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 Buying a used bike - is this a good deal?
 Looking for bike recommendations
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rayg50
Male Moderator
2082 Posts
[Mentor]


NYC, NY
USA

Honda

Shadow Spirit 750DC

Posted - 11/10/2013 :  9:25 AM                       Like
I'm considering a second bike purchase. I would very much like to hear what the members of this board might recommend. To help those recommendations I will give a little background.

The ride: My current Shadow Spirit 750DC is rated at about 40 HP, and I'd like to experience something with a bit more HP. 98% of the time this bike is all I need. It has one known weakness (and a known fix). At around 60 mph you find yourself searching for a 6th gear that does not exist. The bike easily handles that speed (and more) but at higher revs than most owners would like.

The rider: I am middle aged (65) with no limitations that cannot be attributed to age. You can forget about a push-up contest, it's not happening, come back next week. My major limiter is my knees. As one doctor put it, "if we could fix them basketball players would never retire". If I keep them bent for any length of time they seem to decide they want to stay bent. It means that when highway riding stopping to stretch my legs is a must.

Car buying: All of my cars have been bought because of the engine. It has never been my goal to look good at the side of the road while waiting for a tow. Looks have been the tie breaker rather than a deciding factor.

Although the above may seem like TMI (too much info) I thought it might help guide the recommendations. My knees are the deciding factor but other than that I am pretty much open to suggestions.

Once I have a list of recommendations I will set up a spreadsheet to compare specs and price ranges and I will begin my search in earnest.

onthebeach
Male Standard Member
110 Posts


Arch Cape, Oregon
USA

BMW

2017 BMW R1200RT

Posted - 11/10/2013 :  10:46 AM
I am very happy with my Suzuki V-Strom 650 (DL-650 Adventure). The documentation I found lists it at 64 HP. I find the upright riding position very comfortable and performance riding solo more than enough for me. I'm 59 and ride strictly for fun, never in a hurry to get anywhere and not looking for the thrill of testing my abilities.

This model came with side cases and I added a top case. The non-adventure model is the identical bike however you can add accessories yourself. I can ride for quite a while before my legs feel the need for a stretch. After one 250+ mile day I did decide to add some highway pegs. To do that I added an engine guard in order to provide an easy mount for the highway pegs. I find that just stretching my legs out for a couple minutes is great and I can return to the factor pegs comfortably once again. I'd recommend the highway pegs from the start should you go this route based on your comments.

If you wanted yet more power you could jump to the V-Strom 1000 which I see listed at 100 HP, of course with additional cost.

As far as looks, well I like it but when I see the bike I am looking at it for the functionality of going some good distances without refueling, carrying quite a bit of gear, reasonably nimble in curves, quiet, easy starting, and ABS. It's a long way from a highly chromed loud bike.
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rayg50
Male Moderator
2082 Posts
[Mentor]


NYC, NY
USA

Honda

Shadow Spirit 750DC

Posted - 11/10/2013 :  11:47 AM
quote:
I am very happy with my Suzuki V-Strom 650 (DL-650 Adventure).
It is on my list.

I've been looking for one for the last 3-4 years. I think the most I've seen on eBay at any one time has been 3 and there's never been one available close enough to make it worthwhile to make the trip. Craigslist has them come up once a month and the one that was within a reasonable distance did not have ABS. I am really hesitant to buy new when I have never ridden one and knee comfort might be questionable. None of the dealers in my area that carry them offer demo rides.

It still makes my list.


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rkfire
Advanced Member
1695 Posts


Stratford, CT
USA

Suzuki

Bandit

Peer Review: Blocked

Posted - 11/10/2013 :  12:19 PM   Join poster on Facebook as Friend  
C-stroms have a fairly tall seat to footpeg distance, so it's not cramped up like many sport bikes are.

Watch for, but obviously not this time of year, Demo rides at dealers. Suzuki and others have trucks bringing most of their line to dealers for test rides.

The Suzuki, Kawasaki, Ducati, Aprilla, Enfield, Guzzi dealer in New Haven often has sales on demo bikes. I never asked, but presumably, they have some assortment of demo bikes to ride.

If you're adding a bike to the garage, I could see you keeping your bike for local riding, and adding a bagger/sport tourer/adventure bike equipped to get out of town.

Power, to me, is really usually rpm defined. My bike for example should be capable of high 10's in the 1/4. I've never done anything close to that. I ride around all day from 2500-5000 rpm. It has great low down torque, so downshifting is really unecessary. That's nice to have.
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Axiom2000
Male Moderator
1761 Posts
[Mentor]


Georgetown, Delaware
USA

BMW

F 800 GT

Posted - 11/10/2013 :  1:01 PM
When considering new motorcycles I have found this site helpful.

http://cycle-ergo.com/
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woonjas
Male Junior Member
26 Posts


Wormerveer, Noord-Holland
Netherlands

Honda

ST1100

Posted - 11/10/2013 :  5:56 PM Follow poster on Twitter
I quite enjoyed the Honda NC700X I rented earlier this year.
It's definately one I'd consider once my ST1100 has reached the end of it's tether. Low redline is something to get used to but the 60+ mpg does make up for a lot.
Fpr next year's model the engine size grew to a 750 with a bit more power without sacrificing fuel economy - at least afaik.
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scottrnelson
Advanced Member
6892 Posts
[Mentor]


Pleasanton, CA
USA

KTM

990 Adv, XR650L

Posted - 11/10/2013 :  6:36 PM
My KTM 990 Adventure is the best bike that I've owned for minimum knee bend. Obviously a bike with forward controls will allow straighter legs, but I don't like riding those. The adventure-style bikes are likely to give you the most leg room. It seems like just about all of the manufacturers have one now.
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Magnawing
Male Senior Member
281 Posts


The Woodlands, TX
USA

Honda

VF750C

Posted - 11/11/2013 :  11:25 AM Follow poster on Twitter
If you're looking to stay in the cruiser family, I'd recommend taking a look at the Kawasaki Voyager ABS. It has a low CG, is well balanced and has more power and amenities than you will probably ever use. Most dealers I've checked out usually have one or two "leftovers" that go for about $2k-$3k under MSRP. They're a very comfortable bike and will easily carry any load you would be likely to put on it.
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kacinpa
Male Advanced Member
802 Posts
[Mentor]


Lansdale, PA
USA

Triumph

Sprint GT

Posted - 11/11/2013 :  3:16 PM
I guess I am wondering what, other than more horsepower and not bending your knees too much, are you looking for? Also a general idea of a budget and if you are looking for new or used.

Are you happy with your Honda Shadow now, except for the power? There are plenty of Shadow Sabre 1,100s around used that might fit the bill.

Or are you looking for a different type bike entirely? You mentioned you are considering the V-Strom 650, I think that is a great bike, in the same general category as that you could consider a Kawasaki Versys 650, a Triumph Tiger 800 (not XC, unless you are looking for a very tall bike)

Are you considering a "standard" bike, something like a Suzuki SVF650, or a used Gladius or Bandit? I have some friends with Bandits set up for sport touring and they love them. Or maybe a retro bike like a Triumph Bonneville or a Moto Guzzi V7.

I guess I could rattle off bikes that I would buy if I had unlimited funds until the cows come home, but some size, price, style clues might help narrow it down from "More power than a Shadow Spirit and not bend the knees too much."
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rayg50
Male Moderator
2082 Posts
[Mentor]


NYC, NY
USA

Honda

Shadow Spirit 750DC

Posted - 11/11/2013 :  7:58 PM
Kacinpa, let's see if I can answer some of your questions since most probably have them.

New would be fine if I knew it would accommodate the knees (i.e. cruiser). Definitely used if I thought it MIGHT accommodate the knees. I have no problem buying a used "maybe" if I knew I could recover most of the cost if I resold it. New pretty much eliminates that possibility. Any loss on resale of a used bike I would mentally write off as a rental fee. Sticker shock is a factor but not a real limitation.

