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post #1 of 38 Old 09-17-2008, 12:56 PM Thread Starter
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Site Newb need 919 advice

hello to all,

I've been surfing the net trying to gather info on the 919. This site keeps popping up so I thought I would join and ask for some advice.

My current ride is a 98 ST1100. I commute 90 miles round trip a day rain or shine hot or cold. Unless there is snow or ice on the ground I ride. I also get out on weekends once in a while and ride twisty back roads. I'm able to keep up with the sportbikes, but man I have to work a lot harder than they do hefting the ST through the turns.

Lately the ST has been feeling mundane and I crave a little more fun factor. I really like the naked look of the 919 and the performance numbers I've looked at and the reviews I've read are very encouraging.

I read a lot of complaining about the wind buffeting. This is somewhat subjective, because some people are fair weather riders and others are a little more extreme. So painful buffeting to some may be a rockin ride to others.

I will be giving up a lot of wind protection, storage space, ABS etc. by selling the ST. This may be worth it if the fun factor is there and if I'm able to gut it out and still ride in the rain and cold. So Here's my question. Do any of you commute daily on the 919? If so do you ride in the rain? Cold weather (25-35 degrees)?

I'm wondering if a backpack will suffice for storage and perhaps electric vest and gloves under a riding suit to make up for lack of windscreen.

By the way, I'm 6'2"" and weigh 190lbs.

What would I miss the most by sizing down from the ST1100 to the 919.

Your input is much appreciated. I know this is a long post.

Thanks,

Karl

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post #2 of 38 Old 09-17-2008, 01:20 PM
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Hi Karl,

I went from an ST1300 to a 919 two years ago. The ST was a great mile muncher but, like you, I grew bored with it and wanted more spirit in my steed.

You give up virtually all protection, unless you add a windscreen. At freeway speeds this can get tiring, especially if you are used to the protection of a sport tourer. I don't ride below 40 degrees so I can't comment on 25-35 degree riding. But a messenger bag did the trick for commuting with a laptop and some gym clothes. Rain is no problem if you have the right gear.

From my perspective, you may miss the shaft drive. After I started doing chain maintenance I missed the forget-about-it shaft. You may miss the protection from the weather. You will miss the panniers but luggage options are available for the 919. You may miss the comfort that the ST11 has on long rides since they are such a great mile muncher.

In return what you get with the 919 is a spirited bike that is a hoot to ride. It will feel like a toy in weight compared to the ST1100. You won't miss having to shed plastic to do maintenance. You'll have much more fun on the road and go out of your way looking for twisty roads. You'll love the powerband and the sound of the 919's I4. You'll also love the people of the forum you have found here at WT and the vast knowledge on 919's here.

If you have the chance, find a 919 and take it for a ride. All the feedback in the world won't replace your own test ride. Good luck with your decision and keep us posted. And stick around! Although there are many 919 owners here, there are many other bikes here.

BTW, I moved on from a 919 to a new Bandit 1250 last year. Not because of any problem or dislike of the 919, but just because I fell in love with the new Bandit

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post #3 of 38 Old 09-17-2008, 01:26 PM
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Hey Karl, Welcome to WT. You made the right choice joining. Great folks here with LOTs of experience and opinions. I ride all year and today I actually had to use my liner in my commute! I guess I havn't acclimated to the cooler mornings yet. I won't be able to speak on the power issues since the 919 is my first bike but I can speak on the storage and windblast. I don't find the wind to be bad at all (I'm 5'10") and I do like the pure naked look but this year I did pick up a windscreen for the winter. I figured I can put it on and off when needed, but as said I like the wind. I have been in hard rain and let's face it, there nothing you're gonna do to keep from getting wet. Just don't take the rear fender off or you'll get it up the back. The storage will always be a challenge. There just aren't that many places to tuck things away. I developed a simple 3 tier system. I pack a cargo net under the seat and use a tank bag that holds a very tiny mesh backpack I found at Walmart. With the three I find I can accomodate most items including gym bag, splurge items like groceries and even a gallon of milk in emergencies. I hope this helps, I found the 919 to be fantastic commuting (30mi each way).
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post #4 of 38 Old 09-17-2008, 02:04 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Ken and Fish,

That's exactly what I wanted to hear. I forgot to ask earlier, what kind of mileage do you get out of the tires. Currently I get around 7 to 8 thousand on my back tire and almost twice that on the front.

