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I got this from Sportrider.com:

Chris Sedition wrote an open letter to new riders, which I copied and shortened here.

"1. Getting ANY modern 600cc supersport bike for a first ride is a bad idea (far, far, far worse is a 1000cc bike for a first ride.) In fact, it may be nothing more than an expensive form of suicide.

2. In which manner would you rather learn to walk on a circus high-wire A) with a 4x4 board that is 2 feet off the ground B) with a wire that is 20 feet off the ground? Most sensible people would choose “A”. 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". Plain and simple, it’s just better to learn juggling with tennis balls than it is with chainsaws. The same holds true for learning to ride a motorcycle. Start with a solid foundation in the basics, and then move up. 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 Mother put you in size 9 shoes at age 2? 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 (and messing your body parts up) and not being able to ride at all.

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 probably 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 race-style bike you're dreaming about.

Most new riders drop bikes going under 20MPH, when the bike is at its most unstable speed. If you drop your brand new bike, fresh off the showroom floor, while you're learning (and you probably 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 $11,000 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 a chump on a smaller bike? Well, you're 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 new supersport that you can’t ride more than 15mph around a turn because you don’t know how to counter-steer correctly? Yeah, you're 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 grown-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 supersport 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 supersport 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.
7. Newbie goes out and buys a race replica. 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 truly can be. Or worse, Newbie gets in a serious accident.

You’ll see veteran after veteran telling new riders NOT to get a 600cc supersport bike for a first ride. You’ll see pro racers 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 they're not squids or pirates)! The reason people like me and countless others spend so much time trying to dissuade new riders from 600cc supersport 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 patience and a few thousand miles with a less powerful bike.

We want the “sport” to grow in a safe, healthy, and sane way. We WANT you to be around to ride that Ninja, R6, CBR600RR, GSXR-1000, Hayabusa, 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.

You may also hear bike dealers saying that a 600cc supersport bike is a good starter bike. They are trying to make money off you. Don’t listen.

Speaking of help, this is a great time to plug the MSF (Motorcycle Safety Foundation) course. The MSF course is an AMAZING learning opportunity for new riders. In some areas if you pass the course your motorcycle license will then be directly mailed to you. This means that you DON’T HAVE TO GO TO THE DMV, AT ALL!!!). That alone should be enough reason to take the course. Also, in some states you will get a discount on your insurance after you’ve taken the course.

Also, a GREAT book to check out is “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Motorcycles, 3rd edition”. MY ADVICE FOR ANYONE LOOKING TO GET INTO MOTORCYCLES WOULD BE TO BUY THIS BOOK AND READ IT COVER TO COVER ABOUT 2 OR 3 TIMES. AFTER YOU HAVE DONE THAT, THEN TAKE THE MSF COURSE. At the very least, go hang out at Barnes & Noble for an afternoon and read as much of the book as you can until they kick you out of the store.

I haven’t even mentioned riding gear. Get it. Wear it. People who wear sunglasses instead of full face helmets, tank tops, flip-flops, and shorts while riding don’t look so cool when it comes time for a skin-graft or resetting broken bones. Dress for the crash, not the ride.

Off-road and street riding are totally different worlds. Granted, someone with off-road history knows things like shift patterns, how to use a clutch, etc but the power, weight, and handling of street bikes are a different ball game altogether. They still should not start with a 600cc supersport on the street."
 

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from my experience (not much relatively) this is an awsome post/article. great info for new riders and anyone in general.

i started with my current bike and first bike a Ninja 750r. the reason was thats its an older bike, more of a touring by todays standards. it doesn't have the power like the new supersports but i will say it's not something i'd highly recommend. it handles well and has a surprising amount of power and torque for it's age and right away i realized it was a bit of a curve for a first bike as opposed to a 250 or 500cc.

maybe it's just my mentality but i don't 100% agree with the statement about not being afraid of your bike. yes you should not be terrified of your motorcycle but my father taught me that you NEED to maintain a certain level of both fear and respect for your motorcycle to keep you safe and practicing safe riding techniques. He said to me when you lose the fear of your bike, that is when things get dangerous and you start taking stupid/immature risks you would normally avoid.


thats just my .02. feel free to tell me if i'm being ignorant tho
 

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i plan on starting out on a zx6r. i sat on a 250 and it felt too small for me. I do plan on doing the safety course (MSF) and if i have any doubt at all or feel i am not ready then i will go with a 650r, but if i feel comfortable i am going with the zx6r. safety is important to me so i will not be some squid popping wheelies 2 months after i start riding. i do also plan to go all out and get a bunch of safety equipment. i know too many people first hand who learned on a supersport and they have given me guidance. most, if not all of them told me if i feel like show boating at all or am not mature enough, stay away from supersports.
 

