Exploring the Unknown

Exploring the Unknown
Representing the 99%!

Monday, October 20, 2014

In Search of Mr. T's Replacement! Ramblings of a Mad Biker...

 Photo © MyTeeSpot.com
Having sold Mr. T, my TW200, at the end of the summer I am not going to lie to you, I felt emotionally detached from both the bike and selling it. Don't get me wrong, it's a fun bike, but one thing led to another and inevitably it wasn't the right bike for me. I know, I know... shut up fool! Unfortunately, I am not quite sure what would be the right bike for me! My "mid-bike crisis" seems to be in full swing as I find myself feeling "meh" towards the majority of the bikes that I come across. Making matters worse, working at Sur 2 Roues this summer next to Moto Thibault, I was constantly surrounded by new bikes. Though the smell and the sound of their exhaust notes were intoxicating (likely C02 poisoning...) very few captivated me. Like a school boy, I have been crushing on a few bikes over the last six months. What can I say, I am a picky fekker when it comes to motorcycles and would really like the next bike to be "the one", so to speak. Who knew finding my wife would be easier than finding the right bike? I would like some help and advice. If I haven't mentioned something that you think I should consider please feel free to comment. As you will soon see, I'm all over the place really when it comes to choosing. I am also considering having something made a la ClockWork Motorcycles.


Photo © Warner Brothers
I have three criteria for a bike 1) Final Drive Should be Belt or Shaft; 2) Decent Fuel Capacity and 3) Must be Ergonomically Comfortable for my old withering back. Simple, right? Think again. Like a kid in a candy store, I just cannot for the life of me come to a consensus of any sort as I find, personally, my three criteria hard to come by as one package. Ok, I am not being honest enough.... the fourth criteria is also aesthetics. I am not so vain that I wouldn't ride any bike, but I am so vain that I would only spend money on a bike that I found orgasmic to ride. This has led me to consider motorcycles that I have never thought about before (including some chain bikes, I know, confusing, right?!) whilst at the same time, forcing me to re-examine what I really want and indeed need from my future motorcycle. To begin, I was extremely fortunate in that I got to try out some of the bikes my students had purchased for themselves! Some were possible contenders whilst others were more eye candy for me than practical choices.

2015 Yamaha Bolt C-Spec


Photo © Yamaha.com
Many of you already know that I test rode the Yamaha Bolt last summer. Yamaha has up'ed the game for 2015 and in addition to its base and R-Spec model they have now introduced the C-Spec. A cafe racer inspired design. The differences are subtle at best but nevertheless, the paint makes it effective. Of course, Yamaha as also decided to up the price! The MRSP is $9, 699.00, $300 more than the R-Spec, for nothing more than a seat cowl and different handlebars. TSK TSK... Yamaha...tsk tsk! Simply put, the base model for $8, 999.00 is probably still the best way to go! The bike is attractive, has belt drive and a ... not so large gas tank. Remember when bikes this size came with 17 litre (4.8 Gallons) tanks? Oh Yammy, will you ever learn?! Still, for technically under $10 grand I think this is a great bike all around and inevitably, I'd be happy enough with it!

Final Verdict? As a last case scenario this can be the best case scenario!

2015 Yamaha FZ-07 and 2014 Yamaha FZ-09


Photo © Yamaha.com
The FZ-07 is one of the bike's that I actually got to test this summer as a student had purchased one. I have to admit, it was nimble and easy to ride. It has more than enough power (75BHP) and could reasonably be your one true love if this style of bike is your cup of tea. In fact, I would go so far as to say it may be too powerful for most despite Yamaha marketing this bike towards newcomers. The craftsmanship is pretty great as well and the ergos are perfect for long distance riding. I was afraid that I'd be in a crotch rocket position but actually, nothing could be furtherest from the truth. It is a very comfortable bike and kitted out correctly, you could go to the ends of the earth and back on either this or its bigger sister. (or brother, depending on how you see bikes.)

Photo © Colby
The FZ-09 was the first of the FZ series to garner my attention. I have sat on it several times and surprisingly, the ergos make it so that your even more upward on it than on the FZ07. I never did get to try it but at 115 BHP perhaps that isn't necessarily a bad thing. Criticisms of this bike have been harsher than on the FZ-07 because for crotch rocket purist, the brakes and suspension are under-par. I supposed if you wish to enter the Moto-GP, they have a point but I don't believe that this bike was aimed at said market. The FZ-09 is what the Ford Mustang was for folks back in the day, the poor man's sport (touring) bike. Both bikes are packed to the gills with technology making me question the validity of purchasing anything other than one of these. Why you ask? The FZ-07 is priced at $7, 299.00 and the FZ-09 is priced at $8, 999.00.  You would struggle indeed to find a cruiser at this price that comes with everything these bikes do.

