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Old 05-26-2015, 09:32 AM   #1
VicRattlehead OP
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Browsing cycles; thoughts, impressions

Recently spent the day with my brother just riding around oogling at some new bikes. Just thought I'd share my impressions on a few:

1st stop was a multi-line Japanese dealer. My first impression here was that the sales guy couldn't care less about actually selling a bike. We were all but ignored the whole time we were there. About some bikes though:
-The 'little' bikes have come a long way. The CBR300, Ninja 300 and especially the KTM 390RC are pretty good looking little rides; far cry from the embarrassingly 'low rent' beginner bikes of old.

-The Suzuki GSX 750s is a darn nice looking bike. I'd say it is a FAR better looking bike in the flesh than in pics. I never really cared for it in pics (or should I say it didn't excite me in any way) but seeing one in person, I could just about see myself riding one; especially with a sale tag on it well under $7g.


Also stopped at a multi-line BMW, Triumph, Indian, Victory dealer:
-The BMW R9T is an absolutely BEAUTIFUL bike. MAN, what looker! That $16k price tag hanging from the bars though was hard to swallow (yes, I know MSRP is less than that, the price on THIS one though was $16+).

-The triumph Tiger Explorer is an oddity to me. It looked HUGE and tall but swinging a leg over it revealed that I didn't like the seating position AT ALL. It was WAY too much of a compromise for those of the 'short inseam' variety. I could sit on the back of the seat with my feet flat, knees bent/relaxed and I'm hardly a giant at 6' w/ a 33" inseam. The seat felt like it was easily 2-3" too low; it just felt awkward with the LOW seat and high bars; like sitting on an ADV bike with mini-apes. Personally, I'd want the seat and pegs up 2-3" over where they were placed.

-The Sprint ST was the Goldilocks bike for me. Man, oh man did it feel 'just right'. When it's time to look for another bike the Sprint just got moved up to 'top 3' position. GREAT looking bike and oh-so perfect riding postion.

Over to the cruiser side (which sadly dominated the majority of the inventory).

-The Scout (yes, they had one in stock) is a great looking bike. Again a bit of an oddity as the seat is VERY low, presumably to be 'short rider' friendly but the pegs are quite far out there (not at all short rider friendly). It fit me pretty well but I would have had the seat a few more inches from the ground. Still, a very nice fit for me. I can't see how a 'shorty' would ride one though without the pegs being moved back quite a bit.

-Polaris has done a phenomenal job with the Indian line; they look fantastic, well-built and are just beautiful motorcycles.

Anyway, just some thoughts/observations.
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Old 05-26-2015, 10:05 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VicRattlehead View Post
Recently spent the day with my brother just riding around oogling at some new bikes. Just thought I'd share my impressions on a few:

1st stop was a multi-line Japanese dealer. My first impression here was that the sales guy couldn't care less about actually selling a bike. We were all but ignored the whole time we were there. About some bikes though:
-The 'little' bikes have come a long way. The CBR300, Ninja 300 and especially the KTM 390RC are pretty good looking little rides; far cry from the embarrassingly 'low rent' beginner bikes of old.

-The Suzuki GSX 750s is a darn nice looking bike. I'd say it is a FAR better looking bike in the flesh than in pics. I never really cared for it in pics (or should I say it didn't excite me in any way) but seeing one in person, I could just about see myself riding one; especially with a sale tag on it well under $7g.


Also stopped at a multi-line BMW, Triumph, Indian, Victory dealer:
-The BMW R9T is an absolutely BEAUTIFUL bike. MAN, what looker! That $16k price tag hanging from the bars though was hard to swallow (yes, I know MSRP is less than that, the price on THIS one though was $16+).

-The triumph Tiger Explorer is an oddity to me. It looked HUGE and tall but swinging a leg over it revealed that I didn't like the seating position AT ALL. It was WAY too much of a compromise for those of the 'short inseam' variety. I could sit on the back of the seat with my feet flat, knees bent/relaxed and I'm hardly a giant at 6' w/ a 33" inseam. The seat felt like it was easily 2-3" too low; it just felt awkward with the LOW seat and high bars; like sitting on an ADV bike with mini-apes. Personally, I'd want the seat and pegs up 2-3" over where they were placed.

-The Sprint ST was the Goldilocks bike for me. Man, oh man did it feel 'just right'. When it's time to look for another bike the Sprint just got moved up to 'top 3' position. GREAT looking bike and oh-so perfect riding postion.

Over to the cruiser side (which sadly dominated the majority of the inventory).

-The Scout (yes, they had one in stock) is a great looking bike. Again a bit of an oddity as the seat is VERY low, presumably to be 'short rider' friendly but the pegs are quite far out there (not at all short rider friendly). It fit me pretty well but I would have had the seat a few more inches from the ground. Still, a very nice fit for me. I can't see how a 'shorty' would ride one though without the pegs being moved back quite a bit.

-Polaris has done a phenomenal job with the Indian line; they look fantastic, well-built and are just beautiful motorcycles.

Anyway, just some thoughts/observations.
I checked out all those as well, except the Scout anyway. But of the ones you listed I felt most comfortable on the Tiger. I didn't ride it though, I rode a Tiger 800 which I did not like at all.
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Old 05-26-2015, 10:31 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VicRattlehead View Post

-Polaris has done a phenomenal job with the Indian line; they look fantastic, well-built and are just beautiful motorcycles.

