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Old 11-23-2012, 09:18 PM   #1 (permalink)
muddmonky
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Question brand comparison?

im looking to get my first sport bike by around february 2013. im going to start looking at the dealerships and seeing what fits me best in the next few weeks.

what im looking to get from anyone here with riding experience and bike ownership experience is the differences between the top 4 brands.

this is not a honda vs suzuki vs kawasaki vs yamaha..... from what iv read there all pretty good and you get what you pay for. what im looking for is what features/parts/designs are brand spacific.... like what are the good, bads, and just stupid shit some of the brands put on there bikes.

is there any features or performance issues you like on certain brand or any you cant stand that its competitors put on there bikes. do any particular parts or components on certain series's go out/breaking prematurely or need upgrading right off the bat, stuff like that
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Old 11-23-2012, 10:08 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by muddmonky View Post
im looking to get my first sport bike by around february 2013. im going to start looking at the dealerships and seeing what fits me best in the next few weeks.

what im looking to get from anyone here with riding experience and bike ownership experience is the differences between the top 4 brands.

this is not a honda vs suzuki vs kawasaki vs yamaha..... from what iv read there all pretty good and you get what you pay for. what im looking for is what features/parts/designs are brand spacific.... like what are the good, bads, and just stupid shit some of the brands put on there bikes.

is there any features or performance issues you like on certain brand or any you cant stand that its competitors put on there bikes. do any particular parts or components on certain series's go out/breaking prematurely or need upgrading right off the bat, stuff like that
I think the biggest feature you want is fuel injection.

The old Ninja 250 was not designed as well as I would like it to have been. The carburetors are buried in the bike- you have to take out part of the FENDER and the gas tank to move the air filter box to get to the frigging carburetor if you need to clean it. And you'll need to clean it every ~5K miles. And it will be hell to start if it's less than 50 degrees outside.

Not having to deal with a carburetor in a first bike is a big plus. IIRC the Ninja 250 and 500 are carbureted. The CBR 250 and 500, as well as the Ninja 300 are fuel injected.

Also, start small- 500 ccs or less is the best way to go. Those 600 cc bikes have power to weight ratios more comparable with F16s than sportscars. You WILL learn to ride an R6 or a CBR in a few years, maybe by the end of a full season if you really want to push it, but you want to learn to ride it well- with skill and with confidence. In order to get there, you need to start on a 250, a 300, or a 500, and ideally switch to one of the less crazily tuned <100hp bikes for your second bike (IE an SV650 or maybe an F4I).

Dealers will try to sell you on a 600CC bike. They want a bigger commission on the sale. Private party sellers will try to claim that old FZRs and Katanas are safe for new riders. They want to get rid of an old bike to a new, inexperienced buyer. Trust me, go for a Ninja 300 or a CBR 250, (or any other =<500 cc bike with fuel injection) and try to get it in a private party transaction. Even if you can't get that, the inconvenience of a carbureted bike, especially for a few thousand miles during the summer, is a heckuvalot smaller than the inconvenience of dealing with a 450 lb motorcycle as a starter bike.

Used Ninjas, GS500Fs, CBR 250s and 500s, and other starter bikes bought/sold in private party transactions tend to retain their values well, and tend to sell fairly easily, especially if you live in a large metropolitan area. Reason is that they're starter bikes that people are always looking to ride to get experience, and people are always looking to sell as they upgrade.

After 1000 miles, you'll stop dropping the bike and making bigger mistakes.

After 3000 miles and six months, you'll be able to take curves quickly and ride confidently in heavy urban traffic. That would be my minimum experience threshold for considering a faster bike. Don't worry, you'll get there quick and the work of buying/selling the starter bike will be less than $500. Call it an investment in riding skill.

Last edited by GoIllini; 11-23-2012 at 10:26 PM.
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Old 11-23-2012, 11:21 PM   #3 (permalink)
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i was looking at honda cb500r and cb500f, the f caught my atention cause its advirtises as a stiped down sport bike.

i was looking at kawasaki but im not sure about that slipper clutch, i get it makes things a little simpler on the rider but it looks like its there to take a way some of the agressive engine braking and not make you have to rev match on down shifts (i drive a 5 speed rev matching is just part of driving).

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Old 11-23-2012, 11:37 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by muddmonky View Post
i was looking at honda cb500r and cb500f, the f caught my atention cause its advirtises as a stiped down sport bike.

i was looking at kawasaki but im not sure about that slipper clutch, i get it makes things a little simpler on the rider but it looks like its there to take a way some of the agressive engine braking and not make you have to rev match on down shifts (i drive a 5 speed rev matching is just part of driving).
Not sure how much the Ninja 250/500 has been redesigned, but the old model was a royal pain to service.

Want to replace a clutch cable?

Ok, take off half the fairings and disconnect the fuel line so you can remove the gas tank and service the bike.

Carbs need cleaning?

Uhoh, now on top of removing the gas tank, you also need to take off part of the back fender so you can move back the battery box, so you can move back the airbox, so you can get to the carbs.

Don't lose any of the ~30 something screws involved while you do it.

Ninja250.org has a lot of details on servicing the Ninja 250. You may want to give that site a look. I think (I could be wrong) the older Ninja 500 model (which stayed the same from the late '80s to 2006) was designed a lot like the older 250s, although that may have changed with the new models.

Last edited by GoIllini; 11-24-2012 at 12:32 AM.
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Old 11-24-2012, 12:12 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by muddmonky View Post
i was looking at honda cb500r and cb500f, the f caught my atention cause its advirtises as a stiped down sport bike.

i was looking at kawasaki but im not sure about that slipper clutch, i get it makes things a little simpler on the rider but it looks like its there to take a way some of the agressive engine braking and not make you have to rev match on down shifts (i drive a 5 speed rev matching is just part of driving).
rev-matching on the street is for entertainment only. doing so on a track takes up precious time. utilizing a slipper clutch is a great way to concentrate on other, more important things while setting up for a corner.

i thought not rev-matching would bother me a lot more than it did. i really don't even think about it any more. i just bang my downshifts as fast as i can and don't worry about it...


s3aturnr


p.s. i didn't realize any of those bikes you mentioned had a stock slipper on it...
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When in motion, squids can be observed to "park" on corner entry and abuse the throttle on any available straight.
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Old 11-24-2012, 12:52 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S3aturnR View Post
rev-matching on the street is for entertainment only. doing so on a track takes up precious time. utilizing a slipper clutch is a great way to concentrate on other, more important things while setting up for a corner.

i thought not rev-matching would bother me a lot more than it did. i really don't even think about it any more. i just bang my downshifts as fast as i can and don't worry about it...


s3aturnr


p.s. i didn't realize any of those bikes you mentioned had a stock slipper on it...
Do you find that rev matching on larger engines is more involved than on a 250 or 500? Or is it just me?

I feel like the 250 really didn't care if you ham-handed the throttle. On a Triumph or a CBR, you need to have the throttle just right on the shift to avoid getting engine braking or sudden acceleration.
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Old 11-24-2012, 11:43 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S3aturnR View Post
rev-matching on the street is for entertainment only. doing so on a track takes up precious time. utilizing a slipper clutch is a great way to concentrate on other, more important things while setting up for a corner.

i thought not rev-matching would bother me a lot more than it did. i really don't even think about it any more. i just bang my downshifts as fast as i can and don't worry about it...
so you a for slipper clutches? my only bike experience is dirtbikes of all sizes so changing gears wasnt a big deal in florida sugar sand.

but from a car stand point it sounded a little gimmicky i couldnt tell if they where a raceing inspired part or a bike retard proofing part im asuming downshifting around corners is WAY harder on a bike then and 5 speed car though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by S3aturnR View Post
p.s. i didn't realize any of those bikes you mentioned had a stock slipper on it...
a few of the newer kawasakies do including the 300

Last edited by muddmonky; 11-24-2012 at 11:46 AM.
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Old 11-24-2012, 07:43 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by GoIllini View Post
Do you find that rev matching on larger engines is more involved than on a 250 or 500? Or is it just me?
i really don't know. i suspect it's about the same.

Quote:
Originally Posted by muddmonky View Post
so you a for slipper clutches? my only bike experience is dirtbikes of all sizes so changing gears wasnt a big deal in florida sugar sand.

but from a car stand point it sounded a little gimmicky i couldnt tell if they where a raceing inspired part or a bike retard proofing part im asuming downshifting around corners is WAY harder on a bike then and 5 speed car though.



a few of the newer kawasakies do including the 300
i sorta thought the same thing at first. i didn't have one on my old zx-9r, so i learned to rev-match. i had one on my 08 zx-6r, but i didn't use it because i was already used to rev-matching. on my 09 r6, i started using it because i guess i just started riding faster and there was less time for me to do stuff before a turn. it takes a bit to get used to the bike moving under you when you bang away at the downshifts, but after a while you barely notice it. you can see it in my vids if you're watching for it, tho.

see if you can see it:


s3aturnr
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Originally Posted by Phenix_Rider View Post
When in motion, squids can be observed to "park" on corner entry and abuse the throttle on any available straight.
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Old 11-24-2012, 07:56 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Grab a CBR250R, Ninja 300, or one of the new Honda 500s. My fiancée has a CBR250 and I love riding it.


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