Go Back   Team-BHP > BHP India > Motorbikes


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 14th August 2015, 16:09   #1
BHPian
 
jalajprakash's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Delhi
Posts: 177
Thanked: 439 Times
Default Newbie Biker: Best route to the Liter Class?

Hi fellow T-BHP members! Needed some advice here.

I am currently completing my undergraduate in Mechanical Engineering at Michigan State University and consider myself a major driving enthusiast. I am sure that India is definitely a big part of my future. So I am looking forward to making up some purchase plans right now, so that I can take care of my financials accordingly.

Now, I realize the fact that upgrading cars to the next performance level is a much more expensive proposition than upgrading bikes. I once remember watching a comparison video between the Ferrari 458 and Ducati 1299 Panigale and even though the Ducati costs a fraction of the Ferrari, both were pretty evenly matched in performance. The only real-world difference being that you are not cocooned in a cockpit and thus more vulnerable to harm. As a big track enthusiast, it makes sense to get myself 20L bike than a 20L car, for having fun on a track.

For a bit of history, I have never ridden a motorized two-wheeler other than rides on a friend's Bajaj Pulsar and Honda Activa. My parents were never okay with me investing in a Honda Activa since they thought that it would look funny (I am 6'3" and weigh around 230 pounds, albeit fit). They let me consider a Royal Enfield for a moment but I didn't really see myself riding a heavy cruiser, I was definitely bent towards more sporty bikes (aka Duke, Pulsar, Apache, etc) which my parents were not okay with since they had heard horror stories of bad crashes.

Nevertheless, since I was in need of a ride to school, my dad bought for me a Firefox Edge bicycle, it had 21 gears (3 front x 7 back) and was very well-equipped with a speedometer, LED light, etc. I rode around on the bike for nearly 3 years and actually convinced some of my friends to get off of their Activas and back onto their bicycles. The fastest I ever went was 70 kmph down a flyover bridge in the highest gear while still pedaling hard (don't think there are any speed limits for bicycles though, lol). Mind you I was wearing jeans, a helmet and my biking gloves, since I understood the importance of safety even then. (Used to browse TBHP!)

Now when I get back to India, I want to slowly work my way up to Litre class bikes. I understand the fact that jumping onto a Litre class bike directly is like giving a nice invitation to Yamdut himself, people jumping directly onto Litre bikes and living to tell the tale are exceptions and not the rule. Therefore, I wanted to ask people who have a lot of riding experience, as to what is the best path to graduate up to Litre class and what are the best recommendations for each level. I plan on taking the bike to a track atleast 6-10 times a year but I still want something that can be ridden on the street.

Here is an example of what I had in mind. Obviously, even I can't back up my own recommendations since I am only speaking from what I've read but here goes...

Upgrade Route

Level 1 - Used Yamaha R15 V2, ride for 2 years, sell
Name:  Yamaha R15 V2.jpg
Views: 10026
Size:  53.8 KB

Level 2 - Used KTM 390 RC, ride for 2 years, sell
Newbie Biker: Best route to the Liter Class?-ktm-rc-390.jpg

Level 3 - Yamaha R6, ride for 2 years, keep
Newbie Biker: Best route to the Liter Class?-yamaha-r6.jpg

Level 4 - Used Ducati 899 Panigale, ride for 2 years, sell
Newbie Biker: Best route to the Liter Class?-ducati-899-panigale.jpg

Level 5 - BMW S1000RR, keep forever!
Newbie Biker: Best route to the Liter Class?-bmw-s1000rr.jpg


Other Questions

- Is 2 years a good enough period to be able to upgrade?

- Is it a good idea to buy used or new?

- Required safety equipment for each level?

- Any other things that I should keep in mind?
jalajprakash is offline   (5) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 14th August 2015, 16:57   #2
Senior - BHPian
 
Urban_Nomad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Delhi
Posts: 1,329
Thanked: 1,287 Times
Default re: Newbie Biker: Best route to the Liter Class?

