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View Poll Results: AMERICANS: Would you buy a 125cc motorcycle for the street?
Yes! 32 44.44%
Hell no! 17 23.61%
Yes, but only at the right price. 23 31.94%
Voters: 72. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 03-25-2018, 02:41 PM   #181 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cRiPpLe_rOoStEr View Post
Nowadays my dad, who is an experienced motorcyclist, says anything greater than 250cc to be overkill for a normal usage.
A 250 guarantees 60mph, with a little head wind, and 75mph tops on level ground.
But not without screaming 7-10k rpm.
And this suffers MPG.

Performance wise, it's just under what you want. There's no headroom on the interstate, and you'll have to be tailgating to keep up at 75mph.

So I would say 'no'.

With the increase of CC, the bike can both lower revs to get there, and increase performance. 400cc Hi rev or 500cc with torque down low, is the minimum you need nowadays. And anything over 700cc, on the streets, is overkill IMHO.

I have a 750cc twin, and it starts to get fun around 100mph, which is well above comfort and street legal

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Old 03-25-2018, 05:05 PM   #182 (permalink)
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With minor breathing mods (pipe, fuel injection tuning box) my buddy's Yamaha WR-250R dual purpose bike, with stock gearing, will run right at 90 MPH and cruise all day at 70+. As I might have mentioned another buddy has over 122,000 miles on his WR and the only reason it was recently taken apart was to replace the output shaft. It still started and ran just fine but while it was open they threw a set of rings in it and did a valve job.

Imagine the performance of this motor in a bike substantially more streamlined than it's dirt bike form.

They'll also return 80 MPG in box-stock form, too. Not bad for a thumper.
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Old 03-25-2018, 05:26 PM   #183 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ProDigit View Post
A 250 guarantees 60mph, with a little head wind, and 75mph tops on level ground.
But not without screaming 7-10k rpm.
And this suffers MPG.

Performance wise, it's just under what you want. There's no headroom on the interstate, and you'll have to be tailgating to keep up at 75mph.

So I would say 'no'.

With the increase of CC, the bike can both lower revs to get there, and increase performance. 400cc Hi rev or 500cc with torque down low, is the minimum you need nowadays. And anything over 700cc, on the streets, is overkill IMHO.

I have a 750cc twin, and it starts to get fun around 100mph, which is well above comfort and street legal
The CBR250R and Ninja 250 will do better than that for sure, but the key to easy cruising at highways speeds is going to be improved aero and possibly higher gearing.

Without that there's not going to be much left for passing or any significant acceleration.

With the right aero, or even some aero improvements, a newer 250 can do really well at highways speeds.
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Old 03-25-2018, 06:24 PM   #184 (permalink)
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I guess to each his own.
As far as dirt bikes things are totally different from street bikes.
And city bikes are different from highway bikes.
Most of my riding is on highways, and I use a highway as a reference, as you won't ride faster than that (if you don't want a ticket).

You can always have a bigger bike with more power, or a smaller bike with more MPG, but finding that balance is key to finding the right bike for you.

The Honda Rebel's top speed is 83MPH.
That doesn't mean you can always get those speeds.
That's only after it being warmed up and full throttle for like a mile or two; no wind.
With a tail wind I actually was able to make it go 90+ tucked down; but I was dependent on the wind direction.

Yet one day I had a headwind of a mere 10-15MPH, and my top speed slowed down to a mere 66MPH.
And that's without hills.
I'm not talking about mods here; just stock bikes.

For that reason I say that a Honda Rebel 250's top speed is guaranteed at 60MPH.
60MPH is also the speed the bike cruises at most easily.

2 up, it'll be able to reach up to 75MPH. In fact, most of the time I do 75-80MPH by myself, but it's not a speed at which I feel comfortable running the bike at.

The CBR250R is the same.
It's top speed is around 95MPH; tucked in, no mods.
Sitting upright, and it'll slow down to 80MPH (especially with a tall guy like me on it).

Being able to do 80MPH, when sitting upright, doesn't mean that 80MPH is guaranteed.
A little headwind, and those CBRs lose speed quickly, despite being sports bikes.

My CBR300R does 107MPH tops, regardless of mods or not.
That engine just doesn't do any better.
Sitting upright, it goes about 85-90MPH; but I feel that bike is really made for 60-80MPH riding. Anything faster than 80MPH just isn't guaranteed, and depending on the weather.


Honda's bikes from the factory are pretty well tuned, and often only need +1t front, and/or -3tooth on the rear, to gain top speed in their power band.
Usually 5-10MPH extra.

But on almost every bike I rode, the following formula holds true for me:

example:
If the bike's top speed (tucked, optimized) is 100MPH,
then it's useable speed would be 80MPH.
Meaning, you will want to use it with 20% power in reserve; just in case.
With 2, it'll slow down to 70-75MPH.
And you really want to use this bike at a range of 45-70MPH; which is where the bike performs well with little to no sweat.

I mean, you always will want to keep the tach low.
Cruising at 2,5-3,5k RPM is so much more enjoyable, than doing the same at 8k RPM.

