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If you were to buy a japanese naked bike, which of the following would you get?

  • Kawasaki ZRX1200

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  • Yamaha FZ1

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  • Honda 919

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  • Suzuki Bandit 1200

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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK... The plan is to very soon get my training wheels as my 40th birthday present. I've looked and looked some more and sometime ago came to the conclusion that the type of bike I like and want is what nowadays is called a naked bike.

This will be my first motorcycle since the XR75 I bought used when I turned 14 and that my Mom got rid of before I came back from the hospital with a broken left leg. It will be my first real motorcycle on which I'll learn the art of cruising urban Jax.

Anyway, I come to you guys for guidance. I've shortened the list to the following four finalists (in no specific order):

:arrow: Kawasaki ZRX1200 (even though this is the one that's more appealing)

:arrow: Yamaha FZ1

:arrow: Honda 919

:arrow: Suzuki Bandit 1200

Then I get to the nitty-gritty of the specs and, been mechanically impaired as I am, I just don't know where to start.

So, any advice, recommendation, suggestion that you fellas' can provide will be most welcomed and greatly appreciated.

Now that I'm at it, let me add a poll on the four bikes and see what comes of it.

Thank you much!
 

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None of the bikes you listed really stands out as significantly good or bad compared to the others. It really depends on what you want to do with it. The Bandit is pretty old school (meaning dated), but everyone knows this and therefore you should be able to pick one up for rather less cash than the others. The Fazer and the 919 are both very good bikes, although they have different personalities. The Fazer (FZ1) might be a bit more rowdy, while the Honda would tend to be a bit more beginner freindly. The Kawasaki is a bit heavier than the others, but has a lot of grunt (torque). That makes it more fun pulling away from the lights, but even an unmodified Bandit will embarass most high-dollar sports cars., and the 919 and Fazer are also both capable of serious speed.

I recently was in the market for a naked bike myself. If I didn't already have a Triumph Daytona, I'd have bought a Speed Triple, hands down. But I do, and I wanted something different. The ZRX 1200 was top choice for a while, but I ended up on a Suzuki SV 1000 and am very happy with my first Japanese bike. I'm an experienced rider who loves to tweak what I ride, and that figures in heavily to what I buy. I also like corners, which is good 'cause there are a lot of them around here.

If you'll forgive me, though, there's one thing I have to bring up. If you're starting out new, my sanest advice would be to take the MSF course and then get a used, mid-sized cruiser to use untill you get your skills up. Cruisers are nice to start out on as they tend to have much lower seats and to be a bit more stable at speed, and both those things build confidence more quickly.

What ever you decide, good luck. Hope to see you on the road.
 

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nekkid bikes

The B12 has the greatest potential. With a pipe and airbox mod it really gains some ponies quick. It can be set up to do anything you want. From canyon carving to long distance touring. (And it actually looks halfway decent with a full GIVI setup).

But then, the 919 looks damn sexy.

The FZ is too pricey, and I don't know anything about the Kaw. I do know that everyone I've talked to on the V4 Honda BBS who also has a B12 are extremely happy with their bikes.

Charles.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
This isn't getting any easier...

Munenn & Charles,

Thanx a lot for your input and sorry it took so long to get back here. Now I'm not sure it's a good idea to reasearch this one to death... This started out as a one-year long plan for my 40th BD present (31 May 2K5), but the more I read, ask and look around it's making getting to the choice harder every day.

Munenn, I'm a beginner indeed and taking the Basic Rider Course is already in the agenda. Although I've never had a street bike of my own, back in 1983 (first year of college) for the whole fall semester, I bike-sitted a '79 RD400 (Daytona Special) for a friend. I had a grand time taking that thing to the beach backroads in my native Puerto Rico! It was a quick lil' ride but the brakes were awful and ran a bit too warm. Then before moving to FL, I had access to a Honda Nighthawk 750 that I rode a couple of weekends per month. Even though it didn't have the power to maneuver (as in get out of the way QUICK!) the crowded PR highways, there was nothing mechanically wrong with it. A comfy great inner city bike that will run forever!

I've also had friends let me ride a Shadow and a smaller (600 maybe?) CBR. Based on those rides I ruled out the cruiser and the crotch rocket, because of sitting position. I like the standard upright posture. Think it's easier on my arms and back. Appreciate the suggestion of the mid-size cruiser, though.

So, I've been on bikes... not as much as I would've wanted to but the time has come. This past weekend had a chance to stop by the Kaw dealer to take a look at the ZRX. Really like the retro looks, "a la" 1980's... Hey, I'm an eighties kid! But also saw their Z1000. Looks similar to Munenn's Suzuki. Guess that's the 21st century naked looks!

More questions:

:?: Munenn, what do you mean for mid-size? 750'ish? I'm 5'10", 220 lbs. No problem holding on to a 1200... at least I would like to think :?

:?: Is there an advantage on the V-Twin over the In-line 4?

:?: Should I have any concerns if decided to go with the air-cooled B12, instead of any of the liquid-cooled?

:?: What do you ride Charles?

I'll probably keep bugging you guys for some time, then one day the post will come with a pic of me on my two-wheel horse. Until then, look forward to hear from you guys again.
 

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Sorry Nemo...I don't know much about the four bikes you have asked about. My advice would be to take the MSF course, get your license, and go to some demo days and actually ride the bikes you are interested in. Find the one that ignites the passion in you and get it. Without the passion, a motorcycle is just a mode of transportation, and an impractical one at that.

I am partial to the italian naked bikes, i.e. the Ducati Monster and the Moto Guzzi V11 naked bikes. Check into those if you get a chance. Here are some links:

Ducati
http://www.ducati.com/od/ducatinorthame ... family=202

Moto Guzzi
http://www.motoguzzi-us.com/bikes/naked.html

What ever you chose...have fun and be safe.
 

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Maybe a bit much

Those bikes may be a bit much for you if you're just getting back into riding. The B12 or FZ will wheelie in 3rd with just a twist of the wrist. It's really easy to get hurt on one.

I personally ride a 1984 Honda VF1100C V65 Magna. 116 hp in an upright cruising stance. I don't like the leaned-forward stance because it's really hard on my wrists. I also don't like the foot-forward stance because it's hard on my legs (to keep them on the pegs) and back. So the V65 fits the bill perfectly. And 116hp doesn't hurt either.

I am also building a CX500 chopper and restoring a GL1000 Goldwing. I just sold a CB750 Custom as well. Check 'em out: http://www.cxboard.netfirms.com/MyBikes

Charles.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Sweet!

Thank you Munch & Charles,

CC, you say those may be a bit much to start with and you may be right. However, I don't want to buy a 600 or a 750 and in one year be trying to sell it to upgrade. At 40 now I'm much more cautious and I'll approach the re-learning with great care.

Munch, those Italians sure look great and I'm sure they handle just as great... thinking Ferrari. I really liked the 800 Monster! But, just like a Ferrari they are a bit off of my government employee budget. I'm more in the Honda/Toyota level. Maybe in a couple of years we can talk again.

I'm stopping at the Suzuki place this weekend to look at Munenn's SV1000. The looks on this bike instantly put it on the alternatives list.

It came as a surprise that the high end Italian bikes have v-twin or L-twin engines as opposed to the mostly in-line-4 japanese sport bikes. So, again, should I expect a great difference in performance between the two engine types?

Back to the research lab...

Cheers,
 

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Nemo- The real difference between the inline fours and twins ( whether in V, L, or paralell configuration) is in charachter. The old wisdom was that fours were fastest, but all their power was high in the rpm range, and twins were quicker off the line and had more power in the midrange. This isn't as true as it once was- Ducati twins seem to also have impressive top ends nowdays, and the larger (1,000cc ) fours have really filled in the midrange. One of the big reasons the fours are so popular with many engineers is that they are easier to package- if all the engine weight is right behind the front wheel, that's good for handling. Plus the bike can be made shorter overall so it's lighter and handles quicker. Fours also tend to be more fuel efficient than twins. And lots of folks like the frantic top end rush of power that many of them have.

Twins have (to my ear) a much nicer sound. I like it that their powerband is more focused in the midrange, which is much more practical for riding curvy country roads like we have around here. Twins tend to feel a bit more "raw" than fours. A good four is like a turbine- smoothly building power. A big twin is more like an old muscle car- lots of stomp and roar.

Having said all that, my favorite road engine is definately the Triumph triple. For me, it combines the best of both designs, but that is a totally subjective thing, and many would say that it has the bad points of both, to. To each their own, I guess.

Since you're going to look at the SV1000, I should tell you that so far (~2k) I really like that bike. It sounds great with a moderately loud aftermarket muffler, and if you are so inclined responds rather well to suspension and minor motor tweaks. If you like what you see at the dealers, think about this- they make the same bike in a more beginner-freindly V-twin 650cc size. The power-to-weight ratio is still better than most cruisers, and there is a huge aftermarket supporting that bike, as it is the budget racers' weapon of choice for track days. And if, after a year on it, when you have a clearer notion of what you want, they tend to keep value real well for when you go to sell it for your New Dream Bike.

Again- best of luck.
 

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And now here comes Fernando to completely upset the apple cart...

Forget all the bikes you listed and find a used Monster! That will make the price more affordable and you are more than likely going to end up with a bike with aftermarket exhaust and some other goodies the previous owner added. If you get a Monster as opposed to a 996 or 998, there is less likely a chance of the bike being previously abused by some silly fool who watched too many movies like Torque or Biker Boyz. Repeat after me... Ducati, Ducati, Ducati... yes, I know. I'm twisted :mrgreen:
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
CB1000

Ogre,

I checked your suggestion on the CB1000, and it's either not made anymore or simply not imported to the U.S. From the info and pics I saw on the www it looks as if Honda brought it to us in the shape of the 919: one of the horses in my list.

Of course Fernando screwed all my research up when he said Ducati three times! :wink:

Just visited your website and the flic on the two Johns had everybody in my office LTAO. Cool!
 

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What the?

FALSE ADVERTISING! :shock:

You just don't say Nekkid Japs in front of 17 year olds and then JIYUP THEM!!371243oneexclemationpoint

Kidding aside, for a newbie a cruiser is recommended for the sanity thing.

Also, if you're a newbie, if you like currently being ALIVE you might want to stay away from a superbike!
 

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lol

I'm talking about the powerband.

A superbike will have a less deadly powerband than a 600 and the like, so a newbie will survive LONGER... but I really cannot suggest a superbike. When I first got on a 2 stroke 500, right off the line I did a wheelie that made me stand up and push the bike 5 feet before it fell. lol
 

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I have a Kawasaki ZR-7s, I would buy Yamaha FZ-1 in a heart beat :wink:
 

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Where the heck is the 'Busa? One of my goals in life is to get one and have a Velocity Racing stage 3 600hp. turbo kit installed. Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :mrgreen: :thumbsup: 8) :twisted: Call me a tweaker, because I'm a speed addict!
 

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I have a 2001 kawi zrx1200. It's a great bike. Last year I rode it 600 miles to the bike rally in myrtle beach from nashville TN. Boy was that a LONG ride. I won't ride that far again unless I'm on some type of cruiser. I love my ZRX. Mild mannered, but plenty of power to kick butt if you want to. This year I'm taking it to Panama City, will probably trailer it this time.

HF
 

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:D

I preferred and own an FZ-1. It is the perfect bike for me.

I do not want to keep you from riding, so please take the following comments as they are intended.

The bike that fits your size and riding style and other rider criteria that meet your needs is the best bike for you. Each rider is different. As a stated newbie, you don't know what you like or want in a bike yet. Start on a bike with 70 or less BHP and learn to ride first. Learn what you as a rider want out of a bike. Find out how to ride and also what you want out of a bike. After a few years of building up these skills and knowledge, then go for a "Dream Bike".

I am not saying this to offend, but as a new rider, none of these bikes is appropriate (safe) for you to ride. All have 100+ rear wheel horsepower and 11 sec 1/4 mile or less, 150mph+ performance.

I have 30 years of riding and watching other newbie riders do this over and over again. Each ends up scaring themselves and quiting, crippling themselves or killing themselves. Those that make it through alive, healthy and also good riders are the exception. My experience seeing this happen over and over again has just confirmed my belief this is not the way to start riding. Egos should not be used when selecting a bike. Egos will get you hurt/killed.

I prescribe to the old school. Start on a much less powerful or heavy bike and build up some skills before you buy a 100+ bhp bike. Don't add to the statistics that show that starting on a dream bike is a bad idea.

Some can get away if they are reserved enough, but most of those that I have met and ridden with are just not not good riders. They just do not have the skill set to go fast safely, but many try anyway. These are the ones who don't show up when we stop to wait, and then have to go back and search for them. Then pick up them and the pieces of their bike. They cannot keep up, but they try anyway even though we tell them to go at a safe pace for them and that we will wait up for them. But egos cause them to try anyway with predictible results. They ride a bike the magazines claim is faster than my FZ1 so they feel they should pass me. Wrong!

So, check your ego at the door to the dealer and buy a bike you can learn on and concentrate on how to scan for dangerous situations and how to control your bike.

Obviously you can ignore my advice, but a 22 year old just proved my point here in Monterey a few weeks back. He purchased a 'Busa with no experience as his starter bike. 2 weeks later he Hit light pole at speed..... DOA.....

Enough said....

Be safe

Darryl.
 

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I hate to tell you, but as a begining rider you have no business on a superbike. I know none of the bikes you mentioned are superbikes, but they are all very powerful. Like has been said start with a midsized cruiser. Dont let some salesman sell you the wrong bike. My first bike was a Honda CB175, ok. The first inline 4 sport type bike I had almost got me in trouble several times. Approaching a stop sign slowly, only to realize I was doing 50. :shock:
 

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Old thread, I know, but if he's still out there, I own and ride a 2004 Honda 919. I've never liked cruisers and the riding position of the CBR series does not appeal to me since I ride 55 miles each way to work.

One advantage of the 919 over it's previously offered CBR900RR older brother (basically the same engine) is the inclusion of fuel injection over the older models carbs. Because of FI, one can purchase a "Powercommander" module to plug into the wiring harness. With this, and a laptop, you can drop any of several FI maps developed for this bike. I have three I use occasionally. One is maximized for mileage. When using this one, my mileage increases from 45 mpg to almost 55 mpg. The other two maximize power over fuel effeciency.

So if the other bikes in the list still use carbs, look for something with FI instead.
 
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