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Old 07-25-2009, 04:38 AM   #1
bugzey
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new trackbike suggestion

I am thinking about getting a track bike but dont know if i should go with a liter or 600. I have been riding a liter bike for about 2 years now and I rode a 600 for a few years before that. I have never been on the track though. I am 6'1" 170. Should I go with the 600 or 1000?
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Old 07-25-2009, 08:25 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bugzey View Post
I am thinking about getting a track bike but dont know if i should go with a liter or 600. I have been riding a liter bike for about 2 years now and I rode a 600 for a few years before that. I have never been on the track though. I am 6'1" 170. Should I go with the 600 or 1000?
1000 and 600cc bikes cost a lot more in initial purchase and in upkeep/ tires. They also have the potential to hurt you a lot more easily.

I always suggest to folks that they start off with a slower (by comparison) good handling bike like an SV650 or ZX650.

Most, not all, get on the track with a 600cc+ bike and hammer the straights and then park it in the corners. The SV and similar bikes IMHO make you a much better rider by teaching corner speed and throttle control.
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Old 07-25-2009, 09:12 AM   #3
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Old 07-25-2009, 09:19 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomLSTD View Post
1000 and 600cc bikes cost a lot more in initial purchase and in upkeep/ tires. They also have the potential to hurt you a lot more easily.

I always suggest to folks that they start off with a slower (by comparison) good handling bike like an SV650 or ZX650.

Most, not all, get on the track with a 600cc+ bike and hammer the straights and then park it in the corners. The SV and similar bikes IMHO make you a much better rider by teaching corner speed and throttle control.
+110% +it's fun to pass big bikes on a slow bike especially when your a fat boy like Tom and I
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Old 07-25-2009, 09:20 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomLSTD View Post
Most, not all, get on the track with a 600cc+ bike and hammer the straights and then park it in the corners. The SV and similar bikes IMHO make you a much better rider by teaching corner speed and throttle control.
I'm not trying to stir the pot but just trying to understand your thoughts...

I agree with what you said about new track riders hammering the straights and parking in corners, but I don't see how an SV "teaches" corner speed and throttle control.
Couldn't those things be learned on a supersport bike just as well?

Seems like those skills are more a product of instruction and rider mindset.
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Old 07-25-2009, 09:26 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bumblebee View Post
I'm not trying to stir the pot but just trying to understand your thoughts...

I agree with what you said about new track riders hammering the straights and parking in corners, but I don't see how an SV "teaches" corner speed and throttle control.
Couldn't those things be learned on a supersport bike just as well?

Seems like those skills are more a product of instruction and rider mindset.
It's just easier to properly set up corner speed on a "slower" bike. It also forces you to make up for the lack of horsepower by really having to rail in turns. + the sv is just so fun to ride.
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Old 07-25-2009, 09:28 AM   #7
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Old 07-25-2009, 09:37 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bumblebee View Post
I'm not trying to stir the pot but just trying to understand your thoughts...

I agree with what you said about new track riders hammering the straights and parking in corners, but I don't see how an SV "teaches" corner speed and throttle control.
Couldn't those things be learned on a supersport bike just as well?

Seems like those skills are more a product of instruction and rider mindset.
No, I think you're absolutely right about instruction and rider mindset.

I'm not sure what you mean by a "supersport" bike, but I'll assume you mean a 600cc+ inline

The point about the SV is that if you want to get around the track at a reasonable pace, you have to have corner speed on the lower hp bikes. The SV also leaves a lot of room for mistakes as it is easily correctable mid-corner without upsetting the bike- allows the rider to make those mid-corner corrections without a terribly high percentage of getting launched to the moon. Additionally it's much easier to have/ learn good corner speed on the SV because you're not coming in to the corner at 150mph too- it allows you to set up for the corner in regard to corner speed much more easily.

Throttle control on the SV is much different than the inline big power bikes. I find that most of the successful SV racers/ riders have a very smooth throttle input and it goes along with it's cornering stability and ability to make those mid-corner corrections again. With the SV, you almost have to go in deeper and get on the gas sooner but the smooth linear inputs of the engine make corner entry much smoother. It's harder to do that if you're not smooth on the throttle. TBH, I'm not 100% sure why it's truer with the SV, but I've found that it is by observing and working with lots of SV riders/ racers.

As with any bike you start out with, you have to have the right "mindset", and just about everyone has a learning curve despite their prior street experience. Most folks are going to be slow as molasses for their first few days on the track until you learn the bike's capability.

A choppy throttle on a 600cc+ inline could be a recipe for disaster, on the SV a choppy throttle may just upset the chassis a bit and you'll learn from it because you won't want to duplicate that feeling- but it's probably not going to send your bike for a yardsale either; can't say the same about the higher HP inlines.

Because it's easier to control in the corners, corner speed is a lot easier to "learn" on the SV. For the most part, it's a very comfortable bike in the corners. The inline 600cc+ bikes can bite your in the corners (a lot of this goes back to throttle control obviously). Comfort = control and progress.

Like I said above, some folks have great success with the high hp bikes for a first track bike; however I still believe as a learning platform (and racing platform) the SV (and similarly designed Kawi) is the best to start out with on the track.

