Bluesman - Wow! You've just proven the old adage that "the grass is always greener on the other side (of the pond)". I'd modify a KLE or restore an Africa Twin in a HEARTBEAT! A Yamah XT would work, too. Even MZ's if they are still available.
- It really is true that there is almost nothing in the USA under 600cc supersports unless you ride a dual sport / dirt bike. You can get older Honda NT650 Hawks or CB-1's (CB400F's) and some Suzuki 400 Bandits, but they are rare. The Yamaha YZF-600R Thundercat and Honda CBR600 F4i are available as SPORT-tourers, but they started life as supersports.
- We really need an XTZ1200 Super Tenere in a 750cc size and 100 lbs. less weight (a modern Africa Twin). That's why everyone wants to believe that a bike that looks like a CB500X will perform like an Africa Twin, even though Honda never claims it will. They say "urban" and "adventure STYLED". We see what we want to see; not what is actually there. Also, the "real deal" would be quite expensive, while the "styled" bike is a cheap modification on a basic CB500 frame, which will sell into the "ADV" trend at a low price. [American tastes and economics sux.]
Evenflo76 - You can spend anything you want on a new or modified front end:
- Full Ohlins with custom triple clamps and a Marchesini front wheel will run between $2500 and $4000 US.
- Take the front end from another bike (wrecked or on Ebay) for maybe $1200 if you don't have to change the wheel or brakes.
- Modify what's there starting about $600 or $800. An Excel wheel laced into a hub that will fit can be $400 all by itself.
These are all ball-park prices - almost anything I buy will need some of this attention, since we can't get stock high quality front ends on any mid-sized motorcycle in the US. I watch what is being done to some bikes in Europe as examples from which to learn (e.g. the Africa Twin front end upgrades, usually with KTM / WP parts).
1990 Honda NT-650 Hawk-GT
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world;
indeed, it's the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead