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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I started riding in mid June, but since then I've put on 2700 plus miles. Still a novice I suppose, but certainly far better than when I started. I'm a lot more confident now - I no longer fear the rain, I am learning the limits of my lean angle, and slow speed, tight maneuvers come naturally now - if I can find two adjacent parking spaces, I'll pull in, make a tight U-turn, and end up parked front end out and ready with room to spare. No duck walking for me!

To be fair, I'm on a BMW G310R, it's a light, easy bike to sling around. I specifically got it as a starter/learner.

That said, after long stretches of empty highway with a headwind, I have felt the desire to have a bit more power. Sustained riding at over 7000 RPM isn't as fun or relaxing as it sounds. I'm not looking to break records, but to have something that would make long distance trips a bit more comfortable. So I'm already thinking of a second bike - either replacing the first one entirely, or supplementing it. I do like BMW, so maybe an R1200GS or the new F750GS when it comes out, but those are both considerably heavier than what I have now. Certainly not opposed to other brands, though that's not the topic.

I hear the techniques learned on a small bike will translate to a big bike, but is that truly the case? What other unexpected adjustments does one have to make when going to a bigger bike, and is there a general guideline as to when it's appropriate for a safety conscious rider to do so? How can one train for it in the meantime?

If it matters, I'm fairly short - 5'7" with a 30" inseam. I can double flat foot on my G310R, though in practice, I always stop with my right foot covering the brake and my left foot down the moment I stop moving.
 

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Riding techniques will generally be the same. Slow speed turns will require more counterbalance to offset the motorcycle weight. More finesse will be needed with the throttle, clutch, and brakes since they will be less forgiving.

Practice is the only way I can think of to train on a different motorcycle.
 

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I started riding in mid June, but since then I've put on 2700 plus miles. Still a novice I suppose, but certainly far better than when I started. I'm a lot more confident now - I no longer fear the rain, I am learning the limits of my lean angle, and slow speed, tight maneuvers come naturally now - if I can find two adjacent parking spaces, I'll pull in, make a tight U-turn, and end up parked front end out and ready with room to spare. No duck walking for me!

To be fair, I'm on a BMW G310R, it's a light, easy bike to sling around. I specifically got it as a starter/learner.

That said, after long stretches of empty highway with a headwind, I have felt the desire to have a bit more power. Sustained riding at over 7000 RPM isn't as fun or relaxing as it sounds. I'm not looking to break records, but to have something that would make long distance trips a bit more comfortable. So I'm already thinking of a second bike - either replacing the first one entirely, or supplementing it. I do like BMW, so maybe an R1200GS or the new F750GS when it comes out, but those are both considerably heavier than what I have now. Certainly not opposed to other brands, though that's not the topic.

I hear the techniques learned on a small bike will translate to a big bike, but is that truly the case? What other unexpected adjustments does one have to make when going to a bigger bike, and is there a general guideline as to when it's appropriate for a safety conscious rider to do so? How can one train for it in the meantime?

If it matters, I'm fairly short - 5'7" with a 30" inseam. I can double flat foot on my G310R, though in practice, I always stop with my right foot covering the brake and my left foot down the moment I stop moving.
I felt similarly when I started on my Ninja 300 last year. After a few thousand miles it seemed like I had begun to outgrow the bike and after a little over 6000 miles on it, I upgraded to a 600 F4i. Big difference everywhere! From stopping power to weight difference to acceleration, I felt like a total noob all over again...

Technique is transferable, just give yourself time and room for another learning curve. Inertia had me thinking "Man, this thing is ponderous!", particularly at low speed. As with most things, practice bred familiarity and small changes in technique allowed me to push past my comfort zone, a little at a time. Keep up the good riding habits and you should do just fine!
 

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Take extra care when learning to ride a second motorcycle. Statistics show that is the most common time for a rider to become involved in a crash, even more than when first starting to ride. The comfort and confidence level is high, and an unfamiliar and probably more powerful motorcycle is involved. Don't let your risk level overtake your skill level.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Sounds like the common theme here is a new learning curve. Probably feels familiar but also alien, and easy to be overwhelmed if you're not careful.

How long did it take you to get comfortable when moving up?

