Sport Bikes banner

1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
What's up guys...I wanted to get some opinions from you guys out there that already ride and have ridden for a while. I'm also posting this on cycleforums.com

Anyways, I lost my license until June 14th, 2006 (06 not 05). It had nothing to do with a Department of Transportation violation, it was something totally different. So with all the money I've been saving on gas, I decided I will buy a new bike right before I get my license back next year.

I've researched a lot and read a ton of posts saying that a newbie should not get a 600, that I should get a Kawasaki 250, 500 or another equivilent bike. I am considering buying a Kawasaki 250 and selling at the end of the Fall, and then buying a new b***** bike when Winter is over.

I however would rather just start off with getting a 600+. While I consider myself a newbie to the road (I've ridden a Kawasaki 500 once or twice, and a Yamaha YZF 600R a couple times too), I am no newbie to motorcycles. I've been riding a Honda CR 125 for the past 3 years. I never got into racing it though, but I feel I'm a pretty good rider. I know a 125 is a small bike, but I never could justify buying a 250 or larger because I'm pretty much a broke a**.

If I end up getting something other than the 250, it will either be a Honda CBR600RR (cus I like Hondas), a Triumph Daytona 650 or a Ducati 800. The reason I went with the Ducati 800 is because it's pretty much the only Ducati I could afford, at $8,000. Everyone has Gixxers around here, and R6's and Ninjas, I don't want something everyone else has. There's a ton of Honda's too, which is why I'm leaning towards the Ducati...no one has those around here.

What do you think about the Ducati 800 or Triumph Daytona 650 as my first road bike, considering I've ridden dirt bikes for 3+ years?

Does riding a Ducati or Triumph REALLY cost that much more than a Japanese bike, maintnence and repair wise?

I've heard that the Ducati 800 won't keep up with a Gixxer 750, but that it would smoke any 600 cc, in the right hands of course. Is that true?

That's all, thanks for everyones time and sorry for the book.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,390 Posts
All I'm going to say is riding in the dirt and on the street are two totally different things.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,025 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Yeah, I realize it's totally different, the reason I brought that up is because a lot of the posts I read that said buying a 600+ was a stupid idea used reasons like hitting a pothole and making a person twist the throttle and flip their bike. I think I'm at least a little bit less prone to that happening with my experiences on the dirt. Am I wrong?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,025 Posts
Yes,you are wrong.The street is like night and day from dirt..........the cars can't see you and they will run you over.When you are trying to combat that and you don't see the pot hole.........get the idea now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,767 Posts
I would avoid the ducati as a first bike, as it will cost more in maintence and repairs (if it ever get's damaged)
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
2,093 Posts
DONT FORGET INS - that is going to be expensive... Don't know the details of your license suspention, but they are going to make lot's of $$$$$$ off of you. Consider that a huge priority when selecting a bike... goood luck
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
600 Posts
PhatZiggy13 said:
If I end up getting something other than the 250, it will either be a Honda CBR600RR (cus I like Hondas), a Triumph Daytona 650 or a Ducati 800. The reason I went with the Ducati 800 is because it's pretty much the only Ducati I could afford, at $8,000. Everyone has Gixxers around here, and R6's and Ninjas, I don't want something everyone else has. There's a ton of Honda's too, which is why I'm leaning towards the Ducati...no one has those around here.

What do you think about the Ducati 800 or Triumph Daytona 650 as my first road bike, considering I've ridden dirt bikes for 3+ years?

Does riding a Ducati or Triumph REALLY cost that much more than a Japanese bike, maintnence and repair wise?

I've heard that the Ducati 800 won't keep up with a Gixxer 750, but that it would smoke any 600 cc, in the right hands of course. Is that true?
Alright, first thing is first: When starting on the street, there are two things that will bite you in the ass.
1) Improper motorcycle control - like not having the proper muscle memory for clutch, gas, and braking maneuvers. A dirt bike wil prepare you for these things quite well, and a 600cc+ bike isn't as likely to surprise you. You're probably okay on this front.
2) Not knowing how to avoid obstacles on the street. It's one thing to just be able to see and identify a threat. It's a totally separate thing to know how to avoid it on a spastic, twitchy sportbike. Get proper training, and practice a whole lot before venturing into the street!