Anyway, just some thoughts/observations.
They are pretty but it always rubs me the wrong way when someone buys old trademarks and then pretends to be the original company.
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Old 05-26-2015, 01:49 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by toowheelsgood View Post
They are pretty but it always rubs me the wrong way when someone buys old trademarks and then pretends to be the original company.
I may be a little biased, buying a bike from one of those companies and all, but if the product is good who cares?
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Old 05-26-2015, 02:14 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by toowheelsgood View Post
They are pretty but it always rubs me the wrong way when someone buys old trademarks and then pretends to be the original company.
I think John Bloor and Polaris have done wonderful jobs of resurrecting Triumph and Indian with beautiful and reliable machines that make a respectful stylistic nod to the past while being modern machines--especially when compared to the disrespectful and insincere efforts to revive Indian pre-2011.
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Old 05-26-2015, 06:22 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Superzoom View Post
I think John Bloor and Polaris have done wonderful jobs of resurrecting Triumph and Indian with beautiful and reliable machines that make a respectful stylistic nod to the past while being modern machines--especially when compared to the disrespectful and insincere efforts to revive Indian pre-2011.
I couldnt agree more!
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Old 05-26-2015, 08:09 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VicRattlehead View Post
-The triumph Tiger Explorer is an oddity to me. It looked HUGE and tall but swinging a leg over it revealed that I didn't like the seating position AT ALL. It was WAY too much of a compromise for those of the 'short inseam' variety. I could sit on the back of the seat with my feet flat, knees bent/relaxed and I'm hardly a giant at 6' w/ a 33" inseam. The seat felt like it was easily 2-3" too low;
Doesn't that bike have adjustable seat height? Could it have been in the low position? Also maybe a taller seat is available.
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Old 05-27-2015, 06:06 PM   #8
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yep, I think the tiger seat is adjustable, but I could be wrong. It's just so UGLY I have never paid much attention to it. I'm kinda surprised that you noticed the Tiger, but not the Versys 1000 or V-Strom 1000.
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Old 05-27-2015, 06:56 PM   #9
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Are you by any chance in Atlanta?
Mountain Motorsports has taken over every multi line Jap dealership within 25 miles of the Perimeter, and they SUCK balls in every way.
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Old 05-27-2015, 07:47 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VicRattlehead View Post
-The Sprint ST was the Goldilocks bike for me
GREAT looking bike and oh-so perfect riding postion.

What year was it?
I thought if it was newer than 2010 it would be a Sprint GT, and when I look around recently all I see online is the Trophy. I assumed they stopped making the Sprint, which would be a shame.
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Old 05-27-2015, 08:21 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toowheelsgood View Post
They are pretty but it always rubs me the wrong way when someone buys old trademarks and then pretends to be the original company.
Brand recognition is key. Triumph, Norton, Indian...they all have history that you cannot earn quickly enough. Buying the name and making a faithful product is better than no bike at all.

Polaris already tried a fresh face and seems to be getting more press and better accolades with Indian than Victory. Cross over from HD seems better.
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Old 05-27-2015, 10:11 PM   #12
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I personally like it when the sales guy leaves me alone. If I have a question or want to ride something, I'll ask. The BMW R9T does look good no doubt.
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Old 05-28-2015, 12:35 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by kawasakirob View Post
i personally like it when the sales guy leaves me alone. If i have a question or want to ride something, i'll ask. The bmw r9t does look good no doubt.
+1
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Old 05-28-2015, 09:35 AM   #14
VicRattlehead OP
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Originally Posted by davidji View Post
Doesn't that bike have adjustable seat height? Could it have been in the low position? Also maybe a taller seat is available.
I didn't check for adjustable seat but it would take a LOT of adjustment to make me happy. I guess I kind of expected a 'dirtbike-ish' seating position (high over the bars, well off the ground) and it was the exact opposite. I felt like I was on a horse with a broken back!


Quote:
Originally Posted by CopaMundial View Post
What year was it?
I thought if it was newer than 2010 it would be a Sprint GT, and when I look around recently all I see online is the Trophy. I assumed they stopped making the Sprint, which would be a shame.
It was almost assuredly newer than 2010. It felt AWSOME though and it would be a crying shame if they were indeed discontinued.
A quick visit to their site confirms that the Sprint is no longer offered. That SUCKS.....


Quote:
Originally Posted by kirb View Post
Brand recognition is key. Triumph, Norton, Indian...they all have history that you cannot earn quickly enough. Buying the name and making a faithful product is better than no bike at all.

Polaris already tried a fresh face and seems to be getting more press and better accolades with Indian than Victory. Cross over from HD seems better.
Bingo.
Polaris already had a cruiser line that is technologically and mechanically superior to 'The King' and yet can't sell even a small percentage as many bikes. Name recognition is HUGE and while I don't necessarily like 'buying a name', I feel like they are treating that name with a certain degree of respect, which I, in turn, respect.
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Old 05-28-2015, 09:52 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VicRattlehead View Post


Bingo.
Polaris already had a cruiser line that is technologically and mechanically superior to 'The King' and yet can't sell even a small percentage as many bikes. Name recognition is HUGE and while I don't necessarily like 'buying a name', I feel like they are treating that name with a certain degree of respect, which I, in turn, respect.
I'm not sure that Indian's success is tied to their name, though at the Indian dealer that I went to they absolutely made CERTAIN that everyone knew that Indian was the US's first motorcycle company and that Indians 1901 was older than HD's 1903. Victory styling is, and remains, an acquired taste for lots of cruiser buyers.

With that said, Indians look sweet, feel great and since Polaris started tabula rasa they have improvements over HD products... not to mention the HD legacy costs that likely control some of HD's spending policies.

This makes Indians perferct for folks that hate HD but want a Harley.
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