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Old 28th February 2017, 15:41   #46
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Default Re: 15 things to consider before buying a big motorcycle

Ever since this thread has started I have been speaking to quite a few people who own such exotic machines Few pointers from my discussions with them:

1. As pointed out you need to have a passion for riding. This excludes the typical breakfast runs that most owners do. There are a few who actually make full use of the bike. I know a gent who's done 14K km on his bike in a span of 5 months! Now this I feel is the full utilization of such bikes.

2. You need to accept the fact that these are equivalent of the Audi's and Mercedes of the 4 wheeled world. Spare parts can bring tears to your eyes. A set of tyres for a Versys cost 30K (not verified personally) and they dont tend to last more than 10K km. Yikes!!!

3. Spares availability - This is another issue that I have heard people face especially those with the rarer breed of bikes. Some one had to wait 3 months to get a part for his bike (and we blame Skoda/Audi for taking weeks!)

4. Respect for your machine is a MUST. These bikes are no slow coaches and can hit triple digit speeds even before you blink 10 times. You need to know your limits and then try and explore the limits of the machine.

5. The Great Indian Highway Saga - The group with whom I ride had a nasty experience whilst on our way to Lavasa. There was a new Z800 in the group and the rider was being chased by a bunch of locals on their Activa's around the bends near Khandala. The rider was new and the poor guy had to actually give way as he was afraid of getting hit by these brave hearts!

However one thing that I have seen is the experience offered by these machines is beyond compare. So as already said, if you have the dare to dream go for it!
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Old 6th March 2017, 13:17   #47
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Default Re: 15 things to consider before buying a big motorcycle

To find out if it really suits you , in my opinion the best option is to rent one . In Bangalore we have www.wickedride.com from where I have rented bikes couple of times . Yes the rates are expensive , but its okay once in a while to pay for the adrenaline rush and the sheer pleasure of riding a big bike without burning a hole in your pocket . Until I can afford to buy one , that's the best possible way to fulfill my desire .
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Old 6th March 2017, 13:33   #48
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Default Re: 15 things to consider before buying a big motorcycle

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Originally Posted by autohead666 View Post
To find out if it really suits you , in my opinion the best option is to rent one . In Bangalore we have www.wickedride.com from where I have rented bikes couple of times . Yes the rates are expensive , but its okay once in a while to pay for the adrenaline rush and the sheer pleasure of riding a big bike without burning a hole in your pocket . Until I can afford to buy one , that's the best possible way to fulfill my desire .
How good is their maintenance? I somehow feel a bit tensed trusting some unknown high speed machine.

Rates are not really a problem for someone riding may be once a month, since the EMI for a new bike would be similar to their asking rate for a couple of days ride. And unlike EMI, these don't need to be paid every month and also offers a chance to pick from among various bikes as per the need.
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Old 6th March 2017, 14:33   #49
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Default Re: 15 things to consider before buying a big motorcycle

They maintain their machines well . I have rented their Harleys (Iron 883 and Street 750), and found them to be in excellent condition . Can't say about the sports bikes because I am not a sports bike enthusiast .
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Old 9th March 2017, 00:50   #50
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Default Re: 15 things to consider before buying a big motorcycle

Excellent post and thank you for this!


Can we please NOT share videos (no matter how good they are) where riders aren't wearing helmets?

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Originally Posted by CrAzY dRiVeR View Post
Thank you for the kind words. Please also have a look at my earlier post regarding the 300cc bikes, which might be relevant in your case. You might not agree either, but would still make for a meaningful discussion.
Couldn't find it. Could you please point me to the post? (I ask because I am planning to upgrade to the 302R from my existing Gixxer 150.

Last edited by mobike008 : 14th March 2017 at 14:27. Reason: Edited the video from quote
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Old 14th March 2017, 09:02   #51
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Default Re: 15 things to consider before buying a big motorcycle

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Originally Posted by pai.pradeep View Post
Excellent post and thank you for this! Can we please NOT share videos (no matter how good they are)
On the contrary, it was shared as a bad example -

"You can't really blame the public either, for there are many so called 'bikers' out there giving others a bad name as well. An example from among many -"

Thats a reality. Many so called 'bikers' with expensive motorcycles do try hard to earn the community a bad name.
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Originally Posted by pai.pradeep View Post
Couldn't find it. Could you please point me to the post? (I ask because I am planning to upgrade to the 302R from my existing Gixxer 150.
Sorry for the late reply. I was referring to this post below -

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/superb...ml#post4152335 (15 things to consider before buying a big motorcycle)
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Old 14th March 2017, 12:19   #52
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Default Re: 15 things to consider before buying a big motorcycle

Nice write up CD. Covered pretty much everything i guess.

