Thursday, November 10, 2005

Shopping for a New (or gently used) Bike.

The fact that Lady Luck likes riding with me so much really throws my whole "get a new bike" plan out of whack. You see, passengers start complaining if they're uncomfortable. So that throws two of my choices right out of the running. SV650s and Buells are not reknowned for their comfy pillion accomodations.

As I've said before, I'm not interested in BMWs.

So, what have I got to choose from?

Well, Triumph has some pretty bikes. The Scrambler 900 definitely turns my crank. It only makes slightly more power than my current bike, though. The Bonneville T100 is very tasty. And it makes more horsepower than the Scrambler. The plain ol' Bonneville comes in black on black, with some more black thrown in for good measure.

You know I like that.

The Triumph Speedmaster is a tasty cruiser, but it doesn't look like the passenger would be too happy on there. I'll have to bring her with and find out.

Their prices are right in my range. I've never heard anyone extolling the reliability of their Triumph, though.

Moving on, there is the HD Sportster. I like the 883, it's cheap and will run on 87 octane. On the other hand, the 1200 is only slightly more expensive (I prefer black, which happens to be the cheapest color!), and looks a little more passenger-worthy. The problem with any harley is that I have to get a new carb and exhaust (Genuine Motor Accessories) before it will perform worth a damn.

There are, of course, a delightful array of Japanese cruisers. I'm going back and forth between a couple of Honda, Yamaha, and Kawasaki cruisers. I'm sure I could flip a coin on those and end up with a decent bike.

What to do, what to do?


Surly said...

I've had several Yamahas and found them to be pretty well made. Since I'm spending your money here - check out the Star (Yamaha) Stratoliner Midnight. It looks like a cross between a Hardley and an old Triumph Speed Twin and it's triple black. Pretty cool for an ass-basket. Or you could go sport-tourer with the FJR1300. Crazy fast and luggage, pass. backrest, etc... Nice write up in Cycle World.

Der_General said...

I'm currently riding a Yamaha V Star and think it's great, I know lots of couples who have been plenty happy with the 1100 version.

Triumphs are very cool, but as you mentioned, not known for reliability. They were simultaneously dropped by 3 or 4 of the big dealerships in my area a few years ago, I don't take that as a good sign.

Some your previous posts lead me to believe you want a certain degree of performance from a bike - I'd take a good look at the "power cruiser" segment - the Yamaha Road Star Warrior, Kawasaki Mean Streak, Honda VTX 1800F, Harley V-Rod or the Suzuki Boulevard M109R. The Yamaha & Honda are my favorites, but the Suzuki is new this year & looks bad-ass...

Surly said...

Lucky - all Harley Ferguson jokes aside, please dont buy a V-rod. That has got to be the most ugly motorcycle ever produced. But hey, it's got fancy modern technology like bevel-cut gears and overhead cams! Cant you just smell the sarcasm.

Lucky said...

No worries about the V-Rod, it's way out of my price range. Unfortunately, so are the Stratoliner cruisers. Those are awfully pretty.

I am indeed looking for a degree of performance. I'm really not into sport-tourers, personally. Too much plastic for my taste. I do, however, have a warm spot for the Yamaha Warrior. I can almost afford it, too!

Der_General said...

I only mentioned the V-Rod to be diplomatic :-) Harley was first to market with thier take on the power cruiser, but it's definitely not my favorite. The only thing that earns it a nod from me is that Porsche had a hand in developing the engine (although Ferdinand must be spinning in his grave).

NOPCKL said...

The She-Rod is to motorcycling what Rosanne Barr was to pinup girls ...

I've passed things more aesthetically pleasing through my colon.

But the new 1200 Sportsters, rubber mounted with an S&S Super E and some decent exhaust (I'm a Thunderheader guy - but not everyone digs them) make a real decent motorsickle.

Of course I, obviously, have a decidedly HD bent. Can't help it. I was born phallically challenged and this is my chosen method of compensation.

I've never ridden a motorsickle that wasn't fun - regardless of brand. Well, except my pa-in-law's Goldwing.

Yada yada yada ...

Gymi said...

Might want to consider a Nomad, fuel injection, hydraulic valves, water cooled, hard bags and shaft drive. My buddy had a Drifter 1500 and loved it. Never had a problem, sold it to buy a Nomad. He wanted the passenger accommodations and the hard bags. You can get a left over stock for a pretty good price or look for a good used one. Anyway it is comfortable enough for you and the Mrs.

Later, Gymi