What Influenced the purchase of your Motorcycle?

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by TheProphet, Aug 16, 2018.


What Influenced the Purchase of your Motorcycle?

Poll closed Sep 11, 2018.
  1. Magazine Advertisement

  2. Television Commercial

    0 vote(s)
  3. Internet Advertisement

  4. Personal Choice, no outside influence

  5. Friends Pressure; It is what everyone I know rides

  6. Comparison of Technical Specifications

  7. Top MotoGP or other Racing Brand

    0 vote(s)
  8. I liked the way it looked

  9. Cost, Price, Money

  10. Brand Name Allegiance

Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Tinker1980

    Tinker1980 Doesn't ask why, only asks how

    Dec 10, 2012
    Nowhere, OK
    DR650: Bought from my brother. I knew it's history from new, and I bought it anyway. My KLR was stolen a few months prior, and I missed the versatility.

    Street 500: Wanted something to commute on that wouldn't eat rear tires like candy, that was more comfortable. I considered the RE Classic and Bullet 500, but didn't think they would hold up well for a daily 80 mile round trip, mostly highway. I didn't really need it, but I had some money saved, some things paid off, and wanted to get something to ride. I looked at a few other bikes, many from shops that didn't seem too interesting in selling them. Went to look at this bike out of boredom. Turned out to be quiet, smooth, water cooled, and even nimble.
  2. CCitis

    CCitis Been here awhile

    Jan 13, 2013
    Beautiful BC
    I like this game, I'll play. Current bike... I was off two wheels for around two years. I felt like getting a classic. I wanted something I could wrench on too. Also wanted something with soul and character. Wasn't set on anything in particular, but I landed on this bike. Happy so far.
  3. Aj Mick

    Aj Mick Long timer

    Aug 31, 2012
    Phuket, Thailand
    Needed transport back in 2003, so picked this ex-rental 1997 Honda Dream up for $500. Now with over 278,000 km (173,000 miles) on the clock, it still runs sweetly, and will remain a useful daily ride for several more years.

    Srichada Hotel & Restaurant.jpg
    Si3ben, thechief86, Bors and 4 others like this.
  4. Noxortus

    Noxortus Adventurer

    Dec 5, 2017
    Land of cheese
    My first few bike purchases were defined entirely by price. As in "I have $1000, what bike can I get for that" and had some good bikes, and some not so good ones.

    Lately, being in a different place in life, they tend to be more based on impulsive feelings. My Triumph Scrambler was entirely based on how cool I felt on it. My Harley Sportster was entirely based off the color, I didn't even hear it run first!

    I enjoy doing things that way as it makes me happy and keeps things interesting.
  5. CaptCapsize

    CaptCapsize Long timer

    Jan 7, 2012
    Corrales, New Mexico
    All it took was a test ride and a great deal from a friend.
  6. JETalmage

    JETalmage Been here awhile

    Oct 11, 2014
    My criteria for preferring a bike has always been the same: I want the highest purpose-built quality I can get, within these practical limits, not necessarily in this order of priority:

    This is mandatory. Price has to be reasonable for what the bike is. This would be true even if I were "made of money" (which I'm not). Sometimes we come across deals that are just too good to pass up, and let that override actual preference. Some do that consciously and objectively. Some find it necessary to try to convince themselves and others there was no compromise by over-glorifying the object of their choice. At the same time, some bikes are great, but just absurdly priced for what they are.

    Also mandatory is that I have to be able to afford it. In my young and foolish days, I thought that meant being able to afford payments. But long since then, it strictly means being able to afford paying cash. I don't finance anything, no matter how much I'd like to have it. I'm fortunate to having been taught that at a relatively early age. I wish I had learned it even earlier.

    Product Support:
    In my younger years, that meant local dealer support. Nowadays, given the internet, UPS, and FedEx, "local" is not the deal-breaker it once was for certain kinds of bikes.

    For one good example with which I have experience, not having a local dealer for Sherco is no reason to not have a Trials bike. I would not hesitate to purchase from the US distributor, Ryan Young Products. US Trials riders know that a phone call will get them friendly expert advice and any parts they need in two or three days, which is essentially the same thing one gets from a good local dealer, since nowadays local dealers don't have to stock the volumes of parts they did in older times.

    Now, that said, being in close proximity to a great dealership populated by true motorcyclists is still a huge enhancement to motorcycling life in general. I'm blessed to be within a 30 minute ride of one of the best MC dealers in the southeast. I pop in on my rides at least once a week just to smell new bikes, keep familiar with current offerings, and shoot the breeze with like-minded enthusiasts and friends.

