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Discussion Starter #41
I'll try to get close to the bike before I consider going to actual process of hunting for it in the yellow pages. What a conundrum haha. One part of me wants the Blackbird and EOD, but then again there's this fear of bike going ballistic on inexperienced myself. Other part of me wants to get a 650cc thumper for starters..but the prices of that thumper (Strada) are more less similar to BB, maybe the difference is 500$ more-less depending where you look.

The warning messages are kind of overwhelming and I consider myself somewhat smart but I can't be that smart. Or maybe...like the saying goes...talent hits a target no one else can hit; genius hits a target no one else can see. Maybe my decision to hop from a moped to Blackbird is actually genius :) just kidding.

As I said...I'll try to get closer to Blackbird, maybe move around some bike club and fine one in the parking lot, talk to the owner. Mixed emotions! :)
 

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Ok I refrained from commenting, since everything has been said. I'll give my two cents anyway. According to me, in the end it comes down to three things.
Generally speaking you need
1. Talent
2. Self-control
In particular for the Bird you might want
3. Height

If you lack talent and/or self-control, you're not likely to be safe on any bike. If you have talent, it can make up for a lack of experience/skill, and paired with self-control you will be fine.
Personally speaking, I have a talent for vehicle control, no matter what the vehicle. I rode a moped in my teens (50cc with foot shift), went to cars and after many car miles on the road in all kinds of cars (I was a motoring journalist) I went for my motorcycle license and started with 850cc (Yamaha TRX 850). After a short time (too soon) I joined this club ride and joined the fast group. They and their bikes were simply too fast for me, and I soon gave up on trying to keep up with them, especially in corners.
After only two or three years of riding with very few miles a year, I quit riding and when I got back into it a year later I bought a Blackbird. The bike was being sold by a policeman and my test ride was in the pouring rain. I barely touched the throttle and I was very tense, but careful. I bought it and only explored the Birds true potential in the dry on empty straights. I still lack confidence and experience/skill in the twisties, so I know not to push my limits in corners. I would do a advanced rider course or track day before I'd be comfortable to try fast cornering on the public road. But I can't be bothered to learn (time & money) so I just enjoy blasting it on the straights and braking before the corner.
It is indeed a mighty heavy and large bike, it makes the TRX 850 (216 kg) feel like a moped. But I'm over 6"2 (83 kg) and my feet comfortable touch the ground when sitting on the Bird. I never attempt moving it while walking next to the bike, I'm pretty sure I'd drop it sooner or later, but I don't fully agree on it being a handful at low speeds. I haven't tried it on dirt roads though, but in Holland you never have to be on gravel with your streetbike, so we have it easy. Furthermore my comfort at low speeds probably has to do with my height and talent (I balance on my bicycle for fun and when I did a trials bike beginners training I also did pretty good). I don't doubt for a moment that someone shorter and with less 'bike feel' will struggle a lot with the Blackbird, that's why I agree with both sides of this debate.

But ask yourself, is there any harm in being patient, starting with a lighter/less insanely fast bike, selling it after a while and taking your time to find the perfect Bird? If I didn't ride mopeds or the TRX, I don't think I'd be able to enjoy the Bird like I do now. I even bought a CBR 400 RR at 61 hp & 180 kg to enjoy the handling and increase my confidence.
 

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As previously mentioned, I did buy a bird as my first bike, only 5 months passing my test. Do I regret it? Never. Is it top heavy? Not compared to the bikes the company I work for makes (Polaris ie Victory & Indian-420kgs with fuel). Bird's a moped compared to those.
It's all relative. I still maintain the Bird's as docile as you want it to be, though it's spec suggests otherwise.
ps I'm 6ft and 180lbs.
Ultimately it's your choice, I wouldn't let my son buy one because of its potential, but I wouldn't have done it any other way.
 

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Discussion Starter #44
But ask yourself, is there any harm in being patient, starting with a lighter/less insanely fast bike, selling it after a while and taking your time to find the perfect Bird? If I didn't ride mopeds or the TRX, I don't think I'd be able to enjoy the Bird like I do now. I even bought a CBR 400 RR at 61 hp & 180 kg to enjoy the handling and increase my confidence.
There's absolutely no rush.

I completely understand your story with throttling out on straights. Back in 05 when I was a young buck and got my first fast car, I jumped in that from a rusty hatchback that could barely reach 80mph.

I remember being completely baffled by the responsiveness in the curves, the amount of grip and stability, and most of all, the pull when going uphill and trying to overtake a truck. To be able to overtake an 18 wheeler on a uphill road was a whole new experience for me haha.

If I find a Blackbird for a really good price, I think I won't be able to hold back. If I find a good deal on a Strada thumper...I'll get that one.
 

