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level41

Which 2 bikes would you keep in your stable?

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Older bikes are more geared for street riding.
They had wider spaced gears, and usually the same gear ratios with only 5 (or sometimes only 4) gears.
 
Sport gearing is very narrow spaced.
You can shift gears without using the clutch.
Sport gears are correct gears when shifting them in the powerband (6 to 9 k RPM).
When riding on the streets, I shift my gears between 3 to 4.5k RPM. At those rev ranges, the tach drops only 500rpm per gearshift.
Optimally, it should drop 750rpm.
2 gears drop about 1k rpm, but it's too tall.

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Thanks for explaining. What you mean is ratio - modern gearboxes are narrow-ratio (about 2:1) whereas the older boxes where about 2.7:1. In practical terms, a modern bike will have half the rpm (give or take) in 6th gear compared to what it needs in 1st gear for the same speed. So if it redlines at 100 mph in first, it will redline at 200 mph in 6th. Or if it turn 4000 rpm at 60 mph in top, it will turn 8000 rpm in 1st. An older bike, even a sportier one like the Yamaha FJ1100, would have just 5 gears. And while 1st would redline around 55 mph, 5th was good for a theoretical 150 or so IIRC. Since it would rev less before hitting the redline, it would turn similar rpm in top gear as a modern large sportbike (give or take), but more rpm in the lower gears.

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I'll chime.  I got both of my current bikes this year.  I really wanted a dual sport for the ultimate do everything swiss army knife bike, but then I decided I couldn't compromise on performance.  So, I got my rmz250 to occasionally poop myself on the dirtbike tracks, and when I don't want to drive an hour to the nearest track, I got my fz-07 to poop myself locally.

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I have the FZ07 and a Z125 each to use mostly as commuter bikes. For an easy, relaxed ride to work - FZ07. If I want challenge and excitement - the Z125 provides that. But the Z125 benefitted enormously from rearsets so I added those (nice ones too for only $82). At under 10HP even with Yoshimura pipe, Chimera Intake and, Bazzaz fuel controller, the power wasn't enough on any kind of hill so I added a 143cc big-bore kit and a large-valve racing head which provides more like 15hp. Then the gearing was way off so I raised my gearing with sprockets larger in front and smaller than stock in back. The wide-spaced four-speed transmission is still kind of a bummer but of the two 5-speed transmission kits and one 6-speed available, only the newest Kitaco 5-speed offers a taller top gear for engines with enough power to pull that (the stock engine has a lower top speed with taller gearing due to lack of power).
 
A bike like the Yamaha M-Slaz (aka MT15) would be awesome but that's not available in North America (150cc liquid-cooled single, 16HP, 6-speed, tops out at 80mph). That leaves a bike like the R3 as a more straight-forward option over a highly modded Z125. In it's favor, like the Honda Grom, the Kawasaki Z125 isn't for everybody so they're easily found used with under 1,000 miles on them.

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On 9/7/2017 at 12:54 PM, motorazr said:

I have the FZ07 and a Z125 each to use mostly as commuter bikes. For an easy, relaxed ride to work - FZ07. If I want challenge and excitement - the Z125 provides that. But the Z125 benefitted enormously from rearsets so I added those (nice ones too for only $82). At under 10HP even with Yoshimura pipe, Chimera Intake and, Bazzaz fuel controller, the power wasn't enough on any kind of hill so I added a 143cc big-bore kit and a large-valve racing head which provides more like 15hp. Then the gearing was way off so I raised my gearing with sprockets larger in front and smaller than stock in back. The wide-spaced four-speed transmission is still kind of a bummer but of the two 5-speed transmission kits and one 6-speed available, only the newest Kitaco 5-speed offers a taller top gear for engines with enough power to pull that (the stock engine has a lower top speed with taller gearing due to lack of power).
 
A bike like the Yamaha M-Slaz (aka MT15) would be awesome but that's not available in North America (150cc liquid-cooled single, 16HP, 6-speed, tops out at 80mph). That leaves a bike like the R3 as a more straight-forward option over a highly modded Z125. In it's favor, like the Honda Grom, the Kawasaki Z125 isn't for everybody so they're easily found used with under 1,000 miles on them.

For me mostly the reverse is true.
The FZ gives me nice acceleration, while my 250cc bike gives me nice fuel mileage!

I was thinking of getting the grom for commuting, and perhaps in the long run, trade in my FZ.

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21 hours ago, level41 said:

I was thinking of getting the grom for commuting, and perhaps in the long run, trade in my FZ.

