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Getting Back into it After Long Hiatus. Could Use Some Recommendations on Bikes/Gear.

Joined
Mar 1, 2006
Messages
1,158
Location
Crockett, TX
#1
I guess my midlife crisis finally kicked in and I'd like to get back in the game after taking a few years off riding to focus on raising my kids. I used to average 8k-10k miles per year on my bikes, but I've been a stay-at-home dad since 2008 and have only ridden about 1k miles since then. My son is 11 and and my baby girl is 7 now, and both are finally tall/mature enough to reach the passenger pegs and safely ride pillion, at least around town. My boy could probably take a little road trip to Palestine, Nac or Lufkin, but I need to see how well he can tolerate the sounds before I get out on the highway with him. I remember the first time my dad took me for a ride on his '77 CB750 when I was 8 or 9 years old and it was a life-changing moment. I'd like to share that experience with my kids and see if it sparks their interest.

Their mother and I are recently divorced, but we’re still on very good terms and she supports the idea. She has her own bikes and said she would love to take them on rides one day, but she's just not comfortable with a passenger since she’s never ridden two-up and she has more trust in my riding abilities when it comes to that. She’s primarily a dual-sport rider, but If the kids really get into it, she’ll work on getting more street experience so we can all go riding together on occasion.

But back to the purpose of this post…

I have some extra funds heading my way in March and I'll be ready to do some shopping for a nice used bike. I’ve been out of the loop for the last decade or so and I haven’t paid any attention to the bike market. I’m starting to read up on what’s been happening with newer models and features, but I’m basically starting from scratch now.

I’m really looking for what I call a “gentleman's sportbike.” I’m 47 years old, 6’4”, 200lbs with a 36” inseam and my knees aren't what they used to be. As such, the current crop of supersports are too cramped for comfort. If the old late-90s/early '00s YZF-1000R (ThunderAce), Honda CBR1000XX Blackbird or Kawi ZX-11 were still in production, they would be perfect. However, outside of the Honda VFR/Interceptor, it doesn't look like anyone has been building that sort of bike for a while. I’m thinking sport tourer with more emphasis on sport and less on touring. The last bike I owned in that category was a Triumph ST 955i with lowered pegs and bar risers and I still kick myself for trading it away. I also owned a couple of BMW GS oilheads and loved the comfort & handling, but they lacked the power I’m looking for now. Some of the newer “naked” bikes seem to fit the bill, but their aesthetics just don’t do it for me. I know that’s a shallow reason to dismiss a bike, but c'est la vie. However, some bikes in that genre are exceptions, such as older Ducati Monsters, Suzuki TL twins and the Kawasaki ZRX models. I'd certainly consider any of them.

So, long story short, this is my want list (~$5000 budget):

- Less than 20 years old. Mileage isn’t a big concern as long there is proof of proper maintenance. A little cosmetic damage is OK. I understand bikes fall over sometimes. Stuff happens.

- Pillion seat or provisions for one.

- Liter bike power (for lack of a better term. I’m sure some smaller displacement motors can match the numbers of yesteryear’s 1000cc bikes, so I’m happy to consider them if they have the grunt I want)

- Preferably tuned for low-end, midrange power delivery. My days of bumping the rev limiter are over and I don’t foresee many more track days in my future.

- Sporty, but relaxed riding position. This can either be stock or a bike that has been equipped with lowered pegs and/or bar risers for comfort.

- Non-linked brakes with ABS. I often use the rear brake to tighten my line when I get a little aggressive in the twisties and linked brakes tend upset the chassis more than I’d like.

- I’d prefer chain drive. My experience with shaft drive has been a love/hate affair. (*cough* BMW GS *cough*)

- A centerstand would be nice, but not a deal breaker. I have a stand in the garage I can use for maintenance duties if needed.


Thanks for taking the time to read this novel. I look forward to any suggestions and advice.
 

Tourmeister

Keeper of the Asylum
Admin
Joined
Feb 28, 2003
Messages
45,355
Location
Huntsville
#2
Welcome back!

The Pie Run this Saturday is at the Moosehead Cafe, 11:00am. Might be a nice chance to look at some bikes and test sit a few.

I highly recommend a bike with a hard tail bag if you plan on the kids riding with you. It will make you and them (and mom) feel more secure. I would also highly recommend the use of ear plugs for them and if you can swing it communicators so you can speak with them while riding. This has made a world of difference for me riding with my three kids.
 
Joined
Mar 1, 2006
Messages
1,158
Location
Crockett, TX
#3
Thanks for the info! I've got a Givi E52 with a back pad that I could use for that. Earplugs are mandatory when I ride, but my son has auditory processing disorder and certain noises/frequencies (regardless of volume) really irritate him. That issue is impossible to predict. Just have to try and see.
 

Tourmeister

Keeper of the Asylum
Admin
Joined
Feb 28, 2003
Messages
45,355
Location
Huntsville
#4
You can listen to music on the communicators if they have bluetooth. Maybe that might provide a kind of "white noise" that might be useful for him in the event that ear plugs alone don't help. I hope he is able to ride. I really enjoy taking my kids out for rides! They love exploring the dirt roads with me.
 
