TRC is primarily funded by ad revenue. If you like the content you find here, don't block the ads check them out instead. Thank you.
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 30

Thread: Small Sportsbike for (late) Mid-Life crisis

  1. #1
    A Bit Bored
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Posts
    57
    Like
    0
    Liked 8 in 7 posts

    Default Small Sportsbike for (late) Mid-Life crisis


    TRC is primarily funded by ad revenue. If you like
    the content you find here, don't block the ads check
    them out instead. Thank you.
    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/produc...gkKUVhYCgpaDl4.

    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?

    Thanks to all in advance

  2. #2
    Should Get Out More KungFooBob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    The Forest Moon of Endor
    Posts
    15,918
    Like
    384
    Liked 6,917 in 3,908 posts

    Default Re: Small Sportsbike for (late) Mid-Life crisis

    I predict you're about to get a load of posts telling you to buy a KTM RC/Duke 390.

  3. The following 2 users liked this useful post by KungFooBob:


  4. #3
    Should Get Out More Supermofo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    7,453
    Like
    2,952
    Liked 1,654 in 1,078 posts

    Default Re: Small Sportsbike for (late) Mid-Life crisis

    Yes done it a couple of times. I went from a 1996 Fireblade with 120bhp to a 625cc Duke II with about 50bhp. The Duke was MASSIVELY more fun. The Blade was objectively better in every sense, but I had a much better time on the Duke.

    Then I did it again 3 years ago when after a Z750, Firestorm, R6 I bought my 690 Duke. That's a bit more pokey than the Kwak being 65+bhp and around 160kg but a similar ethos. Again I prefer the Duke to the other bikes although the Z750 was proper naughty in goading you on.

    I think the biggest decider will be what you want. If you live for speed you will get bored of a slow bike. You also need to think about where you ride, if you are always on fastish A roads it'll probably feel a bit dull but should be a good laugh on tight B-roads. IMO my KTM's have been more fun in the traditional sense than most other bikes as they remind me a lot of my TZR250 in that they are light and powerful enough to have a giggle whilst not being in danger of silly speeds.

    Mine isn't a toy it's my only bike but I'm a FWB now anyway. Having said that I'm doing an overnight to Yeovil on Fri with about 5.30hrs of twisties each way and it'll be great for that. Although it's a bit dull on motorways/dual carriageways but I'll avoid them and anyway they are dull regardless unless you're doing 150.

    As for bike that Kwak looks nice. There are a few in that bracket Honda CBR 300, CBR500, Yam 300, KTM 390 etc. As for riding position to attack B-road corners I much prefer the riding position of my Duke to my R6, but it's horses for courses as the R6 was miles better on real fast corners.

  5. #4
    Should Get Out More Julian_Boolean's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    1985
    Posts
    15,389
    Like
    1,100
    Liked 3,205 in 1,937 posts

    Default Re: Small Sportsbike for (late) Mid-Life crisis

    Last year I bought a 1991 FZR400 with 12,000 miles on it for 1200, it has 60bhp and corners superbly, top speed is around 130mph, if you want intense cornering with some semblance of reliability for not much money, old inline 4 400 4 strokes are the way to go, the modern R3 and Ninja 400 are commuter bikes by comparison.

    Though an early R6 will kick it's arse in a straightline and possibly on corners and can be had for around the same money.

    If reliability isn't an issue for you, then V-Twin 250 2 stroke is the way to go.

    If the corners you want to blast through are bumpy back roads - get a Supermoto, just be ready for engine rebuilds and piles.

  6. #5
    Should Get Out More the phantom pieman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Brighton-ish
    Posts
    11,022
    Like
    1,606
    Liked 1,189 in 781 posts
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default Re: Small Sportsbike for (late) Mid-Life crisis

    Panigale ...

  7. The following user liked this post made by the phantom pieman:


  8. #6
    A Bit Bored
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Posts
    57
    Like
    0
    Liked 8 in 7 posts

    Default Re: Small Sportsbike for (late) Mid-Life crisis

    Quote Originally Posted by Supermofo View Post
    Yes done it a couple of times. I went from a 1996 Fireblade with 120bhp to a 625cc Duke II with about 50bhp. The Duke was MASSIVELY more fun. The Blade was objectively better in every sense, but I had a much better time on the Duke. .
    Thanks to all, but the quote here above is what persuaded me. So yes, it is certainly possible to get less power and not want to "outgrow" it...

    Also thanks to all the other who have answered, but the issue is not to find an alternative to the Kawasaki (if I buy a small sports bike it's going to be that one, the choice was made) but whether I would get tired of having only 44 hp in a year or two. I'd say at this point, very likely not...

    Also, I want a bike that allows me to have again the pleasure of the "attack" position on the bike, without looking for the ultimate speed. I rode in the past a 90hp Guzzi V11 (sporty but still comfortable) and an 80hp Ducati Sport Classic (sporty and not really comfortable) and I enjoyed them both, though this time I would like less power. I ride prevalently in Essex (around Finchingfield/Saffron Walden/Ongar/Thaxted) or Kent (Weald of Kent AONB). Vast choice of beautiful curvy roads of varying speeds. I actually hope that a less powerful bike will make many of these roads more enjoyable, as in not running out of road or at driving licence-denying speeds very fast as it is the case now with my R1200RT (which, make no mistake, is pretty agile and goes like stink).

    And this is what I am looking for: a different *sensation*, not necessarily speed. Speed, the BMW has more than I will ever be able to exploit...

  9. #7
    Should Get Out More Supermofo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    7,453
    Like
    2,952
    Liked 1,654 in 1,078 posts

    Default Re: Small Sportsbike for (late) Mid-Life crisis

    Quote Originally Posted by Omobono View Post
    I ride prevalently in Essex (around Finchingfield/Saffron Walden/Ongar/Thaxted) .
    That's where I normally ride, you'll be fine around there. Road from mountfitchet to Thaxted and on are awesome on the 690. On a small bike you'll also be using a lot of its performance a lot of the time, prepare to be using that gearbox a lot. Which imo is aces

    I'd recommend a TomTom/Garmin set to twistiest route possible and head out to Essex, Suffolk etc and you'll be golden

  10. #8
    Should Get Out More Horse's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Always Sunny Central Southern England
    Posts
    20,999
    Like
    2,463
    Liked 3,151 in 2,075 posts

    Default Re: Small Sportsbike for (late) Mid-Life crisis

    BMW K1100LT, can be had cheap. And there's a reason why

    Seriousish Q: if you are of more mature years, will your knees still fold up to fit on a micro sized sports bike?

  11. #9
    Should Get Out More RiceBurner's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Hiding in your blind spot...
    Posts
    14,667
    Like
    3,646
    Liked 1,384 in 791 posts

    Default Re: Small Sportsbike for (late) Mid-Life crisis

    I found myself looking at ZXR400s on ebay a few weeks ago. I think there may well be some life left in those old hunting hounds, they're a relatively tough little bike and (for the style) quite large, so relatively comfy.

    Yes, you're buying a 20 year old bike, but a good one will still be capable, forks and shocks can be sorted very easily - at this speed range it's more about handling than power. A well sorted ZXR400 engine has a surprisingly flat torque curve too.

  12. #10
    A Bit Bored
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Posts
    57
    Like
    0
    Liked 8 in 7 posts

    Default Re: Small Sportsbike for (late) Mid-Life crisis

    Thanks Supermofo, will explore the 690 too! Yes i will love to have to use the gearbox a lot. To me the bike is involvement, not having a computer do the work for you...

    I have satnavs on both my Guzzi 1000 SP and my BMW R1200RT. The plan is to explore with those and go back with the Kawa. I would not want the lines of the Kawa to be sullied by another bulky sat nav mount..

  13. #11
    A Bit Bored
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Posts
    57
    Like
    0
    Liked 8 in 7 posts

    Default Re: Small Sportsbike for (late) Mid-Life crisis

    Seriousish A: I am 53, and fairly thin for my age. I will be fine..

  14. #12
    Should Get Out More Horse's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Always Sunny Central Southern England
    Posts
    20,999
    Like
    2,463
    Liked 3,151 in 2,075 posts

    Default Re: Small Sportsbike for (late) Mid-Life crisis

    Quote Originally Posted by Omobono View Post
    Seriousish A: I am 53, and fairly thin for my age. I will be fine..

  15. #13
    Should Get Out More Julian_Boolean's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    1985
    Posts
    15,389
    Like
    1,100
    Liked 3,205 in 1,937 posts

    Default Re: Small Sportsbike for (late) Mid-Life crisis

    Quote Originally Posted by Omobono View Post
    Seriousish A: I am 53, and fairly thin for my age. I will be fine..
    I'm 52, nobody's going to describe me as fairly thin.

  16. #14
    Should Get Out More Supermofo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    7,453
    Like
    2,952
    Liked 1,654 in 1,078 posts

    Default Re: Small Sportsbike for (late) Mid-Life crisis

    I'm 42 and thin




    On top of my melon

  17. The following user liked this post made by Supermofo:


  18. #15
    Not Much To Do
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    over Waterley Cross way
    Posts
    906
    Like
    25
    Liked 197 in 112 posts

    Default Re: Small Sportsbike for (late) Mid-Life crisis

    Honda NC 35...RVF400? If it's good, but shouldn't lose value and like a sewing machine.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Go Back to Forum My Forum

TRC Affiliates - Help TRC make a small amount of commission