Topic: Need some "expert" advice...  (Read 3448 times)

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Offline MadMax

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« on: September 20, 2015, 10:33:38 PM »
I am in the process of looking for my next bike.  I am the type that will research the heck out of anything I am fixing to spend a chunk of money on, so I've narrowed it down to a few different bikes.  The real problem is that I can't decide between two different categories of bikes; Cruisers or Sport-Touring.  I know that sounds odd at first, but I am looking at the big touring class cruisers vs. big sport-touring bikes (1250cc or bigger).

My sole "concern" is overall comfort while riding.  My commute back and forth to work is negligible so that isn't an issue.  It's the 300+ mile rides that I will occasionally go on (more so during the summer months) where I will likely have my wife with me.  Neither of us are "small" people with our combined weight pushing 475lbs and both of us being at least 5'11" tall.  Add to that any type of gear for the road and it's something that seriously needs to be considered in my choice of bike.  My dilemma at the moment is deciding between a heavy big cubic inch "bagger", such as the Kawasaki Nomad, or a lighter more nimble sport-touring bike, like the FJR1300 or the Connie. Having previously owned a V-Star 1300, the riding position of the cruiser felt like my arms and feet were to far forward with my back being unsupported which resulted in lower back pain after about 250 miles.  I can't help but think that the "Active Rider"position would help resolve that by keeping my back straighter since my feet would not be as far out in front of me.

We would like to hit places like Deal's Gap and the mountains, so cornering is a factor.  Low speed maneuverability is important as well given the over all weight that I will ultimately be dealing with.  I just don't know if it's a big enough issue to rule out the bigger cruisers like the Roadliner, Nomad, VTX1800, etc.  I'm not normally a speed demon, but I do occasionally love to feel the torque pull your arms straight as you hit the throttle, and love the rumble of the V-Twin with Vance & Hines exhaust.  I also like the idea of a 6 gear since I was constantly trying to find it on my V-Star.  Maybe if the gearing is better suited for cruising at 75 to 80mph, without staying in the 3-4K rpm range, I would feel more comfortable with just a 5 speed tranny.  I don't care for chain drive, will consider shaft drive, but prefer belt drive.  Stop and go traffic in Huntsville isn't really an issue so I am indifferent on air vs liquid cooled engines, although I would prefer EFI over carb. 

At this point in time, my two top runners are as follows:

2006 FJR1300



or 2006 Kawasaki Nomad 1500



With that, I am taking it to the board to see what some of your thoughts are.  I know many of you have experienced both types of bikes and may be able to clue me in to some things I may not have considered yet. 
« Last Edit: September 20, 2015, 10:39:58 PM by MadMax »

Offline DachshundUberAlles

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« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2015, 06:24:25 AM »
My "expert" advice would be that since you've already had a cruiser and found the riding position brings you discomfort, don't buy another one thinking that this time it will not be uncomfortable.
There's no such thing as a "REAL RIDER!". If you have a motorcycle, you've done all you need to do.

Offline klaviator

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« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2015, 07:38:35 AM »
My personal experience is that the cruiser riding position tends to put a strain on my back but sporty bikes put a strain on my knees.  If you have bad knees and long legs, this could be an issue on a sporty bike. 

Then there is the fun factor.  The FJR will be way more fun on a fast ride but the Nomad would be more fun on a more relaxed ride.  There is no one perfect bike for all types of riding.  My solution?   Multiple bikes of course 8)

Offline MadMax

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« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2015, 12:30:30 PM »
This "like" feature makes it feel like FB, LMBO!

Offline terryrussell1

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« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2015, 01:25:13 PM »
I could be persuaded to sell if interested or if you and the wife want to sit on it and see if it is comfortable your welcome to it.

2007 fjr1300



Offline scrappyjon

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« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2015, 02:12:00 PM »
I have lower back issues. Two Surgeries. Some of the worst back pain on a motorcycle I've ever had during a long ride was on a bagger. A road king to be exact. I am a big proponent of mid controls. Mid controls keep you straight up and down and distribute more weight away from your lower back and to your legs. Both my bikes are mid control and I never have any back pain. I am a big person but my wife is not. About 390 lbs combined. The V strom is pretty tight with the both of us but manageable, same with the Harley Dyna. I think a sport touring bike like the FJR would have a similar amount of space as my V-Strom 1000. I don't think the two of you would be comfortable.

Honestly, I think the bike for you would be a cross between the two of them.

My recommendation would be this.



Sporty boxer 6 cyl engine
Mid Controls
and enough room for two larger people.
 

Offline MadMax

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« Reply #6 on: September 21, 2015, 04:45:18 PM »
I've actually been looking at the Goldwings a little.  Lots of them out there with over 100K in my price range, but there is one that seems to be a pretty good deal down in Dothan. 

May have to take TerryRussell up on the offer to let us sit on his together to see how it feels.  Won't actually be ready to buy till the spring, though.  Trying to make sure I have enough cash on hand to buy on the spot since I don't really believe in financing things like this.

Offline catang5oh

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« Reply #7 on: September 21, 2015, 05:01:16 PM »
Yamaha Ventures are nice machines, and are priced right typically.

Can't go wrong with a wing, they are reliable.

Offline scrappyjon

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« Reply #8 on: September 21, 2015, 05:22:29 PM »
Trying to make sure I have enough cash on hand to buy on the spot since I don't really believe in financing things like this.

Amen to that! I talked to a guy the other day who just "bought" a newer Harley. He financed it and said his payments were over $400 a month. I don't think I could ever go into debt for a motorcycle. Whenever I see a nice new motorcycle I always think, "Man, I can't wait for 15 years to pass so I can get one of these. "

I guess somebody has to buy them new though. 


On the fjr, I'm with klav. I rented one before and rode it 400 miles in one day. My knees went from killing me to just being numb. You should also test out one of the bigger "adv" bikes. Some of the older 1200 gs's are finally coming down in price. Also you can get a storm for next to nothing. The peg positions are a little bit less aggressive than most of the sport touring bikes. But again, there might be a space issue. Another bike to look into would be a Valkyrie. It is based off the older goldwing 1500 6 cyl motor but with a beefier carb setup.

I think they stopped making them in 2002 but it's a Honda. If you found one that was taken care of, it will last forever. Also, like the goldwing it has mid controls. It's basically a goldwing dressed like a cruiser and they come with three different options. Basic cruiser style, hard bag style and fully dressed with fairing and top trunk. They are pretty reasonable in price too.








I got to ride one around a few years ago. It's smooth as silk and the power never ends. Plenty of room. I always think about buying one myself.
« Last Edit: September 21, 2015, 08:17:06 PM by scrappyjon »

Offline Mulley

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« Reply #9 on: September 21, 2015, 05:37:37 PM »
Best of both worlds

Get a Honda F6B and puts some highway pegs on it.

You get the handling and mile crunching ability of a Gold Wing but you can still have cruiser face.






Top case and screen options are available.

2015 Versys 650 LT / 2016 Beta 300 RR / Suzuki DR-Z440S

Offline MadMax

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« Reply #10 on: September 21, 2015, 05:44:10 PM »
Both are very nice options, but the Valkyrie can be found in my price range.  I actually like the look of a Valkyrie, a lot...  I wonder how readily available parts are since it's no longer a production bike.....  hmmm, now I have a new research topic, lol.

Offline jrobinson

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« Reply #11 on: September 21, 2015, 07:31:14 PM »
We have a Valkyrie expert on the forum. Ask Slowroad if you have any questions.

Offline SlowRoad

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« Reply #12 on: September 21, 2015, 08:04:28 PM »
OEM parts and aftermarket mechanical parts are readily available. 

Options and farkles, not so much.  If you get a Valk, which I love, try to find one with most of the accessories that you would want.  The accessories are scarce and pricey when you can find them.

But, they are extremely reliable and if regular maintenance is kept up, they will last well over 200k miles. 

A Valk is a large bike. It has a lot of room for rider and passenger, and the Tourer and Interstate have quite a lot of storage room.

Mine started life as a Standard, and the original owner added the HondaLine windshield.  I added the factory hard bags a few years ago.







You'd be welcome to come up this way and sit on mine sometime if you'd like.  If you have any questions, I'll be glad to answer them for you if I can.

Tim

Offline MadMax

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« Reply #13 on: September 21, 2015, 08:04:54 PM »
Just sent him a PM.

Thanks for the reference.

Offline MadMax

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« Reply #14 on: September 21, 2015, 08:08:51 PM »
Ha!  He was replying to the post while I was sending him a message!  That's funny right there!

Great minds think alike :)