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I cannot imagine a poorer choice in a first bike. Everything a novice rider needs - low seat height, low CG, light weight, maneuverability at walking speeds, moderate power delivery, etc. - are ABSENT on the CBR1100xx. It has everything an expert, experienced rider wants or needs. It offers nothing for the novice except damage, pain and at best, embarrassment. This post illustrates why there are so many barely used bikes on the market. I mean, good god.

Don't take my word for it though. Take your first test ride down a steep, winding gravel road, just to see how it feels.

EDIT: Tha gravel road bit (above) was "sarcasm" Dont actually do that. Seriously .
 

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My first bike was a Honda CB 125. Then in early youth I rode Yamaha 125, Honda CB450, BMW R69S, BMW R75/5, Honda CB500, Moto Guzzi 750, Norton Commando 750, Kawasaki Mach IV 750 (crashed). Later (after 30 year old) I got Honda CBR 600F, VFR 750. Only after that did I get a Blackbird. I would recommend everyone to get at least some experience with bikes under 100 hp, under 700 cc, under 200 kg before getting a bird. I would also recommend Honda to stop manufacture of the VFR 1200 and other fat hogs, and resume with a 1200cc, 180 hp, 230 kg Blackbird.
 

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Do what you want! CBR1100XX is a great bike.....extremely forgiving at speed....extremely unforgiving under 5 km's in a parking lot and a total absolute pig
on a gravel parking lot making a turn (no bike has embarrassed me more than a BB at slow speed on gravel).
but 99% of your riding will be on the highway and she's brilliant there.
Buy it and give it the respect it has earned since 1996 and you'll be just fine.
Honda, Kawasaki, Yamaha all made killers years ago and lots of us learned to ride on them...most of us are still here.


I am currently trying to figure out what will be my first real motorbike. I've ridden children mopeds every now and then but like everyone here, I don't consider that anything crucial to this dilemma that I have.

So, why do I want a Blackbird? The reason is stupid and has nothing to do with Blackbirds engine/drive specs. It was just the bike one guy had, in my neighborhood, I admired his lifestyle, he always went traveling with that bike and seeing a dirty black BB always reminds me of him and of me fantasizing to travel around this world like he did.

Now that I'm in position to buy that bike, I'm wondering, is this a good move? Of course everyone on every forum would vote "no". Or would they? I just want to have a reliable, robust, travel-ready (and one day, 2up ready) bike that won't lose value (I really think it will become more appreciated as the time goes by), bike that has a big fan base and long history of admirable reputation for being reliable and driveable in both sport or touring driving styles.

I'm 6'3 220 so I know that I'll have to get some VFR handles and Buell pegs and sort the rear shock, eventually, if I decide on riding 2up frequently.

I know a lot of people say that BB's power delivery can deceive and get you in the risky situation really fast, but it makes me wonder...if I can't control myself, the throttle, will it really be easier if I drive something like V Strom 650? How much of a difference does it make if we're talking accidents?

I had a pretty fast car when I was 21 and the only time I crashed it is when I was going 25 mph, on a intersection, my fault, got my passenger doors caved it. Other than that, 50 000 miles of cruising in a car that most guys that age would drive full throttle. But that was of no interest to me. Some friends were asking me "if you don't like driving fast, why didn't you buy a slower car" which is really a stupid question, in line with "if you drive over the road legal speed limit, why don't you go to the track or become a professional race car driver".

Am I making any sense here or am I just fooling myself into thinking I could have a BB as my first bike without repercussions? Is anyone here in that category, first bike BB?

Thanks guys :)
 
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my first road bike was a 99 Blackbird and tbh i found it very forgiving but you have to watch that power. I also did some police rider training when i passed as i didnt want to be another statistic and it was the best training i ever under took
 

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A 250, 600, 800 etc can kill you just as fast as an 1100!
dont ride like an idiot and you'll be fine.

