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Picking The Right Steed


aslcbr600
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I am not sure if this would fit here or not but since it has to deal with handling the bike and techniques figured it somewhat fits here.

 

Anyway,

 

My 06 600RR maybe getting totaled (got swiped) and so instead of buying a stock bike and modifying it I would rather just buy a flat out track bike. I am attending the level 1 class on Oct 27th SOW and I am signed up to use the S1000 bike. I figure since I am learning on a S1000 why couldn't I just buy a race liter bike instead of buying a race 600 and then have to sell it later and buy a liter bike? My thoughts is will I be super competitive.....no......but just because I am on a liter bike doesn't mean I have to push anymore out of my comfort zone of what I would on a 600.

 

I would rather grow into the bike and progress with my skill then do that with a 600 and then end up selling it and losing more money to buy a 1000.

 

Just wanted to hear some perspectives on this.

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It sounds like you probably had a decent amount of experience on your streetbike. If that's the case, the only reasons I'd see to get the 600 first are 1) cost and 2) better training. By training, I don't mean the safety aspect so much as the ability to make more mistakes safely & have them show up more obviously than on a liter bike where the sheer power and responsiveness can disguise lost speed in corners, unsteady piloting, etc...

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It's not always about cubic inches. I found when I used an R1 on the track that it would enhance my bad technique:

I would come "far too quick" towards a corner, brake too much (so the entry speed would be way low), limp around the turn,only daring to really open the throttle when the bike was upright. Zoom down to next corner at warp-speed. Repeat.

 

Depending on the track, a 600cc is maybe 1-3 seconds slower than a 1000cc, when in hands of the best riders. Mediocre riders are often faster on 600cc because they feel more in control.

 

YMMV (Your Milage May Vary).

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It sounds like you probably had a decent amount of experience on your streetbike. If that's the case, the only reasons I'd see to get the 600 first are 1) cost and 2) better training. By training, I don't mean the safety aspect so much as the ability to make more mistakes safely & have them show up more obviously than on a liter bike where the sheer power and responsiveness can disguise lost speed in corners, unsteady piloting, etc...

 

 

Yes and no......time period wise I am probably very much a rookie in a lot of eyes......mileage and time on the bike on the other hand is totally different. I started riding out in CA and before I even bought my bike I was constantly watching videos on countersteering, braking, the very basics for the first time in the saddle. Long story short after 2 weeks of riding my buddy and I went up in some twisties and he had me lead and would watch me, pull me over if I was doing something wrong and correct it. After that about two weeks later I started watching TOWTII, took my self down Mulholland canyon (yup the famous one) and went at my own safe pace, if riders were coming up on me I moved over and let them pass which was usually the more seasoned guys in suits.

 

Once I left CA I had about 2k miles under my belt, rode the bike whenever I could always finding ways to improve myself. I took a cross country trip of 2200mi from CA to the midwest in 2.5 days only riding from sun up to the start of sunset, being on the bike that long forced me to become more comfortable then ever with just regular riding alone! Since that trip I have racked up another 2600mi. I bought my bike in either March or April so my miles have racked up quick.

 

After repeatedly watching TWOTII, reading the book and going out and recording myself with the gopro to see my body positioning, throttle control, my speedo to see how my mph is through the turns, how well I am holding a line and ect.

 

Sorry for the long story but that is pretty much the gist of it, I am very comfortable on my bike and confident through the turns and everyone I ride with is always surprised to know I have only been riding a sportbike for about 5 months when they see me ride.

 

I know with time comes expierence but you can do all the wrong things for 5yrs and build worse habits then a person like myself especially being so eager to learn!

 

 

It's not always about cubic inches. I found when I used an R1 on the track that it would enhance my bad technique:

I would come "far too quick" towards a corner, brake too much (so the entry speed would be way low), limp around the turn,only daring to really open the throttle when the bike was upright. Zoom down to next corner at warp-speed. Repeat.

 

Depending on the track, a 600cc is maybe 1-3 seconds slower than a 1000cc, when in hands of the best riders. Mediocre riders are often faster on 600cc because they feel more in control.

 

YMMV (Your Milage May Vary).

 

 

 

Yea I talked to a local racer around here, he just entered the advanced class this year and trying to get his race license. He has a 1000 and a 600, he said he was 3 seconds slower on the same track with the 1000 then his 600, yea I understand the 600 is more nimble and makes other riders feel more confident but just my thoughts is there are a lot of people that race liter bikes. Some are better then others just as with 600s but every time I sit on a liter bike I don't feel overwhelmed.....I know riding one is different but just saying. Unless it's one of the older ZX10R's those I would not feel right on......2008+ CBR1000RR for example doesn't feel like something I couldn't handle.

 

I just don't want to learn everything on a S1000 and then go back to a 600 and end up craving more.

 

 

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I made the jump a bit too quickly from my 600 to a litre bike and if I hadn't just forked out a small fortune on suspension components for my GSXR 1000 I'd downgrade again to a 600. I'm attending more track days now and running around mid inters group pace, but a fast group rider on a 600 would leave me for dust.

 

I've seen it written elsewhere that you should get as fast as you can possibly go on a 600, and only then start thinking about a 1000. You'll be learning about cornering at the school, not pinning the throttle, and in almost every aspect of cornering a 600 has the measure of a litre bike.

 

Wouldn't you rather be the guy overtaking the big bikes on your 600, than the guy on the litre bike making excuses as to why the smaller bikes are running rings around him?

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I made the jump a bit too quickly from my 600 to a litre bike and if I hadn't just forked out a small fortune on suspension components for my GSXR 1000 I'd downgrade again to a 600. I'm attending more track days now and running around mid inters group pace, but a fast group rider on a 600 would leave me for dust.

 

I've seen it written elsewhere that you should get as fast as you can possibly go on a 600, and only then start thinking about a 1000. You'll be learning about cornering at the school, not pinning the throttle, and in almost every aspect of cornering a 600 has the measure of a litre bike.

 

Wouldn't you rather be the guy overtaking the big bikes on your 600, than the guy on the litre bike making excuses as to why the smaller bikes are running rings around him?

 

 

 

That is true, another thing mentioned in another forum that I didn't take into consideration was R6's are great track bikes and you can find parts for them very easily because it's a more common bike. I am really a Honda guy more then anything but I am not racing AMA or anything so the minor differences between the bikes probably wont even hit me very much until I am riding it to it's full potential.

 

I have seen 06 R6's in full race ready condition going for 6k so being that parts are easier to find and the bike itself is cheaper I guess I am overlooking the total package per say.

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It's not clear to me if we are talking about a bike primarily for street use, or if you are trying to make the best choice for the track. You said you will be taking CSS Level 1, but didn't indicate how much track riding you expect to do after that.

 

For the track, I would definitely recommend the 600. Far more appropriate for working on raising your corner speed, improving throttle control, etc. I'll bet you would have a hard time finding an experienced track rider who would recommend a 1000 as a first track bike, no matter how wicked awesome you are on Mulholland.

 

For the street, it is a different story - much more a matter of personal preference. Do you like to wring the engine out now and again - use all of the motor - or are you happy to keep the revs low and still have all of the torque that you can use at pretty much any rpm? It is a very different style of riding. I can see both sides of it but, personally, I find a modern inline 4 1000 to be very frustrating on the street. Take it to redline in first gear, and you are doing 100 mph, more or less. There is *zero* opportunity to use a significant fraction of the motor's top end in street riding, unless you want to go straight to jail. Others like it just because there is plenty of power on tap pretty much everywhere so you don't have to row the gearbox so much to make it work properly. The R6 is probably the most demanding 600 out there in terms of needing to keep the revs up to make it move with any authority - you see zillions of them on the street, but it wouldn't be my choice for that application.

 

Me, I like 1000-ish-cc aircooled twins (Ducati). Lots of torque so you can be a bit lazy shifting, but a low rev limit so you end up running the engine to redline in the first three gears or so, even on the street (and 5 or even all six gears on the track). It's fun. With my gearing , on the track I can do about 140 mph on the longest straights, which is plenty for me. But admittedly my choice is a bit oddball (okay, extremely oddball). Definitely easier to go fast on a Japanese 4. But I figure that when I am passing the Hondahakawasuki guys on the track, I am doing it pretty much 100% on skill....

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+1 for a 600 on the track, no doubt about it, for all the reasons previously stated. Yes you give up some power on the straights, but who cares about going straight? :D Keep the rpms up on a 600 and you've got PLENTY of power for most tracks.

