Other bike suggestions

Itchytoe

2018
CB650F
Dec 15, 2019
I'm nearing the end of my second riding season for my CB650F. She's been a wonderful bike, and I still love riding it. I've put more than a few miles on it in my year and a half of riding. I've been down to the Padre' Islands on the Gulf coast, up to the top of Pike's Peak, down to the Florida Keys, up to the Great Lakes, over to the Black Hills, into the desert around Albuquerque, over to the Shenandoah Valley, down the infamous Tail of the Dragon (overrated), and across the Million Dollar Highway in Colorado. It has really been one heck of a ride! Except for one very unfortunate deer encounter in Ohio, I have had nothing but good times. I honestly still recommend Honda's 650 class bikes to practically anybody. They are great!

Sadly, I find myself wanting a big more umph from time to time. I've been hitting the rev limiter more often than I'd like lately because I want just a little more out of each gear before shifting. She is still doing great around the twisties and canyons. I just find myself looking for a bit more umph when the road straightens up, or when that interstate onramp is clear and I pretend like my speedo is reading kmh instead of mph. Being a long distance rider, I'd also a bigger fuel tank to not need to refuel every 150ish miles. I do plenty of 500+ mile days. I sure as heck didn't expect that when I got this bike, but here I am doing it.

I hate to say it, but I think I'm just ready to upgrade bikes for next season. I know plenty of you folks have multiple bikes and practically all of you have more experience than me, so I turn to you for suggestions. I'd like something in the 100 to 120ish hp range with a decently flat hp curve. I'd also like something with an easy upright position for those long days. I tested out a couple of 600 class bikes and they aren't my style. I like the top end rush, but hate the anemic bottom end. I'm 235 pounds so I like a bit of low end grunt to push my fat butt around town. They also aren't exactly touring friendly in the rider ergo department. For some reason, I like the idea of a triple cylinder engine, but I haven't had the chance to ride one. Triumph's Street Triple has really caught my eye. I'd like to find one to try out and see how it rides.

I want something comfortable, powerful, good for long rides and the weekend twisty canyon road, and looks good doing it. I guess you could say I'm looking for a Dad bike that doesn't look like a Dad bike. Any suggestions?
 

miweber929

2014
CBR650F
650 Alumnus
Staff
Feb 13, 2015
Woodbury, MN
Well, I've only had the CB, so I that's all I'm intimately familiar with. I'm certainly not opposed to fairings, but it would need to be an upright ride like the Ninja 1000 rather than the R6.
New or used?

Big budget, little budget, no budget or target price?

And is there anything you need or want with the new bike? Say cruise control, factory luggage, ride modes, single sided swingarm, things like that.

How important are these things: looks, comfort, fuel mileage, power, handling?

So if you want power and like triples, the Triumph Street or Speed Triple or Yamaha XSR900, MT-09, or Tracer are pretty cool. MV Augusta have an 800cc triple motor in a few things that are interesting. Couple others I’d look at are the Kawasaki 900cc bikes, and the GSX-S series Suzuki’s, maybe the Honda CB1000R would be a good update.

Or of you want character, the Ducati Supersport was redesigned for 2021 and addresses all the current models weaknesses (save for cruise control), with a set of bar risers would be VERY upright.

Depending on the answers to the above, I have more ideas.
 

Itchytoe

2018
CB650F
Dec 15, 2019
New or used?

Big budget, little budget, no budget or target price?

And is there anything you need or want with the new bike? Say cruise control, factory luggage, ride modes, single sided swingarm, things like that.

How important are these things: looks, comfort, fuel mileage, power, handling?
Used is more likely than new, just because that's typically a much better bang for the buck. Something around $8,000 would be awesome, though that's not a hard requirement. If I can get a significantly better bike for a little more I'll likely do that too. Just no $25,000 kind of price tags.

A quickshifter and ABS would be cool. Cruise control and ride modes would also be neat but I doubt I'd use them much. I'd likely play with them for the first few weeks, then forget they exist. Those things are "wants" rather than "needs".

Comfort is probably the most important to me. If I can't make a 500 mile ride without a sore back, it isn't the bike for me. That's a deal breaker for sure! I hate to admit it, but looks matter too. I typically pride myself on function over form in the things I own. The motorcycle is my exception to that rule. It's purely a toy. If I'm going to have a toy, I want to look good while I play with it. What's the point of a grey sports car when they also come in Candy Apple Red, Highlighter Yellow, and Metallic Emerald Green? Might as well get the good looking one! As far as handling goes, anything that handles like a stock CB/CBR is plenty for me. I'm not setting any track records, and don't typically push cornering on public roads. Power? The 650 plus about 20% would be perfect I think. I really like how Honda's 650s make their power. Good low end power for around town and a decent top end too. If the 650 had the same top end as the CBR600RR, I'd be happy!

