If you were a Noob and had $15k max to spend...

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by El Pescador, Dec 23, 2012.

  1. El Pescador

    El Pescador Been here awhile

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    I think this is the right place for this thread. I'll start with background. I haven't been on a motorcycle since I was 15 and rode a Yamaha DT50 to school every day. I have wanted a motorcycle for a long time but work, family, and finances made a bike a low priority.

    About 6 months ago, I bought a Dyna Low Rider. I wanted a Harley for a couple of reasons.
    1) Their resale is good and I knew if I didn't like motorcycling, I could turn it around without losing much money.
    2) They're simple and I could learn the basics of motorcycle maintenance and mechanics.
    3) I didn't know adventure bikes existed.

    I really like riding and not necessarily riding ONLY a Harley as most who have them are. I'm not opposed to a Harley, I just don't identify with the brand and believe I would enjoy riding ANY motorcycle. I would like to get another 6 months of experience on the Low Rider and then sell it or add to the garage and therein lies the question.

    If you had $15k to spend on any 2 or 3 bikes what would you buy?
    Meaning, would you try to cover the riding styles with two bikes like a KTM EXC450 and a BMW GS800 (these bikes are representative of their class and not necessarily the specific bikes you would buy) or would you buy three bikes like a 250 trail bike, a 650 dual sport, and a bigger bike like a big GS or KTM 990?

    I know it's dependent on the individual, so here are my specifics...

    1) I'll rarely be 2up.
    2) I live in Houston. Lots of highways and lots of traffic. The SH National Forest is 30 minutes north with about 80 miles of trails. Additionally, their are places that I can ride dirt, but that doesn't really appeal to me as I prefer to explore, rather than just ride the same track.
    3) I obviously will have to buy used since the budget doesn't afford new.
    4) I travel regionally for work, and I would like to do more of it on a motorcycle, rather than fly in.

    If I haven't made something clear, or made some assumptions please ask further questions. I look forward to your experience.
    #1
  2. trc.rhubarb

    trc.rhubarb ZoomSplat!

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    One bike isn't enough for me.
    Two bikes isn't enough for me now :)
    I only travel on 2 wheels if I'm not with the family.
    Bikes are an addicton for many of us.

    My two do most everything very well but I'm still short a project and a beauty queen for occasional use.

    Your Dyna can take you across the country in comfort if that's your thing. It will handle reasonaby well within the confines of speed limits. Unpaved roads are no issue either within reason. I wouldn't spend any money until I had a few thousand more miles under my belt and knew what I wanted... or you can do it like the rest of us and keep changing bikes until you find what you were looking for, fast forward 5 years or so and give the same advice to the next new guy :rofl
    #2
  3. damurph

    damurph Cold Adventurer

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    I have different bikes for different purposes. All were purchased used and most were good deals.
    Scooter does everything around town for very few gas dollars.
    GSA does two up and longer adventure trips.
    K bikes do my day/weekender rides.
    KLR is only used during the winter as my beater. I purchased it as my first (and cheap) foray into dual sport and figured out i am not a dirt bike rider but a dirt road rider.
    The point of this is that one bike will not do it all. What you need to figure out for yourself (and be honest with yourself) is what/where you want to ride.
    Small kids and full time job means long distance trips are likely only going to happen every few years,
    Empty nest means more freedom.
    #3
  4. DAKEZ

    DAKEZ Long timer

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    If I were to start over I would go with a Tiger 800XC and a WR250.

    But I am not, so I will stick with the DR650, Triumph Sprint, XR1200X and FrankenWing. :D

    [​IMG] [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    Besides, I have access to an 800XC any time I want one so...
    #4
  5. blk-betty

    blk-betty bam-a-lam

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    If you see yourself doing more distance road riding yet also want to explore off-pavement...consider trading the LowRider for any of the touring HDs and adding something like a used DR650.

    I feel like I now have the perfect stable for me, a Road Glide for distance and comfort, an XR1200 for ripping around town and riding the twisties (although gettign there is a 4 hour ride one way), and a DR650 for exploring off-pavement.

    A more dirt oriented bike like a KTM sure would be fun but overkill for the type of riding I do, and I'm wise enough (old enough) to understand my needs are much more relevant than my wants.

    If your looking for one bike to "do it all" the Tiger 800XC as Dakez recommends is a great choice.

    Good luck and always fun "searching" for another bike.
    #5
  6. El Pescador

    El Pescador Been here awhile

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    Thanks for the replies.



    Is that bike comfortable over long distances?
    #6
  7. No False Enthusiasm

    No False Enthusiasm a quiet adventurer

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    Almost two years ago, I went with a well broken in DL 650 with a few farkels for $4,000 and an almost brand new Bonny SE for $6,000.

    Upgraded suspensions on each, bought riding gear and bags, and am still well within $15,000.

    Trying to resist a WR250.... can't justify a third...

    NFE
    #7
  8. El Pescador

    El Pescador Been here awhile

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    What kind of riding do you do on each?
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  9. DAKEZ

    DAKEZ Long timer

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    Yes. (I base this on a few 600+/- days on one) I prefer the windshield removed.

    You may need to address the windshield and seat a little but other than that it is likely the best all purpose bike ever. (an 800GS being a very close second) IMO

    Can't really go wrong either way.


    Two more good choices. :nod The DL has a great engine...But I find it a bit lackluster overall. The Bonneville just brings out the grin from deep within.:ricky
    #9
  10. Kommando

    Kommando Long timer

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    You didn't state height/weight/inseam.

    The DR650SE is pretty versatile, affordable, reliable, and simple thumper. It's also a lot of fun, and has been produced since 1996. As a result new/used/aftermarket parts support is pretty good. It does best with customizing for YOU. Intake/carb/exhaust improvements really wake up the engine. The suspension, tires, and ergos may likely need work too.

    You may want a multi for long highway blasts. The Tiger 800XC is your bike if it fits you well and you aren't shy about possible electronic/computer quirks that take a dealer shop a while to diagnose and fix.

    A multi with more of a rep for low-priced reliability is the DL650. You can also get this with ABS, and you may want to wire in a switch for this. Many of these DLs go over 50K miles with no major issues.
    #10
  11. Pantah

    Pantah PJ Fan from Boston

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    I discovered this site Fall 2004. I was fascinated with the exploration oriented RR's. I was riding a Ducati at the time. Then I discovered an article about the 2004 Alcan5000. I emailed the club that put on the event and got the rules. I also entered the 2006 event. In early 2005 I bought a KTM 950 leftover for the job. Then I road it all over the west to explore while waiting for the 2006 Alcan45000. I just sold that bike a few months ago with well over 50k miles on it from my trips.

    I replaced it with a 2012 KTM 690R and set it up for travel and exploration. My reason was I needed to be able to pick the bike up out of the mud when I was solo in some remote area. The 690 is 150lbs lighter. If you are looking for better touring, probably the new KTM 990 or the Tri 800 is best for you. You definitely want the 21 inch front wheel and the ability to mount DOT knobbies.

    PS: I entered the 2014 Alcan5000 too. Not yet sure if I'll ride my 690 or a Yamaha 250. No more big bikes for me. I found my sweet spot.
    #11
  12. Wraith Rider

    Wraith Rider Banned

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    I took 17k Euro to buy one bike. New. The one that fits best to me. (In your case that would have been a Honda Crosstourer/Crossrunner/NC700X.)
    #12
  13. slartidbartfast

    slartidbartfast Love those blue pipes

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    From the bikes you are suggesting, it seems that the dual-sport/multi-purpose/standard type bikes are your preference.

    I'd suggest two bikes: A small street-legal dirt bike such as WR250 or one of the KTMs such as the EXC you mentioned, and something like a big GS, possibly the 800 you already mentioned (although I'd strongly consider the Triumph 800XC mentioned by Dakez) or even a Multistrada.

    If it were me, I'd be looking for a late model DR350 in good condition ($2500 max) which would leave plenty of cash for a clean 2010 or 2011 Multistrada and luggage, etc.
    #13
  14. mikesova

    mikesova Michigander

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    I'd buy the two bikes I have, farkle them, and pocket the 7500 bucks left over, for a rainy day. :)
    #14
  15. El Pescador

    El Pescador Been here awhile

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    This brings up a really good point. I don't necessarily*WANT to spend all $15k. I am new to motorcycling and I certainly wouldn't maximize the potential of a race-bred bike like a ducati. Why pay for it?
    #15
  16. El Pescador

    El Pescador Been here awhile

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    I'm really average...5'10, 190 lbs, 31 inch inseam
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  17. Jim Moore

    Jim Moore Long timer

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    I'd buy a brand-new Triumph 675R. Then I'd take it to a track day. Then I'd crash it in the first ten minutes because I'm a ham-fisted goon. Then I'd sit in the grass, weeping silently next to my newly-destroyed motorcycle.

    That's what I would do. If I were you I'd look at a BMW R1100GS from 98 or 99, or an R1200GS from 2008 on. They're fun, do-it-all bikes that are easy to maintain if you're into tinkering. Then you'd have money left over to buy a used 675R, take it to a track day, crash ... oh, never mind that part.
    #17
  18. BanjoBoy

    BanjoBoy Been here awhile

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    Ténéré?
    #18
  19. 2000RSV

    2000RSV Go Fast, Go Long

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    You mentioned learning needing some wrenching skills as one of the reasons for the Harley. Therefore, I am going to assume you are still not a strong wrench (no offense, just an assumption for the following).

    1) If you are wanting to do some longer trips, you need a bike that will be reliable and be able to be fixed on the road. The best dealership network in the US is HD. Followed by the Japanese brands Yamakawasuzda. Just about any town that has a car dealer will have one of these. Following that would be BMW (1 or 2 dealers per state in most) and then the exotics - Triumph, Ducati, KTM, etc.

    2) Pounding around within a day's ride of Houston, go with what stirs your soul. At worst, you will loose a day and not a whole vacation.

    3) The best advice from above - Be a serial bike purchaser until you find one (or two) that really fits. Kind of how you found a wife.

    Enjoy.

    J
    #19
  20. Truckin_Thumper

    Truckin_Thumper low profile

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    I live in the same area as you, Houston. Only I am up by the Woodlands.

    I would look at an FZ1, Tuono, or an 800xc. Leaning more towards an FZ.
    IIRC they run about 6-7K for a really good used one. Spend a grand on luggage and racks from SW Motech.

    Use the rest for something wiff knobbies, and a set of sumo wheels.
    Unless you are pretty good with a wrench, stay away from KTM. No, not a KTM bashing post. They are most fun bikes I have rode, but they require more attention than the rest. Anything high strung is high maint.. I like the big bore EX models. One of the best, if not the best, D/S bikes on the market. Since we are in TX, you can plate just about anything. This tosses in the WR and YZ from Yammy. Both fun bikes too. You can get both of these used for around 4k or so, and another few hundred getting them street legal.

    This is basically 4 bikes. You get a sporty bike for 3090, the long range travel bike with full luggage, a Houston Forest bike and a fun sumo. Can ask for a better setup than that.

    You would probably still have $ left over for add-ons and camping gear.

    One more thing, I am local so I can help you out if you need it. Show you some good spots to ride.....dirt AND paved. Just shoot me a PM if you care. :freaky
    #20