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post #1 of 40 (permalink) Old 10-24-2001, 08:21 AM Thread Starter
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Searching for my next bike

OK gang,
I'm starting to evaluate bikes for my next long-term ride. I expect to get it sometime next season, but who knows. I do know that I want to go to a sport-touring bike and have determined that the following are contenders. If you have any of these or have opinions on the marques, please add your comments.

Aprillia Futura
BMW R1150RT
Ducati ST4s (996 motor version, looks tantalizing)
Honda ST1300 (the new one)
Honda VFR (the new one)
Yamaha FJ1300 (if it comes to USA)
Kawasaki ZZR-1200 (not sure about this one though, carbs)
Suzuki ????
Triumph ST (I've riden these a couple times and love 'em)

I do virtually no two-up riding and live in a mountainous region (high elevation) I do tend to favor lighter weight, however I want a stable platform. Some of the bikes mentioned run a tad heavy for my tastes, but they're all superb machines.

One thing in particular, directed to the Ducati riders here, what have been your experiences concerning reliability?

Comments, suggestions, & thoughts are welcome

Our greatest challenge in life is living up to our own potential.

Last edited by Tahoe; 10-24-2001 at 08:24 AM.
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post #2 of 40 (permalink) Old 10-24-2001, 10:47 AM
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I love my VFR - did 10 hours on Sunday and not sore at all. However, the 2002 will be a new model, so you don't know if all the bugs will have been worked out. I don't know that this is such a concern with Honda, but something to think about. If you could pick up a 2000 or 2001 VFR I would highly recommend it.

It turned out the kangaroo was right.
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post #3 of 40 (permalink) Old 10-25-2001, 03:01 AM
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I too love my VFR, it turned 79,000 miles this morning. I also have ridden a Aprillia Futura and liked it alot. The hard bags are nice but not necessary. I do not like the BMW 1150RT as the transmission sucks. The bike feels very soft on the suspension and somewhat vague in handling compared to a VFR or Futura. I too like the Triumph ST alot. They have great character and performance.

If it were my money I would get another VFR followed in order by: Triumph, and Futura . On a tight budget I would consider a Suzuki Bandit 1200S and maybe even the new 919 Honda with an after market windscreen.

Rick
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post #4 of 40 (permalink) Old 10-25-2001, 03:16 AM
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VFR, VFR, VFRRRRRRRRRRRRRR !

Then: Futura
BMW RS
Triumph

These are probably at the sports end of your choices.

Better Smeg than dead
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post #5 of 40 (permalink) Old 10-25-2001, 03:19 AM
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Ah, but can you trust an opinion when it comes attached to a dancing green Smeghead?

It turned out the kangaroo was right.
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post #6 of 40 (permalink) Old 10-25-2001, 03:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Bonk!
Ah, but can you trust an opinion when it comes attached to a dancing green Smeghead?
I have feelings, you know !

Better Smeg than dead
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post #7 of 40 (permalink) Old 10-25-2001, 03:46 AM
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For trully LOOOOoooong distance riding, and I mean over 1,000 miles per tour, I would consider only 3 bikes in your list.

From 1st to last.....

Yamaha FJR1300. The most handsome of any of the sport-touring first, sportbike 2nd type motorcycles. Hardbags. Big fairings for lots of wind & weather protection. SHAFTDRIVE. POWER....lots of it.

Kawasaki ZZR1200. No doubt will be the mightiest of all the sport-touring bikes. Also the sportiest. Big enough fairing for very good wind & weather protection. Hardbags will be available from Givi(per Kawasaki). POWER....lots of it. Carbs? In my experience, carbs FEEL better than FI and works just as good. No abruptness at lowspeed. Beautiful & attractive bike.

Honda VFR800. Will be the lightest of the top 3 so it will handle tight roads the best. If you can only have one bike for canyon carving and LD sport-touring, this could be it. Linked Brakes.

In my personal opinion, weight is a big factor when sport-touring. More importantly, MORE weight is not such a bad thing. A heavy bike will be less sensitive to crosswinds. This is important when you need to ride long distances in open country. Heavy bikes will be less sensitive to cargo. Being light and nimble is not necessary because when sport-touring, you hardly go fast like you would at you're favorite road that you're familiar with.

Why I wouldn't choose any of the other bikes you mentioned......

Aprilia Futura: Ugly. Limited dealerships in North America. Expensive to buy and maintain. Ugly.

BMWR1150RT: Vibration. Ugly. Expensive to buy and maintain. Limited dealerships in N. A.

Ducati ST4: Questionable long term reliability. Expensive to buy and maintain. Limited dealerships in N. A.

Honda ST1300: No opinion. Don't know anything about it.

Suzuki???: They don't offer ANYTHING that even competes with ST products from other manufacturers.

Triumph ST: Ugly. Limited dealerships in N.A. Ugly. OTOH, it is heavily discounted so this may be the best bargain of all. If it wasn't for its looks & limited dealerships, I would put this ABOVE the VFR.

Rogue

Last edited by Rogue_Biker; 10-25-2001 at 03:51 AM.
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post #8 of 40 (permalink) Old 10-25-2001, 04:07 AM
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I tested an ST1100 before I bought the VFR. I thought it was too heavy for me, since I lean towards the sport part of sport touring (plus they look very dated). That being said, they are not easy to find in the US because, in part, of limited distribution to dealers but also because very few owners are willing to part with them - they have incredible track records for reliability. I am sure you are aware both the VFR and ST have undergone major revisions and I would be interested in your review if you "kick the tires." I would also think that most publications will be testing and reviewing all the bikes you mentioned over the winter.

It turned out the kangaroo was right.
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post #9 of 40 (permalink) Old 10-25-2001, 04:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Rogue_Biker

Aprilia Futura: Ugly. Limited dealerships in North America. Expensive to buy and maintain. Ugly.
Triumph ST: Ugly.
Good post Rogue, but does this mean that the Aprilla is REALLY ugly or just ugly like the Trumpet ?

The FJR has just been voted 1st in the sport/touring cat. by MCN.
Are you finally getting them in the U.S. ?

Tahoe, I have ridden the FJR and was pretty impressed with it. The shaft wasn't noticable, plenty of grunt and was quite "chuckable".

Downsides: The seat was not awfully comfy (inexcusable on this type of machine) and the build quality was poor.
Some have said that it vibrates but I didn't notice.

But BE CAREFUL, can you really trust anything a dancing green smeghead says ?

Better Smeg than dead
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post #10 of 40 (permalink) Old 10-25-2001, 04:54 AM
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by Smeghead


Good post Rogue, but does this mean that the Aprilla is REALLY ugly or just ugly like the Trumpet ?

The FJR has just been voted 1st in the sport/touring cat. by MCN.
Are you finally getting them in the U.S. ?



I'd take the Trumpet over the Aprilia any day! And Yamaha hasn't decided to bring the FJR1300 to the US. According to them, there's not enough market for it. But many people, including Yamaha USA is trying to convince them otherwise. We're hoping......


But BE CAREFUL, can you really trust anything a dancing green smeghead says ?

LOL!

Rogue
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