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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First, sorry for the post. I imagine these get tiring at times for the people that respond. Thank you ahead of time for responding and helping me and others with these important questions.

I am getting depressingly close to 50 years old. Male, 6'1" and weight 250 lbs.

I previously owned my first motorcycle about 6 years ago. It was a used 2002 Honda VTX 1800. It was a very good first bike and was in beautiful condition with lots of aftermarket stuff. I loved learning to ride on it. However, it was just too big. Most of my riding is around town (I live in the outskirts of a large metro area so have city street riding, interstate riding, and country riding near). I loved to ride fast and found it exhilarating. I found it safer for me to take the windshield off the bike so that I could get the feel of riding faster at lower speeds. When I had the windshield up, I found myself riding faster than I wanted to get the same feel if that makes sense. But mostly, my issues with riding were three fold. One, the bike was not snappy and was way too large and heavy for the riding I wanted to do. Second, riding motorcycles is so dangerous (twice people pulled out in front of me, but I was able to avoid a collision). Third, I got an older used bike and had high cost of repairs, brakes, tires, etc.

After getting rid of my VTX about two years ago, I am feeling the itch again and willing to accept the dangers again. I need help determining what bike to buy.

I want to buy new and have a budget of about $10k (but would prefer to spend about $8k). The vast majority of my riding will be commuting to work on city roads and weekend riding (for a couple hours). I would like to take my daughters on short rides around the neighborhoods (they are currently 5 years old and 13 years old). Obviously the 5 year old when she gets older. I plan on having this bike for 10+ years and putting lots of miles on it. I will not (can not) sell and get other bikes. It was a huge fight with my wife to get this 2nd bike. So longevity/reliability is probably top priority. I like to think that I could take the bike on long trips (from Texas to North Carolina in the summer) and perhaps do off-roading. But these things might just be me going through a mid-life crisis and I don't know if I will ever do these types of things with this bike.

I was ready to pull the trigger on a Yamaha Tenere 700. But have reconsidered. I like the idea of being able to go offroad with it, but don't know if I actually ever will. I know 95% to 100% of my riding will be on roads and wonder if an adventure bike is needed for this. I am still considering an adventure bike as I think I may like the upright riding position and the ability to expand to offroad should the desire ever come about.

I am also considering a Honda CB500x and a Yamaha MT-07. The CB500x because it gets good gas mileage and probably is enough bike for my purposes. My concern with the CB500x is that I may want more power 5 years down the road (and also how that smaller bike would fit my 6'1" 250lbs fat ass). The MT07 opens up street bikes that are similar. I think the MT07 would fit the riding I will be doing most of the time but at the cost of being able to do something else should I wish it down the road. I am also not sure if I would like the less upright riding style or not. The CB500x gets better gas mileage. And both these bikes are near the $8k that I want to spend instead of the $10k of the T700.

I am open to other options as well. I have looked at and considered darn near everything! But reliability is key and my wife will kill me if I try to go over the T700 price point or look to upgrade to a different bike 5 years down the road.

Any and all advice would be helpful. I have gone to dealerships for advice and gotten some good advice and some questionable advice. Just looking for more input. I need to make the right decision on this bike as I hope to have this bike for a VERY long time.

Blackburn11

PS: I do not think used is a good way to go now as the prices of bikes that are 5 years old seem to be the same as the price of new bikes. So, I plan to put money down on a new bike and then wait months to a year to get what I want.
 

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I'm also in my 50s and recently started riding a real street motorcycle, a Honda shadow V-twin 1100. Prior to that my only significant experience was with a series of dirt bikes and dual sport / "Enduro" type bikes back in the late 80s and early 90s. None of these Honda & Suzuki motorcycles weighed more than 300 pounds.

All I can say is if you want to limit your "dirt" riding to gravel roads and maybe having to cross a little stream with a few inches of water in it,
on an established road crossing,
maybe these 500 pound beasts that they sell today as "dual sport" bikes might work for you, but I'm sure it would feel nothing like the nimble highly maneuverable dirt bikes that I had back in the day that were half the weight and a foot shorter on the wheelbase.

I suggest getting one of the smallest, lightest dedicated street motorcycles that fits you, with good ergonomics. Preferably a metric bike from a Japanese brand.

One that has the acceleration (torque) you need even with a passenger, but only up to something like 65 miles an hour--- beyond that it doesn't matter.

If you ever want to get into dirtbike riding, sell your older bike, the one you learned on, get yourself a pickup truck or a trailer, and tow your dirtbike to the track or the trails where you'll use it.
 

