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Help me pick a track bike

  1. #1
    Member k1200s's Avatar
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    Help me pick a track bike


    Hey guys I've been lurking for a while but this is my first thread. I need some help with a dedicated track bike, I have done 2 days at London with fishtail and prefer it to street riding enough that i think ill make a total switch. I have heard that 650 v or parallel twins, specifically the sv650, are preferred over an inline 4 like an R6 for beginners. My reservation is, I ride my BMW K1200s at London and find my only preference would be more ground clearance and the ability to run a rear tire with the profile to handle that since i'm constantly avoiding scraping my pegs or my drive shaft(lol) at real knee down angles. I am thinking that what is essentially a factory facing bike would be superior in that regard to an SV because it comes with rear sets, some with under seat exhaust, a better suspension, and more liner power delivery. I could see an SV's superior weight and riding position as advantageous for flicking into turns quickly, but after riding my 550lb inline 4 I can imagine either would be an immense improvement.

    What are the real benefits of an SV vs an inline 600cc other than repair costs? Which will have the advantage of carrying speed through turns? I have seen both at loudon but not a very good representation of the inline 4's to have an idea of what would actually be the most fun (fast without causing an accident).

    Thanks for any opinions

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  2. #2
    Lifer JohnnyV's Avatar
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    Re: Help me pick a track bike

    Pick up an SV that's already been set up for the track.

    2000 Suzuki SV650 Track Race Bike $2000

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  3. #3
    go faster cdovego's Avatar
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    Re: Help me pick a track bike

    With throttle control, any and all bikes are good no matter the size. Go for what you want and don't look back.

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    Central Mass Powersports #123

    1000rr, zx10r, rmz450, RE classic, r6, S4Rs, xr123, sv650(2), cr250 and a box truck that leaks power steering fluid.

  4. #4
    Lifer Imbeek's Avatar
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    Re: Help me pick a track bike

    +1 on johnnys advice. Even though this site can have arguments about whether the sun will rise tomorrow, i doubt you will hear much credible disagreement from anyone with track experience. There is also a similar track sv on band of riders right now for 1600 including spare wheels with rain tires and scotts steering stabilizer for 1600. When you can get in for that cheap, any potential loss from crashing or resale is damn low. You could break it in half or blow it up, and still recover a bunch by parting it out.

    Track riding is much more enjoyable on a disposable and not frightenly overpowered bike. That said, you can fly around loudon on an sv...

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  5. #5
    Lifer jasnmar's Avatar
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    Re: Help me pick a track bike

    There's also a ton of knowledge on SV's at Loudon, as well as spare parts in bins and boxes.

    If I had it to do over, I'd do an SV (says a guy that did a 600).

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  6. #6
    Lifer RyanNicholson's Avatar
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    Re: Help me pick a track bike

    Nate? haha

    An SV is probably going to be a bit cheaper to run if you factor in things like tire wear. It'll also have a bit more friendly power delivery as you learn to roll it on harder/earlier. The top guys in the light weight classes absolutely fly on them, so it's not like they are a slouch by any means. That said I don't personally have any experience riding them on a track. A 600 I4 super sport is purpose built for the track, so it's fun using them for what they're actually built for. That said until you have a solid foundation of skills, they can sometimes bite back if you get over your head... though I suppose that's true for any bike.

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    Last edited by RyanNicholson; 10-26-16 at 11:50 AM.

  7. #7
    Bizarro Zoolander Petorius's Avatar
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    Re: Help me pick a track bike

    The piece of advice I wish I had followed- buy something that is already set up. Suspension, spare wheels w/ rains, rearsets, clipons, frame sliders, race tires, fiberglass bodywork, etc... These things will add up if you start from stock and try to build it up yourself. An SV will not burn through tires as fast, and as mentioned above, there is a ton of collective knowledge and spares at Loudon.

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    Last edited by Petorius; 10-26-16 at 12:23 PM.

  8. #8
    Back marker... jwm2k3's Avatar
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    Re: Help me pick a track bike

    I do not like the SV. I know some here do, but they do nothing for me....

    Also, I just so happen to have a race/track only bike for sale

    For about 6k, you can own it!

    Ducati: Superbike | eBay

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    Last edited by jwm2k3; 10-26-16 at 12:18 PM.
    Johnny

    Its an Italian bike...Ive had (have?) a few

  9. #9
    TRACK RAT!!!!! Pigman's Avatar
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    Re: Help me pick a track bike

    Busa....