You might want to think hard before you buy a 8.7HP bike with a 4-speed transmission. A little mini-moto is a lot more fun when it's cheap to own and maintain. A lot of guys end up putting a couple thousand into their "cheap" bikes to make them more of one thing or another and eventually end up selling them for a loss once they tire of pouring money into a little bike that will never be more than a limited toy. Personally, I need a bike that will do about 55mph on my commute to work without shrieking WFO at 8,000 rpm (that gets old fast).  Change the gearing to lower the engine RPM and you'll kill both acceleration and top end because the stock bike is too weak to pull that gearing. A pipe, intake kit and fuel-controller helps a little. Then maybe you start thinking abut adding a big valve head and a bigger piston and stroker crank.  Then your startup, idle, and throttle transition all depend on your fuel-tuning skills.  A mini-moto can be a bike you don't stop messing with until you run out of money, total it, or sell it and they're definitely not for everyone.

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Besides my FZ, I've been looking at the new HD softails or any one of the 125cc bikes. The new Harley's just intrigue me. The 125 would mainly be for commuting. My commute dropped to less than 4 miles each way, which I can do on surface streets.

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If I could afford a second bike, I would keep my FZ and pick up an electric scoot for short runs to work (about 2 km) or the grocery store (also about 2 km).  It seems a shame to subject a gas engine to such short runs where the engine doesn't even have time to warm up properly.  I think that the electric bike would be much better suited to these short trips, and I could save the FZ for longer more pleasure oriented rides.  Here is a link to the electric bike that I would choose for the task:

 

http://zelectricvehicle.com/8.html

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On 10/2/2017 at 5:27 PM, motorazr said:

You might want to think hard before you buy a 8.7HP bike with a 4-speed transmission. A little mini-moto is a lot more fun when it's cheap to own and maintain. A lot of guys end up putting a couple thousand into their "cheap" bikes to make them more of one thing or another and eventually end up selling them for a loss once they tire of pouring money into a little bike that will never be more than a limited toy. Personally, I need a bike that will do about 55mph on my commute to work without shrieking WFO at 8,000 rpm (that gets old fast).  Change the gearing to lower the engine RPM and you'll kill both acceleration and top end because the stock bike is too weak to pull that gearing. A pipe, intake kit and fuel-controller helps a little. Then maybe you start thinking abut adding a big valve head and a bigger piston and stroker crank.  Then your startup, idle, and throttle transition all depend on your fuel-tuning skills.  A mini-moto can be a bike you don't stop messing with until you run out of money, total it, or sell it and they're definitely not for everyone.

A 125 will always have enough acceleration; even with super tall gears, you can make it accelerate just like the average traffic does, without feeling like you're in the way of the car behind you.
The Grom is not a bike you will want to dragrace with anyway.
Just accelerate it more in the torque/hp band (6-8k rpm) before shifting.

 

If you want fast acceleration, nothing below a 900cc will satisfy.
But for a commuter, 125cc is excellent, and also has excellent fuel mileage!

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When I owned a restricted 100cc (Honda CB100) 1980-82 due to legal requirements here in Norway at the time, I dreamed about the day I turned 18 and could run an open class motorcycle. My dream bike? A 1981/82 Kawasaki KL250 with a claimed 21 hp.It had what my 7 hp CB100 lacked; power to maintain 50 mph, the national speed limit, under virtually any condition. And still deliver up to 100 mpgUS. It was also just as simple to maintain as my Honda. Unfortunately, I bought a Honda CX500 instead, but I still consider around 20 hp and 250 cc as the perfect city bike. 

 

Such a bike, in the right company, can also be a tremendous touring and explorer bike - provided you can stay off the motorways and roads with dense traffic. So what if the bike will only do 40 up a long, steep hill facing a gale? Slow down to 30, relax and enjoy the scenery. I'm contemplating a 1984 XL250R these days to put right my mistake from 1982. No, not as my sole bike, but as a compliment. 

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Oh, forgot the most important part; my nephew has a 125 Honda Varadero. It makes a claimed 14 hp and weighs in at a ridiculous 169 kg wet (372 lbs), yet manage to keep up with traffic most of the time. Sure, you must rev the tits off it, but despite all the hard running, it doesn't make any mechanical sounds, starts immediately on the button and use no oil after 74,000 hard kilometers (44,000 mi).  And ridden mostly flat out delivers 75 mpg. Very impressive!

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On 10/1/2017 at 6:49 PM, level41 said:

For me mostly the reverse is true.
The FZ gives me nice acceleration, while my 250cc bike gives me nice fuel mileage!

I was thinking of getting the grom for commuting, and perhaps in the long run, trade in my FZ.

What kind of mileage are you getting on your fz07? I was getting the same as my cbr250, 52+mpg

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