So to preface i know in general 99.9% of youtube comments are full of shit/trolls/idiots/people with nothing better to do/etc. For every one comment i see that has a kernel of truth/thought/good intentions i see 10x that many with assholes. So after encountering similar comments time after time again i had to respond in some fashion. It's pointless to try and argue points on youtube but, i see so many comments of naive people who are thinking of getting into motorcycles as a hobby and take some of these bullshit comments to heart. Questions like; should i do the MSF course? I've ridden dirt bikes, should just get a 600cc? How do i counter steer? And on and on and on... I have to take a stand!
Lets start from the beginning, this comment which was in reference to a video a guy who had been riding a Ninja 250 and borrowed his friends 600gsxr for a short ride. Needless to say he was "impressed" and liked the 600, but was glad to have groomed his skills on a less intimidating bike. Insert dumbass youboob comment here.
"did you pee your pants? The shit 250's are a joke to start out on... well not a joke for everyone (good for two to six weeks) for most everyone.... after that 600's for sure, and maybe 1000's...
I started on the 600 (thought about a 250, then realized, hey I'm not an idiot and I have skill)
Dont let people scare you away from a 600 super sport.... Its not like your going to loop it unless of course your an idiot... Practice clutch control... easy shit"
Did the guy pee his pants? I don't know for sure, but probably not. So let's give this youboober the benefit of the doubt and when he says 250's are a joke, well not a joke for everyone he specifies, but in no the less then 2 to 6 weeks you will have mastered all there is to know,. OK more benefit of the doubt maybe he means only throttle control, which depending on how much you ride in a 2 to 6 week span may be true, if you're only riding in a straight line. Twisting the throttle in a straight line doesn't take long to master at all, which is great cause otherwise nobody would be able to ride a motorcycle! But knowing when and not when to twist the throttle in a panic situation or when out on a nice twisty rode. On a 250 you have some leeway when it comes to the most common throttle mistake and that would be chopping the throttle. Which means closing and opening the throttle in a fashion that is not smooth. The more you practice being smooth the faster and better you will become at it. So yeah becoming adequate 2 to 6 weeks straight line throttle on a 250 sounds reasonable, then jump on a 600cc sport bike or 1000cc no problem right? Just for a reference, the Ninja 250 can do the 1/4 mile in 14.5 seconds and 0 to 60 in under 5 seconds, that puts most "fast" cars to shame. Next the Ninja 250 makes around 30 hp, so make the jump to any 600cc bike within the last decade makes 90 to 110 HP. 3x more… so really not a small "jump" at all. And 1000cc? 150+ HP.
"hey I'm not an idiot and i have skill"
I love the self indulgent comment as if you tell yourself that, it must be true. Reminds me that a true wise man realizes he knows nothing. Now i don't mean that accurate self assessment isn't possible, but sometimes we all need to take a step back. What bothers me most about this thought is that someone impressionable watching these youtube videos and reading the comments will think "hey you know what i'm not stupid, so i'll be fine". Being a good motorcycle rider doesn't just mean being able to go fast, it also means looking out for future riders who are searching for some advice.
"Don't let people scare you away from a 600 super sport"
Don't let people scare you away from a 600 ss. Well i agree everyone should be able to buy what they want, but imagine a 600cc supersport bike for what it really is, a scaple, a precision made instrument developed over many decades for 1 purpose, to go very fast. If there was an analogy i would make it would be this. If you wanted to start playing the drums would you go out buy the nicest most expensive one you can afford and say "hell i won't be able to play within 5% of it's capability cause i'm just starting out but maybe i'll grow into it with many hours of practice" that's great if you want to play drums but a drum set won't leave you crumpled and a bloody stump because you slammed on your brakes endo'd your motorcycle and slammed into oncoming traffic. Another comment i see often is "i'll get a 600 and take it easy for the first few months" The most common mistake with this logic is you don't know how much you don't know until you go out and ride. It is possible to "take it easy" but it is so much more fun to go fast on a slow bike then to go slow on a fast bike.
"Practice clutch control…easy shit"
Finally a good tip, practice clutch control. Sounds simple enough, but make 1 slip on a 600 and blip the throttle too much and you'll be on your ass and wondering why all you see is blue. The throttle is an instrument and the only way you'll master it is practice, practice, practice. If you're practicing on something that doesnt throw you on your ass when you make a mistake you will learn 100x times faster. It's also worth mentioning that on a motorcycle you must learn to use all your limbs simotainiously either while leaning, stopping, accelerating, all the while focusing on where you want to go and everything else you need to be mindful of while riding on public roads.
Final point most of these guys who self proclaim "i started on a 600 and I'm great!" are the same guys picking gravel out of their wounds from going down with no gear (and that's the lucky ones who don't die) and the same guys that can't do a u-turn, don't know how to use the rear brake, and hold up other riders because once they hit the twisty roads they don't know how to look through a turn or hit an apex. Also the only time they go "fast" is on the freeway because that's the only place that's long enough and straight enough for them to roll on the throttle, blowing by people in their blind spots and putting other peoples lives in danger is the best way to show your "skill".
If more riders put their ego aside, just think about why they want to ride, there would be less of a stigma around sport bikes being doner-cycles. If you ask yourself "why do i want to ride?" And the answer isn't to "look cool" or "impress my friends" but you want to ride because when you wake up in the morning and you don't look forward to the destination, but the journey getting there, well then decide what bike is right for you.