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Discussion Starter #1
So, I have a question regarding choices of bikes. I obviously have my '05 ZX6R for my daily street bike, but for a number of reasons, I'm looking into trying to find a bike that I could make into a track bike.

My main question is this: Given that I ride a 600 all day long on the street, would I be disappointed with a 250 on the track?

I only ask because, at least around here lately, they are significantly easier to find and are stupidly cheap if they aren't in good condition (which is what I'm looking for). 600's, on the other hand, seem to still hold quite a lot of value even if they are nearly completely trashed...so...

What thoughts do you folks have?


PS - for reference, I'm looking at potentially getting a 250 (either Ninja or CBR) for a couple hundred bucks in mechanically good, but cosmetically poor condition - seems like a deal I'm going to have a hard time passing up unless everyone here says I really need a 600 for the track :O
 
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I have seen people have fun on all sorts of bikes on the track. Our current track day provider just created a Ninja 300 mock race series that a bunch of people have purchased new/wrecked bikes for. These are people that have Ducati's, Aprilia's, BMW's, etc.

A few points though. The size of the track you plan to go and who you ride with will change that experience. A tight, technical track will be the bomb and a track like Road America could leave you wanting more HP. If the people you go with all have bigger bikes, unless the track is technical or your skills are better, you won't be riding with them much. If you are just doing this for yourself to improve some skills, have at it with any bike.
 

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It depends on what you want out of it. The suspension sucks and you absolutely cannot be lazy about being in the right gear. Momentum is everything and if you lose it, it takes a while to get back!

It also depends on the tracks you'd go to. Clearly, they're better for tracks with short and minimal straight-a-ways.

I have a 600 track bike and race both it and endurance race a 250. I think for the everyday stuff, I'd rather have the 600 because I like the rush. But 250's are also a lot of fun. It's WAY more fun passing a 600 on a 250 than passing a 600 with your own 600...haha.

The cost savings is HUGE though. I did 7 sprints races (6 laps each) and went through 1 front and 2 rears in a day. IIRC, we went through 2 fronts and 3-4 rears all of last season for ENDURANCE racing, which ranged from 2-6 hours over the course of 5-6 events. You can easily do 20+ track days on one set of tires on a 250. Not to mention (since you already have) the cost of the bike itself.

You can always buy a 250 and then get a 600 later. A 250 is a great learning bike on the track as well. If you get lazy on it (shifting, etc), you'll know it immediately and your lap times will reflect it. You can miss a gear on a bigger bike (or not shift at all) and still have the power to work your way around it. You tend to rely on the power...which is even worse on a liter bike. It teaches you a lot about corner speed and the bike will move around on you a lot (at least it can feel like it with as much as the frames flex) which is clearly beneficial. I say go for it.
-Cody
 

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I think a track outfitted 250 would be loads of fun! With some suspension upgrades and racing slicks, you'll probably hit tighter corners faster than some guys in 'real' sportbikes!
 

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Funny OP you and I think alike :yes

I have been hunting for an 08+ 250r in poor cosmetic condition since I plan to fit it with race fairings and do a full one over on the suspension.

I haven't don't it yet but I suspect it would be a BLAST to be able to keep it WOT and if you upgrade the suspension and have a good set of tires you should be able to hold your pace around the corners

If you go through with this...please please post pics and progress as I (And probably others) are curious :)
 

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250 can be a blast. But I would only consider a 250 for actual racing, where you would be racing against other 250's. At a trackday you will be on the track with 600's and literbikes.

Even if you are skilled and capable of laying down good laptimes on the 250 the bigger bikes will blow by you on the straight only to get in your way in the corners. Because the 250 is about keeping momentum in the corners it will get frustrating being held up by the bigger bikes. It's not apporpriate at a track day to take risks and try crazy passes in the corners.

I agree that it's a great learning tool though. If you are a total track newb, a 250 is great way to get started but you will likely progress pretty quickly and end up being frustrated as stated above. But if you can get one real cheap, it's a great way to start and see. You can always upgrade to something bigger later.
 

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For $200 go for it!

The Ninja has a little more hp than the CBR, might be useful in this situation.
 

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I love little bikes! Granted, I haven't pulled the trigger on tracking my 300 yet, but I can imagine it would be a blast. It would be somewhat dependent on the track, obviously a track with huge straightaways would be a bit boring, but if you can find a tighter, more technical track then it'd be a lot of fun.

