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Zakman 01-23-2007 03:04 AM

Re: Returning rider - Tall rider...
Make sure that after a 15 year absence you get a bike that can at least go 150 mph. Try and find something that will lift the front wheel off the ground in any gear whether you are leaned over or straightened up. It's also very important to find something that has enough horsepower to spin the back tire when ever possible. If you can't seem to find something that will make all of these scenarios possible go to a Suzuki shop and try on a DL650.


acecycleins 01-23-2007 03:13 AM

Re: Returning rider - Tall rider...
So, you're looking at nekked or semi-nekked bikes, is that where you want to stay? If so, the monster is a great bike but reality is that you'll hate the riding position if you ride more than 50 miles. The "original" FZ1 is a great bike with better ergos than the 919. Here are a few others, go all used because you never know how your taste will change over the next few months: Yamaha FZ1, Kawasaki ZRX, BMW R1150R, Suzuki Bandit 1200s, Triumph Speed III. All can be had for between $4500-$6500 used. Check service records on them and ask the bloggers in any of the individual forums for things to look for (small fixes, upgrades, any warranty work) while shopping. Good luck and remember to be patient while shopping. It will help keep the headaches in check.

seruzawa 01-23-2007 03:44 AM

Re: Returning rider - Tall rider...
You also might check out some used Triumphs. Legends, Bonnevilles, Thunderbirds and Tigers all have good ergos.

mem03 01-23-2007 03:45 AM

Re: Returning rider - Tall rider...
I'm 6'4" w/32" inseam. I ride a 2002 Triumph Sprint RS, and aside from the bars being *slightly* lower than I would like it's an excellent fit. Seat's not too hard on the keister either. Not too heavy, not too light. WAY more than enough power for me, and about 50 mpg on the road.

Just an option to think about ...

jesskauffman 01-23-2007 03:51 AM

Re: Returning rider - Tall rider...
Sounds like you need some bike advice from Yossef. Since he's a fellow lanky guy who tests bikes for a living, he ought to be able to point you in the right direction.

gbrummett 01-23-2007 04:27 AM

If you are that tall and want a bike that seems big under you might try...

Buell Ulysses

BMW R 1200 GS Adventure

BMW R 1200 GS

KTM 950 Adventure

Suzuki V-Strom

Triumph Tiger

rebis69 01-23-2007 04:42 AM

Re: Returning rider - Tall rider...
Acecycleins is pretty much on the mark, I would really give the Suzuki Bandit 1200's a look, very good riding position, also, check out the different cruiser type bikes, add some highway bars and you can pretty much customize your riding position.

MTRHEAD75 01-23-2007 04:53 AM

Re: Returning rider - Tall rider...
I'm 6'5" with a 36" inseam and i ride a 2002 buell x1 lighting for such a little bike it has a surprising amount of leg room. Just my two cents.

buellerbud 01-23-2007 04:54 AM

Re: Returning rider - Tall rider...
If you decide to check out Triumphs, take a look at the 900 Scrambler as well.

ScottMcCrary 01-23-2007 04:56 AM

Re: Returning rider - Tall rider...
I second the Triumph Tiger as a good choice. Comfort, good power, good road manners, and versatile. at 6'0", I'm just big enough to ride it comfortably once I put a Corbin seat on it. It will fit 6'4" quite well. Make the simple addition of bar risers if you want to take it off-road. Used ones, only two-three years old, are available for $6500 or less, with not too many miles on them. (Many people hang onto them and put lots of miles on them- they are good for 100k+ with little trouble.)

Fenton 01-23-2007 05:22 AM

Re: Returning rider - Tall rider...
It would also be important to know how well you rode your nighthawk 15 years ago. Some of the bikes mentioned above like the fz-1, s3 and zrx have got some serious power.

Were you ready to move up to that much bike when you stopped riding? If so, shop away. If not, +1 for the Suzuki Dl650.

bmcd308 01-23-2007 05:24 AM

Re: FZ-6 has lots of legroom
I am 6'6" tall and ride an 06 Yamaha FZ-6. Its only downside is that with the stock windscreen the turbulent part of the flow hits your face and neck. This is (supposedly) easily fixed with a Puig windscreen, although I do not have one. The bike has lots of legroom and is comfortable with my 35 inch inseam.

That said, I think I am buying a VFR, because I want something that looks a little more like what I think a motorcycle is supposed to look like.

Have fun be safe.

BrowningBAR 01-23-2007 05:35 AM

Re: Returning rider - Tall rider...

It's interesting that Ace and gbrummett pounded the effort for tiered licensing and yet were the first to recommend "high-powered" bikes.

Why do we need the government to mandate a program when we could take it upon ourselves to point a new buyer in the right direction.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not attacking either poster. Ace has some great dealer info he shares with us and gbrummett has some great user experience on Buells.

But we have a buyer that hasn't ridden in 15 years, seems to be taking the safety course for the first time and only has experience on a nighthawk for an undetermined amount of time.

Wouldn't a KLR 650, EX500, GS500 or even one of the Hyosung 250cc versions of the SV that be a better choice for a full size rider looking for, essentially, a first bike?

