Dear MOby,

So I’ve been thinking about pulling the trigger on a new literbike next spring for a while now, when I stumbled upon a great deal on a like-new 15-year old Honda CBR954RR. I remember loving that bike when it was new, when it was way out of financial reach, and it still looks great to my eyes. If I’m honest with myself, “track days” will be scarce if they occur at all. And if I’m honest with myself again, I could do a lot with the $10k I’d save compared to a new bike. Well, my wife and child could. Here’s my question: If I’m using the bike a lot for commuting, some sport riding on weekends and possibly an annual track day, am I going to miss the ride-by-wire (what is that anyway?), ride modes, traction control, ABS, and all the other stuff an Aprilia RSV4 has?

Power Ranger
SLOtown


Dear PR,

Unless you ride on the street the way people ride on the racetrack, i.e., trying for maximum drive out of every corner by getting hard on the gas with the bike still leaned pretty far over, I really don’t think you’ll miss traction control so much – especially since that old 954 is probably only making 120-or so horsepower to a new Aprilia’s 175-some. The big caveat there is, unless you live in Seattle or someplace where it rains all the time. If that’s the case, you’ll want ABS even more than TC. You can choose to modulate your throttle inputs in low-traction conditions, but you can’t modulate when somebody will turn left in front of you – the #1 motorcycle vs. car collision. In that situation, ABS can be a lifesaver and it’s up to you make that risk/reward calculation.

With carburetors and older fuel injection systems like your Honda’s, the throttle cables open the butterflies (or throttle plates) directly, which let air into your engine, and the computer figures out how much fuel to inject. On more modern ride-by-wire systems, the throttle cable is usually a wire from the throttle directly to the bike’s computer. Using input from all the other sensors, now including an Inertial Measurement Unit on many bikes, the computer decides how much power you really want and how much to open the butterflies. R-b-W makes it easier for the engineers to program in all the TC, anti-wheelie, ignition cut for the quickshifter, launch control, ride modes (maybe Rain, Road and Sport), and whatever else they dream up to make your life more seamless and safer.

You need this stuff to go fast now, but not really to just ride around.

If you’re going for minimum lap times and minimum risk, all that stuff is truly amazing and a huge boon to help those with less athletic ability (or judgment) ride faster and safer than they’d be able to on their own. If you were going Superbike racing, you wouldn’t stand a chance without it. For commuting and weekend sport riding, with a wife and child you’d like to return to, the vast majority of us just aren’t going to twist the throttle hard enough on the street to get much benefit out of it at all, again, unless you like to ride in the rain. Or on Montezuma Grade maybe…

The 954RR is a fine old machine, a great, comfortable and the most practical of the literbikes of its era, thanks to its light weight and nimble handling. You’d ride it happily ever after if you chose it – unless you rode the Aprilia, winner of our 2017 Superbike Shootout. A lot has changed in 15 years, and the only way to experience it, sadly, is on a liter-class sportbike built in the last few years. Sorry but it’s true.


Send your moto-related questions to AskMOAnything@motorcycle.com. If we can’t answer them, we’ll at least do no harm in the time it takes to seek out a believable answer.

Recent Ask MOs:
What’s a Linkage Suspension and Why Would I Need One?
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  • StripleStrom

    That’s an excellent question and answer… I’ve been wondering that myself. I really think I could benefit from some of the new technology on my older liter bike, particularly ABS.

    • Mad4TheCrest

      ABS isn’t perfect (especially in cheaper more basic implementations), but I would insist on it being on any new bike I purchase. I could forgive its absence on older bikes if all else was good.

  • JMDGT

    Yes. We live in the best of times.

    • john phyyt

      Mint 954 or Aprilia. I would be tempted to ride by either: even in December.
      No bad choice here. Is financing the Aprilia okay? Wifey Okay with it? How glorious is 175hp. Ferrari’s be damned this is the sort of performance which only a select few could experience just 10 years ago. You only get so to dance on this earth for a short time. . Amazing . JMDGT is so right.