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I answered similar questions by buying a used BMW ... and financing 50% with the local credit union that I like A LOT and am happy to support in this small way. So far, it seems like the perfect answer in my situation.
 

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If you want to spend spend $10k by the time you add of the setup, freight, taxes and whatever else they think of, you're probably don't want to go higher than $8k to stay under the budget, which will limit your choices. Your wants are kind of all over the place, making threading the needle more challenging. You should probably prioritize what's most important and lean towards that. I would say go sit on anything you like to see it works for you. Fit is always more important on a motorcycle and highly subjective.

I find it interesting when people talk about wanting more power. My bike has less than 25HP, but keeps up just fine, even on the freeway. With my old motorcycle I do occasionally miss whacking the throttle open on the freeway onramp and getting pinned back to the seat a little, but just riding around in traffic stuck behind another vehicle the extra power won't make much of a practical difference, except maybe off the line, which you can only do at the front, presuming you're not in CA and can filter. To me, riding a motorcycle with the a CVT, so no clutch, is more tangible benefit for riding around in traffic than more horsepower, but to each his or her own. The funnest bike I've had, not that I've had a lot, was my 15HP 250cc because you could flog it for everything it had and not get into trouble. That MT-07 will be breaking the law in 2nd gear. Good luck my friend and welcome.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
That MT-07 will be breaking the law in 2nd gear.
This resonates with me. I have never ridden these bikes. I likely don't need the 75 hp of the tenere 700. Likely I would be better off without it. I am having a blast riding a cheap chinese brand scooter right now. I think my nature is to want to push whatever I ride. I would much rather have something with less power and push it for fun. I can see myself intentionally getting myself into trouble with the MT-07. Just read that it red lines in 2nd gear at like 60mph. Dang.

I agree with Gunsmoker. I am not really getting a bike to ride in the dirt.

So, what is the smallest, lightest street bike that would ergonomically fit me? Could I put my 250 lbs ass and my teenage daughter on a MT-03? I am not afraid to get a 300cc bike. I just don't want to look like a large man riding around on a tiny bike. I want to be able to get on interstate and rez the bike up and feel some nice pull and acceleration to 75. I want a bike that can travel on interstate comfortably at 80 mph as that is the speed of traffic where I live.

The Versys 650 is an interesting bike. I think I discounted it when I saw its price and size is similar to the tenere 700 and thought the tenere is a more well-rounded bike. But the t700 is more off-road oriented. So the versys would make more sense. I am thinking the CB500x would be a better fit than the versys 650. CB500x gets good gas mileage as well.

I know my thoughts are all over the place. I have even considered a Honda ADV150. I am still considering it even. I think it would be perfect for commuting to and from work. Just know I will be wanting more from it after a short time owning it.

Maybe considering the CB500x, the MT-03, or perhaps a CB500f? Or maybe a Kawasaki Z400?
 

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Go test-drive some bikes. I think you'll like MT-07. But it may be overkill if you never
hit freeways.

Z400 is also very light and makes most of its power. Better for slicing & dicing through city streets and commuting.

Then when you want off-roading, go borrow or rent dirt-bike.

Having grown up and started on 2T dirt-bikes, I've found ADV-type bikes sorely lacking in fun-factor when off-roading due to bulk and size. Kinda like what you found with VTX1800.
 

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Another vote for the MT-07.
Or even a MT-09. Still (barely) under $10k and a preferred CP3 triple engine vs a parallel twiny.
 

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No one bike does all things.
That's why a lot of people have multiple bikes.
Sort out the reality of how you will be using the bike on a regular basis and make a decision from there.
In five years, if you want to upgrade, your wife may have a different attitude after having a bike around for a few years. YOU may have a different attitude and decide to stop riding. Who knows?
So, instead of trying to find the one bike to fill all needs - look for one that meets most of them and suits the majority of riding that you will be doing.
 

