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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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