The Daytona 650 and Supersport 800 are a lot milder than the 'true' 600cc sportbikes. The Daytona is the far sportier of the two, though. I've always loved Triumphs, and own one now, myself. They're just as reliable as the Japanese supersports, and you get 95% of the performance, while having relatively comfortable ergonomics and slightly more tame power delivery. The Daytona is a fantastic bike.

Funny you should mention the Ducati Supersport. I was very, very close to buying one until I found my Speed Triple. Now, there are two ways to look at the maintenance "issues" for these. First off, it's NOT $3000 a year or whatever bullshit people spew to maintain these things. Every 6,000 miles, they do need a valve clearance check. The local dealers will do this for around $500, which is fairly expensive. But the nice things about the Desmodue motor are that it's air cooled (you can avoid having to drain coolant to work on the motor) and they are incredibly simple motors. A few wrenches, and you can get to just about anything yourself. If you're a self-wrencher, the Desmodue will suit you fine, and the high maintenance costs that people run on about are pretty much nullifed.

Make no mistake, though. The Ducati will not run with a GSX-R750. The Ducati will also NOT run with any of the 600cc supersports. The power output is very low on the Desmodue-based bikes, since it's an air-cooled engine. It sits right around 75hp, about 25% lower than the 600cc supersports. It makes plenty of torque at low RPM, though, and won't surprise you with any peaky behavior. For a first street bike, the Ducati, oddly enough, is probably a bit safer than the Daytona or the Big Fours' offerings. The downside - if [when] you drop it, they are bloody expensive to get plastic and some other parts for. They're not as bad as they used to be, but still insanely expensive.

If you have your head about you, consider buying used. Folks who ride Triumphs and Ducatis aren't quite as prone to abusing them, and you can find ten year old examples in excellent, well-maintained mechanical condition. A 2000-2003 Triumph TT600 or 2003/2004 Triumph Daytona can be found for an absolute steal quite often nowadays. Ducatis hold their value much better, but the '99+ Supersport 750 is a very good starting point, and you might be able to find one with fewer than 8000 miles for under $4500. It's still a shame to drop any of them, but at least they don't cost you so much in the first place.

I started on a Ninja 250R. I still ride it, actually. Don't feel bad about starting small if you're concerned about getting used to road riding. They're very forgiving, and make learning how to avoid the idiots on the road a lot easier or safer than with a more advanced bike.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for the help Repeater. So the Ducati 800 won't even run with one of the big 4's 600's? I knew it was a lot more tame, but I didn't know it was that much tamer.

I'm not quite sure about the valve clearence check on the Ducati. Why does the Ducati need it and not other bikes? I really don't know too much about the mechanical end of bikes and motors...

I am seriously considering buying a brand new Ninja 250 or even a used one, riding it until winter and getting rid of it, or maybe longer if I don't get bored with it. Since the demand for them is high I figure I can easily get rid of it for close to what I pay for it. I'm not afraid to go small, I just don't want to create more hassle for myself. A lot of my friends dogged me for buying a CR 125 dirt bike rather than a 250 or b*****, and I didn't really care. I had never ridden a bike before and there was no need to get 250...hell I still ride my 125. I can damn near keep up with people on their 250's too...but in the end they just got a little too much power for me to keep up.

I'm going to do some more riding on my friends Kawasaki 500 and maybe that will help me in my decision more. From what I've heard, the only thing the 500 has on the Ninja 250 is basically top speed, and that the 250 is quicker off the line, is that true?

One other question...I couldn't find this in the forums anywhere, but what's the difference between say a superbike, supersport, sport bike, street bike etc?


Thanks again for everyones help!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
791 Posts
IF i were you i'd just buy a 600. I wish i could of gotten a ninja 636 like i wanted but im still happy with my tame lil bike. I THINK its all in the wrist. Learn good wrist control and a big bad ass bike wont be squat to you. Just my inexperienced opinion. I havnt ridden anything but my bike so i dont know how the throttle of a new 600 feels, i sure would liek to try it though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,025 Posts
SnookayDCC said:
I havnt ridden anything but my bike so i dont know how the throttle of a new 600 feels, i sure would liek to try it though.



