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2007 R6
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Discussion Starter #1
New to the forums and I just bought my first track suit (waiting for it to arrive). I've been riding on the street for about 5 years now, the last two on my R6.

Needless to say, I'm definitely slow as the street is a poor place to learn track skills from what I've heard. Currently, I'm planning on taking my R6 to the track to start out but I'm a bit leery. It seems generally accepted that people go down at the track and I really don't want to drop my still shiny and undamaged R6.

I started out on a Ninja 250 and I've been debating going out to buy an 08-12 or perhaps a 300 if I can find a deal and using that as my track bike. Less expensive, maybe already dinged up a bit, and slower. It's also worth noting that a good portion of my track riding will be at a cheaper karting track (think small).


Has anyone found they regretted taking using their R6 as their first track bike. Would you recommend downsizing to a cheaper, slower bike to start?

Thanks
 

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New to the forums and I just bought my first track suit (waiting for it to arrive). I've been riding on the street for about 5 years now, the last two on my R6.

Needless to say, I'm definitely slow as the street is a poor place to learn track skills from what I've heard. Currently, I'm planning on taking my R6 to the track to start out but I'm a bit leery. It seems generally accepted that people go down at the track and I really don't want to drop my still shiny and undamaged R6.

I started out on a Ninja 250 and I've been debating going out to buy an 08-12 or perhaps a 300 if I can find a deal and using that as my track bike. Less expensive, maybe already dinged up a bit, and slower. It's also worth noting that a good portion of my track riding will be at a cheaper karting track (think small).


Has anyone found they regretted taking using their R6 as their first track bike. Would you recommend downsizing to a cheaper, slower bike to start?

Thanks
300cc if your track is really short and slow. But the problem with a 300/250 is they only look the part. They have no design features that are attributable to track riding/ racing. You will have to do a lot to one to get it to handle decently. Then you will have to relearn to ride the same track once you go back to the r6 after being bored on a 300 as the shift points will be different, the racing line will be different, braking markers, etc. etc. My advice would be to start on the r6, as it is the perfect track toy. Invest in good sticky tires (rs10 or stickier) and take it slow. Maybe even get tire warmers to avoid wrecking on the first or second lap out due to cold tires (which is probably to most common crash among track noobs). Learn the race line, ask questions, stay in the novice group until you are ready to speed it up. Try to find a track/track day organization (like sportbiketracktime) that provides training for all levels of riders. Also it is wise to pick a track that has lots of run off room. Just about every track day I overshoot at least one corner and run off at high speed. It is no big deal, just let the bike coast and don't hit the brakes until the bike has slowed down a bunch. If your local track has no run off room things can get dicey.

BTW i had a ninja 300 for track days and it sucked! I spent about $1500 on suspension, brake lines, brake pads, higher rear sets, etc. and it was simply terrible. Unless you are going to race in the 300 class, skip it.

I am coming off a 2016 ZX10R that was track only, onto an R6 because my local track is really a perfect 600cc track and the 1000cc was over kill.
 

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Why yes I don't!!!!!!!!!!
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4,811 Posts
New to the forums and I just bought my first track suit (waiting for it to arrive). I've been riding on the street for about 5 years now, the last two on my R6.
Needless to say, I'm definitely slow as the street is a poor place to learn track skills from what I've heard. Currently, I'm planning on taking my R6 to the track to start out but I'm a bit leery. It seems generally accepted that people go down at the track and I really don't want to drop my still shiny and undamaged R6.
I started out on a Ninja 250 and I've been debating going out to buy an 08-12 or perhaps a 300 if I can find a deal and using that as my track bike. Less expensive, maybe already dinged up a bit, and slower. It's also worth noting that a good portion of my track riding will be at a cheaper karting track (think small).
Has anyone found they regretted taking using their R6 as their first track bike. Would you recommend downsizing to a cheaper, slower bike to start?
Thanks

how big is this Kart track? CRF/XR 100, TTR125, or 150R would be way better.
 

