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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
New to the forum, but I've been browsing through threads for a few months. Convinced the R3 is an awesome bike and the price is right. I was actually at a dealer last night ready to put pen to paper when I had a rush of doubt.

A little details about me: I'm 29 years of age but new to riding. I have taken the MSF course but have no other experience other than those 8-10 hours. I'm 6'', 200lbs, living in Los Angeles. I'd like to get into riding mostly for leisure, not as a primary form of transportation (I need my tools as an electrician), so mostly street riding to start and eventually building up to twisties and the necessary highways to get to them.

Now, friends and family have advised me to go 600cc, not only for the common reasons of quickly "outgrowing" a smaller bike but also from a highway safety point of view. A cousin with 10+ years experience urges me that I stay off the highway unless I have the power of a 600cc to escape dangerous situations. However, after reading plenty of opinions here about the decent highway handling of the R3, plus my primary use in mind, I decided I still wanted to start on an R3.

Last night, at the dealer, the salesman practically said I should't buy the R3. He claimed 10 years of riding experience and pursuaded me against a 300cc much like everyone else. Said he has had numerous people come back after a month or two with their R3's looking to trade them in, only to ride away dissatisfied with the trade in value. Good sales pitch to get me to buy a bigger bike at double the cost, right? But then, he actually suggested something that surprised me. He suggested I not buy new, and instead buy an older used bike until I felt comfortable getting a bigger bike.

Part of me still really wants that R3. I'm sure I'll enjoy it tons. But for how long? I like the position (work tires my back out often so I'm hesitant of say an R6 and that tuck), feel comfortable on the bike and love it's aggresive styling. Is it enough to keep me interested for years or should I consider a Ninja 650 or FZ6R?

Decisions, decisions...

Any riders find themselves in similar predicaments? Did you make the right decision or have regrets?
 

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My father talked me into an 800 to start instead of the ninja 300 I was going to buy. He had an fz1, I got the fz8 following his lead. I rode it for 3 years almost daily, just shy of 30,000 miles all together. No regrets at all, but I have moved down and am having just as much fun, if not more on the r3. I commute daily on toll roads at 75-80 mph so no issues there, and can ride mountain roads faster than I did on the 8.

Honestly, if you think you can be responsible, start on any bike you want. Find something affordable and in good condition, and learn on it. Your first bike won't be last. You'll decide what aspects of your bike that you like and move up or down accordingly.

You'll find a pretty good split on this forum, experienced riders that moved down, and newbies looking to move up. Neither one is right or wrong. You have to try it to know which you are.
 

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New to the forum, but I've been browsing through threads for a few months. Convinced the R3 is an awesome bike and the price is right. I was actually at a dealer last night ready to put pen to paper when I had a rush of doubt.

A little details about me: I'm 29 years of age but new to riding. I have taken the MSF course but have no other experience other than those 8-10 hours. I'm 6'', 200lbs, living in Los Angeles. I'd like to get into riding mostly for leisure, not as a primary form of transportation (I need my tools as an electrician), so mostly street riding to start and eventually building up to twisties and the necessary highways to get to them.

Now, friends and family have advised me to go 600cc, not only for the common reasons of quickly "outgrowing" a smaller bike but also from a highway safety point of view. A cousin with 10+ years experience urges me that I stay off the highway unless I have the power of a 600cc to escape dangerous situations. However, after reading plenty of opinions here about the decent highway handling of the R3, plus my primary use in mind, I decided I still wanted to start on an R3.

Last night, at the dealer, the salesman practically said I should't buy the R3. He claimed 10 years of riding experience and pursuaded me against a 300cc much like everyone else. Said he has had numerous people come back after a month or two with their R3's looking to trade them in, only to ride away dissatisfied with the trade in value. Good sales pitch to get me to buy a bigger bike at double the cost, right? But then, he actually suggested something that surprised me. He suggested I not buy new, and instead buy an older used bike until I felt comfortable getting a bigger bike.

Part of me still really wants that R3. I'm sure I'll enjoy it tons. But for how long? I like the position (work tires my back out often so I'm hesitant of say an R6 and that tuck), feel comfortable on the bike and love it's aggresive styling. Is it enough to keep me interested for years or should I consider a Ninja 650 or FZ6R?

Decisions, decisions...

