Bikes you liked more than you thought you would

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by hugemoth, Jan 8, 2013.

  1. PhilB

    PhilB Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,331
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    BMW K1200R. I had gone to a BMW testride day, to try out the (then) new F800ST, and the R1100R. Turned out I was disappointed by both of them. There was one testride time left, so I looked to see what I else could get a ride on as long as I was there, and the only bike not taken was the K1200R. I almost didn't bother. I much prefer twins to fours, and I just couldn't see having any interest in such a huge heavy bike. But I decided what the heck, I was there. I *loved* that freaking thing. It went immediately on my shortlist of what I might buy if I ever needed a new bike. And indeed, if BMW builds a K1600R naked version with their new six, I will take a testride to confirm, but I'm quite sure I'd buy one. (The only bike I can think of that would actually tempt me off my Ducati Monster.)

    Sometimes (not often, but sometimes) you can expect a lot, and still get more than you expected. This has been the case with my Ducati Monster, The moment I saw a picture of one, I wanted it. That first year, they only made 5000, two per dealer, and no promises to ever make any more, so before there were even any in the U.S., I went to the local Duc dealer and paid for one in full, $10,200 in June of 1993, based on two small pictures of the prototype in Cycle World. I hoped I would like it, and that the production version wouldn't be too different from that prototype. I had to wait three months; picked it up on 25Sep93. It turned out to fit me perfectly, and do everything I want a bike to do well. So while I did think I was going to like it a lot, I didn't at that time expect that I would still be riding that same bike almost 20 years later, with over 200K on it, still loving it and not planning to ever stop riding it (unless perhaps BMW makes the K1600R I mentioned above). I want to see 500K on this bike, another 27 or so years from now.

    PhilB
    #21
  2. K88

    K88 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2008
    Oddometer:
    42
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    Back in 1983 my local bike shop had the ugliest bike I'd ever seen parked out the front with the other pre-loved bikes for sale. It was a Can-Am Qualifier 250, formerly raced by Brooke Flanagan (Aussies will know who he is). A couple of months later, after I'd paid off my Honda XL250, I decided I wanted an enduro bike as well, so I went to the shop and the Can-Am was still there. Against my will, the shop owner convinced me to take it for the weekend and if I still didn't like it, he'd take it back. I fell in love with it! Amazing power from that Rotax engine with crankcase rotary valve induction, Best bike I ever owned - sold it years later while 'downsizing', to a guy who wanted the engine for an ultralight. Dumbest thing I ever did.
    #22
  3. Two Plugs

    Two Plugs Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,574
    Location:
    Groningen Province - Top of Holland
    Bought the XLV750R because its an rare bike. Imagine... 1983, a Honda dirtbike with an 750cc aircooled Vtwin and shaft ride. Fell in love with the design and managed to purchase my first XLV750R(RF version) in 2001. But what a nice bike to ride! Fell in love so much, that I managed to buy another one - a XLV750R (HRC).

    During a photojob for a Dutch magazine, covering a motorcycle tour in South Africa we where sponsored with 2 Buells Ullysses. First I thought... Oh, no... not a modified Harley for this epic 3.000 miles trip (partly on dirtroads). But what a great bike this Buell Uly is, even although it is rather small with my 6,8 ft body towering on top of it.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The XLV750R (RF) I own:
    [​IMG]

    The XLV750R (HRC) the 2nd model I own - pic from the Net (Southbayriders), not mine:
    [​IMG]
    #23
  4. outlaws justice

    outlaws justice Long timer

    Joined:
    May 18, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,202
    Location:
    Watertown NY
    2005 Suzuki SV650S (Second Gen.)
    1991 Honda VFR750 (Third Gen)
    2005 KTM 950 Adventure

    While have several bikes it is these ones that are better than I expected and I tend to ride them accordingly.
    #24
  5. Guano11

    Guano11 Stop me if you've heard this one....

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,576
    Location:
    Pacific NW
    Awesome. :thumb
    #25
  6. Pantah

    Pantah PJ Fan from Boston

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2004
    Oddometer:
    11,102
    Location:
    India Wharf
    Ain't THAT the truth!
    #26
  7. NJ-Brett

    NJ-Brett Brett

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2010
    Oddometer:
    7,677
    Location:
    Southern New Jersey
    After a bad dirt crash (8 broken bones and other issues) I decided to sell the big heavy bikes and get something smaller and lighter, at least for a while, and had the list down to the V7 classic and the Suzuki TU250.
    No local dealers for the V7 and it was very expensive, and I found a fantastic deal on a leftover TU for over $1000.00 off list so I let that decide for me. I just called the place that had it and bought it over the phone and had them deliver it to my house.
    I HAD sat on both bikes, liked both, fit on both, although I fit on the TU a little better.
    The bike got delivered ready to ride, so I went around the block on it and thought it was a mistake, a bit small, very quiet, slow, and geared to pull stumps, not as a street bike.
    But after sprocket changes and spending some time on the bike, it turned into the most fun bike I think I ever had.
    Part of that is it never needs anything but oil changes, despite the abuse I do to it.
    Its very like my old Triumphs, without ever needing anything to keep it running.

    After 35 years of motorcycles, I also think its a bit crazy to be riding a 250 single, maybe its re living my youth when we all rode around on small bikes being hooligans.
    Its a very good bike if you want to ride around like you are in a race, plus it feels very fast at lower speeds like other small light bikes, so you get to have fun and keep your drivers licence.

