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Old 05-26-2014, 01:52 PM   #1
Alexander B OP
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What bike to buy - Can not decide if I even like motorbikes anymore...

Now well into my fourth season as a rider I still have not managed to decice what motorbike I want to have. It seems very common to recommend to get "the bike you want to see when you open the garage door", but I am still at loss here. After a 90's Yamaha XJ 600N, two Honda VT750C2, one 2011 Yamaha XJ 6 Diversion F ABS and at last a Yamaha XT660R, none of these bikes "puts a grin on my face". No "passion", whatsoever.

I have also tried other bikes at dealers and from friends, like the Yamaha XJR 1300, MT-09, TDM 900, Kawasaki Z800, Harley Davidson Switchback, Yamaha FZR 1000 EXUP and more.

In an attempt to be somewhat "rational" about it, I have looked at bikes with low to medium running costs, as I use the bike for commuting 2-3 days a week, March - October. That ruled out the XJR 1300, which for instance uses more fuel than any of our three cars, still only being marginally quicker than the frugal XJ 6. OK bike otherwise, which is a good review coming from me.

I can not stand turbulence as the noise drives me crazy, even with a Schuberth S2 pro and foam ear plugs, I still could not ride my full fairing XJ 6 at 110 km/h unless I took the windscreen off. The Switchback was even worse with the windshield on and I could not try it without. (It did not matter because I was not impressed by that bike; slow, mushy brakes, crappy transmission, massive vibration etc.)

I also have a real problem with incompetent engineering, so the bad fuelling in the XJ 6 and XT660R is VERY annoying to me, just like the massive internal play/slack in the XJ6 gearbox. I never "get used to" this kind of issues - on the contrary, I just get more frustrated over time with such bad designs. Just like the speedometer being a whopping 13% optimistic. Why? It would be easy to make it 3% off, like in my Hondas.

Due to "bad engineering", BMW and Ducati are obviously out of the picture...

Rearview mirror design on most "modern" bikes fall into the same category. (Bad) design for design's sake - strange looking objects that will not display the traffic behind you... I really despise these sort of cr*p they sell instead of real, functional bikes today. Fuel injection done right (like in my Hondas) is a fantastic thing - this I like!

So, what is the point of all this whining? Well, am I the only one feeling like this? Just a few (less than ten!) years back there were many "honest", competent bikes to chose from, quick, smooth, clean in design and still performing on a level very close to where we are today. There were both big and middle size models, too.

All suggestions are much welcome! Good, honest bike with a little "extra" to stir up some emotion? The MT-09 was not so bad, but the riding position far too upright and "motard" for me. Ugly, though, and with the useless mirrors, again... My Shadows had fine engineering but were physically too small and bordering too slow at 46hp.

Maybe Triumph?

Volvo?
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Old 05-26-2014, 02:36 PM   #2
Motopsychoman
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Eek

Buy a Ural then come back here in 4 years and complain.
Sounds like you want to be comfortable on a bike. Try a Cadillac CTS.

I want mirrors that can tell me there is something like a SUV behind me on my left, not because I need to see which hand she is holding her lipstick in.
I don't mind wind noise unless it makes my ears ring afterwards.

I ride because I don't mind those things. My daily ride is a BMW G650GS single, vibrates a little, quiet with the stock exhaust, mirrors are great (for a motorcycle) and I get about 65 MPG on the freeway commute.

If you want real input as to the right bike for you, get over most of those things and let us know what kind of riding is really enjoyable for you. When do you feel one with the machine? I'm at my best just whipping back and forth on coastal highways, back country roads, twisty mountain passes, etc and not at super-legal speeds anymore. Freeways are just tolerable to me even if th scenery is magnificent.
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Current Rides: '13 Sertao, '98 Bandit 1200, Currently a 1200 piece puzzle: '86 R80G/S PD
Past: '66 Suzuki T10, '72 CL350, '74 GT550, '80 GS750, '7? XT500, '83 RM250, '85 XT500
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Old 05-26-2014, 02:51 PM   #3
Alexander B OP
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Interesting mix of a lot of things in your reply...
But still I appreciate it, of course.