Hey Jalaj.

No offence meant to you but IMHO, you are focussing on the wrong aspect of motorcycling

For you to be able to progress towards the King Tut of the Sportbike world, the most important factor that should draw all your attention should be "riding skills". Like you, I too had a very similar plan (though nowhere near as elaborate). With that in mind I purchased a Duke 390; thinking that i will grow out of it in a couple or so years and start looking for an upgrade. Well, the katoom and I have been together for close to 1.5 years, with me not even thinking of an upgrade

Focus on developing your skills. Learning curve would differ from person to person, but what you must exercise is patience. Before you upgrade, ask yourself - Am I able to take my current steed to its limits with relative ease? Do I need to upgrade, or do I simply want to?

Since you are new to riding in general, here are my recommendations:

- While in US, get yourself a cheap as dirt motorcycle
- US has many rider safety courses on offer (MSF?). Enrol in one of them. No such facility exists in India and I am sure the experience would be invaluable
- Get some seat time and put to practice what you have learnt
- If possible, ride with a group or at least one "experienced" rider. Trust me, you learn a lot from just watching fast guys go fast. Its just rubs off on you
- Read up "Sportbike riding techniques" and "Proficient motorcycling" by Nick Ienastch & David Hough respectively. Even after you have read these gems, continue to go back to them and read up on passages from time to time. A lot of it will not make sense to you the first time round. But when you have sufficient seat time, you will be able to relate to what is being said and will help you immensely

The bike -

Yamaha R 15 is a great choice, provided you can deal with the committed riding stance. If not, a naked like the Duke 200 will suit you better. You would not want to ride often if it gives you severe aches and pains. Buy used and save up on cash towards your next big purchase

But again, get the "two year" or whatever timeline out of your head. All that matters is your comfort level with the machine

Real progress is not about changing bikes, but becoming a better rider - worthy of the steed he commandeers

Last edited by Urban_Nomad : 14th August 2015 at 17:04.
Urban_Nomad is offline   (21) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 14th August 2015, 17:10   #3
Distinguished - BHPian
 
Sheel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Purnea(Bihar)
Posts: 5,206
Thanked: 4,827 Times
Default re: Newbie Biker: Best route to the Liter Class?

It entirely depends on you. Few years back, I would have jumped on a 1000, grey hair has made me wiser. If in your shoes, I would have got something like the KTM or the R15. Both are similar.

Differences in power? Yes, but you have to take the call as to how much throttle you want to twist. Else, they are good learner's bike. The FZ 150 is a very good handling & forgiving bike as well.

Quote:
Is 2 years a good enough period to be able to upgrade?

- Is it a good idea to buy used or new?

- Required safety equipment for each level?

- Any other things that I should keep in mind?
In 2 years, it depends on how much you ride. 5,000 kilometers on track and 15,000 kms on street should be good enough. But you have to take the call to upgrade or not.

In India and its unique riding driving condition, I am yet to get tired of my 250R. Long time back, someone finished the Saddle Sore run faster on the R15 compared to the R1 his friend was riding. Honestly, it is not the bike, but time/devotion you have for riding.

I would suggest used bike in good, mint condition.

Safety equipment? Which phone do you use? I have seen guys buying the latest iPhone's and then going to store looking for cheapest helmet they could buy. Get good, armored riding gears. Mesh with winter liners & extra protectors should be good, Get your gears from abroad.

