Progression, Peer Pressure and The Need For Speed ~ Part 1

“Is [insert make and model of massive-torque, ridiculous-bhp, stupid-fast late-model sport bike here] a good choice for a beginner?” is a question I seem to be asked more frequently than I would think. Another version of pretty much the same question goes somewhat like this: “Which one is better for a beginning rider? [insert silly-fast bike 1] or [insert ridiculous killing-machine 2]?”

This is a highly-debated, hugely controversial topic online. There are but a few topics that set a thread ablaze with a flamewar quicker than the newbie wanting to lay their hands on a motorcycle that is deemed “experts only”. If you don’t believe me, go to a Hayabusa forum and start a thread along the lines of “Is the Hayabusa a good bike for a beginner?” Wait, you don’t have to, there’s already one there. Take it to any sportbike forum, you’ll get pretty much the same results. This question has earned the rotten smell of troll in most forums, due to its high volatility.

The last time I was asked the question, I just shrugged and commented that I am not the person to ask since my second bike was a Hayabusa. For the longest time I didn’t tell anybody (online or iRL) that I was a Harley-Davidson convert, 4,000-mile beginner straddling that monster of a machine. They all assumed what they wanted and I did not correct them. When directly asked, I sidestepped the question with “long enough”.

What is the best bike for the beginning rider lusting after more or different? Depends on who you are. There is no standard cookie-cutter answer that can be given to each person posing this question. The correct answer depends on a variety of factors. But in the end you are the one who has to ride their own ride, deal with the consequences of your choices, and answer this question for yourself honestly and without a “yeah, but…”.

The answer then? Forty-Two.

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[longish pause]
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[just kidding… sort of…]

Think about it. Stay tuned for more…

In the meantime, here is a related post from way back when in another life in a parallel universe: Skill Levels and Motorcycle Choices.


2 Comments on “Progression, Peer Pressure and The Need For Speed ~ Part 1”

  1. mtajudy says:

    My son-in-law loves to buy used bikes, do a little fixing, and re-sell. He gets the best deals from the person who buys the bike they “want” and then find its not the bike for them.
    My biggest rub with newbie riders isnt that they dont buy the right bike, its that they dont want to be a “newbie rider”. Too embarrassing? Makes them look stupid? Cant rub elbows with the “big boys” in the boutique dealerships? Ahhhhhhh!!
    I would think that looking stupid would take a serious back-seat to looking dead in a picture on the front page of a local newspaper.
    Ive been riding since I was in high school. Raising kids and working meant that I would go for periods of time without riding. When I started riding, I would consider myself a “newbie” all over again. I have been a “newbie” at least 5 times! And, I always rode like it! Im just sayin…….

  2. Michael says:

    I try to talk people out of getting a sport bike for their first bike. That type of power is deadly in the wrong hands. I started ride a CBR600 and looking back, that was a lot of bike for me. I am amazed that I didn’t kill myself. Shoulda started on a cruiser or smaller bike before making it to a sport bike.

    You can also get blasted for going into a forum and asking what tires to use or what oil to run. They tend to get a little cranky when you ask those questions.


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