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Old 01-15-2006, 08:19 PM   #41
nbyers
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Default First Modern Sports Bike

Given the choices above, I'd say Firebolt 12.



It's way different from your Harley in seating position and power. It's different and cool.



A lot of smart people are recommending the XB9 instead of the XB12. I would recommend exactly the opposite; I thought the XB9 ran out of power too early for my taste. Was it me, I'd buy the XB12, no contest. YMMV.





However, couple of alternates to consider.



1. Ducati 999. Short seat height (800mm; shorter than the Honda, Suzuki, and Yamaha listed above). Way way different from the Harley. Exotic lust object. If you get one of these, get some Cyclecat or Helibars for a much more humane riding position.



2. Poor man's 999: Suzuki SV1000S. What an excellent, underrated bike. Great power that's real-world easy to access, nice looks (especially before they went to the black frame). Ditto on the Heli-bars here, although it's less important on the Suzuki than the Ducati.



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Old 01-15-2006, 10:53 PM   #42
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Default Re: First Modern Sports Bike

If I were you, I'd generally stick with the middleweights. Or at least I'd stay away from bikes like the Kawi ZX-10R, R1, CBR1000RR,GSX-R 1000 and the Duc 999. Too much of a leap, I think.



Both the Buell XB9 R/S and XB12 R/S qualify as middleweights. Just remember that the XB12 has got a startling amout of tourque in such a small/short package. Also remember that the R&S models have some pretty radical geometry.



Also, naked bikes with more standard ergos might present an easier transition. But if you really want a fully-faired, racer-crouch bike, go for it. Some are quite liveable.



And yes, Triumphs are very reliable. I think the reliablity problems you reference are about 30 years old and died with the original Triumph company in Meriden. New "Hinckley" Triumphs are as reliable as anything.



From the word leaking out from the Daytona 675 press lauch this week, the bike is phenomenal. But you might want to consider last year's Daytona 650, too. An excellent and underrated bike with humane and roomy ergos you can get at a discount.



Just about all of the bikes everyone has mentioned already are excellent choices. The difficult--and fun--part is choosing.



Maybe a Kawi ZX-6R? Ducati Monster S2R 1000? Suzuki SV 1000? '06 Yamaha FZ1? Triumph Speed Four or Speed Triple? And so many more. All very different from one another but really, really different than your H-D.
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Old 01-16-2006, 04:10 AM   #43
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Default Re: First Modern Sports Bike

Street Riding comments: I just got back on my XB-12R after a spill in October. I was hypersensitive to the way it handled because I crashed it and wondered if it was OK. Well, it was fine, but what happened was I fell in love all over again with it. The way it turns is really amazing and effortless. Middleweight schmiddleweight for the street. The thrust you get from the Buell on twisty roads, slow turns, etc. can only be matched by literbikes, but without the Oh Sh*t top end to get you in trouble. I've ridden a couple 600s, my sister has a CBR-RR, and I wanted to run it in the ditch because it had no torque until 8-10K RPM. It was an unsafe feeling having to keep the RPMS high entering turns to make sure it didn't fall on it''s face exiting the turn. Oh yea, it's fast when your screaming up to 15K RPM, but just midranging around is annoying. Now, I also own and ride a ZX-10R and love it too, but a little more work to turn and a bit more uncomfortable after a while. The thrust is really fun, midrange is cool, but 100+ MPH is literally a flick of the wrist. Put it this way, the Buell will give you all kinds of fun torque under 100 MPH, the Ninja will give you fun torque for about 3 seconds, then you're in the triple digits. I'm bloviating now. Buell is fun on the track, but annoying being passed on the straights. Hope this info helps. BTW, you're an experienced rider, you'll have no trouble with a current literbike - it'll give you everything you want on the street and track, with reserve everything left over. You just have to be expereinced and disciplined enough to use wisely.
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Old 01-16-2006, 04:30 AM   #44
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Default Re: First Modern Sports Bike

Haha. I think I may have left you with the false impression that I'm new to motorcycling rather than just new to sports bikes. I have a full face helmet and half a body's worth of leather -- I've just never bothered with pants (wait, that didn't come out right ) -- I've got a hell of a lot of miles under my belt and have spent my fair share of quality time with the asphalt so I understand the importance of good gear. The advanced rider course certainly isn't going to hurt anything so I'll check it out.
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Old 01-16-2006, 04:33 AM   #45
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Default Re: First Modern Sports Bike

I haven't checked out used dukes yet but new ones are crazy ass expensive for what I'm looking to do. How do older dukes hold up?
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Old 01-16-2006, 04:37 AM   #46
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Default Re: Scr3w it!!!

well you're entitle to your flawed opinion but I like my Harley just fine -- but I am definitely looking for a different experience when I'm not distance riding.
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Old 01-16-2006, 04:48 AM   #47
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Default Re: First Modern Sports Bike

Thanks for the vote of confidence -- before the riding position and vibration got to me I was riding a 1200 sportster custom (before they rubber mounted the engines). The low end torque on that machine made me feel like a hard throttle twist would peel me right off the bike... scary fun I'm guessing that the Buells (particularly the 1200s) would be very similar from that perspective.



I tend to agree that I'm unlikely to squid out regardless of what I get but I don't want to get more bike than I will make use of either -- having said that I'm starting to get excited about the notion of hitting the track so it's still a little difficult to know "how much bike" to buy.
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Old 01-16-2006, 04:50 AM   #48
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Default Re: First Modern Sports Bike

oh, and concerning reliability -- it's highly probable that my triumph info is grossly outdated. I don't have much to do with other people and know very few other serious motorcyclists.
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Old 01-16-2006, 05:06 AM   #49
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Default Re: First Modern Sports Bike

My friend races &rides ducs. The shop mechanic says he got a "good one" meaning my friend hasn't had many problems. The new bikes are great, some have had a few minor issues, but I would beware the used ones unless I knew the owner took care of it.
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Old 01-16-2006, 06:08 AM   #50
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Default Um, not really

The XB12R has significantly more torque (and although it's not impressive in the world of supersports, a lot more hp, too) than a 1200 sportster. Plus, it's in much smaller/shorter/lighter package. I doubt you ever came close to lifting the front wheel of your Sportster. On the XB 12 it's pretty easy.



That's not to say that you won't be able to handle the Buell, a race-replica supersport, or even a literbike fairly easily, just that there will be an adjustment. For some, the adjustment will take a bit of time, while others will adapt quickly.



The big power is not the only factor. It's not just a matter of taming your throttle hand. It's the combination of big power, instant response and razor-sharp handling and mega-powerful brakes that will, very likely, be somewhat shocking (and oh so much fun).



Inline-4 supersports might not be as much fun to ride around town. The Kawi ZX-6R and Daytona 650 offer some more midrange to make them more streetable. The Buells are really fun and still very different than your Harley. The new Daytona 675 might offer the best of both worlds.



And if you're planning on going to the track, a middleweight is more than enough. The literbikes will be a hand-and-a-half-full.
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