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+1 for a 600 on the track, no doubt about it, for all the reasons previously stated. Yes you give up some power on the straights, but who cares about going straight? :D Keep the rpms up on a 600 and you've got PLENTY of power for most tracks.

Absolutely. And a modern 600cc is often quicker than an oldish 1000cc. Case in point: my R6-08 is faster down the straight than my friend's TLR1000 (an ex-endurance racebike from Texas).

 

Full disclosure: I'm biased :) Got a 600cc on the track, and a 1000cc on the road.

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This would just be a track bike only, I plan on going through all 4 levels at CSS and then most likely doing the race school after the 4 levels.......don't we all want to be pro racers? lol

 

Only reason I brought up the R6 is because of how easy they are to find already track built for 1 and 2 because parts are easy to find for when you try to push that corner but you didn't quite make the turn. I know the R6 is on the side of no power until a million RPMs lol which is why I would prefer to have an 07 CBR600RR, they are great bikes but very tricky to find already race built.

 

A lot of them are 04 or 06 models, mine is an 06 but the 07 they made some changes to the engine for a pretty decent boost in power, lighter bike and from what I read handles even smoother then my 06 as well. Even the radiator is bigger lol

 

Ideally the 07 CBR600RR is what I would want for a 600 but yea.....hard to find track built and ready to go!

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Full disclosure: I'm biased :) Got a 600cc on the track, and a 1000cc on the road.

 

To me, that's the way to do it. Having the extra torque down low on the street is very nice and can get you out of trouble a little easier if need be.

 

aslcbr600 - I chose my '08 CBR600RR for the exact reasons you listed. I absolutely love it on the track and am much faster / more comfortable on it than I was on my '03 954RR. I just finished up my 7th (IIRC) Level IV and have yet to come close to max'ing out that bike on the track.

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NESBA and WERA classifieds are good spots to find track-built bikes - often for very low cost compared to buying and building something yourself.

 

If I could convince myself to spend the extra money for separate bikes to cover street and track then I'd probably get something like the new Tiger 1200 for street use and I'd definitely get a 600 supersport of some sort (or maybe a 650 twin) for the track. My current Speed Triple blends those two I suppose.

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NESBA and WERA classifieds are good spots to find track-built bikes - often for very low cost compared to buying and building something yourself.

 

If I could convince myself to spend the extra money for separate bikes to cover street and track then I'd probably get something like the new Tiger 1200 for street use and I'd definitely get a 600 supersport of some sort (or maybe a 650 twin) for the track. My current Speed Triple blends those two I suppose.

 

 

+1 on looking in the WERA classifieds.

 

Before making a firm decision on 600cc vs 1000cc, I'd take a look at what's out there first - sometimes you can find a REALLY tricked out race bike on those forums, so you can get LOTS of extras at a fraction of the cost of adding them yourself. Race fairings, exhausts, upgraded suspension, power commander, rearsets, etc., and sometimes stands, warmers, spare parts, and other stuff is available too. I'd take a newer, fully tricked out 600cc bike over an older stock 1000cc in a heartbeat. And as others have said, a newer 600 with all the goodies can often get around quicker than an older or difficult to ride 1000cc bike. Plus with most organizations there are more race classes available for the 600s.

 

Of course, once you have ridden the BMW S1000rr at the school, you're gonna want one of those. :) They are truly awesome, easy to ride, terrific handling, and phenomenal power.

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NESBA and WERA classifieds are good spots to find track-built bikes - often for very low cost compared to buying and building something yourself.

+1 on looking in the WERA classifieds.

 

Before making a firm decision on 600cc vs 1000cc, I'd take a look at what's out there first - sometimes you can find a REALLY tricked out race bike on those forums, so you can get LOTS of extras at a fraction of the cost of adding them yourself.

+1 on the prepped bikes. When I purchased my R6 '08, in early '09 there was at least a 30% difference from buying a road bike and adding fairings, rearsets, and suspension versus buying a bike that already had those things. In the end, I got a bike that had an extra fairing, a full Yoshi exhaust and the Öhlins fork kit that I wouldn't have purchased myself.

 

Oh, about the R6'es: they added variable intake tracts on the '08 so it has more midrange power than the '06-'07. Anyways, find the bike that YOU want - all the Japanese 600's are excellent anyway.