Oh yea, mileage. That's not a concern really. Some extra range would be nice. I'd be happy with lower fuel economy and a bigger tank. My truck gets terrible mileage so any bike is great in comparison.
 

MrFritz86

2019
CB650R
Sep 28, 2019
Spring Hill, TN
Stepping in since I recently bought a second bike for sport/touring purpose.
Don’t ride as much as you do, but I guess the needs we are looking into are very similar
I was looking for a bit more power and low end grunt, just to get quickly through certain situations, especially when loading side cases and other bags.
More upright position and some decent wind protection. As for the seat goes, aftermarket brand is a must most of the time.

well I bought the Tracer 900, and it definitely is much better for longer rides, I did a couple of hours ride on the CB and wanted something different.
Taller/larger windscreen must be used just to ease up the stress of full wind blast on longer rides (it makes a huge difference), the stock seat isn’t bad but the Sargent I bought is much better.

Upright seating position is very nice, the pegs position is a bit sporty, you can eventually put the seat on high and get more leg room.
I’m 5’10” and the bike still pretty high even with the seat on low.

the GT offers much more options for a very good price, now that the 2021 has been announced you could eventually find one for a great deal.

if you already have cases and bags that could be transferred on a different bike with maybe just swapping the bracket or mountings, then you already saved a lot of money.

Beside the Tracer, there are very good touring bikes, I personally ditched the idea of European brand due to lack of parts and higher labor costs, also the higher price tag didn’t fit my budget.

if you like the idea of a naked bike, CB1000R is a great machine
Check out this guy

Maybe a KTM Duke or SuperDuke (but I would personally stay away from these)
Kawasaki (if you like the brand) has the Versys but I personally don’t like the design, neither the brand.
Triumph has the Tiger, now they just announced the 850 sport, it should be a bit cheaper, so maybe finding the 800 at lower price would be easier.
I don’t see the street triple fitting what you’re looking for, just the engine would fit the need.

one bike that I would really like to test is the BMW S1000XR, I know it’s European and expensive (luckily is using a chain at least), but I think it’s just the much better version of the tracer, and it would definitely be on my next bike list for the future.
Fun enough but still keeps the touring purpose.

Oh and the center stand is absolutely a beautiful thing!!
Another thing to consider is the cruise control, at first I thought a throttle lock would be enough, but it doesn’t have the electronic control over the engine, it’s easy to find yourself going too slow uphill or too fast downhill.
 

miweber929

2014
CBR650F
650 Alumnus
Staff
Feb 13, 2015
Woodbury, MN
Used is more likely than new, just because that's typically a much better bang for the buck. Something around $8,000 would be awesome, though that's not a hard requirement. If I can get a significantly better bike for a little more I'll likely do that too. Just no $25,000 kind of price tags.

A quickshifter and ABS would be cool. Cruise control and ride modes would also be neat but I doubt I'd use them much. I'd likely play with them for the first few weeks, then forget they exist. Those things are "wants" rather than "needs".

Comfort is probably the most important to me. If I can't make a 500 mile ride without a sore back, it isn't the bike for me. That's a deal breaker for sure! I hate to admit it, but looks matter too. I typically pride myself on function over form in the things I own. The motorcycle is my exception to that rule. It's purely a toy. If I'm going to have a toy, I want to look good while I play with it. What's the point of a grey sports car when they also come in Candy Apple Red, Highlighter Yellow, and Metallic Emerald Green? Might as well get the good looking one! As far as handling goes, anything that handles like a stock CB/CBR is plenty for me. I'm not setting any track records, and don't typically push cornering on public roads. Power? The 650 plus about 20% would be perfect I think. I really like how Honda's 650s make their power. Good low end power for around town and a decent top end too. If the 650 had the same top end as the CBR600RR, I'd be happy!

Oh yea, mileage. That's not a concern really. Some extra range would be nice. I'd be happy with lower fuel economy and a bigger tank. My truck gets terrible mileage so any bike is great in comparison.
Ok, cool, that helps a lot. So you’re looking for a true 100 or rear wheel horsepower and over 50ftlbs of torque bike. Couple I’d suggest:

Triumph: Street Triple, the one with the 675 3 cylinder motor in it or a decent Speed Triple with the 1050 triple like my Sprint has. Very solid bikes, close to bulletproof motors. Your downside is dealer support like any euro bike but then the internet helps now that you can order online. I’d also say the new Trident looks great and will have a ton of factory support. If you want modern retro the Bonnevilles, Scramblers and Thruxtons, Street and Speed Twin’s are also great, full of fun bikes.