I am more than happy with my Shadow. It stays regardless of whether or not I find a second bike. That is not a sentimental decision but rather one that indicates my satisfaction. I traded my original Shadow for it's duplicate about a year or so back, made sense at the time. LOL.

I have no particular bike in mind. Since this is a want rather than a need (I already have a ride), I am open to trying something different. I would just like to have some degree of focus as I visit shops, look at Craigslist, and eBay.

The members of this forum ride just about everything under the sun from Hayabusas to Scooters. What better place to ask for recommendations?

For whatever unknown reason I want a V-Strom despite the fact that it is butt ugly. In the past few years I arranged to see 2 V-Stroms where price and distance aligned. Both were sold before my appointment. Karma, since I undoubtedly did the same to others when I bought my Shadow. The seller handed his wife the list of appointments and asked her to call them and cancel.

The only true limitation is whether the knees will handle it. The forum members here would not be able to determine that so all suggestions of bikes known to be worth owning are appreciated. As I see and sit on the bikes I will whittle the list down. The final purchase decision is all me.

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kacinpa
Male Advanced Member
802 Posts
[Mentor]


Lansdale, PA
USA

Triumph

Sprint GT

Posted - 11/12/2013 :  6:39 AM
quote:
Originally posted by rayg50



For whatever unknown reason I want a V-Strom



Well, there's your answer, no?



I don't know how far you are willing to travel, but the dealer where I bought my Sprint has a leftover 2012 V-Strom ABS ADV listed for ~$8.5k. I am pretty sure they would come down from there.

http://www.martinmoto.com/default.a...0-980011.png

I see a used one come up just about every month around here.
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Magnawing
Male Senior Member
281 Posts


The Woodlands, TX
USA

Honda

VF750C

Posted - 11/12/2013 :  8:10 AM Follow poster on Twitter
I've been watching Craigslist and there are quite a few V-Stroms popping up there for reasonable prices. If you're not sure how much you'll like it, let someone else eat the depreciation.
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rayg50
Male Moderator
2082 Posts
[Mentor]


NYC, NY
USA

Honda

Shadow Spirit 750DC

Posted - 11/12/2013 :  11:50 AM
kacinpa, I'll save that link, thanks. The 07-10 have a listed seat height of 32.3" which pretty much matches my inseam, so those are the years I have been watching. All other years seem to list seat height at 33.1". I can flat foot the 32.3 but the 33.1 has me a bit on my toes. The V-Stroms I have sat on do not seem to have a seat that I would consider comfortable. Most of the replacement seats seem to indicate they are wider and / or taller. In my mind (no facts to back it up) I think a seat change would work on the 32.3 but would have me balancing on toe nails on the 33.1.

Magnawing, I look at the Craigslist motorcycle listings for NYC and surrounding areas (LI, Westchester, and eastern NJ). Is that where you are seeing them?

Edited to add this sample link: http://newyork.craigslist.org/searc...Ask=&maxAsk=

quote:
quote:
For whatever unknown reason I want a V-Strom

Well, there's your answer, no?
After my lack of success in recent years I just thought I would open up my possibilities.


Edited by - rayg50 on 11/12/2013 12:27 PM
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Magnawing
Male Senior Member
281 Posts


The Woodlands, TX
USA

Honda

VF750C

Posted - 11/12/2013 :  12:52 PM Follow poster on Twitter
I've been checking out North Jersey and Allentown/Lehigh Valley.

Are you looking for the 650 or the 1100?

If you're looking at the 650, here's a nice 2012 ABS model with 3800 miles about an hour out of Manhattan for $6500 http://cnj.craigslist.org/mcy/4094935363.html
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rkfire
Advanced Member
1695 Posts


Stratford, CT
USA

Suzuki

Bandit

Peer Review: Blocked

Posted - 11/12/2013 :  1:01 PM   Join poster on Facebook as Friend  
I think you'll have to take a test ride Ray.

