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F4 i for a starter?

Old 03-20-2012, 08:22 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2012
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Default F4 i for a starter?

Hey guys, figured id pop in and ask you guy's opinion on this. I'm 17 and wanting to pick up a crotch rocket and have always loved hondas. I was originally looking at 250s but unless i import one i'd have to buy it brand new basically. So I noticed that I was seeing 2001-03 600s for around 3 grand. My thought on this was economically it makes a lot more sense and as long as I respect the bike and don't push it I would be alright. Any arguments against or for this? Any advice as far as buying riding or anything else concerning me getting a bike? Thanks guys for anything you can tell me.
Old 03-20-2012, 09:58 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 169

Its a good bike and it can be very forgiving. It has very good power yet it wont thrash you like 1000 will. I bought my F4i when i was 20 years old (First bike) and I've had no accidents in the 5 years I've owned it. However, I must say, its extremely easy to lift up the front wheel so you'll definitely have to control the throttle at all times. Have you taken the MSF course?
Old 03-20-2012, 10:38 PM
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Location: Milwaukee
Posts: 3,002

They're acceptable starter bikes, but they are not as forgiving as something more basic like a Suzuki SV650, Honda Shadow, that kind of thing.

I started on my F4i after taking the MSF class and had no problems. As long as your head is on straight, it's a fine starter bike.

By the way, this has been covered countless times. Search this forum and you'll find a lot of threads with a lot of opinions.
Old 03-20-2012, 10:50 PM
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: San Diego Area
Posts: 57

Same here, I took the MSF, bought all the gear, and then looked for an f4i specifically because I felt I was responsible enough, it was slightly less aggressive seating stance than a RR, but I still wanted that nice full fairing sport bike look. I've put 16k miles on the bike so far, and Aken is right, as long as you have a level head on your shoulders you should be okay. If this is your first bike, I don't suggest you buy new... anything, you will drop it, that's almost a fact. Respect the machine and you'll be alright.
Old 03-21-2012, 10:00 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Fargo, ND
Posts: 76

bought my F4i for my starter bike... had only driven a motorcycle once before in my life and it was a POS enduro. just take it easy. soo glad i got this bike its perfect for what i need. just remember wear your protective gear (i know i sound like your mom now but seriously) it saved my life.
Old 03-21-2012, 11:24 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 430

I don't know man, being 17 and thinking how I was then it would have been bad if I had a 600cc sport bike. They are good bikes no doubt about that, but you may want to get a ninja 250 or some other small bike to begin with. You're going to drop it so better to learn on a cheaper and lighter bike then sell that and step up to the f4i or other 600cc bike.
Old 03-21-2012, 11:55 AM
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Location: Brooklyn
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There is no way an inline 4 supersport is a good first street bike, even if you have A LOT of dirt bike experience. If you don't have that experience, then it's an even worse idea, for these reasons:

1) a 600's nonlinear power means you need smooth throttle control. When the power comes on, it comes on hard and fast. Even something like hitting a pothole can cause your grip to shift and the bike to lurch forward, and you need to be able to handle that calmly. And the first time you get nervous in a corner and chop the throttle, you'll find out how suddenly loading the front tire when it's in a lean can cause it to wash out into a lowside and how easy it is to lock the rear tire with engine braking.
2) Its extreme steering angle and narrow clip-ons mean that small steering inputs have big effects.
3) It has very powerful brakes that require a gentle touch to avoid going into a skid or doing an unintentional endo.
4) That pretty plastic is expensive to repair when (not if) you drop the bike.

If you have your head on straight and don't get overly nervous, you can ride safely with an F4i as a first bike. However, if your goal is to become a good rider, and do more than just survive the experience, you will be slowing your learning process compared to beginning on a bike that will let you explore throttle, braking, lean angle, traction, etc. without dumping you on your *** the first time you overdo it. Being scared of the bike, or scared of the damage you might do to the bike, is not conducive to learning how to ride.

It's been said many times before, but is worth repeating: this is your first bike, not your last. I understand that it's tempting when you see how much bike you can get for $3000 or less, but you won't be doing your riding career any favors. I've never heard of anyone who regretted starting out on a smaller bike.

Good luck and safe riding whatever your decision.

Last edited by Munson; 03-21-2012 at 12:21 PM.
Old 03-21-2012, 05:21 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 143

I agree with everything munson said. I started off on a 250cc hyosung, a chinese crotchrocket and I am very happy I did. Again if you are responsible an f4i is not bad at all. Its just that when you do messup, the end result is going to be a lot different than what would have happenned if you were on a 250. However if you see yourself as a lifetime rider and you want to have full control of a bike, a 250 will teach you things no other bike will be able to do so in a short amount of time!
Old 03-21-2012, 06:45 PM
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Location: Saint Paul Minnesota
Posts: 731

I agree with the guys above. This is not a good bike to start out with. Try something forgiving no matter what your experience with dirt bikes or any kind of bike at your age. 600's are not forgiving like a smaller bike will be. Even in the MSF class they teach you smaller bikes since they are forgiving.
Old 03-21-2012, 07:08 PM
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Toronto, ON
Posts: 58

lol wish I had a nickel for every '600cc vs 250cc as first bike' thread I've ever read.

Munson's got some great points and I'm certainly not gonna argue against the wisdom of starting off on a 250, especially at 17 years old.

Buuut, I started out on the F4i and have found it to be a fantastic bike to learn on! It is very easy to ride and build confidence with. Everyone is different so know your limits and be responsible (which I think applies to any bike regardless of displacement). I'll "officially" recommend a 250 but, if you've got the maturity and confidence in your own learning ability, then go for it!

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