Help Me pick a sport touring bike - Wrist Twisters
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post #1 of 47 Old 11-29-2006, 08:43 PM Thread Starter
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Help Me pick a sport touring bike

Im trying to help my 58 yr old father pick out a sport touring bike. looking used do to his price limit of about 8k. he likes the fjr and st, concours is a little long in the tooth. you guys got any favorites. due to his lower back problems he would prefer as upright a riding position as possible. im not sure if i should steer him torwards the vstrom or bandit (they would be in his price range new) and he could always add luggage. he is really not that picky. just wants a fun, lowmaintance, comfy bike, w/ enough umph to shoot him down the road. any and all feedback would be appreciated.

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post #2 of 47 Old 11-29-2006, 09:58 PM
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Easy...919! Do a search for all the great reasons why.

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post #3 of 47 Old 11-30-2006, 03:37 AM Thread Starter
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i own one as well - and appreciate its versatility, but my dad wants something different.

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post #4 of 47 Old 11-30-2006, 03:48 AM
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The wind will beat you up.

Find something with a nice windshield. Also - drop the "sport" part and also look at touring bikes. I just found my dad a 2000 Triumph Trophy in great shape for 4K.

The concourse is a great bike - but looks like ass....

My fathers needs in a bike... Wind protection, comfortable for him and my mother, back rest for my mother. The Triumph and Kawasaki fit the bill, but in the looks department, the Triumph won out.

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post #5 of 47 Old 11-30-2006, 03:49 AM
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What does Dad want to do with the bike? Mostly for touring? 2-up touring? Any commuting? How much storage space and weather protection is he wanting? How about engine size and ergonomics?

It's a wide open market until you decide what you want your bike to do. The ST1300, FJR, V-Strom, Bandit, FZ1, and many others will all make fine sport tourers, but are vastly different bikes.

Personally, I would not vote a 9'er as a sport touring candidate. I went from an ST1300 to the 919 and there is a world of difference in range, power, agility, weight, and purpose.

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post #6 of 47 Old 11-30-2006, 05:06 AM
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I wouldn't recommend the VStrom for this example. Purely for the lower back issue you specified. The Strom is reasonable enough as far as all of your other requirements, but it definately needs a new seat to make it a comfortable tourer. The added ground clearance might pose a problem for his back as well. Go with what f4iguy said, and look at used. An fjr, st1300, would make for a great fit. You could probably find one easily within the price range.

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post #7 of 47 Old 11-30-2006, 05:14 AM
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Another fine sport tourer in your price range is the Honda VFR.


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post #8 of 47 Old 11-30-2006, 05:22 AM
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One other thought -- if he is going to add farkles that draw juice (heated gear, radar detector, communication system, GPS, etc.) , make sure you know the alternator output. This was a major problem with some of the earlier sport tourers.

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post #9 of 47 Old 11-30-2006, 05:49 AM
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I had the ST1300 for 3 years great bike very comfortable great wind protection but it's also very heavy compared to some other ST's out there

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post #10 of 47 Old 11-30-2006, 06:46 AM
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My dad (57) has been looking at an ST1300 for a little while, but currently has a PC800. He has had it for about 6 or 7 years. He loves it. The "trunk" can fit 2 jackets and 2 full face helmets with a little room left over. He has done touring with it around the east coast. He has done Blue Ridge Parkway several times and the dragon's tail twice. They are very low maintenance - even has a shaft drive instead of chain. He moved to the 800 as an intermediate step to the ST after leaving a CM450E and can't see getting rid of it. He likes the new Concours 14 they are getting ready to come out with, but doesn't want to give up the PC.

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post #11 of 47 Old 11-30-2006, 08:41 AM
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When in my decision process, I checked out the super power liter plus STs. After adding a touring windscreen and seat to the 919 it's a great ST. Plenty of power, but not heavy==great braking and handling. It's the best value that fits your budget.

