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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone, i'm THE new comer today heh. I've been reading the forum for past couple of days and had read about much good info, so firstly i want to say very nice forum!

I have been riding since 2007/08. Starting with a scooter (yes, scooter :beer) and then the smallest harley. Had about 20k miles on the scooter and about another 15k on the harley now. The harley I have now is a 2011 Sportster 883 that I am trying to trade for a SB, mainly for several reasons despite the fact i really like its look. Noise, vibration, and sluggishness. It was my first harley and first "big" bike, so I did not really know whether my riding style and personal preference fit the bike before I bought it. But after all the time with the bike, I cannot stand the loudness like most HD owners, which, for them, is not "stand" but "love". The vibration is also giving me some dizzy time as I wake up in the morning and ride to school on a daily basis except for winter and raining time.

I have read the stickies (not word by word though) in the new rider forum and have a rough idea about what displacement to get as my first SB. I am thinking about something around 600cc, not too little, not too much. I do not really want to get a 250cc because I'm afraid that I have this evil urge to upgrade immediately after about 1-2 weeks on it, like I had with the current sportster. Another interesting fact about me is that, I am more fond of european bikes compared to jappers, even though I really know little about sportbikes at this point.

I felt like I had a lot to ask before I started writing this post, but now I cannot organize them well(not a very logical person here..). So I'll just start with the two most concerned questions for me and add whatever I remember later.

Firstly, could you tell me if I should go with European or Japanese bikes. I had some read on the difference between the two either on SBN or just the web, and remember the major differences include maintenance, engine (RPM patter), cost, etc. But I really still cannot decide between the two general categories. Whenever I see moster 696 and speed triple, I just fall in love with their looks. The only japanese bike that attract me very much look-wise is the Z1000 and I know I should not touch it at this point from all the horrible stories I read about noob getting on a liter bike. Other jappers look good but I just feel like they are too general looking. It's just me maybe.

Secondly, I am very new to the bike market, so I have this uncertainty about how I should shop for a bike, especially how I should get rid of my current harley. Should I trade it in for a SB or should I sell it first and then shop for a new bike. I read that a lot of people like shopping craigslist because it's much cost-effective compared to the dealer, but I'm just afraid that I cannot sell the current harley very easily. Also, I kinda wanted to save some tax expenses by going with a trade-in approach.

Lastly, my current favorites for the look are monster 696 (white or black :D) and Speed Triple (and of course the fore-mentioned Z1k hah). What do you guys suggest toward these choices and what against them compared to a more generic japanese bike?

I felt like I still have a lot more specific questions in my head and will add them later once these more fundamental questions are cleared. Sorry if my writing has been messy, unorganized, and confusing. I would really appreciate your help in making up my mind here. It looks like i am just another overwhelmed noob:bouncies

Thanks!
 

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First, a few general questions for you. What type of riding will you do? Only commuting? Rides in the hills and twisty roads?

Do you want to buy new or used? New means at a bike dealer. Used means craigs list, cycle trader, online forums, etc. Trading in a Harley at a new bike shop other than a Harley dealer won't be very cost-effective. You'll be better off selling it yourself. Sell first if you need the cash for your next bike.

I've only owned Japanese bikes, so i can't comment on European makes. They had the reputation for more maintenance and more problems compared to Japanese, but that might be dated.

That's all I got until you tell us more. :)

Oh, and welcome to SBN!!
 

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First, a few general questions for you. What type of riding will you do? Only commuting? Rides in the hills and twisty roads?

Do you want to buy new or used? New means at a bike dealer. Used means craigs list, cycle trader, online forums, etc. Trading in a Harley at a new bike shop other than a Harley dealer won't be very cost-effective. You'll be better off selling it yourself. Sell first if you need the cash for your next bike.

I've only owned Japanese bikes, so i can't comment on European makes. They had the reputation for more maintenance and more problems compared to Japanese, but that might be dated.

That's all I got until you tell us more. :)

Oh, and welcome to SBN!!
+1,000. everything... unless you like taking a hit on a new vehicle, stick with used. I've only owned Jap bikes too. but sooo want a RSV4 or MV Agusta. not too worried about maintenance issues since i do most of my own work. I'll usually hit the forums for certain issues before jumping right in cause someone might have some input that may save me a lot of time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for your reply.

I don't mind either new or used. So if I can find the right used one, I can go used no problem.

Secondly, I think I will be mostly using it to commute to school. But I ride around whenever the weather is good, so it's not JUST commuting either. I guess I do take it out for a span also, but we don't have many twisty roads near where I live here.

I guess at least one question is answered now. I probably have to sell harley myself if I do not want to buy the new bike from a dealer :(

Thanks!
 

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Many dealers will sell Harleys on consignment. Especially dealers that deal in custom bikes and do not have 'new' inventory as a factory dealership. Often dealers will buy a used Harley to then sell, if they won't do a consignment deal. This may happen for more than Harleys, but I only have experience with it regarding Harleys. Now is a great time to check into this, because spring and summer are when bike sales rise and dealerships are looking to ensure they have inventory to take advantage of the season.

If you've got 20k miles experience on a scooter and 15k miles on a Sportster, you most likely can ride any bike you want. There's no reason to go with a 250cc bike, or even limit yourself to a 600. A sportbike is going to perform differently from your Sportster, but you should have the operator skills and street rider skills to pilot liter bikes or hyper bikes if you wanted to. Though if you haven't taken an MSF class, I'd recommend one, even with your existing experience.

My only experience with european bikes is with Vespa. I've got one of their GT 200 scooters (technically a motorcycle in my state because it will do interstate speeds and requires a motorcycle endorsement to operate legally). I would not hesitate to buy a european make if I liked one and the price was right. One day I'd love to own a Ducati.

The things I'd consider in deciding japanese vs european are 1) parts availability, 2) service availability, 3) price. Parts availability in this day and age matter less, because one can usually find whatever parts are needed on the internet. That said, in my experience euro parts cost a little more and take a little longer to get. If you have a local dealer, this may not be an issue. Myself, I buy many parts online.

Service availability is trickier, because you need someone local that can service your machine. If you are capable of performing service yourself, it's a non issue. Otherwise, make sure your local shop can and will work on whatever bike you're after. I suspect this primarily only matters for Ducati because of the valve and belt service intervals. The of Ducati owners I know personally more often than not end up learning how to do these things themselves rather than depend on dealers.

Price wise, japanese costs less in my experience. Parts are less. The bikes are less, used and new. New the sales or special financing happen more frequently and with better terms (lower rates, etc.) with japanese manufacturers then european from what I've seen. Also, all the japanese manufacturers don't discount to the same degree. Honda discounts the least from what I've seen over the years. And it may be that Triumph or Ducati don't discount any less than Honda in terms of cash back amounts or finance rates.

One more thing you should consider given your age is the cost of insurance, particularly for theft. This is going to depend on the model machine, probably more than the make. I'd check insurance prices before you pull the tr***** on any new purchase, just to make sure it isn't going to cost you 100.00 a month to cover what you are getting (and it could be more, I'm sure).
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Very thorough rob, that helps a lot.

I live in a smaller college town though so I might have to ask around to see where everyone is moving i.e., buy/sell their bikes frequently.

And yes, this maintenance issue is giving me a headache. In that article I read about the maintenance on european bikes, esp. Ducati, I remember reading that it says Ducati's require frequent tweaking and looking after. That might be a big issue for me unless I learn it myself because i just cannot find any dealer or good shop around me. I do see a lot sport bikes in this town though so I guess there must be a way for them bikers to get their bikes checked up. Actually, I see a Ducati parked in front of my school building quite often. I just hope the maintenance on the Ducati isn't cray. The current annual full coverage on the sportster for me is 220ish. I tried to do a self-quote on the insurance company's website but it gave me an error. so.. My guess is it cannot go too far away from the harley that I have right now? $500 annually top?

Thanks for your encouragement in telling me that I *should be able to handle a litter bike, although I am still very self-doubting and wanted to firstly try out a ~600cc so I can maybe more easily transition myself into a world of sport bike. Better be safe than sorry I guess :) And the problem is that I do not find any japanese bike in the 600cc range that attracts me a lot from its look. So I guess I'll try my luck with either Ducati or something else like Triumph. I just realized my other question that I forgot to mention in the OP is a pretty serious one. I do not like to squeeze and press my balls when riding...:stop I was trying and sitting on a friend's 07 Ninja and it really really hurt my balls just by sitting there still, so I can't imagine how it'll feel when i actually ride over bumpy roads on it.. I hope it's not that I got too soft of balls..? It might also had something to do with the jeans I was wearing, idk...

So do you guys have any experience on different bikes regarding this aspect? (ballz comfort) :hdscratch
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
A quick search on craigslist turned out two dukes for me that fits my color pref.

1. 2009 Ducati 696 - asking $6900 - <7k miles
2. 2010 Ducati 848 - asking $8300 - <11k miles - 2nd owner

What do you think about the prices?

Also a quick ebay search turned out this 2011 Ducati 696 - 3k miles - $8k BIN...

I have no idea if these prices are reasonable. Could find definitely 0 triple speed around me, even though i like the look as much as monsters. If these duc's price is ridiculous (your opinion please ;) I might have to start looking for some ricers.
 

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It seems that you prefer the "naked" style of bikes.....other common descriptions are "roadster" and "streetfighter". Very cool bikes indeed.

Most of the bikes in this style tend to have broader powerbands than your typical sportbike......they tend to have their power in the mid-range rather than top end.

That being said, if you're worried about the Z1000 being a bit too much to handle, then the Speed Triple (1050 cc) will also be too much. Triumph does have their Street Triple, however, which is based on their 675 cc Daytona sportbike platform.....same engine, brakes, etc. Although tuned differently of course.
 

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Check for a street triple, I had one, great bike, loads of fun and the sound of a 3cyl is amazing.

The problem with the Triumph street or speed(I believe) are mostly there RR which had a tendency of failure, they changed it in 2012 for a new model just an fyi.
 

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1. 2009 Ducati 696 - asking $6900 - <7k miles
2. 2010 Ducati 848 - asking $8300 - <11k miles - 2nd owner

2011 Ducati 696 - 3k miles - $8k BIN...
The 848 is a beautiful machine, but it is 100% supersport. Ergos are much more aggressive and it will be less adept at navigating parking lots, driving around a school campus, and running out to the store. It is likely going to have a much steeper price tag for insurance. Depending on your coverage level, your 500.00 top estimate could be extremely low. Top could be 1K - 1.5K per year if it's a recent model year because as soon as you buy a supersport, insurers get nervous.

As far as prices go, I usually use Blue Book as a starting point. kbb.com has a motorcycle section that will give you the trade in value and the retail value. In my experience, a fair price or good deal is somewhere between the two depending on the condition and circumstances of the machine. So, for example, that 2009 M696 is on the high end in my opinion, because KBB retail is $6825. On trade they're going to get $4700 to maybe $5000 from a dealer, so I'd be inclined to go lower for a private sale.

As for being capable of a liter bike, one thing to consider is there are alot of naked bikes that are in the 1000cc range. I think you should consider these. Often they're not tuned to be as sharp as a 1000cc model supersport performance wise, providing reduced top end power in exchange for better low end power. On the street, commuting, driving in traffic, this is preferred in my opinion.
 

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Dude, get a 600 cc supersport from one of the big four Japanese manufacturers. Buy it used so you don't get raped on depreciation. If you decide you don't like it, sell it and buy something else.

A Ducati is sort of a cult bike. It's a good bike to buy after you've had a lot of bikes and are very knowledgeable about the bike scene. They're not good for your initial foray into the world of sportbikes. Triumphs are sorta the same, but a little more mainstream.

As a note, I get the idea you're thinking a 600 is a small / slow bike because you already own an 883. There's no comparison whatsoever. A 600 is ridiculously fast. The first time you roll the throttle to the stop in second gear you'll be thinking, "I can't believe it's legal to own these things!" A liter bike is positively ludicrous.

As to the ball issue, slide back on the seat and squeeze the tank with your knees.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
very nice, exactly the info I needed. Yep yep, i think i'm desperately attracted by the look of streetfighters. I also found another term "cafe racer" lol. Anyway, I think this is the kind of bike that I want for my first sport bike. Also Rob thanks a lot for reminding me of the pricing tool. I was kinda lost and forgot about those pricing tools and the good use I had with them when I was looking for a car!

Those street triples look dam nice. I like them even more than the 696. (still white 696 is a beauty in my eyes). And also I will not consider the 848 anymore because of the limits Rob mentioned above. It is a big part of riding for me that I have to consider because i ride to school and back home several times a day, so I'm not riding 30-60 min to school/work, park it a whole day, and ride back. I hop on the bike, ride to a class, and leave the campus. This was also why I felt kinda embarrassed on my harley on campus cus it's so damn loud which attracts way too much attention, several times a day. Not to mention that i did not like the crazy loudness from the start.

@Jim, thanks for the advice. My consideration was that I have to ride something that's appealing to me when i merely start looking at it. That rationale explained why I got my first "big" bike as a sporster 883 because I really really liked its look. Unfortunately I do not want to sacrifice the comfort of riding for the mere good look, hence why I wanted to try out a sport bike because I see a lot of reviews from sport bikers after they compare riding on their bikes and riding a sportster. Most description of riding the sportster from a sport biker is "uncomfortable" from what I read. Now back on topic, my priority is to step into the SB world with a bike that looks good to me while I start touching on the riding skills with a sport bike. I might later switch to something more hardcore later such as gixxer as my skills mature. The best of both world is of course that z1000. I love its look but I'm really hesitant at this point of getting a liter bike. I'm still thinking though. I *might* end up with that also, but I guess I'll have to be extremely cautious if I want to start my sport biking with a liter bike :stew

One critical factor to me just happen to be what you mentioned: how much money i'm gonna lose on the depreciation. Is is true that jappers usually tend to hold better resale value than european bikes? Or is it that the more expensive the bike, the more depreciation I'll have to take? Because honestly, i'm not like some enthusiasts who like to "ride the hell out of it" and doesn't care about the resale value. I can see myself switching bikes once in a while as my preference on the looks and performance shifts over time.

p.s., forgot to mention my issue with the triumph. I just cannot find any used street triple (or speed triple) around me. I do have a triumph dealer that's an hour away from me, the only triumph they have is a $9900 red speed triple (the color won't do for me). On the craigslist I could find none of them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
As a note, I get the idea you're thinking a 600 is a small / slow bike because you already own an 883. There's no comparison whatsoever. A 600 is ridiculously fast. The first time you roll the throttle to the stop in second gear you'll be thinking, "I can't believe it's legal to own these things!" A liter bike is positively ludicrous.

As to the ball issue, slide back on the seat and squeeze the tank with your knees.
I do realize what 600cc can do on a sportbike :) I may be late to the scene of riding a sport bike but i started watching motoGP and other championship when i was much younger, so I do have a sense as to how the speed of a sport bike translate into #cc. So the funny thing is when i went to shop for the harley and I was like holy shit it's 883cc that must be enough for a newb. And I refused the sales person who suggested me going 1250 because i thought I could not even handle a bike of 800+ mL displacement. Well it turns out I seriously lack knowledge when it comes to translating cc# into how fast a harley davidson is lol. Not the first day, but the second day of owning 883, i got pissed at how slow and sluggish it is.. My scooter accelerates as good as the 883 does! (150cc scooter though)

I guess what I was trying to say is, my conception of how fast a 600cc SB can be was originally right, and it was this harley I owned skewed my conception. Anyway, i'm still a noob cuz I know how fast a bike is has got a lot to do with things other than engine displacement, I just don't know for sure what they all are.
 

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Depreciation depends. A used bike is worth what someone will pay for it. They'll pay more in the summer, and less in the winter. You lose less money if you keep a bike bone stock, especially on trade.

In general, the Japanese makes seem to hold less of their value than European or American bikes; but I think that is because 1) they're more likely to sell new for under MSRP, 2) they're more likely to have been purchased with a promotional price or financing that in effect 'lowers' their new cost, and 3) there's more of them, so they're easier to find and unsatisfied demand doesn't drive prices up.

Are you planning on keeping the bike outside most of the time, or do you have a garage for parking? If you're going to keep it outside most of the time, its condition is going to suffer and its value is going to decrease more than one kept indoors and rarely/never ridden in bad weather. College life is hard on a bike. You park it at school, which is filled with kids that may sit on it, hit it with their car, steal it. You usually live in a dorm or apartment, which means parking it outside, and people are more likely to hit it or steal it. Just something to consider before you drop a fat wad on a sweet exotic machine.

Jim's advise is pretty good. I'd modify it and say find a used supersport or standard/naked bike on craigslist for under 4K and ride the piss out of it. Something like a CBR600 F3, or F4i, or a ZRX1100, etc. In a season or two, you won't take a huge bath on it (good shape chances are it'll still sell for around 3K or more in the spring/summer) and it won't break your heart if some college kid nails it on their way to english 100.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I see what you are saying. I live in an apt off campus so ye my bike is always outside heh :( I do cover it whenever the weather gets bad though like raining and snowing as I'm not riding in those days (also because I cannot handle the weather yet). Parking in school is not very big issue for me, as I mentioned, I park for 1 to 2 hour max which is usually how long my classes are. I do worry about the bike being nailed by someone though although it hasn't happened to the sportster, and it is a yellow. So I'm pretty good with my fellow school mates lol.

I did however, have a price range of 4k-5k in my mind and was going to save some money out of selling the sportster for about $6k (pure guestimate). But it looks like all the good looking bikes (to me) I mentioned above cost more than $6k that I can find... Does that mean that I'd have to consider a less look-wise attractive bike? :( Damit I just have this bad eagerness to get my hands on one of those naked rides...

Also, in case it matters, I think I am going to keep this first sport bike for a well 2+ years from the looks of it right now. So that was part of the reason why i kinda wanted to pick a heartbeat bike so i do not turn to get bored with it quickly and bother with switching again. It sounds superficial, but I'm sure that enjoying riding in a nice day is one thing, and knowing I love the look of what I am riding is another big part of being a rider XD
 

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~~
Just to throw this out there: If your balls end up being an issue when you start sitting on some of these bikes you're looking at, you could try some of the more upright sport bikes like the FZ6R or the GSX-650f. Those 'budget' bikes can be found in your price range with low miles, have about 80 horsepower, and should be forgiving on your genitals. :) They aren't nakeds though. :(
~~
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks for all the suggestion and tips guys. That er6n surely looks as nice as z1k!

I have this issue now hehe. I'm more and more leaning toward z1k, and i feel like being on my way to the hell :devil

My heart beats hard whenever i see that bikes, i can feel this rush of the blood into my head
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Guys I just got my bike today and really really liking it. Super smooth and much less vibration! I'm still very careful with it though as I've seen plenty of videos showing how much this bike can do.

Here are some pics! Enjoy!

Also, I really appreciated your help in this thread :cheers
 

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