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Old 06-20-2010, 01:04 AM   #1
patmich99
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Default kind-of-a-newbie tries to find right sport bike

Hi, my name is Pat, good to meet you all. I have been
thoroughly immersed in reading about motorcycles and which one
to buy so naturally I am totally confused and discouraged.
Here are some stats: I am 49 years old, 6' 1, 200 pounds. My last bike was a Buddy scooter 150cc
which I used to commute to work in Denver. (I know, bad to the bone, right!). Before that I had a KLR 650 which I never took off-road, but
put 6.000 miles of road miles on it. So that is the sum total of my experience. I do not like the image of cruisers. It makes older guys
look even older. I am more of the active, youthful type. So I want
a bike that makes me feel and look as young as I think I am.
The bike style I like the most as I explore the motorcycle sales floors
new and used is the sport bike with an upright posture.
Let me cut to the chase. I have long legs. (not freakishly long.. I wear
36 inch long jeans).
I am looking for a spacious upright sport bike. I am trying to find what are
the best-suited upright sports bikes for a person with long legs.
For example, more than one reviewer has said that Kawasaki's
ER6N is best suited for smaller riders. I am looking for information
that is just the opposite of this. Of course I will check it out for
myself, but it is difficult to gauge whether a bike is too small by
just sitting on it. So I am hoping to benefit from others' experiences.
I don't plan on using it for
commuting.
I plan to use my bike primarily for 2-4 hour excursions into the
mountains, and out onto the Plains. (I live in Denver). Please
give me your thoughts about what bikes might fit better than others.
I plan to buy used, no older than 3-5 years. A few bikes I am considering are
Yamaha FZ6, Suzuki SV650, Triumph Speed Triple. My budget will only afford me $5000.
Thanks for your time, seriously.
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Old 06-20-2010, 03:02 AM   #2
The_AirHawk
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Any one of the last-three you mentioned are pretty good sport-standards, with the Triumph being the most ragged-edge, and the Suzi having the best tractability.

I've got an '04 FZ6 myself, but like all three of those.

How long has it been since you were on a bike? It might behoove you to take an MSF Experienced Rider Course as a "refresher". 'Specially in Denver traffic (I've ridden and driven in it - essentially, it's high-speed frost-heave city.........).
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Old 06-20-2010, 09:15 AM   #3
trenttheuncatchable
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You'll have a hard time finding a Speed Triple for $5K. You might want to add the Kawasaki Versys to your list. You can actually find those new for around $5K.
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Old 06-20-2010, 09:39 AM   #4
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Have you thought about a V-Strom? They are dual sports, but look a lot more like a standard or even a sports bike. They seem to be well reviewed both by the magazines and by people on the various message boards. They have a pretty upright seating position, and being dual sports, may be better for a taller rider, but they have much more style than your typical dual sport. I don't like dual sports, but if I go to being a 2 or 3 bike owner, a V-Strom 650 will almost certainly be one of them. Some of the BMWs might be good bets as well, though finding one under $5K would be tough.

Maybe one of the sport-touring bikes might be good for you. More upright and roomy than the typical sports bike, yet plenty sporty. I guess that depends upon how long it has been since you used to ride (they be a bit big and powerful if for all practical purposes you are a beginner again).
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Old 06-20-2010, 10:51 AM   #5
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You could buy a decent DL1000 VStrom for $5k. The DL650 is ok, but it's not very exciting.
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Old 06-20-2010, 12:20 PM   #6
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thanks for your replies. There are currently two Speed Triples in my price range in Denver. Both are 2005. Both have about 7K on the engine. One seller wants $4500, the other $4900. They have been on the market for a while. I am shying away from them b/c I instinctively feel they are higher maintainance than a Jap bike. I used to have a KLR 650 and the V-Strom has, in my opinion, much the same seating position, which
I didn't like. Today I am going to look at a Suzuki GSX 650 F. It's a 2008 with
2k on the engine, and lots of upgrades, such as a sergent seat. I had
always skipped over any bike on C.L. that started with GSX b/c I thought it was a crotch rocket. Only by mistake did I learn that it is
an upright version of the crotch rocket. Apparently it isn't too popular b/c I haven't once seen it in review comparisons. Now that I have discovered it, it looks like a great bike. It is supposedly roomy, and
balanced, and all that crap. He wants $4400 for it which is reasonable. I did get one seller of an 2007 FZ6 to drop his price to
$3500 but then I kind of backed out of it. It has 7K on the engine
which seems a bit high. Plus I can't shag the nagging feeling, based
on what... I don't know, that it's kind of a cheap little bike. By comparison, I get the impression that the Suzuki GXS 650 F is a class act.
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Old 06-20-2010, 03:47 PM   #7
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I've got about 60k miles on my '04 FZ6 - most put on in the first 3-4 years of its life. It's essentially a maintenance-free engine, just change the fluids regular-like. I might need to have the valves actually adjusted when it reaches the 75k mile checkup-mark; they were on the tight-end of the spec last time.

I can't speak as to how the engine will last if owned by someone that flogs the pyss out of it, though - mine's mostly commuting and touring miles.

And I know what you're talking-about with the '07 and later - Yamaha sorta "cheaped out" on the fairing, but the mechanicals are essentially the same (with a bit better swingarm, and some small mechanical changes).
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Old 06-20-2010, 03:49 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patmich99 View Post
I am shying away from them b/c I instinctively feel they are higher maintainance than a Jap bike.
Give up that feeling. Triumphs are as good any anything from Japan or Germay. Even better depending on the model.
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Old 06-22-2010, 06:34 PM   #9
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Hmmm. I found a very nice '01 Speed Triple for a whole lot less than that. Had to drive to get it, though.
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Old 06-22-2010, 09:42 PM   #10
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If a Speed Triple is gonna fit you, then check out the Buell Lightning. They're going pretty cheap nowadays, like $3500ish for very clean models. And you'll never have to adjust the valves, unlike those suckers that have to do it every stinkin' 70K.

Last edited by tripleripple : 06-23-2010 at 07:39 AM. Reason: can't remember model names
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