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Thanks for the input everyone, just a couple days ago I found out about the WERA classifieds although I will check out the NESBA one as well. I guess it wouldn't hurt to keep riding a 600, as mentioned above in the school you aren't pinning the throttle anyway. I have seen some 1000 race bikes but they are still about 1500-2000.00 more then a race built 600.

 

Now when looking to purchase a used race bike what are some questions I should be asking? I expect the person has most likely gone down but as long as everything structurally is sound then cool with me. How many track miles would you say is a lot? I see bikes posted with 4,100mi but not all of them are track miles.....I see other listings where people are more picky about the motor and have it refreshed after every year.

 

Thanks for the tip on the 08, I heard that was the model to go with but never caught the details on why! At this point brand doesn't really matter to me other then suzuki......sorry just not a fan of how they look! I am sure all of the 600's are great bikes.

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I would also vote for the 600 over the 1000 myself, the performance you get out of modern sport bikes is just insane, and IMO until you can really push the limit on 600 the 1000 is just masking your own errors

I know I'm in the minority on the fully built vs build it yourself track bike, but for me, building it up from stock myself felt like the better option, I would rather assemble it myself bit by bit and do all the wrench turning and tweaking myself so I'm familiar with all the various bits and pieces on the bike, since long term your going to have to do a certain amount of work on your track bike, unless your the kind of person who takes your bike in to the local shop to lube the chain for you. You can also get a pretty decent deal on a used street bike with some cosmetic damage to the plastics your gonna be pulling off anyway, and if your only starting to get into the track day thing ( which I am ) your probably not going to need the weight savings of the full titanium exhaust and the extra power from the full dynojet system just yet, nor will you be pushing hard enough to make use of the Ohlin's upgrades etc. Next time around I'll probably go the used race bike route but for now the stock R-6 with fairings and clipons is plenty enough to get me around the track

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Well right now my 600RR currently has a RS5 slip on and PCIII dynojet tune. I am a wrench turner myself, now when it comes to valve adjustment I will leave that to the experts but I don't even mind pulling off the valve cover just to see what the clearances are.

 

It's just been a tough road getting this bike up to snuff.

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I would echo the thoughts above and add a bit. You sound like you can ride alright but your level of experience is still a bit low as you say, to be jumping on a litre bike and wringing its neck. For sure the vavavoom of a big bike is fun but after a while even a big one won't feel so quick in a straight line, but it's all about corners when it comes to racing. So don't assume that it's a natural progression to a bigger bike, it's way more important that you have a bike that suits you, regardless of the engine size.

 

If you're worried about cash then you could think about just getting a fairly stock bike for now. These days even the OE stuff is pretty impressive*, and the key is getting the setup right in terms of handling, because it can be very right or very wrong just for some twiddling. As far as tuning goes, a noisy pipe and setup are nice but it's not going to give you massive gains, VFM for that has always been to buy a bigger bike.

 

Try your first track day. For me it was an eye-opener, in truth it's not what you've got but how you ride it. Since then I've been blown into the weeds by a 125 with no fairing, and out-dragged bigger bikes like a ZX-9 and TL1000 on my SV650 with its uber-manly 80bhp*. Get bike, ride bike, figure it out later, have fun now. Track riding isn't cheap anyway so your worries about losing money by changing bikes are somewhat diminished.

 

Ramble over!

 

*OE R6 that is, the SV neeed bit of tickling to compete!

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I would echo the thoughts above and add a bit. You sound like you can ride alright but your level of experience is still a bit low as you say, to be jumping on a litre bike and wringing its neck. For sure the vavavoom of a big bike is fun but after a while even a big one won't feel so quick in a straight line, but it's all about corners when it comes to racing. So don't assume that it's a natural progression to a bigger bike, it's way more important that you have a bike that suits you, regardless of the engine size.

 

If you're worried about cash then you could think about just getting a fairly stock bike for now. These days even the OE stuff is pretty impressive*, and the key is getting the setup right in terms of handling, because it can be very right or very wrong just for some twiddling. As far as tuning goes, a noisy pipe and setup are nice but it's not going to give you massive gains, VFM for that has always been to buy a bigger bike.

 

Try your first track day. For me it was an eye-opener, in truth it's not what you've got but how you ride it. Since then I've been blown into the weeds by a 125 with no fairing, and out-dragged bigger bikes like a ZX-9 and TL1000 on my SV650 with its uber-manly 80bhp*. Get bike, ride bike, figure it out later, have fun now. Track riding isn't cheap anyway so your worries about losing money by changing bikes are somewhat diminished.