:bitchslap
 

·
Old school fool
Joined
·
5,720 Posts
I gotta agree with a lot of what has been written here. You are better off starting on something that is not a high strung race bike.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
600 Posts
PhatZiggy13 said:
Thanks for the help Repeater. So the Ducati 800 won't even run with one of the big 4's 600's? I knew it was a lot more tame, but I didn't know it was that much tamer.

I'm not quite sure about the valve clearence check on the Ducati. Why does the Ducati need it and not other bikes? I really don't know too much about the mechanical end of bikes and motors...

I am seriously considering buying a brand new Ninja 250 or even a used one, riding it until winter and getting rid of it, or maybe longer if I don't get bored with it. Since the demand for them is high I figure I can easily get rid of it for close to what I pay for it. I'm not afraid to go small, I just don't want to create more hassle for myself. A lot of my friends dogged me for buying a CR 125 dirt bike rather than a 250 or b*****, and I didn't really care. I had never ridden a bike before and there was no need to get 250...hell I still ride my 125. I can damn near keep up with people on their 250's too...but in the end they just got a little too much power for me to keep up.

I'm going to do some more riding on my friends Kawasaki 500 and maybe that will help me in my decision more. From what I've heard, the only thing the 500 has on the Ninja 250 is basically top speed, and that the 250 is quicker off the line, is that true?

One other question...I couldn't find this in the forums anywhere, but what's the difference between say a superbike, supersport, sport bike, street bike etc?


Thanks again for everyones help!

Hey, I know 250s - I ride one. :) It's a fun bike. Very light, very maneuverable, and really pretty snappy for having only about 30HP. It gets 65mpg, will run 75+mph all day without sweating (although the rpms stay way up there on the tach) and is dirt-cheap to insure. It, however, will never keep up with the 500, whether it's from a start or otherwise. If you want to keep the first bike for commuting or just putzing around, a 250 will do just fine. If you were going to get rid of your first bike, then a 500 will keep you entertained for longer, and probably be worth more to put towards your second bike. I'm keeping mine as a commuter, so the good mileage and cheap insurance is worth more to me than the extra pep of the 500. If you buy a 250, BUY A USED ONE! That way, you'll avoid almost all depreciation. The break-in period for them is also pretty maddening; the first 500 miles Kawasaki suggests a maximum engine speed of 4,000 rpm - which gives you a top end of about 30mph... no thanks.

Yes, the 800 Supersport will be handily outrun by any of the Japanese inline fours in a straight line. However, in a set of twisties, the grunt of the L-twin and Ducait's superb handling and brakes will let it run side-by-side with them.

ALL motorcycles need to have valve adjustments. Some just more often than others. The air-cooled Desmodue generally hammers its valves out of spec faster than the more advanced Japanese bikes; it's a case of tolerances and quality of material. Most modern Japanese bikes need their valves inspected every 12-15,000 miles. Ducatis is usually 6,000, as are the older Japanese bikes. Harley-Davidson uses automatic, hydraulically-adjusted valves that never need any adjusting at all. After a long while, all that banging up and down can stretch or flatten a valve a little, and it will need to be raised or lowered accordingly to keep it from either staying open too long or staying closed too long. A misadjusted valve can completely destroy a motor. ALL motors need valve adjustments, even car motors. But again, car motors can do this automatically, so you never hear about it. More or less all sportbikes, though, need valve adjustments at some time. The Ducatis, though, are just more expensive because they don't use a normal valvetrain with return springs and such; they use a "Desmodromic" system that a rod pushes the valve up, and then pulls it back down, instead of letting a spring do it. You'd have to see one to understand...

