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Topic: Euro brand small bikes... what to get?  (Read 12957 times)

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Dave the slave
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« on: October 23, 2009, 05:15:08 PM »

Okay, so…

My beloved but alas neglected ZX10R has been sold to facilitate a naked or “classic” style replacement.  This will be mostly for my wife but I of course will probably put a few miles on whatever makes it to our garage.  The reality that Honda isn’t gonna bring in that cool little CB1100F has also sunk in completely.

She’s interested is something with a bit of style and comfort.  Silly squabbles about “RWHP” and “Wet weight” are irrelevant if she doesn’t like it. This is my wife’s short list.  Ironically nary a Japanese bike to be seen;

Triumph Bonneville and Thruxton
Ducati Monster 696, GT1000 and Sport 1000
Moto Guzzi V7

I have only ever bought ONE bike that was not a Japanese bike, that was Buell… and that was a big mistake.  So I have considerable concern about other non-Japanese bikes that fall outside my realm of experience.   What are real expectations for reliability for these smaller brands?  How about parts availability?  

Have you owned one of the above?  What has been your experience?

Please keep this to the bikes above, you can see there is a particular theme so suggestions of Suzuki Bandits or V-stroms will fall upon deaf ears….
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« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2009, 05:16:47 PM »

I think you should forget those, and get a Bandit or V-Strom
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« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2009, 05:24:21 PM »


I think you should forget those, and get a Bandit or V-Strom


grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr


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« Reply #3 on: October 23, 2009, 05:25:59 PM »

from that list, I've only rode a Bonneville for a test ride. I was temporarily interested in it. Smooth running / shifting bike. The riding position makes it feel (to me) pretty flickable. The owner claimed that it was completely trouble free, but it was only a few years old. I want to say that Triumph had some accessories available for it, and it looks like you could add aftermarket luggage pretty easily to it.

this probably doesn't help one bit. oh well.  Lol
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« Reply #4 on: October 23, 2009, 05:29:52 PM »


Also take a look at these:

Triumph Street Triple
Aprilia Shiver
BMW F800
Honda NT700

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« Reply #5 on: October 23, 2009, 05:36:14 PM »

"Comfort" and "Thruxton" don't belong in the same sentence.  Cool bike, but not for distances.  Reliability isn't an issue with Triumph twins though, they're pretty bulletproof.  Parts availability: never had to wait more than 4-5 days for a part.

There's a brand new member of the BMW F800 series ('09 F650GS) in the household for a few weeks now, too soon to evaluate, 'tho my wife seems pleased with it.  It's quite zippy.
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« Reply #6 on: October 23, 2009, 05:43:23 PM »

You can get some cool bling for Triumphs, most of it 'Official Triumph' stuff.

http://www.pure-triumph.com/
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« Reply #7 on: October 23, 2009, 06:15:01 PM »



Triumph Bonneville and Thruxton
Ducati Monster 696, GT1000 and Sport 1000
Moto Guzzi V7




I'd narrow that list down to the Guzzi and the Bonnie.

The Bonnie is really comfy, the Thruxton is not  but it is just as slow/fast (you pick) as the Bonnie.
The Ducs - well they are basically sport bikes.  The GT1000 is the comfiest of that group.

The V7. ? It's beautiful.  But so is the Bonnie.  The Guzzi has much simpler maintenance and a shaft drive.
Let 'er pick from those two.

Basically the two cheapest win out.
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« Reply #8 on: October 23, 2009, 06:16:27 PM »

I have had very good experience with Triumphs, and the Bonnies are modern cult bikes so there are lots of neat things available.  Some of the new ones have mag wheels and can run tubeless.  I have ridden a few and they are fun and classy, feeling very thin.  I would not hesitate to buy one if my wife liked them and wanted to ride.  Triumphrat.net has a big subsection on these bikes - very popular.