  • Mad4TheCrest

    I’ll bet the 954 will be more comfortable as a commuter than most if not all of today’s latest literbikes; and will still pump the adrenaline effectively on weekend romps. The 964RR was I believe the last of the ‘Fireblade’ series designed by Tadao Baba, the Father of The Fireblade. And that makes it special.

    • Johnny Blue

      You are correct.

    • Jon Jones

      Much easier to split lanes on sportbikes, too.

    • Jeremiah Mckenna

      However, you are forgetting the liter bikes that the manufacturers are making specifically for people like the OP, take these for example: the Yamaha YZF-R1S, Kawa ZX10R-SE, Kawa Ninja 1000 ABS, Honda CBR1000R, Suzuki GSX-S1000FABS, of course there are a lot of other Suzuki GSX S models to choose from. These bikes are designed for the rider that will use the bike on a daily basis, still want the zoomie effect , but want more comfort, and still be able to at least have the bike that can be taken to the track on the weekends, even if it never happens. Money wise, they are a little less money than the one degree removed from the track, bikes.

  • Johnny Blue

    That in the top photo is exactly the bike I ride. It makes 147 HP at the wheel (on the dyno) with a power commander and Hindle full exhaust. 154 HP I believe is the spec at the crank. The power commander was the biggest improvement, because the fueling was less than perfect at lower rpms under steady throttle. With that sorted out, the bike is perfect for commuting and longer trips (got heated grips too). It is indeed very comfortable. I rode it across Europe in 2 days and no parts of my body ached. I was ready for more at the end of the trip. I had a 2011 BMW S1000RR and for street riding there’s not much difference.
    If you buy it I recommend replacing the original rear tire size 190/17 50 with a 190/17 55. It really makes the bike turn. The 954 is my daily ride and I love it. I’d buy it again. And it’s cheap. If you really don’t like it it is easy to resale it and get the newer one. If you’re getting a good deal you might even turn a profit on it! 🙂

    • AM

      Yeah nice bike. But when you put it against the new crop of 1000 it doesn’t come even close. Simple as that. Different geometry, power, brakes, suspension, dynamics, etc, etc…..Not EVEN close.

      • Johnny Blue

        That was the whole point. You don’t measure it against the new bikes. You take it for what it is. A commuting bike with some track days potential.

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      • Jason

        Per Motorcyclist Magazine:
        Honda CBR954RR (’02) 132.1 HP 10.20 1/4 mile

        Per MCNews:
        BMW S1000RR (’10) 179 HP 10.02 sec 1/4 mile

        47 Hp and all the electronic wizardry nets 2 tenths of a second.

        Sport bikes hit their acceleration limit decades ago as you can only accelerate so fast before you flip over. Today’s sport bikes make huge horsepower strapped to a dyno but the electronics take it away to protect the rider from killing themselves.

        • KiIIng

          That is about as irrelevant of a number as anyone can use to compare the two. On the track and for sporty riding you go from 0 only once. The rest is rolling acceleration, which is where you feel the huge difference coming it of turns. Braking will be better on the new bikes, so will handling with improved geometry. For commuting, where you actually leave stop lights, you won’t use 50% of power anyway.

          OP should know what kind of rider he is. If he’s okay taking it easy during track and constantly yielding to others and can take it easy on the weekends so riding aides aren’t needed to keep him rubber side down, 954 will do the job and he’ll be riding his old dream bike.

          But if he likes to push it, Aprilia is the way to go… Or the s1000rr given the forum.

          • Jason

            OK, how about this one:

            In 2007 Troy Corser lapped Phillips Island in 1:31:826
            In 2017 Jonathan Rea Lapped Phillips Island in 1:29:573

            In 11 years superbikes got 2.5% faster

            My point is that we are far past the point of diminishing returns when it comes to sportbikes. The electronics make for a nice safety net but the extra horsepower is mostly for spec racing.

