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ah...jef4ry...i wish youda asked me or somebody before buying the used 95 rs125. kudos for grabbing a 125 tho. excellent choice of brand and make...just that the 95 was the first model year of a completely revolutionary (as opposed to evolutionary design). so many bugs to work out, etc. i'd have recommended a 96. one year made so much difference then. i never owned the 95 but as i recall...some things you WILL have issues with...

 

1. if it isn't already done, move the coil/igniter from outside the frame to inside the frame. behind the gooseneck (depending on which model pressurized airbox you buy) might be a good spot.

 

2.main crank bearings and bosses. the bearings were too small i think and the cases had a tendency to stretch around the main bearings or something like that. and you'll want to rotate the bearings through four positions (90 degrees) on a regular basis.

 

3. if memory serves, when i was doing the hrc 125 team in new zealand winter 04-05 the buzz out of hrc-oz was that parts were being discontinued at the ten year mark from hrc. no new production. i'd scoop up whatever inventory you can get your hands on. pistons, rings, bearings, seals, gaskets, etc. like everything you think you might need for a year. you probably have no idea what that will be but...

 

4. there were some other changes..but, this isn't the place. i would urge you to have the cases blue printed at least and the crank rebuilt and balanced so you don't end up doing it mid season. better yet, get your hands on a new one and use the oneinside for a spare. also, new seals all around. and and and and. you must realize you just bought a hole to throw money into. and full time job to tune if you don't already know how. you didn't plan on riding this year did you? ;)

 

when you get ready to ride, let me know. i will gladly lend any advice you want. i'm back and just got a new apartment (s). very busy moving in and renovating and preparing other units as well as full time job and , and, and, and...but i will not blow smoke up your pipe or waste your time and money.

 

um, how can i say this skillfully...if you want to be a winner, ask a winner. when i switched to 2 strokes i was EXTREMELY lucky to have the benefit of factory technicians from hrc to teach me how to tune and maintain rs125's. (hence the gig in nz) i only say this because i watched too many people listen to well intentioned bs and waste SOOO much time and effort that could have been, SHOULD have been spent on riding. now, i think there are many more gp riders now than then and probably many good honest folk who will be more than glad to help than when i was learning. buy all the books you can get your hands on. anyway, i hope this becomes a wonderful experience for you and your daughter. i will be glad to help any way i can. good luck.

 

cheers,

BH

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Hi BH,

 

Thanks for putting that up there. We had used the '94's and the '96's in our school's with MOTO-LIBERTY, but they did all the maintenance, so this was stuff I didn't know.

 

Best,

CF

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Well I thought the CBR 600 RR was really awesome. Now I have a GSX-R 1000 K5 and it feels really great but the funny thing is after the CSS in South Africa the bike feels even more stable and therefore it feels like the bike handles much better. So I guess if you get a new bike and then your riding skills improve, then the new bike might feel like it handles better. What I mean is that if I jump on a baby blade now it might feel better than the K5. Just my 2 cents worth.

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Appanna,

 

I'm curious, was there one skill that made the biggest difference? Or more than one? And if so, which ones?

 

A number of students have said this over the years, but I haven't really surveyed people consistenly on this, so you're the first!

 

Best,

CF

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Cobie,

 

All the skills seems to add confidence in my riding in their own way. But the skills that made the most difference were firstly the rider input; as soon as I started relaxing the bike seemed so much more stable and I felt a lot more comfortable which gave me the confidence that the bike would not slide out under me and the second skill would be throttle control which kept the bike smooth through out the corner. I was correcting my lines in mid corner at times (so my RPs were not great but I figured out my mistake soon enough!).

 

As a whole when I managed to do a couple of laps putting all the skills of level one together the corners just felt perfect! If I had to single out a skill it would definately be rider input and being relaxed on the bike with throttle control coming a close second.

 

Take care,

 

Appanna

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BH.

 

Thank you for the WEALTH of information... I did not buy the bike for myself, but for my daughter (15 years old). It was a solid bike with a known history from a person I know well.

 

I will take all of your knowledge into consideration, and went into the 95 after many talks with many individuals. Rising Sun is confident they will have any part I need for at least the next 3 years and some for 5+ years.

