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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.
2001 ZX6R Ninja
2008 KLR 650 (Sold)
1966 Honda CB160 vintage racer (In progress)
1975 Kawi KS125
1970 Honda CL100

spddmn screwed with this post 01-14-2012 at 10:30 AM
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Old 01-14-2012, 07:57 AM   #2
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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
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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
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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 01-14-2012, 12:04 PM   #5
The Dirty One
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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   #6
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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.

2011 tu250x / 2011 V-strom
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Old 01-14-2012, 12:53 PM   #7
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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   #8
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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   #9
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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   #10
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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 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   #11
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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   #12
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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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Old 01-15-2012, 04:23 AM   #13
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i had the bandit 1200 and 1250. both were the best there is for one up in nall respects. but there is just not enough passenger room. my wife absolutely love my goldwing where she merely tolerated my bandits adn sportbikes.
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Old 01-15-2012, 06:08 AM   #14
El Guero
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They've been mentioned several times in this thread, but I want to reiterate that you would be nuts to get anything other than a Concourse or a ST1100. The price point that these older bikes are at now are an absolute bargain. Anything bigger than these might not be as fun to ride solo, and anything smaller will really be compromising cross-country 2-up comfort. Not to mention the fact that these bikes have been ridden millions of miles and have potential problems that are well documented.

Seriously, for your purpose and budget there is nothing better.

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Old 01-15-2012, 10:44 AM   #15
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how about a zx10 or zx11? I have a 1989 zx-10 that i picked up for under 1000 dollars and it hauls ass, is super comfy and is dead reliable. just eats the miles with plenty of power in any gear at any time.

spend the money on farkles getting it the way you want.
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