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Here is my big question left unanswered:

Are either bikes great for riding around town?



It is highly unlikely that I will ever be able to test out various types of bikes in different circumstances, so after reading glowing reviews about sportbikes I am inclined to think they are the best use of money because they offer the best performance and the best equipment. I personally ride for corners, but I need to be able to ride around the city with ease as well as have a bike be comfortable enough to take out for a 120 mile trip in the rain. So are either of these a real solution?



For the other riders like me, perhaps you should do a sportbike v. standard v. sport-tourer v. whatever else is out there test. I know you've done them before, to an extent, but they have always been bikes at extremes of the spectrum (It Ain't The Tool: Canyon Carving; R1 v FZ1). Why not do something like an R6 v. SV650 v. etc... and include a lot of direct comparisons between bikes on touring, backroads, track, city, etc.



I've been reading about bikes for years and been riding for a handful and I still don't have a clue on what the my next bike should be....
 

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Interesting test. Would have been even better with an SV650...would that have done even better?



On the street I would have thought that any advantage for most people that the R6 had in corner speed should not actually be utilised, as you have to worry about things like hazzards, oil on the road etc, quite apart from the fact that most people don't corner fast. Anyone can twist the throttle in a straight line!



A recent UK test I read basically said that as much as you wring the 600s neck all the time, on the road and track the larger bikes (GSX-R and Busa) just smoked them after hard won advantages in the corners.



I admit to being a lazy rider, so anything that does not require constant revving and gear changing suits me for the real world
 

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However, my flawed logic allows me to reason that you're not going to use the max from either one, so you might as well take the stupid silly giggly fast one, just so you can entertain yourself on those boring straights.
I agree with Sean's logic above. As stated in the article 95% of us spend 100% of our time on the streets.

And another really important thing to consider...what about the riders that live above sea level and lose some 3% of power

for every 1000' of elevation over sea level?

I live at sea level but my favorite riding spots are all in the mountains , the prime stuff is all over 5000ft .

Initially the GSX-R1000 felt weak to me...but I came off a Hayabusa.

Ive had lesser bikes up in the mountains but they dont offer anywhere near the performance of a Busa or GSX-R1000 up there.

The learning curve might be larger on a liter bike but if you have any skill at all you should be able to crush most 600s. With the exception of a very , very small number of good riders.

For me, at the end of the day , a good streetbike needs lots of torque to be fun, it needs enough horsepower to keep you from going bored on the large number of roads that are not really all that fun to ride the speed limit on.
 

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Those of us who don´t give a diddley about that last 1% of speed, have a look a look at the torque. Between RPM 3-6k the bikes have:



Yamaha 20-34 lb-ft

Suzuki 53-68 lb-ft



Its simply big mac vs. regular burger.



- cruiz-euro

 

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Holy Precious Bodily Fluids, Batman!



I'll be the first to concede that I lack - er - experience with todays top line sportbikes having ridden exactly one: CBR1000RR. And no, I am NOT worthy.



But it was fun even if I don't fit in the ergonomic sense.



Ahhh, to be an American in the 21st Century: when waaaaay to much is barely enough! Life is good. Keep it coming. And faster, please.
 

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It's a fact that 600cc supersport bikes accelerate like the big boys did about 10 years ago. When will a stock 600 dip into a sub 10.5 second quarter-mile time during a mag test? My prediction is that it will happen within the next two or three years. Amazing!!!!!
 

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I have another perspective. I own an 05 Sprint ST and an 05 GSX-R 1000. On any given day, I can get more speed out of the 1000 but it always comes down to the rider. There is exactly one local rider that I have had make me feel challenged (I outweigh him by 100 pounds... that helps) and yet I felt no more challenged on the Sprint than the Gixxer. Some days I question why I have the Suzuki since the Sprint can be hustled so damned fast. How fast? Well, my friend with a RC-51 gets hopelessly behind over a few miles.

Anyway, my perspective with the big bike is that I rent 600cc bikes for track days (it's *cheaper* than taking my own bike! www.turn2.ca) and I am constantly frustrated by the lack of power of the 600cc bikes, and how I cannot ride as smoothly with them. I often get bizarre corner speed with the 1000 by keeping revs at 7,000 RPM to stabilize the bike and limit the throttle response, then roll the throttle on right at apex and blast out of the corner, usually without needing to change up for the next corner. On the 600s, I find myself frantically shifting gears and running out of revs coming out of corners with enough thrust to tweak the stopwatch. I lose time in shifting and over-rev. The 600s almost always feel like they're in the wrong gear.

That's also experience. I agree with Sean, spending some time on the 1000 would unlock the lap times that Gabe and Pete were having trouble finding. It's not about fear of the motor, it's about managing that big motor and looking for hot cornering speeds without maximum thrust available at the apex... torque wins race, horsepower sells bikes, as the saying goes. It's a different philosophy, because the 600s just won't "go" if you don't have them at the right operating revs.

To turn full circle, I think that's why the Sprint is so fast. It never has a big shove in the rev range and rewards the rider to look for cornering speeds. Yet it has massive, tractable thrust which makes it a bullet when it fires out of a corner. I ate my BT020s in 4,000 miles... when I bought the bike I planned to try and ride more sedately. :)

More street perspective and I'm done: the 1000 is much more enjoyable to ride in day-to-day riding than a 600 in my opinion. Actually, my 2003 gixxer was more enjoyable still. The torque is always there to get you moving and around town, you just leave it in first. Yeah, first. You can have a little fun backing into street corners with the throttle, and you're not revving the ***** out of it either. But, if you do a lot of low-speed city riding, a standard bike is more fun... people really underestimate how good a naked standard is for that and buy the latest ZXGSRRRX, then complain about how stiff they are. I favour a Monster S21000, best street bike around... loads of torque, wheelies are easy and rewarding, nice upright riding position... much more enjoyable when you're not out strafing backroads with lots of sweepers.

Some pics of my bikes here:

http://www.rumour.com/album/Motorcycles/My_2005_GSX-R_1000/

http://www.rumour.com/album/Motorcycles/My_2005_Sprint_ST/
 

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A great read as usual, thank you.



Wonderful machines, too. But since my moto life is 100% real-world and mean-streets, and I must pay real-world money for my fun, I will stick with my XB12, thanks.
 

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Wow! Great article! As one poster said, "I am not worthy;" me neither. Both bike would be wasted on my rudimentary riding skills but what great bikes! Another poster noted the torque difference and I think that is a good point too. I had a early 600 Yamaha sport bike that was very nice but the extra torque of the CBR 900 with which I replaced the Yamaha, made a much nicer street ride for me. But 160 HP!?!? If you think about it, that is really stunning. We are truly in the "Golden Age of Motorcycles." Halleluiah, damn the radar, full speed ahead!
 

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Cool article, and a lot of good points. Another good point, perhaps: Different bikes, for different folks? I have, and have had, a lot of bikes. For the most part, I enjoyed them all. From cruisers, to nakeds, to supermotos, to sports and repli-racers, they all have their appeal.



A couple of interesting scenarios: First, I currently have an '06 ZZR600 and an '05 GSXR1000, among others. If I could only have one, it'd be the Gixxer, hands down. However, I ride the ZZR much more often. It's just more comfortable, relaxing, and practical, and still great fun on public roads. Second, to further score the point (Or, perhaps, to make myself the bigger jackass, depending on your take of this...), I have an '06 ZX14 on order. I love power and cool, and I loved my 'Busa, so I gotta' give this a try! At the same time, I also have an '06 Ninja 650R on order. It looks to cool and fun for the street. A more practical, versatile "supermoto", if you will.



Motorcycling is very much an "experience-based" activity. It's subjective. Ride what you ride because you like it, and you're set to go. Different bikes for different folks and different moods. However you want to look at it.



Just a thought...Whatever you ride, be safe (Ok, at least don't be totally stupid ALL the time) and have fun.
 

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Vindicated...:)

Great work guys! Yes kpaul has been saying that the 600 SS is the best buy in motorcycling for years now. Thanks to Pete and Gabe for the validation. Would have loved to see a Kawaski 636 and/or a GSXR750 in the mix. The great Matt Mladin said that he thought the 750 was the best combo of power and agility once.

Thanks again MO Great video and pictures. Fun read...Sean is such a stud I hate it.... Freddy's for me in January...
 

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One of the fallacies of buying the bike that is most entertaining on the long straights is the stupid high speed that results is one of the most likely ways to:



- Have a very bad crash

- Get caught by the police



You can have your thrills at far lower speeds in tight twisties and police are far less likely to catch & ticket you if you keep straight line speed near the speed limit and instead enjoy the bike in tight corners. It is so much more productive for the police to target straights over corners, as most of the motoring public in cars is speeding heavily on long straights but not speeding at all through corners.



Which kind of defeats the purpose of these bikes anyway of course..
 
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