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Topic: First road bike  (Read 22666 times)

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DesertIrish
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« on: July 05, 2014, 05:45:07 pm »

Thank you to all that are leaving advice. I have been riding dirt for about 15 years, and I am now getting a road bike.

I am looking at a few sport/touring bikes, more of a sit up riding style.  The few that I am looking at are the SV650/1000, VFR800, and maybe the FZ1. I have done some research on them and love to look of all three. I'm looking for advice from people that own or have owned these bikes, or just have good info on them.

Like I said, this is my first road bike, just need the pros and cons before pulling the trigger. Thanks again.
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« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2014, 05:55:44 pm »

ride them all and anything else you can get a key for....Something will speak too you. Buy it.
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« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2014, 09:17:38 pm »

Good job on making the decision to try the street. Riding a dirt bike is a great way to establish the fundamentals to begin your street riding experience. Be careful. Stick to a "sit up" riding position. My preference and I think you'll like it better.

I've ridden the bikes you list. Because of the riding position and friendly nature, the FZ1 would be a good choice. There are some new left over 2011 bikes for around $8k. With the new FZ09 coming out I'll bet you could beat the dealer up for more of a discount.
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« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2014, 12:00:03 am »


ride them all and anything else you can get a key for....Something will speak too you. Buy it.


This^... web research and showroom grazing can help you narrow things down, mostly what doesn't work for you. Ass in seat and a twist of the wrist will tell you what does.
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« Reply #4 on: July 06, 2014, 02:51:55 pm »


Thank you to all that are leaving advice. I have been riding dirt for about 15 years, and I am now getting a road bike.

I am looking at a few sport/touring bikes, more of a sit up riding style.  The few that I am looking at are the SV650/1000, VFR800, and maybe the FZ1. I have done some research on them and love to look of all three. I'm looking for advice from people that own or have owned these bikes, or just have good info on them.

Like I said, this is my first road bike, just need the pros and cons before pulling the trigger. Thanks again.


I've owned a 2000 VFR800. Great bike, still going strong at 103k. Newer VFR's are similar, but not sure if I like the VTEC kick or complicated valve adjustments. If you ask me ... the 5th gen's (98-01) are the best. Of the bikes you listed, the VFR800 will have the sportiest riding position and best wind protection from the factory, and there are lots of aftermarket products for them. A little heavy and stock suspension is adequate, but there are options for fixing that too. Seat sucks royally. Can't get more than about an inch higher bars (Helibars) and they are pricey. Nevertheless, I have ridden and hauled camping gear all over the US on my VFR800. But the main differentiator between the VFR800 and the SV/FZ are the sportier ergos. I managed about 45 MPG. Great midrange, fun top end, never at a loss for power. This is one of the best engines I have ever ridden.

I've also got a 2001 SV650 - carbeurated, super light < 400lbs wet. Adequate motor, no issues @ 30k. Sucky stock suspension so GP Suspension in Portland got a lot of money from us ;-) Very comfortable ergo's afte ryou replace the seat. Plenty of aftermarket windscreens and luggage options. Far down on power compard to the VFR and FZ, but the light weight makes up for that in spades. This is a bike you can throw into corners and change your lines whenever you want. Great economy, about 60 MPG or so. However, doesn't seem as well built as the VFR or FZ. You may feel the SV650 is a bit underpowered compared to other bikes, but it is perfectly adequate for anything on the street. Engine has tons of torque where it needs it; it's at the top that it runs out of steam.

Friend has a 2001 (I think) FZ1 with a bunch of Ivan's parts on it. Also kitted for touring, but he has had a hard time finding a turbulence free windshield. Rides with soft-bags, guzzls gas, stops frequently. Well-built machine with gobs and gobs of power.

I would suggest you get the SV650. You can get one for next to nothing, ride it for a season, sell it and get most of your $$ back, and then move to something more intimidating.
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« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2014, 09:56:52 am »

I have owned three different gen VFRs (4th, 5th, and 6th) and a 2nd gen FZ1. I still own the FZ1 and a 6th gen VFR.

For your comparo:

VFR800: 5th Gen (gear driven cams -- yum -- and no VTEC)
VFR800: 6th Gen (chain driven cams -- CCTs can make noise over time -- and VTEC kick/adjustment -- plus known electrical issues that you'll want to sort)

Both gens of VFR800 are great for sport-touring. All day comfort and options for different custom seats, luggage, and heli-bars if you want more comfort.

FZ1: 1st Gen (carbs, older model suspension/brakes)
FZ1: 2nd Gen (FI, newer suspension/brake bits)

I have a 2nd gen FZ1 and I love it once I upgraded the suspension for my fat self. Not what I consider a good sport-tourer because the seat is relatively narrow. Gas mileage is average of 32-33 which means I have a max range of about 150 before I really want to find a gas station -- less if I've been heavy on the throttle. My VFR will do at least 180 before I need gas. The FZ1 engine is buzzier than my VFR when cruising at highway speeds for hours.

The FZ1 has a more upright seating position but that, combined with the narrow seat, means it's less comfortable for me for long distance riding. The VFR has you leaned over more, but the seating geometry is comfortable and at speed the air flow is just right and I've had no problems doing weeks of 500 miles per day and up to 700+ miles in a single day. It's no Goldwing, but plenty comfortable for us mere mortals.

For sport-touring, the VFR800 beats the 2nd gen FZ1. I would consider the VFR and 1st Gen VFR to be neck and neck but I would pick the VFR because of the smoother V4 engine at highway speeds. 70K on my 6th gen 800 and it's my sport-tourer of choice.

YMMV.
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« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2014, 01:39:34 pm »

Not sure if I'm mis-reading you, but 'the look' of a bike shouldn't be your first or one of the top 5 reasons for getting it.
Very few sport-touring bikes have a 'sit-up' riding position.  The 'sport' part of their design gives them smaller windshields and a lean forward riding position to deal with the wind that results (or maybe it's vice-versa?).
Have you sat on any of the bikes you listed?
I (strongly) suggest you 'look at' a Suzuki Vstrom 650.  It's part of the 'adventure' genre of bikes - street bikes with a bit of off-road looks and/or capability (how much capability varies alot w/in the genre).
It has a 'sit-up' riding position.   It has a bullet-proof engine.  Many people use them for sport-touring (by adding bags or luggage).  It has many, MANY accessories available.  There are lots of them on the used market - you can probably find one with most of the accessories you want.
If that's not quite big enough for you, there's the Triumph Tiger 800 - it even comes in 2 versions; one is more dirt capable.
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« Reply #7 on: July 07, 2014, 07:16:04 pm »

I would suggest the New Honda CB1100....(Actually I'd suggest the CBR1100XX but good ones are getting hard to find.)

For a first bike I'd suggest a standard not a sport or a Adventure bike. Relatively low center of gravity is a good thing and I wouldn't buy anything with alot of Tupperware. (which will crack and shatter the first time the bike goes down.


Crash bars are a must. Find a bike you can put these invaluable  items on. Your gonna be in traffic and you are gonna get pulled out in front of...Protect your legs and your investment at the same time with a set of  these.


   Report back with your purchase....We are interested!

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« Reply #8 on: July 08, 2014, 12:32:36 pm »

Try the SV 650 you listed.  I've owned the SV 650S, which is the one with the windshield and clip-ons.  But I would suggest the standard SV 650 as it is more comfortable.  It's a fun bike, cheap to obtain, cheap to maintain, and plenty fast.  The rest of the bikes you listed are all more $$$.
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« Reply #9 on: July 09, 2014, 03:28:03 pm »

I think after looking at the info, I am going with either the SV650 or the VFR800. For my first bike, don't want to go too big and scare myself, then selling said bike because of it.
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« Reply #10 on: July 10, 2014, 07:31:37 am »


Try the SV 650 you listed.  I've owned the SV 650S, which is the one with the windshield and clip-ons.  But I would suggest the standard SV 650 as it is more comfortable.  It's a fun bike, cheap to obtain, cheap to maintain, and plenty fast.  The rest of the bikes you listed are all more $$$.


 Withstupid

VFRs are lovely but a pain to work on. If you do get one, the 90s VFR800 pre-Vtec is the best.
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« Reply #11 on: July 10, 2014, 11:49:06 pm »


I think after looking at the info, I am going with either the SV650 or the VFR800. For my first bike, don't want to go too big and scare myself, then selling said bike because of it.



Personally, in my shoes, I'll take the gen 5 VFR... but for a novice on the steep slope of skill development you'll generally gain comfort/confidence faster with the significantly lighter, milder SV650. I've taught thousands of novice riders, and their comfort with the motorcycle they ride has consistently had a direct relationship to how quickly, and deeply their skill development progresses. FWIW...
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« Reply #12 on: July 12, 2014, 12:54:40 pm »


Try the SV 650 you listed.  I've owned the SV 650S, which is the one with the windshield and clip-ons.  But I would suggest the standard SV 650 as it is more comfortable.  
It's a fun bike, cheap to obtain, cheap to maintain, and plenty fast.  The rest of the bikes you listed are all more $$$.


This.  My son had one (2001); became a fine street rider and loved this bike (until it was backed over by a truck).
It has no fairing.  He added a small windscreen and we traveled over much of the NW.

2002 and older has carbs; 2003 it went to fuel injection.
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« Reply #13 on: July 12, 2014, 02:55:29 pm »

SV650s are wonderful bikes-because of the engine. The naked is better than the S version. Suspension problems-yes-but sorted out for not much money. If it's used, the previous owners have probably put the fork springs and rear shock replacements in. Finish is typical Suzuki-not great, so keep on top of cleaning.

Another over looked but very friendly bike is the Honda Deauville. A reliable, if not hugely quick, tourer and commuter, with a fairing and panniers. New, the Honda CB500X or Kawasaki ER6 are both worth a look.
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« Reply #14 on: July 18, 2014, 09:24:32 pm »

Don't overlook the FZ6, like the one in the classified section.  

I have one of them and a FZ1.  Have owned a VFR, and ridden the SV.  I like the FZ6 best of all.
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