Help with dilemma.
Please excuse the lengthy post. At I'm at a dilemma. I currently own a 2007 Honda VTX1300R. Windshield, floorboards, Mustang seats, etc. I'm 5'8", 143lbs, 55 years old and not getting younger. My wife likes to ride (but only as a pillion passenger). You know how it goes, you don't ask their weight, and hers varies because of hypothyroidism. She's 5'2" and I would guess she varies from 120 lbs to 160 lbs. The VTX (in my opinion) is not a light bike. That being said, I seem to handle it ok when riding by myself but have dropped it twice, once offloading from a utility trailer into grass, and once just slipped from grass to asphalt (locked front wheel and slid it down onto crash bar at 1 mph, "driveway"). I've come close a few times when coming to a stop on uneven ground with her on the back to dropping the bike as I lost balance with it (maybe looked down or just stopped too quick on uneven concrete, gravel, etc.) So far I haven't dropped it with her on it, but it's a struggle to keep it from going down once it starts.
She like the power the VTX has. Even though she has a Mustang pillion seat, she uses a gel pad as well and can't ride for too long before complaining that she needs a break. She really likes the pillions on the Goldwing, the Ultra Classic, the Can Am Spyder RT. She really would like for us to get a Spyder RT so she has comfort and I don't have to worry about dropping it. I like the thought and the RT's, but I want to stay on two wheels if possible and we can't afford to get an RT.
So, I've been thinking about a 650 Vstrom. I like them. Haven't ridden or sat on one yet, but I see a lot of people say they are easy to maneuver at slow speed (maybe unlike the VTX?). When I was younger, one of my first bikes was an '84 Honda 650 Nighthawk. Loved that bike. Never had a problem with riding it, but then I didn't carry a pillion rider either. Had to leave it when I got sent overseas.
I know the Vstrom 650 is about 200 lbs lighter than my VTX, so I like that. But what I'm concerned about is if it has enough power for riding both of us two up. We live in the mountains of SW Virginia and ride a lot of curvy backroads and the occasional 4-lane jaunt to a larger town or different backroads.
I'm concerned about the power, the height of the bike (if that would be a problem with her added weight), and if the rear seat would be comfy enough for her, even if I had to get a Corbin seat for it.
My main worries would be slow speed maneuvering with her on the bike, and coming to stops on slanted surfaces etc. I have a 32" inseam.
I'm wanting something lighter and more fun to ride with less vibration, but have enough power to ride her as well.
That's another thing she complains about is the bumps on the VTX. I've changed the rear spring stiffness on the VTX several times and none of the settings seem soft enough or cushioning enough for her. I have them set on 5 now I think. Anyway, I read that the VStrom is a nice soft ride.
The only thing about a VStrom that I'm not in love with though is the chain final drive. I've always had shaft drives and love the no maintenance aspect, but it is what it is. I don't reckon there's an extensive amount of maintenance on a chain. Keep it lubed, adjusted, and replace it and the sprockets when needed.
Any answers or thoughts or opinions? or questions?