Ideas for two-up bike for under $3500...

Discussion in 'Road Warriors' started by spddmn, Jan 14, 2012.

  1. spddmn

    spddmn Been here awhile

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    Hey guys, Now that I'm married I'm craving a bike that will haul me and the Mrs. better than my Ninja will(not that I will ever get rid of it). I'm looking for something that will take us across the country if we want to, yet will also be fun for me if I want to commute on it or take it backroad blasting. Realistically, I'll be riding it solo much much more than we will be riding it together, but I want to have a bike that we can ride together on comfortable for when those times do come up. The problem with the Ninja is that ever time she's on it with me (she's 5'6" and weighs 115) and we're in traffic and I slightly tap the brakes or come to a stop she slides forward and causes me to put a lot of weight on my wrists/hands, which gets really sore really quickly. I've been thinking about my options for quite awhile but wanted to get your opinions as well. What bikes would you guys suggest for my $3500 budget that would fit the bill for

    1. Comfy two-up across the county if we wanted to
    2. Fun just for me to fly down backroads and commute
    3. Bike she won't slide forward on when I tap the brakes/slow down

    I've thought about Versys, Vstrom, Bandit, Bonneville, etc. The bike could even go back several years (10-15 or so for a good model, it doesn't have to be only a few years old). Give me your ideas. Thanks.
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  2. LuciferMutt

    LuciferMutt Rides slow bike slow

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    ST1100, older Connie. You're probably not going to find a V-strom for under $3500 and the Versys seat is way to high in the back, IMO.

    A lot of people say the VFR is good for two up, but I have one and I disagree. The seat is too short and too sloped and causes the same problem -- she slides into me every time I have to brake (and gradually over time everywhere else causing constant readjustments) Any bike that you want to cover some distance on two-up needs a longish seat that is either flat or has a defined "Butt cradle" for the passenger. Backrests for the passenger are also good.

    Obviously, you can two-up on just about anything. But doing it somewhat comfortably takes some thought. Aftermarket seats can make a big difference on a lot of bikes.
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  3. BigEasy

    BigEasy Long timer

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    Typical Kawi reliability, pulls like a train, plenty comfy for two up. This was Mrs. Easy's fav until we bought an E' Glide
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  4. IRideASlowBike

    IRideASlowBike Banned

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    The first-generation Concourses sell for cheap and are good 2-up, especially if you put a backrest or trunk on it. Pretty quick bikes also.
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  5. The Dirty One

    The Dirty One Been here awhile

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    For less than $3500 you can buy a really nice 1100 or 1200 goldwing . Stone axe reliability,two up tripping easy as saying it and not a bad solo mount at all. Comfortable as lots of newer touring bikes too.
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  6. Darmie

    Darmie Been here awhile

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    Not for everyone but it always puts a smile on my face.
    New was 3750, I have heard of deals lower than that new.
    Again, not for everyone but it's very capable.

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  7. njd

    njd Long timer

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    Concours already mentioned so I'll throw the fz1 into the mix. Crazy reliable, plenty of power, comfy two up.
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  8. TebKLR

    TebKLR Been here awhile

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    As others have mentioned, a first-gen Connie. Heck, I'll sell you my extremely nice 2001 for 3400! PM me if you're the slightest bit interested......
    #8
  9. Tripletreat

    Tripletreat Been here awhile

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    Be aware that the K-wackers so widely admired (and rightly so) are also enormously heavy. Not everyone is comfortable dealing with that much iron (and power). That's something to keep in mind when shopping around. I wouldn't jump into anything I had not ridden and felt at ease piloting.
    Attached is my classic K-bike that I picked up last summer. These are undervalued in the market and can be had for a proverbial song. Parts are easily available. I'd also add these bikes are reliable. Do the maintenance and you should easily get 100 K miles out of the engine before it's time to rebuild.
    Just something else to consider....

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  10. vink

    vink Adventurer

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    I'v got an ST1100 for just that a 2 up touring bike. I took one out for a day with my wife and she then wanted me to get one, almost more so than I did. I had my eye on it for a while. Mine is a 95 it gets about 300 mi to a tank. 7 gallon tank. Side hard bags detach and lock easily, comfortable for 2 up. Im 5-10 185lb. Sandy is 5-7 120,30 ish lbs. She'll never tell.
    The bike rides well and pulls up hills 2 up with a weekends worth of stuff. For $3600.00 the price of mine 5 yrs ago its well worth it. Very reliable, very smooth, comfortable and also quite fast, for an 1100. It's not an FJR, an ST1300, or a 1400 concourse. But it is loads of fun handles well, and at 40 to 45 mpg not to bad. When i ride it like its a VFR it gets 30 to 35 mpg.
    It's a great commuter 4 season bike, here in Seattle i see a few of them commuting all winter long, lots of rain but not quite freezing. You can check out STowners.com for info and what nots on the ST.
    There are many bike types in the sport tour 2 up type and in your price range.
    Have fun shopping.
    Vink

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  11. Butters

    Butters Kwyjibo

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    Your desire for "two up across the country" as well as "fun" seems to force you into the sport tourers: ST, Concours. I love my K75, but I would think the only K bike that meets your requirements and price would be a K1100RS. Maybe even a late 90s K1200RS might be had for $3500. If you don't mind naked, that ZRX looks pretty sweet. I almost bought one for $3000 with like 60k miles on it. The guy selling it had been on many two up trips.

