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Old 12-08-2014, 10:23 PM   #1
Motornoggin OP
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Time for a smaller bike...

Been in the back of my mind for a while now, but was made painfully clear last week.

I need a smaller bike.

The C-14 is absolutely fantastic. It does everything I need it to do, everything I want it to do and it does it faster, smoother and with less drama than just about any bike I've had. The truth though, is that I no longer have the strength to deal with it when I'm not in the saddle. I can't get it on the lift by myself, I can barely get it on the center stand, I have much difficulty moving it around in the garage or out in the alley to even go for a ride... I pretty much ride it once a year on my annual trip and it sits in the garage plugged into a tender the other 360 days a year.

Otherwise, the Sporty gets a lot more play. It's easy. It's fun. It's just not suitable for anything over 200-250 miles in a day (for me).

I really haven't paid much attention to motorcycles the last few years. Life has often got in the way and I kinda gave up trying to keep up. I really don't know what's out there these days.

Middle weights, upright, comfortable, light, luggage options (even aftermarket)...

Kawasaki Versys 650. Looks cool, haven't sat on one in a long time, though I am familiar and reasonably impressed with the drive train. I understand there is a Versys 1000 on the way, Feb. or March?

Honda? A cursory glance doesn't show anything that interests me at all. Maybe a CB1100, but it's barely on the radar.

Yamaha? FZ-9? Looks good, but I guess I need to find one to at least sit on. Might be a bit hunched over, I dunno.

Suzuki? I had a DL1k and loved it! The new versions are a bit out of my range financially, and I don't know if I want to go back that way. Even thought they are very similar ergonomically, there is something about the Wee that doesn't work for me. Maybe a used Bandit...

BMW. Nice stuff. Ridiculously, hopelessly, insanely expensive... Not gonna happen, even if they fit me well. (almost $15k for a GS800?!?!).

Triumph. The Tiger 800 looks promising. I need to schedule a ride. A bit spendy for me, but I could swing it if a couple things really came together. The couple times I sat on one felt amazingly comfortable. Instantly felt at home. Reliable?

Guzzi? Hmm... Love the idea, but I don't know... Something makes me think no. I already have the Sporty, don't need another semi-reliable toy.

Just thinking out loud. Open to thoughts, especially if there is something I haven't thought of.
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Old 12-08-2014, 11:00 PM   #2
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Should be able to get a F658GS or F800GS (both 798cc twins) well equipped for $6K to $8K used, but figure out what your budget is, and test ride all of them, then buy what fits
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Old 12-09-2014, 06:27 AM   #3
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I'd probably look at a used Vstrom 650, Kawasaki Versys 650 or a Honda NC700X or CB500X if I was looking for a smaller bike.
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Old 12-09-2014, 07:05 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Hondo View Post
I'd probably look at a used Vstrom 650
Rory

the previous gen DL650 has the same 5.8 gallon tank as the bigger Strom, but gets better mileage - great range.


(Guzzis are VERY reliable, btw)
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Old 12-09-2014, 09:56 AM   #5
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I always check out the new bikes, but the last few I've gotten have been used. In fact all the bikes I currently own were picked up used. If you aren't in a hurry, nice and lightly ridden bikes always come up, and many of these bikes get incredibly pampered. People buy them expecting to go on these epic rides, and then life gets in the way and they sell them, or something else catches their eye and they move on to the next bike. Just as an example, I'm not sure about your C-14, but sounds like the next person might get a really nice one that's been well cared for and rarely ridden.

Pick a few models that you like and keep an eye on this forum, and maybe a forum specific to the bike you are looking for as these owners seem to generally take more interest in their ride. I've never had as much luck with Craigslist as you get all kinds of people advertising on there, though I'm sure there are still gems to be found. If nothing comes up, you can always go new in the spring.

As far as new bikes go, if you think the FZ9 looks interesting, you may want to check out the FJ-09. Not sure if it is in showrooms yet, but it is on the Yamaha USA website.
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Old 12-09-2014, 10:55 AM   #6
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smaller bike

I like my 09 C-14 very much

but on my gravel drive it can be a little much

I would seriously look at a CB 1100...that might be my next mistress
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Old 12-09-2014, 12:02 PM   #7
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I would definitely take a look at the FJ-09. Yamaha is billing it as the "do it all motorcycle". They are starting to show up at dealers so you shouldn't have too wait long to get a test ride on one. You can test ride a FZ-09 in the meantime to get yourself in the ballpark of how the FJ-09 would feel.
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Old 12-09-2014, 12:34 PM   #8
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http://www.motorcycleconsumernews-di...14d?pg=41#pg41

pages 41-43

'nuff said
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Old 12-09-2014, 02:41 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by alfaduc View Post
Sure something to consider , what he said. I'm 61 and walk a spirited mile each morning and if I plan a longer ride I will go shovel rocks or something to get in shape.

I felt the same way wrestling a 900 lb Goldwing so I got rid of it.
Went to a C-14 but the ergos did not fit me regardless of what I spent on it.
Went to a R1200RT, muchmobedda but still tight for my 6'3" frame.
Ended up on a R1200GSA, same weight as most of the sport tourers but it is a handful but feels like 400 lbs when it is rolling . I have a big dual sport and ride some dirt and forest roads from time to time to help with balance and control, makes a huge difference with handling road bikes. Do more riding, seat time helps.
Most decent road bikes need to be 500 lbs to handle the highway. The Tiger 800, GS800, WeeStrom will all be in that range, the Versys is 475 lb curb. You may not be gaining much, I mean loosing much weight but weight does matter. If I had one bike only it would be a wee strom (plus my scooter). If I had room and money I'd have a Versys to blast around on just for fun.
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Old 12-09-2014, 08:44 PM   #10
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I walk two-four miles a day. Ride my bicycle often (commuting as well as 25 mile weekend trips) and have my road bike on a trainer. I've lost a lot of weight and am doing ok in that regard, but I have been very hard on myself, and have a fragile frame to begin with. Crushed T-5 in '06, cracked shin at the same time. Broken sternum and torn shoulder in '10, dislocated ribs in '11, Spondylosis diagnosis in '12. I am about as healthy as I can be right now considering how easily I break.

I'm not opposed to used bikes and am also just fine with tweaking and modifying until I get one just right, but would like to find something pretty close to start with. Finances are an issue as well, so a used bike would allow for "more bike" so to speak...

I didn't know Yamaha was coming out with an FJ-09... Interesting...

Thanks for the responses, it is all appreciated and seriously considered.

I spent an hour in the shop this evening removing a few accessories that will transfer to any other bike I may find. I realized I didn't have the emotional connection with it like I have other bikes, or even this one when I first bought it. I have always recognized the human/machine bond even if it really doesn't make sense... I'm looking to find a bike I can get attached to again.
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Old 12-09-2014, 08:52 PM   #11
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Throw it in the back of a sedan, it'll go anywhere!
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Old 12-09-2014, 08:55 PM   #12
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Just watched the little video for the FJ-09. Looks pretty darn nifty. Gonna have to take a trip to the Yamaha dealer to see what's up.
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Old 12-09-2014, 09:22 PM   #13
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All good comments on addressing your desire for a different bike, Sir noggin.
Just happened to be reading that MCN article during my quick lunch break today and thought I would throw it out there.

I work out at the gym/road bike to stay sharp, etc. Sometimes we are limited by the cards (genetics) we are dealt, past injuries and physical challenges, for sure.

Yup, and some time the flame just dies, replaced with a desire for a change, been there. Man, that C14 is a sweet bike, but hefty, indeed.

Funny you should mention a bike I saw on the Erico Pre-owned site that caught my eye. I even did a little research on it just to get the specs. Looks like a great all 'rounder. Lomax and I came up on one of these on one of our rides, in traffic, and both agreed it looked pretty sweet. Still had the new temp tag and the guy was on his first spin, perhaps.

Here is the link: Honda CB500x ... maybe see Kurt O. and take it for a spin. Or, find a Honda dealer with one in stock or ??
http://www.ericomotorsports.com/new_...69&pov=3930452



That Yama FZ look great too. A buddy at work commutes in on his everyday it is dry and loves it.

All the best and good luck with your search. Sometimes the hunt is the funnest part......
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Old 12-10-2014, 12:12 AM   #14
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Sorry to hear your body's giving out on you. You seemed to love that Connie. Have you ever tried a Honda NT700V? That one interested me when it first came out.
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Old 12-10-2014, 05:52 AM   #15
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Hey Rory, don't feel guilty about selling the c14. Knock that off and have fun looking for something different
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