Read books on riding, watch videos and practice as much as you can. Everyone I know, who is seriously into riding, still wishes to perfect his/her braking/cornering. You have to keep riding as much as you can in correct way and wear all gears all the time [ATGATT]

Nice to come across a passionate biker Wish you all the best
Sheel is offline   (13) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 14th August 2015, 17:40   #4
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Bombay
Posts: 1,001
Thanked: 1,038 Times
Default re: Newbie Biker: Best route to the Liter Class?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheel View Post
Safety equipment? Which phone do you use? I have seen guys buying the latest iPhone's and then going to store looking for cheapest helmet they could buy.
Sheel mate you nailed it buddy. I fail to understand why two wheeler riders in India don't take their personal safety so seriously. Honestly I have seen people buy a Helmet that costs about 500-800 bucks using latest generation iPhone, iPad and what not. I believe one should invest at least 10-20% of their total motorcycle cost on proper riding gears that offers adequate safety.

jalajprakash my +1 to both Sheel and Urban_Nomad on their views. They have shared their invaluable experience with you on (power)motorcycling. You need to first familiarize yourself with the motorcycle you are choosing coupled with doing a thorough research on riding techniques, speed control, braking, cornering, etc. Besides this if you get an opportunity do test ride the motorcycles you've shortlisted or rather will shortlist in the future. If you have friends who own one of them bikes you yearn for, then ask them for a short test ride. Like Sheel and Urban_Nomad have mentioned you can buy a Yamaha R15, KTM Duke 200 or 390 as a beginner's bike. If you can stretch your budget a little then you can have the Kawasaki Ninja 300, Benelli TNT 300, Yamaha R3, etc. that are currently available in India. Once you build up the confidence of handling these quarter litre bikes you can move on to the 500-700cc bikes and then progress onto litre class bikes.

Last edited by navin_v8 : 14th August 2015 at 17:45.
navin_v8 is offline   (5) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 14th August 2015, 17:53   #5
BHPian
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 475
Thanked: 454 Times
Default re: Newbie Biker: Best route to the Liter Class?

The R15 might be a problem for your frame size IMO but easily the best place to learn. The RC is also as potent a learning tool but the ability to kill is much higher on them. Also the R15 is reliable, cheap to maintain and the only thing you will have to concentrate is, on the ride.

The lack of power at the lower RPMs and decent rush higher up, coupled with some brilliant brakes, will make sure you don't put yourself 'into others', literally. Also, the spares are inexpensive for the quality they offer.

I suggest to not make such an elaborate plan and instead, buy what you feel good within a fixed constraint once you are back. Then go till you feel you have had enough and carry forward.

But, make sure you grab some quality gear from there before you set foot on these lands.
Sojogator is offline   (3) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 14th August 2015, 17:58   #6
BHPian
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 74
Thanked: 106 Times
Default Re: Best Route to The Litre Class? (Planning my future...)

I would highly suggest since you are abroad first get the gear part out of the way. I have found Indian gear prices to be a total rip off and the fear of customs dept leads a lot of people to dealers (this is an unfounded fear as I have imported everything from leds to handguards without any problems) I cannot fathom how people in this country would rather give a huge profit margin to a dealer rather than import things themselves!!

On a recent trip to Australia I was amazed that I picked up a literally unused alpinestars jaws leather jacket for the equivalent of 14000 rupees. I also got a pair of SIDI vertigo boots at 12000. The Australians have absolutely no value for second hand gear and Im assuming its the same in the US. The total for these 2 items alone would be around 50k -60k in India.
Since you are in the states you have a myriad of options, so shop around on the closeouts from the popular motorcycle websites prior to getting back here.

Anyways I guess I digressed. I also second the opinion that buying a bike looking at an upgrade path is not really realistic especially considering second hand values and the Indian bargaining mentality. I also went in for the Duke with the Ninja 650 set firmly in my upgrade sights a year ago. I have now sunk 70k into accessories which goes up to more than a lakh if you add riding gear, and if I had to sell the bike I would get peanuts for my investment. I would therefore rather continue to enjoy my duke as long as she takes me wherever my heart desires. I think that in the current craze a lot of people sink money into a bike without practically looking at how much time they are going to get to actually ride it.
So in the end I guess the way to go is more of make up the plan along the way rather than have everything chalked out. Its kind of also what happens on a ride where you go off track to explore something and thats what makes the ride interesting.
bik1906 is offline   (3) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 14th August 2015, 19:53   #7
BHPian
 
outofthebox's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Delhi
Posts: 267
Thanked: 354 Times
Default re: Newbie Biker: Best route to the Liter Class?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jalajprakash View Post

- What is the best path to graduate up to Litre class?