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This is why I went back to owning a 500r. I like the weight and simplicity of it. The bigger bikes were awesome but I dropped the blackbird pulling it off the lift on one occasion and dropped the gold wing in the driveway when I slipped on some gravel at a stop. Like the Doktor said Sort out the reality of what you will be using the bike for, and you have to be honest with yourself. Over the years many I know laughed saying 500cc is too small and they got those giant v-twins and rode it a hand full of miles for a few years and then grew bored of it or tired of it and do not even ride any more. I really do not think it was the boredom of it as much as they got the wrong bike, and that is a very personal thing that only you can answer. Good luck with your decision(s).
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Or even a MT-09
I am liking the mt09! Seems like lots of extras for the $1600 extra cost. Adjustable suspension, riding modes, slipper clutch, not to mention the engine. I just don't think I want/need the power. Mt07 reviews say it may be better for urban riding where 95% of my riding will be. I can get the slipper clutch and an exhaust put on it down the road and still be under the cost of an mt09. Better gas mileage on the mt07. I probably wouldn't even know what to do with adjustable suspension anyway. I am hoping to find either or both these bikes to sit on and perhaps test ride. It seems that most dealerships in Houston have no inventory. But I can see what they have. Leaning towards an mt07. Thanks for advice. I am eager to hear more opinions. The more input, the better!
 

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I had a chance to ride the MT-07 and it seemed wickedly fast to me, it's the fastest bike I've driven, but a bitt scary too as I could have been easily overwhelmed with all that power being none of my bikes have been in the same league. I can't imagine having a 200HP bike. I suppose with enough time anyone could acclimate to it and learn the requisite skills for harnessing it.

One thing I did not like about the MT-07 is it is you're more leaned over than you would be on a cruiser, which is less comfortable over the long run in my experience.

I have a scooter, most of which come with a CVT. It's tough to beat from a usability perspective. It'll hum along on the freeway at 75MPH all day long. In addition to being great in traffic, it's got built in storage and because the engine/gas tank sit low in the chassis, it's very easy to maneuver. It affords me the things I like about motorcycling, feeling the wind on my face and taking things in a different way. Just don't expect it to win any drag races.
 

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XSR700 might be a better fit but, at the OP's weight/height, a suspension upgrade might be something to consider and, at that point, you are into MT09/XSR900 money...

I prefer to exhibit reasonable throttle control and have an engine that will allow me to indulge when I see fit. Granted, even us 50+ guys have a hard time with that on occasion! :ROFLMAO:
 
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I am a fan of the XSR lineup as well. Good call.
That 700 is sharp and nicely priced @ $8,899
Tire Fuel tank Wheel Automotive fuel system Automotive lighting
 

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Hi, Blackburn. I have three comments on the MT series you might factor in your consideration:
  • While Yamaha has great reliability, these are sport bike engines and not made to last 100,000 miles or 20 years.
  • You mentioned the MT sportbike riding position, but the MT's are very upright and I feel it's not that different from touring bikes in that regard. It's not the foot forward position of a cruiser, but I adjusted after about a month from my VTX and upright is better for long miles IMO.
  • I do not believe in the argument that you need a faster bike to be able to get out of trouble unless you are comparing something to a minibike or grossly underpowered bike. The MT09 will get you in much more trouble than it could ever get you out of. You will want to use the power unless you are VERY disciplined. I consider myself pretty disciplined and my MT10 has changed my riding in ways I sometimes wish it hadn't. If you want to only ride the speed limit, you will never use the power in the MT09 and are trading reliability for unused power. But you WOULD use it and like it. You have to decide if that is how you want to ride.

I agree with your comments on used bikes for the most part. I had never bought new before I got my current MT10. I bought new this time for the same reasons you mention. But there are some bikes with very high reliability that don't have high resale value you still might consider to get a little more value for your 8-10K.

I'm specifically thinking of the Yamaha FJR-1300. These are fast bikes built for long distance and have track records of low maintenance and 200,000 miles. I still have my 2007 and have never had any unscheduled maintenance on it. I have lots of acquaintances online that have had similar experiences. The main negative is the top heavy weight which wouldn't bother you with your build.

In my opinion, the FJRs are a steal at any year for what they are going for. I do like the BMWs but if you run into trouble (and many of my acquaintances have) you pay a lot more.

I also think you shouldn't give up on the Tenere. I haven't ridden the 700 but I've ridden my nephews 1200 and it's a really fun bike on the road and fits well in the niche between too fast and too boring. Lots of people never get them off road, but they still love them.

Good luck in your search! Take some motorcycle classes even though you are an experienced rider. I rode all my life and did a course at 50 and realized how many bad habits I had. Nothing but positives came out of that course and I have done several more since then.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Ha. Goodman, good advice. Just when I think I am narrowing things down, you send me back to considering more bikes!

I just looked at the FJR-1300 a bit. I was thinking of the tracer 9gt at one point. I discounted because of the price and the size. Before I got my VTX1800, I was looking at a Tiger 850. The Tiger was a long drive to pickup and the VTX was close and a steal of a price for a beautiful bike. I loved the bike. However, I do regret that purchase as I look back. I just think I want something small and snappy. I am having a blast on a junk chinese scooter my mother bought. The muffler fell off after 400 miles, but I still have a blast riding it around and likely will until the brakes stop working as that feels like what will go out next.

