Hi all, first post on the forum. I'm not exactly a newbie to riding, but would like input on what bike to get specifically for getting into track days.
I got my first bike in 2008. It was a '96 Suzuki Bandit 600, pic below:
I sold that in March 2011 (not completely out of choice, was my last year of college and was double majoring, so at that time I wasn't working and needed the money).
Since graduating, I've been working full time now and got a 2002 Honda 919 in May:
I live around Columbus and I know a couple people that do track days at Mid-Ohio and I'd like to get into trying them next Spring, so I'd be looking at getting another bike around March to late April.
I want a separate bike to track just so I don't "care" as much if it goes down, and I still have something to ride. Also, if I'm doing work on the "track" bike, I'd still have something to ride if I want.
I'd like to keep the price relatively low, ~$2,500-4,000. $4,000 would definitely be the high end of what I'd want to pay. If I paid that much, I would not really want to have to do any work on it as far as suspension, brakes, etc. Plus, I'll need to get full track riding gear, which I'm sure could easily be another $1,000 (normally ride with jeans, leather jacket, helmet and gloves, but don't have any sort of 1 or two piece track suit that zips together, gauntlet gloves, or ankle boots).
So far, from a bit of browsing/reading I've done my top considerations would be:
GSXR 600 or 750
Myself as the rider, I'm 5'10" ~220-225lbs without riding gear, so I'd assume something with stiff/fully adjustable suspension is a necessity.
Some other factors are:
-parts - availability and price, obviously the cheaper and more aftermarket performance parts available, the better.
-Insurance - even though it'll be primarily a track bike, I'll be riding it to and from the track as I don't have a trailer/pickup, and I may still want to ride it on the street. So would an SV650 be a lot cheaper vs. the other options from that standpoint?
My only concern really with the SV650 is that it may feel sort of anemic coming from a 919, but it is a decent bit lighter and I've heard it's a great bike for beginners to get onto the track with because it's light and handles quite well. They're quite easily found at decent prices on craigslist around here as well. I would likely need to upgrade the forks and suspension though I take it?
Would an SV1000 be worth considering, or would the added weight more or less negate the extra power when it comes to track usage? Would the Honda VTR1000F Superhawk be a better v-twin alternative? I get the feeling parts for the VTR are relatively hard to come by.
Any other bikes worth mentioning are welcomed as well.
Also, if you guys have input on good beginning track gear that is decent quality and won't break the bank, I'd like to know as well.