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Old 08-09-2012, 08:20 PM   #31
kittty OP
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Originally Posted by SilkMoneyLove View Post
What holds you back from getting the 883 Iron?
The size, for the most part. It seems big, maybe it's not as big as I think, but it just comes across that way. I'm just not sure it's really for me. There's a lot of vehicles I think are cool, but I know they're just not me. The seating position seems like it's not quite what I'm going for (I know this must sound so silly, but it all makes sense in my head.)
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Old 08-09-2012, 08:29 PM   #32
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Obviously she has no interest in the TU250.

I think you should look into a SRX600 or GB500. The Yamaha is super easy to kick over. Cool and rare factors off the charts.
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Old 08-09-2012, 08:43 PM   #33
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The GB500 looks nice, the SRX600 looks too... new

The Moto Guzzi V7 Classic and Triumph Bonneville seem like the best choices right now. I really want the Royal Enfield to be the winner but I'm still unsure about them.
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Old 08-09-2012, 08:55 PM   #34
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I have an '09 Genuine Stella inn olive green and love it. I had wanted one for a long time, and finally bought one as the 2 strokes started to disappear. It sure beats the plastic twist and go scooters. Be careful however, it is not as reliable as some of those Japanese scooters. My engine seized at just over 300 miles, reason unknown, repaired under warranty. I have since had a local vintage Vespa shop build me a "bulletproof" engine for it, and have had no more issues.

The Royal Enfield has similar reliability issues, but so did other bikes from back then. I used to own a '66 Triumph Bonneville. It spent more time getting worked on than ridden. But it had character and soul, something the modern Bonnie, TU250, W650, W800, GB500, etc. lack. The W800 is not available in the U.S., the W650 and GB500 are next to impossible to find, and if you are lucky enough to find one, the seller will want as much for it as a new Bonneville. The one bike on the list that still has character is the Sportster 883. It is crude, primitive, very basic and elemental, AND it vibrates like crazy and makes the right sounds, something more refined bikes like the new Bonneville lack. It is reliable, and parts will always be available for it. It is not big, but it is heavy, because it really is mostly made out of metal. If you were seriously looking at Enfields, the Sportster is your bike. The one thing that might turn you off to it has nothing to do with the bike itself. It is the Harley image, culture, scene, whatever. If you like it, fine. If you don't, you can ride a Harley without being a part of it.
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Old 08-09-2012, 09:08 PM   #35
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The one thing that might turn you off to it has nothing to do with the bike itself. It is the Harley image, culture, scene, whatever. If you like it, fine. If you don't, you can ride a Harley without being a part of it.
That's definitely something I'm not sure I can get over, but I really do love that bike. I think it's so far from the iconic chromed-out Harley though, that I can sneak by the average person without screaming Harley, obvious anyone on a motorcycle will know what it is. I feel like I felt went I went through a Mustang phase like six years ago, I was dead set on a triple black GT convertible, even though it's sooo not me, and I know in the end I never would have loved the car, even if it was fun, because it's not me. Good thing my knees hit the dashboard anyway, haha.

I was super lucky to grab the only new two stroke Stella left in the state. It was either this one or a Slate Blue four stroke, couldn't do it, I needed the two stroke.
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Old 08-10-2012, 01:37 AM   #36
John Bentall
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Originally Posted by SilkMoneyLove View Post
The Enfield was by far the worst bike I have ever owned. It would stop working, constantly. It eventually dropped a valve and the engine was rebuilt under warranty (great dealer - great company for backing up their product, I just got a lemon - but I have never had a lemon from other manufacturers). I sold it as soon as I could after that and a big selling point was that it had some warranty left, should the same thing happen to the next owner.
I am sorry to hear about the problems with the Enfield.
Could you tell us when you owned it and what model year it was.

I understand that the engines have been totally redesigned in recent years to meet current emissions regulations.

John
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Old 08-10-2012, 06:40 AM   #37
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Kitty-

If you're itching for something like an Iron 883, then get yourself to a Harley dealer and check one out. Life's too short, and you can't count on doing something 5 years from now- you don't know what circumstances will be then.

I had to have a Harley back in the late 70s, so I understand. I got it out of my system and moved on, after having had a Kawasaki and a Triumph. People have lots of opinions about Harleys, so you'll hear it all. Frankly, it is whatever you want it to be. Dealer support is extensive, every part in available, and Sportsters are the easiest of the Harleys to ride, simply due to their small height and less weight.

There are a zillion low mile used Sportsters available from others who either decided they didn't really like it, or found it a gateway drug to bigger Harleys. You either get them or you don't. Since you're a Stella girl I think you 'get it'. You might find yourself loving an Iron 883.

Incidently, don't listen to those saying you can't ride any distances on a Sportster because they vibrate and fall apart- theirs a guy in ride reports that has toured all over the US and Latin America on one with his wife. Pretty Amazing...
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Old 08-10-2012, 06:59 AM   #38
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Triumph Bonneville might be the only thing close enough for me. I'd probably have to go used with one of those though, $6k is about as high as I think I'm comfortable going for something with two wheels.

I've been to Branchville a few times to look at Vespas, haven't been in a few years. I'd love ideally to stick with New Haven Powersports though because they were wonderful when I bought my Stella.
Have you checked out the W650 yet?



Prolly still in the $4K range. Ride it for several years and sell in the $4K range if you don't like it.

Still kicking yself for selling that bike.
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Old 08-10-2012, 07:41 AM   #39
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Obviously she has no interest in the TU250.

It's a mistake to go from a Vespa to a big machine like a Sportster. Entirely different experience; and the bigger ride is better with experience.

Just my two cents' worth. When someone is shopping for a cycle, the best thing to do is write out the parameters...cost, fuel usage, parking, type of riding. Then match it up.

I've had a few big bikes. They're a PITA to hop on for short distances.
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Old 08-10-2012, 08:49 AM   #40
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I did leave out important info

Quote:
I am sorry to hear about the problems with the Enfield.
Could you tell us when you owned it and what model year it was.

I understand that the engines have been totally redesigned in recent years to meet current emissions regulations.

John
My RE was a 2005 Bullet Classic (I think - it has been a few years). It was the OLD style, iron cylinder. Not the AVL or even the newer engine, which I hear is better.

I did like the feel of the RE. It cornered great and the Avon tires stuck like glue.

The electrics were a little hinky. Turn the key and sometimes, it wouldn't come on (no lights), jiggle or pull out and reinsert the key and it would work (mostly). Connections seemed to be tight, just a hinky ignition switch. There were a few other things that made me un-excited to ride it as well, but that is the stuff I remember.

That said, I had my bike in the shop 3 times for work the first few months I owned it. The valves constantly needed adjusting. Something was wrong and I let the shop work on it, since I didn't want to void any warranty. When it finally let go and got the rebuild, I sold it. I explained the rebuild and took it in the shorts on that sale. I just didn't trust the bike any more. Left me stranded too many times. I also did not want to go the "lemon law" route, so I sold it. That is just my personal, hands-on ownership experience. Others have had better and these bikes have been climbing the mountains for decades, so they can't all be crap.

I am sure the new engines are better, but they also look newer to me and do not have the "classic" RE look that the 2005 had.

The Triumph Bonnie is as big a bike as the 883 Iron. You really should test ride to know how it feels for you. I would also say to test ride the RE and see what it feels like for you. Who knows, it may be the best fit.
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Old 08-10-2012, 08:57 AM   #41
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It's a mistake to go from a Vespa to a big machine like a Sportster. Entirely different experience; and the bigger ride is better with experience.
Hmm, I know several women who went from Buddys to Sportsters or other similarly sized bikes. They still ride the Buddies in town but take the m/c for longer, faster rides.
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Old 08-10-2012, 09:26 AM   #42
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Daughter bought herself a TU250X. Cool bike. Loads of fun.



Looks even better with the rear seat off of it.

Definitely retro...



...but fuel injection for fewer of the 'retro' problems.
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Old 08-10-2012, 10:36 AM   #43
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Hmm, I know several women who went from Buddys to Sportsters or other similarly sized bikes. They still ride the Buddies in town but take the m/c for longer, faster rides.
Was it their first full-blown motorcycles?

I had my R1200GS while I had one of my scooters. Bouncing back and forth is no problem; but actually acclimating on the big bike, takes some doing.

And I'm a big guy, six-two. For a small woman (or even average size) to get on something the size and weight of a Harley without experience with the weight or the gearbox...it's not a good mix.

If the TU 250 doesn't make kitty purr, maybe the Virago 250 is more her taste.

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Old 08-10-2012, 11:04 AM   #44
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My disdain for a few posted is really than they're too chrome-y. Not my style. Not a fan of the bikes that just look like mini Harleys. Don't know how to describe it really.
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Old 08-10-2012, 11:37 AM   #45
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I guess I don't see the Sportster as being big. I'm 6' 220 with a 34" inseam, and it is too small for me to fit on without forward controls. In fact, I find the Stella more comfortable, though I can just manage to flat foot it at a stop. That seat is anything but low. I don't have the measurements, but the Stella seat is much higher than the Sportster's.

All of those Japanese bikes and the Bonnie look great, and I would own a W650 or W800 on looks alone. But the few W650s I have seen for sale (none local) have been priced about the same as MSRP (about $6500) the W650, like the GB500, is a very rare classic, and sellers know that when they price them.

But if I'm understanding what Kitty wants, it's not just looks, or an imitation, it's the real thing. That is something very few people want, and it takes a special type of person to love something like that. The Stella is quirky, it buzzes, it has that (to me) great 2 stroke smell, it has a rough ride, the handling and brakes are so-so, it has a clunky hand shift and clutch, and they have been known to break down. A decent mechanic with the parts and tools could rebuild one on the side of the road.

I'm the type that would buy an Enfield, but I don't like the poor build quality and especially the crappy metal they are made of. Very similar to a Chinese scooter. You can never get them fixed right, because there are no decent parts available. The Japanese bikes have the look, and they are reliable, but they are drop dead boring. They are like riding sewing machines. They have too much in common with new cars, which are the same. About the Mustang, I'm the type that would buy a '60s Mustang. I own a '64 Fairlane convertible and love it. I own an '01 Malibu transportation car, and hate everything about it but the A/C, which is why I got it. I loved my '66 Bonnie despite (or maybe because of) it;s problems, it was a machine, something I could work on, not a mass of computer circuits covered with plastic.


The only late model bike I know about that still both looks and feels and sounds like a vintage bike is a Harley. I see no reason why anyone who can comfortably ride a Stella in traffic would have any problems with a Sportster. The displacement is a lot more, but not the power. You can't compare the Sportster's ancient air cooled v-twin to a modern bike of that size. It certainly does not have enough power to get anyone in trouble. I have an EX500, and it has twice the power of a Sportster 883, it has a high seat, twitchy handling, and feels more top heavy than the Sportster, though overall it weighs a bit less. IMO, it is a far more dangerous bike for an inexperienced rider than the Sportster. Yet they are constantly pushed as "entry level bikes" It is also very uncomfortable for anything but actual sport riding on curvy roads. The bars are too low, the pegs are too high, the riding position is downright painful. A Sportster has an upright riding position, and a nearly 90 degree knee angle. Very much like the Stella. You can get a really nice Sportster 883 used for well under $6K. An Iron 883 costs $7999 new, plus sales tax, title, registration, freight, and dealer prep, putting it very near the $10K mark OTD.


Yes, I seem to be pushing the Sportster, and I admit it. The Sportster is far closer to a vintage bike in every way than any other late model bike, but still has modern reliability, and parts availability second to none. Next to the Sportster, the only other bikes I can think of that fit the bill (for someone who loves the Stella) would be a real vintage British bike. But now your getting into big money. I always said I would own another vintage British bike, and deeply regret selling the '66 Bonnie. But it now looks like I will never be able to afford one. The Sportster would be my only other choice, hands down.
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