Any riders find themselves in similar predicaments? Did you make the right decision or have regrets?
DEFIANTLY consider an FZ6R if price doesnt matter to you. Between the inline 4 sound and the modest power for a newcomer it is a great bike to have and hone skills with. Then again its not as technology advanced as the R line tends to be. Your also fairly tall and heavy for an R3 to be really suited to you. The FZ6R will push your body alot greater then the R3. I'm 6'5 and 190sh lbs but the R3 works for me, however i wouldnt necesarilly recommend it. IF you really want to try a 600cc supersport, id suggest looking at the suzuki 600's there great for taller people more comfortable and they have different ride modes. You can ride the 600cc in the lowest mode and it will be like an R3 just blew a line of coke. Anyway hope this helps
 

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My first street legal bike was a street triple r. I have a good amount of experience racing motorcycles on dirt though. I would of kept my street triple r probably forever because it was such an insanely fun bike that I really enjoyed to ride. The main reason I sold it was because the insurance was so costly. I got a super tenere es after and I absolutely hated it. I did couple fun things on dirt with it but it was wayyyy to expesive and wayyy too heavy and just overall huge. I put less than 3k miles on it before trading it. My 2016 R3 is fun but it's a different kind of fun compared to my street triple. I love my little R3 and I will probably keep it a long time because it's fun, practical, easy maintenance and affordable. However if I could get full coverage on a street triple r for what I pay on my R3 or a little more I would buy another one in a second. so much bias. Whatever you get buy used. You won't lose much more than dmv fees if you decide to get rid of it within 6 months

I disagree with your cousin and I'll just leave it at that
 

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Side note- If you do buy a triumph street triple r like you and everyone else should because they're awesome. Be aware that IMO the FZ-09 has absolutely murdered the actually resale price you will get for these bikes. I picked up a 2012 with some mods for 5k with 7k miles. However most people are asking unrealistic prices for these bikes because the fz 09 kind of low balled the market and is hurting the st3 sales
 

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You should get the bike you want....I advise against a big bike but that's because I know of several beginners who've gotten hurt. If you had ridden on and off for years I'd say get whatever you want. If you're just learning (and the MSF can be good or it can be stupid) I don't think you have the 'muscle memory'.

You know how people say 'it's just like riding a bike"...wonder why? Because most people, but not all, can hop on a bike and pedal away. Not because their better physically but because they have ridden so much (usually as a kid) that their body knows what to do. Now...put those same people on an upgraded bike (say a real MX or superlight racing bike) and they'll have problems. Wait you just said...Hold on. The reason is they operate OUTSIDE most of their 'muscle memory'. Can they ride them...yes, but in a panic situation, even on a bike, they wobble and fall over. Just think about that times 65 mph. Can you physically ride an 1800cc super bike...yeah....but can you operate it well and in a panic situation? That's the question you need to answer.

And, I've been told this my entire life, SIZE doesn't matter, only how hard you twist her throttle.:rolleyes:
I am having just as much fun on the R3 as I've had on any of my bigger bikes.

Jay
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I'm sure I have enough discipline to ease into a bigger bike. But I also ask myself if I will really want a bigger bike so soon (everyone says within a year, some say weeks). Having no experience, I can't say with certainty that more power won't be a serious draw as soon as I build confidence and feel secure riding around town. But my logic tells me there is plenty to learn and enjoy on an R3. It's such an affordable bike that I can't get the idea of owning a matte grey one out of my head. I'm stubborn about it. That being said, a used Kawi 650 (can't find a decent fz6r locally) will run me the same price. I also found the ride position on the Kawi bike comfortable and it's styling, while not as good as the R3, IMO, is still decent. I don't have the cash to pay a bike up front but have good credit and intend to finance whatever I finally decide on. If I ever decide...
 

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I never understood other people telling someone what to get.
You are not them. Only you know what you need.

in your mind what do you want from a motorcycle?

and.. Have you sat on one. (guessing yes :)
have the salesmen hold the bike for you to it in riding position?
or taken it for a test ride? how did it feel?

Its a gem of a bike, blast to ride, very nimble. And so forgiving to really learn and build real skills on.
It's faster then majority of cars on the road off a line. Top speed about 112-118 / passing power at highway speeds. prob equal to a 4 cylinder avg car at best. varies for each rider. This bike will be awesome for lane splitting which is legal in Cali.

Also and take this how you will. you have very little experience in LA.. baby steps, learn right. last thing you need is to much torque and to much weight.. this or like a honda cb500R.. either way stay close to home and slowly build up how and where you ride.

One plus i can share. If you go the R3 route, learn the heck out of it, build some wicked skills. you will prob end up a better rider then the you need a bigger bike folks.. then if you need more stick it on craigslists and sell it. Or keep it and get another bike down the road.

