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Standard vs sports bike

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by jawntybull, Sep 26, 2008.

  1. I normally ride a GS500 with a "standard" geometry. I had a go on a mate's bike yesterday - a Honda VFR750. It's classed as a sports tourer I think. Anyway, I came to my first corner and oops! Went really wide. I found myself fighting the steering in each bend; when I tipped the bike in to the same degree as I do with my GS it just wanted to keep falling into the corner. In effect, it seemed to need much less lean, but somehow I couldn't get comfortable with it. Eventually I found that if I leant my body into the corner rather than the bike, it felt better - and on the open road it felt fine (oooh what throttle response!! nothing like double the hp...)

    I got back on the GS after about half an hour and, like a well worn glove, felt much better. Now I know that part of this is what I'm used to, but has anyone else got some insight into this situation? Is it just that I'm used to the GS, or is it more that the GS is an easier / more natural bike to ride? When I checked out the steering geometry of the VFR, it's much steeper than the GS - so would all sports bikes handle like this, and if so, it seems to me that they would be great going fast, but not so good at manoeuvering in the city?

  2. Just not used to it. I'm used to 'sportyish' and when I had a go of an er6f I found it really hard to corner on as I wasn't used to it being so bolt upright.

    The gs will be better at slower speed stuff, eg. in the city. But the sportier position of the vfr will aid cornering once you've gotten used to it.

    Keep in mind you want to grip the bars towards the outside to give you the best leverage.
  3. Hey mate. I have a nsr 150 which is classified as a sport bike. A few weeks ago i rode a Vt250, cornering at low speede was much much easier than on the nsr but when i took it into the twisties i had trouble getting the bike to lean like my nsr. The Gs which is quite high is more of a tourer than a pure sportsbike. I have not ridden any other bike except for the nsr, vt and a few trailies but the nsr handles so much better at higher speeds sompared to the vt which handles brilliant at low speed because of its higher handlebars... :)
  4. It's utterly pointless comparing a VFR with ANY other bike; they are just different. Ask any VFR owner and he'll tell you they take a year or more just to get used to riding them; you have to go to the bike; it doesn't come to you...
  5. sport bikes are designed to handle well at high speeds and they are very good at it. standards are a bit more all rounders and to me lack subtlety at speed. phizog forever complains about an er6 he rode once but its not that hard! the new honda hornet has a similar seating position.
  6. It didn't occur to you to side ya bum back and lean forward? :shock:

    Different bikes require slightly different positions and will perform differently under the same rider inputs. No two are the same and it can take some adjustment. The more you ride different bikes, the more you'll learn to adapt to the bike you are on. :)
  7. If you can ride, you can ride any bike. You're ballsing it up if you find you suddenly can't manage a particular model.

  8. +1
  9. I've ridden dozens of bikes no worries, but the er6 I rode with very high bars just didn't feel right. I did find out after the test ride that it had been dropped, and when comparing the bars to a non dropped one, they weren't at the same angle :p Boring as batshit with the high bars and sewing machine exhaust though. Lower bars and an exhaust would make for a freakn fun bike though.
  10. I'll put money down that you were cornering with a closed throttle :shock:
    Its amazing what you can get away with on light and underpowered bikes :wink:
  11. Cr@p. I have one...
  12. Thank you for that incisive comment; I'm only going on the word of at least one rider whose been a VFR rider for around 14 years :roll:.
  13. Ask any? I've only had mine a month or so and it's really not complicated.
  14. I always thought of sportsbikes as too harsh & racey. I mean look at how they're all swoopy looking with outlandish brake & tyre sizes.

    The UJM is the shyt for the road. Just pick up the pace alittle & you're safely groovin' along sending sparks out to the riders behind you. The pitch & wallow makes every corner exciting & WFO is a nice place to be.

    Some sportsbike riders are never happy with their bikes, always changing this part 'n' that part, & talking about different set up for this place & that. Alot of them never hold onto any one sportsbike for long either.

    Seems to me anyway.
  15. I'm inclined to thin that the oinly reson you found the VFR hard to steer, is because you are'nt used to the weight.
    As a reasonably heavy bike, they require a more definite steering input.
    Your timing would have been off, and that's why you were running wide on corners..

    All bikes are perfectly rideable for anyone, once you have gotten used to them. They only feel strange at first because of their different characteristics, compared to another style of bike.

    A year to get used to a Viffer is a bit strange...I'd have thought a week or so, to reasonably competent, depending on the experience of the rider.

  16. On further reflection, I think the issue was that the bike wanted to tip in faster than I expected, so my sensation of "fighting" the bike was more "tip in, get surprised by the response, then fight the bike back upright a bit to hold the right line". I'm sure that, with a bit longer on the bike, I would be used to it.

    It just set me thinking about the handling characteristics and how different they were. I've been thinking about a second bike for touring and concentrating on the engine options (i4, v2 etc) but I think the geometry and handling are even more important.
  17. The steeper the steering head the quicker the response, A true sports bike would have less rake than the VFR too.
  18. You'll find you can't be as ham-fisted on the steering with a sports bike as you can be with a upright naked or tourer. You've also got less low speed handlebar steering available on the sports bike. You can still sit up straight, although that makes your 'hips' tired.

    Those were the differences I noted when moving from a GT250 to a CBR250RR.
  19. And you'd be right, on both counts. You would get used to it, although I do agree with Hornet - it took me a good while to get used to my older model VFR.

    I had a GPZ750 that was an extreme version of what you are describing. Took s good push to get turned, and then wanted to go ALL the way over. I think it was a combination of high weight and steep steering angle. Couldn't get used to it at all. The VFR was far better than that, and full-on sports bikes are easier still.
  20. Different style of bikes have requires different handling and riding position.
    most importantly, they handle differently as well.