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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone!
new to the forum and the riding community in general. I have not gotten my endorsement yet, so just been doing as much research as possible.
Main thing here for a first bike; I really love speed and aggression (if ur riding sport bikes ofc you do right). I’m curious about y’all’s opinion on a first bike with the goal to end up with a zx10r; I’ve heard the ninja 650 is a good bike, but also have heard if you wanna go sports bike you can start on a zx6r since it drives so much differently from a 650, then ofc you always have a couple people saying if you respect the bike just start on a zx10r. I’ve been in a couple bad wrecks in my life already, so I understand the hazards, but I’m not sure how much just respecting the bike actually helps haha. So yeah any logical reasons for any of the above thanks y’all!!
 

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Welcome to the party! If this is a legit post, I'll give you my opinion on it.

Having riding for more than 3 decades myself, I can tell you what you should be concerned about with the first bike is the price of it. And not a new bike. You will drop it. Whether that's in your driveway or out on the road, the more plastic that it's wrapped in, the more expensive it will be to make it pretty again. Having never ridden a bike before, you should start as small as possible. A Ninja 400 would be the better choice than the 650 - smaller, lighter, cheaper, cooler. All bikes ride the same way with the lean angle, counter steering, front/rear braking, etc. Whoever told you that a 650 rides different than a ZX-6R, doesn't know what they are talking about. The only difference between the 2 of them is the seating position.

You need to learn the basics of riding to go faster over time. It's not about horsepower in going faster, it's about the skill needed. Any idiot can twist the throttle open and hold on. It's more about how far you can trail-brake the front into a turn and how fast you can lean it over to get around the corner you're in the middle of while maintaining the throttle. You can get a literbike and it will scare the shit out of you pretty quickly. And it will make you look like a fool when the guy on his Ninja 300 zips by you in the middle of a turn because you had to park your heavy ZX-10 to slow it down for the turn.

The bike is only as fast as your right hand will make it, but throttle control is only one part of it. Braking and steering are more important for speed. Learn that on a lighter, more agile, more cost effective bike to start out on.
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Welcome to the party! If this is a legit post, I'll give you my opinion on it.

Having riding for more than 3 decades myself, I can tell you what you should be concerned about with the first bike is the price of it. And not a new bike. You will drop it. Whether that's in your driveway or out on the road, the more plastic that it's wrapped in, the more expensive it will be to make it pretty again. Having never ridden a bike before, you should start as small as possible. A Ninja 400 would be the better choice than the 650 - smaller, lighter, cheaper, cooler. All bikes ride the same way with the lean angle, counter steering, front/rear braking, etc. Whoever told you that a 650 rides different than a ZX-6R, doesn't know what they are talking about. The only difference between the 2 of them is the seating position.

You need to learn the basics of riding to go faster over time. It's not about horsepower in going faster, it's about the skill needed. Any idiot can twist the throttle open and hold on. It's more about how far you can trail-brake the front into a turn and how fast you can lean it over to get around the corner you're in the middle of while maintaining the throttle. You can get a literbike and it will scare the shit out of you pretty quickly. And it will make you look like a fool when the guy on his Ninja 300 zips by you in the middle of a turn because you had to park your heavy ZX-10 to slow it down for the turn.

The bike is only as fast as your right hand will make it, but throttle control is only one part of it. Braking and steering are more important for speed. Learn that on a lighter, more agile, more cost effective bike to start out on.
Thank you for the input! I was definitely looking more into used; is there a specific year that would be new enough to not have to worry about any older gen problems and old enough to still be a cheap learning bike? Thanks!
 

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What do you even want to do with the bike, the 650 and the 636 are very different things. You say you "I really love speed and aggression" then get a 636. If you can afford a 10R then go buy one since it has better electronics, brakes, suspension, etc...
 