Last thing you want to worry about is having a bike that can keep up with your friends, and avoid the pressure of that.
 

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I'm sure I have enough discipline to ease into a bigger bike. But I also ask myself if I will really want a bigger bike so soon (everyone says within a year, some say weeks). Having no experience, I can't say with certainty that more power won't be a serious draw as soon as I build confidence and feel secure riding around town. But my logic tells me there is plenty to learn and enjoy on an R3. It's such an affordable bike that I can't get the idea of owning a matte grey one out of my head. I'm stubborn about it. That being said, a used Kawi 650 (can't find a decent fz6r locally) will run me the same price. I also found the ride position on the Kawi bike comfortable and it's styling, while not as good as the R3, IMO, is still decent. I don't have the cash to pay a bike up front but have good credit and intend to finance whatever I finally decide on. If I ever decide...
As a beginner, forget about the power. Besides, it's not like the R3 is a slow bike - it has more than enough power for anything you plan to do on the street (especially at your current skill level). The people who claim they "outgrew" a 300cc bike, within a month or two no less, simply don't know what the he!! they're talking about/doing. Most of those peoples' perception of their skills are so skewed, it's not even funny. They're instant professionals the moment they learn to open the throttle, and ride at warp speed in a straight line.

As a beginner, there are so many aspects of motorcycling that you need to perfect, before worrying about power. The R3 provides an almost perfect platform to do so. Power should be the last thing on a beginner's mind. I find it funny when people refer to the R3 as "weak," or "slow." There is nothing slow about this bike, it has more than you will ever need for the first 2-3 years of your motorcycling adventure, possibly longer. This isn't just my opinion, as any thinking/logical (read non-squid) rider will tell you the same. Take your time - perfect practice makes perfect. When you're ready, level up, earn the privilege to ride a 600cc SS, if your heart desires.

Now, having said all that, you're bigger than most R3 riders. That's where your mind should focus most, not on power. Worry about the ergonomics of the machine first, as it's one of the most important things to consider when purchasing a new motorcycle. If you're not comfortable on the bike, who cares about power, handling, etc. Also, walk away from that dealer you visited, and never go back. It's a logical mistake for him to assume that you too will get bored of an R3 within a month or whatever. Like you said, he's trying to stick it to you with a more expensive bike. Even worse, a more expensive USED bike. Forget that nonsense. Do your own research, and use sound reasoning (as your posts already indicate you do) to reach a conclusion. Good luck, and whatever you do, ride safe.
 

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I find it funny when people refer to the R3 as "weak," or "slow." There is nothing slow about this bike, it has more than you will ever need
:laugh: Funny.

I find it funny that YOU find it funny! :D

I say the R3 is slow and weak, because compared to my CBR1000RR.... it's standing still! The difference is so massive, I can't even put it into words. After riding my R3 for a solid month, and parking my CBR for that month, I took the CBR out for a little ride. I had forgotten how stupidly fast the CBR is. You think the R3 is great, because maybe you have nothing to compare it to. And that's fine. But hop your little A$$ on a literbike, and come back and tell me how FAST the R3 is! Hahahaha!

R3 is lots of fun.... and I still like it.... but "FAST" it ain't!
It's not supposed to be FAST. It's a beginner bike! If it was FAST.... new riders would kill themselves on it!
:nerd:
 

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I never understood other people telling someone what to get.
You are not them. Only you know what you need.

in your mind what do you want from a motorcycle?

and.. Have you sat on one. (guessing yes :)
have the salesmen hold the bike for you to it in riding position?
or taken it for a test ride? how did it feel?

Its a gem of a bike, blast to ride, very nimble. And so forgiving to really learn and build real skills on.
It's faster then majority of cars on the road off a line. Top speed about 112-118 / passing power at highway speeds. prob equal to a 4 cylinder avg car at best. varies for each rider. This bike will be awesome for lane splitting which is legal in Cali.

Also and take this how you will. you have very little experience in LA.. baby steps, learn right. last thing you need is to much torque and to much weight.. this or like a honda cb500R.. either way stay close to home and slowly build up how and where you ride.

One plus i can share. If you go the R3 route, learn the heck out of it, build some wicked skills. you will prob end up a better rider then the you need a bigger bike folks.. then if you need more stick it on craigslists and sell it. Or keep it and get another bike down the road.

