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Thread: TWO WHEELS

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
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    1,373
    It really depends on what kind of ride you’re looking for. Paired down, your cruisers and touring bikes will be the most comfortable to ride. If you want performance, sport bikes will be the way to go, although will lack comfort for long rides. Your big heavy bikes also won’t accelerate maneuver or brake like the lighter sportier bikes. I’ve never personally been a fan of cruiser type bikes nothing wrong with them I just like the performance a sport bike provides. You may want to check out the nakeds. They provide obscene power with a much more comfortable riding position. The less expensive bikes in this class are no push over. And the head of the class will blow your mind. Kawasaki will be on the lower end of the scale with their Z900 and you have the top of the class in the aprila tuono or the bmw S1000R. These bikes provide instant mind blowing acceleration amazing stopping capability and decent comfort. Where they lack is the ability to carry stuff, but there ARE tank bags and other type of accessories that will allow you to carry a modest amount of kit.
    Style is also something that comes into play. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Personally I like the lines and sharp angles of the modern naked bikes, IMO, if you’re looking at cruiser, there is nothing Harley Davidson makes that can compete with the Yamaha Vmax performance wise. It’s a big shaft driven beast that although heavy and comfortable, has no hesitation when you twist the throttle.
    Oh, and one more thing about the nakeds, they are geared lower than the super sport bikes to allow sedate city riding, you don’t have to have them spooled up, just twist your wrist.
    Last edited by WOLF220; 06-22-2021 at 01:41 AM.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
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    1,102
    Pretty well covered it guys.

    If the bike class is the only saddle time you've had the smaller bike is not a bad idea. A cheap bike you don't mind dropping while working on tight maneuvering practice in a parking lot.

    You need to get an idea on your riding you want to do. Will you and the Shield Maiden travel? Then you want to move to a heavy touring bike. Desert rides at night for the breeze you can go with a lighter bike.

    Harley has demo ride trucks so you can ride the different bikes for a feel of them. I don't know about BMW and others. T and I ride Harleys because we travel and the dealer network is gold. Finding a Honda dealer close when your Wing is on the side of the road can be difficult.
    IF you lean toward a Harley i would try some at the dealer and then rent one for a weekend and run some miles to get the real feel for it.

    ETA

    For not a lot of cash you can make a Harley perform (yeah I know). An air ckeaner and exhaust, cam and a tune will put a reliable 100hp+ under you for a couple of grand. The rabbit hole is deep and can add problems if it taken to the extreme but just making it breath right is easy.
    Last edited by Travlin; 06-22-2021 at 03:39 AM.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Third Coast
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    4,713
    ok my .02

    Unfortunately Harley is cutting edge 1950's tech (though their v-rod motor was porsche derived the bike was a flop, shame as it had good lines)

    BMW RT's are great tourers and pretty good in town bikes, one of the reasons major PDs with taste use them in the motor fleet.

    Indian, Victory etc. neat bikes but they seem to go under and restructure every few years leaving you holding the bag for parts (had to uhaul a bike from cody wyoming to salt lake city with a buddy mid trip to get a regulator/rectifier on his victory.

    Guzzi, Ducati . sweet lines, Italian temperment. Like a hot latina, she will kiss you one hour and try to cut you the next. Be prepared for breakdowns and long part waits.



    Ive owned probably on the order of 50-75 motorcycles and am now down to two. But in order to give you an idea, here are my top picks:

    Sport Touring Kawasaki Concours 1400 , the thing is a missle, comfortable, and will cruise lightly at 130 on a highway

    Touring BMW RT not as fast as the above, but still a comfortable ride and quick enough

    Dual sport/ gravel running/ kicking around town Yamaha WR250r and Kawasaki Versys 650 , have both, and nobody can tell what the versys is, they keep thinking its german or italian.