Thanks

Karl

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post #5 of 38 Old 09-17-2008, 03:08 PM
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Welcome Karl, great advice so far. I picked up a 919 after not having a bike for quite a few years, really liked the way it looked and handled, as well as the riding position. I fell in love with it and have probably put more money into mods than I paid for the bike, but I plan to keep it forever. As far as weather protection and luggage capacity, Ken and Fish pretty well covered it. I don't mind the wind blast, but it can get tiring on long rides. Ear plugs help a ton, I never ride without them any more. Luggage wise, I have a tank bag and tail bag, which is more than enough space for daily commuting, and plenty roomy for overnighters.

I recently picked up a Yamaha FJR for long distance touring, but I still love the 919, it's the most fun all around bike I've ever had the pleasure of riding. I probably won't keep the FJR forever, but the 919 has a permanent spot in my garage.

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post #6 of 38 Old 09-17-2008, 08:22 PM
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welcome Karl. Rear tire will depend on what brand you select for your tires. I currently have a Pirelli Strada rear tire and it has 7,500 miles on it and still has some life left.

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post #7 of 38 Old 09-18-2008, 05:48 AM
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Welcome Karl, I can't compare the 919 to the ST1100 but I can give you my impressions of the 9er. Luggage shouldn't be a big issue but you will need to spend a little money. Givi and other companies make some very good luggage for the 919 that you can take on or off depending what you are doing. I would not want to wear a backpack every day. For me, the choice would depend on your commute. If it is 45 miles of interstate, I personally would probably keep the ST or look for somethink else that still has wind protection. Freeway droning is going to be somewhat boring on any bike, you might as well be comfortable while you do it. I think the freeway is probably the 919's biggest weakness. It is certainly do-able but not neccessarily fun for long trips. On the other hand, if you are riding more around town or in the twisties the 919 is a fantastic bike. It has an excellent ballance of good usable power, fairly comfortable ergonomics, and light weight. I absolutely love mine and wouldn't trade if for any other bike for what I do.

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post #8 of 38 Old 09-18-2008, 05:50 AM
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Guess I'll jump on this bandwagon as well.

Commute everyday 21 miles one way. Wind doesn't bother me either. This week I have been running back and forth to work between 75-85mph (just keeping with traffic). If there is a headwind it can get a little rough but I just tuck in behind a van or big rig. I stuff everything I need into a backpack.

I don't ride in the rain, hate it. Gets my precious all dirty.

I ride in the 40's and although chilly it's doable. Plain leather and windproof gloves.

I have the OEM Michelin Hi-Sport and hit 4200 miles last night. Most of the tread is left but the center is getting a little flat from too much commuting and not enough of last night. Went out with 3 friends on sporties and I beat the 9er like a red-headed step-child. My group was on a new GSXR750, SV650S, and a ninja 636. Had no trouble keeping up even though the roads were new to me.

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post #9 of 38 Old 09-18-2008, 10:58 AM
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Hello Karl, I'm also a Karl. I use my 919 for commuting daily, hate riding in the rain in traffic so try to avoid it, have ridden in temps around 28. I don't mind the wind, even on long trips, but do get buffeting above 110 or so. I just get my faceshield down as low as possible. 6'0" 190lb. I've got 4500 on the original Michelin Hi sports and they are just about to the wear bars. With all the great information on this site I've narrowed my tire selction down to Pilot road 2ct or the Metzlers. You can't go wrong with a 919, that is my totally unbiased(?) opinion.

