First Bike – A Topic no one seems to address
November 7, 2008 at 2:06 pm #2330PhilParticipant
Ok, with so many “schools” and opinions about what bike to start on and everything revolving around ccs I have learned something that all of us riders know but none of us seem to want to explain to newbies.
So let me try a shot at it:
Sports bike cc and cruiser cc are different! If a newbie asks what cc he should get then we should not tell all of them that 500 is the cap. IT DEPENDS !
I have a shadow 750 and it does not do wheelies or allow me to do stupid things, it is quite forgiving. However a 600cc sports bike seems to be the opposite.
From what I read, it seems as if the ninja 250 is about the equivalent to a 650 – 750 cruiser. True the cruiser may be a bit heavier, but also their centers of gravity are lower.
I think we should create a beginner’s choice table and vote bikes in.
The table could look like this:
On the y axis we make a couple of personality, or weight options so that the 120lb girl that wants to “try it out” and the cocky 25 year old (such as myself ) have categories they can choose from. Then the X axis we differentiate between the different styles of motorcycles.
Best Beginner Motorcycle’s Recommendation:
Type: Cruiser Sports Standard
Better safe 1-3 bikes 1-3 bikes 1-3 bikes
then sorry (or light rider)
Good hand eye coord 1-3 bikes 1-3 bikes 1-3 bikes
Daring beginner 1-3 bikes 1-3 bikes 1-3 bikes
Someone would have to do polls and create this table, any thoughts?November 7, 2008 at 2:07 pm #14664PhilParticipant
ok, it removed the spaces i inserted to make it look like a table ….. well try to imagine a matrix aboveNovember 7, 2008 at 2:23 pm #14665Sangria7Participant
I think this has been addressed a lot by both the MSF course and multiple forums.
The general concensus are:
1. Sports bike and cruisers still follow the same basic physics and mechanics. In the MSF course I took they demonstrated that principle. However, sport bikes have a bit more acceleration and speed than a cruiser – which can get you into trouble faster.
2. Displacement and weight will matter on the handling of the bike. Of course the human input factor to the bike will also determine the handling. Human Input + Bike Weight = Overall handling (very basic equation)
3. Skill level will also dictate your bike choice – but in general a 250cc will accomodate most beginners. IMO, personality has nothing to do with bike skill, you can be daring and still have a hard time making that figure 8.
It’s the same old age debate and been addressed so many times. You will have your two different schools of thoughts that may never come to an agreement, but they will both tell you to always get a bike 650cc or below as a beginner. I dont know anyone to tells a beginner to get anything bigger, though as in any bell curve distribution, you will always get your outliers and those are the people who start off with the larger engines.November 7, 2008 at 2:44 pm #14667MattParticipant
While direct categories haven’t been laid out, it is discussed that cruisers and sport/standard bikes make power in very different ways. And as such, they are recommended differently.
The 250 size (either Ninja or Cruiser) is discussed as the lightest easiest to use.
Having ridden the 250 Ninja a fair bit (one year and 4000+ kms), and dabbled with a 600cc Honda cruiser (less than an hour), I will say that the cruiser is slower, but still harder to learn on. Yes the cruiser weight is lower down, and at a stand still is as easy to hold up than the Ninja, but things get very different once you start talking about low speed maneuvering and man-handling the bike during parking.
I think the Ninja is a perfectly fine first bike for someone who wants a sport/standard, regardless of daring or natural talent. I don’t feel the same for the 450+ pound cruisers. Sure the 500-650 cruisers will never surprise you with their power, but the weight is not something to be discounted. A confident rider on a Shadow 600, I have no problem recommending that. But not a timid rider or a risk averse one – because when you lean it over in low speed maneuvers (which you will have to at some point) there comes a point where you need to be confident or she’ll go down and take you with her.
Someone around said that bikes are like dogs, they can smell fear, and react very badly to it. I think that is the perfect description. And as a bike gets bigger, that tendency increases – regardless of style.
