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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I had a breakfast conversation last weekend that got me thinking about a track bike. For starters, I am a cruiser and America owner. I'm also a new rider having ridden just over 1 year and am 60 years old. The discussion was sail boat racing and how racing improves one's ability for cruising. I've always agreed but also believe it's wiser to learn from other's mistakes than one's own. My breakfast partner has an "adult sport bike" (higher/wider bars) but we are both reluctant to strip and wire our bikes - or risk laying them down. My question is, what should I consider for a track bike? A Bonneville or a sport bike. Beater would be ok since it will be stripped of lights, mirrors, etc. I love racing and would love to practice extreme maneuvers - just not on my street bike. Have you any suggestions?
 

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I've ridden since dinosaurs roamed, but never on a track. Got bit by the bug but didn't feel like throwing my $10K Speed Triple down the asphalt (much less trying to explain it to the insurance company).

I spent nearly six months researching different bikes and then watching Ebay and the classifieds, keeping in mind that I didn't want to drop a HUGE wad of money for two reasons - I might crash the bike, and I might find I just don't enjoy it.

I wanted something that handled well and had enough horsepower to get out of its own way (though it didn't have to be a complete monster, since I'm more interested in working on bike handling and lean angles than banzai runs).

Used GSXRs, Ninjas and the like of the 600 variety are a great way to start, but they tend to be either completely trashed or "garage kept" examples that are priced WAAAY too high.

The Suzuki SV is about perfect, but since they are EXTREMELY popular nowadays, they are priced accordingly, with even older examples going for $3500 and up.

Now, if you've got that much to spend (and don't mind risking tossing that much money down a long stretch of pavement), cool. Get the SV.

The 500 Ninja is also a good option. They've been around forever so there's lots of parts available. They were the hot ticket for track days back in the old days, before the SV came along, and if I'd found one close to home, I probably would have bought it.

Instead, I ended up with one of the better kept secrets around:



Found it here on TRat. 2001 model. Minor dings on the right side. 4000 miles on the motor. Carbon fiber pipe and off-road tune.

I read a lot of road tests at the time - HERE'S ONE and it sounded perfect: razor sharp handling, but down on hp compared to the Japanese competition.

Translation? Perfect first track bike.

So far, I've installed Skyking frame sliders and a set of Pazzos (since the stock clutch lever isn't adjustable). I also got a new set of Pilot Sports.

I still need to buy leathers for the track, but even after that, I've spent less than $3K on the whole project.

Great fun on the street, and I can take off the mirrors, tape the lights, pull the fuse for the bulbs and take it to Jennings about an hour from here.

If you have any questions about the TT, or the pros and cons of any of the other bikes (I researched 'em all and rode a few), shoot me a PM or e-mail.
 

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Speed Triple!!!
Speed Triple!!!
Speed Triple!!!
Speed Triple!!!
Speed Triple!!!
Speed Triple!!!

Yea Baby, Yea. bang! bang! bang!
:jest: :jest: :jest: :jest: :jest: :jest: :jest: :jest: :jest:
 

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A 1992+- Kawasaki Zephyr 750 makes an excellent track bike. I picked one up a few months ago for $1500. Quick and agile, but won't rob your wallet. Parts are a little hard to find, but not impossible. A good solid bike that runs hard.
 

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On 2006-12-19 09:27, sweatmachine wrote:
pick up a used SV650. Dead balls reliable, cheap and very raceable.

a good used model can be bought for around $3500, and they are great fun to ride. Look for a late model FI version.
Right on sweatmachine! A SV 650 has wonderful ergo's (upright), handles great, will provide plenty of torque, and can be purchased used very cheap! Plus it is a v-twin which provided plenty of lowend grunt which I love.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Got to admit the SV650 is attractive and, although I am interested in a used one, I was able to sit on a new one. Parts should be available and it was relatively comfortable. Looks like there is a reasonable good choice for under $3,000 - although, I wouldn't risk laying down that yellow Triumph! Wow! That's a sweet deal.

Thanks for the help.
 

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On 2006-12-26 20:24, Silvergator wrote:
Got to admit the SV650 is attractive and, although I am interested in a used one, I was able to sit on a new one.
I loved both of mine, and started my track days on them. The pic is of my 2002, last of the carb models.

Kev

 
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