Attention riders over 30 years old
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Thread: Attention riders over 30 years old

  1. #1
    Maxim X

    Question Attention riders over 30 years old

    I am considering buying my first sport bike but was wondering if there is anyone who could help me. First off, I am not inexperienced or a new motorcycle rider but would be new to sport bikes. I have owed 3 bikes prior to this: a 1982 Yamaha Maxim 400 [pee wee starter bike], a 1986 Yamaha Maxim X [powerhouse cruiser], lastly a 1992 Kawasaki KLR 650.

    I have a few concerns about the seating postion. I have been to local dealers and they tell me the seating postion is superior to cruiser or dual purpose bikes like I have owned in the past. But I am sure they tell that to anyone in the hopes of selling more bikes so I need an unbiased opinion.

    So my question is, are these bikes truly comfortable? Where do you get sore after riding for awhile? Is it your back, shoulders or wherever? I just turned 36 so I would prefer the feedback from older riders for obvious reasons. I am 6'1", weigh 200lbs and am in decent shape if that matters. Any help or input would be appreciated thank you...Warren aka Maxim X...

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  3. #2
    Cunning Linguist Array 3 of 7's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    The Wet Coast
    1966 CCM
    I'm a little older than you are and I had to put bar risers on my Hayabusa.... I found I was having neck problems before...the risers helped, they also helped with my hands falling asleep (carpal tunnel)
    If the salesman says a sportbike is going to have a better seating position than a KLR he's full of shit, or he just doesn't have a clue.
    I’m not crazy, I just need to get off this island. The doctors don’t believe I invented the chocolate éclair. But I did. I’m going to burn them all and drink soup from their skulls! Happy soup! Untie me and I’ll kill you last!

  4. #3
    One of these days.... Array looper's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    '97 F3
    I'm basically the same age and height as you and I ride a 97 CBR 600F3. I won't complain about the riding position, its not too bad, but I wouldn't want to be on the bike for more than a couple hours without a break.

    Obviously, some bikes are better than others and each bike fits differently. Try some out before making any decisions. If comfort is a major concern, look for something more like a VFR than an R6.

    And welcome to the wonderful world of sportbikes.
    "Not a shred of evidence exists in favor of the idea that life is serious."

  5. #4
    _____________ Array iceneweb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    South Surrey
    1975 Snortin' Norton Commando, 19somethin` Old . . . .
    the seating position is similar to that of a mountain bike on the more 'relaxed' bikes plus there's less weight on your tailbone than on a cruiser. if you have any sort of upper body strength i don't think you'll have a problem. i ride my bike everyday (80km+) and have no back problems or neck stiffness.

    welcome to the world of sportbikes! once you've tried the improved performance, handling, brakes and light weight i don't think you'll go back . . .
    Last edited by DeRosa; 08-06-2004 at 06:57 AM.

  6. #5
    Moderator Array Mighty Kentor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Mission, BC
    2004 R1, 2005 DL1000 V-Strom
    The seating position of a sport bike IS superior when it comes to rider control. The most comfortable sport bike I ever owned was my old '01 FZ1. Great bike, but not enough wind protection for my likings. Second most comfortable bike are either of the VFR's I've owned and it has great wind protection for my 6'1" frame. (my '01 is currently for sale see avatar).

    Stay away from current 600's and 1000's (unless it's Yamaha's YZF600, an older generation bike they still sell, or a Suzuki SV650) and you can find great bikes.

    I think there's a '00 FZ1 silver for sale for mid 6's in right now.

    Good luck and welcome!

    Last edited by Mighty Kentor; 08-06-2004 at 09:38 AM.
    Reformatted to fit your screen.

  7. #6
    Rock bottom here I come Array Dalma's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    2002 Honda VFR800
    I'm a wee bit older than yourself with the same build. I have a 2002 VFR and find the seating position to be very comfortable. It did take me about 2000 kms to get used to the position though. On a more radical sport bike I'm not sure that I would be as comfortable.

  8. #7
    Moderator Array CoolDaddyGroove's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2002
    New West
    2014 Kawasaki ZX14R
    Sport bikes (R6/1, ZX6/10, GSXR 6/7/1, 6RR/1000RR) are NOT comfortable for long hauls (500kms or more per day). You will end up shifting around in your seat quite a bit, hanging your legs off because the backs of your knees get congested, and riding one handed alot in the straights. A good solution is to drop the $3-400 for a set of higher bars, another $400 for adjustable rearsets, and another $400 for a corbin seat.

    I believe you will be happier with something like a VFR, FZ1/6, Z1000/750, which are still sporty, but much more comfortable.