Well, I ride alone - no passenger.
Cadillac is about as far from my ideal car as possible, I'd say.

I want something INVOLVING, both on four wheels and on two. For cars I like to drive SAAB 9-3, a couple of Alfa Romeo models, Nissan 200SX etc. Manual transmission, turbos are welcome, mid size body but still practical.

And yes - my ears do ring after 20 minutes at 110km/h on that XJ6 (FZ6S in US, I think), in spite of Schuberth S1 pro + foam plugs.
The rear view mirrors are clear and in the right place on the Honda Shadow and look good, too. Same goes for the old -96 XJ 600 I had.

Enjoyable riding? At first, I must be able to commute on it without getting nuts or deaf... Very boooooring ride to work, basically 10 km straigh (as in virtually NO curves at all) road, 70 km/h leading up to 15 km, straight highway. Not a lot of traffic.

I do not ride much "for fun" as I find very little fun in riding my bikes at legal or legal-ish speeds. The XT660R I have now stutters and surges and does not run that well below 80-85 km/h.
Again, the Shadows feels better and makes me more at peace with its throaty sound, super flexible engine and Honda precision in every moving piece, but after 15 or so minutes, my body reminds me to get a bike where I can fit properly. There is however no custom Honda models sold at all here anymore, and the FI bikes were either my 750 (too small), 1800 (too big) or the odd looking and very expensive 1300 Fury (slow, expensive and too "custom").
There is the Yamaha XVS 1300 that I yet have to try, but it is also big and cumbersome to manouvre between our cars in the driveway and in the garage.

Alexander B screwed with this post 05-26-2014 at 03:06 PM
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Old 05-26-2014, 03:14 PM   #4
Alexander B OP
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Well and today I commute on the XT660R:

Hands go slightly tingling after 15 minutes at 110 km/h, mirrors are acceptable, seat is ok up to 2 hours non-stop, which is my longest so far, eats rear tire thread at twice the rate of my previous bikes, jerky fuelling, so-so surface finish, good headlight etc. Definitely more wind noise than on my Shadow. Fuel consumption is about 4.7 litres / 100km.

Lots of "banging", ugly induction noise at acceleration. No exhaust sound audible at speed. It is almost as dull to ride as the TDM900 I tried, which was a 100% "mule" - no fun at all.
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Old 05-26-2014, 03:43 PM   #5
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Eek

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexander B View Post
Well and today I commute on the XT660R:

Hands go slightly tingling after 15 minutes at 110 km/h, mirrors are acceptable, seat is ok up to 2 hours non-stop, which is my longest so far, eats rear tire thread at twice the rate of my previous bikes, jerky fuelling, so-so surface finish, good headlight etc. Definitely more wind noise than on my Shadow. Fuel consumption is about 4.7 litres / 100km.

Lots of "banging", ugly induction noise at acceleration. No exhaust sound audible at speed. It is almost as dull to ride as the TDM900 I tried, which was a 100% "mule" - no fun at all.

Okay, now I have something to work with. Lets start with middle weights. Singles and tingling fingers and toes mostly go together. The BMW G650 did an outstanding job of counter-balancing and my hands can hang in there for 10 hour rides. A middle-weight twin, maybe the size of a Suzuki SV650 is well handling and low vibration. A 650 twin or 800 twin will also handle well and get reasonable fuel mileage.

Is the noise that bothers you wind or engine? So, a bike that is well tuned and with a stock exhaust should not make too much noise, unless it is a Ducati. Normally high frequency sounds bother me the most: gear whine, intake whistling, etc.
The only ways to reduce wind noise are a good windscreen that deflects the wind over your helmet and a different helmet. No naked bikes.

I'm am not a fan of Schuberth helmets at all. Shoei helmets fit me the best, but my Shoei RF-1100 is noisier than I like. It's about twice as noisy as my previous Shoei. You may just have to try on a number of different helmets to find one that fits you and is quiet enough. Sportier helmets models are probably noisier than touring helmets.

