Bikes you must own at least once

Discussion in 'Road Warriors' started by Jimmy the Heater, Apr 26, 2013.

  1. Jimmy the Heater

    Jimmy the Heater Tilting the Horizon

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    Wow, how to explain KLR-dom. I don't know if it's possible but I will try.

    Most of it stems from the belief that it is the ultimate do it all motorcycle. Jack of all trades, master of none. It will, run errands, take you down the gravel road, do highway, single track, around the world or just commute. It does all of these things worse than a dedicated machine but the point is, it does them all.

    And they are cheap. So cheap that if you come out to find that someone has stolen it :lol3 that you lament the loss of the farkles such as your aluminum panniers more than the bike!

    You can fix it with a rock and duct tape. It doesn't make enough power to really hurt itself. Load it down like a rented mule. Ignore it, abuse it, never ever wash it, change the oil occasionally, replace the doohickey and it will still take you places and do things that you have never seen before.

    It is brilliant in its wide ranging mediocrity.
  2. 8lives

    8lives Dharma Bum

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    +1 on what he said about the KLR,it's like a Ford F150,it's like your favorite old dog,and you become a tanker on long rides when everyone else runs low on fuel.
  3. BigChris99

    BigChris99 Been here awhile

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    This. Can't explain it any better. I rode mine to work yesterday. Left the GoldWing and the Valkyrie in the garage. Crazy, but I really like my KLR.
  4. mojave

    mojave Been here awhile

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    Yes, that's it! Mine was all black and pretty menacing. No, the sound quality doesn't do it or mine justice. Reality is much deeper and smooooooth. The clutch on that one is a little loud and clankie, mine was tight and tinklely, like little silver bells... and the timing belts whirr was an acoustical icing on the whole thing.

    The bike had gravitas, the power was so chunky, the sound so deep and smooth, and it handled like on rails. My buddies 1050 Speed Triple was like a tinny cheap thing in comparison (but easier to live with for sure!). Even though the Speed Triple had basically the same peak horsepower the SR4 felt WAY more powerful. Ultimately I just want a bike with less harshness. I ride South Sierra roads with frost heaves, potholes, and sand in the corners. The SR4 just wasn't that much fun doing that.
  5. OConnor

    OConnor Bad juju

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    A Ducati 900cc or bigger.
    A BMW GS, an Adventure even better.
    A Suzuki Hayabusa.
    A hand-shift Indian.
  6. k-moe

    k-moe Long timer

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    Everyone must own (but only once) a POS bike that needs to be repaired mid-ride, and twice on a school day. Lessons in humility and roadside wrenching are invaluable.
  7. Wreckster

    Wreckster Been here awhile

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    Alrighty, my list.

    Old enduro - 70's - early 80's. No link suspension here, mine was an XT550 that I miss terribly. Something to be had with a bike so simple and easy to work on. If you have my luck, you'll chase an issue down (would not rev past 4200 rpm) for as long as you own it and not find out what it is. Was probably the flat battery in mine.

    Either Ninja 250 or 500 - 500 if you're bigger of course. Will really teach you a thing or two working on them and riding them. Such a good balance between utilitarianism and ease to ride. I would suggest either one as a superb trainer bike.

    KLR of any vintage - I put near 30k on mine. They are perfectly bland in everything they do. So bland you start lusting after more purpose built machines, like my fzr. I still miss that KLR like an old dog and it's only been gone a month!

    Hypersport something or other - Ducati, Liter bike, ZX14, Busa, Aprilia... you name it. Every rider should have the opportunity to ride something that lights your soul on fire. I've ridden some of the earlier liter bikes.. the one's that will scare even veteran riders when they first twist the throttle. I can't even to this day explain the feeling of acceleration on one of these bikes. Vision unable to keep up, Being able to barely comprehend what is going on between your legs... that's what she said :deal

    And our wives wonder what this fascination is with our bikes.
  8. plugeye

    plugeye mc caregiver

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    this, but more than once is ok.
  9. vicster

    vicster Long timer

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    In the text of the thread title "Bikes you must OWN at least once" I submit that it's not just the KLR or DR (which I own), it's having a big thumper. Their practicality and versatility has always given them a charm all their own. My dad started riding back in the 1920s and spoke fondly of thumpers. Once I got over having to have the latest/greatest/fastest I too have become a big fan.
  10. 625SXC

    625SXC Been here awhile

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    RZ350. Pure riding fun.
  11. stormsearcher

    stormsearcher Been here awhile

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    Yamaha rd350
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  12. Buck McCann

    Buck McCann Been here awhile

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    It is brilliant in its wide ranging mediocrity. Jimmy the Heater

    I had to post this again. I've spent years in libraries, first as a patron, now as a library director and I love the written word. This sentence is classic! Thanks JTH.
  13. Cyclic Rival

    Cyclic Rival Adventurer

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    I currently own an '04 SV650 that I bought 2 years ago with 2k miles on it. After researching good beginner bikes I knew I would want the SV and I have put over 8k miles and 2 sets of tires on it since owning it. I have loved every mile.

    I have decided to sell or trade it for a new bike but damn does this thread make me start to second guess my decision. On the bright side the bike I have decided to move into is a Ducati so that will be 2 bikes off the list.
  14. Jimmy the Heater

    Jimmy the Heater Tilting the Horizon

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    I do try to be creative and on occasion something decent comes out. That is quite the compliment coming from one with your background. I thank you.
  15. eggbert69

    eggbert69 Grarararararararararrroom

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    For all you yanks pining about how awesome the Ninja 250 is.... You need to check out ye'olde Honda CBR250RR.. Gear driven camshafts, 250cc 4 cylinder motor which goes to 18,000rpm (!) and are bulletproof reliable.

    Sure, the Ninja is fairly fun but a properly maintained baby-blade with some sticky tyres on it is so much better.

    [​IMG]

    Also, in line with the small capacity supersports, RVF400 or the VFR400.
  16. Jimmy the Heater

    Jimmy the Heater Tilting the Horizon

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    If Honda would have imported those to the US, you sure as hell bet there would be one in the garage instead of the Ninja 250 that's in there now.

    I think I've watched every vid there is on the CBR250rr and the 250 Hornet. Absolutely drool over those. And in 2 more years we can legally import the very desirable '90 model. Parts would be a complete pain in the ass though.

    Love those 400's too, perfect power to weight ratio in my mind. What other 400cc sport bikes were made that weren't just sleeved down 600's? FZR400 maybe?

    Now delete your damn post Egg so I can stop staring at it! :lol3
  17. joexr

    joexr Banned

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    A friend of mine has a Euro CBR400RR.
  18. Trane Francks

    Trane Francks Been here awhile

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    Definitely an inconvenience for a daily rider, but for an occasional rider or track-day toy, it might not be too bad. The aftermarket is ripe for these in Japan and there are a number of shops who gladly cater to grey-market bikes abroad by shipping internationally.
  19. Jimmy the Heater

    Jimmy the Heater Tilting the Horizon

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    This is very true...It wouldn't be a first bike, or even a second. It would certainly fill a niche that nothing else in this country could do. Do I really need 5 bikes in my garage....Maybe :lol3
  20. eggbert69

    eggbert69 Grarararararararararrroom

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