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May 19th 2017, 09:32 AM   #16
 HalcyonSon's Avatar
 
  Apr 2016
  Renton

Quote:
Originally Posted by DGA
Only bike demographic that seem to be on the brink of disappearing from the show room floors are the 600 super sports. Honda has said that they are not making a new one. The new R6 is not all that new, basically same frame and engine, much the same with the Kawi 636 and Triumphs 675. Aside from that sport bikes seem to be doing well and keep improving. Who would have thought ten years ago that you could afford a Ducati/Aprilia/MV today that are nearly reliable to boot?
That's definitely an issue. Since when is a Suzuki nearly the same price as a Ducati?!
May 19th 2017, 11:35 AM   #17
 Squidly's Avatar
 
  Jan 2016
  Bothell

Quote:
Originally Posted by equinity
Pike's Peak OVM one-piece handlebars


There were 2 supersport riders who died on the course before the handlebar rule. I think insurance wasnt happy and so the organizers banned sportbikes isntead of dropping all moto racing all together. I dont think bars are any safer than clip-ons, but sportbikes are definitely percieved to be more dangerous.

I think sportbikes being seen to be too dangerous is the reason sales are dropping. Since I got my first bike moto journalists have told me how 600s have more power than any mortal could ever use on the street, and 1000s are dangerous fire breathing beasts that could only be tamed by an expert. Every moto forum will tell you that you MUST start on a 250cc, and then a 650 before a 600 or you'll be dead before your first oil change.

Its pretty hard to sell a motorcycle when its seen as an inconvenient, unconfortable, unrideable death machine.

Edited by Squidly on May 19th 2017 at 11:42 AM
May 19th 2017, 12:38 PM   #18
 Sentinel's Avatar
 
  Jun 2016
  Poor Tortured

I literally just walked in the door from a ride on my CBR900RR.

I was out for about two hours, and almost the whole time I was thinking something on this list:

1) FUCKING CIVILIANS! And by that I mean - regular people using the roads for regular shit like
-Hauling their horses around
-Hauling their boats around
-Hauling lawn equipment around
-Hauling their campers around
-Hauling rocks and gravel arround
-Driving around texting and drinking a 99 ounce Unicorn Mochachino
2) There is no more open road.
3) Fuck why are there so many people out here on a weekday in the middle of the day?
4) This is pointless I should just get an FZ09 and do some wheelies on the way to Starbucks.

But then right before I got home I ran into a dude with...a new FZ09 still with a paper license plate.
I dropped in behind him and he saw me and he took off. I followed. He sprinted away but hit the brakes at the first curve. I caught up. I was up on the tach waiting for a chance to out-brake him into a turn. My motor was singing that beautiful Yoshimura/Honda howl. He was doing GAS - BRAKES - GAS - BRAKES and I was on his rear tire waiting waiting waiting like a cat under a tree full of sparrows. Then - BLAM, I whipped-by him entering a left hand sweeper as he braked and I hit the gas and leeeeeeaned into the turn. It felt beautiful, smooth, and sexy. The road was right.there. by my shoulder as I laid down low on the tank, feeling the bike dancing underneath me. It was alive, feeding me data about the road, the motor, the tires. I gassed it hard coming out of the turn and then swooped through the next turn and gassed it again and when it straightened out I looked back....way back.....way way back...as he exited the turn.

I signalled and pulled over thinking maybe we could talk about his new bike...but he motored-on by.

THAT is the fun, to me, of the CBR, and of sport-bikes. But that is some rare shit, especially these days.

I am thinking of selling my CBR and getting something with handlebars. I have loved street/canyon riding since I was a teenager, but it is simply too crowded now to have much fun. That's why I got the C14 -to begin to change the way I think of riding, slow down a bit (a bit), enjoy the view, and go places: the destination instead of the journey.

Sad but true.

Edited by Sentinel on May 19th 2017 at 12:45 PM
May 19th 2017, 01:07 PM   #19
 equinity's Avatar
 
  Jan 2016
  Puyallup

  Yamaha FZ1
Quote:
Originally Posted by Squidly
There were 2 supersport riders who died on the course before the handlebar rule. I think insurance wasnt happy and so the organizers banned sportbikes isntead of dropping all moto racing all together. I dont think bars are any safer than clip-ons, but sportbikes are definitely percieved to be more dangerous.

