Need recommendations for a track bike - Chicagoland Sportbikes
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-19-2004, 08:00 AM Thread Starter
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Need recommendations for a track bike

I am looking at getting a track only bike and was looking on opinions on what to get.

I am 5'8" 135 LBS and have put a number of laps in at Blackhawk on my GSXR1000 but find it kind of big and bulky to push around that circuit at my current skill level. I have taken a couple of the keith code schools levels 1 & 2 and ridden for 30 something years but am by no means a master of the track (My middle name is backmarker)! I wanted to buy a bike that I could use to improve my cornering skills so I was looking at a 600cc or smaller bike. I am looking at a budget of around 5-6K. What do you track regulars recommend. I would be looking at Blackhawk, Gingerman andf other tracks in the area Illinois/Indiana/Michigan.

Been dere done dat dis dere and de udder ting. OH and whatnot
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-19-2004, 08:05 AM
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I suggest what I always suggest! Track prepped SVs can be gotten for about 3K. You can also get a street SVS for about that and then trackify it. That might be the best way since odds are the mods are fewer and it's not beat on..

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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-19-2004, 08:08 AM
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At that weight an SV might suit you well....I would normally recommend a couple year old track prepped 600, but you'd learn more on an SV.
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-19-2004, 08:09 AM
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i'm much bigger and heavier than you and I still wish i'd gotten an SV for the track.

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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-19-2004, 08:13 AM
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If Honda still made a lightweight twin Id consider a trade in.
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-19-2004, 08:28 AM
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Some good lightweight track bikes that can be had for cheap if you shop around are, in no paricular order:

SV650, EX500, FZR400, Hawk650, GS500. All these bikes are competitive in the Light weight classes and can be had for not that much money.
post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-19-2004, 08:34 AM
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Whatta coincidence - my middle name is "Backmarker" too!

SV's are the bike of choice.

I offer the following for consideration regardless of what model you purchase:

While it's tempting to plunk down $3500 to purchase a supposed "turn-key" program, you might be better off buying a bike that HASN'T been raced or subjected to track days... unless you personally know the complete history of the bike and the maintenance habits of its owner... or are the type who has the time, desire and ability to go through the bike from top to bottom (including getting into the motor and trans) to ensure it's in tip-top shape.

The advantages of buying an old racebike may be somewhat diminished by the fact that (a) you'll want to have everything inspected/rebuilt anyway... (b) the spring rates may not be right for YOU so you'll need to buy new ones... (c) while some racers are meticulous and totally anal-retentive with maintenance, others are NOT (just because the bike looks clean doesn't mean squat). Think of the hours that the motor and tranny have spent bouncing off the rev limiter. Has the bike been crashed? How many times? Hard to tell just by looking.

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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-19-2004, 08:46 AM
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For $3500 I'm pretty sure you can find a non-beaten, street SV, maybe even SVS (saves on buying clip-ons). Figure about another grand for bodywork, fairing stay and front suspension. At that weight, you'll probably not need new rear suspension yet (hell, I don't mess with mine). If the original plastics (-S) are in good condition, you can get close to $200 for the front stuff on Ebay.

While sharkskinz are pricey, anything that can take a couple spills without being replaced is worth the extra money. Is there any other brand that's been slip tested and still held up okay? HotBodies is supposed to make their stuff more flexible than in previous years.

While I like my new bodywork styling, it's quite brittle. Odds are, the first get off and this thing's going to explode.

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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-19-2004, 09:06 AM
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I have an FZR-400 that would suit your needs perfectly

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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-19-2004, 11:27 AM
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Quote:
At that weight an SV might suit you well....I would normally recommend a couple year old track prepped 600, but you'd learn more on an SV.
Why would you learn more on an SV650 over a 600 supersport?

Mike
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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-19-2004, 11:29 AM
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Originally posted by ChicagoFactory
Why would you learn more on an SV650 over a 600 supersport?

Mike
Less power, more forgiving, easy to through around, cheap, takes crashes well, easy to work on, teaches you how to corner better and have more corner entry speed and confidence instead of always point, shoot on the binders, point shoot on the binders, point shoot on the binders.

Parts are massively available, CULT BIKE! Huge following
post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-19-2004, 11:32 AM
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I have an FZR-400 that would suit your needs perfectly
You certainly qualify as someone that takes anal care of his shit. (wait, that doesn't sound quite right)

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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-19-2004, 11:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Grasshopper
Less power, more forgiving, easy to through around, cheap, takes crashes well, easy to work on, teaches you how to corner better and have more corner entry speed and confidence instead of always point, shoot on the binders, point shoot on the binders, point shoot on the binders.

Parts are massively available, CULT BIKE! Huge following
You can add...

Dozens at the track, so borrowing stuff is easy
Cheaper tires
Easy on tires
More fun

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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-19-2004, 11:43 AM
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But wouldn't the 600 have better suspension and be more track ready out of the box? I mean the 600 is a sportbike whereas the SV650 is more of a street/road bike, right? Is the SV that much lighter?

I would think that by the time you put money into a used SV650 to make it track ready, your about the same cost as a used 600, not counting race plastics which would be a wash. Would this be correct?

I'm just curious about all this just in case I get addicted to track days like everybody says I will.

Thanks,

Mike
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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-19-2004, 11:44 AM
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"i love vtwin motors"

I'd think this would be an easy decision for you.

Chris
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post #16 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-19-2004, 11:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by ChicagoFactory
But wouldn't the 600 have better suspension and be more track ready out of the box? I mean the 600 is a sportbike whereas the SV650 is more of a street/road bike, right? Is the SV that much lighter?

I would think that by the time you put money into a used SV650 to make it track ready, your about the same cost as a used 600, not counting race plastics which would be a wash. Would this be correct?

I'm just curious about all this just in case I get addicted to track days like everybody says I will.

Thanks,

Mike
For suspension, you will have to go through it for your weight anyway, and it will cost you more. But, 600's with a worked suspension will be better, if just marginally.

It all depends what kind of bike you want, you have a V-twin so you may really prefer the powerband of the SV. If you saw how many really fast guys are on SV's on the track it may change your mind about how long you would keep it if you got the addiction.

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post #17 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-19-2004, 11:52 AM
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It's damn expensive to make a street bike a track bike. I put a couple grand into my 400 to make it a track bike and I didn't go to far. Some suspension mods, bodywork, rearsets, track stands. Now it's worth about what I put into it(a little less actually). A track ready bike it the way to go, no matter what size you're looking at.

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post #18 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-19-2004, 11:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Sticky
It's damn expensive to make a street bike a track bike. I put a couple grand into my 400 to make it a track bike and I didn't go to far. Some suspension mods, bodywork, rearsets, track stands. Now it's worth about what I put into it(a little less actually). A track ready bike it the way to go, no matter what size you're looking at.
I agree, I could have sold my SV, bought a track ready SV with spares, wheels/rains, tire warmers, etc. and still had money left over for the first couple trackdays.

It's hard to let her go though you know.

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post #19 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-19-2004, 12:31 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks so much for the input

WOW. I really appreciate the feedback. I guess this is a topic that people have opinions on. I had heard that the SV650 was a good bike for the track but I have ridden Inline 4's 4EVER and my streetbike is and will most likely continue to be an inline 4. I am a little worried that switching between these two types might be wierd. I may take sticky up on his 400 if it looks to be OK condition for how I want to approach this. Thanks so much again for all the feedback.

Been dere done dat dis dere and de udder ting. OH and whatnot
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