Yamaha: FZ-08 (newer than I think ‘13 has fully adjustable suspension), MT/FZ-09 (newer ones are better), Tracer (new leftover ones are a steal because everyone wants the GT), 06-14 gen 2 FZ-1, or if you really want crazy an MT/FZ-10. The Tenere (SP) 700 looks like a decent bike too.

Honda: CB1000R, Africa Twin, any of the VFR series but especially the 2014 and above. CB1100 is also a great, standard style bike.

Kawasaki: Ninja 1000 or Versys 1000, both are heavy bikes, though. The 900cc fours are great bikes too and come in retro or modern styling depending on model.

Suzuki: GSX-S 750 and 1000 are good, solid bikes. The Vstroms are as well but kinda funky looking to me.

Euro stuff: get a used non-S Ducati Supersport and put risers on it, KTM has a lot in the 700/800cc range and a Duke would be a fun toy, Aprilia 660 Looks to be a great bike, any of the Tuono models are good, BMW F800 series, the newer XRs, but with any of them you have the dealer issues.

I’d say start looking around and see what triggers you. There are really no bad motorcycles anymore so you can’t really go wrong with anything provided you go in eyes wide open: yesterday I got my Ducati back from its annual service plus swapping the shock spring (I had bought the spring already) and flushing the brakes: $611 because I also had to pay for $200 in (aftermarket mind you) parts for them to “good will” replace and fix my sticking-when-cold clutch and hard shifting because it was 2 months out of warranty. It was worth it, the bike shifts so much better, but I think say Honda would have covered everything without question, though they only have a 1 year, not a 2 year like Ducati had. I knew that going in, though, and it’s absolutely worth it. That’s a not-abnormal Euro bike experience.
 

Bindir Dundat

2018
CB650F
May 5, 2018
Stepping in since I recently bought a second bike for sport/touring purpose.
Don’t ride as much as you do, but I guess the needs we are looking into are very similar
I was looking for a bit more power and low end grunt, just to get quickly through certain situations, especially when loading side cases and other bags.
More upright position and some decent wind protection. As for the seat goes, aftermarket brand is a must most of the time.

well I bought the Tracer 900, and it definitely is much better for longer rides, I did a couple of hours ride on the CB and wanted something different.
Taller/larger windscreen must be used just to ease up the stress of full wind blast on longer rides (it makes a huge difference), the stock seat isn’t bad but the Sargent I bought is much better.

Upright seating position is very nice, the pegs position is a bit sporty, you can eventually put the seat on high and get more leg room.
I’m 5’10” and the bike still pretty high even with the seat on low.

the GT offers much more options for a very good price, now that the 2021 has been announced you could eventually find one for a great deal.

if you already have cases and bags that could be transferred on a different bike with maybe just swapping the bracket or mountings, then you already saved a lot of money.

Beside the Tracer, there are very good touring bikes, I personally ditched the idea of European brand due to lack of parts and higher labor costs, also the higher price tag didn’t fit my budget.

if you like the idea of a naked bike, CB1000R is a great machine
Check out this guy

Maybe a KTM Duke or SuperDuke (but I would personally stay away from these)
Kawasaki (if you like the brand) has the Versys but I personally don’t like the design, neither the brand.
Triumph has the Tiger, now they just announced the 850 sport, it should be a bit cheaper, so maybe finding the 800 at lower price would be easier.
I don’t see the street triple fitting what you’re looking for, just the engine would fit the need.

one bike that I would really like to test is the BMW S1000XR, I know it’s European and expensive (luckily is using a chain at least), but I think it’s just the much better version of the tracer, and it would definitely be on my next bike list for the future.
Fun enough but still keeps the touring purpose.

Oh and the center stand is absolutely a beautiful thing!!
Another thing to consider is the cruise control, at first I thought a throttle lock would be enough, but it doesn’t have the electronic control over the engine, it’s easy to find yourself going too slow uphill or too fast downhill.

In regards to that video, I thought the bikes were pretty nice, but I would prefer the nice ride you can see 10 seconds into the video. Its environmentally friendly, sustainable, and it's exhaust makes good fertilizer. What more could you want?
 

Atucker

2019
CBR650R
Aug 18, 2020
Riding Since
2001
I'll 2nd the suggestion for the Triumph Speed Triple. I test rode a used one before buying the CBR new. The Speed Triple was the most agile bike I've ever ridden. Tons of power and just falls into turns. If I was buying a naked bike that would have been the one.
 
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