The 500-650 class of cruiser is, I think, closer to the 500cc sports. Both are recommended for people who for whatever reason consider a 250 too small, and both are harder to learn on than their smaller counterparts, but not so much that they are unsuitable for any beginner.
Once you get above that, other design considerations take precidence. Bikes like the Ninja/SV 650 or 750 cruisers are designed with general street friendliness in mind, but they are still meant to be used by people who already have the needed skills. Learning on one of these bikes takes more effort than a smaller bike for reasons beyond simply power or weight (speed reacting to inputs, braking, etc).
Now, as for creating a matrix, it isn’t a bad idea, but there are a lot of issues that need to be addressed, and the rider’s own personality will affect each of those a great deal. Simply put, a matrix made by one person will not be the same as by another – and for a host of different reasons. I guess I’m just old school and think people whould read all the reviews for bikes they are interested in, speak with riders who know them (MSF instructors are great sources for personalized recommendations!)… matricies often make things look far more black and white than they are – but then I guess I’m not giving enough credit to the people who will be reading that matrix.
hmm, sorry for the ramble… Friday mornings do that to me.
“The two seconds between ‘Oh S**!’ and the crash isn’t a lot of practice time.”November 7, 2008 at 3:26 pm #14669Sangria7Participant
FRIDAY!!!! WOOT!!!November 8, 2008 at 2:37 am #14694smokeizfireParticipant
….I think if you start out on, let’s say hypothetically a 650, how would you know what riding a 250 felt like if you never rode one? The point is the more you ride, the more you will become more in control of the bike, at least for most. I must say that size does matter in terms of power and weight, for it may determine how soon you wipe out or drop “her”. At MSF school, it seemed I was the only guy who started out on a 250. The sport bike crowd had nothing less than 750s. Beside me, the cruiser crowd boasted a Vulcan 900, and the other was a Honda VTX(1300). A couple of the big engine guys have had close calls and drops. None wish they started smaller. Interesting. In wisdom, I would suggest everyone before getting into biking, do research, and more research.
Motorcycles and Cars aren’t dangerous, for they don’t ride nor drive themselves. Do I wish I would have started bigger? I’m 50/50 at this point. Half of me says good thing I started out on a small bike, but the other 1/2 says I knew I could have handled a 750 if I would have went with my gut and got the Shadow Aero. Let’s just say when I got my 250 to now, I was really happy and now I ‘m just pleased. Pleased in a way that I will never sell “her” because she does me well. I may be looking for a new “girlfriend”, but I’ve already found a “wife”.
HE WHO DIES WITH THE MOST TOYS WINSNovember 8, 2008 at 5:20 am #14695MunchParticipant
with Sangria!!…However I personally have mentioned the difference in performance here on BBM and so have several others. But it was nice of you to bring it up again to keep it on the front pages. It is one that sometimes does not get its own topic but you end up finding the info meandering through replies in other “beginner bike help!” type posts.
Yesterday is a memory, tomorrow is a prediction, but today…… is a Bi**hNovember 8, 2008 at 4:04 pm #14701Maverick9110EParticipant
wow, this is a great read because this is exactly the things that have been going through my head for the last month or so. I’m stuck between sport bike/standard or cruiser, namley the ninja 500 and a vstar 650 , more or less because i’m a bigger guy. (6’2″ 250lbs) and for some reason its making me like the buell blast more and more, its sort of an in between….what is your guys opinion on that?November 8, 2008 at 6:42 pm #14704Maverick9110EParticipant
im tempted to go to the riders edge course instead of the MSF one, it costs a hundred bucks more, but i get to ride a blast so it would help in that area. I’d looovee an 883, one of my favortie bikes, however like you said, cheap it aint. lol. But like you said, im going to butt test in a few months and see where that leads me, so for the next 4 months or so i’ll be reasearching every aspect possible.
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