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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So despite the date I created my account on this forum, I'm still a relatively new rider at the age of 50. I bought a used Honda Nighthawk 650 (CB650SC) a while back, rarely rode it for a few years, and eventually sold it. I'm not a motorcycle guy at all. I'm also 6'4" so I was never quite comfortable on that bike. Honestly, I probably only truly fit on a BMW GS but no way do I want something so big, or expensive, and more importantly..so heavy!

The most fun I've ever had on a motorcycle was during two occasions. One - my MSF course on a Honda Rebel 250. Two - a 125cc dirt bike that a friend let me ride around his country backyard and streets. Were they technically too small for my frame? Sure. Was it fun? You betcha...in spades.

So maybe I missed out in my youth, but I probably would have been a decent dirt bike/SuperMoto guy. I guess I like the flickable agility of a smaller, lighter bike. Since that's fun, something with a smaller engine in the 400c range is what I will buy next - size be damned. I have my eye on a retro Genuine G400C or maybe something unique like the Zero FXS. Fun is 100% the most important factor.

Now I don't mean to knock anyone who loves Goldwings or Harley Electra Glides, but I don't get it. I admit I've never rode one, but turning corners and going through twisties...are they fun? If I ever need to go across States and carry luggage, I'd be more comfortable in my own car. But then, as we established, I'm not a motorcycle guy.

So hat's off to the die-hard Touring folks out there. Part of me wishes I could be like you, but I never will. Ride-on!
 

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Yes, they are fun. I put 90k on my Harley Ultra Classic before I sold it with many of those miles on beautiful twisting mountain roads. My current ride is a BMW K1600GTL. Tons of power, almost too fast, and handles like a sport bike. I've owned smaller bikes over the years too, a couple Triumph Bonneville's and a Tiger 800XC. The triple motor in that Tiger was amazing, and at about 500 lbs was super fun.

It sounds like you like the idea of riding, but for some reason you're not moving forward. I think once you're really riding things will open up for you, as to the way you're seeing things and thinking about how a bike feels or works for you.

FYI: I'm 51, didn't really start riding until I was 40. In the past 11 years I've ridden well over 100k miles and owned 6 different bikes. Wish I I had started sooner.

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I mean, I can understand not liking heavy bikes. There's a huge small bike trend going on right now where people would rather get a 125 or a 250 instead of something bigger and heavier. And I can understand it, Groms weigh basically nothing and they have hilarious agility. My old Honda Rebel was also very tossable despite looking like a cruiser and me looking like a circus bear riding it.

Some big bikes are good at hiding their weight, some not. At parking lot speeds my Goldwing has no problems reminding you of its 600 pound girth. But on the highway? It's a ballerina. You just have to find the right bike for you. If that happens to be small and low displacement, so be it! :)
 

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Most of the modern bikes are too heavy IMO. Just pushing them around is a pain. I ride my XS400 to the golf club on Friday nights. Where I park it is quite uneven. A heavy bike would be hard to handle, especially in the dark. My vote for an around town bike is for a nice 400, or even a light weight 650 like the V twin Suzuki.

But. For a steady 75 on the freeway and longer trips, a bigger cruiser is more comfortable. You might want to look at the 400 and 450 dirt bikes that are street legal. They are fine on gravel roads, and some off road riding. Yet still fine for around town.

You could get one of each.

UK
 

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I really like those Yamaha 400's...it's like a brand new 1978 classic!

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Swamp Rat Rider
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So despite the date I created my account on this forum, I'm still a relatively new rider at the age of 50. I bought a used Honda Nighthawk 650 (CB650SC) a while back, rarely rode it for a few years, and eventually sold it. I'm not a motorcycle guy at all. I'm also 6'4" so I was never quite comfortable on that bike. Honestly, I probably only truly fit on a BMW GS but no way do I want something so big, or expensive, and more importantly..so heavy!

The most fun I've ever had on a motorcycle was during two occasions. One - my MSF course on a Honda Rebel 250. Two - a 125cc dirt bike that a friend let me ride around his country backyard and streets. Were they technically too small for my frame? Sure. Was it fun? You betcha...in spades.

So maybe I missed out in my youth, but I probably would have been a decent dirt bike/SuperMoto guy. I guess I like the flickable agility of a smaller, lighter bike. Since that's fun, something with a smaller engine in the 400c range is what I will buy next - size be damned. I have my eye on a retro Genuine G400C or maybe something unique like the Zero FXS. Fun is 100% the most important factor.

Now I don't mean to knock anyone who loves Goldwings or Harley Electra Glides, but I don't get it. I admit I've never rode one, but turning corners and going through twisties...are they fun? If I ever need to go across States and carry luggage, I'd be more comfortable in my own car. But then, as we established, I'm not a motorcycle guy.

So hat's off to the die-hard Touring folks out there. Part of me wishes I could be like you, but I never will. Ride-on!

Give this one a Shot, the Indian FTR1200 .. Even though the Seat is a bit too high for me, 5 Years ago would have jumped on it ..
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Are you saying that it is light? Or are you saying that although it's a 500# bike, it's still fun and agile? It's definitely not the former, but I'll see my local dealer and have a sit...
 

