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Which bike is for me?

Discussion in 'Moto Club' started by FatBob, Apr 16, 2006.

  1. FatBob

    FatBob

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    I've ridden bikes for many years. I started on dirtbikes, and later moved on to street bikes (standard cruisers). Four years ago, my wife and I had our first child, and a year later we moved to MN, where we needed a house more, and toys less. I sold the bikes (because I wanted to keep my guns!).

    Anyway, I'm now in a possition to start saving some money for a "Non-gun" toy. My wife has approved the purchase of a bike, as long as no financing is needed. I'm fairly patient, and have decided to wait untill next fall to buy a bike (possibly the fall after that, if necessary).

    My goal is to have a 'toy' that I can take 30 minute to 1 hour drives on the country highways near wear I live, 3-4 times a week. I have no ambition to go on longer trips, and I'm not looking to race. Just something that is fun to ride, and has responsive handling. I'd really like to buy a Sport bike (ie. crotch rocket), but I honestly don't know much about them. I don't know which one is good, which one to avoid, or what is a fair price to pay.

    I'm setting my price range at roughly $3,000 - $4,000. I don't want to get a "fixer upper" but I don't mind getting a slightly older bike (mid '90's - Present). I'm also looking for something under 1,000 cc's. Any suggestions on what to look for, or where to look would be appreciated.

    Thanks, Kory.
     
  2. WellArmedSheep

    WellArmedSheep NRA Member

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    Any sport bike from the mid 90's on is gonna be faster than you'd ever need a street bike to be. That said, you'll probably find several 600 or even 750 class bikes in your local Cycle Trader from the early-mid 90's that'll fit in your price range. Anything from the Big 4 (Yamaha, Kawasaki, Honda, Suzuki) will be servicable and for the most part reliable. Just try to find a clean one that's been ridden regularly. The 1,000 mile '95 model for a song may be tempting, but remember the worst thing you can do for an engine is let it sit for extended periods.
     

  3. iceman32

    iceman32

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    well there really is no "best sportbike" one year they're two tenths of a second faster next year someone squeezes another tenth of a second. so it's basically what you like. some things to consider are. the suzuki gsxr is a great bike, reliable lots of aftermarket and replacement parts are decently priced, the only thing is that they are the #1 most likely to be crashed and or stolen so they're the most expensive things to insure. the honda's are great bikes too, it's hard to beat honda reliability...if they've been maintained. the cbr f4's are the most popular stuntbike so if you look at buying one used get it looked at by a mechanic as these are the most often abused and neglected bikes. but if you can find one in good mechanical condition they're great bikes. nothing really stands out to pay attention for on kawasaki's, they're great bikes and run well there just not the most popular for some reason. yamaha sportbikes are my personal favorite. i think they look great and are almost always at the top of the list in magazine comparo's. the only thing with yamaha's are that the subframe (the part that the tail, seat, stoplights all attach to) is welded to the main frame. where as most other manufacturers bolt them on. what this means is while it is slight bit stronger. if you crash your bike and bend the subframe 99% of the time the bike will be totaled by insurance because it would cost so much to fix. also if you are inseam challenged (shortlegged) the suzuki's are generally the widest bikes (except for the new 06 ones) and yamaha are generally the skinniest ones.
     
  4. GixxerSixxer

    GixxerSixxer Phil Deez Nutz

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    If you're set on getting a sport bike then do not go over 600 cc's. You said you've got experience but that was 4 years ago. The 600's now-a-days are putting out almost as much HP as a 1000 used to.

    The 600's will get you into plenty of trouble pretty easily.

    How comfortable do you want to be? A sport bike wasn't made for the long haul. Especially a GSXR or R6. The GSXR has the most aggressive body position while the R6 or CBR600RR comes in second. If you don't have proper form you'll be sore.

    If you want a bike that can get-up-and-go but is comfortable then a sport bike isn't the best choice. The Honda F4i is a tamer sport bike. It has a more upright body position as opposed the CBR600RR. The Yamaha FZR6 is another bike that can move but can also be used to tour a canyon road on a nice day. The SV650 is another option. Even the Suzuki Katana could be an option. It's kind of a pig but it will be in the price range and still gives 90% of cars a run for their money.

    I'm more partial to recommend the SV650. I'm a Suzuki man so I'm biased. The pro's for the SV650 are:

    Little amount of plastic, so if you drop it not much damage done.
    V-twin engine so you don't have to spin it up as much to make power.
    Insurance will be cheaper.
    Parts have good volume on ebay.
     
  5. fnfalman

    fnfalman Chicks Dig It

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    For $3000-4000 you will have quite of a large selection to choose from. Too large, actually. You're going to have to decide on more stringent selection criteria: engine size, engine type, comfort level, brand. Then we can narrow it down some more.
     
  6. FatBob

    FatBob

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    Wow guys. Lots of things to consider. I hadn't honestly thought of what the prior uses of the bikes may have been (ie. "the cbr f4's are the most popular stuntbike so if you look at buying one used ..."). I'm glad I asked here!

    I am set on getting a sport bike. I would prefer something in the 600cc - 750cc range, but I was willing to go bigger (up too about 929cc) just to keep a bigger range for purchase options. I guess I'd prefer a V-twin, but I don't really know if it matters.

    My first bike was a 1982 Yamaha Maxim 650, but I've owned a Honda CR500 :drool: , and a Yamaha V-Star 1100, so I'm not afraid of a little more power. I guess I'd just prefer the sport bike in the 600-750cc range, because that should be plenty for the leasure rides I have in mind.

    Some of the bikes that have caught my eye are (not necessarily in my price range, or engine size):
    - Buell lightning
    - Yamaha YZF R6
    - Honda CBR
    - Kawasaki Ninja

    I like the "naked" look of the Buell, and I like the full farings that other sport bikes have. I don't mind the look of the Suzuki SV650 (partial fairing), but it just appears to me that it's missing something. So I guess it would either need to be "naked," or have full fairings. I'd like to get something based more on performance than looks, but I have to admit that looks will have a big part of it as well.
     
  7. fnfalman

    fnfalman Chicks Dig It

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    When all else fail, it's pretty hard to go wrong with a Honda CBR. It has the most rider friendly seating position (albeit not by much, but better than nothing), and it's a Honda.
     
  8. Jtemple

    Jtemple Geek

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    Get the naked version of the SV650. Here's mine:

    [​IMG]

    Love it! 0-60 in 3.6 seconds is plenty fast for me.
     
  9. FatBob

    FatBob

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    VERY NICE! But too fast for me.
     
  10. fnfalman

    fnfalman Chicks Dig It

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    You don't get too many vehicles that are slower than the SV650. If you want something that's sporty and slower than the SV650 then you'll have to look at the Kawasaki Ninja 250 (aka EX250), Kawasaki Ninja 500 (aka EX500), the new Kawasaki Ninja 650R (of which you're not going to find one used and dirt cheap because it's brand new), the Suzuki GS500, the BMW 650CS (not cheap, used or new), the Buell Blast (I'd buy the Ninja 250 before I'd buy this thing).

    I can't think of too many sporty bikes of recent vintage that are slower than the SV650. This is not a denouncement of the SV650, but sporty motorcycles are, for a lack of better words, fast.
     
  11. FatBob

    FatBob

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    I realize the speed they're capable of. I was qouting JTemple's comment of "0-60 in 3.6 seconds is plenty fast for me." I was implying that that rate of acceleration was something I was not going to try to replicate. :freak:
     
  12. BCM

    BCM

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    SV is a dynamite ride. sure they are fast, but remember "its only as fast as you make it"
    Good Luck!
     
  13. epsylum

    epsylum Boolit Hoze

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    +1

    BTW fnfalman you forgot to mention the several Ducs that are slower than the SV (you know the ones that are supposed to be it's "competition" :supergrin: )

    I love the look of Jtemple's naked SV (especially with the new bars). I prefer the naked one to the faired one. But, I prefer the looks of naked bikes anyways.

    The SV IMO is the bike you need. It is a V-twin, TONS of parts availible, it is plenty fast, and although I have not ridden one, I hear they are excellent handlers. Plus they don't cost that much. Also not a bike that you will out-grow very fast.

    If I wasn't so big, I would be all over the SV650, but as it is I would look like I had a bike crammed up my rear end if I rode one. I looked goofy enough on my TL1000. ;)
     
  14. fnfalman

    fnfalman Chicks Dig It

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    Well, there are the Ducati Wee Monster and Multistrada Light but they aren't cheap, used and whatnot.
     
  15. BikerRN

    BikerRN

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    When I read the post I was thinking of a SV 650.

    If the original poster is used to cruisers then he should be OK with a twin. I ride the Multistrada Light, and it does all I want it to do, except go over 120 MPH. That to me is a good thing, I'd be in jail if it did.

    I can cruise at 85 all day long, after 90 it starts to show it's limitations, but it's great in the corners or for single touring.
     
  16. epsylum

    epsylum Boolit Hoze

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    I was just trying to rib ya a little about you fondness for Euro *cough* overpriced *cough* bikes. :supergrin:
     
  17. FatBob

    FatBob

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    I meant to mention, that I'm not a "little guy." I'm 6'2" ~230 lbs.

    Should I maybe consider a bigger displacement engine? I know a 600cc can scoot me around just fine, but will I wish I got a bigger one soon? Will I just wish I got a 900cc - 1000cc?
     
  18. GixxerSixxer

    GixxerSixxer Phil Deez Nutz

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    No, the power to weight ration is plenty enough as it is. It beats almost all cars you will encounter on the road. Being a V-twin the SV-650 will have more torque in the low end too.

    David Jeffries wasn't a little guy and he raced plenty of 600's.

    Going with a bigger displacement won't mean you'll have more room on the bike to stretch your legs either, so don't get the SV-1000. If leg room is that much of an issue, then you can buy adjustable rear-sets.

    You will get used to the acceleration in only one summer, a month if you ride it daily; however, that doesn't mean you'll really be able to ride the bike. My Grandma could sit on a bike and twist the throttle if you put an air shifter on the machine. Talk to any drag bike racer and they'd tell you they always want more too.

    I'm pretty confident to say that 75% of riders couldn't ride a 250cc sportbike to it's full potential. 90% of riders couldn't ride a 600cc to it's full potential. This is in racing mind you, but the street is no where near as nice as the race track. A 250 will teach you how to maintain and carry momentum through a corner. Most guys skip learning that and just use brute force to power around corners fast.

    The 2-stroke 500cc Moto GP bike is regared as the most vicious and brutal bike ever. If you can ride a GP 2-stroke you could ride anything.
     
  19. fnfalman

    fnfalman Chicks Dig It

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    If you're hefty (not fat, but just simply big) then the bigger bike with more torque will make it a bit easier to ride. You don't have to rev the bike as hard to get going.

    The thing is this: there is no laws that tell you to own only one bike for a long time. You can trade in and trade up after getting some experience under your belt.

    People always want to skip the learning stage and get the bike that their skills can't cash because they're afraid of having to trade in.

    What's wrong with trading in six months or a year down the road? What if you were to think that you really, really, really want that Hayabusa and then it turned out that maybe a cruiser is more your style?

    People need to learn how to ride on a cheap, used, innocuous bike so that they can gain enough experience AND skills in order to make a more informed decision on their ultimate riding style and bike.
     
  20. OJ

    OJ Deceased Millennium Member

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    If you can find one of these for 4Gs in good shape, pick it up instantly. My weekly ride is from Colorado Springs to Cripple Creek & back - for me it has to be at least 100 miles to qualify as a "ride" and that ride is great.

    Mostly curves from sweepers to tight twisties on and off camber. longest straight stretch is only 2 1/2 miles long. It handles that ride well - 105 miles in 2 1/4 hours.

    Specs:
    530 pounds wet weight
    6 1/2 gallon gas tank
    0 - 60 in 4.7 seconds
    Top speed 120 by manual - I ran out of courage at 110 before I ran out of throttle.
    Last check with new jets & needle - 55 MPG +/- 2. (Mine is dual plugged)

    [​IMG]

    1977 R100S BMW



    :laughabove: :laughabove: :laughabove: