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What street bike to compliment my DRZ400S?

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I've been hesitating posting this but after pouring over other street bike threads here, and powersportsnetwork.com, advrider.com, and tons of others sites/forums I'm still left with questions. I'm looking to spend around $6k-$7k (new or used). I'm 34yrs old, 190lbs, and 6' tall.

History: My DRZ400s was my first motorcycle (except for a few dirtbikes I borrowed when I was real young). I learned to ride on the street with it and it's great fun for commuting although a bit loud for every day use onroad even with the stock exhaust (ear plugs). I've had my DRZ for 2yrs and half my miles are street from commuting and the other half are pure dirt. I like it's linear power (low end torque) and it's snikkedy gear box. I'm also practicing wearing down the knobbies on the sides of my MT21's on the way to work. 😢

I'm looking to add a 2nd bike w/in the next month and after a lot of reading and sitting on bikes at dealers I've narrowed it down to this:

BWM F650GS Dakar

Kawasaki KLR650

Honda 919 (+ windscreen)

BMW R1150R (2003 or newer, + windscreen)

Yamaha FZ1

Yamaha FZ6

Kawasaki ZRX1200

Suzuki Bandit 1200S

Suzuki V-Strom 650

Suzuki SV650 (naked, +windscreen)

Harley Davidson XL883 (probably not)

The 1st two bikes are considered because longer 'adventure rides' would be cool. I'm not sure I want another bike so close to mine's capabilities though. I realize that with the some of the 'budget bikes' on my list I may need to add some cartridge emulators 'cause I do appreciate good suspension (I've got re-tuned E-model forks).

The only bike I've been able to test ride so far was the Dakar. I was disapointed with it's lack of low-end grunt and it seemed to transfer more vibes to the seat than my bike (odd?). The front forks where way to mushy for my taste (add progressive springs) and it was odd getting used to having to actually turn the bars in slow turns (increased rake). Otherwise comfy and relatively smooth abouve 4k rpm or so. Heated grips are cool but it can be added to other bikes. When I got back on my bike I realized what a treat it is to have linear power everywhere even if it isn't a lot compared to bigger bikes. Yeah, I like to thrash it a bit on the street.

So... I'd like to hear input from some of you that have owned or ridden these other bikes. Is a liter bike too much for me to handle right now? I like to have a machine that I can use with out scaring the crap out of me.

p.s. I did ride my buddy's older ZX-11 around my block one day. I got it up to about 50 mph but I was short shifting all the way because I was afraid to let it come alive past 7k. That was a year ago and I was also not used to riding something with clip-ons. I had no problem with it's weight.

This bike will be used for commuting, weekend trips, plus a 1000 mile ride down Hwy 101 to Laguna Seca next summer for the MotoGP. Of course another 1000 miles back to Seattle too. My buddy will be riding his ZX-11 and he has no pretentions of trying to play follow-the-leader with me.

I know this is way long, but I thought I'd cover all the bases when throwing out this topic.

Thx;

KB 😢

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Based on your price range and your experience...I would say the v-strom 650 sounds like a natural choice for you. If you can find a little more money to spend...the 1000 would be more comfotable on the highway...and definitely better for two up riding.

Just my $.02. 😢

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I currently own a DRZ and my main street ride is a 2001 ZRX1200. I love this bike. I sold a GSXR1000 for it and have had more fun riding the ZRX than any other bike I have owned. It is comfortable, fast, and I like the looks. I baught the faster green one. (Inside Joke) Anyways, the bike can go very fast or you can put it, the throttle is not hyper sensitive so it is easy for long rides. Hope that helps.