I think a lot of people like to ride bikes either using very little of the available power, mostly cruisers, or,
Riding them very hard, at about 80% of the available power, usually track days.
But few to nobody I know likes to ride a bike at wide open throttle!

As with the Rebel 250, I rode it 80-90% of the time with the throttle wide open.
A CBR300R, I rode it 10-20% with throttle wide open.


If you want best MPG, you don't want a bike that you ever have to open the throttle fully with. Which is why a 400cc is the sweet spot between sufficient MPG and power handling.
If you live in hilly areas, you might need a 500cc to get the same performance as a 400cc but then uphill.

And on the tracks, you might want a 650cc, depending on the tracks.
Even with a hi-rev 650cc sportsbike, will you ever hit top speeds on the tracks.
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Old 03-25-2018, 11:17 PM   #185 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ProDigit View Post
A 250 guarantees 60mph, with a little head wind, and 75mph tops on level ground.
But not without screaming 7-10k rpm.
And this suffers MPG.

Performance wise, it's just under what you want. There's no headroom on the interstate, and you'll have to be tailgating to keep up at 75mph.

So I would say 'no'.

With the increase of CC, the bike can both lower revs to get there, and increase performance. 400cc Hi rev or 500cc with torque down low, is the minimum you need nowadays. And anything over 700cc, on the streets, is overkill IMHO.
Sure displacement is not the most important point to define how suitable a motorcycle is for general purposes, but at least a smaller-displacement one is at least supposed to not be an oversized pig that becomes too hard to maneuver in tight spaces in urban traffic. But anyway, there are some 250cc models from Yamaha that share the same engine with the XT 250 available there in the U.S., one is a naked and other is a mini Ténéré, and both perform well on the road too.
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Old 03-26-2018, 09:38 AM   #186 (permalink)
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A long time ago (before most bikes were water-cooled) I always felt the 750cc machines were the best all-around bikes. You could commute on them or outfit them with saddle bags and a passenger and go touring, plus, they went pretty good and were a lot of fun. These days a 400-500 offers *almost* the same real-world performance but if you want to carry a passenger, I don't think they would work very well.

125-250's work best in an urban environment so it all depends on what you want to do. You could tour with one but I would avoid highways and carrying much stuff.
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Old 03-26-2018, 12:49 PM   #187 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ProDigit View Post
A 250 guarantees 60mph, with a little head wind, and 75mph tops on level ground.
My 250 should do at least 112 mph, maybe more.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ProDigit View Post
But not without screaming 7-10k rpm.
And this suffers MPG.
Okay, you got me there. My 250 is doing 8773 RPM at 70 with -3 on the rear sprocket, but I still have plenty of revs left with a limiter around 17,200 RPM.
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Old 03-26-2018, 04:17 PM   #188 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank View Post
A long time ago (before most bikes were water-cooled) I always felt the 750cc machines were the best all-around bikes. You could commute on them or outfit them with saddle bags and a passenger and go touring, plus, they went pretty good and were a lot of fun. These days a 400-500 offers *almost* the same real-world performance but if you want to carry a passenger, I don't think they would work very well.
I wouldn't feel so comfortable to carry a passenger in a motorcycle anyway.


Quote:
125-250's work best in an urban environment so it all depends on what you want to do. You could tour with one but I would avoid highways and carrying much stuff.
125 is definitely more at home in city, while a 250 still retains a reasonable power reserve even for a little overspeeding in highway.
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Old 03-26-2018, 07:36 PM   #189 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank View Post
A long time ago (before most bikes were water-cooled) I always felt the 750cc machines were the best all-around bikes. You could commute on them or outfit them with saddle bags and a passenger and go touring, plus, they went pretty good and were a lot of fun. These days a 400-500 offers *almost* the same real-world performance but if you want to carry a passenger, I don't think they would work very well.
I tend to agree.
I had a VT750, around 550LBS, and that bike felt about the same as a CB500F in acceleration. The CB is 150LBS lighter.

On the other hand, I find no issues with carrying a passenger on a bike that's 375LBs or above, if the passenger is 160LBS or below.
I never felt unsafe; in fact, the most unsafe time is when standing still at a stop light.
But the faster you go, the more the gyroscopic effect of the wheel keeps you on a straight line, regardless of what the passenger does.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cRiPpLe_rOoStEr View Post
125 is definitely more at home in city, while a 250 still retains a reasonable power reserve even for a little overspeeding in highway.
I would find the reserve you speak of, too little, especially on the interstates here where cars go 80 to 100MPH.
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Old 03-27-2018, 10:22 PM   #190 (permalink)
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So, my take is that smaller is not better. I started out with a 50cc, then a 150cc scooter. I found the smaller engines were getting completely rebuilt every few months, and to be honest, I just got sick of the time it was costing me.

My solution was to buy a new 320cc yamaha R3 with 39 months warantee. If it breaks, the shop gets to fix it. I'm much happier doing stuff I actually want to do during my scant free time on weekends.

A 50cc is actually more dangerous, because you are just in the way of most motorists you are sharing the road with. They arent happy about being stuck behind you on every hill, and tend to do dangerous (to you at least) things because of this.

a.

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