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i often see people say they "out grew their bike", or "this bike isn't fast enough for me," etc. i was curious as to why experienced riders are always talking about bikes like the sv650 being so much fun, and less experienced guys think it's a kid's toy.

i'm not trying piss in anyone's cheerio's, but just thought that maybe we as a group could maybe talk (without flames, paul) about why we went from little bikes to big ones; from big to little; started on a turbo charged 900rr and switched to a turbo charged busa; thought the ex500 was so much fun, bought a 250, etc.

personally, over the past couple of seasons, i've worked on the "me" side of riding. and because of that i find that my 750 is a lot of street bike. and i really don't enjoy it as much. it's going so fast when you're on it that i start to fear my license, and what's ahead. as a rule i try not to go over 80 on the street. i generally don't look at the speedo. and i have found myself doing well in excess of 100 in many a 35 zone.

call me old, but i have a lot to lose now. so the idea of getting popped for going 100+ in a 25 or 35 zone isn't too appealing. plus the only time i really enjoy is when it needs tires because it doesn't wanna hook up as good and it's easier to get it a little of shape.

so for me, i see getting a bike like an sv as an opportunity to ride hard and push the bike without having to go so fast that i'm risking everything. also, in that same timeframe, i bought the 400. the 400 taught me a lot about little bikes. it taught me how fun they are to ride hard and to get into trouble. it also thought me how fun it is to pull a zx9 down a straight because i could get such a better drive than he could.
 

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Good discussion launch.

From one perspective, riding style and preference has a great deal to do with it. Some folks, myself included, are torque junkies and really like the surge that comes from a big bore. On the other hand, when riding up in the mountains, I get serious jollies from my DRZ400, light, flickable, "playful".

I haven't had the pleasure of riding an SV650, but some of my fondest memories were carving with an RD-400, yet I also grin, even today, at the memories of nearly having my arms ripped from their sockets with a GS-1100.

I'm with you on the speed issue. My ZX-7R went away due to a couple near misses at over a buck. I have had right-wrist control issues all my life, and really need to retain both my license as well as return home everyday to my family. It also takes a long time to heal at my age :)
 

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Small Bikes = Big Fun

I'm also starting to lean toward the smaller bike side of things. I have a VTR1000, but lately I've spent a year racing a YSR50 (probably couldn't own two more different bikes) and am now thinking about selling the VTR to buy an SV.

The VTR, quite frankly, has too much power for the street. The VTR is great for pulling big-time wheelies, but an SV would be fine for that too and would allow me to really flog the $#!+ out of it in the twisties. After a certain relatively low horsepower level, the only place the extra power is going to benefit you is in the straights. I'd rather slow down in the straights anyway since I'd like to avoid close encounters with the man.

I'd also rather spend less for the bike and invest some of the saved money into suspension modifications, like an Ohlins shock and Racetech springs and gold valves.

I rode a friend's SV about two years ago and have been hankering for one ever since.
 

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Little bikes

When I first went bike shopping, I was looking for something in the 600 CC range. My first test ride was a CBR 600 F3. It felt like a toy to me. It was too "easy" to ride. Having never ridden a sport bike before then (except for a few laps around the parking lot on an R1) I was expecting it to be heavier/scarier/more difficult. I ended up getting my ZX-7R, and I'm quite happy with it. I took a guys Ninja 250 for a ride a few weeks ago, and had BLAST!!! Yea, I was missing the power in the straightaways, but I was TEARING it up on the curves. Now I'm starting to think I might have had a really good time owning that F3. Maybe a little bike is in my near future. Considering my size (6 foot, 240 pounds) I think I'm gonna stay above 500CC. Then again, a Pocket bike would be awesome. Parking lot racing, here I come!!!!
 

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Re: Small Bikes = Big Fun

Chris_VTR said:
I'm also starting to lean toward the smaller bike side of things. I have a VTR1000, but lately I've spent a year racing a YSR50 (probably couldn't own two more different bikes) and am now thinking about selling the VTR to buy an SV.
wow, my sentiments exactly. I've been going back and forth for awhile now about big vs. small. While I love everything about my VTR- power, torque, handling, looks- I find myself going too fast too often and always thinking I have to go fast to have fun. Could I find all that which I love about the VTR in a smaller bike, say the SV? I don't know, but I remember fondly riding the snot out of a Bandit 400, and I probably only took that over 100 a handful of times. On the VTR, it's so easy to go fast, and so easy to think your're riding within your limits, when you might be way above them.

Plus the SV would be cheaper to insure, maintain, and there's much support both in aftermarket and enthusiast. That's become very attractive to me lately as money becomes a tight issue.

I don't know.:(
 

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Re: Re: Small Bikes = Big Fun

inanima said:


Could I find all that which I love about the VTR in a smaller bike, say the SV? I don't know, but I remember fondly riding the snot out of a Bandit 400, and I probably only took that over 100 a handful of times.

[snip]

I don't know.:(
Actually, it sounds like you DO know. ;) See if you can find someone with an SV who will let you can take it for a spin. I rode a 1999 SV (naked) behind my buddy who was riding my VTR. We rode some fast twisties and I had no problem keeping up with him. He's a faster rider than I am too - he now races an SV in WERA & CCS. In fact, I think the SV is probably a significantly better corner carver than the VTR, once some cheap suspension mods are done.

The bike felt really light compared to the VTR, yet it seemed to have plenty of torque "punch". It could loft first gear power wheelies just like the VTR, too. :D

Try it - you might like it.
 

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I have never owned a bike bigger than 600cc. But i have had runs on 750s 1100s 900s etc and i found the extra power and straightline speed amazing but when it comes to keeping the licence and fun on the twisties i found my 250r as good as any and only loosing out on straightline speed. and to be honest most speed traps are on long straights!! Where it is better to keep the speed down.
I think my next bike will be a sv650 if and when i can afford one. I am happy with the bandit but i think the sv will be lighter and more nimble. Also i have never owned a v twin before and would like to give one a try.
 

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I don't think it's correct to say "I out grew my bike" it's better to say "My ego is too big for this bike"

A friend of mine is used to the power of his GSXR 1000 and he complains that it isn't fast enough. I keep reminding him about the time this past October when he almost highsided at 70 mph because he got on the throttle too hard exiting a turn.

I bought the bandit because my poor KLR 650 was getting thrashed on my daily 40 mile commute to work, and the bandit is easyer to do wheelies on.:rolleyes:

And my ego was too big for the KLR.:p
 

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I sit around reading mags and the net and ponder a bigger bike all the time. Then I go ride and find that in the twisties I hit, I don't even use all the power I currently have. I just rode with a buddy that rides a SV-S and he was saying he needed more power to keep up with myself and another buddy that rides a 996. Then he conceded that if he actually "rode" the SV he would probably be fine. I agreed. He rides too "tight" and needs to loosen up and let the bike do it's thing, which I am sure it can.

but I remember fondly riding the snot out of a Bandit 400
That was my first bike when it was brand new in 91. Red, I put the quarter fairing, seat cowl, signals, etc. Sure was fun ripping it up to 15,500 every shift:D
 

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How's about we hear from some of the "little guys" out there?

I would personally like to hear from some riders out there that can pass or keep up with some of their "bigger" riding buddies. I used to love doing that in my younger days. It gives you that extra ego boost.

Come on! Tell us some stories!
 

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My husband's first bike was a Bandit 400. He rode it until his roommate blew it up. From there, he rode a ZX6R for two years, then a TL1000. The TL was stolen, and he went back to a 6R, which he sold within a year because he didn't like it as much as the TL. We recently refinanced our house, and I gave him permission to buy another bike, with a price cap of $8,500. He chose an Aprilia RS250, and hasn't shut up about it since it arrived in our garage. The bike doesn't go much over 135 mph, but I'd challenge almost anyone to beat him on that bike in the twisties.

