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Motorbikes anybody?

Discussion on bikes, and whatever...

Motorbikes anybody?

Postby frenk » Mon Dec 10, 2007 9:01 am

Hi all,

my wife insists that I should get another bike. This time a motorbike :( ...which isn't that bad actually :grin:

We both like sport bikes and I will probably get it used but not too old. I love the looks of the cbr 600rr, and I'm wondering if it would be a good idea.

I haven't ridden a proper motorbike for the last 5 years or so, but I used to drive daily for a couple of years my unrestricted Cagiva Mito (like the one in the picture: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cagiva_Mito only 125cc, but still a sport bike).
So this will be my first "big" engine.

One concern is passenger comfort. My wife is not very tall (~165 cm), and we will mostly ride short distances, but an occasional trip to up to 90 minutes could happen. Is it doable comfort-wise?

Driver comfort is relative, I have 13cm saddle/bar drop on my road bike (bicycle, that is) and I'm used to a racy position.

Suggestions are welcome!
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Postby alexedge » Mon Dec 10, 2007 8:12 pm

Guess this one goes to me. Considering that my 'real' job is as a motorcycle journalist.

For someone just getting back into riding, the 600RR is absolutely the best choice among the sports 600s - for some reason, Honda's sportbikes are always so easy to ride, you just jump on the bike and after 10 minutes you feel like you've owned it forever, no quirks or learning curve.

Passenger comfort shouldn't be a big deal for a 90 mile trip, but remember that these bikes aren't really designed for passengers, so her weight is going to make the rear ride low and give the bike a slight 'chopper' attitude - which will slow turn-in and steering response and reduce ultimate front-end grip.

Let me know if you need any more info. Actually, I'm at work right now, but I'll revisit this post later when I have more time and I might have some further info for you...

Alex
Want to trade my immaculate EC90SLX for (with 8.5" steer tube) for an uncut EC90SLX or EC90 Aero? long shot I know, but PM me if you're interested. Or I will sell it if I get a good offer....
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Postby Fibre-Lyte » Tue Dec 11, 2007 1:26 am

I agree with all that Alexedge has said and he obviously knows a lot more than me, but if you're thinking of alternatives, one of our staff is a novice rider, and has a Yamaha YZF600 R6. It's IMO sportier than the CBR600 and carries his girlfriend regularly but may be not quite as good an all rounder as the CBR600. If you don't want something quite as sporty, but still fun, either the Suzuki Bandit 600 or Honda CB600 are both IMO good bikes :wink:
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Postby alexedge » Tue Dec 11, 2007 6:40 am

Fibre-Lyte wrote:I agree with all that Alexedge has said and he obviously knows a lot more than me, but if you're thinking of alternatives, one of our staff is a novice rider, and has a Yamaha YZF600 R6. It's IMO sportier than the CBR600 and carries his girlfriend regularly but may be not quite as good an all rounder as the CBR600. If you don't want something quite as sporty, but still fun, either the Suzuki Bandit 600 or Honda CB600 are both IMO good bikes :wink:


The R6 is a fantastic bike, I fell in love with it's telepathic handling when we first tested it in '06, and it killed the competition in our '06 600cc shootout (http://www.motorcycledaily.com/23june06_supersport.html) based again mainly on the chassis. But as I've told quite a few friends, it's really a bike designed for experts, and it's extremely track-focused. Little to no low-end and mid-range power, which makes it sort of a bitch for around-town riding.

I speak from experience - after the shootout, I convinced Yamaha to let me take an R6 as a long-term/project bike, and it was my daily rider for 4-5 months (well, swapping between that and a Kawasaki ZX-14, my other project bike). I tried re-gearing it with the sprockets, but the bottom line is that the internal ratios are designed for the track - the super-tall first gear is great in that it allows you to use first for slower corners at the track, but it absolutely sucks on the street - just pulling away from a stop requires massive revs and tons of clutch slippage.

When I lowered the gearing it helped with the tall first and second, but the upper gears became somewhat too short.

Also, your experience may be different than mine, but everyone I put on the back of the R6 absolutely hated it. My 100lb then-girlfriend described it as a "leather-covered piece of concrete".

