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Old 12-19-2012, 01:33 PM   #31
JerryH
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Originally Posted by the_jest View Post
Thanks to everyone for a lot of extremely helpful comments. I had glanced at the Street Triple but for some reason didn't pay much attention to it--perhaps I mentally associated Triumph only with the vintage-style bikes and thus rejected the others--but I'll add this to my list. Everyone seems to like this machine a hell of a lot.



I don't think I have an "aversion" to it, I think I said some pretty nice things about it! But it's not really the bike for me; I'm not that big a guy (5'11") but it's still uncomfortably small, and I'm not that keen on cruisers.

The Tuono seems like rather too much bike for me right now, and more than I really need to spend. (Regarding pricing--I'm not rich but I am committing to getting myself a bike, so my priority is more to get the bike that I truly want to ride, rather than getting a good used affordable bike that, for whatever reason (and some of these reasons may well be superficial ones) I won't be really psyched about.)

I'll definitely try to test a Bonnie to see what it's like. And thanks for the motorcycle-show suggestion--the NYC show is next month, so I think I can last that long in order to look at a bunch of things in person.
Sorry I missed what you said about not liking cruisers. In that case I would suggest a Suzuki DR650 or Kawasaki KLR650, both of which can be gotten cheap used, and aren't really all that expensive new. The new KLR650 is a lot like the R1200GS, only 1/3 the price. The only other bike I can think of is the Bonneville. It is currently the only full sized standard style bike sold in the U.S. It's a bit on the expensive side, but well worth it if you really like it, and keep it for a while. Unless you really like pain, I would definitely avoid sport bikes. Even quasi sport bikes, Like the 599, 919, FZ1, FZ6, EX500, GS500, Ninja 650, etc. can be very painful on long rides. I would also try to stay away from exotic brands, due to parts and service issues. The Bonneville should be ok in that regard.
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Old 12-19-2012, 01:36 PM   #32
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A new rider will LIKELY not have the skill required to deal with the full grunt of a bike. In my mind you should be comfortable on your bike everywhere, not just when using half the RPM range.

If you are determined to get a Euro bike, I actually think the Street Triple would be a very good choice. It looks fantastic, has some real power, but like the Aprilia mentioned above, it only offers as much as you give it. A friend of mine bought one last season and he loves it. Although it did have to go to the shop to replace a broken radiator (covered under warranty). It offers a great combination of being easy to ride, yet entertaining to experienced riders. It is a bike you can grow on, and as you become a better rider, it's limits will expand too.

I don't see how ANYONE could be bored of it in 6 months. For that matter many riders I know decide they need a bigger / better bike well before they have even touched the limits of what their current bike is capable of. That I think is a fault of the riders, not the bikes.

PS Navin, I agree with you 40hp is about the minimum I could live with. But 70 would be way better.

I traded "down" from about 100 HP for a lighter feeling bike, and the Ninjettes have that. The 300 has enough boost to not strain at any pace on the street under 90 MPH. I misread the naked preference the OP listed originally or I'd not have mentioned it at all.


As to riders getting bored with 40-60 HP bikes, they aren't learning to really ride them. Twisting the grip to burp down a straight isn't "advanced", corner speed and braking are. HP has nothing to do with it. Anything will be a massive upgrade over a 250cc cruiser. I'm a aggressive street rider/ A level off road racer and the 300 is my choice for sport street riding cause they don't build a true ultra light sportbike that can get near my Husaberg sumoto.

For the OP, I'd be looking at the Kawasaki 650 twin series, ER6-n specifically. Light feeling, naked and its 60ish HP is plenty to get you in trouble. Decent brakes stock, suspension isn't great but can get better, cheap to buy used, cheap to own and a good rider on one can keep up with anyone at street sport speeds. Not Euro but guess what? The Euro riders love them!
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Old 12-19-2012, 04:49 PM   #33
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There are those who say the Bonneville is "underpowered", and compared to more performance oriented bikes that may well be true. Pretty much any dedicated sport bike or 600 cc or better will outperform a Bonnie.

BUT, there's certianally enough power to have fun.

They don't get rolling till almost the 2 min mark...



Untill you're riding better than this, any more than 60 hp is completely wasted.

Slow by supersport standars? Of course, but why not a more fair and realistic comparison. The peak power output is between a Sportster 883 and 1200, closer to the 1200. It has twice the power band (rev range) of most V-twin cruisers (including Sporties) and will easily keep up with most cruisers in a drag race. When you get to where the road bends it leaves cruisers for dead. Supersport? No, and it don't pretend to be. Fun bike? Fuck Yes!
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Old 12-19-2012, 06:27 PM   #34
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Hmmmm...You ought to consider that this is not likely to be your last bike. Your initial thinking makes a LOT of sense. Keep the power manageable and learn to ride a decent-sized bike. Then move up to what these guys are pushing with the next one. You'll have more fun and enjoy the experience a lot more. More fun to ride a slow bike fast than a fast bike slow.