The 696 is very cool as is the V7.  Don't expect nearly the same available accesories, but maybe that's not a big deal.  I would happily own either of those too.  These are all good bikes, so for me it would come down to which dealer I prefer.  The Guzzi particulalry looks like a gem, but of all the bikes listed the Duc is probably the sportiest to ride.
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« Reply #9 on: October 23, 2009, 06:44:05 PM »

  My friend let me ride his 2009 blue bonneville se. I now want a blue bonneville se Wink. The seat is just a little lower then other bonneville.which would make it a good bike for my wife and I to share. The thing just looks tiny to me when you get it outside by it self. It feels lighter then it is and handles well brakes well. fun on a curvey road. It feels a little underpowered when you ride a zx14 most of the time but I could have fun on it.
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« Reply #10 on: October 23, 2009, 07:34:00 PM »

http://powersports.honda.com/total-price-massacre.aspx#cbr1000rr-2008
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« Reply #11 on: October 23, 2009, 08:34:19 PM »


 Why not a Street Triple? Would be fun to borrow.... Wink
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« Reply #12 on: October 23, 2009, 09:03:22 PM »

Of the local dealers the Duc dealer is probably the best, followed closely by the Triumph.... and the Guzzi a very very distant third.
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« Reply #13 on: October 23, 2009, 09:07:30 PM »


Of the local dealers the Duc dealer is probably the best, followed closely by the Triumph.... and the Guzzi a very very distant third.


You riding the dealer, or the bike?
 Razz
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« Reply #14 on: October 23, 2009, 09:11:59 PM »

Street Triple over the Monster. GT1000 is pretty sweet, but I am not sure they've got all the bugs out yet. I really like both the Bonnie and the Thruxton. I like Guzzi's to look at, but they are a quirky bunch.
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« Reply #15 on: October 23, 2009, 09:20:18 PM »




You riding the dealer, or the bike?
 Razz


The bike is much MUCH preferred, but I can only ride it if it runs.  And if I need dealer assistance...
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« Reply #16 on: October 23, 2009, 09:31:41 PM »

When I read the thread title, my first thought was Derbi Mulhacen:




But then I read the post and I realized you are looking at the low end of large bikes, and more importantly, bikes sold in the US.
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« Reply #17 on: October 23, 2009, 10:48:13 PM »


When I read the thread title, my first thought was Derbi Mulhacen:




But then I read the post and I realized you are looking at the low end of large bikes, and more importantly, bikes sold in the US.


seriously cool!  But yes, bikes imported and actually available in the USA are unfortunately part of the requirement
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« Reply #18 on: October 24, 2009, 12:35:56 AM »

Those Ducatis suck.  Test ride them and you'll see.

I'd agree with your Guzzi/Triumph choices, and also recommend the Thruxton.  Check one out the next time you're at a dealership.  The ergos are a lot of fun, and the handlebar styling makes the bike look really unique.

Another bike to consider would be the R1200R.  It has a look which will probably become classic.

edit: just realized you had the Thruxton on your list.  I'm a mind reader  Bigsmile
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« Reply #19 on: October 24, 2009, 12:55:37 AM »


Triumph Bonneville and Thruxton
Ducati Monster 696, GT1000 and Sport 1000
Moto Guzzi V7

Have you owned one of the above?  What has been your experience?

I have a Thruxton and took a V7 on a 4 hour ride  Smile

The V7 surprised me. It felt gutless when I first started riding it. Once I got out of town and into the mountains, I found myself having way too much fun  Bigsmile It's so light, it was great fun to late brake into corners and then pin the throttle to the stop on the exit  Bigsmile

Here is the mini-review I posted: Moto Guzzi V7 Test Ride

My Thruxton with aftermarket peashooter exhaust sounds orgasmic  Inlove One of the best sounding bikes on the market.

The cafe appearance is strictly for poseur value. Anything above 90 mph feels strained and will have you clutching the grips to keep the wind blast from dragging you off the back  Bigsmile The skinny tyres and mushy suspension don't do it any favors when you want to wick it up a notch. The engine, while sounding glorious, could use another 15 to 20 hp. The gas tank range is only about 125 miles before you have to switch to reserve, but with those clip ons, you'll be ready for a stretch by then anyhow  Bigsmile While the reach to the bars doesn't bother me, I've read many other people complain about it over on Triumphrat.

That said, on narrow British backroads, where speeds don't get too high, The Thruxton can do a respectable job of encapsulating the pure essence of motorcycling.

I think both bikes would be great for a less experienced spousal unit  Thumbsup

Edit to add: The Thruxton's narrow bars won't be of much help for a tentative rider. The wider bars on the Bonneville would offer more leverage.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2009, 04:23:34 AM by Orson » Logged

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