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Discussion Starter #1
I will be purchasing my first bike in less than a year, and can't afford to get a brand new one (have to buy a new vehicle) so I am looking into the early 90's to prolly 97-98. Is there a huge performance difference between the older 600's compared to the new ones? I want a bike to be a weekend rider, and sometimes daily driven. I am not tied to a specific manufacturer, I am pretty open to suggestions. I will be taking all the neccessary courses, and have a friend who will help me learn how to ride it properly. I know 'nothing' about bikes..and came here to learn. What are the 1/4 mile times on the older 600's? do they handle well? Just a few of many questions. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
 

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Can't speak for all of them, but just the ones that I've owned and ridden.

The '95 ZX-6R is a solid bike. Parts are a little hard to come by these days tho. Stay away from the 96-97.

The '97 Honda CBR600 F3 is a good bike, too. Bottom heavy so it's very flickable. Parts are pretty interchangable from many many years.

The '97 GSX-R600 is a good bike too. Strong running motor. Parts are still readily available for these. The only downfall is that it doesn't have fully adjustible suspension, which is easy to render. Get a set of '98+ forks off eBay or the such and replace them.

That's about it for those years, that I know of.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you for the informative reply, I want a bike that if/when I lay it down it won't cost me an arm and a leg to repair. I want it to be reliable so I can learn on it for just over a year or so, and handle pretty good for those days I want to hit a back road(when I feel more comfortable).
 

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As far as the initial dollars invested, my guess is the ZX6R or F3 is your best bet.

I raced a 97 GSX-R600 for the last two years, and I'll tell ya, if you're seriously looking to LEARN to ride, this is not it! But if you do succeed on a GSX-R600, you will be able to ride just about anything.

There's something to be said about RPM management!

But for lay down and repairs, I say the GSX-R is your best bet, since there are still a lot of 97+ GSX-R600's on the race circuit and many many parts to be had.
 

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You want a bike that if you accidently lay it down will not cost & arm & a leg. Okay that makes sense to me & you want a bike that you can us to & from work along with some decent small trips.
UNFORTUNATELY when you look into a sportbike you are looking at a bike with plastic fairings & they tend to break up & cost a mint.
Performance wise the slightly older sportbikes have a better mid-range engine, easier on fuel & not as hard on tyres as the more modern bikes.
Still they will have the plastic fairings & even then they are a sort of peaky engine compared to some of the 500 to 650cc twins with a slighly more upright riding position & some with just small top fairings or none at all.
I have been riding m/cs constantly for 50+ yrs & have a '97 Yamaha YZF-600r (not the peaky screamer called the R6) along with a '00 Honda 929 & believe me I love both of them.
Let just one friend take out my so called guttless 600 (this was an experienced rider of a muscle bike 15 yrs ago) he came back saying he had only taken it up to 5 grand & 4th cog. It was actually to much for him. He searched for a year plus & came up with a Honda 750 of sometime back in '70 & is now a happy rider that clocks a lot of miles each year.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Smitty: My point about a less expensive bike to repair is based around the fact that I don't want an older bike which is nearly impossible to find parts to fix. I know these things are not made like a brick shit house, and I know that they are not cheap to fix. I would just rather not spend more time trying to 'locate' parts than I need to if/when I lay it down. I have read your posts, and respect your opinions. You get your point across rather harshley, but get it across. I have a 5 month old, and in no way will drive crazy, or take any extra chances when on the bike. I will purchase all the gear, take all the classes,etc. I am just in a bind where I can't purchase the brand new bike that I had planned on doing :( I need to buy a new truck/car, because my accord has way too many miles on it, and just isn't sufficient enough. I want a good bike to learn on, so down the road I can purchase a brand new bike. Would you recommend a 500cc bike? If so, what kind?
 

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Best way to save money then is to buy one with previously trashed plastics but otherwise sound. Then all the crash depreciation has taken place and you can drop it a few times (which you will, I still do:crying: ) and not feel like you have to go buy a grand in paint/plastic. When you sell it in a year you'll have learned most of the ways to prevent dropping it and your new drop damage will not have taken any more value out of the bike.
 

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Dragontail... take a look at the Suzuki SV650. Either the "naked" version, or the "S," but particularly the "naked." Not because it is an excellent bike for a new rider-- which it is, by the way-- but simply because it's an excellent bike. Period. It has a voracious following-- check out [www.svrider.com] It's lightweight, torquey, quick, stable at speed and in the twisties-- but isn't at all intimidating. Power delivery is linear and predictable; it won't yank your arms out of their sockets, but it will motivate you past 100 mph in the time it took to read this sentence! And, best of all for you, low mileage examples can be had for around $4 grand. Spend another $50 for frame sliders, and a low-speed drop won't cause your wallet nearly as much pain as cracking the plastics on ANY faired bike. (With luck, you won't even dent the tank!) And as for insurance..... I pay $327/yr for full coverage--$500 deductable. Less than one third of what I'd be paying for a fully faired "supersport."
 

