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Topic: Need Recommendations for a new bike...  (Read 2248 times)

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Dave K
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« on: May 23, 2021, 05:02:58 pm »

I will try to not make this longer than needs to be...first bike as adult was a 2005 Suzuki Bandit 1200. Then I got into track days and owned a bunch of sport bikes. Got burnt out & sold them off. I'm 54 now so I got the speed and knee dragging stuff out of my system lol.

So now I just want a nice sport tourer to use mostly commuting from home and up to my camp...& maybe the occasional leisure ride. I want the more upright riding position yet still a have sporty bike though. I am also interested more in low end torque than top end.

In 08 or 09, I had a chance to ride a buddy's new water cooled Bandit 1250S. I was blown away by how smooth & powerful that bike was. I think they came back into production in 15 or 16 so buying a nice preowned one would definitely fit the bill for me. Not looking to break the bank either & the Bandit is known as a great budget bike so that's why I'm thinking thats on the list.

Question... are there other options to consider which may be on par with the bandit 1250's power, riding position, and smooth ride? I recall years ago reading about the FJR being a great ride but think there was a bad heat problem or something. Again, that was many years ago & I'm only getting back into looking around now. Not interested in bikes aimed at having luggage or 2 up riding either. FZ1 looked interesting but doesn't have the low end torque from what I read.

Any recommendations would be appreciated.
« Last Edit: May 23, 2021, 08:29:05 pm by Dave K » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2021, 09:17:54 pm »

If you can find a nice 1250 Bandit you will not look back. It even has a center stand for lubing the chain on the road.

The FJR1300 is a bit heavier but it is one of the best bikes on the road. Plenty of torque and a true do all bike. That's what I recommend.
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Past bikes: Dirt- '74 MX360, SC500 x 2, '77 YZ400, '78 YZ400, '83 CR250, '85 CR250, '86 CR250   
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« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2021, 06:46:27 am »

There are so many really good sport-touring bikes out there today, you just need to go shopping for a while to check out what each brand has to offer. In the end, go with your heart.
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« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2021, 07:13:50 am »

Don’t write “Adventure Touring” bikes off your list.  For me, their biggest appeal is their comfort.  A triumph tiger makes a great “sport” touring bike.  I’ve got a Kawasaki Versy 650 LT, which comes with factory hard bags, and it makes a perfect “sport touring” bike for me.  FJR’s and Bandits are great bikes, but I find I really don’t miss the big engines. But if you feel you really need something that size, make sure you check out a Ninja 1000.
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« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2021, 09:07:27 am »

I will throw in a suggestion for the Yamaha FJ-09/Tracer. Much lighter than the FJR with potential for the same storage (it will take FJR bags). Super triple engine with a lot of torque. I've heard a lot of praise for the new Ninja 100 as well.
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Dave K
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« Reply #5 on: May 25, 2021, 07:48:43 pm »

Some great ideas so far. I did own a SV650 once (not that is a sport tourer) but not sure anything under a 900 will fit the bill.

I may research the Ninja 1000 some more because I think I saw some good reviews on that recently. I'm more interested in low end torque than top end speed so curious how the Ninja is with that.
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« Reply #6 on: June 06, 2021, 02:19:46 am »

Another vote for the adventure bikes.

My Triumph is a fantastic touring machine.

One advantage of this segment  is that it's very easy to get a demo ride at a Triumph or BMW dealer if you are so inclined.
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« Reply #7 on: June 06, 2021, 07:39:15 pm »

I have had both a 1250 Bandit and currently own a 2015 FJR. I put 189000kms on the Bandit, then decided I would like to bring my wife with me on trips, so sold it and got the FJR. The Bandit was a great sport-tourer once the seat was replaced with a Sargent (stock was horrible). But with both of us it was just too small. I have put close to 120000kms on the FJR since Oct 2016. It is really a bigger, fatter Bandit 1250. Most people say the seat on the FJR sucks, we are both happy with it, longest day was 900 kms from Windsor to Knoxville, wife was pretty good about it, but said she didn't want to do that many in a day again. I think the heat issue was particular to the Gen1, I have not found it to be an issue. The bike suits us perfectly.
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Dave K
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« Reply #8 on: June 06, 2021, 09:44:17 pm »


I have had both a 1250 Bandit and currently own a 2015 FJR. I put 189000kms on the Bandit, then decided I would like to bring my wife with me on trips, so sold it and got the FJR. The Bandit was a great sport-tourer once the seat was replaced with a Sargent (stock was horrible). But with both of us it was just too small. I have put close to 120000kms on the FJR since Oct 2016. It is really a bigger, fatter Bandit 1250. Most people say the seat on the FJR sucks, we are both happy with it, longest day was 900 kms from Windsor to Knoxville, wife was pretty good about it, but said she didn't want to do that many in a day again. I think the heat issue was particular to the Gen1, I have not found it to be an issue. The bike suits us perfectly.


Great info guys. I may add that 2 up riding in def NOT in the cards for me. I'm open to the Triumph Tiger but wonder about the power in low end. I still think how my one ride years ago on the Bandit 1250 had massive torque below the 5-6k range...which power down low is where I'm at interest wise.
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« Reply #9 on: June 07, 2021, 08:48:08 am »

Low end power on the Tiger 1200 is not an issue.
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« Reply #10 on: June 07, 2021, 09:56:52 pm »

The Bandit or the FJR are definitely not lacking for low end torque. If you won't be riding two up, I'd go for the Bandit. Lighter, ergonomics are easily changeable with different bars and/or footpegs. Longevity is not an issue, there were quite a few drag strip passes in the 189000kms. If you go that route, check out Holeshot.com. Dale Walker has a ton of custom stuff to make it faster and more capable, and he is a great guy to deal with.
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« Reply #11 on: June 21, 2021, 12:41:09 pm »

I have a new to me 2017 Ninja 1000 with just over 2000 miles on it.  I've only done a couple of 2hr trips so far.  Plenty of low end power for me.  Some seem to have put in taller 6th gear for interstate distances --- longest interstate trek so far was about 120miles, Birmingham to home when I bought it.  No complaints.....
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« Reply #12 on: June 21, 2021, 01:32:30 pm »


I have a new to me 2017 Ninja 1000 with just over 2000 miles on it.  I've only done a couple of 2hr trips so far.  Plenty of low end power for me.  Some seem to have put in taller 6th gear for interstate distances --- longest interstate trek so far was about 120miles, Birmingham to home when I bought it.  No complaints.....

A few years back I was seriously looking at the Ninja 1000. My plans were to gear it up to lower the RPMs on the freeway and put a decent exhaust system on it. That was going to be my day bike for "zipping" around on. After I spoke to my insurance agent    EEK!    he convinced me to go another way.
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Past bikes: Dirt- '74 MX360, SC500 x 2, '77 YZ400, '78 YZ400, '83 CR250, '85 CR250, '86 CR250   
 Street- '74 S3400, H1500, '72 H2750 x 2, '78 GS1000C, GS1000EC x 2, '80 GS1000S, '00 1200 Bandit, '05 FJR1300, '07 ZX14, '16 1250 Bandit, '17 KTM SD GT
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