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post #1 of 38 (permalink) Old 06-20-2012, 12:43 PM Thread Starter
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New inquiry

Hello all, Im new to the site and its been a few years since on bikes, used to do some drag racing ( real drag strip not the street) on sat nights on Kaw KZ1000's and Suzuki GS 750s but no track or sportbike experience. Several years of cruiser riding but my 8 sec. drag bikes in a straight line are way different than 8 second bikes in a turn I agree. I would enjoy learing to ride on track properly and sometime do some track days and some "old guy" races if possible. I agree with what ive read that starting small may be the way to go so a few questions. In terms of a learning 250cc sportbike, buell/honda/ off brand? Does it make any sense to have a 600cc-1000cc bike for general street riding to move in to later or just stay with the 250 until fully comfortable.
Can someone give me some important costs to consider outside the bike and saftey equipment. Brakes, tires, extra wheels, pads etc and typical costs and change intervals for a beginner? I just sold off some cars that had HUGE HUGE maintenance costs so Im used to it.
Thank you for the advice, Ive enjoyed reading the articles on here so far. Im in the west chicago burbs if anyone has functions that would be worth attending please let me know.
ND
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post #2 of 38 (permalink) Old 06-20-2012, 12:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ndpendant View Post
Hello all, Im new to the site and its been a few years since on bikes, used to do some drag racing ( real drag strip not the street) on sat nights on Kaw KZ1000's and Suzuki GS 750s but no track or sportbike experience. Several years of cruiser riding but my 8 sec. drag bikes in a straight line are way different than 8 second bikes in a turn I agree. I would enjoy learing to ride on track properly and sometime do some track days and some "old guy" races if possible. I agree with what ive read that starting small may be the way to go so a few questions. In terms of a learning 250cc sportbike, buell/honda/ off brand? Does it make any sense to have a 600cc-1000cc bike for general street riding to move in to later or just stay with the 250 until fully comfortable.
Can someone give me some important costs to consider outside the bike and saftey equipment. Brakes, tires, extra wheels, pads etc and typical costs and change intervals for a beginner? I just sold off some cars that had HUGE HUGE maintenance costs so Im used to it.
Thank you for the advice, Ive enjoyed reading the articles on here so far. Im in the west chicago burbs if anyone has functions that would be worth attending please let me know.
ND
Id say that since you used to drag race, and I am assuming you're a bit older than the typical 20 year old newbie........you might just want to go ahead and start with a 600 or SV650. A 250 might not be the best choice in your situation.

most of your maintenance questions will be based on your skill-set, how aggressively you ride, etc. Generally, a set of of tires every two-three weekends at about $350, a set of pads for the season....etc at a beginner level.

Spare wheels? Really not necessary as a beginner as you can get your tires changed at the track, unless you want to run rain tires maybe.....used wheels can be found on ebay anywhere between $100-200 dollars per wheel.

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post #3 of 38 (permalink) Old 06-20-2012, 01:08 PM Thread Starter
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Yes, Im "older" than the ass on fire younger guys who get in to this at a young age. I really still enjoy speed and control. Im very in to the mechanics of machines, cars etc. I am old enough with kids I dont want to get hurt, but accept this isnt an injury free sport. I figured that a 250 at the track would allow me to have enough control and perhaps a 600+ for riding and getting used to quick horsepower again. As far as maintenance costs, I figured some of those things, but want to have enough on hand and planning for items I wouldnt think about on a sport bike. Thank you for the advice!
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post #4 of 38 (permalink) Old 06-20-2012, 02:22 PM
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dont waste your time with a 250, you're a big boy and i know you can handle a sv650
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post #5 of 38 (permalink) Old 06-20-2012, 02:25 PM
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post #6 of 38 (permalink) Old 06-20-2012, 02:54 PM Thread Starter
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Ducati 7XX? SV650? GX? Good starter bikes?

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post #7 of 38 (permalink) Old 06-20-2012, 02:57 PM
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Biggest cost difference I would say up front between Ninja 250 and a 600 (beside cost of bike) would be insurance. If you are going full coverage, it can be anywhere from 6-8 times more on the 600.