I think sportbikes are seen to be too dangerous is the reason sales are dropping. Since I got my first bike moto journalists have told me how 600s have more power than any mortal could ever use on the street, and 1000s are dangerous fire breathing beasts that could only be tamed by an expert. Every moto forum will tell you that you MUST start on a 250cc, and then a 650 before a 600 or you'll be dead nefore your first oil change.

Its pretty hard to sell a motorcycle when its seen as an inconvenient, unconfortable, unrideable death machine.

So you ride a S1000R instead of the RR?
May 19th 2017, 01:17 PM   #20
 holypiston's Avatar
 
  Jan 2016
  Vancouver, WA

I have one big piece of advice for motorcycle manufacturers that won't cost much.

Make the seats more comfortable you morons.

jeez...a hot kniffe and and ass profile cut is all you need. even for sportbikes. We got a very thin race tail section for the RZ and the seat is slim, BUT it is shaped to your ass and i can ride that thing all day. Amazing. Flat bench seats don't cut it. even the young guys at motorcyclist complain about this shi*.

Simple, cheap, effective and might help you sell more bikes....

Anyone listening to this in the industry? Really, take my advice and reap the rewards...hype the comfort of the seat and maybe a larger demographic will ride it.
HalcyonSon likes this.
May 19th 2017, 01:20 PM   #21
 
  Jan 2016
  Renton

  2011 Triumph Daytona 675, 1975 Honda CB550K1
Quote:
Originally Posted by Squidly
I think sportbikes being seen to be too dangerous is the reason sales are dropping. Since I got my first bike moto journalists have told me how 600s have more power than any mortal could ever use on the street, and 1000s are dangerous fire breathing beasts that could only be tamed by an expert. Every moto forum will tell you that you MUST start on a 250cc, and then a 650 before a 600 or you'll be dead before your first oil change.

Its pretty hard to sell a motorcycle when its seen as an inconvenient, unconfortable, unrideable death machine.
The irony is that new sport bikes are safer and more streetable than ever with the advent of fuel injection, abs, traction control, etc.

Sent via HTC One M9
Squidly likes this.
May 19th 2017, 01:21 PM   #22
 VeritasImageryNW's Avatar
 
  Jan 2016
  Allyn, WA

  '06 HD Street Bob, '85 Yamaha FJ600, '99 Honda CBR600f4
I think that this article is a perfect example of what's wrong with road racing in this country. When a Moto-journalist doesn't even get it, we know we are in dire straits.

"In fact, there aren’t very many who even want a racebike for the racetrack. On top of that, there aren’t many more who want to watch an American series of people on racebikes on racetracks. This isn’t my opinion; it’s a fact borne out by motorcycle and ticket sales."

This particular statement just makes the point rather glaringly. I mean really, where does he figure that there "aren’t very many who even want a racebike for the racetrack"? Has he spent any real time out at local tracks? I don't see many nakeds out there. Any why wouldn't you want a racebike for the track? Motorcycle sales don't signify racebike sales.

The other part of the statement, though reflects an issue that is not recent. Roadracing, of any genre, has never drawn the kind of ticket sales that NASCAR or Supercross has. I, personally, have been an avid fan of both sports car and sport bike racing since the time that NASCAR was still a primarily redneck sport. But, as I have said in other posts, road racing doesn't fit the American "I want to sit in one place and see the whole track" idea.

"During that event I interviewed the managers of each of the factory teams, asking one if his brand were roadracing in America because it was a business decision or if they were doing it due to the romance of the sport. He said that they were racing for the romance."

And this is where he misses why road racing in the US is so different than in Europe. Road racing is all about passion and romance. And the Europeans are passionate about it. Look at the crowds that are drawn to F1 and MotoGP races. LeMans is a huge party for them. Even the endurance bike races draw huge crowds. Why is that?

