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all great bikes with different characteristics depending on what you want out of a bike.



The 599 is the gentlemens bike out of the bunch, dependable and good allround (I think better looking), the SV 650 is the do it all, Fun, Nimble, You could ride it on the track, on the street or through the canyon equally. Speed Four (which would be my buy) is the screamer, a little less friendly and a little less comfy but a riot to ride, it's the closest to a sportbike in my mind out of the bunch and really feels like the hooligan out of the bunch.



That's my opnion (also not I haven't riden the 599 so I'm basing my point of view on second hand opinions.)
 

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Got a dart board? The Speed 4 will add an air of sophistication to your garage. The Honda is a Honda (a good thing). The Zuke is priced right and does what it should. I'd pick the Speed 4 because life is too short to settle for the ordinary. There is not a bad choice to be had here. With all things being equal, go with the dealer who you think will provide you with an on-going high level of service. Enjoy.
 

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I don't have much experience to advise you, only 700,000+ miles but I'd get the SV. It's too much fun, I have 2 of them. The only problem with the SV is it makes the batteries go dead and the gas go bad in your other vehicles because they just sit there unused.
 

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If you've ridden dirt bikes, try the Buell City Cross (XB9SX).



Low maintenance, fun and does wheelies by second nature.



Also premium suspension & a relative light weight. Don't know where you live but if it's not Urrip try the Buell, you can get one out the door for around 9k.
 

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My last bike was a SV650 and I would say it was exactly "sporty and fast but not a crotch rocket". I think the Speed Four would be more fun IMHO, especially since you're an experienced rider.

 

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"Sporty and fast but not a crotch rocket"



All good choicess you listed, speed four being my fav. Look also at a DR400SM, ER-6 Kawi, Duc monster 620 or 695,



Build quality in bikes now is far superior to what was available in the past 10-15 years. You can't really buy a known bad bike, they all will work well.



Lots to choose from, I'd go with the one that fits YOU best ergonomically, and ride the c*&p outta it.
 

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599 is cost too much. SV excellent. Speed4 wait for the baby speed with the 675. Monster s2r excellent. Ninja 650r great first street bike. The best bang for the buck is always going to be the SV. But if style and profile is the way go for the Ducati. You can buy brand new ones for $8000 all day and night.
 

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Thousands of Europeans can't be wrong. The 599. I'll bet they shipped (to the US) a lot fewer than in 2004, so it may be tougher to find one as we hit the summer. You could probably buy an SV anytime anywhere and for years to come. I don't think it will be the same for the Honda though.



 

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The 599 is build in Italy by Honda. The exchange rate there makes the bike sell for about $1100 less than thay can sell it here. Here they sell for $7300 or so for a new '06 model. That's way more than an SV. If I'm ponying up that kind of cash I'd rather own an Italian bike. Go Ducati. But personally, I go with a Yamaha FZ6. It's a high revver compaired to the other bikes but it's suspension is set up good enough to have fun with and the price is cheap.
 

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Yes. I know about the exchange rate. Here in the NorthEast you can get a '06 599 for about $6500 - $6600. Not too bad.



Yes the Ducati's are nice. The FZ6 is a bit buzzy for my taste. But, to each their own.
 

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The SV650 is different from the Honda and Triumph you mentioned. I have a Speed 4 and it's a total blast. Triumph are no longer making that machine so you will have to buy used, but you should be able to get one cheap and it will hold together way longer than your interest in it. Triumph made them conservatively so they should be very reliable.



If you want to be able to sell it for a decent price get the Honda - no need to explain what it is. Check out the new Kawasaki 650 twin and Ducatis new 600. Those bikes are similar to the ones you mentioned.
 

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I've seen posts on the TriumphRat Forum that it is expected (sort of) that they will put out an S4 with the new 675 engine. Some posts claim that they "talked to someone that knows someone". This could be wild @ss speculation or just high hopes since everyone on that board seems to love the bike.



Have you heard anything?
 

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Hi Zack:



You really can't go wrong with any of the bikes you've listed. Others have made some great suggestions to widen your choices as well.



One main thing to consider is what you prefer for engine power delivery characterictics. Inline 4's are gonna want you to wring 'em out, while twins have more grunt all around but aren't as hot blooded. 1-4's typically require more rowing of the gear box to stay in the sweet spot. Your decision on this point will immediately narrow the field.



It sounds like ergonomics are important to you, so I'd recommend you throw a leg over all consdierations and get a test ride if you can. Not sure if you want wind protection.



I'd also say that beyond engine characteritics, suspension should be an important consideration as well. As your skills increase, suspension delinquencies will become more obvious and you'll crave for something that is well sorted. When manufacturers are trying to hit price points, which is the case for many of the models you've listed, suspension is usually the first thing to be compromised. This may not be an issue now, but it might be important down the road.



I bought a naked SV 650 when it came out in 99, before many of the other models that have been discussed on this thread were available. I've added a 1/4 fairing (good wind protection), stainless steel brake lines, sintered brake pads (great braking power and feel), Corbin seat (15K miles and haven't thought of my a$$ once since), and some customer/lower handlebars (improves front end feel). Most importantly, I added stiffer fork springs and Race Tech emulators up front and an Ohlins shock out back. I also added the customary pipe, jet kit and K&N air filter, but while they're good for v-twin music and a little extra grunt, if I had it to do over again, I'd do the suspension first.



I've taken my bike on 2000 mile tours, weekend blasts, mundane errands and track days. For me, it has enough power for the street without getting me into trouble, and has great cornering speed and handling at the track.



For the price difference between the bikes you've listed, you could easily upgrade a stock SV to a bike with higher end componentry superior to the other stock offerings. Food for thought, and once again, you really can't go wrong with any of the bikes listed. Good luck with the dirt to tarmac transition and ride well.
 

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I rode only dirt and then bought my first street ride a couple of years ago: a '02 CBR 600 F4i. I would take a look at it. It was an awesome bike. I think it definitely out performs any of the previously mentioned bikes, if that is your thing. Also, it is a great street bike, the ergos are less agressive than the pure racing 600's but you still get a kick ass honda 4. Also great Honda reliability and easy to ride. Just my .02.
 

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I've ridden all three of them. Those are really good choices and I'm not sure which I'd pick.



SV is the best value. Honda has the best fit and finish and the Triumph is the coolest.



I think I picked the Honda overall in the middleweight comparo cuz I like the riding position better than the Triumph for the long haul.
 

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The 599 is not the best value IMHO, the SV is a good choice, but the Hyosung 650 is pretty much the same machine for less money (if there's a dealer nearby.) I'd personally recommend a used bike in any case. Here's why: It may take a while to decide what sort of riding you really enjoy most (cruising, strafing corners, sport touring etc.) THEN you can buy a new machine. While it'd be heavier, a used Triumph Sprint ST would be great bang for the buck, offer good power and handling, and better weather protection than any of the aforementioned bikes (and be a far more comfortable weekend tourer to boot.) Plus there's the exclusivity and cool factor (not a lot of them around.) They're also at home in any crowd (H-D guys like Triumphs, and most of the sport bike mounted guys would approve too.) Smaller dealer network, but reliable and proven. Good examples of 4 - 5 year olds are out there for less than any new mid-sized bike.
 
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