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Bonk! said:

re: VFR:
85 horses? Not sure that's right. MCN has it in the 105-108 range.
You're probably right, but it sure felt like 85 hp. Anyways there's no way I'll buy a bike with less acceleration than my 1988 750. :hurl:

If you're stuck on a VFR, my offer stands, I'll deliver any color you want, anywhere in the states,, no extra charge for break in.:rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter #25
A friend is rebuilding a moderately damaged '01 VFR that I'll try and get for a week or two evaluation, to see if it's my cup of tea. I'm also pretty enamored with the ST4s Ducati due to the performance, lightness and superb suspension. I'll likely avoid the heavier models I earlier indicated as potential choices.
 

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The one problem I could see with the ST4s (based on the recent Motorcyclist review...I've never ridden one) is the riding position. Apparently it is very sporty. For us bigger guys (me included) the cramp factor could weigh in.
 

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Discussion Starter #27
The Reno Ducati dealer has indicated that they can arrange demos to qualified buyers (I qualify :D) So I'll see if an hour or two is comfy for me. I'm fairly long armed, short legged, 5'11" 170 pounds, so I'll just have to see if it'll fit!

The VFR is a bit intriguing as I could buy it after it's rebuilt for about 1/3 what the Duc would cost. However $$$$ isn't my primary motivator as I tend to live with my bikes for years. The VFR does get rave reviews from owners and rags, so that stands in its favor. I've also seen some really sharp hard-bags for it and one of the "euroscreens" directs the air a tad better for touring.

We shall see.
Kev
 
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Tahoe, with regards to the 98+ VFR's, I am sure you are aware of the linked braking system. Please consider the potential danger that can occur when using the rear brake to bring the front end down from a high-speed wheelie, as it can cause the front wheel to stop spinning, which can result in a nasty landing if you are not prepared for it.

:D
 

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Discussion Starter #29
Thanks for the tip, Pete. I've heard about the linked system, as well as the various bypass methods. Given the fact that I wheelie virtaully every day on my Road King, this is an especially important aspect of my purchase decision :D (I'll stick to wheelies on the DRZ400 thanks)

I know this sound really stupid, but aren't you supposed to terminate a wheelie by simply backing off on the throttle or in the case of many on this board, running into stuff? :D :D :D
 
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Tahoe said:
I know this sound really stupid, but aren't you supposed to terminate a wheelie by simply backing off on the throttle or in the case of many on this board, running into stuff? :D :D :D
I just move one foot from the seat to the tank and the front comes right down, nice and smooth. :D
 
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I guess I'll stop littering your thread with nonsense now, Tahoe, and chime in with my opinion of your choices. I tend to like the bikes that lean more toward the "sport" in "sport-touring," so I eliminated all but the VFR, ST4s, and Futura. Yeah, the Trumpet is more "sport," but I don't care much for its looks. I have a soft-spot in my heart for the V4 engine, so the VFR rates high with me. And the sex appeal of all things Italian, well, that puts the ST4s and Futura up on high, as well. Having read the aforementioned review of the Ducati, which came across as unbiased, I would have a hard time not giving it some serious consideration. Damn, man, that's a tough list! I give up. :D
 

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Before you buy, check out the Kawasaki Concours. I've got an '01 ZX-6R, and instead of pointing out the 'old tech' shortcomings of the Concours (motomag writers' words, not mine), it reinforces just how good a bike it really is. The fact that it sells for much less $$$ is just icing on the cake (folks on the COG listserver are reporting new ones out the door for around $7,000). Other than listening to the V&H pipe on my 6R, I think I have just as much fun running through Deals Gap on the Concours as I do on my 6R. 'Course, if you're not used to a (relatively) big, long, heavy bike like the Concours, your first run through the Gap will have you feeling like the bike is tying itself in knots (it is a bit tight for the type of bike it is). After you learn the bike's capabilities, don't be surprised to find it handles much better than you would ever have thought.
'Course, if you view your bike as an end unto itself, you'll probably ignore the Concours. If you view your choice of bike as simply a means to an end (adventure), the Concours suddenly starts to look a lot better!
While not officially COG, there is a great group of folks on the Concours list server (around 800?) that have picked this bike apart over the years.
http://www.concours.org/
If I sound like I'm just a Kawasaki fan, not so. I buy whatever bike/brand suits my needs, but being the pragmatist that I am, the overlooked Concours fits my needs (although when I bought it in '87, it was more ‘cutting edge’). Same reason I bought the recently ragged on ZX-6R. While the motomag writers like to dismiss it, I think it's the best multi-purpose 600 sportbike out there.
VFR? Hey, I got a bud that bought a VFR for a song, and added 3 Givi hard bags to make a great sport tourer. I also considered doing the same (though I've never been a V4 fan), but since I already had the Concours, I went for the more sporting 6R, though I have no trouble doing 600-mile days on it. I use the Concours for longer/two-up trips, the 6R for shorter/hooligan vacations (hey, it’s 480 miles on the 6R just to get to Deals Gap)! If you’re considering a VFR (not that there’s anything wrong with that!), mebbe you should read the following article:
Two Unlikely Bedfellows
Inline-four vs. V-four Sport Touring (2001 VFR 800 vs. 2001 ZX-6R)
http://motorcycle.com/mo/mccompare/touring/01vfr6r.motml
 

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Discussion Starter #33
Hell Pete, I thought I was supposed to take my feet off the bars not the gastank, before landing a wheelie!

OK Back in gear here. I agree that the sex appeal and truly aphrodesiac sound of the Ducati has me leaning that way.

I also strongly agree that the Concours is a superb bike, I've been recommending that bike for years (and had one for a very short time) I just want to go up stream on the handling side of things when I step up to a new bike. There's no question a Concours will do the job nicely, but it's pretty dated from the suspension standpoint...honestly the VFR is as well, when compared to the Duc. Now, is that worth the $15K price for a ST4s vs $6K +/- for my pal's VFR (plus another 1500 for goodies) vs $10K for the Triumph....hmmm

This is NOT an easy decision as you can see. And BasicBlur...Thanks for a very insightful and honest reply, I appreciate it. Ride safe

Kev
 

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Well ok, Ya'll have to excuse me, but I skipped all the mesages. Sicne this is the Sport Touring forum and you were looking for suggestions and opinions:

I RECOMMEND THE 2002 YAMAHA FZ1 $8,499
If you hurry, you can find lots of 2001s lying aorund for dirt cheap, too.


Seriously, I love it so far, an ungodly amount of power! The Insuracne was as cheap as my 2001 R6, which I still own. 75ish to 120 in 4th Gear in a matter of seconds, w/o tucking in. Very Comfortable, Spacious interior, Descent amount of Storage, although I'm still trying to find a set of saddle bags. Lets see, oh and everyone loves it, I get those "What the heck is that?" look from Harley Guys, but the like it.


Here's my bike www.myfz1.com
 

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Pete said:


I just move one foot from the seat to the tank and the front comes right down, nice and smooth. :D
That's why I wear a parachute !!:D

Tahoe, I used to be indecisive but now I'm not so sure !

Every bike will have it's merits, it depends on what you're looking for. Good hunting.;)
 

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Basicblur, I agree with most of your points regarding the Connie but I had one major problem with the Connie. That is build quality. I had an 87 that I put 75,000 miles on in 5 years. The bike handled well for its size and crappy tires. I know the newer ones have wider rims and tire choices. The weather protection was great, actually too good for the Carolina summers. The luggage also was nice and very handy.

The but has to do with all kinds of little things. Such as the poor fit of the fairing panels. The speedometer cables that failed every 10,000 miles like clock work. The suspension that was worn out at 20,000 miles. The altenators that fail at 40-50000 miles. All this is documented on the COG, these things happen to a majority of owners. The early models also suffered from cam-chain failures. I think this was fixed in 1993.

Now the comparision look at the VFR or STOC lists. VFR regulator rectifiers fail at 30,000 to 50,000 miles and that is it. You get what you pay for with the all these bikes. I have seen Connies with 100,000 miles plus but they have had lots of work. In some ways I still miss the Connie but I have come to love the VFR. The differance in weight alone makes it worth going with the VFR. The other bikes Tahoe has listed are even lighter and more sporting.