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post #10 of 38 Old 09-18-2008, 11:22 AM
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Look in the forsale section and you will see an 06 919 witht he givi top box installed. More than enough room for overnight trips and a fine back rest for a passenger.

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post #11 of 38 Old 09-18-2008, 12:24 PM
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hey karl welcome.. i used to ride a cbr1000rr 2007 but one night bout 3am someone decided they would borrow it.. i bought the 919 (i am a salesman at the largest honda motorcycle dealer in north america) ... let me tell you i fell in love with it immd.. the handling is awesome (after you change the crappy stock tires) it has buckets and buckets of torque.. i'm a big guy over 6' and 230 lbs and i changed the front sprocket +1 17t and it will still stand up anywhere in 1st gear with little provocation.. i also like the fact i can smoke most of the 600's around here.. expecially if there is a curve involved.. its a happy bike that will turn your frown upside down after a bad day at work.. i have a 22 mile each way ride to work all interstate and i pop in the ipod and make it quick..lol.. i love my 919 where as i really liked my 1000.. my adrenaline gland doesnt get quite the workout but somehow i dont mind... welcome..



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post #12 of 38 Old 09-18-2008, 12:39 PM
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had mine almost a week and love it also..my other bike is a 1983 v65 which "to me" is more comfortable but the 919 is more of a blast to ride ..you will not regret buying a 919 ..rick

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post #13 of 38 Old 09-18-2008, 01:16 PM
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Hi Karl,

I ride mine basically everyday, rain or shine. It must be one of the best and highly regarded all rounders out there. Nice and agile for peak hour commuting and powerfull enough for fun on the weekends.

Check out this little site as well:

http://www.helmethairblog.com/review...19-hornet-900/

Cheers

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post #14 of 38 Old 09-18-2008, 02:23 PM
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Hello Karl, I commute on my 919 almost everyday. The exceptions are snow and ice. Here in south Texas I don't see much of either. It does however get cold. I wear a snowmobile suit and welding gloves and I have used a snorkle to keep from fogging my helmet face shield. I have rode in temps as low as 15 degrees it's not that bad. This year I purchased a national cycle F-16 windshield that seems like it will be a great help. The bike is a hoot and worth every inconvience. I have multiple gear sets (ain't chains wonderful) and change them to suit my moods. Normal config is a 17/45 stock is 16/43. I think the bike is great and you can modify to your hearts content.

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post #15 of 38 Old 09-19-2008, 08:07 AM Thread Starter
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I'm glad you posted. I rode a GSXR750 yesterday. It was the first time I have ridden a true sport bike and I loved it. The rate of acceleration and the handling in the curves was fantastic. I think I would be willing to give up the comfort aspect to own a sport bike, but the look of the 919 is still appealing to me and the 1/4 mile results are not far off of the GSXR, 7/10 of a second.

So not having ridden the 919 I'm wondering if it will have the similar exhilarating rate of acceleration as the GSXR. Keep in mind I never even reached 10,000 rpms on the gixxer which is where most of the horsepower lies, so is the 919 comparable to a large sportbike at under 100 miles an hour? I'm wondering if the lower rpms of the 919 and the additional torque make it a faster bike at speeds under 100mph. I'm looking for the seat of the pants feel here not necessarily the numbers. Since you had a 1000 maybe you can shed some light.

A couple of articles I read claim the 919 hadles like a 600cc sportbike in the twisties. Is this true?

Again I wish I could actually ride one to know. After the Gixxer ride yesterday I'm afraid anything less will pale in comparison.

Thanks,

Karl

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post #16 of 38 Old 09-19-2008, 08:18 AM
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If you have not rung out the Gixxer, you cannot make a realistic comparison of power and power/lb. Most people here are true 919 fanatics of which I am not. I just happen to have a ZX10R with Hornet stickers on it. The 750 Suzy is one of the finest true sportbikes on the planet and it's capabilities in it's realm completely overshadow the 919 in the same circumstances. They really are apples and oranges. Just depends on how comfortable you want to be vs how much adrenaline you can stand.


