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Old 05-19-2011, 10:16 PM   #1
jrider
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Default My 2nd bike decision

I could really use some help figuring out what my 2nd bike should be.

First a little background:

My first bike was a used 2004 SV650S, that I rode for 2 years, and then I sold a couple years ago. I haven't ridden much since, but recently I've started ridding a little, and I want to get a bike again. I'm 6'5", 210bs, so while the SV was a great learning bike, I obviously quickly out grew it. I'm also taking the MSF course this weekend as I want to get the rust off of my riding skills faster.

I am trying to find a bike that's a cross between a cruiser and a sport bike. Because of my size I probably need between 1000cc and 1400cc. I also want a used bike for under $5,000. I do not want a 700+ lbs bike, but I don't want a 400 lbs sport bike. Right now my two top choices are the 2007 Honda Spirit 1100 and the Suzuki S83. I prefer the Suzuki in every way except for the TINY gas tank which is only 3.2 gallons. Because I want to take several road trips, I feel that the small gas tank of the S83 IS a deal breaker, so I'm now leaning back towards the Honda Spirit 1100. I looked at the VTX1300s and it was just too big for my liking - again I don't want a 700lbs bike...

I plan on doing half city riding and half road trips, so that's why I want the comfort of a cruiser, but the manuverability of a sport bike. I'm also not 100% convinced that one of those two bikes is the one for me, so that's why I'm asking for those more experienced riders than me to help me find the right blend of cruiser/sport bike that can also handle my size without bogging me down.

Also are there any specific negative things about either the S83 or the Spirit 1100 that I should know about or consider?

Sorry this post is so long, but I wanted to give some explanation of why I'm looking at those bikes. Thanks for your advice!

Last edited by jrider : 05-19-2011 at 10:28 PM.
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Old 05-20-2011, 05:25 AM   #2
Morbo the Destroyer
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Seems to me you want a sport-touring bike. Usually they have the frame, engine, and suspension of a sport bike, with comfortable ergonomics and features like windscreens and luggage.

In the under $5k range you could find a nice Kawi Concours 1000, perhaps an older Yamaha FJ or Honda ST.
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Old 05-20-2011, 06:41 AM   #3
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Find yourself a Triumph 955i Tiger. If that's too 'unique'-looking for you, then look at the later 1050 Tiger.

They run like stink, are as reliable as a hammer, and they get good range. And, they'll fit you. The 955 has better bags.

Speaking of bags; if you like the Tiger's, don't buy one without the bags already installed. Unless you want to drop a grand on a set of Givi's.

Good luck!
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Old 05-20-2011, 06:47 AM   #4
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You are looking at cruisers, and you want one that isn't too heavy and has some get-up-and-go. The two I would have you look at are the Yamaha Warrior, or the Kawasaki MeanStreak (the later model, which has a few more cc's). You might have to up your spending amount to $6K if you want the Warrior, though. You should be able to find a MeanStreak for around $5K.

Another option is to get a TourTank (google it) for your S83.
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Old 05-20-2011, 06:57 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrider View Post
I prefer the Suzuki in every way except for the TINY gas tank which is only 3.2 gallons. Because I want to take several road trips, I feel that the small gas tank of the S83 IS a deal breaker,
My first thought was a sport-tourer....like a Honda ST or Kaw Concours........or even an old Goldwing. You can get some REAL good deals on some of them.

But I think you are putting too much importance on the "small" gas tank.
If you get ~40 mpg, that 3 gallons will get you ~120 miles or about two hours. No matter HOW comfortable the seat is, you really should stop every 2 hours or so for a few minutes to stretch and re-hydrate.

Even more than a first bike, this one is largely a matter of personal preference......so we can spout a bunch of opinions.......but the final decision should center around fit and comfort and condition of the bike and NOT be swayed too much by what we say OR by largely unimportant details like a small gas tank or a color or style that you don't "like".

Unless you plan to really load her down for trips.....2-up or a ton of bags, you really don't "need" an engine bigger than 900 CCs or so. Your weight has little to do with the amount of power you need.

And lastly, keep an open mind. For ~ 30 years of my riding career, I swore that I'd never own a cruiser.....nor would I ever have a RED bike. Now........I have a little red cruiser. Best all around bike I've ever owned.

Your second bike probably won't be your last one either.
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Old 05-20-2011, 08:36 AM   #6
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Default I do want 2-up riding + some gear

Thank you everyone for your replies. That helps me a lot!

One comment to one of the posts - I do want to do a fair amount of 2-up riding with a lady friend (5'10" 140 lbs), plus maybe throw some bags on there for a weekend trip. With my weight + hers that's 350 lbs between 2 riders, plus some gear puts me close to 370 to 390 lbs total of people and gear. Does that up my CC requirement at all above the 1000CC - 1400CC range that I'm looking at? Is the 2007 Honda Spirit 1100 enough to do that, plus go up and down the canyons out here in the Rocky Mountains?

Again half my time will be road trips with 2-up riding, while the other half will be riding around town by myself with no gear/bags etc. I know it seems like I'm looking for a less popular style bike with the requirements I have, as I don't want a full blown cruiser or touring bike. I'm not really interested in a big Gold Wing style bike or VTX 1300/1800 style bike as it's not what I want for the 50% around town riding. I know, I'm being a picky buttface now... Maybe the bike I'm looking for just doesn't exist and I simply need to make some sacrifices somewhere...

Also with regards to the gas tank - if it were just me riding out there with no other riding friends, I would be ok with the 3.2 gallon tank of the S83. However I want to go with other friends that have larger tanks, and I don't want to be the one slowing them down and making the stop more often on our long range weekend trips (300 to 1000 mile trips one way). I understand that we should be stopping every 2 hours for breaks etc, but realistically we won't always be able to do that in the rural parts of CO, WY, UT, ID, NV, MT, AZ, etc. I guess I could take the one poster's suggestion and look at a long-range add-on fuel tank, but wouldn't that just be an unnecessary ugly bulky upgrade? Do a lot of people really do that? I guess I'm open to it, but wouldn't it just be easier to get a bike with a ~4.3 gal tank (most bikes), vs sacrificing something that is important and settling on the 3.2 gal tank of the S83?

Sorry for all my rambling!
I haven't ventured away from sport bikes until now, so I'm in new waters here, and I greatly appreciate all of your feedback. Any thoughts are very welcomed at this point.
Thank you!

Last edited by jrider : 05-20-2011 at 08:38 AM.
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Old 05-20-2011, 08:44 AM   #7
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Default Warrior and MeanStreak questions...

[quote=trenttheuncatchable;260119]You are looking at cruisers, and you want one that isn't too heavy and has some get-up-and-go. The two I would have you look at are the Yamaha Warrior, or the Kawasaki MeanStreak (the later model, which has a few more cc's). You might have to up your spending amount to $6K if you want the Warrior, though. You should be able to find a MeanStreak for around $5K.


Also, I really like the look and feel of the MeanStreak, but by looking at pictures of them, my guess is they aren't great for 2-up riding on road trips. Something like a MeanStreak would be awesome for around town and short trips, but once I throw a 2nd rider on, is it a comfortable bike for 300-1000 mile trips if I got a backrest for her and some bags for our gear etc? If so, please let me know because that would be exactly what I'm looking for. Another potential downside for the MeanStreek 1600 is the wet weight is over 650lbs, which is at least 100 lbs heavier than I was hoping for... but maybe that's just a sacrifice I will need to make...

Something strong and sporty and maneuverable for around town, but still comfortable enough for long trips with 2-up riding = PERFECT!

Thanks again for everyone's help!

Last edited by jrider : 05-20-2011 at 08:47 AM.
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Old 05-20-2011, 09:00 AM   #8
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You're 6'5" and she is 5'10".

That's... let's see... carry the 7...square root...

Okay, that's about 12 feet of leg you've got to put somewhere. And, unless you drug her, the pillion seat needs to be somewhat comfortable.

You are going to need a bike with some serious grunt to haul the two of you and whatever you add as luggage; and I'd recommend a Fuel-Injected bike, since riding in the mountains is not where a carburetor likes to be.

So you do have a bit of a problem, since you want a bike that can do the touring gig, but also be useful around town. For $5K.

That's a good one. I'll need to think on this for a while.

To aid in your quest, here is the bestest search engine: motorcycles and powersports : craigslist eBay kijiji mash : United States

Tally-ho!
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Old 05-20-2011, 09:43 AM   #9
trenttheuncatchable
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jrider .. you're looking at cruisers. Cruisers, in general, are heavy bikes. A "sportier" cruiser isn't going to have a good pillion seat unless you put a custom seat on it. You should do that anyway, because most stock seats (especially cruiser pillion seats) suck (there are some exceptions).

A cruiser with a 1400-1600cc engine is going to weigh quite a bit. That MeanStreak is not a heavy bike in the cruiser category, especially when you consider its engine size and grunt. That Honda Spirit 1100 is a darn good bike, but in the cruiser category it is considered generic (read "bland".) Nothing wrong with that, and you can add some doodads to make it less so.

The bike you're really looking for doesn't exist. So you have to look at the trade-offs and get the one that meets most of your needs, and "fix" the things you can.
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Old 05-20-2011, 10:03 AM   #10
jrider
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Trent, I am learning that quickly here - the bike I want doesn't exist, so I am leaning towards a cruiser, just not an 1800CC+ beast. I actually love the Meanstreak, but I just haven't heard what people think about doing 2-up riding on it for long hauls. Will my passenger be super uncomfortable, or like you suggested, can I just get her a nice aftermarket backrest and upgrade the seating? If so, I think I may have found my bike.
Lastly, is mileage a big deal when buying a bike? Some 2007s I'm looking at have under 5000 miles, while other have 10K or 20K+ miles. How far do bikes usually go before it's not worth fixing and it's time to get a new one? 100K? 200K?

Thanks again for everyone's replies. This is really helping me!
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