          • KiIIng

            I thought we were talking street legal bikes. MotoGP has hit diminishing returns a lot faster than what’s allowed or practical on the road. There are performance differences beyond the “2.5%” like having more power in the mid-range rpm, which is more street-friendly.

            Then there’s the skill gap. I’m certain that a lot more riders today can go faster (and safer) with the new safety features. For someone like OP who might do 1 track day a year, it would translate into getting around much faster and safer. I stand by my statement. There are valid arguments for each bike, so it’s about what you’d like to get out of riding them and what you’re okay with not getting.

            I’m not sure what you’re suggesting, though. That they’re too similar in performance? I think you’d have a hard time making that point.

          • Jason

            Yes, I’m specifically saying that at speeds that real people ride on public roads, the OP won’t notice the difference in power because the electronics on the Aprilia won’t allow that power to be unleashed.

            I’m saying that advances in sport bike performance leveled out in the 90’s because OEMs hit the hard wall of physics. You can only accelerate (on the throttle or brakes) a short wheelbase vehicle like a motorcycle so fast before it flips over. Most of the small advances in lap times since the 90’s have come from better tire technology allowing for greater cornering speeds.

            I’m saying electronic safety technology like ABS and traction control are great. That would be an excellent reason to buy a new bike over the old Honda.

          • Born to Ride

            While I agree with your original point about the “advancements” made to superbikes being wasted on everyone but top flight racers, 2.3 seconds per lap is a pretty huge difference in racing man. Over the course of a race, that could literally result in being a mile behind. Why do I have the feeling you already know that but decided to use it to make your point anyways?

  • best case scenario would be to have the older models with cutting edge technology. Imagine the fireblades with new technology….wow!

    • Jason

      That would be nice. I would love someone to make an aftermarket ABS system.

  • Rocky Stonepebble

    Do I Really Need A New Superbike?

    Yes. Or a wild 500 two-stroke. Next!?

  • DickRuble

    Ah, the Dear John! section…. “My parents are telling me I should be dating more.. I am torn between buxom blondes and tall brunettes, My friends say redheads can be fun. What do you recommend?”

    • Rocky Stonepebble

      “… I am torn between buxom blondes and tall brunettes, whom I used to fantasize about 15 years ago, in college, My friends say redheads can …”

      First of all, it is of whom, and secondly, why is “My” capitalized?

      Also, you do know periods are allowed, do you not? Your egregious use of commas is eye-splitting.

      • DickRuble

        why is “My” capitalized?. Because it is a new sentence. This topic is usually covered in first grade.

        • Rocky Stonepebble

          There was NO period there. You edited without credit.

          I’m used to you interweb weasel tough guy types, so I took a screenshot. A FULL THREE HOURS AFTER THE POST:
          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/aefe64be36ae22410a320a947748758ca37feb37894fdbebac048483b12ee8e0.png
          Thank you for calling. Do try and get it correct next time. There’s a good lad.

          • DickRuble

            You have way too much time to waste. Do something productive.

          • Rocky Stonepebble

            I have. I put a troll in his place.

          • john burns

            wow you outRubled Ruble, congrats.

      • Alaskan18724

        “An “F” in English? Bobby, you SPEAK English….”

    • john burns

      So sexist, Ruble. I’m here for any personal questions you need answered, also. Don’t be shy it’s the internet.

      • Rocky Stonepebble

        So kind. So touchy feely.
        Uh-oh! is your name Harvey?

      • DickRuble

        Your personal life doesn’t interest anyone, so there’s no point in asking you personal questions.

  • Bmwclay

    The newest, fastest, trickiest, superbike will be outdated the moment you sign the dotted line.
    78 R100S
    00 1150GS
    06 K1200S

    • Rocky Stonepebble

      1986: Michel Mercier won the Canadian Superbike Championship on a Suzuki RG500 Gamma. They went for $5000 CAN. Would you purchase one now for $16,499 USD (the current price of a 2017 CBR)?

      Would you call it outdated?

      • Bmwclay

        Yes

        • Rocky Stonepebble

          Really?

          • Johnny Blue

            Maybe he answered yes to the first question!

          • Rocky Stonepebble

            I doubt it. Young people of today are so cynical about the rose-tinted memories of the twisty-flexy bikes, and gas guzzling mega-inch cars of the older folk.

            And, I don’t blame him.

            And, he’s probably my age or older, but not as insanely nostalgic.
            🙂

      • DickRuble

        It had a full floater suspension, if I am not mistaken.

        • Rocky Stonepebble

          Mine had a full floater rider.

          • kenneth_moore

            Mine had a floater in the carburetor bowl.

          • Rocky Stonepebble

            You had a Gamma?

      • AM

        Any new 1000 will put the 86 RG500 to shame on any track and anywhere. It only makes 83 / 85 HP at the wheel and with the OEM 120/90 rear tire you just about do not have anything…. sorry. That was back in 1986. 600 supersport will run circles around it. 1000 will make that thing look like a bicycle.

        • Rocky Stonepebble

          I know. I owned one. And an RZ500. And they were just so cool!

          (Also, not much required to greatly increase that power)

          • Kevin Duke

            Stay tuned for a ride report from an RZV500 to be published today…

          • Rocky Stonepebble

            Did you get a DeLorean, or are you somehow able to tap my alcohol dripped memories?

            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/db78a1972390fdf6c4dc10d872789c551112719417f6f5faa46c744e913c9fc2.jpg (As an aside, that is in my parents’ driveway and today my youngest brother called to say he feels it’s time to put maw in a home. I think I’m getting drunk tonight.)

          • Kevin Duke

            That’s just like my first streetbike! The report I referred to is with the aluminum-framed RZV fitted with R6 fork, brakes, wheels, swingarm and shock. It was awesome!

          • Rocky Stonepebble

            I’m so looking forward to it, I got impatient and searched your site.

            I came across this:

            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a7b5cb42710545f6d466bc56e8f6547615a270f956282f34bd3ab8fcc01d8930.jpg 😉

          • Kevin Duke

            And you’ll see that same shot later today… 🙂

          • Rocky Stonepebble

            I must search to find a pair of photos; my dad, the camera nut, took the photos on the day I delivered the RZed to it’s new owner.

            If found, and one were to look closely, one shall find that they are of the bike as the front end is unloading, and then of it collapsing.

            F*****g dear missed the entire corner exit lift off! (We lived near a bend, and dad would not leave his post, so space was limited).

            I loved my dad more than everything, but he kept telling me I was a bad human for doing wheelies. Then, he proceeded to (attempt) to snap photos of me doing them.

            Did you have the head-shake upon landing?

          • Rocky Stonepebble

            Kevin? How “up on” are you about RZs? Shall I get all nerd like from memory, or are you hip?

      • nick edwards

        Yes it is outdated & no I wouldn’t buy one. A UK magazine track test showed that the modern superbikes are much faster & more user friendly than an old 2 stroke regardless of how good they look.

        • Rocky Stonepebble

          You required a magazine test to tell you that?

          • nick edwards

            No I didn’t but I thought that you & some of the others on here might.

          • Rocky Stonepebble

            I’ve owned the bikes. You’ve read about them.

          • nick edwards

            I wasn’t aware that we had met. How do you know what I have owned or currently own. I guess you must be either a teenager or from the US.

          • Rocky Stonepebble

            Yes. I’m a teenager that has posted photos of me and of my bikes from back in the 80’s.

            You’re a maths major, aren’t you?

          • nick edwards

            Ah, from the USA then.
            What’s a maths major? Some sort of military rank?

          • Rocky Stonepebble

            Wrong on both accounts, Ine-steen. So, you are both an idiot and an illiterate. Hardly the best course to travel through life, dear girl. Perhaps you should learn Her Majesty’s language. But, you shan’t. Let me guess, a drunken mick or an inbred taff?

