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      07-19-2012, 11:50 AM   #221
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16s are ok for 600s, nothing wrong with that. Higher HP bikes like mine are very demanding on tires and 16s are a tad sloppy on higher lean angles. Give Q2s a try next time around, great tire for the price.
Agreed. I've gotten used to them now.
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      07-19-2012, 11:57 AM   #222
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Give Q2s a try next time around, great tire for the price.
I first started doing track days on Q2s. I was really impressed by what they were able to handle. They felt great on the street, but after really REALLY pushing them I had a whole new respect.

Also they had (for me at least) a much easier/faster drop in compared to BTs and PP2cts

Never had to give them more than a lap or lap and a half before I felt comfortable pinning it.

Also was able to get around 5 days of very aggressive track use. MotoGP tracks like Jerez and Estoril are not known for being "easy" on tires.

Ive since switched to Dunlop GPA211s which absolutely blow my mind. Still haven't found the limit of these things, but I get maybe 2 days out of the rear before I feel it start to let off.
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      07-19-2012, 05:02 PM   #223
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B0link, do you not run dedicated track tires?
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      07-19-2012, 05:44 PM   #224
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B0link, do you not run dedicated track tires?
I do now, but not when i was first getting onto the tracks.

Still with Dunlops though. GPA-211's. DOT Race tire. Medium rear comp and hard front IIRC.

Ridiculous. I spent the whole first day trying to make them spin up coming out of a corner, just so I knew where the limit was. Never did find it.

I will say though that Race tires...when they drop off they really drop off. You can tell instantly.
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      07-19-2012, 07:30 PM   #225
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      07-19-2012, 08:20 PM   #226
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Hey guys, just wondering what would you recommend between BMW F800R, Ducati 696/796, and Triumph Street Triple for a beginner. I know they are quite a lot of bike for a newbie, but I have no trouble at all with MSF course. Might as well get myself something that I would keep for years, instead of getting a cheap starter bike that I probably get tired in a few weeks.

Personally, I am leaning toward the BMW F800R, the length of warranty and ease of maintenance is quite much better than Ducati and Triumph. I am planning to test drive all of them next week, but figured I would get some opinions on you guys.
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      07-19-2012, 08:27 PM   #227
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Originally Posted by AlpineCloud9 View Post
Hey guys, just wondering what would you recommend between BMW F800R, Ducati 696/796, and Triumph Street Triple for a beginner. I know they are quite a lot of bike for a newbie, but I have no trouble at all with MSF course. Might as well get myself something that I would keep for years, instead of getting a cheap starter bike that I probably get tired in a few weeks.

Personally, I am leaning toward the BMW F800R, the length of warranty and ease of maintenance is quite much better than Ducati and Triumph. I am planning to test drive all of them next week, but figured I would get some opinions on you guys.
If you're intent on something bigger then a 250cc, I would choose a Monster 696 out of the three choices. Coincidentally, it makes the least power.
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      07-19-2012, 08:28 PM   #228
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Originally Posted by AlpineCloud9 View Post
Hey guys, just wondering what would you recommend between BMW F800R, Ducati 696/796, and Triumph Street Triple for a beginner. I know they are quite a lot of bike for a newbie, but I have no trouble at all with MSF course. Might as well get myself something that I would keep for years, instead of getting a cheap starter bike that I probably get tired in a few weeks.

Personally, I am leaning toward the BMW F800R, the length of warranty and ease of maintenance is quite much better than Ducati and Triumph. I am planning to test drive all of them next week, but figured I would get some opinions on you guys.
Get a beater bike. You're better off learning everything on it than selling it. Cheaper and beginner bikes like 250's hold there value.

Dropping or making a beginner mistake on a new BMW or what not will hurt a lot more. Besides, the amount of things you will learn on a light and agile bike will be great for your confidence and the likelyhood of being scared of a bigger bike is less likely.
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      07-19-2012, 10:27 PM   #229
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Get a beater bike. You're better off learning everything on it than selling it. Cheaper and beginner bikes like 250's hold there value.

Dropping or making a beginner mistake on a new BMW or what not will hurt a lot more. Besides, the amount of things you will learn on a light and agile bike will be great for your confidence and the likelyhood of being scared of a bigger bike is less likely.
Yeap, I understand that most people says to get a beater bike. But I am fairly competent driver and years of road/commuting biking experience, I think I will be fine.