I ride a 250 and the one thing you have to remember when riding one is to ignore all the people that say "Don't ride a 250"

I am giving myself a full year of riding before I get up to a more powerful bike. I will most likely got with the SV 650 and would only need the extra horsepower with highway riding.

I see the attraction to the supersports on the street, but is it really worthy the extra costs? To me ...no. I am having a blast on the little 250 and like I said only really need more HP on the highway and thats only if I need to do well above the speed limit to keep up with traffic.

If you are basing all riding on keeping within posted speeds limits or even 10-15 mph over, a 250 will be just fine for anyone.....plus the parts are cheepers (Mostly tires), the insurance is cheaper and the gas milage is better @ 65MPG.

Like I said..if you can ignore all the "Pffft thats only a 250" or "why waste your time on a 250" or the best one "Thats a girls bike" Then a 250 will suit you just fine for a daily driver or even at the track

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post #8 of 38 (permalink) Old 06-20-2012, 03:03 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Renner View Post
Biggest cost difference I would say up front between Ninja 250 and a 600 (beside cost of bike) would be insurance. If you are going full coverage, it can be anywhere from 6-8 times more on the 600.

I ride a 250 and the one thing you have to remember when riding one is to ignore all the people that say "Don't ride a 250"

I am giving myself a full year of riding before I get up to a more powerful bike. I will most likely got with the SV 650 and would only need the extra horsepower with highway riding.

I see the attraction to the supersports on the street, but is it really worthy the extra costs? To me ...no. I am having a blast on the little 250 and like I said only really need more HP on the highway and thats only if I need to do well above the speed limit to keep up with traffic.

If you are basing all riding on keeping within posted speeds limits or even 10-15 mph over, a 250 will be just fine for anyone.....plus the parts are cheepers (Mostly tires), the insurance is cheaper and the gas milage is better @ 65MPG.

Like I said..if you can ignore all the "Pffft thats only a 250" or "why waste your time on a 250" or the best one "Thats a girls bike" Then a 250 will suit you just fine for a daily driver or even at the track

Just my opinion...I am other will express theirs
I dont think Ill be putting in much street time. Mostly want to learn to track ride and do days etc. IF the 250 is better for me to learn on, im fine with that and if i take some s^)T for that, well, lets say Ill probably not get a lot of s#T for that. Not sure what Ill do yet, but I appreciate all the input. I may go to a few school days with rental bikes and see what the instructors recommend.
thanks!
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post #9 of 38 (permalink) Old 06-20-2012, 03:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ndpendant View Post
Not sure what Ill do yet, but I appreciate all the input. I may go to a few school days with rental bikes and see what the instructors recommend.
thanks!
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post #10 of 38 (permalink) Old 06-20-2012, 03:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Renner View Post
Biggest cost difference I would say up front between Ninja 250 and a 600 (beside cost of bike) would be insurance. If you are going full coverage, it can be anywhere from 6-8 times more on the 600.

I ride a 250 and the one thing you have to remember when riding one is to ignore all the people that say "Don't ride a 250"

I am giving myself a full year of riding before I get up to a more powerful bike. I will most likely got with the SV 650 and would only need the extra horsepower with highway riding.

I see the attraction to the supersports on the street, but is it really worthy the extra costs? To me ...no. I am having a blast on the little 250 and like I said only really need more HP on the highway and thats only if I need to do well above the speed limit to keep up with traffic.

If you are basing all riding on keeping within posted speeds limits or even 10-15 mph over, a 250 will be just fine for anyone.....plus the parts are cheepers (Mostly tires), the insurance is cheaper and the gas milage is better @ 65MPG.

Like I said..if you can ignore all the "Pffft thats only a 250" or "why waste your time on a 250" or the best one "Thats a girls bike" Then a 250 will suit you just fine for a daily driver or even at the track

Just my opinion...I am other will express theirs


its a girls bike,, did you read that he drag raced 1100's in the past? i dont think he needs any time on a baby ninja
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post #11 of 38 (permalink) Old 06-20-2012, 03:38 PM
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its a girls bike,, did you read that he drag raced 1100's in the past? i dont think he needs any time on a baby ninja
Here we go...more stupidity

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post #12 of 38 (permalink) Old 06-20-2012, 03:40 PM
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Agreee with your experience a 250 is not a great choice.



