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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey folks, (Apologize in advance at the length... Will do so again several times along the way :p)

I have a question for all the experienced sportbike riders out there. I need input as I'm caught in a dilemma. As this is my first post I'll give you a brief introduction to help with responses. I've been riding dirtbikes since I was 10 years old (currently 28), and have finally been fortunate enough to get into a situation where I can afford a shiny new bike of my choosing. Now I know how most will respond to this...

"Start on a 600ish bike so you can get use to the feel of riding on asphalt and on a heavier fuller bike as opposed to the stripped down, knobby, sliding on dirt and hitting jumps you might be use to on the dirtbike. Then once you've mastered it move up to a bigger toy if you feel the need."

Which I will admit is great advice, I am an experienced, safe, and (I like to think) smart rider, and I intend fully to start slow, master it and work my way up... HOWEVER.... I'm a big guy, 2XL Frame, broad shoulders, the works, I sit trim at 6'0 235lbs... not ripped with muscle, im talking a good walking everyday normal weight... So I feel more comfortable with the bigger bikes (though I haven't matured enough as a rider to want a cruiser :p). I also know how quickly I pick up things, and how quickly I wish to move up once I've mastered them. This causes an issue where if I bought a nice 650 "beginner" bike, I'd be ready to trade up for a larger bike in a year, or maybe even 2 at which point the bike will only be half paid for. In order to prevent this my intention is to buy a bike that I will "grow" into. One thing I learned in my years of riding is that the bike will only go as fast as you let it, even with a monster 1300+cc engine if you don't twist your wrist it don't go.

Soooooo With all that said, I intend to buy one of the 3 bikes listed below, however since test driving bikes is only possible if you have good (trusting) friends that own one to let you ride, I can only go off what I see on paper and how I fit in the seat. So I'd appreciate any feedback (aside from the "you should start smaller" kind) that people could give on riding experiences, good, bad, ugly about the 3 bikes. I don't expect what is said here will outright make up my mind, but I like to get as much information as I can before making a decision on a large purchase like this. So please any useful feedback to help in my decision would be greatly appreciated! Thank you all and I apologize for the novel.

Ask questions if you need more info, I'll check here regularly as I'm really looking to make the best decision I can make and am eager to hear what you all have to say...I am equally torn between;

Suzuki's GSX-R 1000 - Sexy, good reputation, good all around quality.

Honda's CBR1000RR - Sexier, said to be easier to handle, quality.
and
Kawasaki's ZX-14 - Slightly less sexy, most comfortable, travel able.

Thanks guys and gals.
-Saki
 

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Buy a good Life Insurance Policy. You'll need it.

The power-delivery of your typical Liter+ bike is such that, if you hamfist it a bit - you're gonna wear it like a hat.

Second: the "size" of the bike has little to do with displacement. Compact. Light. That's what the manufacturers have been striving for. The ZX-14 is a bit bigger than the other two, but not necessarily better.

Your first foray onto asphalt should not be astride any of those motorcycles.
 

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Words fail me.

I was reading along, thinking the guy was rational. Then I got to the list of bikes.

C'mon - which of you guys came up with a new username just to troll?

Oh well. Assuming for a moment that you are serious -

Dude, you've picked three of the worst choices you could. You left off the R1, and the Duck 1048. And the M/V F4. Oh, and a F-16, a F/A-22 Raptor and of course the F/A-18 (but they get really crappy mileage).

My suggestion is a Tiger. 955i or 1050. The 1050 is a very nice bike, and will do more than you will ever try. They define "linear power delivery."

They don't make an extended swingarm for them, though.

Jeeezus.
 

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If you're six feet tall and 235 lbs., you're not all that big of a guy as far as motorcycles go. You also shouldn't get any of those bikes; I second the life insurance policy note above.

Riding on the street is different than riding in the dirt, especially in terms of what you need to pay attention to and what you need to gain experience with. And the cost of an insurance policy on those bikes you mention is also up there. If you just got your M-class license, you won't even be able to get insurance on a sportbike from some insurance companies.

Yeah, I know ... blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. I sincerely hope you wise up and don't end up in a casket.
 

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Every year we get this question. It always leads to a debate or "spirited discussion" as to whether new road riders should ride superbikes. The answer is "no, you should not buy a superbike" (1000cc bike) . Sorry, that's just the way it is. If you don't want to hear that, go somewhere else.

If you are a bigger guy, go for a naked standard. Try the Ducati Monster S2R -- plenty of power, Italian coolness in spades, and plenty of handling prowess to intimidate squids on the track. Try a Buell XB9R, which is decent sized for bigger guys (all the Buells are -- and don't even think about the 1125 bikes). Try a Triumph Street Triple.

Heck, spend that money going to the gym. I hear P90X works pretty good.
 

