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Old 08-04-2014, 01:47 PM   #1
Alexander B OP
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Question Time for a new bike - how do you decide which one? Soul searching...

How do YOU prepare the purchase of your next bike? Does it take “soul searching” or quick decisions? Which factors can/do you not give up and which are you willing to compromise on?
And most important: have you been successful?

If not, do you think a bigger budget would have helped you?
For those of you that buy “on a whim”, is there a lasting feeling for the bike, after the honey moon is over?

I am curious since I, in spite of being very analytical (OK , I am actually “overthinking”… ), still have ended up with the “wrong” bikes. They do not really fit my riding habits, riding style and ergonomics to the degree they should, after all that thinking.


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Old 08-04-2014, 01:53 PM   #2
catweasel67
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I tend to have a style/type in mind - be it dual sport, sport, cruiser, classic/vintage etc. Then I work out a budget. I match the one against the other, do a quick check to see of any of my bucket list bikes fit into and then, if not, start working on criteria. Using this "methodology" I narrowed down my choice to an AT or a DR and then started to hunt around locally until I found one that met my needs & wants. Eh voila!
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Old 08-04-2014, 02:08 PM   #3
High Country Herb
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I start with the type of riding I want to do, then begin looking for my favorites in that category. Once I have about 5 possible models, I start looking at reviews about performance, reliability, parts availability, etc. (not that that I won't compromise) Then I start looking to sit on/ride the top 2 choices to check ergos (this has got to be right, or its a deal breaker). Once I find what I want, I'm on a long patient mission to find a good deal.

My last purchase, I was sure I wanted a Ducati Hypermotoard, until I sat on one. It didn't feel right, and was off the list immediately. I narrowed it down to the Triumph 800XC or the Aprilia Dorsoduro 750. At about $3K less (due to used availability) the Aprilia won out. It took about $1K to turn it into an adventure bike (though still not a perfect one).

Enough was left over to buy my wife a DR350SE.
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Old 08-04-2014, 02:56 PM   #4
C/1/509
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Sounds like you have a good handle on answering your own question. Start with requirements, intended purpose, what you can compromise on and what you can't and you're getting pretty close.
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Old 08-04-2014, 03:07 PM   #5
Alexander B OP
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Thanks guys!

I am curious about how successful YOU think you have been - especially after a while.

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Old 08-04-2014, 03:34 PM   #6
motorat
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i have had 18 bikes in the past 27 years.
there was only 1 that i bought on a whim, and it turned out is was the wrong bike for me.
most of the time i think about what i will use it for, that usually narrows it to 3-10 bikes then from that
i narrrow down by joining forums, reading stuff here past experience with the brand, and different dealers i
might have done business with.
my problem now is that i want a new bike but my current bike is perfect for me and what i use it for. also i have
a play bike so i cannot justify to myself to spend the extra money to get something else.
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Old 08-04-2014, 03:49 PM   #7
High Country Herb
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I think I've been very successful, considering how few bikes I have had to buy.

The only one I didn't keep very long was won in a raffle: a sportbike. Ironically, it is the very type of bike I said I would never buy because I thought I would kill myself on it. Rode the hell out of it for a year (nearly killing myself dozens of times) then sold it to fund a dual sport that I kept for 8 years or so.

I've had my current big supermoto/adventure bike for 3 years so far, and just barely got it how I want it (I'm also very patient finding used farkles cheap).
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Old 08-04-2014, 04:00 PM   #8
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Heart: Triumph Scrambler
Head: BMW F 800 GS

Actually I would like to have the Scrambler, but for daily use and travelling the GS is the better bike

Less weight, more power, wider range, less consumption, you don't have to replace the tank bag at the gasoline Station and so on

But the Scrambler is the cooler bike, damn! ;-)
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Old 08-04-2014, 04:00 PM   #9
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Take a good look at any motorcycle you have the opportunity to see.
Photos, bike shows, press releases, websites...anywhere you see a motorcycle.

Now, try to see past the appearance of the bike, and pay close attention to the rider geometries, or ergonomics if you prefer.
Where are the foot controls in relation to the seat, the handlebars, the front and rear wheels?
Where are all of these items in relation to each other?

What size and type are the wheels and tires? This should tell you something about the intended purpose of the bike.
What type of engine, how many cylinders, chain drive, shaft drive, wheelbase, liquid cooled, air cooled, air/oil cooled?
Become a fan of the motorcycle, and try to understand the design intention.
There may be some models that just defy any applied logic on your part...but that's ok, just move on and maybe someday the meaning will present itself.
The Honda DN01 comes to mind - baffling ergonomics on that thing, damned if I can figure out what the designers were thinking.

Sit on every motorcycle you have the opportunity.
You will develop a sense of what to expect, how the motorcycle will feel even before you sit on it.
You will develop a preference but this should not become canon - it is just a good basis for some motorcycle education, and it is the best kind - personal experience.
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Old 08-04-2014, 04:05 PM   #10
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Just about every bike I've had has been an opportunistic purchase. I wasn't necessarily looking for what I ended up with, but found a solid bike at a steal and jumped on it.
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Old 08-04-2014, 04:16 PM   #11
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its so hard these days..... soooooo many good bikes. Just follow your heart! Get what you want because that's the only way you're going to be happy
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Old 08-04-2014, 06:49 PM   #12
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I never considered it difficult in the end. Where/how do you want to ride? (commuting, touring, off road, track day, RTW, etc.) What things matter most to you? (performance, comfort, weather protection, dealer network, manufacturer/continent preferences, image (Harley riders), styling, pillion, maintenance requirements, motorcycle availability, load capacity, parts & accessories, etc.) How much are you willing to spend? New or used?

Once you've answered those questions you're probably down to a handful of options. Go find the one you love the most.
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Old 08-04-2014, 06:58 PM   #13
Rockhopper Doe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by High Country Herb View Post
I start with the type of riding I want to do, then begin looking for my favorites in that category. Once I have about 5 possible models, I start looking at reviews about performance, reliability, parts availability, etc. (not that that I won't compromise) Then I start looking to sit on/ride the top 2 choices to check ergos (this has got to be right, or its a deal breaker). Once I find what I want, I'm on a long patient mission to find a good deal.

My last purchase, I was sure I wanted a Ducati Hypermotoard, until I sat on one. It didn't feel right, and was off the list immediately. I narrowed it down to the Triumph 800XC or the Aprilia Dorsoduro 750. At about $3K less (due to used availability) the Aprilia won out. It took about $1K to turn it into an adventure bike (though still not a perfect one).

Enough was left over to buy my wife a DR350SE.
Do you have pictures of the bike? I too am between these choices. How has the Aprilia worked for you?
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Old 08-04-2014, 07:11 PM   #14
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I think that no matter what, some time in the saddle getting to know each other is crucial before any paper champion bike is chosen
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Old 08-04-2014, 07:30 PM   #15
High Country Herb
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Revvr View Post
Do you have pictures of the bike? I too am between these choices. How has the Aprilia worked for you?
Quote:
Originally Posted by High Country Herb View Post


The skid plate seems more appropriate now that I finally got the TKC80s on the bike. Works pretty well off road, too, with the additional padding the tires provide for the OEM wheels.

I showed my friend this picture of the 180 section knobby, and he said "somewhere an ATV is missing a tire".


It has slightly longer travel than most sport bikes, but still not a true off road suspension. It does OK when pushed, though, and the switch on the fly throttle response/horsepower works great to keep the back wheel under control in the loose stuff. It is a blast on the road. Light duty luggage is available. Short fuel range.

The 800XC might be found used now, so that could sway the scales for someone looking for an adventure bike.
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