Motorcycle suggestions please!
April 16, 2011 12:30 AM   Subscribe

I'd like suggestions for a motorcycle- less than $8000, would get 40-100 miles daily with several stops, comfortable for a larger dude, and gets rocking mpg.

It's totally hypothetical right now, but I'm considering getting another bike.
I'd be riding 40 to 100 miles a day with 4 to 8 one hour stops. I don't need storage, everything I need for the day fits in a back pack.
It needs to get awesome gas mileage. It would take the load off my Jeep Wrangler (17-20 mpg). That also means I would rather not be working on it all the time. Parts money and wrenching time would go into the Jeep.
Final bit- I'm a big guy (280 but slowly getting smaller) and I have kinda stubby legs. And a bad knee.
I've had a Honda XR600 that was a blast but kickstarting ruined my bad knee for the rest of the day, and it was too tall for me to be comfortable with the bad knee. I'd rather be able to at least get both sets of toes on the ground at stop lights, if not both heels.
I've also had a Honda cm400t that was fun, but took a lot of work to keep running and had trouble getting my rear end up the Oakland hills.
posted by gally99 to Travel & Transportation (10 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
A Yamaha Fazer (FZ6R) should do it - you might have to go secondhand though.
posted by MuffinMan at 12:43 AM on April 16, 2011

What do you mean by "stubby legs"? What's your inseam?
posted by halogen at 1:03 AM on April 16, 2011

Response by poster: 30 inch inseam pants scuff a bit, and one of my legs doesn't quite fully extend.
posted by gally99 at 1:11 AM on April 16, 2011

Suzuki Savage/S40? 650cc thumper, simple, reliable, low seat. Inexpensive even when new.
posted by 2N2222 at 2:49 AM on April 16, 2011

Hiya Gally99, you and I are about the same dimenisons. Currently I am riding a 1999 Triumph Sprint ST and have been quite happy with it. However, I do acknowledge that Triumphs are not as prevalent as other brands here in the States, and therefore a lot tougher to have maintained and stuff--luckily, in my 3 years of ownership I haven't yet had to do any major repairs, for what that's worth though.

In any case, ergonomically speaking, I've always felt pretty comfortable on my sport-touring style bike, and I think you might, too. MuffinMan's suggestion of a FZ6R is good, or if you want to stick with your Honda heritage, maybe see if you can get into a used VFR?

posted by Jinkeez at 6:32 AM on April 16, 2011

My husband the biker suggests: Suzuki DL650 (~$7500 new) with lowering links for the rear suspension (obvs will cost a bit extra). He says you can also get a special carved-out seat to accommodate for shorter legs. He has a 31" inseam and says he can flatfoot with one foot and balance with the other; with the special mods you might be low enough to flatfoot with both feet. Mileage is 45-50 mpg.
posted by tetralix at 6:57 AM on April 16, 2011

$8000 can get you a lot of bikes gently used. I came here to recommend the Suzuki DL650 as well. I have the DL1000, and if I were going to buy the bike again, I would get the 650 for the better mileage (my 1000 gets ~40mpg).

Personally, after owning the DL1000 (aka V-Strom) for a couple of years, I'd like something with a smoother engine, so I'm considering a "real" sport touring bike. Honda ST1300, Kawasaki Concours 14, Yamaha FJR, and maybe the Honda VFR (but it looks like the new ones have a tiny gas tank). I commute 80 miles a day on my bike, so I like having a larger tank so I don't have to fill up every other day.

The V-Strom has a 5.8 gallon tank. I think the tank on the ST1300 is close to 7 gallons. The V-Strom is very comfortable for taller riders (I'm 6'0") and I've done 8-hour trips on the stock seat (but seats are such a personal choice, take that with a grain of salt).
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 7:09 AM on April 16, 2011

A used BMW F650GS (now sold as the G650... I'm talking about the single, not the parallel twin.) You should be OK with a 30" inseam but they also made a factory low model for the vertically challenged. It's a great bike; my everyday rider/travel bike is an F650GS Dakar. It's crazy reliable, well supported in the aftermarket, is equipped with ABS and goes anywhere. I picked mine up used for less than $5k with fewer than 10k miles.
posted by workerant at 8:59 AM on April 16, 2011

Crap! I forgot the imporantest part! The F650GS routinely gets 70ish mpg (in US, not UK gallons.)
posted by workerant at 9:00 AM on April 16, 2011

Gooooonna go out on a limb here and suggest something off the wall. I think you should get a Silver Wing or a Burgman 650. 40-100 miles per day means you're on the freeway, you need power to lug yourself up hills, and you want good mileage. Freeway needs rule out something like a Ninja 500. Power rules out something like a DRZ400 or other thumper. Good mileage rules out something like a DL650 or a VFR (sorry, 40mpg is not good by bike standards). A step-through 650 twin like the Burgman will have more than enough power for you, get >50 mpg, and will keep you wickedly comfortable for hours at a time.
posted by TheNewWazoo at 4:32 PM on April 16, 2011

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