I could go on and on about the pros and cons of SV (style) bikes on track vs the inline higher hp bikes, so I better cut it off here
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Old 07-25-2009, 09:50 AM   #9
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I agree with everything Tom says, but I will tell U for sure U better have great throttle control on high hp bikes, like modern liter bikes, or the result wont be nice, they are very unforgiving, If U ask for more they will give it to U right now, I feel big bikes are funner simply because they are faster, and when U go to the track U wanna be fast ( like ricky bobby), but slower bikes do make U a better rider, but keep in mind I,m kinda spoiled to big bikes, so I,m fairly disapointed in all 600cc bikes, I know there are tons of guys who will smoke me on there 600,s, because of corner speed
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Old 07-25-2009, 02:43 PM   #10
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Tom(or anyone else that knows) is the ZR7S Kawasaki anything similar to an SV? Besides a dirt bike as a kid it was what I learned to ride the street with. IMO, a lot of the characteristics you are talking about concerning the SV sound familiar on my old bike.
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Old 07-25-2009, 02:57 PM   #11
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Tom(or anyone else that knows) is the ZR7S Kawasaki anything similar to an SV? Besides a dirt bike as a kid it was what I learned to ride the street with. IMO, a lot of the characteristics you are talking about concerning the SV sound familiar on my old bike.
No not at all.

The SV and the ZX650 are twin cylinder nimble little bikes. The ZR7S is a sport touring bike with a i-4 engine. Even though the ZR7 is a 2 valve engine and has more engine braking than at 16 valve 4, it doesn't act or react like the SV or Ninja650's twin does. Not to mention the ZR7S is much heavier and not nearly as nimble, it's made to ride long distances with some decent cornering characteristics.

The SV in particular is very light, makes great power (for what it is), handles quickly and with great stability, and has very good braking for the beginning rider. Not that the ZR7S doesn't, it's just different, wholly.
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Old 07-25-2009, 03:17 PM   #12
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I really wish I knew more about engines, especially the ones that I owed or own. Guess I should read more manuals.
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Old 07-25-2009, 03:21 PM   #13
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I really wish I knew more about engines, especially the ones that I owed or own. Guess I should read more manuals.
go to google>enter :year make model + the word"review" and read.
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Old 07-25-2009, 05:20 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bumblebee View Post
I'm not trying to stir the pot but just trying to understand your thoughts...

I agree with what you said about new track riders hammering the straights and parking in corners, but I don't see how an SV "teaches" corner speed and throttle control.
Couldn't those things be learned on a supersport bike just as well?

Seems like those skills are more a product of instruction and rider mindset.

Riding a slower bike doesn't gaurantee you'll learn corner speed, but you're for sure not going to keep up with 600cc I4s by just whacking the throttle open on corner exit. Having a bike with some nuts tends to (though not always) help the rider create bad habits, like "cheating on the power" while still thinking they're fast/getting faster.
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Old 07-25-2009, 05:27 PM   #15
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Riding a slower bike doesn't gaurantee you'll learn corner speed, but you're for sure not going to keep up with 600cc I4s by just whacking the throttle open on corner exit. Having a bike with some nuts tends to (though not always) help the rider create bad habits, like "cheating on the power" while still thinking they're fast/getting faster.
What is the best way to know if you are doing well? I don't want to get a lap timer because I heard that doing so makes it a timed event and insurance won't pay if you crash. I think it was MaxG that said something along those lines.
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Old 07-25-2009, 11:56 PM   #16
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What is the best way to know if you are doing well? I don't want to get a lap timer because I heard that doing so makes it a timed event and insurance won't pay if you crash. I think it was MaxG that said something along those lines.
Technically no, that's not true. The spirit of the "timed event" clauses is that you're competing against others in a timed event. Simply using a lap timer doesn't preclude competition. Besides, the lap timer comes right off very easily.

I'm not a fan of lap timers for noobs. There are 1 million other things you should be concentrating on and your lap times are not one of them. Once you're able to ride in the advanced group at track days, that's not a bad time to consider a lap timer, but I wouldn't even think about it until that point personally.

Knowing your lap times is one of a ton of facets that show progress.
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Old 07-26-2009, 12:07 AM   #17
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I have one of each... 03 gsxr 1k for $5500 or an 06 ZX6RR only 6kmiles for $6000...
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Old 07-26-2009, 10:13 AM   #18
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Litre bikes are ridiculous on the track, for me.

Furthermore, I believe riding experience prior to doing a track day, has very little to do with what size bike to get.
I did one track day on a 1000. Said fck this and got a 600. Then I sold the 600 and have a 750 now.

I am now kicking the idea around of a litre bike...or get this...an SV650.

You can go fast on all of them.

Btw..I am 250# and move plent quick without having 1000cc's under me.
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Old 07-26-2009, 12:31 PM   #19
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my first track bike was an 85 yamaha rz350.. I loved it. Had to be very smooth cornering to keep momentum. After that i went to a cbr600, then i had a handful of zx7r's after that. My last track toy was a zx10 that i never had any issues with, but i wasnt pushing it as hard as i could have. I also have 21 years of exp on sport bikes and i used to ride track all the time when i was younger. But i took a 13 year break from track riding. August of '08 with the zx10 was my first time back on the track since i was 15.

A good handling bike with a bit less power will definitely teach you to be better at the track. Even an older 600 or 750 would be a nice trackbike cus they're a bit under powered... And i still think that the zx7r is the most stable handling bike i've ever ridden... just mho...
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Old 07-27-2009, 03:03 PM   #20
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everything tom has stated is what i would say.

sv650 is a great bike, when you master the sv650, move up to 600's, then 1000's if it floats your boat.

i came from 1000's, stepped down to 600's, and now have stepped down further to the sv650's. i can run faster lap times on my sv650 than most people can run on their 600's and 1000's. , i seem to run faster lap times on my sv650 compared to my gsxr600!!!!

the sv650 offers MORE confidence in corner speed and throttle control. the sv650 also helps FOR ME, to focus better, everything processes slower, allowing me to find better and better lap times

learning on a 600 is not a bad idea either, but if it's going to be your first trackbike, sv650's are the best choice because of parts availability, and cheaper initial costs.
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