Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Genoa, Nevada, USA 89411
What I chose...
As many of you know, I've been researching for some time now for my next bike. As I keep my bikes for about 5 years, and have made some poor choices in the past, I wanted to do a thorough job this time. I really appreciate all the excellent input all the members here at SBW have provided in my various threads.
This last weekend at Laguna Seca helped me finalize my decision, after getting a chance to ride a number of bikes. There were a lot of bikes that would work just fine for my riding terrain and abilities so the choice was not easy. I'm not really wild about racer-boy graphics and prefer not to repaint a new bike, so a couple were eliminated (ZX9R, great bike, but not quite there) I tend to lean a bit towards the Sport Tour category, but so many of those machines are very heavy (ZZR, FJR1300, Honda ST, K1200RS) and I live in the mountains with very twisty roads, so something lighter and more agile was more to my liking. The XX was a very strong contender, but I wanted something just a tad lighter-nimble, and the speed of a 'Bird could really get me in trouble! The VFR for '02 is not my cup of tea for a number of reasons (Thanks Chicago Buck for real-world advice there)
I also like a degree of exclusivity, so the Ducati, Triumph and Aprilia were candidates too. The Triumph ST was very close, but lacked a little refinement, was a tad heavy (not much) and would require some suspension upgrades fairly soon. The Ducati sounds wonderful, but maintenance issues, price and ergos that weren't quite right scratched it from the list.
So I bought an Aprilia RST1000 Futura, in the stealth-fighter ash gray color. Can't say I'm completely wild about the looks, but it does kinda grow on you. For certain, after a mile or two on the road, you don't give a rip about the looks, 'cause it's such a great ride. SUPERB brakes, great torquey motor, smooth gearbox, excellent handling with good road manners. Not a track bike, but will go to a few track days. I don't have much in the way of local dealer support, but the Bay area has some excellent ones that can handle major service, should I ever need that. From the majority of owners I've polled, they are very reliable bikes.
I hope to pick it up in a couple weeks and will give some feedback on long-term ownership.
Thanks again for the excellent feedback you all have given me in this process.
Our greatest challenge in life is living up to our own potential.