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ditchbanker
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   Posted 8/18/2011 12:35 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Background, I've been riding about 6 years. First bike, FT500 single. 2nd, DR650 (still have), 3rd, 1984 GL1200 STANDARD, which I also still have (last year w/out the crap all over it).

I have quite doing as much dual sport riding because I've found my work schedule impedes on riding w/ others, and I hate getting too far into the boonies on my own. I really like my 1200 quite a bit, but am concerned with the age. Not that there's a problem with the bike, it's well kept, performs well and looks pretty good for its age. However, on day 3 of a tour recently, the speedo cable broke in the middle of NOWHERE with 0 chance of me finding a replacement (almost a week later, I'm still waiting for one back home). I know, speedo cable is not the end of the world, but had something more important, even a throttle cable, gone out, I would have been stuck with no chance of replacement. Got me thinking that a newer bike might not give me that worry.

So I've started looking around. I was originally thinking that something in the 750-800 cc might be good, since my wife got her own bike and I don't worry about passengers anymore. However, I'm worried I'll be cramped and if I hit a place like Montana again, I'll be fighting to keep at 75 mph, or it'll at least be fatiguing. I don't want wind protection. I know, I just said I don't want fatigue, but I like nice clean air and have never tried a windscreen that kept me happy. I don't want chain. Done it, don't want to do it more. I want reliable. I don't want TOO much maintenance. I've got no grief with oil and filters, even did most of my own tire changes on the DR (tube tires and all), I've done valve adjustments on the DR, but those were pretty straight forward on a 1 lunger. Bikes with automatically adjusting valves would be nice, not mandatory. For luggage, if it has it, fine, if not, I'll put it on. I prefer a fairly standard sitting position. I've ridden bigger bikes (1500 plus) and they're a little fun, but pricey, usually worse fuel mileage and insurance, and, in all honesty, more than I probably need. A decent 1200 ought to have all the power I needed, some smaller bikes probably do, too. I also want decent cornering clearance. Since having a child, my riding has mellowed out and I'm not looking for a supermoto or a sport bike, but I don't want to be scraping doing the speed limit in every corner.

Looking at the Sportsters, they sound like everything I want. I have, however, heard they can carry a lot of problems. I rented one once and was loosing parts along the highway. Really too bad because I really wanted to like it.

So, what should I be looking at? Life being what it is, I probably won't get anything this riding season, but if I can save my pennies, next year could be it. Would probably look for a newer used bike, but new MAY be a possibility.

This ended up a lot longer than I intended, but can anyone tell me if there's a bike out there that fits my needs? Should I give the Sportster another chance? Am I being too picky? Any other input?

Thanks,

Ditchbanker
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el SID
merely a man equipped with a bag a seedless grapes



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   Posted 8/18/2011 3:43 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Any second now a swarm of bmw lovers are going to bombard this post,with comments of love and joy. There right. Also,someone may hint at a buell. maybe to sporting,but fun,fun,fun,used only... From the sounds of it,maybe ducati 1200 monster or even a 900 would be magic. But the chain excludes it. Moto guzzi,mmm kinda high maintenance,but oh so lovely,funny my ex was italian,she was high maintenance as well.... So you are sorta left with,BMW good luck,lots of good ones. Enter bmw lovers stage right..... 


  the best bike out.... is the one your on...
current hacks
1996 honda vfr
track hack? 2012 tuono rsv4 aprc? who knows,cant decide....
1973 kawasaki h1
1998 suzuki rm 125

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WhiteKnite
Exploring Korea



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   Posted 8/18/2011 10:09 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
el SID said...
Any second now a swarm of bmw lovers are going to bombard this post,with comments of love and joy. There right. Also,someone may hint at a buell. maybe to sporting,but fun,fun,fun,used only... From the sounds of it,maybe ducati 1200 monster or even a 900 would be magic. But the chain excludes it. Moto guzzi,mmm kinda high maintenance,but oh so lovely,funny my ex was italian,she was high maintenance as well.... So you are sorta left with,BMW good luck,lots of good ones. Enter bmw lovers stage right.....