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I'll throw in my .02 as well. A friend of mine just got an FZ6. It's a sweet bike, probably plenty of power, however my observation was that it was a little cramped. I'm 6'2", and maybe I'm just too big, but you should try and ride one. That leads to the FZ1, I'd by one if I were in the market! 😢 Bigger, more power, so as you learn, you won't get bored, and good enough to handle 1000 mile rides without being an anchor to your buddy 😢. You might throw the Honda in that catagory as well, you'll just have to see what you like and what feels good. The SV's are cool and fast becoming a "cult" bike, I like the bigger one. The Bimmers are just too pricey, maintanence is pricey, but they seem to last forever 😢. Lastly, the V-stroms are cool, kinda odd, but cool. I'd definately have to ride one to see what they are about. Another friend of mine has one; he loves it, but I haven't ridden it. For me, it would come down to seating position and how well I fit on the bike to choose, but I like the FZ1 alot. 😢

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Getting test rides from dealers is tough (except from BMW) so all I've been able to do is sit on most of these bikes. The ZRX1200 and FZ1 really strike me as sweet bikes with few problems. The ZRX1200R doesn't have much of a fairing, but it should be enough since touring won't be a huge part of it's life. I'd like to think that the FZ6 would be enough power for me for a few years but I don't know. I've heard mixed reports from reviews and owners that it's fairly week below 7k rpm and have a twitchy throttle. I don't know if I really want a bike I have to wind up to enjoy (example: F650GS/Dakar). I'm spoiled by my thumper I guess. The SV650 might be a tad small for me, and I just can't seem to get excited about the Wee-Strom although I know it's a good machine. The seating seems to be a bit too upright to me. The bigger bikes on this list do fit me best with a little bit of forward lean for sportieness. The VFR800 almost made my list, but I think it's there's to much forard lean for my wrists in the long run. Hmmm...

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Especially on that 1000 mile trip...the bigger bike will be much less tiring. It will not be pushed around by wind as easily and will have the power to keep up good speeds without feeling like it is being pushed.

He really needs a bigger bike.

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Of numerous streetbikes I've owned over the years, I would have to suggest that you find an FZ-1. I wish I still had mine. Best overall roadbike ever. I have a bunch of seat time on a Kawi' ZRX 1100 also, and it was very cool, though not as refined as the FZ-1. Just get one and Ride. 😢

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BWM F650GS Dakar

Kawasaki KLR650

Honda 919 (+ windscreen)

BMW R1150R (2003 or newer, + windscreen)

Yamaha FZ1

Yamaha FZ6

Kawasaki ZRX1200

Suzuki Bandit 1200S

Suzuki V-Strom 650

Suzuki SV650 (naked, +windscreen)

Harley Davidson XL883 (probably not)

what i find odd about you list is that you name several large capacity 4-cylinder bikes, but only medium sized twins. (not counting the hog). if you like a strong thumper's power band, i would definitely go with a twin. the vstrom 650 is good, but with your hieght and weight, the larger vstrom may be okay for you as well. the 1000cc sv might be okay for you or even the older TLs. if you're a smart enough guy having a lot of power isn't too dangerous. besides then you can focus on riding instead of squeezing another 10hp from an sv/vstrom 650.

if you want to get into -light- off roading the triumph tiger is a great bike as well. i have an older one and love it. it's inline triple has nice blend of twin and inline four feel. it's upright layout is nice on gravel, but the motor is much sportier than the bmw GS in the twisties. even though it's a beast off road, people do it (i think my DR is too big for -me- off road 😢 ). i woundn't go on any triple black diamonds with mine, but it handles my rutted steep dirt/mud/gravel road like a champ, and it can cruz on the freeway for days 😢

the klr650 might be an okay choice, but i feel it's a dated design. i agree with your assesment of the bmw, if you consider it again, consider the cheaper aprilia pegaso. basically the same machine, but USD forks and typically much cheaper used - however i would not want to ride it from laguna to WA.

oh and my good friend just had a BMW R1150R for a loaner while his 100k+ mile GS was in the shop and he hated it. i think the bmw's motor and general design work on big bikes like the GS, but on the BMW R1150R it makes a bike that should be smaller and lighter into a pig. i think the bandit, sv, or yamaha would be a far better option.