 

I don't intend to have this bike for more than 2 seasons. It's just a beginner platform to see how she takes to it. If she's serious on it, I'll drop some serious coin into it. However, until that point I just didn't have $10k to drop on something which she may not enjoy or have a long-term interest in.

 

Final question... Do I know you?!???

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jef, can i call u jef? i'm numerically typing challenged on this flat top laptop...

 

do you know me? um, what a tempting straight line with so many possibilities...

 

i'm gonna have to say we have never met cuz i'd never forget a cheeky toddler face like that...

 

but seriously i don't know. the last time i rode ona track here was putnam late 98. i think. in any case, we emailed a few times last summer thru this site but i didn't mean to imply that you see me or would have thot of me as a known expert, it was more of a...an expression or something. call it a literary technique or just bustin on ya. i haven't noticed anyone else writing about 125 experiences on this site besides me...whatever.

 

a WEALTH of info, huh? are you offering me money? :)

 

in any case...i don't mean to imply the 95 isn't a good bike. i raced the 94 with my own mods and a 96 with lots of extras, a-kit, airbox, etc. and tuned a 98 chassis with some fairly trick newer motors from japan and hand me downs from an hrc team in oz while in nz. i used to think i was on the edge with the port mods i used to do til i saw some stuff over there. wow. really wild stuff. but we're sort of out of the loop here. or were then.

 

john ulrich documented his experience racing the 95 in rrw. back issues in 95-96 perhaps? maybe some useful stuf there. if not entertaining. he put a lot of races on it and had many and varied tales of technical mayhem.

 

i'll say this, it took a long time fo me to grow the guts to spend the bucks for a new gp bike. i was warned off of used stuff by horror stories of ignorance combined with other folks messes leading to nightmare experiences. and tho i was very worried i wouldn't like riding them, i bit the bullet and went new. but both ways have advantages.

 

in all honesty, 125's should come with a warning from the government that reads "may be habit forming". being a smaller sized dude it fit me well (tho a 250 would be better, haha) and i was totally hooked. never met anyone under 5'9" who didn't love them. (and at least one guy at 6' who made custom bits so he could fit on his.) at my fighting weight under 130lbs then i could role up wheelies with laguna gearing on a kitted 125. tho i never lost my love for the 94 chassis either. (and a lot of guys felt that way.) i felt so much more connected to the road on the 94.

 

i never had any desire to go back to riding a truck. but i am a little tempted to try a school bike. if only for the experience of riding something with the weight of my 400 and the power of my 750. it would be close to riding a factory superbike from "my day" i think. anyway...

 

i'm sure your daughter will LOVE it. and what an awesome way to spend time with her on a project like that. learning together. that is so freaking cool. what a dad!

 

cheers.

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Hi Appanna,

 

Yeah, those are 2 of the key skills, aren't they? Much of what we do in Level 2 is just to make it easier for the rider to do that, and things I work on pretty regularly myself.

 

Best,

CF

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I would have to agree with a basic trend. I love riding my dads RZ500, even though it IS truely heavy it feels so extremly light and the two stroke power is so beautiful and unique. I feel most comfortable on my Honda Interceptor 1000 (1984) because I have put the most miles on it but it is so seriously heavy and fairly unstable at speeds above 130 mph. Out of recent bikes, the GSXR1300R is my favorite, it is light, has radial tyres, and sooo much power. It is also extremly stable at high speeds. I was cruising along once and just looked down and wow! I was going 110... woops, better slow down a bit.

 

I know this is limited to road bikes but I ahve to just say, if you ever get the chance to ride a Honda CR 250 dirtbike (two stroke) that was made withen the past 5 years, TAKE IT. Compared to my 1989 CR 125 it has a boatload of torque that peaks just about when the powerband starts. This means in pretty much all gears, moreso in 1st and second you just roll on and boom the front end jumps off the ground. Boing boing boing, no clutch at all. It was so much fun to be leaned over, flick the throttle, have the rear spin like crazy while catching traction and while still spinning a bit the front end lifts off the ground while still elaned over... simply amazing.

 

~Wip

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The best handeling bike I have ever ridden is my current bike a 2006 r6.

Why?

Well the only bikes I ever rode before this were a Yamaha Warrior and a Ducati St4s.

