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Old 01-14-2012, 07:44 AM   #1
spddmn OP
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Ideas for two-up bike for under $3500...

Hey guys, Now that I'm married I'm craving a bike that will haul me and the Mrs. better than my Ninja will(not that I will ever get rid of it). I'm looking for something that will take us across the country if we want to, yet will also be fun for me if I want to commute on it or take it backroad blasting. Realistically, I'll be riding it solo much much more than we will be riding it together, but I want to have a bike that we can ride together on comfortable for when those times do come up. The problem with the Ninja is that ever time she's on it with me (she's 5'6" and weighs 115) and we're in traffic and I slightly tap the brakes or come to a stop she slides forward and causes me to put a lot of weight on my wrists/hands, which gets really sore really quickly. I've been thinking about my options for quite awhile but wanted to get your opinions as well. What bikes would you guys suggest for my $3500 budget that would fit the bill for

1. Comfy two-up across the county if we wanted to
2. Fun just for me to fly down backroads and commute
3. Bike she won't slide forward on when I tap the brakes/slow down

I've thought about Versys, Vstrom, Bandit, Bonneville, etc. The bike could even go back several years (10-15 or so for a good model, it doesn't have to be only a few years old). Give me your ideas. Thanks.
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Old 01-14-2012, 07:57 AM   #2
LuciferMutt
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ST1100, older Connie. You're probably not going to find a V-strom for under $3500 and the Versys seat is way to high in the back, IMO.

A lot of people say the VFR is good for two up, but I have one and I disagree. The seat is too short and too sloped and causes the same problem -- she slides into me every time I have to brake (and gradually over time everywhere else causing constant readjustments) Any bike that you want to cover some distance on two-up needs a longish seat that is either flat or has a defined "Butt cradle" for the passenger. Backrests for the passenger are also good.

Obviously, you can two-up on just about anything. But doing it somewhat comfortably takes some thought. Aftermarket seats can make a big difference on a lot of bikes.
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Old 01-14-2012, 10:42 AM   #3
BigEasy
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Typical Kawi reliability, pulls like a train, plenty comfy for two up. This was Mrs. Easy's fav until we bought an E' Glide
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Old 01-14-2012, 11:49 AM   #4
IRideASlowBike
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The first-generation Concourses sell for cheap and are good 2-up, especially if you put a backrest or trunk on it. Pretty quick bikes also.
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Old 01-16-2012, 09:47 PM   #5
Jim K.
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old Connie

Quote:
Originally Posted by IRideASlowBike View Post
The first-generation Concourses sell for cheap and are good 2-up, especially if you put a backrest or trunk on it. Pretty quick bikes also.
Yep, the old Connie looks a bit dated now, but it does just what it says on the tin. That toned down ninja 1000 motor seems immortal & has earned me several expensive performance awards from our Ct troopers. Because it remained unchanged for so long, the aftermarket loved it. There's virtually nothing on it that can't be modded or swapped out to suit you. The Concours Owners Group is the best extended warrantee you can buy. There are friendly folks there who can solve any problem the bike may present, usually with a fix from Home Depot for $1.95. The old ST 1100 is right in the same league, a little pricier & nicer details but the same sort of high speed comfort & reliability, but you seem to be a fan of Big K so I'm guessing the Connie might be more up your alley. Can't go wrong with either & they are both out there for well under $3500.
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Old 01-16-2012, 09:56 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Jim K. View Post
Yep, the old Connie looks a bit dated now, but it does just what it says on the tin. That toned down ninja 1000 motor seems immortal & has earned me several expensive performance awards from our Ct troopers. Because it remained unchanged for so long, the aftermarket loved it. There's virtually nothing on it that can't be modded or swapped out to suit you. The Concours Owners Group is the best extended warrantee you can buy. There are friendly folks there who can solve any problem the bike may present, usually with a fix from Home Depot for $1.95. The old ST 1100 is right in the same league, a little pricier & nicer details but the same sort of high speed comfort & reliability, but you seem to be a fan of Big K so I'm guessing the Connie might be more up your alley. Can't go wrong with either & they are both out there for well under $3500.
Yeah, my 1990 with 60,000 miles cost me $1,450, and that included a Givi 52-liter trunk with luggage rack and backrest (really expensive stuff, like $300?).

