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Learner training on 1000cc?, Commentry

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by pro-pilot, May 16, 2007.

  1. Great to see an articles in todays release of Australian Motorcycle magazine that comments on how much ignorance there is on this fear of 'litre' bikes (Vol 56, No.22, Pg 91).

    It goes well to suggest that the bigger bore babys are designed far more forgiving that of times past, and from a low end throttle response and braking capability, will save and protect your life much more easily than a 250 made with economy parts, but control is up to the rider. Needless to say it might even be better to get rid of 250's all together and have longer training courses that get you off on a 600 - 750 - 1000, from the word go. As long as you are taught and have the ability to adapt to riding a learner or seasoned rider should have no issue in comming to grips with any calibre bike.

    The biggest issue that I agree with is that when you take a bike out onto the road, you are risking your life to a much higher degree than in a car. With this in mind, I would certianly not risk it being on a machine who's manufacturers are aimed at cost cutting (let face it any 250cc you can get).

    I have riden large sports bikes over quite some time and always keep it within both personal and legal street limits (yes it is possible to do)! Where I have almost come to grief is usually in low speed, medium density traffic environments that generate a lot frustration in drivers, but gives them the room to make stupid manuovers. Only the superb handling characteristics (in this case R1) have saved me. On a 250 I would have been airborne!

    Unfortunately nobody is going to pay for a high performing 250 or LAMS bike, manufacturer or consumer.

    I would like to see an trial where 100 new riders are introduced to motorcycling. A cpl on 125/250cc, some on 600cc and rest on 1000. Similar training (beyond clutch and throttle control development). and see how they progress over 12 months - 15 months. Then see what happens when a 12 months 250-er goes to a litre bike, post restrictions.
    Think the results might surprise a lot of people. :grin:

    Your thoughts please!

  2. Yeah some good points, when purchasing a learner bike people will always try and cut corners as they will be getting rid of it in 12-18 months. I would have loved to get something that had awesome brakes etc but have to settle for POS learner bike with which I have had to upgrade pads etc to at least be able to stop.

    So if I could have got a more up to date bike which I would have kept longer, I would be a lot safer now! But I will say this, when I first got my Ls no way should I be put on anything bigger than a 250, the answer is a longer testing/instruction process which allows you to get and ride a larger bike from the get go.
  3. Cost cutting - 250's.??? Not necessarily the case. I really can't see where you're coming from with that one.

    One of the issues that manufacturers have is that 250's are not much cheaper to produce than bigger bikes. Honda dropped the Spada from production because it cost as much to produce as the 600 and they couldn't ask the price for it.

    Handling, braking and general manouvreability on a 250 is generally superior (because of the lighter weight, shorter wheelbase etc.) than on a larger bike. Learning to physically handle a bigger bike takes time - I'm talking here about the actual physical size.

    If you look at the demand for 250s it hasn't necessarily dropped off in those states that have LAMS. Pricing for Spadas and CBR's etc is still pretty much the same for both NSW and Victoria.
  4. People pay for low end beemers which run no where.
    There might be a market for a high quality entry level bike yet.

    Discussed in another article, while you're right that it comes down much more to rider training than the bike it cannot be denied that a much more powerful bike in the hands of a learner would be a greater risk than a less powerful bike. So therefore to reduce risk we have restrictions.

    While the fact is that a lot of learners by cheap dodgy bikes, this is not something that can so easily be taken into consideration as the performance of the bike - a cheap old crappy bike whether a 250 or a 1000cc is still a cheap, old, crappy bike.
  5. I would never ever recommend that a learner learn on a 1000cc, I think the 250cc restriction is the right idea. To learn all that you need to know on a 250cc sets yourself up to becoming a better and more capable rider when stepping up to the bigger bikes.
  6. Spoken with reason and thought. But I think you are touching on a point that I would like explored and that is "how much should you learn in a controlled environment before let out on the roads?" If I had been trained at all in a safe environment, then I don't see any issue with me taking a larger bike onto the road.

    And yes learner bikes [including LAMs] are overpriced.
  7. I rode a VTR250 as a learner bike and although I haven't got much to compare it to, I had no obvious issues with stopping, turning, sensibly blatting out of trouble in medium density traffic situations.
    One time a joker in a station wagon pulled in front of me in a street where there was no manouvering space and I found the brakes in an emergency situation to be more than adequate, with enough feedback to keep the bike stable under very hard decelleration. Fit and finish also seemed to be excellent, so I can't say that bike smacked of cost-cutting. :grin:

    I am glad to hear evidence that litre bikes are manageable and controllable though. Some posts here basically paint them out to be widowmakers and you only have to sneeze on the throttle and reach low earth orbit.

    I'm looking closely at a litre sportsbike as an upgrade, for a variety of reasons not including power/trackbikeability/topspeed/roadracing but definately including handling, braking, comfort (the 600 of the same marque is too high and the bars are much less comfortable), and yes, looks! :LOL:

    So yeah, I say whether a modern litre sportsbike (i.e. 2004 cbr1000) is tractable enough for a very careful guy to use without courting death is definately worth discussing :wink:
  8. why would you want 1k L on the street. really. even motogp is bringing down the cc
  9. Give me your idea of a controlled environment.
  10. Didnt moto GP just up the cc from 500cc to 800cc?
  11. Yep the exception to the rule. This is the dearest 250cc road bike in the market.

    Nicolas you asked about controlled environment, well riding centres are good place to get used to the bike, tracks are a good place to get used to the acceleration and general handling, but the roads are the only place to get used to the traffic. So how do we reduce the risk of L platers getting crushed by a truck? Teach them how to ride in a controlled environment and then maybe follow up courses every few months for the first 12 months?
  12. New specifications for each racing class are formed as the FIM sees fit. At the beginning of the new MotoGP era in 2002, 500 cc two-stroke or 990 cc four-stroke bikes were specified to race.

    The enormous power advantage of the larger displacement four-stroke engine over the two-stroke eliminated all two-strokes from competition; the following season no two-stroke bikes were racing.

  13. No they went from 990 to 800, they used to have 500 CC 2 Strokes.
    And they are now doing faster laptimes on the 800s than they were on the Liter bikes
  14. Yes, some people could get on a litre bike and learn on it and survive. But I don't think most people could, and even if it was a smaller number of people that couldn't, those people have families, people who love them. They may not have the judgment to realise that a litre bike isn't for them. The laws are there to help protect us from ourselves and others.

    What are you going to say when a learner on a litre bike loses control and slams into a car killing the rider and seriously injuring the occupants of the car? "Sorry, > 90% of learners are fine on a litre bike"? You just killed a person, a person who people love and will never get to see again.

    It's much safer on a 250 (which sure, can go over the speed limit) but the power is much more controllable, the mistakes are more forgiving, the margin for error over all is greater.

    We want people to grow old riding, not die young
  15. Yeah, the VTR is pricey, so in terms of new bikes, the VTR, and maybe the baby (should that be embryo) blade (CBR125) might be well built, haven't seen any feedback, not really bothered :LOL:

    I agree about 'controlled environments' being of limited use in preparing riders for the real world. At least having a decent layout of streets in training areas so you can properly learn to judge corners, roundabouts etc would be an improvement on the netball court of painted lines most have.

    Remember traffic school when you were a kid!
  16. I disagree with the idea that 250's are manufactured to a lower level than other bikes. VTR, ZZR (and GPX to a degree), GSXF, CBR were farily well made bikes IMHO. You can't compare the handling of an R1 to a GPX though. How about the handling of an R1 compared to a RS or a CBR? Apples to apples. I never felt the brakes on my Spada as lacking and the suspension felt great.

    Race breed suspension is great, but is that going to save you in an accident more so than rider skill? So in your example you would only have survived whilst riding an R1, a Spada/CBR/RS would have seen you in an accident? Now consider tyre choice.

    Litre race bikes may be great, but I cannot agree with them being a better first bike than good handling, braking bikes with a more sedate power delivery.
  17. the yanks seem to have shown than you can't learn a great deal on a current sports bike, even those that pass the msf courses (same as our prelearner ones).

    The brits/germans and others have a concept where you can ride any bike you like as long as it is power restricted. There are examples of gsx1300r's floating around that are only producing 33hp.

    Seems to work much better than the american style (your proposal). There would appear to be much value in the graduated licensing system (beginning at 14 and 50cc in italy). The effect of a mistake in handling the throttle on a big bike is much more pronounced than on the smaller ones. Besides, it is only the inexperienced who believe they don't need to start small and work up in ANYTHING. Why do you think racers come up through the smaller categories?
  18. How do they actually restrict the bigger bikes down to 30 ponies??
  19. I agree.
  20. commonly they fit restrictor plates in the throttle bodies, the same way that many racing categories do. You can also impose stricter rpm limits.