It's cold as hell (about 5F as I type this), so that makes it the perfect time to start thinking about a spring (or midwinter) bike purchase. If you're as bored as I am, read along, and offer some suggestions/advice/experience.
Need: Bike for 1-up trips ranging from a weekend to a week. Nothing more adventurous than gravel roads. Interstate mostly avoided (but 100% avoidance is nearly impossible). I'm 5'11" with pretty long arms.
Experience: Previous bike for this purpose was an ST1300 w/ bar risers (too heavy, too boat-like, upright seating made uncomfortable). Current bike for this purpose is a Street Triple R (too little wind protection, too twitchy, kinda short range). I can stand (some) more forward lean, but no more leg bend than the Street Triple.
Considering the following (with perceived pros and cons; note I've never ridden any of them):
+comfort for the long-armed
+shaft drive (? I'm not sure if I really care enough to call this a plus)
-way more power than I'll ever need/use (I'll never see the top half of the speedo)
+Honda reliable (other than electrics...)
+ <500lbs wet Note: This is False
+pretty good deal used
-average / poor suspension
-can it power heated liners?
Triumph Sprint ST
+factory bags available (?)
-cramped riding position
[600cc Sport Bike] with bags (e.g. R6, CBR, GSXR, maybe even SV650 and FZ1)
-too aggressive riding position
-Japanese bikes tend not to fit me without ergonomic modification
-looks awkward with hard luggage
[Touring Land Barge] (e.g. FJR, Concours, R1200RT, etc)
+good wind protection
-heavy and pig-like
-too upright seating position
So, what am I not thinking of? Or, do you have one of the bikes above, and am I wrong about it?
BMW 800GT seems to be about the only middle weight sport tourer not yet mentioned...
Haven't ridden one... don't think I'd want to pay for one...
Of course, there's always a Wee...
vfr1200 and ktm 990 smt
Riding position is quite neutral, slight forward lean into the breeze.
Speaking from what I've ridden and having a similar build (assuming you have a 32" inseam; yes?) me thinks the V or Wee strom would fit the bill nicely for you.
Of all the you mentioned the VFR is probably the nicest (the motor extremely sweeet) but it's a bit cramped for long jaunts unless you lower the pegs, raise the bars and put a touring saddle on. Too, I could never get the wind noise quiet.
The Stroms are plenty roomy. My Wee sips low amounts of fuel and is as comfy as any sport-tourer out there. It rails throught the corners with the uprated rear shock, continuous rate front springs in 15wt oil and a fork brace. Sargent saddle........and assorted other acoutraments to make this a very very competitive tourer. Mine rivals my GS.
Ninja 1000 is my pick!
Doesn't anyone read past page one any more before posting?
Not sure where you got the sub 500 pound wet weight for the VFR800. Pulling wet weights from Total Motorcycle shows the VFR800 at 551 wet, the K1300S at 560 wet and the Sprint ST at 530 wet.
I've have a K1300S and rode a 99 VFR800 for five years. The VFR was a great bike but the K13S doesn't feel any heavier and has gobs more power and a much better suspension. BMW weird, I know, but it works very well on the road. A chain wouldn't keep me from buying a bike I want but I do not miss chain maintenance. Riding position between the VFR800 and the K1300S are almost identical. I thought it was interesting that I found the VFR1200 to be a little tighter, more like the Sprint ST.
I spent a year with an FJR1300 too. Nice bike, very capable, easy to work on and dead reliable. Too much bike for me though as I never got it out unless I was going out for the full day. Just seemed too big/heavy for a local ride.
You might consider the Ninja 1000 too.
Ducati ST3, ST4, or ST2, or MultiStrada (older 2V or newer 4V).
Moto Guzzi Norge.
Kawasaki Ninja 1000 or Versys 1000
Suzuki SV1000 or V-Strom 1000
Honda VFR 1200
Lots of adventure-type bikes.
MOTUS MST :D
FZ6 is plenty capable too. Farily roomy ergors, I'm 6'1 32" inseam.
The OP seems to have had a DL650 already from his signature.
I would recommend the FZ6 for what you're looking for. fuel injected, centerstand, 26,000 mile valve checks. It's got the total package.
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