I bought it in January 2011, and it now has about 70,000 miles on it. It started leaking oil after I put a Harley sticker on it though. Haven't bothered fixing it.
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Old 02-16-2012, 03:58 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigEasy View Post
Typical Kawi reliability, pulls like a train, plenty comfy for two up. This was Mrs. Easy's fav until we bought an E' Glide
I second this one. They can be found for under $3,000 (I got my '03 1200R for $1700+ tags, tax, etc), there's a pretty big following out there for 'em, and they can pull a passenger around no sweat.

Second to that would be the Connie, my wife seemed to like the seating on the one we sat on two up.

Third would be the Vulcan 800 mentioned above, I imagine it's a bike that's great to ride and easy to maintain.

Finally, let's not forget the 1995-2003 Honda VF750C Magna. Rides low, runs a mid 12-second 1/4 mile, averages over 40 mpg with a jet kit and pipes. Still wish I had my '95, except my 1200R is a blast to ride

I've found the VF750C Magnas for under $3,000; again, like most used good bikes, a matter of patience and searching for one. The best part for me is that the older VFR750 motor/transmission is a direct swap in, no special parts needed. Later model VFRs won't work though, not without modification.
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Old 01-14-2012, 12:04 PM   #8
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For less than $3500 you can buy a really nice 1100 or 1200 goldwing . Stone axe reliability,two up tripping easy as saying it and not a bad solo mount at all. Comfortable as lots of newer touring bikes too.
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Old 01-14-2012, 12:47 PM   #9
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Not for everyone but it always puts a smile on my face.
New was 3750, I have heard of deals lower than that new.
Again, not for everyone but it's very capable.

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Old 01-14-2012, 12:53 PM   #10
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Concours already mentioned so I'll throw the fz1 into the mix. Crazy reliable, plenty of power, comfy two up.
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Old 01-14-2012, 12:59 PM   #11
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As others have mentioned, a first-gen Connie. Heck, I'll sell you my extremely nice 2001 for 3400! PM me if you're the slightest bit interested......
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Old 01-14-2012, 03:21 PM   #12
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cheap and reliable versatile and big(ish)

Be aware that the K-wackers so widely admired (and rightly so) are also enormously heavy. Not everyone is comfortable dealing with that much iron (and power). That's something to keep in mind when shopping around. I wouldn't jump into anything I had not ridden and felt at ease piloting.
Attached is my classic K-bike that I picked up last summer. These are undervalued in the market and can be had for a proverbial song. Parts are easily available. I'd also add these bikes are reliable. Do the maintenance and you should easily get 100 K miles out of the engine before it's time to rebuild.
Just something else to consider....
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Old 01-14-2012, 04:43 PM   #13
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I'v got an ST1100 for just that a 2 up touring bike. I took one out for a day with my wife and she then wanted me to get one, almost more so than I did. I had my eye on it for a while. Mine is a 95 it gets about 300 mi to a tank. 7 gallon tank. Side hard bags detach and lock easily, comfortable for 2 up. Im 5-10 185lb. Sandy is 5-7 120,30 ish lbs. She'll never tell.
The bike rides well and pulls up hills 2 up with a weekends worth of stuff. For $3600.00 the price of mine 5 yrs ago its well worth it. Very reliable, very smooth, comfortable and also quite fast, for an 1100. It's not an FJR, an ST1300, or a 1400 concourse. But it is loads of fun handles well, and at 40 to 45 mpg not to bad. When i ride it like its a VFR it gets 30 to 35 mpg.
It's a great commuter 4 season bike, here in Seattle i see a few of them commuting all winter long, lots of rain but not quite freezing. You can check out STowners.com for info and what nots on the ST.
There are many bike types in the sport tour 2 up type and in your price range.
Have fun shopping.
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Old 01-14-2012, 06:12 PM   #14
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Your desire for "two up across the country" as well as "fun" seems to force you into the sport tourers: ST, Concours. I love my K75, but I would think the only K bike that meets your requirements and price would be a K1100RS. Maybe even a late 90s K1200RS might be had for $3500. If you don't mind naked, that ZRX looks pretty sweet. I almost bought one for $3000 with like 60k miles on it. The guy selling it had been on many two up trips.

I've seen a couple V-Stroms fall into your price range too.
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Old 01-15-2012, 03:17 AM   #15
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If you're gonna look at a K then get a K100RS4V or a K1100RS. Yup, a tad bit heavier but with ten more hp and radial tires they're a lot more fun to ride. More importantly, especially if you're gonna be riding 2-up, the front brakes are MUCH better than those of a K75 or 2V K100.

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