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Old 04-14-2011, 06:51 PM   #1
dylanmo
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Default Larger bike to commute for newishbie

Looking for a bike recommendation. I've got a 2002 Kawi EX500, which I put about 7k miles on it over a year. The deal is such that if I don't ride it to work, I don't ever ride it. But it's a 45 mile / 60 minute trip, 2-lane and interstate mix - so if I'm working long hours, I don't feel like also getting beat up the whole way there and back on that little buzzbomb. If it were a 20 minute commute, that would be a completely different story.

Now, I'm being a huge puss about it of course, BUT if I were to get a larger bike that wouldn't eat a relatively inexperienced rider up, what might that be? Thinking used, something made in the naughties. I know a VFR is hated - would that be so bad? An FJR crossed my mind too, but I'm thinking that might be too big of a jump.

thanks for any recommendations.
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Old 04-14-2011, 08:00 PM   #2
A Star Ride
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Consider a winshield and some lower air deflectors, that will increase your stamina for sure. A larger/heavier bike will "hold it's own" on the freeway better, and likely give you some cargo room for raingrear, lunch & whatever you need for work.

With 7K miles, even though in less then a year, I wouldn't say you are a newbee, I know people who call themselves seasoned riders who haven't done 7K mikes in the last 10 years. I'd rather see you on a big twin/bagger then someone who only gets theirs out between easter & deer season, on Saturday afternoons, when it's dry, and over 80 degrees, if the kids/grandkids don't have a ballgame, and noone is in town visiting from out of town. Sorry rant over.
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Old 04-14-2011, 08:52 PM   #3
trenttheuncatchable
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A VFR is not a bad idea. Though you really shouldn't be complaining about a 45 mile commute on a 500R. Maybe look at a Suzuki GSX650F.
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Old 04-15-2011, 04:30 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trenttheuncatchable View Post
A VFR is not a bad idea. Though you really shouldn't be complaining about a 45 mile commute on a 500R. Maybe look at a Suzuki GSX650F.
I was thinking the same thing, Trent, or perhaps the Ninja 650R. I would not recommend the SV650S, simply because of ergonomics. Another option might be a late-model Honda Nighthawk 750 -- def. a bit more power, but not so much as to get you in trouble... and it has decent brakes and easily modulated clutch.
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Old 04-15-2011, 06:22 AM   #5
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With 7,000 miles and over a year of riding experience, I'd say you're ready for whatever bike you want. By now you've got the muscle memory and subconcious systems management in place. Assuming you aren't crashing every other week!

The FJs are cool and easy to ride. The old VFRs are pretty small; the new one is substantially bigger. They aren't cheap!
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Old 04-15-2011, 06:23 AM   #6
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Thanks, all. Perhaps the nighthawk or GSX with full-nerd-fairings is the way to go for me. I'm just at the point where I can ride a ton if I commute, and ride never if I don't commute with the bike. It's not a power complaint for me, because I'm certainly not using it all up on the 500.

I'd happily trade 15 HP for more straight-line stability and a lot less of the parts-bin-turd feel, because lately I just want to get in the station wagon and point the hood ornament down the road.
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Old 04-15-2011, 06:37 AM   #7
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Stay away from the wagon, I repeat, stay away from the wagon.
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Old 04-15-2011, 03:56 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dylanmo View Post
Thanks, all. Perhaps the nighthawk or GSX with full-nerd-fairings is the way to go for me. I'm just at the point where I can ride a ton if I commute, and ride never if I don't commute with the bike. It's not a power complaint for me, because I'm certainly not using it all up on the 500.

I'd happily trade 15 HP for more straight-line stability and a lot less of the parts-bin-turd feel, because lately I just want to get in the station wagon and point the hood ornament down the road.
Perhaps a Ducati Monster 800? No parts-bin-turd feel there!
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Old 04-15-2011, 04:04 PM   #9
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I'm with Morbo, if you rode 7k in one year, pick the bike you want and dont look back. I recommend used though, have someone else take the financial hit.
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