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Liter Or Middleweight? Age Old Discussion


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A quick background: I've completed three 2-day schools with CSS and will be going back again this coming year for another 2-day and then again at the end of the year for CODE Race. While I don't have a racing license yet, I hope to get one in 2016 maybe later this year.I sold off my 1198S Track Bike earlier this winter with plans to replace it with the new 1299 and full track conversion. In the past I had toyed with the idea of stepping down to a "smaller" bike as I have been told time and time again that you can learn to be faster on smaller bikes than Liter bikes especially on technical tracks. So here I am at a crossroads facing a common debate. 1) Do I opt for the high spec 1299S and throw on a track body or 2) Buy an 899 and go balls out with all sorts of fun stuff (good and/or better components) and arrive at a very similar $$$ in the end.

 

Thoughts?

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I have a rather bent perspective on this which I will share. I have always been a huge fan of smaller bikes. I like the idea of their better handling and lighter weight. Most of my bikes have always been 600's or smaller displacements. I even own a Yamaha FZR400.

 

I spent a bit of time with a BMW S1000RR and it completely turned my world upside down. Here's a bike that handles quite well and has this amazing amount of power and a TC and ABS system that's quite advanced. Once I understood fully how all the electronics on the bike worked I was even more amazed with it. I'm a HUGE fan of the BMW S1000RR so much in fact I have two of them.

 

In my opinion modern 1L machines have broken the age old 600 vs 1000 thought process. The modern 1000's are lighter and more powerful and more than make up for minor weight differences with power. Their advanced features like Traction control and ABS gives a rider a number of advantages over the 600's that don't come with these features. It really comes down to what you think is most important. A slight handling advantage due to lower weight or a lot more power and electronic systems that are there to give you the confidence to go through corners faster in the first place? I never in a million years would have seen myself picking a big 1L machine.

 

The 1L machines are the testing ground for all the new technology. Active suspension, ABS, TC and all of the techno toys go on the 1L machines first.

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I am rather fond of your "bent perspective"! I arranged for the purchase of a used 1199S earlier this morning and will immediately turn it into a dedicated track bike. I just couldn't bring myself to downsize.

 

Thanks for the feedback!

I have a rather bent perspective on this which I will share. I have always been a huge fan of smaller bikes. I like the idea of their better handling and lighter weight. Most of my bikes have always been 600's or smaller displacements. I even own a Yamaha FZR400.

 

I spent a bit of time with a BMW S1000RR and it completely turned my world upside down. Here's a bike that handles quite well and has this amazing amount of power and a TC and ABS system that's quite advanced. Once I understood fully how all the electronics on the bike worked I was even more amazed with it. I'm a HUGE fan of the BMW S1000RR so much in fact I have two of them.

 

In my opinion modern 1L machines have broken the age old 600 vs 1000 thought process. The modern 1000's are lighter and more powerful and more than make up for minor weight differences with power. Their advanced features like Traction control and ABS gives a rider a number of advantages over the 600's that don't come with these features. It really comes down to what you think is most important. A slight handling advantage due to lower weight or a lot more power and electronic systems that are there to give you the confidence to go through corners faster in the first place? I never in a million years would have seen myself picking a big 1L machine.

 

The 1L machines are the testing ground for all the new technology. Active suspension, ABS, TC and all of the techno toys go on the 1L machines first.

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I'll be glad to once we get started. Here's a preliminary list of parts that will be ordered:

 

  • Akrapovic Titanium Full System
  • Rapid Bike Evo Fuel Controller
  • Ohlins NIX30 racing fork cartridges Revalve stock TTX rear shock & install manual adjusters
  • DesmoVeloce Ride Height Adjuster
  • AFAM Quick-Change Sprocket
  • 520 Chain Conversion Kit
  • Fiberglass race bodywork - Armour Bodies or Catalyst
  • Zero Gravity Corsa Racing Screen
  • Motoholders Aluminum Subframe
  • Motoholders Aluminum Fairing Bracket
  • Woodcraft rearsets
  • Shorai Lithium battery
  • Stomp Grip DP radiator guard
  • DP Racing Seat
  • DP Carbon Tank Pad
  • Brembo 19x20 master Brembo HP rotors
  • Custom front brake lines w/ABS bypass
  • BSD Billet Race Switch RH
  • BSD Billet Race Switch LH
  • DP quick-release fuel cap
  • Dunlop N-Tec Slicks
  • AiM Solo-DL Data Logger
  • AiM SmartyCam GP HD Camera
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That sounds like an awesome shopping list. :)

 

I'm not judging but I'm curious as to why you are considering the ABS bypass?

 

While I'm not one to turn off those systems on my bike I understand the need for some faster people to do that. On my BMW you can switch TC and ABS off and there's also tuning options in the Race Calibration kit. Switching these off rather than disabling them might give you an advantage if you end up racing in adverse conditions such as a cold track or a rainy track.

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That sounds like an awesome shopping list. :)

 

I'm not judging but I'm curious as to why you are considering the ABS bypass?

 

While I'm not one to turn off those systems on my bike I understand the need for some faster people to do that. On my BMW you can switch TC and ABS off and there's also tuning options in the Race Calibration kit. Switching these off rather than disabling them might give you an advantage if you end up racing in adverse conditions such as a cold track or a rainy track.

It's a great question. Aside from riding the S1000RR at CSS, I've never had a track bike with ABS. I'm probably not at the level that it truly matters yet, but the ABS system makes the lever feel more spongey. Removing it gives better control, feel, and feedback or so I'm told. Again, it's what I'm use to, so I figure what the hell?!? :) I'll leave the EBC and TC intact of course.

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Thanks for explaining. It's quite important to have a bike adjusted the way you are most comfortable with it.

 

As for the ABS "mushyness" I have noticed that myself and actually like a mushy lever. The reason I like it is the lever feels more progressive to me and allows me to better modulate what pressure I want to use with the brakes. I have an R6 that has a VERY firm lever. The brakes on it are quite good but I don't get as much travel from the lever. I always "feel" as though I'm on the verge of locking the front even though I'm not. :)

 

I have noticed over time my preferences change when I learn new things. Perhaps one day the mushy lever will drive me crazy when I start asking more of my brakes. :)

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