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Disclaimer - I am in no way affiliated with KawiForums or it's parent companies. The thoughts and opinions below are my, and mine alone.

I am writing this due to the amount of NEW riders I have seen on this forum alone, who seem to think that somehow thinking that simply "respecting it" will keep you out of trouble.

It's just not that easy, guys. It's not an issue with respect. That shiny new 600 or 1000cc supersport does not give a fuck what you think about it. It's mechanically less forgiving than a smaller/less powerful bike, and it can injure or kill you if YOU mess up.

The reason that smaller machines are hailed as better learning tools are quite obvious (or, apparently not). Less powerful, lighter, cheaper, more comfortable, and the list goes on. VeX has a couple great articles regarding the 250 here: http://www.kawiforums.com/ninja-250r/159549-vexs-observations-purchasing-250-a.html which should definitely be given a read through, no matter what you are starting on. Maybe it will get you thinking. And here's a community driven thread spearheaded by Bubbleboys, with some tips about things that new riders probably have not come across yet: http://www.kawiforums.com/newbie-corner/170695-advanced-tips-street-riding-minor-things.html.

Motorcycle riding is as real and as dangerous as it gets, and there is a definite amount of real skill involved to it. Learning and practicing these skills will keep you the safest that you can be, and as comfortable as you can be while riding out in the real world. Almost every member on this forum has a story about themselves or something else crashing their bike, and some of us have stories about friends or loved ones losing their lives on these things.

Simply coming here and saying you respect something you know nothing about, just isn't going to cut it.

Take your time, be smart, be safe, and respect the information and knowledge from people are legitimately trying to help you to be the safest you can be.

I guess that's all for this rant at the moment.
What he said!

And I'll add that, while there are plenty of people who start on bikes that are "not a 250" and don't get dead, there is no guarantee that YOU will be one of the lucky ones. And that's all it is hwen you're new - luck. Because you don't yet have any skill. I recently passed 50K miles, and I still don't feel like I know it all. And yes, I still practice the basics, and I still ride a 250 in addition to my 650, along with a few 600 SS bikes that I've managed to squeeze in some riding time on. Rep to the OP.
 

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I think I disagree with or rather, have a different view point when it comes to "respecting the bike". This phrase is very relevant. And as opposed to mocking it, I think it's a saying to be reinforced. I in fact do respect my bike and always have. By that I mean I've committed myself to learning how to properly operate and develop the skills necessary to ride it, resisted the urge to follow the crowd in regard to crazy behavior, acquired safety gear, stayed within my limits, and so on. This is what I mean when I tell people that I "respect" my bike. And it's what I hope others are implying when they speak it.

Personally, I think this thread and a number of replies are a little condescending in tone. I understand the point of it and the intention is honorable. But I think you reach more with less cynicism. Let's face it, when you speak to people (especially young men) in a confrontational, I know what's best for you kind of way, you're wasting your time. If you guys really want to drive your point home I’d say it’d be good to consider the approach. The tough love thing just doesn’t always work and as it seems is a staple of kawiforums.com.

Speak your piece on the subject by all means. If anyone here can make a new rider think twice about or reconsider their starting point as a rider, amen to that. However, be prepared for the time when someone has heard you but has made a decision for themselves. There is no need to continually aggravate them in whatever fashion you may deem fit. And it certainly does not mean that they are now any more likely to crash, die, or their bike become spare parts for the rest of the community than is for the rest of us. Statistically we’re all destined for one of or a combination of those anyway. No matter how many miles are under your belt.

I always try to imagine some of the posts people make on here as being spoken to me directly. Luckily there are plenty of tactful and helpful people here. But there have been a number of times where I come away thinking, great advice horrible approach. I know everyone can’t be nice all the time. Just saying it’d be better to pick your moments and know when you’ve said enough.

There are riders that I’ve run into that started on higher displacement bikes and are amazing in their control. Then there are those that should never leave a smaller machine because they just aren’t able to start putting the skills together. My point being, everyone is different. There will be those that can and will start on larger bikes without issue. This is up to the individual to assess their ability after research and before making a decision.

