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Old 01-30-2014, 01:04 PM   #1
SideVinder650
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Thinking about getting into track, downsize back to Ninja 250?

Hey guys,

I just recently acquired a second motor bike so that I am hoping to start doing track days with my sv650, and use the second bike as the Spring/Summer/Autumn Commuter.

I've got a small dilemma here, I started ~8years ago now on a 03 Ninja 250, I always thought to myself I'd get another one some day and use it for track. I think the 250cc Racing class would be perfect for me, Im a 5'6 rider, 145lbs. the ninja 250 is just the perfect bike, size and skill wise, for me currently.

That being said, I've got my SV650 which is completely a commuter setup. I would want to leave it street legal but take the steps to use it for track days.

Im sort of at a cross roads here and know for certain that agility/speed/maneuvering wise, the sv650 is above my skill set.

Should I look into borrowing a ninja 250? purchasing/trading for one? or possibly continue on with my sv
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Old 01-30-2014, 01:33 PM   #2
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Regarding the SV or any motorcycle for that matter, if you plan to start doing track days and racing, don't use your motorcycle that you want to keep street legal. It's way more expensive to repair a crashed bike to street legal than one that's track only. And you WILL eventually crash if you ride the track a lot. Don't let that stop you from doing a day or 2 in Novice on the SV to try it out, but after 2 or 3 I'd personally go with something other than your street ride. You can take off lights, bodywork for track days but that gets old really quickly.

I race my SV650 in sprints and I've done an endurance race on a Ninja 250 well. Both are a total blast and you'll have more fun than should be legal on either of them! Even carrying my 235 pound around, the 250 was a hoot.
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Old 01-30-2014, 01:43 PM   #3
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did the sv650 ever hinder your ability to master certain skills because of its heavier(ish) frame and power versus say 250/500 ninjas?
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Old 01-30-2014, 01:44 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by x-ray View Post
Regarding the SV or any motorcycle for that matter, if you plan to start doing track days and racing, don't use your motorcycle that you want to keep street legal. It's way more expensive to repair a crashed bike to street legal than one that's track only. And you WILL eventually crash if you ride the track a lot. Don't let that stop you from doing a day or 2 in Novice on the SV to try it out, but after 2 or 3 I'd personally go with something other than your street ride. You can take off lights, bodywork for track days but that gets old really quickly.

I race my SV650 in sprints and I've done an endurance race on a Ninja 250 well. Both are a total blast and you'll have more fun than should be legal on either of them! Even carrying my 235 pound around, the 250 was a hoot.
From another SV rider that races 250s... this guy has the right idea!
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Old 01-30-2014, 01:49 PM   #5
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I have no track experience, but why not find a junk 250 with a salvage title or something?

I'd be willing to be that in the long run that would be cheaper than converting/repairing the SV, even with the purchase price.

If you can admit to yourself that the SV is above your skill level, then it's probably way above it.

It looks like you already have made your decision and are just looking for a push in the right direction...

get a cheap ninja, keep your SV as a commuter...put the extra cash into your retirement fund.
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Old 01-30-2014, 02:52 PM   #6
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Find yourself a cheap 08+ 250. Easier to work on and more aftermarket sources and tires are easier to come by since they use 17" wheels vs the 16" wheels. If you're really on a budget and want to race for fun, get the older model. I know a lot of cheap mods to vamp up the dated bike.
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Old 01-30-2014, 03:47 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by cuong-nutz View Post
Find yourself a cheap 08+ 250. Easier to work on and more aftermarket sources and tires are easier to come by since they use 17" wheels vs the 16" wheels. If you're really on a budget and want to race for fun, get the older model. I know a lot of cheap mods to vamp up the dated bike.
Yeah the 08+ is the way to go and you can get one track prepped for like 2500 if you look.
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Old 01-30-2014, 05:06 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SideVinder650 View Post
did the sv650 ever hinder your ability to master certain skills because of its heavier(ish) frame and power versus say 250/500 ninjas?
Good question. I didn't ride a 250 until already had a LOT of laps on the SV. The SV isn't very heavy either , probably weighing around 385 but it's fairly tall which hinders the side to side transitions a bit compared to the smaller bikes. Raising the fork tubes in the clamps about 10mm helps that a lot though and takes a LITTLE bit of stability away to make it quicker.

