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Old 05-21-2011, 08:15 PM   #1
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To 'Tard or Not...

So I'm really curious about these motards. What's the rage?

I just noticed a guy shelving his ZX10 so he could bring two motards to MSRH (a long and fast track). That's very telling to me about what motards have to offer at the track. I briefly considered getting one but was vaguely advised against it by several mainly because the straightaways would burn up the motors on the long tracks... yet I keep hearing (please no deaf jokes) that they're fun fun fun to ride. Are they fun because they're EASIER to ride despite cornering faster than a Super Sport which is what I have?

I'm currently in the market for another motorcycle specifically for the track. I have been trying to convince my wife to let me buy Chris99's k6 1000 but its been a no go considering I just picked my street bike up. Maybe I could convince her to let me get something cheaper such as a motard.

I have always ridden the big bikes. I once owned a 600 but really really really hated hated hated it. I like batting out of the hole and taking it to the local dragstrip (not really), I.e. the stoplights around my neighborhood. I have ridden daily for 16 years yet my knee has never touched the ground (I tried so hard before lunch on 4/30 but no go). Essentially, I have always been the guy that you trackers hate; power in the straights but parking corners. I am working on rectifying that with lessons from Fastline.

I do not want to be that guy anymore. Living in hill country for the past 3 years has really allowed the cornering bug to clamp down on me . H-A-R-D. Could I further my cornering progress on a motard? Remember, I'm not looking for an "easier to corner" bike but a very real bike that I could translate towards mine. Dropping the bike is not much a concern of mine either other than the "owie" factor. Crashing's part of riding. I've crashed plenty.

Let me try asking this way... What do I want out of the track? Do I want to have fun fun fun? Or do I want to expound my riding ability and skill. I think its the latter. Actually, I am sure its the latter. Considering this... could I get by on a motard or should I stick it out and wait for another SuperSport to fall into my hands?
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Old 05-21-2011, 08:38 PM   #2
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Motards are all about having fun, and the group that runs at the local track day are a blast to ride with.

That is, of course, when I'm not doing some sort of maintenance.

Just understand, they take a little more work to keep running (well) than most other bikes.
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Old 05-21-2011, 09:17 PM   #3
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The guy you asked about this in the Fastline thread, Tojo92, can probably tell you a lot. He also might have one of his sweet motards on the market soon...

You've been out to GSS, so you've probably see what a ball those guys have in lightweight. My thought is that lots of people assume that the bigger and faster bike you have on the track, the more fun you will have. I think that might be true for very experienced riders, but for a lot of people the big bike is a lot more stress out there on the track because you can get into trouble very quickly.

You can have huge fun out there (on the right track) with the smaller displacement bikes, and the motard is an example of that. It also can help build skills. Sometimes those tards fly right past the bigger bikes in the turns, and I know, because I've been on one of those bigger bikes watching those guys fly by more than once!
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Old 05-21-2011, 09:23 PM   #4
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One thing to note is riding a tard is nothing like riding a sport bike. So when u said u wanted to learn to corner on a tard then translate that to ur street bike probably won't work. I have a drz400sm and a zx6r for the track. When I've been running my drz on the street then ride my track bike I'm all sorts of twisted up. Gets some being use too...I'll tell ya what I'll have a tard for as long as I live now though.
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Old 05-21-2011, 09:28 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unswift View Post
The guy you asked about this in the Fastline thread, Tojo92, can probably tell you a lot. He also might have one of his sweet motards on the market soon...

You've been out to GSS, so you've probably see what a ball those guys have in lightweight. My thought is that lots of people assume that the bigger and faster bike you have on the track, the more fun you will have. I think that might be true for very experienced riders, but for a lot of people the big bike is a lot more stress out there on the track because you can get into trouble very quickly.

You can have huge fun out there (on the right track) with the smaller displacement bikes, and the motard is an example of that. It also can help build skills. Sometimes those tards fly right past the bigger bikes in the turns, and I know, because I've been on one of those bigger bikes watching those guys fly by more than once!
Yes, Tojo92 is the guy I was referring to with him shelving the ZX10 in place of an extra motard. I'm hoping he'll reply in this thread as well as other motard riders.