Num, Num, Num!
Picture an FZ-07 and FZ-09 Engine in This?!
Despite the fact that the Bolt has the largest of the engines at 947CC, the 07 and 09 have a 689 CC and 847CC motor respectively. I know what your thinking, you cannot compare a cruiser with these bikes. You would be right, to an extent. These two semi-sport bikes win hands down for practicality alone and that is what I am considering here. However, aesthetically, I don't know if it would be something I would like to own for long term, not when my persuasion often leads me towards bobbers and cafe racers. Even as I write this, I cannot help but imagine how wonderful it would be to actually gut one of these bikes and throw it into the Bolt's frame a la Yamaha XS 650 of yore. My ONLY complaint about the FZ series is the fact that their final drive is via chain. I know, I know... what can I say. Haters will hate but part of why I would rather not go the chain route is due to back problems.

Final Verdict? I know myself too well. I'd get myself killed on the FZ 09. The FZ 07 is a contender still.

2015 Triumph Motorcycles


Photo © BIKEEXIF
Specifically, the Bonneville, Thruxton and Scrambler range has caught my attention from time to time. Chains be damned, what some folks are doing to Triumphs are truly spectacular! Jochen Schmitz-Linkweiler of LSL, and Jens vom Brauck of JvB-Moto are responsible for The Rumbler (pictured left), a one off Scrambler that is the stuff of wet dreams. Than there are stunt riders like Ernie Vigil who take things one step further and demonstrates beautifully what you can do with a stock Triumph! His heart racing video makes your average chump wanna dress up, buy a Scrambler and save Gotham.



Let's face it, my antics are limited to taking my children up and down the street or long road trips with a duffle bag strapped to the back of the bike. Popping a wheelie is just not practical in real life unless you have a fettish for handcuffs and cell mates. I have sat on all three models and admittedly, the Scrambler and Bonnie in person feel lacklustre. As for the Thruxton, that is a beautiful motorcycle. It's sexy and understated. The seating position could put undue pressure on your wrists after several hours but all things taken into consideration, it may be the nicest stock Bonnie imho that would be fine "AS IS" until the mood to change the bike hit you. Unfortunately, there are some parts that you can tell were rushed including the housing for the speedo and tach. As for prices, the Scrambler and Thruxton both start at $10, 699.00 which I think is actually kinda steep for what your getting but not necessarily a deal breaker.

Final Verdict? I would buy one used over new!

2015 Harley-Davidson Forty-Eight


Photo © Harley-Davidson
Having owned a Harley-Davidson before, I am not going to lie to you. It was a fantastic bike! I bought it slightly used with just two thousand miles on the clock. It was a 2008 H-D Nightster, discontinued unfortunately, purchased from Harley-Davidson Dublin. My only complaint was the god awful seats! Both the stock and Badlander seat were horrendous, so much that my keeping the bike depended on the Mustang after market seat I purchased. Thankfully it did the trick and I literally commuted with my Nightster daily to and from work (roughly 3000 miles per months!) from Co. Carlow to Co. Dublin. I also ended up tricking the bike out with some goodies. She was really a blast to ride, a fantastic commuter and in my opinion the Sportster range is the most underestimated and best range of the Harley-Davidson line up.

Photo © Harley-Davidson
Yes, I have ridden other Harley-Davidson's including the the Street Bob, the Fat Bob, CrossBones and most recently a Sur 2 Roues student 2015 Breakout! The latter in particular was a pig to throw into corners. Admittedly, the newest incarnation of the Fat Bob is beautiful. However, Sportsters still do it for me. Cue the Forty-Eight. The fat Front tire, the aggressive stance, and the laced wheels just really appeal to me. However, the tank size is just pitiful. A riding buddy of mine has to stop almost every forty-five minutes to and hour and a half (depending how aggressive he is riding) just to fill up. Unfortunately, just to get the bike to where I would want it makes jumps the price up to... wait for it.... $19, 675.00! There is so many reasons why people should consider a Harley-Davidson as much as there are reason as to why they shouldn't. Price is a big factor in my decision to avoid buying a new Harley-Davidson.

Final Verdict? I hate to say it because I genuinely love Sportsters but the value for money is just not there. Maybe the new H-D 500 and 750 will change that but then again, I doubt it. However, if I could get a steal on a used Nightster or Forty-Eight, then sign me up! 

2015 Moto Guzzi V7 Stone and V7 Racer


Photo © Moto Guzzi
Not since my 1997 Moto Guzzi Nevada, aka The Widow Maker, have I even considered one. Admittedly, however, I still admired them and until recently thought I'd never own one again. But I have to say, the Moto Guzzi lineup has come a long way since 1997 and the build quality is spot on! I did have a look at the new 2015 Moto Guzzi California 1400 being sponsored no less by Ewan McGregor, but just lifting it off it's side stand with a semi sore back twinged it further. At the end of the day, I want to be able to get home if my back gives out and not be stuck on the side of the road with a seven hundred pound motorcycle. However, I don't mind as I like my bikes slender and nimble... not unlike my wife.

Photo © Moto Guzzi
The Moto Guzzi Nevada was a great bike... or rather, it had a great motor! I can completely understand why people would be drawn to its transversed V-Twin. So by extension it should come as no surprise that the V7 lineup is on my radar. Since 2004, Piaggio has worked magic on the Moto Guzzi lineup. It is dripping in character and for traditionalists, you will be happy to know that the bikes are still being assembled in Mandello de Lario, Italy, by hand and built with the craftsmanship that made it famous originally in 1921. There are three versions of the V7 though all share the same frame and engine. The V7 Stone is blacked out a la dark customs. The V7 Classic could be considered the gentleman of the lineup. As for the V7 Cafe Racer, well shit on a stick, five cents a lick; could there be anything prettier than this bike?

Excuse Me While I Go and Take a Cold Shower!
Photo © Moto Guzzi
Prices, as always range from $8, 690, $9, 490 and $10, 590 for the Stone, Classic and Racer respectively. Other than sharing an engine and frame each Moto Guzzi have a final shaft drive. Moto Guzzi also boasts that since 2014 they have also revised the V7 engine (essentially a new incarnation of the 750cc transverse twin from the Nevada) with 70% new parts. Were they using used parts before? (just kidding!) The cherry on top happens to be the tank itself. At 5.8 Gallons (22 Litres) you literally have a 300 mile range (500 Kilometers) before needing to refuel!People scoff at its 50BHP but unless you live in Germany and regularly fly down the autobahn, why would you need anything more? Cue MotoGeo for a nice and tidy review of this wet dream in action...


Final Verdict? It doesn't matter if the Racer is not your cup of tea as there are three versions of the V7 to choose from. That being said, however, I would be lying if I said I wasn't smitten with it. It's over budget, slightly, but man oh man, at least you know what your getting for your money! So why isn't it topping my list? My time with The Widow Maker is still giving me second thoughts.

BMW R Nine T


Photo © BMW
I have never been a BMW fanatic but I can appreciate the quality and craftsmanship behind the bikes. For 2015 BMW released the R Nine T for it's 90th anniversary. It meets all my criteria and comes down to two things. The first is aesthetics. As a biker once said, the BMW Boxer engine is like a Moto Guzzi with saggy tits. But I could overlook this as the blacked out engine and surprisingly cool features (i.e. you can actually transform your rear end with cool accessories!) make up for this in spades. It's hard to find fault in this bike except perhaps for the price. An American gentleman scolded me on Youtube once for complaining but here is the thing. In the USA, tax and freight in and you're looking at a bike that will cost you $16, 500 all included. The bike STARTS at $16, 500 here in Canada. I was quoted slightly under $20, 000 after all was said and done.  Cue SoulFuel...


Final Verdict? The price is ridiculously high in Canada. However, this is the type of woman you bring home to mum! So who knows... I just might get on one knee for this lass, that is, if my wife doesn't freeze our bank accounts first! 

2015 Polaris Indian Scout


Photo © Indian
When Polaris revealed the all new Indian Scout the reaction from the biker community was visceral. Love it or hate it, the Indian Scout is a kept promise by Polaris to bring Indian motorcycles to where it should be and in doing so taking its rightful place in history. The Indian Scout actually meets all of my criteria and with an MRSP of $12, 199, really, can you actually go wrong with this bike? I do find myself wondering why they didn't give it a larger fuel tank. At 3.3 gallons I would still consider it because I owned an H-D Nightster with the same size tank. I know the range I can wriggle out of it. Perhaps they were afraid that if they gave the Scout a proper sized fuel tank sales for the Indian Chief would drop?


