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Motorcycle request/quest

 
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stegerman
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Motorcycle request/quest
« on: November 13, 2008, 01:39:42 PM »

I know I haven't been around much, partly super busy with work and partly avoided as much of the internet and TV as I could during the campaigns.

I know several of you have motorcycles, so I'm looking for advice.

I grew up riding dirt bikes, but haven't ridden for about 10 years. Now I want a bike. I'm 5'8", 160. I'm looking for a bike primarily to commute to and from work (short freeway run 12 miles or so) and get around town. However, I want the option of road tripping with or without spouse. I don't consider myself a "cruiser" person but am not opposed to getting one. I've looked at used Shadows and V-stars. They don't really get me all fired up but would serve the purpose. What I really want is a 800 VFR Interceptor. Well okay, what I really want it a BMW K1200, but that's too expensive and too much bike. I'm concerned the Interceptor is too much bike for someone just getting back into riding.

So, should I get a cruiser, get comfortable riding again and then upgrade? Or get the VFR? I will be taking a riding safety course regardless. I can find both used in the price range I can afford (4-6k).

Thoughts
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spacey
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Re: Motorcycle request/quest
« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2008, 02:13:45 PM »

Clive will be the guy with the best feedback for you. I can't offer any real advice about the bikes you're interested in, as I have no real experience with any of them. Bimmers come up for sale in the SLC area on a pretty regular basis, and depending on how old of a bike you would consider I think you could find one in your price range. I'm happy to keep an eye out in the local classifieds if you want.

As for sport/sport touring vs cruiser, I think you should buy the bike you want. If you prefer sport/ST style bikes, and are more comfortable with them, buy one. Ultimately miles in the saddle should be miles you enjoy, and not just miles that get the job done.

My personal opinion about "too much bike" is that it's relative. If you're uncomfortable with that much bike, it may be too much bike. But After a decade long layoff from riding, and having never ridden anything larger than a 700cc "standard," I found myself in the saddle of an 800lb 1340cc touring monster, and was relatively comfortable with it after the first 20 miles, and couldn't possibly have been happier after the first 200 miles. It seems that the power/weight issue is only a problem if you are not confident in your ability and/or are incapable using a brain and not riding above your head. Once you're moving, riding is riding, IMHO. The basic skills don't change. Yeah, there are some noticeable differences in the way my wife's 500cc Shadow and my behemoth feel, but the differences in the physical aspects of getting either from A to B are negligible. Whether it's "too much bike" is up to you to decide.

Of course Clive will probably disagree with me. Listen to him.
« Last Edit: November 13, 2008, 03:20:18 PM by spacey » Logged Return to Top
stroh
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Re: Motorcycle request/quest
« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2008, 02:45:15 PM »

Eloquent and well stated as always.  ^

This spring I bought a GSXR 1000.  I had been off a bike for at least 15 years.  What spacey says about riding is riding is correct.  I didn't want a cruiser, I wanted a sport bike.

Too much bike is really an unanswerable question.  It's a matter of how you feel, and how you ride.

Gixxer 1000?  Are you crazy?  A race bike/rocket ship?  For commuting to work?  You haven't been on a bike in 15 years.

I'm a competent rider.  I ride respectfully and carefully.  Too much bike for me?  no.  Enough bike to kill me if I do something stupid?  At the first corner.

It has been my experience that people often underpower especially when it comes to their needs.  You may feel intimidated and go with a smaller displacement only to get it going that 12 miles and realize that you're red-lining, and vibrating the *feces* out of yourself daily.

Pick a style you like, with enough power to ride comfortably.

YMMV and Clive yes Clive, not me is a *humid grotto*.


[Edit:  My bike is not comfortable to cruise on.  I would not take it out on a saturday for a four hour "ride".  Again YMMV]
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Aske
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Re: Motorcycle request/quest
« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2008, 02:46:31 PM »

Don't forget premium asschaps
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Clive
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Re: Motorcycle request/quest
« Reply #4 on: November 13, 2008, 08:31:29 PM »

Now I want a bike. I'm 5'8", 160. I'm looking for a bike primarily to commute to and from work (short freeway run 12 miles or so) and get around town. However, I want the option of road tripping with or without spouse.
One bike that you can commute on, solo tour, and two-up tour?  That's a tall order.  Prioritize, please.

Quote
So, should I get a cruiser, get comfortable riding again and then upgrade? Or get the VFR? I will be taking a riding safety course regardless. I can find both used in the price range I can afford (4-6k).
+1 or +2 on getting what you want and will enjoy.  If owning the wrong bike makes the riding experience drudgery, there's little point having it in the garage.

Kind of like what Stroh said: you can get yourself killed on ANY motorcycle.  I know guys on Hayabusas who are very safe riders, and guys on 600s who've crashed more than once.  The mental side of the MSF course should become a way of like; based on your posts, I think you're probably rational enough (think about what you're doing, don't drink and ride, don't ride angry, etc.).  Based on your dirt experience, you're probably ahead of the curve in bike-handling muscle-memory (it'll come back quickly).

One thing I'd suggest is to call Progressive, Foremost, or whichever company you plan to be with and check out rates on a few target motorcycles.  I was set on an R6, only to learn the quote for this mid-40s former riding instructor with clean record was $2350/year.  (Full disclaimer: I carry abnormally high coverage limits, but they didn't drive the rates as much as you'd expect.)  Happily, it's been my experience that the VFR carries lower premiums ... but I'd still check around.

VFR Thoughts: A VFR is a great sport-touring bike, but it's a bit heavy for commuting and has a relatively large turning radius.  MPGs in the real world: mid- to high-30s.  Speaking of touring, the passenger footpegs are somewhat high (the better to increase lean angle), so a longer-legged passenger may complain, reduce your distance between stops, or beat you about the head and neck.  This bike sits kind of tall, which may be an issue given your height/inseam.  There are cheap-n-easy ways to lower it, though, and they shouldn't compromise the suspension given your weight.  Watch out for radiator damage on the VFR -- hanging the rads on the sides instead of behind the front wheel means they can be damaged in simple parking-lot drops v. old-school bike-totaling frontal impacts that bend the forks back into the radiator.  You're probably looking at VFRs new enough to have the VTEC.  There's a definite kick in the ass when the other valves chip in, although it was set at 7000 rpm in the early models.  You may not live in that rpm range, but mind the hyperdrive if you do go up there.  The VFR has exceptional headlights, which should make it a good after-dark bike if your commute has you leaving before sun-up or returning after sundown.  And the VFR has a robust aftermarket, so you would have little trouble outfitting the bike our customizing it to your liking.

All that said, a good friend at work has a 2006 VFR.  He's ridden my (former) 2006 Triumph Sprint ST (very close dimensions to the VFR) and keeps trying to figure out how he can sell the VFR, buy a Sprint, and not get in trouble with his wife.  Devil

I don't know your physical limitations, if any, but that should also factor in.  My lower back bothers me occasionally, and on those days, the 15 minutes I commuted in to work on the Sprint were about all I wanted of motorcycling.  I sold the Sprint and bought a Speed Triple, which shed ~60 pounds and gave me a less leaned-over riding posture.  Heaven.  But I'm not you.
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stroh
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Re: Motorcycle request/quest
« Reply #5 on: November 13, 2008, 08:59:57 PM »

Like Clive says.  It's all about the inseam.


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Aske
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Re: Motorcycle request/quest
« Reply #6 on: November 13, 2008, 09:06:04 PM »

here we go steelers, here we go
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Russia has invaded a sovereign neighboring state and threatens a democratic government elected by its people. Such an action is unacceptable in the 21st century.
--  Chimpy McFlightsuit, CEO of Bu$hco Industries of 'Merka
spacey
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Re: Motorcycle request/quest
« Reply #7 on: November 13, 2008, 09:07:50 PM »

