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Discussion Starter #1
I am wondering why people who talk about bikes that are 1200 cc and less, talk of them as beginners' bikes. What size is an experienced rider's bike? I have a 650 cc. I'm 71 years old and 5'5". My bike is the same size as a Road King. My bike easily gets to the maximum speed limit....probably just as easy as any other bike on the market. If my bike falls, I am pretty certain to be able to pick it up. I'm pretty sure that I won't get all hot and sweaty riding in downtown traffic. I know that a motorcycle is a phallic symbol but I'm surprised at how many people boost their sexual persona with huge motorcycles.
 

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In some countries you must ride a bike with a 400cc or smaller engine for the first couple years that you have a license. Then you can get whatever bike you like.

Over 10mph a motorcycle is self balancing. You either know how to ride one or you don't. If you don't it doesn't really matter how big or small it is.

There is no such thing as a small 'beginners car'. If you have to ride a small motorcycle because you are physically horsing it around, take the beginners MSF riding course, and learn how to ride correctly.
 

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bigger bikes are heavier bikes and more difficult to maneuver, both at slow speeds and with turning and cornering. they are also generally a lot faster than the smaller cruisers because of their increased displacement and subsequent HP, and managing the increased speed and acceleration, along with the handling of a heavier ride, are skills that are better suited to a rider that has some experience. therefore, a lighter, smaller, and less quick bike are better suited for a "beginner" because it's easier to operate versus the bigger bikes. you wouldn't want your newly licensed teenaged kid to start out behind the wheel of the new Dodge Demon.

also, as mentioned before, what constitutes a big bike today was not available 20-30 years ago. today's medium or smaller bikes used to be the big bikes. so you have a generation of bikers who rode those smaller sized bikes and want to graduate to something more powerful as new iterations keep becoming available.
 

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its also important to pay attention to HP / torque.

my VS 650 is 40HP stock. A Roadstar 1600 is 63HP inspite of having 2.5X the displacement.

but a bike like the sport touring FJR1300 is 145HP!

there are a lot of factors to consider before you put a new rider on a bike.
 

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I started on a 950T. 46hp bike. I would still have her if I did not 2 up with the wife a lot. She needed more comfort on the long rides. My son's first bike is a Kawasaki Versys 650. It is also 45 hp, but only weighs 400 lbs. So power to weight ratio is a big difference. The Kawi will wheelie like hell very easy. The 950T would not do it on a bet.
 

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I am wondering why people who talk about bikes that are 1200 cc and less, talk of them as beginners' bikes...
I stopped trying to figure out what the rationale could possibly be and usually just avoid these people. In most cases when it comes to motorcycles they have nothing to say worth listening to.
 

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for a lot of people life is much simpler when everything is all spelled out in black and white.
 

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for a lot of people life is much simpler when everything is all spelled out in black and white.
Too bad my white is someone else's black.. lol But if everyone agreed on everything life would be boring and there would never be internet drama over who's e-penis is the biggest :p
 

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Yea I know it will.. I watched that video a couple weeks ago.. That guy is bad ass. I wanted a Bolt in the stable.. I tried hard to get him to like the Bolt and pick it. He got a bike I want.. .sort of.. I wanted an adventure bike, but not really that one. The Yamaha is so much more comfortable. I think he is regretting picking it.
 

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I am wondering why people who talk about bikes that are 1200 cc and less, talk of them as beginners' bikes. What size is an experienced rider's bike? I have a 650 cc. I'm 71 years old and 5'5". My bike is the same size as a Road King. My bike easily gets to the maximum speed limit....probably just as easy as any other bike on the market. If my bike falls, I am pretty certain to be able to pick it up. I'm pretty sure that I won't get all hot and sweaty riding in downtown traffic. I know that a motorcycle is a phallic symbol but I'm surprised at how many people boost their sexual persona with huge motorcycles.
I've never viewed any of my bikes as phallic symbols or considered it part of a sexual persona...interesting view. Those that do are part of the poser group and aren't worth a wasted thought on their opinion. Is this your first bike? Just like cars/trucks, bikes have varying functions. Try traveling long distances in a subcompact car or going up mountains. Sure you can do it, but not as easy or as comfortable as being in a bigger more powerful car...same thing with bikes. It's all relative to the type of riding you. If you're primarily touring then a bigger bike is typically preferable and more comfortable...especially after days or weeks of nonstop riding. It's also relative to how tall and heavy you are...RYOR(ride your own ride) and don't give a crap what anyone thinks about your bike or its size because this leads to questions like "why don't the Harley guys like me". Good luck!
 

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I've never viewed any of my bikes as phallic symbols or considered it part of a sexual persona...interesting view. Those that do are part of the poser group and aren't worth a wasted thought on their opinion. Is this your first bike? Just like cars/trucks, bikes have varying functions. Try traveling long distances in a subcompact car or going up mountains. Sure you can do it, but not as easy or as comfortable as being in a bigger more powerful car...same thing with bikes. It's all relative to the type of riding you. If you're primarily touring then a bigger bike is typically preferable and more comfortable...especially after days or weeks of nonstop riding. It's also relative to how tall and heavy you are...RYOR(ride your own ride) and don't give a crap what anyone thinks about your bike or its size because this leads to questions like "why don't the Harley guys like me". Good luck!
I agree with you. For me it is comfort and power. I mean I have a Goldwing.. That is NOT a cool bike or a phallic symbol. It is powerful and comfortable. I do not care what ppl think about me. I have a gorgeous wife who loves me and my son. The rest of the world can take me as I am or leave me the eff alone. IDGAF. :) Back on topic, a beginner bike is what you can handle. Of course I would never recommend an R1 to a kid who just got on a bike the first time in the MSF course, but say that same kid has been on dirt bikes all his life and has a respect for the power to weight ratio of a motorcycle. Then the R1 might be a GREAT bike for him/her as a first street bike. It is all relative to the person and situation. Might as well ask what tires are the best or what oil is the best.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I am small, old, not very strong and my wife does not want to ride on my bike with me. My 650 is as big as a Road King and probably just as comfortable. It's exactly like a big bike. I cannot imagine why a larger motor would do me any good. My speed is limited by the speed limit. At 500 lbs, the bike is light enough to handle in downtown traffic.
My first bike was a 1969 Triumph 500 cc Daytona. I went everywhere with that bike. One trip I took was 500 miles of loose gravel in northern Quebec. I had to ride at over 70 mph in order to stay on top of the loose gravel. At lower speeds, the bike would start to wallow. Maybe larger tires would have helped. Anyway, my butt was clenched tight the whole way. I went home by another route. Would a heavier bike be easier to handle? Anyway, the Triumph was great and it was all I needed except for being a bit top heavy when my wife and baggage were added. It was an easy bike to work on. I had British tools....still have them.
In my youth, large cars meant very large 8 cylinder motors. These days, large cars often have small but efficient motors. My Impala has a 6 cylinder motor....3.5 liters. My Hyundai has a 2 liter motor and it goes like hell but not even near being as comfortable as the Impala.
 

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A Roadstar 1600 is 63HP ...
Two of my older brothers in the early 80s owned a '78 Kawasaki 750 LTD and it had 55 HP. My father owned a Volkswagen Diesel, (fox?), at the time, but it had less horse power than that. Only 50. And I distinctly remember my father having a heated discussion with my brothers that they 1) should not be riding a motorcycle because they are dangerous and 2) you certainly do not need to ride around on a motorcycle with an engine between your legs that has more horsepower then my car. To which, my 2 wise-ass brothers responded at the same time... "No dad. You need a car with more horsepower!"
 
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