Jump to content

Better Off With A 600 Vs Liter Bike On The Track?


BLSJDS
 Share

Recommended Posts

I currently own a 2003 Honda CBR 954 RR. It is a GREAT all around bike, but I'm finding it is not ideal for the track. I've done CSS levels 1,2, & 3 (all on the BMW S1000) and have been able to elevate my skills quite a bit, but find that my 954 is nowhere near as "track friendly" as the BMW. It is very light in the front end (head shake, wheelies, etc) and the seating position, although comfortable on the street, is not as "track inspired" as the BMW; I really don't feel properly positioned on it, so to speak. I feel right at home on the BMW B) .

 

Before you say it, a new BMW is out of the question (though I'd pick one up in a heartbeat if I could afford it) :D .

 

When I bought the 954, I planned on mostly street riding and track use 2 or 3 times a year. Things have changed quite a bit (thanks to CSS :P ) and now I want a bike that will be used on the track 90% of the time and only occasionally on the street.

 

I am looking at a 2008 CBR 600 RR; do you think this is a good choice, based on what I want from the bike? It seems to be more "track inspired", and I no longer want the violent power of a liter bike, especially on the tighter tracks. What do you guys think?

 

Thanks so much for your advice!

Dan

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am looking at a 2008 CBR 600 RR; do you think this is a good choice, based on what I want from the bike? It seems to be more "track inspired", and I no longer want the violent power of a liter bike, especially on the tighter tracks. What do you guys think?

Dan;

I have an Italian Liter bike for the street and its smaller sibling for the track; same frame, seat, body work, wheels, rear sets, clip ons...it's just not as powerful. This is a combination that works very well for me FWIW.

 

 

Rainman

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi,

 

As you've stated pretty much my friend, your 954 is a great bike, but she's reasonably big bike in comparison to some of the new bikes, and the BMWS1000RR is really at the very cutting edge of litre bike technology for the road with it's small dimensions (apparently) stunning handling, and much lower weight than your Blade. In addition, technology plays a part, and as I'm sure you're aware the BMW again has exceptional technology that makes it very easy to ride for such an incredibly powerful bike.

 

So you like the size, but don't neccesarily fancy the power of a liter bike, then without doubt the 600's are a better bet. Firstly, they're not very intimidating by comparison, they're better in the turns, very nimble, and they're cheaper to run as the smaller power output doesn't eat chains, tyres and other consumables anything like the same.

 

So, to choice. Well, personally, I think the Yamaha R6 is a better track weapon than the CBR600RR as standard bike, though the Honda's probably a little easier to get on and ride as it would be desrcribed as more cossetting. You wouldn't go wrong with either of them though to be fair.

 

Let us know what you choose.

 

Bullet

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Rainman - I plan to get a used bike for the street next year, something that a passenger can ride comfortably on. My wife won't even sit on the 954 and my daughter complains of numb feat after about an hour :D . The 600 will be used almost exclusively for the track.

 

Bullet - thanks very much for the advice and for confirming my initial thoughts. I suspect I'd be faster around the track on the 600, especially if I am more comfortable (physically and mentally B) ).

 

I will probably go with the CBR as I've always been a Honda guy, but the R6 got HIGH marks in '08 and looks like an incredible machine.

 

Thanks again, guys!

Dan

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have a 954 as well. I have done CSS levels 1-2 and I can honestly say that I *really* like the 954 on the track. I think the key is to get the suspension set right.

 

There is a guy at every track day for Sportbike Track Time that charges $80 to set the bike up for your weight. The front springs are really too light from the factory, but with proper throttle control you can really get around the track.

 

I know that before I went to CSS school I was exiting the sweeper onto the front straight at about 70-75 mph. Now I exit onto the front at about 115 mph and it no longer scares me.

 

Get whatever bike you want and be happy. I too have considered the CBR600 as a track bike simply because I feel the power of the 954 is a bit much for this budding track dog.

 

The 954 does head shake a bit and it's easy to get the front wheel up, but learn her and she is quite capable even if she is a bit long in the tooth.

 

I really don't think the CBR954 is heavier/bigger than a S1000RR!

 

The 954 weighs about 430 wet. The S1000RR weighs about 455 wet.

The 954 has a wheelbase of 1400mm. The S1000RR has a wheelbase of 1432mm.

 

The 954 is not a big bike. I am 5' 8" with short arms. It fits me pretty well. Tall people don't usually like it.

