Sport Bikes banner

1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I was thinking about this as I was heading to sleep last night and I'm glad I remembered to post it up. My question is this - why is a Ninja 500cc recomended as a starter bike where as 'tamer' or more upright 600-650cc bikes are not (SV650, FZ6 types)?

Does this have more to do with the potential of the engine to be more high revving? or where does this stem from?

Anyways I figured this could be a good question/discussion so have at it and teach me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,600 Posts
My F4i is putting about 105 HP down at the rear wheel in its current setup. The 500 ninja falls way short of that. Many of the "starter" bikes we recommend produce less HP, and allows greater flexibility in braking and throttle control
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,811 Posts
600cc bikes have four cylinders to the 500cc bikes' two and make twice the horsepower, about 100hp. Some people say the SV is okay for beginners, it makes about 65hp. It can bite you with the low end power though. A 500cc is just about the perfect beginner mount.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
49 Posts
After being pointed to some great reading (you should read all the sticky threads in this forum on saftey & newbies) I was convinved to start on a smaller bike; consequently I'm purchasing a Ninja 500R as a starter.

Some people explained to me (and I'm as new to this as you are, so ask others what they say for sure) that the parallel twin that most 500s have only produce like 50 hp MAX, whereas most in-line engines in 600s produce like 100-110 hp. That's a power:weight ratio for something that weighs 370-380 lbs dry plus your weight,gear, and gas.

I've driven 6600 & change miles on my little 120cc Honda scooter driving to school everyday out in Arizona this year (that's what got me wanting an actual motorcycle). That (as lame as it sounds) took some getting used to. I've had some close calls on that. If it had the ability to go over 45 mph, and that means I would have probably been going faster, I'd be in the hospital. I drove a buddy's 250R around the Home Depot parking lot down the street, and I tell you what, everything I thought I knew about riding (outside of safety) went *pfff* and disappeared. World of difference. I now know it will take many hours and miles before I will be comfortable upgrading to something that can throw me off in a fraction of a second if it ever disagrees with me or if I react the wrong way hitting a pot hole, etc.

Listen to what these knowledgeable people say on here.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Good posts, I wasnt aware of the different engine architecture between the two, that makes a lot more sense then. fwiw, I'm probably going to start on a 250 but I was just asking this question out of curiosity.
 

·
old member
Joined
·
13,079 Posts
Lots of good info above. The 500cc parallel twin bikes with about 50 hp at the wheel will out accelerate most (almost all) cars on the road. It's a power to weight issue. The sv650 v-twin at about 70 hp will do a little better with more torque at lower rpms. The 600 cc inline 4's at about 85-90 hp for the "lesser tune" models to 110 hp for the ss models also have power curves that really peak at the higher rpms. This makes them even more dangerous when someone has a twitchy right hand.

The other issues with the 600ss bikes are steering geometry and brakes. They are race-replica bikes with aggressive steering and great brakes. Either of these can also prove problematic to someone whose muscle reflexes, muscle memory, and automatic reactions haven't been quite honed to the necessary level.

Motorcycle riding is one activity that requires both mental and physical concentration especially when riding at all aggressively. The required skills to successfully get from point A to point B in the presence of threats like other traffic, road debris, etc. take time to develop. They are much easier to develop on a bike that you don't contstantly need to worry about keeping in check.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
91 Posts
I have to chime in and say I thank God every day for my decision to buy a Ninja 500R as my first bike. It's been so incredibly forgiving and easy to ride and although I have taken it too 115mph (I feel terrible about this already), it doesn't have the power a 600cc does and I'm thankful for that. I want a few years under my belt before I move up to a 600cc (wanting the R6 for next bike). As the previous post said, you need the right muscle reflexes/coordination to ride a race-replica. I must say I was a POS shifter on the Ninja 500R until just recently. Imagine trying to shift the R6 and winding it up to 8k and then letting the clutch fly on accident? My ass'd be on the pavement in a sec! Stick with the 500s for starters. I've gotten tons of compliments and the bike will seriously speed up far fast enough for me! :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
528 Posts
rfkicker2000 said:
Imagine trying to shift the R6 and winding it up to 8k and then letting the clutch fly on accident? My ass'd be on the pavement in a sec!
Why in gods name would you be revving it up to 8k before you have even taken off? This is why you learn your clutch's friction zone and use it, so in your case it sounds like you got the right bike for you...can done imagine revving it up to 8k and popping the clutch out :lao you would be :urowned
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
791 Posts
Tex i think he meant while already moving he was trying to change gears. He pulled clutch in without getting off throttle it seems and then just let the clutch fall out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,073 Posts
100 HP sounds alot for a bike. I am more used to reading HP for cars, but not bikes. I have to figured into account that bikes come no where near the weight of a car.
 

·
Are we not men?
Joined
·
9,012 Posts
Back to your original question. Sure it's only 100-150cc difference between the Ninja 500 and the 600ss bikes and the SV650, but it's all in the layout of the engine. The Ninja is a parallel twin, longer stroke (length dimension that the piston travels) with (I believe) single intake and exhaust valves. The long stroke will produce better torque, but will accelerate slower and have a lower rev limit due to the speed the piston has to travel to make each stroke at higher revs. The single intake and exhaust valves will naturally limit the amount of air/fuel that gets into or out of the engine for each intake/exhaust stroke, thus limiting power and to some extent acceleration. There are other factors, but those are the basics.

The 600ss bikes, on the other hand, are tuned much higher. They are inline 4 cylindar engines, with short strokes and 4 valves (2 intake/ 2 exhaust) per cylindar and separate camshafts for intake and exhaust valves. The short stroke allows very quick acceleration and very high rev numbers. While a short stroke theoretically doesn't produce the same torque, the high revs multiply the effect. Multiple intake and exhaust valves allow more air/fuel into each cylindar much faster (more air/fuel = more power, making up for the torque). Combine those and the package can quickly overwhelm a novice. That's why we make the recommendations we make.

The SV650 is a different animal. It is a twin, but a V configuration, which will allow a quicker acceleration than a parallel twin. Plus the SV650 is tuned sportier, with 4 valves per cylindar and a shorter stroke. The SV650 doesn't come close to the same performance as a 600 inline 4, which is why some of us will point some newer riders in that direction. But don't be mistaken, an SV can still be a hell of a bike when ridden properly, it's just more forgiving in it's power delivery.

None of this even begins to address the chassis geometry differences or the brakes. Those are big discussions all by themselves.

Hope I didn't get too technical.
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top