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New Bike Technology, is it worth a new bike?


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Does the technology in current bikes make it really worthwhile to sell what you have to purchase anew? I'm happy with my current bike, but I understand the safety net the new bikes provide via technology. Can it help elevate rider improvement, enough to pop down $15k...or maybe I'm just TRYING to justify buying a new bike? (LoL).

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You're asking a group of people who spend all their spare time and money going to racetracks to ride bikes whether or not you should buy a new bike?....of course you should!....everyone loves a new bike!!

Interesting question though.  I would say that it depends.   Are you coming out of corners spinning up the rear wheel or having the traction control kicking in so that you need newer, lean-sensitive or programmable traction control?  Same goes for the brakes - is it under-performing and you need the most advanced ABS out there to remove those moments when you are 'clenched'?  Quickshifters are great as well, but with some practice and perseverance (and a few missing gear teeth) you can shift smoothly and quickly without one (this is one I have been working on recently and have finally got the hang of clutch-less shifts and throttle blipping - and I mean finally!)

Lately, I was berating the brakes on my 300cc thinking that they need an upgrade from rubber hoses and stock pads to something more substantial, but then asked myself how often I lock up the brakes or get the ABS activating.  At my current skill level I can't activate the ABS on a good, dry surface so the brakes' performance is above my own, so pointless upgrading anything, apart from perhaps myself.

Those are just some random thoughts, I'm very much old-school as two of my bikes have kick-starters and the other two still have cable throttles - and only one of those has ABS!   I'm interested in the answer myself from those that ride and have experience with more technologically superior machinery than my own. 

At the end of the day, do you need to 'justify' a new bike?  😉

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  • 2 weeks later...

I certainly don't need to justify a new bike! I awoke from a "nightmare" this morning asking my wife if I owned an R6. In the dream, the bike hadn't been ridden in 2-3 years and I was concerned about maintenance problems from it sitting unused. I have this problem in real life and I thought it was compounded by a bike I bought and had forgotten about.

With that said, my only sportbike is a 2006 CBR1000RR that I did a makeover on it to make it stylish and functional. Upgraded suspension, brakes, new cooling system hoses to match the custom painted bodywork, CF wrapped frame, swingarm and wheels. I also have a software to flash the ECU to accommodate the quickshifter that I had installed, I'll get around to that eventually. The bike is cable to throttle bodies and has highsided me once on the track and I might still have a little bit of fear of it, which is why I refuse to ride it in anything approaching wet conditions at NJMP (site of last crash).

My last CSS last month was at NJMP and I rode the BMW S1000RR and was able to ride that same corner, laughing each time in my helmet that I'd beaten that corner, while my coach had me work on finding how soon I could get to WOT there.

Was it the bike, or was it I that had conquered the corner? Will I be able to answer this until I bring my Fireblade back to NJMP? Can I do it in the wet?

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Rider education and skillful handling are hugely important, of course, and rider training is probably always the best motorcycle investment you can make - but having said all of that, the S1000rr is an extremely rider friendly bike. It is nimble but not twitchy, incredibly powerful but amazingly easy to control, the suspension is electronically controlled so it responds to conditions, and of course the ride modes allow you to set the rider aids how you like. I have other bikes but every time I get on one of the school S1000rrs I breathe a sigh of relief at how comfortable, easy to ride, and confidence inspiring it is.

A couple of my other bikes are amazing training tools - because they force the rider to have excellent control - but they are a WHOLE LOT less forgiving than the S1000rr.

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  • 5 months later...
On 9/14/2021 at 12:03 AM, Hotfoot said:

Rider education and skillful handling are hugely important, of course, and rider training is probably always the best motorcycle investment you can make - but having said all of that, the S1000rr is an extremely rider friendly bike. It is nimble but not twitchy, incredibly powerful but amazingly easy to control, the suspension is electronically controlled so it responds to conditions, and of course the ride modes allow you to set the rider aids how you like. I have other bikes but every time I get on one of the school S1000rrs I breathe a sigh of relief at how comfortable, easy to ride, and confidence inspiring it is.

A couple of my other bikes are amazing training tools - because they force the rider to have excellent control - but they are a WHOLE LOT less forgiving than the S1000rr.

Obviously, rider training and skilful handling are hugely important, especially if it's with CSS! 😉 

So, if someone (like myself!) was looking to improve their riding and explore more track time would they be better served by shopping around for an older bike that would help develop that skill and handling, or aim for a bike that is more forgiving and has the electronic aids to let the rider concentrate on technique?   *I seem to remember there was a thread that explored this before, and that it is also covered somewhere in a 600cc vs 1000cc track bikes, so apologies if I'm covering old ground.

The reason I ask - the S1000R (not RR) is a bike that I am looking at and I was wondering what the coaches' opinion on aids such as traction control, riding modes as well as for suspension set-up was, and if they hindered or helped?  My experience has always been with more analogue equipment, and although I'm not techno-phobic (honestly!) the electronic option feels like the lazier choice....maybe I'm just old-fashioned!

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I'd forgotten about this thread.

I had the opportunity to ride my Fireblade at NJMP on a trackday last year. It was about 2 months after a CSS school date. No only did I not crash the bike, but I was only 1sec off my best school time but it didn't seem to come as smoothly- I really had to work for it, intentionally. The extra HP and weight advantage on the BMW really mean something. My bike sounds more menacing, but the BMW definitely gets to warp speed quicker.

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That's too bad you crashed - hope you came out of it uninjured.

It seems to come back to perspective and where one's attention is being spent.  I always feel that once I notice something, that's the area that isn't working properly.  Ideally, I guess the aim would be to get the rider and bike working in harmony where they complement each other rather than work against each other then everything else flows from there.  Personally, this is one of the reasons I am considering the BMW as I know it is a lot better than I am and I can continually improve with it (it also fits me pretty well off-the-shelf), as opposed to riding something less forgiving/less comfortable that consequently, gets outridden or 'isn't quite right' and causes issues that have to be ridden around, taking up effort that could be spent on technique.  

20 hours ago, Jaybird180 said:

My bike sounds more menacing, but the BMW definitely gets to warp speed quicker.

A bike's gotta sound great too, haha!

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