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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All,

Hope I'm not intruding, but I've just got my license and am looking at buying my first bike very soon and was hoping to get some advice here. I live in Japan and just finished riding school about a month ago and passed the written test, which was the hardest part since it wasn't in English. Had loads of fun riding around on the little track they have set up to learn to control bikes, but I've never actually been on the road. I had a car license when I lived in Canada, but haven't driven for about 3 years now and it's expired now.

I want to get a 600RR eventually, but I'm thinking this isn't the best choice for a first bike. I was just wondering if anyone here could offer some advice on how to work up to one. I want to get a bike now to ride around for a year, then get a the 600 next year once I'm used to the roads here and have clue what I'm doing. I'm looking at a CBR250RR, RVF or a naked CB400 Super Four. I'm leaning towards the 250RR because it's small and I'm short so I'd be able to get my feet down, but I learned on a much bigger bike so only planting one foot feels fine and a higher seat doesn't bother me that much.

If you have any advice, I'd really appreciate it.

Cheers,

Mark
 

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Mark, I think you are going about it the right way. Stateside, we have no exposure to the CBR250 or most 400s for that matter. Just be careful and take it easy for a while.
 

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I was in Tokyo recently and saw some very cool & unusual smaller cc bikes. I say definitely pick up a 'cheaper' (i know nothing is cheap in Japan) bike and go around on it until you feel comfortable (not cocky.)

Question, how much is a brand new 600RR going for in Japan :?: Just curious.
 

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i would go with the 600 you are going to get sick of the smaller cc bikes in about a week then you will have to go through the whole process of selling and buying a 600..just save yourself some time. if you want something a little more comfortable than a rr get an f4i that is what i learned to ride on (more of an upright stance than the more race style rr) I got sick of the f4i and bought an RR.. as long as you ride within your abilities you will be fine on a 600
 

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I think, as do others, that going with a more "standard" riding positioned bike can be an easier way to learn as well.... So bikes like the SV650, Honda Hawks, etc that provide a more upright seating position and don't make lean in agressively.

One of the things people seem to overlook a lot is that body position on an agressive sportbike takes a lot of getting used to, and when you first start riding you'll spend an inordinate amount of your time worrying about keeping yourself on the bike comfortably, and not paying attention to throttle, brake, and whats on the road (e.g. rolling on the throttle, and smooth braking are a LOT harder when your weight is all shoved down on your wrists). Because of this, learning riding is a LOT easier on a standard positioned bike.

I for one, learned on a '78 Hawk 400 (bike was older than me!), and the experience there was invaluable. Spent my first 5 months riding on it, and then transitioned up to an FZR400 once I was comfortable with riding. I loved that bike. It had no power, but it was still riding, it was easy as hell to control, and two or three parking lots incidents I had did nothing too it. Whereas a little incident with my foot missing a curb while parking my FZR led to $600 in damage...

I think you'd have a blast on the CB400 Super Four. Find a 2000 to 2003 model, and you'll have an up to date, but cheap bike that you can wring out for 6 months and get comfortable with bikes your local streets. Then you can turn around and sell it and get most of your money back when you're ready for an upgrade...
 

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pg600rr, same thing I told jrdenney in his thread, if you are getting tired of a suupersport 600, you are not using it right. Maybe you do not have access to the roads or track to use what the bike has.
I think you'd have a blast on the CB400 Super Four. Find a 2000 to 2003 model, and you'll have an up to date, but cheap bike that you can wring out for 6 months and get comfortable with bikes your local streets.
100% agree
 
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Maaku, welcome! Do you have access to dirt riding? you could get a street legal suzuki DR 350 and have the best of both worlds.
 

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My '04 600RR is/was my first bike, and I love it. However, I learn faster than most people and have more self-control than everyone I know. This probably WOULDN'T be a good bike for most beginners, but I can't tell you that it's definitely not a beginner bike, becuase it was for me.

You are definitely taking the right approach though. It sounds like you have a lot of smaller bikes over there that aren't available over here. I would definitely pick up a 250RR and ride it for a while just to get comfortable with riding in general. Then when you feel confident enough for a 600, maybe pick up an F4i or even an RR if you feel like you're ready. I'm sure you could sell the 250 for pretty much what you paid for it.
 

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The 600rr was my first bike too. I wouldn't encourage anyone to pick the 600rr as their first bike. I don't think it's as insane a choice as some people make it out to be, riding is dangerous no matter what you're on. Learn to respect the bike, the road, and how stupid most drivers are. That said, if you want to get a 250cc or 400cc bike to start, that's a very sensible thing to do and if you're a bit shorter and lighter than average, you probably won't miss the extra power of the 600rr anyway.
 

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the five guys usually ride with all learned to ride on 600's me and one friend both had f4i's,two others had gsx-r's, and one had an r6, none of us had any riding experience at all however all did take the Rider saftey course... prob. helped out a bit. it seems like most people on here learned with smaller bikes so (Maaku) I guess I would go the route of the popular vote and get something small, some people just decide to go right to the 600 and it works for them :D
 

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my first bike was a F2 that was like 5 years ago. It was a 600cc as well. But I did learn a lesson from it after I tried to take it home for the first time after learning on a dirt bike. Gave it too much gas and slid on a turn. I guess I under-estimated it. :) But I learnt my lesson and didn't pay such a big price. So the next day I went and brought a trailer to bring the bike home in. :)
 

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600rr was my first bike as well. it's worked out well for myself. i just didn't want to get a 250 then have to upgrade later. but there are benefits and downfalls to both.
 

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My 05 600rr is my first bike

Completed the MSF in September, and just bought my bike about 3 weeks ago

Only have ~275 miles under my belt, can't wait for warmer weather

(I had never even sat on a motorcycle before the MSF)
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Just to put this in perspective, I'm trying to decided between a 250 and 400 because anything over 250 requires an inspection called 'shaken' every 2 years in Japan, which will cost about US$700. This isn't really an issue for me now since I'm only going to use the bike for a year and the cost is usually included, but it'll be harder to sell it with half the shaken expired. So this is why I'm leaning towards a CBR250RR - if I take it easy and don't dump it (*crosses fingers*), I'll be able sell it for almost the same price because it's becoming a rare bike even here, but still very popular.

The other thing is that I can get a used bike from a Honda dealer with a 1-year guarantee, which is where I found the RVF and CB400 Super Four. Both are in very nice condition. I've found a few 250RRs in town (Kyoto), but ones in decent shape are about the same price as a 400. The RVF is usually a lot more, but this one has over 20 000 km on it (a lot for a used bike at a dealership here).

I think in the end I'll just get whatever one I feel most comfortable on. I've bought my gear already and put money into that to make sure I'm safe (A*s jacket and boots), but I'll look pretty silly on a chopper now! I should be on the road by next week.

By the way, this is a great site. I lurked for a long time and learned a lot about riding and gear reading here (though I still have to put it into practice). With any luck, I'll be posting a pic of my own 600RR around this time next year. Thanks for all the advice. Hope it's OK to drop in now and then - might have some interesting stories from the far east now and then.

Cheers,

Mark

EDIT: Oh, I forgot, a new 05RR goes for between 800 000 and 1 000 000 yen in Japan, with the US/AUS imports going for a higher price. This is roughly between US$8000 and US$10 000 (the currency converter tells me $7600-$9500 today). The cheapest new one I could find was an 04RR for US$7250.
 

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There's nothing wrong with the 400 but for my .02 Get the 250, stateside you wont' have much of an opportunity to ride one of those excellent little bikes. Wish we could get a few of them here. Go for it. Have a ball.
 

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I agree with 1FSTOLDGUY. Some of the smaller bikes are a lot of fun to ride. Take advantage of it while you can. Over here finding them is next to impossible.
 

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buy the 250 and when you are ready to get rid of it, ship it over to me :bounce:


I think you have all the right things in mind and for all the right reasons. To many people think smaller bikes are boring and you outgrow them to fast. I personally would love to pick up a 400 super or a 250rr as another bike as they are fun as hell to whip around on. Plus they are better practice cause you don't have the power to keep up with the bigger bikes so you have to do it with skill.
 
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