Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Jacksonville, FL
I've test driven several full dress bikes and half dress bikes at Daytona over the last two years.. I live only an hour away so go to Bike week in March and Biketoberfest every year..
the most comfortable for a passenger is a tie between the Gold Wing, the BMW full dresser and the Yamaha Royal Star Venture.
Handling out on the road goes to the Honda,, but around town stop and go the Venture is much eaiser to live with.. the Honda seems to have a tall seat,, and a tall first gear.. I'm 5'9" and have to slide forward to reach the ground at a stop light and you have to rev the engine and be carfull with the cluth taking off.
the Yamaha will almost idle away from a light and it's lower seat makes it a much better stop and go bike.. Out on the road,, the Gold Wing seems almost like a big (Very big) sport bike,, it handles great for a bike that big once it is moving.
Bikes a little less over the top there is a Yamaha Royal Star Tour Deluxe.. It has the same saddle bags, but no trunk, a large plexi windshield instead of full fairing.. still has stereo but no intercom. and the seat is not quite as comfortable but still nice with the added benefit of the padded sissy bar and passenger seat are removeable (as is the windscreen) for those solo rides.
the other nice bike for touring but not over the top is the Kawasaki Nomad...
the sport touring bikes will be more suited to your riding style, but still not that great for a passenger.
1999 Husqvarna CR 125