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If you've NEVER ridden anything before the fastest bike you should get is a Ninja 400. If you've rode 450s in the dirt you could start on a Ninja 650. Starting out on a 636 is a bad idea because all the power is up top, and when you get there in even 3rd gear you're past the highest legal speed in the U.S. The ZX10R is the worst beginner bike ever. It doesn't like to be under 80, and it will overheat if you're just putting around town on it. Also, it's pretty hard to control yourself when you have a bike that can go warp speed so easily. You'll put it in low power mode...once. Then medium power...once. Then by the end of the next ride you'll know the top speed in every gear. Just saying because that's what happened to me ;)

Personally I don't think I'll buy another bike that I haven't rode. You might think you want something but after a ride you realize it's not for you. Kawasaki is on the road now doing demo days, I would check out if they are near you.
 

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If your already wreckless getting a litre bike is sure fire way to die and I mean that sincerely. you will still feel fast on a 400. Carving a canyon is just as good on a 400 as it is on a zx10r. You need to gain experience before adding speed into the equation. Controlling a bike in an emergency or a mistake is extremely challenging as it is without making your life harder by doing far greater speed on a far bigger bike. There’s a lot of subtlety in the art of surviving on a bike and let’s be honest we are surviving most rides. I had a moment this weekend caused by inexperience of a situation and was experience in handling the issue that meant I didn’t put the bike down. I’ve been riding for a decade and still make mistakes. I worked my way up to the zx10r.

And you say you’ve been in wrecks.... you ever crashed a bike? It’s whole other world to being wrapped in a cosy crash structure of a car. Don’t under estimate the danger. I have friends with some life changing injuries.
 

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The problem, and direct to the point, is mastering turns at any speed, and that's when you know the turn, meaning, if on unknown road, the experienced rider WILL NOT guess the math needed to make the turn until he's been there several times.

So...like everyone pointed out, the liter is not for noobs, but any of the small sport bikes will work. Also, Dirt is NOTHING like street/asphalt concerning turns. Asphalt we learn to trust the tires and the road; Road turns are nothing like dirt turns.

Go to amazon and get Code's book TWT II and study it after reading it about 1000 times. Best book out there by an old timer teacher that learned from teaching many that thought they knew how to ride. Learning goes both ways.
 

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As a new rider making statements on a post such as "speed (somewhat less so) and aggression (very much more so)" worries me.. more comfortable reading might have included your desire to gain the following.. skills, knowledge, road craft etc...

As per the guys advice above.... start small and hone your craft.. there's an awful lot to learn and the road is long.

On a personal note there's nothing more satisfying than sitting behind a skilled rider on a quick road, you want to be that skilled rider not a statistic.

Pick your lines and keep it smooth...enjoy the sport, it's fantastic !

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These guys all nailed it. A) Supersports, superbikes, the whole lot of them are not good beginner bikes. They are meant to be fast, turn, brake, accelerate fast. It's what they do. Beginners need something that lets them learn without a machine that doesn't really want to go slow. B) Speed and aggression are things you have to learn and develop, it is not an overnight process, it will take years. I am still only half decent around a mountain road and miserable around a road course. C) I have heard all sorts of people say stuff about going fast on a motorcycle, or that "they would kill themselves on a motorcycle because they would go too fast". They are the kind of person who does that in their own car, tends to cause crashes and would scare themselves just releasing the clutch on a motorcycle. The experience is completely different from a car, regardless of what you ride. You can't afford carelessness or a haphazard approach to riding, at best you will get hurt, at worst you will get killed.

No ego, don't be concerned about starting on an older Ninja 300, it will be a better financially investment anyways, their value basically remains constant. Just because you start on a "standard" does not mean you can't transfer the skills to a superbike, it is exactly the opposite. I have watched guys on Ninja 650s and SV650s absolutely rail superbikes around a road course (myself included). I've also watched guys on supersports give someone on a superbike every bit of it down a drag strip.

You need to develop the skills to ride, and those are the same regardless of the motorcycle you are riding. They are just easier to develop on a more forgiving machine.
 