If you like a more upright seating position and may occasionally ride off-road, maybe something like a SV650 might be worth checking out. Maybe check out something like the Honda NC700X. These are all smooth and well behaved motorcycles. Good power for most uses. You don't like BMWs but the F700 might be a good ride for you.

Anyway, in summary, windshield and helmets are the only answers to wind noise. Stock exhausts and well tuned motors will keep the bike quieter. Twins will be better balanced than singles and make for better long rides.
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Current Rides: '13 Sertao, '98 Bandit 1200, Currently a 1200 piece puzzle: '86 R80G/S PD
Past: '66 Suzuki T10, '72 CL350, '74 GT550, '80 GS750, '7? XT500, '83 RM250, '85 XT500
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Old 05-26-2014, 04:14 PM   #6
Venteuri
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Moto Guzzi California


Ducati multistrada

BMW R1200RT - no wind or noise problems BEST
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Old 05-26-2014, 05:11 PM   #7
bikecat
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Get into a cage.

And see if you mind or misses bikes. If you don't, you have lost the riding feelin'.
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Old 05-26-2014, 05:18 PM   #8
soggysandwich
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Venteuri View Post
Moto Guzzi California


Ducati multistrada

BMW R1200RT - no wind or noise problems BEST
FAIL,,, all 3 of your suggestions FAIL..

the man clearly stated........... " Due to "bad engineering", BMW and Ducati are obviously out of the picture..."

try reading the WHOLE post..


my advice?..go jap, you'll never look back
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Old 05-26-2014, 05:38 PM   #9
Venteuri
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soggysandwich View Post
FAIL,,, all 3 of your suggestions FAIL..

the man clearly stated........... " Due to "bad engineering", BMW and Ducati are obviously out of the picture..."

try reading the WHOLE post..


my advice?..go jap, you'll never look back
Reading the whole post?? You're crazy. Too long didn't read. SADD


Bad engineering???? On BMW or new Ducatis? Is the world backwards now?

What the OP needs is a bike with character and soul. He needs to put rationalism aside and get into something sexy.... Maybe even slow down to avoid wind issues and smell the flowers.


Adding more options:

Ducati Diavel

Triumph Thunderbird LT

Honda CB1100DLX
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Venteuri screwed with this post 05-26-2014 at 05:43 PM
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Old 05-26-2014, 05:44 PM   #10
Venteuri
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Klr
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Old 05-26-2014, 05:49 PM   #11
Venteuri
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soggysandwich View Post
FAIL,,,
.....

my advice?..go jap, you'll never look back
Double FAIL ...

Quote:
t I am still at loss here. After a 90's Yamaha XJ 600N, two Honda VT750C2, one 2011 Yamaha XJ 6 Diversion F ABS and at last a Yamaha XT660R, none of these bikes "puts a grin on my face". No "passion", whatsoever.
Can you see the issue more clearer now??
Only Jap bikes owned so far.
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Old 05-26-2014, 05:59 PM   #12
beardothebeardo
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The OP needs to HTFU or climb back into a cage. No kid gloves here...
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Old 05-26-2014, 06:04 PM   #13
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Get a Vespa. If that doesn't work, go and whine on a car forum.

Sorry, but coming here, whining like an unloved wife of 30 years and saying everything else sucks, too, is helping nobody. Not you, not anybody here.
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Old 05-26-2014, 06:04 PM   #14
Motopsychoman
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Eek Clarification on Ducatis

Didn't in any way mean to say Ducatis were poor engineering. On the contrary, I believe they are superb engineering.
But they are not quiet motorcycles by design. They are loud and make rattling sounds and that is a distinct part of their charm. The Duc exhaust note is amazing.
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Current Rides: '13 Sertao, '98 Bandit 1200, Currently a 1200 piece puzzle: '86 R80G/S PD
Past: '66 Suzuki T10, '72 CL350, '74 GT550, '80 GS750, '7? XT500, '83 RM250, '85 XT500

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Old 05-26-2014, 06:14 PM   #15
FongMan
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Thumb

I love my 11Fiddy, matter O fact i even polished and Armoralled the dainty parts today, ....................

I dont polish anything.......................................til l now!!!
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