When Honda released their new 600RR for '07 (when the R6 won our shootout, it was competing against the 05-06 600RR, which took second), I really felt it was an absolutely fantastic bike. Rode it at the press launch at Barber in Alabama (http://www.motorcycledaily.com/07december06_cbrpt2.htm), and then my best friend bought one (on my advice), and I did a few track days with him where we swapped bikes around. Although the 600RR may give up a slight edge to the R6 in the handling department, it more than makes up for it (IMO) with its easy to ride nature, broad spread of power (tons more midrange, with similar top-end), and comfortable riding position. The 600RR is also extremely light, which is great in quick left-right transitions and in low-speed maneuvers.

To be completely honest, having ridden basically every bike on the market, there's only two sportbikes I'd consider buying right now - the 600RR or a Yamaha R1 (fantastic bike, but probably a little too much for your skill level, no offense).

Things may change with the introduction of the '08 R6 - Yamaha has applied the variable intake length from the R1 to boost midrange power, and the already stunning chassis has been further refined. I haven't ridden it yet (missed the intro), but it may be the new king of the class. However, when the new R6 hits the showrooms, it's going to be in high demand, while the slightly overshadowed 600RR will be sitting their waiting for someone to negotiate a killer deal. The demand for the incrementally improved new bikes always means that last year's model can be had cheap.

Trust me, buy the CBR. Just don't get the new flat-black 'Graffiti' paint scheme - because that will be my new ride in a month or two.

Image

And yes, that is me in all the 600RR pictures, and most of the 600 shootout shots (the grey and black leathers, or the blue jacket = me, the red and black leathers = my dad). All in the family - my younger brother took that incredible R6 wheelie shot, and the background blur is NOT photoshop.

And yes I do look like I'm riding like shit in the pics from the 600RR intro - it's hard to learn a new track when you're a Cali boy and it's 36 degrees outside (+wind chill!)...

The infamous 16krpm, 90mph first gear balance point:

Image
Want to trade my immaculate EC90SLX for (with 8.5" steer tube) for an uncut EC90SLX or EC90 Aero? long shot I know, but PM me if you're interested. Or I will sell it if I get a good offer....
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Postby frenk » Tue Dec 11, 2007 9:08 am

Thanks, great input guys!!! :thumbUp:

First, that's a seriously nice picture!

As you said the R1 is sure too much for my current level (to be honest probably any 600 would be too much bike anyway), and I also thought the R6 would be a bit less versatile on the street from the opinions I heard (no plans to do track for a while), even if it seems a killer bike as well.

Honestly, I started with a liking for the CBR (it was always my preferred bike since I was a kid -my father had a 1000 many years ago), but the more I read, the more it's becoming *the only* choice! :D

Also the f4i looks like a good option for my intended use, but it's hard to find a used one here, while RR's are quite common.


I plan to get it used, probably from year ~2004-... and probably from a garage. Is there anything special I should check or be aware of?
The graffiti scheme is wonderful! I won't get it just because I won't get it new...


Thanks! :loveyou:
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Postby Juanmoretime » Tue Dec 11, 2007 11:32 am

So you don't want to here about my Harley? :shock: :D
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Postby ash » Tue Dec 11, 2007 1:49 pm

<plug> If you happen to be bringing your bike to Australia sometime, im sure i an get my brother to organise a new paint scheme for you ..

www.luckycaleb.com

</plug>

I havent had a chance/bike to see how he goes on something pedal powered yet, but im kinda proud of all his other work

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Postby billyboy » Tue Dec 11, 2007 3:38 pm

Juanmoretime wrote:So you don't want to here about my Harley? :shock: :D


We can, but only juan more time..........
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Postby alexedge » Tue Dec 11, 2007 3:52 pm

ash wrote:<plug> If you happen to be bringing your bike to Australia sometime, im sure i an get my brother to organise a new paint scheme for you ..

www.luckycaleb.com

</plug>

I havent had a chance/bike to see how he goes on something pedal powered yet, but im kinda proud of all his other work

Ash


completely OT, but MAN, your brother has some serious skills! I wonder how much it would cost to ship a saddle to AU - I've been wanting to pick up on of these bare carbon ultralights that FWB sells and get it done up, and some of the skulls and stuff he has on his gallery looks like just what I've been imagining!

-------------------END OT-------------------

To OP - where do you live? At my local dealership in Cali they've still got one brand new '06 F4i and it's, well, let's just say "priced to move". The F4i is another great bike - I may be dating myself a bit here (I'm a youngin), but I learned how to ride on my mom's F4i, so I hold a lasting affection for that model. As apparently did a lot of others, judging by Honda's decision to keep producing it for three or four years after they had already released the 600RR.

The only really big change they made on the F4i (after going to fuel injection from the carbed F4) was the whole seat unit/tailsection. Earlier models had a racier-looking tail with seperate rider and passenger seats, while later bikes had a more bulbous tailsection with a long one-piece seat. I HEAR the one-piece seat is more comfortable for both rider and passenger, but can't confirm with firsthand experience.

It just depends on what you want - even an '04 600RR is a fantastic all-around bike with the emphasis leaning towards performance a bit more than the tamer F4i, but the F4i offers more comfortable seating, a less aggressive riding position, more wind protection from it's larger fairing, and so on. As your first "big" bike, both will feel like rocketships - don't listen to the canyon posers who say 600s are slow. If you know anything about quarter-mile times, I would expect the 600RR to stomp a dragstrip in close to 11 seconds flat, whereas the F4i might be closer to 11.3-11.5 - both faster than anything to be found in [i]The Fast and the Furious[/b] lol.

I guess an apt comparison would be this - think of the 600RR as a Specialized Tarmac SL, while the F4i is more of a Roubaix - trading a tiny bit of speed for a good dose of comfort, but still quite quick.

Frenk - I'll pm you my cell number, and if you give me a call we can bullshit about bikes and hopefully I can help with your decision. I've ridden every major bike in the last 4 years, so I have a little bit of data I don't mind sharing. Would also like to give you some safety tips as I hate seeing new/returning riders getting hurt. Just remember that I'm on PST.

Alex
Want to trade my immaculate EC90SLX for (with 8.5" steer tube) for an uncut EC90SLX or EC90 Aero? long shot I know, but PM me if you're interested. Or I will sell it if I get a good offer....
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Postby Rasmus » Tue Dec 11, 2007 3:54 pm

I'm going to keep an eye on this thread, seeing as how my new boss wants me to get a motorbike after I relocate to the US. Bloody yanks :grin:
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Any thoughts on the SV650?

Postby Jmpantone » Tue Dec 11, 2007 8:00 pm

I've been thinking about an SV650 for my first moto bike. Any thoughts?
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Postby Juanmoretime » Tue Dec 11, 2007 11:20 pm

ash wrote:<plug> If you happen to be bringing your bike to Australia sometime, im sure i an get my brother to organise a new paint scheme for you ..

www.luckycaleb.com

</plug>

I havent had a chance/bike to see how he goes on something pedal powered yet, but im kinda proud of all his other work

Ash


Your brother is quite some painter. My bike still has its stock paint since a quality paint job costs about the same as a high end road bike. Paint my Harley or another bike? Tough choice.
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Re: Any thoughts on the SV650?

Postby alexedge » Wed Dec 12, 2007 3:31 pm

Jmpantone wrote:I've been thinking about an SV650 for my first moto bike. Any thoughts?


I could spend a half hour adding to the volumes that have been written in praise of the SV, but I'll try to keep it short. It's the only bike in the world that is universally considered an excellent beginner bike, but is still adored by experienced journalists (not all, but some). My friend Mark Cernicky from Cycle World has mentioned that it's one of his all-time favorite bikes.


And through all the test bikes, brand new 1000s and 600s and such, we owned an SV, and it still got ridden often!

Alex
Want to trade my immaculate EC90SLX for (with 8.5" steer tube) for an uncut EC90SLX or EC90 Aero? long shot I know, but PM me if you're interested. Or I will sell it if I get a good offer....
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Postby Fibre-Lyte » Thu Dec 13, 2007 2:07 am

I totally agree about the SV. I only ever hear good things about that bike, probably explains why we sell so many accessories for them!

Alex, regarding your comments about the R1, in the UK they're considered a bit of a death wish bike i.e. far too much like a race bike on the road which may explain why insurance is VERY high for them. In the 1000 range, the GSXR1000 seems the best of the bunch?

Interestingly, no-one (including me) has mentioned the Triumph Daytona 675. All the reviews I've seen suggest that's the 'benchmark' bike? However, for some reason Triumph seem to think that the US market prefers their 3 litre bike :shock:

JMT, I think Harleys are great, but they are for riders who don't mind being left behind :roll: :wink:
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Postby Rasmus » Thu Dec 13, 2007 4:48 am

I too was looking at the SV650! I'm afraid I'd just kill myself if I got anything too fast, and let's face it, there's just no fun in being deceased.
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