I'm going to start out by saying I've already read the first few pages of the first bike thread. I've been riding dirtbikes for years, and for the last couple summers I've been riding dual purpose bikes around. I was on a WR250R this summer. Rode to and from work every day, with some couple hundred km or so trips on weekends. My questions are about a first sport bike, not a first bike period.
Obviously, I want to get a sportbike. I'm pretty sure what I'm looking for is a 600. I like the idea of the new Yamaha FZ6R, but don't really want to buy new. Plus, I don't really like the look of it, but that's a different story. They (FZ6R) sound more forgiving than an R6, and sound like they fit the street a lot better. I don't plan on doing any racing, just commuting and rides on weekends, and I've heard the R6 is quite jerky and lame to ride in traffic. I don't really think what I'm looking for is an R6; however, they seem to be everywhere, and fairly cheap. I've seen a lot of R6's for sub $5000, and the few FZ6's I've seen have been much more pricey. I've been thinking about "settling" for an R6. Anyone have some insight?
I work at a Yamaha dealership, that's why everything I've mentioned has been a Yamaha. I work in the marine department, which is why I don't know too much about sport bikes, and as a dealership we're not really into sportbikes (we do a lot of cruisers), just the 1 or 2 r6's we bring in to sit in the showroom every year, so I figure it'd be better to ask you guys than coworkers. No, I don't have to buy a Yamaha, but I would prefer to.
Gear. Although I never dropped my WR250R, I can deffinately see myself dropping a sport bike. Obviously I'd rather not, but when/if I do, I'd like to keep my skin. I got an Alpinestars jacket last month (Stage perf), and was wondering if you guys had recommendations for the rest of the gear I'll be needing. I kinda like the HJC AC-12 Carbon helmet, and I can get HJC and Icon stuff at a discount through work. Anyone had experience with an AC-12? How's the quality compared to other brands? Boots, I can get Alpinestar stuff at a discount too, any recommendations (preferably Icon/Alpinestar)? How are race boots compared to the lower cut street boots/shoes on the market in protection and comfort? I'll be wearing them all day long on weekend rides. Gloves, anything higher end seems to look the same and have very similar features, which makes it tough to choose. I figure they probably are pretty similar, but I'll ask anyway, any recommendations there? For all the gear, I'd rather get something I can get at a discount, but I'm not limiting myself to HJC, Alpinestar, and Icon. If you have another suggestion I'll have to pay full price for, it's deffinately not out of the question.
Thanks a lot for any help. Sorry if this is the millionth time you've got the same question.