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Dragontail,

I assume you are breathing. If so then no, you are not too old!

I'd go with the advice saying look at unfaired bikes to avoid expensive topples! They also have the advantage that you may be able to get a newer bike for the same money, and one that's likely to be less messed about with.

My girlfriend has a Honda Hornet 600. Basically the same engine as the late 90's model CBR600 but with a bit more mid-range so you don't need to scream it everywhere. But if you do decide to scream it serious fun ensues!

Like the SV it comes either as half faired (practical) or unfaired (hoologan fun). There are loads of tuning bits for it too.

Finally, the best advice regarding dropping any bike is to look into crash bungs - basically plastic mushrooms that you bolt to the sides of the bike. The idea is they touch down before expensive things like engines and tanks! I really must get around to getting some...
 

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DragonTail said:
Would you guys recommend I start on a 500 and move up? Would a 600 be too fast?
Yes.
look for a Kawasaki EX500, Suzuki GS500- these have been petty much unchanged for over a decade, so parts are plentiful. Plus hardly any plastics (EX) or none (GS).

or other bikes like the Bandit 400, Honda CB-1, Yamaha Seca II, Honda VTR 250, Kawasaki EX250, plus dual-purpose bikes.

Don't worry much about parts/availability- if you really need to replace something, if you get an early 90's and up vintage, you should be able to find just about anything.
 

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inanima said:


Yes.
look for a Kawasaki EX500, Suzuki GS500- these have been petty much unchanged for over a decade, so parts are plentiful. Plus hardly any plastics (EX) or none (GS).

or other bikes like the Bandit 400, Honda CB-1, Yamaha Seca II, Honda VTR 250, Kawasaki EX250, plus dual-purpose bikes.

Don't worry much about parts/availability- if you really need to replace something, if you get an early 90's and up vintage, you should be able to find just about anything.
i just wanted to add to this, you can get most of the parts, used on ebay.

the kawi and suzi 500's are both excellent machines.

starting on 600 is possible, but it's not the easy way to learn.
 

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Based on my experience and friend's experience, I would suggest a YZF600R, CBR600F3, ZX6R in 1996-97.
You should also take in consideration a bike like the VTR1000, it would be an excellent bike for what you mentionned you would do.

There is no mention of your age!!! however, I may say that any of the a/n bikes could be too much for someone with no experience or/and SOMEONE WHO WON'T BE ABLE TO CONTROL HIS RIGHT WRIST!!!

I've seen new riders on new 600's and even on R1's and they didn't have any problems gaining experience on their bikes because they had respect for the bikes, they knew their own limits and of course they had good control of their right wrist!!!

No matter the size of the bike, if you go to far passed your limits or the limits of the bike, you'll get in trouble.
Answer: Control...

Al.:cool: :cool: :cool:
 

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as far as parts availability I wouldn't worry about it, like previously said EVERYTHING is available on ebay!!!

my bike is an 84, and I did wreck it, but I can literally buy and build the entire bike again for less then I first bought it for off ebay. as far as parts availability I'd say either go for the honda f2/f3 or the better choice for the first bike would be the ninja ex500, since they haven't changed much at all in the last 10 years you can easily pick up a 92-96 for less then 2 grand. and if you wreck it, not a big deal, hit ebay and $100 later your back in business
 

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Some good tips above by inanima, partqyman& a few others.
If you could latch onto a use SV650 then that is as far as I would go as a beginner for this bike has nice torque in lower revs. Still any of the vertical twins from 500 to 650 would be lovely bikes to learn & ride on. As for parts I am sure you will not run into any problem. Even the 750 four my friend bought was no probelm as they were so popular & still so many still being used.
TRUE most m/c shops do not carry the EXACT part or aftermarket copy you want on their shelves & I know this with my Honda 929 & Yamaha 600 that I often have to wait a few days to a week, bar things like tyres, chains, brake pads & such. Foot levers & hand levers to even cables are often a week waiting for. You see it is different in the m/c field compared to cages EVEN with a new to fairly new bike & the same will be for popular bikes of the 80s, 90s or even some of the 70s. For ever m/c on the street there are a thousand plus cages & many with the same parts for some 20 plus yrs.
 

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FZR400Tony said:


i just wanted to add to this, you can get most of the parts, used on ebay.

the kawi and suzi 500's are both excellent machines.

starting on 600 is possible, but it's not the easy way to learn.
Have to toss in my 2 cents, I agree with Tony..I also would rather see you get a SV 650, as opposed to a 600 sportbike to learn on..even the 97 600 gixxer, has a good amount of power, that if not used wisley, can put ya on your head..I had a 97 600 gix..
 
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