    Touring with gravel in the map. BMW GS or KTM adventure. Parts for the KTM will be as rare as the Italian jobs

    Cruiser Kawasaki Vaquero or Honda Goldwing cruiser variant. Easy parts, good rides, enough power

    Odd bike im considering Honda NM4, but only because I grew up watching Akira ;) https://jalopnik.com/the-akira-motor...-it-1628305844
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  4. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    233
    I'm with Brent, I like the Harley looks, but in KY, I can't ride often enough (I'm a puss, I don't like riding in cold or wet anymore) to justify the cost of a Harley. I rode a Yamaha 1100 Virago for years, but it's gotten long in the tooth and tough to find parts for it. I'm in the market now for a Yamaha V-star as well. For me, it does everything the Harley would at a better price and with less hassle. If I lived where you do Taipan, I'd probably consider the Harley if you think it's something you would enjoy, and want to get the seat time in. The weather there will allow more of it.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
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    Exiled in Texas
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    7,611
    I stopped riding years ago, but never stopped having an opinion, so I'll throw mine into the bucket.

    My first recommendation would be an echo of Brent's: buy a bike that you are willing to lay down. The willingness to push the limits will teach you. With weights, you never know how much you can lift until you finally reach the point of failure. You lifted 405? Okay, lift 425. You failed? Okay, step back to 415. Only by failing on an attempted lift can you be certain that you are truly incapable of lifting it. Then you know what your max weight is. The same thing applies to riding. You'll never know how tight a turn you can make, how low you can lean it over, until you actually find that spot where you lose traction and feel the tires slip. The guys who gush over polished chrome never know what their bikes will do.

    Second, reconsider the dirt. Given the issue above, think about how much more willing you will be to lay down a bike in the desert than in the road. Dirt riding also teaches some lessons that are difficult (if not impossible) to learn on the asphalt. You don't have to go all-in and make dirt-riding your thing. It's kind of like starting with a .22 training rifle to gain the skills, but knowing that the rimfire isn't your final goal. New shooters always want to start with a full-bore gun, because that's their goal. But we know that they would consistently be better-served if they devoted themselves to rimfire shooting for a brief period before switching up to the big guns. The same is true with dirt bikes.

    I'm not a fan of Harley. I'll never understand why anyone would tune a bike to sound a certain way, rather than tuning it for optimal performance. If I were buying a bike today, it would probably be a KTM Adventure. It would at least be something in that genre. For Gabe, though, the bike that immediately springs to mind is the V-Max. I always wanted one of those when I was a kid. It is the original Muscle Bike. I recall reading a review of one and the author noted that it was the only bike he had ever reviewed that was delivered to him by the manufacturer with a spare rear tire. He laughed at first, and then recognized their wisdom. He burned through that rear tire in no time, just because it was fun.
    Virtute et Armis

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Western WA
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    I am a fair weather rider. My V Star is for riding around town, going on short local rides. It's a picking up chicks kind of bike and it's not the kind of bike I want to take on road trips.

    I'd love a hybrid, something that's meant for the road but can go off road in a pinch, something I don't mind getting dirty or dinged up. It would have been wiser I think to start with a bike like that, but it wasn't what I wanted at the time.

    I've ridden bikes a fair amount before I got mine, but this is the first one I've owned, so obviously spent a lot more time on it. I feel pretty lucky that I haven't layed it down. But Lawdog is right, I don't know my limits and the bike's limits because I'm not willing to push it. A beater bike would be a good thing for practice.

    I have been intending on taking some more advanced riding classes but just haven't prioritized it.
    Brent Yamamoto
    Suarez International Tier 1 Staff Instructor

    Ready, willing, able. Bring it.

    Instagram: karate_at_1200fps

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    Pistol Groundfighting, Texas

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
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    TN
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    889
    Quote Originally Posted by LawDog View Post
    The guys who gush over polished chrome never know what their bikes will do.
    Yeah, some. Well, most. But that’s not necessarily true across the board. I gush over my big beautiful black and chrome machine, but I now have scrapes on my saddle bags and metal ground off the bottom of the floor boards from constantly testing the lean angle. That said, my next one might be an adventure bike so I can do all the types of riding I love.

