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TheFleshRocket
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A couple of other good potential "first" bikes:

Yamaha FZR600 (circa 1989 to current, I believe)
~70ish rwhp, which is right in the hunt with the SV650. Power delivery will actually be more user-friendly than the SV, because the Fizzer makes less torque down low. Keep the revs down and the bike is more tolerant of ham-fisted riding. Wheels and tires aren't exactly conducive to finding the newest, stickiest rubber, but there are still some sticky tires out there if you look. The bike has been around since the late '80s with minimal changes, so you can probably find an early/mid '90s version reasonably cheaply.

Suzuki Bandit 600 (early/mid-90s to current)
~70ish rwhp, air/oil cooled engine based off of the early GSX-R600 but tuned for more torque. Not a beast of speed by any means. Only upper-faired, so there's less plastic to mar. The riding position is more comfortable than the Fizzer, because the Bandito is more of a sport-standard than a sportbike. The suspension is also plusher, so it doesn't handle quite as well, but the wheels are standard 17 inchers front and rear, so good tires should be easy to find.

Yamaha SECA II (early '90s)
600cc air cooled motor, producing something around 65rwhp IIRC. It's pretty comparable to the Bandit aside from making a few less horsepower. It's rarer than the Bandit, but good ones seem to be pretty common on Ebay, going for $2000-$2500 in very nice shape.

Honda CBR 600F2/F3 ('91 - '98)
600cc ~85-95rwhp, around 455 lbs wet, reasonably modern tires, brakes, and suspension. A surprisingly competent bike, and Honda won quite a few sportbike roundups with these models as they perform very well but are also good all-arounders. Possibly a bit too much horsepower for n00b riders, but if you have self-control and keep the revs down, they are very manageable and user friendly. Since they're so common, reasonably nice ones should be available in the $2500-$3500 range. Good resale value as long as you don't add too many scratches to it.

There are others that fit the bill too, but they are rarer and therefore less-likely candidates. They include the mid-'80s Honda VF500F (four-cylinder V-four, upper 50s rwhp, weighs about as much as a modern 600 but with inferior brakes, tires and suspension but zippy and surprisingly fun), Honda CB1 (early '90s naked bike, 400cc 4-banger, surprisingly adept suspention, tires and brakes, but very rare and not especially quick), Suzuki Bandit 400 (another light-weight naked bike, very similar in character and performance to the CB1).

All of this information is off the top of my head so my numbers might not be entirely accurate, but I have actually logged seat time in most of these bikes so I stick by my impressions.
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Old 04-11-2005, 09:58 PM TheFleshRocket is offline  
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SamuraiJack
 
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Originally Posted by onewheeldoin200
Those are awesome beginner bikes . Do you live in the UK by any chance? Their licensing system is so vastly superior to anything in North America it's embarassing.

I also wish North America didn't have such a hardon for "bigger is better"...I'd love to get me a real modern 400-500cc supersport


yes i do and i cant get anything bigger than 125 for my first bike till i pass my test and then i could get any bike but restricted to 33 bhp for 2 years i think...im not totally sure though. ive been looking at bikes for a while now and cant wait to get 1
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Old 04-11-2005, 11:16 PM SamuraiJack is offline  
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what about people that are way too tall/big to be riding in small bikes?
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Old 04-12-2005, 07:10 AM ph00ny is offline  
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onewheeldoin200
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ph00ny
what about people that are way too tall/big to be riding in small bikes?

If size is an issue you'll probably need a sub-1000cc cruiser of some sort. My dad has a Suzuki Volusia 800, for instance, and it's very friendly and manageable. It might be a little heavy, but if you're too big for the bikes above then a little weight shouldn't be an issue. The advantage of cruisers is the HUGE array of accessories for them; you can stretch out with highway bars, add floorboards etc etc.

Other good options in this category are older Yamaha Virago's and Honda Magna's.
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Old 04-12-2005, 10:56 AM onewheeldoin200 is offline  
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#34  

putty_thing
 
Good post, I'm in the UK and looking at getting a bike soonish (hopefully I'll be riding before summer).