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i plan on starting out on a zx6r. i sat on a 250 and it felt too small for me. I do plan on doing the safety course (MSF) and if i have any doubt at all or feel i am not ready then i will go with a 650r, but if i feel comfortable i am going with the zx6r. safety is important to me so i will not be some squid popping wheelies 2 months after i start riding. i do also plan to go all out and get a bunch of safety equipment. i know too many people first hand who learned on a supersport and they have given me guidance. most, if not all of them told me if i feel like show boating at all or am not mature enough, stay away from supersports.
ill never understand why people think the 650R is a good bike to learn on. Its not slow by any means and it weighs just as much as a super sport. 0-60 in 3.7 seconds, a GSXR does it in 3.1 seconds. It weighs 450 lbs wet, that is average for a super sport. It can do high 11s in the quarter mile stock. In the low to mid range of the RPMS a 650R is just as fast if not faster than a super sport.
 

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ill never understand why people think the 650R is a good bike to learn on. Its not slow by any means and it weighs just as much as a super sport. 0-60 in 3.7 seconds, a GSXR does it in 3.1 seconds. It weighs 450 lbs wet, that is average for a super sport. It can do high 11s in the quarter mile stock. In the low to mid range of the RPMS a 650R is just as fast if not faster than a super sport.
haha ok buddy...try high 12's and lets see...half, HALF the power of a supersport 600. It's an easy bike to ride, I know...I rode the fucking thing all the time. Check sig, youtube vid
 

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i started on a 08 zzr 600, i got the bike cause of the looks to be honest, so far i have 6k miles on the odometer and yes i had a few close calls but i been reading books and magazines for information and ideas on how to become a better rider for example the two finger grip on the brakes so u can more control of the bike which now have become second nature to me or the use of the back brake in a curve if you are going in to hot and want to decrease speed without upsetting the chassis, proper seating position while in the curves , how to not ride on the blind spots of cage drivers etc etc

i dropped my bike the second day i got it coming out of my driveway bike stalled and down i went resulting in a broken signal light, broken brake bracket a few minor scratches and a huge pain on my ego, after that i did got to fear my bike but with more miles under my belt that fear went away and i started enjoying the rides
now that i look back i should have started on a 250 but i didn't long story short i started on the wrong foot but now motorcycling is part of who i am i expect to get better as the miles roll
take care everybody
 

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you know what we really should do

setup some sort of wiki/faq with all the possible questions a newb would have. After all, we already answer the same questions over and over and over again. A wiki might be an improvement.
 

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Originally Posted by kevinp
Go with a 2009/2010. I may need parts some time and I'll need a source.
hey everyone let us know what you have so we can have sources and when you :violent:destroy your bike or :buzzsaw:yourself and parts are available well..... you know.
:Laughing rolling:
 

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okay .. to make a long story short , am a Newbie but i did my homework , i searched and searched and did lots of reading ..
i always wanted a sports bike and always wanted a Ninja but i know deep inside my that i'll kill my self if i got on one of them .. and finally when am nearly 30 years old .. i felt it is the time for me to get a bike .. and guess what it was
a Ninja 250 .. i know i'll outgrow this bike , so what .. thats good .. u know why .. coz that mean u have learned something , u developed ur skills , and when i get this feeling
i'll wait for another season or so .. to master it .. then am going for a 500 or 600
trust me when a biker see u in the street on a 250 he will stay . oh ur learning .. but when he see u on the ditch with a 600 he will say ur an idiot ..
the smaller bike will make u feel more in control .. not being controlled by the bike and hanging on it for ur dear life .. and Please Please ... get good Gear and wear it all the time ... ALL THE ******* time .. if u want ur skin of course .. hehe

Regards
Newbie who have some Brains :d
 

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excellent post, whether it was a copy/paste job or not in my opinion.
good point...everyone does copy/paste but jeff seems to be the only one catching hell for it.
i'm a little tired of some of you smug fuckers beating this guy down for trying to post useful info.
 

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First bike

Here's how i did it:

- took the motorcycle safety course and trained on a 250 for 3 days.
- bought an old Honda Hurricane and rode it for 6 months, no drops or accidents, nothing, then sold it.
- bought a new 2007 zx6r, while stopped let if fall over once the first week i had it :), re-painted the lower fairing around 100 bucks

Everything has been fine. Just take it slow at first.

Ninja-
 
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