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Old 12-23-2012, 07:17 PM   #1
El Pescador OP
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If you were a Noob and had $15k max to spend...

I think this is the right place for this thread. I'll start with background. I haven't been on a motorcycle since I was 15 and rode a Yamaha DT50 to school every day. I have wanted a motorcycle for a long time but work, family, and finances made a bike a low priority.

About 6 months ago, I bought a Dyna Low Rider. I wanted a Harley for a couple of reasons.
1) Their resale is good and I knew if I didn't like motorcycling, I could turn it around without losing much money.
2) They're simple and I could learn the basics of motorcycle maintenance and mechanics.
3) I didn't know adventure bikes existed.

I really like riding and not necessarily riding ONLY a Harley as most who have them are. I'm not opposed to a Harley, I just don't identify with the brand and believe I would enjoy riding ANY motorcycle. I would like to get another 6 months of experience on the Low Rider and then sell it or add to the garage and therein lies the question.

If you had $15k to spend on any 2 or 3 bikes what would you buy?
Meaning, would you try to cover the riding styles with two bikes like a KTM EXC450 and a BMW GS800 (these bikes are representative of their class and not necessarily the specific bikes you would buy) or would you buy three bikes like a 250 trail bike, a 650 dual sport, and a bigger bike like a big GS or KTM 990?

I know it's dependent on the individual, so here are my specifics...

1) I'll rarely be 2up.
2) I live in Houston. Lots of highways and lots of traffic. The SH National Forest is 30 minutes north with about 80 miles of trails. Additionally, their are places that I can ride dirt, but that doesn't really appeal to me as I prefer to explore, rather than just ride the same track.
3) I obviously will have to buy used since the budget doesn't afford new.
4) I travel regionally for work, and I would like to do more of it on a motorcycle, rather than fly in.

If I haven't made something clear, or made some assumptions please ask further questions. I look forward to your experience.
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Old 12-23-2012, 07:23 PM   #2
trc.rhubarb
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One bike isn't enough for me.
Two bikes isn't enough for me now :)
I only travel on 2 wheels if I'm not with the family.
Bikes are an addicton for many of us.

My two do most everything very well but I'm still short a project and a beauty queen for occasional use.

Your Dyna can take you across the country in comfort if that's your thing. It will handle reasonaby well within the confines of speed limits. Unpaved roads are no issue either within reason. I wouldn't spend any money until I had a few thousand more miles under my belt and knew what I wanted... or you can do it like the rest of us and keep changing bikes until you find what you were looking for, fast forward 5 years or so and give the same advice to the next new guy
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Old 12-23-2012, 07:47 PM   #3
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If I were to start over I would go with a Tiger 800XC and a WR250.

But I am not, so I will stick with the DR650, Triumph Sprint, XR1200X and FrankenWing.



Besides, I have access to an 800XC any time I want one so...
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Old 12-23-2012, 07:40 PM   #4
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I have different bikes for different purposes. All were purchased used and most were good deals.
Scooter does everything around town for very few gas dollars.
GSA does two up and longer adventure trips.
K bikes do my day/weekender rides.
KLR is only used during the winter as my beater. I purchased it as my first (and cheap) foray into dual sport and figured out i am not a dirt bike rider but a dirt road rider.
The point of this is that one bike will not do it all. What you need to figure out for yourself (and be honest with yourself) is what/where you want to ride.
Small kids and full time job means long distance trips are likely only going to happen every few years,
Empty nest means more freedom.
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Old 12-23-2012, 08:14 PM   #5
blk-betty
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If you see yourself doing more distance road riding yet also want to explore off-pavement...consider trading the LowRider for any of the touring HDs and adding something like a used DR650.

I feel like I now have the perfect stable for me, a Road Glide for distance and comfort, an XR1200 for ripping around town and riding the twisties (although gettign there is a 4 hour ride one way), and a DR650 for exploring off-pavement.

A more dirt oriented bike like a KTM sure would be fun but overkill for the type of riding I do, and I'm wise enough (old enough) to understand my needs are much more relevant than my wants.

If your looking for one bike to "do it all" the Tiger 800XC as Dakez recommends is a great choice.

Good luck and always fun "searching" for another bike.
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Old 12-23-2012, 09:07 PM   #6
El Pescador OP
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Thanks for the replies.



Quote:
Originally Posted by blk-betty View Post

If your looking for one bike to "do it all" the Tiger 800XC as Dakez recommends is a great choice.
Is that bike comfortable over long distances?
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Old 12-23-2012, 09:29 PM   #7
DAKEZ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by El Pescador View Post

Is that bike comfortable over long distances?
Yes. (I base this on a few 600+/- days on one) I prefer the windshield removed.

You may need to address the windshield and seat a little but other than that it is likely the best all purpose bike ever. (an 800GS being a very close second) IMO

Can't really go wrong either way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by No False Enthusiasm View Post
Almost two years ago, I went with a well broken in DL 650 with a few farkels for $4,000 and an almost brand new Bonny SE for $6,000.

NFE

Two more good choices. The DL has a great engine...But I find it a bit lackluster overall. The Bonneville just brings out the grin from deep within.
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Old 12-26-2012, 12:21 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by El Pescador View Post
(Tiger 800XC)

Is that bike comfortable over long distances?
Quote:
Originally Posted by DAKEZ View Post
Yes. (I base this on a few 600+/- days on one) I prefer the windshield removed.
I find the XC to be an all-day bike with a two hour seat. An airhawk makes that better, but I'll be looking at more permanent options this season.

