There seems to be a stigma here in the US that bigger is better. I’ve noticed it all over and I see it’s prevalent within the biker community when it comes to engine ccs. Today I’d like to salute a fellow lady rider and her Ninja 300 because I feel that smaller bikes and their riders are way under appreciated and grossly underestimated. Not only is Annette Carrion a total bad ass ripping it around the track, but I bet she could put a lot of larger cc street riders to shame. Usually what you lack in power on a smaller bike you can make up in skills and ability. (There are limitations of course, but that’s not the point here.)
There is no shame in riding a smaller cc bike, which is why I wanted to put a few words to paper about it. As someone who started out on a cbr250r I can tell you I’ve run into my fair share of thickheaded and ego centric silly commentary about how I should upgrade to an “adult” bike. I can’t tell you how frustrating dealing with such closed minds it is, but above all it’s sad. In this predominantly wonderful community that we bikers have created, it’s very disheartening when I come across a rider bashing other riders for their choice in bike and/or engine cc size. To me personally these riders have obviously missed the whole point of what it is to ride a motorcycle.
But moving on to the more important facts; starting out on a smaller cc bike has it’s advantages. It teaches you stability, technique and lets you work your way up in a comfort zone which then lets you push that bike to it’s max. I’ve had several track instructors tell me that the smaller cc bikes allow you to control them and not the other way around. Many people that start on a larger bike with no previous 2wheel experience tend to have a slightly harder time getting more comfortable with their machine. Of course this is not written in stone. However I promise you that it is easier and you’ll progress faster when you start smaller. Reason for this is that the little bikes are much more forgiving when human error is concerned. This becomes a key factor especially for inexperienced riders. On top of learning the bike’s controls and figuring out the clutch, you have to pay attention to road conditions, traffic, a constant onslaught of obstacles and cornering technique. All this can be a bit much for a first time rider, and remember one mistake in any of those instances can be detrimental.
The bike doesn’t make the woman/man, it’s how you use it.
Remember, anybody can ride a liter bike around some city streets. As I’ve learned it’s not hard bc the larger bikes practically ride themselves. But to truly know your machine and push it to it’s limits is a whole new story and brings about a sensational passion only skilled riders know. Remember, bragging rights only matter at the coffee shop, in other words, if you can’t put your money where your mouth is then even your liter bike won’t save face. And hauling down the highway at 150mph requires no skill at all, anyone can weave in and out of traffic. With that said there’s absolutely nothing wrong with wanting and owning a liter bike, hell, I myself covet hubby’s zx10r. However, when choosing your motorcycle think about your current skill level and what purpose your bike will serve. Just remember that the bike doesn’t make the woman/man, it’s how you use it. So I encourage all riders to get comfortable with their machines and not worry so much on how fast it goes and what the top speed is. And above all else, enjoy the ride because that’s the ONLY thing that should matter 🙂