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Three best suggestions yet...

I've actually ridden all these bikes and along with the FZ1 I don't think you'd go wrong with any of them. I'm 6'2 and... ahem... on the heavy side of 230 and will vouch for all these choices. I currently own a Speed Triple and love it. The SV would probably be the best track bike for the money. The Tuono (if money is no object) could be the best track bike period. A great all-rounder is the FZ1. Huge power and can be made to handle with al lot of sport bikes. You could literally rider it 2 up to the track and have at it all day and then ride it home. Not a lot of bikes you coud say that about. 2-cents...
 

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I apologize for not being a little more clear in my description. I'm very comfortable on long distant rides. However, please keep in mind that I'm @ 6' and 200 lbs. The other person was 6'-5" and 230+ lbs. I myself probably would not be comfortable on that bike for long distances if I were 6'-5". Not being that big I can only speculate. Sorry for any confusion.
 

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Re: *READING*

6' 3" and 205 lbs. And I have ridden most of the bikes mentioned in various posts here (a cbr1100xx extensively) and I'm sticking with my earlier recommendation. The 650 V-Strom is the best middleweight I have ever ridden and I feel very confident that I could have a blast on it for the occasional track day. I know that one can have a lot of fun dispatching hard-core sportbikes on one of these because we spent a day doing just that on the LA crest during our middleweight comparo. This is the closest thing to a TDM that you can get in the US these days and the TDM850 is reknown as one of the most versatile bikes ever (and it fit large people well).

The Blackbird is a wonderful in most ways but is well-known for a low seat and high pegs resulting in a cramped leg position for tall people. If you modify the rearsets to address this the pegs will drag everywhere. I loved my bird but spent many hours on the road with my feet dragging the ground instead of on the pegs. Even my 954RR is better in that regard.

The 919 is also very cool but much too cramped for a guy 6'5" The current VFR needs another development cycle and it's kinda cramped to boot (although it's easy to address this on the VFR)

The other big GT's mentioned here will all work OK ergonomically but generally handle like aircraft carriers. So if you want a big bore that brings me to the finest literbike I have ever ridden-- if you can live with performance that is a few hairs below the front runners -- the Triumph Daytona 955i. I wish I had one of these myself.

I also second Seruzawa's suggestion of a Speed Triple which would also work very well for this individual.
 

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Re: racer size

When I was a kid my uncle would take me to the scrambles down where the Artesia freeway is in LA now. There were lots of Brit 650s and HD XLCHs competing. No 5'6" rider's at all. Imagine wresting a 500lb 65hp Sportster around an MX track. (shudder).
 

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Great personality, nice family....

"The 650 V-Strom is the best middleweight I have ever ridden" --sportbike_pilot

I believe you. But....

The V-Strom is homlier than a mud box. I want to be able to walk away from my bike after a good thrash (or even an uneventful ride to work), and then look back at it with a bit of moto lust.

In essence, the owner of a V-Strom has to be content with a good personality. For me, I don't want to just be friends, I gotta have the full on "From Here to Eternity" roll on the beach.
 

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Since no one else has brought it up ...



The Yamaha YZF-600R is a great all around bike that wouldn't be out of place at a track day. It's my favorite of the still newly available middleweight bikes because it has better wind protection and more relaxed ergos than the latest RR's or R-6's. Its engine has good midrange grunt so it doesn't have to be wound up as much as the current 600's.



I also like the FZ-1 idea.
 

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Re: Great personality, nice family....

That's great, for you, but this fella came from a Goldwing -- I can't imagine that anything else is going to appear anything other than beautiful.

The V-Strom looks much better from the rear which is the view that most people will have of it anyway when ridden by a competent rider. We didn't even bother to take off the dual-sport tires (already fragged by Sean during the intro) and it was still one of the funnest bikes to ride in the twisties. That's all the rush I need.
 

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The speed triple

I think it's a cool bike. Definitely good looking imo. I owned one for a summer. I agree it might be right for this person, but it has some serious shortcomings.

even with a wind screen it isn't a distance bike at all. of the trumpets i have owned it is surprisingly slow turning in.

finally it's typical of the genre. its good at everything but brilliant at nothing.
 

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You are very wise to recognize the benefits of instruction and track days on a sportbike--the best money and time I have ever spent. I went through a similar thought and selection process the last three years. I started with a Suzuki Bandit 1200S for its combination of moderate sport character and comfortable ergos for my 6'3" 250lb 40 year old body. After taking my Bandit to a Jason Pridmore STAR School and almost grinding the pegs off of it (two of the funnest days of my life!), I decided I needed to upgrade to a full-on sportbike (the Gixxer 1000). The earlier comments about the Triumph Speed Triple and Kawi ZRX1200 are right on the money; due to the kindness of others, I have ridden both of those bikes bikes in the canyons and at track days since purchasing my Gixxer are they are very competent sportbikes with great long ride ergonomics. If I had started with either of those bikes, I may not have needed to upgrade. However, if you (A) are going to get serious about taking some classes and doing track days AND (B) really want one of the new repli-racers, go ahead and get one. With the right instruction, some common sense, and judicious throttle control, you do not need to start on something tamer. I know several other big guys like me who do fine on the full-on sportbikes, and I think its nice to have the extra horsepower to haul my big butt quickly between corners. You are already spotting most of the guys out there at the track day a good 75 lbs, so the extra horseposer can come in handy. In some ways, the big liter bikes are easier for a new guy to ride at the track because gear selection isn't as critical with the big fat powerband; you can concentrate on your lines and cornering skills first, and then move on to late braking and shifting to pick up the pace. I ride my Gixxer to work and on all day trips, and the ergos do not bother me at all because I am now used to the riding position. If your thoughts keep drifting toward the new CBR1000RR; just get it, get some good instruction, and enjoy!
 

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KTM Adventure 950

Is made for big guys. I am 6'1'' 190 and i think i am about as small as you can be and just get on the bike. but once on its a hoot. the seat is just about criminal but you get used to it and the performance is not matched even by the new 1200 gs. i agree that the dl650 is cool too. if i didn't want to cough up the dough for a ninefiddy, and i had to do with one bike, the v-strom 650 would be it.
 

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Re: Great personality, nice family....

"That's great, for you, but this fella came from a Goldwing -- I can't imagine that anything else is going to appear anything other than beautiful." --sportbike_pilot

OK, made me laugh. Good point.
 

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Re: Honda 919

One issue on the DL1000 may be room for your feet, if they're big. My riding buddy, who's a big guy, tried my Strom and felt that there wasn't enough room for a his feet. He had trouble with the shifter. But he's used to cruisers, too. If you're used to dirt bikes, you should be OK. Check out vstrom.info for information on the V-Strom (both 1000 and 650) than you can stand. People have certainly done track days on 'em.
 
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