Photo © Indian
I had once commented that if Polaris would ever make the Indian Scout that I would have no choice but to buy one. Any kid growing up in North America who had any inclination towards motorcycles are familiar with the Indian brand. It's right up there with the likes of icons such as Dean, Sinatra, and Presley. If you have to ask... Still, I can't help but wonder why Harley-Davidson didn't do what Polaris did? H-D could have had the best of both worlds. In the end, I am happy Polaris purchased the rights as they have done wonders for this off again, on again classic.

Final Verdict? I'll take one in each colour please.


Thank You For Your Suggestions and Thoughts!



By now you're thinking you're no closer to understanding what I want than I am. I feel like a pubescent teenage boy uncertain of who to ask to the prom? It wears heavy on me, not because I actually have the money to buy a bike but rather, because even if I did have the money I still would be no closer to making a decision. I wish I could find in a bike what I have found in my wife. A life long friend with benefits. ;-) I want to find that bike that does for me metaphorically what my wife does literally. Criteria be damned! I don't want to limit myself. I want to be open minded and to fall in love with a machine that one day, hopefully decades away from now when I am old and senile, I can pass along to one of my children. Romantic, n'est pas? I am not a materialistic man. I am a creature of habit despite my often over spontaneity which can result in a flabbergasted wife. A motorcycle isn't just a machine. It's a part of my family history, a part of who I am. It is as much a part of what I am as who my children will one day become.

73 comments:

  1. I'd be afraid the Enfield wasn't as reliable as I would like. But the others, well, you've got your work cut out for you. I do like Moto-Guzzi's but pretty sure they are too cramped for me. Save maybe the California but it would be too spendy for me.

    jonnycando

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  2. My suggestion is get one that you feel comfortable on. One that you can put your feet on the ground without worrying about falling over. One that rides well, handles good and doesn't buzz the heck out of your hands and feet. The only thing I have a little problem with on my bike (99 1400) is the seat on long rides. Other than that, it's been one of the best I've owned. It has one of the most if not the most dependable engines I've ever owned, car or bike. It's got 40,000 on it and it runs like new, no oil burning, no clutch slipping,(thanks Designer!) no ill issues whatsoever except for maybe it's time to change the 8 year old battery in it!

    Whatever it is you decide to get, make sure it's something that you want. People will try to tell you to get this or that, but it's up to you.

    Ron Zee

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  3. Like Ron hit on.....make sure it fits YOU (ergos, weight, power,available accessories, , comfort, a test ride if ya can, ect) and that it has been proven reliable (magazine reviews/other owners experiences on forums/ect) and thats about as informed ya can get to make a decision.....It is a great time to look as there is so many good ones to choose from now.....

    Happy Hunting......

    DC1

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  4. Don't forget about Ducati's new Scrambler that's coming out in 2015

    JGillespie

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    Replies
    1. Greeeat! Another bike to obsess over! Thanks for having such great taste in bikes and giving me another sleepless night in ponderation. Though, this is exactly what I wished the TW200 could have been! So yes, for under ten grand too.... you can bet I'll be heading over to the dealership for a test drive! What a fantastic looking bike in all it's trims!

      Delete
    2. When I first got site of the Scrambler. I couldn't sleep that night. I was crunching numbers trying to figure out if I could scrape up the cash for one. I have wanted to take an old Honda XL350 from the 70's and build a bike like this scrambler. What Ducati did was take my vision of a build and make it new. I give myself another year or two and I hope to have one in the stable. No other new bike out there makes me drool as does this Scrambler.

      JGillespie

      Delete
  5. I'll second that motion, all in favor?

    revelation

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  6. mwahahahahaha!! I clicked on the my wife hot link, and laughed at the yoda quote: "Always pass on what you have learned.", which can be understood two ways:

    "Always pass on what you have learned." or
    "Always pass on what you have learned."
    I guess it depends on what one has learned. LOL
    hokey dokey, back to bikes:

    have you considered any of the victory models? belt drive AND hydraulic valves (no adjustments needed, which is NOT true of the new scout).

    from all the reading I've done, which isn't necessarily voluminous, the FZ-07 is a better bike than the 09. lighter, quicker, and substantially better fuel delivery. as I recall, all the reports on the 09 cited inconsistent (uneven, not smooth) fuel delivery.

    I'm somewhat prone to kawasakis, having once owned an 05 Vulcan 1600 cruiser (shaft) for 65K miles, and now an 09 ninja (chain) for 48K miles. the 2015 650 versys LT looks like a favorable machine, though it is chain driven.

