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After the Vee. What next?

9139 Views 49 Replies 42 Participants Last post by  danketchpel
Just a curiosity.

If you had to get a bike to replace your Vee, what would it be?

If you've already sold your Vee, what did you get?
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Well, I would get a 2000 HD FXST Softail bobber. Lots of chrome. Oh, wait. I already did that . . .




About a month I saw it at a dealer, thought, "OOOOOHHH. Shiny!!!!" and bought it. My intent was to do some cosmetics on the Vee and sell it, but now I'm rethinking.

I am in love the Softail:
- It felt a bit like steering a wheelbarrow at first, but now I realize it is perfectly predictable and very easy to handle in parking lots.
- It's perfectly fun on twists. I can lean it over with confidence until things start scraping.
- The engine is a wondorous piece of steampunk. It sounds like something out of the Wright Brothers' shop. It doesn't like to start, it clanks, it sputters, it backfires and gets hot. Practically Perfect In Every Way.
- It's an 88B engine, which has a counterbalancer. It's VERY smooth, even at idle.
- I now have had an Experiential Learning Experience and fully understand torque. It is all but impossible to kill that monster pulling away from a stop. I hardly need throttle at all. Unreal passing power in top gear.
- The shifter is awesome. I've never missed a shift.
- The throttle is a thing of beauty. Light and not jumpy like the Strom. No need for a throttle lock, ever.
- It makes me into a different rider. There is something wonderful about puttering along at 5 mph under the speed limit at 1800 rpm on this bike. Really.
- I've found that HD riders rarely wave to each other. Strommers are not being singled out.
- You ARE the king of the road on that beast. I feel like Chester Milquetoast when I ride the Strom.

BUT:
- I can't get comfortable on it. The forward foot controls are ok, but it's so wide I have to ride pigeon-toed to shift or brake. I put some cool highway pegs on the crash bars, but inside muscles of my thighs (TMI, I know) get really tired holding my legs in riding position.
- I think it's an aftermarket seat, but it hurts after 45 minutes or so.

In the best of all possible worlds, my wife would think it's a really great idea to have a stable full of bikes. In the real world, I need to sell one. Or find a new wife. (Janice? Are you listening?) I found some new old stock baloney cut mufflers and they will be here in a couple of days. Originals have damaged chrome. I guess I'll put those on and list the HD. Anybody interested?

Too bad. I'll miss it terribly.
 

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Suzuki Bandit 1200 or 1250,Yamaha FZ1, Guzzi Stelvio, Guzzi Breva 1200, BMW 1150 or 1200 R , Triumph 800 Tiger, FJR or Concours.
The Bandit might be a better value than the VEE.
When the 850 or 900 Strom comes out I might change my mind.





Les
 

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Another Vee, of course. Duh.

Barring that, my short list contains:
Yamaha FJR 1300
Suzuki Bandit 1250 (I'd be riding solo, though...)

Maybe:
Kawasaki Concours 14
Triumph Speed Triple
Triumph Tiger 1050

If I had stupid money:
KTM - one of the big (900cc+), evil-looking orange bastards with knobbies. I can't seem to wrap my brain around their model nomenclature.
BMW F800GS
BMW R1200GS
Ducati Multistrada


New-ish bikes I want to try sometime (besides "all of them"):
- Gold Wing. What's the fuss all about? Hopefully I won't have to wear a bowling jacket and develop prostate trouble.
- Triumph Rocket III
- Original Concours
- Wee. Never ridden a Wee for some reason -- I jumped straight into a Vee. I know several Wee owners, so I'm sure we'll get this sorted any day now.
- Kawasaki Versys
- Balls-out sportbike of some sort -- CBR1000, GSX-R, etc. Just for the hell of it.
- A nasty little dirtbike in the wide-open desert
- A Moto Guzzi.


Bikes I don't want to ride:
- Anything with forward controls. Stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, and dangerous. And stupid. And uncomfortable as hell. Not to mention stupid. Where did this silly shit come from?
 

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I think the FJR or Connie are both solid bikes. My FJR is heavy, but the Vee is harder to control in the garage due to the higher weight.

If you want another DS type bike the Tenere has been out a while in the EU and is well liked. The Triumph Tiger looks good, but it is year one off the 800 so the 1050 maybe a better bet


Sent from my Motorcycle iPad app
 

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I've been drooling over the KTM 990 SMT since I first laid eyes on it in the flesh. It just seems like the kind of dual-sport road bike that I've always had in mind.

Someone will come along in a minute and say "That's not a dual-sport, you dope! 17 inch front wheel, slick tires, wrong brakes, yadda yadda."

To that I say, you miss the point.

For me, it's not at all about any "Adventure touring" endurance thing-to-prove. I would not consider riding any 300-lb-plus 1000cc bike in the woods off-road fun. Plodding slowly along on an over-burdened pack mule out of necessity to get from here to there is not my idea of off-road fun.

I've never found sweating to be fun. When I ride a motorcyle, I want it to be nimble enough to feel some wind, on road or off.

Riding briskly along, feet up on a lightweight, nimble, powerful, dirtbike that an off-road environment won't break so it can do it again next weekend, too--that's my idea of off road fun. I have dirt bikes and small dualsports for that.

