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View Full Version : What should be my 2nd bike?


bigjnsa
05-27-2009, 09:36 AM
Good morning ladies and gents... With 2 years under my belt on my Sportster, I've come to realization that its not the bike for me. Its been a great 20,000 miles and now I know how I like to ride.

I've tried to make the Sportster as comfortable as possible, but it needs at least another 2 grand in suspension work. The problem I'm having is that I'm a big guy, 6'4" 225lb. Not all bikes work for me, the majority are way too small especially in leg room.

I'm definitely interested in Sport Touring. I see threads for different bikes and I'm curious why you chose what you ride. The Bandit thread has been a great read, however I'm not sure if the bike is big enough for me. I also see Concours, Versys, and dual sport machines like the KLR.

My Dad keeps telling me to get a GS and I keep telling him I can't afford one ;)

DaveC
05-27-2009, 10:00 AM
Set your budget.
Start sitting on them.
Sit on a Moto Guzzi Norge. It may fit. I liked it.

NathanH
05-27-2009, 10:27 AM
What kind of riding do you find yourself doing? 10% commuting/90% weekend pleasure riding or 90 com/10 fun? Lots of multi-day trips or mostly just good weather afternoons in the hill country?

Perhaps the big VStrom should be on your list to check out.

bigjnsa
05-27-2009, 10:47 AM
Nathan, all the above. Right now it is my primary transportation/commuter/fun machine. The Sportster is very good at commuting, but not for long trips. I'd like the nimble'ness (is that a word??) in traffic but the ride quality that helps my back.

Last month at Lonestar BMW/Triumph Demo day, I rode a Tiger. Albeit it was a short ride, but that was definitely the finest machine I have ridden to date. I just don't think I can afford one ;(

So I mentioned the Japanese bikes Concours, Versys, Bandit, etc... They are probably in my price range.

kurt
05-27-2009, 11:05 AM
Try the Concours 14, ST1300 and the FJR1300. I would throw the 1200RT in too, but you mentioned a price point.

treybrad
05-27-2009, 11:40 AM
Do you cover lots of distance commuting/touring? If so, a big ST like Kurt says would be ideal, but I think they'd be a handful on a shorter daily commute (I guess that depends on what kind of roads/traffic...).

If I were you I'd take a look at the V-Strom, Tiger (they can be found pretty cheap used), and Versys if you've got the legs for them.

FZ1, Bandit, Sprint ST, etc if you like it a little more sporty but still comfy.

But, if your only complaint about the Sportster is comfort, go take a test ride on a Buell Ulysses... might be just what you're looking for.

http://www.motorbikestoday.com/news/Images/buell_ulysses3_lge.jpg

trey

Wes
05-27-2009, 12:14 PM
For your size the Concours sounds perfect. I really like mine and it is taller than most bikes. I didn't like the looks but one comparison ride against the FJR and I was sold. The ST was never on the table for me as I have a long standing grudge against honda. Also, I love the sound of an inline 4. (I'm weird)

McSpeedy
05-27-2009, 12:19 PM
Also, I love the sound of an inline 4. (I'm weird)

No you're not. I just sold my ST1300 and got an FZ1. I truly believe if that was an inline-4 and not a jetson sounding V-4, I probably would still have it.

bigjnsa
05-27-2009, 12:21 PM
Trey, I do want to cover long distances. I can on the Sportster, but I need a chiropractor when I'm finished ;)

nchristie
05-27-2009, 12:25 PM
I'm surprised that a Bandit 1200 is too small. One of those, with decent soft hags and tail pack, you could go anywhere. Used ones are readily available.

Similarly, a Kawi ZRX 1100 or 1200, again plus bags, would be excellent. A man-sized bike.

You'll likely be cramped on a Sprint - legs also too long for a ST1100 (and the 1300 wiill be above your price point - and it's a heavy bike, not perfect for commuting. Similar price for the Yamaha FJR1300).

How about a used Trophy 900 or 1200? I have a 1200, and there's plenty of power, comes with hard bags and top case, big bike feel but still 70-100 lbs lighter than the ST1300 I think. Plenty of good ones for $4k +/-. Old style Tiger or Sprint ST, maybe, too. HERE'S A TIGER ON THIS BOARD - http://www.twtex.com/forums/showthread.php?t=39891

My qualifications: 6'1", >215 lbs naked, 36" sleeve, 34" inseam.

bigjnsa
05-27-2009, 12:38 PM
Thanks Neil, I didn't say a Bandit was too small (I've never sat on one). I was curious if they too small for me. I guess I need to ride out to Alamo Cycle or Harrison and try out some bikes.

poser
05-27-2009, 01:19 PM
I'll second taking a test ride on the Ulysses, you will be surprised by that one.

Oh, and don't forget to ask what kind of oil to use...






