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Old 11-19-2012, 07:38 PM   #61
PhilB
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Location: New Hampshire
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All of the below are based on testrides.

Bikes I liked less than I thought I would: Ducati SportClassic (meh.), BMW F800ST and F800R (more meh.), KTM RC8 (not smooth at anything), Triumph Rocket III (pig).

Bikes I liked *more* than I thought I would: Hypermotard (I really liked that sitting-on-the-front-wheel feel), MV Agusta Brutale 1090 (I figured it would be nice, but was surprised at *how* nice. I usually prefer 2-cyl bikes over 4-cyl.), BMW K1200R (Again, I usually prefer 2-cyl bikes over 4-cyl.), Kawasaki Z1000 (really a great and well-balanced machine), Harley-Davidson Road King (really sweet bike for relaxing riding).

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PhilB screwed with this post 11-20-2012 at 11:46 AM
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Old 11-19-2012, 07:41 PM   #62
cb4017
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Location: Northern Nevada
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2003 HD 883R. Looked and sounded cool. Uncomfortable, unreliable and couldn't get out of it's own way.

2011 GSX1250FA. Smooth and plenty of power. I'm pushing 60 with mild arthritis in the knees so I could never get comfortable on it. Seat was only 24" long so 2-up was kind of crowded. Sold it after one season.
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cb4017 screwed with this post 11-19-2012 at 07:48 PM
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Old 11-19-2012, 07:47 PM   #63
SGrider
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Location: MN
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'04 Ducati Multistrada 1000, I wanted to like it but owning a '07 FZ1 before it showed how much it really lacked compared to the FZ1. It was slower, vibrated a lot more, handling wasn't any better and maintenance intervals were much more frequent and costly. I also worried more about reliability when out on the road.

'95 Honda CBR600F3, it burned oil and the gearbox was a bit notchy. I didn't feel it lived up to the hype that the magazines created about it.

I test rode a Bonneville and was surprised how quickly it fell on it's face, just when it felt like the fun was going to start it ran out of breath.

'01 Aprilia Tuono, I had a new R1 at the time and demo rode one of the Tuono's and thought the fuel injection had this weird delay compared to the carbs on my R1, it also seemed really slow compared to the R1 stock vs stock. Everything else about the bike was good though.
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Old 11-19-2012, 07:54 PM   #64
mokosai
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yossarian™ View Post
Buell Ulysses. Shakes like it's mixing paint, but nice torque. Oh, wait, it's out of breath at 5K RPM?
Got a Uly in a sale/trade. It was obvious that it was a mistake 5 miles into my drive home. Shakes, has a useful rev range of maybe 2500 RPM's (3k to 5.5k?), makes you sit upright and take the wind full on to your chest, dives under braking like it wants you to give the pavement a quick kiss.

Reminded me of riding one of those old rickety wooden roller coasters... which is a ton of fun for about the first 5 miles of any ride. Then not so much.


Also, '09 Husky TE450. Thought a street-legal 40+ HP thumper would be a lot of fun. It was not. Waaay too high strung for me and about as reliable as a Yugo from Uncle Al's Cars and Guns Shop.
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Old 11-19-2012, 07:55 PM   #65
RapidRobert
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Location: Mayberry, NE Texas
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Honda NT700V. I thought it would work really well for what I do, but it was slow, gutless, had the absolute worst suspension ever on a motorcycle, plus it was a pain in the arse to work on, even for routine maintenance. I took four guys two hours to change out a rear tire. The Missus rode it once for about 30 miles and said never again. For the first time ever in 30 years of marriage and 20+ motorcycles, she pushed me to get rid of it and get something she could ride.
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Old 11-19-2012, 08:07 PM   #66
Quedok
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Ducati Hypermotard 1100. Like riding a ladder, way too upright. Brakes are way overkill for a bike of this weight. Digital speedo looks cheap.
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Old 11-19-2012, 09:09 PM   #67
davidji OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RapidRobert View Post
I took four guys two hours to change out a rear tire
Glad I skipped the NT700V when I was last looking for a commuter. I skipped it for the combination of the style and color I didn't like. I would have accepted the style if I liked the color.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eddieb View Post
Triumph Tiger 1050

Probably the worst bike I've ever ridden. Too Tall, Too fat right where your knees are, carries it's weight way too high and the worst fuel injection metering I've ever had the displeasure of experiencing.

I rode it home in evening traffic and back to the city the next morning, thought I was going to have to see a Dr for whiplash at the end of it.
I loved that bike on my demo ride. Ergos and all that were perfect. For the other part, yeah it required more finesse to operate slowly than some other bikes (for example the Tiger 800s I demoed along with it). But I adapted. Absolutely loved it. Suspension seemed setup well for me too.

davidji screwed with this post 11-19-2012 at 10:36 PM
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Old 11-19-2012, 09:34 PM   #68
windmill
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Location: Kent, Washington State
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86 883 Sportster
Nothing fit me, no matter how much I changed it, always felt like wearing shoes a size too small, and the vibration was ridiculous.

94 Ducati E900,
Too nervous and jerky, an adventure bike that sucked off pavement.
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Old 11-19-2012, 09:41 PM   #69
davidji OP
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The most recent bike I liked less than I expected to was a new VMax.

I don't think I'd ever ridden a cruiser before. The ergos were pretty standard though, and I liked them.