            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/24591873509c953d600407c6bf712ab9cac643cfdb386d55a40341085a210c03.png

          • nick edwards

            You missed out the Scots. You have to do all three to get a prize.
            Anyway back on topic, the comparison I referred to tested an ex GP RG500 & compared lap times of over the counter superbikes. It just shows how much road bikes have improved. Regarding the Gamma, it was one of the most underwhelming bikes I have owned. All hype & not much else. Not fast, poor brakes, average handling & a huge thirst. Didn’t keep it very long.
            Regarding the Cb954rr, they are pleasant enough, don’t look dated but not as much fun as the post 2008 Blades.

          • Rocky Stonepebble

            I’m a Scot, you illiterate fanny.

          • nick edwards

            Perhaps you need to read up on the meaning. Or maybe you were confusing it with clairvoyant which unlike yourself, I am not.
            Unless of course, as I have said before, have we met?

          • Rocky Stonepebble

            WTF are you babbling on about?

            Go away, you illiterate idiot.

          • nick edwards

            Touchy arent you. Yes I am out of here. Better things to do than trade insults with know all born again bikers. Have a good Xmas.

    • Alaskan18724

      Great stable you’ve got there….

    • Jeremiah Mckenna

      Much like the newest cellphones, lap tops, smart watches, cars, etc. We can always think that the new/now/next will be better than what is out now, but then we will never own anything new since we are waiting for the next one to come out that should be better than the one that is out now. Just buy what is out now and be happy with your purchase until you aren’t suited for it, or go old school and buy something for less money due to depreciation. Then use some of the saved money to make the bike more to your liking.

  • Alaskan18724

    Two cents: If you can afford a new bike, by all means do the deal. I love–I mean absolutely love!–bikes from the 1970s, especially BMWs, Moto Guzzis, Triumphs and Nortons. I would not be averse to a Laverday Triple, or a vintage MV Agusta. I had a real thing for the GS Suzukis of the 1980s, and still think the GS 850G was pretty close to a perfect all-around motorcycle. My eldest son finally persuaded me, from Trashcanistan, that I have no business mucking around with the bikes of my youth. While they still appeal aesthetically, new bikes are functionally better in every way.
    I’m also an adherent of the great Peter Egan, and the fact that I have no business mucking around with the bikes of my youth will not stop me from so mucking when opportunity arises. Optimally, however, those bikes will be second, third, and fourth bikes, behind one of more recent vintage that will be used when reliability and safety are the order of worship, such as on the daily commute. Won’t stop me from tracking down a pristine Daytona Orange R90S, trucking it to the Dillard house, and riding behind a petrified smile the entire length of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Or an 850 Eldorado. Wait: I can have a new 1400 Eldorado that has 90% of the charm of the old one, but by all accounts acquits itself well against a modern standard.

    • Rocky Stonepebble

      Trashcanistan?

      • Alaskan18724

        Afghanistan.

        • Alaskan18724

          Milspeak.

        • Rocky Stonepebble

          TY … the interwebbery gave two different answers.

          I was afraid you may have been talking about Canada, and I was concerned that our wall was not working.

          A-hahahahahahahahahahaha !!!

          😉

          • Alaskan18724

            No worries, mate.

          • Rocky Stonepebble

            ???

          • Alaskan18724

            Nothing to fear. Was simply speaking disrespectfully of a difficult place in which any number of Americans find themselves doing difficult jobs. By definition, does not include the Great White North. At least from my perspective–YMMD.

          • Rocky Stonepebble

            I did not take it as an affront to Kanuckistan. Most hosers are ecstatic that anyone else in the world knows we exist (good or bad).

            I did not assume you were referring to Kanada in the first place. I just wanted to make a “Wall” joke.