Just my 2 cents





With only the information above, I'd say steer to the 919 unless you want to commit to more spirited exposure.

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post #17 of 38 Old 09-19-2008, 09:51 AM
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Karl--you seem to be gravitating to the 919. You're doing that for a reason, but don't be satisfied with only trying out that bike. If you can, get a little seat time on the Bandit like Ken has, and the Gixxer that Bigdaa talked about. Ride a Triumph, try out a dual sport, hop on a cruiser. Try 'em all!

Good luck finding one that's right for you! And let us know what you decide by taking a ride and posting up some pics.

Disclaimer: I'm a 919 owner. And while I love her to death, there is so much more I have to learn about all the brands out there...

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post #18 of 38 Old 09-19-2008, 10:37 AM Thread Starter
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True I haven't had the Gixxer above the 10,000 rev mark and I would love to experience that. However, I'm not used to that kind of power and I don't want to take any risks on a borrowed bike. Riding the Gixxer it was obvious that the bike was way beyond my capabilities. I could learn a lot and really improve my skills with a bike like that....or crash and die.

Yeah I would love to test ride the different bikes, the problem is finding the bike. I don't know anyone with a 919 and the only Dealership I know of in the St. Louis area that allows test drives is a BMW shop.

So if any of you 919ers are in the St. Louis area and are willing I would live to test ride your bike.

My other concern is longevity. I ride 20 to 25 thousand miles a year. I'm not sure a true sportbike would stand up to that without some frequent servicing. Of course my miles per year will probably drop if I get a sport bike.

I think the 919 would last for more miles. My problem like most is I need more than one bike, but can only afford one.

Thanks everyone for your input.

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post #19 of 38 Old 09-19-2008, 02:12 PM
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OK here's my $0.02 on performance. The 919 is fast enough (still looking for more). You can run the 919 at full throttle almost anytime and get that seat of the pants rush. Can do wheel stands at will. If you try to ride a (I'll pick on the GSXR750) sportbike like you can the 919 you'll be running into stuff. I've riden Harley's with built motors and load pipes, their fun. It sounds like your going somewhere your shifting and everything but nothings really happening. The 919 will zip thru traffic or run mid 11's at the track it's a hoot. True sportbikes are like time doppler machines you twist the throttle and run out of time. There are very few motorcyclists that can even aproach the limits of a real sportbike and if their doing on the street I hope everyone has good insurance. I was stationed at Whiteman AFB working ICBM's for 8 years and rode all over the state. Highway 7 down thru Branson used to be great but, I here there's to much traffic now. Good luck.

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post #20 of 38 Old 09-19-2008, 11:59 PM
 
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THIS ADVICE IS AWSOME!!!!

After only owning my 04' 9'er for about 3 weeks and putting almost 800 additional miles on her since, The bike is Radical!! And This forum is even better! The advice here is solid and the people who give it are very knowledgeable on the subject. Thought I wanted something bigger at first but now I am astonished at the potential of the 919! Sweetr every day. Baama!

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post #21 of 38 Old 09-20-2008, 09:57 PM
 
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Karl, as a former owner of an 04 GSXR750 and now a 919 I will offer my comments. The GSXR was a great bike but eventually I could not live with the weight it put on my wrists. The rear view mirrors were useless. Great fun though on curvy roads. It, like most sportbikes larger than 600cc, is so fast that street riding at WOT is a pretty risky affair. The 919, on the other hand, lacks the top end rush but has so much more low end torque it offers a different kind of rush. Definitely more suited to the street. At this point, I would not go back to a sportbike but sometimes you have to try it for yourself to figure out.

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post #22 of 38 Old 10-02-2008, 04:40 PM Thread Starter
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Bought One!!

I bought an 05 with 1100 miles off of ebay last night.


I'm going to pick it up tomorrow afternoon.

I'll post pics soon.

Thanks for the advice, this sight has been helpful.

Karl

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post #23 of 38 Old 10-02-2008, 05:00 PM
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Sweeet! Congrats on the new 9'er Karl.