The list posted was interesting, but the general feeling from people here I've had on suitable beginner bikes were the Suzuki Bandit 600/650, Honda Hornet (CB600F, 599 over there), and Yamaha FZ6 (which I'm looking closest at) - all 'mid-weight' bikes, making more like 80whp.

I was planning on picking up an 03/04 for around 2-4000 - any thoughts?

Also, whats so good about our bike licencing over here?

Last edited by putty_thing; 04-12-2005 at 11:49 AM..
Old 04-12-2005, 11:46 AM putty_thing is offline  
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OneWhoKnows
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Quote:
Originally Posted by putty_thing
Good post, I'm in the UK and looking at getting a bike soonish (hopefully I'll be riding before summer).

The list posted was interesting, but the general feeling from people here I've had on suitable beginner bikes were the Suzuki Bandit 600/650, Honda Hornet (CB600F, 599 over there), and Yamaha FZ6 (which I'm looking closest at) - all 'mid-weight' bikes, making more like 80whp.

I was planning on picking up an 03/04 for around 2-4000 - any thoughts?

Also, whats so good about our bike licencing over here?
More restrictions = less newbies on big bikes = less deaths.
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Old 04-12-2005, 12:59 PM OneWhoKnows is offline  
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onewheeldoin200
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Quote:
Originally Posted by putty_thing
Good post, I'm in the UK and looking at getting a bike soonish (hopefully I'll be riding before summer).

The list posted was interesting, but the general feeling from people here I've had on suitable beginner bikes were the Suzuki Bandit 600/650, Honda Hornet (CB600F, 599 over there), and Yamaha FZ6 (which I'm looking closest at) - all 'mid-weight' bikes, making more like 80whp.

I was planning on picking up an 03/04 for around 2-4000 - any thoughts?

Also, whats so good about our bike licencing over here?
The Bandit's a great choice, but I personally wouldn't recommend the Hornet or FZ6 for someone who's never been on a bike before. Just a little too much oomph for me think that they would help the beginner up that initially very steep learning curve.

And as for licensing, OWK's pretty much got it in a nutshell

Quote:
Originally Posted by OneWhoKnows
More restrictions = less newbies on big bikes = less deaths.

To compare some death rate statistics (in deaths per 100 million vehicle miles travelled), the US is sitting at around 33, Canada is about 22, and the UK.....? 8. So basically a motorcyclist in the states is around 4 times as likely to die on a bike than a motorcyclist in the UK.
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Old 04-12-2005, 01:24 PM onewheeldoin200 is offline  
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#37  

Triden
 
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Excellent faq!

Too bad it doesnt apply to my dirtbike

How bad is incurance compared to a car? Approximate percentages maybe..

Last edited by Triden; 04-12-2005 at 01:36 PM..
Old 04-12-2005, 01:32 PM Triden is offline  
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TheFleshRocket
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OneWhoKnows
More restrictions = less newbies on big bikes = less deaths.

The only difference between a squid on a 600 and a squid on a 1000 is that the squid on the 1000 is just going to be going a bit faster when he wrecks. While it might be a bit easier to reach excessive speeds on a 10-second bike, it's not that much harder to do so on an 11-second bike. And actually most 600s are dipping into the high 10s now, anyway.
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Old 04-12-2005, 02:55 PM TheFleshRocket is offline  
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TheFleshRocket
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onewheeldoin200
To compare some death rate statistics (in deaths per 100 million vehicle miles travelled), the US is sitting at around 33, Canada is about 22, and the UK.....? 8. So basically a motorcyclist in the states is around 4 times as likely to die on a bike than a motorcyclist in the UK.

Suggesting that the engine size of a bike that a new rider throws his leg over has a direct relation to his likelihood of dying on it is unrealistic.

Do Canada and the UK have better rider education? Are their drivers better educated, as inattentive or careless cagers are at fault in a significant amount of rider accidents? Are the roads of better quality there?