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So why skip the 250 - 300cc segments?

1. Hate the fact that these motorcycles don't come with ABS.

2. It is easy to outgrow these motorcycles rather easily.
Have to disagree on this.
I know tons of people who didn't outgrow 250-300cc class for years even if they could afford bigger machines. One might get used to the acceleration from a 30-40bhp machine and feel that they have outgrown the machine but that's far from the truth. Similarly, people get used to a bigger bike's acceleration in sometime and assume they now have a 'handle' on the machine. Again, it is a false perception.
On a recent track day, a ninja 250 with 30 odd bhp was passing machines with 2x-3x more power. Ofcourse, the RC390s were passing almost everything, litres included. The riders on many of the high capacity machines were simply out of their comfort zone pushing the bike on a track. And I attribute that to not learning the requisite skills first on a smaller capacity machine. It is much harder to learn well when your machine wants to hit 200 at every small straight. The riders who were truly exploiting the bigger bikes were almost all seasoned guys who had moved up the cc/bhp ladder carefully. It's always the rider and not the cc/bhp in case of motorcycles.
You could argue that not everyone wants to go to the track - but my riposte to that would be that the skills learned there will save lives on the road. Imagine the guy who is babysitting his Fireblade on the track but does unmentionable speeds on the road - do you really think he can handle an emergency situation well?

That brings me to what I would add to your list:
If you own/want to own a big bike, I would recommend going to a track training school atleast once. Attend one and if you are a first timer, you will be amazed at the mistakes you were doing on road. You can unlearn them and learn the right methods.

Regarding ABS: it is necessary but not a substitute for proper riding techniques. It is available in the KTMs and the upcoming 2017 R3 if you don't want to compromise on it.
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Old 14th March 2017, 20:32   #53
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Default Re: 15 things to consider before buying a big motorcycle

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Originally Posted by CrAzY dRiVeR View Post
Dragging the clutch is not a choice either, since it is very easy to burn through one
This is not really accurate. Slipping the clutch while on a motorcycle (That's what I assume you meant with "dragging") is not only acceptable, its a way of life..... a necessity

A bike's and a car's clutch are very different? Think about it - would you ever shift gears (up or down) clutchlessly in a car? Of course not, but you would do it on a bike day in and day out without any issue whatsoever (as long as the technique is right)

Moving at a snail's speed, I typically keep my revs slightly high, hold the throttle steady, drag a bit of rear brake and slip the clutch as needed. Off road riding - you wont survive if you cant slip your clutch properly

And my bike (2014 Duke 390) has done around 35k kms and is still on its original clutch

Ride safe!
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Old 16th March 2017, 18:11   #54
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Thumbs up Re: 15 things to consider before buying a big motorcycle

Nicely written article , very thought provoking indeed.
Form touring on RE and Pulsars big-boys have surely redefined touring. The article was an eye-opener for people like me looking at big-boys with starred eyes.
Agree specifically with point 5, have a friend who regularly fries his legs on a street 750 and boy its far from comfortable , he claims to have finished the bake(break)-in period and heat dose not bother him anymore

The best deal seems to be to hire them for a spin, have fun but not own it. Im sure its more pain to see them idle in a basement than doing what they should be doing(flying on the tarmac).
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Old 16th March 2017, 19:06   #55
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Default Re: 15 things to consider before buying a big motorcycle

Quote:
Originally Posted by niranjanrvce View Post
I know tons of people who didn't outgrow 250-300cc class for years even if they could afford bigger machines.
I have been [almost] actively riding for past two decades. The most powerful bike I owned had a measly 26 bhp and believe me if you will, I didn't want a faster bike, instead I wanted something which had better brakes & handling, so I further demoted and got a ~21 bhp bike.

Point is, I don't really see myself buying a Motorcycle, of whose I can't exploit its 4th gear [redline speed] on a everyday basis. I would be happy buying a 400cc 50 bhp nice street bike with good handling [predictable] & nice, feel some brakes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Urban_Nomad View Post
A bike's and a car's clutch are very different? Think about it - would you ever shift gears (up or down) clutchlessly in a car? Of course not, but you would do it on a bike day in and day out without any issue whatsoever (as long as the technique is right)

Moving at a snail's speed, I typically keep my revs slightly high, hold the throttle steady, drag a bit of rear brake and slip the clutch as needed. Off road riding - you wont survive if you cant slip your clutch properly
+1. On stock clutch on all my rides yet. And ya clutch less shifts all the way.
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Old 19th March 2017, 11:30   #56
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Default Re: 15 things to consider before buying a big motorcycle

It will change your world. Simple . though I always desired fat boy, due to financial constraints I brought a pre owned Superlow from a fellow bhpian. I had never ridden anything more than a bullet 500 and that too only occasionally. So when I first rode it,I was shocked it was no piece of cake, I'm pretty sure I would have dropped my big bike dreams if I had test ridden anything this powerful. Now 16k kms in an year I would say it's the best thing I did this side of 35 in my life. I've ridden roads which I never would have and met really really fun people down the line. Also realized though I could pony up the cash to buy a used fat boy but would never be able to maintain it financially. Also riding one from group I realized the sportster was more fun (never meet your heroes ?). Would agree with all the points here, but it's a trance like no other, zindagi na milegi dobara.
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Old 20th March 2017, 03:22   #57
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Default Re: 15 things to consider before buying a big motorcycle

Very good write up Crazy Driver. My fellow TeamBHP-ians have touched upon all the important areas of big bike ownership. What I would like to add from my experience is that the the sub-400cc class of machines are great allrounders, a machine like the duke 390 can be ridden on a track or you could even take it to Raid De Himalaya or use it for mundane grocery duty .

The same is not true of the bigger engine bikes, each category of bike is targeted at a specific activity. I have seen a lot of guys who are unhappy with their SuperSport bikes as all they needed was a touring bike in the first place, for doing long-distance riding. It is very important for prospective buyers to really assess their likings and target the specific segment be it a cruiser/supermoto/adventure/tourer/super-sport bike.
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Old 26th March 2017, 13:27   #58
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Default A conversation in caution. The new Z900.

Kawasaki just yesterday launched a few bikes and what the Indian biker community at large saw was a spectacular Liter-class Z900 at an almost affordable price of 9L ex-showroom. Affordable and a 'Z,' that word worried me.

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So last weekend, two super bikers on a ride outside Mumbai met with accidents, bad enough for their injuries to qualify as life-threatening, and along comes this Z900, that has a a price tag that's really tempting and THAT provokes me to write this experience on a Z1000- which has been phased out, but not before passing on its 'Sugomi' DNA. Suddenly this has woken up riders who always wanted a 'big' bike but were worried about the cost, so I find my mail box flooded with queries on this Z900. This is my opinion on the Z.

(The Japanese word 'sugomi,' describes the intense aura or energy given off by a person or object of greatness felt by the viewer. Someone, or something, possessing Sugomi inspires awe, leaves an indelible impression, is imposing in stature or ability, and commands respect.)

Almost now a full 6 months- probably just after the 2016 monsoons, I rode the Z1000 on a stretch from Dahanu towards Vapi. It had to account for being the most blistering of rides I have ever done, and I do not think I look forward to out doing that thrill again. Here goes that story and in it lies a big lecture on a part of the superbike culture, if I can call it that. It started with a conversation with a friend- and hence the format-

DJ: What are your thoughts on Z900?

KD: About the z series? Well, one needs to graduate to those bikes
Give me some time and listen-wait..
About 6 or 8 months minimum in a 600-650 environment before one tries a Z800/1000 or now the 1000. The 1000 has a speed range from 60 to 270 in 6th gear and for once it had torque that made sure even on Indian roads you did not have to shift out of gear to pull up to a faster friend, or fro overtaking- you always have the torque on call.
A newbie will get seriously hurt in this machine. Very quickly
Day 1 or day 2 at the outer would be my guess.
The 'sugomi' inspires layout is extreme and you literally feel like you are leaning over the front wheel which actually in real life looks/feels as if it is under the fuel tank!

The last think you see in front is the upper edge of the speedometer. It has astounding torque numbers from the word Go- unlike other superbikes that have a nice high revving start... that give you some kind of warning- that things are going to get quicker with the rising rpm needle.
These Z-bikes are get up and run from the min you touch the throttle. So what happens for a new rider is - as if the bike has an evil soul that screams "Surprise" when you even stare at the throttle. Reading specifications on bikes takes a whole new meaning as then you realise that the bike dumps its 123PS power at a 'Low' 6000 rpm and would mean a almost logarithmic power curve from 1000/1300 rpm to 6000- unlike many bikes that can freely rev upto the 8-10k mark and have a slightly more linear response.


So the point here is-
Unless you know what stunning acceleration is
Unless you know what big bikes mean by throttle response
You need to start low and slow and work your way up to this bike.

I can almost see newbie riders and even those with a smidgen of 650 experience smirking that they can handle the throttle and their wrist was lighter than most Surgeons... and they would tame the right bobbin and not wheelie in 3rd gear (oh yes this 1000 could probably do that too.It is a very stable bike with good balance, and an engine that is unobtrusive and super smooth-the exhaust very subdued and unlike a Akrapovic that would talk to you when gunned. The bike is uncomplaining at any rpm and delivers a false sense of security at any if not all speeds.

Bad Joss will happen. If you have not been sufficiently overwhelmed by the acceleration then comes the Brakes.
The brake, If you just touch the brake levers you may come off over the handle bars its that superbly engineered- to put it bluntly.
I kid you not. So at high speeds which are actually pedestrian and piddling for the Z1000, if you grab the brakes- you will have no way of knowing what will happen next
It's not a newbie bike- bottom line

So stunning is the acceleration and absolutely blistering the brakes. Amazing aggression. Fabulous bike. One will have to ride a super bike category vehicle to figure out the sharp rake and how it steers, how the bike leans in bends and how to power through the bends to be able to ride the Z900 and enjoy it.
If one buys it off the shelf and starts off to ride then two things can happen.
1. Hurt
2. You will never figure out how to tame the bike (which I don't think is possible anyways) and enjoy the machine.

Personally
I have ridden the Z1000 and well beyond legal speeds ... I don't think I had any control on what was going on- inside my mind. I was overwhelmed and I think there is no shame in saying- I was more scared on two wheels than I have every been on any other machine.

I down shifted to 4th from 6th for fun ąt high speeds... And fun ended. The engine growled like s street fighter and the rpm climbed up to some stratospheric level and the bike threatened to wheelie..... and I could sense the front end leave the road- while throttle was down to ZERO.
I did not ride the bike again.

*Alert*
The fair way to lead your biking life - philosophy here- is to always experience new bikes and search for what the other bikes did new... What are they better at.
Starting small- the KTM 390- gear box and its 'click' gear changes for something sold in India. Going back in time, the RD350 close-ratio best gear box, globally acknowledged as possibly the best gearbox ever. Triumph Tiger- throttle cable redundancy (you must ask me about this). Harley-Davidson and the money and time spent on exhaust note tuning and the HD low low end torque engineering. The Hayabusa, for being generations ahead of its time- for its ability to hold stage even a decade after its launch. The guts of Suzuki to keep the V-Strom unaltered for close to about 5-odd years- saying 'this is a good bike.'

The list is endless but be practical and remember what's good for what kind do of bike and what kind of terrain.

Choose well, and ride safe my friend.

(Pic Courtesy- Team-BHP)

Last edited by GTO : 26th March 2017 at 23:46. Reason: Several rules broken
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Old 27th March 2017, 00:52   #59
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Default Re: A conversation in caution. The new Z900.

You are absolutely correct.

The power available with a slight twist or the wrist is totally mind numbing.

The machine, being totally ignorant will do what it is designed to do and if the rider does not have adaquate training he/she will find themselves far beyond their abilities.

This almost always ends up in a crash.

Even in the USA, where roads are usually much better, speeds ridden are much higher and where riders have had access to powerful motorcycles these super-bikes take many lives each year.

I am not against owning one and the experience of riding one can be awesome but they are not for the average rider or even for many experienced riders.

IMO, they are best suited for use on a race track by a totally qualified rider.
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Old 27th March 2017, 12:52   #60
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Default Re: 15 things to consider before buying a big motorcycle

Thanks for re-affirming my thoughts about such high performance bikes. I rate myself as an average rider not experienced (sometimes irresponsible) or not capable enough to control or use the performance offered by these monster machines. Part of me and might be true for other riders too is possessing 'if-i-have-it-i-might-as-well-use-it', 'some more revs', 'break-the-last-done-speed' mentality which has a high probability to lead me to unfortunate incidents.

During my process to buy a good performance bike, the super-man in me did point towards Striple/Z900 but I'm glad I paid heed to my wisdom and went the Bonnie way. Cheers!
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