Last thing you want to worry about is having a bike that can keep up with your friends, and avoid the pressure of that.
Yes, exactly this. I'm so frustrated with the current state of motorcycling, specifically the social dynamics within the younger motorcycling group. Too much d1ck measuring going on. It's a form of playground bullying, where the squids builly the guys on the smaller displacement machines. Whether that's teasing them to keep up, or trading up to a bigger bike. I started calling people out on their BS advice, complete strangers too. Basically telling them, "You don't know what you're talking about," and proceeding accordingly - their move.
 

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I don't try to talk anyone into getting anything. Buy what you want. Have fun. That's what it's all about.
When I do group rides with friends, I prefer to let other people lead the ride. I don't mind hanging back. I don't race or pass people. I prefer to let the riders on the smaller bikes take the lead. I enjoy riding at a comfortable pace. I don't like to lead, because I never know how hard I should go. Will people get bored, or will they fall behind? I prefer to let other riders in the group lead. I have no problem keeping pace, but I don't like riding on the street at a "race pace". I will just break-off from the group and ride by myself. Luckily, that has never happened. All the group rides I have ever been on, people were fairly sensible.
 

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This is just my opinion. And I will throw various thoughts together in perhaps not a cohesive package.

First my background:

Rode a dirtbike a few times in my teens. Never rode a streetbike or dirtbike after that (15+ years have passed). Took the MSF course in my 30s. Immediately bought a brand new bike one week later. An FZ07. Bought a R3 for my wife (which I also ride) 6 months later. Felt the FZ07 isn't getting my willys off so nearly 2 years later, I bought myself a z1000.

So I started on a FZ07 as my very first street bike. Much more stronger and dangerous than the R3. Jerky on/off throttle. Easily can lift the front wheel. Many people accidentally wheelie it (I haven't been able to). I liked it until I got the R3. The R3 is much more fun. Laughably light-weight. I was actually jealous of my wife's R3. I wanted to ride it more than my FZ07. So that's pretty much why I bought the Z1000 (lol...). Did it do its job? Yes it did. I know that sounds odd. Maybe its because the FZ07 doesn't go the whole 9 yards. Which the Z1000 does. So it filled a void I was having. But I still like to ride the R3.

As the R3 would be your first bike, yes, it is highly likely that you will feel the need or yearning to get a stronger bike. Its understandable. If the R3 is a second or whatever bike and you've already come from a stronger engine, then the R3 is just a huge blast to ride. Now don't get me wrong, you will enjoy it as well, but you have nothing to compare it against, and you have never ridden a stronger bike so you will immediately question how much more fun a stronger bike is compared to your R3 (I mean, if you are having this much fun on an R3... how much more fun would you be having on a stronger bike? Right? At least that's what you might ask yourself).

Now it also depends on your innate skill level. I will put a disclaimer here and say no matter what, you will not max out your skill on the streets. You need to start doing track days and you will learn things about yourself and the bike that you cannot on the street. Now that is out of the way, some people will learn SUPER quick on the R3. Others, not so much. Believe me, my wife has been riding it for over a year now and I half jokingly say to her (well, she agrees with it, so not sure its even half-joking) that she is on par with where I was 1 month into my FZ07 ownership. She's a slow learner. And thus, she isn't squeezing all her street riding potential from the R3. Hence, she still feels the bike is over her skill limit and has not "out grown" the bike. Me? If I bought the R3 as my first bike, I can guarantee you I would be "bored" in 1-3 months time. This boredom will be based completely on ignorance due to it being my first bike. But I would say without a doubt I would've sold it in 6 months for something stronger, just like what your dealer is saying. But the fact that the R3 was my second bike, I appreciate every single thing about it, the difference in characteristic and powerband. Now having a 3rd bike, I can even appreciate it that much more.

So yes, its really hard to say. Its a case by case basis. Everyone is different. I have no idea how it will be for you. At least you are making the right decision in reviewing all your options.

But so far are these it:?

-Get a R3. Maybe it will be yours for a longtime. Maybe you will want something stronger in a hurry. Who knows?
-Get a used low CC bike. Use it, learn from it, abuse it, and move on.
-Get a stronger non-supersport (Ninja 650 is a decent choice). SV650 is a great choice. FZ07 is basically a newer version of the SV650. It is (theoretically) tame enough for you but it has the power to keep you occupied for a year or forever... unless you hate naked bikes, then look at the Ninja 650 again. Or maybe the FZ6r or whatever Honda's equivalent of a faired standard bike is.
-Get a supersport and pray to god you come out on the other side alive.

Look, I'm being pragmatic. I don't want to be one of those guys who just post : Get a r3, you will love it! End of story! Unfortunately that is never the end of the story. There are many guys on here who bought the R3 as their first bike and then quickly sold it/traded it in in less than a year and moved on.