My point is that there are plenty of factors that could be responsible for the US having a higher rider casualty rate--it's certainly a lot more complex than how big of a bike newbie riders are allowed on.
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Old 04-12-2005, 03:05 PM TheFleshRocket is offline  
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OneWhoKnows
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheFleshRocket
Suggesting that the engine size of a bike that a new rider throws his leg over has a direct relation to his likelihood of dying on it is unrealistic.
It has a direct relation to rider-only accidents and deaths which has increased by ove 200% or some crazy number in the past 4 years.
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Old 04-12-2005, 03:44 PM OneWhoKnows is offline  
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#41  

OneWhoKnows
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheFleshRocket
The only difference between a squid on a 600 and a squid on a 1000 is that the squid on the 1000 is just going to be going a bit faster when he wrecks. While it might be a bit easier to reach excessive speeds on a 10-second bike, it's not that much harder to do so on an 11-second bike. And actually most 600s are dipping into the high 10s now, anyway.
Which is why they restrict them to 125/250cc bikes for the first years. Who said 600s?
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Old 04-12-2005, 03:45 PM OneWhoKnows is offline  
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#42  

onewheeldoin200
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Triden
Excellent faq!

Too bad it doesnt apply to my dirtbike

How bad is incurance compared to a car? Approximate percentages maybe..

It varies wildly, but for full comprehensive on a sport bike you're looking at roughly 50% more than your car (say if you have a $25k car).

Again, it varies hugely. It's really hard to pin down numbers unless you get into specifics, but as a general rule: as rider age goes down and cc's go up, price increases exponentially.

edit: but liability only is cheap. The reason motorcycle insurance is expensive is because asss keep crashing and claiming insurance/kill themselves.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheFleshRocket
Suggesting that the engine size of a bike that a new rider throws his leg over has a direct relation to his likelihood of dying on it is unrealistic.

Do Canada and the UK have better rider education? Are their drivers better educated, as inattentive or careless cagers are at fault in a significant amount of rider accidents? Are the roads of better quality there?

My point is that there are plenty of factors that could be responsible for the US having a higher rider casualty rate--it's certainly a lot more complex than how big of a bike newbie riders are allowed on.

Dude are you kidding me? Some kid on a 1000cc Gixxer will have an enourmously higher chance of crashing than that same kid on an ex250. By the same token, a baby boomer who decides it's time to get into motorcycles and buys a Fat Boy right off the bat has a way higher chance of crashing than if he were to go with that Rebel 250. In fact, middle aged men are the largest death statistic at this point. "I've been driving for 20 years, I don't need to start on a girly bike".

Well, I don't know if Canada has any better rider (and driver) education, but the UK DEFINITELY does. Just pick up a copy of T.W.O.. They view motorcycling completely differently over there.
Our roads in Canada are way worse though, especially in the praries (lol...we can't even keep them maintained, let alone add safety features like ShellGrip).
And helmet laws in the US (or lack thereof) do account for a good number of those deaths. If Canada let people ride around without a lid our death stat would likely be right up around that of the US.

I agree that there are many factors in death statistics, but bike size *IS* a huge one. I mean...that's the whole point of this thread: choosing appropriate beginner bikes. Bikes that won't kill their rider if the rider is hamfisted on the throttle or lacks experience to judge corners.
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Last edited by onewheeldoin200; 04-12-2005 at 04:15 PM..
Old 04-12-2005, 04:12 PM onewheeldoin200 is offline  
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#43  

TheFleshRocket
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You can misjudge a corner regardless of the size of bike you're on. You can come into a 30mph corner at 60+mph on anything from an R1 to a Rebel 250. As far as being hamfisted on the throttle, yeah, obviously a lower-torque bike will present less of a hazard. However, I never really had any problem with unwanted throttle inputs even when I was a n00b, so maybe that's why I have a hard time really putting any credence in that.

Like I've said before, I think that a restrained, intelligent rider can start out on just about anything on two wheels and be just fine, but certainly having a tamer bike is a better idea for the majority of new riders.

I do agree that helmets probably have a significant effect on the percentage of rider crashes that result in fatalities. Of course, I still don't wear my lid all the time, but c'est la vie.
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Old 04-12-2005, 06:57 PM TheFleshRocket is offline  
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#44  

electric!sheep
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by onewheeldoin200
Those bikes are

They have a really high seat though do they not?

They are pretty tall, you need to be around 6' to touch the ground solidly with both feet.
Old 04-12-2005, 09:02 PM electric!sheep is offline  
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