And to the new/prospective rider that’s reading this, it’s not one to be taken light-heartedly. Before considering the purchase of a motorcycle I asked myself why I truly wanted one. And none of my answers included girls, wheelies, insane speeds or what I look like to others, i.e. ego. As a matter of fact, I wouldn’t allow myself to own a bike in my twenties as I felt I wasn’t mature enough. If any these have crossed your mind as a new rider, I urge you to carefully consider your starting point if not motorcycling as a whole.

Respecting the bike is great no matter what size it is, provided you’re committed to actually doing so. And not using the phrase as a cover for your poor decision making in relation to your personal assessment and reasons for joining the 2 wheel community. As a rider it is always said by someone, ride your own ride. Meaning stay in your comfort zone, you know what’s best for you. What you can and can’t handle. For the new rider, never having thrown leg over a bike, you already know what you can handle. And none of it includes what is going to be thrown at you once you roll the throttle. Very little of this can be taught by friends, family members, or instructors. Keep that in the back of your mind before you pick your first bike. There is nothing wrong with not going after the biggest, meanest machine out there right off the bat if you think it might be trouble. Besides it gives you something to look forward to as you improve. At least it does for me…
 

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I'd rep you if I could Hulk.
A very well written and well thought out post.

Though I still think having the "respect" for the bike is no comparison to working your way up. So many things about riding a bike have to do with proper riding skills, many of which aren't taught in MSF.
For instance, not weighting the handlebars; that wasn't a skill I didn't learn until a bit later. I'll wager that many a new rider has gotten headshake or even crashed because they weighted the handlebars in a corner due to the agressive riding position of supersports. Obviously, the weighting of the handlebars will be reduced if they chose a 650 or so, but then you run into headshake from agressive acceleration.
That's just one small aspect of riding, in an ocean of riding skills, some of which I'm still learning, or even re-learning as I've picked up a bad habit.

You clearly take the word "respect" seriously and I applaud that. IMO, when most newbs throw that word around, they don't really have an understanding of what "respect" for a bike means, let alone follow it.

Either ways, I applaud your well-written and thought-out post. :thumbup:
 

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Overwhelming Splendidery
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Discussion Starter #24 (Edited)
Good post Hulk, thanks. I wish I could write as well as you.. lol.

I know that my post is rather brash and may come off as condescending (which I actually decided to roll with), and it is definitely aimed at some people.

The piece is directed at people who come out with the attitude of:

"oh hey im new to kf and im posting becausei hav to, i ride a new zx10r but its ok cuz i respect it"

And that is what fouls the phrase for me - the fake respect that people think they have for the machine. When it is said as some sort of a coverup (usually when a rider is starting out on a powerful bike) that will somehow cloud all of our judgements about everything that we know is wrong with the picture. Telling me what they think I want to hear, as said before, just isn't going to cut it.

I may be the only person who has an issue with a phrase like that being misused, so I am definitely not the voice of KF. But it really gets me thinking: If someone is just new and excited, or if they believe it themselves, before they have the skillset to relax into that mindset.

I suppose the jist of the rant is that I don't want people to get too comfortable on their machines too early, and get hurt because of it.
 

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Strat - the Asian edition
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You're not the only one who has an issue with the phrase being misused, though my main issue with it being used, even by someone who truly does respect the bike, is as I said before; so much of riding has nothing to do with respect, but skill and technique. As the saying goes, you don't know what you don't know.

You also hone your skills and situational awareness with seat time.
I can still remember clear as day one time I nearly rear-ended a car because I got a little crazy and rode over my head. I was taking a blind corner and my visibility was not far due to the blind corner. All of a sudden, I see cars are all jammed up and completely stopped. I nearly ass-packed a car going around 20 over on a local highway around a blind corner.
If I was riding a 600, I probably would not be here to spout my gear/250 nazi rhetoric.

Even anal-retentive gear/250 nazis such as myself have had our crazy moments.
No one is immune.
 

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First of all, I don't think anyone here really cares what another member think of thier bike choice. Be it that their first bike is a zx14. No one is trying to convince another of their sincerity, when they say they "respect" their bike.

So please Stop taking "issue." No one cares, it's just gets annoying when some "know it all," who you have no idea who the he'll he is, starts taking issue with your choices and starts lecturing you over the internet.

Everyone here is a grown up and no one like being lectured or have their choice rediculed.
I personally hate reading when people tell others that they are going to crash and die if they upgrade to a 1000 from a 250 for example. This just sours the atmosphere for everyone.

It's nice to hear some healthy, helpful advice but when it start sounding like judgment then it's going Too far.

I remember someone here once wrote "opinions are like assholes, everyones got one." It's all good until someone start shoving their opinion in someone elses face unwanted that the situation start smelling like shit.

And no one here's perfect. Even those self proclaimed nazis have made their fair share of mistakes.
I'm a firm believer that when shit happens, it doesn't discriminate whether your riding a 1000 or a vespa. The only thing this forum and it's members should do is inform others so they can become safe, responsible riders because its not the bike that's dangerous, it's the idiotic rider riding it.

Just my thought.....Love you all.


Sent from my Motorcycle iPad app
 

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Strat - the Asian edition
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Everyone here is a grown up
Not really, we had a spate of 16-17 year old kids and the like sign up wanting to start big.

I would hardly consider a 16 year old kid grown up.

Ultimately, this thread is but one in a long line of threads that have discussed this issue of "shoving opinions down people's throats".
The issue will never be resolved, much like the debate between DOT, Snell, European standard, Snell 2012 (or whatever it's called), etc.

I keep the following thread bookmarked because it does a good job of explaining my reasons for being a gear/250 nazi.

http://www.kawiforums.com/2009-zx-6r/178452-my-baby-2.html

This is one particular quote I wrote in that thread, which I think applies particularly well to what you wrote.

And, you're right, KF isn't a place to be someone's parent.
But, KF is a place to be a responsible rider and IMO it's a bit irresponsible to tell riders that they'll be fine starting out on a bike that has more power, pound for pound, than a Mustang or Corvette without the safety and stability of four wheel especially when the only caveat you present is be mature about it.
 

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Overwhelming Splendidery
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Discussion Starter #29
In the OP, I was talking about 2 things:

1) Simply, the misuse (misunderstanding?) of a simple term, and
2) The fact that learning how to ride/operate a motorcycle (and especially on a smaller machine) is how you will be the safest out there - not by thinking you know everything right off the bat

It's much harder to get mentally out of control or ride outside of your limits on a smaller ride, because of the way the bike feels. It doesn't really feel like it can handle anything you throw at it, and that is a good deterrent for the rider to NOT attempt it until they are ready to do so. I thought my 250 was quite the pig, until I got more experience under my belt, and learned how to use it.

Respect is not a substitution for experience.
 

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Some of you have touched on this but since I was composing out of the browser…you get it anway. ;)

Can you respect that which you don’t know or understand? A lot of new riders base a purchase off the cosmetic or what their friends are seen riding. At that point it may be all they know. Once that takes root it’s tough to talk someone out of a purchase. And out of potential trouble. Individuals do vary though.

One thing that can go a bit farther than respecting the ride is having good, level headed knowledgeable friends to help guide you in those early years of riding…someone to watch, follow and learn from which will in turn teach you more about the machine you’re on. Respect will come with understanding.

Can because not everyone will have that available to them. I should have been talked out of my first bike. I have a friend with nearly 40 years of riding experience that helped me realize my interest in bikes. Instead the flames were fanned and the purchase rationalized and we both walked away with new Ducati’s. I expected him to take on a mentor like roll in my riding but that didn’t materialize, though I also never asked for it which was my fault.