It's because racing in Europe got started on country roads with sports cars and motorcycles that people worked on to go faster and corner better. But here, where did our racing start? On either an oval course on a Florida beach or a wooden plank, round bicycle track. And look how that translated to the vehicles manufactured in those areas. While we were building muscle cars that went quick in a straight line, or fast while turning left, they were building Ferraris and Porsches and Lamborghinis that could go fast in a straight line, or on a twisty road. While we were building bigger and bigger Harleys and Indians that lumbered along on straight roads, they were building Ducatis and Nortons and Triumphs that were fantastic riding on country roads.

Another thing is to look at the track situation here, and over there. For an example Great Britain, a nation slightly larger than Oregon and Washington combined, has more than a dozen road courses. But how many do we have here in those two states? 4, maybe 5. And yet people complain if someone broaches the idea of another track being built, "We can't handle that many tracks" I have heard more than once.

So what do we need to do to boost the passion here? Well, the last thing we need to do is to create racing classes for upright naked bikes. Instead, we try to emulate what they, the Europeans, do. In places like England, Spain and Italy little kids are getting their feet wet on mini motos that run in parking lots or kart tracks. Heck, in England it has gotten so good that many of British Superbike Teams are now sponsoring kids in their mini-moto series. We need that here.

"MotoAmerica should make its superbike series for streetbikes that race. Race the types of bikes on Sunday that people actually want to buy on Monday." "Handlebars will do two things: Put racers on bikes that have greater relevance to enthusiasts and make the series look different than any other. Okay, this might not help, but it’s better to be newly wrong than the same old wrong."

Hell no to that idea. That goes completely contradictory to the direction that Wayne Rainey has for MotoAmerica. The whole point was to create a series that allows our riders to move up into the international ranks easier, buy having them ride bikes that have the same rules and feel. What killed Superbike racing here was the fact that it lost all relevance to racing anywhere else in the world.

So instead of changing road racing here to make it more "American", we need to work on changing the attitude of those people who call themselves "enthusiasts". It still amazes me to find people who ride sportbikes in this country who have no clue about MotoGP, WSBK, BSB, or the Isle of Man. I have run into several riders the past couple days that, when I mention how tragic it has been for Nicky ask "Nicky Hayden? Who's she?" Really?!

"Rainey has nearly given his life for roadracing, literally, and few today care about his commitment. It’s heartbreaking."

And that is because of Moto-journalists like you, Peter, who have no clue. Few care because so little of the big motorsport media actually reports on the genre with passion.
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Edited by VeritasImageryNW on May 19th 2017 at 01:25 PM
May 19th 2017, 01:21 PM   #23
 
  Mar 2016
  Seattle East Side

The real solution here is track days and WMRRA participation.

Need more riders club racing and/or taking their bikes to the track.
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May 19th 2017, 02:12 PM   #24
 Sentinel's Avatar
 
  Jun 2016
  Poor Tortured

if track riding is going to get a lot more popular it is going to have to get a lot easier.

access.
access.
access.

Can I just ride down to the track on any given day, (that there isn't a race) pay 20 bucks, and take a dozen laps?
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May 19th 2017, 02:34 PM   #25
 Transported's Avatar
 
  Jan 2016
  Portland

  2006 FZ1, 1999 R1
If you can't get someone to ride a bike on the street, no way in hell are they going to go to the track with its additonal costs and hoops.
May 19th 2017, 02:35 PM   #26
 
  Mar 2016
  Seattle East Side

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sentinel
if track riding is going to get a lot more popular it is going to have to get a lot easier.

access.
access.
access.

Can I just ride down to the track on any given day, (that there isn't a race) pay 20 bucks, and take a dozen laps?

Well, not really, but that's just not the format. It will never be that cheap, nor should we expect it to be. Given the risks involved there needs to be a fairly organized and controlled platform otherwise things get dangerous.

That said, there are a number of track day providers that now sell half-day passes for about half the price of a full day. (Duh)

Between The Ridge and Pacific Raceways, there's probably 5-6 track days a month through the various providers (not including WMRRA rounds) if not more.

WMRRA also provides TOR (Taste of Racing) - $20 for 20 minutes of track time during the lunch hour on race days, and it's free if you volunteer for corner working. Same entry rules as track days: as long as you have a bike that can pass tech and full leather gear you can ride. It's that easy.

