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  Topic Review (Newest First)
09-18-2002 11:18 AM
FZR400Tony
Quote:
Originally posted by Bonk!
and now a completely biased opinion (though shorter than most)

VFR VFR VFR

nice combo of comfort and performance. 500-600 miles a day are not a problem.
i don't like the new vfr. not sure when the current style came out, but i don't like it one bit. it's so ugly. i like first round of 800's and i really like the all white year (93?).
09-18-2002 11:06 AM
basicblur
Re: Re: Time to challenge some "conventional wisdom"

Quote:
Originally posted by elo
I do agree with you, the present design of the Kawasakis are more comfortable than their counterparts, but would you say that they are as comfortable as your Concours?
'Bout the same. Actually, the seating position on the Concours and the 6R aren't that different. I have an '86 Concours which has the original 'low' bars. In '87, they raised the bars an inch or two and moved 'em back a bit. Darn if I don't think the 6R might be more comfy on the highway, as I get more wind across the upper body to take a bit of weight off my arms/wrists. The Concours shield gives enough protection that your wrists can get a bit fatigued with the OEM low bars while droning down the straight stuff. Since I tend to stay off the highways and do most of my travelling/riding on backroads, it's not a problem.

I've sat on a number of bikes (Gold Wings, FJR 1300, etc), and the first thing I don't like is the 'rototiller' feel of the bars on a lot of bikes. Having always had (relatively) 'low' bars, it's what I'm used to.
09-18-2002 10:17 AM
Bonk! and now a completely biased opinion (though shorter than most)

VFR VFR VFR

nice combo of comfort and performance. 500-600 miles a day are not a problem.
09-18-2002 08:28 AM
elo
Re: Time to challenge some "conventional wisdom"

Quote:
Originally posted by basicblur


I'm a gonna haff to call ya on that one (at least AFA Kawasaki/Honda).
Have you considered a 6R/9R? Kawasaki tends to make their sportbikes with real-world ergonomics. The very thing that newbies like to gripe about AFA Kawasakis (too big, etc) might be exactly what you're looking for due to your size?
I knew someone would disagree with that statement! FWIW, my husband hated his 2000 ZX6R, in part due to the riding position. It hurt his back!

I do agree with you, the present design of the Kawasakis are more comfortable than their counterparts, but would you say that they are as comfortable as your Concours?
09-18-2002 08:05 AM
spicersh I've heard of people getting test rides from dealers and I have yet to find one myself that will let me. Your best bet is to make friends with owners of bikes you are interested in.

I have heard that some places let you test ride used bikes, just not new ones. Again though, I have yet to find a place that does this.

Anyway, good luck! Whatever you get I'm sure you'll love it!
09-18-2002 05:58 AM
jstrain The reason I think I get so uncomfortable is the fact that all my upper body weight is resting solely on my lower back. Combine this with bars that are in front of me rather than a bit below (like a sportbike), I sit hunched over with my lower back sticking out.

I have a feeling that a sportbike would (even though I would be leaning forward, bent at the waist) straighten my back out and keep it more in line. Also, like others have said, distributing my weight over the seat, bars, and pegs would help alot I think.

The problem is that first few dealers I have checked out don't allow test rides on sportbikes.

Thanks for all the input so far. This is all very helpful.

Jeremy
09-18-2002 05:10 AM
basicblur
Time to challenge some "conventional wisdom"

Quote:
Originally posted by elo
The reality is that you will never be as comfortable on a sportbike as on a cruiser, they aren't made with that in mind.
I'm a gonna haff to call ya on that one (at least AFA Kawasaki/Honda).
Have you considered a 6R/9R? Kawasaki tends to make their sportbikes with real-world ergonomics. The very thing that newbies like to gripe about AFA Kawasakis (too big, etc) might be exactly what you're looking for due to your size?
Anywho...a proper fitting sportbike is much more comfortable to me than a cruiser. I tend to choose my sportbikes like I used to set up my bicycles in me olde racing days. On road bicycles (and despite looks, they are comfortable) you tend to set 'em up so your weight is roughly evenly distributed between your arms, butt, and legs: do you think those guys in the Tour de France are going to ride for 3 weeks/2500 miles on an uncomfortable bike? My motorcycles are set up roughly the same way. On a cruiser (with it's laid-back style), all your weight tends to be concentrated entirely on your butt: your legs and arms aren't doing you much good AFA support. Bikes I've owned which concentrated all the weight on my butt tended to drive me nuts after about an hour in the saddle. Every bit of road shock went straight through my lower back (why a curved forward spine position is nice), and after 'bout an hour, it felt like someone had their thumb stuck in my lower back. Not really painful, but irritating as heck.

Go sit on a few of them "too big" Kawasakis, and keep in mind you want your weight (roughly) evenly distributed between the bars, seat, and footpegs (while the bike is moving). Also keep in mind you may want more weight than feels comfortable on your arms/wrists in the showroom, as once you're moving, wind hitting your upper body is going to take some of that load off your arms/wrists.

A couple of questions to ask when sitting on a bike are if the bars are too low, can they be raised? If the foot pegs are too high, can they be lowered? If the seat is soft to the touch in the showroom, it's probably not gonna be firm enough to support your butt more than an hour down the road. If you keep even weight distribution in mind, you'll probably be OK.

BTW...looks like Kawasaki has catered to the newbies with this year's 6R/6RR and screwed up the ergonomics. You'd think they'd at least leave 'em as they were with the 6R (and set up only the RR for track use), but it sounds like both are going to have track ergonomics this year!
09-18-2002 04:25 AM
FZR400Tony quick question, is it possible for you to keep the sabre and afford a used sportbike. it sounds like you really like the sabre.

one odd-ball suggestion would be a vmax. they don't handle that bad. they have some punch to them and they fit like any cruiser. of course at your height you may find them cramped. i'm 5'10, everything fits me.

but if you can keep the sabre, a cbr600f2 would be an awesome choice. if you think you're ready for it, a zx11 might make the perfect transistion bike. this is assuming you at least have as sensible in the real world as you seem here.

if you can't, i think cbr600f4i might be a good choice or a gsxr600 or a zx6r. the cbr is a great all around good guy. the gsxr is build on a 750-sized platform. the zx6r is generally excepted as the most comfortable of the 600's. the r6's is one of the few 600's that many tall people really do find cramped. however, if you are tall, but your legs are on the shorter side of the spectrum for you height, this could be your ride.

one thing with the back, a sportbike's riding position is designed to weight the front-end and give you more feed back. i just move around a lot. when i get the chance to street ride, i usual do 100-150 miles of non-highway riding, all backroads. i do this on a bike with no seat (i have a superbike tail section, don't ask). it just comes from time on the bike.
09-17-2002 07:47 PM
Smitty My back was all screwed up due to competition in flat tracking & dirt hill climbing from '47 till '49.
We got quite deep into road racing, so that means modifying normal street bikes with flat bars, to even clip-ons & found the footrests were far to low & forward even on the Brit irons ---in moving them back along with the foot controls we were actually making rear-sets & so the lean forward riding position used in racing which is close to sportbikes.
Took a liking to this & started to modifying my personal street irons to those of friends that requested. So in a way I was into building cafe racers in early 50s.
The answer to many of us was in placing our wt more evenly on the bike like the bars, & so the powerful leg muscles went into use instead of all the wt being on the spine. Besides we were learning forward & so the wind was not socking us in the middle of the chest. Remember this was in the early 50s so things like fairing were not even knowen or used in the m/c road racing world till later in the 60s.
So many were sitting on their arse with hands up to Flanders handlebars & the feet to the front ---- the lean forward position changes things in a sensible way.
He I am 72 yrs of age & with 56yrs or riding experience!!!
09-17-2002 05:59 PM
RayO Hammer made some excellent points especially about being relaxed and not tense. That makes a *huge*difference in comfort. I think a sport bike allows more freedom of movement to slightly change positions compared to a cruiser. On a cruiser you have to pretty much sit upright all the time with all your weight on your rear end and back. Try sitting on as many bikes as you can at dealers then see if you know someone who will trade bikes with you for a ride (disclaimer: not responsible for any damage).
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