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Old 09-13-2013, 04:57 AM   #1
Tnbrit OP
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Experience at Dealer viewing Bikes

Hi,Guys.Because i'm retired & i have the time to,I thought i'd bore you with this long winded post.
A few weeks ago I posted that I was thinking about down scaling my FXDF to a bit lighter,cheaper,bike with a similar "Standard" riding position such as XL1200R,Bonneville,etc.
So i went to the local dealer who had all 3 bikes I was looking at,a salesman shows me the bikes,all felt ok,then the sales guy asks if I had thought of a more modern type bike which would be even lighter.
I told him i didn't like the riding position on Sport type bikes(my idea of modern)the guys persistent & asks me if i'd rode any of the "sport standard"
type bikes,a term i'd not heard of before,but I have since,on another forum.
He shows me a Suzuki SFV650(Gladius),my predictable reaction was no chance i would be comfortable on that,let alone my wife(on the back).
Suzuki must be offering good commision for sales or something(or they can't sell them),he gets me sit on it,incredible it felt really comfortable,the slight knees bent back position felt natural & the slight lean to the bars,just as good.
I(he)arranges a demo ride,loved it,great engine,light,responsive handling,great brakes,etc.,now of course these comments are compared to the bikes i've been riding for the last 15yrs,i'm sure there is a list as long as my arm of "better" bikes,but for me it made me realise I need to drag myself into the present(along with JerryH).
I'm still not convinced I can get my wife comfortable on the back & this might be the deal breaker,& the start of another thread.

Tnbrit screwed with this post 09-13-2013 at 05:26 AM Reason: Change Title
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Old 09-13-2013, 05:53 AM   #2
Grainbelt
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DL650 Wee Strom is the same bike with a big backseat, probably the best 2-up middleweight made.
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Old 09-13-2013, 06:23 AM   #3
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If that is the same as the dl650, than my wife found the back seat to be very comfy for several hour rides. (We had a dl1000, but understand they are the same frame.) If the power of the 650 is not enough for you two up on the highway, consider the 1000.

(FWIW: I'm too a Harley rider, Road King, and regularly put in long days on it - it's been in 45 states, and done many 1000+ mile days. I couldn't go 500 miles a day on the V-Strom, even though many people go much further. It is a touring bike and is designed to go across the country. It just wasn't comfy enough for me all day long. Fantastic in town or on short rides, but I'd have to stop each hour and walk around. Wife could out-last me on the back seat. It had much more speed and quickness than the King, but was not as easy to maintain a speed on the highway. The throttle was twitchy, as was the steering, compared to the torquey, solid Harley. These are not bad things, but they are different things than what you are used to, and became big issues to me, a long time Harley rider who tried the adv-touring motorcycle, and went back. I liked the v-Strom, it was fun, but no way could I tour on it. Depending on how you use your motorcycle, hopefully this is useful.)
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Old 09-13-2013, 07:37 AM   #4
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Let me admit up front that they are not 650s, but you might look at the BMW 700GS or the 800GT. They fit the bill of being light and manageable and natural feeling. The GS is more upright and perhaps more comfortable than the GT.

I am speaking from experience. I have a 2009 650GS twin (basically the same bike as the current 700GS) that my wife is very comfortable on as a pillion, although the Corbin saddle helps. We have done trips of as long as two weeks on it. I am not completely happy with that bike two up, but one of the main reasons is the brakes feel a little less than stellar when fully loaded. However, the new 700GS has twin front disks that would make a huge difference. ALso, it is tuned for a little more power than my bike, although I did not feel a shortage in that area.
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Old 09-13-2013, 08:21 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boatpuller View Post
If that is the same as the dl650, than my wife found the back seat to be very comfy for several hour rides. (We had a dl1000, but understand they are the same frame.) If the power of the 650 is not enough for you two up on the highway, consider the 1000.

(FWIW: I'm too a Harley rider, Road King, and regularly put in long days on it - it's been in 45 states, and done many 1000+ mile days. I couldn't go 500 miles a day on the V-Strom, even though many people go much further. It is a touring bike and is designed to go across the country. It just wasn't comfy enough for me all day long. Fantastic in town or on short rides, but I'd have to stop each hour and walk around. Wife could out-last me on the back seat. It had much more speed and quickness than the King, but was not as easy to maintain a speed on the highway. The throttle was twitchy, as was the steering, compared to the torquey, solid Harley. These are not bad things, but they are different things than what you are used to, and became big issues to me, a long time Harley rider who tried the adv-touring motorcycle, and went back. I liked the v-Strom, it was fun, but no way could I tour on it. Depending on how you use your motorcycle, hopefully this is useful.)

The BMW's a very nice, but will cost more to buy & maintain. In the 30k I had my DL, I had the valves checked twice, but they never needed adjusting, oil changes, and three sets of tires. That's it. And I rode the nuts of it.
The only thing I didn't like about my DL650 was the stock seat, once I changed that to a Suzuki Gel seat ( used, $150.00), I could ride it all day, by myself or two up. My wife thought it was one of the most comfortable bikes for her, that I have owned ( over 30 bikes in as many years). They handle way better and easier than you would expect based on the way they look. People go on & on about how good a KLR650 is, and mostly it's all true. But a DL will easily do 90% of what a KLR is capable off road, but will eat it for breakfast on the road. I wouldn't ride two-up on a KLR for long either.
I still regret selling my DL last year. I wouldn't hesitate to buy another.
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Old 09-13-2013, 08:44 AM   #6
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Hi,Boatpuller.Please don't think my post was about slagging off our Harley,we have really enjoyed the 4 Harleys we've owned,I was just a bit amazed that I like the SFV so much,because I had all Sport type bikes down as uncomfortable, & rev happy il4's.

Guys I don't think the DL is the bike for me,I did sit on one & being a short arse (29"inseam)the points of my toes JUST touched the floor,but it does look like a comfortable bike.

Quote:
Originally Posted by boatpuller View Post
If that is the same as the dl650, than my wife found the back seat to be very comfy for several hour rides. (We had a dl1000, but understand they are the same frame.) If the power of the 650 is not enough for you two up on the highway, consider the 1000.

(FWIW: I'm too a Harley rider, Road King, and regularly put in long days on it - it's been in 45 states, and done many 1000+ mile days. I couldn't go 500 miles a day on the V-Strom, even though many people go much further. It is a touring bike and is designed to go across the country. It just wasn't comfy enough for me all day long. Fantastic in town or on short rides, but I'd have to stop each hour and walk around. Wife could out-last me on the back seat. It had much more speed and quickness than the King, but was not as easy to maintain a speed on the highway. The throttle was twitchy, as was the steering, compared to the torquey, solid Harley. These are not bad things, but they are different things than what you are used to, and became big issues to me, a long time Harley rider who tried the adv-touring motorcycle, and went back. I liked the v-Strom, it was fun, but no way could I tour on it. Depending on how you use your motorcycle, hopefully this is useful.)
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Old 09-13-2013, 09:30 AM   #7
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If you want light (400 lbs) and standard, a Guzzi V7 Classic would fit the bill. They are a classic standard. Used '09 and '10 bikes can be had for $5k +/-. New ones for $9k +/-.

Hepco & Becker luggage available. Perfectly adequate for light touring duties.





No. They don't have a lot of power. No. They are not ADVbikes or Continental Tourers. Yes. They are lots of fun commuting, around town, and touring 2-lane backroads.
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Old 09-13-2013, 09:36 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grainbelt View Post
DL650 Wee Strom is the same bike with a big backseat, probably the best 2-up middleweight made.
Uhm, no. The only thing the Gladius and the DL650 share is a similar engine, as it has been tuned for more torque on the DL650, other than that they are entirely different bikes. That is also the reason why the DL650 is the most comfortable middle weight for 2-up, because it started as a full-weight ADV tourer... The DL650 and DL1000 share the same frame.

Back to the Gladius, it has very good power for a 650, the engine is a proven design and by now all of its "bugs" have been worked out. There are also hard luggage and windshield options if you want to go far on the bike.

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Old 09-13-2013, 10:00 AM   #9
Tnbrit OP
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Hi,the bike I posted about was the Gladius,not the Versys,
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Old 09-13-2013, 10:45 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tnbrit View Post
Hi,the bike I posted about was the Gladius,not the Versys,
And those two engines are the anti-thesis of each other.
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Old 09-13-2013, 11:09 AM   #11
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If your budget will take it the f800 (S, ST, GT, R, and GS) series from BMW is probably the most powerful light-ish weight touring line.