Not sure if I qualify as a BMW lover yet, I barely qualify as an owner. I had a similar set of wants for a bike, and ended up on a F800ST. Aside from the windscreen it fits all of your criteria. What about the bandit 1250 or some of the big naked standards? Triumph? I suggest looking at the websites for the different brands, and narrowing it down to a few bikes from there. Then go out to the dealerships and check them out in person, maybe test ride them.


2010 Hyosung GV650
2011 BMW F800ST

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ditchbanker
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   Posted 8/18/2011 10:17 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Interesting thing is, I hadn't even really considered any of the Euro brands. You're right, though, among them BMW's the one I would find most interesting. Pricey, though. The fact that my cc ceiling is right where most of their bikes are is pretty convenient, though.
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WhiteKnite
Exploring Korea



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   Posted 8/18/2011 11:11 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Yeah, the pricing wasn't an issue for me here, since all bikes here cost at least that much. Have you considered the FZ8 or the Suzuki GSR750 (Do you guys have that model?) There was a middleweight nakeds shootout in the May '11 Cycle World you might want to check out.


2010 Hyosung GV650
2011 BMW F800ST

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Gone in 60
Lone Commuter of the Apocalypse



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   Posted 8/19/2011 4:17 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Since you posted this in the Cruiser section, I'll throw my hat in the ring for a Honda VTX 1300C. Compared to a Sportster, it's a much nicer riding bike in my opinion. Enough power to cruise at 85 all day. Shaft drive, water cooled. Does call for a valve adjustment every 8k, but I can do this in an hour in my garage.

There are a ton of them out there, and a C model with low mileage should be in the $5000 range. To break down the models, the VTX 1300C has more sporty fenders, and normal pegs that don't tend to scrape in the turns. The 1300R and 1300S (R stands for Retro, S stands for spoke wheels) models have floorboards that drag when you get enthusiastic in the twisties. The R and S models also look less sporty and more "old school cruiser".

My bike is a VTX 1300R. I commute to work on it at least 3 times a week (swap every other day with my Nighthawk), and it performs flawlessly. Plus, you can get a removable windshield - pop it on when you have a long-distance flog and don't want to get too beat up, pop it off when you want wind in your face. Best of both worlds.


Work to ride, Ride to work
Honda VTX 1300R & 750 Nighthawk

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jon
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   Posted 8/19/2011 7:00 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
ditchbanker said...
I prefer a fairly standard sitting position. I've ridden bigger bikes (1500 plus) and they're a little fun, but pricey, usually worse fuel mileage and insurance, and, in all honesty, more than I probably need. A decent 1200 ought to have all the power I needed, some smaller bikes probably do, too. I also want decent cornering clearance. Since having a child, my riding has mellowed out and I'm not looking for a supermoto or a sport bike, but I don't want to be scraping doing the speed limit in every corner.


there's plenty of standard bikes that should fit that bill such as sv650, er-6n, gladius, fz8, z-1000, etc. if you want to pay less for great values such as great dependability, buying a japanese brand standard model is it because a buyer can get it for thousands less than the listed msrp. therefore, making the actual cost even less than standard models from the american and european brands. buying used would not be a bad idea either due to their reliability reps.

some of the standard models mentioned have smaller displacements but it actually make more power than many v-twin crusiers with much bigger displacements. not to mention it is also much lighter and more agile.

sv650:

Post Edited (jon) : 8/20/2011 6:36:39 AM GMT

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WhiteKnite
Exploring Korea



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   Posted 8/19/2011 10:00 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Jon has a good point. What you think of as a 600-800cc bike in the cruiser world is as different from a sport/standard in that range as a 1980's Caprice V8 and a 2011 Camaro V8, and then you have the significant weight and handling differences.


2010 Hyosung GV650
2011 BMW F800ST

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Easy Rider 2
Central Illinois / Central Florida

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   Posted 8/20/2011 9:05 AM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
ditchbanker said...
This ended up a lot longer than I intended, but can anyone tell me if there's a bike out there that fits my needs? Should I give the Sportster another chance? Am I being too picky? Any other input?
You have enough varied riding experience that what we tell you really shouldn't matter much.......or at all.
 
Get what you really want and can afford......but be real sure on both of those points.  smilewinkgrin
 
P.S.  There is no "perfect" bike for most riders with only 6 years in the saddle.  It took me about 35 years and about 20 different bikes to find mine. 
 