    If I had a bigger bike, I would get tickets or be bored out of my mind.
    #27
  8. Wobbleside

    Wobbleside Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2011
    Oddometer:
    150
    Location:
    South Bay, SF Bay Area, California
    R1100S
    The engine was okay, the suspension was weird and the riding position was a tad awkward. Got to ride a 04 for 3 hours in a mix of tight mountain roads, not so tight twisties and lane sharing aggressively in rush hour to get back to the shop that let me test ride it. I enjoyed it a lot more than I expected.

    Multistrada 1000/1100 DS
    Before I bought it was shopping for a middle weight sport tourer. The list of stuff in my budge was pretty long and I spent several months pairing it down to a Futura, ST3, VFR800 (6th gen), R1100S and V11 Sport. When we were picking up my roommate's bike from service at the local Moto Guzzi/Aprilia/Ducati shop the owner's wife suggested I take a lot at the Multistrada. I rode a loaner 620 from them a few months prior and liked everything but the suspension. Sadly they'd sold that one and the pretty white 1100 S they had on display in the loft (the 620 was traded in by the person that bought the 1100). Later they hooked me up with a 1000 DS that I'd seen on their floor several times.
    I rode it home in freezing rain over the mountains 3 days after they offered me the wierdly painted never sold demo bike I'd seen off and on. Love the damn thing aside from a few minor quirks.
    #28
  9. DAKEZ

    DAKEZ Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2007
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    19,771
    Location:
    Begin Op Zoom
    :freaky[​IMG]
    #29
  10. O.C.F.RIDER

    O.C.F.RIDER Loose nut behind h/bars

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2004
    Oddometer:
    4,985
    Location:
    Hewitt,New Jerseystan, OBAMANATION
    I totally agree with the first part.
    The second, not so much. That's, for me anyway.
    I KNEW I loved the bike the first time I got a ride on the demo. I didn't know just how much I was gonna love it down the road. 54,000 mostly trouble-free miles (still have the original water pump!) and love it even more than the day I rode it home.

    Chris
    #30
  11. motorat

    motorat TBD

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,003
    Location:
    SW WA
    the vstrom650.
    i took me about 5 years to get use to looking at it. i couldn't imaging going out to the garage and seeing it there.
    then in 2009 my commute changed from back roads to the super slab and my klr650 wasn't workin for me.
    a 2008 with 8k miles on it came up on craigs list and i got it.
    now the bike has over 38k on it and it has really grown on me.
    [​IMG][​IMG]
    #31
  12. eatpasta

    eatpasta Lawnmower Target

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2006
    Oddometer:
    11,570
    Location:
    Santa Barbara, Ca
    I bought an 1150GS simply because I was going to get a smoking deal. The guy that was selling it, sold it for about as much as he had into it for farkles so I had no choice but to go buy it.
    When I test rode it, I stalled it in his driveway about 100 times before I finally got out onto the street. The test ride felt akward, the bike was tall and I wasnt used to the pulse of a parallel twin. I really didnt like it - it felt weird, it's buttfuc*king ugly and I didnt really have a use for a Adventure Touring Bike. Then something strange happened - I started to ride it.

    It never impressed me......but what I found over the years is that it (to this day even) continues to surprise me.... which is a big deal by bike standards because if you cant find a bike to continually surprise you after 10 years, you'll sell it.

    This bike has taken me to all the western states, 3000 miles through Baja and has given me totally reliable service for 80,000 miles. I love this bike and how it's changed my life.

    [​IMG]
    #32
  13. gastone

    gastone R.I.P. sweet Angus

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,550
    Location:
    Fredvegas, VA
    Godwin's Law in under 10 posts. Nice.


    On topic I had a 98 triumph t-bird. Brakes sucked, suspension sucked, but the engine, oh the engine. How she sung. If I could afford more than one bike at a time I'd have another Hinckley triple in a heartbeat.
    #33
  14. SmithSwede

    SmithSwede Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2010
    Oddometer:
    100
    Location:
    Terrell, Texas
    2012 Ninja 250. I commute about 500 miles a week. Figured I'd keep the miles off my "good" bike by getting a cheap to buy, cheap to run, reliable "commuter" bike. Just for tooling back and forth to work.

    The Ninja stunned me with how freaking fun it is to ride. How capable it is (e.g. 1000 mile weekend trips; perfect bike for Arkansas fun roads). And how comfortable--I never would have thought such a small bike would fit me so well. Surprisingly good on fire trails too. I've learned a lot about riding too since I can't compensate for errors with raw horsepower. My BMW F800 doesn't get much use anymore.

    How much do I like it? Two comments. I'm considering an iron butt in the spring---will probably take the 250, not the BMW. And if the 250 were stolen or totaled tomorrow I would get another one; if I lost the BMW, I would get something else (Moto Guzzi V7 or Ducati Monster)

    Maybe a nostalgia thing to some degree. My formative years in the late 70s were largely spent on an RD350 and a KZ200.
    #34
  15. bbagwell

    bbagwell Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2010
    Oddometer:
    98
    Location:
    Salem,OR
    I would say my DR650. I started on a TW200 which I still own and love too. I thought the seat would suck on the DR, and it would be too tall, and I would probably hate it. I took one test ride and loved it. I did replace the seat three days later with a Corbin I found on craigslist. Coming from a TW200, the DR650 has plenty of power, and has been comfortable for longer rides. I think it is a good compromise for longer pavement rides but still hit some trails. My girlfriend has an older Honda 400 streetbike and my little TW was having trouble keeping up so I needed a bigger bike! I really didn't consider the DR650 as an option either. I had only been looking at Vstrom 650's and KLR 650's. I found my DR650 with super low miles for a good price. Glad I went and test rode it now.
    #35