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New riders today have a major benefit with the advent of ABS braking and traction control. I could've saved myself a lot of surgeries and recovery 20 years ago if I had that tech on my bikes back then.

Make it a point of buying a bike with as much tech as you can afford. If it saves you from even 1 crash, it'll be well worth it.
 
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New riders today have a major benefit with the advent of ABS braking and traction control. I could've saved myself a lot of surgeries and recovery 20 years ago if I had that tech on my bikes back then.

Make it a point of buying a bike with as much tech as you can afford. If it saves you from even 1 crash, it'll be well worth it.
Totally agree. The KTRC has saved me from accidents many times. Thats why I was saying he should buy a 10R or at least a new 636. They got lifesaving electronics
 

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I must say, I disagree about the electronics. Reading the OP's post, I am worried.

No matter how good the electronics, they cannot bend the laws of physics. I saw experienced riders crash the brand new 2020 S1000RR with its sophisticated electronics on a racetrack. Because they thought the electronics would keep them on the road. Nope.

Electronics won't save you from bad decisions.

Let's be honest, nobody buys a high-performance bike to have it standing in the garage. You don't want to baby it, you wanna ride it. Fully. If you do this on the road, you are going to get yourself killed. A 636 is too high-powered to fully use on the road. I tried. Those were dumb decisions. And that was after 3-4 years of riding. Naturally, making the same dumb decisions with a ZX10 is even more deadly.

Look, if you are set on buying a ZX10, at least ride it around in rain mode for two years. That would be my advice. But you probably won't leave it in rain mode. I know I wouldn't, and I would make pretty dumb decisions with it.

636 and Zx10 are no beginner bikes. There are countless stories of people who haven't survived the first month with those machines.
 

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I hear the latest argument from parents teaching their kids to drive a car. It's kind of absurd that some of these new drivers are getting brand new cars to drive because "it has more safety features and I want my kid to be safe". I cringe every time I hear that. Teach them to operate it properly and they won't have to worry about that.

ABS and TRC have their place in the world. I don't think they should be a determining factor at all on a first bike. That's crazy in my opinion. The tools are only as good as person operating them. The proper way to prevent an accident is through proper training and experience.

These electronic nannies they keep including are a crutch. There is too much reliance and faith in them. Fear is a good motivator and helps provide a slower progression to the point of no return for the rider. A new rider should have a bit of fear and reluctance to overdo it too quickly. Knowing that the bike has ABS and Traction Control gives them a false sense of the ability to push it too much, too quick. They typically don't understand that the Traction Control is used on these bikes to make you go faster, not save you from a slide under all conditions. TC won't save a front slide. TC won't work if the throttle is chopped mid corner and it engine brakes too abruptly. ABS is another one. It can help with the proverbial "panic stop", but it doesn't stop you faster, it's for slowing down in a controlled fashion. It doesn't teach a person the proper use of the brakes and the difference between the road conditions and how much front or rear brake to use for it. It just reinforces the "smash it to stop because I have ABS" mentality.

I still think that a smaller, lighter, cheaper vehicle without these features gives a new rider more respect for the machine, the consequences of it, and more focus on developing the skills needed to operate it properly. Those same skills can be transferred over to bikes to take more advantage of those tools, but the foundation is already there from the start.
 
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TC won't work if the throttle is chopped mid corner and it engine brakes too abruptly.
Aint Kawasaki Engine Brake Control (KEBC) exactly for that? for a new rider it will save them in that situation...
 

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A Ninja 400 with ABS would be the best option. It's a killer looking bike with the tech feature I feel is the most important. A newer rider is far more likely to mess up by panic braking and dumping the bike vs. using too much throttle.
 
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Aint Kawasaki Engine Brake Control (KEBC) exactly for that? for a new rider it will save them in that situation...
No. The EBC is a change to how much engine braking there is, but it's not dynamic and won't change based on conditions. It's either high or low, nothing else.


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