Joined
Mar 1, 2006
Messages
1,158
Location
Crockett, TX
#5
I need to educate myself on that sort of equipment. I used to ride with noise-isolating earplugs connected to my phone or iPod for music, but I know nothing about the newer stuff. I've already got him a good set of boots/pants/jacket, but we haven't gone helmet shopping yet. I'm currently looking to replace my old Shoei Syncrotec since I took it out of the closet yesterday and the internal padding fell out like black snow.
 

2WheelNut

Forum Supporter
Joined
Aug 25, 2017
Messages
505
Location
Arlington
#6
There's a 2001 Sprint 955 for sale in the for sale section. Think he's asking for less than 2K. It's been sitting, so it will need some tlc...but should check all your boxes.
 

Lucydad

Forum Supporter
Joined
Mar 18, 2013
Messages
571
Location
Sugar Land, TX
#7
TXBiker,

How about a Triumph Tiger, the larger CC triple? My late BIL in San Antonio has one... sitting in garage. Checks all your boxes. Guaranteed well maintained.
If interested, PM me and I will put you in contact with my nephew who can help out. Good luck.
 
Joined
Dec 22, 2006
Messages
1,716
Location
Katy, TX
#8
One can pick up a bulletproof low mileage second generation FJR for well within your budget. Yes it has shaft drive but its a problem free one. Yes it has linked brakes but not particularly noticeable.
 

Tourmeister

Keeper of the Asylum
Admin
Joined
Feb 28, 2003
Messages
45,355
Location
Huntsville
#10
I'd go for the Tiger, just because you can do mild dual sport with it and take the kids down country roads where you see all the fun stuff ;-) Then there is just that motor... :drool:
 
Joined
Mar 1, 2006
Messages
1,158
Location
Crockett, TX
#11
I always liked the old Tigers with the striped tanks. And I do love that 955i triple. In the unlikely event it's still available when the money gets in, I may have to take a look.
 

Mr2mch

Forum Supporter
Joined
Mar 5, 2008
Messages
6,050
Location
Where the road leads ya.... Or Waco
#17
I need to educate myself on that sort of equipment. I used to ride with noise-isolating earplugs connected to my phone or iPod for music, but I know nothing about the newer stuff. I've already got him a good set of boots/pants/jacket, but we haven't gone helmet shopping yet. I'm currently looking to replace my old Shoei Syncrotec since I took it out of the closet yesterday and the internal padding fell out like black snow.
Ive got a Shoei from 2000 that still has nice foam....wore it the other day...
I attribute the foams longivety to the fact that I use a hair protector over my head.
Keeps the sweat & oil from breaking down the foam. & I also wash the foam liners in my helmets frequently...especially in Summer.
 
Joined
May 18, 2005
Messages
587
Location
Plano, TX
#18
Triumph Tiger 1050. Mine is a 2008 and it's light, powerful and a lot of fun - triple engine is reliable and really good - almost 40K miles on it.
 

Tourmeister

Keeper of the Asylum
Admin
Joined
Feb 28, 2003
Messages
45,355
Location
Huntsville
#19
I always liked the old Tigers with the striped tanks. And I do love that 955i triple. In the unlikely event it's still available when the money gets in, I may have to take a look.
Triumph Tiger 1050. Mine is a 2008 and it's light, powerful and a lot of fun - triple engine is reliable and really good - almost 40K miles on it.
The old Tigers are pretty tall if I remember correctly. I don't have the numbers off hand, but I want to say the newer 1050 Tigers are an inch or two lower at the seat? The newer 1050 motors are just awesome. LOADS of torque and a fantastic sound. They handle very well. If you plan to ride two up and perhaps carry luggage, or at least a top case, you might want to look into upgrading the rear shock as it will likely be a bit under sprung. This will be true of most any bike though, except maybe a Gold Wing.
 
Joined
May 18, 2005
Messages
587
Location
Plano, TX
#20
The old Tigers are pretty tall if I remember correctly. I don't have the numbers off hand, but I want to say the newer 1050 Tigers are an inch or two lower at the seat? The newer 1050 motors are just awesome. LOADS of torque and a fantastic sound. They handle very well. If you plan to ride two up and perhaps carry luggage, or at least a top case, you might want to look into upgrading the rear shock as it will likely be a bit under sprung. This will be true of most any bike though, except maybe a Gold Wing.
http://tiger1050.adrianmolloy.com/1050_Tiger_Initial.html - just a data point.
 
Joined
May 2, 2004
Messages
1,552
Location
Great State of Texas
#21
Ive got a Shoei from 2000 that still has nice foam....wore it the other day...
I attribute the foams longivety to the fact that I use a hair protector over my head.
Keeps the sweat & oil from breaking down the foam. & I also wash the foam liners in my helmets frequently...especially in Summer.
Do your head a favor and retire that helmet!
 
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