- Required safety equipment for each level?

- Any other things that I should keep in mind?
You can get a few ideas about pacing your journey from the Japanese Class 2 licensing system. IMO, one of the best for street riding training.

Class 2B: (up to 200 cc bikes):
Basic Theory + Classroom + field riding lessons, followed by written & riding test

One year after passing Class 2B comes

Class 2A: ( up to 400cc bikes)
Intermediate Riding Theory + Classroom + field riding lessons, followed by written & riding test

One year after passing Class 2A comes

Class 2: ( 600cc & up)
Advanced Riding Theory + Classroom + field riding lessons, followed by written & riding test

What this means is:

1) From beginner to Class 2, there is a minimum gap of 6+12+6+12+6 = 42 months (3.5 years). However, only a very miniscule % of people are able to clear everything in 1st attempt (~8%). For most, this is at least a 5 - 6 year learning curve and many drop out along the way.

2)There is really not much distinction in terms of dexterity required after 600cc displacement, a litre class is considered as tough as any others in the category.


Quote:
Originally Posted by jalajprakash View Post

- Required safety equipment for each level?

- Any other things that I should keep in mind?
Required safety equipment level is the SAME for all levels. A low speed spill can be as damaging as a high speed one.

I wouldn't plan so much in terms of specific brands & models for the future. The market is likely to change a lot by then. Also, most riders prefer to have more than one type in their stable after a while - a mix of sports, ADV, tourer, cruiser etc.

Last edited by outofthebox : 14th August 2015 at 19:54. Reason: typo
outofthebox is offline   (3) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 14th August 2015, 21:42   #8
BHPian
 
Rachit.K.Dogra's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Gurgaon
Posts: 705
Thanked: 688 Times
Default re: Newbie Biker: Best route to the Liter Class?

I completely agree with the general sentiment shared here.

There is no ideal fixed route for everybody. Everybody is different in terms of skill, financial ability, other responsibilities, time available to ride etc.

When I was younger, I also thought owning the R1 was the ultimate goal. Thankfully got wiser and had a chance to ride a Ninja650. This made me realize you don't need an R1 to enjoy motorcycling.

I think the best way is to start somewhere and then keep introspecting as you move along.

Regards
Rachit
Rachit.K.Dogra is online now   (2) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 14th August 2015, 22:33   #9
BHPian
 
Ricci's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Pune
Posts: 747
Thanked: 920 Times
Default re: Newbie Biker: Best route to the Liter Class?

First, the gear.

You're in the USA. Put that piece of happenstance to good use and buy all the gear you can there. More variety, lower prices, you make most of us envious.

When you get back here, you might feel out of place with all that gear, but shrug it off, gear is important - and right gear is even more so. Get gear that you will wear here, not leave it in the cupboard because "it's too hot and sweaty". Or put up with the sweat, because it's nowhere as bad as bleeding. The tribe of "kitted" riders is increasing, and good thing too. India's traffic situation is getting worse and will keep getting worse. Putting even more importance to gear.

+1 to doing the MSF course while you're Stateside.


Sermon over. Over to the bike.

The R-15 is a superb handling and a great learning tool, but you'll also outgrow the 17hp pretty soon. Buy one second hand.
RC390 is in the same league, with more power but less refinement. If you can, buy this and skip the R15. Alternatively, the CBR250R. The R15 and RC390 are lighter, which helps beginners a lot , but with your build a CBR250R shouldn't be a bother.

The first upgrade, you can make to the 600cc class. Skip the Ducati 848/899 if you ultimately plan to go for a 1000cc or bigger bike anyway. It just might turn out though, that the 750-900cc range is where you eventually decide is the sweet spot for you, or you might crave more and go litre or bigger. Important thing here, is to spend a good lot of time in the middle-weight 600 class , while getting trials of 750/800/900/1000cc bikes to get a feel of the next class.

I have a 600 here. I do crave more power, but that sort of power I can only use around 2-5% of the time, when I get a clear enough road. I'd love to have an S1000RR or ZX-14R, but most of the time, road/traffic conditions here aren't really predictable/safe to do anything more than the kind of speeds an RC390 can easily do. Bigger bikes will get you to the same speed quicker - it's up to your judgment to go past what can be regarded safe.

If I can't realistically use most of a 600s power most of the time, is there much rationale for getting something even bigger ? But buying a fast bike has never been a rational decision, has it? So spend a good while in the 600s to figure out if you still want go bigger. It's not just your skill and desire for power, but relative practicality of how much power/speed can you safely use in our conditions.
Ricci is offline   (2) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 14th August 2015, 23:40   #10
BHPian
 
Graven5's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: KA12 district
Posts: 31
Thanked: 36 Times
Default re: Newbie Biker: Best route to the Liter Class?

Every rider is unique.
Upgrading to a bigger steed is an individual difference and the idea is to be flexible and sensible.

- Is 2 years a good enough period to be able to upgrade?
Only rides and more rides makes you upgrade ready. No timeframes in this journey.
- Is it a good idea to buy used or new?
Both are good ideas depending on your money bag.
- Required safety equipment for each level?
Really?? TVS Excel or a Diavel, body parts are irreplaceable. Get the best possible gear from head to toe.
- Any other things that I should keep in mind?
Test ride all available motorcycles in each class and choose one that you are comfortable with. The choices in India will only multiple when you decide to make the move.

The best path isn't etched in stone. It's something you create when rubber meets road.
Graven5 is offline   (2) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 15th August 2015, 05:51   #11
BHPian
 
mashmash's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 350
Thanked: 117 Times
Default re: Newbie Biker: Best route to the Liter Class?

I guess I am in a similar boat. Been riding my first bike for the last 14 years and never felt like upgrading. It gives me all the thrills I need. However, now I am seeing a couple yummy deals on Yamaha R15 V1 models and at times feel tempted to pick one up.

One should ride for the pleasure of riding and not for it to be some class to pass and move to the next one.

MaSh
mashmash is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 15th August 2015, 06:09   #12
Senior - BHPian
 
VW2010's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: electricity
Posts: 2,568
Thanked: 2,043 Times
Default re: Newbie Biker: Best route to the Liter Class?

The only route to me is affordability and rideability. Buying a R1 with no scope of track day to me is a strict no- no at the same time the Fz1 is a fantastic daily bike. Yeah heat could be issue for some but the beast wakes up only after 8K RPM. Till 8K rpm its such a baby linear street bike slightly aggressive and scary than the Fz6r. Fz6r hits 100 in 3.8 seconds and then it has another 4 gears to quickly hit unbelievable numbers.

To me 1litres like th triumph or FZ1 or street nakes does not actually require major wait period or gradual movement.

If you have moolah you can try them out. Dont get me wrong, the basic physics still holds good in all these bikes. As long as you are naturally tilted to slowly test a beast, you should be fine by a couple of weeks to start pushing the limits.

I own a 600 now, but already i want a Fz1 for affordability is easier in the US and FZ1 has been my dream for a LOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG time after i saw one video of its first gear top speed ....

I would say Moolah the the quickest way to reach a litre.
VW2010 is online now   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 15th August 2015, 22:57   #13
BHPian
 
Suraj25's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 211
Thanked: 303 Times
Default

This is how I'm doing it:
- Started off with an R15 bought in 2012. I think this is an amazing learners bike, if upgrading to fully faired 1000. Did a lot of rides and it was my daily driver. After some point I was extremely confident with the bike. After almost 1.5 years, hitting the redline got less exhilarating and I started thinking why it takes so long to get there. I wanted something faster.
- Next up, got the 390 Duke 2014 cause of its amazing vfm! Perfect bump in power. It never failed to paste a grin on my face but it was nothing that would scare me. After about a year with the bike, the honeymoon period was over and the niggles started irritating me. The power delivery was very choppy at lower speeds and it was a pain riding in city traffic without riding the clutch. This is when I felt the importance of smooth power delivery and so the heart wanted a faster, but smoother bike. I'm planning to upgrade to a 3 cylinder middleweight super sport (Daytona) next and then something like an S1Krr after I get confident with the Daytona.

I'm 20, so someone would think a young boy with a superbike is a disaster waiting to happen. But this what I've learnt over these 2-3 years and everyone's probably already heard/knows this- knowing your limit is important, not the limit of your bike. Also, always wear the right gear.

I know my experience is nothing compared to the 10+ years of experience some of the other forum members have, but these are just my 2 cents!
Suraj25 is offline   (2) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 18th August 2015, 11:35   #14
BHPian
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: India
Posts: 69
Thanked: 116 Times
Default Re: Newbie Biker: Best route to the Liter Class?

Well 2 years is a long time. Trust me on that. Also a lot depends on your level of riding and how fast you can get a grip on the bike. I have some friends who after learning to ride directly purchased 1000cc+ bikes and are doing well with them. So I don't think you need to take so many steps as such and if you can ride properly you can surely skip some steps.
I learnt on a Splendour (drivers bike) and my first bike was the CBR250r ABS, then I directly jumped to the Yamaha R1 which was a huge change but didn't take me more than a month to get completely comfortable with it. Its not at all that hard, you just need to be a little careful with the power. Now I am using the Hayabusa. So you could even go out and buy a liter class bike if you feel you're a good rider and have some experience of riding your friends or others superbikes. Id personally suggest that if you can ride a bike then:
1.RC390 (really easy to ride)
2.Daytona 675 (powerful yet chuckable and not too overpowered)
3. Any supersport etc.
yash2424 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18th August 2015, 17:12   #15
Senior - BHPian
 
man_of_steel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: BLR/TVM
Posts: 1,181
Thanked: 1,055 Times
Default Re: Newbie Biker: Best route to the Liter Class?

Almost all the aspects regarding your query has been answered above by the fellow members. And a pat on your back from my side for thinking about a progressive approach and not directly jumping on to the famed litre class!

What I would like to suggest is to buy a 390 Duke or an RC390 as a first step. These hooligan-istic machines with razor sharp handling, good power to weight ratio, snappy throttle response and hot-headed engine characteristics can really give you an introductory crash course to how to live with a superbike in India. I recommend the KTM duo not because it is the BEST bike in the country (Don't get that idea!) but because the inherent characteristics of the bike makes it a bit uncomfortable and will demand your cent percent focus while riding.

Oh! And after investing on the riding gears and bikes, invest some time and money to attend track days whenever possible to hone your skills. Believe me, it is the best place to improve your skills safely and no smoothly laid ghat section can cut it! And don't worry about the time frame. I believe that there is a voice inside the head that lets you know when you are ready for a bigger bike. Try listening to that.

And to be frank once the concepts of safety and sensible riding is hardwired to your brain, you are good to go on any bike be it super-sports or litre class.

Cheers. Ride safe!
man_of_steel is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Biker to Cager to Biker again! My pre-owned Pulsar 150 motomaverick Motorbikes 21 22nd October 2014 12:56
Biker Show at Renegade biker outlet - Houston, TX shrini78 The Team-BHP Meet Section 0 17th March 2010 06:43
Mercedes AMG Dropping 6.2-liter V8 for Bi-Turbo 5.5-Liter V8 hanmust The International Automotive Scene 3 19th December 2009 18:47
best gear oil & best coolant & best engine decarb: please cyneverdie Technical Stuff 7 19th October 2007 03:57
<Newbie Alert> IronWolf Baleno Bangalore <Newbie Alert> IronWolf Introduce yourself 26 21st June 2007 20:28


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 23:16.

Copyright 2000 - 2017, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks