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Did you start on a 600cc?

  • Yes

    Votes: 710 56.7%
  • No

    Votes: 542 43.3%

  • Total voters
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Started on a Honda 500XT engine in an NSR 250 frame - racing single cylinder class in South Africa.
Moved on to CBR400 then NSR 250 (2 stroke)
Plan was always to gradually work my way up to a 600/1000cc
Now race a ZX6R (2013 636)
Learnt to ride on the track (safest place as far as I am concerned - everyone in the same direction, no trees, pedestrians, etc, etc). Now I'm too damned scared to go on the road, and love the speed at the track, so only keep riding on track.
Don't think there is anything wrong with tarting on a 600 - but the bike needs the appropriate respect
 

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My 636 is my first bike.
Flirted with idea of a 125 for about 10 mins. Then a 250 for a little longer... Decided to go with my instinct on the 636 cus its the bike I've wanted since I was 14. I knew I was a lot less likely to go crazy and take my time and respect it more because of this. I love every minute I'm on it.
I'd say if you've never driven before on the roads, definitely look at smaller bikes. Trying to learn control of a motorcycle as well as learning how to navigate roads full of other vehicles and hazards is gonna be difficult and a bigger, heavier & faster bike is not gonna help. On other hand, if you've got lots of experience and knowledge of roads, are a quick learner with self confidence then why not get a bigger bike and grow into it rather than upgrade every 6 months cus you're bored.
 

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Started on dirtbikes when I was a kid, then moved to Asia where we rode motorscooters, basically glorified mopeds varying around 100-175ccs back then but those bikes had a clutch so it helped immensely. Then took a 13 year break without a bike, got a 2007 GS500F and now a '13 ZX6R.
 

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Started on Yamaha Scorpio (225cc single cyl)
Then 07 Ninja 250R.
Then 07 Suzuki SV650S.
Now 06 ZX6R.

Baby steps. I still had fun on the Scorpio, Ninja and SV. Variety is the spice of life and I'm a firm believer that the more bikes you ride and get used to, the better you understand how bikes behave in general.
 

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Had multiple dirt bikes as a kid. First street bike was a 2012 650R, I thought it was the perfect starter bike and LOVED it, but got bored after a year and traded it in on a my 2013 ZX 6R.
 

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I started off with a Ducati Monster S2R 800 back in 2008. I learned a whole lot from that bike. V-twins don't have the brutal power delivery of an I4, which makes it much easier to learn on. It had plenty of power and torque... enough to get me in trouble, but not so much that I found it overwhelming. It looked fantastic and it was easy to work on. And since it was a Ducati, I learned work on motorcycles.

I then moved up to an 848 2 years later since I wanted a 'true' sportbike. It was a beautiful machine... more reliable than the Monster, but it had a lot of drawbacks. Ducati pulled the Lamborghini card on this one; form over function. I've ridden Japanese 600s of the same model year back to back with the 848 and the Japanese competition were superior to the 848. Power was plentiful, but it was all in the upper-mid range and up top. It was harder to work on due to the packaging of the engine. Still, I enjoyed the bike. It had a very stable chassis. I remember riding the demo bike for the first time and just thinking to myself, "Wow! This bike is really stable!"

After 20k miles or so of the 848, I decided to go with a 2012 ZX6R. I originally wanted an R6 because it was the raciest bike and had huge aftermarket support. But after reading more about its anemic engine and sub-par brakes, I went to the Kawi, which is the complete package. I'm so glad that I did.
 

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First bike I bought was a 05 636, my bike now. I have been riding for 3 months and so far so good. Although my brake side rearset just broke, so just waiting for the part in the mail.
 

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Ninja 300 DEFINITELY!

I had and learned to ride on a 2013 Ninja 300 Special edition. I had NO riding experience EVER and learning to ride was SO easy and felt natural on the 300. Looking back i probably could have started on a 636 but it was better to be safe than sorry in my head. I know a girl who is an excellent rider and she has a 650R also a great beginner bike. Some say you get bored of them some would agree others would not. I personally wasn't really "bored" per say i just knew my dream bike was a 636 i saw the 2015 30th anniversary edition and i just wanted it. Sat on it and that bike came home with me a week later and than sold the 300. If i were you i would sit on a bunch of them. That's what i did, And believe me they DO and WILL look way bigger in person as your first bike. They looked massive and very intimidating to me when i first sat on one, but sit on them rock them back and forth under your legs to get a feel of the weight and than DO YOUR HOMEWORK. Look up any problems or issues or troubleshooting, recalls, etc. and see if it is a good bike or if they were problematic. Reason i say that is because the 07-08 zx6rs had the "ticking" problem which was just a cam chain tensioner issue but they were NOTORIOUS for it. So research sit on them and than make your decision. Take PLENTY of time to decide it took me 3 months to decide on the ninja 300. I now ride a 2015 636 and i LOVE it. But ill tell ya what i will never forget everything i learned on my 300 and everything it taught me. Now its all about learning more and more just on a bigger bike. Lots of people i know learned on 600s, 1000's or even hayabusas... With self control you can learn on anything i just recommend starting small because your margin of error can be more forgiving with the throttle clutch and obviously the smaller power band. But it is different for everyone. Best of luck with your decision and RIDE SAFE! There is a pic of my old ninja 300. My pic to the left where my username is, shows my current bike :D Again good luck and ride safe!
 

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I have been riding since the age of 6. My very first riding experience was on a 5hp mini bike. Then I got a XL250 as my first real motorcycle when I was a teenager. Then I moved up to a Suzuki 450 twin, then to a Yamaha 750 Seca that I used to drag race. Got married in 1991 and purchased a 600 Katana 4 years later after my divorce. I it used as a commuter only. Then I got hit on it by some asshole running a stop sign. So, I stopped riding until 2012. I stick with the 600's. Currently on a 2013 ZX6R. Done 2 track days and spent thousands and thousands of miles in the isle of TT canyons all over Southern California. So, get what you are comfortable with and do not ride beyond your skill level. Get some professional instruction. All will be good.
 

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You can not go wrong with a 250 or 300. When you feel the need to upgrade, they are easy to sell.
Look up ninja 250 vs big bikes at Laguna on YouTube to check out potential of them.
This is what riding a 250 all out is.
 

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My ZX6R is my first bike, first one owned anyways.

First ridden was a Suzuki TU250X during my safety course. I thought it was a fun little bike but then I realized I was going full throttle on it and it was barely moving, I would get bored of the 250 size quickly - I was maxing it out in first and second after a two day training course and thinking there's no way I'd sink money into one of those (maybe an interesting cafe racer project later though).

The new 300's are definitely interesting bikes and the Honda CBR500R is a nice step up yet again, I considered both but knew that in both cases I would eventually outgrow them. The Ninja 300 felt a little... small? Unsubstantial? The Ninja 650 really interested me until I sat on one and wasn't keen on the feel of the bars. Compared to the ZX6R it felt like a Versys!
 

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Update - Just brought my baby home today. No regrets starting on the 636. What a sensation. In low power mode and with traction control on 3 I had a great mix of highway and city riding. Think I discovered a few muscles I haven't used in a while as well :)
 

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I started on a CBR250R...a cracking little bike! Sure I got bored of the power in a month, but im damn glad I traded up to a zx6r. Definitely won't be bored of the power for a long while...
 

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I started on a 2014 Ninja 300. Bought it for $4000 with 1000 miles on it and rode it for a full season. Low sided hard on that 300 and picked myself back up. Sold it for $3600 with 4200 miles on it. I'm glad I didn't go straight to a super sport. I've got about 650 miles on my 2016 636 and the difference is night and day. It's almost like having to learn all over again!
 

