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Gentlemen, Choose Your Weapon

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What bike would you choose if you you could pick freely from any bike made, street or race, if the goal was to set the best lap time you personally could manage? And why that bike?

 

I'll start with my choice, which may sound odd to everybody and which also may be entirely wrong, but anyway... I'd pick the Honda CB1300S. Because it has a very tractable and grunty engine that won't bike me, yet would give me great freedom when it comes to picking the right gear. In other words, I could use a fairly tall gear and not worry about spinning out, yet acceleration would be good. Seating position is upright, which is the best position for ultimate handling and control. Also, when you're not horribly fast, the minute gains made by the reduced wind resistance from a racier position isn't enough to outweigh what I would lose around corners trying to control the bike in an uncomfortable position. Finally, the bike offer supple yet controlled suspension action and have footpegs set low enough that I can use my feet as feelers to gauge how far I'm leaned over.

 

Now, what about you? Would you go for a Gixxer or perhaps Pedrosa's RC212V or something entirely different?

 

 

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GSX-R 750 for me!!! Love the sportier seating position, and not sure I would want a litre bike on all tracks, so 750 for me...

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I was lucky enough to ride a Yamaha R7 a couple of years back, (for those that will remember, was the bike that made Nori Haga famous), and it was beautfiul to ride, so crisp and pin sharp to ride. So, whilst that wouldn't be my ultimate weapon of choice, I'd have to say any Factory race bike would be my choice, I think a MotoGP bike would be way to difficult to get upto speed on, so I'd pick a WSB bike, and my personal choice would probably be a factory Ducati 1098R, either that or an Apriiia RSV4, (as it makes the most wonderful sound). Anything with the pucka suspnnsion you and I can't buy, the very best brakes, many 10's of K's of electronics to assist my progress. 15 laps would be enough to make me a very, very happy man indeed.

 

Bullet

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I was lucky enough to ride a Yamaha R7 a couple of years back, (for those that will remember, was the bike that made Nori Haga famous), and it was beautfiul to ride, so crisp and pin sharp to ride....

 

The shop I use here in Richmond is building a replica of that bike using an R1. From the renderings it looks like it's going to be a sharp ride. I'll have to see if I can get some pictures to post once it is finished.

 

And for me, I think the best bike would be the S1000RR. After riding it twice last year at the school, I think for someone of my ridiculously modest (read: rookie) skill set it is a fantastic tool to both learn on and get the most out of once the skills have improved. While I would love to say a ride on a MotoGP or a WSBK bike would be the answer, I think I know just enough to get myself into serious trouble on something like that. Good thing there is no chance of someone offering me a ride though...I'm not sure I'd have the will power to do the smart thing. :D

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212V for me, please. As tall as Simoncelli is, he seems to be able to get himself comfortable on it. Best quick shifter and traction control with basic settings and the most advanced suspension? Launch control itself would get me out front without having to be good at launching. I think it could be dialed down to be very forgiving of my riding style.

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If the goal is to set my best lap times, then I think I would go with Chaz Davies or Luca Scassa's ParkinGO Team Yamaha R6. I already like the base R6 quite a bit, and with the world supersport tuning, I'm sure it would be a killer, but not uncontrollable. Since either of those riders are bit taller/heavier than the norm, I suspect their setup would be better suited for my height/weight. I feel confident any larger format bikes (MotoGP or Superbike) would be completely wasted on me, since I am sure 200+ hp would get out of control in a hurry (like as soon as I cracked the throttle).

 

If the goal simply is to get a dream ride, then I'll take Ben Spies Yamaha YZR-M1. I might well crash it, but it'd be fun to give it a shot :)

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I'll layout two sport class choices as no one bike does it all! :P

 

600 - Hands down 09-11 Kawasaki ZX-6R, they take very little to make them freaking mean machines. If it weren't for the Kawi's I'd lean toward the Yamaha R6's just because they've been very consistantly good machines.

 

1000 - VERY torn because I've still not really seen solid evidence for the 2011 Kawasaki ZX-10R but based on spec and forecast performance should be a winner. Otherwise I wouldn't hesitate at all in saying the BMW S1000RR.