SO I really do not have anythign to compare it to...

Compared to the Duc it felt flighty and unstable when I first got it, but that was becuase it responds to every little input compared to the more stable duc. Once I became more smooth in all of my actions and realized how sensitive it was to input it became a rock The r6 feels completley solid now.

 

Its not really fair to compare a sport touring bike to a race bike, but that is all I have to offer. I did notice a hell of a difference when I got my front end re-spruing and re-valved for my weight and riding style and my Elka rear shock helped out alot as well. If I could do it over agian I would have done those things to the bike before I ever even tried to go to the track.

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the gsxr 1000 k4,k6.very forgiving and after level 1 and 2 i push the bike to illegal speeds on road as well 220kmph plus daily, following the school precepts and practicing them i find that the bike handles like dream/i think rider error and input contribute to more hazzles than the bike throws at the rider, fer ex i was flying thro a series of corners on the road and was approx 150kmph+ thro a left hander and saw that the apex was wat as it had rained there, just rolled on the gas and as i came up a hill tapered off and braked starightening the bike up and it did not miss a beat,have been caught braking hard at a steep lean angle once and powered out after drifting over the centre line, think if bikes are allowed they helpthemselves .had a vfr, rd350s yam teneres cbr1000f ,but the gixxers have me converted, want the 07 now.one must be stupid to crash the new crop of bikes,the kind of qualities they r endowed with i guess.

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I don't have alot of experience with riding full-on race bikes, but what I've noticed is that it's not so much the bike that matters with me, but how well its suspension is set up. Up until I had done CSS, the best handling bike I had been on was a 04 CBR600RR. Once I got on the zx-6 at the school, that was the one. That bike really felt like it was on rails.

 

But since then I've been building a pure track bike out of an 04 SV650S. I had the suspension professionally built and set-up, and now I feel like most of the bikes I've ridden before were sluggish on turn-in and gave very vague feedback. I'm much faster on this bike than I was on the ZX-6 School bike, and that thing felt amazing. My first track day on the SV, I went to barber where I had done all three levels of CSS that I had taken. By the second session I had matched my laptimes from the school, and by the end of the day had dropped over 4 seconds from them. I know mid 1:40s are not terribly quick there at barber, but for a 65 hp "begginer" bike I sure felt like I was flying.

 

I'm sure that if I had suspension professionally set on any of the 600 supersport bikes they'd feel way better than the SV. But for now, it's my SV track bike.

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There is no doubt the SV's can work very, very well. Hard to beat getting weight off a bike, and they are light. For that matter, what does your SV weigh?

 

On another note, I just got an e-mail last night that one of our coaches (Stuman) broke the lap record at Willow Springs on the new 650 Ninja.

 

I think the little twins are great, kinda surprised there aren't more out there. As an all round commuter bike, hard to beat.

 

CF

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actually, I'm not really sure how much it weighs. Stock it's a claimed 372 dry. With most of the street stuff gone, and a few other tweeks I figure I've pulled maybe 15 lbs off that. Nothing too significant. If I had the cash for titanium and carbon fiber everything I'd be sitting pretty on a 340lb bike, but alas, my budget is that of a common military man. It'll do until I make a few million...somehow :lol:

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Not sure how much the Ninja 650 weighed that Stuman rode/raced. It was also a built motor (Carry Andrews), and for sure it was fast.

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Now for some really old stuff. In 1966 I bought a 1961 Norton 650 that

was the first bike that made me think "Wow, this thing handles really

well." The brakes were pretty good for a Brit bike of the day, too. Of

course, the suspension, brakes, and tires were really primitive by todays

standards.

 

I raced a Honda 160 in tt scrambles that I thought handled really well.

Interestingly, the basic frame layout (except for the rear shocks) was

very similar to a modern 125 gp bike.

 

Now I ride a SV650 with a modified suspention that I think gets around

corners in a very fine manner, too.

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Part of the reason I wanted to post this thread was there are some really good handling older bikes! I didn't know about the Norton, but newer bike (V-7 Sport I think it was called) Moto-Guzzi was a friend of mine's favorite bike handling bike (he's had 30 or 40 in the last 50 years of riding.

