I have almost half a season of riding under my belt – and not a ton of miles at that yet. I took the MSF last summer and did pretty well and got my M classification after the MSF test. I then bought the above bike (sv650 2k7). I has a GSXR shock and a few extras (bar extenders), etc. At first I rode only the area around my house and one cold morning in March I put it down in a corner (cold tires maybe), but I wasn’t leaned over that far. Probably just me getting target fixated and grabbing too much front brake in some gravel.
So I took thing more gently at first – which probably didn’t help get miles under me. I am mostly into commuting – ATGATT and all that. Recently I have been forcing myself to go onto more and more major roads, going further and further – which has helped me more than anything. Miles. Getting someone behind you. Taking off in first gear from a stop at lights and intersections. I still stall occasionally, but I’m getting better.
Is a 600+ cc bike a good beginner bike? For me I think yes. It has oodles of power and the v-twin is torquey in lower gear, but that keeps me honest. If I had a 250 Ninja or something like that I might be tearing around quicker and get myself into trouble. With my bike I respect it… and I am learning to be able to feather the throttle, my shifting is getting nice and smooth (even blipping is working most of the time on down shifts). The sv650 has crazy engine breaking, so I have to get used to the idea of either downshifting later and easing/braking to stop signs, or maybe just stay in gear and ease that brake with the clutch held in and downshift all the way from whatever gear I’m in as I approach.
If you’re smart, a 600+ cc is awesome. When I want to get up and go, there isn’t much problem. It has all I need for now. Perhaps an upgrade in the future, but this thing is awesome for getting around and commuting, riding for fun, etc. It’s a little small looking (I am about 6 feet tall) and I wonder if I look too big for it, but who cares. It’s mad fun, I’m having a blast while respecting all the power sitting under me, and I am riding longer and harder which in turn is building confidence, skill, and endurance.
One thing I’ve just started to overcome is an intersection near our house. It’s pretty busy and the traffic motors along at around 40mph. There is a slight incline at the stop. So normally I pull up to this intersection (stop sign for me to get on) and there is generally someone behind me. Because of the incline I have stalled the bike a few times there – and given the rate of speed I have to pull onto, if I do this without enough cushion and don’t get going, I could get spanked. It makes things a little more stressed because of that – and that incline means I have to punch the gas a bit more than usual for the same results. So instead of letting out the clutch and giving gas at the same time, there I give it some gas with the clutch disengaged and then slowly let the throttle out. This generally means I pull out smoothly without stalling and get up and out of first gear a lot sooner (the sooner the better). I think I just need to take that approach all the time because it works for me… and it’s what I did in MSF when in line, etc.