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Old 06-02-2005, 01:31 PM   #61
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Default Re: Opinions on do it alls

I would have to agree. If long distance is the thing, but on the cheap (but not a cheap bike), the v-strom 650, and for a little more, the vstrom 1000 (for a little more). Has recieved high marks for it's sportiness, ride, and utility. I really like the looks, and the features. Does have a chain though. Of course if money is no object, go for the BMW's.

Then again, I know people that take long trips (200 to 400 miles - not a world record) on naked standards like the FZ6 and a 919. ME. I wouldn't do long trips on a cbr600f4i or a sv650s due to the sporty ergos.
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Old 06-04-2005, 11:54 PM   #62
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Default Re: Opinions on do it alls


I got my motorcycle endorsement at age 18. I'm 54 now. I got myself in a bad accident in my 20s and didn't ride for about 25 years...a good decision for me at the time.

In '99, after reading a lot of material and seeing "Art of the Motorcycle" at the Field Museum in Chicago, I decided to try again, but in a more grown-up way and with less city riding.

I looked at Harleys first and had decided that the Road King Classic was the bike I wanted. New ones had a one year lead time and used ones cost $22,000 with the old Evo engine...the Twin Cam had already been released. Well, I took a trip out to Rockford to see if I could find my Road King at a little more realistic price. The dealer also carried BMW bikes.

One look at BMW bikes and their prices compared to the Harleys was all it took. Harleys are farm equipment by comparison. I bought a slightly used '99 R1100RT and never looked at another Harley again. I bought good riding gear, a larger windscreen for it and put about 15,000 miles on it that year.

I traded that bike with 62,000 miles on it. Now, I'm on my 3rd RT, a 2005 R1200RT in dark graphite. It's smoother, lighter, better handling and lest thirsty than my first RT. It's also got 25 more HP at the crank. I love it. I'm still looking for a bike I'd rather own. Haven't found it yet. I think I was lucky to find the RT first.

There is a small but rabid following for BMW bikes and there is good reason for it. They are terrific all-round bikes that are made for real, functional riding on real roads. The suspensions are built to get you out of trouble and to handle rough roads in a stable manner, the engines are full of torque, the riding positions of all models are good enough to allow 500 mile days, but the best of them can be fixed up to handle much higher mileage. As someone has posted, there are a lot of 1150s coming out on the used market. I'd recommend an 1150 R, RS, RT or GS with twin spark (late '03 or '04).

The GS models handle very well on the thightest roads you can imagine and have extra suspension travel that soaks up potholes in the city, but you need to have a 30" inseam or higher or you'll feel a little awkward on the bike at low speeds. Great bike for taller people. The new 1200GS is brilliant, but will cost you some money.

You can get any of these 1150 models with under 40K miles (expect the same life in miles as that of a car for road bikes like this) for at or below $10K nicely equipped. Learn to maintain them. They're pretty simple in layout...Valve adjustment is really easy because the cylinders stick right out the sides of the bikes. (this can save your legs in a tipover) Tuned and adjusted properly, these bikes are ultra smooth and nice to ride long distances. Get good wind protection and never look back.

You aren't too far off with the Aprilia Futura either. It's a pretty nice bike and a few people are reported to put big miles on them. I love my '00 Mille R. I'm going to a track day tomorrow on it. The Aprilia V-twin is great and very reliable.

I prefer a driveshaft bike for touring, but there are a ton of people who maintain their chain bikes on the road and don't seem to mind.

Other bikes I like? Yamaha FJ1300...It's basically a sport bike with fairing, shaft drive, decent riding position and elecrically adjustable windscreen (BMW RT had this first and it's great). Huge power..It's a detuned R1....About 12K new and lots less used. Comes with hard luggage.

Honda ST1300 - This bike is a little heavy for what it does, but can be ridden long distance with grace. Great motor, shaft drive, but they're a little sloppy on the tight, twisty roads that I crave. (However, the guy who owns the Deal's Gap store owns one that's all tricked out. He swears by them.) There are used ones around for around the same as the Yamaha above. Comes with hard luggage, but doesn't look good with luggage off.

Triumph Sprint ST- Chain drive, non-adjustable screen, but great 3 cyl water cooled engine and a great bike. Comes with hard luggage and fairing.

All these come with hard luggage cases and good wind protection. Two things you ought to have for sport touring, which is what they call the kind of riding you're wanting to do.

Your bike should be comfortable to ride, but not cumbersome to ride hard if you want to. Gold Wings, for instance, are great touring bikes if that's what you want, but, maneuvers like making a U-turn on a side road are major projects on bikes like these! Ground clearance is also compromised a bit, so you're limited in the twisties.

Having a bike with more power is not a bad thing. Just use it when you need it and don't be an idiot. If the bike is too heavy, too tall for you, don't buy it. I personally don't want any bike that weighs over 700 lbs. The Honda ST 1300 is right there and that's as big as I care to go. I ride with some Gold Wings and am impressed with what they can do for their size, but it's more bike than I want to deal with.

Consider cornering clearance. It's important to have enough for the type of riding you'll encounter and important for emergency maneuvering as well.

....,but I could be wrong.
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Old 06-05-2005, 03:45 AM   #63
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Default (98-01) VFR - That's the way

It does it all with style, confidence, comfort and it's bullet proof.

Get the gear for touring kit (taller screen, cruise control, raisers, etc.) and take it to the highway.

Take touring kit out, take it to the twisties and drag it.

Futura's petrol usage is must worst.

What luck for the rulers that men do not think.
Adolf Hitler
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Old 06-08-2005, 05:29 PM   #64
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Default Re: Opinions on do it alls

I have some experience, but very little common sense. I have considered the R1150R a few times. Something about the raw straight forward mechanical approach.
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