I have friends that camp for three days at a time in $100k toy haulers, and other friends that ride to the track on their steed and ride home at the end of the day. People generally make due with what they've got.

I understand cost as a barrier of entry, but it's not insurmountable for anyone.
May 19th 2017, 02:47 PM   #27
 VeritasImageryNW's Avatar
 
  Jan 2016
  Allyn, WA

  '06 HD Street Bob, '85 Yamaha FJ600, '99 Honda CBR600f4
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sentinel
if track riding is going to get a lot more popular it is going to have to get a lot easier.

access.
access.
access.

Can I just ride down to the track on any given day, (that there isn't a race) pay 20 bucks, and take a dozen laps?
Again, it"s the reasons why it won't work, rather than the reasons why it should. You think that costs here are too high, well you should see what some of the European Track Day providers do. Watch YouTube channels like BaronVonGrumble, 44teeth, and ShimyTV and you'll see guys that are paying to have their bikes hauled to tracks like Valencia, Portamao, and Almeria, from England. And these aren't just rich guys, but regular folk who simply have the passion for motorcycles and road racing.

And there we are, if we can't get the people who ride motorcycles to be really passionate about the sport, then how can we expect anyone else to? And without them, there is no TV coverage (that's worth anything), there's no sponsorship incentive, there's nothing.
May 19th 2017, 04:50 PM   #28
 Sentinel's Avatar
 
  Jun 2016
  Poor Tortured

I wasn't bitching about track day admin. I understand all of the requirements, and I think it is actually handled quite well. I was responding to the notion that somehow getting more people on the track would save the type of riding that sport bikes are built for. People will do stuff if it's easy. I think the hurdles to a track day are a good thing because they may provide disincentive for those who are maybe not so ready for it. Dunno.

Anyone looking for a super clean 900RR?
May 19th 2017, 05:31 PM   #29
 307T's Avatar
 
  Jan 2016
  Washington County

  H-D
This talk about racing in the USA and in Europe is a little off the subject of the so-called "demise" of sport bikes but it opens up the discussion to a pet peeve of mine that I have written about before.

You want to know what happened to racing in America? The AMA. Oh, they're not bad, mind you. It's just that things have changed. Join Sherman and me in the Wayback machine (if you don't get that, you're too young) as we go back in time to the 1970's.

The race for the AMA #1 plate covered five different kinds of tracks (and hence, at least three different styles of bikes): Mile oval, Road racing, Half-Mile, Short track, and TT. In order to win the top spot, or in order to even make the top ten, you had to be proficient in all disciplines. Names that still ring a bell now to many of us include Romero, Shobert, Graham, Springsteen, Lawwill, Jorgensen and more.

Those of us who did this stuff for fun (and were not skilled enough to do it professionally) could race the same tracks, well, some of them anyway, on weekends in AMA's Sportsman class. I raced at Salinas, Lodi, Fremont (gone now), Hayward (gone now), Ascot (gone now) and many other tracks in California in the 1970's. Here in Oregon, Sportsman racing could be done weekends at Sidewinders (gone now).

Back to the pro's, the good guys had to be good at everything and, in spite of legend to the contrary, the rules were not weighted solely towards H-D. Triumph, BSA, and Honda all won the #1 plate from time to time. As for Harley, they were often their own worst enemy as the factory never favored one rider/tuner over another and there were more than a few times that they eliminated one another in a race.

I miss those days, that kind of jack-of-all-trades rider, and those tracks. Come to think of it, car racing was the same. Guys like Gurney, Hill, Moss, Jones, Foyt and others raced in multiple series; F1, Can-Am, sports cars, Indy and heck, some of them even ran Baja.

I'll leave you free to go back to your regular programming and get the thread back on topic...oh, just one more thing...

Parilla125, DocB and HalcyonSon like this.

Edited by 307T on May 19th 2017 at 05:34 PM
May 19th 2017, 06:08 PM   #30
 Transported's Avatar
 
  Jan 2016
  Portland

  2006 FZ1, 1999 R1
Wouldn't having to compete in several types of races on several types of bikes make racing more prohibitive, not less?
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