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Return to Riding - Opinions Wanted!

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' started by cycomick, Jan 19, 2011.

  1. So I have all this riding gear here looking at me and after a year or so of pretending to be sensible (no bike), i'm now looking to lose the car and commute to work on two wheels once again.

    I spent a good 3 years or so riding, prior to the break. In that time, I had three bikes. Kawasaki KZ200, Honda Hornet 250 and a Yamaha MT-01. Don't hold the last bike against me. I just wanted something "different" and a twin!
    Anyway, I loved 'em all - despite none of them being especially brilliant at anything.

    After re-initiating myself with the forum and reading a bunch of posts, i'm still somewhat confused about which direction to take for my new bike.

    Here are some of my thoughts, perhaps someone can chime in with some ideas? YES, I know I need to ride each one of these to fully understand them. The bike will be used for commuting (mostly open road) and ride days. No serious long distance travel, but riding will be in all weather conditions, so I would prefer to avoid a naked. This will be my first sports bike as such.

    FYI, I do not ride to prove anything to anyone and while I like to make myself seen on the roads, I don't ride like a jerk.

    I'm willing to spend between $11 to 20K, depending on what test riding reveals.

    Ninja 650R - Not too savage on power, price is right, low-end power is good, some weather protection, cheap to run and maintain, not a fan of the engine sound! (Why couldn't they have adopted the TRX850 crank config?)

    09/10/11 R1 - I love the sound of it. Just the idea of waking up in the morning and jumping on it makes me smile. Maybe too much for the street in reality, or simply too much for me? No traction or ABS sucks for a bike of this ilk and price. I worry when I hear "Oh it can do 160km'h in 1st gear mate". Does this gearing make it a pig to ride in urban or sub-urban conditions?

    Suzuki SV650 - I love the power of a twin for the street, but it's too old. I feel like bikes have stepped a long way forward from this, despite my having ridden one and liked it a lot. (a few years back)

    VTR1000 SP2 - I still remember the first time one of these lane-split me driving in my car and I near sh1t my pants from the thunder coming out of it.
    big bux for an older bike, but what else has a big twin now that is not Italian? Usable power which I like.

    Triumph Daytona 675 - Love the engine. Sat on one and thought it's riding position is a little full-on, although could get used to it maybe. Does anyone ride these things daily?

    Ducati's - I don't want an Italian piece of machinery. Period! Don't even go there, lol.

    Honda CBR600RR - Seem's like a good all-round choice, but does it really have usable power on the street? Or does it have to be kept on the boil? I have ridden a friends '08 Hornet 600 and was dissapointed with how "flat" it felt unless I really rung it's neck...

    Honda CBR1000RR - I like how understated this bike is and seems to be so well-proven and well accomplished that you just cannot go wrong? I4 engine would take some getting used to. A realistic daily rider?

    I am open to any other suggestions you might have! I guess i'm one of those guys that really dig the low down power and sound of a twin. Which is why when I first heard the I4 cross-plane cranked R1 (that a friend has and loves - with full akra system) I absolutley loved it, but have not ridden it.

    I feel almost as though any modern bike is going to be a good bike to a certain degree.

    The sensible, logical choice seems to be a Ninja 650R. However the last time I went through this process (without consulting this forum!) I compiled all my research and came up with the perfect bike... It was the Honda Hornet 600. I then somehow came home with a Yamaha MT-01... WTF?!?!!? ](*,)


  2. #2 Rusti_GotRage, Jan 19, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 24, 2015
    I'd give you some advice, but I lack knowledge. So instead I say "welcome back!" :)
  3. I ride a ER6N which is the naked Ninja 650r and love it. But the street triple looks a ripper.
  4. ride them all and see which one jingles your bells

    and, welcome (back) :)
  5. G'day Mick (and welcome back!)

    How about a Triumph Tiger 1050 with ABS? Just superceded so you may pick one up for a very nice price if you can find one, and a super-comfortable commuter and tourer with plenty of power.

    Good luck with the search!

  6. With that budget, I'd a few more to choose from on the list....
    What hornet said.........

    Welcome back..
  7. kwaka Z1000SX
  8. I guess by 'no Italian bikes' you really mean 'only Japanese' ?
    That rules out Aprilia Tuono (or Mille) and KTM Superduke, then. Shame.

    I'd say Speed and Street Triples, but you seem to like a bit of fairing.

    For commuting I would go CB1000R or the new Z1000.
  9. No bike recommendations from me. I will strongly suggest that you include a Hart or stay upright intermediate skills course as part of your return to riding. It will do you good - especially with some of the scalpels you've listed and doubly so with the riding background you've described.
  10. Wow. Thanks for all the welcoming replies and suggestions guys. Up until this morning, I was not even aware that the Tiger 1050 existed.
    I will definitely have to check one out in person, although it looks more “tall” and slanted toward touring, perhaps similar to a VFR.
    Probably a very good idea for visibility purposes in traffic. It may just be the all-round answer for my purposes and tastes!

