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First Track Bike?

  1. #1
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    First Track Bike?


    Hope everyone's doing good. Just curious what was everyone's first track bike? And which platform do you feel best suits a novice and for what reason? Thanks !

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  2. #2
    Lifer jasnmar's Avatar
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    Re: First Track Bike?

    Just buy the SV already.
    Lot's of reasons to come...

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  3. #3
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    Re: First Track Bike?

    Kawasaki Ninja 650R. First, and basically only track bike for the past six years.

    Lightweight bike because it is going to be slightly more forgiving than a middle weight or heavyweight bike. Not that they cant still bite you in the ass, but you will probably have a harder time getting them to do that in certain scenarios.

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  4. #4
    Senior Member Philkinson's Avatar
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    Re: First Track Bike?

    Buy my 2004 sv650 race bike and you'll be set for life 👍

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  5. #5
    Rookie Rada's Avatar
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    Re: First Track Bike?

    Any bike that you are comfortable on and can afford to be without. I say that not because you should plan on crashing it. Just the opposite. If you have a bike that you care little for you will not be as distracted by the fear of harming your baby. This will let you relax and enjoy the track much more and learn at a much more rapid rate.

    I'm also a proponent for modest sized bikes that are easy to ride. An older 600 or any midsize twin will work well. Don't be afraid to go smaller. Lots of people are really enjoying the 300 class machines. Heck I jump on Wendy's Ninja 250 and have a ball. Too much fun a couple times.. Lol

    Main thing is to get a bike and get out and have fun. Hope to see you soon

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  6. #6
    Lifer Chippertheripper's Avatar
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    Re: First Track Bike?

    Busa.

    Fuck, you guys are slipping.

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  7. #7
    Bizarro Zoolander Petorius's Avatar
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    Re: First Track Bike?

    Fastest bike you can afford. If you want to get some open track you'll need to be able to pass everyone on the straight before entering T1. Otherwise you'll be stuck behind a bunch of dirt bikes and 65-horse SVs

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  8. #8
    xxaarraa
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    Re: First Track Bike?

    Better question is what is going to be your first track, and where you are likely to go the most.

    If the answer is Loudon, then SVs, little 300s, motards and all manner of other boring bikes are the right choice.

    If the answer is NYST, get a liter bike. Or at least a 600.

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  9. #9
    Burns retinas nhbubba's Avatar
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    Re: First Track Bike?

    Husqvarna 701 SM. Fuck the SV

    No, seriously. SV650. Read my process here. One of my requirements for a track toy was that it not be an SV. Another was that it be street registerable. I wound up with a track-only SV with no paperwork. Best decision EVAH. Wound up doing a shit-load of track days on it, racing it and enjoying the hell out of it. Last year I sold it to another cat that is enjoying doing track days on it now. I've since bought another SV (this one with paperwork) for 50/50 street/track use.

    I rode mine at NHMS, Thompson, Palmer, NYST and NCCAR. It was fun at all of those tracks.
    They are exceptional bikes. Don't let xxaarrraa tell you otherwise.

    Rotella is also a perfectly fine oil for motorcycle use.

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  10. #10
    Member Zolden's Avatar
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    Re: First Track Bike?

    Quote Originally Posted by xxaarraa View Post
    Better question is what is going to be your first track, and where you are likely to go the most.

    If the answer is Loudon, then SVs, little 300s, motards and all manner of other boring bikes are the right choice.

    If the answer is NYST, get a liter bike. Or at least a 600.
    This strikes me as odd since some guys I go to NJMP with do NYST a bunch and they said that's more of a 600 track, and liter bikes are a bit much for it. I guess I'll just find out myself this season, hopefully.

    Since I screwed up my plans on buying a track prepped bike this season by buying the new Tuono I am battling with keeping my RSVR and sinking more money into it to make it track/eventually race-able. Otherwise I can try selling it since it is in such great shape and use the funds for a track bike. Just think I'll miss that v-twin and its' overall character...

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  11. #11
    Powered by Kurtz theducman's Avatar
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    Re: First Track Bike?

    Love my sv650 race bike. But, if I could have done it again, I would love to have a 300. The Tire bill alone lol

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  12. #12
    Lifer Imbeek's Avatar
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    Re: First Track Bike?

    SV650

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  13. #13
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    Re: First Track Bike?

    Quote Originally Posted by Philkinson View Post
    Buy my 2004 sv650 race bike and you'll be set for life ��
    I wish I could ! I'm in a situation where I will need it to be a street/track bike because I don't have any space for a second bike or trailer at the moment. All good advice though thank you guys!

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  14. #14
    Bizarro Zoolander Petorius's Avatar
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    Re: First Track Bike?

    Quote Originally Posted by DJ1991 View Post
    I wish I could ! I'm in a situation where I will need it to be a street/track bike because I don't have any space for a second bike or trailer at the moment. All good advice though thank you guys!
    In all seriousness, I did a track-biased street/track SV for a while and it was great. It became track-only when I got tired of replacing lights after track crashes. My only complaint is that for street use, it is not a particularly exciting bike. It lugs great when you need to make a pass without grabbing a downshift, but other than that, it just kind of gets the job done. Not face-melting fast, not great for 2-up, not great for cargo, not great for gravel, etc.

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  15. #15
    Awesomeness, Inc. MattR302's Avatar
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    Re: First Track Bike?

    Question 1: have you ever done any track days before? If no, then just ride whatever you've got now. If you decide you want to get into it, then shop for a more suitable bike.

    Actually, just saw your note about it being a combo street/track bike. I have my FZ6 for sale which is perfect for this dual duty. It's a little more upright and has quick-detach full luggage which makes it good for street duty, but it's absolutely capable of letting you drag knee on the track, especially with the upgraded forks.
    2007 Yamaha FZ6

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  16. #16
    Senior Member MUZ720's Avatar
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    Re: First Track Bike?

    My 1st race bike,and this will date me, was a1982 GPZ550 that I pulled out of my buddies garage to race in 91. The looks I got was priceless until I started passing everyone on it. Then I got the how the fuck you do that look! So my point is start on what you got and don't worry about the others. Be comfortable and have fun. Cause it's a blast🏍

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  17. #17
    Burns retinas nhbubba's Avatar
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    Re: First Track Bike?

    SV is plenty of fun as a street bike. Sure, it won't do 160 MPH. But really, why do you care? An SV can outrun 98% of the things you'll see in the next lane over at a stoplight and exceed any speed limit I'm aware of in the US.
    Zip around town, down some back roads. I like 'em naked with some rearsets as you get that flying sensation. Great fun.
    Gobs of luggage options via the aftermarket. People sport tour on them.
    They are all just motorcycles man.

    Seriously though, 701 SM.

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  18. #18
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    Re: First Track Bike?

    Are the tires that much better with 300's? That's funny because I always hear how much better the SV's are compared to 600's lol. I have done only one track day and that was on my road bike which is an 08 600rr. It's in great condition and has never been laid down. I've been riding it on NH back roads for a few years and have nothing but good things to say about it. However like RADA said when I took it to my first track day which was at Canaan I was super paranoid about laying it down. Having payed 5000 + for it I couldn't help but think how nice it would be to have a slightly lower powered bike with a bit less value to cure some of that worry, Especially being a novice at the track. Again thanks for all the advice guys!

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  19. #19
    Burns retinas nhbubba's Avatar
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    Re: First Track Bike?

    Given, this is a view from the sidelines; I've never owned a 300. But yeah, I believe that they are actually easier on tires than the 650's. And yes the 650's are definitely easier on tires than the 600's. It's a spectrum.

    In my view the cheaper buy-in for a well sorted 650 outweighs some of the tire thing on a 300. The 300's are all still too new.
    Ninja 250's are an option. But I believe the newer 300's wipe the floor with them. I could pass EX250's on my DRZ400SM. Could be rider skill or something.. but this is me we are talking about so I doubt that.

    650's are a nice sweet spot between exciting enough, cheap enough, common enough and bullet proof enough. Especially for a "first" track bike.


    Have you googled the 701-SM yet?

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  20. #20
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    Re: First Track Bike?

    I started on and still ride on the same bike - a ZX6RR (2004). It was already setup for the track and I think I paid a bit over $3k back in ~2010. I thought that the bike was manageable when starting and plenty capable as skill increased 8 years later. While I'd like something newer looking, my 14 year old antique has no problem hanging in the fast TD groups. It's never blown up; I've only thrown money at consumables, maintenance, and suspension. BTW - I had roughly 10 years on the street with various sport bikes prior to my first TD. I didn't log ridiculous miles on the street during these years; maybe 4k year tops? I would've considered myself an average skill rider prior to TDs.

    You will learn a ton on 300 or SVs; also excellent choices. I'm just providing another perspective. Your age, $$, and where you think you're going to take the hobby (TD frequency or racing) will dictate direction to some degree. For me, I wouldn't have changed a thing other than start lot earlier in life.

    SV650, Kawi 650, or any of the Japanese I4's 6 to 10 years old. Reliable, powerful, easy spare parts. Whatever you pick - try and get a bike that's already reasonably setup. Do the suspension right out of the gate.

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  21. #21
    Lifer Kurlon's Avatar
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    Re: First Track Bike?

    On the tire front - A lot depends on your pace. If you're not setting the world on fire, even a 600 will be forgiving on tires. On the flip side racing I swear I see the 300 guys monkeying with tires more than I do on my FZR (Note, I'm not setting the world on fire). If you're not racing, pretty much everything will happily do the job. Literally. I can point you at tracks where a CRF50 with street tires feels big for the circuit, or if you want to travel there are places where you can stretch the cables on liter bikes. Buy something that's not a wreck or project so you spend less time wrenching and more time riding and uh... yeah, have at it. There isn't a wrong choice. That UltraGlide calling your name? There are track days where it'll feel at home. Vespa? Harder to find ideal venues but give me a bit.

    If you're racing, the conversation starts involving details like class competitiveness, etc...

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  22. #22
    What's updog? curiouser's Avatar
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    Re: First Track Bike?

    I had a CBR600F4i years ago because the price was right and it was already track prepped. Now, I have an SV650, which is in street form, plus a few preliminary track mods (rearsets). I probably should have just purchased an already sorted track bike, since that's all I really use it for, but at the time wanted something I could street ride, if desired. As you can see from the above, the SV is a shoo-in for a number of reasons. As a beginner, it's usually good to go on the well-trodden path at first. There's so much knowledge in the paddocks up here on that bike, others' experiences on setup, fixing broken bits, etc. are valuable for a beginner.

    One option you could look at is renting a bike or two for some trackdays and see how you like them. I rented a Ninja 300 at a Penguin day and had a blast. They also have some Ninja 650s and supermotos for rent, so you could see how you like each style before deciding.

    At any rate, I would get something reasonably inexpensive (ex: $2500 - $4000) that is turn-key track bike. Something that you can have fun on and sell it for what you paid if you decide it's not for you, or if you want to try a different platform.

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    2004 SV650S

  23. #23
    Member Mgiossi's Avatar
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    Re: First Track Bike?

    Go 300 or sv650 but don't buy philkinsons sv. Its beat down and needs HIM to ride it again this year!

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  24. #24
    no can kneedown feralchimp's Avatar
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    Re: First Track Bike?

    SV is the correct answer. Iíve never personally ridden one at the track, because Iím a sucker for weirdness and bling.


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  25. #25
    Lifer loudbeard's Avatar
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    Re: First Track Bike?

    What the hell is the budget for this thing?

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    I went to MMI I know what Im doing here chief

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