Speed Triple? Seriously, guys? He is still at the stage where he is walking his bike across the street to a different parking space. The Triple is, by all accounts, a very hot machine capable of lifting the front wheel at nearly any point.

The Bonnie is a great machine capable of about anything he'll want to do for years. To the OP, how is riding one of the iconic bikes of all time going to make you look like a doofus? Just leave the do-rag at home with the chaps and you'll be fine.
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Old 12-19-2012, 06:44 PM   #35
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If your friends mostly ride R1200GSs, I would also consider the Suzuki DL650 and the Kawasaki Versys. Or maybe one of the BMW 650s. I would avoid the Ninja 650 or ER-6N. They are not comfortable bikes, and if you get something uncomfortable, it might turn you off to riding in general, or at the least cost you a lot of money when you have to sell it to get something more comfortable. They may feel fairly comfortable just sitting on them, but after riding 100 miles, and your shoulders, neck, and knees are killing you, you will be wishing for something more comfortable. The reason I first mentioned cruisers before I noticed you didn't want one, is because they are the most comfortable street bikes out there, with the exception of pure touring bikes (my guess is that over 70% of my 500,000 plus miles on motorcycles have been on cruisers) I currently have a Vulcan 750 cruiser and a Goldwing. While they are bigger than you are looking for, bikes like the Concours, ST1300, and FJR1300 are also uncomfortable on long rides. Also keep in mind that bikes like Ducati, Aprilia, and Moto Guzzi are going to cost a lot more for service and parts.
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Old 12-19-2012, 07:13 PM   #36
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JerryH, different bikes are comfortable for different people. While you may think the Ninja 650 is uncomfortable, someone may find it fits them like a glove. Also I'm not sure where your fascination with long range comfort come from, as in his initial posts he mentions rides 50-100 miles. Shorter range joy rides, not going cross country quite yet.

Also I think some of you have confused the 1050cc SPEED triple with the 675cc STREET triple. The Street triple is a great bike for a new rider. Tame when you want it to be, fast when you need it to be. Very versatile and comfortable for the right type of rider.

Also have a look at the Aprila Shiver 750. It has all the Euro cooless with honda-esque reliability. Another great and versatile motorcycle.
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Old 12-19-2012, 07:28 PM   #37
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I'd pick a standard anything over a cruiser anything every single time for every single ride. Long, short. Wouldn't matter.
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Old 12-19-2012, 07:36 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by Navin View Post
I'd pick a standard anything over a cruiser anything every single time for every single ride. Long, short. Wouldn't matter.
+1
I find some cruisers uncomfortable, particularly the forward control ones.
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Old 12-25-2012, 08:38 AM   #39
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Just following up a bit here. I made it to my local Triumph/Ducati dealer and spent a bit of time talking to a few salesmen and straddling a few bikes. It was extremely interesting and I learned a lot, but it was not that helpful in the sense that there was no "A ha!" moment. I didn't take a test ride on anything. Oh, and Rudy Giuliani was there in the store with some friends looking at Ducatis.

I really, really love the way the Bonnies look. Worse, they had one there in an unusual color scheme that exactly matches my (unusual) personal favorite, so of course I found it stunning and felt like it had been made just for me, which (ahem) colored my reaction to the bike as a whole. The bike did feel larger than I expected, but not unhandleably so. I liked the Thruxtons but I'd probably rather get a stock Bonnie and make some mods in the Thruxton direction, rather than getting an actual Thruxton. (In particular, I liked the Thruxton handlebars, and the bar-end mirrors, and the presence of a tach; I didn't like the footpeg position.)

I liked the Street Triple quite a bit; it felt light and comfortable. But it is, of course, a totally different machine. On the whole I vastly prefer the Bonnie looks, but as sporty bikes go, the ST is pretty great. The salesmen (one of whom rides a Bonnie) just raved about it. I've read more reviews and it's kind of amazing how much everyone loves this one.

For some reason I didn't feel that comfortable on the Ducati Monster, even though I like it visually.

I don't think there's any way I can determine that one or the other is "better" for me--they're for different purposes. I could imagine being happy with either one. I could also imagine second-guessing myself with either one.

FWIW my GF prefers bikes that look like bikes, and thus doesn't like the ST, but says, "This is for you, get whatever you want." But she'd be happier on the back of a Bonnie.
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Old 12-25-2012, 09:09 AM   #40
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I'm a big fan of Triumph's triples, but your girl seems to be an important factor in this equation. Her comfort on the back will be important to both of you. Have a look at the pillion position in these two pix and think of where she would rather be, and where you would rather have her.




The Street Trip is a fun bike to ride solo in the twisties. For an experienced sport bike rider I would say much more fun. but for an urban setting, and with a passenger, and an inexperienced rider...you're just going to enjoy the Bonnie so much more. It produces quite a bit more torque at lower rpm, so it's easier to pull away from stops, especially with a passenger, and/or on a hill.

As for the Thruxton's bars and foot control position, they work well together for a sportier ride. The regular Bonnie position will be better for 2-up (and riding in the city for most peeps). Ride it the way it comes for a few months before switching anything
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Old 12-26-2012, 09:54 AM   #41
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The only bikes I'm aware of that are available in the U.S. that have truly standard ergonomics are the Goldwing, Bonneville, and the Suzuki TU250. After that dual sports seem to come the closest, with an upright seating position and mid mounted pegs. I prefer to have no forward lean, because I have neck and shoulder issues. I even have 2" higher than stock bars on my XT225. A small amount would probably be ok, but I found the '09 Ninja 500, which many call a standard, to have way to much for me. Yet it felt ok sitting on it in the showroom. But that was 3 years ago, and things have gotten worse. I would love to have a Bonneville, if I could afford it. I used to own a '66 Bonnie, it would be nice to have one that was reliable. I have considered selling the Goldwing and getting one, but once you have experienced the comfort of a Goldwing, especially the 1500, it is very hard to give up. I prefer the 1500 to the 1800. My boss is 12 years older than me, and rides an 1800, which he prefers to the 1500 he had, because it handles better. For me comfort is everything.
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Old 12-26-2012, 11:23 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by JerryH View Post
The only bikes I'm aware of that are available in the U.S. that have truly standard ergonomics are the Goldwing, Bonneville, and the Suzuki TU250. After that dual sports seem to come the closest, with an upright seating position and mid mounted pegs. I prefer to have no forward lean, because I have neck and shoulder issues. I even have 2" higher than stock bars on my XT225. A small amount would probably be ok, but I found the '09 Ninja 500, which many call a standard, to have way to much for me. Yet it felt ok sitting on it in the showroom. But that was 3 years ago, and things have gotten worse. I would love to have a Bonneville, if I could afford it. I used to own a '66 Bonnie, it would be nice to have one that was reliable. I have considered selling the Goldwing and getting one, but once you have experienced the comfort of a Goldwing, especially the 1500, it is very hard to give up. I prefer the 1500 to the 1800. My boss is 12 years older than me, and rides an 1800, which he prefers to the 1500 he had, because it handles better. For me comfort is everything.
Please stop posting your ignorant vomit. You wouldn't know a standard if it ran over you and your scooter.


A Goldwing has the top leg horizontal with a 90 degree bend to the pegs. (Mid-Controls a.k.a. feet forward) No dual sport bike I have ever seen has had "Mid-controls. They are ALL standard! I have been on this forum for a long time and you are the most confused and contradictory inmate I have ever come across.

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DAKEZ screwed with this post 12-26-2012 at 04:01 PM
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Old 12-26-2012, 01:22 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by JustKip View Post
I'm a big fan of Triumph's triples, but your girl seems to be an important factor in this equation. Her comfort on the back will be important to both of you. Have a look at the pillion position in these two pix and think of where she would rather be, and where you would rather have her.

The Street Trip is a fun bike to ride solo in the twisties. For an experienced sport bike rider I would say much more fun. but for an urban setting, and with a passenger, and an inexperienced rider...you're just going to enjoy the Bonnie so much more. It produces quite a bit more torque at lower rpm, so it's easier to pull away from stops, especially with a passenger, and/or on a hill.

As for the Thruxton's bars and foot control position, they work well together for a sportier ride. The regular Bonnie position will be better for 2-up (and riding in the city for most peeps). Ride it the way it comes for a few months before switching anything
Excellent points there. A passenger sitting higher than rider takes a lot of muscle to control (or a lot of experience). I've know a few new riders who tipped over with passenger while stopped on an angle, resulting in skinned knees or even a broken ankle. You would be surprised how fast she'll lose interest if that happens.
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Old 12-26-2012, 02:39 PM   #44
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Buy what I like. Then when you don't like it, I will be a nice guy and give you 15 cents tot eh dollar on it. Everybody wins.
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Old 12-26-2012, 03:43 PM   #45
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As I was reading the first part of your post, I was thinking Bonneville and then you mentioned it yourself. Great bike with lots of charm, especially if you uncork the exhaust. Reasonably priced and if you are handy fairly easy to work on. There is a nice comparison article in the latest Motorcylist with the Moto Guzzi V7 and HD 883 Sportster.

Good luck,

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