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Old 07-11-2009, 01:30 AM   #181
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the valve adjustments are not that frigin hard man ive done it on every bike ive ever owned get a owners manual and it will outline it simply and easily its no dif than doing it in a car but here you can get your arms around the motor. Alot of sport bikes ala sv650 etc or higher wont have tires last past 10 k miles. On my vf500 i get about 7-8k miles with out burnouts etc. on Liter bikes you are looking at the low 6k miles range depending on the torque of the bike and how hard you ride it. Bike tires on average cost about 150 or so bucks apeice for **** that is decent. Do not buy bargian basement tires you will regret it you only have to of them keeping you on track make em as good as you can. My unlce told me about one time when he was riding outa cali to KY and bought a few cheapo tires and his tires both blew up before he hit the rockies. not fun having a blow out on a bike. Most all bikes can be kept outside but i recomend agianst it esp the winter time find a place to stick that sucker it will stay in better shape. Not like you are gonna ride in the snow or cold *** weather. 60mph windchill is ****** cold when its nippy out man trust me.

They are all pretty damn reliable save some of the suzukis from the early 80's and the three cylinders from any time but the mid to late 90's. The cb750 is a decently tough bike the only bike honda made that ever had aany issues of abnormal **** was the magna750 that had recall issues cause its cams where, made of a metal that was to soft for it. But this was fixed after 87. You can get and strip down a GL1000-or gl1100 like my dad did as well for a cheap price. The bmws have never impressed me compared to the jap bikes. dollar for dollar.
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Old 07-11-2009, 01:41 AM   #182
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^ I thought valve adjustment was a complicated process involving properly setting the gap to compensate for thermal expansion using special types of tools to check it that required going by feel?
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Old 07-11-2009, 02:00 AM   #183
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Frequent valve adjustment? are you serious? How frequent are we talking here?
On the SV650, tappet clearance inspection is indicated every 14,500 miles. It is, to be honest, a bit of a pain in the ***. The procedure is basically the same as for an NB- use a feeler gauge, and replace shims as needed. Actually, it's slightly easier (in theory) than the NB, since you just remove the cam to access the shims, rather than depressing the follower with an exotic tool. Getting access to the rear head, however, is no fun at all.

Fortunately, it's not something you have to do all that frequently in the grand scheme of things. I think that us car guys are all spoiled by HLAs.

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Does this apply to the CB400 and CB750 as well or is it especially the 250 thats the reliable one?
He was talking about the Rebel, which is the CMX250. The CB250 is a Nighthawk. Both use the same engine, but the Hawk is an upright standard whereas the Rebel is a mini-cruiser:



IMO, the Rebel is too damn small. No better than a Buell Blast, really. I'm about 6'1" and was able to ride a CB250 comfortably, however when I sat on a Rebel, my elbows and knees were practically touching.
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Old 07-11-2009, 02:06 AM   #184
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Vavle adjustments involve loosening a locknut, adjusting the screw to the factory gap (using a spark plug gap checker), and re locking the nut, very simple, although slightly time consuming if you include taking off the valve cover and if you have 16 valves like my bike. This all of course doesn't include shim style valves, which were gone even by my bike's era, 1985.

And I have to disagree with Magna, 70's and 80's Suzuki GS models were built with ball bearing cranks and their bullet-proofness extended well beyond that, they're very reliable bikes.

FWIW, I bought my brand new Pirellis for $60 front, $80 rear, no where near $150, unless Magna was talking about a combined price.

Joe beat me to it, and I should have explained further, the Rebel 250 is the ak-47 of bikes, but it is indeed very small, barely highway legal.
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Old 07-11-2009, 08:26 AM   #185
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You can do your own valve adjustments, and I always have. It's not that hard, but I mentioned it simply because it's the #1 thing prospective bike owners overlook, and the #1 bike maintenance item current bike owners skimp on. A lot of bike owners will sell their bikes at the 12-14K mile range just to avoid paying for this service (really expensive on sportbikes), and the new owner may be oblivious.

Curly, you are right that the locknut adjustment is EASY, and super cheap. I loved my Kawi 500R for this. But many more modern bikes use shims, and Sam should check before he buys as shim sets can get expensive, although are a fraction of paying someone.

Something you can handle, but should definitely consider. It always snuck up on me fast since I rode a LOT of miles, to the tune of 1100/week.

Carb synchs need to be done occasionally too. They are hella easy on any twin, parallel or V, and you can make your own tool out of two glass bottles, rubber stoppers and some plastic tubing. Any more than two cylinders and you need specialized tools.

I just don't want you to buy a bike, any bike, and think you can just motor along for 20K miles with nothing but oil, gas and a smile. I consider bikes to have a 10K mile "serious service interval." This is just me, but I like to keep things running well. This serious service entails: chain, brakes, tires, and valves. Some of these components may last slightly longer, and they can be spread out....but the easiest way to gauge this is to figure out how much each costs (tires ~ $250, chain ~ $125, brakes ~ car equivalent, valves vary) as well as how much time it will take to do the job, and factor this into the cost/hassle of ownership every 10K miles.

Well worth it, and not to dissuade any purchase, but should be thought of ahead of time. Researching and understanding what I consider the major items could also help you when looking at used deals. There are definitely times I would pay $1K more for a higher mileage bike knowing it had a few of these items knocked out already. A 15K mile bike has probably already had valves adjusted, and atleast chain and tires replaced, if not brakes. Brakes are easy though. This may drive the price up next to a 10K bike that looks like a better deal, but will need some serious money/attention in just a few months. Read up, don't be scared, just be prepared.


EDIT: For some people 10K miles on a bike is a lifetime, but for me it was a season, so take this as you will.

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Old 07-11-2009, 01:25 PM   #186
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Wait a minute, you just posted this on a forum that is dedicated to turning 90hp Miatas into something that they are not. So, we should just buy a faster car? I'm doing it all wrong...
Not the same thing. A Miata with 250hp is a blast. A fantastic toy. An SV with 80hp is a time bomb with flexy cases and a life measured in hours, not miles. To buy a car with (off the shelf) the capabilities that my Miata has would be absurd. A stock mid 90s 600 is faster, better, stronger than the fastest SV650 ever built.

If you want to run WERA Light Weight Twins Superbike, then the SV is a perfect tool. An 80hp motor will be strong enough to win races in a 330 lb race bike. You will rebuild it twice in a season, but you will go fast and have fun. For a street bike, you'd hate yourself in two weeks when the little bit of hp you made torqued your cases enough to make them leak oil from the transmission output shaft seal all over your garage.
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Old 07-11-2009, 01:54 PM   #187
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Sam, as far as maintenance goes, adjusting valves on just about anything you would buy for a first bike will be pretty easy. Even if you need shims, most dealers will trade you your stock shims for the ones you need. You take measurements with a feeler gauge on al the valves, on the valves that are out of spec, you pull the cams/ buckets/ shims, find the old shim thickness and use some sweet third grade math with figure out your new shim thickness, take the old shims and the new numbers to the dealer and swap them hoes out. Check your numbers after reassembly just to be thorough, and you're golden.


I absolutely abhor a Rebel 250. Nothing says poser *** monkey like a nerd on a Rebel at a stop light. A Nighthawk 250 is downright respectable compared to a Rebel (or a Virago for that matter). There's just something about a cruiser with 25hp that makes me want to punch a baby.

I get ~5000 miles to a set of Dunlop Qualifiers, but I ride like an ***. To me the bike is a toy, and is to be used as a toy. If you're not grinning when you get off the bike, you're doing it wrong. Harder tires will last longer (to the 10k you mentioned, certainly), but they just don't go to the kind of mileage that car tires do. Rotors last the lifeof the bike. Pads, not so much. I'll get 2 sets of tires to a set of nice pads. I get Performance Friction stuff for cheap, so that's what I use, but any performance street pad will behave pretty similarly. A chain is supposed to last you ~15k, but when my brother was riding every day (he commuted rain/ shine/ hot/ cold/ snow/rapture for ~50k miles on a CBR600F4 before he taped up the headlights stuck a belly pan on it and raced it in C Superstock for 3-4 seasons), he would stick the bike on the stand and lube the chain twice a week, and would get ~30k out of one before it failed the stretch tests.

Buell belt drive stuff is nice, but then you have to live with a Buell... ick. Shaft drive BMWs are totally maintenance free, but the shaft trying to climb the teeth on the ring gear reportedly feels super weird. The bike tries to lift off of the back tire (thus cramming it into the ground, and improving traction), but it also tends to drive really hard off to the right, like a turbo Civic with an open diff and a donut spare, lol.

Lastly (this became a novel really fast), There is essentially no excuse to keep a bike outside through the winter. Even if you live in an apartment, push the thing into the elevator late one night once it gets cold and stick it in the living room with a cover and a pan under it. You will save yourself much heartache jus by keeping it inside. My SV1000 lives in our kitchen whenever there is a car in the garage over night. The motard used to live n the kitchen just because I could, lol.
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Old 07-11-2009, 02:49 PM   #188
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My SV1000 lives in our kitchen whenever there is a car in the garage over night. The motard used to live n the kitchen just because I could, lol.
So, how badly did you fare in the divorce?
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Old 07-11-2009, 03:23 PM   #189
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.tires ~ $250, chain ~ $125, brakes ~ car equivalent, valves vary
OH MY GOD! What kind of gold plated unobtanium **** do you people put on your bikes?!?

Like I said, $140 for a SET of brand new Pirellis, and I paid less than $40 once I brought my wheels in for mount and balance. They even hand painted the counter weights before they put them on since i just had my wheels powder coated.

I can get a non O-ring chain for $20-$50.

Saml01, are you considering buying a brand new super bike? If that's the case, some of this stuff would get fairly expensive apparently, because these noobs with their newer bikes are listing outrageous prices. This thread has gotten so long I've forgotten if you've told us what you're planning on buying.
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Old 07-11-2009, 03:55 PM   #190
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Saml01, are you considering buying a brand new super bike? If that's the case, some of this stuff would get fairly expensive apparently, because these noobs with their newer bikes are listing outrageous prices. This thread has gotten so long I've forgotten if you've told us what you're planning on buying.
No super bike. I just want a bike that when I come to my sisters, I turn the key and it runs. I go for a cruise for an hour or two, come back and park it. Doesnt have to be super fast, just needs to be comfortable because I am 6'1 and and reliable because I dont have time to come here and fix it.

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Originally Posted by gospeed81 View Post
I just don't want you to buy a bike, any bike, and think you can just motor along for 20K miles with nothing but oil, gas and a smile. I consider bikes to have a 10K mile "serious service interval." This is just me, but I like to keep things running well. This serious service entails: chain, brakes, tires, and valves. Some of these components may last slightly longer, and they can be spread out....but the easiest way to gauge this is to figure out how much each costs (tires ~ $250, chain ~ $125, brakes ~ car equivalent, valves vary) as well as how much time it will take to do the job, and factor this into the cost/hassle of ownership every 10K miles.

Well worth it, and not to dissuade any purchase, but should be thought of ahead of time. Researching and understanding what I consider the major items could also help you when looking at used deals. There are definitely times I would pay $1K more for a higher mileage bike knowing it had a few of these items knocked out already. A 15K mile bike has probably already had valves adjusted, and atleast chain and tires replaced, if not brakes. Brakes are easy though. This may drive the price up next to a 10K bike that looks like a better deal, but will need some serious money/attention in just a few months. Read up, don't be scared, just be prepared.


EDIT: For some people 10K miles on a bike is a lifetime, but for me it was a season, so take this as you will.

This is an excellent point I did not consider. It makes sense that people would have performed the maintenance on a higher mileage bike but I would only have to do it out of pocket if its below that service interval.

I am not worried about the money I need to budget for a bike. I have the money. Id just like to keep the initial investment for a first machine as low as possible since I wont be riding it all the time.

I really appreciate you being thorough for me, I know its not easy to write these long posts.
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I absolutely abhor a Rebel 250. Nothing says poser *** monkey like a nerd on a Rebel at a stop light. A Nighthawk 250 is downright respectable compared to a Rebel (or a Virago for that matter). There's just something about a cruiser with 25hp that makes me want to punch a baby.

Buell belt drive stuff is nice, but then you have to live with a Buell... ick. Shaft drive BMWs are totally maintenance free, but the shaft trying to climb the teeth on the ring gear reportedly feels super weird. The bike tries to lift off of the back tire (thus cramming it into the ground, and improving traction), but it also tends to drive really hard off to the right, like a turbo Civic with an open diff and a donut spare, lol.

Lastly (this became a novel really fast), There is essentially no excuse to keep a bike outside through the winter. Even if you live in an apartment, push the thing into the elevator late one night once it gets cold and stick it in the living room with a cover and a pan under it. You will save yourself much heartache jus by keeping it inside. My SV1000 lives in our kitchen whenever there is a car in the garage over night. The motard used to live n the kitchen just because I could, lol.
I think I am going to stay away from the Rebel 250, its too small for me. Its the same size as those GZ250's at the MSF. My knees and elbows were almost touching. Further I looked at the Yamaha Vstar 250 and that is also just as small, I have a feeling all these small cruisers will be identical. Someone mentioned the CB's are upright standards. I need to try and sit on those and hopefully they will offer more "leg room".

I hear what you are saying about the Buel and you arent the only person. On top of that, they also look like small bikes and uncomfortable.

I probably will stay away from the Euro bikes just to keep it simpler for myself, less to deal with if they break.

What I need is a widely used, popular bike, with an abundance of parts, knowledge and proven track record. I still havent found one person or store with a SV to try out, so thats also on the list.

Last edited by Saml01; 07-11-2009 at 04:10 PM.
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Old 07-11-2009, 04:40 PM   #191
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So, how badly did you fare in the divorce?
Not married. I'm back in school right now, living with a couple of my buddies. For the record, every girl who's ever seen the bike parked inside somewhere thinks it's cool
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Old 07-11-2009, 05:02 PM   #192
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Someone mentioned the CB's are upright standards. I need to try and sit on those and hopefully they will offer more "leg room".
That would be me. I owned a CB250 for a couple of years when I was in college. To be frank, it's a crappy bike. Not unreliable, just that it has spoke wheels, cable-operated drum brakes, lame shocks, no tach, etc. On the plus side, they were pretty much unchanged over the whole 26 year production run (they just stopped making them this year) and they sold about a trillion of them, so they're cheap as hell and parts are everywhere. If the Rebel is the AK-47 of motorcycles (odd-looking, bad ergonomics, and with a propensity towards killing people) then the Nighthawk is the VW Beetle of motorcycles. Simple, reliable, cheap as dirt, and unpretentious.

It is, however, a reasonably comfortable bike for riders on the tall side. And if you're not planning to commute on the freeway, it would make an excellent first bike as well. It's very lightweight so it's both easy to handle when you're on it and easy to pick up after you've dropped it. It doesn't make loads of power, but you also don't need to wind it up to 14,000 RPM to get all it has like you would with a Ninja 250. And I'll be honest, I still like the way it looks.


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I hear what you are saying about the Buel and you arent the only person. On top of that, they also look like small bikes and uncomfortable.
The Blast is small and uncomfortable. The XB12 series are actually pretty comfortable to sit on (though I haven't ridden them), it's just that they're... well... they're Buells.


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For the record, every girl who's ever seen the bike parked inside somewhere thinks it's cool
That changes when it goes from being "your" kitchen to "our" kitchen.
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Old 07-11-2009, 06:40 PM   #193
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Jeez the CB250 looks ancient even for 2008. Drum brakes front and back? The rebel has a single disc at least.

Someone around here is selling a 2002 Harley XL883 for 4 grand(prolly can be talked down). Forgetting for a second its 540lbs. I think im gonna look odd on a Harley. Your thoughts?

What I really want is a bike that looks like a Triumph Thruxton.

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Old 07-12-2009, 12:11 AM   #194
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I LOVE Thruxtons. Harley's suck.
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Old 07-12-2009, 12:16 AM   #195
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Jeez the CB250 looks ancient even for 2008. Drum brakes front and back? The rebel has a single disc at least.
Heh. Yeah, the Euro and JDM bikes got a front disc and alloy wheels, but the US bikes never really changed since the original in '82.

As to the look, what can I say? I like it. Truth be told, one of the factors that influenced my purchase of an SV650 is that aesthetically, I felt it bore a lot in common with the ole' Hawk. The big round headlight, the shape of the bodywork, the simple lines. I can't explain it, I just think the Little Bird is a timeless design. And I do hope that Honda brings it back.


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Someone around here is selling a 2002 Harley XL883 for 4 grand(prolly can be talked down). Forgetting for a second its 540lbs. I think im gonna look odd on a Harley. Your thoughts?
Just gain 100 lbs, grow a beard, and marry your cousin.
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Old 07-12-2009, 12:17 AM   #196
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Another bike you might want to look at is a Magna. I rode a buddy's V45 Magna out in the local twisties and being a sportbike/racer guy I was surprised how much I liked it. It handled well for what it was, and was very comfortable. The rear suspension travel is a little short but not too bad. He sold it for $2K, I probably should have bought it. Way better than a Harley if you are even remotely considering one of those overpriced pieces of...

FWIW that same buddy of mine is at least 6'1" and he rides a SV-650 for commuting and weekends, and also rode that V45 Magna.

+1 on an 80+ HP SV-650. It is a time bomb unless you drop a LOT of money into the engine build, like $4K-6K (forged crank, slipper clutch, etc. etc.). All my SV race bike mods are bolt-on. That way if I blow up an engine, I just get a used street motor from a used bike and swap it all over. Flat-slides (or a power commander for the second gen), a race exhaust, and a exintake swap will get you between 75-80 HP. More than that, muy carro. But, you really do not need all that unless you go racing, and even then not until you start getting pretty fast.

For street riding though, no worries, it is a reliable bike. Keep in mind that for track duty, it is WOT and rev limiter shifts most of the time, much harder on engines.

+1 on not buying cheap tires. And get o-ring chain (or x-ring) unless you are going to be religious about chain maintenance, and do not ride in the rain often. 10K miles on a set of tires is ambitious IMO. I prefer to run slightly stickier tires (like a Bridgestone BT020) and live with 3K-5K tire changes. But that is me.

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Old 07-12-2009, 12:38 AM   #197
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Last time i bought a front tire on my magna the 100-90-18 was 105 dollars it was a dunlop gt501 the rear tire was 140 bucks all prices before mounting and it was a dunlop elite II 140-90-16. A metzler in the same size was 150 bucks last time i bought one as well. Most motorcycles use wet clutches so you wanna avoid oil with excessive molybdenum content as well. + 1 on the chain thing i got atleast 2 seasons on mine before i'd replace it prod coulda got longer but didn't think i should try and push it.
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Old 07-12-2009, 01:21 AM   #198
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Explain the whole "motorcycle use wet clutches" thing?

Also, whats a "slipper clutch"? its like the third time I have heard that word used in conjunction with clutch.

Also, whats an "O-ring" Chain? How is it different then a regular chain?

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As to the look, what can I say? I like it. Truth be told, one of the factors that influenced my purchase of an SV650 is that aesthetically, I felt it bore a lot in common with the ole' Hawk. The big round headlight, the shape of the bodywork, the simple lines. I can't explain it, I just think the Little Bird is a timeless design. And I do hope that Honda brings it back.

That's why I like the first gen SV as well, or rather all old school looking bikes in general. Its the round classy look that all modern bikes lack.

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Another bike you might want to look at is a Magna. I rode a buddy's V45 Magna out in the local twisties and being a sportbike/racer guy I was surprised how much I liked it. It handled well for what it was, and was very comfortable. The rear suspension travel is a little short but not too bad. He sold it for $2K, I probably should have bought it. Way better than a Harley if you are even remotely considering one of those overpriced pieces of...
Magna looks like its in the same boat as the V-Max. I will look into it.

I was kidding about the Harley.

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Old 07-12-2009, 01:38 AM   #199
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A wet clutch is a clutch immersed in the engine's oil, using a stack of internally splined steel discs, and externally splined friction discs. The steels are splined to the crank shaft, while the friction discs are splined to the clutch basket, which is bolted to the transmission input shaft. A plate on the top of this stack is spring loaded, which clamps all the discs together to give you a locked up drivetrain. By pulling in the lever you push this clamping plate off it's springs, removing the friction from the discs, and allowing you to stop in gear or switch gears while moving.

During hard negative acceleration, there is very little weight on the rear tire, which compared to a car has already very little grip. If while breaking heavily, you also downshift, the engine will easily bring the rpm's of the rear tire down, making it lock up momentarily until the bike's speed matches the rpm the slightly slower rpm the engine is spinning the rear tire at. I think it's kind of a fun and interesting feeling on the road, but while racing it's apparently bad. A slipper clutch, which I can't give a good description of what it physically does, stops this rear wheel lockup.

O-ring chains have o-rings on either side of every pin, non o-ring chains obviously don't. O-ring chains are better, more expensive, and have reason to be, but I don't know enough about them to tell you why. I did however just buy a $30 non o-ring chain (o-ring version was $88) and I am slightly worried about it. I'm not the best when it comes to chain lubrication, it gets everywhere and I hate having to clean it up, so my solution is to not do it

Disclaimer: I don't own a slipper clutch and it's been a few years since I last replaced my bike's clutch, so forgive me if some of my explanations are slightly off, I also wanted to type this fast to try to beat mr. perez to the punch.

Edit: dunlops metzler are great tires, but also two of the most expensive brands out there. You can get a slightly less great tire for much much less, which is just as safe. You might be sacrificing some ultimate grip but if you're using it as a commuter bike, it's not a big deal. The "cheap" tires you should avoid are all the ones made in China. Seriously.
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Old 07-12-2009, 02:27 AM   #200
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I agree on the china remark but i figure if its the only 2 peices of rubber keeping me stable at 140 mph then i want them to be as good as possible. Granted most uber bikes cbr1000rr etc run tires that are nearly or over 200$ a tire and only last maybe 5k miles at best with all the torque those bikes put down.
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