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Just an opinion TM45 :)
but if you were my son or brother id say walk before you can run,off a scooter to Bird hmm :nono:.
Make all your mistakes get used to high speeds and braking distances on a mid sized bike 6 months to a year of experience on say a 600 would go a long way then move up.A a 600 will feel like a rocket ship compared to a scooter.
For all your size if you make a mistake slow speed maneuvering in a car park that will be your pride and joy on the floor.
Like I say just saying like :)
 

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Getting one of these for a first bike is a bad idea. Start on something smaller and get some skills. You can buy something like a Ninja 500, ride it for a year and sell it for about what you bought it for. You have no business being on something like a Blackbird for your first bike. Sure, some can handle it. Others will make a stupid mistake that could kill them when that wouldn't happen on a smaller bike. Smaller bikes are much, much more forgiving when a new rider makes mistakes.

I'm really surprised at the amount of bad advice in this thread.

If you want a recommendation for a bike, check out the DRZ400SM. They're stupid fun, not too powerful (35hp) and are very forgiving to mistakes. I've had a DRZ400SM and an XR650L I converted to an SM and they're a ton of fun. I still regret selling the XR.
 

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I'm really surprised at the amount of bad advice in this thread.
Yea I find it unbelievable as well... I participated in the California SuperBike School courses 3 years in a row and several more different riding schools and they would never allow an inexperienced rider to hop on a hypersport machine and take the courses with the others. The same mentality should be applied for the road as well. Dont risk your life and more importantly dont risk someone elses life with your lack of experience and choice of wrong motorbike. Get a 600-700cc actual "docile" bike. I dont think some of you know what docile actually means when it comes to motorbikes.
 

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There is a reason that in all of Europe there are rules for your motorcycle license. When you turn 18 you can get your A1 license, max 125cc and 11kW. When you've ridden for 2 years with A1, or when you are already 20, you can get A2, for a bike with max 35kW. When you turn 22 and have been riding A2 for two years, or when you are at least 24 without experience, you can get your full A license, with unlimited kW. For all of these licenses you need lessons on the road, 1 theory exam, 1 exam doing special maneuvers on a closed parking lot and 1 exam riding on the public road. After you pass all three exams, you are allowed to ride these categories.
So please take this into consideration when reading my opinion on the matter. The level of rider education is very high to begin with, at least in Holland. They don't allow silly young people who are likely to hurt themselves on fast bikes. If you are old enough and have proven you don't behave like an idiot, yes you can buy a Blackbird as a first bike, but you have shown some talent, skill and self-control. As I said, with these you will likely be all right.

If you are in some weird country where you can jump on a Blackbird as a 20 year old without training or experience, I agree with everyone who says it's a bad idea, potentially fatal. But our meddlesome government has already eliminated most of the risk and are forcing young people to take it slow and build up to a 'big' bike.

But this is what happens in reality. People like me don't want to spend the money on three (times three) category exams and ride around on a slow little bike for years. So we wait until we are old enough and take the proper training and start with a mature bike. I did not need a lot of lessons because I was experienced on a shift moped and I passed all my exams the first time. I was wise enough to start with a 850cc twinsport in stead of a superbike, but the choice of bike is not where most of our fatal accidents happen. They happen when so called experienced guys get on their bike (however fast) for the first time after winter (very few bikers ride during winter) and are rusty and overconfident and crash out of a corner into a tree. Again, a lack of self-control!
 

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Definate no from me.......the BB is a docile, gentle old thing or a heavy, unwieldy (and very fast) beast with a little twist of the throttle. Take it a step at a time and get something a little less hairy chested. When I ride a friends GS500 it feels nimble, fun, light and very manageable in comparison, it isn't fast but a lot less likely to catch you out which a Blackbird almost certainly will unless you can absolutely 100% without question ride it like a saint for quite some time........................which you won't!
 

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To clarify, the XX is NOT a hyper sport, period. Hyper sports are fast, violent and twitchy like an F-16 fighter. The XX is more like a Concorde, yes she's fast but she's gentle and comfortable. The XX is in a category so small it doesn't even have a mainstream name and occupied by less than a dozen bikes.

These guys sayings she's a hyper sport have obviously never hopped on a modern litter bike, pinned the throttle and controlled their speed the way those bikes were meant to be ridden (no less than 3/4 throttle controlling speed with gear selection).

If you are in some weird country where you can jump on a Blackbird as a 20 year old without training or experience, I agree with everyone who says it's a bad idea
It's perfectly legal here for a 15 year old to jump on anything (during day light, no major highways or passengers). I'd let my 16yo on one of my Birds if he wanted but he gives my 2 strokes h*** and the Bird is NOTHING compared to a motocross bike. My 17, about to be 18yo I wouldn't let on a 50cc scooter lol
 

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Discussion Starter #52
I do like we're having this discussion. Interesting to see how people think about these things. I know I may come off as trying to get someone to validate my "decision"...but it's not like that.

