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Discussion in 'Road Warriors' started by domingo3, Dec 11, 2013.
That is a sweet SV!!!
Most of my bikes have been enduro with a sit-up-and-beg seating position. I've owned a Yamaha Radian and my other bike currently is a Suzuki GR650 with dirt bike bars on it.
I put Daytona bars on my SV and some bar risers and my riding position seems way better to me now, more like Trashcan's picture. Not sure if he is just taller than me, but he seems more upright than my riding position.
Mine is a first generation SV, as noted above--called a curvey. The second pic has a top case mounted on a backup rear seat pan. Set up for commuting with that on the bike. I just swapped the seats out when I don't need to haul anything.
That CB sounds like a sweet ride too.
Can you give any comparison between the 919 and the CB500?
Thanks for the suggestions from everyone. Fortunately, I don't feel I need to rush in a decision, so I can take my time and look around the dealerships, hopefully get some test rides and pull the trigger when I find the right one.
As i read the OPs post I thought of the FZ6 and the suzuki GSX650F with the edge to the suzuki for being full faired and about 6k new. Both are inline 4.
I loved my 919, and the only reason I sold it was I got so heavily into modding my DR650, a decision I regret to this day, though I ride the CB500X just as fast as the 9er, it just carries it's power differently... they are very similar in their smooth, almost electric power. I love 'em both, really think the the CB did a bit better on extended highway sections, as odd as that may sound.
someone has probably said this already - but I suggest you consider the Yamaha FZ6.
If you would like to test ride my SV, send me a PM. I am in Fremont.
I've also ridden the FZ6, I found it lacking low end power.
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As for which bike to get, I don't have any new info than the already excellent advice given.
Test rides are quite the conundrum however. In my area only the Harley dealer will give a test ride on a new bike. But every dealer that I've ever been to will allow a test ride on a used bike with proof of insurance and MC license.
Also look for demo days in your area. I've ridden new Victory's, Yamaha's and Honda's this way.
The reason 919's are so rare is that so many have been crashed...including mine! A damn deer jumped out in front of me. The deer lived, I spent months recuperating.
The 919 is unique in that it's a torque monster -- it was designed that way. And the throttle reminds you of that constantly (you know what I'm talking about). You'll have a hard time matching that experience with an SV650; even worse with a Ninja 500. (Disclosure: I'm not a big fan of the Kawi parallel twins -- they sound like two KLR650's trying to mate.)
But since you live in an urban environment, light is the way to go. The big BMW's are just too cumbersome in the city (although others might disagree). I would say the same about a Multistrada or other similar bikes.
My personal choice ended up being an Aprilia Shiver 750. Light (425 lbs.), and lots of power (92 bhp). It's very torquey like the 919, but since it has a drive-by-wire throttle, you can choose three different modes. I use Touring mode, which gives me full power, but a smoother throttle response. Other than that, the Ducatis are a good suggestion. A Yamaha FZ8 would probably make you smile, too! And don't forget the Ninja 1000. All of these are common enough now that used examples are relatively easy to find...
I've heard that the bandit 1250 is very similar to the 919
I rarely test ride bikes that I've bought new. The last three I did not, and I had no issues with them. I did trade up from the FZ-1 to a FJR, but I expected to do that, simply couldn't spring for the FJR at that point. Put 160k on the FJR and moved to a Super Tenere which now has 70k.
The point is what do you want? What fits your ergonomics? Not a thing wrong with test sitting some bikes. Some times a bike will just 'fit', but there are a ton of easy to make changes on nearly any bike that alter ergos.
As some others have said, the FZ-6 and 8 would be bikes to check out, but don't ignore the older gen of FZ-1 either, you can get a low mile bike for a pretty reasonable price and it's a bullet proof platform, though might be larger than you want/need or simply not fit you.
The BMW/Ducati/Aprilla stuff is all fine, if you're ok with the extra maintenance costs and frequency. And the extra insurance costs in some cases. Don't forget to check that out before you buy, just so you know what you're going to pay.
Or just hunt down another 919. ~400 miles from you, under 10k miles and close enough in price to make an offer. LINK
Around early January 2004 I sat on a Triumph Speed 4 for the first time. I didn't like it at all. Dismissed it outright.
Fast forward to April 2004, I did a Triumph demo day with the intent of riding as many different bikes as I could, & tested a bunch of bikes that day. Didn't even want to test the Speed Four...after all, why bother? BTDT in the showroom.
Well...on one of the rotations, the S4 was the only bike available. So what the hell, I took it on a run. Well, I'll be damned...the bike spoke to me, it was more than the sum of its parts, & I was hooked. Bought a used 2002 S4 shortly thereafter. Sold it 4 years later, however I thoroughly enjoyed the bike while I had it.
Bottom line, IMO, there is no substitute for a test ride. Will it tell you everything? No, of course not. Do it right though, & it should tell you enough.
I went by a dealer just to sit on some bikes, and much to my surprise, the sales rep invited me to test ride two of them without me even asking. I attribute that as a benefit to me getting older (almost 40).
First I test rode the CB1100. I think it's a pretty great bike, and I can see myself owning one in 10 years or so. I really liked how quiet it was and it had the right amount of power for me (a bit more than I need). I'm not so sure about the ergos, though. I felt like I was sitting on top of the bike seat, rather than becoming one with the bike. I'm sure I would get used to it. I'm not a serious canyon carver, but I wonder if I'd develop the same sense of confidence on a bike like that as I would on a more sporty standard (like my old 919) where it felt like the bike fit me like a glove.
Next, I tried the SFV650. I liked the feel of the ergos better on this. The power felt a little bit less, but still plenty. I can't quite put a finger on what I didn't like. It seemed that the exhaust was louder and the engine vibrated a little more as I worked it. Again, I'd probably get used to it, and I may not have noticed as much if I didn't just come off the buttery smooth CB1100.
This particular dealer didn't sell Yamaha, or I'd have really wanted to look at the FZ09. It's more bike than I need, but cheaper than the two I rode. Would it be any quieter/smoother than the SFV650? Again, I'm not sure if quiet/smooth is the right description, but something about the CB1100 engine I liked more. I would imagine ergos on the FZ09 would be much like the SFV650.
Are there any other bikes I am missing out based on what I'm describing? They had a CB500F and NC700X that I also had on my list, but the sales guy seemed pretty convinced that I'd find them too low on power. The only lower power bike I have to compare to is my friend's Shadow that I borrowed. Something in that realm would be an absolute disappointment for me. I didn't push for test rides on the 500 or 700, but might ask if I sleep on it for a while and think I want to try something smaller.
For anybody following along, I appreciate the input you've given so far.
The CB1100 is a four, which is a famously smooth design. Look at fours and triples for that sort of smoothness.
Try the 500 and 700. Who knows, you might love it. You might hate it. You'll never know.
As for sitting on the 1100 (instead of in it), try leaning forward a bit more. Standards can have a pretty similar ergo to a lot of the sportier things out there if you keep your back straight and hinge forward at the hip until your forearms are parallel to the ground. It's a bit weird at first, but once you get used to it, it's amazing.
Keep us posted!
I currently ride a Suzuki dl650 and it has an up right riding position and more than enough power. Mine is the 2013 motor upgrade which is similar to the SV650 but designed for more torque & less hp than the SV650. Both of these bikes have excellent reputations as far as reliability and driveability.
I looked at and sat on a NC700x but felt the bike was a bit small for me and I do ride some 2 up which the DL650 handles with no problem, so I went with the DL650.
So my vote would be for you to try a dl650 if you can. The vtwin configuration of motor has a vibration point at around 4700 rpm, below and above that it is smooth, but being a twin is never going to be as smooth as a 4cyl.
Good luck in your search.
While I did notice the handlebar position was different, it was more the gas tank shape. On the 919 or SV650, my knees fit right into the tank, and I guess it gave me more of a sense of stability. The CB1100 has more of a boxy tank that was just kinda there and I sat around it.
I'll keep an eye out for a Honda demo day to try the 500 and 700. DL650 is a bit less naked than I like. I decidedly don't like a windscreen for riding. It sounds like the SV650 and DL650 would be quite similar in their power delivery, so if I got one, I'd probably go for the SV650.
Also, does the SFV650 have ANY advantage over the FZ09 other than a dealer may be more willing to negotiate on price? It seems on paper, FZ09 wins in MSRP, HP, torque, weight.
I've had a 919, loved it, regret selling it when I started heavily farkeling my DR650...
I now have a CB500X, and my wife rides a SV650s;
I know there are HP differences on paper, but I am faster on the CB than the SV, and even more comfortable in the curves than on the 919.
Sometimes it's not about HP/torque, but how it fits, where it carries it's power, and other intangibles.
I am still a huge fan of the 9ers tank, honestly think that it's one of the prettiest ever; the KTM 690 has the same type of "wings" that your knees fit up into.
The Ride for Trevor:
If you do not really want a crotch rocket or really fast bike, the Honda NC700 would be a good choice. Little more HP and torque than the cb500x, better ergonomics. You can find used 2012 for around $6000.
Also consider the kawi z750, although I'd choose the Fz6