    I read a couple of reports on the R nine T - it's not your father's BMW, meaning favorable remarks.

    six weeks or so ago I test rode an HD street Bob, the dyna model with the 10" baby apes. it vibrated characteristically at idle, but smoothed out with a slight twist of the throttle. clutch was easy, as was shifting. the 103" engine was torquey. hydraulic valves, belt drive. I liked it but can't escape from the non-negotiable high out-the-door price.

    I presume you are looking for something less touringesque than the Yamaha fjr 1300 (shaft) or Kawasaki concours (shaft).

    to boil it down, you have a problem cuz there are zillions of worthwhile mc's out there.

    good luck, keep us posted, etc, etc...!!

    steveinsandiego

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    Replies
    1. You are a man after my own funny bone!

      Yes, the bikes specified specifically for touring are just too much, in terms of size, weight, etc... I am not a fan of prescribed luggage spaces and prefer to put my waterproof bags on my bike on the rear seat. I am a minimalist as well so were not talking about mountains of luggage either. That is what can am spyders are for!

      Delete
  7. Less than 400 lbs and less than $10,000 make that Ducati look good: 2015 Ducati Scrambler First Look Motorcycle Review- Photos- Specs- Pricing.

    I was looking at a Yamaha SR400 last spring and spotted 3 TL200's at the dealer and decided that what I really wanted: SR400, 2015 Yamaha SR400 Home, information.

    dabsdog

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  8. Perhaps you should buy several and allow me to evaluate them?
    r80rt

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  9. Yeah, the Ducati Scrambler in the "Classic" model is what I want. I love the Yamaha SR400 but would rather just find a late 70's SR500 but then I already have a 74TX500 so Ducati it is! But I'm broke. All my money is going into a new (to me) TW200 buy. It was either pay cash for a Tdub or put a large down on a Ducati Scrambler next year and have payments. Since I already have two road bikes and have been chomping at the bits for over a year now for a TW200, the obvious choice was made.

    JGillespie

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    Replies
    1. Ducati: Making mechanics out of riders for generations. No thanks.

      qwerty

      Delete
  10. I see no Victories on that list. I, myself, have been considering one (the Vegas in particular for quite a while). Just food for thought.

    Dennis Lett

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    Replies
    1. I had considered the HighBall in past. I will check out the Vegas for sure. Thanks!

      Delete
  11. Well this narrows it down not at all!

    Your Wife! :-p

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  12. Just going to throw one out there for you.

    V-star 1300 series. Stryker?

    maxriderdon

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    Replies
    1. Check out Hoppy's Last Hurrah! All about the Stryker. Nice bike, but in the end I decided it wasn't for me.

      Delete
  13. Don't buy anything they won't let you test ride.

    VS Bullet

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  14. Go to Americade this June and test ride everything ... then you'll know what you really like ... That's what I do.

    Harley lets you take the bikes out on your own. You have about a half hour to really ride the bike. I took out an Ultra Classic and rode the piss out of it. Rode it like I would never ride my own bike ... now my bike is an Ultra Classic ... and I never ride it like the demo ... but I know I could if I had to

    Emu

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    Replies
    1. Have they improved the vibrations on the Ultra Classic? One of my students dropped by with one, a 2004 I believe... the vibrations were horrible but that is likely due to his putting after market nut tossers on it.

      All great advice and yes, you're all right. Test riding each and every bike is the way to go. I am surprised at how reluctant motorcycle shops are though. I know for a fact that my test ride of the Yamaha Bolt last year and subsequent write up resulted in two sales for Motos Thibault. (My students purchased them) You would think it would be like free advertising for the stores. Americade sounds like a great idea, never even realized you could go off on a Harley on your own. Here in Quebec, our dealer watches you with a stink eye and literally you can only take them out as a group ride under strict controlled supervision. Hearing your story and I can see why! But then, you bought one, so no harm done!

      Delete
    2. The 04 was a decade ago ... the 09's onward are a different animal altogether. They will do the Harley "rock" at idle, but under pull and cruising are Goldwing smooth ... You should keep up with the times ... ;-)

      Emu

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    3. And here I thought that was what everyone was telling Harley-Davidson to do?! :-p

      I'd buy a Harley again but not from my neck of the woods. The same bike that goes for $9 grand in the USA (i.e. Iron 883) sells for $13 grand here! They really want you to feel ripped off in Quebec.

      New Hampshire is on my radar because of the no sales tax!

      Delete
  15. Weighing in late, I can attest to the sheer undecidedness of new bike shopping.