 

 

Regardless of the bike, my lap times are going to be somewhere between 'total backmarker' and 'never left the pit' so I don't think the machine matters much! :lol:

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I'm pretty surprised that people here believe they would be fastest on a MotoGP or WSBK bike when all evidence indicate that mere mortals cannot come close to handle them. From what I have read, the best and easiest bikes to ride for reasonably talented riders would be a WSS 600, while a WSBK bike would simply overwhelm all but the very best. And MotoGP ranks above that. But not having ridden any of them, and not having the skill to go anywhere like fast on anything, I do not have first hand evidence to provide. But I have discussed with riders who have track tested WSS and WSBK bikes that are pretty respectable riders, and they were terrified by the larger bike while finding the smaller to be the easiest to ride bikes they have ever ridden.

 

To further support this, I will remind readers what one of the CSS teachers posted not long ago; that students are typically faster around tracks on 600 and when leaving the gearshifter mostly alone ;)

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My head says the BMW S1000RR, but when I go to the showroom, I'm just not drawn to it. I'm going to follow Eirik's lead and go with the 1300cc Suzuki B-King. I like big bikes. It has more power and better handling than the track kings from just a few years ago. I can always give a call to Bazzazz to add electonic assistance, and I can ride my style--leave the bike in fourth gear, point it toward the exit and roll on the gas. :lol:

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I'm pretty surprised that people here believe they would be fastest on a MotoGP or WSBK bike when all evidence indicate that mere mortals cannot come close to handle them. From what I have read, the best and easiest bikes to ride for reasonably talented riders would be a WSS 600, while a WSBK bike would simply overwhelm all but the very best. And MotoGP ranks above that. But not having ridden any of them, and not having the skill to go anywhere like fast on anything, I do not have first hand evidence to provide. But I have discussed with riders who have track tested WSS and WSBK bikes that are pretty respectable riders, and they were terrified by the larger bike while finding the smaller to be the easiest to ride bikes they have ever ridden.

 

To further support this, I will remind readers what one of the CSS teachers posted not long ago; that students are typically faster around tracks on 600 and when leaving the gearshifter mostly alone ;)

I definitely agree with your line of thinking. This is of course why I picked a world supersport 600 :) (ParkinGO Team Yamaha R6). I was tempted to pick an AMA supersport bike and take Jason DiSalvo's Ducati 848, but I've never ridden an 848 and I don't know how well it would suit me (probably great, but you never know).

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hey guys not posted in a few weeks but my weapon's of choice would be Aprilia RSV4 or RS250 ive ridden both bike and are fantastic i owned a RS250 for 2 years and had some seriously large amouths of fun, done my first track day of one and it was quite ammussing watching 1000's fly past on the straight and then for me to go back under them under braking and during turning :D .

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In the August Cycle World issue, Burns found himself lapping 12 seconds faster on the BMW (I think) S1000 over some 600 simply due to the electronics. Without the gizmos he'd likely be slower on the litre bike from fear of being spat off.

 

OTOH, Stoner claim that modern race bikes are harder to ride at the peak level, but that could of course be down to stiffer competition and not more difficult bikes. Bostrom, for instance, said the old bikes were evil and that modern bikes with electronic assistance are much easier to ride.

 

Still confused? Worry not, so am I :D

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my old sp1 (rc51) the only bike i regret getting rid off, it was one of the most planted bikes ive ever ridden,you knew you were riding it and if you got into trouble it wasnt gonna help you out :blink:

 

no fangdangle elecronics just sheer grunt especially with twin stacked straight through campbell race cans. Im not really into the way things are going with fancy rider aids (electronics) in my opnion it takes some of the fun out of riding ,but thats just me i do see the point in them especially in the case of the s1000rr with near on 190bhp traction control is a good idea but my idea of traction control is my right hand.

Thats one of the reasons i went for the ktm rc8 it reminds me of the sp1 a lot in ways except the sp1 was a tad more reliable :lol: , if i were to go middle class it would be the new triumph 675r without a doubt one of the sweetest bikes on the market today

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In the August Cycle World issue, Burns found himself lapping 12 seconds faster on the BMW (I think) S1000 over some 600 simply due to the electronics. Without the gizmos he'd likely be slower on the litre bike from fear of being spat off.

Without access to the magazine, I have to say that I find it hard to believe that said driver is truly capable of lapping 12seconds faster on a S1000RR than on a modern 600cc bike - that is, unless s/he is seriously pussy-footing around on the 600cc, or the track is humongously long and fast (like the Nordschliefe, and even there I'd probably question it)!

 

First off, 12 seconds is MASSIVE - at 120kph that's a difference of 400meters in distance! Secondly, competitive laptimes in SBK and SSP classes on racetracks are generally separated by no more than 1-2 seconds, even on long/fast tracks.

 

So where's the catch in this?

 

 

Kai

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Test venue Inde Motorsports Ranch, RSC4 Factory, S1000RR, ZX-10R, GSX-R 1000 and ZX-6R all did laps in the 1 min 54 sec bracket, 1198, GSX-R750 and 600 plus 675R a second slower and the 848 Evo the slowest with 1:56. The fast rider was some tenths faster or slower with TC on, depending on model, but the biggest benefit was spending less effort going fast with greater safety.

 

From the story:

 

If Off-Road editor Dudek didn't fear the ZX-10R, he certainly (wisely) showed it the respect it deserved - before proceeding to lap more than 4 seconds quicker on it than he had on the ZX-6R, with a 2:00.1. As for me...on the GSX-R 600 the transponder said 2:23 and I thought it must be broken. On the ZX-6R it said 2:20 and I thought I must be broken. All hope gone, trying to outrun the voices in my head and maybe trying to end it all, I began grabbing handfuls of throttle on the ZX-10R coming off the corners, and a funny things started happening: Instead of sailing off into eternity, I just drifted nicely to the edges of the exits, just like I've always wished I could do, building a little more confidence every time it happened. And when I got back to the straight, I looked down to see, through the tears, 2:10! And on the BMW 2:08.7! Can't remember the last time I picked up 11 seconds by changing bikes. Probably because it never happened. Not even close.... I'm going out on a limb here and claim TC is the best thing to happen to closed-circuit racing since asphalt. John Burns, Cycle World magazine

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With regard to the Cycle World article, John Burns is a motojournalist (no insult intended) and the quote clearly suggests he was having unusual confidence issues. As a comparison, Steve Rapp, AMA Pro Superbike Racer, was involved in recent test comparisons including the ZX6R and the ZX10R at Chuckawalla Valley Raceway. The best laptime results? ZX6R = 1:52.97 and ZX10R = 1:52.74. Wow, that's a mere 0.23 sec between the 600 and the 1000, and the 1000 is running the latest greatest electronics package (some reviews have suggested it is better than the BMW). Obviously there are a nearly incalculable number of factors which could influence the laptimes, so while these results may be very interesting, the analysis ultimately is not quite so simple. Nevertheless, I think Keith Code makes the best argument for the added benefit and safety from electronics when he quotes school safety figures and compares the new BMWs with the old Kawasakis. I don't have the numbers handy, but I recall it is pretty startling to see how much lower the incident rate is on the BMW, a much more powerful machine.

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With regard to the Cycle World article, John Burns is a motojournalist (no insult intended) and the quote clearly suggests he was having unusual confidence issues. As a comparison, Steve Rapp, AMA Pro Superbike Racer, was involved in recent test comparisons including the ZX6R and the ZX10R at Chuckawalla Valley Raceway. The best laptime results? ZX6R = 1:52.97 and ZX10R = 1:52.74. Wow, that's a mere 0.23 sec between the 600 and the 1000, and the 1000 is running the latest greatest electronics package (some reviews have suggested it is better than the BMW). Obviously there are a nearly incalculable number of factors which could influence the laptimes, so while these results may be very interesting, the analysis ultimately is not quite so simple. Nevertheless, I think Keith Code makes the best argument for the added benefit and safety from electronics when he quotes school safety figures and compares the new BMWs with the old Kawasakis. I don't have the numbers handy, but I recall it is pretty startling to see how much lower the incident rate is on the BMW, a much more powerful machine.