:duck:

Desert Skies
05-27-2009, 01:33 PM
GS, fun but PRICEY!

That being said. I love mine. I do more miles/year on it touring than my Wing. I like the fact that I can beat it up pretty good in the back country and it still ticks along, literally, and bring me back home. Thing is a pack mule too. Everybody complains about the maintanence cost with just cause but I do all my own so not that no big deal for me.

But, that's just my opinion, I'm sure Bill will be by to take a dump on the FD before this thread retires. :lol2:

bigjnsa
05-27-2009, 01:49 PM
I did consider the Ully at one point, but the heat from the rear pipe had me concerned. That and the constant fan noise from the cooling fan.

mjacks
05-27-2009, 02:06 PM
Nathan, all the above. Right now it is my primary transportation/commuter/fun machine. The Sportster is very good at commuting, but not for long trips. I'd like the nimble'ness (is that a word??) in traffic but the ride quality that helps my back.

Last month at Lonestar BMW/Triumph Demo day, I rode a Tiger. Albeit it was a short ride, but that was definitely the finest machine I have ridden to date. I just don't think I can afford one ;(

So I mentioned the Japanese bikes Concours, Versys, Bandit, etc... They are probably in my price range.

I just bought a used '07 Tiger (current generation) for $6800 last weekend. You should be able to find one for a reasonable price.

bigjnsa
05-27-2009, 02:10 PM
I just bought a used '07 Tiger (current generation) for $6800 last weekend. You should be able to find one for a reasonable price.

Wow, that's cheap! 1050 triple right?

mjacks
05-27-2009, 02:30 PM
Wow, that's cheap! 1050 triple right?

Yep, in scorched yellow with just over 7k miles. It was actually listed on this board for a few weeks before I decided to go for it.

1 wheel peel
05-27-2009, 02:51 PM
I have a fjr that I comute on and also use for long trips. It has a single Corbin seat on it and I have done 15 hr days on it with no problems(can't say that for the stock seat). Love the way it handles the twisties once you get the suspension set up for you. They have also been around long enough that you can get some real deals on used ones and its easly a 100k mile bike if you take any kind of care of it.

I am 5'10" and 195# it fits me perfect. I road the C-14 before purchasing and while I loved the throtle response I did not care for how much "bigger" it felt. That might work to your benifit though being taller. Good luck with your search.

DaveC
05-27-2009, 03:05 PM
The two bikes that owners don't change seats on . Uly and the Norge.
Buell dealers well let you test ride as well the Moto Guzzi, BMW too. Can't say that about the Rising Sun brands.

So many bikes so little money. :sigh:

TWTourist
05-28-2009, 09:48 AM
I'm a fan of the FJR but I have a Bandit 1250 right now. I'll be back home next week. I might be able to make a trip up to SA for some personal bussiness on the Bandit. If I do, you are welcome to give it a try.

wbrisett
05-29-2009, 05:05 AM
In the sport touring area, I've owned a '04 BMW RT, '09 BMW RT, and Buell Ulysses. I've ridden the Tiger ('07) as well... Of these the Tiger and RT get the highest marks for engine (the 1200 with a better power band over the 1150 RT). The Ulysses and Tiger are both fun with a capital F. The Uly wins hands down over all the bikes in storage space. However it looses points in creature comforts and wind protection.

There are a LOT of used '06 and '07 Ulys for sale right now (and some '08 and '09 models). Like the Tiger, they really don't seem to be keeping their value. While I hated to lay down my '09 RT last weekend, in many respects I'm glad it happened on that bike rather than my Uly. The Uly would have surely been totaled. The RT seems to have handled the 65 to 0 crash pretty darn well. I'm not sure the Uly would have held up as well. In addition, the BMW should be covered from a loss standpoint. The Uly would have probably been a loss and I wouldn't have been able to recover enough from the payout to buy another bike.

As to what you should get, I'm with the folks who say check out the Triumph Tiger and Buell Ulysses. Both are awesome bikes. With both you have shortcomings that you will have to go to the aftermarket to fix. The wind protection on both leaves a bit to be desired, but with different windscreens and/or brackets for the windscreen, both can be fixed. The Uly's heat is really only an issue in stop and go traffic, but the Honda ST has the same problem. If you want to cook your leg, take either in stop and go traffic, but then a lot of the Harley's have this same problem. Some of the heat issues can be taken care of by either wrapping the pipes (which I don't like), or using a heat shield to help vent the heat.

Out of the box, my favorite bike is the RT by a mile, but it does cost you. However, in the used market, you can pick up deals. If you do go looking for these, usually they are on the '04 and earlier models, which had the 1150 engine on them. I would suggest the dual spark '04 engine over the prior years, simply because it fixed a lot of the nits riders complained about in the previous versions.

One last bike to toss out there is the VStrom. I'm not a huge fan of the bike, I think it's a bit top heavy myself, but they are relatively inexpensive and have a huge following.

So a recap in order of what I suggest:

1) Used BMW RT
2) (tie) Triumph Tiger / Buell Ulysses
3) VStrom

While I have zero seat time on the Guzzi Norge, I have looked at it and talked to a couple of owners (who rave about it). Seems it might also fit nicely in your list of bikes to look at.

Wayne

jsb223
05-29-2009, 11:23 AM
Similarly, a Kawi ZRX 1100 or 1200, again plus bags, would be excellent. A man-sized bike.

I disagree...at 5'10" I had to do the peg lowering mod to give relief to my
knees, for someone 6'-4" seat to peg distance is likely going to quickly become an issue.

ekms377
05-29-2009, 11:32 AM
....more like....what should be 3rd or 4th bike be?

bigjnsa
05-30-2009, 11:59 AM
I think I want a Versys. Looks like its everything I'm hoping for and in my price range. Since I'll be keeping my Sportster I want to afford a 2nd bike payment ;) Today, if Cycle Plex is open I'm going to swing by to see if they have one.

DallasDon
05-30-2009, 03:28 PM
I've onwned the ST1300 and one word of caution. The thing will BBQ your lower legs and ankles over 90 degrees. It's hot all the time, but over 90 and you better take the BBQ sauce with you.

That pretty well goes for all the Sport Touring bikes because of the fairing setups. Don't let anyone kid you are tell you different. I sold my ST and bought the 650 Versys and am quite happy with it although I just bought a 650 V-Strom that is really nice also.

kurt
05-30-2009, 03:35 PM
I've onwned the ST1300 and one word of caution. The thing will BBQ your lower legs and ankles over 90 degrees. It's hot all the time, but over 90 and you better take the BBQ sauce with you.

That pretty well goes for all the Sport Touring bikes because of the fairing setups. Don't let anyone kid you are tell you different. I sold my ST and bought the 650 Versys and am quite happy with it although I just bought a 650 V-Strom that is really nice also.

I had an ST, so I know of what you speak. The FJR ('06 and up), is a night and day difference.

bigjnsa
05-30-2009, 03:40 PM
Update - May have found a 1997 Tiger up in Austin. Waiting for email confirmation ;)

mjacks
06-02-2009, 02:44 PM
I had an ST, so I know of what you speak. The FJR ('06 and up), is a night and day difference.

My '06 FJR didn't have any heat problems. Heard horror stories about the earlier models though.

Wes
06-02-2009, 02:46 PM
The heat issues are in the mind of the beholder. I have ridden an FJR that someone traded in because of the heat. It didn't hold a candle to my Connie on heat and I don't mind the Connie's heat problem. :rider:

iphorde
06-02-2009, 02:59 PM
I'll sell you my '08 KTM 990 Adventure. :)

Good morning ladies and gents... With 2 years under my belt on my Sportster, I've come to realization that its not the bike for me. Its been a great 20,000 miles and now I know how I like to ride.

I've tried to make the Sportster as comfortable as possible, but it needs at least another 2 grand in suspension work. The problem I'm having is that I'm a big guy, 6'4" 225lb. Not all bikes work for me, the majority are way too small especially in leg room.

I'm definitely interested in Sport Touring. I see threads for different bikes and I'm curious why you chose what you ride. The Bandit thread has been a great read, however I'm not sure if the bike is big enough for me. I also see Concours, Versys, and dual sport machines like the KLR.

My Dad keeps telling me to get a GS and I keep telling him I can't afford one ;)

atxrider
06-02-2009, 08:01 PM
I've onwned the ST1300 and one word of caution. The thing will BBQ your lower legs and ankles over 90 degrees. It's hot all the time, but over 90 and you better take the BBQ sauce with you.

That pretty well goes for all the Sport Touring bikes because of the fairing setups. Don't let anyone kid you are tell you different. I sold my ST and bought the 650 Versys and am quite happy with it although I just bought a 650 V-Strom that is really nice also.

Umm, I will tell you different. 2nd Gen ('06 and up) FJR1300s have no heat problems.

Seriously, heat issues are in the eye of the rider. For some, it is bothersome. Others barely notice it. It depends on what bike you are coming from and how sensitive you are to it.

My advice is to ride it and judge for yourself. I certainly wouldn't take anyone's word for it (especially someone who makes broad generalizations about a motorcycle segment).

Cheers

1 wheel peel
06-04-2009, 10:22 AM
I had an ST, so I know of what you speak. The FJR ('06 and up), is a night and day difference.

My '06 FJR didn't have any heat problems. Heard horror stories about the earlier models though.

I just like to think of my 05 fjr as highly optioned, it came with a heater:mrgreen: