Bikes we love

What do I want?

I’d not likely be a chick magnet on a 250.

As I mentioned, the biggest revelation to come from my recent CBT experience was the suggestion I abandon my plan of starting out on a 250cc bike. Their advice, based on the fact I’ll be training and taking my test on a 600cc, and that I am a relatively tall person, was to jump on up to something in the 600 range straightaway.

I’m not entirely sure how I feel about that. It’s thrown a cog into the whole daydream process. Before the CBT, I had a long list of bikes in the 250-300 range that I would sit and imagine myself on. The Inazuma, of course, or perhaps a GV250, but also the CBR250R (it’s got ABS!) or maybe a Duke or even a Ninja 300 (also with ABS!). But when two instructors told me I’d be better suited to something larger, the 250 dreams slipped away.
Now there’s a void. I don’t know the targets upon which to fixate anymore. And a part of me wonders whether I really should be raising the bar of expectation so high.
When I think about it, one of the things weighing most in favour of a larger bike is pride. I’d feel slightly emasculated should I fail to take the advice of my instructors. And there is, too, the concern my skill level would raise far more quickly than my finances could respond. As such I’d find myself spending years feeling agitated I had been fearful of too much power, and waiting to set aside enough money to finally get the bike I should have bought in the first place.

But the thing is: I am fearful. Throughout my CBT experience I was gripped with a tension I felt for days afterward. Indeed, I’m not sure it has really gone away. Ever since, I have been suffering from insomnia and headaches caused from clenching my jaw. I feel often a sense of oppressive anxiety. I tell myself it is nervousness about other things but I think it may, too, be a fear of getting onto the road and discovering in a cripplingly painful way that I simply do not possess adequate skill.

Perhaps I would get bored on a 250. But isn’t it better to be bored and healthy than regretful and in traction?

I think, too, about the money issue. One of the tactics I’ve employed over and over in attempting to sell the idea to my wife has been the financial standpoint –– cheaper tax, cheaper MOT, cheaper insurance, cheaper running costs, etc. Obviously a 250 is cheaper than, say, a 600 in all those aspects. There have been a number of articles on Cycle World lately singing the praises of the 250, which have again had me turning my head that way. I mean, if these are bikes that can be seen as legitimate for use in the United States, they must be good enough for the smaller, generally slower roads of the UK, right?

But even as I almost argue myself back to looking for a 250 my gut tells me to go bigger. What would you do?