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Discussion Starter #1
Since rc mentioned this, I thought it might make for an interesting discussion. I believe that since you will inevitably drop your bike several times your first year, you should buy a well used Japanese naked in around the 450cc range, for under $2k and ride it for a season. Then buy what you want.
 

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My first bike was the S1000SX.

Haven't regret it once.

I dropped it once, while hitting the front brake while parking.
It fell 3 times of its side stand (side stand spring problem, not strong enough).

I got hit once in Spain by a car at 30km/hour, tiny crash.

And last summer I lost my front wheel on some loose stones, and crashed my first real time.

I do ride very spirited all the time. So I guess it's still a good record.

Why the SX is easy to start with ?
- ABS brakes !
- Very forgiving engine, you're in the wrong gear = no problem
- Easy to ride, very linear power.
 

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I think if you grow up on dirtbikes it makes the transition to street much easier. You've already got the crash thing out of your system and you know how to handle bumps, wet patches and slamming on the brakes. But I too have had my share of street crashes.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I wish I had started on dirt bikes. Growing up in the midwest, we used to drive on frozen ponds, in the winter; it gives you tremendous experience in skidding, drifting, etc., without wrecking Dad's car!
 

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I agree about the cheap naked bike, one earlier bike I had was a BMW that was written off because of fairing , handbrake assembly and slight header damage in a low speed prang.. I recently came off in a corner slide with a naked R1200S and was able to touch up the slight scuff marks.:eek:
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I agree about the cheap naked bike, one earlier bike I had was a BMW that was written off because of fairing , handbrake assembly and slight header damage in a low speed prang.. I recently came off in a corner slide with a naked R1200S and was able to touch up the slight scuff marks.:eek:

I ride with a guy who had a minor crash on his Ducati. The dealer said it was a total because he couldn't guarantee the frame was straight - insurance paid.
 

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I started on a ZX6R... Big Mistake.. Crashed that sucker..

My opinion.. SV650 S or N...

Its got all the sportbike type features but a punchy engine that will seem fast to a new rider and tons of torque..

I think its a good mix of Power/Performance but forgiving enough for a new rider.. They also are built strong and recover from minor crashes well..

Also they can be had for cheap.. I bought my first one used for 2500 bucks with 3k on the dial..

My .02
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I started on a BSA Lightening 650. Over-revved it and scored the cylinder wall and bent the rings, ran off the road on a corner and put a dent in the tank the size of my fist; rear-ended a car and bent the forks; finally somebody pulled out from a stop sign in front of me, (I'm going 60 in the 35) and after skidding 80' because I didn't apply the front brake (bad habit) I totaled it, limped around for a few months and used the insurance check to buy a Triumph Bonneville.

It's good to be young and indestructible!
 

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I think the honda cbr 500 makes a great starter bike, they have them in a couple different models, you can pick up a 2013 model for a good price, they average between 60 and 70 mpg and will get up to 100 mph pretty quick if need be
 

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It depends on who's learning and their discipline level. But, I'd say in general, something small, light weight, and under-powered. Small and light takes away the intimidation factor, and makes moving around when you're first learning easier. Under-powered makes too-much-throttle or clutch dump mistakes harmless. Also, bikes in that category are cheap to buy, typically easy to sell, and insurance won't destroy the new rider's wallet. Besides, it takes a few motorcycles to come and go before you really have any idea as to what you really want in one, for things like power, comfort, ergonomics, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
It depends on who's learning and their discipline level. But, I'd say in general, something small, light weight, and under-powered. Small and light takes away the intimidation factor, and makes moving around when you're first learning easier. Under-powered makes too-much-throttle or clutch dump mistakes harmless. Also, bikes in that category are cheap to buy, typically easy to sell, and insurance won't destroy the new rider's wallet. Besides, it takes a few motorcycles to come and go before you really have any idea as to what you really want in one, for things like power, comfort, ergonomics, etc.
In FL anyway to get your MC endorsement, most people will take a safety course with the school's Honda 250s. I did and I didn't meet anybody intending to buy anything under 700 cc.
 