    If I were considering the bikes listed in your blog post, and the original criteria, I would go Moto Guzzi V7 all day long.
    I've ridden the V7 racer, as well as Triumphs' Scrambler and Bonnie, (I preferred the Bonnie of the two, as I felt perched up high on the Scrambler for some reason)

    The convenience of shaft-drive on the V7, all metal bodywork, host of parts and accesories to make her yours and (apparently) easy to work on engine are all major plusses.

    I haven't ridden any of the others, but hope to ride the FZ's soon, aaaand I am also drooling over the Ducati Scrambler, but recent complications in Ducati's structuring and dealer network here in South Africa make that impossible for us at least, for a while yet.

    Goodluck and keep us posted on your decision.

    Mr. Paynter

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  16. I called a Ducati dealer and ask when they expected to receive a Scrambler. They answered late summer 2015. It's just Eye Candy for me at this point.

    TopPredator

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  17. Motorcycle Fever is in full swing now... I think my biggest problem (likely most peoples problem when I think about it) is that I cannot afford to buy a new bike every few years. So this is a big purchase and in the end, it has to be a decision that I will live with for years to come especially if I reluctantly finance the bike or part of rather.

    I keep coming back to the Moto Guzzi as well. Really classy bike. The dealer in my area refused to let me take one out for a spin though this summer. Short sighted really... probably would have had me scrambling for financing right there and then. There are so many great bikes to choose from but the Guzzi certainly does check off my criteria, doesn't it? I feel like a guy with cold feet before a big purchase... ARGH! Would like to sit on that Ducati and fondle her handlebars for a while before I make the decision though.

    Thanks for the great advice! Now if I can just distract my wife long enough to pull out a deposit from our account....

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  18. Test ride as many as you can the next few months, then pick the one you like best.

    CarlDavid

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  19. I'm 76 and a half years old and I've had 34 motorcycles in my life, Harleys, BMWs, Triumphs, and all four
    Japanese brands. I now own a BOLT which is absolutely without a doubt the best motorcycle that I've ever had ( FOR ME ). I would highly recommend it for any person small of stature or of regular height but skinny.

    If you are of the larger persuasion get a PHAT bike! Whatever ya get...Wish you luck with it!

    Frodo

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    Replies
    1. My wife likes that one too and the Guzzi V7 Stone! Definitely a great bike and the C-Spec has really given me something to think about again.

      Delete
  20. FZ-09... no contest. The most motorcycle for the least $$$.

    Half Crazy

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    Replies
    1. Sure made that decision easy.

      http://www.motorcycle.com/manufacturer/yamaha/2014-yamaha-fz-09-review.html

      Half Crazy

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    2. I also like the more basic FZ-07, inline twin, under 400 lbs, 58 mpg.

      http://www.topspeed.com/motorcycles/motorcycle-reviews/yamaha/2015-yamaha-fz-07-ar165069.html

      CarlDavid

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    3. If I was going to be ruthlessly practical and not let emotions get in the way the FZ-09 and FZ07 are the most logical choices. The latter most likely more so even. But as I said in my write up, I am far from logical though I have tried to factor it into my choices.

      Delete
    4. The 09 will have a whole lot more grunt... and it's not much more money... Three cylinder engines are SWEET!

      Half Crazy

      Delete
  21. First you need to figure out what you expect from the bike, what you're going to do on it. A bagged for touring, or a sport bike to go from red light to red light asap, going cross country or a Sunday afternoon cruise.

    still learning

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    Replies
    1. I want an all rounder. I don't subscribe to the opinion that I need a bagger to go touring, especially with a bum back. I have done most of my touring and commuting on bikes like Royal Enfields, Moto Guzzi Nevada and H-D Nightster. Especially the 700 Virago was a great bike and all around classy lady.

      Delete
  22. I like the Scout, good looking bike.

    Keith McCarthy

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  23. Well I'll narrow it down because just yesterday I was test riding but it lead us to talk about the Z1 and then the WidowMaker! So my vote is not that one! It comes by it's name honestly.

    Brian Wheeler

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  24. I'm still looking for a transformer bike. One that will transform to anything from a 150cc scooter, to sport bike, to super sport bike, to little cruiser to big cruiser to Dual Tour, to off road to Goldwing all at the push of a button at less than 50K.

    I'm still looking. I think it's best when possible to own at least 2 bikes which are fairly different. That way you don't get tired of riding either one.

    maxriderdon

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  25. Essentially, there are a million bikes out there because there is one for each of us. Spec sheets might point you in a direction, but nothing replaces sitting on a bike to feel how it fits you. I loved the Scout, but a buddy sat on it and said it felt “rinky dinky”. With some brands you need to get every part chromed, this makes it easier to find lost parts on the side of the road. Other brands make bullet proof bikes that look like strange insects. There are many somewhere in the middle… You have not mentioned Honda’s new CTX700N, or Kawa’s new Vulcan S. Both are brand new designs from good manufacturers. Good luck getting parts and/or accessories for a Guzzi or a Triumph. BMW makes amazing machines but they price themselves out of the market. I suggest you take your time and sit on every bike out there. Maybe the Mtl Bike show could save you some time.

    Patrick

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Patrick! I will have a look at those two bikes in more detail. I have never heard of the Kawasaki S before?!

      Delete
  26. I believe finding a good dealership also is very important. I don't do any of my own servicing. I did when bikes were not so complicated. By good dealership I mean one that makes you feel comfortable and the folks that work there all ride. I don't know how it is where you are but the last dealership that I bought a bike from let me take a loaner, test drive, while they worked on my bike. My bike had a recall as well as servicing. The Moto Guzzi's I've ridden are too easy to go over the speed limit.

    peace torgy

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    Replies
    1. This should be standard but I have yet to meet a dealership that does this! There is a Moto Guzzi dealership nearby, in fact, all the bikes I listed have dealerships near by save for the Indian Scout. That is two hundred kilometers away.

      All sound advice and I appreciate it! However, some folks have thrown in the idea of the Ducati Scrambler, the Honda NX700N and the new Kawasaki S which has only worsened my ability to think clearly....

      Delete
  27. Scout.

    Jay Becker

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  28. Yeah, that Scout's pretty interesting looking.

    Travis Narron

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  29. Has anyone had a chance to actually sit on a scout in real life? I hope to be able to head down to see one in a few weeks. The nearest dealer is two and a half hours away! :-(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My friend Tim took one on a test ride and loved it. I saw an early one at a bike show and it was pretty sweet.

      Jay Becker

      Delete
  30. If you are wanting to stay in the Yamaha family, I cannot over state how wonderful my WR250R rides. Compared to my Tdub, it is light years ahead in technology. While it is only a 250 it rides like a much more powerful bike. It has 6 speeds and can cruise on the freeway at 70+mph. I have mine geared low (50t rear sprocket) and it can climb anything I dare to climb. Fuel injected too!

    JS5owner

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  31. Love this bike and it was one I considered seriously. Just too tall for me at the time. I felt as though I needed to be able to plant both feet flat at a stop.

    Tom

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  32. Honestly, I never thought of going below 500cc as the TW200 struggled to even get to 90ish (55mph)... something to think about. I could definitely see and appreciate the "fun factor" with that bike.

    ReplyDelete
  33. You know what I am waiting for. ;-)
    But! have you ever considered a Diesel bike? :-o

    Hack

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    Replies
    1. Hey Hack,

      Actually, I have only ever seen a Royal Enfield Diesel bike. The idea at the time was very appealing because of how cheap Diesel was in Ireland but now, being back in Canada, the cost is higher than for petrol if you can believe it. Not to mention, there aren't many diesel pumps available in my neck of the woods.

      Still, I wish electric bikes were given the range that they deserve and need, I'd even consider one of them especially for light commuting!

      BSJ

      Delete
  34. I just bought a used 09 Vulcan 900. Great deal! Good on the open road and ok on the twists. Belt drive. 4.5 gallon tank at 40-45 per gallon. Fuel injection. Plenty of power for my tastes. Nice factory bags and windshield.

    I rode a V-Star 1100 and did not like it for me.

    o so ducky

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    Replies
    1. Admittedly the Vulcan 900 has a lot going for it. I remember when it first came out! If I went that route I would definitely hit the bike up with a Blue Collar Bobbers kit!

      Delete
    2. Boibber kit does look cool! Then this Custom might be more your style. I got the classic for $700 less with only 14k on it.

      http://roanoke.craigslist.org/mcy/4745979390.html

      o so ducky

      Delete
    3. I like those too. Saw one for sale here. How is it power wise?

      franktiregod

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    4. Not as much power as my magna, but a plenty for scooting around. Climbs the local test mountain at 65 in top gear without a sweat. Have not loaded it down yet but I don't think it will be a problem. My need is not speed. It is climbing these hills around here. So far I am most pleased.

      o so ducky

      Delete
  35. How about a Yamaha Road Star ?

