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That was an interesting article! It was interesting to see that the cheaper, older Ninja 500 did so well in this group. I've heard alot of good things about the 599, but I would've thought that having no windshield was a big drawback? It would be in my opinion. Windblast gets old in a hurry when you're moving more quiclky, and if you live a cooler climate, it can mean the difference between a half hour ride and 4 hour ride! Also, with the 919 being so close in size and cost, do you think the 599 will have much of a market? I was interested in this type of bike, as I'm getting tired of the weight and acres of plastic my ST1100 has, but the insurance rates are crazy, I think they're all looked upon as sport bikes, which seems crazy. Progressive wanted a little over $1200 to insure either of the FZ6, 599 and 919, thats fully comp, collision, $500 ded. and I'm 32!!! Thats seems alot, when I only pay $300 for an 1100cc sport tourer?!?!??! I guess I ride a fogey bike.



Very good article though, I liked the FZ6 looks but a high revving buzzy motor would not work for me. The triumph is a great looking bike, but too uncomfortable for long stints in the saddle. None of the other bikes really interested me too much. The V-strom and BMW were strange looking, and while I'm not a Harley basher, if I was going to buy a Harley, I'd prefer a big Harley.



I'm looking forward to the best of the best comparo, to see what happens. Great article.
 

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I wonder how the Honda Nighthawk 750 would have done in this company? I rode one for a little while after I learned to ride, it was a pretty fun bike to ride but boooring to look at. I imagine it had enough zip to keep up these other bikes, its cheap, cheap to insure, reliable, easy to work on, but it a bit of a relic in some ways. Its kind of 70's, but not in a funky retro way, more of olive green flared dad pants kind of way. Just a thought.
 

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Nice article, Sean. One thing about the Honda 599 that may have riders looking elsewhere is its price. I'm sure it's a competent bike, even one I'd like to own, but with its F2 engine and lack of supension adjustments, I sure wouldn't want to pay $7099 for one. It reminds me a little of the old Yamaha Radian, which was a "parts bin" bike, but was also competent. When compared with the much sexier Triumph, I think it comes up short. With an MSRP of, say,

$6199, the 599 would be a more attractive package.
 

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It amazes me how much cheaper Italian bikes and Harleys are to insure compared to Japanese bikes. All the squids doing idiotic stunts have screwed you race rep riders.



I think I pay about $450/yr for my Ducati and $550/yr for the Electra Glide through State Farm.



That's 100/300 with a $100 ded. comp and collision.



I really enjoyed the unfaired Honda. It's what motorcycling is all about. I rairly rode my Low Rider with the windshield except for a road trip. I really miss it with a fully faired Duc and Geezer Glide.



Of course when we wrapped up our bull session at about 9 pm or so and I realized I had a 100+ mile ride home down the California coast sporting a nice marine layer, I happily hopped on the Harley, flipped on the electric vest, popped a Stereophonics cd in the player and set the cruise control for 75.



Riding the Triumph or Honda all the way home would have been slightly less comfortable.



I wrapped up a 350 mile day while those other boys were warm under their covers.
 

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Re: Karate?

Well IMO that just means that you were more astute than the rest of us. I thought you started out on the speed 4? At any rate everything was actually a model of social cooperation until we got off the freeway downtown and the hooligan behavior began. Remember that? The veneer of civilization is mighty thin. I felt bad for Sean who, in spite of his initial come-to-Jesus speech to all of us, had to watch all of his potential future earnings pass before his eyes everytime someone performed an "unauthorized" maneuver on one of the test bikes. And, as I recall, you were a member in good standing of the hooligan squad. So my initial impression stands. Swagger with pride my friend :)
 

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I didn't realize Italians and Harleys were cheaper to insure. I can understand why a Fireblade or ZX10 or something similar would be expensive to insure with all that power, expensive plastic with a portion of their riders who ride like maniacs, but the insurance rates for a 919, 599, fz6, etc. Its just crazy! My ST1100 was pretty cheap to insure, as is the Concours, BMWs etc, but you really have to check it out. I liked the VFR alot and almost bought one until I checked out the insurance and almost choked!



