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Time for a big boy bike(s). Where to go from here?

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' started by iamthejoker, Nov 4, 2015.

  1. Hey, I'm a bit of a lurker here, but I've done a few group rides a while back. I've met a few people from here, but no idea who.

    So I finished my LAMS restrictions a few weeks ago and have been looking at upgrading to something faster and more comfortable than my current 2011 Hyosung GT650S. Now I still like my bike, but given that I'm no longer restricted I could probably do a lot better. I do like the low down torque and handling of my bike, but it's a bit disappointing when all the get up and go disappears after 7k RPM. I also find it pretty uncomfortable on longer rides due to my size, I'm almost 200cm tall. My upper body is fine, but my legs end up so bent due to the foot peg location they start to ache after about an hour and a half of riding.

    Most of my riding is commuting, but I do like to go for a Saturday or Sunday run up through the Dandenongs/Yarras. I'd also like to start doing some track days and/or get involved with amateur motorsport.

    I've also wanted a project car or bike for years. Something that I could modify, improve and generally make my own.

    So I've come up with two options for buying a new bike. The first is to just get one good all-rounder bike. The second is to spend less money on my main bike and pick up a cheap big bore dirt bike to do a supermoto conversion. Either way by budget limit is about $12 grand. I could maybe stretch it a little further but I'd rather not. In fact I'd rather keep it down around $8-9 and change.


    Option one.
    Get one really nice bike to do everything. My main interests here are sporty nakeds, sports touring bikes or big engined supermotos. I'm thinking along the lines of a used Street Triple R, Z1000, KTM 990 Duke or Supermoto, Ninja 1000, Aprilia Shiver or Dorosoduro, or a Husquvarna Nuda.

    So far the only ones I've test riden are the Dorosoduro 750 and Nuda 900R. Both were noticeably faster than my GT650 and had a far more comfortable seating position. However the Nuda was just that little bit more special. It sounded better, felt sharper and the engine was a lot more "raw." Just all round more exciting. If I had to hand over money right now, that's what I'd go for.

    Option two
    Get two bikes. One road focused and one as a supermoto project. I want to end up in a situation where I could use either for both commuting or riding in the mountains and one that could do track days reasonably well.
    As for the road bike I'd be looking at similar types of bikes as in option one, just stuff that's a bit lower down the market. I'd also be a bit more flexible about what I'd buy. I'd look at getting a Super Sport or a something a bit cruisier. I plugged some numbers in the motorcycle ergos site and found that a mid 2000s CBR600rr actually has more leg room than my current bike, even if I'd be more leaned over up top. Those old super blackbirds look pretty tempting for the money as well.

    In terms of dirt bikes, I really don't know what I'm doing. Aside from watching some videos on youtube and thinking that both dirk bikes and supermotos look really fun, I've got no idea. Browsing bikesales it seems like the Yamaha 426s and Husky 610s would be the kind of bikes I should be looking at. I'd want to get full rego on it so I could ride unrestricted. I do really like the idea of a lightweight bike with an upright riding position with a decent amount of power. I'd like to be able to swap between dirt and street wheels and tires reasonably quickly if possible.

    So any thoughts, comments, opinions or experience in terms of option one or two?

    Regarding dirt bikes, how hard is it to get them fully registered? As far as I can tell, if they have a compliance plate it makes things a lot easier. Just makes sure it has lights, indicators, muffler and plate holder.

    Also regarding dirt bikes, how hard is it to get into dirt riding? Not competitively, just for fun. Any groups I should be looking at? I don't have a car capable of towing so any off roading I do, I'd have to be able to ride to and from it.

  2. The SuperDuke 990 R, had one of them, is a painful commuter but an awesome weekend toy. It'll struggle below 4K rpm, 1st gear is too tall and heats up pretty well. But on a weekend ride, you'll notice and quality brakes, suspension and it's seat, a wooden plank (on the R model).

