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Underdog Bikes

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ratatooie
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Running out of unique names

Posts : 180
Location : Isle of Man

Underdog Bikes

Post by ratatooie on Tue 30 Aug 2016, 11:24 am

A few recent posts have gotten me thinking (and inspired a few discussions down the pub) about what the best/most "underdog" bikes are and even what "underdog" in the context of a motorbike means.

I'm not necessarily meaning a WR250 with a turbo on it that pulls 54whp (although that it pretty impressive!):

http://www.thumpertalk.com/topic/607016-how-about-a-54whp-wr250x/

I am thinking more about regular looking bikes, which with (or without) modest tweaking can consistently put a smile on your face and punch well above their supposed stature. 

I think it is safe to say that the CB5 falls into this bracket, but what other bikes do too?
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Jameshambleton
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Location : Bedale, North Yorkshire

Re: Underdog Bikes

Post by Jameshambleton on Tue 30 Aug 2016, 12:34 pm

When I took mine to turbopacs dyno, there was a big bang r1, 3 s100rr's an r6, couple of 1100xx blackbirds, and hardly any reaction out of anyone other than a few not bad faces. Everyone really seemed to enjoy mine the most with its pops and bangs and there was a couple of people looking at it before it went on the dyno anyway.

Our cb500's are the best out of the 500cc class of bikes imho, out of build quality and reliability. 

I think my cb400sf might be an underdog but I'm not too sure since I've not had it on the road yet.
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trevor machine
the 900
the 900

Posts : 1194

Re: Underdog Bikes

Post by trevor machine on Tue 30 Aug 2016, 2:24 pm

ZR-7? 200kg, 75bhp - anonymous '90s UJM styling, "commuter" reputation. But could theoretically be chucked around a bit. Same w/ the CBF600 (197kg, 76bhp). A half decent rider on familiar, relatively technical roads should be able to fend off a fared 600 (or bigger) on 'away turf'. I also have a mate on a v-strom thou - fugly, charmless beast - but I've watched him lead more 'focused' bikes a right merry dance or two. I often wonder how much riding one of those NC750s could stand - I know they rev out at something bizarre like 7k - but they carry their weight really low and on the twistier roads I can imagine that torque being pretty useful.
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ashcroc
the 900
the 900

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Location : London

Re: Underdog Bikes

Post by ashcroc on Tue 30 Aug 2016, 7:15 pm

Having had one as a hire bike I'm sure the NC750 could handle itself with a spirited rider. Since it's basically a scooter with some plastics added to make it look like a bike the centre of gravity is nice & low (unless you overload the faux fuel tank luggage compartment). They may rev out low but the power is there right through the range too.

Can't say I was too enamoured with it as the thrill of hitting the power band doesn't happen but it did it's job & felt comfortable with it's 'adventure bike' stance. The hardest thing I found was remembering to change gear as if I were driving a car.

At 54bhp it's the modern equivalent of our humble CB without the fun factor thrown in.
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trevor machine
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the 900

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Re: Underdog Bikes

Post by trevor machine on Tue 30 Aug 2016, 7:49 pm

Sold my w650 this morning (for £2750 - paid £3400+ iirc; shit hurts, man : - /). Just not using the damn thing though. Why? Basically because - like the NC - it's stroke is greater than its bore. Okay, yeah - that meant it was way more like a Bonneville than these new Hinkley Bonnies. But it signed off north of 4k, and never "came on cam" as such, due to 90% of the torque happening at 3.5k. Oh and let's not forget it only made about 45bhp to begin with. Don't get me wrong - it was a looker, and could lift its skirts up and flounce well enough. But both my cb500s were getting 100 times the miles. Had to go. Even though the 500 is apparently quite linear compared to most jap bikes (or jap bikes that aren't hondas, at any rate), it at least shows willing at 7-ish. And all that revving is sort of contagious - spurs you on in a way a more composed engine doesn't. Maybe. Those are my current feelings, anyway. Can't say the prospect of a large torque beast like the vtr doesn't have its allure though.
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ratatooie
Running out of unique names
Running out of unique names

Posts : 180
Location : Isle of Man

Re: Underdog Bikes

Post by ratatooie on Wed 31 Aug 2016, 5:31 pm

I think I would be tempted to throw my humble DRZ400 in the ring. For its class (supermoto) it is significantly heavy and underpowered in comparison to the competition, but is an absolute blast to ride. It definitely falls into the "ride a slow bike fast" category and beats a good deal of bigger bikes off the line easily (well, until you hit about 30mph!)
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wornsprokets
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the 900

Posts : 1278
Location : dublin

Re: Underdog Bikes

Post by wornsprokets on Wed 31 Aug 2016, 6:43 pm

On way home there short while ago, i passed a fazer 600  (03 up)in traffic and at a set of lights he wasnt happy a scruffy old cb had passed him...so he caught up at next set of lights....so he was determined i wouldnt get away first.... so he took off (like at tt race start)and almost got taken out by a car at junction...a short distance up  that pulled out on to main road.. so lucky.. i say he needed to change his pantaloons Laughing the    dumb ass
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Beresford
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Location : not that far from Kirkistown

Re: Underdog Bikes

Post by Beresford on Wed 31 Aug 2016, 8:45 pm

@trevor machine wrote:Sold my w650 this morning
People always accuse the Kawasaki of being a Triumph Bonneville clone, but I believe the W series is really based on BSAs that Kawasaki used to build under licence.
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trevor machine
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the 900

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Re: Underdog Bikes

Post by trevor machine on Thu 01 Sep 2016, 9:14 am

Yes strictly speaking that is true.

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