"Respect the Bike" is Bullshit

Flamesuit on...
Every time the topic of beginner bikes comes up, someone will inevitably chime in with the argument that it's fine to start on a 600/750/1000 "just gotta rEsPecT tHe bIeK". Having just stumbled into one of these arguments on one of the fb groups, I have to say that 1) I have no idea what that means and 2) if it means what I think it does, it's a stupid way to try to learn to ride. 

For the life of me, I can't come up with what I'm supposed to do that shows respect to the bike. Do I have to walk up to my bike and shake hands with it? Sacrifice a goat? Apologize for interrupting its slumber? That's probably not what these guys mean. What the phrase seems to mean is being cautious with the power. Or brakes. Or whatever other inputs you can do. Because the 1000cc bike is going to send you to the moon if you get sloppy. So now you have a combination of a rider who has to spend their entire time "respecting the bike" without actually having a good way to progress and a bike that amplifies errors. You have a rider who is going to have a hell of a time expanding their technique because they're terrified of giving it throttle in a corner. Or will have a bear of a time working on emergency braking because the brakes are too touchy. "learning is difficult when failure is expensive" is a phrase I use often. 

Since these riders tend to be stuck in the feedback loop of "i dont want to do too much" and are just trying to deal with fear, it will take a loooooong time for them to become proficient. So long as a matter of fact that they will likely encounter a major problem their technique can't handle and end up wadding up the bike. Defensive driving only goes so far. Sometimes you still end up in a situation where skill is the only thing that will get you out. 

I propose an alternative phrase for skilling up quickly. Grab something tame/light/lame and wring its neck every chance you get. Push it harder. Hell don't be afraid to crash it repeatedly on track or in a lot (the consequences of a lowside wearing full gear are not usually super drastic). I DONT MEAN ON THE STREET....  Work on gassing it more out of the turn. Braking harder and deeper. Don't try to do it all at once, but make pushing the priority. Put your skills up to a point where they are enough for any situation. 

Rather than respecting the bike, make the bike your bitch. 

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