The biggest negative you'll find on the 250 and even on the SV is after you start picking up a little speed around the track. You'll catch riders in the corners and twisty portions of the track, they'll toast you in the straight, you'll catch them at the next corner and repeat. Still, I am a BIG advocate of the slower bikes because it teaches you to work on cornering, conserving energy, etc instead of relying on power to make up for lack of skill.

Looking ahead, if/when you feel you're ready to run in Advanced/level-3 the 250 is just going to be too slow. You'll top out at 100 or less if and have liter bikes with 50 mph or more overtake speeds on the track which just isn't safe.
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Old 01-30-2014, 06:18 PM   #9
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see thats also something i dont understand, what about 250cc classes? arent there 250 only classes? my history my be dated but i remember reading that at one time two classes existed (although i know professional racing is way way ahead, if ever) 250/500cc

is that not so anymore? i read that the classes had been changed and increased in size, but do local organizations have 250 or 500cc only classes still? (in addition to the other "current" classes as dictated by wsbk and motogp and other type org's)
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Old 01-30-2014, 07:51 PM   #10
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First of all, congratulations on owning the best bike of all time, the SV650.

I am actually prepping a 250 for endurance, and a SV for sprints.

CMRA just restructured this year to accomodate all the newest lightweight bikes. There are now classes for 250, 300, and 500s. There is even a Grom class.

250 Endurance is the best bang for the buck. Tyres last a season and most bikes are close to stock.

If you do want to go a bit faster, the SV is the natural next step. You can put some suspension under it and go race. Of course, there are some SV's out there making close to 100hp, so there is plenty of potential.

Basically, you cannot go wrong with either bike.

Pick one and go have fun.
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Old 01-30-2014, 08:05 PM   #11
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I'm thinking about building a 250 from a junk yard. Good intel on this thread.
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Old 01-30-2014, 08:36 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wiayeman View Post
Of course, there are some SV's out there making close to 100hp, so there is plenty of potential.
I'm gonna get smoked in D Superbike and all the other classes that are superbike spec with my stock motor! Supersport is my only chance! lol

And yeah, earlier I was talking track days with their 3 levels. In actual CMRA races it's divided up more evenly. An endurance race is like a big track day anyway!
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Old 01-30-2014, 09:40 PM   #13
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Quote:
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An endurance race is like a big track day anyway!
The way my team does it, it surely is...
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Old 01-30-2014, 09:43 PM   #14
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I found a video from December for you to see for some speed comparisons. It's from the Fastline lightweight session at MSRH and I'm on the SV out with motards, 250's and a 500.


I'm trailing some 250's and 'tards around when I pit-out around 4:40.

I"ll catch up to Mr P on here at about 7:45 and follow him to compare the 500's performance on power which you can see at about 8:15. Ignore me running wide at 8:25! I was thinking, "that's some decent power" and let my mind wander and didn't get on the brakes enough. So he passes me and I catch back up and follow some more. I'll point out that his 500 had almost no race prep an running street tires so that didn't help him out any.

And here's tankmonkey's video of the same session with cameras on his 250 although I think Tojo92 was riding it at the time

http://youtu.be/fnpRc-kVAxQ

You'll have fun no matter what you're on.
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Old 01-30-2014, 09:51 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by x-ray View Post
I found a video from December for you to see for some speed comparisons. It's from the Fastline lightweight session at MSRH and I'm on the SV out with motards, 250's and a 500.

http://youtu.be/qqUqWWt_DR8

I'm trailing some 250's and 'tards around when I pit-out around 4:40.

I"ll catch up to Mr P on here at about 7:45 and follow him to compare the 500's performance on power which you can see at about 8:15. Ignore me running wide at 8:25! I was thinking, "that's some decent power" and let my mind wander and didn't get on the brakes enough. So he passes me and I catch back up and follow some more. I'll point out that his 500 had almost no race prep an running street tires so that didn't help him out any.

And here's tankmonkey's video of the same session with cameras on his 250 although I think Tojo92 was riding it at the time

http://youtu.be/fnpRc-kVAxQ

You'll have fun no matter what you're on.
Cool video! I was just wondering how many people come to the track and don't ride? I saw a bunch of bikes just sitting there with warmers on the last time.
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Old 01-31-2014, 01:18 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by x-ray View Post
I found a video from December for you to see for some speed comparisons. It's from the Fastline lightweight session at MSRH and I'm on the SV out with motards, 250's and a 500.

http://youtu.be/qqUqWWt_DR8

I'm trailing some 250's and 'tards around when I pit-out around 4:40.

I"ll catch up to Mr P on here at about 7:45 and follow him to compare the 500's performance on power which you can see at about 8:15. Ignore me running wide at 8:25! I was thinking, "that's some decent power" and let my mind wander and didn't get on the brakes enough. So he passes me and I catch back up and follow some more. I'll point out that his 500 had almost no race prep an running street tires so that didn't help him out any.

And here's tankmonkey's video of the same session with cameras on his 250 although I think Tojo92 was riding it at the time

http://youtu.be/fnpRc-kVAxQ

You'll have fun no matter what you're on.

Why/when do you typically pit out? Is it for air in your tires/new tires/gas?
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Old 01-31-2014, 01:38 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SideVinder650 View Post
Why/when do you typically pit out? Is it for air in your tires/new tires/gas?
At a track day it's usually for spacing like if you're stuck in the middle of a pack and want some open track or in this case, I was all by myself and wanted to get into a group without taking 2-3 laps to catch up. Sessions are typically only 20 minutes so you can fill up with gas during a break. For my SV I try to top it off at lunch but I did forget one time and came in when my fuel light came on, or at least when I saw it anyway!

If you're not running an advanced/race pace, a full tank of gas in the SV will practically last all day. And at Fastline we teach to check your tire pressures after every session. You're looking for normally 3-4 pounds of pressure increase from cold, to hot off the track. There's more to it, but I won't go into it all here.

One of the seasoned endurance guys can speak up but I've normally seen them run a set time between 30-60 minutes and come in for rider swap. And they normally know how long they can run between gas fillups and plan to fuel at a pre-planned rider swap.
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Old 01-31-2014, 03:22 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by x-ray View Post
Good question. I didn't ride a 250 until already had a LOT of laps on the SV. The SV isn't very heavy either , probably weighing around 385 but it's fairly tall which hinders the side to side transitions a bit compared to the smaller bikes. Raising the fork tubes in the clamps about 10mm helps that a lot though and takes a LITTLE bit of stability away to make it quicker.

The biggest negative you'll find on the 250 and even on the SV is after you start picking up a little speed around the track. You'll catch riders in the corners and twisty portions of the track, they'll toast you in the straight, you'll catch them at the next corner and repeat. Still, I am a BIG advocate of the slower bikes because it teaches you to work on cornering, conserving energy, etc instead of relying on power to make up for lack of skill.

Looking ahead, if/when you feel you're ready to run in Advanced/level-3 the 250 is just going to be too slow. You'll top out at 100 or less if and have liter bikes with 50 mph or more overtake speeds on the track which just isn't safe.
Everything he said is true... btw SV650 is I think 420 wet weight...
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Old 01-31-2014, 03:31 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thayleal View Post
Everything he said is true... btw SV650 is I think 420 wet weight...
yeah,I should have said without fuel. I'd like to weigh mine some day. That stock muffler I think weighed like 12 pounds heavier than the M4 I have. I also have a lightweight upper fairing stay that's just ounces compared to the stock unit, and the lithium battery weighs close to 5 pounds less than lead-acid. I think the full race bodywork weighs less than the stock S models upper fairing and headlight pod. And when I take the kickstand off for races, there goes another pound or 2. If only I could drop pounds like that!

And it's not that I've been TRYING to lower the SV weight but as I've made mods and fixed damage to original parts, that stock stuff is so heavy.
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