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post #24 of 38 Old 10-02-2008, 05:02 PM
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Congrats, Karl! Post some pics when you pick her up!

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post #25 of 38 Old 10-02-2008, 06:52 PM
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Keep the ST100, continue to use it for your commute. Use the 919 for fun.

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post #26 of 38 Old 10-03-2008, 05:41 AM
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Highway 7 down thru Branson used to be great but, I here there's to much traffic now. Good luck.

ha ha, good run indeed my friend, do it all the time





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post #27 of 38 Old 10-05-2008, 05:36 PM Thread Starter
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Brought 919 Home

It was 32 degrees in Northern Iowa Saturday morning. How do I know? Because that's when I was riding my new 919 back to the St. Louis area.

500 + miles and it wasn't bad at all. The first two hours were the worst because the sun wasn't up yet and it was cold, but once it warmed up the ride was a lot better than I had anticipated. I was expecting vibrations and a buzz, but the 919 felt just as smooth as my ST1100. There was the wind buffeting of course, but the bike has a small screen and even the buffeting wasn't bad.

The bike was difficult to maneuver at low speeds and when I checked the tires there was only 13 PSI in the front and 20 PSI in the rear. Doh! I didn't check the air pressure until I was home. So I ran 550 miles on under inflated tires. Moron!!!

Looking forward to my commute tomorrow. I'll post pics soon.

Karl

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post #28 of 38 Old 10-05-2008, 06:11 PM
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well congrats on the new 9'er .. glad you made it home on the underinflated tires.. hurry up with the photo's



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post #29 of 38 Old 10-05-2008, 06:30 PM
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Congrats Karl, glad ya got her home safe...and you are a man's man to ride 500 miles in those temps. Enjoy and ride safe.

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post #30 of 38 Old 10-05-2008, 07:33 PM
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Congrats!

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post #31 of 38 Old 10-05-2008, 07:38 PM
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oh yeah... juevos grandes on the 500+ in the cold... thats why i live in south florida... i'm closer to cuba than to disney land..lol... it's never gets cold here...



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post #32 of 38 Old 10-06-2008, 07:17 PM Thread Starter
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Pics

I couldn't have done the whole 500 in those temps. It warmed up after about an hour and a half. After 10:00 AM it was a real nice day to ride.

Here's a pic of my new ride.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg best.JPG (162.1 KB, 15 views)

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post #33 of 38 Old 10-06-2008, 08:17 PM
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Smile

Hi Karl, Welcome just a dumb thought, why not keep both of them! Then you can have your cake and eat it too. When I bought my 919 I didn't get rid of my 74 Z1.

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post #34 of 38 Old 10-06-2008, 08:40 PM
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Yeah, keep the ST!
I bought my 919 about a year ago. I managed to keep some of my previous bikes and now have 3 in the garage!
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post #35 of 38 Old 10-07-2008, 04:29 AM
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The bike looks great Karl!

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post #36 of 38 Old 10-07-2008, 08:32 PM Thread Starter
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I sold the ST a few hours before buying the 919.

I would have loved to keep the ST. There are five reasons why I couldn't. The oldest reason is 12 and the youngest is 10 weeks.

It all comes down to $$$. Something of which I have very little.

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post #37 of 38 Old 10-07-2008, 08:49 PM
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i will give you an additional 14yr old if you want him.. he is housebroken and gets good grades.. but damn he eats a lot! approx 4 gallons of milk, oj, and apple juice a week (no sodas)... i will deliver him but i have a very restrictive return policy 200% restocking fee



Pacojerte is offline  
post #38 of 38 Old 10-08-2008, 06:49 AM
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That's too bad, I understand I was in the that situation back in 82-83, along with some other complications. I managed to lose my 1971 Pontiac Trans Am (one of 853 made), along with the last Rickman CR imported by Target into the USA. I built it with a 71 K1 750 punched to 812. So what I'm trying to say is be careful what you get rid of, because certain things can't be replaced easily.

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