Recently I was talking to a buddy about my planned purchase of a new, or slightly used, sportbike next year, and I got to thinking. I'm really starting to consider a supermotard, a two-stroke (CR 500, KX500, or even a 250 dirt bike) in particular.
I know there would be many drawbacks as compared to a regular sportbike, like limited touring ability, likely higher maintenance, lack of fuel capacity, pre-mix fuel, relatively low top speed, and lack of wind protection (any others Iíve havenít considered??).
On the plus side I get a highly nimble, nasty sounding, wheelie machine, and I wonít be seeing too many otherís like it on the road.
Licensing an offroad bike for the street is no problem around here and insurance would be a lot less (Iím pretty sure) than what Iíve paid for on previous streetbikes, which is another plus. Also, wouldnít they make an awesome track bike? There are several supermotard classes at the local tracks, and even if it didnít fit, or wouldnít be competitive in those classes, it would still be blast on open trackdays.
Not only that, but, Iím pretty sure that the initial purchase price (it doesnít have to be brand new) and the cost of all the modifications, would be A LOT less than the $10, 000+ or so it would cost for a new F4I, ĎBlade, or R1 etc., etc. Thatís a definite consideration.
I do have an old FZ 600 (my first bike, which Iíve never let go), lying around thatís nearly finished being restored. It could fill in for some of the more rigorous touring and commuting duties, and let me still enjoy all the benefits of sportbikes, even though itís an older bike.
The thing is, I donít know a whole lot of what Iíve got to do to build a streetable supermotard. Iíve never heard the verdict on whether they can be operated reliably (i.e. without destroying its transmission) without a cushioned driveline. Also I have no idea where to buy the necessarily modified wheels and other specific parts. What kind of top-speed and cruising abilities can you expect from these types of bikes? Iíve never really talked to any local shops about this but I know of several CR 500ís and XRís that run the streets around here. Maybe if two-strokes are just not the way to go, I guess I could try to consider a YZF or XR, but that would take away some of the excitment IMO. If anyone has any ideas, info, or links to sites that can help me it would be greatly
appreciated, as this is something I would seriously like to do as long as I can get a very clear picture of what Iím getting into.
Sorry for the length of this postÖ