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I presently ride a 1983 Yamaha Virago with a 920cc engine. I bought it because I wanted to learn to ride and it was a good deal from a friend. I thought I would always want to ride a cruiser type of bike, but I'm getting more and more interested in sports bikes instead. My main question surrounds engine size. I'm 6'1", around 210 lbs. I do a fair bit of highway riding, and would ideally like to be able to seat someone else on the back if need be. When talking to cruiser guys, they say, 'don't go less than 1k ccs on your engine size, preferably 1500 or more.' My requirements are listed above. I'm looking for something that's not going to tach out on the highway, so can I get away with a 600-700cc sports bike or should I keep looking in that upper range? Anything else you want to add? Thanks for the help.
 

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Strength and Honor
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They lack experience with sportbikes. 600 (even 500) is fine in most circumstances to get up to, and maintain, Interstate speeds. This thread chats a bit about 600s and liter bikes in terms of use. I've never had a liter bike, and am not sure I will given the elevated costs. Starting with a 600 is my recommendation, with model depending on how you want to use it.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you for the link, I'm perusing it right now.
The bike I have now was originally a touring bike that I stripped all of the fairing and bags off of. It gets up to around 4k rpm when I'm doing 55, and around 65 (realistic highway speeds) it's around 5k and sounds like I'm riding it rough (compared to how my car sounds). I know it's apples and oranges, bikes have a different gear ratio and are made to run at higher RPM, but it just makes me worry.
 

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To really put it into perspective: All of the 600's from the Japanese manufacturers today will outrun every stock factory cruiser ever made regardless of engine size. Read that again and let it sink in because it's true. The 920 Virago tops out at 108 mph. A 600 sportbike will do more than that in 3rd gear, and have 3 more gears left. You won't have any problem with "highway speeds." Cruiser guys have no idea what they're talking about when it comes to engine sizes in sportbikes.
 
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