A serious question, or paranoia? - Sportbike Forum: Sportbike Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-21-2005, 11:53 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 131
A serious question, or paranoia?

Here's my first question.

I'm a new rider, without a doubt. I started early '04 on a 2000 Honda Shadow VLX 600 and put about 2,000 miles on it. My wife decided she wanted it, so I bought an '04 Honda VTX1300C and put pipes/hypercharger/proper jetting in it. I've got probably 2,500 miles on it thus far.

Now I'm sort of bitten by the sportbike bug. I've always liked to ride those cruisers faster than they were intended, and recently, I'm dragging my pegsavers more and more on the VTX. I've ridden a couple of sportbikes so far, just light testrides around town. My friend's new 750 Katana (didn't get to test at any speed, just got a feel for the seat around the block) and oddly enough, an '05 Hyosung 650R, which I took a little farther out and built up some speed on.

Warning: For some reason, that Hyosung doesn't seem to have brakes. I almost crunched it after just nudging triple digits and slowing down to ~55 to prepare for a right turn. I kept applying the brakes harder and harder until I realised they weren't working, and downshifted my way into the turn sort of safely.

Anyway, I've been reading up as much as I can on sportbikes. So far, I like the feel and nimbleness of them. But honestly, most of these posts are starting to scare me off. Being that I'm probably going to have to purchase a used one, and the vast majority of used bikes I can get a decent deal on are 'R' models of some sort or another (For example, I've found an awesome deal on a '99 GSXR600) am I going to fling myself right off this thing and into the ER? Is any of my limited riding experience going to translate? Am I being unrealistic to expect that I will be able to ride this bike with enough confidence to grow my ability?

Ultimately, I would like to have a bike that I can ride many miles on without being in agony, and yet still be able to take it to the local track every now and then once I'm confident enough. And to add more difficulty, it has to be used, a good deal, and not scare me to death. To clarify, I'm not really asking what type of bike I should buy, I'm mostly asking if buying an 'R' bike is going to leave me disappointed and/or hurt just because I don't have much experience on bikes in general and almost no experience on sportbikes.

And if anyone's going to be around Lexington this Sunday around noon or so, look for the motley assembly of bikes riding around. That'll be us!
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-21-2005, 01:30 PM
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Sounds like a Katana 750 or 600 or a Suzy SV-650 & you will have to decide if you want to go for the SV-650S. Then look at what Kawasaki offer like the Z-750 or ZR-7S. Mind you there is the Yamaha YZF-600R. That should give you a few bikes to look at that are not the extreme lean forward riding position & not with peaky engines yet good handeling bikes & fairly forgiving when it comes to riding & handeling.

I just came in from a 5 hr run on a '97 Yamaha YZF600R & clocking some good paces in these mtn roads & in the next few days, depending upon the wearther, I will be riding a Honda 929 & my Honda 954. Not recommending the latter two though pointing out that '97 600 has been a good gal all these yrs. Proof that there are some pretty good bikes for the picking out there if you can find them used, though in my cases I buy them new. In that way I am the one to break them in & as you can see I tend to hang onto them more then a season.

Also all the YZF600R has only cost me tyres, oil, petrol, chain & well that is about all though I did loose it when riding way to fast in some twisties & pranged at 60mph so a new nose piece, side panel, mirror, signal light & rest was a bit of touch up. Many bikes, at that speed have a bent steering head but not this 600 for it is a pressed steel frame.

Last edited by Smitty; 05-21-2005 at 01:35 PM.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-21-2005, 04:23 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2005
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Thanks for the reply, Smitty.

I understand that there are a lot more and better bikes out there, my problem is finding the sort of deal on one that puts it in my price range. My VTX is paid for, so I could trade it in on a Honda sportbike, but I'm hesitant because I really like the cruiser, and I'm unsure of how I'll like the sportbike.

My question was more along the lines of:

Is it feasible for me to adapt to an 'R' bike if I buy this GSXR at a good deal, or is it a complete no? If I saw any VFRs or Katanas around, used and in good shape, I would be more interested in them. Basically this question is directed around the condition of buying this GSXR for a steal.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-21-2005, 04:46 PM
Join Date: May 2003
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Sindic, you seem reasonable and responsible enough to do the "R" type thing.

Just take small steps, remember the power band is completely different on I4's that rev above 10k than twins. The rake is only gonna be 23*, wheel base around 56", 430lbs, so its gonna handle. Watch the front brakes, be smooth. Not that big of a change, hopefully everything will be intuitive.

As far as deals, 600s, 750s, and 1000's are very poplular, especially in this time of the year. Go for it. You can always sell it if you don't bang it up too bad. Make sure the previous owner took good care of it.

Might wanna look into a v-twin liter sportbikes (TLS, Bandit, or even the I4 FZ1) , more practacle for the street. I4's get fun once you are about 2x the speed limit. The twins should be goon on the track too, it is all rider.

Is the Hyosung 650R a chinese cheapy bike? I couldn't find much info on them. What kind of dealer base do they have?
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-21-2005, 05:00 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2005
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It's a Korean twin, I believe. The Maysville, Ky Suzuki dealer carries them.

As far as I can tell, the dealer base is pretty small. They sell a 250cc twin cruiser and are coming out with a 650cc twin cruiser that looks almost exactly like a VRod, along with a few small quads. The 650R (It might be GT650R) was a demo that was in the shop for a few days. I hate to say that all of them will have that braking problem because the pads might have been glazed. I was one of four people who rode it and everyone complained of the brakes being either very bad or non-existant.

So be careful if you get a chance to ride of these things and decide to put it through it's paces.

Oh, and you can get a SV650 for ~300.00 more retail, so it's not even that cheap. I don't see them really taking off, to be honest.

Thanks for the answers!
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-21-2005, 06:35 PM
Join Date: Jan 2002
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A few chaps have a HD or a Cruiser & a sportbike, still not to many. Some have done well with them & some seem to try & ride the sportbike like a cruiser & that is sensless.

I was surprised when one really complained at the gearbox of the Yamaha FZ6, purchased new & said it would jam or make terrible noises & seemed to jump back at him. He was going from 6th right down to first & simply dropping it into that lower cog. Little wonder it was balking.

Have to remember they do not like to be lugged & are NOT forgiving bikes when it comes to riding. Reason I picked bikes that would not be so fussy in handeling matters.

When I switch my bikes, all being sportbikes & believe me there is little difference between the Honda 929 & 954, I have to remind myself which bike I am on & all handle a bit differently with the Yamaha YZF600r being the most forgiving bike of the three. Also the first bike I bring out in the Spring & last to be put away in late Autumn because it does not have such a peaky & powerful engine &, like I said before, it is more forgiving.

As an ex-m/c shop owner I had to be able to ride any make or model or year of bike I was handed so you LEARN how to actually ride a bike probably better then the owner. Even if they were with a foot clutch & hand shift to a 125cc or 1000cc.

Last edited by Smitty; 05-22-2005 at 09:18 AM.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-22-2005, 06:49 AM
Join Date: Jun 2003
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Originally posted by pyrotek2k
...Might wanna look into a v-twin liter sportbikes (TLS, Bandit, or even the I4 FZ1)...
Small correction: Bandits have I4 engines, both the 600 and 1200.

I personally understand the desire to have a sportbike next to the cruiser in the garage. There are a few sportbike worthy roads in my area, and I have a blast on them with my Bandit. The majority of roads are very straight around here, and on my ride last weekend I was apologizing to my Bandit for boring it to death. I would probably enjoy that ride more at a slower pace on a laid back cruiser.

As far as your dilemma of R vs R'nt, I would say you should not have a problem, seeing you have some basic riding skills under your bellt, and provided you would show proper respect to the bike's capabilities. When I compare throttle response on my Bandit to my wife's Savage, the Bandit's feels twitchy. In low RPMs it simply jumps from 2K to 3K, as if the range between those numbers is non-existent. It is smoother from there on, but with a higher redline than V-twins, the I-4 will go throgh RMP's much faster, since you can only crank the throttle so much. And my Bandit is not an R bike, same engine as Katana, actually. My on it, anyway.
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