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Hello all riders. So I'm in the market for a new bike but I'm torn on what to get. I currently have a 2019 Kawasaki Ninja ZX6R. It's a sweet bike but I'm just not too into sports bikes. I used to have a Harley V-ROD and loved it.

So here's where I would love some suggestions: my riding will mainly consist of town and highway riding up to maybe 1-2 hours at a time. However I want something that would be decent at taking long trips. I have my eye on something like a iron 1200 or a fat Bob. I've also been looking into adventure bikes like the Suzuki V-strom and Kawasaki Verseys. I'm looking to buy used and keep it under $10k. Thanks in advance!
 

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Hello all riders. So I'm in the market for a new bike ... I have my eye on something like a iron 1200 or a fat Bob. [or] adventure bikes like the Suzuki V-strom and Kawasaki Verseys...
Wow, that covers a lot of ground... I'd guess your first chore might be to narrow your focus... the adventure bikes are all the rage at the moment and apparently sell well, but I seldom see them in daily-rider commuter lots; likewise seldom see a V-Rod, but do see the earlier V-Stroms (or its older cousins) and of course Harleys of many flavors... it does sound like you are primarily a pavement rider, so maybe that will help you narrow your search -- as for staying under $10K... very easily done (been riding since the 60s, had Hondas to Harley Ultras and never have paid over $10K).
 

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I would find a nice 2017 or 2018 (if you search hard) Honda Africa Twin. It is stone-cold reliable. It is an ADV bike. Very cheap to maintain, insure, etc. If you happen to pick up one with the DCT transmission, it is an even better choice. Has good low-end torque, and faster acceleration than most any cruiser outside of a V-rod, Vmax or Diavel. Better all-around bike than a V-strom (I had a lof of them) and the resale stays strong on them (after the initial year or two). Plus if you ever want to go offroad it is one of the most competent ADV bikes. If you get the adventure sport version, you get better suspension, larger tank and with an easy 50 mpg gives me a 300 mile range, and a few other nice touches (heated grips).

I currently have one with the DCT and it is my go-to bike for every day riding and commuting. It is really hard to beat. I have other bikes, quicker, faster, etc. but when it comes to day in and out riding, I use it the most. There is a reason ADV bikes are some of the best selling bike around. BMW's best selling bike has been their GS series of adventure bikes for many years. Just because it can go offroad doesn't mean it is a pretty competent road bike. Tire choice is your friend here for most of the ADV bikes. Most of them are pretty good on the street except the very enduro biased ones. If you go the ADV route, the most visceral, close to a sport bike feel, would be the Ducati Multistrada. It is a great bike but likely over your budget. It is the love child between a superbike and an ADV bike. You get great Brembo brakes, strong motor 150 at the rear wheel, ride modes, heated grips, cruise control and great suspension. Not many sport bikes will pull a Multi on a backroad and they sure aren't as comfortable as it on the road.

There are so many Harleys on the road where I live. You can be in a school of fish or chart your own path a bit.
 

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You might go test ride a few adventure bikes, or find a cheap used one to ride for a few months just to see if you like it. Cruiser vs Adv is a very riding different experience.

Scratch that, what’s with these “or” responses?! You should be a very happy “and” guy.
 

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I have a new Honda Africa Twin Adventure Sports, manual 6 speed and LOVE it BUTTTTTTTT, it is a VERY tall bike and getting on and off the thing is okay if you are younger but my OLD hips don't really appreciate the KARATE kick necessary to mount the thing. Once in the saddle, all is well and the bike is VERY comfortable, although the seat, like on most of the bikes I've owned, seems to get uncomfortable at about the 150 to 200 mile mark and I start squirming around a bit. Power and shifting is smooth as butter and the PLUSH suspension @ around 10 inches front and rear is to die for!!!! (Sportster's and Fat Bobs have 2.5 inches rear travel and 4.5 in the front)

I've had a new 2003 Suzuki DL1000 and a new 2016 DL650 V-Strom and they both were superb, reliable, capable, fast and have a huge following. Aside from a few things, the 650 is every bit the bike that my Africa Twin is: Not quite as fast and not quite as plush but a LOT less money, new or used.

Have fun choosing!

Sam:)
 

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Ever consider a sport touring bike like a Yamaha FJR or Kawasaki Concours 14? Kind of a tank for short hops, but if you're an hour or more on the road, they sure are nice.
 

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Porky makes some great points but I would also factor in your altitude. I have a 650 v-strom and SV-650. While they are pretty entertaining at sea level, at altitude (over 5000') the felt like riding a 250 motorscooter at sea level. Just something to factor in when someone makes a suggestion. Altitude really saps the power and so does carrying another person. If. you aren't in a hurry, or passing on narrow 2 lane roads, they might be less of an issue. I always err on the slightly bigger side as I never know where my rides will take me. After living in the mountains for a while, it really changed my perspective on what I wanted.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I have a new Honda Africa Twin Adventure Sports, manual 6 speed and LOVE it BUTTTTTTTT, it is a VERY tall bike and getting on and off the thing is okay if you are younger but my OLD hips don't really appreciate the KARATE kick necessary to mount the thing. Once in the saddle, all is well and the bike is VERY comfortable, although the seat, like on most of the bikes I've owned, seems to get uncomfortable at about the 150 to 200 mile mark and I start squirming around a bit. Power and shifting is smooth as butter and the PLUSH suspension @ around 10 inches front and rear is to die for!!!! (Sportster's and Fat Bobs have 2.5 inches rear travel and 4.5 in the front)

I've had a new 2003 Suzuki DL1000 and a new 2016 DL650 V-Strom and they both were superb, reliable, capable, fast and have a huge following. Aside from a few things, the 650 is every bit the bike that my Africa Twin is: Not quite as fast and not quite as plush but a LOT less money, new or used.

Have fun choosing!

Sam:)
Thanks! I was looking at the Africa Twin. Looks like an amazing bike. I am a bit worried about the seat height however. I don't mind the karate kick but I'm 5' 8" so not sure how I would like that tall of a bike. My Ninja is about 33.5" seat height and I can't quite flat foot it.
 

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Well, the height is a bit deceiving on the AT. Not to mention the seat is height adjustable. Keep in mind the listed seat height "Standard position 34.3 inches/Low position 33.5 inches", and varies by model, is with NO WEIGHT on the bike. So once you get your foot over, and sit on it. you regain a fair bit of height due to suspension sag if you have it set right. So while I am relatively tall (over 6') I have shorter legs and a long torso, I still can sit on it pretty easy once I get my leg over as the suspension compresses under my weight. It also helps that the saddle is narrower toward the front so it doesn't splay your legs.

While it may not be superbike quick, it is pretty solid. Fully geared up, I am over 300 pounds. If I put the beans to my AT so to speak, it will consistently click of 4 seconds flat 0-60. If I get a perfect launch on my KTM 890R (which is a pretty quick bike) I am running 3.8. Don't look at the absolute times but the relative between the 2. What it really shows in cut and thrust commuting, if you need to do it, the AT is a very willing partner and just generally pretty fun when you twist the throttle. It isn't OMG fast like a hypersport bike or your Ninja 600 is, but it has power at any RPM, not the last third of the tach.

In general, there are so many great bikes out there and the choices can be overwhelming. But if I had to pick one bike that was simple and inexpensive to maintain, reliable, efficient, versatile and generally fun, the AT would be at the top of my list. I have quite a few bikes, let's just say I have an addiction, and the bikes I ride the most are my AT, KTM 890R and my wife's CanAm Ryker 900. What is interesting about all of them, they have what I'd call midsize motors 900-1000cc. Which is a great displacement for general riding.
 

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Great write up DT.:)

Since I don't off-road my ATAS, I set front and rear preload to allow lots of SAG at stand still, to make it easy to mount and my seat is on the low setting. Once on the bike, flat footing is not and issue as I weigh 340 lbs---solid table muscle:)

I am 6ft-5in tall but have only a 33 inch inseam so I get most of my elevation from the Butt up.

I recently came off a Triumph Rocket 3 Roadster so after that, really nothing impresses me as far a torque, immediate acceleration and Horsepower but the ATAS has a very satisfying engine and gearbox and the torque and acceleration will surprise you. The very advanced ride computer with many ABS settings, traction control, power levels and even 'engine braking deceleration levels,' are all amazing! I hardly ever have to use my brakes, even in hilly and mountainous terrain and have to warn those following me of that fact---don't expect to see my brake lights to alert you to slow down when following me!

Sam:)
 

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I had a Rocket 3 Roadster (R3R) too. Put on the TOR exhaust and it was very torquey but honestly, I expected more. I parted with it last year. The weight and lack of pure acceleration (that I thought it should have had) were the deciding factors. I had bought a Ducati xDiavel S and was trying to decide which to keep for sort of a muscle cruiser. For me the xDiavel was hands down the winner. It accelerated like a hyperbike, brakes like the same, and surprisingly good handling. It had half the displacement but there wasn't a situation, or speed, that the Duc didn't shame my R3R. I thought about going the Carpenter route but in the end I passed. I have been visiting the Triumph dealer a lot since the new one came out though. :)

I have to say that if Chasewatmatters likes a cruiser styled bike, a used xDiavel might be a good option too. Not sure if it would be in his price range but with the 1260 motor, they are hella fast, pretty comfy and I know a lot of people that slap on a small windscreen and some bags and tour everywhere. The belt drive is pretty maintenance free. Fuel economy is good. You have cruise control and the riding position is adjustable (you can move the footpegs forward and back). The main downside to the bike is the maintenance costs will be higher though to Ducati's credit, the major (read expensive) ones are at much higher miles than before. Not to muddy the water with that suggestion but if you like a cruise that doesn't really suck in performance, and will suck the headlights out of a v-rod without even trying, the xDiavel is your huckleberry. Not as single focused as a vmax either.
 

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I had a Rocket 3 Roadster (R3R) too. Put on the TOR exhaust and it was very torquey but honestly, I expected more. I parted with it last year. The weight and lack of pure acceleration (that I thought it should have had) were the deciding factors. I had bought a Ducati xDiavel S and was trying to decide which to keep for sort of a muscle cruiser. For me the xDiavel was hands down the winner. It accelerated like a hyperbike, brakes like the same, and surprisingly good handling. It had half the displacement but there wasn't a situation, or speed, that the Duc didn't shame my R3R. I thought about going the Carpenter route but in the end I passed. I have been visiting the Triumph dealer a lot since the new one came out though. :)

I have to say that if Chasewatmatters likes a cruiser styled bike, a used xDiavel might be a good option too. Not sure if it would be in his price range but with the 1260 motor, they are hella fast, pretty comfy and I know a lot of people that slap on a small windscreen and some bags and tour everywhere. The belt drive is pretty maintenance free. Fuel economy is good. You have cruise control and the riding position is adjustable (you can move the footpegs forward and back). The main downside to the bike is the maintenance costs will be higher though to Ducati's credit, the major (read expensive) ones are at much higher miles than before. Not to muddy the water with that suggestion but if you like a cruise that doesn't really suck in performance, and will suck the headlights out of a v-rod without even trying, the xDiavel is your huckleberry. Not as single focused as a vmax either.
That xDiavel looks awesome, but yeah looks like they're out of my price range. I'm definitely very interested in the Africa Twin. I'll just have to see if I can test ride one somewhere.
 

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Great write up DT.:)

Since I don't off-road my ATAS, I set front and rear preload to allow lots of SAG at stand still, to make it easy to mount and my seat is on the low setting. Once on the bike, flat footing is not and issue as I weigh 340 lbs---solid table muscle:)

I am 6ft-5in tall but have only a 33 inch inseam so I get most of my elevation from the Butt up.

I recently came off a Triumph Rocket 3 Roadster so after that, really nothing impresses me as far a torque, immediate acceleration and Horsepower but the ATAS has a very satisfying engine and gearbox and the torque and acceleration will surprise you. The very advanced ride computer with many ABS settings, traction control, power levels and even 'engine braking deceleration levels,' are all amazing! I hardly ever have to use my brakes, even in hilly and mountainous terrain and have to warn those following me of that fact---don't expect to see my brake lights to alert you to slow down when following me!

Sam:)
Yeah that's good to know that there's a good amount of adjustment on the twin. I'm 5' 8" and 210 pounds. I have a 30" inseam. I just know that if I find one to test ride they'll most likely have it set up on a higher setting.
 

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Well, the height is a bit deceiving on the AT. Not to mention the seat is height adjustable. Keep in mind the listed seat height "Standard position 34.3 inches/Low position 33.5 inches", and varies by model, is with NO WEIGHT on the bike. So once you get your foot over, and sit on it. you regain a fair bit of height due to suspension sag if you have it set right. So while I am relatively tall (over 6') I have shorter legs and a long torso, I still can sit on it pretty easy once I get my leg over as the suspension compresses under my weight. It also helps that the saddle is narrower toward the front so it doesn't splay your legs.

While it may not be superbike quick, it is pretty solid. Fully geared up, I am over 300 pounds. If I put the beans to my AT so to speak, it will consistently click of 4 seconds flat 0-60. If I get a perfect launch on my KTM 890R (which is a pretty quick bike) I am running 3.8. Don't look at the absolute times but the relative between the 2. What it really shows in cut and thrust commuting, if you need to do it, the AT is a very willing partner and just generally pretty fun when you twist the throttle. It isn't OMG fast like a hypersport bike or your Ninja 600 is, but it has power at any RPM, not the last third of the tach.

In general, there are so many great bikes out there and the choices can be overwhelming. But if I had to pick one bike that was simple and inexpensive to maintain, reliable, efficient, versatile and generally fun, the AT would be at the top of my list. I have quite a few bikes, let's just say I have an addiction, and the bikes I ride the most are my AT, KTM 890R and my wife's CanAm Ryker 900. What is interesting about all of them, they have what I'd call midsize motors 900-1000cc. Which is a great displacement for general riding.
That's really helpful. I'm 210 plus gear so it seems if I set up the AT the right way then it would be doable. Definitely won't be able to flat foot it which would be ideal, but that's okay. I also like that the twin is a 1000 compared to the strom 650, although they do make a 1000 model. Does it have cruise control by chance?
 

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Porky makes some great points but I would also factor in your altitude. I have a 650 v-strom and SV-650. While they are pretty entertaining at sea level, at altitude (over 5000') the felt like riding a 250 motorscooter at sea level. Just something to factor in when someone makes a suggestion. Altitude really saps the power and so does carrying another person. If. you aren't in a hurry, or passing on narrow 2 lane roads, they might be less of an issue. I always err on the slightly bigger side as I never know where my rides will take me. After living in the mountains for a while, it really changed my perspective on what I wanted.
Also a good point. I've never rode at higher than 1000 ft. However I plan on riding between 5-7000 altitude. Do you reckon the Twin would handle that altitude without modification?
 

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A good rule of thumb is you lose about 3% of your power for each 1,000' of altitude above sea level for a normally aspirated (non-turbo or supercharged) motor. So your AT is fine but it will feel about like a 650 V-strom when you are at 7k feet. ;)

I had the 1000cc Vstrom and the 650. They weren't that different in weight once you got rid of the stock (heavy) exhausts and went to some lighter mufflers. I'll take the AT over the V-strom any day. The Vee is a very good bike, the AT is just a better one. No cruise on the AT unless you go with a 2020 model and then the price is back up there.
 

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Currently there is no African Twin 900???? The models are 1,000 and 1100 cc's in the 2020's.

I have been averaging right under 50+ MPG in Rural settings at a normal 55 MPH and 45++ on the Interstates at 70 to 80 MPH! Just for your info.:)

Sam:)
 
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