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Old 06-28-2012, 12:24 PM   #46
mvg2
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The zzr may have the "spank" but the Blackbird has the refinement and overall package. this bike feels like it was carved out of whole. Very solid. Stock, the bird's ergos are a little more aggressive but easily fixed. I have lsl bar risers and peg lowering brackets and this bird is all day comfortable. Love the engine. Below 6 grand she's smooth as glass and pulls strong. Above 6 grand...a whole new personality rips out! Just an awesome mix of refinement, power, and handling.
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Old 06-28-2012, 12:38 PM   #47
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The ZX14 is a great bike. Down side on the touring side is - non factory luggage, don't expect to get much more than 40mpg, comfort is relative, mine was fine for long days with buell pegs (drops a bit) and bar risers. It feels light, handles amazing, and insane power. Very smooth engine also.

With that said, after my 06 was stolen, I ended up replacing it with a '11 Sprint GT, for the touring advantage. Handling is near the same, same steering angle, near same weight, slighty longer wheelbase which I actually prefer. A bit more upright, and luggage is huge. Less power, but more low end/midrange-"touring" power. Left over 2011's can be had for great deals. One downside is that they are apparently not import any for 2012, and after that, who knows. And it can get into the 50's mpg while touring.
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Old 06-28-2012, 02:04 PM   #48
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I've put big miles on a ZX-14 (great ride, one of my top three bikes ever), big miles on an FJR (too heavy for your criteria), and an ST1300.
I've also put big miles on a PGM-FI Blackbird, and as refined as it's reputation says (and it is), the ZX-14 is smoother (much), faster (much), and has a very high build quality.

If you want a bit more sport in the mix with no sacrifice in comfort (and that's down to personal preference)...
The Ninja 1000 deserves a good long, hard look before you decide

I have a bike better suited to two-up riding where I need luggage capacity, so I won't be putting the Givi's on this bike. I'm 57, btw.





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Old 06-28-2012, 08:39 PM   #49
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+1 on the F800ST. Comfort is subjective, but I've done 900+ mile days back to back a couple of times of mine, and unlike many bikes I'm happy with the stock seat, bars, and windshield, although I did get a footpeg-lowering kit. The OEM luggage is surprisingly functional. With that plus a Givi topcase we went on a 5000+ mile 2-up camping trip last summer. I agree with the earlier post about occasional weird noises when coasting at low speed, but it's not a dealbreaker for me. As was said earlier, they're a *much* better deal slightly used than new. I think I got mine for something like 40% off MSRP less than two years old, with 3k miles, and looking new.
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Old 06-29-2012, 05:34 AM   #50
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Here's my two 500lb sport tourers.

Aprilia Falco with homemade pannier racks / Givi bags.


Triumph Sprint ST ... OEM pannier racks removed for yesterday's "Sport" riding
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Old 06-29-2012, 06:26 AM   #51
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Blackbird....refined beast

Quote:
Originally Posted by mvg2 View Post
The zzr may have the "spank" but the Blackbird has the refinement and overall package. this bike feels like it was carved out of whole. Very solid. Stock, the bird's ergos are a little more aggressive but easily fixed. I have lsl bar risers and peg lowering brackets and this bird is all day comfortable. Love the engine. Below 6 grand she's smooth as glass and pulls strong. Above 6 grand...a whole new personality rips out! Just an awesome mix of refinement, power, and handling.

I do like the look and refinement of Blackbird over ZZR and I believe it's lighter by about 40 lbs. The main reason I'm looking at a ZZR is that I found one that's set up exactly the way I want it, i.e., LSL bars, hard side & top cases. Getting too lazy to tinker with stock bikes for a touring set up...
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Old 06-29-2012, 07:19 AM   #52
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I looked at the ad for that ZX14. I'd go for it. You will not be disappointed.
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Old 06-29-2012, 07:26 AM   #53
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K1300r

Wish they could be had in the states... I have the K1200R and it's a fantastic mid-500lb sport touring bike.

