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Topic: Feelin' that itch again, the 250 thumper ain't gonna cut it :D  (Read 4212 times)

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urbex
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« on: March 20, 2014, 02:34:44 pm »

New to the site, not new to riding, though I am returning after a several year hiatus after an absolutely miserable road trip.  I'm 34 now, have been riding on two wheels for as long as I can remember.  Started on a home built mini bike like many other kids, eventually moved on to an old DT175 (which was WAY more power than an 11 year old should have had access to, and I learned the hard way why you shouldn't try to drag knees on a dirt bike on pavement....twice Bigsmile)

Have gone through several other bikes over the years, from the small dirt bikes, a CR500, a GS400, Ninja 500, and even picked up a Magna 1200 at one point (one of the few bikes that scared me, while lofting the front wheel at freeway speeds).  The last bike I had was a '94 Honda XR250L, that for some reason I thought would be a good idea to ride from Detroit to Phoenix.  See the absolutely miserable road trip above Bigsmile  Long story short, it was a horrible choice of bike for my 200lb fat butt, plus a couple pounds of gear, for a 2200 mile interstate only trip.  Ended up being an extremely painful, SLOW ride.  So much so that I didn't even want to think about a bike, much less ride one for many years.  

I now want to get back into riding, and get on something that can handle the job of long distance pavement riding a bit better.  I don't need to routinely be running triple digit speeds, but I do want something that can comfortably handle cruising at 75 all day long (comfortable for the bike..without feeling like I'm running the bike all-out...the XR was pegged at full throttle for the duration of my trip).

I also want something that can handle the weight of a couple hundred pounds of gear, and still cruise OK at 75.  Not that I expect to be loading up that much, but I figure that's a good enough cushion of capacity (I did learn a few things from that trip..such as that I don't need to bring my entire tool box along Bigsmile)

I'm considering picking up another Ninja 500, as I did like the one I had before, but I only had it a short time, and only did a few across town trips on it..never anything long distance or loaded up with gear, and fear that I may run into the same problems of not enough power to realistically do interstate travel with it.   I did like that it was smaller physically, was pretty nimble, got good fuel mileage, and was extremely cheap to insure.  

That said, I'm not afraid of going bigger, nor do I have a fear of the power/lack of ability to handle it.  The Ninja 650R is also on the short list, and I was looking at some of the older VFR800s, though I've read they get pretty dismal fuel mileage.  I'm not so much concerned about the cost of the fuel, just that it seems like I could get better MPG bikes with the same power for the same money.  I also sat on a ZZR600 at the dealer the other day, and did like that option as well.  

So, would I be OK looking at the 500s, or should I really stick to the 600+ bikes?

 
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« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2014, 02:49:16 pm »

If you are considering the Ninja650, the Versys would be a better choice, assuming the looks don't bother you.  Also a Weestrom would also work well, same comment on the looks.  Lol

Another good choice would be a Yamaha FZ1.  Way more power than you've probably ever had, but would tick all your boxes, and clean Gen 1 machines- 1999-2004 can be had on the cheap.  $2-$4K.

Have fun hunting!
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« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2014, 02:19:44 pm »

First off, 'a couple hundred pounds of gear' is wrong.  Way wrong.  You need a H-D bagger or a Goldwing for that kinda load.
Definitely bigger will be better for you.

You don't give your size nor your budget, so it's hard to give specific suggestions.

New;  go look at the Honda NC700X.   It's DESIGNED for high mpg.  There may be some used ones.
Or the Honda CTX700.  Same engine.
If you really want a small, light bike, look at the Honda 500s - they have a variety.

Used; Yamaha FZ6 - FZ6R.   Suzuki Vstrom 650.

I have a Ninja 650.  It's really not the best for all day highway touring. And I'm short, so my head isn't up in the wind.
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« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2014, 11:42:36 am »


If you are considering the Ninja650, the Versys would be a better choice, assuming the looks don't bother you.  Also a Weestrom would also work well, same comment on the looks.  Lol

Another good choice would be a Yamaha FZ1.  Way more power than you've probably ever had, but would tick all your boxes, and clean Gen 1 machines- 2001-2005 can be had on the cheap.  $2-$4K.

Have fun hunting!


FTFY  Smile

And yes, the Gen one is a great machine, better for touring than the Gen 2.

Also, take a look at the 1200 Bandit for similar money as another great option. Good luck!
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