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Old 11-17-2014, 08:10 AM   #1
hugemoth OP
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Less is more. Big vs. small.

Seems here in the US most people think the bigger, better, faster, newer, more gadgets, the more enjoyment they'll get out of riding. For me in fact the opposite is true. From mopeds to Goldwings I've owned a huge number of bikes and looking back over 50 years of riding I've gotten the most enjoyment from the small ones.

One evening while trying to muscle my heavily loaded big bike into a primitive camp spot next to a river I thought what the hell am I doing? This isn't fun! Riding down the highway on a huge bike isn't fun. Riding twisty mountain roads on a big bike isn't fun. Gravel roads, trails, in town, riding a big bike isn't fun.

Without thinking much about it I found myself choosing the smallest bike in my collection that would do the task at hand. Running into town for a few groceries take the 200. Heading into the forest or desert for a day ride, take the 140. Riding to Alaska with a full compliment of camping gear, take the 500. The big bikes ended up being banished to the back of the garage, neglected, unused, and eventually sold.

Have you had a similar experience, or maybe the opposite experience, tell us about it.
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Old 11-17-2014, 08:19 AM   #2
Rgconner
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I am in the "medium" camp, but you could call them small for 270 lb ass...

Vespa GTS250: Was a great run around bike, not having to throw the leg over and crazy storage space made it perfect for the city.

CB550: Good midrange bike. Not comfortable for more than 200 miles because of shitty seat. Top heavy and no easy storage, so not a run around bike but a hell of a canyon carver. Taught me to shift to keep up with bigger bikes.

700GS: My go to bike now that the GTS is dead from an exhaust valve failure. While not as easy to get on and off, it has the storage and it is definitely fun. ABS/ASC makes it easy to get around on. Center of gravity is low, so handles like the Vespa. Does long days and canyons just fine with power to spare.

I have zero interest in a larger bike. I have ridden the liter+ bikes like the FJR and the 1200GS and I am not all that impressed for the same reasons you list. To big, too bulky...
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Old 11-17-2014, 08:54 AM   #3
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I tend to prefer smaller, lighter bikes. I started on a KZ400 and then over the years moved up the displacement and weight ladder in search of "better". I ended up owning a Yamaha FJ1100 and Venture 1200. Both were fun bikes but I ended up replacing the FJ1100 with an EX500. I discovered that the EX500 was not only more fun, I was much faster on it. Many of my buddies rode fast sportbikes. I had trouble keeping up on the FJ. When I got the EX, they where the ones who had trouble keeping up.

After that I moved down the displacement ladder. I currently own a 150, 250 and two 650s. I'd be very hesitant to buy another bike over 500lbs. The only reason I could see to buy another big bike would be if I wanted to get a long distance 2 up touring bike and even then there are smaller bikes that will do the job.
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Old 11-17-2014, 09:10 AM   #4
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Less is less. Less can be better in some applications, but it can't be more. More is more.
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Old 11-17-2014, 09:11 AM   #5
Rgconner
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War is Peace.
Freedom is Slavery
Less is More
Orange is the new Black.
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Old 11-17-2014, 09:14 AM   #6
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More is more,but why is it better? A 550lb bike loaded for travel weighs 700 lbs. Why is that better or more fun? Just watch Charlie and Ewan on their neato over loaded big bikes,their trip would have been so much less painful on 650 singles. But the drama of a huge heavy bike being picked up repeatedly is much greater.

No thanks.
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Old 11-17-2014, 09:23 AM   #7
Wraith Rider
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More is more. Less is less. Everything else is bullshit.

However, some guys have more fun with lesser bikes and there's nothing wrong about that - just don't claim your lesser bike was the better one.

For me - on paved roads - since the better, newer, faster bike with more gadgets can do everything the lesser bike can do at least as well and most things better, it's easy to understand that it's more fun to me. Unpaved roads are an other story, for these I got my quad.
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Old 11-17-2014, 09:39 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wraith Rider View Post
More is more. Less is less.
True.

I don't think the op would disagree. It appears the op is saying that less (Bulk, complexity, HP, weight, etc) can be the more appropriate choice at times. Do you disagree?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wraith Rider View Post
Everything else is bullshit.
You mad?
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Old 11-17-2014, 09:55 AM   #9
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Thumbs down

Quote:
Originally Posted by hugemoth View Post
Seems here in the US most ("Most" people... really? Where is your data base?) people think the bigger, better, faster, newer, more gadgets, the more enjoyment they'll get out of riding. For me in fact the opposite is true. Interesting Opinion, thanks.

Riding down the highway on a huge bike isn't fun. Says who?

Riding twisty mountain roads on a big bike isn't fun. Says who?


Have you had a similar experience, or maybe the opposite experience, tell us about it.
I Love riding Cross country on a long wheelbase, heavy bike. Feels very planted, and smooth.

Is this thread really about riding? Or is it a Thread to reveal to the world how many bikes you have in your 'Collection'? We all have different riding goals, different reasons to ride, different styles of riding, etc. Yours is one of many million. Know that and be happy, and not so biased judgmental towards your fellow riders.

One guy likes to go from New York to San Francisco riding a comfy BMW / Goldwing/Harley Touring rig, the next guy likes to do the same route on a 90CC Honda Dream Step-Through. Good on both of them, but "better" is extremely subjective, and has many, many categories.

Bob
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Old 11-17-2014, 10:12 AM   #10
windblown101
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheProphet View Post
Is this thread really about riding?
Could be... Regardless, it's a fine example about peoples perceptions and how they tend to feel like the way they do something and the things they like are the sensable choices and everyone else that does it differently has questionable judgement. :)


Geoarge Carlin covered the concept well:
Quote:
"Have you ever noticed that anybody driving slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac?" - George Carlin
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Old 11-17-2014, 10:44 AM   #11
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When I totaled my Electraglide and had time to think about it while healing, I reached a similar conclusion.
Big long baggers are great for all day on the interstate, but they are big and heavy ALL the time.
Lighter is more fun, no doubt.

I replaced my EG with a Dyna, still somewhat large, but still a lot less size and weight than the EG. That was four years ago and I have never regretted not having a dresser.
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Old 11-17-2014, 10:51 AM   #12
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It all comes down to the old adage that it's more fun trying to go fast on a slow bike than having to go slow on a fast bike: Truth is truth.

Why do you think such importance is placed on 0-60 times? Because anything over that can be illegal in many if not most times. Hmm.... 2.7 seconds is what the 1987 FJ1200 was clocked at with Jay Gleason in the saddle. And what do the new, super high horsepower, traction controlled, abs, electronic suspensioned, power delivery mapped, bank angled sensored hyper bikes do?

Ahhhh...hahahah...the joke is on thems who spends 25+k on the new super-duper bikes and think they've really got something.

They do have something, but it's not a superior bike in many terms, 0-60 being just one of them because chances are it won't do 2.7 seconds. What they do have is an insatiable need for conspicuous consumption, and more disposable income than they may deserve . That's good because when those computerised systems fail, and they will, they're going to need deep pocket.

In the mean time, those with an '87 FJ12, will just chuckle to themselves every time a new "superbike" rides by, knowing full well that they're getting 7/8's of the real world performance that those bikes, (assuming not unreasonably that it's been upgraded a little over the years) for 1/8 the price, and 1/4th the worries and maintenance issues.
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Old 11-17-2014, 11:18 AM   #13
OrangeYZ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by st3ryder View Post
It all comes down to the old adage that it's more fun trying to go fast on a slow bike than having to go slow on a fast bike: Truth is truth.
Bull shit. This is how people justify buying shit motorcycles and convince themselves that their bike has some redeeming quality beyond "Could afford it."

--

Slow bikes I've ridden:
YZ125
XR600R
KLR650

Comparable to fast bikes I've ridden:
300XCW
525EXC
Tiger 800XC

The fast bikes are more fun everywhere.
The YZ125 is lighter and has less power than the 300, so it should be more fun on tight technical single track, but it's not. Not even close.
XR600R: 40 HP. 525EXC: 50 HP. That means the XR600 will be easier to handle and more nimble right? Maybe if it wasn't for the gigantic crankshaft that says "Turn the bike while I'm spinning? I think not, we're going straight here."
OK, so the XR handles high speed whooped out desert trails better right? 20 years difference of suspension development would disagree.
Riding the Tiger at 80 mph I routinely find myself wishing that I was in top gear instead of gear 5 of 6 and pinned instead of half throttle. Wait, no I don't.

OrangeYZ screwed with this post 11-17-2014 at 11:35 AM Reason: thought of more words
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Old 11-17-2014, 11:37 AM   #14
BootsandPants
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Some people like big bikes, some people like small bikes. Woah...opinions, man.
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Old 11-17-2014, 11:39 AM   #15
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May not matter to some posters but a (stolen) quote:

"Ride your own ride"

Got a KLR. Bought with intention to trade up. Got serious hots for the Indian Chief. Can't still settle my mind to rid my daily driver for a bike double the weight and triple the displacement.

Got a Honda Rebel. (for daughter to get her street chops up) Take it out every Sunday or so. I look like a bear on a trike in a Shriner's parade (6'2"/250) That little bike is a f'n w00t to run. Rev it, scrape the crash bars, turn it around.

You want acres of chrome, electronic options, liter plus displacement, a cup holder, go for it.

Right now, my KLR fits my butt. I'll wave as we pass.
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