 

 

All that being said, the S1000RR is a much superior bike to the 954. The BMW is very easy to ride.

 

Ok, enough ramblings from an old man. =D

 

Kelly

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Kelly - great to hear the perspective from a fellow 954 rider. I had the suspension set up for the track this year and I should add that I am 6'0", 185 lbs. There is no doubt it is a capable bike, but I think the 600 will be a better track bike / help me be a better track rider.

 

Dan

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Perhaps not the all that relevant in this context, but I find it interesting than many highly experienced riders and tuners/team owners etc. typically recommend small and simple bikes if the point is to learn as much as possible and become as good as possible. Such bikes have, over the years, included the RD350/400, the VF500F, the Ninja 500, the Hawk 650, the SV650 and currently the Ninja 650 among several others. Common for them all is limited power, low weight and friendly handling. Only when you know that the bike is holding you up, that you know you are lacking power and grip in order to go faster, is it - according to these experienced people - sensible to move up.

 

Since you already have experience riding a 954 hard on tracks, I doubt you would benefit much from going to a "beginner bike", but a 600 makes a lot of sense since it will be much easier to ride near its limits than the Fireblade.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Eirik - your post is definitely relevant; exactly the type of confirmation / information I am looking for. B)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Rainman - I plan to get a used bike for the street next year, something that a passenger can ride comfortably on. My wife won't even sit on the 954 and my daughter complains of numb feat after about an hour :D . The 600 will be used almost exclusively for the track.

 

Bullet - thanks very much for the advice and for confirming my initial thoughts. I suspect I'd be faster around the track on the 600, especially if I am more comfortable (physically and mentally B) ).

 

I will probably go with the CBR as I've always been a Honda guy, but the R6 got HIGH marks in '08 and looks like an incredible machine.

Hi Dan,

 

I can vouch for the R6 '08s high marks. Damn, I love that thing (just a pity I can't ride it anywhere it's limits).

 

On the street, you might take a look at BMW's F800R. A fellow track-nutter of mine swapped his K1200RS roadbike to a F800R, and his wife actually prefers being a pillion on the F800R!

 

Regards,

 

Kai

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Interesting replies. I find myself liking the 600 idea myself.

 

My soon-to-be wife likes riding on the back of the CBR954 over the VFR800. I was shocked to find this out!

She told me that the 954 feels more planted. Indeed it does my dear...

 

Kelly

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Looking at a 600 myself, its cheaper than the litre bike and also more people race 600s here so its a really competative. I'm a honda man as well but I do kinda want to try an R6..Y'know just to see....I have looked at the SV650 not too sure how much racing they do here in Australia.

 

The theory I have is when I can ring the bikes neck then I should up the cc's, thinking like that I'd better get a 250ccbiggrin.gif

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd say a well-ridden 600 will kick total ass on more or less any track. It's fast enough for the serious stuff and nimble enough for everything. You have to keep them on the boil though, the GSXR I think is a bit more flexible whereas the R6 is a bit more two-stroke, but it depends more on which one you feel most at home on than worrying about a few details on paper.

 

 

 

The SV650 is a great bike but for the track you need to spend some cash on the suspension - GSXR front end is ideal but at least stiffer springs and a proper back shock. Great for twisty tracks because of the midrange but on faster tracks you'll have to put up with getting eaten by the big boys. The fastest I've had mine on track is about 125mph/200kph, on tracks like that you can keep with the 600/4s (just about) if you ride like your hair is on fire and use the extra drive out of bends.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you're buying a bike purely for the track, why not get a purpose built race bike? Honda RS125 or RS250 or Yamaha TZ125 or TZ250?

 

they're lightweight 2-strokes built for the track. & if you crash one, they're much easier & cheaper to fix. The 2-stroke motor is a little more maintenance intensive than a 4-stroke, but it's worth it for the riding experience.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd say a well-ridden 600 will kick total ass on more or less any track. It's fast enough for the serious stuff and nimble enough for everything. You have to keep them on the boil though, the GSXR I think is a bit more flexible whereas the R6 is a bit more two-stroke, but it depends more on which one you feel most at home on than worrying about a few details on paper.

 

 

 

The SV650 is a great bike but for the track you need to spend some cash on the suspension - GSXR front end is ideal but at least stiffer springs and a proper back shock. Great for twisty tracks because of the midrange but on faster tracks you'll have to put up with getting eaten by the big boys. The fastest I've had mine on track is about 125mph/200kph, on tracks like that you can keep with the 600/4s (just about) if you ride like your hair is on fire and use the extra drive out of bends.