    And it does affect which bikes I buy. For example, I would choose a KTM690 over a Husqvarna 701 simply because my preferred dealer has been selling KTMs since long before KTM acquired the Husky brand. Were that the other way around, I'd have the Husky. (And I quite understand the simple business logic of not carrying both of those two brands.)

    But it doesn't affect just relatively "easy" choices between practically identical bikes, either. No dealer carries all brands. For any given motorcycle genre, I'll strongly favor a brand available from my favorite dealer.

    The Fit Factor
    Probably more than any other motorsport, the essential appeal of motorcycling is that visceral "union" of man and machine. You don't have to be a racer to know that riding a motorcycle is more than just riding on a motorcycle. A merely comfortable motorcycle is not the same thing as a comforting motorcycle.

    That "fits me" aspect was the largest factor in my choosing the 990 SMT (SuperMoto Travel) over all the other large "adventure" bikes. At 5'10, 155 lb, 30" inseam, its tidy compactness and comparative nimbleness makes me feel more "at one" with it than any other large road bike I've owned or tried. Its "just motorcycle" relative minimalism (small, but surprisingly effective windscreen, unobtrusive side bag fittings, etc.) appeals strongly to what I think a motorcycle should be.

    The Balance
    One's criteria have to work together. That's why one objective formula doesn't work for all riders. For example:

    Dualsports are a functional compromise by definition. Given that definition, I find it objectively obvious that the KTM 690 is the highest quality large purpose-built dualsport among current offerings from the "Big Five."

    But in my case, it also simultaneously represents a compromise between two of my criteria: Highest purpose-built quality versus Fit. Its seat height alone skews the dualsport compromise and causes it to be--for me--a better "dirt bike for the street" than "street bike for the dirt." Were its stock seat height two inches shorter, the dualsport balance would be much improved.

    So the net result is that, despite their being bikes of two different purpose-built genre, the SMT is the more overall satisfying of the two. Someone with two or three inches more leg reach might find them equally satisfying, or possibly even reversed; a taller person might find the SMT slightly cramped.

    As usual, the question doesn't boil down to a single choice from a "survey" bullet list.

  7. ddavidv

    ddavidv The reason we can't have nice things

    May 10, 2009
    Elizabethtown, PA
    I bought the bikes I have because they 'fit'. Here's the key though: of all the bikes I purchased the KLR is the only one I bought without actually riding it. Test rides sealed the deal for me each time. Specs and ergo measurements are meaningless until I ride something. I rode at least three bikes I was convinced were 'perfect' only to find them seriously lacking in some aspect.

    Take note Japanese brands: I won't be buying any new bikes from y'all because your dealers don't allow for test rides. I have to wait for used models to be available to give them a go. Too much money involved to buy something I've never tried.
  8. shoeb

    shoeb Long timer

    Feb 9, 2015
    Sheffield, England
    I went for personal choice, though I won't claim 'no interference'. It's not like I didn't see any reviews or adverts for it. But, I did take time to sit down and think about what I really needed in a bike rather than my misty-eyed fantasies, and I ignored a lot of macho-man reviews slating my choice as 'boring' or 'not a real bike'.

    Glad I did, too. Never had so much fun on 2 wheels!
  9. Kommando

    Kommando Long timer

    Nov 28, 2006
    By the Great Lakes
    I have a few DR650s. They can handle muddy/rutty/rooty/sandy/rocky singletrack. They can slab all day with a passenger and luggage. Parts for a '96 fit on a 2018. A 790 piston kit and a hot cam can wake it up. Cogent suspension can make it handle like a chunky enduro or SM. Some people ride these bikes for over 100K miles. They're simple.
    thechief86, Tinker1980 and Night_Wolf like this.
  10. TheProphet

    TheProphet Retired; Living the Dream

    Mar 7, 2014
    NW Illinois, Driftless Zone
    What influenced you to buy them? :confused
  11. William Wolfen

    William Wolfen DR Guy

    Dec 5, 2015
    Cypress, TX
    Sounds like general bike capabilities and ease and availability of upgrades to me.
  12. GreyThumper

    GreyThumper Long timer

    Apr 17, 2014
    Manila, Philippines
    None of the above. My main decision to buy an ADV bike was because I wanted a certain functionality, and I eventually chose the GS LC after test riding a bunch of bikes.

    I wanted my wife to be able to comfortably ride with me, whether it's a multi day trip or a Sunday blast. Touring bikes didn't appeal, so I decided on an ADV bike. Off-roadability wasn't really a factor, although I appreciated this given that the Philippines often has quite poor, unpaved roads. Spec sheets didn't really matter to me. I wanted something that was comfortable and practical, so after testing, I felt that the BMW was the most comfortable and refined.
  13. OhBoy

    OhBoy Got Out

    Mar 30, 2009
    Merrimack Valley, NH
    Always found myself seeking out backroads. From a Vespa at 14 to a Goldwing at 50 I've always looked for roads without traffic. My first KTM was a used 250. It had a huge gas tank and was perfect when I lived in the Eastern Sierras. Went thru a few Hondas (VTX Wing) then got a KTM 690. The 690 is a great bike but, not for me and long distances. So, I want a bike that goes off road and cover long distances with some comfort. Enter KTM 1190S. I enjoy the hp to weight ratio KTMs provide.
  14. bk brkr baker

    bk brkr baker Long timer

    Jul 19, 2006
    The Bluegrass
    The last one I bought was purchased as , [A] a guide to put together the one I had previously attained as a puzzle with missing pieces. [ B] a chance to ride one like the one I had been trying to figure out for a year . And [C] It's bitchin'.
  15. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

    Apr 10, 2011
    Central MA
    For me, it was the kids. Once the wife could no longer ride, the road sofa gathered dust a lot. There were three other riders in the family who all said "ditch that pig and get a GS." Being a road-sofa/cruiser kind of old fart, I couldn't see any bike that didn't have at least 4 cylinders, la-z-boy seats with front and rear stereo; however, none of the kids wanted to ride or be seen with someone who had a Hondapotamus and it didn't like being on any road that had lots of ruts in loose gravel switchbacks. In an effort to help, one of the kids lent me his GS to ride during weekdays while he was working. After several rides, the bike started to grow on me. After several thousand miles, I couldn't see anything else and we got one. Now, 45,000 miles later; it's hard to imagine how a bike could be much better other than being lighter for increasing age.
    Night_Wolf likes this.
  16. Night_Wolf

    Night_Wolf Leg Humper

    Feb 17, 2006
    Lat: N 90°00'00" Long: N/A
    CB 500X & outfit it with the Rally Raid kit if "real" off road is what you want. If not wanted for true off road riding, then upgrade seat & front & rear suspension based on your weight/riding style. Not stump pulling power, but more than capable at legal + speeds; I have no issues riding 80 mph or cruising at the 70 mph legal limit on our highways
  17. Ogre_fl

    Ogre_fl Long timer

    Oct 13, 2004
    Cook Bayou, FL

    Both bikes I currently own were a BIG case of "I am buying this bike" during the test ride.
    Most bikes I have owned gave me that feeling to some degree.

    Likewise there have been many I walked away from because something did not seem right and it did not give me that "I am buying this bike" feel.

    I have had one bike that I should have walked away from, but I ignored that lack of feeling and tried to convince myself it was OK.
    I sold that one quickly.
  18. therealjared

    therealjared Been here awhile

    Aug 5, 2012
    Central MS
    I needed something that was practical, affordable, well-rounded, cheap to work on, and reliable. I have a Wee-Strom.

    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    Milosh and Night_Wolf like this.
  19. collinskj

    collinskj Chris with a K

    Nov 8, 2017
    Delaware, US
    March of 2017 I randomly decided to search CL for motorcycles, not having owned one since I had a Yamaha TTR125 when I was 13. I saw a green gen 1 KLR and thought "that is the coolest looking bike I have ever seen." Of all the things I have heard people call the KLR, cool is one of the rarest ones.
    William Wolfen likes this.
  20. PeterW

    PeterW Long timer

    Nov 11, 2005
    Gold Coast
    I moved from NZ to Oz and finally got a bike again. I prefer simple bikes so first was a 650GS single - that was passable but, and it' was a big but - distances here are insane compared to NZ and that thing used to beat me to death on the long sections of sealed road.
    Finally traded that in for a new DL650 - if I was going to throw a bike down dirt roads I still wanted it to be a bike where if I destroyed it I could go out next day and just buy a new one. So I was after SOME off-road capability but only dirt roads and capability to handle long slab hauls (which the 650 single couldn't). So technical capability + price.