There are no true definitions to the bike types you listed. But here are my best classifications:
Superbike : A full-on, open-class sportbike, usually at least 900ccs in displacement. Ninja ZX-10R, GSX-R1000, Ducati 999, Hayabusa... basically, anything built for speed, speed, and more speed, preferably around corners, too. Usually at least $11,000 MSRP.
Supersport : Generally the top-tier of 600-750cc sportbikes. Ducati 749, GSX-R600 and GSX-R750, CBR600RR, YZF-R6, etc. Generally from $8000-$10,000 MSRP.
Sportbike : Any motorcycle with sporting pretenses, usually with a full or partial fairing for aerodynamic efficiency, and an aggressive seating position. Anything from an MV Agusta F4-1000S to a Suzuki SV650S could possibly be considered a sportbike.
Streetbike : Most people consider anything with a headlight, blinkers, and that is street-legal a streetbike. Even cruisers and touring bikes. Usually said to differentiate from "dirtbikes," when talking about transitioning from dirt riding to street riding.
I have my own classification of a sub-genre of sportbikes, too. I call them "Sub-Supersports." They're the supersports of yesterday that are still sold, with a lesser degree of edginess, features, and speed. The Suzuki Katana, Ducati Supersport, Yamaha YZF600R, and Kawasaki ZZR600 are what I'd consider Sub-Supersports.

It's not all in the wrist. Sure, you can go out and ride a CBR954RR (yum!) on your first day, and ride it forever without an incident. However, you have to throw the real-world factor in there. In the real world, people pull out in front of you. In the real world, you have to swerve to avoid the exploded semi tire in the middle of the freeway. In the real world, you have to deal with unexpected situations. No matter how much restraint you have, restraint doesn't help you there; only experience does. Experience comes faster and easier on something that forgives the first few mistakes you make. Again, my recent expeience transitioning to my Speed Triple was my full-on wake up call to this fact. I had to stop really quickly for an emergency vehicle while leaving a buddy's place last week. If I hadn't had seat time and practice in parking lots on my Ninja, the Speed Triple would have been delighted to send me flying over the handlebars in a massive endo. But, I knew what to expect while practicing emergency braking form, which translates almost directly to more powerful brakes. I Hit the brakes, came to a stop from 40mph in what seemed like about 10 feet (Triumph's brakes are amazing!) and thought nothing of it. I would have had to spend probably 4-5 times the time practicing to get the same effect if I'd started on the Speed Triple, I figure. Seriously, small bikes give you a great feel for how riding in general goes. You pick stuff up fast because you're less busy with nonsense like "respecting the throttle" (groan) and more busy learning your form, smoothness, how to not lock up brakes, how to launch smoothly without being jerky, and how to throw the bike around if you need to. All my opinion through experience, of course.

Your dirt biking has probably prepared you pretty well for the clutching and gas part of it, but braking and turning on pavement is radically different. If nothing else, bring your CRF125 to a parking lot and practice street maneuvers there. After a couple months of that, it's probably academic that you could pick up a larger, more powerful bike and run with it. Have you thought about that option at all? Then, the biggest challenge would be learning how to deal with a street bike's extra mass. Which is a big challenge, but you at least have a good starting point to work with.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,256 Posts
if you are really "pretty much a broke ass" then insurance will be a deal-breaker for you as depending upon your age and credit rating you might not be able to afford the bike you really want. Check insurance before signing anything or commiting.

There are lots of good bikes out there that don't have either an "RR" or "R" in their model designation.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Thanks guys...I gues I didn't really mean I was a broke ass, I just meant I didn't wanna spend anything over $8,000 on a new bike. I'm leaning towards a used 250 now, although I know I'm gonna get rid of it within a couple of months.

I was also wondering how the Yamaha YZF 600 R holds up against that Ducati? I've ridden my friends Yamaha a lot...don't really ever get out of 4th gear with it. Is it faster or slower?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
600 Posts
The YZF600R should also handily outrun the Ducati. The Ducati will put about 75HP to the wheel, while the YZF600R puts out around 100HP at the crank, and I'd expect somewhere under 90HP to the wheel. It's no modern supersport, but it's still a very quick bike if you get on the throttle. Again, liquid-cooled efficiency beats air-cooled simplicity in peak horsepower.

I'd still pick the Duc, though. I just have a soft spot for them, and I like the seating position better than any sportbike I've ever sat on, right next to the Katana. It's aggressive, but the tank is sculpted perfectly for your legs to fit under.
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top