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Evolution, or why my new bike... isn't!

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' started by RacingTurtles, Jul 26, 2009.

  1. We tend to equate 'evolution' with 'improvement' but actually evolution just means change and adaptation and any improvement along the way is at best accidental, and often debatable. It remains to be seen whether the mammals are more successful than reptiles, and evolution often hits upon good ideas it then loses along the way (amphibians can grow back their limbs - the best we can manage is fingernails)... This is something I was thinking about as I considered my next step - an upgrade from ER6n.

    I developed a following list of my requirements:
    Engine configuration... Twin, inline4, triple? I don't care, but I want it to be smooth. I'd prefer something other than parallel twin though, just for a change.
    More power? yes - a bit. But actually I don't want too much, enough is enough for me.
    Comfortable riding position. I'm not a racer, I don't need or want a racing crouch.
    Fairing or at least half fairing for some wind protection.
    Right size for me: not too heavy, and not too tall.
    Reasonably priced to buy, run and insure.
    Good quality - by which I don't mean the latest gizmos and buzzwords. I mean it is well put together, long lasting and reliable.
    Decent instrument panel, as after all this is the part of the bike I'll see most often. I want clear, READABLE display showing at least somewhat useful information. (Not one of those stupid 'motogp inspired' things that look great on promo shots in the dark - too bad most riding is done in bright light!)

    ... guess what? There is currently NO bike on the market that fits my criteria! Sure, there are the budget all-rounders: Er6f, that new Yamaha Diversion, Gladius and GSX650F but that's not an upgrade as they are on the same level as my ER6. Actually GSX650F probably comes closest to what I want, except for being really heavy for what it is.

    Current 600cc class morphed into track tools that look and go great but are far too sport-focused to fit my requirements.

    750 class doesn't exist any more. There is BMW800ST which I quite like but it's expensive and being another parallel twin I suspect it might be as buzzy as my ER6.Yamaha still have their TDM but it's too tall and again, parallel twin.

    Then I started to seriously think about the Bandit and Honda CBF, finally deciding they were a bit too much for my liking, both in terms of size/weight and in running costs.

    I considered VFR800... lovely bike in my opinion but expensive to buy, run and service.

    Those large UJMs like ZRX1200 are just too large and heavy for me to be comfortable with them.

    I did find a bike for me though... but, and this is where my musings about evolution come into it, I had to go back in time: CBR600F fits all of my criteria better than any of the current models. Funnily enough, when I was still on my L's a few years back I thought this was the bike I would like to get if I could afford it, as they used to cost something like 16 grand+orc when new. I guess I'm consistent if nothing else :)
    So anyway, I found a CBR600F in great nick and low miles. I'm happy with it for now, and I hope it will carry me through the next year or two... perhaps by then the wheel will turn again and something will appear on the market that will be just right for me.

  2. So, after setting all of those criteria and investigating which bike would fit into them, you turn around and buy a bike that fits none of them.... :roll: :roll:
  3. Oh, but it does. Remember CBR600F is the sensible, all-rounder version, quite unlike the current CBR600R. As MCN reviews put it:

    "When the Honda CBR600F got fuel injection, it also had its personality split. From this point on, two Honda CBR600s would run concurrently: the Honda CBR600F and the Honda CBR600FS (now superseded by the Honda CBR600RR). One a sporty all-rounder, the other, a full-on sportsbike. The Honda CBR600F was, and remains, a brilliant motorcycle with real power and excitement but with the added practicalities to make it a contender for just about anyone’s garage."
  4. Why don't the Yamaha FZ1 or Hornet 900 fit those criteria? An early ZX9 would be cheap way of fulfilling those criteria (except the not too much power one ). It is an interesting list to try and fill.

    Perhaps your requirements of a) not too much more power and b) not too much insurance increase are contrary to the idea of "upgrading"
  5. Current FZ1 is a bit on the expensive side (over 15 grand on the road, I think) - I kind of want to stay under 15k, which is why ST800 and VFR also don't quite work for me. Also, current FZ1 I think is geared something ridiculous - 160 in first? How am I supposed to ride this in city traffic?
    As for Hornet 900, it's naked. I wanted something with fairings this time around.