    The Z1000SX is another one that I had not considered and will look into. Thanks again.

    Love the Speed/Street Triples. I would just prefer *some* wet weather protection that a faired bike provides when Melbourne does it’s random weather thing.
    Also, I’m just not sure if I’d ever be comfortable with the look of the headlight situation, especially on the new Speed Triple.
    From some angles it looks OK, from others it looks dreadful IMO. Yes I know it makes no difference when you’re riding, but I want to like what I’m spending my hard-earned on!

    I’ll consider all bikes, however having worked for an Italian engineering company myself for long period of time, I believe that Italian manufacturers have a completely different mindset and principles when it comes to engineering and customer service, compared to the Japanese. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, lol…

    Robsalvv – Thanks. That’s a great point and I’m going to look into that today.
    No doubt I’m rusty as hell; not only that, I was not the most experienced campaigner to begin with.

    Well, looks like I’ll be out there frequenting the bike shops this Saturday!

    No doubt after all of this I’ll come home with a Ducati Street Fighter so I can ride from café to café at good pace and in style. :twisted:
  11. Do you ride because it's practical or because it's fun? Just buy the one that puts the biggest grin on your face. I reckon you should give the CBR600 a go. Not the most practical commuter but who cares about that.
  12. sv650 too old? ok...
  13. Mostly for the fun and I enjoy the discipline of riding compared to all the distractions of driving a car. Def the CBR600 is on my list to test ride, but I don't know about the I4 engine when it's off the boil. We will see.

    Yes. They are showing their age big time compared to bikes in these modern times. Especially in the way it's finished. But when it comes to actual riding, I love the SV650 to bits. I would love an SV650 that was just a bit more up to date. Otherwise everything about it for my level of riding is more than enough and the power delivery is super usable which I love.
  14. Buy a Jap bike,it will suit you.
  15. Youve been off the bike for awhile,
    Just take it easy till you get the feel for it again,
    Your reflexes arnent that sharp and it takes time to get back into the swing of things,
    Especially so if you are going for a bigger bike, They are not slow and will get you into trouble very quickly if you are not aware of it,
  16. 675 *drool*

    dooo eeeet
  17. I'd go one of the big street fighter/nakeds. FZ1, Z1000, Tuono, whatever. Dont discount the Striple til you ride it yet too. They're bloody awesome.
  18. Well, it's done. Decision made, deposit down - and well under budget.

    In the last couple of days I rode a Ninja 650R, CBR600RR, used SV1000S, used Street Triple a used Z1000.

    I liked riding them all! But only one ticked almost all boxes and just felt right.

    650R This was just good at everything and while not super-quick, it was easily quick enough for me. Awesome all-rounder, but didn't "grab" me.

    CBR600RR - This made me feel like a better rider than I am. Awesome engine and it just seemed to steer and tip into corners sooo easily. Just something about the I4 smoothness that I don't like though, despite it being so brilliant.

    Street Triple - Insane engine. I can see what everyone is on about... It sounds like a Lambo and is an awesome mix of torque and revving ability. Overall somehow, it just did not grab me enough to had over the cash.

    Z1000 - Have to admit this thing almost scared me a bit, in terms of pace. It was also pretty heavy, which was something I grew to hate on my MT-01. I thought to myself, if this is a bit quick for my level, then an R1 or Blade is going to be insane. I want to be able to enjoy the bike, explore it and not ride around being too fearful of it.

    So... I rode a 10,000Km '07 SV1000S and instantly loved riding it.

    The engine is everything I want and more at this stage. I liked the way it pulled and sounded on the open road and in traffic from very low RPM. The riding position is a little leaned over, but not like the Daytona 675 which I sat on and felt a bit like I was going to go over the handle-bars (coming from nekkid bikes here).

    I found the handling and brakes to be fine; of course not as razor sharp as the CBR600, but then I feel the two bikes are built for a different purpose.

    With not a mark on it and only 10K on the clock, quality aftermarket cans, fender eliminator, power commander, gear rack, fully history and all original parts, i think it was a good buy at well, well under 10G's on the road.

    I just could not justify 20K odd for something as horn as an R1 at this stage of the game.

    Anyway, I'll pick it up next week!:dance:

    Thanks again all!


    PS: I will definitley be doing a rider training course to revise what I have learned in the past.
  19. ...especially recommended since you admitted not being super tuned up the first time round. HART and Stay upright have some excellent courses...
  20. Ok thanks, the link in your sig "beat the odds" is an excellent read by the way. I'm actually really looking forward to getting back into an empty carpark to practice slow speed moves and cornering etc. I spent a lot of time doing that in the past and it helped me to understand the bike and handle myself in traffic far better over time