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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I am thinking about trading my first bike a Suzuki TU250 for a sport bike. As some here may know, I took the MSF course one year ago, and in February I purchased the TU250 as my beginner bike. By May I had about 800 miles on it all in-town riding, practicing the basics, shifting, turning, braking, lots of parking lot practice (figure 8's, circles, quick stops). In May I purchased a Harley Low Rider. I have just under 3,000 miles on the Low Rider, including in-town riding, and a few longer trips around Lake Okeechobee, down to the Keys, and to Flamingo in the Everglades. I guess I consider myself an advanced-beginner rider.

I enjoy the heck out of the TU250 due to its light weight and "flickability." But, sometimes it feels like I have to get off and push it to gain any speed. Forget about riding over 60 mph for more than a couple of miles. Hence, the thought of trading it for a sport bike.

I've never ridden a sport bike. I want to make sure I buy enough bike so I won't tire of it after a year or two; but, not so much bike that it overwhelms my level of experience. I feel comfortable and confident handling the 665 pound, 103 cubic inch Harley. How, if at all, does that translate to proficiency on a sport bike? Some preliminary Internet research suggests a Ninja 650, Yamaha FZ6R or Honda CBR650F might be what I am looking for. But, I wonder whether I shouldn't move up to something like a Yamaha FZ1 or Ninja 1000 with somewhat more power, which would likely be enjoyed longer. Is that asking for trouble at my level of experience?

If it matters, I'm no youth (54 years young). I have no need to ride 120 miles per hour, and won't be popping wheelies (at least not intentionally). I am looking for the enjoyment which great handling brings. I am also looking for a sport bike with a somewhat upright riding position, not draped over the tank.

Any thoughts, suggestions? Thanks all.
 

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Well I'm a bit biased.....


As are many of my friends....


The Hayabusa is in the class considered Sport Tourers. The bars the grips mount on are called clip ons and they are above the triple tree which is the bracket the forks go thru. On most real sport bikes they are below the triple tree and really do cause one to lean over. The Bus is a very comfortable bike. I rode mine to North Carolina and back no problems. My friend you see with the dog has logged over 100k on his just like that.

If it were me I'd buy a bike I could grow into and never outgrow. Ferraris don't immediately go fast or get people in trouble. And neither do big bikes. Your life is in your right wrist. If your cool and level headed you'll be fine. We have a member on the Busa forum who's 22 now but three years ago bought his first bike which was a Busa. We all thought he was gonna die in a week. But 30,000 miles later the rubber side is still down with zero incidents. Really has proven many members there wrong on the baby step method of bikes.

Bikes your should look at that I'd suggest would be of course first:
The Hayabusa
The Zx14 or the Kawi Concours which many of my friends are switching to.

All three would be bikes you could never outgrow. While I cruised around and enjoyed Sunday rides I also had more Hp between my legs than most cars and even in 5th gear that thing would pull your arms off if you dared. So from zero to light speed the only thing you'll be happy with is a liter class bike or above. If you go the 600/636 route you'll be tired of it again in a year or so.

Think about going down I95 at 80 and a tractor trailer passes you. My bike would not even budge from the wind force. I'm sure on your bikes you've felt the push from these big rigs going by you or trying to pass one. A 1000cc and above sport tourer will remain rock steady on the hgwy.

And if you should get the itch and find two to three miles to grip it and rip it trust me the adrenalin fix will last for days...:grin
 

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You could do this....(another friend of mine who's an Oklahoma State Trooper)


Or this is me geared up and ready for the ride up to the Dragon..


Dragging knees around the Dragon....


Or tooling around town with my son. It was the best all around bike I've ever owned.
 

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My son just bought his first 'Sport Bike' this summer...04 YZRF600R with 4000 miles for $2700 from an individual on Cragislist...I would not advise going over 6XXcc until you have a LOT of experience under your belt.
 

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My son just bought his first 'Sport Bike' this summer...04 YZRF600R with 4000 miles for $2700 from an individual on Cragislist...I would not advise going over 6XXcc until you have a LOT of experience under your belt.
Sir, with all due respect that is just bad advise. Displacement has nothing to do with whether or not the rider is intelligent enough to not get themselves in trouble. More Ninja 250 riders have gotten themselves killed than Busa Drivers. Guess what? Don't twist the wrist and you'll not get into trouble. Just as easy to rear end a car because you couldnt stop on a 250 as it is on a 1000.
I would argue the bigger bikes are more forgiving and allow a larger learning curve.

Are you saying that on a 600 or less you're automatically safer? Less at risk from having granny run over you on one?

