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Motorcycle News, Editorials, Product Reviews and Bike Reviews

Readers Respond to The Sweet Spot

Our article on July 26, 2007 concerning mid-displacement bikes caused many of our readers to email MD with their own thoughts. Here are those email in their unedited form:

  • BMW F800S and F800ST. O.K……they’re not four cylinder powerhouse exotic Japanese bikes….they’re not desmosedici V-fours draped in carbon fiber…..they are extremely simple and effective mid to entry level bikes that are good enough to keep a more experienced rider’s attention and friendly enough for a person returning to riding to not get them into to much trouble…no, you wont see one on the Moto-GP grid; Let’s be honest though…you’ll never see Moto-GP bikes making it in the everyday world, either….unless your a rock star or Jay Leno….but to make my point….they are 800’s….NASCAR’s are not Stock Cars…..yet people identify with them as if they were….I’ll bet the manufactures are betting on the same effect in motorcycling….

  • The answer to your question is soon,

    Ducati has one in the works. If the 749 was close to being on pace with the 600s (and in R trim it was), then the 848 should be a step up. I wouldn’t be surprised to see it put down some 750 threating numbers when its finally released.

  • Hi Dirck – It’s called a VFR800! Hope there is a new version this year.

  • BMW makes them already. Not sure about the power level though.. I think you’re right on too. I think the corner speed is Nicky’s problem, he was never a 250 rider as Dani and others who have been fast right away this year.

  • It’s the horsepower and torque and how the bike delivers them to the rider that makes the ‘sweet spot’. Displacement is secondary and how that results in bhp and lbs-ft differs on the state of tune and application. Honda’s VFR Interceptor has been an 800 (781cc) for a number of years, but nobody is waxing lyrical about it’s ‘sweet spot’.

  • Ah, you ask ask the proverbial question about how much is enough. In the US, at least, Too Much is Never Enough. Hence we see liter bikes, Hyabusa’s and ZX-14, and Rocket 3’s. Very few people have the maturity to understand their personal limits and to buy a bike based on them. Obviously, Image is more important than substance. You are talking about the difference between a surgical instrument and machete. Both cut, but the machete has a lot of image.

    Thanks for your daily articles. I really appreciate your point of view.

  • Gee, I’ve been riding a Honda 800 for eight years – VFR800. Maybe Honda has had the right idea for a long time. They just need a more up to date 800 and a better (lighter) package.

  • Dirck, Much as I agree with the text of your article, I question whether the 800s are coming to a dealer near you at all. So much of new bike sales are driven by perception, and I just can’t see your average 20 year old with his first paycheck saying give me the 800, even though he ought to be buying the 600, or something even smaller. So what that leaves the manufacturer’s is mature buyers like you and me, who are in our 30’s/40s (the latter in my case), who would appreciate the better handling and more than adequate power of an 800.

    Guys like me tend to buy used bikes anyway, with a few exceptions, so I think the critical issue will be if the young market has a demand for 800cc bikes. I suppose if manufacturer’s wanted to make this happen they could eliminate one end of the market or the other (either the 600s or the 1000s), but those are bread and butter products. Suzuki is making it work, but I just don’t know if it’s a big enough pie to split into 3 or 4 more pieces. I don’t think BMW’s entry in the market is really comparable to what you’re referring to.

    Love your site, and always appreciate your insite.

  • When are the production 800s coming? … One has been around for a while; the Honda Interceptor is an 800cc V4.

    P.s. – Enjoy your site, keep up the good work

  • i also have beem waiting for the 800’s or at least yamaha or honda to make a 750 but i was also watching the superbike race and the lap times of spies and maladin were very close to the motogp times. very suprising concidering the different levels of development. it kind of made me rethink that the 1000’s on the street are still the way to go. best regards, mick p.s. how close were the 600’s

  • Hi there: Great site – I stop by everyday!!!

    You’re 800 has already been produced (well almost – just needs a small displacement bump!) – the RVF750, aka RC45 – Honda just needs to put it into street production at a more realistic price point this time around!!!