 

Ramble over!

 

*OE R6 that is, the SV neeed bit of tickling to compete!

 

 

 

 

Yea I have just been fighting with the maintenance on this bike since day one......I didn't have anyone to come look at the bike with me and say yes or no on it. All of my friends left the state when we all got out of the military so I was on my own. The bike has 29.6k miles on it.....the fork oil has probably never been changed, it took me a couple hours to flush out the coolant system with distilled water and add water wetter. Cleaning the reseviore took me an hour alone......It probably needs new spark plugs, valve adjustment, the fork oil and seals need to be replaced, brakes need to be flushed out......I just got to the point with this bike where I feel like I bought a nightmare! It runs great in my opinion but with how long the last owner neglected maintenance makes me wonder how long it's going to last.

 

On the 06 CBR600RRs the stock brake lines aren't good for the track, they expand with prolonged brake use and reduces your braking power until you slap steel braided lines in......so as you can see the list just keeps on growing and I haven't even been able to add a suspension upgrade or even a freaking full exhaust yet until all of that money is spent getting it up to snuff.

 

I am just annoyed with it on some aspects.

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On the 06 CBR600RRs the stock brake lines aren't good for the track, they expand with prolonged brake use and reduces your braking power until you slap steel braided lines in......so as you can see the list just keeps on growing and I haven't even been able to add a suspension upgrade or even a freaking full exhaust yet until all of that money is spent getting it up to snuff.

 

I am just annoyed with it on some aspects.

 

That's the brake *fluid* boiling, not expansion of the brake lines. Rubber lines give a vaguer feel; bad fluid saps stopping power.

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On the 06 CBR600RRs the stock brake lines aren't good for the track, they expand with prolonged brake use and reduces your braking power until you slap steel braided lines in......so as you can see the list just keeps on growing and I haven't even been able to add a suspension upgrade or even a freaking full exhaust yet until all of that money is spent getting it up to snuff.

 

I am just annoyed with it on some aspects.

 

That's the brake *fluid* boiling, not expansion of the brake lines. Rubber lines give a vaguer feel; bad fluid saps stopping power.

 

 

 

Oh ok I stand corrected, thanks!

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That's the brake *fluid* boiling, not expansion of the brake lines. Rubber lines give a vaguer feel; bad fluid saps stopping power.

 

Oh ok I stand corrected, thanks!

 

I should add (just in case) that the way to deal with boiling brake fluid is 1) better fluid, like ATE superblue or a DOT 5.1 fluid and 2) more frequent bleeding/changing.

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It's worth spending a few bucks on braided lines, the two-line setup with a double banjo at the master cylinder. At 30k miles the back shock is probably pretty worn out, even a replacement OE second hand low mileage one would be a good move and wouldn't cost much. As for the other stuff, soundbs liek you've pretty much worked your way through it. If it's running okay then I'd say just get out there and ride it, provided it basically works then you'll find (a) many more things in your riding to occupy your thoughts and (B) if you sling it down the road sometime you'll be a bit less precious about it being really perfect. I guess I could add a © whicih is that i made most of the changes to my bike after I started track days because i found the forks were soft, the shock was ######, the top end was a bit lacking, etc. so as these issue emerged I looked at them. That's the other reason I'd say get on it, you'll soon find out which bit to fiddle with next!

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It's worth spending a few bucks on braided lines, the two-line setup with a double banjo at the master cylinder. At 30k miles the back shock is probably pretty worn out, even a replacement OE second hand low mileage one would be a good move and wouldn't cost much. As for the other stuff, soundbs liek you've pretty much worked your way through it. If it's running okay then I'd say just get out there and ride it, provided it basically works then you'll find (a) many more things in your riding to occupy your thoughts and (B) if you sling it down the road sometime you'll be a bit less precious about it being really perfect. I guess I could add a © whicih is that i made most of the changes to my bike after I started track days because i found the forks were soft, the shock was ######, the top end was a bit lacking, etc. so as these issue emerged I looked at them. That's the other reason I'd say get on it, you'll soon find out which bit to fiddle with next!

 

 

 

Interesting, never heard any recommendations about the rear shock being worn out.......

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