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Which Bike For The Track?


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Not sure if this is the right place for this topic but here goes anyway. After attending school at Barber I am dead set on getiing my own track bike this winter. Problem is,I'm not sure which way to go. My street bike is an Aprilia RSVR. It handles like a dream but everyone I've talked to and everything I've read saysthey can't compete with jap inline 4's. I previously owned a late 90's gixxer but the bike was too bulky. The newer models seem to be slimmer, much like my ape.

The ZX6's we rode were nice and handled well but I would be looking at a ZX10. I've heard R1's are monsters for power but are more difficult to turn in. And I know absolutely nothing about Hondas. Any thoughts or advice is much appreciated.

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I don't know what it means that your bike "can't compete" with jap inline fours. Do you mean in handling? Or are you planning to race?

 

Either way, I would suggest not getting a litre bike like a ZX-10 or R1 for your first track bike. Smaller is better until you have mastered your track riding skills. I suggest nothing bigger than a ZX-6 to start with. It's plenty powerful and you will get much more for your money in riding skills training and have more money to ride with, too.

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My street bike is an Aprilia RSVR. It handles like a dream but everyone I've talked to and everything I've read saysthey can't compete with jap inline 4's.

 

Shannon;

 

I have seen riders on FZR 400's smoke litre bikes all day long so you don't need a litre bike to be fast...

 

Your RSVR is a litre bike with crank HP around 140; it is also a V-twin with very different power delivery characteristics from an in-line four - but it is fast and it can "compete". I agree with racer that if you are going to race it you will be down on power to any of the Japanese litre bikes but for just track riding, it is big enough.

 

I can also appreciate that you may not want to risk wadding it up on the track. I had the same attitiude about my street bike so I bought a supersport version of the same model for the track; I wanted to match the ergo's and the power delivery of the motor while sharing many of the same parts.

 

If you want a track only bike, a 600 is more than enough.

 

Kevin

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Shannon,

 

A ZX-10 is a blast no doubt about it, and I really like the new one a lot.

 

That being said, I'm still faster on a ZX-6 than a 10. Depends on the track, and with this new 10 and a few miles I might be able to change that, but...this also might be true for a number of my coaches. At the Streets of Willow, the track record is still held with a 600. Stuman came close with his ZX-10, but guys on 600's still beat what he could do.

 

Best,

C

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Thanks for the input guys. Cobie, what do you think the reason behind faster laps with only a 600? Shouldn't a 1000 power down the straights much quicker than the 6?

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Thanks for the input guys. Cobie, what do you think the reason behind faster laps with only a 600? Shouldn't a 1000 power down the straights much quicker than the 6?

 

They are excellent alround packages, they do it all very well. And, what can be gained down the straights won't always make up for going well through the turns.

 

Modern 600's are fast too!

 

C

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Before I switched to the R6, I had an 05 GSX-R750. And before the 750, I had an 05 GSX-R600. It took me about 2-3 trackdays to get back to the same lap times on the 750 as on the previous 600. The acceleration out of the turns leads to a lot more speed approaching the next turn. That much speed increase just messed with my head and caused me to brake earlier and brake harder. I am much happier with my new R6. It is plenty fast down the straights and very fun in the turns. There are not a lot of trackday guys that can go faster on 1000cc bike versus 600cc bike. Of course there are some that can take advantage of the extra power.

 

Shane

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  • 1 month later...

Hello all, i'm new to this forum and joined it cuz i want to attend one of the track school courses, level I, of course. I was taken by a bit of surprise by the recommendations here. A similat thing occured to me last week at a Wheelie School. They recommended too that a liter bike is way too much for wheelies. They used Triumph 955 Speed Triple and it was the finest bike for the wheelies. Since then, i tried a few wheelies on my 1098S and boy, it takes off like a cat on a hot tin roof. The reason that i purchased a ZX-10 '08 was cuz i liked the overall specs but above all, i liked its awesome power. Mind you, i am a level I in ALL of this. So, the most forgiving bike that i presently own is a Z-1000 and i do not have a 600 range bike at all which makes me feel that i may have stepped ahead of my own level. Don't misunderstand, i love the liter bikes on the streets. But, i do not enjoy riding on the streets as i used to. I am going to wait until i've met some of these fine coaches before i purchase another bike.

 

While reading the expert opinions here, i gathered that the modern 600s are not only capable but also more managable while the liter bikes are less managable in the hands of non-experts. Everyone i know wants the new ZX-10R and they are not just juveniles either. I'd be pleased to see a list of most recommended modern track bikes here so that i can go check them out and do some of my own research, even test ride.

 

I take it that the 600s are probably also the most appropriate for off road stunts?

