View Full Version : Middleweight Musings

April 1st, 2004, 10:29 AM
A little bored today so I thought I'd stir some trou...er, debate.

Last week's SMR I had the chance to ride my brother's '02 R6. The experience was really amazing and humbling after I had some time to reflect. I've basically cut my street teeth on big, heavy, powerful bikes like a 94 GSXR 750, and my current VTR1000. I've concentrated on improving my skills to the point where I consider myself an average to slightly-above street rider. Boy was I mistaken.

Basically, 'torque' can make up for a lot of mistakes, lack of skills, and deficits in concentration. On the Superhawk or any 1k just choose a gear (any gear), lean it in, gas it out and you're stylin. On a 600, you have 5 times as much info to process. It's twitchy so you gotta be smooth and watch for headshake, it's powerband is narrow so you better choose the right gear for your exit 'before' the turn, the engine screams so you gotta concentrate and block it out, etc...

I was mentally exhausted after the ride but at the same time exhilarated. So much planning goes into every turn and every shift but it all happens so fast. It was like playing one of the video racing games and choosing the 'shift' mode over the 'automatic'. I hated it and sucked at first but loved it by the day's end. I have no desire to ride or buy any of the new crop of 1k's I know my skillset would not improve as rapidly, but a 6 is definitely in my future.

Paul Sonderfan
April 1st, 2004, 11:13 AM
[QUOTE]Originally posted by AaronEustace:
Basically, 'torque' can make up for a lot of mistakes, lack of skills, and deficits in concentration.

Duh! Why do you think putz'es like me ride them?
Seriously, you can go just as fast (or faster) on a good 600, but as you said it's a lot more work. Glad you had fun.
Dude, did you really say "musings"?

Jim Trimm
April 1st, 2004, 12:51 PM
After sitting on Paul's bike I now want a lighter bike. It's amazing how lite that bike feels. I think I'll shop around for a sv650.

April 1st, 2004, 01:07 PM
Dude, did you really say "musings"?
I thought since both words started with 'M' it would be clever. Why, does it soung ga^? ;) ;)

The lightness of the R6 was unnerving at first. The wind was blowing me around and made it feel less 'planted' in the turns. You can easily make mid-corner 'adjustments' where on a heavier bike your basically committed to your line. The downside is you can just as easily make mistakes, smoothness counts.

April 1st, 2004, 01:35 PM
Originally posted by AaronEustace:
I have no desire to ride or buy any of the new crop of 1k's I know my skillset would not improve as rapidly, but a 6 is definitely in my future. I'm with you, but for different reasons. Aside from top speed, there is no reason to get anything bigger than a 750 (for me). The only time I have every wished I had a liter bike is when I get strafed on a long straight. But you catch back up again in the corners, and it's all good. Besides, the corners is where it's at anyway (slow down you comedians, I do realize what I said ;) ).

Your Superchicken is the first bike that I have ridden, that so closely replicated the (good) characteristics of my VFR; but with more POWER! Why mess with a good thing? I hope you mean you will suplement the 600 to your stable, instead of replacing your current steed.... http://www.cycleforums.com/forums/images/smilies/evilgrinblack.gif

I thought since both words started with 'M' it would be clever. Why, does it soung gay? Must be a Heights thing... :D

[ April 01, 2004, 13:37: Message edited by: VFRacer ]

April 1st, 2004, 02:14 PM
I also noticed the difference between the R1 and the SV and the Gixxer.

The SV (rode it both on the street and the track) was very light, flickable, easily influenced by wind at higher speeds, felt like a pogo stick through the corners but wasn't twitchy, not much power (I could open the throttle all the way exiting corners with not really having to worry that it would slide too much). Power was very linear so I didn't have to shift that much. I really liked it's character. smile.gif

The R1 (only have been riding for few weeks) feels somewhat heavier, but not too much more than the Gixxer. Powerband is so good that I have 3 gears to choose from coming through most corners. Makes the riding alot easier. Suspension is alot better than on the SV. It took a day in the Hill Country to get it dialed in, but now it handles very good. The bike acually holds the line really good through the corner and feels alot more planted. I got to be careful exiting the corners in lower gears because it easily lights up the tire with too much twist of the wrist.

Gixxer is little different than both R1 and SV, but I only have ridden it on the track. Suspension is set up for the track, and it's superior to either R1 or SV. Now that I got the rear shock, it's a different kind of animal. It can be twitchy through the corners, but it is extremely predictable on what it's doing (thanks Marcus smile.gif ). Brakes are alot better. As for powerband, you have to work with it, because if you not above 9K, it's not going fast. So I have to shift quite a bit. But after riding at the track this becomes so routine that I don't even think about it much. I got confused last race and went to 5th instead of 3rd in turn 3 at TWS (GP shift on the track bike vs standard on the street) and came out of the corner almost not accelerating at all.

So I think I got it right now. R1 on the street is good, because I can still enjoy the scenery more smile.gif . Gixxer is great for the track.

Brian Montgomery
April 1st, 2004, 03:04 PM
Don't let a liter bike fool you into thinking it is easier to ride. You still need to pick the right gear. Cause if you don't, you will spin the rear up and step it out or you will step it out by going down too fast and if you are too low in the RPM range, you will lose time exiting the corners. But as for the 600, you can exit the corners harder in my experience. The fear of the rear breaking loose isn't there. So I was railing outta the corners and coming into the corners deeper. I had a blast flogging poor old Ian's 600rr when it was new. Too bad he hasn't shown up or called me in a long time. I would love to ride his bike again. 600's are a blast but I would miss out on cresting a hill in a power wheelie....lol

April 1st, 2004, 03:22 PM
Good point about wheelspin. Liter bikes are probably better at teaching throttle control than 600's. Paul's new ZX10 has a slipper clutch so too many (or too quickly) downshifts affect him less. Don't worry about stepping-out the rear...chicks dig powerslides! :D

BTW, where has Ian been or Jayson (TL1000) for that matter?

April 1st, 2004, 04:15 PM
I've ridden a couple liter bikes and v-twins and am amazed at how much midrange power they have. Just put them in a gear and ride whereas on a 600 there isn't much go juice below 7k. But Brians got a good point that that doesn't make them easier to ride because if you get too greedy with the throttle in a corner on a Thou it will high side you to the moon. On a 600 you will spend more time working the gearbox to keep it in the powerband following a liter bike but I find that to be kinda fun. As far as being more mentally exhausting I'm not sure since my last three bikes have been 600's. Same fun just slightly different techniques for extracting it.