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Discussion Starter #1
So, looking for some input. I currently ride an '18 R6 and want to start a track bike. Have a few years of riding experience over the years (off and on for military), and would be starting out in Novice. My intent is not to get a bike and deck it out. The intent is to get a bike that is decently solid and do basic necessities (change and upgrade fluids, check fork seals, get some good tires, steering stabilizer, fairings) and then upgrade parts as I gain experience and would be deserving/ would appreciate the difference that said upgrades would provide.

With that said, here is my current dilemma. I have found 2 R6's that I think would suit me. One is an 05 with around 10K miles for around $3800, the other is an 09 with around 12K miles for around $4700. I lean on the side of getting the 05 as I can most likely talk the seller down more than I could on the 09, and also because being a newer track rider I don't need anything crazy nice especially to start with. The bike is in great shape, but I also find that OEM/ aftermarket parts aren't as easy to find for the 05.

My question to the experienced folks here is: Would I be better off getting the 09 even though I would pay about $1000 more due to the fact that parts are more plentiful? Would I notice any benefit in the handling characteristics over time of the 09 vs the 05? Is one better suited to being a dedicated track bike?
 

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As a professional Test Rider I say spend the money you would have spent on the 2nd bike bike on your 2018. For $3800 you can get an Ohlins TTX-GP shock and NIX 30 Cart Kit and get the ECU Flashed with Auto-Blipper with money leftover for a trackday or two.

One of the biggest misconceptions in the industry about suspension is that it only benefits those that are racing or super aggressive etc. The truth is better suspension helps the Novice rider with his/her first streetbike just like it aids the Expert Racer at the top of the sport. Doesn't matter if you are commuting in stop and go traffic every day or trying to set a new lap record. If the bike is more compliant, more comfortable and more responsive then it is better for anyone's needs regardless of skill level or intent of use. The suspension can be further fine tuned to your specific needs as the racer at the limit of traction aiming for a new lap record has different needs from the damping rates than the guy wanting to take his girlfriend on a ride to his favorite lunch spot, but more compliance is always a good thing whether you need a better ride on your daily commute or more grip while getting on the gas exiting Turn 5.

What you are really purchasing when you buy aftermarket quality suspension is a greater margin of safety and a larger margin of error with some extra comfort thrown in. You get to ride faster with less drama and more compliance and feedback from your own motorcycle. For your specific needs of track riding there is no better way to improve the bike. When the bike is doing what it is supposed to do underneath you then that frees up your mind to focus on other issues like body position, throttle management and hitting those brake markers with confidence instead of worrying about the ripples in the braking zone or that dip at the apex of Turn 6 and how they are going to upset the chassis etc. Proper suspension makes the bike predictable in all conditions. Additionally if the bike is working with you instead of fighting you into and out of every turn then when you do make a riding mistake you stand a much better chance of the bike correcting itself and keeping you on two wheels than if the bike is working against you and protesting your inputs the entire time.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
That was an extremely informative response, thank you! For now the intent is to keep the '18 as my "street bike" but after that compelling post, I will most definitely be upgrading forks and shock for whatever bike I decide to go with. Thanks!
 

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The intent is to get a bike that is decently solid and do basic necessities (change and upgrade fluids, check fork seals, get some good tires, steering stabilizer, fairings) and then upgrade parts as I gain experience and would be deserving/ would appreciate the difference that said upgrades would provide.

OEM/ aftermarket parts aren't as easy to find for the 05.
I'm never going to argue against suspension upgrades, as LDH mentioned, they improve every ride for every rider. If your intent, as you stated, is to start basic and upgrade over time, get the '09. If parts are hard to find for the '05 now, imagine how much harder they will be to find when you decide to upgrade over time. '05 was basically built for one year, a transition from the earlier model to the '06, which had some changes in '08. The '09 is essentially unchanged from the '08 through the '16, that should greatly enhance the availability of parts over time. GL
 

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You would be better off buying a track bike that has already been setup for the track. For what you are looking at spending on these bikes you could get track bike that has just about anything you could imagine already on it. Like "LDH" said earlier, upgrade you current bike and use it as a dual purpose. You can swap fairings and wheels (if you want to run different tires on track). Between the 2 bikes you mentioned. Stay away from the 05'. It is a great bike, but parts are not easy to find. I have a 04' track bike and have a hard time / pay more for parts than the 09-16 bikes.
 
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