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Mr. HER6
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2,084 Posts
I don't know how big your kart track is, but the ones I have been to are way too small for something as big as a 600. Your question is kind of hard to answer. A good deal on an already track-prepped 250 or 300 would be a good option in that even if you don't keep it very long you could sell it and not lose money on it. A supermoto would be another good option, but more expensive. You kind of need to assign a dollar value on how much you want to mitigate the risk of damaging your bike. You can get track parts for your bike, but that stuff starts to add up if you don't otherwise want them, and if you're swapping back and forth between street and track setup, that can become a PITA.

300cc if your track is really short and slow. But the problem with a 300/250 is they only look the part. They have no design features that are attributable to track riding/ racing. You will have to do a lot to one to get it to handle decently. Then you will have to relearn to ride the same track once you go back to the r6 after being bored on a 300 as the shift points will be different, the racing line will be different, braking markers, etc. etc. My advice would be to start on the r6, as it is the perfect track toy. Invest in good sticky tires (rs10 or stickier) and take it slow. Maybe even get tire warmers to avoid wrecking on the first or second lap out due to cold tires (which is probably to most common crash among track noobs). Learn the race line, ask questions, stay in the novice group until you are ready to speed it up. Try to find a track/track day organization (like sportbiketracktime) that provides training for all levels of riders. Also it is wise to pick a track that has lots of run off room. Just about every track day I overshoot at least one corner and run off at high speed. It is no big deal, just let the bike coast and don't hit the brakes until the bike has slowed down a bunch. If your local track has no run off room things can get dicey.

BTW i had a ninja 300 for track days and it sucked! I spent about $1500 on suspension, brake lines, brake pads, higher rear sets, etc. and it was simply terrible. Unless you are going to race in the 300 class, skip it.

I am coming off a 2016 ZX10R that was track only, onto an R6 because my local track is really a perfect 600cc track and the 1000cc was over kill.
I disagree with this. Yea, you will have to ride the bike differently, but the little bikes are not terrible. I have a blast on my 300, and up until now I have been on stock suspension! Even big fast Willow Springs was more fun than I thought it would be on the 300. You learn to ride around the weaknesses, and you don't have to throw a bunch of money at the forks to make them much better. And everything you learn on it still applies to a bigger bike.

Just about every track day I overshoot at least one corner and run off at high speed.
Good God, man... you are riding over your head! Seriously, if you are running off track with any regularity you need to step back and evaluate what you're doing before you get hurt. No wonder you didn't like the 300.
 

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I don't know how big your kart track is, but the ones I have been to are way too small for something as big as a 600. Your question is kind of hard to answer. A good deal on an already track-prepped 250 or 300 would be a good option in that even if you don't keep it very long you could sell it and not lose money on it. A supermoto would be another good option, but more expensive. You kind of need to assign a dollar value on how much you want to mitigate the risk of damaging your bike. You can get track parts for your bike, but that stuff starts to add up if you don't otherwise want them, and if you're swapping back and forth between street and track setup, that can become a PITA.


I disagree with this. Yea, you will have to ride the bike differently, but the little bikes are not terrible. I have a blast on my 300, and up until now I have been on stock suspension! Even big fast Willow Springs was more fun than I thought it would be on the 300. You learn to ride around the weaknesses, and you don't have to throw a bunch of money at the forks to make them much better. And everything you learn on it still applies to a bigger bike.


Good God, man... you are riding over your head! Seriously, if you are running off track with any regularity you need to step back and evaluate what you're doing before you get hurt. No wonder you didn't like the 300.
The ninja 300 is not a terrible track bike. I am glad you like yours. Mine isn't terrible after some Vesrah pads, revalving the front forks, sticky tires, and upgraded master cylinder. The rear shock is about the same as on my wife's Grom haha. Had to replace the steering head bearing at 3,500 miles. I still have mine for my son to ride on the track. It is just designed to be a cheap efficient commuter bike. Where the supersports and super bikes and designed to be on the track first and the street second. But if you can't see how poor the suspension is, i don't know what to say. It is almost dangerous to push hard. My drz400sm was way more fun in stock form.

I appreciate your concern, not sure what it has to do with liking the 300 or not. I meant to say people run off at every track day and several at high speed corners. I was simply trying to convey to the OP the advantage of learning on a track with run off. I have run a corner wide or over shot a braking marker due to ABS two or three times over a couple of years at our local track. I just finished two seasons on a 16 ZX10R and switching to the R6 for a my primary track day toy this season. Converting the zx10r back to street duty this weekend actually!
 

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Mr. HER6
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2,084 Posts
Funny that you mention your DRZ400SM because we just sold ours. That bike was fantastic on a tight cart track, but on a big course the ninja was much better. Much more stable in the high speed sweepers. I'm not saying the 300's suspension is on par with a supersport, but it's not sketchy. I can't say the same for the DRZ at higher speeds, and mine had racetech valving on it. Riding the little bike at A group lap times, I'm not putting on it either.

My comment about not liking the 300 was that if you're manhandling it and trying to push it ride it like a 600, then it doesn't work well. If you're doing that, or riding over your head, then I could see you thinking that the bike is not so great. The first time I rode mine I felt like that, but once I adjusted to what works well on the bike, it felt completely different. That's what's so great... you have to use good technique to make it work well, whereas a big bike will soak up some of those bad habits and not let you know that you're giving it some bad inputs. Anyway... I don't want the OP thinking a little bike is a terrible idea, just because you didn't like it.

If you've run off a few times over a few years, then that's one thing. Especially if you've got ABS on your bike. But you said you run off almost every track day. That is very different!
 

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Why yes I don't!!!!!!!!!!
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again if poster would fill in their location the advice given can be much more specific.

Whats amusing to me is I often see "beginners" on the best equipment and gear money can buy. Looks like many have "spent" their way onto superbike parts with
sub par riding skills. Not that there is anything wrong with that...lol.

For the $$$ a XR/CRF100, TTR125, or even a grom are the best $$$ you can spend on developing riding skills on kart tracks or parking lot courses.

Any of those can be had for less than the cost of quality suspension or titanium performance exhausts, etc. You dont start power lifting with 500lbs you start with 50lbs and work on technique. Same with any sport... unfortunately with riding there isnt a clear path presented to newcomers or enthusiasts!
My first track day was on a very high performance bike that had no business on a closed course with me aboard. I know where the throttle and brakes were, and had 10s of thousands of miles... but was never part of a structured course that layed out riding fundamentals. Ironically my first laps around a track were with horribly under inflated tires...lol.
Now I see young kids riding with such elevated skill levels and passion... I get jealous and wish I could go back in time and redo my journey through motorcycling.
I love bringing my life long friends that ride to a mini track or even a trackday. Something very spiritual about discovering riding and how much fun it is!
 

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300s are excellent track bikes that can teach you how to carry corner speed. Any idiot can twist the throttle on the fat part of the tire. Yes, you need to do something with the suspension but I'm personally thinking about picking up an r3 in addition to my race and track bikes. A big advantage of the little bikes is how cheap they are to run. I buy tires like crazy. I have no idea how many tires ive bought this season alone. The ninja 300s, r3s and rc390s are crazy easy on tires.
 

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Mr. HER6
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again if poster would fill in their location the advice given can be much more specific.

Whats amusing to me is I often see "beginners" on the best equipment and gear money can buy. Looks like many have "spent" their way onto superbike parts with
sub par riding skills. Not that there is anything wrong with that...lol.
I only start rolling my eyes when it's some guy who's never been on a track before, but insists he shouldn't be put into the C group because he's on a 1000 and has lots of experience in the canyons. :rolleyes:

For the $$$ a XR/CRF100, TTR125, or even a grom are the best $$$ you can spend on developing riding skills on kart tracks or parking lot courses.

Any of those can be had for less than the cost of quality suspension or titanium performance exhausts, etc. You dont start power lifting with 500lbs you start with 50lbs and work on technique. Same with any sport... unfortunately with riding there isnt a clear path presented to newcomers or enthusiasts!
My first track day was on a very high performance bike that had no business on a closed course with me aboard. I know where the throttle and brakes were, and had 10s of thousands of miles... but was never part of a structured course that layed out riding fundamentals. Ironically my first laps around a track were with horribly under inflated tires...lol.
Now I see young kids riding with such elevated skill levels and passion... I get jealous and wish I could go back in time and redo my journey through motorcycling.
I love bringing my life long friends that ride to a mini track or even a trackday. Something very spiritual about discovering riding and how much fun it is!
Oh man, I'm with you there... My early years of riding, while fun, taught me almost nothing. I was pretty much figuring out everything as I went along.

There was a kid that came out last weekend with an RC390. He started out in the B group and had great form, and later on bumped up to A. He was only 11 years old. :cool:
 

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2009 R6 Track
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It depends what your goals are. I think if you start on a smaller bike your learning curve will be more rapid, vertical vs. a more progressive one on a larger bike.

Not to mention, it's "more fun to go fast on a slow bike than go slow on a fast one".
 

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I have an 05 R6 and prepping a 15 Ninja 300 for my daughter for next year hopefully. I am still a novice/ slow intermediate and enjoy both bikes. You'll be fine on your 600 just don't come up too hot on the corners. To me, that's what the 300 is perfect for because the displacement "limits" that straightaway speed and allows you more time to think and position yourself for the corners.
 

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Why yes I don't!!!!!!!!!!
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I have an 05 R6 and prepping a 15 Ninja 300 for my daughter for next year hopefully. I am still a novice/ slow intermediate and enjoy both bikes. You'll be fine on your 600 just don't come up too hot on the corners. To me, that's what the 300 is perfect for because the displacement "limits" that straightaway speed and allows you more time to think and position yourself for the corners.

Ive highlighted the flawed portion of your suggestion. Displacement ain't got a damned thing to do with it since every motorcycle Ive ever ridden has a throttle that's progressive. :wink:
The limiting factor on most motorcycles is the rider.
 

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One of course ge issues is that everyone i onow at the track, likes to mod tgeir bikes as much as possible. If you get a 300 you will keep it for a season or two, then replace it. You might waist a lot of money changing bikes. Also if you have friends riding with you, you will just hate when tgey pass you, and leave you behind lol
 

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300/R3 is a great choice to get started on and go racing on. For many people its all they will ever need for the track. Most guys sell them for damn near what they paid for them unless they dogged the crap out of it and didnt take care of it. Easier to walk away from if you get to that point.
 

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MIL-SPEC RACING
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I started track riding on a ZX10r and did a 3 seasons of track riding followed by 1 season of racing. First season of racing I felt like I hit a wall with skill on the 1000. So last season I ended up getting a R6 and so far have beat all my pbs on a slower bike. I would recommend starting out on a 300; I wish I would have.
 

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The 300 - or "ultra lightweight" class of bikes is the fastest growing segment of club racing - period. They are inexpensive to buy, relatively inexpensive to build, and super cheap to run. While I'll easily go through a rear tire a day (or more) racing on my bikes, you can run the same set of tires racing a 300 for what seems like years (it's not years, but what a difference!). Yeah, max speeds on the straights are lower, but that doesn't mean corner speed is lower.

300s - even more than SV650s - teach you how to carry momentum. You're forced to really focus in entry speed, body position, and the little details - because if you lose momentum you're dead.

Also, some of the most fun I've had in the past few years at the track was with friends all on 300s, banging bars (well, not really hitting most of the time) and trying to wring out the tiniest advantages. Every time we did it (on borrowed bikes) every one of us came back in with the biggest grins you've ever seen. If I could justify yet another race/track bike, I would LOVE to have an R3. But, until recently I had 2 GSXRs and an R6, but just picked up a 2015 R1, sold a GSXR and am trying to sell another one (perfectly built for the track, BTW) and want to get down to just two track/race bikes.
 
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