Personally, I'm happy with my SV. The only other bike I'd consider is a 748 or another RS250! :drool: :drool: :drool: :drool:
 

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elodello said:
...I gave him permission to buy another bike...
Holy shit, please give your husband our sympathies.:(

All bikes are fun to ride (for me anyway), regardless of their size. I'm not as much a horsepower freak as I am in the handling department. I've never owned a litre bike, but I've owned a number of GSXR-750's. I've never "outgrown" a bike. For me, it's based more on the application. There have been some times when I'm hanging it out on the 748 and the guy I'm riding with passes me on the straights with his (insert R1, 929, whatever here) and I'm thinking to myself, "fuk man, more power!!!" But when the road tightens-up and I can give it 100% throttle out of the turns without wheelspin and I'm pulling away from the litre bike I think, "man, who needs more than this...woo hoo!!!"

Alright, I'm done.:)
 

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I think the best thing about today's big bikes is that they are not _big_ bikes. My 929 is no taller/longer/heavier than a F4, heck it's only 11 pounds heavier than a SV but has plenty of power for huge 2nd gear power wheelies on the straights. It's far smaller and lighter than my first "sportbike" (if it can be called that), a '89 Katana 600. All that's really required is a huge amount of right hand control in the corners and it will turn in and rail just as well as a less powerful bike. That said, I was able to attain a huge level of satisfaction when I had the Katana by beating a newer ZX-7 by just hanging it all out through the corners (my first experience with a power slide on the street :) ), and I would certainly consider buying a small bike as a second ride, especially as a track bike, as I don't care for riding a small bike on the straight roads to get to the fun parts.
 

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My next bike will be a litre or larger. I know a smaller bike is more fun in the twisties, but the problem out here is: THERE ARE NO TWISTIES. Therefore you gotta go for the thrill of acceleration.

Also, when your wife wants to go with you on those weekend trips, comfort and torque are important.
 

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FZR400Tony said:
call me old, but i have a lot to lose now.
Man is that so true for me. Not that I'm old...just 23, and not that I didn't have a lot to loose before but I think I just wised up to it. And I'm not talking about just loosing your license either. I gotta wife at home.

My last bike was a 98 TL1000R in which I had done so much s**t to, to get it faster and lighter that it weighed about 25lbs less than stock and went from 116.4hp stock to 129.6hp rearwheel and all I got was a lot of wheelspin in the tight stuff. I use to go out with my buddies and not think twice about the speed I was going or trying to get to, and meanwhile my wife's sitting at home without a clue as to how much of a fool I was acting and I wasn't really thinking about what could happen to me either.

Then my buddies started hitting the pavement one after the other until...yeah, that's right, I smacked the pavement, but that still didn't sink in. Then one of my buddies got seriously hurt and almost died when he wrecked on the Cherohala Skyway in NC and then it hit me....have I really been that much of an idiot? Yes Sir!

I thought I was doing the smart thing...I went from an 88 CBR600 to a 94 CBR600 to a 94 ZX-7 to a 96 ZX-7R to a 98 TL1000R. You know progressing to the bigger bike each time because I thought I had mastered the previous one. I thought big bikes were they key to beating everyone else, and it maybe in drag racing (but still a skilled drag racer on a 600 could probably beat a novice on a 1000), but I quickly learned that it wasn't so in the twisties when I was on my TLR and got passed by a 748.

So what do I have now? A 748. The suspension is great, the handling superb, the torque is great and the power is useable. I can use the 748's power so much better and have become so much quicker and I did it without trying to kill myself by blasting down the straights just to make up for the bike's poor performance in the curves.

Maybe it's my lack of skill on liter bikes that's the reason I'm not fast on them, but I think I've found my home with the 748.

P.S.- I wouldn't mind having a SVS either. Damn quick bike in the twisteis. ;)
 

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The little guy....

First of all, the people I choose to ride with are out to have fun, just like me, and be around to do it again tomorrow.:) I have always thought that's what it's all about. There is a lot of advertising hype to sell the latest and greatest and "bigger is always better". I must really be missing out, my 500 Ninja always puts a smile on my face, it has 6 gears and I use ALL of them riding the streets and twisties. No, it doesn't keep up with the 'big boys' on the straights, 'only' does around 120, but jammin' the gears and dancing through the canyons is really living.

The day will come when a 'deal' on a larger bike will come my way. The 500 Ninja will stay and just share a little of it's parking space with it's new brother. :D
 
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