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View Poll Results: Which way should I look?
FZ1 7 18.92%
FZ6 1 2.70%
VFR 1 2.70%
ZRX1100/1200 8 21.62%
Bandit 1200/1250 4 10.81%
SV 2 5.41%
ZZR1200 3 8.11%
Other? What? 11 29.73%
Voters: 37. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 11-16-2010, 12:27 PM   #1
Pedro
 
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Recommend me a new ride

I got inspired by another thread and decided to start my own.

Here's the deal: I'm 6'6", 210-240 pounds depending on what season I'm in, and starting to get old. I'm 29, but I have bad knees, a steel rod in my left femur, jacked-up hips, bone spurs on my ankles, a back that acts up periodically, and ghosts of old injuries in my hands, wrists, and elbows.

I also have a 60-mile round trip ride to work each day that is nearly all highway. I also rarely have the time or funding for good twistie rides or trackdays anymore, and I'm finally starting to come around to the idea that I need to step back from riding supersports and try to get myself onto something like an FZ or VFR.

Trouble is, I have no real seat time on anything like that. My wife had a ZZR400 in Japan, and that thing was so comfortable that I routinely jumped on it to go somewhere instead of my GSXR1100 that was a torture rack by comparison.

I'm looking for something with more legroom than what I've got now, but still has the ground clearance and performance to make me happy. If I can't drag a knee on it, I'm not very likely to be interested. I'm not looking for something big and heavy, but luggage options would be nice to have. I'd also like some kind of wind protection, since the majority of my riding is done at highway speeds. If at all possible, I'd also like to see a drop in my insurance rates. I won't be buying new, and would like something with a roughly equivalent value to my 2004 ZX636R, although if I could get something cheap enough I might even be able to keep my pumpkin.

I'm looking for opinions and information here, as I know very little about these type things. Please share your wisdom with me. I want to know the good, the bad, and the ugly about all of my options.
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Old 11-16-2010, 12:42 PM   #2
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Re: Recommend me a new ride

What a great problem, so many fantastic bikes to choose from and any in that list should provide huge grins.

Triumph have rock solid triples and tend to be soft on resale, so check out Sprint and Tiger while you're hunting. I'd probably go with 1050 incarnation, but the 955i is a fantastic engine too.

You can drag pegs with both, but the Tiger can give a very upright riding position where the Sprint is a bit forward.

Have fun shopping. I think you should find time to ride each of them.
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Old 11-16-2010, 12:49 PM   #3
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Re: Recommend me a new ride

i would suggest a sport/tour bike, but i don't think anything will compare to the gixxer. they will all feel heavy and slow. that said tho, try the sprint or connie 14. i'm in the same boat with you as far as old injuries go. this is why i love my trophies. good comfy ergos, good lean angles, good wind protection, luggage, comfy 2 up riding.......etc.
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Old 11-16-2010, 12:52 PM   #4
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Re: Recommend me a new ride

I vote for a first generation FZ1 (before 2006) due to it's more relaxed riding style than the second generation. You can pick one up on Craigslist for around $3,000. If you need added hard-cases, you might have to shop around for an FZ1 that already has those options. The only downside is it has carbs, so on really cold days or if it has not been ridden in some time, it make take a minute or so to fire up. Keeping Stabil or Sea Foam in the gas might help a little.

Here is a 2004 "Bee" FZ1 colored version with large GIVI racks with the after-market MRA Vario wind screen deflector. This wind deflector really improves the air-flow and greatly reduces helmet buffeting. The bike also has added highway pegs to improve leg comfort and an aftermarket seat (Corbin or Sargent option) for those really long days in the saddle.



The other option is a used FJR. There is the AE or automatic mode that is really nice for heavy commuting that limits the exessive use of throttle action in stop and go traffic. I test rode one a few months ago and was pleasantly surprised. The AE sales did not take off, so you can find them a a deep discount to MRSP.

Here is a silver FJR 2006 AE model in silver

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Old 11-16-2010, 12:56 PM   #5
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Re: Recommend me a new ride

Do a Youtube search for "Yellow Wolf Goldwing" talk about prg-draggin.

I, personally, lean toward the ZRX/VMax end of the scale. I rode an '09 Vmax and was thrilled by it, but the price put me off of it. There are quite a few ZRX's for sale, and for a great price as well.
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Old 11-16-2010, 01:07 PM   #6
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Re: Recommend me a new ride

i didn't see the poll. all the bikes you have listed would fit the bill.
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Old 11-16-2010, 01:16 PM   #7
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Re: Recommend me a new ride

Here is my vote. I just can't believe this hasn't sold. If I make it to the pie run your more than welcome to ride mine.

http://www.twtex.com/forums/showthre...ght=Tiger+sale
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Old 11-16-2010, 03:05 PM   #8
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Re: Recommend me a new ride

Quote:
Originally Posted by NPHLYT View Post
Do a Youtube search for "Yellow Wolf Goldwing" talk about prg-draggin.

I, personally, lean toward the ZRX/VMax end of the scale. I rode an '09 Vmax and was thrilled by it, but the price put me off of it. There are quite a few ZRX's for sale, and for a great price as well.
I did get to spend some time on a ZXR1200 at a Kawasaki factory event in Japan, but it was a 2010 model that they don't import here. As far as I know, the only real difference between that one and the ones here was that the one I rode was fuel-injected. It was a really brilliant bike and I loved riding it, but I never got it above about 40mph due to the really low speed limits on the island I was on. I have to wonder what kind of wind blast I would get on that thing at US highway speeds.

Red Brown, thanks for the FZ1 info. I've been really digging those lately and think that may be the direction to look. It seems like it will still have plenty of performance to keep me happy. I think I'll have to call my insurance guy and ask him what kind of rate changes I'd see with that VS my current ZX636R. It's higher displacement, but should be in a lower-risk category, so I would expect it to be cheaper.

I've never been on a Triumph Tiger (or any Triumph for that matter), but would love to throw a leg over one.

I really think I'm going to have to test-sit a bunch of these things and see what the ergos are like. The biggest issue for me right now is legroom. I might have to find a used bike dealer some weekend and go sit on as much stuff as I can find. Maybe I'll get lucky and find someone willing to do a straight-up trade for an FZ1 or something.
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Old 11-16-2010, 03:25 PM   #9
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Re: Recommend me a new ride

There is no problem with legroom unless you are like me and complain that there is too much of it..... At 5'-5" I will have to lower anything decent sized that is not a cruiser.
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Old 11-16-2010, 03:34 PM   #10
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Re: Recommend me a new ride

JustJ will be at the pie run. I'm sure he can be talked into a test ride on his FZ1.
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Old 11-16-2010, 03:39 PM   #11
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Re: Recommend me a new ride

For legroom go sit on a Triuimph 1050 Tiger. Lots of tall riders like it. Plenty of motor and good handling.
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Old 11-16-2010, 03:51 PM   #12
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Re: Recommend me a new ride

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pedro View Post
Here's the deal: I'm 6'6", 210-240 pounds depending on what season I'm in, and starting to get old. I'm 29, but I have bad knees, a steel rod in my left femur, jacked-up hips, bone spurs on my ankles, a back that acts up periodically, and ghosts of old injuries in my hands, wrists, and elbows.
Based on this, I'd say Bandit, Tiger, something really upright with lots'o'room. You make it sound like you really need a comfortable bike. However, based on this:
Quote:
I also have a 60-mile round trip ride to work each day that is nearly all highway. I also rarely have the time or funding for good twistie rides or trackdays anymore, and I'm finally starting to come around to the idea that I need to step back from riding supersports and try to get myself onto something like an FZ or VFR.
You can handle a supersport just fine, which means that something like a VFR or FZ1 will be a huge step in the right direction for you anyways. Plus, as it sounds like you want to stay on the sporty side of things, those will definitely be more to your taste then something like the Bandit.

I'll ignore the ZRX and ZZR12 as I have precisely -zero- experience with those. The FZs and SV will have decent wind protection, with the VFR being better then all of them, though they'll all do well enough in that department. The SV will have the most aggressive riding position, probably about halfway between a SS and the others. The VFR equiped with a set of helibars is pretty close to the FZs... I think my 2nd gen FZ has just a tad less legroom then the VFR, though. The 1st gens will be roomier.

I'd say if you're going for straight practicality and price, the FZ6 or 1st gen FZ1 would be the better choices. More tank range, cheaper insurance, cheaper to purchase, the list goes on. If you can spend a bit more, the VFR is a more refined bike... it's tough to describe, but it just feels more put-together then my FZ1... and every time I thumb the FZ's starter switch, I *wish* it would sound like the VFR did. The VFR really is the "gentleman's sportbike." The 2nd gen FZ1 is basically a less practical version on the 1st gen... more expensive to purchase and insure, less fuel capacity (I also have a 60-mile roundtrip commute and fill up every other day!), slightly more cramped riding position... but at the same time you get less weight, better suspension, FI, etc.

They're all pretty good choices... good luck with the search!
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Old 11-16-2010, 04:07 PM   #13
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Re: Recommend me a new ride

Go for the ZRX1200, best bang for the buck,and it's not as ugly as the FZ1
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Old 11-16-2010, 04:47 PM   #14
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Re: Recommend me a new ride

My vote: http://www.twtex.com/forums/showthread.php?t=52529

She is a bit heavy, but she'll do everything you want and more. Decent leg room, you can drag a knee on it if so inclined, and there are luggage options if you want to go that route. The best thing is that not everyone and their momma have them, but there is a great website with lots of support. I'm not biased or anything though.
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Old 11-16-2010, 05:13 PM   #15
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Re: Recommend me a new ride

All these guys will laugh at me, but consider the Suzuki Burgman 650. Good leg room, and it sure is easy to mount. I routinely drag my center stand on both sides. Fun ride. tom
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Old 11-16-2010, 05:31 PM   #16
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Re: Recommend me a new ride

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Originally Posted by trkcpa View Post
All these guys will laugh at me, but consider the Suzuki Burgman 650. Good leg room, and it sure is easy to mount. I routinely drag my center stand on both sides. Fun ride. tom
55 hp / 525 lbs...
And centerstand != knee... dragging centerstand is a *bad* thing.

I'm sure it's comfortable, but you're talking to a guy coming off of a 636, talking about wanting an FZ1 or ZZR1200. I doubt a Burgman is anywhere near his radar.
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Old 11-16-2010, 06:13 PM   #17
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Re: Recommend me a new ride

<cough> Tiger </cough>


Easy on the joints... sporty without being a sportbike... and that little extra bit of suspension travel helps make up for crappy pavement.
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Old 11-16-2010, 06:55 PM   #18
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Re: Recommend me a new ride

Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Brown View Post
I vote for a first generation FZ1 (before 2006) due to it's more relaxed riding style than the second generation. You can pick one up on Craigslist for around $3,000. If you need added hard-cases, you might have to shop around for an FZ1 that already has those options. The only downside is it has carbs, so on really cold days or if it has not been ridden in some time, it make take a minute or so to fire up. Keeping Stabil or Sea Foam in the gas might help a little.

Here is a 2004 "Bee" FZ1 colored version with large GIVI racks with the after-market MRA Vario wind screen deflector. This wind deflector really improves the air-flow and greatly reduces helmet buffeting. The bike also has added highway pegs to improve leg comfort and an aftermarket seat (Corbin or Sargent option) for those really long days in the saddle.

The other option is a used FJR. There is the AE or automatic mode that is really nice for heavy commuting that limits the exessive use of throttle action in stop and go traffic. I test rode one a few months ago and was pleasantly surprised. The AE sales did not take off, so you can find them a a deep discount to MRSP.

Here is a silver FJR 2006 AE model in silver


Glad you liked it!
It is really a good option . . .
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Old 11-16-2010, 07:49 PM   #19
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Re: Recommend me a new ride

Quote:
Originally Posted by connick View Post
55 hp / 525 lbs...
And centerstand != knee... dragging centerstand is a *bad* thing.

I'm sure it's comfortable, but you're talking to a guy coming off of a 636, talking about wanting an FZ1 or ZZR1200. I doubt a Burgman is anywhere near his radar.
Lol, yeah, what he said. I love little scooters for squirting around on, and a big scooter like that would be a great commuter. I'd love to have one as a commuter, but it wouldn't really "scratch the itch" for me, so it couldn't be my only ride. That is on my list of stuff to have someday when I'm rich and famous.

I'm looking at info on the Tiger, and I like it, but I'm not loving it. I think it may be a little too adventure-oriented and not enough sport-oriented for me. I'm also not huge on the styling, and it definitely seems to be more expensive than some of the other options. Still, I have a feeling that I may be just one test-ride away from converting.

I am really digging what I'm finding about the first-gen FZ1. The styling looks awesome, the quarter fairing makes for super easy maintenance, the performance is there in spades, plenty of cornering clearance, and the centerstand would be really handy to have. It also seems to be the cheapest bike on my short list. I've also never owned a Yamaha, so that could be a cool experience.

I've been looking at the ZZR1200, too. I'll admit that I've always had a soft spot for those and am definitely a Kawasaki fan. I do know it's got some great luggage options, too. I've never actually ridden one, though, and I'm afraid I'll find it to be too much of a heavyweight. Like the Tiger, though, I get the feeling that actually taking one for a spin may end up changing my whole outlook on things. These also seem harder to find, and the price tags tend to be somewhere between the FZ and the Tiger, but closer to the Tiger than the SV.

I also still dig the **** out of the ZRX, but I have concerns about its wind protection and luggage options being limited. They also seem to be just a touch pricier than the FZ while the FZ seems to be a little sportier.

The VFR has been something I've always liked the sound of. If I went that direction, though, I'd really want one of the pre-VTEC models. I like the concept of a V4, but I do have concerns about maintenance. It stands to reason that maintenance work on the VFR would be quite a bit more complex than something like the FZ, both because of the cylinder layout and the additional bodywork. Price on these seems to be higher than everything except the Tiger, though, and power to weight ratio is nowhere near as good as any of the others listed so far. Still, I'm sure it scoots just fine, but I'd have to take one for a spin to be sure.

So, this is my current short list, in the order that I think I'm interested:

1. FZ1
2. VFR
3. Tie between ZZR and ZRX
4. Tiger
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Old 11-16-2010, 08:50 PM   #20
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Re: Recommend me a new ride

Clearly, a bandit should be your choice. Lots of leg room, torque down low (you're not a small guy) and low insurance rates. Either generation bandit would work for you.
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