But I will say for the most part, anyone who has previously owned a stronger motorcycle absolutely LOVE the R3. Including myself. I will own the R3 for quite a long time. The FZ07 on the other hand... my wife has been riding it (lol, I know right, after what I wrote above...), but if it doesn't stick to her, then I might have to sell it.
 

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:laugh: Funny.

I find it funny that YOU find it funny! :D

I say the R3 is slow and weak, because compared to my CBR1000RR.... it's standing still! The difference is so massive, I can't even put it into words. After riding my R3 for a solid month, and parking my CBR for that month, I took the CBR out for a little ride. I had forgotten how stupidly fast the CBR is. You think the R3 is great, because maybe you have nothing to compare it to. And that's fine. But hop your little A$$ on a literbike, and come back and tell me how FAST the R3 is! Hahahaha!

R3 is lots of fun.... and I still like it.... but "FAST" it ain't!
It's not supposed to be FAST. It's a beginner bike! If it was FAST.... new riders would kill themselves on it!
:nerd:
All relative, pilot. Don't use the Fireblade as a standard of measure for speed/power, as that would be a mistake. Like comparing a Subaru WRX STI to a Nissan GTR. Just cause the STI isn't as fast as the GTR, doesn't mean the STI is a "slow" car. It may seem slow, when compared to the GTR's powerhouse motor, but it is not (slow) in absolute terms. Your CBR, and other liter bikes, are in a different galaxy altogether. Not even the same game. IMO those bikes shouldn't even be street legal. Like I said, the R3 has more than enough power for the street. You do know it revs to 12.5K, right? Maybe you're not spending enough time up there. :D

So, you claim your CBR is fast, and only a fool would disagree with you on that. But, what percentage of that power do you actually use on the street? He!!, what percentage CAN you use on the street? Don't give me the "passing power argument" either, please. It's so flawed, it's not even funny.
 

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I don't try to talk anyone into getting anything. Buy what you want. Have fun. That's what it's all about.
When I do group rides with friends, I prefer to let other people lead the ride. I don't mind hanging back. I don't race or pass people. I prefer to let the riders on the smaller bikes take the lead. I enjoy riding at a comfortable pace. I don't like to lead, because I never know how hard I should go. Will people get bored, or will they fall behind? I prefer to let other riders in the group lead. I have no problem keeping pace, but I don't like riding on the street at a "race pace". I will just break-off from the group and ride by myself. Luckily, that has never happened. All the group rides I have ever been on, people were fairly sensible.
Nice to hear. A fine example of how it should be.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
After reading through all the replies, I mostly agree with all of you. The ones that suggest the R3, and those that suggest slightly bigger. I don't yet feel comfortable enough to take test rides on the street. So it's tough to predict which bike would fit me best in real world conditions, having very limited skills and knowledge of riding. I can formulate hypothetical scenarios and envision being able to squeeze more fun over a longer period of time out of a used 650 than I would a new R3. But I don't know that. Until I start riding and developing skills, I won't exactly know which bike would best fit me. It's a **** catch 22 the way I see it. I've sat on both the R3 and the 650 and found both comfortable. I believe the R3 would be a great platform to learn on. And like it's been said, it's more than enough bike for me on the street, which would be where I spend the majority of the time. But the 650 seems more than capable of being just as fun on the street with that extra passing power on the highways, for the same price. In a perfect world, I would have the funds to buy an R3 now, AND then also whichever other bike I felt like owning later. But having to choose one with the intentions of keeping it for at least a couple years is tough. If the R3 was a 500cc, then my choice would be obvious. I'm torn between a new '16 R3 for $4,699, or a used '14 650 for $4,800.

My priority is to learn the skills set that will enable me to continue to ride to a crippling old age. But that may take just as long to accomplish.

/end_rant
 

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You've gotten some great advice here. The internet is full of bench racers, but in the real world you won't find city traffic or any well-policed freeway where you'll think the R3 isn't more than capable. The 650s are fairly docile bikes and torqueier/more relaxed. Only real downside is they are about 100 pounds more than the R3, which might prove significant if you run into a weight transfer oops during low-speed maneuvering.

If you're going to limit yourself to one bike, either would be great. R3 will require you to pick your gears and twist -- bigger bikes won't need much planning, which you may find appealing or uninvolving depending on. Since you're buying the bike primarily for fun, I'm guessing you won't be too put off by banging off some F1 shifts around town.
 
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