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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all -
I'm just getting back into bikes after a 25 year break. I'm pretty set on a standard style. So far, the only new or newer bikes that are grabbing me are the Triumph Bonneville and Moto Guzzi V9 Bobber. Yeah... vastly different.

If either of these had a dealer near me, one would be in my garage now - or I'd be riding it. But the nearest MG or Triumph dealers are a couple hours from me. If I buy new, or newer used, I'd kinda like to have better access to service. I've also considered an older late 60's or early 70's Bonneville. Of course, going that way, I'd plan to just handle issues on my own as best i could. Just about any other make has a dealer within 50 miles (Harley, Honda, Indian, Kawasaki, KTM, Suzuki, Yamaha)

So - my questions....

Would being that far from a dealer be an issue for you?

What bikes might I be overlooking from other manufacturers that are comparable to the Bonneville or V9 Bobber? I would kinda like to look at a CB1100. The Kawasaki W800 might be a match, but so far not really getting a spark.

Thanks for any and all thoughts and suggestions....

Steve
 

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Hi all -
I'm just getting back into bikes after a 25 year break. I'm pretty set on a standard style. So far, the only new or newer bikes that are grabbing me are the Triumph Bonneville and Moto Guzzi V9 Bobber. Yeah... vastly different.

If either of these had a dealer near me, one would be in my garage now - or I'd be riding it. But the nearest MG or Triumph dealers are a couple hours from me. If I buy new, or newer used, I'd kinda like to have better access to service. I've also considered an older late 60's or early 70's Bonneville. Of course, going that way, I'd plan to just handle issues on my own as best i could. Just about any other make has a dealer within 50 miles (Harley, Honda, Indian, Kawasaki, KTM, Suzuki, Yamaha)

So - my questions....

Would being that far from a dealer be an issue for you?

What bikes might I be overlooking from other manufacturers that are comparable to the Bonneville or V9 Bobber? I would kinda like to look at a CB1100. The Kawasaki W800 might be a match, but so far not really getting a spark.

Thanks for any and all thoughts and suggestions....

Steve
I love the bikes you listed. Yes, being far from a dealership on those would be an issue for me if you're buying new or still under warranty. I've owned two new Triumphs in the last few years, and they needed warranty and dealership only work. The older T100's were air cooled and easy to work on. My 2006 was a great bike and I wish I never sold it. Those are available for $3,000-$5,000 depending on exact bike, year etc.

MG IMO can be a handful as it relates to reliability. One of the guys in our group has one, and it's always got something going on.

Although at first glance the Kawasaki 900RS looks a bit more sport than standard, I've spent time on one and it's a great bike and has a fairly neutral riding position. The other one would be the Royal Enfield Int 650 if you have a dealership near you.

One more you might consider, is a Harley Road King. Very versatile bike

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Hi all -
I'm just getting back into bikes after a 25 year break. I'm pretty set on a standard style. So far, the only new or newer bikes that are grabbing me are the Triumph Bonneville and Moto Guzzi V9 Bobber. Yeah... vastly different.

If either of these had a dealer near me, one would be in my garage now - or I'd be riding it. But the nearest MG or Triumph dealers are a couple hours from me. If I buy new, or newer used, I'd kinda like to have better access to service. I've also considered an older late 60's or early 70's Bonneville. Of course, going that way, I'd plan to just handle issues on my own as best i could. Just about any other make has a dealer within 50 miles (Harley, Honda, Indian, Kawasaki, KTM, Suzuki, Yamaha)

So - my questions....

Would being that far from a dealer be an issue for you?

What bikes might I be overlooking from other manufacturers that are comparable to the Bonneville or V9 Bobber? I would kinda like to look at a CB1100. The Kawasaki W800 might be a match, but so far not really getting a spark.

Thanks for any and all thoughts and suggestions....

Steve
I have a MG and my local dealer closed. Seattle is now my closest for when I need it. Fortunately I also have a Triumph and my local dealer can do most work on my Guzzi. All the bikes you listed are great. I sat on a W800 the other day and it was very nice. A Yamaha Bolt might be worth looking at. They ride great. And if HD is there the Street 750 or a Sportster with mid-controls might do you. Sit on as many as you can you will know the right one. Good luck.

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I live on an island so all dealers are at least two hour’s away.
Triumph was actually one of the closer dealers.
Had mine for a year no significant issues, took it back for initial service.
I am very happy with mine.
I did a practice road test, the instructor was riding a Guzzi which was kind of nice.
 

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If you actually get into riding I think you'll find 50 miles is just a sprint to warm the bike up. So I wouldn't worry about that distance from a dealer. I ride that far and much more just to get breakfast or a hamburger.👍 ;) :rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I love the bikes you listed. Yes, being far from a dealership on those would be an issue for me if you're buying new or still under warranty. I've owned two new Triumphs in the last few years, and they needed warranty and dealership only work. The older T100's were air cooled and easy to work on. My 2006 was a great bike and I wish I never sold it. Those are available for $3,000-$5,000 depending on exact bike, year etc.

MG IMO can be a handful as it relates to reliability. One of the guys in our group has one, and it's always got something going on.

Although at first glance the Kawasaki 900RS looks a bit more sport than standard, I've spent time on one and it's a great bike and has a fairly neutral riding position. The other one would be the Royal Enfield Int 650 if you have a dealership near you.

One more you might consider, is a Harley Road King. Very versatile bike

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Thanks for the reply. I've been lurking around some Bonneville groups, and it seems almost anyone with a new one has to take it back in for something. I don't see a pattern of major issues or downright failures. It's probably just like all new owners of any model - you're gonna be more persnickety with a new baby.

The MG is a head scratcher though. You can find lots of cases where owners have not a single problem, then more than a few with problems that lead to major down time.

Thanks for the suggestions. I started with the 900RS on my list and even checked one out in a showroom. It's a beautiful bike, but a little more to the "sport" side than I'd like to go. I could probably feel better about it if it had a traditional twin shock rear suspension. With the monoshock setup, it felt like putting a passenger on back seemed to change things a lot more than on other bikes.

Royal Enfield - the 650 is interesting, but again closest dealer is 100 miles away. Road King? Really nice, but not looking to spend that much money or deal with that much weight.

Might have to go back and check out the 900RS a bit more. A few leftovers still around, and a few newer used popping up. Thanks for giving me something to think about.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I would nominate the Honda CB1100. 6 gears 2014 and up. A retro Standard, solid mechanically. I have had one for 3 months now and I am enjoying it.


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Glad to hear from someone who has one of these. These look and feel great. I am keeping an eye open for any to come available in our area. I do know of one at a dealership not too far away, but it's been tricked out a bit.
 

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Thanks for the reply. I've been lurking around some Bonneville groups, and it seems almost anyone with a new one has to take it back in for something. I don't see a pattern of major issues or downright failures. It's probably just like all new owners of any model - you're gonna be more persnickety with a new baby.

The MG is a head scratcher though. You can find lots of cases where owners have not a single problem, then more than a few with problems that lead to major down time.

Thanks for the suggestions. I started with the 900RS on my list and even checked one out in a showroom. It's a beautiful bike, but a little more to the "sport" side than I'd like to go. I could probably feel better about it if it had a traditional twin shock rear suspension. With the monoshock setup, it felt like putting a passenger on back seemed to change things a lot more than on other bikes.

Royal Enfield - the 650 is interesting, but again closest dealer is 100 miles away. Road King? Really nice, but not looking to spend that much money or deal with that much weight.

Might have to go back and check out the 900RS a bit more. A few leftovers still around, and a few newer used popping up. Thanks for giving me something to think about.
One thing on the Triumph T120 and the reason I don't have one right now. My 2017 stopped shifting while I was on a ride. Something was wrong internally, and the dealership blamed me for it. I had to go to Triumph and get it handled under warranty. My dealer was horrible. If you look around the Triumph specific forum, there seems to be a handful of people with the exact same issue on that particular bike. It might just be the 2016's and 17's, but with these forums being such a small sample of overall riders, I have no idea whether it's a prevalent issue or not.

I personally dismissed the 900 RS until my brother bought one and I got to spend time on the bike. That changed my whole outlook on the bike. I agree however; I'm not sure it would be a great two-up bike.

Are you only looking to buy new bikes? There are some absolute bargains out there on the used market. Which is how I wound up with my current BMW K1600. Harleys and BMWs drop like rocks as soon as they roll out of the showroom, and there are some unbelievable deals on super nice bikes used on craigslist etc


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Discussion Starter #10
I have a MG and my local dealer closed. Seattle is now my closest for when I need it. Fortunately I also have a Triumph and my local dealer can do most work on my Guzzi. All the bikes you listed are great. I sat on a W800 the other day and it was very nice. A Yamaha Bolt might be worth looking at. They ride great. And if HD is there the Street 750 or a Sportster with mid-controls might do you. Sit on as many as you can you will know the right one. Good luck.

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Thanks for the suggestions. What MG model do you have? Does it seem like getting parts are any more of an issue than for other makes?