The majority of my riding will be commuting to work and 2 hour rides on local roads that are depressingly straight. I think smaller is better. I just need to make sure it fits me.

Honda hornet 750 looks appealing. Prob bad idea to buy a gen 1 bike. Lol
 

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[

So, what is the smallest, lightest street bike that would ergonomically fit me? Could I put my 250 lbs ass and my teenage daughter on a MT-03? I am not afraid to get a 300cc bike. I just don't want to look like a large man riding around on a tiny bike. I want to be able to get on interstate and rez the bike up and feel some nice pull and acceleration to 75. I want a bike that can travel on interstate comfortably at 80 mph as that is the speed of traffic where I live.

The Versys 650 is an interesting bike. I think I discounted it when I saw its price and size is similar to the tenere 700 and thought the tenere is a more well-rounded bike. But the t700 is more off-road oriented. So the versys would make more sense. I am thinking the CB500x would be a better fit than the versys 650. CB500x gets good gas mileage as well.


Maybe considering the CB500x, the MT-03, or perhaps a CB500f? Or maybe a Kawasaki Z400?
[/QUOTE]


I came here to vote for the Versys 650. Type Daily Rider into the Youtube search. Zac Courts tests about 30 bikes a you with the commuter in mind. He takes about 25 min to commute from his house to work and always does the same route, in this commute he will travel through residential neighborhoods, busy main arteries, and the freeway. I think He's 6'1 or 6'2. He has mentioned his height a few times. Most video's are 30 to 35 minutes long. His video's are very informative.
Some of the Daily Rider video's of bikes he's tested.
Yamaha MT-03
Yamaha MT-07
Yamaha XRS 900
Kawasaki Versys 650
Honda CB750X
Triumph Tiger 660

Myself I'm a 51 year old returning rider. I rode for a period of 4 years in high school and college. My wife wouldn't let me ride when we had kids, but once my youngest went off to university she gave me the ok to buy a motorcycle. Since I hadn't riden in over 30 years I started off small. I bought a brand new Yamaha MT-03. Here's my take on that bike.

The MT-03 is a blast in urban areas, and on single lane highways where the speed limit is 50-55mph. It's very flickable/nimble, You can drive it like you stole it and not get a ticket if you stay in the fist three gears, if that's your style of riding. It is also content just putting around if you so choose. The seating is up right and comfortable, and it get's great gas milage. I average 58 mpg.

Some of the negatives about the MT-03. Tall riders need not apply. There's a crease in the gas tank and if you have anything over a 30 inch inseam, your leg doesn't rest comfortably on the tank. I'm lucky I have a 28 inch inseam. There isn't much in the way of aftermarket accessories for this bike, especially with regards to winds screens, there are some, but a very limited choice, and they are all short ,and if you can find a tall one they are ugly on this bike. Finally when it comes to the freeway where most traffic is doing 70-80 mph this bike just sucks. At 80 you will be revving at around 8500 rpm. It gets old real quick sounding like a hive of angry bees. At 80 you can't get out of your own shadow, meaning there is no passing power. The fastest I've had my bike is about 95 mph and it struggles to get there not that I want to ride at that speed because I don't but on two occasions, on a long and empty stretch of highway I wanted to see if I could hit the ton, I couldn't. Though a few British and European tests I've read claim anywhere between 105 and 112 mph. Finally according to some tests 0-60mph comes in at around 5.11 seconds give or take a few fractions of second. While this isn't necessarily slow, about half the cars on the road today can hit 0-60 in the 5 second range. A Honda Accord with a 2.0l Turbo can 0-60 in 5.5 seconds. All that to say you are not going to be out running traffic with this bike as you pull away from a light unless you ring it's neck.

In the end I may give you the impression I'm a speed freak. I'm not. But I do think it's important to know the performance capabilities of a motorcycle. I find the 250-400cc machines just to small if you are going to have just one motorcycle and plan to do any freeway riding. I also think for a rider like me 900cc and up ( If not a cruiser ) is to much bike. I don't need to be doing 100 mph wheelies. My next bike will most likely be in the 650-800cc range. Power when you need it to get out of trouble and not so much power that you will scare yourself every time you ride your bike. Since you and I are similar in age and are both returning riders I think the same 650-800cc range would be your best bet.

All the best.
 
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