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Why the sports bikes?

Devilsfan

2018
CB650F
Messages
107
Likes
66
Location
Tampa, Florida
Thread starter #1
Just a question to see how you all decided on sport(ier) motorcycles than all the other styles.

My story - Had a Ninja was back in the early 90's when I was in the Army. Young and fearless the sports bike was "the thing". Got out of the military and went to college. Picked up an old 1983 Yamaha 650 Special my first year in college to get around on. After college I got into the cruiser bikes and owned a Volusia 800 then numerous other cruisers over the years.
I always looked at the sports bikes as young "kids" that want speed and straight lines! (All style bikers have their stereotypes!)

Then, in 2015, while at a Honda shop getting a tire for my VTX I came across the CTX700. It was more of a "sporty" cruiser and immediately fell in love with it! After a year a friend rode up on his new Triumph Tiger. He let me ride it and I said, "No way will I ever get an ADV bike!". Then I had some extra cash and found a guy selling his 2007 Suzuki V-strom. Bought it, loved it until it started having fuel pump issues. Then got a Honda NC700, then traded that for a Versys.

In the meantime I said I'd NEVER get on a cruiser again and definitely NOT a sportsbike! Until my nephew said he wanted to learn to ride. So I found a 2007 Kawasaki Ninja EX500. I really liked the bike (got it cheap!) and enjoyed working on it just the same. I went through everything, replaced a ton of things and never heard from my nephew. So I started riding it here and there...and then riding it more and more! Eventually sold it but, man, that thing was a blast!

But I was NEVER going to get rid of the Versys! Until I test rode and Yamaha FJR1300!!! LOVE that thing! But...it's just not practical for me right now. I do more local riding and commuting so I don't want to haul around a big-ass motorcycle.

And here I am with a CB650F!

So...what's your story? Why your Honda over the other brands and styles?
 

miweber929

2014
CBR650F
Mod
650F Alumnus
Messages
1,629
Likes
927
Location
Woodbury, MN
#2
So the title of your thread is “Why the sports bikes?” Answer:

What I like about riding a motorcycle is corners and cornering. It’s not speed, though I have hit an actual 172mph on the front straight of Road America during a track day on a CBR1000RR, it’s not straight roads, its not the vibration of a motor, it’s not the feeling I’m somehow manlier nor is it a status symbol for me. I’m really not into wheelies, stunts, or other trickery stuff.

Why I ride a motorcycle is cornering and the artistry that comes from it. So scanning the road, deciding the proper trajectory, slowing down just before you lean in, leaning over and off the bike the right amount, hitting the apex perfectly, releasing the brakes just right and transitioning onto throttle, using the engine power to start taking you back upright, feeding more power in as the contact patch increases then moving your body back to the center and scanning ahead to the next one. That is my favorite part and sportbikes are what gives me that.

Having said that I love dirt riding, dual sporting, adventure bikes, sport touring, vintage and standard bikes as well, sport and sport touring are my passion, though.

Second question: “Why your Honda over the other brands and styles?” Answer:

As you can see from my signature I no longer own my 650 and for the first time in 44 years don’t own a Honda. Well, technically my wife’s Honda Metropolitan moped is in my name so I guess do still own a Honda.......

I’m not brand loyal. Growing up we had every Japanese make at one time or another and most of the time multiples of each. We also had Hodaka, Ducati and a couple English bikes so not only Japanese bikes we represented. My dad restored vintage Japanese bikes when I was growing up ad at one time we had 19 bikes between us. Think RD350s, Honda Superhawk, Suzuki X-6 Hustler, XS650 Yamahas, Ducati Mark III, first year Gold Wing....the list is long; dirt, street, dual sport, 3 wheelers, 4 wheelers, everything represented.

But the one brand was always the go to, one brand consistently was a solid bike, one brand was where we looked first: Honda. Honda’s were and are reliable. Hondas are comfortable. Honda’s are well engineered. Honda’s were generally easy to work on. And Honda’s just seemed to fit the bill with the perfect bike for the need at hand. I’ve owned every generation of VFR except the 1200 and the last 800. I or someone in my family owned every CBR from the first generation 600F through the last 600RR, from the 900RR until the latest gen 1000RR. Gold Wings, ST1100, CB125, 350, 360, 500, 550, 750.......other than the cruisers, which is not my style at 47 years old and not my dads either at 69 (he just sold his 75,000 mile ST1100 and replaced it with his second FZ1, a stablemate to his F4i). We both like corners and cruisers don’t corner.