I do believe people can ride a bigger bike as a first bike but I would never encourage it. Slowing the pace helps you focus on correct technique and form. The slower acceleration of the 250 isn’t panic inducing like whacking the throttle on the 748 at the wrong moment, same with the suspension and overall behavior of the bike. If my brother in law had gone with a 600, instead of the 250R that he finally bought, I would still be here to help guide him along and teach him how to go about riding it safely. I feel it would take a fair bit longer though. I’ve already given him a copy of Code’s Twist of the Wrist II DVD and have told him to pick up the book as well. I’ve spent time with him verbalizing scenarios that could be encountered and some of the likely reactions and consequences. I’ve gone with him to correctly size helmets and we’ll be looking to try on (leather) jackets and pants at the IMS in January. He has quality motorcycle boots and good gloves.

He’s got a great bike to start on, he’s on his way to fully suiting up, he has a good attitude towards learning and I’ll be here each step of the way helping to speed along his skill set. It’s going to be a fun journey.
 

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It doesn't really feel like it can handle anything you throw at it, and that is a good deterrent for the rider to NOT attempt it until they are ready to do so. I thought my 250 was quite the pig, until I got more experience under my belt, and learned how to use it.
If I'm reading this correctly, are you suggesting the 250 doesn't feel as capable which helps to allow a new rider to approach it with more hesitance until they improve their skills?

Having 10 years of experience on a 748 and about 2 on a '98 ZX6R I found the ('08) 250R plenty capable. Not in outright acceleration of course but the bike scoots off the line well enough where it could catch a newbie out, depending on where they were shifting. The biggest surprise was how agile the bike was in the twisties! I found the bike very confidence inspiring and after a short period to adjust to the turning differences and tires I found I could really push the bike in the corners. All the time spent on a bigger bike and here I was going faster on a 250. That ride was a big eye opener and I have much respect for the 250 now, just no room to add one to the stable. At the moment. ;)
 

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Overwhelming Splendidery
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Discussion Starter #32
If I'm reading this correctly, are you suggesting the 250 doesn't feel as capable which helps to allow a new rider to approach it with more hesitance until they improve their skills?
If it's the first bike you ride - potentially. That's how it was for me, anyways. The lack of speed, spongy suspension, and the teeny tires didn't instill much trust in it initially. Building my skill-set and understanding what the bike could do and not do were what made me realize how solid of a bike it actually is. After some more seat time (and on my other bikes), I like and respect :)eek:) my 250 a lot more.

It's nice to be good enough to "earn" the speed you're going, not just slump around a corner like a fool, and open the throttle up to get there.

It's great.
 

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Some of you have touched on this but since I was composing out of the browser…you get it anway. ;)

Can you respect that which you don’t know or understand? A lot of new riders base a purchase off the cosmetic or what their friends are seen riding. At that point it may be all they know. Once that takes root it’s tough to talk someone out of a purchase. And out of potential trouble. Individuals do vary though.

One thing that can go a bit farther than respecting the ride is having good, level headed knowledgeable friends to help guide you in those early years of riding…someone to watch, follow and learn from which will in turn teach you more about the machine you’re on. Respect will come with understanding.

Can because not everyone will have that available to them. I should have been talked out of my first bike. I have a friend with nearly 40 years of riding experience that helped me realize my interest in bikes. Instead the flames were fanned and the purchase rationalized and we both walked away with new Ducati’s. I expected him to take on a mentor like roll in my riding but that didn’t materialize, though I also never asked for it which was my fault.

I do believe people can ride a bigger bike as a first bike but I would never encourage it. Slowing the pace helps you focus on correct technique and form. The slower acceleration of the 250 isn’t panic inducing like whacking the throttle on the 748 at the wrong moment, same with the suspension and overall behavior of the bike. If my brother in law had gone with a 600, instead of the 250R that he finally bought, I would still be here to help guide him along and teach him how to go about riding it safely. I feel it would take a fair bit longer though. I’ve already given him a copy of Code’s Twist of the Wrist II DVD and have told him to pick up the book as well. I’ve spent time with him verbalizing scenarios that could be encountered and some of the likely reactions and consequences. I’ve gone with him to correctly size helmets and we’ll be looking to try on (leather) jackets and pants at the IMS in January. He has quality motorcycle boots and good gloves.

