Motorcycle suggestions

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I'm suddenly in the market for a new motorcycle. I've been riding my 2001 Suzuki GS500 for exactly 10 years now, and around 2am Saturday morning, an arson burned down the detached garage I park in. pictures a neighbor took while we were out of town: https://m.flickr.com/#/photos/[email protected]/sets/72157667990255436/ The toasted Civic in the garage is my wife's car. We'll shopping for a car soon, but my wife wants me to get a bike first laugh I was very happy with that bike. Some things I've liked over the years: -Naked, as my first bike, it was bound to be dropped, and it was, and a couple dents in the tank later, it still ran great and the lower half only has minor scuffs, no major plastic panel repair. -Parallel twin, it's been very easy to maintain, removing the tank and having fairly easy access to the valve cover. In addition, the GS500 was a relatovely narrow bike, allowing me to park in the garage behind my elent with space to spare. -Reliability, in the time I've had my GS500, I've only needed to replace the battery once. I've only needed a jump a handful of times when I left some accessory on. I have friends with a triumph and Honda hornet that seem to have constant electrical issues which I attribute to all the electronics on board. My GS500 is carbureted and when the key is switched off, it's off. -Stealthiness, a GS500 is by far not a flashy bike. I park it outside during work and barely worry about it being stolen. So, with that all said, I'm looking for a replacement bike. My riding style is very slow and laid back. I commute about 12 miles round trip, almost 100% in traffic. I like a more upright position. It will be garage kept at home (once the garage is rebuilt) and I park outside on the street at work. If I could create a motorcycle, this is what I would want: -naked -classic styling, round headlight -parallel or V twin -single sided swingarm (honestly, just for looks) -400 to 900cc -low maintenance or easy to diy -not too large -fuel injected for easier starts So, at present, I'm looking at Ducati Monsters and Honda VFRs. I also have a small preference for Hondas. If Honda made a naked VFR or CB500, I would be all over that. I've always liked Ducatis, but they're a little flashier to me, plus I feel the reliability may not be as great and self maintenance may be tougher. I like Hondas old NT650, but they're getting older and are all carbureted. I like the CB1100 or 919/Hornet, but an inline 4 and no single sided swingarm are minuses. My max budget is about 6k, I would spend twice that on a new bike, but to be honest, most new bikes I've seen aren't my style, with short pointy headlights, and to much plastic (like newer Ducati Monsters ) Am I missing any other bikes? Any other thoughts?
 
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You can find lightly used Kawasaki Ninja 500s everywhere. Mine is approaching 38k trouble-free miles, averaging 52mpg almost no matter how I ride it, twin cylinder, carbureted but never a problem starting, relatively easy to work on, a bit of plastic with the small fairing but not too much, plenty of parts everywhere to replace stuff. Plenty fast for the interstate, but I prefer back roads riding. Comfortable, mostly upright riding position, not too heavy.
 

EdwardC

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Thanks, I had looked at that and the CB500X and I don't think they're my style. They seem very front/top heavy, and have a headlight snout. I like the size and storage capabilities, though, I'll have to sit on one to see how it feels. Oh, that list of "wants" aren't set in stone, I'm certain I'll have to give up a few of them.
 

pbm

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The Triumph twins would meet your criteria. Any thoughts by you or the Fire Marshal as to the motive for the arson?
 

EdwardC

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Whoa, I didn't see the other replies. I hadn't really thought much about the more cruiser style bikes. I may have let you guys astray by mentioning that I like an upright position. I think I like something more upright on the sporty end of the spectrum. I'll definitely look into this models when I get an internet connection. The cable lines were burned down in the fire, so I'm limited to my phone.
 
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Originally Posted By: pbm
The Triumph twins would meet your criteria.
Good call. I would add SV650 to the list, and offer BMW R1200R and F800R as outside the box options.
 
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Originally Posted By: EdwardC
I'm suddenly in the market for a new motorcycle. I've been riding my 2001 Suzuki GS500 for exactly 10 years now, and around 2am Saturday morning, an arson burned down the detached garage I park in. pictures a neighbor took while we were out of town: https://m.flickr.com/#/photos/[email protected]/sets/72157667990255436/ The toasted Civic in the garage is my wife's car. We'll shopping for a car soon, but my wife wants me to get a bike first laugh I was very happy with that bike. Some things I've liked over the years: -Naked, as my first bike, it was bound to be dropped, and it was, and a couple dents in the tank later, it still ran great and the lower half only has minor scuffs, no major plastic panel repair. -Parallel twin, it's been very easy to maintain, removing the tank and having fairly easy access to the valve cover. In addition, the GS500 was a relatovely narrow bike, allowing me to park in the garage behind my elent with space to spare. -Reliability, in the time I've had my GS500, I've only needed to replace the battery once. I've only needed a jump a handful of times when I left some accessory on. I have friends with a triumph and Honda hornet that seem to have constant electrical issues which I attribute to all the electronics on board. My GS500 is carbureted and when the key is switched off, it's off. -Stealthiness, a GS500 is by far not a flashy bike. I park it outside during work and barely worry about it being stolen. So, with that all said, I'm looking for a replacement bike. My riding style is very slow and laid back. I commute about 12 miles round trip, almost 100% in traffic. I like a more upright position. It will be garage kept at home (once the garage is rebuilt) and I park outside on the street at work. If I could create a motorcycle, this is what I would want: -naked -classic styling, round headlight -parallel or V twin -single sided swingarm (honestly, just for looks) -400 to 900cc -low maintenance or easy to diy -not too large -fuel injected for easier starts So, at present, I'm looking at Ducati Monsters and Honda VFRs. I also have a small preference for Hondas. If Honda made a naked VFR or CB500, I would be all over that. I've always liked Ducatis, but they're a little flashier to me, plus I feel the reliability may not be as great and self maintenance may be tougher. I like Hondas old NT650, but they're getting older and are all carbureted. I like the CB1100 or 919/Hornet, but an inline 4 and no single sided swingarm are minuses. My max budget is about 6k, I would spend twice that on a new bike, but to be honest, most new bikes I've seen aren't my style, with short pointy headlights, and to much plastic (like newer Ducati Monsters ) Am I missing any other bikes? Any other thoughts?
V-twin, EFI, classic styling, low-maintenance, no fairing, upright riding position? Honestly, that sounds like the target market for a Sportster. How about this one? Or this one? Could probably sell the Squealing Weasel noisemakers and make enough to get a set of stock pipes and money left over.
 
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Originally Posted By: spasm3
Suzuki Boulevard S40 ? I think its carbed though.
It's a slow, cramped, shaky throwback to 1985 that does nothing well. It shakes like it has advanced Parkinsons, the engine is athsmatic (as in: >70MPH is a stretch, my 400cc Burgman or my wife's Comet will walk away from it at any speed), any rider taller than 5'4" will be crowded. It is also incredibly Spartan, lacking a tack, a trip odometer, or even a fuel gauge!
 
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I'm sure you are aware the single sided swingarm really limits the choices... If you are willing to skip that one, the Triumph classics would be very standard looking choices and they are good bikes. Ducati Scrambler series as well, though they are too new for used ones to be out there in your price range (New ones should be under 12) You may want to look at Sportsters too... 2006 is the first year of EFI I belive. I share your dislike for the styling for most of the newer stuff so I'm not a lot of help on the Honasaki/yamazuki offerings... Yamaha does offer the SR400, though it is a single and kickstart only it certainly looks standard...
 
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I would also suggest the Triumph Bonneville, Speedmaster, Scrambler, Thruxton, or America. 865cc Air cooled parallel twin. Very reliable and it allows for a moderate amount of customization. Triumph just revamped many of those models this year, so the older ones will be hitting the market as owners upgrade for the new more powerful models. I have a 2011 Speedmaster and it has been awesome.
 
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Originally Posted By: DuckRyder
You may want to look at Sportsters too... 2006 is the first year of EFI I believe.
Ah 2007 was the first year for EFI
 

EdwardC

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Originally Posted By: pbm
The Triumph twins would meet your criteria. Any thoughts by you or the Fire Marshal as to the motive for the arson?
There were some eye witnesses of three drunk guys messing around with some aerosol cans in the dumpster. They there heard swearing when the fire got bigger and caught the garage eaves on fire, and they ran. Thanks everyone for the suggestions so far. I'll need to check out the triumph, it sounds like it covers most of my desires. I am aware that the single sided swing arm is likely the most limiting factor. To be honest, I thought there would be more overwhelming responses for the Ducati. Is there any particular reason the Ducati isn't more popular here?
 
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Originally Posted By: EdwardC
...I thought there would be more overwhelming responses for the Ducati. Is there any particular reason the Ducati isn't more popular here?
I love Ducati's. My main concern would be finding a nice one in your price range and they don't all have single sided swing arms so you've got to figure out exactly which model(s) your are interested in and find a good one in your price range. Parts are getting more difficult to get for older ones as well from my understanding. Newer ones have much longer maintenance intervals but even an 821 (which doesn't have a single swingarm) is pushing double your 6000... You may be able to find some left overs of older models though...
 

EdwardC

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The price range definitely has wiggle room. A quick look on Craigslist has a 2012 monster 796 with 7,100k on it for $6,995. Though, to be honest, I would prefer something in the mid 2000s with the air cooled 2 valve and the round headlight. The Speed Triple is a very good option too. I don't love the double bug eyes, but I would just swap that out. My thoughts are that the Triumph isn't that much of a step up in reliability or parts availability over a Ducati. I feel like one of those jerks that posts a question, but largely ignores the responses and ends up going with something else. The discussion really does help though.
 
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A good do-it-all stealth bike is the Suzuki V-Strom 650 or 1000. Having owned approximately 35 motorcycles, this is in the top 5. I did love my Honda Interceptor 500 too! The V-Strom doesn't tick all of your boxes but it hits enough and I don't think you would regret it. Good luck with whatever you pick.
 
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