    This is the spec from 10 years ago!!! Good enough for Colin Edwards – good enough for me 🙂

    Engine type               749cc 4 stroke V4

    Bore & stroke           72 x 46mm

    Compression Ratio    12.8:1

    Fuel system               Keihin PGM-F1 fuel injection

    Power                       160bhp @ 14,000rpm (claimed)

    Front suspension       Showa 47mm upside-down telescopic forks

    Rear suspension        Showa single-sided swingarm

    Front Brakes            Brembo 2 x 320mm discs with 4-piston calipers

    Rear Brakes             Brembo 1 x 190mm with 2-piston caliper

    Front tyre                120/60 x 17

    Rear tyre                 180/67 x 17

    Wheelbase              1400mm

    Rake / Trail             24.5° / 86-98mm

    Dry weight              162kg

  • I had to write and tell you how much I agree with your post today about “The Sweet Spot” This is something that I have been wondering myself as of late.
    I recently picked up an ’07 600RR which I couldnt be more happy with. Being a person on the lighter side, a 1000 would be fun, but I really dont need it. I feel that production 800 would be just right!
    Thanks for an awesome website, I look forward to it every day.

  • It’s called a VFR800 , and it,s just right.. Great job keep up the good work .

  • Then look at the lap times and the difference(or lack thereof) between the AMA Superbikes and the GP bikes, and it’s almost nothing. Ok, ok I know that 1.5-2.5 seconds per lap over the course of 28-32 laps is a lot of time. BUT….it sure must have some people scratching their heads.

  • Amen to smaller bikes!
    I have had a few big bikes (BMW, Concours) but always gravitate back to the smaller bikes…
    My KLR requires almost no effort to ride fast. When I had my Concours
    – it would wear me out – just too big. I’d love to see something like an 800cc VStrom or BMW GS. Smaller, lighter, less expensive, and for the majority of riders – more than enough machine!

  • Visit your site almost every day, loads of good information. Regarding your Sweet Spot article I thought I would throw out there the new BMW F800 model which happens to be the size you were talking about. Granted it is a v-twin and a BMW but I think you are right in saying that this may be the right mark to hit. I have a buddy who is a gixxer lover, owned 4 or 5 750s, currently trying out a Tuono but that will end when the 2008 series comes out. Anyway thanks for all the information on your site.

  • Just a little frequent reader feedback on your “The Sweet Spot” commentary posted on July 26. Since when is 388 lbs. (Claimed Dry Weight of a CBR1000RR) too big. This is only 43 lbs. heavier than the CBR600RR. I think that the 750 is becoming obsolete because there is almost a redundancy between the 600, 750, and 1000. If I would suggest anything, I would say get rid of the 600 and 1000 and just have an 800. The 600 alone already has more speed and power than most of the public needs on the street, in a year or two technology would have the 800’s as light or lighter as the 600’s are now, and all future R&D money could go into one Super sport model. If someone wanted a really big bike with ridiculous power, I think that the ZX-14 and Hayabusa would fall into that category.

  • Honda has known this for quite some time now…. VFR800…

  • The VFR800’s are here now, elimate the VTEC and shave off 100 lbs. Here’s your 800.

  • You said it Dirck – and Suzuki in the same breath. You know they don’t really need to V-Stroms, what they should do is meld them both into a 750 (endeavouring to maintain as many of the 650s physical stats).

  • I’m totally in agreement with you. 600’s have no bottom end torque and the literbikes have way more power than can ever be used responsibly on public roads.
    Bring on sub 400 lb 800’s with 60 ftlbs and 130 HP!

  • too want to ride a bike that hits my sweet spot and have a short list of new ones I intend to road test. Aprilia 750 Shiver, Triumph Street Triple, and if Honda would decide to build a parralel twin of 85-100 hp and 60+ft lbs torque at 400 lbs or less wet. Naked, of course. Give us good suspension on a lightweight bike that we can use a higher percentage of its potential performance and buyers will come. Good website, thanks.
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