 


 
 

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ditchbanker
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   Posted 8/20/2011 2:10 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
I've spent time looking at the SV, it's a great looking bike, and I've ridden the DL650, which is a very similar engine (again, with terrible turbulence over the windshield). I've sat on the SV, and the seat felt pretty confined. That was one thing that I really disliked about it. On a long mile day I felt I'd be looking for a place to wiggle to that didn't exist. Is that more of an issue in my mind than in reality? It also has a chain drive, but I might have to compromise on one or two of my criteria.

The reason I put this in cruisers is because I like the idea of a roomy bike I can move around on. Still not married to the idea, though. I like the way that my gold wing has a big comfy saddle, but sits high, lets me be spread out, and still has some cornering clearance (although not unlimitted) I'm not sure why bikes like that aren't more popular.
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jon
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   Posted 8/20/2011 5:28 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
ditchbanker said...

The reason I put this in cruisers is because I like the idea of a roomy bike I can move around on.


due to the fact that not all humans are built the same, your best bet is to go out there and try on as many bikes as possible and make your decision from there. it doesn't do any good asking others about subjective things that are based on personal input and feel such as fitment. there are many new and used options out, one's bound to work.
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Capt_Teddy
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   Posted 8/21/2011 10:07 AM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Hi All-just joined this group as I own a few bikes and just wanted to find an agnostic toward brand forum-I just went through the selection process as the OP and have a bias toward BMW and own one and a small 750 Shadow-I rode the VTX 1300 and it's a nice ride as pointed out. However I was smitten by the ride the new Triumph Thunderbird 1600 as well as the perfect fit for my frame. Fit is not an over rated issue here, it's nearly everything (save for price). But if your shopping new then insist on a test ride-for me the smooth power of the Thunderbird was a fresh break from the old BMW shake and the Shadows buzzy nature. It's a belt drive-perhaps better than a shaft? 6 speeds plus about 50mpg. It's a "stylish" cruiser that I can flat foot which balances out it's 800 lb weight. That much bulk is deceptive as this bike really corners-feels like a big version of my R90/6. Big plus one to try prior to buy. If I go to a dealer and show up on a bike they usually let me ride one of theirs. I tend to lug around a fairly substantial tool kit with me and it has a good selection of basic jury rigging products-I have a selection of ty-wraps (zip ties), 3 feet of stainless steel wire, tubes of JB Weld Quick, small roll of duct tape. Those items can rig a broken cable or even a cracked case for a get home repair. I also carry spare clutch and throttle cables with me. Also have small jumpers and volt meter and a small air compressor and plugs. The GL 1200 is a really great bike but it is getting a bit hard but not impossible to get parts. How about a newer GL1500 Valkyrie for a replacement? Sweet ride and so smooth....so many bikes and so little time.

Capt T

Post Edited (Capt_Teddy) : 8/21/2011 8:13:24 PM GMT

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GeoffG
Instant Classic



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   Posted 8/28/2011 4:36 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
el SID said...
Also,someone may hint at a buell. maybe to sporting,but fun,fun,fun,used only...

That'd be me. Buell. Specifically, Ulysses XT:

1200cc--check
small fairing--check
no chain--check
hydraulic lifters-check
luggage--standard on XT--check
standard riding position--check
affordable--check
cornering clearance--in spades--check


Even offers the ability to travel off pavement with ease, although it's not a dirt bike. Reliable as a stone. And as Sid says, fun, fun, fun!
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Smitty
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   Posted 10/21/2011 11:23 AM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.

Eight years ago I did mention I was looking for another sportbike.  Many suggestions for some knew I started riding back in '46.

Still I liked the '00 Honda 929 & the normal 1000 of '05 was with electric steering head damper, exhaust cans were under the pillion sadde though I never carry anyone pillion.

I knew the '03 Honda 954 was even better then my '00 Honda 929.  SO that was my own answer inside my weak brain.  Like the bike as it is just a bit better then the 929.  Actually I contacted the Honda disriburter asking if they had an '03 with darker colours & it was yes.

True I might have been sensible to buy a Kwacker like Lou, but that was my doing or whatever.


Remember all the others on the road are crazy & out to kill you.

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