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Old 01-15-2013, 02:14 PM   #5869
Studly Adventurer
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Joined: Jun 2010
Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada
Oddometer: 784
Originally Posted by NJ-Brett View Post
I never said its bad to ride a nice big bike, and I have had them, I have a problem with people thinking they NEED a big bike to do anything on.

Over and over I hear people say an 883 is too small to take on the hiway, or you need 80+ hp just to be safe riding, or a bike is a joke because it only has 40 hp and so on.

I am not very interested in reading about someone riding cross country on the latest BMW or big Harley, gold wing, etc, it happens every day. But when someone gets an old/small bike for $50.00 and does it, its interesting to me....
Well said NJ-Brett. Well said. Your first line appears to echo my experience completely. Granted - I have no issue with people riding any bike they wish. I love all bikes - big and small. Ride what you got. But I continue to read and hear so much bias against small displacement bikes - that it's both startling and disheartening at the same time. So many misconceptions. I posted to one forum recently that featured a review of the Ninja 300 that once again suggested small bikes are "dangerous" out on the highway because riders can't "accelerate hard at highway speeds to get out of danger". This comment is strange coming from any rider - but hearing it from motorcycle journalists is even more puzzling. And that nobody bothered to question it - unbelievable. Perhaps I'm an outlier, but I've never had to accelerate hard at highways speeds to get out of any vehicle I ever owned over 30 years. In fact, none of those vehicles could ever accomplish such acceleration anyway at highway speeds even if their life depended on it. I commented that if that is ever a requirement, then the rider has already made several gross tactical riding errors up to that point and would benefit by seriously re-thinking their approach to safe riding. Do larger displacement bikes lead to lazier planning - where the solution to a potentially dangerous situation is to simply "power" out of it? Perhaps small bikes force the rider to ride smarter. What seems strange too, is that if these small displacment bikes were so dangerous - I suspect that insurance rates for them would be out of reach. Alternatively, it might be more reasonable to suggest that large displacement and extremely overweight cruisers would likely be more dangerous in virtually any riding environment - perhaps particularly in the city - due to their relatively poor braking, weight, and compromised handling characteristics. Yet - I keep reading about how dangerous small displacment bikes can be, and not once have I ever read any mention about the relative dangers of riding a large, heavyweight bike in city traffic. Ever. Hmm...I wonder why?

I'm interested in riding smaller bikes and reading about other small displacement bike adventures - because I am enchanted with the notion of doing more with less. And for the most part - traveling long distances, and camping - all on a small bike aren't typically as easy to do compared to the same trek on a larger purpose-built touring cycle. This for me - makes the former more special. And yes - people who do this ARE heros to me. Because I know it isn't easy. It takes a lot of physical and mental fortitude. It takes lots of guts, determination, perseverance - fighting wind - the elements - on a bike that wasn't made for this - and didn't require you to re-mortgage your home before you saddled-up for the first time. Not everyone has what it takes or would even care to try it. This again - makes it special. Often in life it is the hardest challenges - you and your bike pushing each other to the limit, aiming for that seemingly unreachable goal - that makes the journey so worth while. Many riders have said to me that they would never even attempt to ride a small displacement bike cross-country. Some say it can't be done. Others have gotten angry and outright indignant at the very notion of doing so on something that doesn't coddle you and look "the part". Then some concede that their spirit of adventure could never surpass the pain, musicle stiffness, agony, and torment that would be an inevitable part of that experience. Once again - riding a small displacement bike in this way IS special. And for all the above reasons and many more - makes it uniquely interesting for those who have subscribed to this thread.


Nanabijou screwed with this post 01-15-2013 at 02:26 PM
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