All these bikes are considered middleweight, which is only 50-100 lbs heavier than the beat up Suzuki TU250X or the Honda 250 Nighthawk that I am using at the MSF course. Hell, the Triumph and the BMW feels even lighter the 250s considering how well the weight is distributed around the chassis. As long as I respect the throttle, I am think will be more than ok on those bikes, considering I will be able stop much better and shorter than an old beater if the needs ever arise.
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      07-19-2012, 11:28 PM   #230
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Do you have any riding experience at all... or just from the MSF Class? I grew up on dirt bikes so when I got my first street bike it wasn't that big a deal... aside from the difference in weight for the bikes. Being an attentive driver is a good trait to have when moving to motorcycles... but they aren't analogs of each other in terms of experience.

If you're a fairly competent rider I wouldn't get a 250cc. They also seem like they could be dangerous on the street / highway - or may that shows my lack of time with riding 250 street bikes.

Anyway, I certainly wouldn't get a new bike at least. Get something used.

Aside from learning to ride... everyone makes mistakes with dropping bikes in their garage, parking, etc. Even my pops who has been riding bikes for 50+ years has had a brain fart or slipped and dropped the bike in his garage... it happens. Probably more prone to those types of mistakes though when you're starting out and parking in difference situations, etc.


the F800 looks weird to me (probably personal taste) - I never liked the weird gas tank thing. Never ridden one though.

Figure out what type of riding you plan on doing and try to find a good bike that fits you. Most bikes hold their values decently well... so if you buy a bike this year and end up trading to something else next year it's not that big of a deal.

Good luck and wear proper gear.
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      07-19-2012, 11:41 PM   #231
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Do you have any riding experience at all... or just from the MSF Class? I grew up on dirt bikes so when I got my first street bike it wasn't that big a deal... aside from the difference in weight for the bikes. Being an attentive driver is a good trait to have when moving to motorcycles... but they aren't analogs of each other in terms of experience.

If you're a fairly competent rider I wouldn't get a 250cc. They also seem like they could be dangerous on the street / highway - or may that shows my lack of time with riding 250 street bikes.

Anyway, I certainly wouldn't get a new bike at least. Get something used.

Aside from learning to ride... everyone makes mistakes with dropping bikes in their garage, parking, etc. Even my pops who has been riding bikes for 50+ years has had a brain fart or slipped and dropped the bike in his garage... it happens. Probably more prone to those types of mistakes though when you're starting out and parking in difference situations, etc.


the F800 looks weird to me (probably personal taste) - I never liked the weird gas tank thing. Never ridden one though.

Figure out what type of riding you plan on doing and try to find a good bike that fits you. Most bikes hold their values decently well... so if you buy a bike this year and end up trading to something else next year it's not that big of a deal.

Good luck and wear proper gear.
Getting a brand new bike is definitely tempting to me, but Ducati/Triumph dealership has 2010 Ducati 696 (5000miles) for $7500-8000 OTD. The BMW dealer has a 2007 F800S (7000miles) listed as $6500 and 2011 F800R (2000 miles) listed as $10000. Planning to drop by tomorrow and see them in person.

Anyone is familiar with belt drive system?
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      07-20-2012, 01:01 AM   #232
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Nice!!! Congrats on the SF! Looks great. I love the double pipes on these bikes.
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      07-20-2012, 01:17 AM   #233
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Getting a brand new bike is definitely tempting to me, but Ducati/Triumph dealership has 2010 Ducati 696 (5000miles) for $7500-8000 OTD. The BMW dealer has a 2007 F800S (7000miles) listed as $6500 and 2011 F800R (2000 miles) listed as $10000. Planning to drop by tomorrow and see them in person.

Anyone is familiar with belt drive system?
BMW bikes are shaft drive, not belt drive. I had a 2006 K1200R and it rode really well. Shaft drive is basically maintenance free, no need to lube the chain every 600 miles, etc.

For all around street riding it's fine, I had no issues with mine. My tranny was a different story, though, but the drive system never had any issues.

Belt drive is for Harley's and cruisers, and it's not suitable for high performance. Even the BMW cup race bikes, before the S1000RR, were converted to chain drive for race use. For street riding the BMW shaft drive system works great, and would not deter me from buying one again.

Cost of crash repairs or damage from dropping your bike are more expensive with any BMW, Ducati, or Triumph when compared with Japanese bikes, but if you aren't concerned with this then it's not an issue.

I would say if you want to do track days, the Monster will be more fun for that than an F800S/R, but for all around town riding they are both great bikes. Good luck with your choice!
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      07-20-2012, 01:25 AM   #234
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Originally Posted by AlpineCloud9 View Post
Yeap, I understand that most people says to get a beater bike. But I am fairly competent driver and years of road/commuting biking experience, I think I will be fine.