I think a track outfitted 250 would be loads of fun! With some suspension upgrades and racing slicks, you'll probably hit tighter corners faster than some guys in 'real' sportbikes!
I've thought about that on my 300 but I think, at least for simple, bolt on upgrades, the suspension is tough. They have standard forks that can't be adjusted, so I'd assume it'd be quite a task to get better forks installed on there.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
So happy to hear this feedback!!! I'm heading to go look at a 2013 CBR 250R tomorrow after work - I'll certainly keep everyone updated and I'll certainly have a running thread with pictures and progress as I go :)

If you are a total track newb, a 250 is great way to get started but you will likely progress pretty quickly and end up being frustrated as stated above. But if you can get one real cheap, it's a great way to start and see. You can always upgrade to something bigger later.
I am a trackday newb and figured this would be a good, cheap way to try it out (without risking anything on my bike I am so in love with :sigh:) and see how much (not if) I like it. Depending on how addicted I get and how quickly I feel like I'm out-growing the 250, I could sell it for more than I buy it for (after putting some work into it) and buy a 600 instead, right :O
 
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This is an old video but illustrates what the others are talking about. Personally I think it's a great idea, you will learn a lot and see immense improvement in your riding. I say go for it, last year I picked up a 85 2stroke that is a ton of fun and I feel helped improve my riding so much so that I'm looking for a pit bike to convert to a cheap supermoto. Funny I realized since I've owned a litter bike I've consistently gotten smaller and smaller bikes lol

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kz03sQeX02c
 

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I am a trackday newb and figured this would be a good, cheap way to try it out (without risking anything on my bike I am so in love with :sigh:) and see how much (not if) I like it. Depending on how addicted I get and how quickly I feel like I'm out-growing the 250, I could sell it for more than I buy it for (after putting some work into it) and buy a 600 instead, right :O
Yep...that sounds like the way to go! Might consider an SV650 as the next step after the 250. SV's are great...they are alot easier on tires than a 600 also. I love my ZX6, but when I'm ready for something differect I'll probably go back to a well setup SV or something similar.
 

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I did double duty between racing my ZX6R and my 300. I had a riot on both bikes. The racing on the smaller bikes is really fun because you are so close. Plus its cheap to track or race (relatively).
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Yep...that sounds like the way to go! Might consider an SV650 as the next step after the 250. SV's are great...they are alot easier on tires than a 600 also. I love my ZX6, but when I'm ready for something differect I'll probably go back to a well setup SV or something similar.
Good thought. I've never really spent any significant time on a 650 (any 650), but that would be a nice progression up from a 250 if/when I decided to do that. Thanks for your thoughts
 

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My buddy occasionally brings his Honda CB-1 to the track. I am pretty sure it weights like 450 pounds and has about 50hp? takes like a 140 rear tire. Honestly he hauls ass on that thing. He preaches about occasionally riding "shitty" or under advanced bikes because he has to really hone his skils and ride the crap out of it to make it do what he wants it to do. My point is I think a 250 will be fine. You will learn and have fun.. you know what they say its more fun to ride a slow bike, fast, than ride a fast bike slow :)
 

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I currently track my Ninja 650 street bike. I can't wait to compare it to the 636. The 650 is a blast and not too much power to really get yourself in trouble. It does have a similar issue as I mentioned above because many riders aren't on 650's, at least in my area.

A good example is my friend who has an 899. During a session, he usually gets 1/2 to 3/4 lap ahead. Interestingly enough, on his older 1098, he was less comfortable and our laps were equal except for slingshotting (slower on straights, faster in corners). One of the last track days of the year, he borrowed someone's 300 and I ended up almost lapping him by the end of the session. I am hoping that the 636 gets me back in the game with the 899.

The reason I find this important is because I have found that when I am with someone of equal or better speed, I tend to do better than when I am out there alone. Basically, it is like we are pushing each other to do better. I think it is similar to racers mentioning not being able to match their lap times on a track day. That little bit of competitive edge can work wonders. Spending a lap or half a lap catching someone in the corners just doesn't seem to work the same as flowing with them around the track.
 

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My buddy occasionally brings his Honda CB-1 to the track. I am pretty sure it weights like 450 pounds and has about 50hp?
More like 40HP. I had a bandit 400 in the early 90's they were about 45 hp and I had a friend who had a CB-1. I rode his CB-1 and the handling was sweet...but it had no power at all. The only way to make decent time on that bike was to carry all the corner speed you could taking wide lines, etc. It was so slow I didn't even feel like it needed brakes :oops:
 

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I just got my 07 EX250 running after taking 3 engines to make one & have thought about tracking it. Would def think the suspension would need upgrading first.
You will prob need to rejet the carbs, seems they come from the factory fairly lean. Could be disastrous with the rigors of track riding.
 

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SV650 or Ninja 650. I'd rather do track days on one of those. If I rode a 250/300, it would have to be strictly to race.
 
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