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I attended a Demo day at Santa Rosa Powersports. Just wanted to document my day, whilst it's still fresh in my mind. Firstly thanks to the Staff at Santa Rosa powersports (Chad and team members) they were just awesome hosts, very friendly and very helpfull.

I ride a 2013 DL650.

Duration was 10am to 4pm, and here is are my riding impressions, these are all good bikes, but i will describe how they felt to me. apologies if you own any of these bikes and have different viewpoints.

GSX750
Very nice bike, lots of power, great handling, i just found the my legs extremely cramped, however Chad indicated the pegs could be lowered by 1-1.5 inches. Nice engine sound, and fun to ride. Seat was comfortable. Could not see the rear traffic, as mirrors would show my shoulders. Good freeway wind protection at high speeds, and lots of wiggle room for my 6 foot body.

FZ-07
Much more relaxed sitting than the GSX750, very nimble, sit up much higher. However the engine was too quite, and too much freeway wind, as speeds climbed over 60 mph. Would be very uncomfortable for me to ride on Freeways. Lots of power from engine, however bike did not energize or excite me.

GSX1000
Could notice it was not as agile as the GSX750, definately more top heavy, and it was not as flickable, not as comfortable to ride as the 750. But still enjoyed the bike, but could not see myself happy on this long term. Engine was more muted and quite than the 750.

FJR1300
Wow what a smooth and comfortable bike, one fellow rider said it was a cadillac, and it definately rode like a cadillac. Engine sounded amazing, reminded me of a triple whistle. Bike however was top heavy, especially when trying to turn it. It was not as flickable as above bikes, but definately the most comfortable. The adjustable windscreen was huge and amazing. Lots of power, but i did not like the 5 speed, wish it had a 6th. At slow speeds difficult to move it around.

Super Tenere
Nice bike, very comfortable, lots of power, however engine and shaft drive felt clunky. Engine sound felt a little boring, i realized parallel twins are not good attractive/appealing for me. Big and comfortable, quite manouvarable.

FZ-09
Wow, best engine, best sound, lots of power, very flickable. I did not notice any suspension issues (as everyone talks about), it felt firm, seat was comfortable, however i did not have room to move around the cockpit like the 750. Wind impact was less than Fz07 but still noticable, so hard for me to ride this comfortably on freeway. I have riden the daytona 675 and the street version, and still feel the triumph triples are sightly more invigorating.


Yamaha FZ6R
Good safe bike, however i did not like it much, as the inline 4 was not as spirited as i expected it, bike felt slightly top heavy and was not easily manvourable. However bike felt safe, and kept its line well on the freeway and felt planted. The seating position was similar to the FJR, and i think this setup is not ideal for me (just my personal taste), FJR however was a lot more smoother, responsiive and more powerfull

ZX6R
Wow what a bike, handles extremely well, very responsive engine, slighlty better than the 750 (for me) as the engine was very responsive and sounded better, and energized me more. Probably my favourite out of the bunch today. Good wind protection on the freeway, however GSX750 had slightly better wind protection.

So my preferences would be ZX6r, GSX750, FJR1300, GSX1000, FZ07, Super Tenere, FZ07, FZ6R

Then i got onto my VStrom 650 and realized what an amzing bike the DL650 is, so smooth, the Vtwin engine is amazing sound, and bike is roomy and comfortable, and low down torque is great, and i realized it was a very good purchase decision to buy the Vstromn 650 ahead of all other bikes at the time. Of course i could be seeking confirming evidence, here, but I have tried to be as objective as possible. The DL650 is an amazing motorcycle and suits be best, but I think i would get a sportsbike as a second bike in the future.
 

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Thanks for taking the time to do this write up. I've owned five bikes in my life (cruisers, standards), so I especially enjoyed your input on the sport bikes. Did the dealer know you weren't particularly looking to buy? And they were still cool with you doing all these demo rides?

Keith
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I was considering the FZ07 as a second bike but quickly ruled that out of the equation. The others were all secondary options. Dealer had encouraged everyone (lots of people came) to demo all the bikes, and they have earned current and future business of many riders there, including myself. It was a great promotion day for dealer and bay area community, a no-pressure environment did a lot to strengthen dealer/buyer communications.
 

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Are you talking about the new GSXS 750? :confused:

I'd like to take a spin on one too.

Also a Yamaha FJ-09.
 

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The Yamaha FJ-09 seems like a nice setup and about the same weight as the DL650. It seems to have some very sharp lines but that might be the Yamaha styling. Looks like the foot pegs go way back. The DL650 is still the best value. Paying $139.44 a month for 5 years. Cant beat it.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
yeah the FJ-09 was a beautifull looking bike, could not test ride it as it was brand new, and just released, and it looked absolutely awesome
 

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yeah the FJ-09 was a beautifull looking bike, could not test ride it as it was brand new, and just released, and it looked absolutely awesome
+1

I'm curious to see a comparison between it and the new Vee. Definitely a great looking bike. I still love my Wee2 though! :thumbsup:
 

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nice write up, I was there also.
i just rode the Super Tenere, v-strom 650 and the Bolt.

the ST is Big and felt buzzy. I had to give it more throttle than my 08 vstrom650 to get it moving and then there is the price:yikes:

the new strom650 was nice and felt smoother than my 08.

the Bolt made me want to get off it at the stop light and walk back to my old bike with 50K + miles on it.

I'll keep the 08 for a couple more seasons the get a newer Vstrom 650.

too bad they didn't offer the 1000 for rides.

but a big :hurray: for Santa rosa powersports for putting on the ride day.
 

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When you describe some of these bikes as "top heavy", how is that relative to our bikes? Do you (not) consider your DL650 (AL2) to be top-heavy, consider these bikes to be more top-heavy, or just equally top-heavy?

To me, my Glee is nearly the perfect bike, but there's definitely top-heaviness (feel like I'm making up a word there) that is mainly apparent when one of your feet slides while stopped or coming to a stop (on water, leaves, patch of loose gravel, unexpected dip in the road, etc.), or just getting off the bike on an incline that didn't seem like a big deal while you were riding.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
yeah, i know what you mean about our bike (DL650), the tipping/leaning sensation when stopped, however this feeling does vanishes (for me) when you get the DL650 moving (even at slow speeds).

I would say the DL650 has definately less top heaviness compared to the bikes i rode, our bike is extremely manovurable and very light on the steering bars, unlike the ones i mentioned above in my reviews, hope this helps, we do have an amazing machine, i wish our front suspension was better, but still a very good bike
 
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