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post #12 of 47 Old 11-30-2006, 09:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dream247919 View Post
but not heavy==great braking and handling.
Weight works to your advantage for a good ride. The rake and trail on the ST is also more for comfort. If we use the logic of making things tourers that are not, I say buy a ZX9r. Add some bags and you are set. More power, brakes and handling than the 919 and a used one is far cheaper.

There is some bang for the buck if that is what you are looking for.

Bu If you are looking for a class Sport Tourer, than buy a sport tourer.

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post #13 of 47 Old 11-30-2006, 09:12 AM
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Dream,

The sport tourers have windscreens and fairings that tend to limit the exposure to the elements when needed and offer signifigant wind protection for those iron butt days. The 919 would have to be outfitted with a lot of extras to get the same long-distance comfort of an ST.

This would, of course, increase the price...so you may as well buy a bike designed for the purpose instead of creating one. You wouldn't buy a Prius to race and you wouldn't want a 'vette or Viper for fuel efficiency. Vehicles are designed with a purpose. This doesn't mean that you can't tour with a 919, but it was not designed for the purpose. With the wind, I would imagine you would be very sore at the end of the second long day.

Just my $.02...now where's that rebate form at...

Shawn

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post #14 of 47 Old 11-30-2006, 09:59 AM
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I suppose just about any bike could be altered in a way to make it be considered a a sport tourer by its owner. The rate limiting factors that are not easily overcome are range of fuel tank and alternator power. I loved my ST13 for comfortable 2-up touring. It plowed through an SS1K with ease. And at 325 miles a tank, stops were few and far between.

But when my riding habits changed and commuting and 1/2 day rides became the norm, the ST suddenly seemed liked bulky overkill and I wanted something lighter, quicker, and more nimble. And then I was dumb enough to test ride a 919 . After riding the 9'er that day, I got on the ST13 and it was like dancing with a soulless, clumsy, drunk, fat chick at a frat party.

My point is to make sure you know exactly what you want your bike to do for you and how.

Fun factor can be just as important as utility.

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post #15 of 47 Old 11-30-2006, 10:12 AM
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After putting 8k in the first season, I plan on touring with my 919.
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post #16 of 47 Old 11-30-2006, 10:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken View Post
it was like dancing with a soulless, clumsy, drunk, fat chick at a frat party.--------Fun factor can be just as important as utility.
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post #17 of 47 Old 11-30-2006, 10:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hondaf4iguy View Post
Weight works to your advantage for a good ride. The rake and trail on the ST is also more for comfort. If we use the logic of making things tourers that are not, I say buy a ZX9r. Add some bags and you are set. More power, brakes and handling than the 919 and a used one is far cheaper.

There is some bang for the buck if that is what you are looking for.

Bu If you are looking for a class Sport Tourer, than buy a sport tourer.
Good points. However my 919ST is taken 2up everywhere on multi day trips. The wife "makes" me plan more trips! It's the best value ST. Touring Safety is being able to panic stop, and shaving 200lbs from a porky ST is 919's advantage. Ken sized up his personal experience perfectly! Sure the huge STs are built for comfort, warmth and usually have great personalities. That wasn't enough for me!

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post #18 of 47 Old 11-30-2006, 10:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dream247919 View Post
It's the best value ST.
I would stand to argue that point.

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post #19 of 47 Old 11-30-2006, 10:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dream247919 View Post
Good points. However my 919ST is taken 2up everywhere on multi day trips. The wife "makes" me plan more trips! It's the best value ST. Touring Safety is being able to panic stop, and shaving 200lbs from a porky ST is 919's advantage. Ken sized up his personal experience perfectly! Sure the huge STs are built for comfort, warmth and usually have great personalities. That wasn't enough for me!
Buying a bike that is intended to be light weight and doing most riding two up...
I see brakes that are not designed for the wear and tear. If you want to put safety in the mix, the Anti-lock braking systems on the true sport tourers are hard to beat.

Also, in panic situations - too much weight on that front wheel under braking with the lightweight forks = lowside.

If you logic was accurate, I am sure Honda would discontinue the VFR and ST.

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post #20 of 47 Old 11-30-2006, 11:08 AM
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>If you logic was accurate, I am sure Honda would discontinue the VFR and ST.

I "voted" for that.

Granted we total 300lb so weight's another factor to decide if you need a huge ST. You'll live longer losing the weight!
Besides riding 919 two up, it's also my fun commuter. I only have one bike. There's no perfect bike for everything.

There are debates in the showrooms on ABS virtues. Granted for those less skilled it's great. But for me, my brake processor takes in more variables.

Good point on the forks. After changing the springs/oil/lines it doesn't dive like a pogo stick and the braking is solid.

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post #21 of 47 Old 11-30-2006, 11:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dream247919 View Post
There's no perfect bike for everything.
I completely agree.

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post #22 of 47 Old 11-30-2006, 11:32 AM
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Although, some of the 919'rs would have you think so.

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post #23 of 47 Old 11-30-2006, 11:52 AM
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I would recommend the St1300 or the FJR1300, I believe both have 3 settings for the seat , great wind protection and plenty of power, Although the fjr had some issues with heat in the 04-05 models on the legs, I believe they have corrected this, Centerstands , (Abs cost lil more ) and should be able to pick one up for reasonable price , great bikes for two up riding . my 2 cents, str8

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post #24 of 47 Old 11-30-2006, 01:52 PM
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I do a lot of "sport touring" on the 9er. It works well for me, but that is not it's intended purpose and it shows. You've got to work at the bike to make it half the tourer the other bikes are, and it's still not there.

ST, VFR or Blackbird.

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post #25 of 47 Old 11-30-2006, 02:14 PM
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Since Dad has back issues, that rules out the bend over sport position VFR, and the porky bikes. Unless you are hoping to have him flip it to you!

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post #26 of 47 Old 11-30-2006, 02:47 PM
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The FJR's linked brakes MAKES you use the front brakes in slippery conditions when you only wanted the rear brake! You can't turn it off! It's technology with too much marketing creativity.

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post #27 of 47 Old 11-30-2006, 02:52 PM
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I still say consider the PC800 if he has back problems, etc. Here's one for $3695. It is basically a Honda Accord chopped in half. The back seat and plastic lift and it is a large trunk. My dad has lower back problems and doesn't have a problem on it. It has a very nuetral standard riding position.

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post #28 of 47 Old 11-30-2006, 02:52 PM Thread Starter
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i really appreciate all the replies. after reading through them the field seems a little more narrow. while i appreciate the 919's support on this board - i have already stated that he is not interested in owning one. the vfr (i really like this bike) and blackbird are very interesting suggestions that i had not thought of, but im afriad they might not be comfy on his back (as already suggested by another poster). however, i will suggest he look at them and see if some risers might make the riding position comfortable for him. the concours is the best budget buy, but as stated earlier - looks like ass. thanks for the feedback on the vstrom - ive never been on one. most of you have confirmed my first inclination; to recommend the fjr or 1300st. the second of which i would like to own myself.

and dream247919, your 919 enthusiasm is duely noted.

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post #29 of 47 Old 11-30-2006, 03:12 PM
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>dream247919, your 919 enthusiasm is duely noted.

You are most welcome.
Before buying the 919 I read about a couple that crashed a Connie at speed on a southern wet highway curve. It reminded me of...
Star Trek's Scotty voice: "Captain...you can't change the laws of physics!"

Make your Dad take the MSF refresher and don't let him show off too much popping wheelies.

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post #30 of 47 Old 11-30-2006, 07:00 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dream247919 View Post
>dream247919, your 919 enthusiasm is duely noted.

You are most welcome.
Before buying the 919 I read about a couple that crashed a Connie at speed on a southern wet highway curve. It reminded me of...
Star Trek's Scotty voice: "Captain...you can't change the laws of physics!"

Make your Dad take the MSF refresher and don't let him show off too much popping wheelies.
actually, i agreed to take the msf refresher w/ him. im hoping that it reminds him of the inevitable result when "MAN MEETS CONCRETE" (read in booming anouncers voice).