All these bikes are considered middleweight, which is only 50-100 lbs heavier than the beat up Suzuki TU250X or the Honda 250 Nighthawk that I am using at the MSF course. Hell, the Triumph and the BMW feels even lighter the 250s considering how well the weight is distributed around the chassis. As long as I respect the throttle, I am think will be more than ok on those bikes, considering I will be able stop much better and shorter than an old beater if the needs ever arise.
Alright, in the end it's your decision ofcourse. Regardless of what bike you decide to get, wear adequate gear. Do I need to go through what I mean by that?
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      07-20-2012, 05:31 AM   #235
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Nice!!! Congrats on the SF! Looks great. I love the double pipes on these bikes.
thanks! can't wait for the bike to be broken in so i can get some high mount zards
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      07-20-2012, 05:32 AM   #236
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I recommend none of those, but this discussion will always fall on deaf ears, and the person asking will just do what they want anyways. If you must get one of the three...get the cheapest one. You will drop it. And it will sting a lot less. Definitely buy used. That is advice from personal experience. Its not fun paying a loan for a nearly totalled bike that is sitting mangled in your garage.

Also, saying you had no problem with the MSF course, so you should be fine on the bike, is a lot like saying "Well, I read how to fly a helicopter online, I should be good to fly now."

You go, what 30mph max in MSF? What are you going to do when someone does an abrubt lane change/swerve directly into you while doing 70mph on the highway? Those are high speed reactions that only develop with experience. And make too much of a reaction to something on one of these bikes, and you will be in for a world of hurt.

Like I said, ultimitely you will just do what you want anyways. Best of luck, and keep em rubber side down friend.

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      07-20-2012, 07:37 AM   #237
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Might as well get myself something that I would keep for years, instead of getting a cheap starter bike that I probably get tired in a few weeks.
Well, I started with what many would call a starter bike see my previous pic, and I've had it for almost 20 years and I can still say it is a blast to ride. Sure not the fastest but it goes.
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      07-20-2012, 08:04 AM   #238
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I recommend none of those, but this discussion will always fall on deaf ears, and the person asking will just do what they want anyways. If you must get one of the three...get the cheapest one. You will drop it. And it will sting a lot less. Definitely buy used. That is advice from personal experience. Its not fun paying a loan for a nearly totalled bike that is sitting mangled in your garage.

Also, saying you had no problem with the MSF course, so you should be fine on the bike, is a lot like saying "Well, I read how to fly a helicopter online, I should be good to fly now."

You go, what 30mph max in MSF? What are you going to do when someone does an abrubt lane change/swerve directly into you while doing 70mph on the highway? Those are high speed reactions that only develop with experience. And make too much of a reaction to something on one of these bikes, and you will be in for a world of hurt.

Like I said, ultimitely you will just do what you want anyways. Best of luck, and keep em rubber side down friend.

This is awesome and so true. I also think, just as it states, the ones who need to read this most are the ones who will ignore it and think they don't need to.

My first bike was a Suzuki GS500, which I kept past my 2nd bike, eventually took to the track, and learned to really ride on.

Also raced my SV650 later and in novice they had put SV650s with 600 Fours, most of whom I passed in the corners (mind you this was novice, not expert). I had a 3rd place finish in a race where I started 15th, pack of 31 or so riders, and I was the only (bone stock motor) SV650 in the top 8, all others were 600cc Fours.

I still laugh when people dismiss Ninja 250s, GS500s, or SV650s as if they are boring bikes that you can't do anything on. The people that KNOW, they understand that when you dont have gobs of horsepower on tap, you HAVE to learn to be fast in the corners, to out brake, out lean, and out maneuver anyone else - because on these bikes, you sure aren't going to be passing anyone on the straights!!!
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      07-20-2012, 08:53 AM   #239
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Thanks for all the response. But gezz, some of you guys feel pretty strong about this topic, but hey, that's why I asked the questions here.

Considering how easily someone could get hurt, safety is definitely my biggest concern. I have no intention of getting a fully faired 600c supersports bike nor going to track or any other racing events. Don't plan on being a squid either, and that's why I have gotten all the necessary gears (helmet, gloves, fully armored jacket, lower body armor) to protect myself. So you guys can cut me some slack on that Being a squid is just idiotic...

MSF courses does not at all prepare you to ride in a busy street or highway. But neither do I am plan on doing that until I have few thousands miles of experience. All I want is ride in the back roads between WI and IL, where the highest speed I can go is 40-50mph, and enjoy the sense of forced meditation that motorcycling gives.

I have looked at used 250, 500, and 650 on craiglist, but it is quite difficult getting a clean one during the riding season. Most of them have been dropped or abused in some way or form. Thus is the reason why I am leaning toward buying a more expensive bike, where it has been properly treated and ridden by someone who knew what they are doing. A new Yamaha FZ6 or the Kawasaki Ninja 650 are excellent beginner bike from all the research that I have done, but at more than $7K OTD, I think I might be better off getting a used BMW, especially since the beamer has ABS. The brakes on my car have probably saved me from a crash half a dozen times, so I will take a motorcycle with good brakes over anything.

Sorry for the thread jack btw. Do enjoy pictures of all the awesome bikes that you guys posted.
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      07-20-2012, 09:47 AM   #240
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Thanks for all the response. But gezz, some of you guys feel pretty strong about this topic, but hey, that's why I asked the questions here.

A new Yamaha FZ6 or the Kawasaki Ninja 650 are excellent beginner bike from all the research that I have done, but at more than $7K OTD, I think I might be better off getting a used BMW, especially since the beamer has ABS.

The brakes on my car have probably saved me from a crash half a dozen times, so I will take a motorcycle with good brakes over anything.
Feel strongly because most of us have made that mistake and lived to tell about it. I am in the military and I see it way too often. Big egos, big confidence, go out and buy something they have no business riding and kill themselves.

Me personally... you sound exactly like I did. I ignored everything my experience buddies told me. AT LEAST I got a 650r (which, at times, was still too much bike for me) but my dumbass went and bought one brand new, and financed it to boot...well 6 months later I got cut off while going through an intersection, and then he slammed his brakes on. I locked up the brakes and next thing I new I was flying through the air and then watched my bike do cartwheels over the median. Luckily I walked away with barely a scratch. But that was when It made sense and I suddenly regretted buying a brand new bike. Now I just let everyone else take that massive hit in depreciation and pick up bikes that are 2 years old with under 2k miles for 4k dollars less.

Like that article I posted said, your first bike is never your last. SV650s and 650Rs go used for dirt cheap, and will retain most of what you paid for them. I know people who have learned on 650s and then actually made money selling them a year later even.

I often get junior enlisted guys coming to me for bike advice...and I always tell them, buy used, stay away from 4 cylinders and anything over 700ccs, and NEVER spend more than 3-4k on your first bike.

Now I hate feeling like Im preaching...but most people I talk to dont really have the money to be spending 7 or 8k on brand new bikes. I mean, if money is no concern than do what you want by all means, but my other advice stands. However if you are deadset on one of those models...

Ducati- 796. Twins deliver predictable, even power, but thats not to say they are gentle in their delivery. Grabbing a fist full of throttle can be more dangerous on a Twin than a 4cyl (depending where your RPMS are at). This bike will have no problem with getting the front end to lift up on you or breaking traction in the rear. I say no.

Street Triple- HELL NO. These bikes are in no way even remotely to be considered a beginner friendly bike. They are wicked awesome machines for sure, but for someone with a little more experience under their belt. For comparisons sake...it has nearly 20 more HP than the Ducati 796. Pleasssse stay away.

The BMW will be roughly just as powerful as the 796, and likely more expensive than the last remaining bike...the 696.

Even the 696 is not a docile bike by any means. The front can/will get light depending on how much you weigh. It will not be "slow" and will surely be fun on those back country roads. Ive always love the Trellis frame look on those bikes and the single side swing arm on the newer models is dead sexy.

Used Ducati Monsters don't seem to hold resale very well and can often be had a few years old for around 5k. My vote goes to the 696. And as an FYI, unless you are proficent with a wrench (and even if you are) none of these bikes are exactly cheap to maintain. Something to keep in mind.
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      07-20-2012, 11:24 AM   #241
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Eh. Everyone is different. I think if you can have throttle control and take your time learning, a 600cc sportbike isn't too much for a first bike. But you MUST exercise some restraint. My first bike was an R6. But my prior experience with dirt bikes as a kid might have helped me.

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Considering how easily someone could get hurt, safety is definitely my biggest concern. I have no intention of getting a fully faired 600c supersports bike nor going to track or any other racing events. Don't plan on being a squid either, and that's why I have gotten all the necessary gears (helmet, gloves, fully armored jacket, lower body armor) to protect myself. So you guys can cut me some slack on that Being a squid is just idiotic...
You're definitely on the right path here. Gear saves lives. Period. However I DO recommend getting on the track. I owned my R6 for over a year before I went to my first track day. I learned more that one day on the track than my whole first year riding!
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      07-20-2012, 01:42 PM   #242
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However I DO recommend getting on the track. I owned my R6 for over a year before I went to my first track day. I learned more that one day on the track than my whole first year riding!
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