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Small Sportsbike for (late) Mid-Life crisis

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Omobono View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Omobono Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Small Sportsbike for (late) Mid-Life crisis
    Posted: 22 May 2019 at 11:50
I am thinking of adding a small bike to my garage. Something light, agile, reasonably inexpensive (compared to bigger bikes), that is fun to smash through corners without the constant threat to my driving licence... Also (and this might be a bit immature, but hey...) I'd like something that reminds me of the bikes some young friends of mine had when I was young, penniless, and studying like it's forced labour to get some chances in life... 

After a long search, I am inclined to go for a Kawasaki Ninja 400, the so-called "Mini Ninja".  https://www.kawasaki.co.uk/en/products/Supersport/2018/Ninja_400/overview?Uid=0900CVEMDl1RUVFcUVkJXFBdXwkJDA1eXgkKUVhYCgpaDl4

I like everything of it, apart from the single disk at the front. We are talking 44 hp and 168 kg (I think this even includes fuel, I might be wrong). It would be by far the lightest bike I have ever owned, and the least powerful after my initial two-years sting in Germany with a limited bike (34 hp). It would be used for Saturday/Sunday afternoons blasts, never more than 1.5 - 2 hours without a rest. It would require a proper (but not extreme) "sport" riding position, inviting me to attack corners. 

However, I am afraid that this thing will *make me want for more after a couple of months*, and this is the first time I buy (if I buy it) a less powerful bike *on purpose*. 

Did you have similar experiences? Did you ever buy a "toy bike" and ended up tired up fast of the limited power? Or is it so, that the character this gives to the bike made you appreciate it after the initial 4-6 months? 

  
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BobV7 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BobV7 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 May 2019 at 12:07
This may be a bike you haven't considered but the Husquavana? Vit Piln 401 might just be the bike you're looking for. £4000.00 or under, and from all reports it's an absolute hoot that won't "necessarily" risk your licence.
V7 Classic Black and gold is the best colour but green & black is nice too!
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BondEquipe View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BondEquipe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 May 2019 at 12:10
It's a lot of dosh if you're not sure.  Why not buy something similar but older and cheap to see if the concept works?

I had a VFR400 NC30 a few years back. Speed wasn't a issue as the thing could spin up to 130mph, sounded fantastic and barely needed to slow for corners. Only one slight problem of ergonomics (tight packaging meant that the clutch was at an angle that killed my wrist and could not be resolved) caused me to get rid of it.

If you're thinking green then ZXR400s have a fantastic front end for corner attacking, were UK spec so no grey import parts trouble, easily saleable if you wanted to change and are actually quicker than the new Ninja.
Stephen
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tarquin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 May 2019 at 12:40
Originally posted by BondEquipe BondEquipe wrote:

I had a VFR400 NC30 a few years back. Speed wasn't a issue as the thing could spin up to 130mph, sounded fantastic and barely needed to slow for corners. Only one slight problem of ergonomics (tight packaging meant that the clutch was at an angle that killed my wrist and could not be resolved) caused me to get rid of it.

[DIV



I think they are an absolutely terrific bike!

From memory, Red Leader One had a nice one tucked away in his garage and was toying with selling it.


It's probably parked next to a series of late 50's Classic Ironing boards if I know him.



California 111 70th Anniversary Model, California 1100i 75th Anniversary Model, Honda ST1300


“Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.”
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Omobono View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Omobono Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 May 2019 at 14:32
Thanks to all.
 
I am sorry to say that I find the Vitpilen seriously ugly ;). I also prefer 2 cylinder to a mono, with 4 cylinder definitely too many! (never liked those Japanese inline fours). The RC390 would have been considered (even if a mono) but again, I find that a considerable effort has been put in making it as ugly as possible. The Kawa, I like a lot (if it had two disks in front I'd call it perfect).
 
More in general, I have (thankfully) more money than free time, and I don't want to spend my summer looking for a suitable old bike, and then more time and hassle to sell it again. I also (importantly) get affectionate to bikes (I know, I know; this is why I have 8 of them, of which 6 SORN, of which four abroad!...) so I don't buy a bike just "to try". I need to connect with it and see in it a part of my memories when I am old and, hopefully, wise. I also need to like the look of the bike.
 
