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Old 06-15-2008, 07:23 PM   #1
Brother James
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Default New Model Closest to the 1970's Traditionals?

Hi folks. I recently bought a Yamaha V-Star Classic because the modern sport bikes (Ninja style, et al) just don't appeal to me. However, I'm finding that I don't care much for the riding position on the mid-size cruisers. The best bike I ever owned was a 1978 Kawasaki KZ1000. It was a great performer, had a great upright riding position, and did everything I ever wanted from a motorcycle. Today, of course, everything is either "sport", "cruiser", "touring", "off road" or dual purpose. The Triumph Bonneville is the closest thing I've found to a classic traditional bike from the 70's. Can anyone point to any others to consider? Every bike is a compromise, of course, and you never get everything you want. What do you think comes closest to what I'm describing?
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Old 06-15-2008, 07:56 PM   #2
sachiwilson
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I hear you.

Most manufacturers have a couple or more naked standard bikes, which would be most similar to your old KZ. I ride a Honda 599 (see my avatar) and Honda also makes a similar model called the 919. They are a bit sporty but overall, very versatile. Kawasaki makes (or has made) some naked standards in both 750 and 1000 sizes. Yamaha makes the FZ-6 and FZ-1. Suzuki makes the Bandits. All of these are inline fours; there are also some twins and triples out there that tend to serve much the same purpose as your old Kaw - look at the Suzuki V-strom models, for example, or the kawasaki Versys. The Triumph Tiger is in that vein. All of these bikes tend to be versatile and fairly comfortable for riders who like upright seating.
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Old 06-16-2008, 06:38 AM   #3
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As Sachi says, you might look at the Suzuki Bandit and SV-650, the Kawasaki ZR-whatever's, and the Yamaha FZ's.

As you might guess, I'd recommend the Triumphs. The Tiger (esp. the 1050) gets rave reviews as an all-around bike, and you mentioned the Bonneville. Note there are a half-dozen different bikes based on the Bonny, so you can pick your poison.

And then, there's the Rocket III.
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Old 06-16-2008, 07:12 AM   #4
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BMW R1200R
Ducati SportClassic GT model
Used Honda CB750 Nighthawk
Moto Guzzi Griso or V7
Triumph Bonni line

Just some to consider
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Old 06-16-2008, 08:06 AM   #5
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"And then, there's the Rocket III.

He was looing for a 70's type bike, not a 70's John Deere.
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Old 06-16-2008, 08:08 AM   #6
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If you're going to look at a Bonneville, make sure you look at a Ducati GT1000 as well. It's lighter and more powerful and the mpg's are good as well. I really like Triumph's Street Triple, but I'd get a GT1000 before I'd get a Bonneville.
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Old 06-16-2008, 08:59 AM   #7
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Default Have I got a deal for you...

Find one of those Kawasaki 650 twins that looks like a Bonneville. In fact, it looks and sounds just like an old Bonnie, even more so than the new Triumph (that missed the mark in my humble opinion).

That, or you can buy my old '82 KZ750 from my neighbor(with motor work done, 880cc kit, cams, big valves, roofed intake ports, etc.etc). It scared him, and now he wants to sell it for $500.00. Here's a pic of it, the silver one at the front. Major suspension work too.
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Old 06-16-2008, 09:40 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mscuddy View Post
Find one of those Kawasaki 650 twins that looks like a Bonneville. In fact, it looks and sounds just like an old Bonnie, even more so than the new Triumph (that missed the mark in my humble opinion).

.
I get the feeling that the KawaBonnie is on it's way to becoming a collector's item. I sat on one at the dealership when they first came out. It was small, but it looked and felt great! I'm going to browse a little when work permits and see what's out there. If they haven't gone nuts pricewise, it could be a fun little bike to play around with.
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Old 06-16-2008, 10:51 AM   #9
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I saw one of those W-50's (?) at the Atlanta IMS a few years back. The guy at the display said it was a sweet bike, but it didn't have the stuff to take on an Interstate.
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Old 06-16-2008, 10:56 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pushrod View Post
I saw one of those W-50's (?) at the Atlanta IMS a few years back. The guy at the display said it was a sweet bike, but it didn't have the stuff to take on an Interstate.
Au contraire. I owned one of the original W2SS 650s and it most definitely had the balls for the interstate. My wife and I rode all over the place on it. Although the limiting factor was not the power but the tooth lossening vibration.

We're spoiled these days with 100+ hp bikes, but those 650s easily run freeway speeds. Of course in this day and age bikers whine about bikes as much as ever even though they are better than ever. Go figure.
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