I don't understand the "it's too fast for a beginner" theory.
If you feel that you need to get from point A to point B with the throttle wide open pushing the limits of the machine that you're on then you shouldn't be on any bike.
Use common sense and enjoy the ride.
 

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Volvo tuning loony tune
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A 250, 600, 800 etc can kill you just as fast as an 1100!
dont ride like an idiot and you'll be fine.

I don't understand the "it's too fast for a beginner" theory.
If you feel that you need to get from point A to point B with the throttle wide open pushing the limits of the machine that your on then you shouldn't be on any bike.
Use common sense and enjoy the ride.
Very good advice there that man, also if you want to find YOUR limits do it on track you will learn so much
 

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I disagree. Respectfully.

Learning to ride streets and highways on a 350 Honda freed me from the vexations of ALSO having to learn how to deal with the handling eccentricities of a 500 or 600 lb. machine. And it lowered the odds of this 16-year old seeking and finding catastrophe with his right wrist.

Not saying it can't be done. Not saying it HASN'T been done.

I just believe that the odds of getting scared off of motorcycling (and/or the odds of having an accident) increase directly with the size, displacement and weight of a rider's first motorcycle.

A real man takes his time. . . .
 

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Practise and safety courses are critical as are advanced riding courses and track riding. No I do not ride track but I have 200,000 kms of street and touring kms. Good luck, what's the big rush? I doubt you will listen to all this sage advice.


Sent from my iPhone 5 using Tapatalk
 

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I disagree. Respectfully.

Learning to ride streets and highways on a 350 Honda freed me from the vexations of ALSO having to learn how to deal with the handling eccentricities of a 500 or 600 lb. machine. And it lowered the odds of this 16-year old seeking and finding catastrophe with his right wrist.

Not saying it can't be done. Not saying it HASN'T been done.

I just believe that the odds of getting scared off of motorcycling (and/or the odds of having an accident) increase directly with the size, displacement and weight of a rider's first motorcycle.

A real man takes his time. . . .
This is as true as it gets. Most of you may have handled it well as a first bike but that doesn't mean you should recommend it as. It is a hyper sport machine guys......
 

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TM45,
At 6'3" and 220 lbs you will be fine on a Blackbird as a first bike. Several others have already said it, take it easy and treat the bike with respect, it can only go as fast as the right wrist tells it to go. Ignore the get a 600 to learn on and don't buy a Blackbird because you will wreck it, that is a bunch of crap. You will be uncomfortable on a 600 and look ridiculous, it will feel like a scooter. If you were asking should you buy a new ZX 14, the answer would be no.

My wife learned on a 2001 VFR 800 and she is only 5'4". I am sure you will do fine on a Blackbird.

Do watch the video by Keith Code, "Twist of the Wrist II". Probably the best instruction you will get as a new rider. It is on you tube.
Tom
 

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I agree Tom. I'm 6' 230 and I looked stupid on my vfr800. Great bike but it didn't fit me. The BB is perfect size. I don't ride it any different than the VFR, but now I can pass on the highway in 6th gear instead of going into 4th on the VFR.
 

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Discussion Starter #32
Thanks a bunch for every reply guys.

I watched couple of youtube cbr xx videos, a lot of them are top speed runs (understandable) but there are couple of them when the BB is just cruising along some mountain roads. It seems that up until 4-5k the bike is timid, figuratively speaking.

Is it really twitchy on the throttle? If I'm riding around lazy in 4th or 5th gear at 3k rpm and accidentally twist the throttle, am I really gonna see the bike fly away under me? I find that a bit exaggerated. I'm sure BB is a lightning fast bike, but is it that delicate of an instrument?

I really see myself driving up and down the parking lot near the local race track where they have cones for everyone to use, going there learning the bike, just trying to get a grip. And I believe I won't lose any respect towards the bike, I think I know myself pretty well. If I was addicted to going full out, I would crash my fast car that I had 10 years ago (which I didn't, for 50k miles).