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Am I allowed to 3rd this motion? Your looking at the tops in power and performance as your first street bike. Thats like giving a kid with go cart experience a Lamborghini for his first car. Your making a very bad decision. I woldnt consider going over 1000 cc unless it was an 1100 or 1200 cruiser, and managing the weight of a 1200 cruiser is more work then you'r expecting. Good luck and please stay behind me.
 

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Good luck and please stay behind me.
Actually, you're better off with him in front of you. That way, when he whacks that throttle wide open, you're out of the way of a missle with no direction. You (any rider) can always control the situation when they are behind subject ___________ (insert your noun here, e.g. "Q-tip").
 

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...This causes an issue where if I bought a nice 650 "beginner" bike, I'd be ready to trade up for a larger bike in a year, or maybe even 2 at which point the bike will only be half paid for. <snip> -Saki
Start with a used lightweight/middleweight bike. Look for a good enough deal that you can sell it in a year or two without taking a loss (assuming it is in the same condition as when you bought it). That way you can get experience and when you are ready to move up to that literbike, you won't be losing much money on the old bike.
 

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Actually, you're better off with him in front of you. That way, when he whacks that throttle wide open, you're out of the way of a missle with no direction. You (any rider) can always control the situation when they are behind subject ___________ (insert your noun here, e.g. "Q-tip").
I nearly got my clock cleaned from behind by some chick on a 1200 Sportster - because of "that damned front brake" she had. Luckily, I happened to notice the flash of her headlight waving back and forth in the mirror, and have good-enough reflexes and the instinct to process that "somethin' ain't right" behind me, and took evasive action without the need to actually look and see.

BTW: The bytche wasn't "On the brake" when the blat from her exhaust nearly deafened me as she careened-past and nearly into the trunk of the car about 60' in front of me.

Multiple incidents like this are the primary reason I no-longer ride with "bikers" - and has little to do with their attitude toward me an' "my Japcrap crotchrocket POS". Although the Halloween Costumes certainly don't help any, either.
 

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Me & a friend were side by side at a light but in separate lanes and a 3rd guy came up on a CBR & did an indo between us (on the line, too bad he diddnt slip), then when the other direction light turned yellow, he started his burnout until ours was green & he was gone. Why diddnt he just run the light?
 

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Me & a friend were side by side at a light but in separate lanes and a 3rd guy came up on a CBR & did an indo between us (on the line, too bad he diddnt slip), then when the other direction light turned yellow, he started his burnout until ours was green & he was gone. Why diddnt he just run the light?
He wouldn't have had the opportunity to show you his Mad Skilz, Yo!

It's just like every F'n V-6 Camaro, Challenger, Mustang, or Toyota Camry driver has to try and demonstrate their "superiority" to my Bullitt (which resembles not-only a V-6 'Stang, but a stripped down V-6 'Stang). Every now and again, I don't ignore them; though they wish I had after the stoplight-beatdown they suffer......
 

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He wouldn't have had the opportunity to show you his Mad Skilz, Yo!

It's just like every F'n V-6 Camaro, Challenger, Mustang, or Toyota Camry driver has to try and demonstrate their "superiority" to my Bullitt (which resembles not-only a V-6 'Stang, but a stripped down V-6 'Stang). Every now and again, I don't ignore them; though they wish I had after the stoplight-beatdown they suffer......
Hawk, you should check out Adam Carrola's podcast, Carcast. I've always liked that guy, but only recently found out he's a complete freakin' gearhead. He's got a collection any man would drool over. And it's hard to hate on him since he made his living for a long time as a carpenter. Anyway, he and his buddy host it and they constantly make fun of the posers with their spoilers and such. Good times. Btw, I've seen the pics of your Bullit and it is tasty.
 

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I'm going to throw my 2 cents in because I don't think there can be too many people telling you those 3 bikes are a baaaaaaad idea. Once you've mastered the performance of a modern 600 (few people can) then its time to move onto a bigger bike. Reign in your ego. A good rider on an SV650 can, at the track of course, whoop lesser riders on liter bikes in the corners. One of my favorite lines from a motorcycle mag: "Any gomer can twist a throttle".
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
A lot of interesting replies, not one with useful insight into the bikes listed, but definitely a lot of concerned riders. I understand the risks I take by opting into a larger bike as a first choice, and I also have been working on finding a nice used bike to use as a beginner machine that can be paid off quickly and give me something in return when I go for a bigger machine. Sadly I am of the "I dont make enough to buy a new bike every 2 years" variety and fully intend to have my first purchased bike for (at least) 4 - 5 years. That is why I ask for a bike I can grow into.

pushrod I appreciate the bike suggestions and will look into them, but as I plan to have it for 4-5 years I want a bike that I'll not only want a functional one that I will enjoy riding for that long, but also one I will enjoy being seen on when I can handle a super or "hyper" bike like the ones listed. I don't really know what you mean by a new account to troll, but I figure you mean I'm just bull****ting to get you guys talking, and I assure you I am being sincere.

