No, electronics do not make it safe enough to buy a 1000cc superbike for your first motorcycle

The BMW S1000RR, and no it’s not my first bike (it’s my fourth)

We will never endorse anyone buying a 1000cc superbike as a first motorcycle, regardless of its electronic safeguards or the rider’s supposed “sensible” approach. This thread on a motorcycle forum is an example of the countless times I’ve seen someone buy such a motorycle as their first, shockingly accompanied by some members approving of the purchase. No, electronics do not make it safe enough to buy a 1000cc superbike for your first motorcycle

The temptation is real. Any new rider who likes sportbikes likely has a superbike in mind as their ideal motorcycle, but sometimes without knowing how much more difficult a 1000cc superbike is to handle compared to the bikes we do recommend for starters. Here are some of the factors involved:

  • Our brains tend to freeze in dangerous scenarios, often resulting in bad things for new motorcycle riders. New riders are still learning the simple basics of riding a motorcycle. Like this unfortunate person completely forgetting how to brake or let go of the throttle. There are no electronic controls to keep you from forgetting how to operate the motorcycle.
  • Superbikes have bad ergonomics for beginner motorcycle riders: the seat is high, your feet are high and behind you, and the bike is top-heavy. Your body is pitched forward with a lot of weight on your hands. They’re way too easy to tip over in parking lots (been there, done that) and it’s harder to just look around or check your blind spot.
  • If you play sports, you’ll understand that you don’t give expert level equipment to a beginner. Why? It’s unforgiving. You can’t make mistakes. You don’t even know how to use the damn thing right. Motorcycles are even worse in that respect, because a simple mistake can cost you your life, and even someone else’s in an accident.

What I’m saying is, for f***’s sake, no, electronics do not make it safe enough to buy a 1000cc superbike for your first motorcycle. Anti-lock brakes or traction control aren’t going to stop you from going 0-60 MPH in 3 seconds and then forgetting how to brake before slamming into a tree. Take a safety course and get yourself a Kawasaki Ninja 400, Yamaha R3 or MT-03, and start things off nice and slow.

Besides, every motorcycle rider changes bikes frequently. It’s one of the great things about riding – trading up and trying new and different bikes. The argument that you should buy a bike that “you can grow into” is ridiculous; it’s very easy to buy and sell motorcycles, and you’ll want to. One type of motorcycle is never enough.

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