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Old 01-30-2013, 08:43 PM   #27
McJamie's Avatar
Joined: Oct 2009
Location: Courtice, Ontario, Canada
Oddometer: 1,391
Originally Posted by 81turbota View Post
Hello all,
I'm a Service member stationed in Germany. I recently got into motorcycling, what an exhilarating experience!
A little about me-
I am a helicopter mechanic currently, and a former engine builder at a famous speed shop in Southern California. I know how to use a wrench I own quite a few toys here in Germany, including a 2009 Corvette Z06 (200mph autobahn MONSTER), 1981 Turbo Trans am (high school car which I can't live without) and a freebie 1986 450 Rebel.

I completed the MSF BRC Dec 2011, and have ridden a collective 500 miles or so in the 'States. I am in NO way an experienced rider. I acquired that 450 Honda Rebel from a departing SM, but its too small. It's decently powerful enough, but I look like a clown on it...not to mention its uncomfortable for anything over 30 minutes. I am 5'10" 175 lbs.

The adventure part - I plan on using the bike as a DD on base (parking is horrendous!) on the good weather days, and have some road trips planned. Would like to ride the bike down the coast of Spain and through southeast Europe (Croatia, Slovakia, Slovenia). My Mother is my the 70's she ditched home, found her way to Italy, bought an ex-police Moto Guzzi 500 and rode it to Instanbul, Turkey and back. Successful woman now...go figure.

I need a bike that will be at home on the Autobahn as much as it is to wheel around a small town. I obviously would ride as much as possible and focus on skills prior to taking on one of these big trips.

Enough BS - Here's what I've been eyeballing in the order of appeal:
1. Honda GL1000 - would clean it up and put a triumph S3 seat on it and call it a day - think octane build.
2. Suzuki GS850 - I hear they are bulletproof and well rounded.
3. Honda CB750 - Surprisingly expensive in Germany, but there must be a reason why they are so popular..
4. Kawasaki Z1000 - Huge aftermarket but hear they are pretty unweildy.

Any input is appreciated! Thanks!
Of the four, the GS is probably the best all-round bike, and as comfortable as the GL while being a bit lighter. But certainly at the softer end of the sport touring spectrum.
The CB 750's, especially the earlier single cams, are what all the hipsters are after now, consequently prices are getting a bit silly. I would take a later twin cam 750 over one of those anyway, but that's just me.
Having said all that, a KZ would likely be my first choice out of what you have listed there. It's the same weight as the CB but with more power, with better shocks & tires it will handle just fine, and just as reliable as the venerable GS. Depending on the year, probably the coolest looking too. Earlier spoked wheel models ( 77 & 78 I believe), are styled more like the original Z1, later had cast wheels and more squared off body work.
If you get far enough away, you'll be on your way home.
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