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In FL anyway to get your MC endorsement, most people will take a safety course with the school's Honda 250s. I did and I didn't meet anybody intending to buy anything under 700 cc.
Same as in CA .. Must have a MSF cert now.. Bikes are Rebel 125 and 250's.. I did see some with Ninja 250s aswell..
 

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In Belgium, we first have a theory exam.

Then you can take your lessons, 16 hours I thought.

Then you can drive with an L (only in the country, not on weekend nights).

To gain the full license you have to do a practical exam + 30 mins on the street with the examinator behind you.

This is our practical exam.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=etynRhwXKbo

The rules changed however.
Now we are limited in the amount of cc's we can ride, depending on age.
Don't know the exact rules.
 
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I wish we had a rule that required dirt bike experience. A weekend, or two. Why is just so you learn the motorcycle without dodging cars.

I love the idea of smaller for new rider, but hate the idea of low power, poor brakes, and all that comes along with cheap.

I remember donating to the kid who lost his leg in a honda 250 rebel crash. I will swear, on anything, had he been on a zx6, he completes the turn instead of hits the guard rail.
 

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Depends on the type of bike you like but anything with limited power is definitely a safer option. I started on an SV650 naked; it worked for me but it was already borderline IMO. A lot of torque if you accidentally grab a handful of throttle!
 

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Depends on the type of bike you like but anything with limited power is definitely a safer option. I started on an SV650 naked; it worked for me but it was already borderline IMO. A lot of torque if you accidentally grab a handful of throttle!
Its got some power.. But the power level imo is great because a newer rider needs to overcome the "overthrottle" issue, and I believe the bikes engine strikes a great balance between too much and too little..

Just a perfect starter bike for those people who are looking for something cool and powerful but newbie friendly.
 

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I did some dirt riding as a kid then as an adult I started street riding on a little Ninja 250... I bought it really because I wanted to save gas and didn't want to buy a scooter. It was a great bike to learn on but I sold it pretty quick for a Yamaha FZ6r... that was a great bike to learn as well and I wished I'd just started with it because the 250 was ergonomically tortuous for me!
 

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I did some dirt riding as a kid then as an adult I started street riding on a little Ninja 250... I bought it really because I wanted to save gas and didn't want to buy a scooter. It was a great bike to learn on but I sold it pretty quick for a Yamaha FZ6r... that was a great bike to learn as well and I wished I'd just started with it because the 250 was ergonomically tortuous for me!
Yep I have an FZ6R sitting in the garage right now.. I used it for commuting in Southern California Traffic..

It is a great starter bike as well.. Hard to go wrong with either..
 

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I just decided to pick one side of the argument. I really dont know how I feel, so I'll try this one.

Ok, so we pick something with very limited power. Lets say a Rebel 250.

It teaches great habits. The rider needs to turn 7000 rpm to leave a stop light, and pin it if he needs to pass a car. Brakes? You better pull hard, because not much will happen if you dont.

Throttle control? Wide open, often, to hope to keep up with traffic. Attention level? Lots towards the bike if you hope to not get ran down.

Handling? I dont know. I broke the frame on the one we had.

I think I maybe feel like if we have to select a bike to protect the owner, we are off to a very sketchy start.

The ninja 1000/z1000 new guys have impressed me more than the ninja 650 owners.

The 650 owners often viewed their bike as "entry" and only a stepping stone to something better. Te 1000 guys often came across as if they knew it was real, and to be respected.

I think maybe thats where I fall. The small 600ss bikes are hard to ride, and a poor choice, but the safe guy is the one who knows he can get hurt at 30mph.
 

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Obviously not everyone is the same but one of the most common mistakes a new rider makes, is grabbing a handful of throttle. On a powerful machine, that usually ends in disaster.
 
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