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Old 06-05-2013, 10:17 PM   #1
jcmcc OP
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Joined: Jun 2010
Location: FL
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Help me choose a middleweight hooligan

I recently totalled my long term steed, a 99 VFR800. It was a great bike for the kind of riding I do, which is mostly spirited back road bombing with a side of long distance day trips (the bike chosen will be outfitted with luggage). However for my next bike I'm looking for something more hooligan in nature. I'd like something lighter in weight even if its down on power compared to the V4 Honda.

A few of the options I've been considering:

SV650 (04+)
Pros: Cheaper buy in, very customizable, broad power band, low-ish maintenance
Cons: Budget suspension, oil starvation issues

Duke 690
Pros: 70 hp 50 tq 320 pounds and good suspenders> ultimate hooligan machine
Cons: Higher maintenance, reliability?, long distance comfort, enough power to stay with rockets in backroads?

Street Triple
Pros: R model features top shelf everything, plenty of top end power
Cons: High buy in price

Very open to ideas right now. My hearts leaning towards the Street Triple but my wallet isn't . Budget is somewhere around $4-7k depending on condition and equipment.
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Old 06-05-2013, 10:22 PM   #2
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In that price range, I would strongly consider a 919; will run with the squids, carve turns like a supermoto, and also comfortably cruise all day at 80+... You can usually find them tricked out for around 4k; I still miss mine.
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Old 06-05-2013, 10:36 PM   #3
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The Street Triple is definitely the best all-around bike of your choices, with a lot of performance and attitude. The Duke is the most hooligan, but has some significant shortcomings in the versatility and practicality departments. You might also take a gander at a Ducati HyperMotard 796; good all around bike, but has lots o' hooligan in it.

1993 Ducati M900 Monster "Patina" (236,000 miles, so far) -- 1995 Ducati M900 (wife's bike) -- 1972 Honda CB450 (daughter's bike) -- 1979 Vespa P200 (daughter's scoot) -- 1967 Alfa Romeo GT Jr. (1300cc) -- 1964 Vespa GS160 (160cc 2-stroke) -- 1962 Maicoletta scooter (275cc 2-stroke) -- 1960 Heinkel Tourist 103A1 scooter "Elroy" (175cc 4-stroke)
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Old 06-05-2013, 11:33 PM   #4
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Based on your stated use, I wouldn't list the oil starvation as a "con" for the SV. That only becomes a problem if your idea of hooliganism is doing sustained wheelies up and down the interstate. For "spirited back road bombing with a side of long distance day trips" the bike will be more than adequate.

As far as suspension, you can do a shock swap from the 06-07 ZX10 which is a direct swap, or better yet, spring for a Penske. At the front, I'd do fork springs with a rate suitable for your weight and riding style and heaver weight oil at the BARE minimum. More Ideal would be springs/oil and emulators or drop-in kit from Traxxion Dynamics. Some also spring for a GSX-R swap for the front end, but I find the current forks to be more than adequate if you buy some quality internals for them. These things will bring the handling of the bike in-line to that of the other bikes for still less initial cost than the other two.

Just a few things to think about with the SV. I don't have enough personal experience with the Duke or Striple to make any kind of educated assessment of those bikes other than a quick spin on friend's bikes. However, out of the listed options if I was going to buy a bike today, I'd go for the Street Triple R. And it would definitely be the "R" variant as I have no intention of buying a more expensive bike with worse suspension that what I've done to my lowly SV at this point.
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Old 06-06-2013, 03:18 AM   #5
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My advice would be a RSV 1000 mile or Tueno. Well in your budget and perfect for your needs.

Easily hang with the big boys when needed and a great bike for touring if set up with a ventura.
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Old 06-06-2013, 03:22 AM   #6
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I had a 99 SV650 when they first came out......great friggin bike.
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Old 06-06-2013, 04:23 AM   #7
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Any bike will include some compromises - it comes down to what capabilities you value and how you ride. If the list is limited to the three you have, and the budget is firm, then the SV or Triumph. I love the Duke, but it's really focused. If you can include other options, then the Tuono (probably gen 2) is worth a look. Good luck.
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Old 06-06-2013, 04:29 AM   #8
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How about a monster
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Old 06-06-2013, 05:35 AM   #9
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Street Triple R.

Next question.
Successfully surviving motorcycling since 1976.
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Old 06-06-2013, 06:03 AM   #10
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I've thought about the SV650 a few times, and called on a few of them. Conversation normally goes:

Me: I heard they are awesome at riding wheelies.
Seller: It's great at wheelies. I do them all of the time
Me: Does it have the power to keep the front end up on the highway?
Seller: Yeah, as long as you want to ride them it'll do it.

That pretty much ends the conversation there. I actually go through that set of questioning on every used bike, and most sellers brag about how much they've abused the bike if you ask the right questions. Wheelies, burnouts, rev-limiter, and stoppies.

I would add the SV1000 to your list also. Great bikes, still light, plenty of power. They sound amazing with the right exhaust. Kind of like a high revving motocross bike almost. I miss mine.
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Old 06-06-2013, 06:27 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by dogjaw View Post
In that price range, I would strongly consider a 919; will run with the squids, carve turns like a supermoto, and also comfortably cruise all day at 80+... You can usually find them tricked out for around 4k; I still miss mine.
While I like the 919 and almost bought one myself, if you think the 919 carves like a supermoto you either haven't spent much time on a supermoto or haven't ridden a supermoto to its limits. I haven't found *any* street bike that handles like a supermoto, except a supermoto.

To answer the OP's question, buy the triple and cry once at the time of purchase. After you've written the check you'll forget all about it and will love the bike.
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Old 06-06-2013, 06:30 AM   #12
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Sound and feel are a big part of hooligan bikes.

Ask yourself if twins or inlines are what make your coccyx oscillate.
So there I was walking into a biker bar in Chattanooga with liberty spikes on my head and a drag queen beside me... - bcurvin
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Old 06-06-2013, 06:46 AM   #13
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Versys or even better yet, the ER-6N are great street hooligans with a really fun, tractable motor.

ER-6Ns are cheap as chips too. Beauty is in the eye of the beerholder.
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Old 06-06-2013, 06:48 AM   #14
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Street R

If I didn't already own a Speed Triple when they were released I would have one.
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Old 06-06-2013, 08:29 AM   #15
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Cheap route, SV650 few mods and it'd be great. ER6n is a fair cheap option too.

For living with daily the aprilia tuono is about the best "exotic" to live with. Easier than a ktm or duc from what I can gather, not entirely first hand however. Be a great bike if you want one that big.

The street triple R would be fantastic if you want to spend the cash up front and are satisfied with it's size(engine and ergo wise). I would suggest springing for the R version if at all possible.
2007 Victory Vegas Premium....finally I'm back on the road with another steed.

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