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  10. #10
    Member k1200s's Avatar
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    Re: Help me pick a track bike

    Quote Originally Posted by RyanNicholson View Post
    Nate? haha.
    Yeah it's Nate lol. I see the benefit of an sv I just don't wanna be bored with it after a few months and end up getting a 5th bike lol. Hopefully this next one I can keep more than a year and it seems like the limits on the 600 are way higher. I figure I'll likely have at least one minor crash regardless of the bike if I really wanna start going fast. And since I'm a good bit lighter than most people (~130lbs) I'll probably need a new suspension no matter what the bike has, correct ?

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  11. #11
    Lifer jasnmar's Avatar
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    Re: Help me pick a track bike

    Needing things re-sprung for your weight is very different than needing a new suspension.

    Starting with a stock suspension you'll be looking at about a grand for a rear shock, plus (depending on what you get) as much as a grand for the forks (including springs / cartridges / emulators) (realistically probably less, but budget at least $500) buying new suspension bits.

    If you start with a well sorted bike that has a race suspension, you'll only need to replace the springs (and possibly refresh what's there). Springs will be about $250 total (very rough). You'll have to evaluate if it need to be refreshed. Refresh will add cost, but you'll be making that decision.

    There is some "satisfaction" in starting with a stocker and building it yourself. You know the bike. Changes you made are yours and you know that.
    If you are looking to be easy on the wallet, however, start with something that is already track sorted.

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  12. #12
    go faster cdovego's Avatar
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    Re: Help me pick a track bike

    Flipping a stock bike into track/race is expensive, time consuming and a big P.I.T.A...I've done it 3 times and each time I swear I'll never do it again.

    Take a look at Sav's r6 if you're interested in a 600, you could trackday that for years before getting bored with it then go race it.

    edit to include link 2009 Yamaha R6 - Race/TD $6500

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    Last edited by cdovego; 10-26-16 at 01:23 PM.
    Central Mass Powersports #123

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  13. #13
    Lifer RyanNicholson's Avatar
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    Re: Help me pick a track bike

    Quote Originally Posted by k1200s View Post
    Yeah it's Nate lol. I see the benefit of an sv I just don't wanna be bored with it after a few months and end up getting a 5th bike lol. Hopefully this next one I can keep more than a year and it seems like the limits on the 600 are way higher. I figure I'll likely have at least one minor crash regardless of the bike if I really wanna start going fast. And since I'm a good bit lighter than most people (~130lbs) I'll probably need a new suspension no matter what the bike has, correct ?
    It'll be a long time before you're bored regardless of what you ride. I went the 600 route since LW bikes just don't do anything for me personally. I suppose it depends on what you want to budget out, an SV will be cheaper but a 600 is (IMHO) the ultimate track bike. These guys are definitely pointing you in the right direction to pick up something already sorted. Jwm2k3 and Dove both gave some examples of awesome track bikes for cheap money (for what they are - in comparison to what it would cost you to build them... like, half).

    Whatever you end up with, just don't fall in love with it.

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  14. #14
    Back marker... jwm2k3's Avatar
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    Re: Help me pick a track bike

    Just lowered the buy it now on the Ducati 848 above to $6200 with 1 day left on auction!!

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    Last edited by jwm2k3; 10-26-16 at 07:59 PM.
    Johnny

    Its an Italian bike...Ive had (have?) a few

  15. #15
    Awesomeness, Inc. MattR302's Avatar
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    Re: Help me pick a track bike

    My first dedicated track bike was a ratty 99 CBR600 I picked up for $800. Spent $4-500 on tires/chain/sprockets/brake pads and I was in business. Rode it for one year. The next winter I spent another ~$600 on refreshing a used Penske shock and re-springing the forks and rode it for another year. Put the stock suspension back on before selling it for $1700.
    You don't need anything new and fancy to have a blast on the track.

    Here's the SV that IMBeek mentioned. 2001 SV650 track bike and extras - Band Of Riders

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  16. #16
    Senior Member jerseygirl's Avatar
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    Re: Help me pick a track bike

    The SV is not a boring bike. If it was, there wouldn't be so many of them on track! It is economical too. If a 600 is what you want, go for it. I think you will learn more from an SV, but I am biased as I have one. It will make you work more on track. Good luck!