Ducati .....

Nice .... but spendy ..... require a fair bit of maintenance and can be finiky.... do NOT crash it.



A Suzuki 600 or SV650 ..... .dead stone reliable, inexpensive and parts ( repair and hop-up ) are plentiful.


Current 100cc sportbikes are monsters ....... hard to learn on.


Like trying to learn to drive finish nails with a sledgehammer.




Costs escalate with pace ...... at a beginner ( track rider ) pace tires last many weekends.

at an Advanced pace ..... they can last a handful of sessions.



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post #13 of 38 (permalink) Old 06-20-2012, 03:42 PM
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Here we go...more stupidity

Agree ....... Silly Comment.


250's are a hoot to ride and great to learn on.

On the racetrack for a fairly experienced rider their lack of outright power really shows.


The SV is a better intermediate choice.



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post #14 of 38 (permalink) Old 06-20-2012, 03:55 PM
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SV650 or 600. The suspension and brakes on a newer (06+) 600 are light years ahead of what a 250 will have. Not to mention the choice of tires is greater. Way bigger contact patch, especially while leaned over. That should be something to consider when thinking 250 vs. 600, not just the extra power.

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post #15 of 38 (permalink) Old 06-20-2012, 04:16 PM
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Here we go...more stupidity
ok genius, a guy who can handle a drag bike should spend a few years on a 250, now do you feel smarter? arent you new at this? i would say your statement is stupidity

i havent ridden the new ninja 250 but i have ridden dozens of the old one, they are the slowest waste of time for anyone who knows how to ride, but a good bike to teach a girl how to ride on
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post #16 of 38 (permalink) Old 06-20-2012, 04:36 PM
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A Ninja 250 is not a waste of time "for anyone who knows how to ride." However, to answer ndependant's question, an SV650S is probably the right bike for track use.

If he actually does a few track days with rental bikes, he may not even want to go with an SV650S, but may want to get something like an R6 instead. If you can do the track days on a rental bike before buying a bike, do that, so you will buy the bike you know will suit you.
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post #17 of 38 (permalink) Old 06-20-2012, 04:39 PM
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Quote:
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ok genius, a guy who can handle a drag bike should spend a few years on a 250, now do you feel smarter? arent you new at this? i would say your statement is stupidity

i havent ridden the new ninja 250 but i have ridden dozens of the old one, they are the slowest waste of time for anyone who knows how to ride, but a good bike to teach a girl how to ride on
Here we go again...

Also driving in a straight line and holding on for dear life is a little bit different that flicking a bike around a track all day at various speeds....but then again I am new and don't know what I am talking about

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post #18 of 38 (permalink) Old 06-20-2012, 05:47 PM
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Jeebus. Just get an SV650 and call it a day.

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post #19 of 38 (permalink) Old 06-20-2012, 06:01 PM
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....but then again I am new and don't know what I am talking about
ok, you're probably right here
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post #20 of 38 (permalink) Old 06-20-2012, 06:12 PM
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If your worried about the ninja keeping up on the track....here you go. Like I said, going straight and fast is way different then taking corners.

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post #21 of 38 (permalink) Old 06-21-2012, 12:24 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you all

As I put in my original post I agree that a bike around curves with that much power is a lot different than going fast in a straight line. It's the same with cars my last car was an exotic racer that scared the living daylights out of me in curves where as in straight-line it was fairly easy to handle. I appreciate the openness of going with a 600+ cc bike over a 250 as may be a waste of time and money. I do think though that a 900 or 1000cc monster would not be ideal to learn on. I am very used to Italian finicky machines and would really enjoy the artistry of a Ducati although I agree there's something to be said about reliability and cheap parts especially when learning. I would enjoy hearing about get-togethers where there may be several different types of brands and bikes to take a look at before making any sort of purchases. If anyone has any recommendations to lap or racing or track schools anywhere around the Chicago Indiana or Wisconsin area I would certainly appreciate it! Keep the debate and discussion going I do enjoy it thanks again.
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post #22 of 38 (permalink) Old 06-21-2012, 07:53 AM
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Just go out a spectate at one of the local Motovid or STT track days....