I get they're fun fun fun... Soooo you DO think there is benefit in learning how to corner on a motard on the track. One other thing I did not mention... I have no interest in riding a motard on the street so consider that with your advice.

Thanks for the reply. Track noobs are never much fun to respond to. I appreciate it.
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Old 05-21-2011, 09:32 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BYRDMAN View Post
One thing to note is riding a tard is nothing like riding a sport bike. So when u said u wanted to learn to corner on a tard then translate that to ur street bike probably won't work. I have a drz400sm and a zx6r for the track. When I've been running my drz on the street then ride my track bike I'm all sorts of twisted up. Gets some being use too...I'll tell ya what I'll have a tard for as long as I live now though.
See... this is kind of where I'm at. I don't need to learn how to ride a motorcycle. I know how. I want to learn to push my machine. ... I want to bend clipons!

I'm not saying I want to learn on a motard. I'm asking is it possible to get by with that... your answer tells me no.
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Old 05-21-2011, 09:35 PM   #7
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You rang?

Yes, I am taking two tards with me, and you are welcome to ride one of them. I took the CRF with me to TWS (Texas World Speedway) last weekend. I was trying to get comfortable on the ZX10R (finally did, thanks to getting some one on one instruction) but I ran the tard for grins at the end of the day.

They are a ton of fun, I literally find myself laughing when riding one. The ZX10R scared me a bit, especially after my off at TWS (Texas World Speedway) a year ago on it to be perfectly honest and I am having to work up to a comfort level on it.

A lot of people say you will pop the motors on the tards at the bigger tracks, but that isn't necessarily so. I have run my KTM many times at TWS (Texas World Speedway) in A group and B Group with no issues. The CRF450 did just fine. I had a very experienced older racer take it out for one of the last sessions Sunday. When he came back in he asked "Why do you have a 10R again?" He was saying that the bike is the perfect learning tool. You pretty much hit top gear and keep it there allowing you to focus on lines, etc.

There are many tard choices, from high maintenance 450, to bullet proof 640's. Depends on what you want to use it for. Best part is that they are easy to load and unload, crash well, and give you a good view.

I am not sure how the bikes will do in the Advanced group due to the straights that allow for high speed, but I figured since it is my first time out there, it would be good to go on what I am most comfortable on and I can compare them back to back. It's also not a race, I ride to clear my head and laugh my off when I am out there.

The offer is open, you are welcome to try one out, just come by and introduce yourself. I kinda am like a drug dealer trying to hook everyone on my drug of choice, tards...

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Old 05-21-2011, 09:59 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tojo92 View Post
You rang?

Yes, I am taking two tards with me, and you are welcome to ride one of them. I took the CRF with me to TWS (Texas World Speedway) last weekend. I was trying to get comfortable on the ZX10R (finally did, thanks to getting some one on one instruction) but I ran the tard for grins at the end of the day.

They are a ton of fun, I literally find myself laughing when riding one. The ZX10R scared me a bit, especially after my off at TWS (Texas World Speedway) a year ago on it to be perfectly honest and I am having to work up to a comfort level on it.

A lot of people say you will pop the motors on the tards at the bigger tracks, but that isn't necessarily so. I have run my KTM many times at TWS (Texas World Speedway) in A group and B Group with no issues. The CRF450 did just fine. I had a very experienced older racer take it out for one of the last sessions Sunday. When he came back in he asked "Why do you have a 10R again?" He was saying that the bike is the perfect learning tool. You pretty much hit top gear and keep it there allowing you to focus on lines, etc.

There are many tard choices, from high maintenance 450, to bullet proof 640's. Depends on what you want to use it for. Best part is that they are easy to load and unload, crash well, and give you a good view.

I am not sure how the bikes will do in the Advanced group due to the straights that allow for high speed, but I figured since it is my first time out there, it would be good to go on what I am most comfortable on and I can compare them back to back. It's also not a race, I ride to clear my head and laugh my off when I am out there.

The offer is open, you are welcome to try one out, just come by and introduce yourself. I kinda am like a drug dealer trying to hook everyone on my drug of choice, tards...

Staton
Awesome. Thanks for the offer. Real kind of you. I wouldn't want to hurt your baby so I will respectfully decline. Its bad enough that I have to worry about not crashing into other people. I won't be coming tomorrow at all anyway. We planned to but the weather has got us in the dumps so I don't feel like trekking it to Houston for the BBQ. We 100% will make it to GSS on the 4th with Fastline.

What do you mean better vision? I'm assuming its because they're taller bikes? I'm a pretty short guy with even shorter legs and this is mainly why I never got into dirtbiking too much. Also why I am a little leery of motards.

Interesting input about that experienced racer you spoke of. When I rode my liter on 4/30, I didn't even worry much about shifting. Just left it in third all day. Maybe 4th a time or two but pretty much third gear. It was nice not worrying about shifting but I think I could latch onto shifting while going fast down the road. More saddletime is the name of my trackgame right now though and motards sound like they fit that bill.

I like the loading and unloading part of motards. I had to ask for help putting my bike on and off the truck last time. I didn't like asking for that. I have a trailer but I use it for work too so sometimes getting it cleared can be a hassle as it was for 4/30.

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Old 05-21-2011, 10:19 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tojo92 View Post
You rang?

Yes, I am taking two tards with me, and you are welcome to ride one of them. I took the CRF with me to TWS (Texas World Speedway) last weekend. I was trying to get comfortable on the ZX10R (finally did, thanks to getting some one on one instruction) but I ran the tard for grins at the end of the day.

They are a ton of fun, I literally find myself laughing when riding one. The ZX10R scared me a bit, especially after my off at TWS (Texas World Speedway) a year ago on it to be perfectly honest and I am having to work up to a comfort level on it.

A lot of people say you will pop the motors on the tards at the bigger tracks, but that isn't necessarily so. I have run my KTM many times at TWS (Texas World Speedway) in A group and B Group with no issues. The CRF450 did just fine. I had a very experienced older racer take it out for one of the last sessions Sunday. When he came back in he asked "Why do you have a 10R again?" He was saying that the bike is the perfect learning tool. You pretty much hit top gear and keep it there allowing you to focus on lines, etc.

There are many tard choices, from high maintenance 450, to bullet proof 640's. Depends on what you want to use it for. Best part is that they are easy to load and unload, crash well, and give you a good view.

I am not sure how the bikes will do in the Advanced group due to the straights that allow for high speed, but I figured since it is my first time out there, it would be good to go on what I am most comfortable on and I can compare them back to back. It's also not a race, I ride to clear my head and laugh my off when I am out there.

The offer is open, you are welcome to try one out, just come by and introduce yourself. I kinda am like a drug dealer trying to hook everyone on my drug of choice, tards...

Staton
Don't let Staton talk you into riding one of his tards.......... its like taking the first hit for free and you can't wait for the next fix. Thats just how he rolls....
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Old 05-22-2011, 10:13 AM   #10
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As I mature (now 43), I find myself buying smaller bikes. I've had 1050cc's, 900cc's, etc.

The most intelligent buy was the SV650. If you want to learn how to ride quickly and smoothly, the SV is definitely the tool for the job. Having said that, my SV had top shelf suspension bits........

This brings me to the motard. My SMC is perhaps the most fun either on the street or on the track. It is bone stock with the exception of a slip on (more for noise than power. BRAAAAP is very important) Either a SMC or a 400SM in my humble opinion is the way to go. They are both street legal street bikes. Unlike the CRF and YZF, they were desgined with street duty in mind and have larger oil capacities.

If I were you, I would shelve the litre bike idea as the power is more of a liability and a crutch.

Lightweight at GSS is by far the most fun and probably the safest class to run in. All the riders are competent, there are no rolling road blocks, and above all everyone is fairly rapid and can hold a line. That is rare at a trackday.

If you do decide to buy a motard, I can assure you that you will not regret it.
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Old 05-22-2011, 08:46 PM   #11
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After racing for 10 years, then being off for 5 completely (the career took the lead), I just got back into riding again about 6 months ago and went the tard route. I've raced everything from a GSXR-750 to every brand of 600, except Yamaha, and an SV650, but decided to get back into the addiction with something that is fun but also crashes well... try crashing any 600 vs any tard... the difference can be thousands. At GSS, you can't have more fun than the tards, and at MSRH today, well the tards were a little out-motored in the advanced group, but we still had alot of fun and we held our own.
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Old 05-22-2011, 09:44 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BYRDMAN View Post
. So when u said u wanted to learn to corner on a tard then translate that to ur street bike probably won't work.

I disagree with this: my tard has contributed to a significant improvement in riding my "big bike."


As to MSRH being a long track.....ehhh....TWS (Texas World Speedway) is long. Is MSRH too long for a tard? Maybe, but its not out of the question. Also, it makes you work real hard to get all the turns right to pass someone on a 600 as you know they're going to walk away in the straight.
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Old 05-22-2011, 10:13 PM   #13
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Thanks to all who have posted. I am listening to you all VERY CAREFULLY.

I will decline on the SV650. I have ridden one and absolutely hated it. Besides it's probably the ugliest thing I have ever seen. No thanks. Speaking of ... Here's another inexpensive bike idea... the Hyosung. Anyone have any input on using that to gain track saddletime or are they utter junk.

So far I am still stuck on picking up another litre. Nobody has really given me the answers that I have been looking for. Not looking for more fun. I'm having plenty on the litre. That doesn't mean I have closed the doors to the idea of a motard. I have not. Not even remotely so. I'm just now thinking in my mind after hearing fun fun fun repeatedly... the motard is a toy as opposed to a streetbike. Hearing about the motards struggle today at MSRH isn't helping them too much either.

Again, my ultimate purpose with these trackdays is to become a better rider, the fun is just an added bonus to it all for me. Please keep the input coming.
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Old 05-23-2011, 07:29 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NitroHonda View Post
Thanks to all who have posted. I am listening to you all VERY CAREFULLY.

I will decline on the SV650. I have ridden one and absolutely hated it. Besides it's probably the ugliest thing I have ever seen. No thanks. Speaking of ... Here's another inexpensive bike idea... the Hyosung. Anyone have any input on using that to gain track saddletime or are they utter junk.

So far I am still stuck on picking up another litre. Nobody has really given me the answers that I have been looking for. Not looking for more fun. I'm having plenty on the litre. That doesn't mean I have closed the doors to the idea of a motard. I have not. Not even remotely so. I'm just now thinking in my mind after hearing fun fun fun repeatedly... the motard is a toy as opposed to a streetbike. Hearing about the motards struggle today at MSRH isn't helping them too much either.

Again, my ultimate purpose with these trackdays is to become a better rider, the fun is just an added bonus to it all for me. Please keep the input coming.
The motard will make you a better rider where its important: in the turns. You don't have the straight line speed (My SXV 550 is considered one of the "faster" motards, and I think I saw 110mph on the back straight at MSRH) so you have to get all the work done in the corners. Its the exact OPPOSITE that makes a litre a crutch when you're learning: you don't improve your corner speed because you can "cheat" by being happier with the throttle in the straights to improve laptimes.


As to an SV650, its not about being pretty. Its a learning tool. I, personally, think that a tard is a better learning tool initially than the SV650. The SV has the same power deficit that a tard has when compared to true supersports, but its lacking the big bars. You learn things about how a motorcycle actually steers with real bars vs clipons.







This is all opinion from a guy who spent 5 YEARS in novice/slow intermediate, and then after 4 trackdays on a tard finally started making serious progress.
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Old 05-23-2011, 07:38 AM   #15
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Think about it this way Mike....when you can slide, sling, whip, and man handle a 250lb bike around with confidence and at will, it all carries over to handlinga bigger bike.

Not only is riding a tard fun, but it will teach you more about riding than you can imagine. For example, when the pro road racers train, a lot do it dirt tracking on minis or riding supermotards. They practice riding the bike very loosely, and getting comfortable with the bike sliding around under them. The same can be said about riding a motard. When you can go fast on a tard, and put it where ever you choose, you can use those same principles of bike control, throttle control, body position, and braking on a SS.
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Old 05-23-2011, 09:43 AM   #16
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Quote:
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The motard will make you a better rider where its important: in the turns. You don't have the straight line speed (My SXV 550 is considered one of the "faster" motards, and I think I saw 110mph on the back straight at MSRH) so you have to get all the work done in the corners. Its the exact OPPOSITE that makes a litre a crutch when you're learning: you don't improve your corner speed because you can "cheat" by being happier with the throttle in the straights to improve laptimes.


As to an SV650, its not about being pretty. Its a learning tool. I, personally, think that a tard is a better learning tool initially than the SV650. The SV has the same power deficit that a tard has when compared to true supersports, but its lacking the big bars. You learn things about how a motorcycle actually steers with real bars vs clipons.







This is all opinion from a guy who spent 5 YEARS in novice/slow intermediate, and then after 4 trackdays on a tard finally started making serious progress.
Wow. The bolded above really speaks volumes. I have thought about what you said there all AM. Thank you for the exact type of insight that I wanted to hear. I will continue to ponder upon that. I guess its a mental thing with me always having had that power as a crutch on the streets.

I guess I'll be talking to some folks about some real motard purchasing options, what to look for, track allowability, etc.

5 years?! I was thinking one, MAYBE two... hmmm... no worries. I'll do whatever it takes to get better.
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Old 05-23-2011, 10:02 AM   #17
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You could always grab a mini.
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Old 05-23-2011, 10:12 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NitroHonda View Post
5 years?! I was thinking one, MAYBE two... hmmm... no worries. I'll do whatever it takes to get better.
My case is exceptional. Most of my buddies made it out of novice after 1.
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Old 05-23-2011, 10:26 AM   #19
NitroHonda
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Bike(s):
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2003 Kawasaki ZX6R -- trackbike
2009 ZX14 -- STOLEN -- never recovered
2008 Hayabusa -- STOLEN -- frame recovered






Quote:
Originally Posted by po-po 5.0 View Post
My case is exceptional. Most of my buddies made it out of novice after 1.
If you don't mind my asking... just how much street riding experience did you have before you started taking it to the track? I would prefer you (IF YOU COULD) try to tally it in miles or hours rather than length of time. I know a guy who claims to be a 30+ year veteran but he rides like once or twice a summer. His riding ability is a joke and he's got a big mouth. Anyway, did you struggle because you had to "unlearn" bad street riding habits? This might be my case being a daily rider for 16 years myself.
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Old 05-23-2011, 10:33 AM   #20
Chubby Racer
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Experience: 8 years
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'02 KLX110(tarded)








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Quote:
Originally Posted by NitroHonda View Post
If you don't mind my asking... just how much street riding experience did you have before you started taking it to the track? I would prefer you (IF YOU COULD) try to tally it in miles or hours rather than length of time. I know a guy who claims to be a 30+ year veteran but he rides like once or twice a summer. His riding ability is a joke and he's got a big mouth. Anyway, did you struggle because you had to "unlearn" bad street riding habits? This might be my case being a daily rider for 16 years myself.

I probably had 5k street miles before my first trackday, and then an additional 5k before my second. I did have a few street habits to break, but the biggest thing for me was faith in the front end. I never "got over" my first streetbike wreck because I could never figure out why it happened. I always had this underlying fear that if I pushed the bars, the front was going to tuck. Riding a tard got me past that.
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A motorcycle is a joy machine. It's a machine of wonders, a metal bird, a motorized prosthetic. It's light and dark and shiny and dirty and warm and cold lapping over each other; it's a conduit of grace, it's a catalyst for bonding the gritty and the holy.

CMRA #302
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