            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/3bf7d5dfc009b2916e01497266515c1e2dfd32e25913c6cfa05fd259e91198cd.jpg

    • Jon Jones

      Funny, I still have a 1980 Suzuki GS1000G that I love and ride regularly. Indeed, although dated they still are wonderful motorbikes.

      • Alaskan18724

        Loved that bike. I’m thrilled with all of the new standards; wish Suzuki would reprise the GS models. Made great all arounders, and surprisingly excellent two-up touring steeds. Nobody has made a better, more comfortable saddle, before or since. Treasure that one.

        • Jon Jones

          Great saddle, indeed. A friend of mine called his GS850, “The Flying Couch”. Too many modern bikes lock your butt in place and force your apple-sack into the tank.

          • Rocky Stonepebble

            I used to call my first Grand National: “The World’s Fastest Living Room.”

  • Joe Smith

    Yes, get the Aprilia. You will then be the only person I’ve ever known or heard of that didn’t have a catastrophic failure. Like Rick said, “it’s an ape, when it runs.”

  • michael32853hutson@yahoo.com

    i will watch from afar as those who know best how to use these new-fangled gew-gaws do so-i’ll be happy with a Sporty,preferably 2004 or newer

  • lennon2017

    I’ve never experienced a liter superbike, but having plenty of experience with power plants of many outputs (bmw boxers, 300cc paratwins, 600cc I4s, CBs, CRFs, etc.), though no two-strokes, the idea that such missiles are ever seen as street-friendly baffles me. Sure, they’re capable of easing in the torque and hp, making them “safe” below 1/2 or 3/4 throttle, but how frustrating it must be to have one in any of the 49 states which don’t legalize lane-splitting. So many cars means so much traffic so often. If you’re stuck behind someone doing the limit or heaven forbid lower, crawling along at 15, 25, 35-40 mph, and the bike is warm, even hot, and you’re leant over, feathering the clutch, all for significant chunks of time, and it’s largely for the POTENTIAL or the appeal of being the rider on the cool bike rolling slowly along, right hand on the clip on and the other on the corresponding leg, going “god, just gooo, just drive like a normal you UGH!” while revving the engine dramatically to make your frustrations with cagers heard, that sounds miserable. Yes, bikes rule, all are worth riding, fun times to be had always because because, because duh, but the societal stifle of many roads, coupled with the craptastic condition of many, would just depress me after the honeymoon phase. Ferraris are cool to see, and drive, presumably, but owning one in stop-and-go scenarios must have a big WTF hanging over it. This comment very tangential to the concerns of the question submitted, yet I guess it means go with the classic bike, PR, because cash saved and nuff said. More gear! Better gear. Gear for her, too.

    • Rocky Stonepebble

      “I’ve never experienced a liter superbike, but having plenty of experience with power plants of many outputs (bmw boxers, 300cc paratwins, 600cc I4s, CBs, CRFs, etc.), though no two-strokes …” blah blah blah blah

      I stopped reading shortly after putting the gun to my head. WTF was your point?

      • Old MOron

        …go with the classic bike, PR, because cash saved and nuff said. More gear! Better gear. Gear for her, too.

        That seems like a valid thesis. Of course I skipped to the bottom to get it!

        • Rocky Stonepebble

          “Gear for her, too.”

          WTF? That is one of the reasons I ride. T o escape.

          • Old MOron

            Hmm, we know you have at least one ex-wife already, and that she was sarcastic and liked to argue. http://disq.us/p/1nt4679
            If you feel a recurring need to escape, perhaps you would benefit from being more discerning when you choose a companion.
            Just trying to help 🙂

          • Rocky Stonepebble

            I stopped at one. I’m not daft.

            The escape is from everyone and everything. Wish to join me?
            Get a bike.

            And to all those that care (sorry I’m late; was busy before sunset):
            HAPPY CHA NOOK UH!

            https://youtu.be/xDV_reO930A

          • Old MOron

            “Wish to join me? Get a bike.”
            Aye, and no goddamned chatter on some helmet intercom.