    I've seen a couple V-Stroms fall into your price range too.
    #11
  12. duck

    duck Banned

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    If you're gonna look at a K then get a K100RS4V or a K1100RS. Yup, a tad bit heavier but with ten more hp and radial tires they're a lot more fun to ride. More importantly, especially if you're gonna be riding 2-up, the front brakes are MUCH better than those of a K75 or 2V K100.
    #12
  13. kitesurfer

    kitesurfer Long timer

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    i had the bandit 1200 and 1250. both were the best there is for one up in nall respects. but there is just not enough passenger room. my wife absolutely love my goldwing where she merely tolerated my bandits adn sportbikes.

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  14. El Guero

    El Guero V4 Whore

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    They've been mentioned several times in this thread, but I want to reiterate that you would be nuts to get anything other than a Concourse or a ST1100. The price point that these older bikes are at now are an absolute bargain. Anything bigger than these might not be as fun to ride solo, and anything smaller will really be compromising cross-country 2-up comfort. Not to mention the fact that these bikes have been ridden millions of miles and have potential problems that are well documented.

    Seriously, for your purpose and budget there is nothing better.
    #14
  15. nwdub

    nwdub Banned

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    how about a zx10 or zx11? I have a 1989 zx-10 that i picked up for under 1000 dollars and it hauls ass, is super comfy and is dead reliable. just eats the miles with plenty of power in any gear at any time.

    spend the money on farkles getting it the way you want.
    #15
  16. Me and my monkee

    Me and my monkee Out makin' Monkee Maps

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    I second (Third, fourth, fifth?) the Connie. Best sport touring bang for the buck. On my second. My first one was totalled, and I replaced it with another. Reliable, comfortable, fast (enough), standard hard bags...etc...etc...
    [​IMG]
    #16
  17. RussellH

    RussellH Been here awhile

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    I too am in the market for a good 2-up bike for a reasonable sum (I started a thread a few days ago in this section). I was leaning more towards the BMW 1200RT becuause of ABS, heated grip, cruise etc but I've also considered the FJR, Concours and the Honda ST.

    I had a 2005 FJR1300 for a week and it just didn't feel good to me, lots of power, great brakes but didn't seem to have a soul and the vibration while cruising at 4k annoyed me. It just seemed old tech sort of like the Suzuki Bandit- not that it's a bad thing but my 2009 Ninja 650R seems much more refined.

    The Concours can be had for a great price but even the 2006 models are carbuerated, we're talking 2006! not 1996 :1drinkFor me messing with carbs whenever I'm at high altitudes is not acceptable

    This brings me to the ST, I think the ST1100s represent a good value over the ST1300s. And personally I find the ST1100 to be easier on the eyes than the ST1300s.

    Another option is the full-sized full-fairing sport bikes (not super-sports) these include the Ninja 1000, FZ1, GSXF1250 etc
    #17
  18. creaky

    creaky Been here awhile

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    Another vote for the Concours C10. I bought this '98 for $1800 with 34K on it, sporting a new set of ME880s. It needed a valve adjustment and a bit of TLC cosmetically, only money I have spent on it is for gaskets (valve cover and plug well seals), set of spark plugs and boots. Runs and rides great, I'll be riding it to FL in March.

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    #18
  19. oldbutspry

    oldbutspry Mr. Guns and Bikes!

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    You don't need a new bike. You just need to solve this problem. Especially considering that you don't expect to do a lot of 2-up driving.

    I used to have the same problem. The solution was the duo drive handle (about $200). My wife loves it. I can go fast without worrying about how well she is holding on. And she never gets thrown forward into me any more. I have a handle on both my bikes. I had to order them from the UK but it was well worth it.

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  20. elementalg20

    elementalg20 Been here awhile

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    Some great bikes are already mentioned, likely even more that would suit the goal, especially with a few tweaks. I've chased my tail deciding for some time now and will likely buy whatever tugs at my hearstrings(and I think is a great deal) when I finally have the cash in my hands.


    That duo drive is kind of cool and I think would be a very nice addition to a sporting bike, or even a standard with no sort of backrest(it's no leaning against it, it's the security imo, being a pillion doesnt provide much of a sense of control and is more difficult for some passengers than others). My biggest concern would be that it would provide a very limited range of positions that the passsenger could sit in while riding using a fixed point like that, but it's not as if the other options are gone either, it'd be great for lots of stop and go I think. Nice find.
    #20