If it's going to be a little sports bike, it's going to be the Kawa. No alternatives like Hondas CBR and little Yamahas do it for me.
 
The Missenden Flyer had an excellent review of the RC390, but the only thing I could think of is how darn ugly it is...
 
I have booked a test ride for the 15th June, but the test ride will not tell me whether I will "outgrow" the bike in 6-12 months...
 
Please keep your experiences coming!
 
 
 
  
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Ben. View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ben. Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 May 2019 at 15:11
I had a ride on a Ducati 350 Desmo a long time back, and I can't imagine getting bored with one of those ...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote red leader one Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 May 2019 at 15:30
Yes the NC30 still there

I remember when we first got it (it's the daughters)

I was tootling up the Coast Road A1058 to Newcastle casually looked down and it was doing 90mph
The fairing is fantastic.

But my back says no.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ben. Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 May 2019 at 16:21
It might sound odd, but since falling off my Morini in 2016, I've been unable to sleep in a bed without waking with backache. The solution for myself, (and I'm relieved there was one) is to sleep in a hammock. Although I still have to be careful,  I get much less back-pain and fewer instances of incapacitation.
I had many years of difficulty, and I often wonder how many others would benefit from this slightly radical approach.
A mosquito net and a cat that likes to sleep on my chest make for some tricky nighttime manoeuvres,
but it's a damn sight better than backache. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jerry atric Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 May 2019 at 20:02
You could join the Navy
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Ben. View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ben. Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 May 2019 at 07:11
yo ho ho!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BondEquipe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 May 2019 at 14:37
Originally posted by Omobono Omobono wrote:

Thanks to all.
 
I also prefer 2 cylinder to a mono, with 4 cylinder definitely too many! (never liked those Japanese inline fours). . . . . No alternatives like Hondas CBR and little Yamahas do it for me.
 
Please keep your experiences coming!
 

Just re-read this and wondered if you were mixing up your Hondas as the VFR isn't an inline 4 but a little vee. Makes a lot of difference to the sound and feel of the bike.


Still not a new twin but I'd say more of a sportsbike.

Stephen
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote iansoady Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 May 2019 at 15:24
In my long and varied motorcycling career I'd never had an inline four. So a couple of years ago I bought a CB400F (not the 1970s pretty one but a later grey import). I hated it. Rev limit of something like 14,000; no power at all below 4,000; no flywheel so takeoffs had to be accompanied by handfuls of throttle. As for trickling along on a whiff of throttle - forget it, it just stalled, making me look very amateurish.

I was very pleased to see it go in favour of the V50 whose real life usable performance is not too far off, but the manner in which it is delivered is so much nicer.


Ian
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V7Chris View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote V7Chris Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 May 2019 at 16:01
The only in line four I have ever had was the pretty 70s Honda 400/4. Compared to the power delivery of the CD175 I had previously, it had seemingly limitless torque and power😉 I far prefer a single or a twin, preferably shaft drive and air cooled.
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iceni View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote iceni Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 May 2019 at 18:51
I’m out of step here, then!  I have a ‘96 Kawasaki Zephyr 550 in line 4 and I find it a pleasure to ride. I shouldn’t, as physically it’s a bit on the low side, but I do. It’s light, compact and the controls are ( to me), ideal.  Performance wise it’s not going to win any prizes but I find it perfectly adequate for my “style” of riding.  Totally different from the Guzzi, of course - none of the character, pedigree and grunt (Really? I hear you cry)
But I like it, so there!  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BondEquipe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 May 2019 at 19:49
Originally posted by iceni iceni wrote:

I’m out of step here, then!  

Not really, I've got singles (2 & 4 stroke), twins (vee, 2 & 4 stroke), a triple and a couple of inline 4s! My car has 5 cylinders and my wife's has 6 (as does my classic car "project"). 

Horses for courses.
Stephen
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