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Thinking about downsizing


Coinneach

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Brunhilde's a great bike, no doubt (although she does need some minor work - upgraded cam tensioner, that sort of thing). Unfortunately, I'm just not using anything like her full potential as I thought I would when I took her home. Commuting 2.2 miles each way on an 1100cc tourer is silly and I don't have time to go the long way 'round, and wrenching on a fully faired bike in an apartment parking lot is far more annoying than I thought it would be. About the longest rides we do any more is 33 miles each way to the animal shelter where I volunteer on the weekends.

 

I'd mostly ridden naked middleweights in the past and am thinking of returning to those roots. Maybe an F800 (Go AZ has a 2007 on the lot for $4500) or similar.

 

Anyone have feedback, thoughts, clue-by-fours to contribute?

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Stan Walker

I'm two days into a 15 day motorcycle trip on my R1150RT...... I doubt that anything I had to say would be relevant.

 

Still. I don't commute (retired). Big bike only gets ridden occasionally. Like now!!! On trips. I also have 2 F650's. They get exercised from time to time on local rides.

 

My suggestion? Take some long trips. If you are unable to do that then switch to a bike you will ride. Keeping a bike you don't use is foolish.

 

Stan

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I still ride her most days, but she only ever gets to five bars on the oil temp gauge during my commute when it's a grillion degrees out. I don't have time for long trips on the weekends; I'd been planning on taking her to Seattle in August but my crew is down 40% and all leave is cancelled.

 

Yeah, I think it might be time to find a better home for her. *sigh* :(

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Dozens of good choices available from various manufacturers. One of mine that comes to mind for the riding you mentioned is the Suzuki DR650. It is the bike I would keep if I could only have one. Simple as a hammer and equally dependable. Single cylinder, air-cooled, great in traffic, plenty of power for freeway, easy to add a rear box and small windshield. With modern o-ring and x-ring chains and clean chain lubes, chain maintenance isn't an issue. The wide bars and upright riding position make parking lot maneuvers a breeze, and any trips comfortable.

 

Change the oil and filter ever 5,000 miles, brush and lube the chain every 1,000 miles, a five minute task...that will be pretty much your maintenance requirements. As a bonus, a drop or tip over hurts nothing but your pride for a few minutes.

 

You can often find good used ones at a very reasonable price, though even new they are not expensive.

 

Even if your not a Suzuki fan, the basics of the DR650 can be found in models from other manufacturers.

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Guest Kakugo

When I commuted shorter distances, I bought an old Honda Transalp 600 for the job.

I paid it a pittance and it served me well. Yes, the engine used more oil than I imagined, but later learned that's a characteristic of first generation TA, not any fault of the previous owner. I could have bought a later bike but this one was local, came with a large top case and was dirt cheap. :dopeslap:

 

For met, the natural bike for commuting is a smallish adventure bike like that. Using an XL600 frame, suspensions, wheels etc it could also handle dirt decently well and, when rush hour hit, I often just cut through dirt roads to get home.

It was also economical to run, easy to work on and, as I reasoned, if it gets stolen or knocked while parked the damage would be very limited.

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Spacetiger
Brunhilde's a great bike, no doubt (although she does need some minor work - upgraded cam tensioner, that sort of thing). Unfortunately, I'm just not using anything like her full potential as I thought I would when I took her home. Commuting 2.2 miles each way on an 1100cc tourer is silly and I don't have time to go the long way 'round, and wrenching on a fully faired bike in an apartment parking lot is far more annoying than I thought it would be. About the longest rides we do any more is 33 miles each way to the animal shelter where I volunteer on the weekends.

 

I'd mostly ridden naked middleweights in the past and am thinking of returning to those roots. Maybe an F800 (Go AZ has a 2007 on the lot for $4500) or similar.

 

Anyone have feedback, thoughts, clue-by-fours to contribute?

 

I have several bikes and find that I always keep a scooter for the short rides. It is amazing how easy it is to just twist and go. The scoot I keep now is a Aprilia SC250 which is good to 70 mph, 2 up riding, and is comfortable for a 90 mile trip.

 

Might I suggest one of the BMW 600/650 scooters to replace your ride. It has much more power than mine, probably best suspension and brakes out there (plus EFI, ABS, and ESA) and all the ease of riding short distances.

 

Jerry

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Might I suggest one of the BMW 600/650 scooters to replace your ride. It has much more power than mine, probably best suspension and brakes out there (plus EFI, ABS, and ESA) and all the ease of riding short distances.

 

Jerry

 

That's another consideration. I have tendonitis in my left wrist; not much of a problem on long(-ish) rides, but a cast-iron bitch in town. I've been looking at CVT/DCT bikes like the C650GT, Burgman, NC700X, and Aprilia Mana. A Zero would be ideal except for having nowhere to plug it in at home.

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Spacetiger

One day when I have to go to 1 bike and my heath is a factor; C650GT is what I will probably go with.

 

Post back what you decide to do.

 

Jerry

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Charles Elms

Last year I noticed that the weight of my 97 RT was just getting to much for comfort for me. Early this year I bought a 650 V-Strom and have not looked back. I had to add options that were standard on my RT like heated grips and a center stand. I've ordered a RDL which should solve the seat problem. Aftermarket windshield was necessary. Now I feel that I have control of the bike at parking lot speeds. Dropping the weight makes a big difference on the fun factor of the bike, even though I'm into long distance touring. Give the V-Strom a test ride. I am quite pleased.

 

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Actually, one of my buddies is selling his Wee for $2200. Reason for the price is some 80K mostly city miles, but he's throwing in a freshly rebuilt engine with the deal. My only issue with the Vstrom is the seat height; I'm 5'9" with a 30" inseam and throwing a leg over is damn near impossible.

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Actually, one of my buddies is selling his Wee for $2200. Reason for the price is some 80K mostly city miles, but he's throwing in a freshly rebuilt engine with the deal. My only issue with the Vstrom is the seat height; I'm 5'9" with a 30" inseam and throwing a leg over is damn near impossible.

 

30" inseam should work on a Wee. Worked for me. Has he got the Wee (DL650) or the VStrom?

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at 2.2 miles each way, you should consider walking or riding a bicycle to work. Or at least try it a few times. Borrow a bike if you have to. You might be surprised what a wonderful way it is to start to your day. Roughly, I'd hazard a guess at 30 - 40 minutes to walk, and 10 - 15 minutes to ride. Believe me, you'll feel like a million bucks, and you can sell the bike and put all that money in the bank.

 

Other than that, all I can say is I agree: Wrenching in anything other than a real garage of your own is a joke.

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at 2.2 miles each way, you should consider walking or riding a bicycle to work. Or at least try it a few times.

 

Walking isn't really an option when it's >100 degrees for half the year and you have endocrine issues due to no thyroid and multiple knee and ankle injuries.

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30" inseam should work on a Wee. Worked for me. Has he got the Wee (DL650) or the VStrom?

 

It's the Wee. Funny to me because he's a 6'4" 265# bodybuilder; his other bikes are a Multistrada 1200 and a B-King. Seeing him on the 650 is like me on the Nighthawk 250 I learned on, gorilla lovin' a football.

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30" inseam should work on a Wee. Worked for me. Has he got the Wee (DL650) or the VStrom?

 

It's the Wee. Funny to me because he's a 6'4" 265# bodybuilder; his other bikes are a Multistrada 1200 and a B-King. Seeing him on the 650 is like me on the Nighthawk 250 I learned on, gorilla lovin' a football.

 

That still doesn't explain why you say you can't throw a leg over a DL650?

 

If you are interested in selling your current bike you can post an ad in the Classified Forum, but out of respect for everyone else using this site you should not be using this forum for that purpose.

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That still doesn't explain why you say you can't throw a leg over a DL650?

 

DL650, like most dual-sports, is simply too tall for me to swing my leg over. Thought I'd made that plain, but apparently not.

 

If you are interested in selling your current bike you can post an ad in the Classified Forum, but out of respect for everyone else using this site you should not be using this forum for that purpose.

 

I wasn't aware that I was using this forum to troll for offers. I just wanted to know if anyone else had a similar experience.

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That still doesn't explain why you say you can't throw a leg over a DL650?

 

DL650, like most dual-sports, is simply too tall for me to swing my leg over. Thought I'd made that plain, but apparently not.

 

If you are interested in selling your current bike you can post an ad in the Classified Forum, but out of respect for everyone else using this site you should not be using this forum for that purpose.

 

I wasn't aware that I was using this forum to troll for offers. I just wanted to know if anyone else had a similar experience.

 

It seems to me that you were just exploring options and asking for opinions. I sure didn't think you were offering your bike for sale in this thread. But that's just me. :wave:

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So Richard D, how low did you go in lowering your V-Strom? Did you find any negatives, i.e., does it scrape or bottom out easily?

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When I had a Vulcan 800, one of my friends said I looked like a monkey screwing a football when I rode it. That and a shriner on a minibike. Oh the shame...

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I lowered the rear about 3/4 and the front about 7 or 10mm. I have an engine guard on the bottom and tested it on fast corners with no problem. I'm sure I could have gone lower on the back and not rode as aggressive. I've lowered a few bikes in my life and they all handled better than stock for me. There are many threads on Stromtrooper , V-Strom riders international and ADV rider on the subject. http://www.stromtrooper.com/general-v-strom-discussion/29444-lowering-dl650.html

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I don't think I need a low bike. I am 6'5 with a 34" inseam and not a lightweight either. For me, going to the RT was downsizing.

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