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Old 02-16-2013, 10:42 AM   #451
syntec4
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Honda Crossrunner. It's a nice bike (handles good and is fast), but it was so smooth and soulless that it was dull. I thought it was too expensive for what it was. After reading reports on it for months I had convinced myself I was having one. I went cash in pocket to buy one and did a proper test ride and it was disappointing. Glad I didn't buy one without a test ride! Luckily my local honda dealer has demo bikes of almost everything.
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Old 02-16-2013, 11:20 AM   #452
dirtdreamer50
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Test rides

You have a good Japanese bike dealer, there. It's next to impossible to get a demo from a Japanese only dealership, here. I've been able to test ride a Honda once back in 1990, but not since then. Been able to test every Euro bike I've bought and still have made some bad purchases. Guess test rides don't give one the complete story, especially when that special bike is THE ONE you gotta have TODAY.
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Old 02-16-2013, 06:19 PM   #453
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Test rides cont.

It is amazing to me that distributors do not make test bikes available at dealerships on a rotational basis. I wouldn't expect every M/C dealership to have models available, but there is a serious marketing flaw in the M/C industry by not having a corporate truck come to visit and provide demos to larger markets a few times a year. I know some do it, but not all.
Car dealers would never sell any product if test rides were not available... You KNOW how tactile and emotionally attached we get to bikes and cars
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Old 02-16-2013, 06:25 PM   #454
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The main flaw with that is.
You know how many wanna be squids would want to test ride a 'Busa and then end up suing the motorcycle manufacturer?

Or at least their next of kin would sue.
But I agree, it would be nice to get a test ride. I've had car dealers let me take a demo car for a weekend or more, so you can live with it a bit.

Could save a lot of money if bikes were available for the same.
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Old 02-16-2013, 07:40 PM   #455
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Originally Posted by WVhillbilly View Post
The main flaw with that is.
You know how many wanna be squids would want to test ride a 'Busa and then end up suing the motorcycle manufacturer?

Or at least their next of kin would sue.
But I agree, it would be nice to get a test ride. I've had car dealers let me take a demo car for a weekend or more, so you can live with it a bit.

Could save a lot of money if bikes were available for the same.
But then there would be no entries in this thread! Buying the wrong bike makes for great reading.

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Old 02-16-2013, 09:52 PM   #456
Dude69
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Sidecar on my GSA....felt like an old f*ck!

Sold it! Now waiting for new WC GSA...
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Old 02-17-2013, 12:19 AM   #457
Kelvininin
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Two bikes come to mind. 2008 Victory Hammer S... Fun fast bike, in a straight line, found out I don't like forward controls, could never get comfortable on the thing, so while buying oil at the stealer, I was eyeing a KTM Adventure. Thought about buying an adventure bike before the hammer, didn't like the V-strom, didn't want a BMW, never knew KTM made a bike this big.

Sales guy caught me eye the bike, took a test drive, and later road it home. Initially I liked the A990. Then the longer rides started, couldn't find a way to make the bike comfortable, changed a bunch of stuff. Then there was the maintenance. I spent a lot of time wrenching on that bike. Finally had enough, test road a Tenere... And now I own the a super tenere and the KTM is becoming a memory. I like the Tenere a lot better. Like most I do mostly road riding, with little off road. Maintenance is much easier. I am rather content with the Tenere.

Of course in the back ground through all of this my true motorcycle love, the Victory Vision. Damn near perfect right off of the showroom floor.
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Old 02-17-2013, 05:16 AM   #458
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Originally Posted by Anteraan View Post
As am I. And I have my own opinions/experiences to share.

NT700V - On paper, this was a perfect move-up bike for me, a mid-sized ST. So much utility, so little enjoyment. The motor had all the NVH of an agricultural device, suspension was wallowy, and it was top-heavy. I really *wanted* to like this bike, for all its practicality, but I just couldn't. It was also ugly and very, VERY overpriced.

2011 Ninja 650 - I went to a Kawi demo event, and got three rides scheduled, the 650, the ZX-6, and a C14. I was really going to this event to try the 650 and consider moving up from my '09 N250. I rode the ZX-6 first - LOVED the throttle response, hated the bar position (felt like they were under my chest, would have loved them further forward). Then I rode the C14, and was in love. A 688 lb bike shouldn't feel that nimble and stable at the same time, period. Then came the 650. It damn near fried my right leg (and I was wearing jeans, 60 degree day), the mirrors were completely unusable (if not seizure inducing) below 7-8k, and the godawful HONK of the intake sounded like a flock of geese had surrounded me and somehow found their way inside my helmet. It also didn't handle anywhere near as well as my 250. For the first time in my life, I couldn't wait to get off a motorcycle. I've never been so happy to get on my 250 to do a 50-mile interstate ride as I was that day, although I would have preferred the C14 for that task....
The comments about the ninja 650 are...puzzling. My son has one, and my personal experiences with riding it are completely different to the point I wonder if there was something wrong with the one you got to demo. I live in Florida and there is zero heat from the engine or the exhaust even in 95 degree weather and in traffic. His mirrors don't shake at all, and rearward images are very clear, no intake honk at all. The only things I'd knock it for are; overly soft suspension, (but it does handle well despite this) and waaaay too many fasteners in the overly complex fairing.

My room mate also has a Ninja 250 and I've ridden that extensively too...great bike, that's really only in need of 10-15 more horsepower, and a seven or eight speed transmission.

The worst bike I've ever owned was a Yamaha Seca II...not because the bike did anything wrong but because it was built to a 3,999.00 price point. The result was a bargain basement bike, made of mostly cheap(er) parts. It was very reliable though.
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Old 02-17-2013, 07:08 AM   #459
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Harley-Davidson 883 Sportster. A triumph of the marketing dept over the r&d dept!
Needs lots of stuff done to it just to get it to ride like a normal motorcycle...
Overweight, overpriced & under performing.
But its got a lovely characterful engine which makes me smile each time I start it up. In much the same way that I smile when I attend a nostalgia motor show and grin at all the old steam traction engines, old diesel trucks, tractors etc... They, like the Sportster, don't belong on a 21st century fast European highway...
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Old 02-17-2013, 07:28 AM   #460
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Originally Posted by ukiboy View Post
They, like the Sportster, don't belong on a 21st century fast European highway...
I love it!
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Old 02-17-2013, 08:13 AM   #461
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I love it!
I love it too.. As much as I can see all the shortcomings, the aircooled Sopwith Camel style powerplant speaks to me. Sensible side says 'sell it and buy a Honda' but my heart says 'stick with it'.

Its always the way that the heart overrules the head
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Old 02-17-2013, 10:11 AM   #462
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The comments about the ninja 650 are...puzzling. My son has one, and my personal experiences with riding it are completely different to the point I wonder if there was something wrong with the one you got to demo. I live in Florida and there is zero heat from the engine or the exhaust even in 95 degree weather and in traffic. His mirrors don't shake at all, and rearward images are very clear, no intake honk at all. The only things I'd knock it for are; overly soft suspension,
Mine had overly harsh suspension. But it was older, and different years and markets would get different spring rates. For the rest, I agree. No heat on the leg, clear mirrors.

Handling seemed fine to me--though I raised the forks in the triple clamps to match Kawi specs. From mine and from the forums at the time it seemed like all of them were assembled with the forks 10mm lower than spec--flush with the triple clamp.

davidji screwed with this post 02-17-2013 at 12:02 PM
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Old 02-17-2013, 11:36 AM   #463
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Have had a bunch

The 883 Harley by far worst. Besides low power and terrible ride I guess you could get used to it....But the big twins are one of favorites...total different machines. enjoyed this thread...valuable info. I want to test drive a nx700 Honda
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Old 02-17-2013, 11:48 AM   #464
Croak
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Tiger 800 Roadie. Didn't get on with the motor at all.

While there was much to like in regards to features, the Tiger Explorer 1200 was a far more bland riding experience than I expected, and unpleasantly agricultural-sounding much to my surprise, in some ways as bad as my first '99 955 Sprint without the corresponding "fun-factor" that let me overlook it on the Sprint.

Sad thing was, I went out and rode those two new Tigers about a year apart with every intention of writing a check for one before the test ride. Don't get me wrong, both bikes are well-engineered, well-built bikes that are sure to make many riders happy. I'm just not one of them.
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Old 02-17-2013, 12:08 PM   #465
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Tiger 800 Roadie. Didn't get on with the motor at all.
That one disappointed me too, though for other reasons. I had ridden the 800XC earlier in the day and loved it. Nearly bought the roadie anyway as a practical choice. Glad I didn't. I'd still love to have an XC.
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