Rick
VFR
 

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NCVFR said:
Basicblur, I agree with most of your points regarding the Connie but I had one major problem with the Connie. That is build quality
Gotta take issue with a few of his points regarding the Concours, specially since it’s gotten a bum rap from many a magazine over the years (after at least on magazine gave it 'Bike of the Year in '86):
The bike handled well for its size and crappy tires.
A case of one man’s trash being another man’s treasure? I’ve personally never had any real complaints with the OEM tires (would be nice to get more than 12,000 miles out of a set). Many folks go with the D205s as replacements (among others), but since they don’t report any more miles than I get out of the OEM units, I’ve always stuck with ‘em. I find the OEM’s predictable and work well in the rain, so they’ve always worked for me.

The speedometer cables that failed every 10,000 miles like clock work.
That would be 10,000 miles as in ‘bout every tire change? See a connection here? Apparently many folks haven’t been seating the speedo cable properly when replacing their front tires. Been quite a few folks on the Concours server that had this same problem, but after being made aware that you had to double-check the speedo cable seating when reinstalling the front wheel, they report their speedo cable problems disappeared. I personally broke 3 on a regular basis, but my last one’s been on for well over 40,000 miles with no problem.

…poor fit of the fairing panels.
The early models did have a poor fit, but apparently that’s been corrected. I had to replace an OEM panel on my ‘86 (rabbit jumped just as I was about to flatten him, and the wind wing hooked him and ripped my mid-panel), and the replacement fit nicely. The ones I looked at on showroom floors a few years newer than mine seemed to have a much better fit than early models. They could stand to beef up the tabs on the upper fairing where the mid-fairing mounts. They tend to crack, so you need to be very careful when pulling/reinstalling bodywork.

The alternators that fail at 40-50000 miles.
First I heard of this. I know some folks have suffered from alternator failures, but it doesn’t seem to be enough to verify any sort of trend. ‘Course, with some of the gadgets folks seem to wanna hang on ‘em, I don’t doubt some are frying certain electrical components! Iff’n you’re gonna hang every electrical conveyance known to man on it (which some seem intent on doing), you better start paying attention to current demands of all those add-ons!

The early models also suffered from cam-chain failures.
Again, this is the first I’ve heard of this. I know of only 2 cam chain failures (higher mileage bikes), but the early models did have a sub par cam chain tensioner. The tensioner has gone through 2 redesigns since ’86. I just replaced the tensioner on my ’86 with an ’01 unit last summer (tensioner’s $50).

…these things happen to a majority of owners.
I think that’s stretching it (quite) a bit! I think you’ll find the majority of owners feel the Concours is one of the most trouble-free bikes they’ve owned (based on feedback from COG and the Concours list server)

Some folks lurking on the Concours list server were scared of the bike based on the feedback from owners ‘bout bike problems ‘til those discussing ‘em let ‘em know that the bike is darn near trouble-free, but has been picked apart by a pretty enthusiastic bunch over a period of 15 years. I’d be willing to bet it would be hard for other bikes to stand up to such scrutiny by so many folks and fare as well as the Concours. The folks in COG know all the idiosyncrasies of the Concours, which is nice, ‘specially on a bike which often carries you a looooong way from home!

As I’ve said before, the only two sport-touring bikes that have impressed me since the Concours was introduced have been the VFR (‘bout 2 generations ago) with Givi bags, and the now-defunct Yamaha GTS 1000 (RADD front end). If I was buying another sport tourer today, unless I was going smaller (would probably have to make my own), I’d get another Concours. I believe it's the first bike I’ve owned or seen that didn’t get overshadowed by something newer/greater a year or two down the road.

‘Course, YMMV! :D
 

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ZZR-1200

Don't count the ZZR out without a test ride just because it has carbs. I own a ZRX-1200 which is basically the same motor which runs flawlessly with exceptionally crisp throttle response. The ZZR should definetly be the king of torque which is REAL WORLD horsepower.
 

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My uncle is selling his bike....
 
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