Google+ Two-Wheeled Tourist: 600cc Sportbikes: Idiots Not Recommended...


600cc Sportbikes: Idiots Not Recommended...

I'm still watching the young bucks come into the motorcycle store asking for a 600cc sportbike as a "first ride" when it's obvious they know nothing or very little about riding. When I hear their attempts to hide the fact they're completely clueless, I giggle a bit in my head and then go back to work at my desk.

This is a subject that I touched on in a previous blog post, "On 600cc Sportbikes: Some Experience Required."  If you'd like to see where I stand on beginner riders on "crotch rockets" and to understand the context of this blog post, please read that first.

So, for the entertainment of my seasoned riders out there, here are a few of the many idiotic statements that I've heard from a number of young, inexperienced riders in the last few months.

"This 600 is too slow. I have trouble keeping up with the 1000[cc sportbikes] on the freeway and I have to drop down a few gears to catch up with them."
Sportbikes that are built for speed are not geared for instant, low-end power. The key to getting the maximum horsepower and acceleration on one of these ponies is run the engine at HIGH-REVS! Of course you won't get anything at 4000 RPM; with a tachometer redline at 13-15000 RPM the engine is barely turned on! Use the damn engine and let those cylinders scream! Besides, if you're fast enough to where it's "impossible" to keep up with your "fellow pack riders" (no joke, that's what this boy called it), you're probably breaking the law and risking the safety of everyone else around you. Good job, asshole.

"[Insert name of popular 600cc sportbike here] is way too slow. I was expecting this thing to do more than 140MPH."
Is there a reason, other than fleeing from law enforcement, to go that fast on a public road or highway? It still boggles my mind why it is necessary to enter triple-digit territory and go 40-60 miles above the speed limit on most roads here in Ohio. Straight-line racing is quite skill-less and boring. There's a place where that's allowed, it's called the Bonneville Salt Flats. And sportbike track time is much cheaper than multiple speeding tickets in the long run, and a lot safer, too.

"I had a 600cc crotch rocket, but I outgrew it after 500 miles so I got a Hayabusa/ZX-14 (1300-1400cc sportbike)."
Complete horse crap. Anyone can go fast on a motorcycle in a straight line, but it takes a skillful rider to control a bike with utmost precision. The 600cc sportbike is a powerful machine with the ability to outmaneuver the fastest sportscars. If you can take turns at 120MPH with a knee dragging on the ground on a race track, then you can talk to me about an upgrade. Unfortunately, most of the idiots who jump on these bikes will not listen to my reasoning because they're too busy riding in a straight line with their chicken-stripped tires looking at the shiny extension of their...swingarm.

"I can't ride a 600. Every time I stop at a light, I slam my nuts against the tank."
Speaking of penises, I think that customer definitely needs a lesson in proper braking and speed control on say, a 250 Rebel in a closed-course exercise? And maybe he can slam his nuts a few more times with a more forgiving bike with a less pointy gas tank. Once again, 600cc sportbikes are no slouches in both acceleration and deceleration. Dual-disc, 4-piston caliper brakes are meant stop a rider on a dime and to help with speed adjustments in tight situations. Of course they're ultra-responsive and quite touchy! It can mean the difference between clearing a turn or smashing into a barrier at high speeds. That kind of jerky operation can also increase the chance of accidents in emergency situations and wet road conditions.

I can only hope these kinds of riders don't learn their lessons the hard way, but it seems to me there will always be a level of stupid among the invincible youth that throw their legs over ludicrously fast motorcycles that are far above their skill levels. These are the ones with the higher chance of making it onto state and/or national news by their demise or severity of injury/damage to property. With the immaturity of many of these first-time motorcycle buyers, it's difficult to look the other way. However, free choice does come with the freedom to be a careless idiot. I just hope they don't hurt other motorists in the process.