Bikes > Sportbikes

I am "too fast".

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Not long after purchasing my first sportbike back in 1994, a '94 Honda CBR600F2, I came to the realization that owning one of these things is an exercise in frustration. They are built to run, but the public roads are filled with so many "barriers" that they can never be enjoyed anywhere close to their capability. I found that only in the earliest hours of a Summer Sunday morning could I can any real measure of what I considered "fun" on it and even then, the prospect of an expensive encounter with law enforcement (as best possible danger) forever rode with me. Since that time, every manufacturer had "hardened" their sportbikes to the point that they are designed far more for the track than the road and only reinforced my long held opinion that the only place to truly and intelligently operate these things as they are meant to be used is on a track, either a trackday or to just go "all in" and join a race organization like CCS or WERA.
As you may know, I recently acquired a 1995 Honda VFR750. Anyone familiar with the genre knows that these are outstanding road going sportbikes but not nearly "laser focused" enough to considered as a realistic candidate for a serious race bike. That fact in evidence, it is still way too much bike for the public roads. Having a conversation with my mechanic the other day, I said that I feel I may have made a mistake getting another sportbike, that even though I knew this bike was an easy ticket just waiting to happen, I find myself riding in a manner that I would advise anyone else I saw doing it to curtail. His suggestion that i "Just don't ride it like that" was met with an honest "This bike just wants to run. It works so well that it invites this behavior all too easily".
Between the time when I purchased the bike in late June and completing the resurrection project and putting it on the road in mid September, I had decided that in 2016 I would do as many Sportbike Track Time track days as I could afford, basically reasoning that the fee would be considerably less than the ticket I would surely get if I were to ride as I used to "back in the day". Heck, before the work even began to bring it back to life I had purchased a one-piece suit off the WERA classifieds and arranged a deal for the helmet, gloves, and boots to complete my track gear.
I would be interested to hear the ideas some of you have about your own sportbike ownership and how you feel about its capabilities versus the public environment we ask them to exist in and if you made the transition to full "off-road" use or maybe the split use choice.

Paging lostinbama and ColeX2....   

Frankly, I'm glad my bike is just a 500cc standard.  I don't see how you can make yourself ride within the legal limits on a bike that will fly. 

Nice Goat:
Lots of people have sold/traded fast bikes to keep out of trouble.  I think this is a good topic for discussion.

Brian A:
Been there done that.
Rode stupid fast - 99% of the time in Tennessee and North Carolina.
Had my epiphany one day. Came home and sold the sportbike and race leathers.

The Versys is plenty fast and capable of delivering all the fun I could ask for on the road and is good for trips too. And while it is more than enough to get me in trouble with the law, it doesn't beg to be ridden like a sportbike in order to be fun.

I hated riding a sportbike around town or just cruising along the highway or interstate. It was a waste in my book. Sort of like having a new 4K HD flat screen TV and all you have to watch is a bunch of VCR tapes on old VCR player. What's the use?

Off road (for me - since I can't justify a track bike and a few track days each year) is where I can turn the wick up as high as desired and no risk of adverse legal ramifications.

Other potentially adverse ramifications remain present.

I can remember a few years back where there would be rides posted up in the Planned Rides section that specifically stated This will be a "spirited pace" ride and that only people in full leathers gear were invited. I notice that sort of event hasn't been posted in quite some time, seemingly gone extinct when the cohort that participated found track days.
Then there is also an "attitude" that permeates sportbike ownership, a kind of "measuring" of where you are in relation to others. I know I used to check the peg lean posts on bikes, as well as the "chicken strips", as if grinding the indicators down or getting that last millimeter of tread width scrubbed was some kind of prize winning "accomplishment" for a public road dwelling bike and rider. Heck, I was arrogant, (and stupid) enough to imagine an Ulster or Isle of Mann vibe to a ride and that being faster on public roads was actually something to brag about.


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