    The V-Max is one of the most respectable machines ever. I don’t know that I’d recommend it for a beginning rider, but I can picture Gabe catching on to that one and not looking back. I’d kind of like to have one myself.

    Like most things, it all depends on one’s personal preference. Like Brent’s V-Star for example - that’s a fine machine. I have taken some pretty decent road trips on the V-Star 1100 I had and it was great. I’m just happy to see someone sitting on “two’s” doing what they do.
    Last edited by res308; 06-22-2021 at 09:02 AM.
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  8. #18
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    Mar 2011
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    Western WA
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    Quote Originally Posted by res308 View Post
    Yeah, some. Well, most. But that’s not necessarily true across the board. I gush over my big beautiful black and chrome machine, but I now have scrapes on my saddle bags and metal ground off the bottom of the floor boards from constantly testing the lean angle.
    The V-Max is one of the most respectable machines ever. I don’t know that I’d recommend it for a beginning rider, but I can picture Gabe catching on to that one and not looking back. I’d kind of like to have one myself.

    Like most things, it all depends on one’s personal preference. Like Brent’s V-Star for example - that’s a fine machine. I have taken some pretty decent road trips on the V-Star 1100 I had and it was great. I’m just happy to see someone sitting on “two’s” doing what they do.
    The V-Max is a hell of a bike. I have lusted over one ever since it was introduced.

    Personally, I think the V-Star is a better Harley. It spends a lot less time in the shop. Mine is also an 1100. Maybe one of these days I'll upgrade to something bigger (if someone is on the back, I can tell the difference), but by myself it is plenty of power. I will get some type of bike I don't care about first though. Something I don't mind getting beat up.
    Brent Yamamoto
    Suarez International Tier 1 Staff Instructor

    Ready, willing, able. Bring it.

    Instagram: karate_at_1200fps

    Upcoming classes:

    Pistol Groundfighting, Texas

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Western WA
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    6,642
    I think the Yamaha Bolt would be a good starter bike. Still might be wiser to start with a beater, but I think the Bolts are really cool. I wish they had a bigger model but for what it is, pretty awesome. If I were to start collecting bikes, I'd buy one in a heartbeat.

    https://www.yamahamotorsports.com/sp...ge/models/bolt

    Bolt.JPG
    Brent Yamamoto
    Suarez International Tier 1 Staff Instructor

    Ready, willing, able. Bring it.

    Instagram: karate_at_1200fps

    Upcoming classes:

    Pistol Groundfighting, Texas

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    390
    I have only owned jap bikes. Never a Harley fan, not a fan of the aesthetics, never trusted the reliability of American made motor vehicles no matter whether autos or motorbikes. Had only jap 'crotch rockets' Yamaha R6, Honda CBR 1000, and closest to a 'cruiser' type bike was my Hayabusa. Now at 'my age' my riding is more upright conservative, presently have a Kawasaki W800, which is a jap version of the classic Triumph Bonneville cafe racer. Smooth, fun, sporty, and can go on quick comfortable overnight. travel carrying minimal travel items in saddle bags. At my other abode, outside the US, my ride is a simple, basic reliable Yamaha Zuma 125 scooter; where 50% of the populace rides scooters. Fun, convenient, and easy, but here, my W800 is my toy.

    Aside from the recommendations, suggestions, advice posted, know that you will fall. Those that haven't hit the pavement haven't ridden enough, or they lie. If you can test ride one you're interested in go for it. Last, ALWAYS wear a helmet. Presently in South Florida, hot and humid but I never ride without a helmet.

    Just so you know, prepare to have more than one, make space in the garage accordingly.....figure 3 at minimum :-)
    Last edited by Herbert West; 06-22-2021 at 01:30 PM.

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