 

As I mentioned, there was little difference in time with or without TC for the fast rider. In fact, some bikes were slower with TC, some were faster, but never by more than 2/10 of a second difference. And as with the test you mention, the ZX-10R and 6R sat close also in the CW shootout; 1:54.88 (10R with TC) 1:54.65 (10R TC off) 1:54.65 (6R).

 

To me, it seems that the less skilled you are, the more benefit you have from TC and wheelie control and whatnot. It's like riding a slow and friendly bike only it goes like stink, it seems. And the very skilled can go similarly fast with TC as without while not getting tired as quickly.

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Depends a lot on the track - for a tighter track I'd go for a Moriwaki MD250H with a REALLY built engine (using the CR 250 race motor so you have a higher 5th gear) for max horsepower; razor sharp handling, great corner speed, 4-stroke so power delivery is manageable. On a bigger track or one with long high speed straights I'd want the BMW S1000RR; I found it every bit as easy to ride as a 600, handles great and very confidence inspiring. I think I'd be slower on a 1000 with no TC or a true pro racebike just because I'd be worried about getting on the throttle too hard or abruptly and getting bucked off.

 

Track size is a big factor - in the comparison with Steve Rapp with a 600 vs a 1000 at Chuckwallah, keep in mind that Chuckwalla is not a huge track where a 1000 would have a clear advantage.

 

Personally, I rode both a mostly stock MD250 (about 43 horsepower) and a S1000rr (193 hp?) on the same day at Streets of Willow (a technical and relatively small track) and my best laptimes on each bike were only a tenth of a second apart! That was an eye opener and really made me realize how much time I could make up by going around the corners faster on the small bike... but top speed is only 110mph or so. At California Speedway, however, riding the MD250H is a lot less fun because there are so many places for the big bikes to gun it and run away from me, they can go fifty miles an hour faster (maybe more) on the straight!

 

Cool discussion. :)

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Depends a lot on the track - for a tighter track I'd go for a Moriwaki MD250H with a REALLY built engine (using the CR 250 race motor so you have a higher 5th gear) for max horsepower; razor sharp handling, great corner speed, 4-stroke so power delivery is manageable. On a bigger track or one with long high speed straights I'd want the BMW S1000RR; I found it every bit as easy to ride as a 600, handles great and very confidence inspiring. I think I'd be slower on a 1000 with no TC or a true pro racebike just because I'd be worried about getting on the throttle too hard or abruptly and getting bucked off.

 

Track size is a big factor - in the comparison with Steve Rapp with a 600 vs a 1000 at Chuckwallah, keep in mind that Chuckwalla is not a huge track where a 1000 would have a clear advantage.

 

Personally, I rode both a mostly stock MD250 (about 43 horsepower) and a S1000rr (193 hp?) on the same day at Streets of Willow (a technical and relatively small track) and my best laptimes on each bike were only a tenth of a second apart! That was an eye opener and really made me realize how much time I could make up by going around the corners faster on the small bike... but top speed is only 110mph or so. At California Speedway, however, riding the MD250H is a lot less fun because there are so many places for the big bikes to gun it and run away from me, they can go fifty miles an hour faster (maybe more) on the straight!

 

Cool discussion. :)

Very interesting; especially your experience with close lap times between two bikes which are so clearly different in terms of horsepower. I have no delusions, I'll be equally slow regardless of the bike I'm riding :) .

 

This brings up an off-topic thought for anyone who cares to respond: do you enjoy getting high top speeds on the straights (presumably at the expense of cornering speed) or do you prefer to carry speed through the corners (and presumably at the expense of top speed)? I have read numerous comments from guys riding light twins and other smaller bikes which feed this question. The small bikes can out-corner the big bikes, but get crushed in the straights. I'm slow everywhere right now, but in general I'm not a top speed guy and I think I would more prefer to be fast in the corners. If I wanted to go really fast in a straight line, then I'd go drag racing :) .

 

Going back to the ZX6R and ZX10R numbers, I now think I also should have mentioned the other tester (a motojournalist vice a pro racer) results. Since I'm now too lazy to go to the website and look up the actual numbers, I'll simply say the slower guy had a much greater disparity between the two bikes. His best lap time was I think about 2.7 sec slower on the ZX6R, as opposed to Steve with only a 0.23 sec slower time. Hard to say exactly what it was about the ZX10R that made for faster time (for the slow guy that is), but it is probably safe to assume the electronics were more helpful than not.

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This brings up an off-topic thought for anyone who cares to respond: do you enjoy getting high top speeds on the straights (presumably at the expense of cornering speed) or do you prefer to carry speed through the corners (and presumably at the expense of top speed)? I have read numerous comments from guys riding light twins and other smaller bikes which feed this question. The small bikes can out-corner the big bikes, but get crushed in the straights. I'm slow everywhere right now, but in general I'm not a top speed guy and I think I would more prefer to be fast in the corners. If I wanted to go really fast in a straight line, then I'd go drag racing :) .

 

 

Being a street rider only, I have always liked to attack the corners and just cruise the straights. Both because I don't need the high speed risks, but also to avoid being pinged by the local friendly cop.

 

However, it does depend on the actual motorcycle. Speed limits around here is between 20 and 55 mph (30 and 90 kph) now and was down to a max of 50 mph (80kph) back in 1990 when I briefly owned a CB1100F. I never took that bike for a ride without seeing at least 125 mph (200 kph) at least once. I would fly around bends with sparks flying from the undercarriage at 125 mph and I would drift around long sweepers at 100 mph with the rear hanging out a gentle 5 inches or so. It was bonkers, but on that bike I felt like I could do nothing wrong. It never even as much as hinted on instability in any form, although it took massive work to get around hairpins.

 

16 years on, I bought a Triumph Sprint 900, and although I didn't go quite as berserk as with the Honda, it was still pretty daft. While I managed to sell the Honda before having an accident, I ended the Triumph ownership with a serious collision.

 

Basically, I cannot have bikes with good handling and lots of power because I cannot behave then. Same with cars; slow, soft and comfy cars and I drive very sensibly in every way. Sportier cars, not so. Hence the majority of my bikes have been old school style with around 500cc and 50 hp, give or take. I have stressed having lots of cornering clearance, but handling that mostly fall apart above 60-70 mph and power than makes it rather boring to go any faster anyway. It's been fun, but I have also a horrible history of overriding the conditions in that I have gone through corners as fast as I physically can without regards of my own safety (read how far I can see the road to be clear).

 

Only this year, at the age of 47 and with 31 years of experience, do I see myself changing the pattern in a way I remember from the process that changed how I drive dating back 15 years. For the first time, I no longer care about chicken strips or throwing sparks or "wasting" good corners by riding sensibly instead of under attack. I will probably still have lapses - like when I fell off a couple of months back - but I think (and hope) they will be few and far between. And I have good hope, because I'm having a blast without pushing at all.

 

So, after this lengthy and tiresome even-further-off-topic diatrabe, I can finally answer your question. Sort of. Having been a slow-on-the-straight, trying-to-be-fast-around-the-bends sort of rider, I am currently slow all the time. However, I can see myself getting a bike with some proper grunt without good handling just to feel the acceleration from time to time as a substitute for the loss of cornering excitement ;)

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This brings up an off-topic thought for anyone who cares to respond: do you enjoy getting high top speeds on the straights (presumably at the expense of cornering speed) or do you prefer to carry speed through the corners (and presumably at the expense of top speed)? I have read numerous comments from guys riding light twins and other smaller bikes which feed this question. The small bikes can out-corner the big bikes, but get crushed in the straights. I'm slow everywhere right now, but in general I'm not a top speed guy and I think I would more prefer to be fast in the corners. If I wanted to go really fast in a straight line, then I'd go drag racing :) .