The thought of simplifying to the type of bike you guys tested keeps crossing my mind, but everytime I go out on the freeway, or when its raining or cold, that big fairing and windshield on the ST sure do come in nice. If only it didn't weigh 700lbs! I keep looking for a lighter bike with upright seating position and luggage capabilities and some form of windshield or small fairing but keep coming up short. They have some in Europe, but they don't seem to find their way over here.



Nice article by the way.
 

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Hey now. Sometimes it gets in the 50s here. It's just so damp along the coast it makes it feel colder and I only wear a t-shirt under my jacket.



I got good news from the CPA that I'm done being punished by the Feds for earning a living so I may go sniff around the MV Agusta dealer again after I recover from my birthday drunkfest tomorrow night.
 

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Fit in pretty well?



Well what have we here, a "middlewight comparo", six bikes between 500-650cc, and a 1200cc. Weighing 40% more than the average of the rest.



Well, Tatd, if you are ever asked for jury duty to a beauty contest, just say no.



- cruiz-euro
 

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I think that's a valid point. My first "street" bike was a KS125 Kawasaki enduro (three days after my fifteen birthday). Probably around 8 HP on a good day. Redline was 8000 RPM but I'd shift at 7000 for maximum acceleration! (it'd fall off the pipe). "Speed Shifting", Racing tuck, slamming on the brakes (drums) at the last possible moment, riding on the "ragged edge" around corners, on the gas Early and Hard coming out. All to maintain a slightly greater pace than some Grandma on the way to the store in her Pinto. I miss that bike and being able to ride like that on the street without speeding (about 68MPH indicated max with a "Jay Springteen" tuck and a mile) but the ZRX is a blast too. Obviously the law and physics demand restraint most of the time but sometimes! WOW! If only I can get to the point of sliding coming out of corners in the dry as easy as it is in the wet.
 

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VStrom Vs SV

The VStrom uses a different frame (its the DL1000 frame with a different motor-mount adaptor).

True, the DL gives up 50 lbs and 5 hp to the SV, but...

The SV doesn't have the ergonomics, the wind protection, the 5.8 gallon tank, the long travel suspension, remote preload ajustment (a godsend for pillion duty)....

On a twisted backroad or the track, the SV will blow past the Vstrom. But as a real world bike?

The VStrom will cruise faster than an SV (real wind-protection), and more comfortably than either an SV or SV-S, for either one or two. The VStrom cuts through potholes and crap like they don't exist, and comfortably goes down gravel driveways/roads.

The SV is actually fairly sports-biased, especially the SV-S, with teh almost GSX-R ergonomics. The VStrom is a much more "biased towards nothing" bike. I doubt it will sell well in the US (but those who buy it will be very happy), but I'd expect it to sell by the boatload in europe.

I'll snag a ride this weekend (probably) on an SV-S so I can do a full impression.
 

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Generational...

Keeping the old gen engine around (Katana & Bandit -> old GSX-R 600) has very little cost associated with it, especially if the bike was designed when the old-gen engine was still new. So much of the bike is the design and tooling cost, and of the engine as well, that keeping things constant saves a ton of money.

Oh, after a while you'd want to replace carburation/analog instruments with significantly cheaper EFI and digital (or stepper-motor "analog") instruments, but that can wait until you redesign the entire bike.

Yamaha was doing the same thing with the Fazer (YZF-600R engine), its that they had to update it to meet euro emissions regs, and in the process decided to use the R6 mill as the starting point instead.

Probably the major reason why the Hornet/Hornet S/CB600/CB600S are still using the older gen (carburated) CBR mill is that Honda is able to get them to pass emmisions, so they haven't had to redo things, and therefore don't want to.

The other factor, which I'm suprised hasn't been done, is put space in the engine case to add a counterbalancer. Leave the balancer, balancer berings (and the gear for it on the crankshaft?) out in the hypersport, but put it in for the other models.

Could you imagine a 90+ hp 600cc engine without vibration?
 

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State Farm...

State farm writes based on displacement, not bike type, at least in my experience. Thus state farm is actually really CHEAP for a 600 supersport, its just "Yet another 599cc motorcyce".

I'm paying 1/2 the cost!)

They get around the squid-factor by mostly not writing motorcycle policies except for car customers.
 
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