    JimK

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  36. "the badges have been removed. Most people believe this is a Harley at a glance and can not even tell it is not at a stop"

    Embarrassing...
    Wanting to fool people into thinking you're on a Harley so they might, just for a fleeting moment, actually think you're cool. Pretending to be a Harley rider and hoping no real ones show up during your masquerade.
    Pathetic...

    Half_Crazy

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  37. But what is the "mission"? That helps me make a decision. All road or do you still want a dually? Like the Triumph big time! But I also like the Honda CB1100. I'm in a nostalgia stage of motorcycle life at the moment. 59 y/o and hoping to ride up to the day before I croak. Hell Malcom Forbes rode his Harley till he was 73 and died that same year.

    toma55

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    Replies
    1. The mission is to explore every road, be it paved or not! I want an all rounder motorcycle. Something that could work for commuting as well as it can for long distance rides. Like yourself, I have been really into retro classics as of late and cannot deny that it is where I am likely heading. I never ascribed to the theory that I need a Goldwing, per se, to do everything I want to do. Not least of all because I like my bikes light and slim.

      Delete
  38. The ducati scrambler will be available the end of March from what my dealer told me in NJ

    Holdnon72

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    Replies
    1. It's on my radar... I am actually going to the Montreal Motorcycle Show at the end of February to see all the delicious variety of motorcycles on hand. Unfortunately I shan't get a chance to ride one but sitting on them will be telling of which direction I will be taking. Great looking bike and cheap to boot...

      Delete
  39. Well at least you are not rushing in. I attend every demo ride possible and ride just about anything I get a chance to but I don't even bother with Harleys, cruisers or Goldwings anymore as they do absolutely nothing for me. I really try not to choose a bike based on how it looks but how it feels to ride and the only bikes that stand out from last summer are the Honda CB500X Suzuki 650 V-strom and you won't believe it but the Suzuki GW250. Part of the fun of motorcycles for me is searching for that "perfect bike" but so far I find it very hard to beat the combination of my TW200 and my FZ6. I love power but in Ontario 50 km/hr (30mph) over the speed limit is considered "street racing"..... I just looked this up:

    If you are charged for speeding at 50 km/h over the speed limit, police will suspend your licence and impound your vehicle at the roadside.

    Penalties for street racing, stunt driving and driving 50 km/h or over the speed limit

    Pre-conviction – Immediate 7-day licence suspension and 7-day vehicle impoundment

    Upon conviction - $2,000 to $10,000 fine, 6 demerit points, up to 6 months jail, up to 2 years licence suspension for a first conviction

    Second offence – Driver licence suspension up to 10 years within 10 years of first conviction

    Holy crap I'm sticking to my TW!

    Peterb

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    Replies
    1. The cops in Quebec are just as strict about speed limits. Not interested in speed (though admittedly, a bike with the power to do so does bring out the speed demon in me from time to time!) so I am trying to be level headed about my purchase. I have written off the FZ09 and FZ07 because of this very reason. Too tempting and lets face it, I'd probably get myself killed. As for cruisers, I agree. I have been turned off of for the most part as well, mainly by the stereotypical nature being emphasized for most cruiser models. Still though, I'm having a hard time turning my cheek from such models as the Indian Scout, Sporstster 48 and 72 and I am a sucker for a good bobbed or cafe racer model. (i.e. Yamaha Bolt CSPEC for example). Heck, I even considered the FZ09 touring model but in the end, decided that it would still be the end of me, albeit in a less assuming package.

      Delete
  40. SR400 will do all you wish. Maybe mount some more aggressive rubber and add a few teeth to the wheel sprocket, but as long as it's a road, any lightweight street bike will handle it. I'm leaning more and more to the SR400 for my next daily rider as its light weight is better suited to the little back roads around here than heavier bikes. My reading seems to describe a TW200-like character on skinny tires. At least tires will be cheap and easier to change.

    qwerty

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    Replies
    1. Would love a demo on the sr400, unfortunately two different dealers kinda chuckled when I asked if they had one to personage see. Is it some kind of enigma or do I just need to get out of the woods and into a larger city?

      Rustynuts

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  41. Reading your requirements, I would recommend a DR650. Maybe a KLR if you're going longer distances.

    MSWRC

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  42. Perhaps a little nostalgia with a 1986 Yamaha XT600. Just happened to see this being offered for $1200 and it's seriously got me counting pennies.

    Croatoan

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  43. I just bought an 1986 Yamaha XT600 for $900.

    ReplyDelete
  44. My next bike will be a Yamaha FZ-07.

    ReplyDelete