It’s an all too common misconception: people think that all motorcycles are equally easy to operate. Regardless of whether it’s a 125cc scooter, or a 1000cc hyper naked motorcycle, the principles and riding dynamics are the same, right? Well, not so much. Having this kind of mindset is the perfect recipe for disaster, not just for you, but for your bike and the people around you, as well.
We have always been strong proponents of proper skills training, as well as getting to know your motorcycle as best as you can. It doesn’t really matter what kind of bike you’re ride, a smart motorcyclist on the fastest bike in the world will always be safer than a dumb rider on a 125cc scooter. That said, if you’re coming from a small displacement machine, and are looking to finally upgrade to the bigger leagues, be sure to keep these things in mind.
Power and performance
Naturally, big bikes come packed with loads of power and performance. Even entry-level big bikes like the CFMOTO 400NK come with more than three times the power output of a standard scooter like a Yamaha NMAX. As such, these machines must be treated with respect, as they can often be far greater in terms of performance than the skill level of an amateur rider. It isn’t an uncommon story for first time big bike users to drop their shiny new machines right outside the showroom because they were overwhelmed by the sheer heft and size of the bike.
Are your skills up to snuff?
It’s often said that with great power comes great responsibility. That being said, when it comes to big bikes, that great responsibility comes in the form of your skills. It is incumbent upon you to invest time and money towards the development of your riding skills so you can transform yourself from a mere mediocre rider to a proper motorcyclist. There are dozens of training courses available, both in person and online. All of these can go a long way in developing your theoretical and practical riding skills to make you into a safer, more responsible motorcyclist. Contrary to popular belief, seat time isn't all there is to it. You can practice the wrong thing infinite times and it will still be wrong. Be sure to learn things the right way, as practice doesn’t always make perfect, but rather, perfect practice does.
Do you have the money for the lifestyle?
Last but not least would be to evaluate your financial capabilities. Unsurprisingly, owning a big bike is very expensive. First of all, big bikes are expensive to buy. On top of that, their maintenance intervals tend to be shorter and their consumables, such as oil, filters, and others, cost more than 3 to 4 times that of the smaller displacement counterparts. Neglecting the maintenance on your big bike, can also result in bigger problems down the road. Second of all, big bike-worthy riding gear is also extremely expensive. You’re going to want to ditch that cheapo helmet, unbranded gloves, and jacket, and invest in proper, certified riding gear from head to toe. A full set of decent riding gear can easily set you back more than P30,000.