I guess I only post this reply in the hopes that someone can give me real rider testimonials on the bikes I listed now that you know I am seriously considering those three as my top picks at the moment. I dont plan on buying the bike until April and I will be sure and ride my friends GSX650F as much as possible from now till then, but I plan on riding safe and smart and not ending up a statistic or "law maker".

If you feel that it's too heavy on your conscious to give me feedback on the bikes I have listed, that if I did die on one of them and it happens to be the one you said "I really enjoyed my rides on the GSXR1000" then I will not hold it against you to not reply... But to tell me that I'm going to kill myself and I'm an idiot is hardly what I'd call useful feedback so please don't waste your time typing it :p as all it gets is a slight chuckle from me and reminds me why telling people I'm a new (to the street) rider is a bad idea since some cant seem to believe that there are such things as responsible new riders.
Thanks again folks,
-Saki
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Sorry for the double post, but I forgot to mention, I have been riding my friends 650 for the past 6 months and am quite bored on it, perhaps a detuned 1000 would make the masses happier, but I have yet to find one I really enjoy (looking at at least since no test ride.....) If you cant condone giving feedback on the ones listed, I would also be happy to receive suggestions on some alternatives that aren't detuned 600s... I am not trying to impress people or race or stunt as it seems some have come to the conclusion of, I'm just trying to find a nice bike that is fun, has power, and ISNT a cruiser. Suggestions anyone? Also Buell is not my idea of a sexy bike... And most of the bikes pushrod suggested are QUITE pricey... I'm looking to stay at or under $11,000.
 

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Sorry for the double post, but I forgot to mention, I have been riding my friends 650 for the past 6 months and am quite bored on it, perhaps a detuned 1000 would make the masses happier, but I have yet to find one I really enjoy (looking at at least since no test ride.....) If you cant condone giving feedback on the ones listed, I would also be happy to receive suggestions on some alternatives that aren't detuned 600s... I am not trying to impress people or race or stunt as it seems some have come to the conclusion of, I'm just trying to find a nice bike that is fun, has power, and ISNT a cruiser. Suggestions anyone? Also Buell is not my idea of a sexy bike... And most of the bikes pushrod suggested are QUITE pricey... I'm looking to stay at or under $11,000.
Any modern Japanese bike won't have any reliability issues to speak of so you could choose by pulling a number out of a hat, really. Just try to get test rides on the bikes you like. Private parties reselling their bikes normally let you test them out. Try the local ads.
 

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sakinoko,

The 'useful input' is - DON'T BUY ANY OF THE BIKES YOU LISTED!

Unless you have an extremely disciplined right wrist, all three will kill you in very short order.

Mind, no one has ever been killed going too fast. It was the inability to stop or turn in time that got them.

The two sportbikes you listed are excellent machines, as is the R1 and ZX-10. None are any good at all for someone of your height for more than maybe a half-hour at a time.

The ZX-14 (and the Hayabusa) are the freight trains. Big and scary fast. Not as nimble as the sportbikes. Much better ergonomics and more suited for longer stays in the seat.

All the above should come with an asbestos wallet to put your Driver's License in. Ask LongRide. He had to get rid of his 'Busa.

Go look at the Tiger. There are almost always used ones for sale, and $7K will buy you a very nice one. They are as much fun as a basket full of puppies; will do darn near anything, and you can hang hard bags on them. Or, you may prefer the Sprint, which is basically the same motor, but in a Sport Touring design. The Speed Triple has the same motor (sorta), but it will destroy your DL very quickly.

Yes, they are over a liter of displacement, but the Triple gives them a very 'controllable' powerband.

How about the 'standards'? The FZ-1 has been a very good bike, too. And the ZRX and Z bikes from Kawasaki.

Bottom line is, figure out what kind of riding you want to do, and then find the bike that can do it. Most bikes nowadays are very reliable, so go forth and see what's out there!

By the way - DON'T BUY ANY OF THE BIKES YOU LISTED!
 

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Sorry for the double post, but I forgot to mention, I have been riding my friends 650 for the past 6 months and am quite bored on it
I'm assuming you've been riding an SV or Ninja 650 - if you're "bored with it", you're doing something wrong, and have a vastly over-inflated opinion of your own skills, or the only place you ride it is a Dragstrip or from bar to bar.
 

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You can't compare a GSX650F to any of the bikes you listed. You can't even compare it to a 600cc version of the bikes you listed. Riding your friend's 650 on the street will get you more street experience, which is great. But that still doesn't get you ready for any of those bikes you mentioned.

One thing you should look into is track days. Ride a sportbike at the track, and get some pointers from an instructor. That'll give you experience and also alleviate your boredom. Don't be a squid: squid - Wiktionary
 
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