          • Rocky Stonepebble

            Bingo!

            My olde pal and I got a couple of those Collett Communicators about fifteen to twenty years back. We used them once, on an eight hour ride through Muskoka. We each spoke about three sentences.

            They were never attached to our helmets again.

  • John B.

    Yes, we motorcyclists NEED people with means to buy new motorcycles. Go buy a new super bike now!

  • TonyCarlos

    Buying an older bike to save money? Want ABS to save your worthless butt ?
    BMWs have had ABS since the late 80s.
    If you’re superbike shopping they’ll probably not scratch that itch.

  • James Stewart

    As a 50 something who can finally afford to write the check for a liter toy, I still can’t force myself to do it after reading the stats about older riders + 175 HP = splat. Yes I see the value in ABS/TC but maybe a 5-10 yr old bike with 130 HP, EFI. and first gen ABS is a better choice. A man’s gotta know his limitations…

    • Jon Jones

      Good call, and you’ll save big bucks.

  • TronSheridan

    Need…Want. Two entirely different things.

    • Old MOron

      Unless the wanting is strong.
      On the other hand:
      https://youtu.be/QcxWxNO8idc

      • Rocky Stonepebble

        “That’s not news, but that too, is reality.”

  • 19pacman59

    Does someone really need the latest Superbike on public roads? NO. Does someone really need a Superbike on public roads? NO. No real need but still a lot of fun to ride a Superbike as I do.

  • libsarescum

    Do you need a Superbike? YES!!

  • Helmut

    What a dumb person to ask such a stoopid question. Really, if you want the freakin’ bike get it. If you cant use it for your purposes then don’t. Sometimes I think these questions are manufactured to stir the pot, unless there really are numpties out there. (And PS, ask John McGuinness and Guy about their Honda “fly-by-wire” experiences!)

  • Kelly Slow

    I have a 954 and crashed it at the track in 2011. ABS probably would have saved me (or much better riding skills, take your pick). That said I do still like the old thing. It *is* very nimble.

  • SpeedBeagle BrianHaner

    I always have to laugh a little when I read people’s comments regarding this sort of topic. I’m a gen-X’er which may have some weight in the side I choose yet I find many people my age go the opposite way as well so maybe it’s not a generational thing. There will always be people who appreciate old tech and I am one of them. I just don’t understand why some people can’t get past the numbers on a page and not think of a bike needing to be the absolute best or it’s worth nothing. I liken this to the ownership of dogs. Some people love dogs so much they treat them like part of the family yet some people who also love dogs don’t treat them well and keep them outdoors alone in kennels and just look at them as more of a tool than anything more than that.
    So when someone is open to potentially appreciating old tech for what it is why do these numbers people think that just because their latest and greatest can “run circles around it” that that has any weight from the OP’ers query? I think most people my age have a bike or ten that they wished they could have had new when they were younger and surprisingly, yes, they can still be fun by todays standards if your not worried about penis size and how the latest Aprilia specs compare. ABS, Traction Control are all fine and good, but it wasn’t that long ago that we were having the discussion of why these things were even necessary to begin with – Band-aids for the user who probably shouldn’t be operating that particular machine most likely. Those things were all done with great success for many years by hands and feet not computers. So my point is directed to some of the newer numbers people. Ask yourself if your buying a bike because it is what you need or because it’s what will keep you up with Johnny who looks like he knows what he’s doing because he has a new bike every summer? Instead of thinking of output numbers I think people ought to think more of riding skills and how you acquire those skills. I see a guy pushing an older bike through a corner I see a guy who really loves his bike and all it’s flaws. Adopt an old bike and make it feel cool again.

  • tiger800

    Bought a 2012 tiger 800 xc that had abs only and loved it!!! Just bought a new one with ride by wire, all the traction control modes and now it is just annoying. Have to flip though 10 menus every time I ride ( or turn the bike off)