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  • 5 months later...
I'm signed up for Code school Levels 1 & 2 using my own bike, a GSXR1000.

 

Everyone will say that learning on a 600 first will improve our abilities on the 1000s.

 

 

 

What are the pros & cons of : Learning on a 600 first vs. learning on my own 1000?

See Throttle Control Rule #1

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I'm signed up for Code school Levels 1 & 2 using my own bike, a GSXR1000.

Everyone will say that learning on a 600 first will improve our abilities on the 1000s.

What are the pros & cons of : Learning on a 600 first vs. learning on my own 1000?

YNOT;

IMHO, depending on your familiarity with your Suzuki, a 600 is a bit more forgiving on the track because the rear wheel won't spin up as easily as it will on your liter bike. The 600's do not have the same top speed as your bike although they are very very quick now. The 600's have less weight but if you are comfortable on your bike, you will do fine on it...possibly better because of your not needing to acclimate to someone else's bike.

 

Kevin

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I'm signed up for Code school Levels 1 & 2 using my own bike, a GSXR1000.

Everyone will say that learning on a 600 first will improve our abilities on the 1000s.

What are the pros & cons of : Learning on a 600 first vs. learning on my own 1000?

YNOT;

IMHO, depending on your familiarity with your Suzuki, a 600 is a bit more forgiving on the track because the rear wheel won't spin up as easily as it will on your liter bike. The 600's do not have the same top speed as your bike although they are very very quick now. The 600's have less weight but if you are comfortable on your bike, you will do fine on it...possibly better because of your not needing to acclimate to someone else's bike.

 

Kevin

Some of the new liter bikes weight less than the middleweights. I suppose that's why Suzuki and (I think Yamaha) is investing in Power Mode technology. For example ,if you look at the new ZX10 and ZX6 side by side (sans stickers) you'd be hard pressed to choose which is the "small" bike.

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Some of the new liter bikes weight less than the middleweights. I suppose that's why Suzuki and (I think Yamaha) is investing in Power Mode technology. For example ,if you look at the new ZX10 and ZX6 side by side (sans stickers) you'd be hard pressed to choose which is the "small" bike.

R1 v. R6 :: 454lbs. v. 414 lbs.

Zx10R v. Zx6R :: 458.6 lbs. v. 421 lbs.

GSXR1000 v. GSXR600 :: 448 lbs. v. 432 lbs.

I am not aware of any liter bikes that are lighter than any middleweights, at least within the same model year.

Kevin

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Some of the new liter bikes weight less than the middleweights. I suppose that's why Suzuki and (I think Yamaha) is investing in Power Mode technology. For example ,if you look at the new ZX10 and ZX6 side by side (sans stickers) you'd be hard pressed to choose which is the "small" bike.

R1 v. R6 :: 454lbs. v. 414 lbs.

Zx10R v. Zx6R :: 458.6 lbs. v. 421 lbs.

GSXR1000 v. GSXR600 :: 448 lbs. v. 432 lbs.

I am not aware of any liter bikes that are lighter than any middleweights, at least within the same model year.

Kevin

Interesting. I recall doing a comparo and the #'s were within 3-5lbs and in a few cases (Honda 2008 ?) the weights were swapped. I concede; manufacturers have been playing games with weights for years.

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I'm signed up for Code school Levels 1 & 2 using my own bike, a GSXR1000.

 

Everyone will say that learning on a 600 first will improve our abilities on the 1000s.

 

 

 

What are the pros & cons of : Learning on a 600 first vs. learning on my own 1000?

 

 

I don't know that riding a 600 first will improve your abilities riding a 1000. Riding a 600 does teach you some good things, but they can be learned on a 1000 too. Each bike (600 and 1000) has its strong points and weaknesses and you do have to ride them a little different at some levels.

 

Most people recommend starting out on a 600 because it is easier to learn on and less intimidating then riding a 1000.

 

600s (and smaller) are easier to ride because the weigh less (typically about 20 pounds for the same year as Kevin pointed out) and that makes them easier to turn in and transition full left to right (or vice versa). A 600 is also much more forgiving when it comes to throttle application.

 

A 1000 will be harder to turn and you have to be way more careful in how you apply the throttle because of the extra HP.

 

That said, if you ride a 1000 then I don't think you would be way better off doing the school on a 600. Like Kevin said, why waste time trying to acclimate to a new bike?

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Stuman spends more time on big bikes than I do, but can't disagree with any of what he said.

 

My view is a little different. I think it's a bit easier to ride the 600's overall, a major reason they are so popular, both as streetbikes, and as racebikes. I can ride one better than a 1000, pretty much any track.

 

The overall combo of speed, power, breaks, chassis, suspension is such a good package these days, hard to beat. What you learn at the school (on any bike) will be transferable to another bike. They also force the rider to pay a little more attention to what they are doing in the corners, as they can't make it up with HP (and I've seen quite a few fall into this habit--they just thnk they make it up with a little more twist of the wrist.

 

Not to toot Stu's horn too much, but he has that unique skill level to do both--superfast in the turns on a big bike, and out onto the straights.

 

In the end, I'd go 600 first, then the big bike (do 2 days, one on each).

 

CF

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Stuman & Kevin, thanks! On my first track day everyone told me I should be on a 600. By the afternoon session I was passing 600's. NOTED that none of us were at the limits of the bikes. Learning my own bike, its characteristics, and its limits, improving my skills and finding new ones is why I'm signed up. As you said Stuman - "Riding a 600 does teach you some good things, but they can be learned on a 1000 too." This does not mean that one should run out and buy a literbike first time out.

 

Thanks, see you in school.

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I friend let me take his CBR600RR to the track. I road my CBR1000RR and his. After the day was over I wanted a 600. If the economy wasn't in such a free fall I would already have one. The energy it took to ride his 600 was so much less than trying to pull my 1000 through the corners. I would not be nearly as tired after a two day event on a 600. The other thing is I love to work a motorcycle so the upshifting and down shifting on the track is a treat for me.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I'm biased because my current bike is an RSVR, but I find it's a surprisingly good track bike. The only place the big inline 4s will put any distance on you is straights, but I think the RSVR handles better than most of them AND seems to have more midcorner stability than the japanese bikes I've ridden (at least, compared to Yamaha R1, Gixxer 750, RC51, and a c ouple others). And while you are down on a power a little bit, it's smooth enough that you can get on it pretty early. The stock "slipper" clutch is pretty forgiving too and can make up for a little bit of uneven rev-matching. All that ads up to a rather forgiving bike that is pretty easy to throw around for it's size.

 

Of course, my other bike is a 450 supermoto and I'm even faster on it on most tracks, and being able to throw that around, both on trakcs and in the dirt, has definitely helped when I get back int he RSVR. The nice thing about smaller bikes is they are less intimidating, but since they are lighter, they also tend to not msk as many bad habits as a bigger bike can

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I'll be doing my own mini-comparo at Streets of Willow next weekend. I'd consider it my home track as I go there several times a year and am comfortable w/ the layout. I've previously only lapped there on 600's but this time I'll have my R1 out there. Comparing the 2 bikes at Auto Club Speedway, I was able to lap similar times but I know a lot of that had to do with the very long front straight at that track. It will be interesting to see how I feel about the bike after a day at Streets ( a much tighter track).

 

I fully expect to be worn out at the end of the day after tossing around a heavier bike. Hahaha.

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I'll be doing my own mini-comparo at Streets of Willow next weekend. I'd consider it my home track as I go there several times a year and am comfortable w/ the layout. I've previously only lapped there on 600's but this time I'll have my R1 out there. Comparing the 2 bikes at Auto Club Speedway, I was able to lap similar times but I know a lot of that had to do with the very long front straight at that track. It will be interesting to see how I feel about the bike after a day at Streets ( a much tighter track).

 

I fully expect to be worn out at the end of the day after tossing around a heavier bike. Hahaha.

 

Let us know what you find. One coach said it was harder to get through turns 4-8 on the bigger bike.

 

CF

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  • 2 weeks later...
I'll be doing my own mini-comparo at Streets of Willow next weekend. I'd consider it my home track as I go there several times a year and am comfortable w/ the layout. I've previously only lapped there on 600's but this time I'll have my R1 out there. Comparing the 2 bikes at Auto Club Speedway, I was able to lap similar times but I know a lot of that had to do with the very long front straight at that track. It will be interesting to see how I feel about the bike after a day at Streets ( a much tighter track).

 

I fully expect to be worn out at the end of the day after tossing around a heavier bike. Hahaha.

 

Let us know what you find. One coach said it was harder to get through turns 4-8 on the bigger bike.

 

CF

 

 

So for anyone interested in the comparison...

 

I was a but surprised at how well the R1 handled at Streets of Willow. I was expecting an uphill battle but by the last 2 sessions of the day I was feeling somewhat comfortable on the new bike. Sure it wasn't as light as my previous bike (05 636), but it wasn't a pig either.

 

As Cobie mentioned above, I was definitely slower in sections 4-8 but for me it was more about being timid w/ the gas than line choice. I was still able to cut 4 and 6 shallow as I'm used to and I'm sure with more time I'd get back up to pace in Turn 8.

 

One thing is for certain...the new bike isn't hurting for power. :blink:

 

 

 

-Ron.

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