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post #31 of 47 Old 12-16-2006, 08:25 PM
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Check out the new Kawi Concourse

The Kawasaki Concourse has been totally redesigned and will be released to dealers early next year (2007). Check out the following article for a good write-up on it:

Kawasaki Debuts 2008 Concourse 14 & 14 ABS





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post #32 of 47 Old 12-16-2006, 09:51 PM
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Have you seen the Triumph Tiger for 07? I bet it's comfy, and it looks ten times better than the old model.

http://www.webbikeworld.com/triumph-...umph-tiger.htm

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post #33 of 47 Old 12-16-2006, 09:54 PM
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I've also heard good things about the new Moto Guzzi Norge 1200 sport tourer.

http://www.motoguzzi-us.com/Nuovi_mo...%20pagina=spec

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post #34 of 47 Old 12-17-2006, 03:22 AM
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Quote:
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Have you seen the Triumph Tiger for 07? I bet it's comfy, and it looks ten times better than the old model.

http://www.webbikeworld.com/triumph-...umph-tiger.htm
I like the old model!

The new bike is already getting good reviews.

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post #35 of 47 Old 12-17-2006, 06:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hondaf4iguy View Post
I like the old model!

The new bike is already getting good reviews.
Sorry, didn't mean to rag on the looks of your bike! I just never liked them. With all due respect, I just thought it looked like an overgrown dirt bike splitting at it's seams. Don't worry though, I share the same opinion for some other adventure tourers as well!

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post #36 of 47 Old 12-17-2006, 06:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 919Hooligan View Post
Sorry, didn't mean to rag on the looks of your bike! I just never liked them. With all due respect, I just thought it looked like an overgrown dirt bike splitting at it's seams. Don't worry though, I share the same opinion for some other adventure tourers as well!
I bought it with my eyes closed. I didn't like the looks either - even when I bought it. But it is ultimately more functional than anything else I have ever ridden. Once you own it, it grows on you. Just like kevin's BMW did him and Ridge's Strom.

A review of the new bike vs old

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post #37 of 47 Old 12-17-2006, 10:01 AM
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Yep, what he said.

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post #38 of 47 Old 12-17-2006, 03:31 PM
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I've seen pics of the Guzzi before but never in person. There is something about that bike that I like. I just don't know about their dealer network and reliability. Anybody have any knowledge?

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post #39 of 47 Old 12-17-2006, 08:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HondaJim View Post
I've seen pics of the Guzzi before but never in person. There is something about that bike that I like. I just don't know about their dealer network and reliability. Anybody have any knowledge?
the dealer right by my house allowed me to ride the Griso and it was fun couldn't run it to red line because of the break in period but it handled nicely needed a little adjustments on the rear suspension a little to bouncy and had it not be so darn cold i'd probably done so, but either way the owner of the place went on and on about there reliability of the thing. He went so far to say that they would run wide open all day and he has folks to his shop that have over 250k on them. I didn't see them don't know that i trust that but he did show me that the piston rod was very similar to a chevy small block (pretty big and over sized for a motorcycle part) and if it was a certain year had the same rod material that is used in nascar engines. The guy seemed to know alot about his bikes, but he does sell them and has been there at least 10 yrs. He also stated that he works on dave despain's "sp" bike i guess for the wow factor It also has a double plate automotive style clutch. I liked the bike because it is different, wouldn't sell the honda for it but would add it to the garage for a trip every now and then if i had a money tree!! It or the Breva would be nice touring bikes i think once you add the bags and things to them. Oh one more thing with the right pipes they sound like a really sweet twin should!!

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post #40 of 47 Old 01-23-2007, 08:11 PM
Tirone
 
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Make sure he gets to sit on the new Kawi Concourse 14. Then turn him loose and let him choose. Get him to as many different dealerships as you can, so he can sit on as many bikes as he wants. Then leave it up to him!

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