One thing comes to mind, I kind of understand that it might be a big jump and learning curve might be steep and slow, and I'll probably never reach the BB's full potential nor learn how to use it...but then again...I went to the track with my fast car once and I sucked, and I didn't even enjoy it from all the hothead drivers around me driving as if GP trophy is at stake...so maybe going to the edge of vehicle's capability just isn't my forte :)

We'll see. There's a bike club near by and couple of guys have nice BB's, I'll try to get in contact and see if they can give me some of their wisdom on this topic. But it just boils down to simple fact that I see myself traveling on that bike going across Europe, loaded up and gliding down the local roads soaking in the scenery.
 

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Greetings TM45,
from your last post discribing your thoughts on adjusting to the BB,,, U will be fine.... bring it man!
Just don't dog her in 4th or 5th a 3 grand.
She is Happy at 4 to 5 in all gears,, well 6th I cant say:huh:
Slow parking lot manuevrs is where U will feel her balance points ,,,,, at that speed THEN U are the balencer and not the bike.
Enjoy your machine. ATGATT
STex, out
 

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TM45,
[snip] Ignore the 'get a 600 to learn on and don't buy a Blackbird because you will wreck it', that is a bunch of crap. [snip]
Tom
:) Thanks for that. You seem pretty certain about this, whereas I'm rarely certain about anything.

I suspect your certainty MUST be based on your superior research skills. So please be kind enough to link us to the long term study you use as your basis. That long-term study will compare two groups of otherwise similar, new riders: one group who (a) purchased smaller or mid-sized machines as their first bike / training bike, to (b) riders whose first bike was over 500 lbs. and possessed over 140 HP.

From your comments and your dismissive "that's a bunch of crap" . . . well, you clearly believe that both sets (a) and (b) above have identical records . . . . that BOTH sets continue their love and pursuit of the sport for exactly the same number of years. I have a bit of trouble with that. Myself, I suspect that many more in Group (b) probably get rid of their bike soon after scaring themselves silly. But I could be wrong. So if it's not too much trouble, I wonder if you could give us some proof in the form of an actual Hurt-type report or similar.

Anecdotal evidence is entertaining, though. I myself was around 6' and 200 lbs when I purchased my first bike - a 350cc standard motorbike. No one ever said I looked silly. I DID graduate to a 500, then a 750, within 5 or 6 years. I count the experience I gained on those smaller bikes as perhaps the biggest single reason I'm still enjoying motorbikes, 30 years later.

But that's just me.
 

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Perzuki,
It is called my opinion, I did all the research I need because I am an expert on my opinion. TM45 is not a 18 year old kid and he is 6'3" so I think he can handle the weight of the bike. He didn't ask if he should buy a 20 thousand dollar BMW 1200 or a ZX14 or even the new Kawi that has 200 horsepower. I stand by my opinion and you are welcome to stand by yours, that is what makes this forum work.
 

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Perzuki,
It is called my opinion, I did all the research I need because I am an expert on my opinion. TM45 is not a 18 year old kid and he is 6'3" so I think he can handle the weight of the bike. He didn't ask if he should buy a 20 thousand dollar BMW 1200 or a ZX14 or even the new Kawi that has 200 horsepower. I stand by my opinion and you are welcome to stand by yours, that is what makes this forum work.
Fair enough, and we're all entitled to an opinion.

But I haven't labeled YOUR opinions here as a "bunch of crap," since I've always felt that insults are nothing more than the last resort of someone who knows they've lost the debate. Or maybe insults are simply overcompensation for a totally justified sense of inferiority. It's hard to say. And I could be wrong.
 

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....... And I could be wrong.
and lets not go there. [button finger poised]

Your last post TM45 is very enlightening, stick with that plan and you will get on fine with a Bird. Nervous at first no doubt (I was when I bought my first Bird) but that is normal. As I said in an earlier post get to know the balance of the bike - which you have already thought about and then a bit of respect as you build experience.

To answer your question
Is it really twitchy on the throttle? If I'm riding around lazy in 4th or 5th gear at 3k rpm and accidentally twist the throttle, am I really gonna see the bike fly away under me?
No. That is one of the many joys of the Bird, it has decent low down torque so will always 'make progress', it accelerates in a turbine like manner so no snatching with that type of riding.
 

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Get a Hyabusa and trash it within the 1st week. The less of them fugly things on the road the better.
As for getting a BB as your 1st bike.....I got one as my 1st bike after many years away from biking. Some will say it was an insane choice if bike after 30 years out if the saddle.
Even though I was quite apprehensive as the week progressed b4 picking her up, I joined the forum and sought as much info about the bike and it's capabilities b4 the big day.
Consensus of opinion was as stated in these previous posts.
She's heavy. Bloody heavy.
I never, ever move her unless I'm astride her.
At low speeds (5-10mph) even slight undulations in the road want to topple her.
Up to 5k revs she's got all the power most riders will ever need in every day riding situations.
Once you hit the power band however she changes from a disabled child's pony to an untamed wild mustang.
It's a jet afterburner switch.
The front wheel will head skyward in 4 out of the 6 gears with no clutch assist.
3 figure speeds will appear in a few short seconds.
Keep accelerating and the horizon is now disappearing into the mirrors.
You have to cope with this and still be able to concentrate on the road ahead and all the skills and defensive riding training you learned over the years come to the fore.....oh wait. ....you haven't got any skills......
Get a Hyabusa and trash it within the 1st week. The less of them fugly things on the road the better.


"The Lunatics have Taken over the Asylum"
 

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Sorry, I'm a little late to the party. As ReefDiver said, ANY bike can kill you just as quick as another.

Do I think a XX is a good first bike? heck no! Scooters don't have gears or clutches.

IF (mighty big word) you know how to use all the controls of a bike the XX is an excellent bike if you have the size and strength for her.

The XX has a much more palatable power delivery than ANY 600 I've ever been on other than a katana. Don't let these guys fool you, EVERYTHING they love about the Bird is what makes it beginner/ novice friendly. Very predictable clutch, linear power delivery, good brakes (but not so powerful they will kill you if you aren't a track star). That doesn't mean she's weak by any means. I know you said you watched some videos. If they were mine you would have seen anything from how easy the power delivery was cruising to the front tire still off the ground well past 100mph with me kissing the headlight on nothing but pure power.

The truth is, no one here can tell you if any bike will work for you. We don't have any idea how you are going to control the throttle or dozens of other things that make for a successful ride.

TM45;372681 Is it really twitchy on the throttle? [/QUOTE said:
No, the throttle is not twitchy at all. It does EXACTLY what you tell it to, when you tell it. A big bore 2 stroke is "twitchy", an R1 is what most would call twitchy. weak... weak.... weak... BOOM!!!! (around 8k rpm). The XX is more like power.... Power...... POWER........ more POWER......Oh S*!!! how fast was going?
 

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We'll see. There's a bike club near by and couple of guys have nice BB's, I'll try to get in contact and see if they can give me some of their wisdom on this topic. But it just boils down to simple fact that I see myself traveling on that bike going across Europe, loaded up and gliding down the local roads soaking in the scenery.
Even better, ask one of the club guys if you can actually sit on one of theirs. Especially one with a full tank of fuel. One thing most people agree on is that the bike is heavy. And with full fuel, the c of g is quite high. No amount of forum advice or even listening to people talk can tell you what it actually feels like. Even standing still, you'll get a pretty good idea of the size and weight, when it starts to go and what you can do to stop it. Standing still or paddling around is when it's at its most intimidating... and most likely to come down in a crunching, expensive, embarrassing and possibly painful tip-over.

It's like anything - best to try before you buy. You'll know!
 
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