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I just finished reading Cycle World's Road test (track test actually) of the new 2020 Honda CBR1000RR-R. I'm not sure if they got enough R's in the nomenclature. I know the thing is really meant for the track, but anyone with $28,500 that they're not sure what to do with it can buy one, then if they have any money left (and probably a lot) they can insure it and put it out on the street. I know, I know, they really aren't meant for some young kid who just got their endorsement to go out and get one but I'll bet my last dollar that a dealer would be glad to pocket that cash and push one out the door. This motorcycle will do just short of 200 honest M.P.H. with it's 214 H.P. and 443 lbs. spinning at 14,500 R.P.M. Granted, it's got just about every electronic gizmo on the market to make it as fast and safe as possible on a track. But, and this is a huge but, all that doesn't really matter on the street where things aren't regular and organized like they are on a track, not even close and worst of all, you have things crossing in front of you and worst yet, things headed straight for you AT SPEED!

In the same issue they also tested the new Triumph Rocket 3 on the drag strip to see how quick it could cover the 1/4 mile. The Rocket 3 is made for the street, kinda. It's big (677 lbs.) and torquey ( 142.5 lb.-ft.) and with the right rider can cover the strip in 10.562 sec. at 126.41 M.P.H. Try to imagine handling a motorcycle of that heft and power around on a street filled with cars, trucks, and who knows what all and all of it completely, well somewhat crazy with half the operators on cell phones or adjusting their radios and other contraptions on the dashboard.

My point here is, readers of this forum have pretty decent motorcycles that ride quite well, are quick enough to get most of us in trouble, and are far fast enough to get a good speeding ticket just about any day of the week. I've had bigger and more powerful bikes, including a 2008 FZ1 and a 2016 FZ09 and they were both pretty damned powerful and fast. Now I own my XSR700 and a Moto Guzzi V7 III Stone (with a whopping 52 H.P.) and I enjoy them completely. At 70, I'm sure I'm done buying new bikes and I've had a lot of fun and not too many scrapes while learning to behave myself on a motorcycle. I've also outlasted a lot of other riders who either lost interest, got killed, or just passed on. All I know is things will keep getting crazier until the manufacturers realize we've had enough.
 

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I agree the 700 twin is plenty enough. Doesn't mean I don't want a Kawi Z900rs someday that will be pulled by an extra 25hp, yes unnessesary horses. There is a limit for me, probably at 125 hp. I'm sure that Indian FTR would be a hoot. Even the bigger unnessesary Ducati Scrambler 1100 seems to have a sweet spot for torque and hp. The new Katana to me speaks to that too much for no good for a typical rider. 150hp, tank too small to commute. It's a bike #2 or #3 for a wealthy person, but it will still surely have defenders. IDK, even niche bikes are neat. You don't have to buy it. They are making little Ducati Scramblers, Little Yamaha MTs. Suzuki could definitely build a TU500x, but heck they are still selling the SV650. And like you said Moto Guzzi has a few nice mid powered options. Is XSR's very own 900 too much bike. Some people would say so. If you need rider modes to constantly keep the front wheel down, the what's that all about? But, there are people that absolutely love the 900.
 

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I just finished reading Cycle World's Road test (track test actually) of the new 2020 Honda CBR1000RR-R. I'm not sure if they got enough R's in the nomenclature. I know the thing is really meant for the track, but anyone with $28,500 that they're not sure what to do with it can buy one, then if they have any money left (and probably a lot) they can insure it and put it out on the street. ...

All I know is things will keep getting crazier until the manufacturers realize we've had enough.
Fact - 95% or more of the buyers will be older well experienced sport bike riders. Not the squids.

Fact - Back in the 80s when Sen. John Danforth and the NHTSA wanted to outlaw "bullet bikes" the fact was the 1000cc high horsepower bikes were not the bikes being involved in the vast majority of sport bike crashes and fatalities. It was the small bore 600s, at that time well under 100 hp. In fact riders on lesser non-sport bikes were more highly represented when the actual statistics were viewed.

Seems the buyers of those high horsepower bikes were older, realized just how much those bikes cost if crashed and actually rode them more responsibly than the kid on the 600.

I knew a dedicated Spanish bike (mostly Bultaco) and Vincent owner/rider who also had a Guzzi LeMans went out and bought a Hyabusa. He wanted to know what it was like to have the fastest and when the snotty nosed kid who blasted around town on his ZX6 pulled up beside him the kid would know that 'Busa would kick his ass if my friend wanted to do so. It wasn't in his character to do such a thing, but it made him smile knowing the kid knew that. That guy was around 64 years old and paid cash. I'm sure he occasionally ran it out a bit on open stretches, but dangerous riding - not his style. My brother has an FJ 09 with over 100 hp, told me I should get a 900, but I reminded him I don't ride double and the 700 was fine. He doesn't wring out his FJ, but he does ride double and it does that better space-wise than the 700.

So it is really more like the older guy buying the latest Vette, because they want and can afford them than it is about doing 200 mph. Those are the kind of guys that will spend $28 K on a sport bike. Not some kid who's going to see how fast it will go. It isn't anything like what you think it is. Never has been. Sure some will get crashed, but then again very few. Most will be that Sunday ride on a really trick motorcycle. Same is true of a lot of the trick Ducatis and Aprilias. The guys just won't hammer them... cost too much to do that.

I saw that at the time. I was in sales and making my living selling bikes. We had 600s totaled, but very few big bores even crashed. Those that were, were usually low speed and not because they were sport bikes. That is why the big bores were never outlawed. Statistics just didn't support the argument that they were an actual danger.
 