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post #23 of 38 (permalink) Old 06-21-2012, 08:55 AM
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Like Blarney says, go out and watch a track day, even once. That will give you a feel for how they go.

Most guys at track days are on inline 4 600's. Not much need for a liter bike except at a track like Road America, which has long, long straights. The lighter weight of a I4 600 or a V-twin SV650 will handle better in the corners anyway.

I'm going to go with the rest who say pick up a used, track ready SV650. Great bike to learn the track on. If you really want an I4 600, that's OK, but you will learn corner speed faster on an SV650 or some other V-Twin which is lower in horsepower, wider in power band and lighter in weight.

As for the street, I've been on liter or larger bikes on the street since 1986. Just switched to a VStrom 650 for the street. If you know how to use it, the 650 engine has enough power to keep you out of trouble on the street.

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post #24 of 38 (permalink) Old 06-21-2012, 09:39 AM
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ndpendant,

Welcome to the site! Based on your prior experience, and knowledge of racing, costs, maintenance, tires, brakes, etc... you have a good idea what things are like in the real world. Many of the folks that get involved in racing or heading to the track truly have no basic understanding of the costs. Compared to your drag racing cared, this is FAR cheaper, and quite frankly, a ton more fun! (I used to drag cars)

Many of the people in this thread are actually track instructors, as you are new, I'll give you a simple truth, internet advice is internet advice. Take it all in, but realize that some advice is from folks who "know it all" but really know little more than what they have read online. Others have thousands and thousands of laps on race tracks throughout the country, and even a few in this particular thread have gone to the top road race schools many times.

Read their threads, get a feel for who you want to trust and believe, and go from there. As you mentioned as well, getting out to meet some of these folks face to face would also give you a good feel for what has value and what does not.

As Craig said (beac83) head out to watch an event. Local events are Blackhawk Farms (Motovid) and Autobahn (STT). My guess is you'll fit right in, and be quite comfortable by lunch, whether you are watching, or whether you are riding.

Now, about the bike choice - (I have owned all of these and STILL own all of these for track only duty, EXCEPT the 250)

250 - great entry bike for street, complete piece of crap on the track. Don't waste your time with one for the track. They are NOT designed to be track bikes, although they can be a ton of fun on the track, they will limit you severely. The 250 motor is NOT happy with pure track duty either. I bought one to teach my daughter, and I and a couple of other instructors tried it out on the track. It did NOT like being ridden hard and put away wet. We sold it as soon as possible after my daughter was ready for the 650 (she was a brand new rider, ZERO street experience) BTW - the older 250s do not take standard size tires either which makes it a serious PITA at the track

SV650 - there are TONS of threads on this and other forums about how this is the ultimate starter track bike. GKOTLIN on this forum just got 2nd in the nation racing these, and he is NOT a lightweight guy physically. Both he and I coach and teach on track almost exclusively with SVs, and I still consider it the easiest bike to learn on for track riding, and the one that can take you the farthest. SVs that are track prepped can be had from $2-4k, and they are EASY on tires and brakes. Some of my friends that race these claim 2-3 sets of tires for the season, one set of brakes. VERY cheap to run and maintain, and they corner fantastic. For my money, for you (AND for me), this is the bike to get and to ride. If you can ever outgrow it on the track, keep it and buy a bigger bike. You'll STILL have more fun riding the SV IMHO. I kept mine, and I still teach and ride it 80-90% of the time, if not more.

600 - The easy choice. Many are widely available, and if you suck in the corners, this will let you make up for getting passed in the corners on the straights. As you saw in Renners' Laguna Seca video, the 250 got stomped every time it stood up by a bigger bike. 600's have a wide variety of "feels" and each 600 rides completely differently on a road race track. There is a HUGE difference between how an older R6 rides vs. a newer R6, same for Suzuki vs. Yamaha, etc... all the way through the pack. GKOTLIN sold his Honda 600RR and got an SV and his lap times DROPPED significantly since the SV was so much easier to ride. LESS HP, yet still had lower lap times. He recently bought an Aprilia 1000 and same thing, his SV lap times are still lower. And this is from a guy that teaches MSF, teaches for NESBA, Motovid and now for STT. A guy that has been to race schools and Yamaha Champions Riding School, and a guy that came in second in the nation in his race class. Suffice it to say, he is better on the SV (stock motor too!)

