Considering Replacing GS550
Been searching and poking around the forums, figured someone might have shared my particular situation and could offer some insight.
6'7", ~160lbs, poor low back, but good knees and very comfortable riding gear
My current ride:
My 2nd bike, which I've put quite a few miles on, '78 GS550, pretty bone stock other than a nice seat and a tank-bag. It's seen mostly on-road commuting and short trips but maybe 20% off road/gravel/trails. No windshield, no faring, pretty bone stock standard. I've rebuilt almost everything (clutch, final drive, front forks, fuel system, carbs, electrical) so it's in fairly well maintained (although not sparkly clean) state.
-Bike has never broke ~30mpg even with very gentle riding. Not sure if it's been jetted or bored out by a PO.
-1st gear not low enough to maneuver the 4-banger around much offroad (this is an engine that likes to spin)
-6th is about right with a standard sprocket for commuting (used to have overdrive, 1st gear takeoffs on hills doubled up were rough).
-Has notorious vibration >6KRPM, which is anything over a 70mph cruise...known GS trait
-No windscreen/deflector kinda blows at highway speeds for someone who has to sit up straight
-Need more storage
-Seat is very comfortable, but is clearly aftermarket custom by a PO
-Even at 6'7" I barely touch the ground
-Easy to work on (I do my own wrenching)
-Very smooth at 6K RPM and below
My main pushes for replacement are a bit more distance comfort and the hopeful ability to run more than 100mi before I'm on reserve. Looking at a later 2013ish 650 v-strom, ideally with some storage (like the adventure model apparently comes with).
Considering my current (fully operational but fairly stock) GS, do folks think I will be able to knock a few things off my qualm list by doing an upgrade? If nothing else, a >100mi range on a tank of fuel would help me be able to use the bike for more than 2-trips to/fro work and/or a really careful jaunt up Mt Hood, etc. My concerns with the upgrade are maintaining reasonable seat comfort (willing to accept that I may have to have a custom seat made) and not loose my ability to cruise at 70mph without sitting on a thumper or a screamer (at those speeds). I've ridden a new-ish KLR and while I find them very capable, I'm not sure I would enjoy it dealing with commuter traffic which includes freeway driving (stop/go/hard-braking/etc.).
I've poking around my local circles to see if anyone has one I can test ride to see if we mesh. I love my GS but even if I found the (expensive) larger Katana tank for it, I'm still going to be taxed to hit 150mi+ range. I keep finding myself not riding as much as I want to because every time I leave or arrive I have to hit a gas station or gas-can.
What should I expect on price? I see a lot of the ADV models running around 5500-6K with high-teens/low-20's currently. I'm not looking for a collectors quality bike...I plan on using the hell out of it.
Thanks for reading my ramblings.
1978 Zuk GS550