that's my 2 pesos, hope it helps

cheers

andrew

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Start posting on the ZRXOA web site and I am sure somebody in your area might step up and offer a test ride. 😢

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I had a Bandit 1200 for a while and liked it quite a bit. If however I were to do it again the FZ1 would be key in the mix. Very fun and sporty and good on longer rides and I am 6ft5in tall. As for test rides why won't they let you ride? Around here (Boise, ID) all you need is for them to go out with you (separate bike), at least on the bikes Ive tested seems odd that if you are going to spend that kind of money they won't let you ride it, assuming you are licensed and capable. But anyway long answer short go for the FZ1 great bike huge fun and awesome potential as an all arounder, commute, sport rides, and medium to long distance sport touring. Just my two cents. Enjoy whatever you buy.

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the one (and only) prob with the FZ1 is the R1 insurance costs! They classify them in the same category. 😢

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Good thoughts, keep 'em coming.

drzoomn... I looked at the TL (not comfy) and other litre bike twins, but from what I've seen they get horrible gas mileage. Wouldn't be terrible if they had larger tanks. A 150+ minimum range is required. If the Suzuki SV1000 (not the S) had the same ergo porportions as it's little brother it would be on the list. The Tiger is too expensive new, and good used ones aren't common nor much cheaper. Plus it's British (I'm kinda low maintainence; notice no Ducs on my list). The Tiger still holds a place in the back of my mind though.

The FZ1 is in the same insurance category as the R1??? Yikes. That's a downer. Perhaps I'll call my agent after I narrow it down a bit further. Anybody know if the ZRX1200 has lower rates?

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the one (and only) prob with the FZ1 is the R1 insurance costs! They classify them in the same category. 😢

That was not true in my case....My company classified it as a "standard" at substantial savings as opposed to "sport". Matter of fact, that was written up as a positive point to the FZ-1 in a number of bike magazines.... 😢

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Have you ridden the SV1000S?

I test rode one and fell in love. Power delivery was soooo smooth. If only i had an extra 12 grand haha.

Just so amazingly stable and smooth...felt so good. Out of the good many bikes i rode i liked it the best forsure.

Good thoughts, keep 'em coming.

drzoomn... I looked at the TL and other litre bike twins with envy, but from what I've seen they get horrible gas mileage. Wouldn't be terrible if they had larger tanks. A 150+ minimum range is required. If the Suzuki SV1000 (not the S) had the same ergo porportions as it's little brother it would be on the list. The Tiger is too expensive new, and good used ones aren't common nor much cheaper. Plus it's British (I'm kinda low maintainence; notice no Ducs on my list). The Tiger still holds a place in the back of my mind though.

The FZ1 is in the same insurance category as the R1??? Yikes. That's a downer. Perhaps I'll call my agent after I narrow it down a bit further. Anybody know if the ZRX1200 has lower rates?

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Interesting that you would ask about what street bike to get on TT. Have you checked out Sport-Touring Net? They are kind of in love with the Honda Blackbird and VStrom, but they have a lot of info for you.

In the last few years we have owned an SV650S, Honda VFR, Kawi Ninja, Honda Nighthawk, BMW F650 (two of them), BMW R1200GS and an Aprilia Scarabeo 150cc scooter.

The R1200GS is the best road bike I've ever ridden. Go to Adventure Rider for loads of info.

The F650GS is a great steet bike and OK dirt road bike. Go to F650 dot com for info.

The SV650 is a hoot, but the suspension is crap and it isn't comfortable without an after market seat. Go to SVRider for everything you ever wanted to know.

The Honda VFR (aka, Interceptor) is my favorite as a sport-touring bike. Get a used one in your price range and you may never buy another street bike. Cool looking, buckets of power, smooth, comfy, luggage, gadgets - a great bike. Go to VFR Discussion for everything you ever wanted to know about them.

Sorry, I can't help with the other bikes. Larry

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I have owned just about every Suzuki streetbike made in the last ten years except all the cruisers, had a few cruisers nothing special. Some models I have owned two of such as the DRZ's.