750 - If you are a good rider, have lots of track time, this is a GREAT hybrid bike between the 600 and 1000. It lets you pass 600s when they are upright, and rides and corners EXACTLY like the Suzuki 600. Something like 5 pounds more, same bike, same chassis, weighing in a tiny bit heavier with more HP. Great all around bike for the track rider who has lots of track time. Horrible beginner bike on the track, and it chews up tires something fierce compared to the prior choices.

1000 - The fastest way to stay slow for a beginner on the track is to ride a 1000. I have NEVER met a student who did not ride faster and more comfortably on a smaller bike on the track. A 1000 is a handful on the track. Give it gas at lean angle, and you get a trip to the moon. (Highside) I have two 1000 bikes, and they are a total TOTAL blast on the track. They require the most effort, the most smoothness, and the most patience AND they can hurt me the worst. Great bikes, definitely NOT starter bikes on the track.

Skipping to the "other" choices -

Learning on a 2-Stroke bike. I have an Aprilia 250 Cup Bike and a friend of mine got me hooked on a Honda 125 GP bike. Two-stroke bikes on the track are the most fun on the planet. HOWEVER, they require tons of rider ability, and they require tons of shifting and TONS of corner speed. The corner speed is what makes them the most fun. They will KILL any of the bikes listed above in a corner, and get killed on the straights. the sheer cornering speed makes these the ultimate track bike IMHO for fun alone. However, they require maintenance EVERY weekend if not during the weekend. Definitely worth their weight in gold, they are NOT good starter bikes either.

I ride all of these bikes on the track. FWIW - Get an SV set up for the track. You want full suspension for front and rear, you want rearsets, track plastics, and you are good to go.

===========
Great Quote - One would think that the Secret Service was smart enough to get serviced secretly.

MotoVid hasbeen
NESBA hasbeen

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post #25 of 38 (permalink) Old 06-21-2012, 01:13 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BLARNEY View Post
Just go out a spectate at one of the local Motovid or STT track days....


Lots to learn and cool folks to talk to.


Tom
great idea, ill check by me. thank you
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post #26 of 38 (permalink) Old 06-21-2012, 01:26 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wink View Post
ndpendant,

Welcome to the site! Based on your prior experience, and knowledge of racing, costs, maintenance, tires, brakes, etc... you have a good idea what things are like in the real world. Many of the folks that get involved in racing or heading to the track truly have no basic understanding of the costs. Compared to your drag racing cared, this is FAR cheaper, and quite frankly, a ton more fun! (I used to drag cars)

Many of the people in this thread are actually track instructors, as you are new, I'll give you a simple truth, internet advice is internet advice. Take it all in, but realize that some advice is from folks who "know it all" but really know little more than what they have read online. Others have thousands and thousands of laps on race tracks throughout the country, and even a few in this particular thread have gone to the top road race schools many times.

Read their threads, get a feel for who you want to trust and believe, and go from there. As you mentioned as well, getting out to meet some of these folks face to face would also give you a good feel for what has value and what does not.

As Craig said (beac83) head out to watch an event. Local events are Blackhawk Farms (Motovid) and Autobahn (STT). My guess is you'll fit right in, and be quite comfortable by lunch, whether you are watching, or whether you are riding.

Now, about the bike choice - (I have owned all of these and STILL own all of these for track only duty, EXCEPT the 250)

250 - great entry bike for street, complete piece of crap on the track. Don't waste your time with one for the track. They are NOT designed to be track bikes, although they can be a ton of fun on the track, they will limit you severely. The 250 motor is NOT happy with pure track duty either. I bought one to teach my daughter, and I and a couple of other instructors tried it out on the track. It did NOT like being ridden hard and put away wet. We sold it as soon as possible after my daughter was ready for the 650 (she was a brand new rider, ZERO street experience) BTW - the older 250s do not take standard size tires either which makes it a serious PITA at the track

SV650 - there are TONS of threads on this and other forums about how this is the ultimate starter track bike. GKOTLIN on this forum just got 2nd in the nation racing these, and he is NOT a lightweight guy physically. Both he and I coach and teach on track almost exclusively with SVs, and I still consider it the easiest bike to learn on for track riding, and the one that can take you the farthest. SVs that are track prepped can be had from $2-4k, and they are EASY on tires and brakes. Some of my friends that race these claim 2-3 sets of tires for the season, one set of brakes. VERY cheap to run and maintain, and they corner fantastic. For my money, for you (AND for me), this is the bike to get and to ride. If you can ever outgrow it on the track, keep it and buy a bigger bike. You'll STILL have more fun riding the SV IMHO. I kept mine, and I still teach and ride it 80-90% of the time, if not more.

600 - The easy choice. Many are widely available, and if you suck in the corners, this will let you make up for getting passed in the corners on the straights. As you saw in Renners' Laguna Seca video, the 250 got stomped every time it stood up by a bigger bike. 600's have a wide variety of "feels" and each 600 rides completely differently on a road race track. There is a HUGE difference between how an older R6 rides vs. a newer R6, same for Suzuki vs. Yamaha, etc... all the way through the pack. GKOTLIN sold his Honda 600RR and got an SV and his lap times DROPPED significantly since the SV was so much easier to ride. LESS HP, yet still had lower lap times. He recently bought an Aprilia 1000 and same thing, his SV lap times are still lower. And this is from a guy that teaches MSF, teaches for NESBA, Motovid and now for STT. A guy that has been to race schools and Yamaha Champions Riding School, and a guy that came in second in the nation in his race class. Suffice it to say, he is better on the SV (stock motor too!)

750 - If you are a good rider, have lots of track time, this is a GREAT hybrid bike between the 600 and 1000. It lets you pass 600s when they are upright, and rides and corners EXACTLY like the Suzuki 600. Something like 5 pounds more, same bike, same chassis, weighing in a tiny bit heavier with more HP. Great all around bike for the track rider who has lots of track time. Horrible beginner bike on the track, and it chews up tires something fierce compared to the prior choices.

1000 - The fastest way to stay slow for a beginner on the track is to ride a 1000. I have NEVER met a student who did not ride faster and more comfortably on a smaller bike on the track. A 1000 is a handful on the track. Give it gas at lean angle, and you get a trip to the moon. (Highside) I have two 1000 bikes, and they are a total TOTAL blast on the track. They require the most effort, the most smoothness, and the most patience AND they can hurt me the worst. Great bikes, definitely NOT starter bikes on the track.

Skipping to the "other" choices -

Learning on a 2-Stroke bike. I have an Aprilia 250 Cup Bike and a friend of mine got me hooked on a Honda 125 GP bike. Two-stroke bikes on the track are the most fun on the planet. HOWEVER, they require tons of rider ability, and they require tons of shifting and TONS of corner speed. The corner speed is what makes them the most fun. They will KILL any of the bikes listed above in a corner, and get killed on the straights. the sheer cornering speed makes these the ultimate track bike IMHO for fun alone. However, they require maintenance EVERY weekend if not during the weekend. Definitely worth their weight in gold, they are NOT good starter bikes either.

I ride all of these bikes on the track. FWIW - Get an SV set up for the track. You want full suspension for front and rear, you want rearsets, track plastics, and you are good to go.
Wink,
thank you for the time for your reply, I take most things with a grain of salt and do appreciate what people say. They have taken the time to reply and thats what makes the boards grow. Im a learner, an analyzer so I enjoy the info. I will likely take the advice and go to a track day, perhaps an entry level school, put some laps under my belt and buy from feel and comfort. I hate to open this can of worms, but saftey equipment for road versus drag cant be that much different, but we didnt have or wear all the kevlar, pads, back and chest protectors, etc like now. I was in jeans, a leather jacket or pants if i was lucky, nothing flame retardant, a helmet and my nuts tucked up tight to fly in a straight line. Any recommendations on essential gear, so I dont look like a freaky over paying neub my first day. Boots will be my biggest issue as Im a 17EE shoe so it should be interesting. Anyone make sizes that large?
ND
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post #27 of 38 (permalink) Old 06-21-2012, 01:43 PM
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Required gear is standard.