He’s got a great bike to start on, he’s on his way to fully suiting up, he has a good attitude towards learning and I’ll be here each step of the way helping to speed along his skill set. It’s going to be a fun journey.
Great post man! I agree with ya, your brother in law is lucky to have you around.
 

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It's nice to be good enough to "earn" the speed you're going, not just slump around a corner like a fool, and open the throttle up to get there.

It's great.
Correct, and that is why the 250 is such a good beginner bike. It teaches you how to maintain that momentum via correct cornering vs. wheel chair in and rocket out. What fun is that?

Great post man! I agree with ya, your brother in law is lucky to have you around.
Thanks. I'm just trying to do what I wish someone had done with me. But...I'd be in a different boat right now so who knows. My wife wants me to sell the Ducati because of how uncomfortable I find it but I still can't let go of how fun it is to ride...so long as you aren't putting around of course. ;)
 

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Nice post real talk on both ends. You need the knowledge and respect. Experience is something lived so be real with yourself and your bike will thank you. situations do come and it's your reaction that counts in every situation... Happy Riding ya'll
 

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This is very useful for new riders and the ones that think that know it all :) people should really think every time before getting on these machines because people DIE. ride safe and don`t be fooled by faster riders than you to exceed your limits. The day will come after a lot of practice when you will be faster and better.
 

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Im new to a bike on the road but grew up in motocross, I think you need to understand how the bike works and respect its and your selfs limits to enjoy the ride and be safe.
 

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Great thread. I started on a ER6n (naked 650) and based on my personal level of maturity, experience, and self confidence, it felt right. The statement below sums it up:
...Before considering the purchase of a motorcycle I asked myself why I truly wanted one. And none of my answers included girls, wheelies, insane speeds or what I look like to others, i.e. ego...
I wanted to ride "my ride". I actually don't have any riding buddies, and though it kinda sucks sometimes, I enjoy doing things solo just as much as with a group, it also makes it easier to ride your own pace. Motorcycling was that ONE thing I've always wanted, but always found an excuse to turn away. I thought I couldn't afford it, it was too dangerous, or that I just wasn't ready. Then it hit me, I'm going to die without ever owning my own motorcycle. Not quite a midlife crisis, but still a personal epiphany. So I took the MSF course, loved it, and rode the ER6n for nearly 7000 miles year-round in Denver (all street, commuting in traffic, and mountain rides). I had one spill, trying to get home before the snow hit. I hit black ice and the bike washed at slow speed, not much damage but enough to remove the scare of the dreaded "first crash".

I learned a LOT with that bike, how to roll on the throttle smoothly, apply brakes quickly in a controlled manner, and most importantly I focused on what the machine was telling me in different conditions, how different surfaces feel at different temperatures and weather conditions, how the bike's weight shifts when applying the brakes and throttle in varying degrees. I focused solely on learning to ride well (and navigate morning rush hour). Having a lot of experience with mountain biking and autos at the track, motorcycles just felt right.

Then and now, every ride, I am still learning and finding new ways to enjoy it. I now have a 2011 Z1000 and love it. I know the bike is capable of more than I am and it probably always will, but I'm OK with that.

I guess I'm one of the lucky ones, it just comes naturally. Some may REALLY want it, but they're just not wired for it. The most important thing is to acknowledge when something just isn't right for you and accept it.
 

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I'm a firefighter and we go to a lot of accidents involving all sorts of bikes. I've been to a few with the rider DOA, most of the time if there is a witness we here the same thing over and over, " This dude just flew by me like I was standing still, next thing I know he is spawled out in the middle of the road with his bike in pieces." Gotta respect the machine your on and know your limits cause if you don't It will bite you in the ass.
 
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