    Nuda is great too. I came very very close to pulling the plug, the lack of dealers and mechanics who know and parts took me away from it. It'll be a better 'all-rounder' than the duke.

    Aprilia Shiver, have ridden mate's enough times and I'd take MT-09 over it, anyday. Like some have done here and have written good comparison as well.

    Street Triple R, good fun. Price is bit too high in comparison to others and reliability is questionable, in relative terms.

    Blackbird - is an awesome, awesome bike. Perhaps bit too heavy for track? Maybe. It'll do just fine as a commuter and tour all day.

    If you are after 2 bikes within $12K - I'd pick 2010+ z1000 as an allrounder for about $7-8K (that can do track too) and second project bike.
  3. Nice choice to have to make, I'd go ride everything in your list for starters and see what feels right for you. Something may stand out, or you may be left with a choice of a few.
  4. Mototraveler, I guess the Super Duke is a bit of a null point in the end. There were a few for sale went I started researching a few months back but now the only one nearby is an American import that can't be fully registered.

    Interesting comparison between the Shiver and MT-09. Most of the reviews I've read have said that the suspension and throttle control really take away from the bike. Apparently you can fix that, but you'd be a few grand out of pocket to do so.

    CHilli, I do plan on test riding as much as I can. Just been a bit of a hassle getting time to do so. I work odd hours and study part time. But I'm done with exams on friday so that should free up some time.
  5. Read BitSarBitSar 's blog on Shiver vs Mt-09. Its bullshit free becasue he owned a Shiv for a few years and moved to the MT-09 this year. Essentially MT-09 wins on power etc, but Shiver better on handling and suspension for sure. But he sure loves his MT-09, misses the sound and character of the Shiv though lol!

    BitSar and Bikes: Comparo: Yamaha MT09 – Vs – Aprilia Shiver
    • Agree Agree x 1
  6. I will be interested to see where you go with this. I recognise some of those aspirations as similar to my own.
  7. Thanks, I just had a read through BitSar's blog and found it very informative. I'm certainly more interested in the MT09 now than I was before.

    Does anyone know if it's possible/difficult to get the 2015 spec ECU updates regarding throttle control on the older bikes? I generally prefer to buy used cars/bikes.
  8. Deffo test ride a 2010+ Z1000 before you make your choice.
    Great bike for hooning around on, can handle a track day or 2 without any problems and I've done a 3 day tour on it but it's a bit limited as a touring bike.
    I've had mine for over 3 years and put near on 20k on it without any dramas. I'll probably cry when the time comes to part ways.
  9. Ice makers on the money. Z1000 is one hell of a bike.
    • Like Like x 1
  10. Yeah, those Kawasaki Z bikes are sexy beasts. I've had a look at some of the reviews and they seem mostly positive. I'll look into getting a test ride. How do the older ones stack up against the 2010+ models? They're not as sexy, and don't have ABS but otherwise they look like pretty decent bikes.

    Does anyone have any experience regarding my option of getting a cheaper road bike and a dirt bike project? Mainly in regards of what would be relatively easy to get street legal and makes an overall decent bike.
  11. 2010 model(AKA mark III) is far superior to the earlier models.
    MK I good
    MK II meh
    MK III excellent
    • Agree Agree x 2
  12. If your looking for a cheap dirt bike I have experience. We got a 04 ktm450 exc for $2800 , all ready to put rego on it. It only had 3500 klms on it.
    Either that or a wr450 are both awesome bikes. There are plenty getting around with rego on them.
  13. The 2007-2013 CBR600RR is the go if you want to go the supersport route. I'm 185cm with long gangly arms and legs and mine fulfills casual commuting duties relatively well.
  14. Womble, thanks for the info. I might try and take a look at a Mk.1 as well then. I'm assuming that means the 03-06 model as opposed to the earlier Z1 or Z900 models? There is a dealer nearby with an 03 Z1000 and KTM 99SMT that I want to check out as well.