I value my life way more than I value any material object. I am aware of the risks involved in driving anything, not just bikes or Blackbird.

There's one thing that really made me reconsider it. All the things you guys said about the weight. I want to have my camera(s) on the bike and go places to see things I can't or just won't go with my car, because lately I find driving the car for tourist/sightseeing/traveling purposes completely cumbersome - you miss a road you have to maneuver it back, you see a interesting random byway but you can't just turn there because your car needs to slow down and find a place to turn around or go in reverse, etc etc etc after 100k+ miles of car driving I am officially tired of it. And I don't want to buy a new car.

But Blackbird being heavy as you said, seems like it might be problematic to me, although I do work out and with all respect, I think I'm in better shape than some BB riders I saw online, guys in their 50s and so, not trying to be mean just rational.

The 650cc thumper is a better choice for my first bike, I know. It's probably way more agile and I'll like it better getting acquainted with that kind of thing rather than having a Blackbird under my ass. We'll see.

I thought about buying a throttlemeister since it tightens the throttle, so if I put it on my Bird there won't be no fear of whiskey throttle unless I really want to project myself. Which I don't. I know it's useless to type those things over the forum but, I know myself, and there's not a fraction in me being anxious about testing out the Bird to see how fast she goes. I don't care. One day I'll test it out, but I'm completely indifferent to that side of the speedo.
 

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These guys sayings she's a hyper sport have obviously never hopped on a modern litter bike
What do you classify BB as? Sport touring?
 

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I thought about buying a throttlemeister since it tightens the throttle, so if I put it on my Bird there won't be no fear of whiskey throttle unless I really want to project myself.
no offense but that is a terrible idea. I have ridden bikes with throttles that don't return on their own. That can be downright dangerous for an experienced rider. They are ok for their intended purpose, roads where you will not be changing speeds and have plenty of time to disengage the unit.

One thing to keep in mind about the older guys you see on big bikes is that most have years or decades of experience. I'm not as "experienced" as a lot of these guys but have been riding for over 30 years. One thing we all have in common is that we have already "been there done that" and know what situations to avoid to keep us upright using our experience instead of strength.

I had a Gold Wing not long ago. the bike, my wife, me, gear (empty luggage) was well over 1000 pounds. That bike was much easier to deal with at parking lot speeds than the XX because it had a lower center of gravity. The XX is really no heavier than bikes most of us have owned before BUT it is extremely top heavy for a bike and that makes it feel a lot heavier than it actually is.
 

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What do you classify BB as? Sport touring?

I like to classify it as a GT (Grand Tourer) Sport machine. It has a big powerful engine, handles very good, comfortable, very stable, can cover vast distances in short periods of time and look good doing it!

To me the Blackbird is the two wheeled version of this car: Aston Martin | Vanquish | Overview


That's my story and I'm sticking to it. It's not the "Bullet train" it's the "Orient Express". Speed and comfort with lot's of style.
 

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I thought about buying a throttlemeister since it tightens the throttle, so if I put it on my Bird there won't be no fear of whiskey throttle unless I really want to project myself. Which I don't. I know it's useless to type those things over the forum but, I know myself, and there's not a fraction in me being anxious about testing out the Bird to see how fast she goes. I don't care. One day I'll test it out, but I'm completely indifferent to that side of the speedo.

I agree with you....I don't think the BB is the bike for you!! :nono:
 

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Discussion Starter #58
Well, you do have a quote from the bible in your sig adjusted for motorbike romanticism :) :) :)
 

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I do like we're having this discussion. Interesting to see how people think about these things. I know I may come off as trying to get someone to validate my "decision"...but it's not like that.

I value my life way more than I value any material object. I am aware of the risks involved in driving anything, not just bikes or Blackbird.
Well TM, looks like you raised a real shitstorm with this thread - way to go!:clap:

But...to summarize if I've understood the thread correctly:

- The older one gets..errr pardon me...the more "experienced" a rider is, the more they say don't get it; they're afraid you might drop the bike, hurt yourself, or someone else.:nono:

- Lot's of this:
:blahblah:
:blahblah:
:blahblah:
- And then of course - it's a little bit weighted up top :boobs: - nothing wrong there, most can figure out what to do with that.

So in the end - where does it all lead :shades:?

Well, - at least everyone agrees on one thing: take the appropriate bike training!
Do that and in the end, I hope you get bike you want and feel comfortable learning to get to know it.

Let us know what you decide - and post some pics when you get it!
:ttiwwp:
Cheers and good luck! :cheers:
 
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