  9. #8
    Registered User Array SpideRider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Fraser Valley
    Frank nailed it.
    The more "pure" sportbikes are less forgiving as they are built to be raced. The VFRs, FZs and the like still have gobs of power, but are more ergonomically friendly. The VFR is likely one of the most comfortable bikes I have ever sat on; head and shoulders above any cruiser.
    Cry in the dojo, laugh on the battlefield
    Sparring speed is a matter of simple physics:
    The height of your flight is inversely proportionate to the mass of your ass.

  10. #9
    Registered User Array Z-Rex's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    I'm 42 and the same size as you and ride a 2003 ZX9-R, I just did a trip of 5,200km in a week and found it to be more comfortable than my old ZRX.

    The parts that do get sore are my ankles due to the higher pegs on a sport bike. My arms and wrists are fine on higher speed stuff (100kmh+) but did get sore when we did 160km of tight backroads that were all 1st & 2nd gear stuff.

  11. #10
    Still defying gravity... Array Thumper 8's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    3 and 6 cylinders of fury
    Quote Originally Posted by Dalma
    I'm a wee bit older than yourself with the same build. I have a 2002 VFR and find the seating position to be very comfortable. It did take me about 2000 kms to get used to the position though. On a more radical sport bike I'm not sure that I would be as comfortable.

    This is starting to sound just a little pro-VFR here I am a little older and similar build and I have had recurring back and neck problems for years - not serious but an occasional nuisance. I was riding an RC 51 that a friend was trying to sell me before I bought the VFR, but I always got neck and wrist and lower back pains after 30 to 45 minutes on the RC (an amazing bike BTW). I did not explore all the adjustment options on the RC (levers, bars, foot controls, etc) but tried on the VFR and with basically stock settings, and it is perfect for long and short hauls without any difficulties, and no pains. VFR's are more sport-touring vs. full-out sportbike, but a blast to ride nonetheless.

    aka Tony

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  12. #11
    pronounced as-wee-pay Array effenay's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Don't overlook the 1999-2000 Honda CBR600F4 and 2004 CBR600F4i, which have arguably the most comfortable seats and ergos of the 600 supersports.

    Also the Yamaha YZF600R (not R6) is pretty comfy.

  13. #12
    ...... Array Team Green 9R's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    I foind the only thing that gets sore on my 9R are my knees for some weird reason on long trips. But my butt, back , wrists are fine.

  14. #13
    Mr. Anderson! Array 2wheelsx2's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    04 ZX6R/91 BMW K75S
    40 years old. 165 lbs. Never been on anything but sport and sport touring bikes. Have had GS500, VFR750, ZX7R, BMW K75S, and now ZX636.

    If you're lookiing to ride for tankfuls at a time, covering 1000 km in a day, forget the latest generation 600's and 1000's. Look at sport touring bikes and older generation sportbikes as mentioned. The CBR600F series were/are all fairly comfortable, as are the YZF600R (ThunderCat). The VFR series are great, but if you want to have cheaper insurance, you'll have to go with the older VFR750's.

    Of the newer crop, FZ1, Z1000, Z750, FZ6, SV650, etc., are all good bikes. All the ZX9R's are comfortable (at least for me).

    If you are in good shape, as you said (good core strength), then the back is not going to be a problem for you. For me, it's my right wrist and shoulder (bit of carpal tunnel from being on a computer all day for work), and my butt gets a bit numb (solved by Corbin or other aftermarket). The knees would be another area if the pegs are high (like my 636). But for the bikes I listed, none of them should be a problem.

  15. #14
    Im 32 and I ride day trips..700-800 klms in one day on my Gixxer..the slower you ride the more painful it ride fast in corners ....cant ask for anything better. Whats your riding style?? Cruise around from stop light to stop light ?? sport bike maybe wrong choice..but thats just me...Test rides are the best solution....test ride the bikes you like .. decide from there..Good luck and welcome..

  16. #15
    shameless poser Array dog44's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Team Zookie: 1977 GS400, 1980 GS750E, 2004 GSX1300R Hayabusa
    I'm 45, 6'2, 200 and in decent shape. I can only speak for me and my Hayabusa.

    Compared to non-sportbikes? No. The position is conducive to control, not comfort.

    Hands and butt, but it's not bad, not at all, assuming that you stop for gas or to wipe your shield every hour or two. In between, rest your hands when you can and stand up once in a while, and you're good to go. If you don't wanna let go the throttle, just keep your palm on it while you wiggle your fingers around.

    Although I have had serious lower back trouble in the past, and I am not strong there, I have yet to experience any discomfort at all, even on long rides. But my riding position (heavy on the hands) is not the recommended way, I need to strengthen my back so I can use it and relax my arms. I get upper back and neck pain from mountain bikes, but have had no problem there with the m/c.

    Quick in the twisties is painless and even refreshing, but ditto that having to slow down is F'n painful. It took a little while for my body (i.e. wrists) to become accustomed, but now I love day-long rides, the longer the better. My hands are a bit tired when I wake up the next morning, and that's it.


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