The reason I prefer dualsport geometry on the street is not to satisfy a "Walter Mitty" wannabe or "Jerimiah Johnson" rugged individulalist self image. It's for the relative light weight, lack of elephantine bulk, nimble, sit-up-straight-&-relaxed dirtbike-ish handling and ready-for-anything-within-reason suspension.

Something with a dirtbike geometry can be ridden right off onto the shoulder at speed--and probably across the ditch--without skipping a beat. It can bump over a curb without fear of a getoff. And the dirty little secret is, it can, for practical purposes hang with most sportbike riders in tight turns, too.

I bought KLRs for the street because I wanted to ride a dualsport geometry bike on the street, not because I wanted to ride a 350-lb 650 in the dirt. That's why the first thing I did to my KLRs is mount what are clearly street tires (Dunlop D607s). I had no intention of riding the KLR off-road beyond an occasonal leisurely trek down a jeep trail or easy single-track. But I still wanted my street bike to be built on a dualsport chassis.

I grew up on dualsports and dirtbikes. I care nothing for riding all bunched up in crotch-rocket geometry and suffering pounding-stiff suspension on the street.

I care nothing for riding in a cruiser's Ezyboy posture, pushing its bulk, weight, and inaccurate clumbsiness down the road while being careful not to drag things in the turns.

I care nothing about riding down the open road in a straight line on a silky-smooth two-wheeled kitchen-sink-and-then-some motor home.

My reason for wanting dirt bike geometry on the street and road is practical minimalism, nimbleness, rough & tumble ruggedness, and a complete avoidance of "chrome and polish" finickiness. In short, the same riding posture, long-travel plushness, and genuine imperfect-world-capable feel and versatility to which I've grown accustomed in a lifetime of riding dirt bikes and dualsports.

In short, I just want a dirt bike chassis with a little more comfortable seat, and a large enough displacement engine for the road, while retaining as much dualsport handling characteristics as possible--to use on the road, not to use as a huge & heavy enduro-bike-cum-Sherman-tank in the woods or across "no man's land."

When I bought the DL1000, I bought it thinking of it as a compromise of the GS1200 that I thought I really wanted. Owning it--besides giving me great pleasure (what a great street/road bike!)--has afforded me the opportunity to realize what I'm really after--thankfully before having spent a fortune on this whole "Big Adventure Tourer" thing.

The whole "large supermoto" concept is just about exactly on-target for me. Not the marketing-driven "hooligan" aspect of it, but the no-gratuitous-nonsense dirt bike geometry-and-heritage aspect of it.

So I want street tires and street-worthy brakes on my ideal "dualsport for the road." Just because I want it to be genuinely built like a dirt bike doesn't necessarily I want to ride it as a dirt bike. To me, dirt bike geometry is right for everything. To me, dirt-bike slenderness and practical mechanical simplicity is right for everything. To me, dirt bike ruggedness, reliability, and lack of spit & shine finickyness is right for everything. At least for most everything I want to do on a bike.

GS1200, Tenere, etc., etc. don't really fit that bill. They're bulky, heavy, and not particularly nimble. If they're off-roadish at all, they are off-roadish in a Sherman tank kind of way, not in a nimble dualsport kind of way.

So if you want to claim that a 990 SMT is not a dualsport on the basis that it doesn't have a 21" rim and knobbies...well, tell that to the guys in Valdosta who race around what could be called a combination of hairpin pavement, dirt flat-track, and 70s-style natural-terrain scrambles with 17" wheels, street treads, and powerful brakes on an otherwise dirt bike chassis.

Yeah, that 990 SMT still looks like the nearest match to me. I can easily imagine myself on that thing on a long trip with some good, simple, dry, no-nonsense soft luggage. and a tank bag, and I'm good to go.

Only thing that doesn't fit is that dang limited fuel range; even shorter than the DL's. I just don't know why the manufacturers keep missing that mark. Sigh...

So while I'm still funding two boys through college, I continue to revel in this surprisingly marvelous "unconventional wisdom" DL1000. But I'm still keeping my eyes peeled for a large capacity gas tank for the SMT. ;-)

James
 

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All of my previous bikes have been heavy.

Yamaha tour deluxe
Yamaha Venture
Goldwing
St1300

Still have my M109R.

Its a pleasure to get on a relatively light bike (Vee) and go round street corners without feeling like you're steering a barge.
I'm even considering putting the M109R up for sale next spring as I don't ride it so often now.
If I had to replace the Vee I'd consider a Triumph Tiger 1050 and I still want to have a look at the Honda Cross Runner when it arrives in a week or so.
I'm enjoying riding bikes under 250 kgs.
 

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With both a Connie and a Vee in my shed I'm a very happy camper. I enjoy the differences in the bikes and different types of ride they offer.

The Connie has nearly 72,000km (and is 4 years old in August) but I am in no hurry whatsoever to part with it.

The Vee has only 15,000km on it (3k by me in not quite 4 months) and so far I'm really enjoying it. I'll be happy enough to keep it in my shed for some time too.

If I had unlimited funds....
 
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