I just don't get why we need government to step in when we can do it ourselves.

bbtowns 01-23-2007 05:39 AM

Re: Returning rider - Tall rider...
After a 15 year absense an FZ1 and the like sounds like too much bike. It would be for me. The V-Strom 650 is an excellent option, fast enough to get in plenty of trouble and pass cars going 80 like they were settin' still, but not truly crazy fast like an FZ1. You'd be surprised how much fun 70 hp can be. They seem to hold their value really well too. An FZ6 might be another good option.

Kreb_Cycle 01-23-2007 05:44 AM

Re: Returning rider - Tall rider...
Point taken, but keep in mind the ex500, gs500 or the Hyosung 250 could be cramped for a 6'4" guy. I'm 6'3" and I rode a little ninja 250 and also a 500 fora while (the 250 actually fit better than the 500) but I fold up pretty well. The GS500 feels really goofy. The KLR would be a good choice though.

Currently I ride a sv650s which is also probably too small for most taller guys but it works for me as long as I take breaks. Works great for commuting though.

BrowningBAR 01-23-2007 05:59 AM

Re: Returning rider - Tall rider...
That's why I named the KLR and the Hyosung 250. The Hyosung is an SV650 with a smaller engine in it.

But the point is, as soon as some one asks what to ride, people give completely opposite advice from the thread they were on previously beating the drum for government intrusion because people make poor choices and kill themselves.

Here is an opportunity to move someone in the right direction and we have comments like "You'd be surprised how much fun 70 hp can be" when we had people giving stories about how a new rider wreck on a bike that had just a little more than that when they were attempting to defend government mandating tiered licensing.

Now, apart from that, how is the wind protection on the sv650s being as tall as you are? Does the wind beat down on your helmet? Especially since sportier positioned bikes are usually geared towards people under 6Â’.

gr8shandini 01-23-2007 06:12 AM

Re: Returning rider - Tall rider...
I second the Speed Triple (not just because I own one). If you liked the riding position of your Nighthawk, you'll feel right at home on an S3. I'm only 5'9", but ran into the same situation you did when shopping for a Monster. The riding position is just plain weird.

As for being too much bike, if you had at least a couple of years on the Honda and the MSF as a refresher, I think you'll be OK. Below 5000 rpm it's pretty docile. Just make sure you're rolling onto the power above that (as opposed to whacking the throttle open) because the front wheel will come off the ground quick in the lower gears.

Fenton 01-23-2007 06:19 AM

Re: Returning rider - Tall rider...
My two bikes have about 100 horse difference. I frequently pick the Klr for a sporty back road jaunt. With 38 hp bulging and clawing at the ground, I realize I don't use half on my Triumphs potential most of the time.

SRMark 01-23-2007 06:20 AM

Re: Returning rider - Tall rider...
Stick some highway pegs on that Monster. A padded and studded sissy bar will let you stretch out too. Get one a them dumbass shorty helmets to complete the ensemble. Now you can ride that bike of your dreams in style and comfort.

longride 01-23-2007 06:33 AM

Re: Returning rider - Tall rider...
You forget apes man. Get it right will ya?

nesbit 01-23-2007 06:39 AM

Re: Returning rider - Tall rider...
Consider the physical dynamics, more importantly, test ride your dream machines, to determine what ergonomic agony you'll be in after an hour of riding. That should narrow the field considerably. Yeah, that Monster, FZ, Buell, et al, are all eye candy, but after the honeymoon, what will your skeletal and muscular systems be communicating to ya?

SRMark 01-23-2007 06:50 AM

Re: Returning rider - Tall rider...
Slippin' in my old age.

Gritboy 01-23-2007 06:53 AM

Re: HUm....
I second that motion along with acecycleins' list mentioned above.

There are plenty of good "tall human" bikes that won't make you a pretzel.

obandoj 01-23-2007 06:54 AM

Re: Returning rider - Tall rider...
250 Rebel!

Gritboy 01-23-2007 06:57 AM

Re: FZ-6 has lots of legroom
Huh? The current VFR's look goofy as hell -- older style was slammin' though.

I personally think having the engine partially or fully exposed -- as on naked, quarter or half-faired bikes -- looks like a "proper" motorcycle and fully faired bikes look odd. Mind you I think some full-faired are sexy as hell, but deviate from a true motorcycle look.

Gritboy 01-23-2007 07:10 AM

Re: Returning rider - Tall rider...
At 6', of the bikes I've owned, my '04 WeeStrom is one of the most enjoyable, well-rounded bike I've ridden. It's fast enough (my old ZX9R was too fast), handles well (with better rubber and a fork brace), is easy to maintain (good ol' SV650 engine), gets decent mileage, and is comfy for 1000+ mile rides (I replaced my buffety stock screen with a Verio touring screen). It also has good around town torque in the low rpm band (the Fz6 is a revver), so you may prefer the laid back engine over a rev happy one.

It's not as sexy as 1098, or as sporty as a GSX-R, or a raw as a Speed Triple, but I'm past my clip-on hunchback riding and find the upright seat and wide bars give me a relaxed command of the road. Nuff said.

Go sit on some bikes at dealerships and check craigslist for some awesome bike deals.

fumanchu 01-23-2007 07:12 AM

Re: Returning rider - Tall rider...
if you're learning again, may i suggest a suzuki bandit, but the 600s version.

600s' can be had for a very reasonable price, and they won't rip your arms off if you acidentally open up the throttle. on the other hand, they have more power than a learner needs, and are definitely fast enough to pass sport cars. the riding position is very comfortable, they get around 40+ mpg, the engine is simple and very reliable, there are tons of after market parts for them. all that and a half fairing for highway touring.

i mention the 600s bandit because it would be a decent bike for a biker re-entering the sport after so long away....that is, you are likely to drop it once or twice on your journey towards reacclimating yourself to the world of riding, and you might want to have a learner to get you through the dangerous "drop, curse, scoop up your pride and drive on" phase.

i am biased because that is what i did with my suzuki bandit 600s. i learned on (and dropped) the bandit so that, with a new bmw 1200 or buell ulysses, i didn't have to.

if you read the frugal fliers article here at, it will help you to compare the bandit 600s to your old nighthawk.

good luck in the search :)

12er 01-23-2007 07:18 AM

Re: Returning rider - Tall rider...
Long legs and cruisers do not mix. At least not for me, combine a 36" inseam with a 20" something seat height and you get knees where the bars need to be.

SeanAlexander 01-23-2007 07:37 AM

Buell XB-9sx "City X" Has a fantastic -almost dual purpose- riding position, but has a sportbike chassis and great handling.

BrowningBAR 01-23-2007 08:01 AM

Re: Returning rider - Tall rider...
Buell Ulysses

BMW R 1200 GS Adventure

BMW R 1200 GS

KTM 950 Adventure

Suzuki V-Strom

Triumph Tiger


Yamaha FZ1

Yamaha FZ-6

Kawasaki ZRX

BMW R1150R

Suzuki Bandit 1200s

Suzuki bandit 600s

Triumph Speed III

So, when everyone was preaching that they wanted and we NEED tiered licensing legislation you guys meant that the first tier (and someone that hasn't ridden in 15 years IS a first tier, especially since he is just signing up for the safety course) would be bikes between 65hp (DL650) and 129hp (FZ1)?!

I had no idea. If that's the case, than bring on tiered licensing. I was so very wrong. I am sorry I doubted so many of you on this forum.

Gyorgy 01-23-2007 08:08 AM

Re: Returning rider - Tall rider...
I am 6'4" myself and after 30 years of distant love with Moto Guzzi - based on a MO review by Yossef and a try - I now ride a Breva 1100. It is somwhere between a real naked and a tour bike, with all necessary lagguage boxes, horse power, speed and torque. A very comfortable (!!) bike in the long run. Check it out here:


acecycleins 01-23-2007 08:09 AM

Re: Returning rider - Tall rider...
Yes- he'd be tier 1 w/ option of testing for higher tiers based on his manditory training class results.

BrowningBAR 01-23-2007 08:21 AM

Re: Returning rider - Tall rider...
But there is no mandatory training class right now. The current safety course does not prepare you for the above listed bikes.

Yet, we are recommending these as a first bike from a 15 year layoff from a rider that has an undefined skill level?! And that level is pointing more to quite low than high.

fumanchu 01-23-2007 08:27 AM

Re: Returning rider - Tall rider...
i see your point, BAR; and i am for tiered licensing. but i suppose we are all assuming his current skill level to fit our opinions. me included.

this guy might have had 15 years riding experience before he took his 15 year break. he has a license. if the OP has minimal riding experience, then i would definitely recommend something more like a gs500f or yamaha virago 250.

can the original poster give us a little more info about his riding history and skill level?

cheers :)

gr8shandini 01-23-2007 08:36 AM

Re: Returning rider - Tall rider...
Just for the record, I was one of the ones that was saying that tiered licensing is idiotic for precisely this reason. If this guy's been out of the game for 15 years, he's at least 30 years old and also has enough sense to take the MSF course before buying a bike. Obviously, he can't be trusted with anything bigger than a Rebel 125.

Alaskan18724 01-23-2007 08:56 AM

Re: Returning rider - Tall rider...
That's a good list.

seruzawa 01-23-2007 09:19 AM

This is the Central Scrutinizer
You are correct. Re-education orders are being issued for those who have failed to follow proper orthodoxy.

BrowningBAR 01-23-2007 09:34 AM

Re: This is the Central Scrutinizer
Excellent use of a Zappa reference.

pdad13 01-23-2007 09:37 AM

Re: XB-9SX
Sean, good to meet you in person at the IMS.

(And I like the XB-9sx too.)

manalagi001 01-23-2007 09:40 AM

Re: Returning rider - Tall rider...
BMW. I'm 5-6 and hate most of them, but you may love them. Many BMW models are tailor made for tall guys. Plus, you can test ride a wide variety of BMW models; BMW dealers are good about that. If you like the Monster, you might one day want to look into a used motoguzzi centauro;


That's a -big- oss naked italian bike. They look killer in metallic roulette green with red accents, and sound amazing.

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