Suggestions for Taller Rider

Discussion in 'Road Warriors' started by UCLA Bruin Rider, Dec 9, 2013.

  1. UCLA Bruin Rider

    UCLA Bruin Rider n00b

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    Hey guys,

    I moved to Chicago earlier this year and it pained me to go through the warm riding season without a bike (I sold my Ninja before I left). I was told by a few friends of mine that now is a great time to start looking for good deals on bikes now that riding season is close to over here. So my search for a new bike has now begun, and I would love to pique your guys' brains for suggestions.

    I'm a taller rider, about 6'3" 220 lbs but with a short 32" inseam. I will be riding 2 up about 20-30% of the time with my lady who is 5'10"/140 lbs. I'm looking for bike suggestions that will be tolerable for 2-300 mile trips with the rare 500 miler thrown in for size. I'm pretty open to different brands/styles

    My criteria are:
    - Less than $10k
    - Decent room for pillion (footpeg extensions/new seat are not out of the question)
    - Powerful enough for safe highway 2 up for our combined ~400lbs with gear
    - Primarily a bike to be ridden around town; not necessarily a dedicated tourer/ADVbike, so I'd like it to be "fun"

    Some of the various bikes I have been looking at are the Triumph Street Triple, a used Tiger, SV650, WeeStrom, or maybe a used Ducati Hypermotard 796. I fit very well on the Street Triple, but I'm not sure even with a 2 inch lowering of the pegs that my girlfriend will ever comfortably fit on there. It's fun as hell to ride, so I'm kind of leaning towards it anyway and just dealing with it/stopping often on trips. I just wanted to see if you guys have any other suggestions so that she doesn't kill me when I suggest a trip. Thanks!
    #1
  2. SloMo228

    SloMo228 World Class Cheapass

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    I didn't have mine for very long, but I did put 8,000 miles on during the one summer I owned it - Kawasaki ZRX1100. It's a very nice all-around bike. Plenty of power for 2-up and a nice wide seat with plenty of room for a pillion. Not sure of how the seat-to-peg distance compares to the ST, but my 5'10" wife was comfortable on ~100 mile day trips. Definitely capable of longer trips - I took mine 7,000+ miles to the West Coast and back with a couple of 600+ mile days in there. Could have gone farther but never felt the need to. As far as ergonomics go, mine was stock except for a set of 1" drop pegs. It doesn't have sportbike ergos, the seating position is fairly close to upright, making it much more comfortable for taller/heavier people.

    I think the ZRX checks just about all the boxes on your list - you can get them for far less than $10K (I got a steal on mine for $1500, but good examples are usually around $3K), they have decent pillion comfort, they are powerful enough stock and can be opened up for even more power, and they are definitely fun to ride.

    I'm 6'3", 35" inseam BTW.
    #2
  3. nskitts

    nskitts Long timer

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    Vstrom 1000 will fit nicely and my pillion said it was very comfortable. The 650 gets all the love but the 1000 runs mid 11 second 1/4 mile and will haul all the gear and people you can put on it. I got mid 40's for MPG. Did I mention the engine is awesome in the 1000?

    For your price range and requirement of pillion comfort and tallness that is what comes to mind. Possibly an ST1300 but I'm not sure on that.

    Also, a used Harley Road Glide can be had for the money you are wanting to spend if you are into that, it fits my 6'3 230 perfectly.
    #3
  4. rider33

    rider33 Long timer

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    If the VStroms fit you that might be ideal tho at 6'2" the pegs always felt way too high for me, even after I lowered them. The new CB500x might be worth a look, feels a lot bigger than you might think or it's 700 big brother. ST's are wonderful bikes and quite capable tho they might be a bit much for just city duty. Really, the most comfortable & flexible urban bike I've had was the KLR, 'lots of leg room and an honest to god flat seat of size so you (and she) can move around. Those also tend to sneer at pot holes, curbs & whatnot.
    #4
  5. DiabloADV

    DiabloADV Semi-Occasional

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    2006-7 1200GS
    Nice tall bike with great pillion perch. Great in cities since you're up higher.
    #5
  6. Gillus

    Gillus High Desert Rat

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    +1 on a Vstrom but a 650 WeeStrom will do fine if your not on a hurry on the highway. May be better around town as well.
    A BMW GS/A will be a good fit as well for you and your budget.
    #6
  7. gravityisnotmyfriend

    gravityisnotmyfriend Long timer

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    I'm 6'4" with a 35" inseam. The Wee is very cramped for me. No way would I be putting 300 miles on one.

    For long distance highway riding, I had to go with a cruiser setup. I've ridden a ton of bikes, and my Shadow Sabre is the most comfortable for putting on the miles. You can get an aftermarket seat for your lady, as the stock one is pretty small.

    As much fun as sport bikes are, I can only sit on one for about 15 minutes before I have to unfold myself.
    #7
  8. elementalg20

    elementalg20 Been here awhile

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    Might look at the 955i or even the 1050 tigers. The 1050's have a few short comings stock bug once sorted they are supposed to be great.
    #8
  9. gravityisnotmyfriend

    gravityisnotmyfriend Long timer

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    Good point. I did find the 1050 Tiger to be pretty darn comfortable. Not sure you'll find under $10k, and I don't know how the pillion seat is. But, they are comfy for a tall guy.
    #9
  10. Big Tall Bastard

    Big Tall Bastard Voice of Reason

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    Triumph Sprint ST, KTM 990SMT. The Triumph will fit the budget better.
    My answer would be different if you were riding solo most of the time. 07 or later Aprilia Tuono but no way with a 5'10" girlfriend. With a tall pillion your going to need a Sport/Tourer.
    I'm 6'6" and my 990 Adventure was great 2 up and you could find one under 10K.
    #10
  11. AustinP

    AustinP Adventurer

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    I'm your same size. Have had a bunch of the different Triumph and BMW sport touring bikes over the years. Currently have a 2007 DL1000 V-strom and a 2012 DL650 V-strom. Stroms are well under 10k, even new ones (except the new 1k). Stroms are very customizable bikes, lots of after market support and can be set up different ways depending on tires, etc... They lack a bit of the character some of the more fun bikes like Speed Triples have but they are fun like most bikes. The DL1000 would be best for the weight you guys are going to be at two up and the extra power is always nice.
    #11
  12. HapHazard

    HapHazard Waiting for Gudenov

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    #12
  13. 2tallnwide

    2tallnwide Long timer

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    I've got a little less than $5 grand in my '05 Tiger, including the new Corbin seat, and Mustang cleated 1" lower pegs.

    [​IMG]

    It's a hoot to ride, 500 mile days are not a problem at all for me. But if I would have had $10 grand to play with when I bought the Tiger I would have probably opted for another R1200GS, mainly for the shaft drive, suspension, and for some reason it was better for us 2up as well.

    Love the Tiger's engine, but the chain, not so much. YMMV. :D
    #13
  14. Gillus

    Gillus High Desert Rat

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    V-strom: get some inexpensive up and back bar risers, then some Richland Ricks peg lowerers and a fork brace, the tallest Madstad set up and :ricky.
    Seat Concepts makes a nice seat pad and cover if you need one however the 1000 seat is sposed to be good.
    #14
  15. CaptainCrunch

    CaptainCrunch Been here awhile

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    I'm 6'2" with a 34" inseam (I swear I used to be 6'3" before spending a decade hunched over a bar slinging drinks!), and my airhead is pretty damn comfy. My only personal passenger experience is with my 5'2" shrimp of a wife (and she's lying about that last 1/2"), so I can't speak to that.

    It's a pretty radical departure from a modern Ninja, but they're astonishingly durable, made to eat miles carrying all your crap, and you can get a lot of Air-or-Oilhead for $10g.
    #15
  16. JerryH

    JerryH Banned

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    Ah Ha!! So I am NOT the only one who cannot ride sport bikes without serious pain. And not the only one who rides a cruiser either.


    To the OP, you mentioned some nice bikes:Triumph Street Triple, a used Tiger, SV650, WeeStrom, or maybe a used Ducati Hypermotard 796, but why is the SV650 in there? It is completely different from all the others.

    Seems like every time someone asks for recommendations on a bike, the SV650 gets on the list. While it's sport bike riding position definitely leaves it off my list, I can't help but wonder what is so special about it. The SV650 is night and day compared to the DL650, which I actually wouldn't mind having, but I would take a KLR over it. Simpler, cheaper, much easier maintenance, and does everything I need.
    #16
  17. nskitts

    nskitts Long timer

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    Might as well throw the FZ6 in there, I was tall when I had that one too after the strom and before the Harley. Cheap, great MPG, great riding position, and looks pretty good...also is pretty good for the passenger.
    #17
  18. dasrider

    dasrider Been here awhile

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    I'd recommend something along the lines of an FZ-1, Sprint or Ninja 1000. You'll appreciate the extra grunt of a liter streetbike and the fairings will make the longer days bearable. Although I've never owned one, the pillion accommodations seem more appealing than any of the sporty bikes I've owned.

    I love my Speed Triple, but I don't really care for riding more than a few hours on the interstate with it.
    #18
  19. PorkChopExpress

    PorkChopExpress Been here awhile

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    I'm 6'4" with 34" inseam and had an FZ-1 for a few weeks and sold it. I was cramped and combine with spreading my knees apart for the wide inline four, it was very uncomfortable for me, (that's why I sold it after a few weeks).
    Has the price of the new V-strom 1000 been released yet? It might be worth waiting for. Kind of like a poor man's GS.
    #19
  20. PorkChopExpress

    PorkChopExpress Been here awhile

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    [​IMG]
    #20