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Downgrading.. lots

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' started by Kris, Sep 26, 2012.

  1. Howdy all,

    I've had my cb900f Hornet for four years now. Toured the country and loved it to bits. But now I tour less and my riding is a mix of commuting and the occasional fang (and my fanging abilities have never been much chop to be honest). Commuting is all through 60 zones and the Hornet just begs to go lots faster.. which is getting me in trouble with the Plod.

    So I'm thinking of downgrading, and downgrading right down to a 250. I've considered pros and cons and feel it's a tricky decision cos the effects might not be felt for a while after I make the switch..

    So has anyone actually done this before? Traded in your big bike for something wee and still had fun?

    I did Gembrook-Launching Place and the Spurs yesterday and naturally had a blast but it didn't stop me thinking, "This is probably a hoot on a 250 too."

    • Like Like x 1
  2. The thrill of a smaller bike is the feeling that your fanging it everywhere you go.
    But they're still capable of getting you in trouble.
    Now I have a bigger bike, I would need a big incentive to "downgrade" again.
    Bigger bikes do everything a smaller bike does.... just a lot easier.
  3. It will take a while to get rid of that "this thing must be broken" feeling, twisting the wrist and not a lot happens (in comparison to the 900). You may never get use to it, and always pine for the old bike's power.
  4. The solution is obvious.

    You need two bikes.
  5. Not quite. I kept the big bike and bought a 250 - but it's the 250 that gets the most use by far.

    Around the city it's definitely a lot more fun. Easier to fit between lines of traffic, and there's no such thing as too much throttle. If you're going to be sticking to 60kph zones I'd suggest changing the sprocket ratio to increase the acceleration even further and to actually be able to use the higher gears. It is actually quite possible to keep up with or even beat larger bikes from a green light with a 250 up to 60-80kph or so - especially if its been raining ;).

    Other option worth considering would be a 250-400cc single cylinder motard, or a 125cc 2-stroke. It's impossible not to have fun on those.
  6. Last year I had a R1, then I picked up a RGV250 for cheap and liked it more so ended up selling the R1. I had way more fun on that than the R1. I was not a good enough mechanic to keep it going well all the time though and ended up selling the two stroke for my ZX6.

    I always liked small bikes though and even when I have owned 1000's sometimes would take my postie or madass out that I owned as well instead. There is a lot of joy in small bikes.
  7. Hey mate,

    What are hoping to get out of the downgrade? Fuel savings?

    I think that a 250 is a bit extreme and you will be kicking yourself anytime you want to go above 60 or when you take off from the lights and have to change gears 5 times to get to 60!

    You can probably find some much better middle ground.. I've only been riding a bit under 2 years and ride a Ducati Monster 696, I changed the front sprocket from a 15T to a 14T for more revs down low and its great around town and on the highway, but due to the smooth power delivery its fine to ride at all speeds.

    A Kawasaki ER-6N is a 600cc V Twin too I think so it might be a good choice.
  8. I went from an 09 R1 to a Daytona 675. I dont consider it a downgrade, just a size and weight reduction. Does that count?8-[

    I do miss the power of the R1 and yearn for it, particularly at track days when being passed by riders who are actually slower than me everywhere but down the straight!
  9. How is that less fun than never having to shift out of 1st gear (and never being able to rev the engine out fully without risking getting done for speeding)?

    Oh and ER-6 is a Parallel twin, very different to a v-twin.
  10. Wow.. so many replies so quick! What the eff are you slackers doing??!
    Sorry, I meant to say, "Thank you for your gracious and hasty replies".

    I'm hoping to spend less on the littlun for sure. Less in petrol and insurance. Just hoping it doesn't equate to less fun. I do like getting out to the twisties but I'm not skilled enough to get around most corners over the speed limit and I don't get my jollies off on the straights. I mean, I get my giggles half the time by going to abandoned carparks and making little racetracks out of them.. lucky to get over 50kph doing that.

    I've owned other bikes. zzr250, sv650s, Fireblade, dr650 and the Hornet.. but I can't say that one was more fun than the others really. My thought was, if I can save cash and not piss-off the coppers but still get my rocks off then why not?

    Have experienced riders out there taken 250s around their favourite haunts and still had a ball or do you spend time wishing you had more horsepower?
  11. I can jump off my 1000cc 2012 RSV4 factory and onto my 2000 vtr250 and have an absolute ball..... The question is, would I still be happy if I couldn't jump on the bigger bike whenever I want?
  12. One problem that you have is that 250's are way overpriced, you might not get that much saving if you are buying second hand.
  13. You're right there, Mr C.
    For some reason, perfectly awesome Hornet 900s are ridiculously undervalued on the market. I'd be lucky to get $6k for mine and it's in great nick.
  14. I think the saving is in less fuel, tires and insurance. Bike cost doesn't save much.
    Edit: and legal costs.
  15. On the odd occasion that I have ridden a 250 on my favourite roads I have found them extremely lacking. Not just in their engine performance but the overall handling performance as well (and I'm not a flash rider by any stretch of the imagination). The one glaring exception to this was an Aprilia RS250, now that was a whole lot of fun - providing you kept it above about 7500rpm - but it was really really uncomfortable after an hour.
  16. I only work 6 months a year.:cheeky: The rest of the time I do my best to keep the internet churning! LOL
  17. I've downgraded - sold a Hornet 600 and bought an XV535 with the money, and then parked that and started commuting again on my SR500, and the SR was a lot more fun than the Hornet (I now by choice commute by Royal Enfield rather than my W650...so that's a change from a Hornet 600 to an Enfield in 18 months for the daily commute - first gear everywehere on the Hornet, now desparetly changing through the right side four speed Albion box at every light change, and it is so much damn fun! Seriously, going slow was never so pleasant.).

    A mate who lost his license for 18 months has ditched the super bikes and bought my SR500 and loves it, and teh fun of old slow bikes is a revelation for him.

    I agree with JD on the big single thing. But you've had a DR650 - would another one do the job?

    Another mate with a garage full of bikes, some of them very bloody nice, commutes everywhere on an SRV250 which he painted in silver sparkle. It's his favourite bike and he prefers tackling traffic on it over anything else and loves the feeling of testing its limits.
  18. Get a SuperMoto or something! Like a DRZ400, enough power for what you need and good fun!
    • Like Like x 1
  19. That is certainly something to keep in mind.

    I occasionally take the VTR250 out for a ride, coming from either the Superduke or the ZX6, and the suspension is seriously lacking on the 250. It is a different type of fun, going through my favourite local road with the throttle pinned, only letting off once for a slow corner.

    I could not make the downgrade myself, enjoy the drive out of corners too much.

    If I was to get a bike for 60km/h commuting and the occasional play in the hills it would be a DRZ400SM.:twisted:
  20. Thanks for all the thoughts folks.. all worthy points for and against.
    I'll go ride a few and a think..
    Then in 3 months I'll start a thread called 'What the F*ck What I Thinking?!'