That would be like telling somebody they are safer with a ten round mag instead of sixteen.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
BB,

With your vast experience, I was hoping you'd come around. Likewise, with your vast experience, I was kind of afraid you'd come around. :grin I am sorely tempted to take your advise and go for a bike I will not outgrow . . . but, I really gotta give it some thought. I've got exactly one year's experience and under 5,0000 miles -- none of it on a sport bike. . . on the other hand, I fully get the "your safety is in your right wrist" concept.

I do appreciate your taking the time to share your thoughts on this. :thumsup Might hit you up again to pick your brain as I go through the decision process.
 

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The Busa forum is down for maintenance right now but when it comes back up I'll post the link from the young rider I mentioned.
It may make you feel better.

It really is quite simple.
There is nothing a Gsxr1000 can do that a Hayabusa can't do almost as good. If you wanna shave time off your laps at track day than maybe a Busa ain't for you. Although I have had many people come up to me afterward just to make sure it was a bus and then say wow I never thought one of those could cut those kind of times.
But.....
There is a lot you can do on a Busa that you can't do on a 600/1000cc sport bike.
Things like ride alllllll day comfortably, cruise comfortably, go fast, go slow, ride two up etc etc etc.

Go sit on one, a Zx14 and a Kawi Concours which is even more sport touring oriented.
Spend the money on one nice bike you can own for a decade or more and never get tired of.
The fact you've already 'gone' thru two bikes should already tell you to just step up.
 

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there are a lot of bikes out there that fill many different niches in the sporting market...I am not necessarily a proponent of stay small until youre experienced if you have a good head on your shoulders and know how to control yourself...its not hard to get into trouble on a liter plus bike with the additional weight (its not low like the Harley) and the ability to reach triple digit speeds in short seconds...

at 54 and with several rider courses under your belt you've taken a very responsible path for a new rider...good for you...

look around...see whats out there and get a feel for the seating position....some sport oriented buikes have you sitting on your nuts....some are comfortable....have a seat and imagine the position for a long period of time if you plan on travelling...I have a preference toward standard riding positions but have ridden all different styles and enjoy all but the most die hard sport...keep in mind a leaning forward position can be a bear around town with your arms & wrists supporting you...

and above all...have fun and be safe...

my current ride on the way home from a training session with brownie in Daytona...love this retro feel....
 

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Sir, with all due respect that is just bad advise. Displacement has nothing to do with whether or not the rider is intelligent enough to not get themselves in trouble. More Ninja 250 riders have gotten themselves killed than Busa Drivers. Guess what? Don't twist the wrist and you'll not get into trouble. Just as easy to rear end a car because you couldnt stop on a 250 as it is on a 1000.
I would argue the bigger bikes are more forgiving and allow a larger learning curve.

Are you saying that on a 600 or less you're automatically safer? Less at risk from having granny run over you on one?

That would be like telling somebody they are safer with a ten round mag instead of sixteen.
The 'Sport Bike' has a distinctly different way it handles that a 'cruiser.' WEIGHT and control are HARDER to master on a Sport Bike....and I've got more miles on BOTH than most will ever have including several hundred on one at the track.

I've never been run over by 'granny,' BTW.....and your firearm analogy falls short in so many ways....so we can just disagree...
 

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The 'Sport Bike' has a distinctly different way it handles that a 'cruiser.' WEIGHT and control are HARDER to master on a Sport Bike....and I've got more miles on BOTH than most will ever have including several hundred on one at the track.

I've never been run over by 'granny,' BTW.....and your firearm analogy falls short in so many ways....so we can just disagree...
You lost all credibility when you said a sport bike is harder to do anything on.
Triple disc six piston brakes compared to a single disc two piston up front on a cruiser and you think it's harder to learn how to brake? Handling like a dream which will allow you to instantly steer around obstacle whereas your normal cruiser is gonna plow right into it? Yeah ok. You're right cruisers are superior. :rofl

And you can count me out on your 'I've got more miles than most' statement.
I put 30,000 in that Busa in four years. 27,000 on the '11 Zx11 I had, over 50k on the Kz700, 45k on the Rz350 and so on and so on for over a dozen bikes in my life. I've cruised a 1000 miles in one day and ridden that back tire thru triple digit speeds.

One is foolish to think they are safer on a cruiser style bike.
So yes we can most obviously agree to disagree.
 

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Hey look! A camera! Make sure to look away and wave....





About now he's wishing he was riding a sport bike and could correct his soon to be serious error. 'Gee I really wish I could grab a lil more brake and lean this sucker over some more!'


Classic OMG target fixation and staring where your heading not where you want to go...
Major Oh Crap moment...


Look ma NO hands....



Cruisers.....:rofl :thumbsdwn
 

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Im 52, and have had more bikes than I can count. What you need is a sport touring bike, in the 1000cc range. They handle nicely, very little wind buffeting at highway speed, they're just perfect. Im in good shape for 52,w/ 23 bmi, been working out for years, and I cant ride 50 miles on my brothers gsxr , it kills my back. I wouldnt give a dime to own a full out sportbike. I worked at Kawasaki for many years,and the nicest bike I had the chance to ride was a bmw . That thing was sweet.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Im 52, and have had more bikes than I can count. What you need is a sport touring bike, in the 1000cc range. They handle nicely, very little wind buffeting at highway speed, they're just perfect. Im in good shape for 52,w/ 23 bmi, been working out for years, and I cant ride 50 miles on my brothers gsxr , it kills my back. I wouldnt give a dime to own a full out sportbike. I worked at Kawasaki for many years,and the nicest bike I had the chance to ride was a bmw . That thing was sweet.
Yep, not looking for a full out sport bike. Thinking of something with a more upright riding position. I've spent the last couple of hours looking at manufacturer sites, Cycle-Ergo site, and youtube reviews. Without actually sitting on anything yet, some that stand out so far are the Ninja 650 or 1000 (depending on how brave I am feeling); and the Yamaha FZ1. I also "discovered" the Suzuki GSX-S1000F. It is a new model which looks quite promising. I'll have to check it out at the dealer. All have a more upright seating position.

I looked at the HayaBusa, but it doesn't seem to have the ergos I need to keep my wrists, neck and back out of the hands of the chiropractor (sorry BB).

As with guns, the search is half the fun.

Thanks all for your comments and suggestions thus far.
 

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As I said I'm biased :)

I'm 6'4 and found my bike quite comfortable and upright. But really you need to go sit on some and see which one really fits you.
It seems your looking at a lot of naked bikes or ones without fairings. I'd suggest trying to at least find one that has some sort of cover. The Love Bugs can get downright nauseous. Better to have them on your screen and not your face.
Look at the Kawi Concours. Super nice bike

Might wind up like this guy....


:grin
 

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Been riding over 45 years. Everything from Yamaho 350 R5 2 stroke to Triumph Bonneville to four Harley's, Suzuki Katsna, Yamaha GSv1100s etc.

Totally agree with BB. Size and displacement don't control the ride, you do. The big Sport Cruisers (as opposed to "Cruisers", have better handling characteristics, power WHEN YOU CALL ON IT and are, IMHO, safer for anyone wise enough to stay within his skill set. However, when you want to advance, chances are it will allow you to without requiring you upgrade again.

Small bikes only have a price advantage but lack true handling advantages over much better suspended, balanced and race engineered machines tuned down to street user levels. :thumsup

Also agree with BMWs being fine rides and well engineered and suspended.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
MPDC, I fully get what you are saying -- same as BB's comment about the "your safety resides in your right wrist." Trust me, at 54 I am well aware of my lack of immortality. A level head and a cautious right wrist can make a big difference. So, I'm starting to lean towards going big (but not too big). Will probably eliminate the 600 range from consideration and stick with the 1000 range. Obviously, I have to go and sit on a few bikes and talk to salesmen. Don't think I'll be able to snag a test ride, unless they happen to have a used bike on the floor, and I can persuade a salesman that a ride might just close the deal.

BB, all the ones on my tentative list have fairings (except the FZ1 which is only a partial fairing).

On "paper" (ie. specs, reviews and Youtube) the Ninja 1000 seems to check all the boxes: more upright position, ABS, traction control, decent weather protection, optional/available side bags (bags cost over $1200??!! :aarg). On the other hand, the Suzuki GSX-S1000F comes across as a sportier option. . . but still has a more upright riding position. Reviews suggest the Suzuki has more "race" oriented components and tuning. Decisions, decisions.

By the way, I am purposefully not considering larger sport tourers such as the FJR1300, BMW G1200RT, or Concourse. Due to work and family obligations, I don't have time for multi-day tours presently. Hope to do so in a few years, and will take a look at those bikes at that time.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
You say south Florida? How close are you to PBC?
I know the Gm and salesman at Broward Motorsports on Okeechobee Blvd here.
We can help with the fitting and maybe test rides.
I'm in north Miami-Dade. . . that dealership would be a little more than an hour's drive. Well worth the drive to me, if they were to allow test rides. Let me visit a few dealers closer to me to better define what interests me. Once I narrow my choices a bit, I would certainly take you up on your kind offer.

I appreciate it. Thanks!
 

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You lost all credibility when you said a sport bike is harder to do anything on.
As usual, you are full of yourself....:rofl


Never said it....LOL!
 

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I'm in north Miami-Dade. . . that dealership would be a little more than an hour's drive. Well worth the drive to me, if they were to allow test rides. Let me visit a few dealers closer to me to better define what interests me. Once I narrow my choices a bit, I would certainly take you up on your kind offer.

I appreciate it. Thanks!
If you wind up buying a new bike let me know I'll see what I can do to get you a better price here maybe.
 
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