Anyway it sounded like it might be a good bike for me. I don't want a sport bike, and I can be plenty happy without sportbike handling. I'd read complaints about the cornering, but I know I can enjoy bikes that don't handle that well.

In the parking lot I couldn't believe how much effort it took to move the bars to turn. Less effort at speed, but still a lot. I checked to see if the front tire was flat. No. Maybe the steering geometry has you lifting too many of the bike's 690lbs when you move the bars? Might be great steering for the drag strip, but not something I can imagine wanting on the street.

In the middle of the guided demo ride it started to rain. I couldn't imagine a bike I'd less want to be getting used to in the rain. It seemed eager to loft the front wheel and go fast. Reluctant to turn.

If the steering were better, and maybe if it had a rain mode, or with a mod for better throttle modulation at small throttle openings, it could have been an awesome bike. No bike for the street should be that ponderous to turn. And I don't want a bike that makes me feel like I'm on the edge of disaster riding it in the rain. Maybe it wouldn't feel that way after I got used to it. The rear never lost traction, but it seemed like it could have happened pretty easily when things got wet.

Great ergos, great looks, great engine. Too bad it's not a great motorcycle. At least for me.

I rode in the rain to the event where the demos were held. And back. Very glad I was on my own bike for that. Mostly freeway riding. If I'd choose my own bike over a cruiser for 2 hours on the freeway, the cruiser has no place in my life.
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Old 11-19-2012, 09:56 PM   #70
davidji OP
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Another bike I'd expected to like on the demo ride, but didn't is at the opposite end of the motorcycle spectrum from the VMax above.

Last December when I was looking for a new commute bike I tested a BMW F658GS. On paper the perfect bike for me. I was a little concerned about the single front rotor, but I think it was supposed to have decent stopping distances. Good fuel economy. Better power to weight to weight ratio than the bike I had been riding. SOunded like a great commute bike.

On the road though it was the slowest watercooled bike I've ridden. I couldn't detect a powerband at WOT anywhere in the rev range. I suspected the bike was in a engine-fault limp-home mode. There was a light lit on the dash during at least part of the ride. And no 800cc twin should be that slow. But if a low-miles demo bike has an engine fault that's a deal-killer too.

I'd ridden a BMW before and had had no problem with the turn signals then. But on the F658GS I couldn't cancel them and operate the throttle at the same time. I stopped using them during the demo ride, and was eager for the ride to be over.
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Old 11-19-2012, 10:03 PM   #71
davidji OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yossarian™ View Post
Buell Ulysses. Shakes like it's mixing paint, but nice torque. Oh, wait, it's out of breath at 5K RPM?
That was a surprise for me the other way: I was surprised how much I liked it, and how smooth it was once the revs picked up.

I loved the demo ride, though I had a feeling I'd get tired of the narrow comfortable operating rev range if I rode it regularly. My hands were OK with the vibes, but I could imagine my feet getting numb.

The one I rode was an '08 which had a higher redline then older models. By all of 200RPM I think.
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Old 11-19-2012, 10:08 PM   #72
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Originally Posted by gqelements View Post
On the contrary, give it a few more pages and dozens of successfull models (and almost every niche model) will be listed with a cry fest of people that didn't understand the concept for whatever reason.

I don't see this as being very constructive.
+1

I see people list bikes and tear apart bikes I've ridden and loved.....so I wonder what bike makes them happy and think that maybe I'm missing out on some great ride.....I look in their sig line and they own bikes that I have ridden which I hated and thought were crap boring bikes....it's all opinion
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Old 11-19-2012, 10:43 PM   #73
davidji OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xshanex View Post
I see people list bikes and tear apart bikes I've ridden and loved.....so I wonder what bike makes them happy and think that maybe I'm missing out on some great ride.....I look in their sig line and they own bikes that I have ridden which I hated and thought were crap boring bikes....it's all opinion
Strange how a bike that pushes the fun button for one of us is a terrible bike to another. One of my favorite bikes I've demoed is the worst bike evah for another guy. And I know there are people who love the two bikes I posted about not enjoying. And I'm sure they're right. They're probably awesome bikes. For them.
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Old 11-19-2012, 11:07 PM   #74
Irish1
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2001 BMW R1100RT: my return to riding bike after a 20 year lay-off. It was immaculate but boring and too isolating.
I felt like I was riding a toaster. Traded in on a Ulysses, which I sold to buy an R1200GS. GREAT bike.
TWO Kawasaki KLR650s. I bought a new one in 2006 at a good discount and hated it from the moment I first rode it. It rode like a truck, steered like a rickshaw, handled poorly. I sold it and then stupidly bought a well-sorted used one, thinking I just didn't give the loved-by-everyone KLR a real chance. Two weeks later I sold it, for the same reasons as the previous one. Kawasaki needs to seriously upgrade that crap bike.
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Old 11-19-2012, 11:24 PM   #75
xshanex
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidji View Post
Strange how a bike that pushes the fun button for one of us is a terrible bike to another. One of my favorite bikes I've demoed is the worst bike evah for another guy. And I know there are people who love the two bikes I posted about not enjoying. And I'm sure they're right. They're probably awesome bikes. For them.

and I want to test ride a new vmax even more after your description and I live in washington where it rains half the year
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