Motorcycle Envy? My Quest For A Bigger, Better Bike

by derek on October 24, 2008 · 23 comments

Hello everyone, I’m Nick and I would just like to take a quick minute to say thank you to Derek for letting me post here today. Actually, I should say thank you to him for taking his family to Disney World so that I could have the opportunity to borrow his Harley…I mean his blog for awhile.
For the last couple of years, I have been considering getting a different motorcycle. This is usually something that is on my mind mostly during the spring and summer months, but I figure it makes a better post for Derek’s blog than mine and he was asking for guest posts, so I am turning to all of you for some suggestions.
Before we get started, a little background.
I currently ride a 750cc 1983 Honda V45 Magna. I’ve had this particular bike for about 6 ½ years now and while I do like it, I think I want a different one. My two main complaints with this bike are that when I go on a trip or take it anywhere, I have to stop for gas about every 100 miles or so which is just plain annoying. The second thing about it that I’m not too fond of is that it is a little bit taller than it should be for my height. It’s not so bad that I cannot handle it or anything like that; it’s just tall enough that moving it around (especially backwards) in the garage and other similar situations is a bit of a trick.
Now, let’s discuss some of the things that I am looking for in my next bike.
First of all, I want to address both of the issues that I have with my current one. This means that it must have a lower seat height than I currently have (I think mine is something like 29 or 30 inches) and a longer range than I currently have. As far as distance per tank of fuel is concerned I would like to get at least 150 or maybe even 200 miles on one tank of gas.
A couple of other requirements that I am looking for in a new bike are that it has to have a windshield and saddlebags as well as a strong preference for a fuel gauge rather than just a warning light like I have now. As far as engine size is concerned, I do not want a smaller bike which means the new one will have to be at least 750cc and I would prefer if it were a little larger say 900cc or so.
It would also be nice if it had some additional comforts such as floorboards, heel-toe shifter, and passenger backrest but these things are not quite as important in my decision making process but more like tie-breakers. In this quest for a bigger-better bike though, I’m not looking for an all-out full dressed bike like a Gold Wing or anything like that.
I have considered a few different bikes including the Kawasaki Vulcan 900 Classic LT (especially when they had the black and silver ones a couple years ago) which has pretty much everything I am looking for and almost seems to be exactly what I want. I have also thought about and considered various versions of the Honda Shadow and was even eyeing a 1998 Harley Davidson Road King until it got sold.
While I’m sure it would be fairly easy to find a bike that would fit my requirements that I would be happy with. Probably the biggest factor influencing my continuing to ride my Magna is cost and my lack of money.
However, it’s fun to dream and hope and plan so to help me figure out just what motorcycle I should be saving my money for, I am turning to you, Derek’s motorcycle riding audience, to offer suggestions.
Have you had any positive or negative experience with any particular bike?
Any suggestions on what I should look for or avoid?
How about thoughts on my current list of things I am looking at when checking out a bike?
Nick writes about ham radios, computing, money, and more over at romandock dot com – where you will also learn how he came up with the name for his blog.

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{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

Stephen October 24, 2008 at 1:19 pm

Based on those requirements, and if you can live without the look of the cruiser, Honda ST 1300. I think a large number of police forces in Europe use it for patrolling. Hard cases are standard as is a windshield. Good high tech and informative gauge cluster. Not sure about saddle height, but it would need to be low so that cops can get on and off quickly. It looks low.
Used, probably about $5000 for a 2003/04.

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Nick@romandock dot com October 27, 2008 at 1:37 pm

Thanks for the suggestion. I just went to Honda’s website and checked them out and they look pretty cool! I’m somewhat a fan of sport bikes except that they are usually too tall for me and I’ve heard mixed reviews about the comfort of them on trips, but I do think one would be fun. I checked the specs on the ST1300 and everything looked good except the seat height is 31.1 inches so it’s about the same as I have now :S
Nicks last blog post..How Blog Readers Are Like Cookies

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derek October 27, 2008 at 3:10 pm

Nick, I know that some of the Triumph motorcycles have lower seats (around 28-29 inches). Have you looked at them at all? They have some really nice looking bikes.

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Nick@romandock dot com October 27, 2008 at 3:26 pm

Hmmm, no I haven’t checked those out. Thanks for the suggestion…have you heard much about them or talked to anyone who has one or anything or just seen them?
Nicks last blog post..How Blog Readers Are Like Cookies

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derek October 27, 2008 at 3:30 pm

I’ve talked to a guy that owns an old Triumph and he absolutely loves it, says it is one of the best riding bikes he has ever ridden.
I’ve never had the chance to ride one myself though.

Ling@Uptake October 24, 2008 at 11:10 pm

You might want to check out the new Harley Davidson museum in Milwaukee. They’ve got everything you want to know, and lots more.

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john@swimlanes October 25, 2008 at 5:42 am

I used to ride a 750 Honda too but I sold it once I had kids. I guess I’m just getting conservative in my old age, we’ll see what happens when the midlife crisis hits.

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HID lights dude December 18, 2008 at 8:37 pm

so true.. =(

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Nicole Price October 25, 2008 at 8:10 am

Nick, as much as I would like to help you, this is one product that I do not cover! The nearest I have come to a motor cycle is to occasionally ride pillion!
Nicole Prices last blog post..Save Money this Halloween

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Nick@romandock dot com October 27, 2008 at 1:40 pm

Shucks, I was hoping you could help me find some “Great Prices Here” 😀
Nicks last blog post..How Blog Readers Are Like Cookies

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Andrea October 27, 2008 at 8:44 am

my husband, david use to have a yamaha R1. he tells everyone that i made him sell it but he sold it because he didnt ride it anymore like he used to. i didnt mind him having a bike, in fact i liked it. men on bikes are hot!

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Nick@romandock dot com October 27, 2008 at 1:39 pm

Well, if you liked it so much, why did you let him sell it? What you should have done is when it was a nice summer evening, suggested/encouraged him to to take you for a ride on it 🙂
At any rate, perhaps it’s time you suggested looking at getting another one for the both of you to ride on 🙂
Nicks last blog post..How Blog Readers Are Like Cookies

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Andrea October 27, 2008 at 8:20 pm

i tried to get him to keep it but if there is anyone more hard headed than me…it is david. anyways, he doesnt need another fast ride, hes got one already 🙂

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derek October 27, 2008 at 9:50 pm

Just to clarify…are you referring to the Corvette? 😉

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Andrea October 28, 2008 at 7:18 am

maaaaaaybe

Jack@Kawasaki Motorcycle Paint December 23, 2008 at 5:30 am

Hi
I have ridden Kawasaki n Honda all my life. Never had any issues with either. But looking at your requirements I think the Kawasaki Vulcan would fit the bill. What do you think of a Yamaha?

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Nick@romandock dot com December 23, 2008 at 4:22 pm

I don’t really have much of an opinion one way or the other about Yamaha bikes, never really heard much about them or ridden one. Although, I agree that the Vulcan seems to be the one that would best fit my criteria. I haven’t seen many around or talked to anyone that’s ridden one extensively though.
Nicks last blog post..Violent Video Games and Violent Behavior – Correlation: Not Cause and Effect

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derek December 23, 2008 at 4:25 pm

Nick, you might want to drop a note to Lizzie over at Rippin-Kitten as she had an opportunity to demo a Vulcan 900 for awhile.
I’m sure she would be happy to share her thoughts on the bike.

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Nick@romandock dot com December 23, 2008 at 4:29 pm

I’ll be sure to do that. I’ll have to poke around her site a bit as well to read what she has posted about it.

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Eric@Donate a Car to Charity January 10, 2009 at 2:08 am

I’ve been considering a bike as well and Ducati gets a lot of good comments from people on the web I am finding. You might want to check them out.

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Mike January 20, 2009 at 12:50 pm

Have a look at the Suzuki Boulevard C50T. It has a low seat, floorboards, heel-toe shifter, windshield, saddlebags. I thoroughly enjoy mine and have ridden it 10,000 kms per season for the last four years. It has been trouble free.
Mike

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Nick@romandock dot com January 20, 2009 at 1:35 pm

Hey, thanks for the recommendation and sharing your personal experience. I just checked it out and it certainly looks like something that would meet my criteria!
Nicks last blog post..Vacation Rentals Is Giving Away $500.00

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Sklep motocyklowy March 3, 2012 at 4:28 am

It’s hard to find and decide which motorcycle would be better… I know that…

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