    Basejumper, thanks man. I take your post to mean that you have a 450 EXC, rather than you have it for sale right?

    Phil, I am pretty interested in the 07 CBR. I believe there is somebody on here selling a sexy blue one pretty cheap right now. Good to hear it does decently as a commuter for a taller rider.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  15. We got that Ktm for my mate. I would get a gen 3 (2010 +) z1000 for under $9k and that gives u $3k for a 450 dirt bike , either wr450 or ktm450 exc.
  16. Mine's a sexy blue one as well :D
  17. I agree with BitSarBitSar, you should definitely consider the MT09. I have one for two months now and with ~3000k on the odo(commuting and some weekend fun)I can say it's a great bike! It has tons of torque everywhere and is very fun to ride. 2015 ECU map makes the throttle perfectly controllable. The suspension, while certainly not being a superbike-grade, is actually not that bad. It's ok(ish) if tuned to be more stiff and of course you can always replace it and still get the bike cheaper than, say a Monster or a STripple.

    As for the Shiver, I actually test rode one(two of 'em actually) while shopping for a new bike. My main points of dissatisfaction were weight(MT is noticeably lighter), heavier clutch(Shiver's hydro cliuth was a pain in the arse for me to hold for a prolonged periods of time) and a rather narrow steering angle whtch made it a bit of a problem to manoeuvre in heavy traffic. It also felt like it had less power comapred to the MT(shiver is a 750 after all) but that wasn't that much of an issue, the difference was not that big. I also found MT's riding position to be more upright and relaxed which proved to be true as despite the hard seat, it is surprisingly comfortable to ride, even for 1.5-2 hours at a time(I'm 180cm/70-something kg). You can check out my test riding impressions here(here's the actual shiver/MT post but the rest of the thread might be interesting for you as well.

    And yes, it's certainly possible to reflash the ECU map, it's not even that hard to do it yourself. You'll need to get the tank off to get to the ECU but the reflashing software if rather user-friendly. The biggest issue is getting a reflashing kit which costs about $500 if I remember correctly(they are tied to ECU ID so you can't just borrow one, you need to get a new one). check out this FZ09 forum thread for some more info on that topic. Alternatively there are services that can reflash your ECU for the compatible(albeit higher) price. BTW, some of the 2014 models were reflashed by the dealers either before the sale or as a part of post-sale service so it might be worth asking the owner about that.

    As a side note: with your interest in dirt bikes, you should have a look at the Ducati Scrambler. It's a bit of a style-over-substance machine, so to speak but it's still very capable nonetheless and seems to be a good all-rounder with decent off-roading capabilities. It's rather costly though and there are almost no privately sold pre-owned ones yet.
  18. Thanks for the input. Good to know that the older models are compatible with the updates.

    I have to say, while I haven't ridden the shiver, I have ridden it's brother the Dorosoduro 750 and while it was nice, and a definite step up from my Hyo, the engine and gearbox didn't feel as raw or engaging as the Nuda I rode before it.

    My interest in dirt bikes is more for being something cheap that I can pick up and turn into a project bike. Being able to ride off road would be cool, it certainly looks like a whole load of fun, it's not my main goal.

    The Scrambler I think is a pretty cool bike. I love the vintage styling and the idea of less is more. However, it's a little out of my price range and you can get a lot more bike from other manufacturers for the same amount of coin.
  19. Although the Dorso shares the same engine as the Shiver, the tune is different and favours the bottom end - peak torque arrives as low at 5500.

    I've spent considerable time on a Nuda 900R and a friend owns one (see more saddle time by me)
    They are a bored out BMW F800 motor, parallel twin.
    They were built during BMW's R&D experiment when Husky was their petulant child. Parts and dealer support is non-existent.
    Good bikes with good kit, small fuel tank and quite thirsty.

    A couple of years ago I did some head-to-head tests
    BitSar and Bikes: Why did I buy a Shiver?
    • Informative Informative x 1