I really liked test riding the Gladius, or whatever it's new alphabet soup name is. SVF650? I also really liked the V-strom 650 test ride I had, but that's partially because I'm taller than you. I was pretty sure I was going to buy one and add soft bags.

I wound up with a Honda NT700V. Can be had with or without ABS, has built in bags, bigger lids can be imported from Europe, mine came with the Honda trunk that takes 2 helmets. The seat height is a bit lower than the V-strom by I think an inch or two (Check Cycle-ergo.com). It is a bit heavier than a V-strom, but it also has the bags on it and more weather protection. It is still lighter than any Harley. My wife is happy on the back seat at 5'7". The passenger foot pegs may be a bit close to the pilot's pegs, but it's not a big deal. So far I like it for a good all around bike. Used ones with low miles can be found at a good price. The seat even seems to get praise as one of the better factory seats. It's a tough package to beat: low maintenance, low(-ish) weight, pretty much ready to commute and tour out of the box.

You could also look at a Bonneville for a nice lighter lower, two-up capable bike. I've read the flat seat is pretty comfy for two people.

The new Yamaha FZ-09 (name?) looks killer, but also might be tight for two.

I love the looks of the Guzzi V7, but they seem a little small for me to go very far on.

A Tiger 800 (roadie, not XC) might be good, but again, slightly higher seat and bad reviews for passenger comfort.

I don't know if it ever came to the states, but the Aprillia Shiver GT would check a lot of boxes for me.

The Moto Guzzi Norge and Stelvio have plenty of room for two, but are starting to get a little heavy for what you seem to be intersted in.

It seems like a medium weight, medium displacement bike with real accommodations for two people is hard to come by. If you two are comfortable two-up on the Gladius, it could be a great bike for what you seem to want. Good luck in your hunt!
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Old 09-13-2013, 12:56 PM   #12
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Hi,Boatpuller.Please don't think my post was about slagging off our Harley....
Absolutely not! I thought no such thing. Only mentioned my experiences incase you preferred the same type of motorcycle experience that I do, and hopefully to allow you to be as informed a shopper as possible. Would I still like to have the V-Strom? You bet. But it didn't work for me the way I like to ride.

As a long time HD rider, you may have a hard time switching. There are many great motorcycles available, that will out perform HD's on many scales, but few provide the same package of satisfaction that comes from HD. So, you may find yourself at one of the R Sportsters, or changing a new one to a standard bike for little money. The Sportster still has the feel you've had for years now.

As I've (an HD rider) shopped many of the ADV-Touring bikes, looking for one to get me to AK and the Yukon, another you should consider is the Triumph 950? Tiger. It's a few years old, but what a great engine, fun and flickable motorcycle it was to test ride. Just a hoot! Some buzz through the handlebar, but there are risers available to reduce that. Didn't handle enough as a touring bike for me, but very impressive, and worth checking out.
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Old 09-13-2013, 01:06 PM   #13
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One other thought, and sure don't mean to offend if I do. Most motorcycles are only "heavy" at slow speeds, off road, while you are pushing them, or racing. How are your slow speed skills? Have you done parking lot practice such as Ride Like A Pro where you work to improve your slow speed skills and balance? It makes a big difference, and makes a heavy motorcycle feel light.
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Old 09-13-2013, 02:06 PM   #14
Süsser Tod
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tnbrit View Post
Hi,the bike I posted about was the Gladius,not the Versys,
Sorry, I was refering to the Gladius. It's just that I bought a Versys last monday and I'm already bored of it and I can't get it off my mind, I want to get rid of it and I haven't even had it for a week. The other bike I was considering at the time was a Gladius...

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Old 09-13-2013, 07:04 PM   #15
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Thoughts on the Bonneville

I have 16000 miles on an 05 Bonnie-Great city bike/commuter, but probably one of the most uncomfortable bikes I have toured on. Tried different bars and Corbin seat but after 45 minutes you will want to light it on fire to see how big a fireball it will make. YMMV
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