  I was set on an R6, only to learn the quote for this mid-40s former riding instructor with clean record was $2350/year.
Holy *feces*, that's like 10x our annual premium on both bikesShocked
« Last Edit: November 13, 2008, 09:11:34 PM by spacey » Logged Return to Top
Aske
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Re: Motorcycle request/quest
« Reply #8 on: November 13, 2008, 09:08:56 PM »

i think my car ins is more, single driver, single vehicle
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Russia has invaded a sovereign neighboring state and threatens a democratic government elected by its people. Such an action is unacceptable in the 21st century.
--  Chimpy McFlightsuit, CEO of Bu$hco Industries of 'Merka
gleek
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Re: Motorcycle request/quest
« Reply #9 on: November 13, 2008, 09:28:52 PM »

i think my car ins is more, single driver, single vehicle
 Shocked

Dude, how many speeding tickets have you had? BTW, does your insurance company know that you're married? I hear that that makes difference because they know that you're not out chasing tail in your vehicle. Mr. Actuary Smoking can verify this.
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stroh
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Re: Motorcycle request/quest
« Reply #10 on: November 14, 2008, 05:08:41 AM »

  I was set on an R6, only to learn the quote for this mid-40s former riding instructor with clean record was $2350/year.
Holy *feces*, that's like 10x our annual premium on both bikesShocked

Yeah, I saw that and let it go.  He did admit that he heavily insures.......


I went with Geico and my premium is 80 bucks a year.    Cheesy  I have the lowest coverages obviously, and completely waived the coverage that would pay to replace/fix the bike in an accident.

Figured in that event, and substantial damage/cost to repair/replace would be the least of my worries.   Grin
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Clive
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Re: Motorcycle request/quest
« Reply #11 on: November 14, 2008, 07:12:27 AM »

2007 Triumph Speed Triple (MSRP $10k)
Displacement: 1050cc
$250k person, $500k incident, $100k property
Uninsured/underinsured
Towing, rental, $2500 in equipment (safety gear, GPS, yada yada)
Garage-kept, ignition kill installed
Orphan policy -- not with my cars or home
$614/year
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stegerman
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Re: Motorcycle request/quest
« Reply #12 on: November 14, 2008, 08:10:52 AM »

Thanks for all the information. Now you have me rethinking. Which is why I was asking I guess.

85% is for commuting. So a smaller, more upright bike is probably in order. I want the option of weekend or better road trips 2 up, since the wife will want to join on occasion. I think I really like the look of the sport-tourer, but haven't considered the riding position.

Back to the drawing board.
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stroh
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Re: Motorcycle request/quest
« Reply #13 on: November 14, 2008, 08:20:27 AM »



I think I really like the look of the sport-tourer, but haven't considered the riding position.

Back to the drawing board.

Nice catch.  It is very important for some to place themselves (read: Clive) in the ass up receivership presentation.
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spacey
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Re: Motorcycle request/quest
« Reply #14 on: November 14, 2008, 09:09:14 AM »

Again, if the majority of your time spent riding is going to be 1-up, I say buy what you want to ride and ride it. As for the size of bike, conventional wisdom always seems to say that smaller bikes are better for around town riding and commuting, but I've honestly never found myself in a situation during my commute or even just simply running errands where I thought "damn, I wish I bought a smaller bike."

Adding a passenger to the mix makes your choice a little bit different, depending on how often she will be riding. Most sport bike passenger pillions are like medieval torture devices. They're like jump-seats in a pick up truck, yeah technically you can put a passenger there, but not for very long or in any amount of comfort, or even lack of discomfort. I think you'll find, however, that on most non-touring specific cruisers, while you have options like a sissy-bar to provide some additional comfort, the passenger pillions aren't a whole lot better. When I replace the touring saddle on the Harley with the low profile saddle, the wife is only good for about 45 minutes back there. (The touring saddle is like a sofa. We rode two-up to southern Utah a couple months back and she said she could have napped back there it was so comfortable.)

I think what it boils down to is you can buy a bike that is perfect for a specific need and you can determine how much you wish to compromise in terms of other potential uses. I don't think there's a bike that is perfect for all occasions.

My honest advice, though, is buy the bike you're going to be happy with riding solo. If you're like most people I have known, no matter how earnest your intentions are of taking weekenders with the wife, it's probably going to happen much less frequently than you believe, if at all.
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