 

I picked up a bone stock 2008 CBR 600 RR on Saturday. All I can say is "wow"! I haven't taken it to the track yet, but I can confidently say that, for me, this bike outperforms the 954 in every category except power (which is still ample, especially at higher RPMs). I absolutely love it and can't wait to get it out on the track. I'll try to post up some pictures this weekend.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I picked up a bone stock 2008 CBR 600 RR on Saturday. All I can say is "wow"! I haven't taken it to the track yet, but I can confidently say that, for me, this bike outperforms the 954 in every category except power (which is still ample, especially at higher RPMs). I absolutely love it and can't wait to get it out on the track. I'll try to post up some pictures this weekend.

Congrats Dan, I'm sure you'll have an an absolute blast on the tracks with the 600RR, it's a great bike!

 

 

Kai

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think you will find that the CBR600 will be very competitive with the older liter bikes on the straights. The reason is improved aerodynamics.

 

Enjoy the new bike! :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

600's really have been great packages for years, still are.

 

I'm getting jaded with this new BMW though. Crash statistics are down about 60% over the 600's we had last year. Shameless plug, I know.

 

CF

Link to comment
Share on other sites

600's really have been great packages for years, still are.

 

I'm getting jaded with this new BMW though. Crash statistics are down about 60% over the 600's we had last year. Shameless plug, I know.

 

If I remember correctly, I read Keith writing that you had lowered the crash statistics last year (or was it the year before?) by 50% simply by changing some of the drills.

And now a further 60% extra down! When are you going to have to count in fractional crashes to get to the proper statistics? :D

 

 

Kai (impressed as well)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

600's really have been great packages for years, still are.

 

I'm getting jaded with this new BMW though. Crash statistics are down about 60% over the 600's we had last year. Shameless plug, I know.

 

CF

 

Believe me, Cobie - if I could swing the new BMW, it would be sitting in my garage right now :P . I did Levels 1,2, & 3 on the BMW and it was THAT bike that made me realize what I am missing. The 600 is a great bike, but I will own the BMW in a few years :D .

 

BTW - when does the 2011 schedule come out?? ;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

600's really have been great packages for years, still are.

 

I'm getting jaded with this new BMW though. Crash statistics are down about 60% over the 600's we had last year. Shameless plug, I know.

 

CF

 

Believe me, Cobie - if I could swing the new BMW, it would be sitting in my garage right now :P . I did Levels 1,2, & 3 on the BMW and it was THAT bike that made me realize what I am missing. The 600 is a great bike, but I will own the BMW in a few years :D .

 

BTW - when does the 2011 schedule come out?? ;)

 

I know what you mean, the bike is sick! :). 2011 schedule will get up about mid November. We have to wait till we have a solid idea of what the season will turn into, coordinate the trips--a real juggling act!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Sorry it took so long to post pics - I just got around to taking these this morning:

 

http://i142.photobucket.com/albums/r85/blsjds/Motorcycles/IMG_0245.jpg

 

http://i142.photobucket.com/albums/r85/blsjds/Motorcycles/IMG_0246.jpg

 

http://i142.photobucket.com/albums/r85/blsjds/Motorcycles/IMG_0248.jpg

 

The "cut" frame sliders I installed a few weeks ago:

http://i142.photobucket.com/albums/r85/blsjds/Motorcycles/IMG_0250.jpg

http://i142.photobucket.com/albums/r85/blsjds/Motorcycles/IMG_0253.jpg

 

Crappy pictures of the safety wire job I did:

http://i142.photobucket.com/albums/r85/blsjds/Motorcycles/IMG_0256.jpg

http://i142.photobucket.com/albums/r85/blsjds/Motorcycles/IMG_0255.jpg

 

I've put about 50 miles on it in total and plan to head out this weekend for a few more. First track day with it is planned for October 11th at the Monticello Full course. Hopefully it still looks like this after the day is done :).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks! Unfortunately, I took a spill on my dirt bike this weekend and separated my right shoulder, tore a bunch of ligaments, etc. I had to cancel the Monticello track day for this coming Monday :( . I should be good to go next spring, but my riding season (definitely dirt, probably street) is likely over for this year.

 

I'm heading to the Orthopedist as we speak to find out how bad the damage is...

 

Dan

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...