Quote:
You may need to address the windshield and seat a little but other than that it is likely the best all purpose bike ever. (an 800GS being a very close second) IMO
I find the windshield didn't really block any wind or rain, but at least it caused lots of turbulence. So I took my 800XC windshield off, and replaced it with a Speed Triple flyscreen and windshield. Now I have smooth air that hits me about mid-chest. There are other options to solve the problem like the MadStad, but it's expensive and (IMO, of course) Fugly- and unlike a topbox, it's in front of you so you have to look at it all day.
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Old 12-23-2012, 09:57 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by El Pescador View Post
Thanks for the replies.
Is that bike comfortable over long distances?
You didn't state height/weight/inseam.

The DR650SE is pretty versatile, affordable, reliable, and simple thumper. It's also a lot of fun, and has been produced since 1996. As a result new/used/aftermarket parts support is pretty good. It does best with customizing for YOU. Intake/carb/exhaust improvements really wake up the engine. The suspension, tires, and ergos may likely need work too.

You may want a multi for long highway blasts. The Tiger 800XC is your bike if it fits you well and you aren't shy about possible electronic/computer quirks that take a dealer shop a while to diagnose and fix.

A multi with more of a rep for low-priced reliability is the DL650. You can also get this with ABS, and you may want to wire in a switch for this. Many of these DLs go over 50K miles with no major issues.
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Old 12-23-2012, 10:20 PM   #10
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I discovered this site Fall 2004. I was fascinated with the exploration oriented RR's. I was riding a Ducati at the time. Then I discovered an article about the 2004 Alcan5000. I emailed the club that put on the event and got the rules. I also entered the 2006 event. In early 2005 I bought a KTM 950 leftover for the job. Then I road it all over the west to explore while waiting for the 2006 Alcan45000. I just sold that bike a few months ago with well over 50k miles on it from my trips.

I replaced it with a 2012 KTM 690R and set it up for travel and exploration. My reason was I needed to be able to pick the bike up out of the mud when I was solo in some remote area. The 690 is 150lbs lighter. If you are looking for better touring, probably the new KTM 990 or the Tri 800 is best for you. You definitely want the 21 inch front wheel and the ability to mount DOT knobbies.

PS: I entered the 2014 Alcan5000 too. Not yet sure if I'll ride my 690 or a Yamaha 250. No more big bikes for me. I found my sweet spot.
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Old 12-24-2012, 06:52 AM   #11
El Pescador OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kommando View Post
You didn't state height/weight/inseam.
I'm really average...5'10, 190 lbs, 31 inch inseam
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Old 12-24-2012, 07:03 AM   #12
BanjoBoy
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Ténéré?
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Old 12-24-2012, 08:50 AM   #13
Seth650
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boo

bikes for starters with mechanical know-how?

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/SUZUK...orcev4exp=true


http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/1990-...orcev4exp=true
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Old 12-24-2012, 08:59 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by El Pescador View Post
I'm really average...5'10, 190 lbs, 31 inch inseam
A DR650SE or a Tiger 800XC can fit you well. You'd definitely want to try a few different bikes before buying though, as different people can have very different preferences.

The Tiger 800XC would be a good choice for getting across the continent and then exploring places like the Tuweap overlook near Grand Canyon, or Big Bend, via dirt. It's a nice-riding bike with a sweet motor...a lot of fun. It can just be a bit more complicated to troubleshoot if something goes wrong in BFE. Get a good roadside plan. The AMA has one for EVERY vehicle you own for like $30-$40/yr.

The DR650SE is much simpler and can be had for MUCH less $$. It runs slab pretty well for a thumper, but it IS still a thumper. I've ridden from Tyler TX to Melbourne FL in a day on mine, and got off the exit ramp with a grin on my face, so it'll do long distances. It just won't do long distances across west TX at 90MPH as easily as a Tiger 800XC would. The DR is the bike I would get for riding the world though, as 70-80MPH cruising speed is quite enough in most other places, with short blasts up to about 100MPH, and it's a fun bike even at sane speeds. Among many other things, mine has a better seat, better suspension, throttle lock, 5gal tank, touring pegs, lowered rider pegs, lowered passenger pegs (to put my feet back), and lightweight luggage that can haul the kitchen sink. All of these mods were extremely easy to do to this bike, and it travels MUCH better than stock. I like it considerably more on the slab than my streetbike now. The air/oil cooling seems to work better in the southern heat than water-cooling or air-cooling. The DR is crashable like a dirtbike, it rides like a cushy overweight dirtbike in the dirt, and I can pick it up by myself without a problem. Parts are easy to come by, as the bike hasn't really changed since 1996. The aftermarket can help you build it from mild to wild as your skills evolve. 50+WHP isn't hard to come by, and the engine is pretty smooth at 80MPH for a thumper.

Shop used and you could probably get both for less than $15K. If you get something like a used DR first though, you may find that it's quite enough for what you want to do once you uncork it and farkle it a bit. The stock carbing usually sucks, compared to what it can be like. I've seen DRs go in decent shape for $1000, but good ones usually run at least $2500, with $4000 being about as much as I'd pay for a used one. New ones aren't much more expensive, relatively, and Suzuki keeps offering 0% financing with good credit. There's no reason to pay a lot for a DR. It's a great exploring bike, so don't expect it to be a race bike, even if people HAVE ridden it in the Baja 1000 or in enduros. It's designed to be a bit more mellow...stop and enjoy the view, then hooligan a little.

Kommando screwed with this post 12-24-2012 at 09:04 AM
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Old 12-24-2012, 09:57 AM   #15
ricmachado
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I enjoy to trade bikes every few years, if I had 15K to spare and had to spend on bikes, this would be my lineup:

Buell Ulysses (07 - 08) maybe 6K
Ural Patrol (05 - 07) 6K
KLR650 (05 - 07) 3K

Buell for long distance touring, Ural for the groceries day and take kid to ride with me (I have no car) and KLR for daily commute, beat down bike.
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