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I've spent much of the last 40+ years searching for my ideal bike - and wondering why manufacturers don't build it! I despaired when BMW increased their 1200 range to 1250cc and the Africa Twin went up to 1100cc. I do get bigger bikes - I've owned plenty of them - if your thing is two-up trans continental touring, then the comfort, load carrying, torque etc is a huge advantage. Maybe it's an ageing thing, but these days I get far more enjoyment from a smaller engine and a lighter bike which gives a more 'involved' ride. I've never understood the Harley/cruiser scene, though I can admire the aesthetics of the bikes.

A few years ago, I traded in my humble 650 V Strom for an Africa Twin, seduced by the extra torque for two-up riding. A couple of years later, we were back on another 650 V Strom. The AT was just that bit too high and the extra torque was rarely needed. I guess it's 'horses for courses' and personal riding style/preferences. The XSR is great for a blast on fast twisty roads but hell on motorways (any bike is out of place on motorways). It's light enough to be fun on back roads too and can cope with solo touring. But it lacks room for two-up riding in comfort.

My 'go to' bike is increasingly my CRF250L - most of the roads here are small back roads. I never thought a 250 would provide as much satisfaction but in many ways it's ideal. I thought the new CRF450L would be the one but the huge price tag and competition bike service schedule ruled it out for me. I'm watching the new KTM 390 Adventure, but I don't like the styling, I'm not keen on orange, and the previous high revving 390 has had more than it's fair share of reliability issues. I looked at a Himalayan but I don't think I'm quite old enough for one yet!

The bike I'm looking forward to (next year?) is.......the new Honda CT125. Now, there's a fine looking machine which promises some big smiles.
 

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I've spent much of the last 40+ years searching for my ideal bike - and wondering why manufacturers don't build it! I despaired when BMW increased their 1200 range to 1250cc and the Africa Twin went up to 1100cc. I do get bigger bikes - I've owned plenty of them - if your thing is two-up trans continental touring, then the comfort, load carrying, torque etc is a huge advantage. Maybe it's an ageing thing, but these days I get far more enjoyment from a smaller engine and a lighter bike which gives a more 'involved' ride. I've never understood the Harley/cruiser scene, though I can admire the aesthetics of the bikes.

A few years ago, I traded in my humble 650 V Strom for an Africa Twin, seduced by the extra torque for two-up riding. A couple of years later, we were back on another 650 V Strom. The AT was just that bit too high and the extra torque was rarely needed. I guess it's 'horses for courses' and personal riding style/preferences. The XSR is great for a blast on fast twisty roads but hell on motorways (any bike is out of place on motorways). It's light enough to be fun on back roads too and can cope with solo touring. But it lacks room for two-up riding in comfort.

My 'go to' bike is increasingly my CRF250L - most of the roads here are small back roads. I never thought a 250 would provide as much satisfaction but in many ways it's ideal. I thought the new CRF450L would be the one but the huge price tag and competition bike service schedule ruled it out for me. I'm watching the new KTM 390 Adventure, but I don't like the styling, I'm not keen on orange, and the previous high revving 390 has had more than it's fair share of reliability issues. I looked at a Himalayan but I don't think I'm quite old enough for one yet!

The bike I'm looking forward to (next year?) is.......the new Honda CT125. Now, there's a fine looking machine which promises some big smiles.
 

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I can certainly agree with your take on the XSR700 on motorways. I'm now 56 with RA and I can honestly say motorway riding for more than 1/2 hour is not very pleasant. I have yet to invest in any kind of equipment for touring but I should imagine it's a bit thin on the ground if you want to keep the naked bike look. Whilst it would be more comfortable to have a big windshield, hard side panniers and a top box, I would have gone for the Honda nc750 if that's what I really wanted. Back in my younger days I never had the bigger cc bikes, I had 250's (X7,GSX, CB250RS) GS400, GS 550's, Z750 four and lastly an XS650 What made me choose this bike in the engine size range I was looking at was the fact that you can have some fun on it, it is reliable, it looks nice and it's certainly faster than any of my previous bikes. Yes the NC would have been more comfortable but alas more boring so I guess I'll just have to live with the discomfort on long runs.
 

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I'm only on my second bike but this 75-100 (engine) hp seems like the sweet spot for me.
My 47-52 rated bike before this one struggled too much at highway speeds. Going over 100hp seems like making a missile. Hell one of my 4 wheel vehicles only has 140 awhp.
 

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I'm only on my second bike but this 75-100 (engine) hp seems like the sweet spot for me.
My 47-52 rated bike before this one struggled too much at highway speeds. Going over 100hp seems like making a missile. Hell one of my 4 wheel vehicles only has 140 awhp.
Sweet spot for the weight of this bike definitely. A heavier bike will need more. But it's not just weight and power. the xsr900 suffers from it's design, and why the front wheel wants to come up every time you open it up. There is a reader at the moto site that has the xsr900 and z900rs and still loves the xsr900. I am sure I would love a sportster if that was all I could have. Good times to be into motorcycles. So many retro naked bikes to choose from. our 700 is definitely one of the best. comparo
 

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I wanted the GPZ-550 experience again. Do you remember when that bike came out? Lines at the dealerships to put down deposits. That light (comparatively) nimble bike would run with 750's at the drags and on the street. It lead directly to the entire 600cc class, and was the first of what would become one of the greatest moto monikers ever - the Ninja.

In 2019 I got my ninja 550, it's just it comes from Yamaha now but it's got the right beans, the 2019 tech Ninja beans. It's not fast, it's quick. The XSR700 ninja
 
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