature enough” to handle the responsibility of ANY motorcycle. Try a bicycle. After you've grow-up (“matured”), revisit the idea of something with an engine.

7. "Don’t Ask for Advice if You Don't Want to Hear a Real Answer".
A common pattern:
1. Newbie asks for advice on a 1st bike (Newbie wants to hear certain answers)
2. Experienced riders advise Newbie against a 600cc bike for a first ride (this is not what Newbie wanted to hear).
3. Newbie says and thinks, "Others mess up while learning, but that wont happen to me" (as if Newbie is invincible, holds superpowers, never makes mistakes, has a “level head”, or has a skill set that exceeds the majority of the world, etc).
4. Experienced riders explain why a “level head” isn’t enough. You also need SKILL, which can ONLY be gained via experience. (Newbie thinks he has innate motorcycle skills)
5. Newbie makes up excuses as to why he is “mature” enough to handle a 600cc bike”. (skill drives motorcycles, not maturity)
6. Newbie, with no knowledge about motorcycles, totally disregards all the advice he asked for in the first place. (which brings us right back to the VERY FIRST point I made about “knowledge of subject matter”).
7. Newbie goes out and buys a R6, CBR, GSX, 6R, etc. Newbie is scared of the power. Being scared of your bike is the LAST thing you want. Newbie gets turned-off to motorcycles, because of fear, and never gets to really experience all the fun that they can really be. Or worse, Newbie gets in a serious accident.
8. The truth of the matter is that Newbie was actually never really looking for serious advice. What he really wanted was validation and / or approval of a choice he was about to make or already had made. When he received real advice instead of validation he became defensive about his ability to handle a modern sport bike as first ride (thus defending the choice he had made). Validation of a poor decision isn’t going to replace scratched bodywork on your bike. It isn’t going put broken bones back together. It isn’t going graft shredded skin back onto your body. It isn’t going to teach you to ride a motorcycle the correct way. However, solid advice from experienced riders, when heeded, can help to avoid some of these issues.
I’m not trying to be harsh. I’m being real. Look all over the net. You’ll see veteran after veteran telling new riders NOT to get a 600cc bike for a first ride. You’ll even see pros saying to start small. Why? Because we hate new riders? Because we don't want others to have cool bikes? Because we want to smash your dreams? Nothing could be further from the truth. The more riders the better (assuming there not squids)! The reason people like me and countless others spend so much time trying to dissuade new riders from 600cc bikes is because we actually care about you. We don't want to see people get hurt. We don't want to see more people die in senseless accidents that could have been totally avoided with a little logic and patients. We want the “sport” to grow in a safe, healthy, and sane way. We want you to be around to ride that R6, CBR600RR, GSX-1000, Habayasu, etc that you desire so badly. However, we just want you to be able to ride it in a safe manner that isn’t going to be a threat to yourself or others. A side note, you may see people on the net and elsewhere saying “600cc bike are OK to start with”. Look a bit deeper when you see this. The vast majority of people making these statements are new riders* themselves. If you follow their advice you’ve entered into a situation of the blind leading the blind. This is not something you want to do with motorcycles. You may also hear bike dealers saying that a 600cc is a good starter bike. They are trying to make money off you. Don’t listen. *(I consider anyone with under 30,000 miles a noobie)
taking from else where but i agree with 99.9% of it
 
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