Comfortable bikes to consider

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by Keithert, Oct 19, 2013.

  1. Keithert

    Keithert Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2013
    Oddometer:
    968
    I've been riding cruisers for the past 15 years. I had a Yamaha RS Venture from 99-03 that I put 48,000 miles on. It was a great bike for putting on the miles but too heavy for local riding. I also didn't care for the permanent fairing. Since 03 I have had 2 different Kawasaki Vulcan 1500s. I've liked them a lot but they have not had the comfort the Venture did. I've tried several different seats and the best I can do is about 200 miles in a day. Otherwise I'm comfortable with the cruiser riding position. I also have a Yamaha XT225 for offroad riding and around town. It's only comfortable for about a half hour. The seat starts to hurt and the leg position can't be varied as much as on a cruiser with highway pegs.

    I'm in the market for a newer machine. I'm inclined to look at cruisers out of familiarity but wonder if I should be open to other types of machines. What I don't like about cruisers is how heavy they handle. For short rides I'd like something I can throw into turns. But I also want something I can ride for 300-400 miles in a day and possibly do an easy adventure tour with. The Yamaha Super Tenre looks like it could be a candidate. What other bikes are comfortable but not a big as a full size cruiser? Also I don't like bikes where you lean forward on the bars. I don't like supporting my upper body weight with my wrists.
    #1
  2. Kommando

    Kommando Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2006
    Oddometer:
    7,402
    Location:
    Spacecoaster FL
    Suzuki DLs, Honda CB500X, or Honda NC700X. Throw crashbars and highway pegs on. Lower the passenger pegs if you have to. Then you have 3 foot positions to choose from.

    You can do similar with most adv bikes. You can even do similar with some thumper dualsports, but on a dualsport you'd likely want an aftermarket seat too.
    #2
  3. outsidein

    outsidein Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2009
    Oddometer:
    437
    Location:
    Canada
    I would give very serious consideration to adv. tour bikes. They offer an all day comfortable riding position but handle much better than a cruiser and are lighter weight and more agile. Additionally they can take a smoother dirt or gravel road. From the low end to the high end: Kawasaki Versys, Suzuki VStrom, KTM SMT, KTM 1090, Triumph Explorer, BMW 1200 GS, Ducati Multistrada, Love my Versys.

    [​IMG]
    #3
  4. Speedo66

    Speedo66 Transient

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2010
    Oddometer:
    6,943
    Location:
    Cin City, OH
  5. Keithert

    Keithert Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2013
    Oddometer:
    968
    I'll have to look at the Versys and the V-Strom. Where I live there is a very good Kawasaki dealer but not many Suzuki dealers. But from what I've read it sounds like the V-Strom might be a better all around bike.
    #5
  6. Mike Garner

    Mike Garner New name, same great taste!

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2013
    Oddometer:
    148
    Location:
    N. Chesterfield, Virginia
    I'll toss in another vote for the VStrom. I bought mine 8 weeks ago and have already logged just under 1800 miles on it including one trip of ~550 miles... damn comfy.

    Some folks apparently don't love the stock saddle, but for me it's been perfect.
    #6
  7. Keithert

    Keithert Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2013
    Oddometer:
    968
    Do you have a 650?
    #7
  8. hyperboarder

    hyperboarder Potato Farmer

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,024
    Location:
    Meridian, ID
    I've got a Strom too, gobbles up the miles. Comfy bike when set up for the rider.
    #8
  9. Mike Garner

    Mike Garner New name, same great taste!

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2013
    Oddometer:
    148
    Location:
    N. Chesterfield, Virginia
    Yes - a 2013.
    #9
  10. kencc

    kencc Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2001
    Oddometer:
    122
    Location:
    Cape Cod
    New GS very comfortable 10000 miles 4 months some 6&700 mile days. Good on all kinds of roads.
    #10
  11. Keithert

    Keithert Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2013
    Oddometer:
    968
    Is the GS more upright than the RT model? My dad has an RT and it's too forward inclined for my liking.
    #11
  12. Ridestrong

    Ridestrong Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2011
    Oddometer:
    157
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    Yeah, I think you're a tad more upright on the GS. I bought a used '07 GS and put some handlebar risers on it and works perfect. Don't like leaning at all. GS is real comfortable.
    #12
  13. strom thingie

    strom thingie Lost and Proud!

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2006
    Oddometer:
    465
    Location:
    Sumter, SC
    Another vote for the v-strom (1k) here. I've ridden several 400+ days and a few 500+ days and quite comfy though I had to add a Sergeant seat and handlebar risers to make it even better (6'2" with 32" inseam). Great bike for all-around activities but like beer, everyone has a particular taste, so don't discount any of the other bikes mentioned either.

    The ADV touring bike really is one of the best all-around categories of bike out there and there are more and more choices every year.
    #13
  14. Hikertrash

    Hikertrash Long timer

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    2,992
    Location:
    Arizona
    What's your budget and how much power are you looking for? My BMW F650GS twin (798cc) was not that great on the highway so I traded it in for a 1200GSA. I've done multiple 500-700 mile days and more recently a SS1000. I think the bigger bikes (1000 plus cc) are going to be better touring bikes. I'd look at the Tenere if your budget allows, they're supposed to announce a new model next month or a 650 Vstrom if your on a smaller budget.
    #14
  15. jules083

    jules083 Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2011
    Oddometer:
    4,234
    Location:
    Richmond, Ohio
    I just got my v-strom, it's very comfortable so far.

    Worth mentioning since you're a cruiser guy is that my dyna is a comfortable and light handling bike considering. I have mid controls and will be mounting highway pegs soon, plus I have the passenger pegs that I can put my feet on.

    Harley gets their haters here, but they know how to make bikes. My Suzuki boulevard should be comfortable, but they (Japanese manufactures) don't quite 'get' how to make a cruiser. They just try to copy Harley, and manage to screw up what would be an otherwise good motorcycle in the process. Little things like floorboard angle being wrong, passenger seat too high, passenger pegs in a terrible spot, shifter angle wrong, ultra wide gas tank. The Harley bars I put on it are comfy. :lol3.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I747 using Tapatalk 2
    #15
  16. outsidein

    outsidein Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2009
    Oddometer:
    437
    Location:
    Canada
    The basic difference between the 650 VStrom and the Versys is handling. The Versys is quicker steering and a bit more sporty on pavement which IMO makes it a bit more fun on a spirited ride. It also has fully adjustable suspension front and back unlike the VStrom. The VStrom has a slightly smoother although very slightly less responsive engine, has a bigger front wheel (19in), a longer wheelbase as well as softer suspension. This gives it a more sedate personality and makes it the better bike for off road. Both are excellent bikes. You really need to ride both back to back to get an accurate comparison. I can't say one is better than the other, it is more like comparing a Royal Gala Apple to a MacIntosh Apple. They are both apples but with their own distinct personalty. There are a ton of after market parts from third party manufacturers for both bikes from windshields, to luggage, to crash bars and other stuff.
    #16
  17. PhillipsMetal

    PhillipsMetal Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2012
    Oddometer:
    159
    Location:
    Alabaster, AL
    I recommend the GSA 1200. I bought mine used a year ago and have done several 7 - 800 mile days. I have ankylosing spondilitis which is a form of rheumatoid arthritis that causes my neck, back, pelvis and rib cage to fuse together over time and I cannot tolerate a bent over position with my neck arched back at all. Raising the bars helped a little bit and I do get neck aches from the weight of the helmet, but I get neck aches from the weight of my head anyways - lol. The only other bike I have ridden in the last few years was a GS 650 which seemed similar in seating position, but that is all I have to compare it to. I do plan on getting another seat, but not sure I can afford one before my next trip to Mexico in January.
    #17
  18. Gruesome

    Gruesome Alter Heizer

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2007
    Oddometer:
    994
    Location:
    Chicago
    It sounds like you are in the market for a GS boxer. It has the near perfect combination of sportiness and relaxed sitting position, airflow and protection from the elements, with huge amounts of suspension travel for comfort, good maneuverability for city traffic, and the right amount of power and reach for highway commuting and touring.

    New ones are a bit spendy, but a nice used one puts the almost perfect bike into most people's (who can afford a bike at all) reach.
    #18
  19. Simplyred

    Simplyred Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 18, 2011
    Oddometer:
    766
    Having almost 40 years of experience riding several bikes behind me, I can tell you that "the perfect" bike does not exist. That's a thing to place right upfront. It seems pretty obvious, this conclusion, but it's not.
    I have spend many years looking for a bike you could tour with, when I had a sports machine. I have spend many years looking for a bike you could go off-road with, when I had a touring bike. There is no bike that fits all of your moods and desires. Sometimes you want to cruise, sometimes you want to drive many bends at higher speed, sometimes you want to ride that nice path in the forest. Now here is what this comes down to:

    It can all be done fairly good with some bikes, but it cannot all be done optimally with one bike.

    One needs to make choice, or search for the middle-ground. Throw in parameters like fuel capacity (range), reliability, appreciation and what not. Think about matters like luggage options, one rider or 2-up. Stuff like that. Travel or play, commuting or city?

    In my opinion, if you want it ALL in a reasonable fashion, this pretty much pushes you in the corner of a BMW GS. The GS1200 might be a bit much for you, if you think it is extremely important to handle very good in the city. I would advise you to make a test ride with the GS1200 and the F800GS which might be the better choice for you.

    Might even want to consider a motorscooter like the Suzuki Burgman if comfort is your thing.
    #19
  20. jon_l

    jon_l Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2008
    Oddometer:
    3,534
    Location:
    Collingwood, Ontario
    Along the lines of the F700/800GS, you might look at the comparable Tiger 800:

    [​IMG]
    #20