Sent from my Moto Z (2) using Tapatalk
 

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You have to be good on a smaller bike doing tight turns u-turns if u can't do them well on a smaller bike,
gonna be harder on a larger heavier bike but get those skills down good, then going to a bigger bike will be easier,
not just me saying that but there was a fair difference going from a 1200 sporty to a wide glide. Motorman Jerry
Palladino of 'Ride like a pro' will tell you the same thing.
 

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Dods is right.

You're used to gasing it and going X amount of MPH.
You'll likely gas it on the bigger bike only to realize you're going much faster than you expected.

I've been riding fast bikes for ever but the first time I had to test ride a Busa and needed to be sure the suspension repairs were okay... I ran it up to about 100 MPH to hit a few bumps.
Looked down at the speedo, 150 MPH! ... Moral of the story. Proceed with caution.
 

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Take extra care when learning to ride a second motorcycle. Statistics show that is the most common time for a rider to become involved in a crash, even more than when first starting to ride. The comfort and confidence level is high, and an unfamiliar and probably more powerful motorcycle is involved. Don't let your risk level overtake your skill level.
Sounds like the common theme here is a new learning curve. Probably feels familiar but also alien, and easy to be overwhelmed if you're not careful.

How long did it take you to get comfortable when moving up?

Sent from my Moto Z (2) using Tapatalk
What Dods says goes for anyone moving to a different bike. So a new rider stepping up it's a double whammy. But even the most experienced needs to take it very easy those first 1 -2k miles. For some that could be a whole riding season. All depends on how often and how long you ride. But remember, it takes very little skill to ride at 70mph in a straight line like on the freeway. It is slow moving traffic and parking lots, slow maneuvering skills, and cornering that get people into trouble. Take it easy and practice the slow stuff, how fast you come into corners and you'll be fine. Learning your new balance points the key. Other than that the only other thing you'll notice is the smile is just a little wider and stays just a little longer.:wink2:
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Funny enough, while running some errands, I decided to stop by another BMW dealership just to see how it would feel to sit on bigger bikes, mainly the R1200GS.

I'm on my toes if I want both feet down, but it was surprisingly comfortable, and I normally only put one foot down when stopped regardless. Heavy, but not hard to move, just have to think farther ahead than usual.

Test rode it - started by getting used to the clutch and throttle, figuring out that friction zone around the dealer parking lot. While my maneuvering was not quite as tight as I can do on my G310R, I was surprised by how capable that monster was. Much easier than I expected.

Lots of power, even down low. I'm used to shifting all the way up just to go to the grocery store down the road, with this bike I could conceivably cruise around town all day and never shift above 2nd. Definitely have to be careful, especially when stopping - lots more inertia. Felt like I did when I first got my small bike as a complete newbie.

It was nice to have that initial taste of a big bike though. I want at least a few thousand more miles on my learner, but I have a tangible goal to work towards.

Sent from my Moto Z (2) using Tapatalk
 

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I just stepped up to a 2000 BMW R1100RT along with a Suzuki GS1100E. Both are different and require a lot of attention to the differences. The Suzuki is great to run errands around town but the BMW is much better on the road. I spent a lot of time on dirt bikes before making the step to road. I would say the dirt bike is a great way to learn the balance needed for street. Not the same but it is still helpful.
 

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@1Adam12 since you like BMW, give the R9T a try. It weighs 100 pounds less than the R1200GS.

It is a lot of fun without all the bulk of the GS.

Edit: You asked, "What changes when you move up to a bigger bike?" You've got to work harder to resist temptation.

When I moved from my Harley to my Beemer I gained 100 horsepower and lost 300 pounds.

A few weeks after the switch some guy in a big block Chevelle was revving up and gave me "the nod". Haha! He quickly disappeared in my mirrors.
 

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@1Adam12 since you like BMW, give the R9T a try. It weighs 100 pounds less than the R1200GS.

It is a lot of fun without all the bulk of the GS.

Edit: You asked, "What changes when you move up to a bigger bike?" You've got to work harder to resist temptation.

When I moved from my Harley to my Beemer I gained 100 horsepower and lost 300 pounds.

A few weeks after the switch some guy in a big block Chevelle was revving up and gave me "the nod". Haha! He quickly disappeared in my mirrors.
That is one very true statement. Even at my age that twist of the throttle is oh so tempting. Even 85mph speed limits just aren't enough sometimes. So be very cautious when you do get the power. Staying with your learner bike is a wise move. Far too many step up well before they should. These smaller bikes teach you a lot when you get the max out of them.:thumbsup:
 

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Oh oh I am actually in the same position as you! Officially licensed as of the first couple days of June and started on small bikes (a Rebel 250 twin and a Blast 500 single). A couple weeks ago I sold both the Rebel and the Blast and got much much larger.

While the small bikes help prepare you for bigger bike, Dodsfall is so right. You may be a decent and confident rider, but the unfamiliarity with your new bike and its dynamics can kill you.

And depending on the type of bike you go for, you have to take even extra care. The replacement for the Rebel is a Suzuki GS850G and the Blast was replaced with a Honda GL1100. These bikes are more than double the power, double the weight, and not nearly as nimble (and that's not even accounting for the fact that UJMs weren't exactly known for being corner carvers, either lol).



Take your time and you should be fine. Don't let your confidence outrun your skill. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Great responses here. I've always been a cautious rider, probably more so than most - I work in law enforcement and have covered numerous motorcycle crashes. I've seen what happens with overconfidence and lack of proper technique, and have no desire to join them. Applied the same philosophy about driving cars to riding motorcycles: you don't actually have X years of driving experience, you have only 1 year of driving experience repeated X times. The only way to get better is to continue learning and always be mindful of your limitations.

I'm more than happy to ride at a relaxed, easy pace, and just enjoy the journey. So, whenever the time comes and a good deal rolls along (especially as the R1250's come out), I'll see about that R1200GS if I can find one in the color I like. I may just keep the G310R, because it's so much fun, and nice for quick errands.

Or who knows, maybe the new F750GS, which is shorter in the saddle (nice for me) and in my opinion, has a much nicer exhaust note than the R1200GS.
 

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Three bikes ago I had a Suzuki SV650. I wanted something that was better for the road and that was comfortable for more than an hour. I had always loved the old Yamaha FJ1200's, so I bought one. The differences were night and day. While the FJ had this awesome, torquey motor, everything happened much slower at first. The SV was like the quick little 150 pound kick returner, while the FJ was like a big, tall receiver that starts out slow but breaks away with a big, long stride.

Most noticeable was the FJ and how heavy it was to maneuver at 5mph around parking lots and such. I couldn't flick it around through city traffic like the SV. Braking wasn't as immediate.

If you use your bike to ride to work in urban traffic, I think you will miss your little bike more than you think you might. While I have never personally had two bikes at the same time, I am a strong advocate of the idea ;)
 

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What happens when you move up to a bigger bike????? This :grin: becomes much larger, especially if the bigger bike has some testicles:surprise:

I, like most that I know started out 'Small' mainly because of the expense and at the time you truly did 'meet the nicest people on a Honda!' :wink2:

Fast bikes like my past V-max, Bandit 1200S, Ducati's or my Buell 1125R Superbike, quickly teach you one truth: Things happen very QUICKLY when the throttle is turned, even a LITTLE:smile_big:

150-160 mph, yeah I've been there many times and on those bikes, they weren't even out of 4th gear:surprise:

I do think it wiser to really think about the power and speed of the next bike you get and be careful with your right wrist as my Daddy used to tell me:surprise:

Sam:nerd:
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Well, I did end up buying a second bike. I now have a Triumph Tiger 800 XRX. 800 cc engine, and a lot more power than my G310R. Honestly, I may never even go for a bigger engine than 800, it'll make any speed limit in America comfortably. I could probably sit on this thing all day and not feel sore, even in wind.

But, it's a lot heavier. Lots more momentum. I honestly feel like a total novice again, like I did when I bought my first bike. Just like the first, I plan on keeping it local for a while - staying away from unfamiliar routes, just riding around the neighborhood a bit to get used to it. Over time I can move up to more challenging roads until the Tiger feels natural.

I'm keeping my G310R as well, for short local trips and practice. I intend on taking some advanced rider courses, and while I'm sure I'd get value in taking the Tiger, I'd rather take a small 5000 dollar bike versus the big one. It looks so small and cute next to the Tiger, but I think there's a lot of value in a small 300 cc thumper. Both bikes complement each other well, and are strong in ways the other might not be.
 

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Look at you all grown up now :) Like you said it is an entirely new feeling. Take your time and learn the bike, it will pay off in the long run.


PS. Does make the beemer look small
 

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Congratulations!!!! Now you're all covered!!! Although it sure would be nice to have a cruiser for long trips...look at that empty garage just waiting to be filled up ;)
 
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