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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
OK, I put on about 6k miles a year...this year I want to do 10k as I will be able to ride more to work which is an hour each way.
I live in the boonies. I am an hour from Tulsa OK...30 mins to the small town if I need a Walmart I never ride less than an hour.
MOST of my rides are on rolling hills...but straight highway or interstate.
when I "go for a ride" The shortest ride is 90 miles....and to get to twisties and home is a 400-mile ride round trip.
I have not yet gone multi day-long rides...but I want to this year.
I never have a passenger...wife and daughter wont go with me.
Thinking of a 6-10k budget...but could do a little more if I had to for perfect bike.
Lastly...I live on 2 miles of pretty minimally maintained gravel roads.

The current bike is an FJR1300 (2006) with a used Russel Day long seat and HeliRiser bars...I like it fine...but shes been abused a bit. (dropped a couple of times at low speeds on my gravel/dirt road)
Things I like...I like the sportiness...I like being able to get into a corner...although I am not a "sportbike" guy and the FJR is WAY more capable than me. Also, I like being able to ride in colder weather (40s) without freezing and able to ride in rain pretty comfortably without changing into rain gear.
Things I dont like...riding position is a little too forward even with the HeliBars. I feel the RDL seat and the factory seat both made me slide into the fuel tank...could get a different seat, but the RDL keeps me from hurting. Before I couldnt do more than 2 hours without pain. Pretty hot with full gear even on the Interstate. I NEED cruise control. I know its a cop-out etc etc....but I need REAL cruise control. I have a throttlemiester....but on the hills that isnt very effective. Too fast downhill and too slow uphill.

I am thinking about a new to me bike.
First thought is ADV....Super Tenere or Vstrom...more upright (although cycle ergo says not a LOT different). Cruise available...and Should be able to handle my 2 miles of road to and from the highway better. BUT...also I only do gravel 2 miles each way, and 100 miles between (at least) so should I worry about that as much? I am MUCH more careful now on my gravel than I was originally when I dropped the bike. Am I giving up too much protection and performance, comfort etc? much of people talking them up these days is just whats in vouge right now. Sport touring was all the rage several years ago, now it seems ADV tour...and I dunno.

Second is just newer FJR. 2014-2016 get the cruise...I can use my RDL on it still...I kind of already know what to expect. of course I dont gain THAT much over my 06...might be better to just ad McCruise to what I have.

Third would be a 2001-2010 Goldwing. King of the Interstate. I had an 88 Venture before...and liked it fine. Good protection....too much when its hot? All that hard to maintain it myself? That extra weight between 600 on the FJR and 900 on the a lot...esp on my gravel.

I know the answer is "ride a few...see what you like" I have heard this on other people's posts...but I dont know where you go to ride bikes you dont own. The dealers are not real willing to let you test bikes to see if you will like them. The Rental places around me only have Harleys...I dont know anyone with a Super Tenere or a Vstrom to ask to ride etc.


· Administrator - American Legion Rider - KA5LRS
28,721 Posts
You need to be a serious potential buyer before dealers let you test ride. So go in with the attitude that you want to trade up or flat out purchase. You know want you like so start talking numbers but then say you need to test ride the bike or similar model first. If you don't like it then ask them which bike might fit your requirements. Deal.

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432 Posts
Sounds to me that you have two, maybe two and a half items that challenge – first is the gravel road, second is current lack of real cruise control, and the half might be the actual riding position of your FJR. For me, the RDL or BMS saddle is a must as I contemplate serious mileage – I had a Nomad and a Haley Ultra; both great bikes, similar in some ways, temperament, but both good for the long-pavement and I rode them upwards of 800 miles a week commuting on top of longer trips – but, I don’t think either would have liked your long-gravel road – I had about a quarter mile of gravel at one point and it was never the night-point of my day…

The GoldWing (and its ilk) has never been on my short list (absolutely nothing wrong with them, very popular, they just put me to sleep…) and now that I’ve had a C10 and C14 Connie (both are more bike than I am rider… oh well…) I think they are my current sweet-spot… But I have wondered about the big V-Strom or Versys as a sort of do it all bike style bike. I like a throttle lock (my Ultra had cruise control, but I still used a throttle lock), but if you want cruise control, it is far more available in newer bikes. Plus bikes like the V-Strom or Versys seem to fill the role of “common” bike that was used for everything some decades ago, and likely isn’t totally out of its element on an unimproved road – before we come up with all these specialized machines, usually one bike had to do it all – Sportster, British vertical-twins, but now almost everything is in its own niche’, with supporting techno-gizmos blue-toothed to the rider. In your case (but my mindset) I’d probably just go look at a newer FJR, but if the riding position still doesn’t satisfy your actual riding priorities may not be happy…
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