Helmet - rated, non-scarred, sub-5 year old helmet
Leathers - One piece is highly recommended. IF you use a two piece, it must have a 360 degree zipper
Gloves - Must be gauntlet style and go above and outside of the leathers. Short gloves not allowed.
Boots - must be above the ankle. With your show size, I suggest contacting the top manufacturers or distributors directly. There are a few good brands out there, most popular high end is A-Stars and Sidi.

No flame retardant stuff necessary. Most folks wear underarmour compression pants and shirt to make it easier to get the leathers on an off.

Good luck out there, be safe.

BTW - Do not scrimp or be cheap on gear. It is FAR more likely to fall down at lean than it is straight up and down.

===========
Great Quote - One would think that the Secret Service was smart enough to get serviced secretly.

MotoVid hasbeen
NESBA hasbeen

CCS neverbeen
WERA neverbeen
Wink is offline  
post #28 of 38 (permalink) Old 06-21-2012, 01:54 PM
I'm a non-achiever.
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ndpendant View Post
Wink,
thank you for the time for your reply, I take most things with a grain of salt and do appreciate what people say. They have taken the time to reply and thats what makes the boards grow. Im a learner, an analyzer so I enjoy the info. I will likely take the advice and go to a track day, perhaps an entry level school, put some laps under my belt and buy from feel and comfort. I hate to open this can of worms, but saftey equipment for road versus drag cant be that much different, but we didnt have or wear all the kevlar, pads, back and chest protectors, etc like now. I was in jeans, a leather jacket or pants if i was lucky, nothing flame retardant, a helmet and my nuts tucked up tight to fly in a straight line. Any recommendations on essential gear, so I dont look like a freaky over paying neub my first day. Boots will be my biggest issue as Im a 17EE shoe so it should be interesting. Anyone make sizes that large?
ND
If you're on facebook, search for "lance lau" or "maverick moto media", he is a big boy that I"m sure had a hard time getting safety gear that fit him. He would be glad to help you get started with track gear.
Essential gear for me would include:
1 piece leathers in good condition
Race boots with good ankle support (Sidi, Puma, Astars, TCX)
Gauntlet gloves (Held, Astars, RS Taichi)
Light comfy helmet (Arai, Suomy, Bell, AGV, Shoei, Shark)
Integrated back and chest protector (Knox, Astars, Technic, RS Taichi, Bohn)
Sweat wicking undersuit, socks

I'm sure there is more I'm forgetting, but that should get you started looking for stuff. It's not cheap, hope you can find some good deals. See you out there.

"Slow is smooth, Smooth is fast"
#313
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post #29 of 38 (permalink) Old 06-21-2012, 03:59 PM
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Wait.....17EE..........do you play for the Bulls?

"When in doubt, use full throttle. It may not improve your situation, but it will end the suspense."
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post #30 of 38 (permalink) Old 06-21-2012, 04:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wink View Post
ndpendant,

Welcome to the site! Based on your prior experience, and knowledge of racing, costs, maintenance, tires, brakes, etc... you have a good idea what things are like in the real world. Many of the folks that get involved in racing or heading to the track truly have no basic understanding of the costs. Compared to your drag racing cared, this is FAR cheaper, and quite frankly, a ton more fun! (I used to drag cars)

Many of the people in this thread are actually track instructors, as you are new, I'll give you a simple truth, internet advice is internet advice. Take it all in, but realize that some advice is from folks who "know it all" but really know little more than what they have read online. Others have thousands and thousands of laps on race tracks throughout the country, and even a few in this particular thread have gone to the top road race schools many times.

Read their threads, get a feel for who you want to trust and believe, and go from there. As you mentioned as well, getting out to meet some of these folks face to face would also give you a good feel for what has value and what does not.

As Craig said (beac83) head out to watch an event. Local events are Blackhawk Farms (Motovid) and Autobahn (STT). My guess is you'll fit right in, and be quite comfortable by lunch, whether you are watching, or whether you are riding.

Now, about the bike choice - (I have owned all of these and STILL own all of these for track only duty, EXCEPT the 250)

250 - great entry bike for street, complete piece of crap on the track. Don't waste your time with one for the track. They are NOT designed to be track bikes, although they can be a ton of fun on the track, they will limit you severely. The 250 motor is NOT happy with pure track duty either. I bought one to teach my daughter, and I and a couple of other instructors tried it out on the track. It did NOT like being ridden hard and put away wet. We sold it as soon as possible after my daughter was ready for the 650 (she was a brand new rider, ZERO street experience) BTW - the older 250s do not take standard size tires either which makes it a serious PITA at the track

SV650 - there are TONS of threads on this and other forums about how this is the ultimate starter track bike. GKOTLIN on this forum just got 2nd in the nation racing these, and he is NOT a lightweight guy physically. Both he and I coach and teach on track almost exclusively with SVs, and I still consider it the easiest bike to learn on for track riding, and the one that can take you the farthest. SVs that are track prepped can be had from $2-4k, and they are EASY on tires and brakes. Some of my friends that race these claim 2-3 sets of tires for the season, one set of brakes. VERY cheap to run and maintain, and they corner fantastic. For my money, for you (AND for me), this is the bike to get and to ride. If you can ever outgrow it on the track, keep it and buy a bigger bike. You'll STILL have more fun riding the SV IMHO. I kept mine, and I still teach and ride it 80-90% of the time, if not more.

600 - The easy choice. Many are widely available, and if you suck in the corners, this will let you make up for getting passed in the corners on the straights. As you saw in Renners' Laguna Seca video, the 250 got stomped every time it stood up by a bigger bike. 600's have a wide variety of "feels" and each 600 rides completely differently on a road race track. There is a HUGE difference between how an older R6 rides vs. a newer R6, same for Suzuki vs. Yamaha, etc... all the way through the pack. GKOTLIN sold his Honda 600RR and got an SV and his lap times DROPPED significantly since the SV was so much easier to ride. LESS HP, yet still had lower lap times. He recently bought an Aprilia 1000 and same thing, his SV lap times are still lower. And this is from a guy that teaches MSF, teaches for NESBA, Motovid and now for STT. A guy that has been to race schools and Yamaha Champions Riding School, and a guy that came in second in the nation in his race class. Suffice it to say, he is better on the SV (stock motor too!)

750 - If you are a good rider, have lots of track time, this is a GREAT hybrid bike between the 600 and 1000. It lets you pass 600s when they are upright, and rides and corners EXACTLY like the Suzuki 600. Something like 5 pounds more, same bike, same chassis, weighing in a tiny bit heavier with more HP. Great all around bike for the track rider who has lots of track time. Horrible beginner bike on the track, and it chews up tires something fierce compared to the prior choices.

1000 - The fastest way to stay slow for a beginner on the track is to ride a 1000. I have NEVER met a student who did not ride faster and more comfortably on a smaller bike on the track. A 1000 is a handful on the track. Give it gas at lean angle, and you get a trip to the moon. (Highside) I have two 1000 bikes, and they are a total TOTAL blast on the track. They require the most effort, the most smoothness, and the most patience AND they can hurt me the worst. Great bikes, definitely NOT starter bikes on the track.

Skipping to the "other" choices -

Learning on a 2-Stroke bike. I have an Aprilia 250 Cup Bike and a friend of mine got me hooked on a Honda 125 GP bike. Two-stroke bikes on the track are the most fun on the planet. HOWEVER, they require tons of rider ability, and they require tons of shifting and TONS of corner speed. The corner speed is what makes them the most fun. They will KILL any of the bikes listed above in a corner, and get killed on the straights. the sheer cornering speed makes these the ultimate track bike IMHO for fun alone. However, they require maintenance EVERY weekend if not during the weekend. Definitely worth their weight in gold, they are NOT good starter bikes either.

I ride all of these bikes on the track. FWIW - Get an SV set up for the track. You want full suspension for front and rear, you want rearsets, track plastics, and you are good to go.
Wow Brian, Nice post!

"When in doubt, use full throttle. It may not improve your situation, but it will end the suspense."
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