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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi to all.

So, i guess this must be an early mid-life crisis thing for me since lately I have been daydreaming about owning a nice ADV type bike and tour around Europe and who knows..even further away in the future.

The title says "newbie" because I have zero actual experience on a motorbike, however I have been riding a heavy-ish 300cc scooter for about 10 years now (albeit only for commuting) so I can say that I am not exactly oblivious to two-wheeled transportation.

Anyway, to cut a long story short, after considering available models, prices, equipment, displacements, related costs etc. I have narrowed down my choices to 2 models:
  • Suzuki DL650 V-Strom 2008-ish
  • Honda XL700V Transalp 2008-ish
What I am looking for to put things in perspective:
  • Decent comfort during long rides (even for a pillion, not sure if the wife will follow but might)
  • Reliable, trouble free, just the normal servicing when needed which would not break the bank..
  • Good mpg efficiency
  • ABS (both the above models have it)
  • Mostly for tarmac (any off-road would be rare and on gravel roads at the worst)
  • Decent-ish after-sale value
  • Max 700cc any higher and extra costs (insurance etc.) start going too high
  • Suitable for a new rider with know-how on a machine with half the bhp and no experience at all using a clutch
I know it sounds a lot but even though I am no expert i think that both models check most (if not all) the above boxes.

To tell the truth my biggest concern is the weight and total size of both. I am 5 foot 10 about 175 pounds and with an inseam of about 32" my scooter is about 420 pounds wet but both machines give me the impression of being bulky, heavy and a handful to "manage" even though i will be keeping the scooter for daily commuting.

Anyway, would appreciate any suggestions/comments/warnings/other options etc.

Many thanks in advance
 

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1985 Yamaha Virago 1000
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To tell the truth my biggest concern is the weight and total size of both. I am 5 foot 10 about 175 pounds and with an inseam of about 32" my scooter is about 420 pounds wet but both machines give me the impression of being bulky, heavy and a handful to "manage" even though i will be keeping the scooter for daily commuting.

Anyway, would appreciate any suggestions/comments/warnings/other options etc.

Many thanks in advance
Adventure bikes are going to run a little bulkier especially if you have saddlebags, this won't really be "felt" other then when you have to park it in a tight spot. Adventure bikes are also usually pretty light for a motorcycle, they have to be for offroad capabilities. The bikes you're looking at are for the most part within 100 pounds of your moped, and are balanced extremely well so you won't really be feeling a large weight increase at all. They are kinda high up off the ground, i'm your height and most adventure bikes I can only balance with my tippy toes at a complete stop, but like I said they are balanced really well so it's not uncomfortable. The after sale value on any adventure bike almost always depends on the kind of condition it's in after you're done with it, as this can vary quite a bit. Keep it well maintained and clean it after getting dirty, and try not to throw it off a mountain too many times. The Japanese brands you're looking at really aren't any more difficult to maintain or manage then any other motorcycle and are generally pretty simple going, although if you we're looking at a Ducati i'd be worried. Go to a local dealership and sit on some, if you can manage sitting on one while you aren't moving at all then you don't really have anything to worry about. If you struggle sitting on it and it just feels too awkward perhaps looking at a cruiser or something more low to the ground would be appropriate. Good luck and have a good day sitting on some bikes!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Adventure bikes are going to run a little bulkier especially if you have saddlebags, this won't really be "felt" other then when you have to park it in a tight spot. Adventure bikes are also usually pretty light for a motorcycle, they have to be for offroad capabilities. The bikes you're looking at are for the most part within 100 pounds of your moped, and are balanced extremely well so you won't really be feeling a large weight increase at all. They are kinda high up off the ground, i'm your height and most adventure bikes I can only balance with my tippy toes at a complete stop, but like I said they are balanced really well so it's not uncomfortable. The after sale value on any adventure bike almost always depends on the kind of condition it's in after you're done with it, as this can vary quite a bit. Keep it well maintained and clean it after getting dirty, and try not to throw it off a mountain too many times. The Japanese brands you're looking at really aren't any more difficult to maintain or manage then any other motorcycle and are generally pretty simple going, although if you we're looking at a Ducati i'd be worried. Go to a local dealership and sit on some, if you can manage sitting on one while you aren't moving at all then you don't really have anything to worry about. If you struggle sitting on it and it just feels too awkward perhaps looking at a cruiser or something more low to the ground would be appropriate. Good luck and have a good day sitting on some bikes!
Thanks for the reply. Well when it comes to saddle height I am hoping I will be ok on both models. According to the specs and that cycle-ergo site I should be able to flat foot no problem on both machines. Have been standing right on the side of a V-strom and seeing how low that seat was I am optimistic I could sit without too much drama, of course that was a random bike so I have no idea if any modifications were done to it..
 

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Thanks for the reply. Well when it comes to saddle height I am hoping I will be ok on both models. According to the specs and that cycle-ergo site I should be able to flat foot no problem on both machines. Have been standing right on the side of a V-strom and seeing how low that seat was I am optimistic I could sit without too much drama, of course that was a random bike so I have no idea if any modifications were done to it..
Just keep in mind they are taller then most bikes so they have clearance for offroad. I still would say to go to a dealership and just sit on a bunch of stuff before you get too stuck on what you want, and find a good salesman that is willing to let you sit on a bunch of stuff and provide information.
 
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