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At parking lot speeds my Goldwing has no problems reminding you of its 600 pound girth. But on the highway? It's a ballerina. :)
You have a 600 lb Goldwing? What did you do with the other 200lbs?



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Let me clarify.
Anything over 425 pounds is heavy. 375 is an okay weight. My XS400, the SV650 Suzuki and many smaller bikes weigh about this much. 325 pounds is fairly light for a street or track bike. 220 pounds is very light for a track bike, and okay for a decent off road bike. For off road, if you can not lift it off the ground, your riding area will be limited.

All my Yamahas and the Triumph are heavy. My SV1000S is 410. All weights are dry.

UK
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I agree with your weight assessment UK. Here’s another question... What’s the minimum (dry) weight everybody finds acceptable to ride on the freeway at 55mph? 75mph? Or is it more of a matter of engine size? I’m assuming wind becomes a factor.
 

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I agree with your weight assessment UK. Here’s another question... What’s the minimum (dry) weight everybody finds acceptable to ride on the freeway at 55mph? 75mph? Or is it more of a matter of engine size? I’m assuming wind becomes a factor.
I don't care about weight at all, it's about wind protection and if the motor can handle the speeds with ease. It also, of course, depends on how long and how often I intend the bike in question to operate under those conditions.

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Different bikes are good at different things. UK's riding environment doesn't sound like it lends itself to heavy bikes, for example. Down here in Alabama, though, where the roads are paved and the parking lots are large, my 740lb HD is often the smallest thing in the motorcycle parking area.

Weight by itself doesn't tell you much, IMO. My bike is heavy but the center of gravity is lower than my kneecaps, so all it really does is keep the bike planted at highway speeds. It still dives into corners with ease.

My wife's BMW is only 350lbs, less than half the weight of the HD. The seat and the center of gravity are both much higher, though. Makes the bike kind of tippy. It sucks in windy conditions. 75mph is technically possible, but no one would do it for fun. It's like being a bug on an orange that fell out of an airplane.

Of the two, the HD is easier to get out of the driveway and generally easier to ride. Tight parking lot turns are easier on the BMW. Mountain roads are easier on the HD.

At least up to a point, a bike's geometry and center of gravity influence handling far more than raw weight.
 

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Swamp Rat Rider
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Was Surprised when found out my 2005 HD Dyna was 622 lbs .. With it's Turning Radius and Balance feels about 200 lbs lighter, was far easier in slow speed maneuvers and parking than my Indian Scout was which I know was well over 100 lbs lighter ..
 

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You have a 600 lb Goldwing? What did you do with the other 200lbs?



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They don't exist! The old Goldwings weigh less than the newer ones. :)

Speaking of which, I got to see the Tour DCT's front suspension in action yesterday and holy cow, Honda.
 

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They don't exist! The old Goldwings weigh less than the newer ones. :)



Speaking of which, I got to see the Tour DCT's front suspension in action yesterday and holy cow, Honda.
I road the 2018 last year and was set on buying one before a 2015 BMW 1600 fell in my lap at a price I couldn't resist. What year GW do you have? The GL1800 is listed at 799 lbs and the 1833 is just slightly under that

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Mine is a standard GL1100. No fairing or bags! :)
GL1100? that's going back in time a ways! I'm tempted to look for one of the really early ones, they are mighty cool. I saw one of the first-gen 1000's one Sunday out in the country and I was so jealous. I think it was a '75, that nice medium blue color, and it was perfectly pristine.

When I figured out I wasn't a sport bike guy and went from a 400 lb. 599 to a 600+ lb. Boulevard, I was really intimidated the first time I test rode it. But it was a lot easier to handle than I expected. It's a lot of fun out on the road, and handles fine in a parking lot if I do my part. Even if I drop it (not saying I have!) it lands on the highway bar and doesn't go over very far. I can rock it back up without help.
 

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GL1100? that's going back in time a ways! I'm tempted to look for one of the really early ones, they are mighty cool. I saw one of the first-gen 1000's one Sunday out in the country and I was so jealous. I think it was a '75, that nice medium blue color, and it was perfectly pristine.

When I figured out I wasn't a sport bike guy and went from a 400 lb. 599 to a 600+ lb. Boulevard, I was really intimidated the first time I test rode it. But it was a lot easier to handle than I expected. It's a lot of fun out on the road, and handles fine in a parking lot if I do my part. Even if I drop it (not saying I have!) it lands on the highway bar and doesn't go over very far. I can rock it back up without help.
I've dropped the GL once. I was a little tired one night and thought the bike was in Neutral, so I didn't hold in the clutch. Hit the starter and the bike rolled away from me. The engine and its surrounding cage are so wide that the position it came to rest in wasn't all that steep at all. Laughed it off and went on my way. I generally ride it like a sportbike anyway, so I'm always getting scrapes on the protective cage.



 
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Personally I have no use for a bike over 500 pounds. Especially if it has a high center of gravity & no place to grab to lift it off the ground after it falls. I ride solo & don't tour. I'd probably be happy with a Kawasaki Z400. I have a 168cc scooter that's a blast to ride, Genuine Buddy 170i. It's as small as a 50cc scoot but does about 65. It's faster down a twisty road than my Vstrom 650, the "Iron Giraffe."
 
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