Transitioning to a Sports Bike -- RC51 or SV650 or Ninja 250 - Honda RC51 Forum : RC51 Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-28-2012, 10:27 PM Thread Starter
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Transitioning to a Sports Bike -- RC51 or SV650 or Ninja 250


I've been riding for a year ... rain, sunshine.

I've been on a Honda Magna 2002 ... love her.

I've been toying with the idea of transiting to a racing bike and getting into track days:
1. Primary motivation is to up my motorcycling skills
2. Up my fun level
3. Maybe get a racing license in 2014 if I prove to be decent at it

I plan on taking classes at cross spin and cross speed over the next 12 months.
so the question is:
1. How does the idea of an RC51 sound for the above purposes.

I was initially thinking of getting a previous generation ninja 250 so I can throw it around a lot and the cost of getting into it would be low.

However people advised me to look at an SV650 ... now one in decent shape runs over 3k ... when doing research I found that an RC51 doesn't cost a lot more and sometimes can he had for the same price.

So again question on based on what I've outlined above ... how good of a fit is RV51.

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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-28-2012, 11:28 PM
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If you keep following the path of "Well it isn't that much more" you'll soon find yourself with a new Ducati Panigale.

I haven't ridden an SV, but after a dozen trackdays on the RC51, I just did a trackday on my '98 ninja 250 and it was the most fun I've had at the track. Yeah, I got passed a ton, but every time I was able to pass a bike on the outside of the corner it was great. Of course they are going to pass me on the straights. I'm lucky if I have 25hp vs a 180hp literbike. Passing a Hayabusa was the highlight of my day.

If you are thinking of getting into the track, I would suggest either the 250 or the 650. Both are going to be much cheaper for initial costs. The sv650 has a huge following on the track, so there is plenty of knowledge and used parts floating around. The RC had a good following, but aftermarket parts are getting harder to come by and will be expensive when they do. People are selling used Ohlins forks forks for 75-80% of what they cost new, same thing goes for Sato exhausts. If you went with a 250, get the '08 or newer. They have 17 inch wheels stock, and much more support from the aftermarket, and the stock suspension is much better. If you get into racing, you'll also be on the better platform vs. the older 250. I can't speak too much about the 650, but I will tell you that the 250 will feel pretty damn slow compared to your magna. I would try and ride one first to see if you'll be completely bored before you plunk down the cash.

All in all, you are entering the best time of year to buy a bike. So remember that it will be a buyers market until around early spring. Be patient and you'll be able to find whatever you want.

I'm always right.

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-28-2012, 11:49 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the response @b.miller123. I love my magna and actually was thinking of something even faster but I figure that on a 250 I can hone my technique plus the costs of owning one / repairing one will be much cheaper.

I was intreagued by the rc51 because it was a twin and I figured the flat power band would be safe.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-29-2012, 09:01 AM
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I have never owned a cruiser,bagger,etc.. IMHO if you are considering a move into the rider's position of a sportbike... 1) start stretching.. 2) the SV would be the excellent choice as the transition tools..
There are more than a few ridden under an instructor, on the track.. And the bike are up-gradable with ease..
Not to steer you away from a RC-51.. Just would not be my first choice in the trans-thick-of-things...
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-30-2012, 06:25 AM
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The SV would be a better choice should you won't feel like a wined up toy, either way make sure you have the proper gearing and appropriate gear. Also would like to say that if post 3 is truer towards your goal, that would be a wise way too. As long as your having fun in the transition you shouldn't have a problem with what you choose. just make sure the bike is in mechanical working order and everything is straight.

2001 rc51 upgraded

1999 vtr 1000 "superhawk" sold

2006 650R Ninja sold
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-01-2012, 12:32 PM
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I have to agree with the SV being a better choice for the use you have planned. Having said that, it's still true that you can wring the bejeebus out of the 250 at the track and have a ball doing it. More fun to ride a small bike fast as she'll go than to run a bigger bike at half mast.

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