As for seat height, and seat shapes, I'd suggest toss out the showroom and eyeball comfort test.

The shape of cruiser bikes is big, low, and wide, and with feet forward, it's somewhat similar to a recliner chair.

Standards, adventure, and sport tourers have a taller, slimmer, and often narrow towards the front. The more upright position uses more of the thighs for support. That's spreading the weight distribution. With the feet on pegs directly underneath, the feet and legs can carry a bit of the load too. With a slight forward cant of the torso, the wind actually supports some, rather than fighting the wind. Sitting tall, for me, is good because I have a better view above most traffic, and further down the road. With feet below you, you can stand on the pegs, whether it's a rough road, or to get a stretch while moving.

With a narrow front section, the legs aren't as splayed as on a wide seat. In that regard, you have nearly the full length of leg available to steady the bike at a stop. Nothing prohibits leaning the bike a little at a stop, just to get a foot better planted. I can flatfoot my bike, but I do end up sitting with it leaned at times.

Everyone is different too. I bet V-strom forums are much like the Bandit forums, in that some love, some hate, stock, aftermarket, modified seats.
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greywolf
Male Moderator
1495 Posts
[Mentor]


Evanston, IL
USA

Suzuki

DL650AL2

Posted - 11/12/2013 :  4:30 PM
Many V-Strom riders change seats and windscreens. I have a 32" inseam which is fine for DL650s with the stock seat. I lowered my 2012 DL650 3/4" to accommodate a Russel Day Long seat. Lowering is a common modification. Check in at one of the V-Strom forums for loads of information. Some of the best things about the bike are peer support and the amount of aftermarket stuff available.
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aidanspa
Male Advanced Member
1739 Posts
[Mentor]


Omaha, NE
USA

Harley-Davidson

Road King

Posted - 11/12/2013 :  5:30 PM
Motorcycle Mall in Belleville, NJ has a 2008 KLE650 Versys with 21k for $5,700:

http://www.motorcyclemall.com/2008K...ed=1&vin=#/0

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rayg50
Male Moderator
2082 Posts
[Mentor]


NYC, NY
USA

Honda

Shadow Spirit 750DC

Posted - 11/12/2013 :  7:02 PM
quote:
I think you'll have to take a test ride Ray.

Don't I know it. Haven't found anywhere around here where they have had one to test ride. I was actually tempted to sign up for a 3 day tour of Virginia (I think) a couple of years back because it included the use of a V-Strom. LOL. I thought better of it because I did not want to ruin it for others if my knees did not cooperate along the way.

Magnawing, I want ABS on this one and the last time I checked it was not available on the 1000. I have not looked recently so maybe it is offered now. The DL1000 seems to come with the 33.1 seat height and I would prefer the 32.3 feeling that I could get away with adding a more comfortable seat.

Greywolf, thanks for reminding me about lowering the bike. I might be able to get a comfortable seat and still flat foot the bike.

BTW, for those that are wondering about my insistence on flat footing, I live off of I-95 and we get a ton of 18 wheeler traffic. By the end of a hot summer their wheels have put grooves in the tar that are not normally visible. You become aware of them if you stop on the crest of a groove and put your foot down into the groove. Wakes you up real quick.

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kacinpa
Male Advanced Member
802 Posts
[Mentor]


Lansdale, PA
USA

Triumph

Sprint GT

Posted - 11/12/2013 :  9:44 PM
For the cost of the ride to PA you can get your test ride.

The dealership I sent you the link for will pull virtually ANY bike on their floor out for a test ride and they have a nice route, about 2o miles, with a combination of open road and nice twisties to check out a bike.

They have the subject V-Strom on the floor, and a big selection of new and used Triumphs, Suzukis, Yamahas and Kawasakis. I must have taken 10 to 12 bikes out for test rides before I bought my Sprint, just there.
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