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I learned on a old ass ninja when I was 16 and dropped it almost instantly!

Then in 2008 (2 years later) I bought a 2008 Yamaha FZ6R. Great bike to learn on and super comfortable for those long rides.

Now I have a 2011 Ninja ZX6R and couldn't be happier! My boyfriend has a stupid Harley 48 and even he says my bike handles 10 times better. I am pretty sure he is wanting a sports bike after riding mine!
 

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I started on a 2014 Ninja 300. Bought it for $4000 with 1000 miles on it and rode it for a full season. Low sided hard on that 300 and picked myself back up. Sold it for $3600 with 4200 miles on it. I'm glad I didn't go straight to a super sport. I've got about 650 miles on my 2016 636 and the difference is night and day. It's almost like having to learn all over again!
Jmars0990 the difference between the ninja 300/636 is HUGE, in many, many, ways. Like you said night and day. I am breaking in both bikes for my company at the moment on back roads up in WI to prepare for our track riding season as we rent em during our track day and riding clinics at racetracks. Simply awesome machines no doubt. In fact, our 636 will be Jason Pridmore's instructor bike for his JP43 Training school when he rolls with us, pretty much in stock form! It's really FAST.

The increase in torque/hp alone from the 300 to the 636, approx 3x, combined with a more aggressive seating position, clip-ons, means you absolutely will have to continue to learn and start with a new application that is a very potent machine. Respect the bike. The 300 seems like a toy when you spend time on the bigger ninja.

Please be careful; as you already have a low side under your belt, with very limited time in the saddle, the 636 ups the ante big time. Mistakes at this level could be much more damning and painful for you. Go slow to go fast and work on being a smooth rider. Respect the new 636, again as awesome bike. In stock form, without a steering damper, tank slappers can happen, seemingly out of nowhere at speed and you can hit triple digits in nano seconds if you are not careful/ready with a handful of throttle. Even keeping the bike in 8-9k rpm range puts you well over normal speed limits big time and wide open throttle delivers blistering speed at redline. It's really, really fast.

Be cool, keep learning what is goin on underneath you and ride safe. Enjoy the experience of a new motorbike.
 

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I had 2012 cbr 250r, great starter bike, easy to ride, really reliable.
I paid 2400 a year ago and sold it same price last week.
 

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Jmars0990 the difference between the ninja 300/636 is HUGE, in many, many, ways. Like you said night and day. I am breaking in both bikes for my company at the moment on back roads up in WI to prepare for our track riding season as we rent em during our track day and riding clinics at racetracks. Simply awesome machines no doubt. In fact, our 636 will be Jason Pridmore's instructor bike for his JP43 Training school when he rolls with us, pretty much in stock form! It's really FAST.

The increase in torque/hp alone from the 300 to the 636, approx 3x, combined with a more aggressive seating position, clip-ons, means you absolutely will have to continue to learn and start with a new application that is a very potent machine. Respect the bike. The 300 seems like a toy when you spend time on the bigger ninja.

Please be careful; as you already have a low side under your belt, with very limited time in the saddle, the 636 ups the ante big time. Mistakes at this level could be much more damning and painful for you. Go slow to go fast and work on being a smooth rider. Respect the new 636, again as awesome bike. In stock form, without a steering damper, tank slappers can happen, seemingly out of nowhere at speed and you can hit triple digits in nano seconds if you are not careful/ready with a handful of throttle. Even keeping the bike in 8-9k rpm range puts you well over normal speed limits big time and wide open throttle delivers blistering speed at redline. It's really, really fast.

Be cool, keep learning what is goin on underneath you and ride safe. Enjoy the experience of a new motorbike.

Also...I think it's valuable to point out the non linear throttle response in this bike... it wont behave at 4k rpm like it does at 10k ...........smooth throttle application is paramount with these bikes.. Pit-Bull of the 600 ss class... so damned aggressive!
 
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