    Yes, it would be. But I think Honda is newer and better put together.

    Perhaps :) But my point is, if you want to upgrade just a bit... you'd think there would be something between 11k, 70HP Er6 and 16k+, 140HP FZ1... but it's hard to find.
  6. Im gonna try and hunt down a 600F for my first upgrade bike, Ive heard they are brilliant machines. My upgrade requirements are similar to yours.

    Don't want a thousand coming straight off a 250
    Race-ish styling with fairing but still comfortable for longer trips
    Honda build quality

    It ticks my boxes :cool:
  7. There is a gap in the power outputs of the range of bikes, not too many in the 80-110 hp range. And I'm not that surprised you went for a cbr600f, they are hard to go passed. I suppose you'll save a few dollars in insurance by keeping the capacity down.

    I sometimes think of getting a smaller capacity bike, just to reduce insurance and rego (a four cylinder 250). Unfortunately insurance co's and the government seem to set prices by capacity, rather than some useful measure.

    Maybe you should have just fitted a turbo the the Er6 :)
  8. I think if the majority of riders sat down and thought about it, there would be numerous reasons why the bike they currently own isn't the best 'fit' for them. Lots of people buy because the bike gets a response from them. Sure it probably ticks one or two or maybe majority of the boxes their brain had listed, but I doubt many people buy on practicality and reason alone.

    My current flavour of the month for my upgrade in 5 months time is the B King, going from a vtr250 to a detuned hayabusa engine will be interesting if it is indeed where I end up. Definitely not a wholly rational decision haha!

    In saying all this I am glad you found a bike that meets your needs (apparently to the letter!), and wish you many good times on it
  9. Did you consider the FZ6S or SV6S? Both have great reps (that I know of) half fairings, good twin and i4 engines, and can be found for quite decent used prices.

    Did you end up with the injected F4i or carb F?

    Just curious as to your rationale. If you're happy with what you ended up with, then that's all that matters, and that's great!

    I guess sometimes a 'sideways' change is just as refreshing as an 'upgrade,' even if you're not travelling up the spec sheet.
  10. z750 wouldbe been good i think.

    nock a tooth off the front and it would be good for the street.

    unfaired though... but nakeds are better
  11. LOL, yes, I'm lucky that way - practicality and reason are also what I respond to on emotional level. Some people dream of high screaming power, others want gobs of torque. Some love the idea of fiddling with their suspension until the cows come home, others respond to the idea of italian styling. Me? I grow hard when I hear these magic words... "low maintenance!"

    FZ6... that's a funny one. On paper it does seem like it would be a good match. But I test rode one a few years back and really didn't like it then! Perhaps I should've had another look at the current model... but I'm still turned off by that experience.

    Sv650s - very uncomfortable riding position unless you muck around with risers and custom bars, besides it's still a budget level bike like my Er6. The thing is, CBR600F is not just s sideways step, it *is* a step up. Just not to the above 150hp club! You know, it does put out something like 100hp while weighting about as much as SV650 and its suspension is also quite a bit better than Sv650/Gladius or Er6.

    Not for a couple of hours in the saddle, they aren't! I would like to use this bike for trips out of Sydney. Yes, it can be done on a naked - I've done it. But it is more comfortable with a bit of protection.
  12. being 6"2 i find most screens direct the air all onto my head and chest. wheras nakeds are evenly distributed

    but i know what you mean, my technique sees me leaning 1 forarm on the tank on the freeway to duck behind the tiny screen
  13. Of course I am slightly biased as I own a new FZ6S, but I'd urge you to have a ride on a new one as it's much improved over the previous generation FZ6. A better all round bike I don't think you'll find.
  14. Your criteria sounds like what I am looking for when I upgrade. However I have more or less decided on a Triumph Speed4.