Glad you like the W800. Would like to check one out. Only ones I'm seeing around right now are the cafe racer. Hadn't really thought of a Bolt, but have heard a lot of good things about them. I have wondered about the HD Street 750. Big question there is how it would handle riding 2 up. Probably won't be riding double a whole lot, but often enough to make it a consideration.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I live on an island so all dealers are at least two hour’s away.
Triumph was actually one of the closer dealers.
Had mine for a year no significant issues, took it back for initial service.
I am very happy with mine.
I did a practice road test, the instructor was riding a Guzzi which was kind of nice.
Good to hear that you're happy with your Triumph. I know it's gonna be different near a dealership, but growing up, the only place I ever saw a Guzzi was in a magazine. When I walked into a dealership last winter, I didn't even realize they were still being built.
 

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Glad to hear from someone who has one of these. These look and feel great. I am keeping an eye open for any to come available in our area. I do know of one at a dealership not too far away, but it's been tricked out a bit.
I didn’t know a lot about the bike when I bought it but the PO has painted the fenders, signal lights, headlight bracket black with plasti dip and I wouldn’t noticed except they had removed the spray from the front fender (I am sure it had peeled). Maybe had just put the original muffler back on and added a small windscreen. Like you said though it feels good and it is easy to ride. The inline 4 motor is cool. I can’t see a lot of complicated maintenance from it in the future.


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Discussion Starter #13
If you actually get into riding I think you'll find 50 miles is just a sprint to warm the bike up. So I wouldn't worry about that distance from a dealer. I ride that far and much more just to get breakfast or a hamburger.👍 ;) :rolleyes:
Yeah - ain't it amazing how far we'll go for good food? We've been known to make a road trip or 2 for bbq. Only downside is driving home feeling full as a tick.

But yes - we make the trip to that area fairly regularly for medical stuff, shows, games - and my daughter lives nearby too. I'm not that concerned about the distance, but more wondering if I should be.

Now that we're talking about it... The Triumph dealership actually has a restaurant - for real. First time we walked in, people were grubbing on what appeared to be some great fish tacos. Now look what you did... I'm hungry for tacos.
 

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Thanks for the suggestions. What MG model do you have? Does it seem like getting parts are any more of an issue than for other makes?

Glad you like the W800. Would like to check one out. Only ones I'm seeing around right now are the cafe racer. Hadn't really thought of a Bolt, but have heard a lot of good things about them. I have wondered about the HD Street 750. Big question there is how it would handle riding 2 up. Probably won't be riding double a whole lot, but often enough to make it a consideration.
I have the Audace, 1400. I have had it just over 2 years and no mechanical issues at all. 1 recall but that was Brembo, not Moto Guzzi. Most folks, like any brand have no real issues. Now that Piaggio is running things it seems they have a better supply of parts in a more reasonable amount of time. I like to change things up so, I did have custom handlebars made. I can never leave something 100 stock.
I've had my Triumph Speedmaster since 2007. Last year it developed it's first oil leak. Only major issues I've had were a stator go out, and the coils started crapping out. Lots of mods though. Like I said, I constantly tinker and change them up. I've ridden that Speedmaster all over The western US and Canada.


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Glad to hear from someone who has one of these. These look and feel great. I am keeping an eye open for any to come available in our area. I do know of one at a dealership not too far away, but it's been tricked out a bit.

Someone has to say this, so it might as well be me... You meet the nicest people on a Honda. If you're a nice person, the Honda is the obvious choice. If you're not a nice person, but have always wanted people to believe you are, buy a Honda.

I've seen a couple of those '15 CB1100 bikes for sale on Craigslist towards Kansas City, both under 5k miles, both basically stock and both around ~5k.

Obviously, if you're not a nice person, don't want to appear approachable, are generally unhappy with life and don't want it to improve, don't but a Honda.
 

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I sat on a V9 Roamer once and it fit me like a glove. Had I liked my local Guzzi dealer more, I probably would have bought one. I really liked my Guzzi and had only one minor issue with it in the four years I had it. I could still ride it, but the replacement part took two months to get here from Italy I presume. I heard some people grumbling over on the Guzzi forum that the service light can't be cleared on some of the newer models unless you take it to the dealer, which costs money. If you plan on saving money by doing you own maintenance that's worth investigating before spending your cash.
 

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Someone has to say this, so it might as well be me... You meet the nicest people on a Honda. If you're a nice person, the Honda is the obvious choice. If you're not a nice person, but have always wanted people to believe you are, buy a Honda.

I've seen a couple of those '15 CB1100 bikes for sale on Craigslist towards Kansas City, both under 5k miles, both basically stock and both around ~5k.

Obviously, if you're not a nice person, don't want to appear approachable, are generally unhappy with life and don't want it to improve, don't but a Honda.
Well...it's not a CB...but it's a Honda. My Shadow 1100, I'm currently working on.


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