Greetings from Spokane! I am looking for my second to the last motorcycle. I have toured for over 50 years using both hotels and campsites. I currently have a ’14 FJR and a ’10 Honda NT700v, both sport touring bikes. These are going no where. They are wonderful at what they do. I am in good shape, tall and lanky, but at 69, I really don’t want to throw a leg over a bike with a 34” seat height. The FJR is getting heavier every year at slow speeds, and there is no way I would take it down 10 miles of even smooth graded Forest Service road to a campsite. I miss doing that in Wyoming. The bikes seemed lighter and more maneuverable when I was younger.
So this brings me to the realm of adventure touring bikes. Many can be had with low seats or lowered frames, low curb weight, solid wheels, wide handlebars, and even different riding modes and cruise controls. They have comfortable riding positions…. Just the thing for riding the empty two lane roads of the American West. You can paddle them around a parking lot without being afraid of dropping them. Many aftermarket companies make panniers and real soft luggage racks. And center stands.
The V-strom is known for its smooth reliable engine and low price point. I believe it was refined in 2017 and at $9200, you have room to buy a center stand and panniers and other farkels. I am not crazy about the seat height but the local Suzuki dealer refuses to carry the V-strom as they don’t sell so I will have to travel to find one and try it on for size. Minuses are few but even though there is no lowered seat height version, there is a way to lower the frame just like many do with the NT700v and even though there is no ride by wire/cruise control, I have used throttle locks for my old hands for decades.
Competitors coming out or are here now are the Triumph Xrx Low ($14,000 with cruise) the New 2018 BMW F750GS (price with cruise unknown) 2019 Yamaha Tracer 900 GT (Price with cruise unknown) and an outside dark horse, the Honda NC750. Like all bikes, these all have their pluses and minuses.
So I will be lurking and reading and learning and asking questions as they pop up. I am in no hurry to make a decision and if I wait till 2019, maybe there will be a V-strom with a real color!
Ye Olde Coyote