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  17. #17
    Powered by Kurtz theducman's Avatar
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    Re: Help me pick a track bike

    Here is my take. I race an sv, I race it because it's fun and I race at nhms only. Doing fast middle weight times is faster than I would like to go around nhms. If I was to just do track days and doing them outside of the northeast too I would get something bigger. Side note, I'm also a fishtail rider

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  18. #18
    Burns retinas nhbubba's Avatar
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    Re: Help me pick a track bike

    SV. Just do it.

    Or an EX650, if you must.

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  19. #19
    Get Weird! maxim_X's Avatar
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    Re: Help me pick a track bike

    If you're bored in months on an SV you're doing it wrong. I have more fun on my crf450 on the track than any other big bike.

    Shameless plug. FS 2007 SV650 LWSS Built W/ clean title

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  20. #20
    go faster cdovego's Avatar
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    Re: Help me pick a track bike

    You should get a SV - here, buy mine - the one I'm selling because I don't like riding it that much. haha (sorry bro)

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    Central Mass Powersports #123

    1000rr, zx10r, rmz450, RE classic, r6, S4Rs, xr123, sv650(2), cr250 and a box truck that leaks power steering fluid.

  21. #21
    Get Weird! maxim_X's Avatar
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    Re: Help me pick a track bike

    Well I've ridden it for 5 years from the street to racing it. It can't be that surprising that I'm ready for something new.

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  22. #22
    Burns retinas nhbubba's Avatar
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    Re: Help me pick a track bike

    Well, JC here is not your average human.

    That said, I'm moving on from racing an SV onto something else. (Yup, 'tardzville.) However even if I sell my race bike, I fully intend to keep the plated one for track days and misc funz.

    The SV is just a sweet little package; good handling, affordable, easy to own, easy to ride, easy to live with.

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  23. #23
    Lifer Kurlon's Avatar
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    Re: Help me pick a track bike

    So, I have no bike to sell, and I'm going to suggest an SV.

    1) They are super popular at the track, which means setup, technique, spares, no matter what the question / issue you can get good answers quickly.

    2) They've been on the market for years, spares, whole bikes, etc are cheap. Because they've been popular as race mounts fully tricked out and good to go track weapons based on this platform can be had for CHEAP.

    3) They are damn quick around NHMS if ridden to their potential. You can't park and shoot them, you have to RIDE them, and that's what you're looking to learn, right? If you just want to blast people on the front straight, get a turbo busa. A lightweight is going to force you to carry corner speed, minimize your braking time, minimize your time with the throttle closed and maximize your time with the throttle on. On the flip side the power delivery is linear and not so high that you'll lawn dart yourself every time you flinch.*

    * But Kurlon, can't the same be said of a Ninja 250/300/etc? Mostly, a baby Ninjette will absolutely force you to master the fundamentals to go fast, but they aren't as cheap as a prepped SV in many cases due to less time on the market and even when railed you have time to participate in oil threads on forums while going down the front straight.

    As far as 'outgrowing' a lightweight, or being bored with one on the track after awhile. I call BS. If you're bored, you're going too damn slow. Forget the adrenaline rush pure acceleration can give you, trade it for waiting till the last possible moment to close the throttle and perform a near panic brake into T1 while reading the front tire's protests to determine when you can safely let off, finish the turn and ramp the throttle back on as fast as traction will allow, and repeat a whole bunch of times around the track. If you're just riding for the power curve roller coaster you get what, 3 trips each lap, tops?

    I've found my ultralightweight to be fast enough that I'm hitting a mental wall because of it. These machines are plenty quick and exciting. We're not talking superslab on the interstate time, at NHMS if you're hustling you don't have much time to breathe on these lil rockets.

    Now, ultimately it's your wallet that's going to feel the remorse for whatever you decide on. I'd suggest asking one of the unwashed SV loving masses at the next TD event if they want to swap bikes for a session and see if you don't like the experience.

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    Last edited by Kurlon; 10-27-16 at 12:52 PM.
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  24. #24
    Super Moderator TheIglu's Avatar
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    Re: Help me pick a track bike

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurlon View Post
    you're going to damn slow.
    Don't damn slow, he never did anything to you!

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    -Clayton
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  25. #25
    Super Moderator TheIglu's Avatar
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    Re: Help me pick a track bike

    I'm going to recommend the SV. Just more fun. Mine is a blast on the twisties and track.

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    -Clayton
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