Motorcycle Forum banner

1 - 20 of 21 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, I’m 21 and my father recently passed away. I inherited his Kawasaki zx12r made in 2000.
I always was interested in riding motorcycles, and have never been a person who just rides or drives anything at careless speed. That being said my father as well as other people have always told me that it wouldn’t be a good idea to start by riding such a large bike. It’s one of the better memories I have of my father so I don’t want to sell it, but if I have to buy another bike just in order to be prepared for it then I’d probably have it sitting for another few years. Would I be out of my mind riding that bike or could I be fine with the right precautions?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,661 Posts
Many places that offer rider safety training also have smaller bikes you can use, in the 250cc range. I wholly recommend one or more of these courses for the beginner, especially if you can use one of their bikes. You never know, you may dislike riding, and sell his bike anyway.
 

·
Secret Agent
2006 Honda CBR1000RR, 2008 Honda CRF230L, 2019 Honda CRF1000L
Joined
·
3,667 Posts
Welcome from Kansas! What offcenter said, start on something smaller, keep your dad's bike.
 

·
Retired twice: Navy and as a govt contractor
Joined
·
14,578 Posts
#3 on what offcenter said. the the rider's course, buy a smaller bike, hone your skills and then move up to dad's bike.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,378 Posts
l also agree with what Offcenter said. Keep your dad's bike and get something smaller. That bike will get really dangerous in a hurry with the wrong rider on it. And, while I am sure you are mature and responsible, if you get a hold of too much throttle it's ON RIGHT NOW.

There's this old saying...it's funner to ride a slow bike fast than a fast bike slow. Start with that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
754 Posts
First, I will agree with @Offcenter and others who also agree. I would also like to add some info and my opinion.

The ZX12r, when kept below 5K rpm is a docile and well behaving hyperbike. It should be a joy to ride around town, on the highway, and in the country. Here is the problem, when we crack the throttle above the 5K rpm point (in any gear), it isn't just a rocket, it's a missile. As others pointed out, it can get away from us very quickly, even experienced riders, so quick we may not be able to back off the throttle in time to avoid a tragedy. It can happen in milli seconds. When experienced riders suggest starting on a smaller bike to gain some riding experience, they are usually talking about something in the 25-50 hp range. The ZX12r has over 3 times that horse power and lots of torque to go with it.

If you are disciplined, it should not take long before you can better adapt to your dad's ZX12r. As suggested, start with the MSF Basic Riders Course, pickup a used (good condition) bike say 600cc or less (preferably less). Study, learn and ride lots. Take an advanced class maybe on your small bike. Along the way you will have a better idea when you may be ready to ride your dad's heritage bike. And, I'm sure you will enjoy and respect it much more. If you are serious and really put forth the effort to learn, and you like it, it probably will not be 2 years. But everyone progresses at a different pace. Learn not to go beyond your limit. Good Luck, get a starter bike, get riding gear, get training, you are going to have fun and enjoy the ride (pun intended).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
429 Posts
So... I inherited his Kawasaki zx12r made in 2000... Would I be out of my mind riding that bike or could I be fine with the right precautions?
Usually I'm one of the few who suggest larger bikes for new, but disciplined riders. BUT in this case I agree with the rest... a ZX12 is just way too much to try to try to tame right out of the box.

MSF course, and then at least 2000-5000 miles on something in the 35-60hp range, then (if one can afford the insurance) you have dessert waiting for you in the garage. But a machine capable of ten second quarter miles (probably only in 3rd or 4th gear) and top speeds triple most legal limits needs someone with very practiced hand-eye coordination -- that's a machine that some experienced riders could pass up... take it easy, do your homework and you'll have a real treat awaiting you.
 

·
Registered
2016 Honda Rebel 250
Joined
·
68 Posts
I agree with all the others. Take the MSF rider training courses in your state. Take beginner and advanced course 4 to 6 months apart so you'll have enough road miles experience to get full benefit from the advanced course. Taking the state-approved MSF beginner class can often be done at a discount in Oct-Feb because so few people take it then. Smaller class sizes too. And the MSF beginner course may pay for itself: Some insurance companies will give you a discount on your liability insurance and some states that require a motorcycle endorsement on your driver's license don't require you to do a road test if you've had the MSF beginner course. Here in Texas, that last item is huge because you're required to get your bike to the DMV without riding it (because you don't have a motorcycle license yet) and you have to provide a car and driver so the official grading the road test can follow you around while you're doing the road test.

As for you father's bike, it's like all the others said: It's like the difference between a powerful but docile horse vs an equally strong but skittish race horse that doesn't want to amble along at a slow trot. So I agree with the advice to buy a good used bike that you can get a year or so of experience on (call it 5,000-10,000 miles in various weather and riding conditions).

