How long before upgrade?
August 5, 2008 at 1:48 am #1843
Hi everyone. Just wondering how long those of you posting waited before upgrading from your first bike (if you have at all). I currently own a suzuki gs500f, have been riding for about 2 months and so far have put 2k miles on it.
I was wondering if theres a set time someone should wait to take the next big plunge or if they should go for it when they feel comfortable. I’ve heard several things such as; “If you think about upgrading, wait another year” or “don’t upgrade until you have at least 5-8k miles” but shouldn’t it solely depend on the riders experience / confidence riding?
I understand the logic behind getting several thousand miles under your belt, as well as experience. Just wondering what you guys / gals thought.
Also, the bike I’ve been looking at to upgrade to is a Suzuki GSXR 750.
Any comments would be appreciated!! thanks!
~ColeAugust 5, 2008 at 1:58 am #9901ShannonGParticipant
I would say each individual rider is different. But if you’ve got 2000 miles total lifetime ride mileage, you’re not ready for a Gixxer.August 5, 2008 at 2:01 am #9903
Yea, I don’t plan on upgrading any time this year, was aiming for mid next year.August 5, 2008 at 2:42 am #9912
Take two days back-to-back. Practice what you learn for the next year. Sign up for two more days of CLASS. If one of the instructors comes up to you and says “You need a faster bike” you’ll be ready to upgrade to an SV650. Do a bunch of track days on the SV650. You’ll know if you’re ready for the GSXR at that point. You may find the little SV all the bike you need.
Keep one point in mind: No one needs a GSXR 750 for street use. They are race bikes, and despite what the guys at the major motorcycle magazines say, they are terribly uncomfortable on the street. My 2003 SV1000N is a much better street bike than any of the racer replica sport bikes.
Another point: Until you’ve had professional instruction and at least one year experience the SV650 or GSXF650 is more bike than you need on the street.
I have 30+ years experience, 200,000+ street miles, and have spent thousands of dollars on instruction, and the SV1000 is faster than I need for a street bike. It is a hoot to ride, handles well, and is reasonably comfortable. Also, lacking body work to damage my insurance is cheap. I plan to use the SV1000 as a part-time track toy, but feel no need to upgrade the power. I’ll work on the suspension while I practice the lessons I learned at the various track schools I’ve taken. If I ever feel the need to upgrade my track toy I’ll probably keep the SV1000 for my street bike and go with a Triumph Street Triple.
My main track toy while taking riding schools was Honda CBR600F3. It was way faster than I was capable of going, and I learned a lot on that bike. The F3 was a terrible street bike, but excelled in its element; the track. Same for the GSXR 750. That bike is faster than you will ever be unless you have the skills to be a top club racer. If so, you’ll know when you’re ready. Don’t go to fast too soon. As Reg always told us, “To go fast you first have to go slow.”August 5, 2008 at 2:48 am #9916megaspazParticipant
Well said. +1
If there’s anything more important than my ego
around, I want it caught and shot now…August 5, 2008 at 9:04 am #9936BoOZe P-ti MotardParticipant
my moto: if u can wheelie the gs500f, then go for the upgrade, else sit black and learn!!! i know the type of biker you are but better learn well okay? a V-I and an I-4 is not the same and the positioning as well. Be patient and go cooly, dont hastily swap bikes, else you’ll crash, i bet on dat! take your time on the bike you have until you feel that it is not the bike, but you who r in power. you’ll get dat feeling much later.
Solomolo RiderAugust 5, 2008 at 12:06 pm #9939
Being able to wheelie a GS500F is no sign a rider is ready for a race bike on the street.
Back to the original question. Experience has little to do with being ready to upgrade. I signed up for instruction after 200,000 miles because I wanted to learn how to ride a motorcycle properly. I had 25-years experience, and many bad habits to replace with good habits. Sure, I had read “A Twist of the Wrist,” but reading a book is no substitute for excellent instruction. Code’s book was all we had back then, so rode anyway with little clue what we were doing wrong.
Every new motorcycle rider should sign up for on-track lessons. Pridmore’s school isn’t the only good one, but it is excellent. I’ve heard good feedback on other boards about some of the smaller, less well-known schools taught around the country. I have also seen first-hand what people learn in other schools in California (Lance Keigwin’s novice schools are excellent). Anyone who considers buying a GSXR or similar bike would be a fool to not get on-track professional instruction first. Anyone who buys a racer replica sport bike and doesn’t do track days is wasting money and buying the wrong tool for the job. Hence my advice for you to get to a track and learn to ride properly. If you have no intention of taking your bike to the track you are lusting after the wrong bike. Suzuki’s SV650 is much more fun on the street than is the GSXR 750. The SV has the added benefit of being cheaper to buy, maintain and insure, gets better gas mileage, and goes through fewer rear tires.August 5, 2008 at 3:19 pm #9943MattParticipant
Awesome advice Fotobit, thanks.
“The two seconds between ‘Oh S**!’ and the crash isn’t a lot of practice time.”August 5, 2008 at 4:12 pm #9948ShannonGParticipant
Cole, I know where you’re coming from. I have a weakness for Gixxers and sometimes dream of seeing myself on one. However, every time I think seriously about how wicked cool I would be on a supersport I end up doin g something stupid like missing a shift or going into a turn too hot and blowing the apex. On a 150 hp bike that could have deadly consequences.August 6, 2008 at 5:10 am #9977
I’ve looked at several different bikes, although the gixxer750 was the golden chalice haha.
your info is really helpful and actually my dad (also rides) was talking to me about a friend of his who registered and took a track class, and was mentioning we might pursue it as well.
Although a Gixxer750 or CBR600rr etc. etc. may have more power than comprehensible for the streets, it’s the riders preference in that situation i guess. If they want to be able to have that power under they’re control and be able to stand the bike up going 80, then thats all their desire whereas others find it sufficient to ride something with just enough power to their liking. Although I may be listed under the first category (unfortunately) the maturity aspect of riding also comes into play hoping that i wont do something stupid. Of course the temptation is there, and yes I would probably try something like that given the opportunity, but it comes down to personal desire.
Regarding comfort, i’ve ridden my bike for 2+ hours in one sitting and even THAT gets uncomfortable haha, but understandably i can see how the supersports, being designed for the track, are not designed for long rides. However, the Gixxer’s have to be some of the most comfortable supersports that i have found. And being 6′ 2″ and 200 lbs its hard to find something comfortable.
I’ve noticed this as well, but for me it’s not attached to the desire of a more powerful bike. I’ve pushed my little gs500f to the limits already and needless to say i’m very pleased with it, it’s a great bike.
I definitely have a lot more time to spend riding before making another step up to a bigger bike. Fotobit, do you think I would be able to ride my gs500f in a track class? or would that require an upgrade?
Thanks for all the help, it’s brought new insight to me haha.August 6, 2008 at 1:56 pm #9986BuddParticipant
I call shenanigans. You may think you have ridden the GS500 to its limits, but I suggest you take a performance class like fotobits suggested. Topping out the speedo is not riding a bike to its limits. Riding a bike to its limits out of a track environment is unsafe for you and others on the road, ie. Don’t do it.
“I am the best there is at what I do, and what I do ain’t nice.”-WolverineAugust 6, 2008 at 11:02 pm #10005
As Budd said, you’ll find you haven’t approached the limits. At 200 pounds you’ll tax the GS500F’s suspension on the track, but that is a good thing. Get some aftermarket fork springs and bump up the rear preload before hitting the track. You’ll become a better rider starting your track days on the GS500F instead of a GSXR 750.
I agree comfort is subjective, but I cannot fathom someone who is 6’2″ being more comfortable on a race bike than on a street-oriented sport bike or standard motorcycle. I can imagine your GS500F getting uncomfortable after two hours. Easy fix, there. Stop and take a break. If the F’s riding position makes you uncomfortable what makes you think being folded into a racing crouch will be more comfortable?
Sounds to me like you’re taking a mature approach to this upgrade process, but there is more to safety than just maturity. You need to learn how to stop properly and practice the technique until it becomes a reflex. Same for cornering. When, not if, you get into a turn a bit hot and spot a hazard on your cornering line you need to take the correct action instantly. You won’t have time to think about it. Your GS500F has a bigger margin for error than a race bike. You may very well develop the skills to go directly from the GS500F to a GSXR 750, but you need to develop those skills on the slower bike. As I mentioned above, you and the track instructors will know when you are ready.August 7, 2008 at 1:44 am #10008megaspazParticipant
oh my… 2000 miles saddle time, 2 months on the street on a 500cc and you’ve pushed the bike to the limits already… FYI, not even close.
If there’s anything more important than my ego
around, I want it caught and shot now…August 8, 2008 at 10:56 am #10072BoOZe P-ti MotardParticipant
dang!!!did you really think i was asking him to do that????do you think he can do that? that was a sarcasm or irony or whatever you call it for him to not upgrade to something beasty but remain and learn more… duh..talking being experienced…
Solomolo RiderAugust 8, 2008 at 12:31 pm #10078MattParticipant
Hey Booze, keep it clean.
Bikes have more limits than just the forward one (top speed). (Almost) Anyone with a long enough straight stretch of road can top out any bike.
“The two seconds between ‘Oh S**!’ and the crash isn’t a lot of practice time.”
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