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Middleweight sporty bike - Have I missed any?

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' started by toadcat, Mar 25, 2012.

  1. I've been making a list for a while now of bikes to test-ride once my restrictions are up (about 1.5 years left to go).

    BMW F800ST

    Yamaha YZF-R6
    Yamaha FZ6N

    Triumph Street Triple (R - if they're sub $10k in 1.5 years)

    Honda CBR600RR
    Honda Hornet 600
    Honda Hornet 900
    Honda VFR800
    Honda VTR1000
    Honda CBR600 F4i

    Suzuki SV650s
    Suzuki GSR600
    Suzuki Bandit 650
    Suzuki GSX-R 600/750

    Kawasaki ZX6R (636)
    Kawasaki Z750

    I've also written down some preferences for the bike:

    Sporty (yet not race) bike with adequate power (~100+hp).
    Suspension/handling, braking and comfort are primary concerns. I often do 500+km days so I don't want a 'heads down, ass up' riding position
    Don't want 'full' race position.
    Four cylinders preferred (preference to less 'racy' 4's i.e. 'some' torque down low).
    Short seat height
    Preference to lighter bikes (~200kg wet) given.
    No preference between faired or naked.
    Should be able to commute, twisties and track days.
    Prefer to get a middle-weight rather than a thou to keep it somewhat sensible.
    EFI an advantage.
    ABS significant advantage (depending on the system).
    Prefer an out of the box package i.e. I don't want to have to mod it to get the best out of it.
    Digital dash preferred over analogue
    Ability for Panniers and topbox an advantage
    Pillion ability would be nice

    Off road capability not needed. Don't like cruisers.

    Budget is $5-10k.

    So far the bikes that stand out to me are the CBR600 F4i and the Hornet 600 (especially the later models i.e. 08), as well as the 636 which is from what I've read a bit sportier than most of the other things on my list but still comfortable for long distance rides. The BMW sounds like great package but I'm not sure how sporty it is. I'm also a bit wary of buying a revvy 600-4 but I think I'll need to also take into account the power difference between these and what I've ridden so far (i.e full power v LAMS). I want the bike to be sedate when around town yet still be able to turn into a monster when I want it to.

    So the question is, which bikes are in Netrider's opinion the most suited?
  2. only some of those bikes have 100hp+ criteria
  3. but seeing as you've thrown in track days , not many apt
    only the supersports.

    some others could be set up for track easy. sv 6fiddy , viffer
    • Like Like x 1
  4. The only ones that don't are the twins (beemer, sv) and a few which are like 95-98 - which ones specifically do you think aren't 100? (At the flywheel, not real-world dyno figures)

    Even 90 or so I think should be plenty for the first one off LAMS

    Track days though wouldn't be often but yeah I think that's a good point. The supersports have a good advantage there.
  5. and at least two of them (Hornet 600 and 900) are no longer available new now, so they won't be in a year and half's time either.

    of course if the choice is second-hand.....
  6. Yes, all second hand, I prefer the earlier 2000s 600s (and they cost less :D)
  7. specifically
    hornets 600,900
    bandit 6fiddy

    they don't have the top ends of their supersport counterparts.
    they are tuned for street riding, so as you actually have some useable torque from an inline four
  8. Triumph Sprint?

    Not 4 cyls but you dont need them. Plenty of torque and a nice sound to boot.

    The riding position is comfortable and its not very heavy, but heavier than super sports, so the suspension will soak more of the bumps.

    If comfort is your concern Id probably not recommend most of your favourite lightweight choices.
  9. To me, that list looks like a very long list of attributes you look for in 1 bike. Not having a go at you but you might need to really drill down and perhaps put some weighting on your needs.

    You have the likes Yamaha R6 and Kawasaki Zx6r in your list, but you want the bike to be pillion friendly and also pannier top box friendly? Also you don't wish to have a race position. Well that takes these bikes on out contention.

    Next, you want around 100 bhp. But if you take out the r6 and zx6r then very few have above 100 bhp. So again, sounds like too much needed from a bike.

    I am also having trouble imagining getting ABS for a bike between 5-10k with 100 bhp.

    You do sound like someone who could do with a real sporty and zippy naked upright position bike. 2012 Triumph Street Triple R will come closest. It boasts 105 hp. It is pannier top box friendly, it is pillion friendly. You can do track days on it but don't expect any record times on it though. You will get belted on the straights. Because it is more upright, you will also be able to do 500 kms on it.

    If you want a supersport in that budget though, the Kawasaki ZX 6r 636 (2005-2006) is a great option. These things are proper fast, a very very torquey engine and gives a lot of other 6s in the category headaches.

    But again, re evaluate your needs, perhaps drop a few preferences and assign some weighting to your needs. Make a spreadsheet for this perhaps?
    • Like Like x 2
  10. What sort of km's will you be happy with?
    That's another thing to keep in mind!!
  11. I would say you have to choose which way you are going to lean between sport and touring.
    If you want to do more track days, I would suggest an 09+ ZX6r. Great bikes, and will be in your budget when you are looking to buy.
    If you are looking more for the top box/pillion setup with the sporty side, go the street triple/Street triple R. Or Even the VFR800. The VFR will be heavier on the track, but a better tourer.

    It will be a case of test ride and compromise.
  12. For the budget, vintage and most of your list of needs, the 636 rates highly and comes well sorted as is.

    The SV650 is a bit of a sleeper too, in being good if slightly budget as is, but is also able to be surprisingly potent with some fettling. But then the 1000 goes better still, and even though stock max hp is only around the top 600 fours, it's got a lot more shove.

    Also, unless you really want the less weight (which you might), I see little point in not taking the 900 Hornet over the 600. Smooth, easy motoring that can also be livened up with some suspension improvement, and if you wind up wanting more go, there's some more to be had.

    VFR 800 (pre-VTEC, with the gear-driven cams), is always a good all-rounder and a great traveller, but was getting a bit bloated relative to the earlier 750, but the comfort is good for something that can be ridden in anger to great effect, but it's also another one that can be signifigantly improved with suspension work, but that goes for many non-pure sport bikes, especially 2nd hand ones.

    You might also consider the Triumph Sprint RS (955), if you find a good one. A very underrated bike.
  13. Since you allready mentioned BMW then why not consider the BMW F800R.
    My personal preference is a 2008 CB600F Hornet, or a Triumph Street Triple R.
    However when you consider purchasing price I will probably go with the cb600f hornet.
    I am also interested to at least give the VFR800 a ride.

    Test ride as many as you can if not all of them
  14. Go the hornet
  15. Kawasaki 650 Ninja...non-LAMS version has most of the requirements except the power (58Kw stock).

    Cheers Spocky
  16. As said before, you have too many requirements. There is a difference between wants and needs, so choose wisely.

    I would choose between Triumph Street Triple R or VFR800. Both will be a good all rounder but will definitely lack in the track days department in comparison to the super sports etc.
  17. #19 positron, Mar 27, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 13, 2015
    I am not sure I completely agree with that. The street triple R has a fairly potent setup.
    Check this out

    Keep in mind he is coming off his LAMS and not someone with 10 years of track experience.
  18. I'm also interested in what people think would be the best choice here, what about the CBR600F4i, the one with the banana seat, I would have thought that would suit most of the above criteria.