 

 

THAT is an awesome question. A REALLY REALLY good question. I asked myself that question a lot when I was getting ready to buy a new bike. I don't care much about actual top speed, but mind-blowing acceleration is a rush that I love, and the S100rr is a star in that category. But, I currently own a little MD250 and I have to admit, passing someone IN a corner - especially a decent rider on a 1000cc bike - is a hell of a lot more satisfying for me than blowing someone away on a straight. And the people I pass are a lot more likely to come find me in the pit and go "what the hell IS that thing you are riding?" because they can't believe they got passed by a girl on such a low-power bike. That definitely makes me smile. Plus, when I get passed on the straight by a bigger bike, I see red and it makes me work my ass off to catch up to them again, which forces me to really concentrate on increasing my entry speeds and corner speeds, so it really is a great learning tool.

 

But here's what makes this such a tough question... after riding the MD250 for a while, I realize that I really MISS the unbelievable drive that a big bike is capable of; I get a little tired of rolling on the gas and having to wait for the bike to really get going when the BMW can launch like a rocket and just BLOW by other riders on the straight bits. Wheee....!!!

 

You'd think that having a 600 with pretty darn good corner speed and good acceleration should be a good compromise to get both good corner speed and good top speed... and it is... but I've had that, and my current opinion is that it is better to have one little bike that will get you around corners fast and can even be ridden on go-kart tracks and you can learn on, and one big bike that will peel your eyelids back when you pin the throttle (or possibly, a car or go-kart that can provide a similar rush.)

 

So I have an MD250 now and your post made me realize I need to start looking for change in the couch cushions so I can go buy an S1000rr... or possibly a Ferrari... so I can have both types of fun. :)

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This brings up an off-topic thought for anyone who cares to respond: do you enjoy getting high top speeds on the straights (presumably at the expense of cornering speed) or do you prefer to carry speed through the corners (and presumably at the expense of top speed)? I have read numerous comments from guys riding light twins and other smaller bikes which feed this question. The small bikes can out-corner the big bikes, but get crushed in the straights. I'm slow everywhere right now, but in general I'm not a top speed guy and I think I would more prefer to be fast in the corners. If I wanted to go really fast in a straight line, then I'd go drag racing :) .

 

 

THAT is an awesome question. A REALLY REALLY good question. I asked myself that question a lot when I was getting ready to buy a new bike. I don't care much about actual top speed, but mind-blowing acceleration is a rush that I love, and the S100rr is a star in that category. But, I currently own a little MD250 and I have to admit, passing someone IN a corner - especially a decent rider on a 1000cc bike - is a hell of a lot more satisfying for me than blowing someone away on a straight. And the people I pass are a lot more likely to come find me in the pit and go "what the hell IS that thing you are riding?" because they can't believe they got passed by a girl on such a low-power bike. That definitely makes me smile. Plus, when I get passed on the straight by a bigger bike, I see red and it makes me work my ass off to catch up to them again, which forces me to really concentrate on increasing my entry speeds and corner speeds, so it really is a great learning tool.

 

But here's what makes this such a tough question... after riding the MD250 for a while, I realize that I really MISS the unbelievable drive that a big bike is capable of; I get a little tired of rolling on the gas and having to wait for the bike to really get going when the BMW can launch like a rocket and just BLOW by other riders on the straight bits. Wheee....!!!

 

You'd think that having a 600 with pretty darn good corner speed and good acceleration should be a good compromise to get both good corner speed and good top speed... and it is... but I've had that, and my current opinion is that it is better to have one little bike that will get you around corners fast and can even be ridden on go-kart tracks and you can learn on, and one big bike that will peel your eyelids back when you pin the throttle (or possibly, a car or go-kart that can provide a similar rush.)

 

So I have an MD250 now and your post made me realize I need to start looking for change in the couch cushions so I can go buy an S1000rr... or possibly a Ferrari... so I can have both types of fun. :)

That is a very easy to understand series of thoughts. Since I can still get my fix from just being on the track, I think all those other things will be what I can look forward to in the future :)

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