Look for a bike that looks like the owner took good care of it and take good care of it yourself to maintain its resale value. 200-300 cc is big enough since you're going to resell it after you have enough experience to ride your father's bike. My Honda Rebel 250 goes from 0-65 plenty fast enough for around town riding and bikes that size are often available used because many riders move up to a bigger bike after a couple of years. Avoid bikes of whatever size that look like a crotch rocket if you can. They're more likely to have been abused by the previous owner pushing the bike too hard while trying to show everybody how fast he is. Also, if possible, avoid bikes where the seat is so high that you can't put both feet, or at least the toes of both feet, on the ground at the same time. Having to slide your butt way over and stretch to put your foot on the ground at a traffic light gets old real quick.

If you feel up to it, do as much of your own maintenance as you can on your starter bike. At the very least learn how to adjust the chain, adjust the brakes, change the oil, change spark plugs and that sort of thing. If you make a mistake, you want it to happen on the starter bike, not your father's pride and joy.

Speaking of which, motorcycles don't like being left idle for a long time. So crank up your father's bike now and then to keep the innards lubricated. Roll it back and forth in your garage and mash the brake levers a few times to keep everything loose and lubricated. Maybe add Sta-bil fuel stabilizer to a full tank of fresh gas. Hook a low-power motorcycle battery charger to it every so often to keep the battery charged, but don't over do it.

Now for my own "been there done that" newbie story. It was a nice but overcast day and I was on a 45 mph four lane street. It started to sprinkle, but not enough to be annoying. A few minutes later I got caught by a red traffic light. After coming to a gentle stop on the right hand side of my lane I put my left foot down and promptly fell over. That gentle drizzle mixing with the oil in the center of that lane had made it so slick I didn't have time enough to react to my foot sliding and I was too far off balance to keep from falling over even if I'd had more time to react. There's nothing quite like falling over while standing still, especially in front of a bunch of car drivers.
 

·
American Legion Rider & sub-Administrator
Joined
·
24,243 Posts
WELCOME ON BOARD, and...

We are friendly site here. Well, most of us😁

And thanks for the introduction. We all appreciate it.
 

·
Visionary
Joined
·
4,782 Posts
So sorry about your dad. Take the advice of others here, put some Stabil in the fuel tank of that ZX-12, fill it to the top, run the engine for about 15 minutes to get it through the system (unless you know someone who rides regularly that you trust to take it for a 15 minute ride, that would be even better), then park it for a year or so until your ready for it. Buy the small starter bike, learn to ride safely, then you will be ready to carefully move on to your dad's bike. Keep that bike forever, whether you ride it or not, you'll regret if you ever sell it.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Retired Guy

·
Registered
2016 Honda Rebel 250
Joined
·
68 Posts
And don't take advice from people who say "You'll never be sure how fast you can go around a corner unless you fall down doing it." ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
So, I’m 21 and my father recently passed away. I inherited his Kawasaki zx12r made in 2000.
I always was interested in riding motorcycles, and have never been a person who just rides or drives anything at careless speed. That being said my father as well as other people have always told me that it wouldn’t be a good idea to start by riding such a large bike. It’s one of the better memories I have of my father so I don’t want to sell it, but if I have to buy another bike just in order to be prepared for it then I’d probably have it sitting for another few years. Would I be out of my mind riding that bike or could I be fine with the right precautions?
Sorry about to hear about your dad mine passed a couple months ago and take a riders course its the best way to learn start small then work your way up..be safe not sorry!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
162 Posts
So, I’m 21 and my father recently passed away. I inherited his Kawasaki zx12r made in 2000.
I always was interested in riding motorcycles, and have never been a person who just rides or drives anything at careless speed. That being said my father as well as other people have always told me that it wouldn’t be a good idea to start by riding such a large bike. It’s one of the better memories I have of my father so I don’t want to sell it, but if I have to buy another bike just in order to be prepared for it then I’d probably have it sitting for another few years. Would I be out of my mind riding that bike or could I be fine with the right precautions?

The FIRST thing you should do is take the Motorcycle Safety Foundation course. There may be other State run courses similar. Highway Patrol, Sheriff's dept., etc. They will teach you more than you could learn on your own in a year or two. Mostly, how not to get into accidents.

The SECOND thing to do is remember the bike has more experience than you do. In other words, don't be afraid or embarrassed to ride the bike gently. Any idiot can turn a throttle, it's what happens after that, that make for disasters.
 

·
Secret Agent
2006 Honda CBR1000RR, 2008 Honda CRF230L, 2019 Honda CRF1000L
Joined
·
3,667 Posts
You can intend to ride that bike as gentle as a flower peddle, but if you were to hit a bump and inadvertently bump the throttle just a tiny bit, it could quickly turn in to a big twist just trying to hang on or reposition. Things can go sideways extremely fast on a bike like that, no matter how much experience that bike has, cause the only thing it knows is to take input from the rider.
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
Top