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I can smell an upgrade in the air... many questions to ask

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' at netrider.net.au started by rb, May 30, 2007.

  1. Ok, it's coming up to upgrade time for me, so I'm after opinions on a new bike. I can probably scrape together $6-7000 if I eat only 2-minute noodles for the next month, so that's about my budget limit.
    The bike's my main transport, so it's got to deal with daily commuting, weekend trips away, the lot. My GF is very keen on being pillion passenger, so whatever I choose should be reasonably comfortable for her, and able to handle the weight of two-up trips with luggage, including stuff like hair dryers. :wink:

    What I've been considering:
    -GSX750F: seems like I'd be able to get a 2000+ model, lowish kms. Everybody seems to say comfortable, maybe a bit boring. This could be the sensible choice.

    -SV650s: same story. Not so keen on the half fairing though.

    VFR750: People seem to want a fortune for old, high km bikes. Very popular.

    -RF900: ugly as sin, but apparently better than they look.

    -ZX9R: might seem like an odd choice, but it looks awesome and by all accounts is pretty comfortable. Seem to be a few C models ('98,'99) at the top of my price range. Might be a bit too much of a handful for an upgrade though... But then again, you only live once! :twisted:
    -ZX6R: baby brother, perhaps a bit more cramped.

    -YZF600: the older ones are supposed to be comfortable and reliable, opinions?

    I'm keen on a faired bike if you hadn't already guessed... Obviously I'll be test riding everything in sight once I'm allowed to.
    -So a couple of questions, will a 600 cope with pillion plus stuff, or will the extra weight bog it down a bit? One thing I hate about the zzr250 is that the suspension is shite and barely seems to cope with me on, let alone anything extra. How about the power from a 600 as well?
    -How practical is something like th ZX9R as a daily ride?
    -Are there any other bikes people can suggest? Or advice about the possible ones above?
    -Any pillions care to comment about what works? For the record, she's quite small and light, maybe 5'3"(???)
    If you've read to the bottom of this, congratulations, now you've jsut got to write a response! :grin:
  2. well seeing as your looking for something that will be comfortable for a pillion, personally i would wipe the zx6 and 9 off your list, also dont discount anything with a half fairng

    i upgraded to a vtr1000f which i guess you would say has a half fairing, and it keeps the wind off me a hell of alot better then my GS500f ever did

    for pillion comfort i would look at the vfr750, the rf900, gsx750f and the yzf600, but it will all come down to the sort of riding you want, if you plan on doing alot of touring, i would lean more towards the vfr750 or the gsx750f, as the riding position will be alot more relaxed
  3. The VFR750 and GSXF750 are more pillion friendly than RF900's.

    The first generation VFR800's might be also worth considering if you can find one in your price range.
  4. Any bike can be good as a daily rider. I use my GSXR1000 as my daily commute, weekend power toy and track weapon. A good mate of mine (Tenoq on these forums) used to use a '03 ZX9R as his daily rider but changed bikes due to wrist/back pain on his commute. That's a fair indication that some people can tolerate the ass-up-head-down position for a commute whilst others physically can't tolerate it.

    Of that list and given your budget i'd highly recommend checking out the YZF600 Thundercat's. They're a great bike and really do tick all of the boxes you've put up as your requirements. Solo they can easily be punted through the hills with moderate confidence, whilst two up they're a reliable and smooth ride. Also worth mentioning is that you'd end up with possibly a few $1000 change which would go nicely towards either some shiny aftermarket bits (they're still sold new in USA so parts are still readily available) or some safety gear for yourself and/or the girlfriend.
  5. Re: I can smell an upgrade in the air... many questions to a

    Steady on! Great bike for 6 - 7k nice wide seat for pillion too. Unstressed donk 260ishk's per tank.
  6. Sorry, just don't love the looks that much :p It's still a possible though, if I can find a noce one to test.

    Fuel economy is important to me to, one thing I love about the little bike is 300kms for 16L of fuel (give or take). From what I've read the firestorm will go through a lot more than that.

    Thanks Koma, I didn't realise that the Thundercats where still being sold, I thought they were replaced by the R6. What about the 1000cc (Thunderace or whatever?) version? Something is tempting me to go buy the biggest, fastest, stupidest bike I can find...
  7. I had Thunderaces on my list but finding a good 5 valve unit was very hard. 50,000k looks about their limit before speding major money on them. Great bike though. Not so sure about pillion comfort.
  8. The first gen SV (curvy one) is very pillion friendly, I can't think of a ride where the missus (5ft tall!) didn't fall asleep on the back. The pointy (newer) SV has a basic seat. You don't feel uncomtfortable, but at the same time it's not something you'll remember being a nice and plush seat.

    If you're looking full faired, have you considered the ZZR600?
  9. You might be able to get a cbr600f4i for $7000. I have never heard a bad thing about them. Comfy as all sin, and enough power for a good blat.
  10. personally out of the list of bikes you have there....i used to own a thundercat..... must of just been mine (or the rider) but we never really gel'd in the twisty.... found it slow to response and not confidence inspiring at all, on the other hand know a few others on this board that love them to bits.....also carried a few pillions on it, from what the pillions said very comfy position for them and rider, my only issue is i found ther 600 inline 4 lacking with a pillion on (again personal opinion). Have now upgraded up the sv1000 (test rode the sv650) and i would highly recommend a twin if you are looking at pillioning alot, found that the twin handles the extra weight better (more torque) and the 1000 you don't notice it at all :wink:

    So my vote is for the sv650, but yeah best to test ride everything you are looking at and also a few that you aren't considering, also take the gf with you and take her out on the test rides, as you want to know how the bike will perform with both of you on it :)
  11. The SV650 seems to be a popular recommendation then. I'll have to check them out, test ride etc. Unfortunately I don't love the look, but I guess I could get used to it.
    It seems like opinions are a bit split on whether a 600 or so will cope being loaded up, with twins more suitable then I4's. Anyone else got a comment on this? This is a big one for me, as I'm fairly sure I can deal with anything so long as it is reliable on the commute, it's not a long way. My biggest gripe with the 250 is that it is just too small and underpowered for highway riding, got to wring its neck to keep speed up. I don't want to upgrade and then find the same problem when traveling two up.

    The CBR and ZZR600's are also on the list. I'm a bit turned off the zzr because it looks just a bit too much like what I'm on now... no good reason, just want a change.
  12. Your requirements basically point to a VFR750. Okay I'm biased I have one, but I've not had it long and so far I can confirm that it does everything you want.

    If you have the time then you can find a reasonable one but watch out for 'home serviced' (read non serviced) bikes if you are on a budget or don't have mechanical skills. They may after all be a Honda but even Honda's appreciate someone changing the oil once in a while. You won't get a 2000 model like the GSXF but then again there is a reason why the GSX is cheap and the VFR is more expensive....

    On a less biased viewpoint I'd second the idea of a half faired bike there really is not much practical reason for a full faring and an SV650 is an exceedingly good upgrade bike although I agree the looks aren't to everyones taste.

    As a side issue anything on your list will be fine performance wise with your pillion, there is definately no reason to 'need' a circa 1000cc bike. In fact if you are rider who has only ridden a 250 then something like a SV650 twin is perfect in relation to power, torque, handling and its/your ability to not become another statistic.
  13. I farken hate Suzuki Australia, if only...

    runs off whimpering.

    Does anyone want to start signing petitions or something?
  14. mid-to-late '80s Moto Guzzi 750cc+

    cheap, comfortable, attractive, mechanically reliable (although sometimes the electrics are suspect). easy to ride around town, even easier to wind up to cruising speed and travel, with or without pillion. might seem a bit old, but theyve rarely been flogged too hard and youll find most of them well looked-after

    a word of caution: try and shy away from the sportier models, because the seat is like a cinderblock with a piece of leather stretched over it
  15. well you cant compare a 650 twin with a 600 I4
    to compare twins with I4 you have to compare a 1000 twin with a I4 600, so that the power margins are roughly the same, ie a 600 I4 will handle being loaded up alot better then a 650 vtwin, sure the 650 will have buckets of torque, but between 50-60kws

    the I4 will have between 70-85 on a late 90's very early 00
  16. rb, the firestorm wasnt on your initial list, but you did mention it in one of your later posts. the fuel economy issue is up to the rider. sure if you wring the guts out of it and keep the tacho needle above 6 grand, you will get shit fuel economy. those 48mm carbs let alot of fuel and air in.
    if you are easy on the throttle and use its low down torque (80% of which is available from 3 1/2 to 4 grand) you wont get bad fuel economy at all. for mixed riding, i get about 6.5l/100kms. for freeway riding i get about 5l/100kms. it will happily chug along at 2 grand. it will happily pull away from 3. pillion comfort isnt too bad all. but for cost cutting reasons, it only has a pillion strap, not a grab rail. personally i prefer the strap. my mrs prefers the grab rail. the storm is VERY happy with a pillion on board. the pillion can sit nice close, or further back and higher up (depending whethers its your mrs or your mate :grin: ) you bearly notice the extra weight accelerating, and cornering. braking though, you do feel the extra weight on the rear wheel.
    the whole stepping up to a 1k from a 250 and the taboo some people place on it here is a bit unfounded for the most part. the only issue i had was learning the difference between pulling up 150 kilos on a bike with a high centre of gravity and pulling up 210 kilos + on a bike with a low centre of gravity. ie the front wheel will lock instead of endoing. thousands aint thousands like james said the 1000 twin puts out about the same peak out put as an I4 600. but you have these things called low down torque and a smooth power curve on a twin, and there are countless debates on this forum about what is better. it just depends which team you bat for! :p the firestorms are very reliable and run a detuned understressed motor. you could pick up a 2001 model with 20-30 thousand kms on it for about 8 grand. and you do want to get the post 2001 model, larger tank, retuned carbs, more trick display, front suspension improvements, improved rectifier. CCT problems have been discussed countless times here, but can be avoided with more frequent oil changes.

    i was going to talk about a couple of the other bikes aswell but i have crapped on enough methinks. i was also looking at the SV650, the Z750, the FZ6n/s, cbr600F. but at the end of the day after all the research, sitting on various bikes and riding a couple, whilst trying to keep the whole twin vs. i4 issue out of the decision, i brought the storm. and i havnt looked back. it is a very very nice bike to ride.

    hope that helps

  17. Couldn't agree more, the SV would be higher on my list if it looked like that. Aftermarket fairings are available, I've seen pictures. Dunno if anywhere in Australia has them.

    idontlikemondays, thanks for that wrap up on the Firestorm. I'd almost crossed those off the list on the fuel issue, but I'd still like to give one a ride. Getting less than 200km out a tank doesn't really appeal, but apart from that the VTR looks good. I've just checked out a few adds, looks like price would restrict me to a late '90's model unless I got a real good buy. Canberra Motorcycles has one, 98 model for $7500, seems a bit pricy for the age, but perhaps they'll let me have test ride anyway... :wink: