Should You Start On A 600cc? Wrong Question


Wannabie Member
Mar 2, 2018
Edinburgh, Scotland
I ride a
I would always recommend someone start off on a lighter, less powerful bike.

I can almost guarantee that new riders will drop their bike in their first year of riding. 125's are light, and dropping them doesn't do that much damage. While lessons and a test may prepare you for riding on the road somewhat, the real teacher is always going to be experience. And in my experience mistakes are far more forgiving on a 125. I feel that learning to ride a motorcycle on something that can do 0-60mph in 3 seconds, exceeding 100mph at around 4.5s almost ludicrous. I'm not saying it can't be done; only that it probably shouldn't.

Aside from that; in my subjective opinion I actually find light bikes to be quite fun. The power-to-weight ratio of some 125's will still have you doing 0-60mph in 6 seconds; faster than a lot of cars. While 60 is likely to near your top-end, the bikes are far more flick-able and easier to ride than their heavier counterparts. Cornering can be MUCH faster on these bikes (rider/bike depending).... and it's in the roads twists and turns where you will ultimately derive you're enjoyment where power isn't much of a factor.


Mar 9, 2018
I ride a
2011 Zx6r/2008 Sportster 1200
I convinced my brother to start on a newer 300cc bike with the mentality of "it's better to ride a slow bike fast than a fast bike slow". And in all honesty, it's his first bike. I know people that have started on 600's, and my first bike was actually a 636, but I learned on a Ninja 250 and completed the MSF course (albeit after I got my 636 lol.....).

That being said, I could see a 650 being a good start bike as well. Definitely not a 1000, and only a 600 as a case by case. If the individual has a lot of self control and is willing to learn about the bike before opening it up on the freeway, then more power to them. I rode my old 636 around the neighborhood for a while before I took it out onto the freeway. My first ride on it was actually in a parking lot, getting used to how hard those front brakes bit compared to previous bikes, as well as adjusting throttle/getting used to how much power was at my right hand. I don't suggest freeway/public road riding because the extra variables of cars is difficult to juggle when there's a new stimuli of superbike power, imo.

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