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Old 06-29-2012, 08:09 AM   #54
mrbreeze
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I'm 5'9" with a 30" inseam too and I am loving my 2011 FJR. It's a bit on the heavy side for your criteria, but the only time I notice the weight is when I have to push it around in the garage. I'm not planning on having to pick it up.

If I was looking at new bikes and absolutely had to have something lighter, I would consider the Ninja 1000. In my opinion though, you give up a lot going from the FJR to the Ninja. The Triumph Sprint GT would also be worth a look, as would the Yamaha FZ1.

If $$$ is not an issue and you want something more exotic, perhaps a KTM SMT or an Aprilia Tuono?
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Old 06-29-2012, 09:50 AM   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrbreeze View Post
In my opinion though, you give up a lot going from the FJR to the Ninja.
That can be true, though it completely depends on where your preferences lie... The opposite is also true - that you give up a lot going from the Ninja to the FJR.

My '07 FJR was a fabulous bike, definitely leaning toward the larger, more comfortable touring end of the spectrum while giving up very little on the sporty side. Stupendous bike.

I did not expect the Ninja 1000 to be as good on road trips as it's been, and it is for sure on the sportier side of the equation.

If you lean towards wanting a lightweight bike with the sporting abilities close to that of the current sporting iron...it's a great fit.
If you are ok with a 660lb bike that hides it's heft very well and provides big range and comfort and still is fun to throw around on a mountain road - then an FJR-type bike is great too.
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Old 06-29-2012, 11:58 AM   #56
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I'm leaning toward that flagship. Getting close....
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Old 06-29-2012, 01:24 PM   #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blakebird View Post
I've put big miles on a ZX-14 (great ride, one of my top three bikes ever), big miles on an FJR (too heavy for your criteria), and an ST1300.
I've also put big miles on a PGM-FI Blackbird, and as refined as it's reputation says (and it is), the ZX-14 is smoother (much), faster (much), and has a very high build quality.

If you want a bit more sport in the mix with no sacrifice in comfort (and that's down to personal preference)...
The Ninja 1000 deserves a good long, hard look before you decide

I have a bike better suited to two-up riding where I need luggage capacity, so I won't be putting the Givi's on this bike. I'm 57, btw.





Man that thing looks great, I hope to pick one up in that color this year. They have some great deals on them.
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Old 06-29-2012, 02:54 PM   #58
JoeDuck
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Ill just leave this here.
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Old 06-29-2012, 10:27 PM   #59
4corners14
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Yea.....what he said!

.....and I do have an affiliation!


Quote:
Originally Posted by tslewisz View Post
Go for a ZX-14 instead. There's one in the flea market that's all set up for touring. (No affiliation.)

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=803208
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Old 06-30-2012, 09:27 PM   #60
davevv
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Obviously I voted with my wallet and it's only been mentioned once, so I'll say it again. The Moto Guzzi Norge is a great bike that is in your weight class. IIRC my owner's manual says 547lbs dry. I'll admit this is the only sport tourer I've owned in 51 years of riding so I can't compare it to the other contenders. But I can tell you it's an excellent machine. Handling is terrific, and will cruise at any speed a sane person desires all day. I don't even get to sixth gear until I'm over 75. I've seen 52mpg, but the average on the road is closer to 45 and less than that around town. With it's six gallon tank I could count on at least 225 miles between fuel stops, but I generally stop sooner than that anyway.

Mine is an '08 that I bought new 23 months ago. It now has a touch over 11k miles and the motor didn't really break in and start to loosen up until it had about 7500 miles. Power adjustable windshield, heated grips, and ABS are all standard and maintenance (6000 mile intervals) is dead simple. The side cases are roomy and removeable in seconds (with the key) but do tend to leak a bit. It has never been a problem as I normally pack everything in dry bags anyway.

The new 2012 version has a revised motor with 4valve heads and a bit more horsepower, plus a number of other refinements.

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