So I’m on another brand for all my bikes now because Honda just isn’t catering to me anymore. I love the 650, had a blast on mine but it lacked power and the feeling you get from a perfectly balanced bike. The old VFRs had it, the older CBRs had it, but as close as the 650 came I just wanted to feel the pop when I hit the throttle and just feel the bike be alive. I bought the 650 to be a two up sport bike and it fit that bill for a few years, then I got the Triumph to increase that capacity a bit more and wanted something with a bit more edge. That’s what the Ducati has.

As far as a two up bike goes, the ST series is just too big and heavy as is the FJR, Ninja 1000s, and the like: the Triumph Sprint GT strikes the right balance and is a SPORT tourer, not a sport TOURER. It’s still a bit big, it’s still a bit heavy but it’s manageable. Honda doesn’t offer something like that, the VFR isn’t it, I tried.

And my latest purchase, a WR250R dual sport was almost a CRF250L until I rode one and realized how much better the WR was at everything. I didn’t want a high maintenance 450, I wanted a simple bike I’m the vein of an old XL250 and the WR was it. The CRF was weird; it felt squatty, cheap and very pokey. Not fun, I like fun.

So a lifelong Honda guy who started on a Z50 at 3 years old, an ATC70 at 5, an ATC110 at 8, an XL80 at 12, an XR250, CL360, VFRs, Superhawk, CBRs, etc. now has a Yamaha, Triumph and a Ducati.

Sorry Honda, I’ll always love you, but I’ve moved on for the time being.
 

Devilsfan

2018
CB650F
Messages
107
Likes
66
Location
Tampa, Florida
Thread starter #3
So the title of your thread is “Why the sports bikes?” Answer:

What I like about riding a motorcycle is corners and cornering. It’s not speed, though I have hit an actual 172mph on the front straight of Road America during a track day on a CBR1000RR, it’s not straight roads, its not the vibration of a motor, it’s not the feeling I’m somehow manlier nor is it a status symbol for me. I’m really not into wheelies, stunts, or other trickery stuff.

Wow...excellent write-up! Sounds like you've gone down every road with 2-wheels! Sweet!


Also, 172 mph!!! Holy chit!!! I remember getting my Ninja (back when I was 20 years old) at 125 mph before I thought, "Cool but I'll never do that again! One bug in the face shield and...!".
 

Cbat

2018
CBR650F ABS
Messages
75
Likes
32
#4
First bike I got my license on was an 86' CB1000 Custom, shaft driven, a blast to drive. Had a Ninja 750R afterwards, wrecked that. Went to university, got a career, got married and had kids. Two decades later, now that kids are older, I got the itch (never really left) to ride again. The CBR650F was a good balance of style, power and budget.

(However I do currently have my eyes on a used 1098S)
 

skeletor

2015
CBR650F ABS
Messages
64
Likes
72
Location
St. Catharines
#5
First bike I got my license on was an 86' CB1000 Custom, shaft driven, a blast to drive. Had a Ninja 750R afterwards, wrecked that. Went to university, got a career, got married and had kids. Two decades later, now that kids are older, I got the itch (never really left) to ride again. The CBR650F was a good balance of style, power and budget.

(However I do currently have my eyes on a used 1098S)
Sounds like a lot of us watched bikes go by for about 20 years with a sad look on our faces.
 

beneweis

2019
CBR650R ABS
Messages
22
Likes
11
Location
Berlin
#6
Only like 10 here. Rode my old mans BMW R80 after getting my license for a while. Moved cities, got a used SV650 and had a blast on it. Then it was bike or car (budget being a thing) and I went with the car cause it seemed like the smart move. Only ever rode rentals one or two weekends a year for almost 10 years.
Wanted to get my own bike again ever since and now with my career and pay checks being okay and a nice company paid car parked outside I was like „why the heck not“.
Always liked the sports bike styling and I almost went for a more powerful bike. But wanted to start slow‘ish so the 650R seemed like the perfect fit. Actually still waiting for it to be delivered and really can’t wait to swing my leg over it at this point.