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Hello All,

Im Jon from Phoenix Az, new to bikes and considering a few. but the Z always come back to the front of my mind. It will be my first bike, I know everyone says stay away from the liter bikes for your first bike. But heres the rub. Im almost 30 and very level headed. I was a Marine for 8 years and have had my close calls and am not looking to get any by acting dumb on a bike. But I want a bike that will last and not one that ill grow out of in a year or two. Im a relatively big guy 6'2 and about 215lb so the smaller 650 nakeds dont seem to "fit". just looking for some free advice. Is this a bike that i can grow into but still be caususly confident on. I have a healthy fear and respect of any bike, but am enthralled with the Z.

Thanks for you time,

Jon.
 

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Well Jon, the Z is a great commuter bike that is very well balanced and easy to ride. However, it also has enough power to get you in trouble in less than a heartbeat! I've haven't had many street bikes but my first impression when I got mine was WOW! I rode it slow and safe for many months before I started grabbing lots of throttle and pulling the front wheel up a little at a time. Then I went through a 6 month period of carving canyons a little faster each time out. I got tired of buying sticky tires that wear out in 2000 miles so I went for a harder tire. 3 weeks later I crashed into a guard rail at 10 mph! The moral to the story is it can happen at any speed on any kind of bike so dress for the slide, not the ride! So don't forget to add close to $1,000.00 for protective gear! Let us know what you decide...
 

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learn how to ride on a honda xl400 or 600......etc.....then next summer when you know how to ride get the z....you'll love it when you replace the seat and raise the bars
 

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Is this a bike that i can grow into but still be caususly confident on. I have a healthy fear and respect of any bike, but am enthralled with the Z.

Thanks for you time,

Jon.
I know the '03-06's in stock form are docile below 4k RPMS, and after that the power comes on VERY quickly. I would recommend a stock first gen as a starter bike, but I have not ridden the 2nd or 3rd gens.... so no help there. :2cents:
 

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Kawtoy - I was going to make the same recommendation...

I can tell you guys this much - I had a 2003 Z that I rode for a couple of years. I traded it for the 2010 Z...and the difference is amazing. Nearly pulled my arms out of the sockets and I nearly flipped off the back when I grabbed a handful of throttle...

PhoenixGuy - I think its great that you are looking to get into riding, and I think its great that you love our beloved Z as much as you do...but I think that the 2010-11 models might be a little too much for a first time rider to handle. Even the first gen Z was a huge jump up from my 750 RR race bike. Ive hit bumps before that have caused me to accidentally give it too much throttle...and scare the crap out of myself. And Ive got 20+ years experience on a bike...cant imagine how a noob would react in a situation like that...

These things are wicked fast, bro! Think really hard before you toss down money on a bike that you are likely going to drop a few times before you learn how to ride properly...
 

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+1 So-Crates; Yes, and you can mod the '03-06 for more power as you 'grow into it'...... That is what I have done.

...also if you don't go down with the bike once or twice, you will at least drop it in the driveway. I wrecked my first '03, and then have dropped this one just rolling it out of the garage 2x.....(you would think I would learn to roll the bike out standing on the same side the kickstand is on.....)
 

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The 03 Zed is my first sports bike in over 17 years. I have been commuting on a Ruckus for 1 year, sold that, bought a 2002 Honda VT750DC and hated it after 3 months. Bought the Zed and haven't been happier. The Zed can raise your awareness really quick. The first day I rode it home, I decided coming out of first into second that I wanted to see what she could do. I romped into second and the front tire was in the air. Scared the piss out of me, but a lesson learned. I am not a believer in buying a bike that you don't want as a starter bike. Buy the bike you want. People are more aware and concious of damaging their bikes if they love the looks and the feel of the bike. I have always lived by this saying as well "As long as your bike scares you, its the right bike for you. The moment you stop being scared is when you should move on". Being scared of the bikes power makes you less likely to do something stupid.
 

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I recently got a stock 05' Z about a month ago. Coming off my first bike being a Ninja 650R...and hopping on this after a 3 year hiatus its a big difference! That is all I really have to compare it to. Like said above the power really kicks in about about 4-5k. I have been taking it easy the first few weeks using it mainly as a commuter back and forth to work. Just the past couple days I decided to open it up and ring it out through 1st 2nd and part of 3rd and once your in the power band and keep it there the thing screams. I was up to 120 before I knew it and it had plenty more to give. Its a blast to ride, but the biggest thing I tell people about bikes is you HAVE to respect them. I get a response from a lot of folks that say "If I ever own a bike like that I'd kill myself" I tell them a motorcycle will only do what you tell it to. If you want to take it easy, this bike will do it all day. If you want to push it, this bike will show you what it has in its back pocket also.

The big thing is to take it easy, whatever bike you decide to go with. Get to know it, know how it reacts. Push the bike in small increments until you know what it will do and what you and the bike are capable of. Just ride within your comfort zone and you will be fine.
 
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