 

I thought the brakes were scary, but he rode the thing really well.

 

CF

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I am basically a street rider and tourer. I like the Honda F4 and the Yam R1, but also like the Honda Hawk and the big and bulky Honda Valkyrie. I have a VFR and the stock setup is good on the street, but a little soft for a spirted ride though the twisties. I rode my friend's VFR that has a penske rear shock, race tech gold valve kit and heli-bars. I plan on the same suspension changes on my bike with the addition of stainless steel brake lines. I am also looking to picking up an old 93 CBR and beef up the suspension for track days. Anyone have any suggestions?

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Isn't that funny! I have owned Ducati's, Hondas, Yamahas, MV Agustas and I have a 2004 ZX-10R with Ohlins front end and Elka triple rear shock and I feel the same way....although the bike seriously did need a steering damper! I also put on better brakes and magnesium Marchesini rims, etc....

 

 

...my 04 ZX-10R with Elka rear and Ohlins cartridge front is king, for power and flickability, I haven't ridden anything like it. It does not think kindly of fools though and have found that out on multiple occasions.

 

John

post-2862-1169594351_thumb.jpg

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Cobie, you asked another student what they thought was the most useful thing/skill they took from the class.

 

I just came home from a ride in which I actually learned something. I followed the steps outlined in the back of the Level III pamphlet (travelling your favorite twisty road using a variety of suspension settings). The drill was very helpful to feel what the bike does under a variety on induced handling issues, and Rule #1 helps them all. Obviously, some of the issues were easier to feel than others. The main thing is none made the bike "unrideable", and all were quite manageable when I followed the rule. I make a fair number of mistakes in my riding, but following by following the princilple of good throttle control, it makes up for quite a few them. Bike is 05 gsxr1000. I wish I had more experience with some of the bikes mentioned...maybe someday.

 

Anyway that's the one that, day in and day out, I mainly use. Some days other skills are more important/mean more, but throttle control (following the throttle rule) is consistently the one I use the most.

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Back in th old days I loved the handling of my 1981 Yamaha 250LC, when I look back now the tyres were like wood and brakes non existent, but they were great fun.

 

Followed that with a few bigger things which varied in level of bendiness in the frame department. In 92 i got a new GSXR750N first watercooled version, that was a great bike in its day and I thought it handled great, until i tried a mates FZR600 which had Ohlins shock and modified forks, now that thing handled! Just didn't quite have the power and needed to be thrashed to get anywhere.

 

At the moment I ride a (dont laugh) Honda CB500 for commuting, that actually handles superbly for what it is, light, sit up and beg and twin shock, great fun and easy to try things out on. My current weekend toy is a ZX9R E1 which I intend to use on the level 1 course later this year, I just need a bit more confidence on this and i'm sure your school will give me this. The ZX handles well but does seem to understeer a little, I have raised the rear about 7mm and that has sharpened things up. Hopefully the school will allow me to push it a bit harder on track when I have a play.

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My wife had the first year Honda Hurricane: I got on that and was going faster, with more confidence than I had with almost anything I'd ridden to date, I was very impressed.

 

Cobie

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OK, here's the question: What's the best handling bike you have ever ridden (we'll stick to road bikes for this), and then why? I'm interested to see what you come up with.

 

Cobie

My 2004 R1. Race Tech re-valved suspension, high rear-sets, kevlar front brake lines, billet top triple clamp, slipper clutch, and other goodies. I have a flowchart of what can go wrong during a turn and this bike doesn't do any of them. Maybe that means I'm just not going fast enough, but the R1 is a piece of work. I tried to upload the flowchart, but clicking on the "Insert Image" button does nothing. :( This bike does EVERYTHING I tell it to do -- the only question is what I tell it to do. I hate to say it but it's pretty obvious -- the weak link here is me, not the bike.

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My old Aprilia rs250. Probably because of it's light weight and easy turn in. However, my new Aprilia RSVR is a monster and with full Ohlins turns in every bit as quick.

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Well I have an o6 636 with stock suspension htat handles great! I also have an 04 GSXR 750 with upgraded front and rear suspension and set up perfectly by Roger at ArroyoSeco raceway and I would have to say that I prefer the handling of the 636 hands down compared to my GSXR

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