My current street ride is a 2002 V-Strom 1000, love it! go anywhere on it with in reason of course since it does weigh 500 lbs. It'll wheelie till the cows come home empty or fully laoded with the wife on back & the 3 Givi luggage cases on it....makes no difference the thing has torque! I have embarrassed to many sportbikes up in the N. Ga. hills to count again with my wife on back, yep she is a daredevil.

I've owned two SV650's & the motor is the same as the baby strom 650, engine is sweet! in a way smoother than the big brother 1000. Either way you can't go wrong with a 650 or 1000. You can find 1000's used well in your price range in excellent shape & usually with accessories to boot. Two up long distance on the 1000 V is a piece of cake it will cruise at 90 mph all day long fully loaded & still get 42 mpg.

Bandit 1200 is another good bike owned two of them. Buzzy with the 5 speed gear box but a complete animal in the torque department when un-corked exhaust & jetted properly.

SV1000's are nice but the riding position is to sporty for me on a streetbike.

GSXR's belong on the track been there done that 5 times.

Zrex's are nice bikes also a little heavy but plenty of torque on tap.

V-Strom is what you need go test ride one you can thank me later. 😢

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The Tiger is too expensive new, and good used ones aren't common nor much cheaper. Plus it's British (I'm kinda low maintainence; notice no Ducs on my list). The Tiger still holds a place in the back of my mind though.

i haven't had my tiger long enough to comment on it's long term maintenance cost, but others on the tiger list claim it's not as bad has having a ducati. 😢

the cost of the older style ones isn't bad if you can live with carbs and a minimal after market. i picked up my 89' with 12k miles for $5,000. so far i love it. my only complaint is that only givi made luggage for it, and they've stopped. however i get by with a top case, and if you're patient the givi mounts come up on ebay now and then.

i went for the older version for price and looks. the new ones are nice, but kinda fugly in my opinion. my only complaint is that it's pretty heavy, but for 900cc's i didn't expect light. compared to the GS i think it's more fun in the twisties. the only thing i like more in the GS is the ABS, otherwise the it's all business, no play.

i have heard of many high milage tigers 80-100k+ so overall i think they aren't as bad as their british heritage makes you think, and i think truimphs are like bmws in that people either buy them and ride the hell out of them, or buy them and hardly ride. so they can be found with fairly low milage. when i was looking i found three pre-99's with 15,000 miles or less.

anyway, good luck, it's always fun getting a new bike!

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There's a 2000 VFR800 with 18k miles on it for about $6600 at a dealer near me. It has raised clip-ons and a Corbin seat. I'm tempted to go test it out.

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The ZRX insurance is cheap, I had a GSRX1000 and my insurance dropped by 2/3 on the ZRX.

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I've only glanced through the other posts so I'm sorry if this repeats anyone. I'm going the other way from you and adding a dirt bike to my street collection.

Variety is the spice of life. With that in mind I'd recomend you go for something quite different. That would exclude the KLR DMWGS and others of that sort. Just prep the DRZ a bit more.

For a street bike with some touring in mind you'd have trouble finding anything that blends sportiness with practicality than the FZ1. I recently traded a ZX9R for a Z1000. I sport toured on the 9R for the past 4 years and loved it up until this year when my aging bod reminded me that I'm not too good at bending that way any more. The Z is a bit more sporty than the FZ1 as the wheelbase is shorter and it feels a bit lighter between the knees (the wife has a Fizzy) and I got it for a SUPER close out price. But it'll be a stretch for touring.

If you're spry enough then look at Honda 600F3's for sporty and sport touring. Of the sportbikes they are one of the better and more comfy ones out there. And a few cheap mods smartens them up nicely.

The Honda VFR's are SUPERB bikes and are quite comfy. But some, like me, find they lack a bit in the personality department because they ARE so flawless. Odd I know but that's how I feel.

There's lots of options. I both envy and pity you at the same time for the scope of possible options... 😢

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