An Arrow In The Right Direction...
I've found that a lot of new comers have common uncertainties in regards to the world of two wheeled machines...Coincidentally, I've also been personally asked by friends who are interested in becoming motorcycle enthusiasts where to start and how to build a solid foundation in the sport...I certainly could have went for novel length material, but I thought that an introductive summary would be more effective...As you may have noticed, I enjoy writing and steering people in the right direction...I do want to be a positive contribution to this board and I hope that this will have a positive impact on our fellow members...
-An Arrow In The Right Direction-
Let me preface by saying this...There are riders out there who ride for the right reasons and there are those who don't...
There are those who pursue riding because they want to have the fastest machine on the road...They love the attention of being on two wheels which in turn boosts their egos even further...Soon, getting it up on one and burnouts will be their daily routine and pushing their limits and skills on the street with disregard to their safety or that of others will eventually result in them being placed in a body bag...
There are those who pursue riding because they strive to achieve their full potential on two wheels...They ride to immerse themselves into a fast moving world, dedicating every ride to attaining better riding form, smoother lines and gaining experience all in a safe and controlled manner...More than likely they will surround themselves with welcoming and experienced track riders to soak up knowledge from and in turn they will someday take a lesser inexperienced rider under their watchful eye...
In a nutshell...I am the latter...That is who I am striving to become, and surely you can tell that I am strongly pursuing excellence...
Although I want to give you as much insight on the sport as I can, and I enjoy sharing my experience with you as an interested person in the two wheeled world, that does not answer your questions...So I'll do that now...
As difficult as it may seem to decline the opportunity to purchase an attractive 1000cc machine, the truth is...I highly suggest you do pass on the occasion...And my thoughts are, if you want to become an experienced rider you should start small, and work your way up to pure race bred machines such as Yamaha's pristine R1s...
The first step in working towards your purchase would be to take the highly recommended MSF Course...The Motorcycle Safety Foundation course is offered at several locations and you can visit their site online to contact them for class scheduling and reservations...The course will instill within you the basic key components of safe riding and the core elements needed for handling and control...Don't underestimate the course, although the concepts are logical it is crucial to have them at the forefront of your thoughts at all times...After graduating from the course, you will be eligible to receive your M1 license at the DMV...
The second step in the process would be to find the machine that would be best suited for your needs, all while staying within your limits...Chances are, you will most likely throw this recommendation out the window, but I'll be the first of many to suggest that a starter motorcycle such as a Kawasaki Ninja 500R would be the perfect place to start...The 500R is affordable and retains its resale value as well, if purchased brand new or used, you will be able to sell it for close to the same amount 6 months to 1 year later which would be all the time needed to excel in the basic controls of a motorcycle...
Here's the dilemma...You may have already mentally blocked out the idea of owning something less than a 600cc machine and there is nothing I can do or say that will change your mind...So let's move forward to the more than likely situation...You choose to start with a 600 class sport bike...
There are numerous sport bikes in the 600 class as they are the most common breed in the two wheeled performance world...You'll find yourself surrounded by Yamaha's R6...Honda's CBR600RR...Suzuki's GSX R600...Kawasaki's ZX 6RR to name a few...The truth is, each one of these 600 class motorcycles are born from the result of extensive research and technology and are unbelievably close in terms of performance on the road and the track...What is it that makes the difference between either of these machines? The rider...That is why I stress the importance of gaining experience the right way from the ground up...
Taking your pick is a difficult decision which in the end will be determined by personal preference...Since they are so close in comparison in terms of performance, it will more than likely come down to styling and comfort...You should find yourself at local dealerships spending time behind the cockpit of every 600cc sport bike you may be interested in and narrow down your search to find the one best suited for you...
The learning curve is something that is naturally determined...Much like anything else in life, determination and practice are what will separate you from the rest and allow you to advance more or less quickly than others to higher classes such as the 1000ccs...Surrounding yourself with the right people is a key factor in your learning curve...I assure you that you will with no exceptions become a reflection of those that you ride with...Pick your friends carefully, although you are on separate machines, your life still lies in their hands...
Before I let you go...There is one more point I want to stress...Safety consciousness...Investing in yourself and your well being is the most critical part of being a rider...Yet it is more than likely the most overlooked aspect of the sport...You need to allot an expense amount which will be used towards riding gear...A high quality helmet...A high quality suit...And the same is expected out of your riding boots and gloves...Don't sell yourself short...Without you...The machine is nothing...And although it might seem unreal to be riding in 100 degree heat with full gear on, I'm sure you would rather sweat than bleed...Not to mention the cost of your armor will surely be less expensive than the skin grafts you'll be needing if God forbid your body meets the pavement, regardless of whether it is your fault or not...
Alright...On that note, I'll let you go...I don't mean to write a novel, but I am looking to steer you and others that might be interested in becoming avid riders in the right direction...I hope you find this interesting and hopefully it will stir up some more questions that I can answer for you down the road...Always feel free to drop me a message online or better yet, send me and IM sometime...My screen name is...
Thanks for reading and I hope to have you riding with us soon…
:handclap, someone is out to get a sticky for himself !!
Sure...If it helps...
It's just a step in the right direction...I've made friends in person off this board who took the time to show me how to become a safe and conscious rider...I can only hope to do the same...
I'm 36, going on 37 years old now, and I've only recently (Within the last 7 years) gotten "interested, officially... totally... actually" in sport bikes, and Motorcycle racing as a whole.
Do I feel like I can do what they, or for that matter, what you guys can do on a 600? NOPE! NOT one BIT.
I have taken rides with people that have both been fun, and scary as shit... And it's partially why I've waited to get a bit older, and perhaps less testosterone filled, before making a purchase.
I wouldn't consider a 600, or a 500, as a first bike of my own, I'd start out on someones Kawi 250, for a few months, that I'd buy used, and then sell, and then go about a year on a Kawi 500, for about a year, and then, if I could afford to do it, I'd step up to a 600.
I guess old age and wisdom (:lol), coupled with all of the incidents I've seen, heard about, read here, or experienced in my life... (I've had 13 friends that rode, 9 of them are still alive...) that I would be in the "Latter" group with you as well.
I do not think I can be Valentino, Colin, Nicky, or even John Haner. Racers possess a skill that is honed from an early age... not something that they jumped into in their 20's or 30's.
But I can definitely say, that it THIS KIND of support, not the "Fuck you... n00b" response, that is what will encourage people to take up the sport, and enjoy it to it's fullest, all while being safe.
Thank you for pointing me to this post! :thumbup
Edit - So yeah... I guess that makes me the Oldest R6MN :squid
Excellent thread. Someone bring this man some paste, he needs a sticky!
Very well said. :thumbup
Very nice write up.
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